Tag Archives: backpacking gear reviews

Gear Review: Vitchelo V800 Headlamp

October 2, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Vitchelo V800 headlamp

Vitchelo V800 headlamp

Ultralight Headlamp
Vitchelo V800
$50, 3 oz. (with 3 AAA batteries, included)

On dark nights and early mornings from New Hampshire’s Presidential Range to Idaho’s Boise Mountains and New Zealand’s Kepler and Dusky tracks, and other trips, I needed a headlamp that was very light, reliable, versatile, and above all, bright. Vitchelo’s V800 met all of those standards, plus proved itself to be reliable and distinctly simple to use. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Aquamira and LifeStraw Water Filter Bottles

September 24, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Lifestraw Go and Aquamira Frontier Flow Filtered Water Bottle

Lifestraw Go and Aquamira Frontier Flow Filtered Water Bottle.

Water Filter Bottles
Aquamira Frontier Flow Filtered Water Bottle
$50, 7 oz.
20 oz./0.6L bottle capacity (with filter)

LifeStraw Go
$35, 8 oz.
22 oz./0.65L bottle capacity (with filter)

Treating water in the backcountry has always been time-consuming—until now. From long dayhikes on and off-trail in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains and Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness to a four-day, 34-mile backpacking trip on the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies, I used both of these bottles to obtain treated, drinkable water by simply bending down, filling the bottle in a creek, screwing the cap back on, and then immediately sipping from a straw—that’s it. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles

September 11, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Leki Micro Vario Carbon trekking poles

Leki Micro Vario Carbon trekking poles.

Trekking Poles
Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles
$200, 1 lb./pair (without storage sack)

From a four-day trip backpacking the Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park, and a seven-mile, 2,300-foot dayhike on the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park, to a rocky and often steep, 17-mile, 6,800-vertical-foot dayhike over the four summits of the Northern Presidential Range in New Hampshire, and an approximately 27-mile dayhike on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River Trail (and other dayhikes of up to 10 miles during a six-day rafting trip on the Middle Fork), the Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles repeatedly demonstrated their usefulness and versatility. Continue reading →

September 9, 2015 Campsite at Precipice Lake in Sequoia National Park.

Looking For Reviews of the Best Gear? Look Here

In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Readers like my gear reviews. Other than my home page, the Gear Reviews link in the main menu bar at the top of every page at The Big Outside gets more clicks than anything else at this website and blog. So I’ve created a new page, linked from the Gear Reviews button in the main menu, that organizes all of my reviews by category, so that you can quickly find what you’re looking for among the hundreds of reviews at The Big Outside. Continue reading →

September 8, 2015 Michael Lanza on the summit of Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park.

Like The Big Outside? Please Support My Work

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Gear Reviews, Hiking, International Adventures, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

A little over five years ago, I started this blog and website with a simple goal: to offer stories, photos, and expert trip-planning advice on America’s and the world’s best outdoor adventures—including many that are great for families—based on my on-the-ground, first-hand knowledge from having done all of the trips myself. Since then, it has grown larger than I expected, into a popular online source for gear reviews and my tips on outdoor skills. Perhaps most gratifyingly for me, The Big Outside has inspired families and others to get outdoors.

Now I’m asking you to help support my work on this blog. Continue reading →

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