The Top 5 Backpacking Stoves – It’s All About The Weight

Esbit Pocket StoveWhen compiling this list of our top 5 backpacking stoves, it became very apparent that the weight of not just the stove but also of the fuel source was the number 1 factor. This is especially true if you are an ultralight backpacker, with a weight limit of just 10 pounds total in your bag. It’s all about the weight of our top five backpacking stoves, as all of them are under 4 ounces (the stove itself, not including the fuel source). Let’s kick things off with the number 5 backpacking stove.

Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight Stove – 2.7 ounces

[amazon_link id=”B0009VC7UG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight Stove[/amazon_link]The Coleman Exponent line of stoves features some nice backcountry stoves, including an option that will burn just about any type of liquid fuel. But the Exponent F1 Ultralight stove is one of the lightest stoves on the market today. It utilizes butane or propane as its fuel, and you can attach the tank right to the stove. This portable stove can boil a Liter of water in 3 minutes 40 seconds on high, and it also comes with additional settings for easier cooking settings. It features push button ignition, a portable foldable design for easy packing, and a flicker-proof regulator. For around $60 plus $9 per fuel canister, you really can’t beat the ability to boil water and cook food fast. The stove weighs 2.7 ounces, plus a 7.75 ounce fuel canister to total a 10.5 ounce cooking powerhouse capable of cooking on high for 50 minutes or for 2 hours on low. Click the following link to order your Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight Stove today!

[amazon_link id=”B0009VC7UG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight Stove[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B000PY9T0S” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Coleman Butane Fuel Canister[/amazon_link]

MSR Pocket Rocket Stove – 2.6 ounces

[amazon_link id=”B000A8C5QE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]MSR Pocket Rocket Stove[/amazon_link]MSR is no stranger to backcountry cooking. They have several lines of stoves that are awesome for the solo hiker up to the group expedition. The MSR Pocket Rocket is a fantastic ultralight option, weighing in at just a hair over 3 ounces. The Pocket Rocket utilizes MSR’s IsoPro fuel canister (isobutane), which is a short bottle of the 230 gram (7.75 ounce) size. It is very efficient, boiling a liter of water in under 3 minutes 30 seconds. It also features a wind clip protector to enhance thermal efficiency in windy conditions. It is easy to use with no priming, pressurizing or maintenance. It also has an adjustable switch, to go from a boil to a simmer with the twist of a knob. The total package weighs in at 10.4 ounces (stove + IsoPro fuel canister), and for around $40 (not including fuel), you can’t go wrong with this amazingly light system. To get your MSR Pocket Rocket, click the following link today!

[amazon_link id=”B000A8C5QE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]MSR Pocket Rocket Stove[/amazon_link]

Snow Peak LiteMax Stove – 1.9 ounces

[amazon_link id=”B002D4X26U” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Snow Peak LiteMax Stove Stoves[/amazon_link]Snow Peak’s LiteMax stove features titanium and aluminum construction, which enables this stove to break the 2 ounce threshold. The LiteMax utilizes Snow Peak GigaPower Fuel, which is a propane to isobutane mixture. It takes a little longer to boil a liter of water (4 minutes, 25 seconds), but it puts out more heat per ounce of fuel weight (mixture). The fuel mixture also is capable of burning down to 17 degrees F, which makes this a great 3 season or high elevation cook stove. The total weight of the system comes in at 9.6 ounces, and for around $60 + fuel, you can’t really go wrong here. If you are interested in buying the Snow Peak LiteMax Stove, click the following link today!

[amazon_link id=”B002D4X26U” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Snow Peak LiteMax Stove[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B001GTUTSC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Snow Peak Giga Power Fuel Canister[/amazon_link]

Esbit Pocket Stove – 3.2 ounces

[amazon_link id=”B001C1UGVO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Esbit Ultralight Folding Pocket Stove with Six 14g Solid Fuel Tablets[/amazon_link]There are several different brands of hexamine fuel tablets, but the Esbit brand of tablets and stove is a great option, especially when you consider the price. For $10, you get the stove plus 6 tablets. These tablets will burn for approximately 12-15 minutes, and can be cut smaller for smaller burn times. It takes longer to boil water, approximately 7 minutes to boil 1 cup of water. Esbit tablets don’t burn as clean as the fuel canisters do, and they often leave a sticky brown residue on your cookwear. Each Esbit tablet weighs less than 1 ounce, so the 3.2 ounce stove plus 12 tablets (around 8 ounces), is about 11 ounces total, and will last quite a while if broken up into smaller tablets. This is a great bang for your buck option, and is one of the lightest options available today, especially since you can bring as many tablets as you will need on your trip rather than a half full canister that you aren’t sure when it will run out so you bring another full one along. Follow this link to order an Esbit Stove and some fuel tablets today!

[amazon_link id=”B001HYIHGC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Esbit Stove[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B005NGMJLY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Esbit Fuel Tablets[/amazon_link]

Home Made Heet Alcohol  Stove – 1 ounce

[amazon_link id=”B000AXVOLQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Vargo Titanium Triad Alcohol Stove[/amazon_link]As far as the stove itself, making your own alcohol stove is the lightest possible option today. They can be made out of cat food cans and soda pop cans with ease. You can also purchase more ‘deluxe’ versions as well if you aren’t a do-it-yourselfer (like the Vargo Titanium Triad Alcohol Stove pictured to the left) . They can weigh between .5 ounces and 1 ounce, which is like basically carrying a feather. They utilize alcohol as the fuel, in either ethyl or methyl alcohol varieties. Alcohol is only about half as efficient as canister fuels, so it will take a lot longer to boil water with one of these, especially in colder or breezy conditions. It really depends on how well the stove is built, and the boiling times vary between the different models and alcohol types greatly. A bottle of methanol (Heet) weighs 12 ounces and will last for several boils, and is very inexpensive (~$2). When it comes to price and weight, the alcohol stove is the king of our survey, as they are very popular with the ultralight backpacking community. Click one of the following links to buy a deluxe Vargo Titanium stove and some fuel today!

[amazon_link id=”B000AXVOLQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Vargo Titanium Triad Alcohol Stove[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B0016GXNC4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]12 Ounce Heet (Ethanol)[/amazon_link]

For ideas on building your own, watch one of these following videos.

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

It really is funny how the least expensive and easiest to use stoves ruled our survey. That is not to dissuade you from purchasing one of the other awesome lightweight stoves on this list, but the Esbit and the Alcohol stoves really are a favorite of our team’s on the trail. Keep in mind that they have limitations, and don’t handle cold or windy weather very well or large groups for that matter. Hopefully this list will help you to get the right stove for your needs. As always, thanks for reading, and happy trails!

What is your favorite backpacking stove? Is our top 5 completely wrong? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks!

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Best Ultralight Backpacking Tent Options

Weight is the enemy of every ultralight backpacker. Ounces can quickly add up to pounds, and more and more pounds can equal an uncomfortable backpacking trip. It is easy enough to leave non-essential gear items at home, but if you are expecting wet weather conditions on you trek, you will need a tent to add needed protection from the elements.

Tents come in all shapes and sizes. Solo tents and bivys are perfect for ultralight backpackers. But they are tight for space and many backpackers like the flexibility and extra space offered by a two man tent. Below, we will go over the best tent/bivy/tarp options for ultralight backpacking, starting with the most minimalist and moving towards the two man tent options.

Minimalist Options (Tarps/Bivy Sacks)

Black Diamond Beta Light Ultralight Tent – $199

[amazon_link id=”B000RVX27K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Black Diamond Beta Light Shelter Blue/Silver, One Size[/amazon_link]The Black Diamond Beta Light is designed to be used with your trekking poles to provide you with a lightweight outdoor shelter. If you don’t hike with trekking poles, this won’t work for you. This is a fantastic minimalist option that provides great protection from rain without adding more than 19 ounces to your pack. It is lighter than a bivy but has more space than one, since two people could sleep dry underneath one. For those of you who want rain protection without having to haul around a tent, this is the option for you. [amazon_link id=”B000RVX27K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Click here[/amazon_link] to purchase yours today.

Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy – $300

[amazon_image id=”B000VVHYE8″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy (Mojo Blue, One Size)[/amazon_image]

When it comes to bivy sacks, especially options that are 3 season capable, the Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy is our favorite model on the market. It features 3 layers of Gore-Tex Respiration Positive fabric, a durable hydroseal coated waterproof nylon floor, and completely fully taped seams to keep ground water out. Two shock corded poles allow for sturdy head space, but can be left behind for extra weight savings. What really sets this bivy apart from others is the internal volume. There is  a ton of room for a high-loft down sleeping bag and sleeping pad, and there are integral loops for attaching the pad to the bottom of the bivy. This bivy sack comes in at 37 ounces, so it is a nice ultralight option for solo backpacking. [amazon_link id=”B000VVHYE8″ target=”_blank” ]Click here[/amazon_link] to order your Outdoor Research Advanced bivy today.

One Man Tents

Eureka! Solitaire – $69

[amazon_image id=”B000EQCVNY” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Eureka! Solitaire – Tent (sleeps 1)[/amazon_image]

The Eureka! Solitaire solo tent has taken the good points of a bivy sack and expanded it out to a tent. Instead of feeling couped up in a constrictive bivy sack, the walls are 2 feet high the length of the tent. Without the rain fly on, the entire tent is made of mesh for excellent ventilation on warmer days and for stargazing at night. The weight is very manageable for one person, at only 41 ounces. For all the extra space in this tent compared to a bivy, the extra few ounces are worth it for me. And the price (always subject to change) of under $70 is a steal! To get your Eureka! Solitaire solo tent today, [amazon_link id=”B000EQCVNY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]click here[/amazon_link].

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1 Tent – $119

[amazon_link id=”B00B9GCRL4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1-Person Tent[/amazon_link]Another great option for a solo tent is the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr. This tent comes in heavier than the Eureka! Solitaire, but boasts a lot more interior space and comfort. Weighing 62 ounces (3 pounds 14 ounces), it is by no means a light weight tent (and some two man tents weigh the same or less), but the tall walls add an amount of comfort that a lot of backpackers seek from their tents. Maybe this doesn’t fit in our ultralight discussion here, but if you are alright with sacrificing a little bit of weight for a lot of comfort, the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr is the solo tent for you. [amazon_link id=”B00B9GCRL4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Click here[/amazon_link] to get yours today.

Two Man Tents

Nemo Equipment Meta 2-Person Ultralight Trekking Tent – $319

[amazon_link id=”B0035EJMTI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nemo Equipment Meta 2-Person Ultralight Trekking Tent[/amazon_link]The Nemo Meta two person tent is our favorite ultralight option out there right now for a few reasons. First of all its weight – an astonishing 47 ounces (2 pounds 15 ounces) – is outstanding for a two person backpacking tent. This weight is achieved by utilizing your trekking poles for the construction of the tent body, so if you don’t use trekking poles again, this tent isn’t for you. There are also well placed vents on this tent that allow for exceptional air flow. The internal floor space is 37 square feet, with an additional 22 square feet of vestibule space for gear. That is a lot of floor space for two people. There are other 2 person tents out there with weights close to that of the Nemo Meta, but they are cramped (often with less than 30 square feet and a tiny vestibule area). This is a very comfortable and ultralight tent option, usually two characteristics you have to choose between. To get your Nemo Meta two person trekking tent today, [amazon_link id=”B0035EJMTI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]click here[/amazon_link].

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Person Tent – $369

[amazon_image id=”B00GSYH5IC” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2-Person Tent – Silver/Gold[/amazon_image]

The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is another exceptional two person tent. Another ultralight tent option, coming in at 42 ounces (2 pounds 10 ounces), the Fly Creek could easily be divided between two backpackers or carried solo. The internal space is cramped when compared with the Nemo Meta above (only 28 square feet of internal space, with only an additional 7 square feet of vestibule space), so it is not as comfortable. But it does shave 5 extra ounces off the overall weight, and you don’t need your own trekking poles to set up the tent. This award winning tent (winner of Backpacker Magazine’s Editors’ Choice award in 2010) is one of the lightest two person tents on the market. For ultralight backpackers, that is the most important factor. To get your Fly Creek UL2 from Big Agnes, [amazon_link id=”B00GSYH5IC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]click this link[/amazon_link] today.

Summary And Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

There are several things to think about when investing in an ultralight backpacking tent, starting with the overall weight. Do you plan on sleeping in your tent alone? With another person? Your dog? Do you like having extra space for gear storage? Can you handle cramped quarters? Do you like to sleep under the stars? What will the weather be like? Think about these questions as you browse our favorite ultralight backpacking tent options on the market today. Hopefully this article will help you to choose a tent that fits your needs.

