Mail Call – Sleeping Bags, Knives & Spam

Tips, tricks and discussion on various Backpacking, Hiking & Camping topics.

Topics Discussed / Gear Seen

    • Don’t want letters read on Mail Call? No problem, just write “not for video” on the back of the envelope.¬† ūüôā
    • Some stickers from Larry at Mobiltec Camper Restoration¬†
    • The time that Mike and I drove 30 hours to the Colorado Rockies.
    • I should go backpacking in Michigan.
    • My next solo backpacking trip.
    • Vicarious backpacking.
    • Utah Backpacking in Canyonlands National Park.
    • I need to camp in the desert again!
    • Sleeping sideways in a hammock.
    • We’re going back to Colorado for a backpacking / camping trip.
    • Midson likes Mail Call.
    • My recent Facebook Live event on Katadyn’s FB Page.

  • Potential Monthly Podcast on YouTube Live?
  • Jolly Hiker Awards me a the ‘Jolly Hiker 2018 Hiker Prize’.
  • A fresh new pocket knife from Bear & Son Cutlery¬†http://bearandsoncutlery.com/
  • Carol can’t get past voodoo dolls.¬†https://karmakeepers.net/
  • My new matching right & left sleeping bags from Animato.
  • Sleeping Pads and Sleeping Bags
  • My Coleman Folding Saw finally broke.
  • Gomboy Silky saws seem to be highly recommended as a camping saw.
  • HydraPak water bags causing taste issues with the Katadyn BeFree water filter?
  • Catch All Sleeve as an alternative to the Dutchware Winter Sock?
  • Spam, Spam, Spam.¬† ūüôā
  • Spam + Hiking = Awesome
  • I never knew there were so many different versions of Spam – Chorizo Spam, Jalepeno Spam, and Tocino Spam, and Cheese Spam, oh my!
  • Hiking with your dog.
  • My viewers are amazing.
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you.

World’s Lightest Camping Lantern (and cheapest)

Discussing my Favorite (and cheapest) Ultralight Camping Lantern Option.

Just a quick backpacking tips video to highlight a technique that I actually showed briefly in a video years back. I recently read a list of “camping hacks” that mentioned a DIY way to turn your camping headlamp into a lantern. They used a 1 gallon water jug to diffuse the light. Clever, and it probably works well, but it reminded me of my preferred method – simply using a headlamp and a balloon to create a lantern effect.

Surprisingly, I haven’t really seen or heard of hikers doing this very often. Perhaps it’s because it’s just too obvious, but I figured it was worth sharing.

Sara Goes to the Cabin! (Her Car Doesn’t Make It)

Sara finally does a cabin trip! Oh, and her car gets stuck in the snow. So we drag all our stuff up the mountain instead of driving. ūüėČ

I’m not sure if this exactly what Sara was picturing as her first trip to our hunting cabin, but nonetheless it made for some great memories. Join us for 3 days of wood stove stoking, PA game lands hiking, BBQ grilling, cabin chores, and just plain relaxing in the woods.

Grayson Highlands Route Planning – Solo Winter Backpacking Trip Pt 3

Creating a Backpacking Loop for my upcoming winter solo camping trip in Virginia’s Grayson Highlands.

For part three of this series, I‚Äôll be going over my specific route¬†selection for my solo backpacking loop, including trails used, potential parking / starting points, and expected camping areas for each night. ¬†The map I chose to purchase for this trip, based on viewer feedback, was National Geographic’s Map #318¬†for the¬†Mount Rogers High Country Grayson Highlands State Park region of Virginia.

A good portion of this loop will utilizing the Appalachian Trail, within the Mt Rogers National Recreation Area, as well as several other connecting trails within the Lewis Fork Wilderness and Little Wilson Creek Wilderness areas.

I will be doing continued updates throughout the whole process of planning this winter hiking trip. All the way from location selection, specific route planning, packing, food choices, getting there, doing the actual trip, and whatever else may come up in between, so check back for updates!

Location Selected! – Solo Winter Backpacking Trip (Pt 2)

Based on Viewer Feedback I’ve Chosen the Location for my Solo Winter Backpacking Trip!

For the second installment of this series, I‚Äôll be talking about my final choice for the location of the upcoming backpacking trip that I’ve been planning. ¬†How did I make my decision on the final location for my winter camping trip? ¬†You told me!

A very big thanks is in order for all of the super helpful viewers and subscribers that shared their feedback on the previous trip planning video.  Obviously, i had to narrow it down to just one area out of the hundred of backpacking routes that we shared, but I definitely learned a ton of useful info on areas for future trips as well.

For now though, I’m going to focus on the spot chosen for this trip. ¬†Which is, of course, – Oh, come on, you didn’t think I’d really ruin the surprise by typing it here, did you? ¬†ūüôā


I plan to do continued updates throughout the whole process of planning this winter hiking trip. All the way from location selection, specific route planning, getting there, doing the actual trip, and whatever else may come up in between, so check back for updates!