Flowers are blooming, the Spring weekend holidays have just passed, the trails are calling, the question is, are you ready for some family outdoor time and a good old fashioned adventure? But, you don't have a tent. The old tent is musty and smelly, or too small and cramped, or it's missing all the poles. Whatever the reason, never fear Wenzel is here with a tent that is amazing! Easy to set up by two people in a jiffy. Roomy and spacious for a family with gear! Oh and the important part, this tent won't break the bank.
In addition to all of these great features the Portico offers some other family friendly features that all family tents should have. As any family with kids who are experienced in camping will tell you one of the most frustrating things is dirty shoes in the tent. The Portico offers outer pockets for shoes, sandals, etc on the outside of the tent to ensure your tent stays clean and dirt or mud free during your camping experience. But won't the shoes, socks, sandals, etc. get wet? No way! Especially if the rain-fly is on the tent to not only protect the tent from the elements but also provide a great vestibule to enter and exit the tent without getting wet. This area also provides a great spot to sit in the shade, store some addition gear you may not want in the tent or create some shade to help cool your tent. Simply put this vestibule is another great family friendly feature of the Portico.
In addition to these features the Portico also offers a front facing E-port allowing you to bring in power to your tent (if at a site that has power - or if at home in the backyard) for inflating air mattresses, charging devices or other power needs. With the E-port there is no need to keep the main door unzipped and let in unwanted flying pests.
Space in a tent is always a concern when camping as a family. Many tents are rated for just people, not people with gear or the utilization of substantial air mattresses for added comfort versus sleeping on the ground. The Portico is spaced appropriately to allow for a family with gear and air mattresses to stay comfortably in the tent.
When I get gear to test I am always the primary tester of the gear unless it is for my girls, but I always talk about the value of the product, durability and quality of the item, things my girls don't often consider. They are more concerned with the cool factor, comfort, color options etc. When Wenzel asked me to test and review their new line of family tents I jumped at the chance and wanted to try something new.
I wanted to be the observer, I wasn't going to be the tester this time for these products. I know that many of my readers (hi there!) are avid outdoor gear heads or avid adventurers. But I also know that many of you are also newbies to the outdoor world and need some honest analysis about gear and a helping hand in making the right decision on outdoor gear with a limited budget for your family. So I figured, why not let a a young family, with a "very" active 3 year old boy try out the tent. Oh, did I mention they have never been camping as a family?
Let me introduce you to Sammy (my godson) and his parents Steve and Jaime. Sammy, can't say Uncle Scott... So I am referred to lovingly as "Uncle Snot". (pause in the review for cuteness "awww" and or mild "laughter"). ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... Okay. Carrying on. This, as I previously mentioned was Sammy's first time camping and The Greene's first family camping experience/adventure, a perfect opportunity to see what a newbie family thought of this great tent. Sammy just loves camping in general now, and I think a lot of that had to do with the Portico. The Portico, is now classified by Sammy as "My Tent!".
I have always professed our collective need to get our kids outdoors early and often to show them the simple things and the lessons in life that can only be taught outdoors or made clear around a campfire. But a young family won't continue to return to the outdoors, if they aren't comfortable, at ease and can set up and take down their camping equipment quickly and efficiently. A young family also wont't take the first be step to become an outdoor family if the large pieces of equipment they need cost them and arm and a leg.
Wenzel's group of family camping gear is the ticket for families young and old to get outdoors and build the memories that will last a life time. Video games, tv shows, and apps on phones won't be the memories kids will remember when they get older. Being outdoors catching fireflies, eating s'mores for the first time or picking up sticks for the fire (Thanks for helping me Sammy! - Uncle Snot appreciates it) will be the things that our kids will remember and carry on. Why did we go outdoors as kids with our families? It's simple, our grandparents took our parents and wonder and excitement and simplicity was found and so our parents took us outside to find that same wonder. A tent is the key to adventure for our families and our kids. So, go buy a good tent, one that will last, because like Sammy, they are going to get hooked on camping and that tent is going to get a LOT of use.
Not a single time do I hear from Sammy without him asking me "Uncle Snot can we go camping.... NOWWWWW?" "Sammy Buddy! It' February and it 15 degrees outside now" "So?" He will reply. Sammy is now hooked. I encourage you to get your family hooked just like the Greene family who has a couple more planned adventures upcoming this summer due to a great first camping experience, largely due to the comfortable, easy to set-up and family-minded Wenzel Portico.
Sammy's mom and dad continually commented about how cool (temperature) the tent was, positioned near a treeline and with plenty of ventilation the tent never got stuffy due to lots of attached guy-lines to ensure proper ventilation even when the rain-fly is attached. In addition to the external pockets as a mom, Jaime really liked the internal storage pockets (4) in the Portico as well as the gear loft for important items needed in a jiffy.
As mentioned before the tent was used in this application with a large queen air mattress, gear for a family of three and Sammy who also happened to be using one of Wenzel's awesome Blue Moose 40 degree sleeping bag. Space was never an issue in this tent for the family and left room for Sammy to still move around as a three year old does and will.
The Wenzel sleeping bags designed for kids with kids in mind are a fantastic value and will keep your favorite little guy or gal warm at night and get them excited about camping. Sammy instantly feel head of heels for his Blue Moose bag and regularly wanted to go and "nap" in it to his mom and dad's surprise. The sleeping bags stuff sack is strung to be used as a backpack. To the average adult this may not be even a feature of note but to a kid getting his first sleeping bag it is a huge deal. It also serves as his/her first backpack too. Soon your favorite lil camper will be marching around with their sleeping bag on their shoulders asking "Can we go camping nowwwww?"
Durability, comfort and affordability as the adult areas of concern are all checked off on these sleeping bags. The cool factor, colors and design get a big thumbs up from Sammy! And that is what it is all about!
Check out Wenzel's website for more about these great family camping products.
Wenzel Blue Moose 40 Sleeping Bag
Wenzel Girls Backyard 30 Sleeping Bag
Wenzel Portico Tent 8
Wenzel Portico Tent 6
As always... Keep Hiking Forward!
Portico 8 Tent Specs
Boys Moose 40 Sleeping Bag Specs
Ever thought that backpacking would be a lot more fun without having to lug a tent everywhere and sleep on some ridiculously-priced, flimsy mat? A hammock is the answer you’ve been looking for. Mine is practically weightless and sets up between two trees in a snap.
I know you are thinking "that sounds great, but I sleep on my side and could never be comfortable all curved in a hammock." I thought the same thing until I found on the internet that you are supposed to sleep diagonally in the hammock, and then you’ll be able to lay flat. Here’s how I do it:
How to Sleep On Your Side in a Hammock
First, roll over on your side as close as you can get to one edge of the hammock. Then back your head up until you are lying diagonally in the hammock. By positioning yourself diagonally, you will be able to lie flat in the hammock which is very comfortable.
Tribe Provisions Adventure Hammock
My Tribe Provisions Adventure Hammock sets up easily using the included ropes. When my family went camping recently with some other families, some of the dads took a turn in the hammock for a few minutes. They all said it was very comfortable. When the dark crept into our camp, I went to sleep in the hammock with a friend’s tent almost right underneath me to keep me company. I had a good night's sleep. For my birthday, my parents bough me the Adventure Hammock Mosquito Net to go with my hammock, so now I can sleep in it even in the middle of the summer when bugs are the worst.
I usually sleep in the top bunk of a bunk bed. Since my brother has a hammock, too, I think it would be fun to try sleeping between the same trees in our hammocks so it would be kind of like being in our bunk beds.
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Jr. Hiking Forward Correspondent
Okay... So I bought myself a Christmas present. We all do it right? Right?
I purchased the Lodge Sportsman's Grill prior to Christmas and proceeded to immediately put it together then stare at intently wondering when I would finally get to use it given all of the holiday fanfare.
Well, I finally used it. I will admit, I had visions of a Porterhouse suberbly marinated for at least twelve hours with grilled asparagus dining in the woods... but, I made burgers in the backyard just the other night.