What is your favorite ultralight backpacking tent? Do you prefer the bivy sack to the tent? Are you a true minimalist that sleeps under the stars/tarp? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

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The Asolo TPS 520 GV Backpacking Boots

[amazon_link id=”B000HXEOBG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Asolo Mens TPS 520 GV Hiking Chestnut Man-Made Boot 11.5[/amazon_link]Recommending hiking boots is a difficult thing to do. There are so many different brands and types on the market today (reference part 1 of our hiking boot guide), not to mention so many different aspects to finding the perfect fit (reverence part 2 of our hiking boot guide). Even though there are so many options out there, I have been using a pair of backpacking boots for several treks, and they are simply amazing. I decided to review these boots and give them my seal of approval. The are the Men’s Asolo TPS 520 GV backpacking boots. Let’s look at the features of these heavy duty boots below.

Features Of The Asolo TPS 520 GV Boots

For starters, these boots are made with a full grain leather upper, which provides a nice water barrier as well as a durable upper. They are lined with a Gore-Tex liner, which adds additional waterproofing, but allows adequate breathability. The cushion is a soft Lite 2 anatomic footbed. The outsole is Asolo’s triple power structure vibram rubber dual-density outsole. Here is an image of the different layers of the bottom of the boot.

Asolo TPS Sole

The boots are a light 28 ounces each, which feels light for heavy-duty boots built with full grain leather. They also feature a higher cut upper, which will keep out most trail debris.

Product Specs

  • Upper: Water resistant full grain leather 2.6-2.8 mm
  • Lining: Gore-Tex performance comfort footwear
  • Lasting Board: Asoflex 00 MR
  • Anatomic Foot Bed: Lite 2
  • Sole: Triple Power Structure Asolo/Vibram rubber-PU (dual-density)
  • Fit: MM/MW/ML
  • Weight: 1/2 pair: 820 grams

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

Out of the box, I have never had a pair of boots that were as trail ready as the Asolo TPS 520 GV boots were. The break in period was almost non-existant. They are very comfortable as well. One review I recently read stated the following:

“built like a tank, feels like a mink coat”

That pretty much sums up these boots. They are very durable, as I have been on several hikes already with minimal wear. I fully expect to get 10+ years of service out of these boots. They are also built very sturdy, offering great ankle support when carrying heavy loads on uneven terrain. And best of all, they are very comfortable. That same reviewer also said:

“If there is only one piece of gear I could save from a fire,

it would be my Asolo boots.”

The funny thing is I think I agree with the reviewer! One downside of these boots is their price tag of ~$280, but for 10+ years of service, this is a worthwhile investment. You need to take care of your feet, especially when hiking with a heavy load. The Asolo TPS 520 GV boots are, in my opinion, the best backpacking boots on the market.

Make sure you get the right fit. Don’t be afraid to return them if they don’t fit right. The come in men’s and women’s. Click on one of the following links to purchase yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B000HXEOBG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Men’s Asolo TPS 520 GV Backpacking Boots[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B000XRFWV2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Women’s Asolo TPS 520 GV Backpacking Boots[/amazon_link]

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New To Backpacking? Get Started For Under $300

Are you interested in backpacking, but not willing to commit a large amount of money upfront until you know you are going to like it? Are you on strict budget? If you answered yes to either of these questions, this article will hopefully help you to see that you don’t need to spend a small fortune to get into this great hobby. Below, I will go over some of my favorite low cost (but still high quality) gear to consider.

For the sake of this article, we will assume you have no backpacking gear. That means you will need to buy a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and other items to keep you going, less the consumables (food, fuel, etc). Let’s say you have a strict budget of $300 to get all the gear you need to go on a summer weekend (3 day, 2 night) backpacking trip that is more or less on a flat trail.

Here is a breakdown of the items, and below will be more details of the gear choices:

  • Backpack$115 [amazon_link id=”B009R4CV3E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack[/amazon_link]
  • Tent$110 [amazon_link id=”B0043HH5CW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Eureka! Apex 2XT 2 Person Backpacking Tent[/amazon_link]
  • Sleeping Bag$40 [amazon_link id=”B006WPZBBA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ledge Sports Scorpion 45 Degree Ultralight Sleeping Bag[/amazon_link]
  • Water Prep – $25 [amazon_link id=”B004DZMD08″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Seychelle 28 Ounce Flip Top Water Filter Bottle[/amazon_link]
  • Food Prep$10 – [amazon_link id=”B000P9IR8I” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Stainless Steel Mess Kit[/amazon_link]
  • Total Cost = $300

Backpack – $115

[amazon_link id=”B009R4CV3E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Coyote 80 Internal frame Backpack, Forest Night, Medium/Large[/amazon_link]For the backpack, the Kelty Coyote 80 [amazon_link id=”B009R4CV3E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]can be picked up off of Amazon currently for $115[/amazon_link]. That is a great deal for a backpack that boasts 78 Liters (4750 cubic inches) of interior space. This is more than large enough for a 3 day excursion. It is more suited for a longer trip, but at that price point, it’s hard to pass this deal up. Additional features in this pack include:

Bag Features:

  • Top loading
  • 420-denier polyester Ball Shadow body fabric
  • 420-denier polyester Oxford reinforcement fabric
  • Hydration compatible
  • Reservoir sleeve
  • Front-panel access
  • Zippered side pockets
  • Mesh water bottle pockets
  • Side compression straps
  • Load stabilizer straps
  • Spindrift collar
  • Ice-axe loops
  • Daisy chain
  • Key fob
  • Zippered waist belt pockets
  • Lid converts into lumbar pack
  • Carry handle

Suspension Features:

  • CloudLock II adjustable suspension
  • LightBeam II dual aluminum stays
  • HDPE frame sheet
  • Removable HDPE reinforced dual density waist belt
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Ventilating back panel
  • Load-lifter/stabilizer straps
  • Sternum strap
  • Patented Scherer Cinch

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 4,750 cubic inches (78-liters)
  • Weight: 5 lb. 9 oz.
  • Measures 16 x 34 x 16.5 inches (W x H x D)

Highlights of the Kelty Coyote 80 backpack are the price point, the capacity, removable waist belt and lid (converts into hip pack), and construction. The pack is on the heavy side at 5 pounds 9 ounces empty, but as long as it isn’t over packed for a 3 day trip, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Tent – $110

[amazon_link id=”B0043HH5CW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Eureka! Apex 2 - Tent (sleeps 2)[/amazon_link]The tent of choice is the Eureka! Apex 2XT tent. This is a lightweight 2 person backpacking tent that is also a very palatable price right around a hundred bucks. We chose the Apex 2XT tent because of the price, as well as a few features, such as: the 2 door design with 2 vestibules totaling 27 additional square feet, solid construction, and light weight (6 pounds 5 ounces). Here are some additional features and specifications:

  • Seasons: 3
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Floor dimensions: 7′ 6″ by 4′ 11″
  • Center height: 3′ 10″
  • Minimum weight: 6 pounds, 5 ounces
  • Frame: Freestanding, shock-corded fiberglass
  • Vestibule: 2, with 13.8 square feet of storage each
  • Storage pockets: 2 mesh
  • Clothes line loops: 4
  • Flashlight loop: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime

This is great tent, and for the price, you won’t be disappointed. [amazon_link id=”B0043HH5CW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Pick yours up today[/amazon_link].

