Saturday, December 15, 2018

Energizer Cap Light

This little flashlight clips to your hat and can be used in place of a headlamp.
Hi, thanks for coming, you’re now here and may want to:
subscribe to my feed (click on this link).
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”~ Friedrich Nietzsche
When backpacking I normally bring the Princeton Tec Remix for a headlamp. It weighs 2.6 ounces, can put out 300 lumens and has a burn time of 150 hours.  The light is very bright, so is great for night hiking (which I seldom do) and can be dimmed for around camp. I've used it for years without a problem.  BUT, it does not have a red light, which is annoying to anyone camped near you if you get up in the middle of the night to pee.  Also, being a head lamp, when you are wearing a hat (which I normally do), it can be a bit cumbersome with the visor of the hat. 

That being the background, a few days ago I was in the grocery store and I happen to see this little flashlight that can clip on your hat.  It has the ability to tilt after clipped on to point up or down. It has a red light and two levels of white light.  The highest being 85 lumens.  It runs on two AAA batteries, with the batteries in it the whole thing weights 1.5 ounces.  I think I'll swap this for my headlamp on my next backpacking trip and see how it goes.

 This little gadget costs $10 and and is well worth it (and BTY: if you buy it through a link on this blog, BackPackBaseCamp will get a small commission).

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A fall walk in the woods of Pyramid Mountain; Morris County New Jersey

Hi, thanks for coming, you’re now here and may want to:
subscribe to my feed (click on this link).

“The soul never thinks without a picture.” ~ Aristotle

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fitbit – Easy way to track your day

This little Fitbit device gets you motivated to do just a bit more be fit.
Hi, thanks for coming, you’re now here and may want to:
subscribe to my feed (click on this link).
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Even though I’m a “computer guy” I normally don’t go in for gadgets, It took a long time and a lot of convincing for me to even get a smart phone.  When I do get a new gadget I’m always hesitant to recommend it to others until I’ve had it quite a while.  There’s been too many times I thought something was the ‘next great thing’ and then after using a few weeks – well it wasn’t. 
So I’ve waited this long before blogging anything about the Fitbit.  I’ve had it since December 2010 – but it actually sat in it’s box until May 2011 when I got around to opening it.  I was convinced into getting it by a friend at work that has been using it for a couple of years now.  So what is it?
Essentially it is a solid state electronic pedometer.  It is such a fitbitsimple little device, the design is nearly perfect.  It measures your steps, converts them into miles and calories burned.  It wirelessly sends this information to the website to track your history.  The Fitbit has only one button.  It’s not an off/on switch – the fit bit is always on.  Each day at midnight it resets its self to zero steps (it saves the data for weeks in case for some reason it hasn’t ‘synchronized’ it’s self with the website yet.  When you press the button it tells you how many steps you have taken so far today, press again – how many miles, press again how many calories have burned, again and it shows a flower indicating how active you have been (more petals the better).  Don’t touch it for a second and it goes back to it’s normal state.
The beauty of the Fitbit is that it is so simple.  The battery is recharged when you put it on its’ base which has a USB connection your computer.  The base also acts as it’s wireless connection.  The charge lasts a LONG TIME – weeks.  This is a big advantage over using an “app” on my smartphone for a similar function.  I wear my Fitbit all the time.  It is always on.  Always tracking me.  Tiny and unobtrusive – I don’t even think about it.  It has been a tremendous help in keeping me motivated to reach certain “goals” (in # of steps), partly inspired by friendly competition with a few of my buddies that also have Fitbits.
The website that it feeds can not only be used to see your history but also to track other activities and your diet (which you need to key in what you eat if you want to track calorie intake – this is the one flaw of the Fitbit design – it has no way of knowing automatically what you are eating). 
Alright I’m not going to rehash all the information about the Fitbit that you can get from their web site.  If you are interested take a look at the site:  FitBit.com This little gadget costs $99 and and is well worth it (and BTY: if you buy it through a link on this blog BackPackBaseCamp.com will get a small commission).
While I’m being a bit commercial, I have to put a plug in for my kids (9 & 13 years old).  Last year they did a lemonade stand and it didn’t make to much money so now they got this idea to start making dog treats.  It is off to a good start, we put a simple web site together http://wilbursbiscuits.com/ and they are selling at local craft fairs.  It is top quality all natural stuff if you have a dog and are interested check it out.
One more thing: Backpackbasecamp.com is now an affiliate of Eddie Bauer; There First Ascent line is great stuff.  For the next few days they are having a 50% off sale. In addition until Oct 2nd you can get 20% off of EVERYTHING is you used code: FALL 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

A picture is a poem without words

"A picture is a poem without words." ~ Horace

Hi, thanks for coming, you’re now here and may want to:
subscribe to my feed (click on this link).

“The soul never thinks without a picture.” ~ Aristotle

I was out for a hike Sunday morning, just about a perfect morning so I thought I’d get creative with my smart phone and took this picture. 

Pyramid 7-16-11








I thought it looked nice and when I looked at it today it made me think of my friend Paula who has real talent, but is a bit to modest to realize it.

The photo below is one of her older ones. After I’ve been bugging her for a long time she has finally decide to put some of her work up for sale, and it will be available on the web hopefully soon.

Paula 7082 026-1

Paula loves to hike, you should check out her blog at:


and follow her on Twitter at: @SmokyWhisperer

Friday, May 20, 2011

The new Garmin Montana--the all-in-one GPS?

Garmin GPS units; Review: New line of dual-use touch-screen GPS. A guest post by Kevin Jordan

Hi, thanks for coming, you’re now here and may want to:
subscribe to my feed (click on this link).

“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”  ~Henry David Thoreau


First, there was Colorado. Then came Oregon, and after that Dakota, and now...Montana? If the my chronology seems a little out of whack, it's because I'm not talking about states here--I'm talking about Garmin GPS units. Montana GPS This week, Garmin announced the release of a new line of dual-use touch-screen GPS units. The "Montana" series, as it's called, is designed to bridge the gap between outdoor-use GPS units like those in the Oregon series, and automotive units like those in the Nuvi series. Both the Oregon and Nuvi series have been very successful and popular, and those GPS units are very good at their respective tasks. However, there has never really been a GPS unit that was a good fit for both the outdoor and automotive markets...but it looks like the Garmin Montana might just be the GPS that does that successfully.

For one thing, unlike previous outdoor-use GPS units that will just give textual turn-by-turn driving directions, the Montana GPS units will also give you voice commands. However, the speakers for the voice commands are located in the actual automotive mount, not the GPS. This way, Garmin could keep the size and weight of the GPS low enough not to be awkward for hikers and backpackers. Montana Auto Mount Another first for the Montana is that, similar to many smartphones, you can hold it vertically or horizontally. I would imagine that holding it horizontally would make it a little easier to use in the automotive mode. There are two power options for the Montana: a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack (included with the GPS), or 3 AA batteries. Useful battery life with the AA batteries is advertised as 22 hours, which is more than most handheld GPS units currently on the market. Battery life with the lithium-ion pack is advertised as 16 hours.

All 3 units in the Montana series (the 600, 650, and 650t) include a barometric altimeter and electronic compass, have slots for microSD cards, and are compatible with all Garmin maps, BirdsEye satellite imagery, and custom maps. Montana GPS The Montana 650 also includes a 5 megapixel camera, and the 650t includes the camera and is also pre-loaded with detailed U.S. topographic maps. All in all, the Montana GPS units look pretty impressive. They're slated to hit the market in late June, so we've got a month to drool in anticipation. Until then, we can only wonder--is the Montana the elusive all-in-one GPS we've all been waiting for?


About Kevin Jordan  I’m an avid hiker, Kevin's Picturebackpacker, climber, and lover of the outdoors. I’ve been backpacking and climbing all around the world including trips to New Zealand and Chile. I currently run a business selling new and pre-owned handheld GPS units, as well as providing GPS units for rent. I love teaching people how to use GPS technology to take their outdoor adventures to the next level.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hiking in the Rain & Fog

The pleasures of hiking in the rain and fog

Hi, thanks for coming, you’re now here and may want to:
subscribe to my feed (click on this link).

“He who would travel happily must travel light." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So it was raining this weekend and looks like rain all this week. I just took the dog out for a walk in the drizzle and it reminded me I wanted to write a short blog post about my hike yesterday in the rain.

When I don’t have time for a full day hike I often hike at a very nice county park near me. It’s a wonderful park with many nice trails up to views of New York City and flatter trails along a reservoir.  The only down side being it sometimes gets a bit “crowded” (meaning you can spot some other people there from time to time).

149 rainy

So yesterday I figured it was a good place to go, cause “Sunday” hikers don’t normally hike in the rain.  Thinking I would have the place to myself, I drive into the lot and find a troop of cub scouts.  They seem to be standing around debating if they should hike in rain or not and appear to be inclined against it.  They ignore me as I walk past them.

Fortunately they were the only other people in the park and I walk for a mile or two before seeing anyone else.  When I get to the top I think about turning around – the fog and clouds are making it feel kind of spooky and I’m getting a little creeped out – but I decide to go ahead and do a long loop.  Just as I walk into a normally dark part of the woods (now really spooky) I meet a young lady and her dog walking the other way.  I recognize her as someone else who often haunts these woods and we exchange a smile as we pass; this makes me forget how creepy the woods is this day.

The rain has stopped now and the woods are so quiet. There is just the stillness of the hanging fog in the air and the dripping of water from the leaves.  A peacefulness that is hard to describe. It’s like a vacuum that sucks the tension and stress out of my body. My daydreams, worries and thoughts evaporate into the mist and all that remains is that peaceful feeling.  The quietness. The solitude.

A short while passes as I near the end of my loop and I hear the ear-piercing noises of cub scouts coming toward me.  That’s OK too. It’s nice to see the kids out in the rain.  They ignore me as they walk past.