I knew that anything Lodge made was going to be a forever purchase, meaning that the purchase would last me forever. Upon recieving the grill and putting it together not only did I have proof that it is a forever item of gear but one I will bet lots of use out of. I love cooking outdoors, over fire and with cast iron... this grill is the tri-fecta of outdoor goodness.
I am truly stoked to use it in the wild with a menu worthy of its sturdy seasoned cast ironness. It's a word. Look it up! :)
Based on initial quality, ease of use and the wide range of uses this grill is well worth twice the price. I know this is a short post, but I am really excited about this purchase. I intend to update in the furture how I am using the grill, what I am cooking with it (including recipes) and where I am using it.
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Serac provides a simple, comfortable and easy to use hammock system that is affordable for anyone that wants to try and get into a hammock for either sleeping or lounging. You will notice, I mentioned hammock system not just a hammock. Whats the difference you might ask? Well if you new to hammocking you may see from time to time in your local outfitter or big box sports store hammocks on the shelf for sale. What you are seeing, is just the hammock.
What the problem you may ask? Well you need straps to hang your hammock. Serac understands this and sells what I consider a full hammock system (hammock, caribiners and straps). Why is this important? First, purchasing these items won't break the bank and second, everything you need to lounge is in the self contained hammock bag. I have plenty of hammock systems that require me to being two or even more little bags for my hammock set up.
19 oz, for a double hammock meant for two is a pretty amazing weight. But the real jewel of hammock is the material itself, lightweight and yet very durable and strong. This was my first double hammock. My girls, always want to sit, or swing or just lounge in the hammock with me but my singles never met the challenge.
The Serac Sequoia XL Double met and exceeded the challenge to hold only hold to people but do it an a very comfortable way. This hammock is now "our" favorite hammock for napping after a long day of hiking.
Here at Hiking Forward there are a few things that we truly relish when it comes to outdoor products. First is affordability of the product. It shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg to get outside, disconnect, relax and enjoy the outdoors. A Serac hammocks give you this capability with either a single or double system that is a quality and ready to hang out of the bag system that will last for years to come.
Second, we love it when a company is willing to stand by there product. If you are new to hammocking and went online and typed in hammock... you would get hundreds of options. Which one do you choose? Well, I would say the one with a 30 day money back guarantee and a 5 year no questions asked warranty.
And third, we really enjoy seeing people take an idea, a concept or a dream and make it a reality within the outdoor community. Serac is a two man company. To read their company mission on the Serac website, you would think it was the mission of an outdoor non-profit. Together with the affordability, warranty and knowing that actual outdoorsy guys are behind the design, manufacturing and future of this hammock... easily this is the Ultimate Beginner Hammock for you... or your daughter. Grace keeps using mine. I might have to buy another!
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Every once and a while I get the opportunity to try and review something that is more about my wife and girls then it is about me. Recently, I was contacted by the good people at Wenzel to give a couple of their family camping tents a whirl. Typically, my gear is small, light, packable and meant for just me. I was extremely excited to try out a bigger, roomier and family oriented piece of gear and so was my family.
We recently gave the Wenzel Great Basin a try during our Labor Day weekend camping trip in Wisconsin. At first look, I will tell you my initial reaction to the tent immediately after setting it up was that it didn't seem as big as I thought it should be. Then, I unzipped the door and went inside. Oh boy! Let me tell you my next thought was I would have driven my Jeep inside and still had room for the family. This tent is YUGE!
Okay, lets to back to the set up. I and Wenzel recommend that you have two people to set this tent up. Tent set-up is quick and easy and can be completed even by the most novice of family campers. Four poles that sit in heavy-duty plastic feet ensure stability of the tent and superior rigidness and strength. In addition to the overall strength of the the, the tent comes with a rain fly to ensure a dry camping experience. (It is recommend prior to use that the tent seams are sprayed with a tent waterproofer prior to use per manufacturers instructions).
Once this tent is set up, staked down, tied down and set up per instructions you are left with nothing but a tent that has the potential to offer you all the comforts of home pending how you set it up on the inside. The space provided in the 10 person tent offers a wide variety of set up options. The tent comes with two privacy screens to take this very large tent and make it into three private spaces if needed.
