Author Archives: tbonetravis

A must read! Check out Off the Grid!

I must have been about ten years old when I peered from the windows of my parent’s Ford station wagon on a late evening drive home from Grandma’s house. Asphalt, neon lights, and power lines passed by. From the windows of other cars and businesses, silent figures watched me watching them.
As we made our way down that thoroughfare, I imagined trees, wildlife, and darkness. I wondered how that place might have appeared a hundred, two hundred, a thousand years before, and why we needed so much light in the middle of the night, why we paved so much. A deep sadness sunk in. That night I prayed with the fervency of a young boy who knew his God would answer a prayer of faith for an opportunity to turn back the clock. I didn’t know where we went wrong, or even how, but I knew that somewhere along the…

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Camp Stove Review

One this weekends hike I decided to take some photos of the different camp stoves that were brought, and write a little about each. We had a nice variety to choose from and I decided it would be a good post for the blog. If your in the market for a new stove I hope this is helpful to you!

Optimus Svea 123R

A long time Scout and currently our Scoutmaster of our local Troop 402, carries this stove making it very interesting to begin with. With years of hiking and being in the outdoors comes years of experience…This tells me that this stove is tried and true. It has a very sturdy brass construction that makes the stove light weight and durable. The stove is one of the most reliable and practical on the market and has been around since the early 1900.  I have a good friend who hikes with me that acquired his Svea through a purchase at the local Goodwill. He purchased a Kelty pack for less than 10$ and the stove was tucked away safely inside the pack. After explaining the content of the pack to the lady at the counter he was told that it was part of the purchase. With the current cost of this stove being around $90 it is worth the money! But before you rush out and purchase new in the store, check out your local thrift stores….You never know what you’ll find!

  • Brass construction is solid, durable and reliable.
  • Built in cleaning needle works automatically.
  • No priming required for cold weather.
  • Control valve key doubles as a mini tool box.
  • Wrenches required for field maintenance have been stamped into the key.
  • Brass windscreen has built in pot supports which fold in for compact storage.
  • Aluminum lid also serves as a small pot to cook in; detachable handle.
  • Rating: 4,700 BTU.
  • Burn time:Up to 75 min. on one filling at maximum output.
  • Boil time: 34 fl oz.(1 L of water) in 7 minutes depending on climate, altitudes etc.
  • Fuel: White gas, Coleman fuel.
  • Size: 5 in. x 4.5 in. (folded).
  • Weight: 18 oz.


Jetboil cook systems come in several models. The model featured in this post is the Ultra-Compact 10.5 ounce SOL Advanced Cooking System, and it’s barely noticed in your pack. In this 4 season upright canister cooking system Jetboil introduces it’s advanced Jetboil Thermo-Regulate Burner Technology to deliver consistent heat output down to 20 degrees F. This system has an insulated 0.8 Liter FluxRing Cooking Cup that is integrated into the burner with a drink through lid and pour spout & strainer.  The Jetboil has a push button igniter however both models that were brought on our trip failed to ignite at breakfast. I’m not sure if this had something to do with the 29 degree temp that we were working with? We were able to light both models with a lighter. The bottom cover doubles as a bowl and measuring cup as well.  The Jetboil will boil water faster than any stove on the market that I have had experience with. The only flaws that I have seen were the igniter issues (carry a backup lighter) and if your flame is not adjusted properly it is possible to melt your insulated cozy. (It happened on our trip)  My friend who has more experience with the Jetboil noted that it is important to fill your cup with it’s cooking contents before igniting the stove.  This model can be purchased for $120 with a ton of upgrades and accessories.

S now Peak

LiteMax Titanium Stove

 If your looking for a no frills ultra lightweight stove the LiteMax will fit the bill. I received the LiteMax for a Christmas present a couple years ago and have never looked back. At 1.9 ounces it fits in the palm of your hand and still throws out an impressive 11,200 BTU’s. It will boil water in a little over 4 minuets. The cost is also attractive to the backpacker on a budget with it’s $60 pricetag.  I use this stove with a Coleman cookset that I purchased at the local big box store for $15. After removing some of the extra cooking vessels included in the set, I’m able to fit my fuel and LiteMax inside my cookset making it extremely convenient.

