Mt. Mizugaki to Mt. Kobushi

Mt. Mizugaki to Mt. Kobushi

Monday morning. First day back to work in two weeks. “Hey honey, can I ask a weird favour?” A cautious reply, “A weird favour?” I sheepishly pleaded, “Would you mind running upstairs and grabbing my work shirt?” My calfs are still screaming. A few days ago I got home from a three day hike in the mountains along the prefectural borders of Yamanashi and Nagano. It was a great trip, and my legs were helping keep the memories fresh. Thursday…

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Ground Effect Snipers

Ground Effect Snipers

I find it helpful to evaluate my gear starting with the most important question: how well does it do its job? How well does this mattress help me sleep? How well does this stove cook my food? All other concerns about weight, durability, cost, style, etc may be important, but their importance diminishes if the item in question is really good or really bad at what I need it to do. It doesn’t matter what kind of great deal I…

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Sheltowee 20°F Boone hammock

Sheltowee 20°F Boone hammock

I feel bad. When my son got to an age when he no longer wanted to sleep in the family tent when camping, I thought a hammock might be a solution. Daniel had a Hennessy hammock that he said I could borrow, so I figured, “Why not?” Daniel gave me a quick lesson at the local park on how to set it up, and off we went. I set it up at the camp site, gave my son a sleeping…

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The Tale of Two Stoves

The Tale of Two Stoves

I don’t know what I was thinking. A week earlier I had somehow managed to convince baggage security at Tokyo airport that my Trangia alcohol stove was OK to fly. As such I didn’t have any concerns about getting it back from Sapporo to Tokyo. If it can fly one way, certainly it can fly two. After two hours of “testing” at Shinchitose airport, security couldn’t decide if there was alcohol in the stove and classified it unsafe to fly….

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My Amtrak Experience

My Amtrak Experience

I recently took Amtrak from Cleveland, Ohio, to Portland, Oregon. Even though this is an incredibly long journey by train, taking Amtrak allowed me to make multiple stops for the same price as the direct journey. For $235, we were able to stop off in Chicago as well as visit Glacier National Park for a couple of days before ending our trip in Portland. After completing the journey in coach on Amtrak, I have to say that I would happily…

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Daniel’s Search for Sleepytime Satisfaction: The Ending to the Neverending Story (aahahah aahahah aahahah…)

Daniel’s Search for Sleepytime Satisfaction: The Ending to the Neverending Story (aahahah aahahah aahahah…)

If you’re just tuning in now, you’re missing all the backstory. Click here for parts one, two, three and four! Now if you’ve read this far into my odyssey, first of all, thanks. Give yourself a pat on the back. You probably think at this point that I’ve settled on the BA system and we will live happily ever after with lots of good sleep, no pinhole leaks, and many more happy camping nights ahead of us. Remember what I…

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Daniel’s Search for Satisfactory Slumber: Good Lord I Can’t Believe There Are Four Parts to This

Daniel’s Search for Satisfactory Slumber: Good Lord I Can’t Believe There Are Four Parts to This

Click here for parts one, two, and three of our saga. Now I’m well on this journey. I have moved off of the hammock as a regular use item, I liked the thickness of the NeoAir but not the durability. I also discovered around this time that I really did not enjoy having my feet confined in the bottom of a mummy bag. After many nights spent out camping in a few different bags over the years, I came to…

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Daniel’s Dreamtime Dealings: Third Time’s a Charm?

Daniel’s Dreamtime Dealings: Third Time’s a Charm?

Click here if you missed part 2! So what’s a fellow to do? I now had two different Therm-a-Rest mattresses sitting around, neither of which suited my needs adequately. Well if you guessed doing away with mattresses entirely and trying to achieve a good night’s sleep by suspending myself between two trees, you guessed right! Behold, my brief foray into hammock camping. After reading and researching a bit in to hammock camping online, and discovering that there was a shop…

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Daniel’s Sleepytime Odyssey: Part the Second!

Daniel’s Sleepytime Odyssey: Part the Second!

Click here for Part 1! Knowing that I needed more thickness to handle the reduced surface area of my side sleeping profile, I sprang for the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite. Persuaded by the images of good looking smiling campers louging in supreme comfort on their NeoAir mattress in and out of their tents, I justified the cost to myself. This would be the last mattress I would ever need to buy, one mattress to rule them all. In many ways it…

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Daniel’s Sleep Odyssey: Part 1

Daniel’s Sleep Odyssey: Part 1

As with most things gear related, the process of finding the right sleep system when out camping or cycle touring usually takes a fair amount of trial and error. Taking recommendations from blogs, faceless forum contributors, or friends can help us narrow down our search, but we can still end up purchasing something that ends up not being quite what we want. And so that item gets sold on,  passed on, or hidden away in the basement, we consider what…

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