Sleeping Bag – $40

[amazon_link id=”B006WPZBA6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ledge Sports FeatherLite +20 F Degree Ultra Light Design, Ultra Compact Sleeping Bag (84 X 32 X 20, Red)[/amazon_link]Since this is a summer trip, we can get away with suggesting a summer sleeping bag. And that is completely fair, because if you are new to backpacking, you probably don’t want to get into a cold weather trip right off the bat because you might ruin your outlook on the hobby. Start with a mild, warm weather trip to see if you like it first, then as you get more experience and become more adventurous, expand. Back to the sleeping bag of choice – [amazon_link id=”B006WPZBBA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ledge Sports Featherlite 20 degree ultra light sleeping bag[/amazon_link].

The price is right at $40, and the weight is also a bonus coming in at 3.4 pounds. This sleeping bag is nice because is compresses well and takes up minimal room. It is a synthetic fill sleeping bag, so even if it gets wet, it should keep you warm down to 30 degrees or so. It also comes with a stuff sack. Pick up one of these affordable 3 season sleeping bags today!

Food and Water Prep – $35

For cooking your food, this [amazon_link id=”B000P9IR8I” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]stainless steel mess kit[/amazon_link] is just right. It offers a frying pan, pot, two lids (plates) and a plastic 8 ounce cup. At just over $10, all you need to have is a bed of hot coals and you can cook food or heat water.

[amazon_link id=”B004DZMD08″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Seychelle 28oz Flip Top Advanced Filter Water Purification / Filtration Bottle[/amazon_link]As for purifying your water, the [amazon_link id=”B004DZMD08″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Seychelle 28 ounce flip top water filter bottle[/amazon_link] is a high quality option that is affordable ($25). It removes 99.99% of bacteria, virus, contaminants, and pollutants from water. It can filter up to 100 gallons of water, depending on the quality of the water (dirtier water = less filtering capacity). It weighs just 11 ounces and you can fill it up from any body of water along the trail.

The Bottom Line

If you are just getting into backpacking, and you are worried that you won’t like it, it doesn’t make sense to spend a ton of money on gear. I can tell you that if you like nature, exercise, the outdoors, and camping in general, you are going to absolutely love backpacking. But keeping your start-up costs low just in case you don’t is a good idea. The nice thing about all of these items is that they could all be sold used to recoup most of your money if you decide you don’t like backpacking. Another nice thing about all of these items is that if you do like backpacking, they are high quality products that you will be able to enjoy for a long time.

Use this list to find the right gear for your needs. This is just a list of the most essential gear items. I didn’t include hiking boots because they require such a specialized fit and vary greatly in price. For a flat 3 day hiking trip, sturdy tennis shoes should be alright. Other items might include a good flashlight, first aid kit, survival kit, GPS, fitted hiking boots, multi-tool or pocket knife, and a sleeping pad. They will greatly increase your comfort and safety in the backcountry. As always, happy trails!

Do you agree with this list? What would be your $300 starting setup? Leave a comment below. Thanks!

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CRKT Guppie And Eat’N Tool Combo Review

When it comes to compact, portable multi-tools on the market today, it is hard to compete with the Leatherman Juice or Squirt lines. CRKT has released a new take on the small multi-tool, the CRKT Guppie. My first glance at the CRKT Guppie left me shocked, as I have never seen a multi-tool this size based around an adjustable wrench. The idea is different than the traditional multi-tool idea of building the tool around a set of pliers or scissors. Was it a good idea? Read on for my in depth review of the CRKT Guppie and the additional Eat’N tool that came with my combo double pack.

CRKT Guppie Multi-tool

[amazon_link id=”B001F3XAUI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]3325 CRKT GUPPIE MULTI TOOL[/amazon_link]

The Guppie boasts the following features:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Folding 2 inch blade
  • Removable bit carrier with LED light
  • Phillips driver bits (2)
  • Flat head driver bits (2)
  • Carabiner with Bottle opener
  • Belt clip

The Dimensions are as follows:

  • 4.1 ounces total weight
  • 3.5 inches overall length
  • 2 inch blade

Adjustable Wrench

CRKT Guppie Wrench

Opened Wrench

Starting at the top of the features list is the adjustable wrench. The idea of having a portable adjustable wrench built into a small multi-tool is fantastically novel. Capable of opening up to 1/2”, the adjustable wrench offers the ability to tackle most small scale jobs. My Guppie has no problem gripping the nut securely, contrary to a lot of complaints. The main issue I have with the wrench is the shape. If the nut is not fully exposed, it is difficult to reach it. There also isn’t a whole lot of handle to grip to generate leverage with. For most jobs requiring an adjustable wrench, this one will work fine. Remember that this is a pocket multi-tool, and is designed to give you options while away from your shop and other tools. In a pinch, the Guppie wrench is better than the alternatives (ie hauling a large set of adjustable wrenches everywhere you go or having none). This nice feature might interest you if you an avid mountain biker.

Blade

CRKT Guppie Blade

Blade

The folding blade is a tool usually found on every multi-tool iteration out there. The 2 inch folding blade made of 2CR13 steel is hollow ground to a drop point, and is not serrated. I like the fact that the Guppie has a blade. I like to have backups with every carry system that I employ, and the blade on the Guppie gives me a backup blade. But that being said, the blade on this tool is just that – a backup. There is no locking mechanism with the blade, making it a little sketchy to use. Just the way you have to grip the tool to cut anything wraps your fingers underneath the blade. I found the blade to be sturdy and durable, but the edge left something to be desired of a blade out of the box. It wasn’t completely dull like other reviewers have said, but I needed to sharpen it to give it a decent edge. Time will tell how the blade holds an edge. As with the adjustable wrench, having a blade when you need it is better than not having one at all, and this tool gives you a nice, sturdy (even without the lock) 2 inch blade.