We decided not to hang the dividers in the tent. Our set up consisted of two queen sized air mattress that we flanked on the left and right side of the tent. I will tell you that we could have easily added a third queen air mattress and still and more then adequate space to move about the mattresses, change clothes as needed, and still had more then enough room for gear.
Part of the reason we set up the tent and our mattresses as mentioned was simply to take advantage of the airflow per the zippered windows at then ends of the tent at night. Unzipping these windows created a great cross breeze which kept us very comfortable in the evenings.
FLOOR SIZE: 18 ft. x 10 ft. | FLOOR AREA: 159 sq. ft. | PEAK HEIGHT: 78 in.
Weight: 28 lbs. 2 oz. | Canopy/Fly: Polyester w/ 600MM PU Coating | Floor: Welded Polyethylene
Packaged Size: 27 in. X 10.75 in. X 10.75 in. | Doors: 1 | Windows: 4
As mentioned, this review and trial run of this tent was more about the reaction of my wife and daughters then it was me. I with a friend set up the tent prior to their arrive, so I got to witness their initial reactions to the tent on first sight of it and experience upon entering it and getting settled. Immediately my wife and girls were in awe of the size, height and just convenience of store pockets loft space and specifically the Tent Light Reflection System.
This system is like nothing I have witnessed before in small or large tents of comparable price on upwards. Simply put, with the placement of a flashlight, small battery operated or solar powered light or powerful headlamp inside the mesh pocket at the middle of the tent, you create a light that is large enough to cover the whole tent. Most tent fabrics absorb the light at night requiring the use of a personal headlamp or a lantern that then casts huge shadows usually when children as searching for clothes or you are looking for gear. The Tent Light Reflection System reflects the light from your light source out and down minimizing shadows and increasing the overall capability for you or you kids to find what they need quicker. Simply put... Happy Happy!
Check out the video below to see how the Tent Light Reflection System works.
No matter if you and your family are novice of experienced campers this tent provided more then enough room for you and your entire family, gear and will fit however you camp. The biggest item to note of this tent is it's value. For the space you get, the capability to tweak the internal set up from one, two or three rooms as well the new feature and ability to light the tent like no other and the overall comfort offered make this the ultimate outdoor value for any camping family.
You have heard me say it time and time again, it should't cost a lot to get outdoors. This is a situation where you don't have to pay a lot to get not just you but all of your family or friends outside. This tent brings all the right stuff you need to manage through even the worst camping weather as well as all the conveniences and strength you be happy you have in these scenarios. When the weather is mild the open air capability will delight with a view if the stars for you and your family.
Bottom line, value, space and the capability to mix and match this tent to our families needs, desires and how you camp make it a great fit for your next camping trip.
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There comes a time in all adventure families lives where the kids grow up and you they need to step up to the next level of gear. For Grace this was not just a matter of growing, but also growing up. Grace recently became more interested in carrying her own weight literally and figuratively when it camp to hiking and backpacking. To this end, away went the smaller day pack and in came her first real backpack.
As an active dad, trying to keep his family and especially his daughter engaged in the outdoors it is quite difficult sometime to find kid side gear that is worth the investment and will grow with your children until they are truly ready for the next step.
Bravo to the good people at Kelty for designing a line of packs designed specifically for kids or "Juniors" as they put it. The Juniors line is specifically designed to fit the pre-teenager and allow them to carry the pack potentially as mentioned till they are ready for the next transition. Grace has been carrying the Kelty LAKOTA Jr. 45L Backpack for two seasons and absolutely loves it. While she has grown over the seasons the pack has been easily adjusted to fit her and the added weight and gear she has desired to carry. She is quite the self-determined and independent lady.
