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.
Keep Hikng Forward!
The beginning of a new year is usually always an amazing time. A new year represents a new blank canvas to paint how you choose. For most, this year has been one of difficulty, crudeness, uncertainty and pain. Most people I talk to, interact with or observe online are all collectively ready for this year to be over and start over again. (For Pete's sake Princess Leia just died! ugh!)
I started my 40th year this year and have been feeling an overwhelming sense to really turn the page like never before on this new year. This sense about me has actually keep me from blogging over the past few months (sorry) as I have been trying to figure out where I want to go and how I want to get myself there.
So, as I turn the page this week, I know a few things;
Experiences, not gear is where it is at.
Nothing familiar, all new places, trails, discovery is now the new name of the game.
No more setting goals for the sake of setting goals.
Time to get out of the comfort zone, push the limits and see what life really has to offer.
Hiking Forward is making a pivot, come along for the ride... I dare you!
Keep Hiking Forward in the New Year My Friends.
Strap in... It might get bumpy!
It's that time of year again! Time to stress and worry about what to get the person on your list who has it all, is constantly out and about camping, hiking, backpacking etc. Never fear Hiking Forward is here once again to offer some suggestions for gear items for that special outdoor person, family or even four legged outdoor nut. Not only will we offer a range of items for a variety people and interests we will also be offering items at a variety of price ranges, proving once again it doesn't cost an arm and a let to get outside. Are you ready? Here we go!
Teton Sports - Somina Ultralight Camp Cot
Okay, you're probably thinking... A Cot? Really? Yeah! It's a cot. But it's a ton light from the previous versions that Teton Sports has crafted, yet without sacrificing on comfort, versatility or functionality. It usually prefer the cot when car camping in the winter to get off the ground allowing me much better sleep. This ultralight cot is only 10 pounds and the carry bag doubles as a side pouch to keep all your smalls organized while camping.
Click here to check it out. Teton Sports
Serac Sequoia Double Hammock
I'm a sucker for a great hammock. And my holiday gift guide wouldn't be complete without a great hammock on the list. To me, a hammock is the ultimate stocking stuffer. Plus, hammocks already kinda come wrapped. Serac puts out a fantastic hammock, that is lightweight, comfortable for two and comes with the straps (a huge bonus and necessity).
Check out our review on this hammock.
Wenzel Sleeping Bags for Kids
It's never to early to get the kids used to and comfortable with sleeping in a sleeping bag. Wenzel offers a great and inexpensive line of sleeping bags for kids. If you have kids on the list this year who are curious about camping, sleeping in backyard or would just be excited to have their own sleeping bag, this is the one. The stuff sack straps allow the sleeping bag to carried as backpack. I got to experience my godson on his first camping trip this summer using this bag, he was so over joyed that it was his and he to got sleep in it every night. He, reminded us all that it was his sleeping bag and that it was comfy. He even made it each day. For the price, the experience of giving kids their first outdoor piece of gear is well worth it ten-fold.
Wenzel full line of sleeping bags
Wellness - CORE Dog Food & Snacks
If you have a four legged adventure buddy like I do, then you can't let the holidays pass without stocking up on great food and snacks to keep them at the ready for the next adventure. CORE by Wellness provides an amazing grain free and high protein option for your adventure pup to keep them lean and full of the right kind of energy. As winter approaches ensuring that the your dog has proper nutrition and protein in their diet is extremely important. Boston loves the CORE dog food, snacks and the Air Dried CORE for our hiking adventures. The Air Dried CORE is so much lighter then normal food and is far easier for him to carry in is saddle pouch.
Sunflair Solar Oven
I guarantee who ever you a buying for this year doesn't have anything like this. The Sunflair Solar Oven is a lightweight alternative option of cooking outdoors. Tired of propane? Not a huge fan of cooking over the fire? Then use the sun as you fuel. Sunflair has a variety of oven sizes with multiple assecories for your oven. We began using our oven this summer on a Labor Day trip. Two whole split chickens cooked in the sun. When was the last time you had fresh cookies on a camping trip? Now you can. Fish, casseroles, stews, pies, breakfasts and more... it will cook and or bake it all. One of the best parts about the oven is if you have kids they really want to get involved in the cooking and be a part of using the oven. In addition, another benefit overall is the lack of mess created by using the Sunflair Solar Oven over traditional methods.