Bit Driver

CRKT Guppie Driver

Driver

Having removable driver bits is another idea that I think is fantastic for a small multi-tool. Most other multi-tools have a Phillips and flat head driver built in, but you are left with the one size. I have also found that with the Phillips head screw drivers on Swiss Army knives and Leatherman tools I own, they get stripped out with minimal use and you are left with a Phillips head driver that is ineffective. With the Guppie, simply replace the Phillips head driver bit with a new one. The bit carrier is held to the main Guppie tool by a strong magnet. Some reviewers have said it doesn’t stay attached while in a pocket or bag, but I haven’t had any issues with this at all. The bit carrier holds 4 standard hex bits, so you can mix and match your own (star driver, square, Phillips, and flat head).

CRKT Guppie Bit Carrier and Light

Bit Carrier and Light

The carrier has a lanyard hole on one end (which makes it easy to carry the bit carrier separate), and has a small LED light built in the other end. The light is powered by 2 CR97 batteries and features 1 small LED bulb. The light isn’t terribly bright, but it is now the only multi-tool that I own that has the option of a light. This has been a gripe of mine for a long time. I said above that I like to have backups, and several times when I have needed a light, I have either forgotten my every-day carry light but had my multi-tool. This little light is a pleasant feature, and a much needed backup.

Carabiner Bottle Opener

CRKT Guppie Carabiner Bottle Opener

Carabiner Bottle Opener

The carabiner bottle opener is a simple feature, also one that is incorporated in just about every multi-tool out there. I have never had much use for this feature, but if you need the assistance of a bottle opener after a long hike, whip out your Guppie and there it is.

CRKT Eat’N Tool

[amazon_link id=”B004YY369K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]CRKT EAT N TOOL BEAD BLAST[/amazon_link]

My Guppie came in a combo pack with the Eat’N tool. It boasts the following features and dimensions:

  • Spork
  • Metric 10mm, 8mm, and 6mm wrench cutouts
  • Flat head screwdriver/pry tip
  • Bottle cap lifter
  • Small pocket carabiner
  • 3CR13 Stainless steel
  • 1.5 ounces
  • 4 inches long

The idea of a spork with additional tools built in is innovative. I have used this spork in the backcountry, and its weight allows me to pack it on ultra-light trips without hesitation. The ‘spoon’ part could be more concave, as it seems that it is a little shallow as far as spoons go. The ‘fork’ prongs are a little bit too blunt and thick, limiting their ability to grip food. One thing I noticed about the fork prongs is that if they were sharper and longer, carrying this tool in your pocket wouldn’t be very comfortable, and is probably why it was designed the way it was.

The handle is a little shorter than I would like it to be. This either limits the reach you have for food in a container or guarantees that your fingers will be swimming in your food. In the backcountry, this isn’t a huge concern since I usually skimp on fancy cutlery in order to save weight and space in my pack. Having anything at all to eat my food with other than my fingers is a luxury I never had before this tool.

I don’t see myself ever using the other features on the Eat’N tool, except for maybe the pry feature (for prying open a can of tuna while on the trail, for example). I usually don’t use a conventional camp stove in the backcountry, I use a homemade alcohol stove (ultra light). I assume the metric wrench cutouts will fit most nuts on stoves for backcountry repairs, but I would imagine if my camp stove broke or went out in the field, I would cook over an open fire or eat my food cold before attempting a bush-fix with pressurized fuels.

Backcountry Samurai Thoughts

The CRKT Guppie and Eat’N tool fared well with my backcountry testing. While some of the tools weren’t that useful for my activities, other outdoor activities might find more utility out of them. The ideas and innovation on the Guppie and Eat’N tool introduced new features that I haven’t seen on other traditional multi-tools, and this is a nod to the engineers and CRKT. The price is in line with the features offered, and I would say this multi-tool set is of much better quality and usefulness than other similarly priced multi-tools. Overall, I think the idea of building a small, compact multi-tool around the framework of an adjustable wrench (or in the case of the Eat’N tool, a spork) works.

Weighing just over 4 ounces (similar to the Leatherman Juice S2’s weight of 4.4 ounces), the Guppie is a good addition to any outdoorsman’s loadout. The Eat’N tool comes in even lighter, and offers some usefulness to backpacking that I haven’t found with any other multi-tool. Remember that these tools offer additional options. As long as you aren’t expecting the Guppie blade to be your primary backcountry blade, or the LED light on the bit carrier to be your primary camping light, but rather backups, these tools will offer value to your outdoor experience. Click on the following link to purchase your CRKT Guppie multi-tool or CRKT Eat’N tool today!

[amazon_link id=”B001F3XAUI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]CRKT Guppie Multi-tool[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B005AONQS4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]CRKT Eat’N Tool[/amazon_link]

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Jetboil Sumo Group Cooking System

[amazon_link id=”B005EM37S6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sumo Personal Cooking System (Orange)[/amazon_link]The Jetboil Sumo group cooking system is designed to be a customizable cooking platform. It can easily handle larger Jetboil accessories and pots for group trips, while the Titanium version can become a slimmed down lightweight solo camp stove. There are many high quality features offered by the Sumo series, so let’s get into them below.

Features Of Jetboil Sumo Cooking System

The Sumo backpacking stove is modular. The base package comes with a 1.8 Liter cooking vessel which can accommodate larger groups, but is still small enough to be used solo. Other Jetboil pots and pans can be attached to the burner for more versatility, like the frying pan or larger pots and bowls.

[amazon_link id=”B005EM37UY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sumo Titanium Personal Cooking System (Sand)[/amazon_link]The push button igniter will quickly get your burner on the task of boiling water or cooking food. The Sumo features Thermo-Regulate technology, which allows you to provide consistent heat to your pots and pans down to 20 degrees F, making this a true 4 season camp stove. The pot stabilizer and fuel canister tripod minimize spills.

The included cooking vessel has an insulating cozy and secure strap handle. The lid is a drink-through design that incorporates a pour spout and built in strainer.

