My Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

Want to be comfortable and sleep well when on the trail?

I recommend this very expen$ive quilt / sleeping bag.

It was the most popular sleeping bag or quilt for those spending months on the Continental Divide Trail 2021.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I really like their strap system.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I opted for the 20 degree (6C) 850 down fill version. Regular length. Wide. This should keep me warm and comfortable on all my typical outdoor adventures. Even Norway, Faroe Islands, Iceland.

Enlightened Equipment gives you hundreds of options. You can custom order exactly what you want.

Though it’s down, apparently I will be able to wash this bag.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody

GearLab awarded the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Hoody Editors’ Choice award for the best overall down jacket.

But I bought mine after seeing how many thru hikers use it on the Continental Divide Trail. They can beat this up for months without destroying the warm layer.

I am a little worried about the ultralight zipper.

NOT CHEAP. I paid CAD $341 including taxes and shipping. But it will be well used on adventures where weight and bulk are critical.

On colder trips, I’ll bring it along with my beloved Helly Hansen LifaLoft jacket.

  • highly compressible
  • DWR (durable water repellent) 800-fill RDS®-certified down insulation
  • Ultra-lightweight ripstop fabric
  • stuffs into its own hand pocket with internal carabiner clip loop
  • 8.8 oz. / 249 g

Click PLAY or see the original Men’s Ghost Whisperer on YouTube.

Personally, I don’t like the form fitting shape — so bought the XL. For me it fits much like a normal jacket.

Read the full review.

Magnetic Cutlery for Travel

Full Windsor sent me a sample set of their Magnetic Flatware.

And I’m impressed.

High quality. Durable. And the magnetic coupling is super slick.

There’s no way I could possibly bend or break the spoon as I’ve often done in the past with metal and titanium. The knife has a serrated edge that could cut wire!


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I’ll be doing a detailed video review on my next multi-day adventure.

PCT Hiker Gear 2021

I did the John Muir Trail in 2021 and had a good chance to check out thru hiker’s gear in person.

Most surprising to me were the increased number of sun hoodies.

Mac posted his annual Pacific Crest Trail Hiker’s Survey, interviewing 654 thru hikers.

  • Average backpack size 53.9 litres
  • Average sleeping bag rating 16.8°F (-8.44°C)
  • Most popular app ~  FarOut Guides (formerly Guthook)

Most Common PCT Backpacks

  1. ULA Circuit
  2. Gossamer Gear Mariposa
  3. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest

Most Common PCT Shelters

  1. Zpacks Duplex
  2. Gossamer Gear The One
  3. NEMO Hornet 2P

Most Common PCT Sleeping Bags/Quilts

  1. Enlightened Equipment Revelation
  2. Enlightened Equipment Enigma
  3. REI Magma (Men’s/Women’s)

Most Common PCT Sleeping Pads

  1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite
  2. NEMO Tensor
  3. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite – Women’s

Most Common PCT Insulated Jackets

  1. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 – Hooded (Men’s/Women’s)
  2. Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex (Men’s/Women’s)
  3. Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody (Men’s/Women’s)

Most Common PCT Shells

  1. Outdoor Research Helium II (Men’s/Women’s)
  2. Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite 2
  3. Montbell Versalite (Men’s/Women’s)

Click through for details.

How to Film Yourself

by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I’ve worked pretty much every day during pandemic on improving my video creation skills.

And learned a lot. It’s an art and science.

Here are my TIPS for taking video of yourself when solo adventuring.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Some of gear included:

If that video helps, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 📽

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.

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