Palisade Gear Hiking Sticks
When we come across a deal like this we just have to share it! Carbon Fiber trekking poles right not for just over $60.00. These poles have the feel and functionality of high end poles of more then double the sale price. The company while new and small has turned out an amazing product. And, in the season of giving and shopping small let it be noted that Palisade Gear is one of the supporting partners of Gear Forward who has generously giving gear to youth in need and is a small family owned company. So, if you going to spend your hard earned money on a pair of sticks this year for you or someone else who would purchase them for a large company, when you and purchase them from a generous, small and family owned operation?
Another item from the stocking stuffer (and belly stuffing) category. No matter who you are buying for this holiday season as an outdoor nut, one thing is for sure, they all need to eat when outside. Sasquatch Fuel (another small family owned company) offers backpacking meals in a paper envelope versus the normal foil envelope. What the difference? Well, you don't have to pack out your trash when you are done eating the meal. The paper envelope can be burned versus thrown away in the trash at the end of one's adventuring. Oh and by the way they are delish... buy a few for yourself. These meals are great for campers, hikers, and just to have around in case of a zombie apocalypse.
For more information about these meals check out our video review below.
We hope these items help you as you check off items on your holiday shopping list year. If you purchase any of the items on our list, we would love to hear how your loved ones or friends liked the items.
Have a happy, safe and adventurous holiday season!
Keep Hiking Forward!
We are pleased to announce our first Hiking Forward AT Crew member... Goldielocks. Presently, Goldielocks is only utilizing her trail name until just before her hike. Please enjoy the story of her preparations of her future thru-hike.
Hi everyone! It's great to officially be the first member of the prestigious AT Crew 2017!! You can call me Goldielocks!
Just a few things about me:
-I'm a super nerd. I love all things math and science. Where my follow nerds at?
-I have a fluffy dog that I absolutely love dearly. (We'll call her Sasslefrass Fluff-bottom).
-Food is a passion! I love Thai Food. I live for Thai food. And sushi. And casseroles. Green bean, squash, sweet potato - you name it. You get the idea.
-I will be setting off for a Flip Flop thru hike of the Appalachian Trail approximately Mid April next year.
Now, let's begin!
I often think about what it must've been like for prehistoric man to stand before the great beasts we call mammoths, armed with only a spear and determination.
I don't really find myself thinking about a man fighting a hairy elephant with a stick, but it seemed like a good way to begin. :)
I DO, however, find myself contemplating the mammoth feat that stands before me: thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. We can all agree that tackling a thru hike of any of the long distance trails in the United States (notably the AT, CDT, & PCT) is a mammoth undertaking requiring physical stamina, mental fortitude and some serious perseverance. Maybe even a dash of stubbornness. Okay, a lot of stubbornness.
Every day is a roller coaster of emotions filled with highs of "This is totally happening; why did I ever doubt this?" and lows of "what on earth are you thinking?!?" Maybe a more accurate analogy would be the teacup ride - you know, the one that spins the life (and hotdogs) out of you. Spinning around and around. The excitement that once filled your soul has begun to fade. The butterflies that once fluttered their wings in your stomach have suddenly turned sour. You find yourself repeatedly asking yourself "Why?"
This ride will last until Mid April when I step foot on the trail. Then, it becomes real. It's really happening.
The obstacles keep piling up into a colossal mountain.
-I'm out of shape and overweight.
-I'm a woman - it's hard to find other women in this hobby to train with
-I'm a novice. There's so much to learn and so many opinions floating around out there.
-I live in Florida. We're known for our white beaches, not mountainous terrain.
-I'll have to quit my job.
-I have another human being that partially relies on me for her care.
-I have to keep a strict budget to reach my financial goals prior to the trail.
-I have to make arrangements for my dog. Does this make me an awful doggy mom?