Weight: 3 lb 5 oz / 1.5 kg
Capacity: 2750 cu in / 45 L
Hydration Compatible: Yes
Backpack Features: Included Rain Cover, Sleeping Bag Compartment, Top Loader
Material: 420D Polyester Ball Shadow
Water bottle pockets
Side compression straps
Lower compression and pad straps
Pack cover included
Large front pocket with organization
LightBeam single aluminum stay
HDPE frame sheet
AirMesh shoulder straps, waist belt, and lumbar
Dual density foam waist belt
Hipbelt stabilizer straps
Padded shoulder straps
Ventilating back panel
Torso Fit Range: 12 - 16 in / 30 - 40 cm
Waist Belt Fit Range: 25 - 39 in / 63 - 99 cm
Some of the features and specs that I as a dad really like in this pack for Grace is the durable material used on the pack. Kids are tough on things and a backpack is no exclusion. At this age, lightweight materials would not be the way to go given how hard they are on items. After extensive use, this pack has shown no tears, popped stitches or wear marks.
One of the other features that I think is quite a novel and nice features especially for kids on this pack is the handle on the back of the pack. This is quite uncharacteristic for backpacking backpacks and is more reminiscent of a duffel bag. Understand at this age, wearing a backpack with gear in it and the novelty of these new straps and buckles and buttons can be a lot of a youngster. The benefit of the handle helps when the youngster pick up a heavy bag when on the ground or more importantly helps pick it up to learn how to properly put on the pack without hurting themselves.
Grace loves the whistle on the sternum strap. While I know that most companies now have made this a standard feature of all packs. As a safety feature and as a parent always make sure that whistle is in good working order. Grace really likes the capability to decide between water bottle or a bladder. The Lakota Jr. comes standard with capability to house and the hose flap for the bladder. Prior to grace stepping up to this pack by Kelty, she was relegated to only bottles. She now feels like such a bigger girl having her own pack and bladder. As a dad, allowing her to have the bladder in the pack, means less stops on the trail for water breaks with the bladder.
Grace is an organization nut. She loves to have everything in it's place. The Lakota Jr. gives Grace the flexibility to put things where she wants them and ensures she doesn't lose something while on trail. Grace enjoys all the top pockets, base zippers allowing easy access into the main body of the pack and bottom compartment for her sleeping bag (also a Kelty product!).
A couple of tips for fitting your child for a pack:
For more information about Ketly's Warranty Service - Click Here
For more information about Kelty's Return Policy - Click Here
Kelty continues to make a great line of other kid designed packs suitable for your pre-teen. Check out the RedCloud Junior Pack.
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Scott & Grace
If you haven't been following me long... let me introduce you to my best pal Boston. Boston and I spend a great deal of time together. See, I work from home so when I am not traveling for work he is not just my dog and best bud but also my co-worker. We enjoy being home alone together as well as getting out of the house and hitting the nearby park for a walk, run or bike ride (he pulls me!).
When the weekends come, the water and the trails are were Boston and I really want to be. As a Labrador his natural state is in the water swimming about and chasing sticks. Being a young active and growing dog takes energy, stamina and a good diet to back it up.
When it comes time to nourish Boston, we want him to have the best so that we can ensure he and I can do the things we enjoy but also that he can have a long and happy life. Boston eats Core by Wellness. We made the switch a few months ago in Boston's diet to more all natural and grain free options that Wellness provides that are high in protein.
The response by Boston was immediate. As you can imagine it is hard to tell if a dog likes something especially when it comes to food. I knew right away that Boston was enjoying the Core by Wellness far better then the brand we offered him prior too. See, as mentioned Boston and I spend quite a bit of time together and we have a routine.
Normally, Boston would get fed in the morning as I would be making my coffee. By the time I would go back into the kitchen to make my lunch, his food bowl would still be full. Some days it would be near dinner time before he would eat his old food. You are probably think we were feeding him gross. Not so, we were feeding him something recommended and approved by our vet and what we had always fed our previous dogs.
Since we changed Boston's diet, wow, what a change. Our routine is the same but the results are quite different from the old food. Boston gets fed in the morning while I make my coffee. Usually, by the time I am done making my coffee, he is done eating and licking his chops! It's amazing. I know dogs can't speak and we have to be perceptive to understand the subtle cues they give us to understand how they feel and what is going on their heads. I have no other way to take this behavior other then, he really likes his food!
