Risk of Hiking Injury

A survey of more than 700 John Muir Trail thru-hikers gave researchers insight into what makes a hiker more likely to get injured or ill while backpacking. …

First off, the (2018) study didn’t find sex to be a determinant of getting hurt or sick on the trail.

Here are the factors correlating with injury:

  • younger age
  • higher BMI (body mass index)
  • higher BPW (base pack weight)

Surprisingly, older hikers reported fewer adverse events on the JMT.

… Often abbreviated as BMI, body mass index is a measure of the size of the human body, calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms dividing by the square of their height in meters. …

The study’s authors found that base pack weight correlated with an increased risk of illness and injury; the heavier the pack, the greater the likelihood of morbidity.

This Study Predicts Who Is Most Likely to Get Hurt in the Wilderness

I hiked the John Muir Trail myself in 2021 at age-63. And found myself ‘healthiest’ on finishing after 19 days. I got in ‘shape’ by hiking.

Helly’s LifaLoft jacket – my review

Kraig Becker sent me an early prototype of a Helly Hansen LifaLoft jacket for my 2019 trip to Patagonia. I wore it non-stop for a couple of months cycling and hiking in wet, windy and sometimes cold weather.

LIFALOFT™ is not down. It’s arguably lighter and warmer.

The idea is to trap a maximum amount of air in a small space. And due to the hydrophobic properties of LIFA®, LIFALOFT™ has an inherent water repellency that should keep you warm, even when wet.

It worked for me as advertised.

Glacier Vinciguerra, Ushuaia, Argentina

Cerro Guanaco trail, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina under a rain shell

The best test came when I got caught in a surprise downpour while hiking without my shell. I was worried.

But next morning the LifaLoft looked and felt 100% perfect.

UPDATE:  I bought two more LifaLoft jackest – in different colours and sizes.  I often wear two rather than a heavier down jacket.  

I machine washed and dried one jacket.  It come out looking like new. 

Kraig sent me this to replace my FAILED Columbia OutDry down jacket. It was useless after 7 months.

The Helly Hansen is far superior. The Colombia failed — I think — because it couldn’t handle being frequently compressed into a stuff sack. The HH LifaLoft seems much more durable.

In Patagonia Helly Hansen is the go-to brand for serious sailers and outdoors-people. Developed in Norway, HH is tested under the worst weather conditions.

For future hikes in moderate weather where weight is a big consideration, I’ll be carrying the LifaLoft and just a waterproof ultra-light Frogg Toggs shell.

My new Jetboil Stash

I’m won over. I’ll take the Jetboil Stash over any of my other hiking stoves for any adventure where weight is a consideration.

What I like:

  • weight 7.1 oz (without fuel)
  • size ~ compact nesting design
  • pot can quickly and easily be removed from the flame (in case of boiler)
  • 100gm fuel canister snaps into the lid


  • no auto-igniter
  • you might need to carry an additional bowl for mixing your dinner with the boiling water
  • 2.5 minute boil time seems a bit long for that volume of water


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Airlines and Camping Stoves 😕


I’ve made hundreds of flight over the years with camping stoves in both carry-on and luggage — and only really had problems in New Zealand. They are VERY strict on all camping equipment, not wanting to introduce foreign pests.

But in 2021 I’ve had stoves questioned twice. The were not confiscated.

Friends had stoves taken and not returned!

Air Canada last week — for example — took my very clean JetBoil and had to have it approved by SOMEBODY before I could take it on the plane.

Here’s the Air Canada policy on that.

Here’s some advice from Backpacker magazine.

And some advice from CyclingAbout.

And advice from MSR.

I’m flying to Europe Nov 1, 2021 with a NEW camping stove in the box. In my carry-on.

Photo by Vanessa Garcia on Pexels.com

My NEXT Backpacking Stove – the Stash

JetBoil has finally perfected the hiking stove. It’s called the STASH.

When my MiniMo (orange) finally retires, I’ll switch to the smaller, lighter Stash.

UPDATE. I just bought the Stash for my upcoming trip to Portugal.

I’ll fly with it in the box — unused — so the airline can’t claim it’s a flight hazard.

Read Adventure Alan’s detailed review.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

%d bloggers like this: