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Choosing a Backpacking Stove

A stove is among the most important items you’ll be toting as a backpacker, not least because food is going to dominate a lot of your thoughts out on the trail, and because heating water for tea, coffee, and cooking meals are natural linchpin rituals of your wilderness days. And obviously this is a subject matter very close to our heart here at Mountain House. If you’re a beginning backpacker, though, choosing a backpacking stove can seem a bewildering challenge given the number of options. That said, as with any piece of outdoors gear, the process of selecting the best … Continue reading

Overnighting in a Fire Lookout Tower

Historical landmarks and symbols of our complicated and ever-evolving relationship with wildland blazes, the fire lookout towers of America’s wildernesses and semi wildernesses also make one-of-a-kind backcountry accommodations. Scores of decommissioned towers are available for rent, offering charming and generally pretty unforgettable overnight lodgings with invariably awesome views.   A Snapshot History of America’s Fire Lookout Towers For decades, fire lookout towers (sometimes called firewatch or ranger towers) provided surveillance of wildfire activity in rough, rugged, often roadless country. As fire suppression became basically nationwide policy in the early 20th century, lookout towers proliferated—especially via Civilian Conservation Corps work during … Continue reading

7 Day Camping Food Meal Plan

Fact: everything tastes better when you’re camping. From the first cup of piping hot coffee, to the highly-anticipated gathering around a fire for dinner, camping food is a joy to prepare, and a delight to devour. Without the conveniences of home like a refrigerator or oven, longer camping trips may seem daunting when it comes to meal planning. So start simple! Check out this basic 7-day camping food meal plan so you can head into the wild ready to explore, and with more time to savor the adventure! Breakfast Camping Food Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, whether … Continue reading

5 Family Camping Activities

The tent is up, the snacks are out, and the kids have already explored 98.63% of the campsite and are itchin for more. What to do? Gather up all your campers, big and small, and play some games, one and all! Here are 5 of our favorite all-ages camping activities.  CARD GAMES “Got any 4s?” “Nope! Go Fish!” It’s a classic for a reason, folks. A pack of cards is super portable and invites hours of play that encourages strategy, patience, and cooperation. If the wind picks up, take it inside the tent and get cozy with a game of … Continue reading

Bear Country 101

For more than a few hikers and campers in Canada and the USA, there’s no greater fear than an encounter with a bear. Bears are the classic bogeymen of the North American wilds: the go-to explanation for any thump in the night outside the tent or crash in the underbrush along the trail. The danger they pose, however, is vastly overrated, and every outdoorsperson should appreciate the ecological value and brawny spirit represented by these intelligent, resourceful beasts. Your average bear will normally go out of its way to avoid a run-in with a human being. Many bad bear/human encounters … Continue reading