I know it's "still" August and may be muggy and warm through most of the country, but my mind is on fall and winter camping. For me this means it's time to start rotating the gear around from the lightweight hammocks, sandals, bug spays and lightweight sleeping bags to more of the cold weather garments, 3-4 season tents and one of my favorite sleeping bags.
For those of us who have kids, we all know we aren't supposed to take sides or pick favorites... But I guess it's okay to do it with gear instead. I have had the Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 - 4 Season sleeping bag now for two seasons. As mentioned it has become my go to sleeping bag for a multitude of reasons. At first, I was unsure of how I would sleep in a sleeping bag that was more of a garment then a traditional mummy or cornered bag.
After continued use during the cooler and colder months I have found I sleep in this bag far better then a traditional mummy bag that doesn't always move with you. As a side sleeper that tosses considerably throughout the night, I usually end up tangled in my traditional bags while camping. This issue is no fault of the other manufacturers, it's just something I unfortunately have to deal with. In the cooler months this situation gets exacerbated especially if I am using a sleeping bag liner on a higher temperature rated bag when and if the temps dip down. It's one thing to be tangled in a bag, it's another to add a liner to the equation. All of this doesn't allow for a restful nights sleep. Trust me!
The Mobile Mummy has solved two of these issues for me in it's revolutionary design. First, the fitted and comfortable garment style design moves with me when I toss and turn and it does so effortlessly. Hence, I tend to get a more restful sleep when sleeping in the bag. I personally, always sleep better in the cooler temps while camping, but the 800 Fill Duck DriDown fill keeps me plenty warm and has done a great job doing so far lower then the 17 degree comfort limit per the specs on the bag.
Being warm and comfortable especially in the colder months requires certain parts of your body to be covered and protected. An issue for me has always been managing the right head coverage to ensure I either wasn't losing my body heat through my head or absorbing the cold which would negate the temperature rating of the bag itself. Some mummy bags have provided good drawstring capabilities to ensure proper head and ear coverage, yet for me my head being stationary during tossing and turning left me facing the back of the bag as I turned. Not fun.
The Mobile Mummy and it's almost hoodie-like design has created a fit that when moving whether while sleeping, sitting up or walking about, your head stays covered and warm. This surely adds to the overall comfort, warmth and quality of sleep when utilizing the bag.
In addition to general overall comfort and sleepabilty (yes, I made up a word! It's my blog, my rules) the thing that really sets the bag apart from all the others is simple, the mobility it offers the user. Ahh, "Mobile" Mummy! Did you just now get it?
The capability to reach your arms out of the bag once you are in for the night and all zipped up to reach for a headlamp, water bottle, book or whatever is just fantastic. The ability to do this saves the stored warmth in the bag versus unzipping traditional bags and then having to begin the process of getting warm again. In addition, the non-traditional middle zipper allows for potential dressing or undressing while being in the bag itself. This feature is a lifesaver on those super cold mornings!
The two way middle zipper also allows you to unzip the bag from the bottom up and then attach the lower section of the bag to the rear of the bag. This feature allows you to walk freely while maintaining the bag on the upper portion of your body for those middle of the night jaunts out of the tent or simply sitting outside preparing breakfast of dinner. No other bag on the market allows you the capability to free your legs and wear the bag with your hands and arms free.
While doing this the lightweight 800 Fill Duck DriDown will surely keep your upper body plenty warm until you return to your tent or finish your task. This feature will lessen the time to warm the rest of your body once you are full back in the bag versus traditional bags and having to fully leave them for these tasks.
Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800 - 4 Season Sleeping Bag Specs:
EN Comfort Limit:
17oF / -8oC
EN Lower Limit:
5oF / -15oC
Men's Regular: 6 ft / 182 cm
Men's Long: 6 ft 6 in. / 198 cm
Men's Regular: 29.71 oz. / 0.84 kg
Men's Long: 33.21 oz. / 0.94 kg
Men's Regular: 3 lbs 2 oz. / 1.42 kg
Men's Long: 3 lbs 6 oz. / 1.53 kg
Men's Regular: 80 in. / 203.2 cm
Men's Long: 86 in. / 218.4 cm
Men's Regular: 66 in. / 167.6 cm
Men's Long: 70 in. / 177.8 cm
Men's Regular: 60 in. / 152.4 cm
Men's Long: 62 in. / 157.5 cm
Men's Regular: 40 in. / 102 cm
Men's Long: 42 in. / 107 cm
Stuff Sack Length:
Men's Regular: 9 in. / 23 cm
Men's Long: 10 in. / 25.4 cm
Stuff Sack Width:
Men's Regular: 17 in. / 43 cm
Men's Long: 17 in. / 43 cm
This bag may be more then you have previously spent on any sleeping bag. I understand and get it. The question you may have now is, is it really worth it? If you are a regular cold weather or cooler weather camping in search of a lower teens comfortable bag with the added features to ensure potentially better sleep and more functionality while warm in your tent, then the answer is surely yes.
Like I said, it is my go to bag for these very reasons. Better sleep, warmth and mobility pay dividends with this bag.
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I don't know about where you are... but we have had a wet and humid summer. YUCK! And due to this wet and humid summer we are having one of the worst seasons of mosquitoes and horse mosquitoes we have had a long time. Sitting outside is even a bother as the lil buggers seem to just attack your ankles (weird!). Me, my wife and my girls look like pin cushions after just a little bit outside.
Enough is enough!
Some might figure out a way to conjure up some sort of flame thrower to decimate the entire population within hundreds of yards of your home, camper or campsite. I did think of actually some sort of bug bomb while swatting at the little blood suckers...Anywho!
Some people aren't all that excited about spraying DEET all over themselves and especially their kids to ward off a few flys or bugs. I get it. Well there is another way. DETER from Mariner Biomedical Inc. is an all natural no DEET option to keep those lil blood suckers at bay.
Hiking Forward was first introduced to DETER last year as we and other outdoor bloggers were readying to attend Hell Hike and Raft. I took plenty of DETER's single packets of Insect Repellent with me as did the rest of our crew. But to our fortune there were no bugs at 8,000 feet and none in Hells Canyon. The temps in Hells Canyon were upwards of 105-110. I think that had something to do with it. Even the bugs wanted nothing to do with that kind of heat.
Since Hell Hike and Raft, DETER has been my go to for insect repellent given it's all natural properties, it's actual very pleasant smell and oh yeah the most important part... It works!
For those of you have been following for a while you may recall this video from last year talking about DETER.
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It's not everyday that I get to test a product that is featured in the annual Backpacker Magazine Gear Guide. Fortunate for me I was able to get my hands... and feet into a pair of the new Oboz Scapegoat Mids. As with all my Oboz, there is minimal if any break in time. Usually, I slip them on and go. The true fit, comfort and stability of all of their shoe and boots take hold and allow you to hit the trail with minimal effort. This is one of the many reasons I love all my Oboz!
As mentioned, Backpacker reviewed and offered the Scapegoat as one of the best All Terrain Mid on the market for 2016. The tough outsole and durable upper make this a choice for tough trails said Backpacker. I cant agree more. The boot has the look and feel of a hightop sneaker but has the performance of my Oboz Bridger Mid BDry yet with the added flexibility and tons of breatheability making this the ultimate summer tough trail boot.
I wore the boots since the day I got them, but really put them to the test on the Ozark Trail in southeastern Missouri in June. The boots not only handled the rocky and diverse terrain but also ensured a fantastic grip after a rain storm created slick trail conditions.
The heat and humidity were no match for these Oboz, teamed up with a lightweight hiking sock from Point6 my feet stayed drier then normal and non a single hot spot formed over the course of three days hiking.
Tech Specs per Oboz
UpperMesh with Synthetic Leather Overlays
Abrasion Resistant Rubber Coated Toe & Heel Mudguard
Elastic Scree Collar
Compression Molded EVA
Lightweight PU heel plug
EVA Super Skin (ESS) Forefoot Armoring
Sizing 8-12, 13, 14
Weight M9: 16.3 oz 462 g
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