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Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2011

 Give your Congressman a call or write a letter after checking this out! Our future generations will appreciate it one day!

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Boy Scout Led Hike

I have had the privilege of guiding several people on their first hike, both youth and adults! It’s a feeling that I won’t soon forget. To see the look in a kids eye when he see’s a huge waterfall for the first time, or the genuine “thank you” from a friend after a milestone on the trail, is something you can’t put a price tag on. Normally that experience has a lot of planning on my part. What are this persons limits? What are their interests? What kind of gear and experience do they have? Meals…packs…location…and the questions are endless! This time that planning was not upon my shoulders…

This weekend was different!

The young men from 2 patrols at Troop 402 in Tullahoma, TN treated the adults to an incredible weekend in the  South Cumberland Recreation Area. Our hike didn’t just begin with boots on the ground at the Stone Door Ranger Station. Our hike began September 27th with the planning that was necessary for an overnighter! The boys from the Eagle and Smokey Bear Patrols set the date and location for their first planning meeting at the Dairy Queen in our home town of Tullahoma TN. The boys learned to work as a group and plan the details that 11-13 year old kids would normally pass off to an adult. The boys had logistics to plan…Where will we go? How will we get there? What trails will we hike when we get there? What will we eat? The list is endless! The boys decided the destination would be the Stone Door Ranger Station. We would hike to the Stone Door and around the Big Creek Rim trail to the Alum Gap Camp Area, where we would set up camp for the night. The boys then planned to work on achievements and advancements.

The hike begins with…

signing in and registering for our camping permit at the Stone Door Ranger Station. A .9 mile hike from the Ranger Station to the overlook at the Great Stone Door, and the view from the overlooks get us pumped for the hike!From the Stone Door Overlook the trail takes a right to begin the Big Creek Rim Trail for 3.2 miles along the plateau above the Big Creek Gulf. The Rim trail can form half of a loop trail including either the Laurel Trail or the Big Creek Gulf (home of Ranger Falls).The loop the boys chose was Laurel Trail. It provided a shorter distance to traverse with heavy packs and avoided the elevation change that they would have encountered in the Gulf. The pic above of Ranger Falls I took only a week before while hiking the Gulf.

The Big Creek Rim Trail provides some awesome viewing points along the way. Those points do come at the cost of having to take close watch of your younger guests. The cliffs, that at times are only feet from you, are very easy to navigate but they do require 100% attention from the adult guides! The boys easily navigate the Rim Trail to Alum Gap Campsite.

Alum Gap was packed with Scouts and other campers. We met Scouts from Murfreesboro & Clarksville TN!

An awesome night’s sleep was had and the next morning…

we all awoke and started about the business of cooking and eating breakfast, making coffee, and hot chocolate. Clean up of course and the inevitable packing process! We had church service on the cliff side, and broke camp!  Laurel Falls leads the boys back to the Stone Door Ranger Station on it’s 2.9 miles of meandering dirt track through the woods and past an old moonshine still. After completing the hike and arriving back at the Ranger Station in record time, we decided to drive our vehicles down to the Greeter Falls parking area and check out the falls for those who had never seen them. It had been over 14 years since I had been there with old friends and I had forgotten what a site it was to behold! I don’t think this trip is something the boy, nor adults, will soon forget!Troop 402’s future is in the pic above! Our Troop has a lot of up and coming talent and has a lot that has “Eagled out”. The boys above have the ability to help mold the future for their Troop, Themselves, and possibly our Nation. One thing is for sure, these boys will remember the time they spent on this trail as brothers and will hopefully carry a deep desire to protect Mother Nature and all her grandeur!


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Trail Snacks

Just wanted to drop in a couple ideas for trail snacks on your next outing. Gorp is good but gets old after a while!

