Posts in gear
Hiking & Camping Gear Beyond the Bare Necessities.

I find that in my hiking life I stay in the awkward space between the need and want to strip down my gear, go ultralight, fly lightweight through the mountains, and the inability to get rid of stuff. 

It's been easier to exchange the bulkier and heavier items for ultralight (and ultraexpensive) equivalents. But to get entirely rid of some things seems impossible. Not only that, I am not even sure I want to. 

I want to share with you what are the things I can't stop myself from packing, that are not necessities. I divided them into groups: practical non-necessities, comfort-enhancers, and pure luxuries. I would love to hear from you how you stand in the battle between going lightweight and wanting your comforts. Let me know below!

Read More
Gear Updates: All the Must-Haves, Upgrades, and Dreamy Wishes for the Next Season.

The dust is settling on the summer of 2019 adventures, and it's time to review my gear. Some of it, thank goodness, is still great and will serve me well for another season or two. Some are at its last breath, and some needs replacing or upgrading. It's also time when I build my dream list of gear for the 2020 seasons of hiking and camping. A few pieces are must-buys, while some are in the category of "would be awesome to have." So, let me share with you what's on my list.

Read More
Read Before You Buy: KEEN Targhee III Hiking Boots for Women Review

Finding well-fitting boots is crucial for the success of one's hike. No one wants to cut short an adventure because of blisters and discomfort.

In January I bought KEEN Targhee III boots for my Portugal hiking trip in February. I'd read multiple positive reviews and was happy with the budget-friendly price tag. Over the past fifteen years or so, I've had at least a dozen different KEEN shoes and sandals. I like the toe protection and wide toe boxes, and I think they look cute. At the moment I have three different pairs of shoes from KEEN - two pairs of sandals and one hiking shoe. There is rarely anything negative I have to say about KEEN products, so this might the first.

Read More
Early Spring Hiking & Camping Solo in Southern Europe: Your Complete Packing List

Is hiking in one of the countries of southern Europe on your mind? Early Spring is a fantastic time to do it! Escape the colds and snow of northern Europe and hit the Portuguese, Spanish or Cretan trails in February or March! The weather can be tricky though - with this packing list you will be prepared and safe :)

Whenever it gets uncomfortably cold around, I try to make my escape into the warmer regions of Europe. Over the past years, I’ve solo hiked (and camped) in southern Spain (Catalonia), on the Greek island of Crete, and in southern Portugal (Algarve). Instead of complaining about dreadful freezing air or melting snowpocalypse, I could enjoy an early spring not that far away from home.

Read More
Unlock a Better Way to Shop for Hiking & Camping Gear: Quick & Easy Gear Shopping Is Here!

Are you tired of wasting hours upon hours browsing through Outdoors stores? Not sure what gear is worth your money?

When you are just starting your Outdoors escapades, the process of outfitting your trips can be confusing and time-consuming. The choices of gear and active attire are overwhelming. However, don't worry - I'm here to help!

Based on my own experience and knowledge collected over the years, as well as reviews from experts in the field, I've created a grouping of all the hiking and camping gear and clothing you need to be safe and comfortable in the wild.

Read More
Read Before You Buy: Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System For Backpackers - Gear Review

Are you thinking about buying a water filter for your hiking adventures? Consider getting Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System - but first, read my review!

The Katadyn BeFree filtration system is a pretty recent purchase for me, but it has already managed to steal my heart. I am delighted I got it, and I can recommend it to everyone.

But before I explain all the reasons why it's a great water filter, I want to clear a few things out.

Do I even need a water filtration system for my trip?

That depends on the length and style of your hike. For day hiking or multiple-day hiking from shelter to shelter it's not really necessary.

But even on a day hike, it can get pretty useful. If you know there are natural water sources on your way, you can limit the amount of water you carry and refill during the day. This way you can hike with a lighter backpack.

Read More
Why I Will Never Be an Ultralight Hiker… and Why I’m OK with That.

There is a firm push in the hiking community to go ultra-light. Even people who don't use ultralight gear, feel or believe that's the ultimate "best" to which we should all aspire. Thru-hikers go on a constant quest to cut whatever else is left to cut, to go on a bare minimum (and sometimes even below that) to reach the UL Grail.

Obviously, there is a good reason behind it: shading some weight off our packs makes hiking easier and safer. It's less pressure on our knees and muscles don't need to work as hard to carry it all up to the hills.

Some reasons are budget-related: there is no way I can afford a Dyneema tent or backpack, for example. Other ideas are more... comfort-related. There are things I am willing to carry even though there are not necessary and even might seem silly to pack. And yet - I do.

Read More
Read Before You Buy: Gregory Maven 45 Backpack for Women Gear Review

Are you on the market for a lightweight mid-size backpack? Take a look at the review of Gregory Maven 45 - it might be the backpack for you!

I got my Gregory Maven 45 L about a year ago. I was looking for a lighter and smaller backpack than my solid but heavy Deuter Aircontact 50+10.

I had a few backpacks on my radar based on online reviews, but it just happened that I found this pack on sale and decided to get it right away. I am delighted I did.

Read More
Read Before You Buy: Tarptent Double Rainbow Backpacking Tent Gear Review

Tarptent Double Rainbow tent in-depth review. Is this the shelter for you?

Two summers ago, the Double Rainbow reached my hands. I had been planning on getting a lighter shelter for quite a while by then, and the choices were a bit overwhelming. I was going back and forth between various types of single and double-layered tents, trying to figure out what exact shape and size I can happily hike with.

Read More
My Hiking & Camping Gear Winners: Gear I Use, Love, and Recommend.

Over the past few years I’ve gathered quite the collection of hiking and camping gear. Some of it I left behind, some is set aside for another time and some is my go-to gear every time I hike and camp. I would love to share with you what is my core gear set-up, which I can recommend to you, too. Go ahead and click on links - they will take you to my reviews or other useful sites.

My Hiking & Camping Gear: the big three

Let’s start with the big three of hiking and camping: shelter, sleeping system, and a backpack. That’s the gear you want to invest in – they make or break your trip. I know it’s not easy when they tend to cost a lot but they provide you safety and comfort, and if cared well for – serve you for many years to come.

Read More