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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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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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