Month: December 2020

What I Learned On My First Bikepacking Trip

Early spring bikepacking campsite in Arizona

I like biking, camping, and backpacking, so I was sure to enjoy bikepacking. But I didn’t really know much about it or have any specific gear when I decided to give things a try. And thus began a couple weeks of research, several UPS shipments of bags, and one beta test run close to the house before my 11-year old son and I set out with our Aussie on a 2-night bikepacking trip! Our motto was “no owies, no flatties, and no whammies!” That all held true, for the most part, and we had an awesome adventure that has already spurred a few more trips with even more scheduled for the future.

Family of Four Backpacking Through the Mt. Sneffels Wilderness

Lower Blue Lake with Dallas Peak in the background

My first multi-day backpacking trip was a 5-night excursion through the San Juan mountains of Colorado. The snow-capped fourteeners and lush river valleys were quite a sight for a 14-year-old from Kansas. Flash forward nearly three decades and I was now driving my wife and two children to that same mountain range for our first backpacking trip as a family. And despite a few hiccups, everyone ended up having a fantastic time.

SteriPEN Ultra How-To

With each liter of water weighing 2.2 pounds, I’m a big fan of leveraging water sources near my campsite or hiking route rather than carrying unnecessary weight. After trying multiple treatment options over the years, I find the Katadyn SteriPEN Ultra to be the easiest, fastest, and most reliable method. All you have to do is fill a bottle, click a button, insert the UV lamp into the water, stir, and then wait for the LED screen to confirm that the process is complete. For me, this is way better than pumping, waiting on a gravity-fed system, or tasting iodine.

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