I decided I’m going to expand the range of topics in the blog beyond offroading. I really enjoy wheeling, the whole offroading culture and people I meet on jeep runs who share the same passion. Sometimes however I feel like driving my Jeep some place away from the crowd, far from the city where there’s no cell signal, get out of my vehicle, and enjoy nature more directly.
I’m talking camping, fishing, kayaking, hiking or backpacking. We are really fortunate to have so many beautiful places in Arizona, with forests, lakes and rivers that are worth visiting and truly enjoying. Enjoying responsibly.
Most places are easily accessible by car, but having an offroad-capable vehicle gives us a chance to discover some hidden gems.
We’re lucky because our vehicles can take us to places where others can’t go. We can venture deep into the back country, follow the trail for as long as we want and then set up camp. We can just relax and enjoy the spot, go on a backpacking trip or a day hike.
I’ve always enjoyed camping, backpacking and hiking. The outdoors in general. I recently decided to update my gear, trying to find a balance between good quality ultralight equipment and the price. I have been acquiring new gear over a period of several months and intend to keep doing it into the future. All this gear needs to be tested in the wild, so any chance I get, I head for the back country or at least the desert away from the city.
I am going to post short articles describing the locations I visit and my experience with the gear I selected.
I am going to share my thoughts and opinions on all kinds of camping, backpacking and hiking gear I decided to purchase for myself. Some of the categories of gear will include: shelter, sleep systems, backpacks, cooking systems, water storage, water filtration and more.
I will be sharing descriptions of the campgrounds I had a chance to visit. I will include directions to the site, description of the campsite and amenities, and include some photos of the site.
HIKING AND BACKPACKING
I will be describing trails I hiked, including directions to the trail head, description of the trail and photos. You really do not have to go far from the Valley of the Sun to find a great hiking trail.
July 21, 2017 | azoffroading.com
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent is a ultralight tent for three season backpacking. The NX stands for NEXT, the next generation of the Hubba series, as it has been redesigned for 2014. The three pounds and seven ounces of the Hubba Hubba NX is the lowest weight yet, as well as offering two different fast and light modes when combined with the optional footprint. Whatever it takes to give your back respite on the trail. The color coded webbing makes for a quick and easy set up so you can clamber inside to enjoy plenty of head and shoulder room due to the symmetrical pole geometry and non-tapered floor. The two large vestibules leave room for your gear and friend’s, with StayDry entry provided by built-in rain gutters on the rain fly. MSR added plenty of venting options to aid in the war against condensation, just roll up the vestibule from the bottom, open the kickstand side vents, or sleep through the night sans-vestibule. The mesh will protect you from pesky bugs. Rise early and pack up camp in a flash with the wide mouth stuff sack, cinching it tight with the attached compression straps.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is a great tent for two people. It’s incredibly easy to set up, lightweight, and has two doors so you can come and go at night without disturbing your partner. Nearly freestanding, the pole configuration creates an interior space that has near vertical walls, providing excellent interior space and livability. With a trail weight of three and a half pounds, the Hubba Hubba NX is lightweight enough for backpacking use when shared by two people, but on the heavy if used by one. Still, MSR has done a fine job designing this tent, which should definitely be on your short list if you’re looking to upgrade to a spacious and comfortable lightweight two person tent for backpacking and camping.
October 29, 2017 | azoffroading.com
It might sound like a cliche, but water is life. Whether it’s for an emergency kit or a camping trip, having a supply of clean water is most important in any survival situation. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need about one gallon of water per day, per person (and per pet!) in the event of an emergency. It is a good idea to always store at least one week worth of clean water in case of a disaster. Water sources can become disrupted or contaminated for prolonged periods and you’ll need water for both consumption, cooking, and hygiene purposes. Proper water storage is fairly simple if you have good water storage containers and know how to store them appropriately.
First of all, you need a water storage container that meets a number of safety requirements and viability tests. A container cannot be too heavy when full, needs to be durable, portable, puncture resistant, leak proof and meet food safety requirements. You also may or may not need it to be stackable, or to have a pouring spout or a spigot.
It is not recommended to use metal containers for long term water storage. The safest containers to hold water in are polyethylene-based plastics, or plastics #1, #2, and #4. These types are food-grade, BPA free, excellent for long-term storage and do not leach harmful chemicals into the water leaving a “plastic” taste.
The size of the water container you select depends on your needs. For short term storage you can use small containers (2-10L or in other words less than 3 gallons) and made out of soft collapsible plastic. If you plan to store more water for a longer period of time, you should pick a larger container made out of the most durable hard plastic material.
When you are deciding on water storage for camping or offroading trips, you need to select a container that is large enough to carry plenty of water (there might not be a clean water source the entire trip in some cases) and is durable enough to withstand the abuse in the backcountry.
Carrying a good water filtration system is also a good idea when you’re out in the wild.
Here are some of the options you have when selecting water containers:
Collapsible water containers:
2L Platy Bottle by Platypus
6L Water Tank by Platypus
2.6 Gallon Water Cube by GSI Outdoors
5 Gallon Fold-A-Carrier by Reliance Products
5 Gallon Collapsible Water Container by Coghlan’s
Hard plastic water containers:
5 Gallon 5 Gal. Water Bottle by ORE International
3.5 Gallon Stackable Water Container by WaterBrick
7 Gallon Aqua-Tainer by Reliance Products
5 Gallon Jug with Water Carrier by Coleman
6 Gallon Desert Patrol by Reliance Products
5 Gallon Rhino-Pak by Reliance Products
5 Gallon Water Can by Scepter
5 Gallon SKILCRAFT Water Can by LC Industries
5 Gallon Military Water Can by Scepter
August 26, 2017 | azoffroading.com
Determining which backpacking tent is the best for your adventures can be a difficult decision that is often influenced by your preferences. Where and when will you camp? How will you camp?
The three big items that affect your backpack weight are your pack itself, sleeping bag and your shelter. Investing in a lightweight tent can be one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce total pack weight.
There are many different types of tents out there, and choosing the right one will ensure a better camping experience. A tent, after all, is quite literally your “home away from home”.
Prices of backpacking tents vary, of course, although most high quality backpacking tents will cost between $100 – $500. Usually the more you spend the better the materials used. Materials that provide more strength and weigh less. There are few one person backpacking tents under $100 but around $200 is what you need to expect for high quality tents.
Choosing your backpacking tent involves the following key decision points:
• Capacity: likely number of sleepers
• Seasonality: tent construction relative to expected weather conditions
• Weight: ounces carried vs. dollars spent
• Livability: comfort and convenience based on design and features
Other considerations include ease of tent setup and tent materials. Also, don’t forget the footprint, often sold separately, that goes under your tent floor to protect it from routine wear or an overlooked rock or pine cone.
August 24, 2017 | azoffroading.com