I brought a few new items on this weekends hike to try out and share! Pepperoni & Cheese Wraps, Endurolytes Fizz from Hammer Nutrition, and Shot Bloks from Clif. For starters we’ll cover the wraps! You don’t have to be a gormet chef to put these together!Just take these……and turn them into this! Simple enough??? 

Pepperoni is safe to carry for few days on the trail without refrigeration. There are a few cheese sticks on the market that are safe without refrigeration as well. You’ll just have to look in your area. I found them to be tasty and very filling. I usually eat quite a bit on the trail but it only took one of these to cover my lunch.

Moving along…

The Shot Bloks from Clif (the makers of Clif bars..yummmmm) are a pretty cool “pick me up”  on the trail. 95% of the ingredients are organic and they’re freakin delicious. Clif suggests you eat 3 to 6 per hour while training, but I usually just have one or two at a time and that may be hours apart. They have just what you need to get you up that last hill!

 And Finally…

Endurolytes Fizz from Hammer Nutrition are like Alka-Seltzer for dehydration! Fizz comes in a multitude of flavors but don’t expect to have your taste buds whipped into a sugary sweet frenzy. They do what they’re supposed to do…replenish the electrolytes that you’ve been pouring from your body!  I have carried Gatorade powder packs in the past and they pack a lot of flavor. That flavor comes at the cost of the weight, and that weight is mostly sugar. If your looking for something to keep your electrolyte levels high, in a lightweight, easy to dispense container…Endurolytes Fizz should join you on your next hike!

Happy Hiking 🙂

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Super stoked and getting packed for this weekends overnighter! While looking through my gear and second guessing the content of my pack I thought back on the “10 Essentials.”  The original Ten Essentials list was put together in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers. In 2003, the group’s updated “systems” approach made its debut in its seminal text on climbing and outdoor exploration, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (The Mountaineers Books, 2010), now in its eighth edition. When planning your next outing double check your pack and make sure the 10 Essentials are covered! When your out in the backcountry the ass you save could be your own! 😉

Updated Ten Essential “Systems”

  1. Navigation (map and compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter


Classic Ten Essentials

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
  4. Extra clothing
  5. Headlamp/flashlight
  6. First-aid supplies
  7. Firestarter
  8. Matches
  9. Knife

  10. Extra Food
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A little about me.

A little about me..

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A little about me.

Life after 30….I’ve always been active and enjoyed the outdoors. I enjoyed hunting and fishing as a kid, and pretty much any activity that involved nature. A few weeks before my 30th birthday I joined a good friend of mine in taking 7 or 8 of our Cub Scouts on a local hike! The moment we stepped on the trail I knew I had found my new passion. The kids were in awe as was I. We played like kids in the shallow water, and swam in the deeper. We taught them how to catch….and release crawfish in the stream. The trail so inspired me that following my 30th birthday I returned to the same trail…alone…for my first ever solo hike. The trail in question is the Fiery Gizzard trail in the Grundy Forest Natural Area in Tennessee. I arrived around 8:30am and spoke to the ranger about my plans for the hike to Ravens Point, signed the register and was on my way! The 10 mile loop trail that I hiked that day has forever changed my life and life philosophy! The wind and rain, the lightning that was so close the hair on my arms stood on ends. The beautiful overlooks and most of all SOLITUDE. I trudged through the whole 10 mile experience without meeting another soul. I’m not sure if it was nature and It’s elements or the quiet time to hear myself think…..but I fell in love. In love with mother nature and her splendor, in love with silence and time to think, and in love with shaking the stress of everyday life! 2 years later


I call hiking “recharging my batteries.” A way of ditching my worries and burning off unneeded burdens! I will be posting pics and blogs about current hikes I’m doing and planning for upcoming hikes in the future. I also plan to go back and revisit some of my past hikes to relive them with you. I hope to inspire others through my blog to get out and enjoy nature as well as to do everything within our power to protect it!

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