Matador Freefly16 packable daypack

Kraig and Dave on The Adventure Podcast frequently recommend Matador products.

As I travel much of each year, I use packable daypacks nearly every day on those trips. Often it carries my laptop and other essentials for short trips.

Often I use it to carry my daily groceries.

The Matador Freefly16 has replaced my my Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil® Dry Day Pack. The Matador is slightly heavier and bulkier, but much more robust and full-featured.

This 16 liter backpack is built from waterproof Cordura® with sealed internal seams and sealing zippers.  Incredibly light and seriously equipped, Freefly16 is ready for whatever’s ahead.

Dimensions:

  • Unpacked 17in x 11in x 8in
  • Packed 4.75in x 2.75in diameter
  • 4.8 oz

details 

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

Testing water filters for hikers

Misleading and unsubstantiated claims are a problem in the increasingly confusing assortment of options for filtering water.

Here’s the most comprehensive evaluation I’ve ever seen. See how your product rates.

Survival & Backpacking Water Filter Tests

LifeStraw Mission and MUV Survivalist look to be the units that best suit my needs. They are both about 350 grams.

BEST National Parks in the World

I love National Parks. But ranking the 4000 worldwide is super difficult.

Men’s Journal gave it a try.

1. Wrangell-St Elias National Park, Alaska

2. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

3. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

4. Kakadu National Park, Australia

5. Jasper National Park, Canada

See more.

https://twitter.com/kungfujedi/status/1120704057792921600

(via Adventure Blog)

2 Foot Adventures mobile gear shop

PCT schedule 2019:

  • Warner Springs, CA – March 15 to May 16
  • Lone Pine, CA – May 24 – June TBD
  • Etna, CA – July TBD – Aug TBD

I met Mary and Charlie at Warner Springs and really appreciated their advice on very light hiking gear.

I bought my first pair of Injinji toe socks. They worked well.

2 Foot Adventures carry Granite Gear, my pack of choice for many years.

But I was convinced to try a Hyperlite next time I’m buying.

100% waterproof Dyneema®. The external mesh pockets are bigger than my Granite Gear. Weight is a bit more, however, at 2.17 lbs | 34.82 oz | 987g (Black).

There’s no doubt I should switch from sleeping bag to quilt soon. The Jacks R Better “Sierra Sniveller” 20 degree is my choice, so far.

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.

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.

NEW book – Reaching Beyond Boundaries

A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Achieving Everything You’ve Ever Imagined

I recommend this book for anyone who loves outdoor adventure.

It’s philosophy from the astonishing and inspiring life of Don Mann  … but I read it because of co-author Kraig Becker who adds his expertise as the Adventure Blogger and Podcaster

For the last decade, decorated Navy SEAL, accomplished athlete, and bestselling author Don Mann has been traveling across the country giving motivational talks and in the process inspiring hundreds with the secrets behind his awe-inspiring achievements. …

As an elite Navy SEAL, Mann performed seemingly impossible tasks on a regular basis. Here he details the lessons he learned from his training and shows how the rest of us can apply those teachings to our daily lives in terms of learning to push beyond our internal boundaries and achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves, both professionally and personally. …

Amazon

I recommend the audio version of the book because it’s read by Don Mann. That ownership makes his extreme stories come to life for me. When you hear Don’s voice, you know he’s the real deal. The kind of guy who could push himself to the point of passing out during extreme exercise. The kind of guy who will not quit.

The book intersperses Don’s life storyhundreds of outdoor races included — with stories of the people who inspired him.

Reinhold Messner, for example.

Before reading this book I’d never heard of the fantastic first American, all-woman summit of Annapurna in 1978. That blew my mind. They were decades ahead of their time.

I recommend this book even if you are an armchair adventurer. It’s going to make you want to get up off the couch and get outside.