MSR Flex Skillet Review …and other thoughts on choosing a Camp Skillet

A review of the MSR Flex Skillet camping fry pan, as well as a discussion of other camp skillet options for comparison.

The MSR Flex Skillet is a light weight, easy to pack frying pan aimed at weight conscious hikers who wish to do some some more advanced cooking on their backpacking and camping trips.  And by “more advanced”, I mean more than just boiling water for a dehydrated meal.  Because some of us, myself included, think anything more than boiling water on a 3 oz stove is going full back country gourmet.

If that sounds like you, then you may be interested in the MSR Flex Skillet, or maybe even it’s little brother, the MSR Quick Skillet, which we’ll also touch on a bit in the video.  If your a more hearty backpacker looking to do some heavier duty cooking on perhaps a canoe or car camping trip, then the MSR Flex Skillet may be a tad more minimalist than you need.  Towards the second have of the video I’ll also go over some heavier duty alternatives (as the MSR Alpine Fry Pan), as well as some more inexpensive options, depending on your expected usage and needs.

Below are the Flex Skillet’s Specs and details, according to the manufacturer.  *As discussed in the video, I did find some discrepancies with MSR’s official specs.

Manufacturer’s Specs and Details

Weight 7 oz / 199 g
Height 2.5 in / 6.35 cm
Diameter 9 in / 22.86 cm

Easy Clean-Up: Scratch-resistant, hard-anodized nonstick aluminum.
Versatile: Nests with MSR® Flex 3 and MSR® Flex 4 Cook Systems and Pot Sets.
Includes: 1 Talon™ pot handle.

Pocket Chainsaw Review – Lightweight Backpacking and Camping Saw

A Review of the Pocket Chainsaw – a Packable, Lightweight Backpacking or Camping Saw 

As discussed in the video this is not a brand specific review, but rather an overview and discussion on pocket chainsaws in general. There are many different manufacturers out there making camping and survival saws with this general design, so if this design meets your usage needs, it’s probably best to just find the best value one available to you. As you can see, it’s basically just a length of chainsaw blade with nylon handles attached at each end.Of course there are minor variables to keep in mind, such as specially designed blades, alternative handle shapes, and chain lengths.

The specific model seen in the video is a Chainmate 24-Inch Survival Pocket Chain Saw With Pouch style= (model CM-24SSP), but any brand with similar features should be just fine. It’s pretty much your standard pocket chainsaw in terms of quality and features, so I think it makes for an decent baseline for reviewing this type of saw.

Flat Packable Ultralight Backpacking Bowl – Fozzils Bowlz Review

A review and my thoughts on the Fozzils flat packable bowl for ultralight backpacking & camping. 

Fozzils Bowlz are a unique and lightweight backpacking and camping bowl that packs down flat, but quickly converts into and bowl and 16 oz measuring cup using four simple plastic snaps.  The flat configuration also gives you the ability to use Fozzils Bowlz as minimalist plate or makeshift serving platter at camp.

In this video, I specifically review the bowl, but Fozzils also has a 3 piece set consisting of a bowl, cup, and plate bowl that function in similar fashion.

The ability to clean it while flat, combined with it’s non-stick silicone coating makes for easy cleanup in the field as well.  The plastic is also BPA free.

Weight for each bowl is 1.4 oz (40 grams).

Link to Official Fozzils website.
Link to where I found them on Dutchware Gear.

Amok Draumr 3.0 – A Super Flat Hammock? – First Look

An unboxing and first look at the Amok Draumr 3.0 hammock for camping, backpacking, & lounging. 

This a quite different looking, flat laying hammock that is specifically made to work with your existing sleeping pad. It looks pretty cool – almost like a floating one person tent! Stay tuned for updates usage in the field on upcoming backpacking and hammock camping trips.

Specs and info, as per the manufacturer:

*Suspension and bug net included. Available with and without tarp.

  • Hammock weight:
    1340 g / 47 oz (without tarp)
    2056 g / 72 oz (including tarp/stakes)
  • Capacity:
    150 kg / 330 lb max weight
    22 kN carabiners
  • Tree distance:
    minimum 2.5 m, maximum 6 m.
  • Use of the hammock:
    The hammock requires an inflatable sleeping pad – you can read about size recommendations on their website, http://www.amokequipment.com/ , as well as more details, specs, etc.

RAVPower 10,400mAh Power Bank – USB Battery Charger Review

In this gear review video, we’ll check out the RAVPower 10,400mAh Element Series Power Bank, model RP-PB07.

Manufacturer’s Specs:

Capacity:  10400mAh
Output:      5V / 3A
Input:         5V / 1A
Weight:     8.04oz
Size:         4.4 x 2.76 x 0.83 inches

Comes with 2 Micro USB Connectors for compatibility with:

  • SmartPhones: Samsung / HTC / LG / Motorola / BlackBerry / Nokia / Google / Sony
  • Tablets & eReader: Google Nexus 7 / Nexus 10 –
  • Other cell phones, MP3 players, and digital cameras that use DC 5V input
  • iPad 4 3 2,iPad Mini, iPhone 5S 5C 5 4S 4,iPod (using original 8Pin / 30Pin Cable from Apple)

I’ve been using and testing this USB battery charger pack to keep my gear charged up in a variety of backpacking and hiking conditions, in in both warm, indoor conditions as well as several multi-day cold weather backpacking trips – a worst case scenario for those battery powered gadgets we love so much.  So far It’s proven itself to be a reliable workhorse without breaking the bank!