Specs

Jetboil Sumo Group Cooking System

  • Weight – 16 ounces
  • Dimensions – 4.9” x 8.25” (12.5 cm x 21 cm)
  • Vessel volume – 1.8 Liter (60 ounces)
  • Boil time (1 Liter) – 4 minutes 15 seconds
  • Fuel type – Jetpower canister
  • Fuel life – 24 Liters boiled per 230g (8 ounce) canister
  • [amazon_link id=”B005EM37S6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sumo Cooking System[/amazon_link]

Jetboil Sumo Titanium Group Cooking System

  • Weight – 12 ounces
  • Dimensions – 4.9” x 8.25” (12.5 cm x 21 cm)
  • Vessel volume – 1.8 Liter (60 ounces)
  • Boil time (1 Liter) – 4 minutes 15 seconds
  • Fuel type – Jetpower canister
  • Fuel life – 24 Liters boiled per 230g (8 ounce) canister
  • [amazon_link id=”B005EM37UY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sumo Titanium Cooking System[/amazon_link]

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

The Jetboil Sumo and Sumo Titanium cooking systems combine the ability to cook for an entire group while on the trail with the lightweight innovative design that is standard with Jetboil backpacking stoves. The Sumo Titanium has the same features and the original Sumo, yet only weighs 12 ounces. That is a very lightweight option when it comes to cooking for more than just you. But if you decide to go out on the trail by yourself, you don’t need a separate cooking system in your arsenal, since the Sumo is lightweight enough for you to take on a solo hike. The Jetboil Sumo cooking system is a highly recommended backpacking stove option here at Backpacking Samurai. Click on one of the following links to buy yours today.

[amazon_link id=”B005EM37S6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sumo Cooking System[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B005EM37UY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sumo Titanium Cooking System[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B005EM37OU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sumo 3 Piece Companion Bowl Set[/amazon_link]

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Jetboil Helios Guide Cooking System

The name Jetboil is synonymous with innovation in design in the world of backcountry cooking systems. There are many different Jetboil cooking systems that fit this description perfectly. The Jetboil Helios cooking system is no exception. When you need a backpacking stove that has the capacity to cook for multiple individuals, the Jetboil Helios is a top choice. Let’s go through some of the highlights and features of the Helios and Helios Guide cooking systems.

Features Of The Jetboil Helios Cooking System

Jetboil Helios Cooking System[amazon_link id=”B001GCVJ2E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Helios Guide Cooking System[/amazon_link]The cooking pot features an insulated neoprene cozy and a rubber folding handle. The lid and bottom cover double as plates, and the lid can even be used as a throwing disc or Frisbee around camp, which is a rather cool feature.

The entire system fits snugly inside the 2 Liter cooking pot, making for a compact group cooking system that is easy to pack and transport.

Specs

Helios

  • Dimensions – 4.5” x 8.25” (11.5 cm x 21 cm)
  • Pot capacity – 2 Liters
  • Boil time (1 Liter) – 3 minutes @ 68 degrees F
  • Canister efficiency – 24 1 Liter boils per 8 ounce (230g) Jetpower canister
  • Usable temperature range – -10 – 100 degrees F
  • Push button ignition
  • [amazon_link id=”B001GCVJ24″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Helios Cooking System[/amazon_link]

Helios Guide

  • Dimensions – 5.1” x 9.5” (13 cm x 24 cm)
  • Pot Capacity – 2 or 3 Liters
  • Boil time (1 Liter) – 3 minutes @ 68 degrees F
  • Canister efficiency – 24 1 Liter boils per 8 ounce (230g) Jetpower canister
  • Usable temperature range – -10 – 100 degrees F
  • Push button ignition
  • [amazon_link id=”B001GCVJ2E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Helios Guide Cooking System[/amazon_link]

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

The Helios and Helios Guide cooking systems from Jetboil are formidable options in the group backpacking stove category. With the ability to quickly boil a Liter of water or more, the Helios has the ability to create large meals quickly and effortlessly. The Helios Guide offers a 2 or 3 Liter pot, which makes it perfect for varying group sizes, or for preparing 2 separate meal options while on the trail. For the fuel efficiency and weight of these models, it is hard to beat them. If you are looking for a high quality group backpacking stove system, the Jetboil Helios or Helios Guide are two top choices, and are highly recommended by us at Backpacking Samurai. Click one of the following links to purchase one today.

[amazon_link id=”B001GCVJ24″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Helios Cooking System[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B001GCVJ2E” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Helios Guide Cooking System[/amazon_link]

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Jetboil Sol Cooking Systems

When it comes to backcountry cooking performance, Jetboil is a company that sits near the top. The Jetboil Sol cooking system offers two different models, the Sol Advanced and the award winning Sol TI Premium. These backpacking cooking systems offer many features, and are a fantastic choice for seasoned or beginners alike. Let’s take a look at the features and highlights of these two models below.

Features

Jetboil Sol Advanced Cooking System

[amazon_link id=”B004XJNYGG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jet Boil Sol - Aluminum Advanced Cooking Stoves 2012[/amazon_link]The Jetboil Sol Advanced cooking system features an innovative design that allows you to pack the burner and fuel canister within the .8 Liter cooking cup. This cuts down on the overall dimensions, and makes for a very portable and compact system. The new Thermo-Regulate burner technology allows you to deliver consistent burner output down to a frigid 20 degrees. This makes the Jetboil Sol advanced cooking system a true 4 season camp stove, and a must in wintry weather.

The cooking cup has some nice features, including an insulating cozy with color changing heat indicator and handle, a drink through lid with a pour spout and built in strainer, and a bottom cover that doubles as a bowl and measuring cup. The burner comes with a push button igniter, and a pot stabilizer that not only keeps your cooking cup from spilling and tipping over, but protects your flame against winds.

Jetboil Sol TI Premium Cooking System

[amazon_link id=”B004RA03LK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sol Titanium Cooking System (Sand)[/amazon_link]The award winning Jetboil Sol Titanium Premium cooking system is a high performance, 4 season backcountry stove that meets ultralight backpacking standards. Weighing in at only 8.5 ounces, the Sol TI Premium will make it so you don’t have to sacrifice performance in winter conditions, but still have a lightweight stove option. The features are all the same as with the Sol Advanced cooking system above. The Jetboil Sol TI Premium cooking system received the Editors’ Choice award by Outdoor Magazine in 2012.