The mountain of obstacles and doubt is seemingly smothering me. I keep clawing my way, digging through the debris hoping to see light. I just keep telling myself to keep my head low and keep trudging through. There HAS to be an out. Before we even step foot at Springer, or in my case Harpers Ferry, we must first conquer the mountain of obstacles and doubt. And, boy is it all piling up!!
I would like to believe this is totally normal. But, I'm not so sure. Everyone out there is writing about their gear choices and why they chose to save half an ounce on one item here and there. (Just take the extra little bit of toilet paper for crying out loud, Tarzan. We're not barbarians. And when we cross paths later on: You're welcome.)
But, let's be real, I'm also worried about the important questions:
-How am I going to stay up to date with Game of Thrones?
-How greatly will taking time off from my MBA steer me off course?
-I am an avid contact wearer. What am I going to do about my eyes? WHAT. ABOUT. MY EYES?!
-What if I somehow end up on a trail cam pre-tinkle with the full moon in full exposure? THE HORROR.
-How will I burn down my tent if there is a spider? (I'm terrified of spiders...add that to the obstacle list)
We prospective thru-hikers are somewhat on our own in this endeavor. No one is going to force you to live like a badass, mountain-conquering, homeless person for half of a year. It's easy to feel completely overwhelmed and alone. But the fact of the matter is - there wasn't just one man taking down a mammoth. There were a multitude of others with the same goal, different perspectives, all striving for the same thing - a satiation of a common hunger.
These people are my tribe. Even you reading this now - paint your face, baby! Because you're in the tribe too! We all have the same hunger. Although I may not know you, I know I am not facing a colossal beast alone. With that final note, I invite you to join me in my journey. Let the adventure begin!
Keep Hiking Forward!
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!
Keep Hiking Forward!
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.
Keep Hiking Forward!
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.
Keep Hiking Forward!
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.
Keep Hiking Forward!
No matter where you live in the Midwest, adventure awaits you this fall at the Indiana Dunes. To prove that the Indiana Dunes are within your reach for a quick weekend get-a-way or maybe a three or four day weekend as the summer and fall holidays approach, check out these travel times:
Minneapolis --- 7 Hours
Milwaukee --- 2 1/2 Hours
Kansas City --- 8 Hours
Saint Louis --- 5 Hours
Indianapolis --- 3 Hours
Detroit --- 4 Hours
Cleveland --- 4 1/2 Hours
Okay so no that we have established that the Indiana Dunes are close, the question now becomes does adventure and fun exist there to make the whole family happy.
Does a bear ... well YES!
So the family is a biking family? The Dunes offer an array of biking opportunities as well as a variety of differing locations to choose from (beach, offroad, trail and in town biking). Click here to learn more about biking while at the Dunes.
Ahhh, now we are talking! Not many more picturesque places in the Midwest to take the family on a hike. Opportunities abound on the National Lakeshore, hike near numerous museums & historic sites, through nature preserves or multiple parks in the immediate area. Click here to learn more about hiking while at the dunes.
If you are a birder... this maybe the mid-western birders paradise. "Few places in the Midwest rival Indiana Dunes Country for great birding. More than 350 bird species live or migrate through here—drawn to the open water of Lake Michigan and to a landscape of beaches, dunes, woodlands, wetlands, and prairie." Indiana Dunes Tourism Council Click here to learn more about birding while at the dunes.
And finally without saying... visiting the Dunes and going fishing on Lake Michigan has got to be the ultimate experience to cap off your visit. Whether you decide to go out in boat on the lake, shore fish from the Indiana Dunes beaches or go out in a fishing kayak all will ensure great memories and hopeful a nice catch or two.
Per the Indiana Dunes Tourism website, if you are interested in fishing you have to check out this deal. Mention “Indiana Dunes fishing” to receive 25% off the standard hotel rate. Our hotels can also provide you an extra-early breakfast, snacks to go, coffee for your Thermos and well-lit parking lots for your boat. To see which hotels offer this click here.
We hope this information spurred some excitement in you as you determine where your families Fall adventure will be this year in the Midwest. For more info to plan out your trip to the dunes check out Indianadunes.com and their extensive list of trip planning tools and ideas.
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