Over the years I’ve received a lot of questions about gear I use when I’m on trip. The answer basically boils down to “stuff that won’t break and makes my life easier”, but it’s taken some time to find things that fit that bill (and I’m still looking in a lot of cases!). In this section, you’ll find my thoughts on various pieces of gear I’ve used. These are taken from my monthly Thunderbox Gear Review segment. So if you want gear reviews hot off the press, make sure to subscribe to that newsletter (or just check back here from time to time. Whatever works).
The Eureka NoBugZone is a lightweight but somewhat bulky addition to any pack. It can be a pleasant shelter from the mid July sun and early August rain. It can also be the last bastion of sanity from the mid June swarms. It combines a good sized footprint, sturdy tarp and mesh walls to keep the bugs away and the rain off your head. My full review is here.
The Opeongo Aerial A1 Tent is a combination tent and hammock. It’s also the most comfortable shelter I’ve ever slept in on a camping trip. While it’s got a couple of areas for improvement, this tent has been a game changer for my nights in the Park. The full review is here.
A couple years back I picked up a Brookie Solo Canoe from Backcountry Custom Canoes. These boats look like they’re made of tissue paper but are tough as nails. They’re also light as a feather and nice to look at as well! My full review is here.
Water. We all need it. But how do you get it in the backcountry? This edition of Gear Review looks at the various water treatment options I’ve used over the years before narrowing it down to what I think is the best option of them all. Read about it here.
Kuhl has been my go-to campsite pant and fleece for a while now. Recently, I had the opportunity to try out their Transcendr softshell and was not disappointed. To see how they stood up to skiing, hiking and generally being outside during an Ottawa winter, read on.
Picking a paddle has to be one of the most personal decisions you make. Everyone is going to have a favourite style or paddle maker and every style or paddle maker is going to be someone’s favourite. For me, I had 20 great years with one paddle, and am just starting out with a new one (after the old one decided to take early retirement in the middle of a trip). You can read about them both here.
I understand that an E-Reader probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think camping gear. But, trust me, adding a Kindle to my kit has been one of the biggest game changers as far as pack weight, pack space and general trip enjoyment goes. Here’s why.
The Venustas 7.4v heated jacket is a great mid-weight jacket for fall hikes and front country camping. With a good battery life and multiple heat settings, this jacket provides an extra bit of warmth when you want it most. My full review is here (full disclosure, Venustas provided me with this jacket to try out).
A review of my experiences with the Therm-a-rest Neoair Uberlite sleeping pad. An ultralight sleeping pad that packs down to almost nothing, is comfortable to sleep on and has one serious flaw. Want to know what it is? Read on!
Gear reviews are featured in each issue of The Thunderbox. If you want to get my up to date thoughts on various pieces of gear, feel free to add your email in the box below. You’ll receive the monthly Thunderbox update and trip reports as they are published.