Specs

Sol Advanced

  • Dimensions – 4.1” x 6.5” (10.4 cm x 16.5 cm)
  • Cooking Cup Volume – .8 Liter (27 ounces)
  • Boil time (.5 Liter or 16 ounces) – 2 minutes 15 seconds
  • Fuel type – Jetpower canister
  • Jetpower canister life (100g) – 12 Liters boiled water
  • [amazon_link id=”B004XJNYGG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sol Advanced[/amazon_link]

Sol TI Premium

  • Dimensions – 4.1” x 6.5” (10.4 cm x 16.5 cm)
  • Cooking Cup Volume – .8 Liter (27 ounces)
  • Boil time (.5 Liter or 16 ounces) – 2 minutes 15 seconds
  • Fuel type – Jetpower canister
  • Jetpower canister life (100g) – 12 Liters boiled water
  • [amazon_link id=”B004XJNYI4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sol Titanium[/amazon_link]

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

The Jetboil Sol Advanced and TI Premium cooking systems are some of the best backpacking cooking systems on the market today. Because they are so portable and compact, packing them is easy. If weight is an issue, the Titanium option shaves off an additional 2 ounces from the Advanced system. What really stuck out to us is the ability of these stoves to produce a consistent source of heat in cold weather. It is hard to find a high quality 4 season stove out there, and these two models really shine in that category. Add to all of these features a cool design and high tech innovation, and you have our recommendation for one of the best backpacking stoves on the market today. Click the following link to purchase yours today.

[amazon_link id=”B004XJNYGG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sol Advanced[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B004XJNYI4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Sol Titanium[/amazon_link]

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Petzl Tikka Line Of Headlamps

When it comes to headlamps, Petzl makes some of the finest on the market today. Every backpacker needs a good quality headlamp, especially when arriving in camp late in the day with sunlight fading. Setting up camp in the dark can be a pain. A bright, lightweight, high quality headlamp is worth its weight in gold in the backcountry. The Petzl Tikka line of headlamps offers something for everyone – from value to high performance. There are 6 versions of the Tikka headlamp in the Universal Headlamp section from Petzl. Below, we will compare the features and highlights from the different models.

Petzl Tikkina 2

[amazon_link id=”B0027GVIOW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl E91 PE Tikkina 2 Headlamp, Electric Blue[/amazon_link]The Tikkina 2 is the value model in this line. Weighing only 80g, the Tikkina 2 is lightweight, multifunctional, and will get the job done on backpacking excursions. The LED light bulbs and easy to manipulate push button switches make switching from maximum to eco modes simple and efficient. At maximum mode, 23 lumens illuminate up to 23 meters of terrain. 3 alkaline AAA/LRO3 batteries have a max life of 190 hours of use in the Tikkina 2, which is stellar efficiency for a headlamp. Click the following link to purchase your Petzl Tikkina 2 today.

[amazon_link id=”B0027GVIOW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl Tikkina 2 Headlamp[/amazon_link]

Specs

  • Battery life (eco – max): 190 hours – 55 hours
  • Shine distance: 13 meters – 23 meters
  • Degree of protection: IP X4 (water-resistant)
  • 80 grams
  • Battery type: 3 alkaline AAA/LRO3
  • Bulb: 2 LED
  • Modes: maximum, economic
  • Adjustable headband
  • 4 color choices
  • 3 year guarantee

Petzl Tikka 2

[amazon_link id=”B0027GTFO2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl E93 PS Tikka 2 Headlamp, Storm Gray[/amazon_link]A step up from the Tikkina 2, the Petzl Tikka 2 headlamp offers additional features at a small increase in price. Three lighting modes (maximum, eco, and strobe), coupled with four highly efficient LED bulbs provide you with more options. Lithium batteries power this headlamp, which are lighter than their alkaline counterparts, and perform better at lower temperatures. The Tikka 2 is capable of delivering 40 lumens (in maximum mode), which is capable of illuminating up to 29 meters of terrain. The maximum battery life of 120 hours in eco mode is highly efficient, and the strobe feature is impressive at this price point. Click the following link to purchase your Petzl Tikka 2 today.

[amazon_link id=”B0027GTFO2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl Tikka 2 Headlamp[/amazon_link]

Specs

  • Battery life (eco – max): 120 hours – 90 hours
  • Shine distance: 13 meters – 29 meters
  • Degree of protection: IP X4 (water-resistant)
  • Weight: 81 grams including batteries
  • Battery type: 3 alkaline AAA/LRO3, or lithium batteries
  • Bulb: 4 LED
  • Modes: maximum, economic, strobe
  • Adjustable headband
  • 2 color choices
  • 3 year guarantee

Petzl Tikka 2 Core

[amazon_link id=”B004GAQKMC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl Tikka 2 Core Headlamp (Storm Gray)[/amazon_link]The Petzl Tikka 2 Core headlamp system is a light that is designed for regular use. The rechargeable Lithium Ion Polymer battery core can be recharged up to 300 times, and a software package allows you to customize how you use the battery and lighting modes throughout the day. While this system might seem more complicated for backpackers than is needed, the rechargeable nature of the battery pack saves money in the long run. The Tikka 2 Core utilizes four LED bulbs which can operate three lighting modes (max, eco, and strobe). At maximum output, 35 lumens are supplied out to a distance of 29 meters. The Core system comes with a wall USB charging platform and software package to customize the lighting you need throughout your day. This is a high-quality headlamp, which is similar to the Petzl XP Core 2 below, and is an excellent choice for regular backpackers and outdoorsmen alike. Click the following link to purchase your Petzl Tikka 2 Core today.

[amazon_link id=”B004GAQKMC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl Tikka 2 Core Headlamp (Storm Gray)[/amazon_link]

Specs

  • Battery life (eco – max): 60 hours – 14 hours (rechargeable core x 300 charges)
  • Shine distance: 12 meters – 29 meters
  • Degree of protection: IP X4 (water-resistant)
  • Weight: 76 grams including core
  • Battery type: Lithium Ion Polymer Rechargeable core, or 3 alkaline AAA/LRO3
  • Recharge time: 3 hours
  • Bulb: 4 LED
  • Modes: maximum, economic, strobe
  • OS Petzl Software
  • USB wall charger
  • Adjustable headband
  • 3 year guarantee

Petzl Tikka Plus 2

[amazon_link id=”B0027H0IME” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl E97 PM Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp, Mystic Gray[/amazon_link]The Petzl Tikka Plus 2 headlamp has many of the features of the above mentioned models, but adds a red LED bulb with two more lighting modes. The red bulb offers continuous or strobe, and the high output white LED bulb offers maximum, eco, and strobe. The max illumination output for the Tikka Plus 2 is 50 lumens out to 35 meters. The eco mode for the white bulb lasts 140 hours, which is highly efficient. You have the option of using 3 alkaline AAA/LRO3 batteries or lighter weight lithium batteries with this headlamp. The red bulb allows for lighting with night vision, and is a very useful feature. Click the following link to purchase your Petzl Tikka Plus 2 today.

[amazon_link id=”B0027H0IME” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp[/amazon_link]

Specs

  • Battery life (eco – max): 140 hours – 55 hours
  • Shine distance: 13 meters – 35 meters
  • Degree of protection: IP X4 (water-resistant)
  • Weight: 83 grams including batteries
  • Battery type: 3 alkaline AAA/LRO3 or lithium batteries
  • Bulb: 1 white LED, 1 red LED
  • Modes: maximum, economic, strobe, red continuous, red strobe
  • Adjustable headband
  • 2 color choices
  • 3 year guarantee

Petzl Tikka XP 2

[amazon_link id=”B0027GXC96″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl E99 PG Tikka XP 2 Headlamp, Graphite[/amazon_link]The Petzl Tikka XP 2 headlamp is similar to the Tikka Plus 2, but adds a very unique feature – the addition of a wide angle lens. This lens allows you to focus the beam down for spotlighting, or widen the beam for floodlighting. This feature is very helpful to backpackers who are traversing rough terrain in failing sunlight. There are five lighting modes, with three from the high-output white LED bulb (max, eco, and strobe) and two from the red LED bulb (continuous and strobe). The Tikka XP 2 delivers 60 lumens out to a distance of 60 meters in maximum mode, and is very efficient with a max battery life of 160 hours in eco mode. Lithium batteries can be utilized with this model for lighter weight and better performance in cold weather, as well as alkaline AAA/LRO3 batteries. Click the below link to purchase your Petzl Tikka XP 2 today.

[amazon_link id=”B0027GXC96″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl Tikka XP 2 Headlamp[/amazon_link]

Specs

  • Battery life (eco – max): 160 hours – 80 hours
  • Shine distance: 17 meters – 60 meters
  • Degree of protection: IP X4 (water-resistant)
  • Weight: 88 grams including batteries
  • Battery type: 3 alkaline AAA/LRO3 or lithium batteries
  • Bulb: 1 white LED, 1 red LED
  • Modes: maximum, economic strobe, red continuous, red strobe
  • Wide angle lens
  • Adjustable headband
  • 2 color choices
  • 3 year guarantee

Petzl Tikka XP Core 2

[amazon_link id=”B007RG3KZW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Tikka Xp 2 Core Headlamp[/amazon_link]The Petzl Tikka XP Core 2 headlamp is designed for intense outdoor use. With similar features of the XP 2 above, this model adds the rechargeable Lithium Ion Polymer Core battery pack and software system for extreme life and customization. The core battery pack can be recharged up to 300 times while keeping its efficiency. This will replace 900 AAA alkaline batteries over the life of the rechargeable pack. USB connectivity allows you to charge your headlamp with most cell phone, iPod, and other USB power packs. With the included software, you can customize your battery life and output to be whatever you need while on the trail. The Tikka XP Core 2 headlamp is for serious outdoor expeditions, and is one of the best headlamp options on the market today. Click the below link to purchase your Petzl Tikka XP Core 2 today.

[amazon_link id=”B007RG3KZW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Petzl Tikka XP 2 Core Headlamp[/amazon_link]

Specs

  • Battery life (eco – max): 85 hours – 17 hours (rechargeable core x 300 charges)
  • Shine distance: 17 meters – 60 meters
  • Degree of protection: IP X4 (water-resistant)
  • Weight: 83 grams including core battery
  • Battery type: Lithium Ion Polymer Core or 3 alkaline AAA/LRO3
  • Recharge time: 3 hours
  • Bulb: 1 white LED, 1 red LED
  • Wide angle lens
  • Adjustable headband
  • Signal whistle
  • OS Petzl Software
  • USB wall charger
  • 3 year guarantee

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

Headlamps are essential pieces of gear in the backcountry. Petzl makes some of the best headlamps on the market today. They are not only loaded with features, but they come in at different price points. This allows almost every backpacker out there to find one that fits their budget. The six models of headlamps in the Tikka line described above can be broken down like this:

  • Petzl Tikkina 2 – functional weekend warrior
  • Petzl Tikka 2 – functional weekend warrior with more lumens
  • Petzl Tikka 2 Core – regular use rechargeable
  • Petzl Tikka Plus 2 – extra features with still more lumens
  • Petzl Tikka XP 2 – focus beam with even still more lumens
  • Petzl Tikka XP Core 2 – intense use adventurer

Depending on your intended use and your budget, choosing a headlamp from Petzl’s Tikka line is a wise choice. Click on any of the links in the article to purchase one today for your next backpacking trip. Don’t be left out in the dark – get a Petzl Tikka headlamp now.

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Jetboil Zip Cooking System

The Jetboil Zip cooking system is a smaller, lighter version of other Jetboil backpacking cooking stoves. Jetboil offers a lot of features for the money, and the compact package that you get is easy to pack and carry. Let’s take an in depth look at some of the features of the Jetboil Zip cooking system stove below.

Features

[amazon_link id=”B004XJNYK2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]JETBOIL Zip Cooking System Gray 000 by JETBOIL[/amazon_link]The Jetboil Zip camp stove features a compact cooking system that is all contained within the cooking pot. The fuel canister and burner fit nicely inside the .8 Liter cooking cup, minimizing bulk. The cooking cup features a cooking cozy with a handle, a pour through lid with pour spout and built in strainer, and a bottom cover that doubles as a measuring cup and a bowl. The pot support and stabilizer tripod keeps your cooking system upright and prevents spills.

The burner is adjustable, which allows you to simmer or boil by simply turning a knob. A built in windscreen keeps your burner ignited even in the windiest conditions.

Specs

  • Weight – 12 ounces
  • Dimensions – 4.1” x 6.5” (10.4 cm x 16.5 cm)
  • Cooking cup volume – .8 Liter
  • Boil time (.5 Liter) – 2 minutes 30 seconds
  • Fuel type – propane or Jetpower canister
  • Jetpower canister life (100g canister) – 12 Liters boiled water

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

Jetboil has created many different backpacking stoves that rank highly among avid backpackers. The Jetboil Zip is one that compares favorably with the most lightweight competitors on the market today. Many reviewers would agree, and one says that the Zip is ‘made with real thought, and the design is as innovative as it is practical.’ We like the design, the size, the portability, and the functionality of the Jetboil Zip cooking system, and highly recommend this unit to any backpacker seeking a lightweight backcountry cooking stove option. Click on the following link to purchase yours today.

[amazon_link id=”B004XJNYK2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jetboil Zip Personal Cooking System[/amazon_link]

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