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Hiking Must Haves: Be Prepared for Anything



Whether you are a hiking pro or an amateur, there are some hiking must haves that will make your experience more enjoyable and comfortable. The type of gear you choose will be determined by the kind of hiking you are involved in. This can either be:

  • Day hikes
  • Backpacking
  • Trekking
  • Walking tours

Also, when picking your hiking gear, other factors will determine what you need to carry with you. Such factors include:

  • Duration
  • Distance
  • Activities planned
  • Natural environment
  • Applicable government regulation

Preparing for your Hiking Checklist

When planning your hiking trip, you might be required to understand the challenges and conditions for each voyage. Also, gather enough knowledge of where you are going on a hike.

A pair of boots and a backpack - hiking must haves

This information is helpful in guiding you on what you need to pack.

Factors to consider before making the checklist

  • Water availability: Water is essential, especially while hiking in the scorching sun. In this case, you need to have plenty of it in your backpack. There are places, however, that have plenty of water sources, saving you the stresses of carrying water with you. Be sure you know the distance between the water sources. This information will help you decide the amount of water you need to fetch to sustain you until the next stop. Also, being aware of the type of water source, either fast running or stagnant, will help in determining the kind of water purification method you need.
  • The expected daytime and night temperatures: Knowing the kind of weather and temperatures to expect during your expedition, determines a lot what to carry. You can depend on weather forecast stations to know about climate changes. Consider using the historical weather changes of the area you are going to, to predict the possible weather condition. Night temperatures can profoundly interfere with your sleep. To avoid getting cold as you sleep, make sure you have a warm sleeping bag and also use a ground pad to provide insulation and warmth. On hot days, you need lighter clothes and a lot of drinking water to keep you hydrated. Also, consider lighter shoes and socks. Wearing light clothes prevents you from burning up or even slowing you down due to the excess heat. While checking out for temperature rate, it is necessary that you also keep an eye on the perspiration, cloud cover, and the intensity of the sun’s heat. Thick cloud cover might be a sign of an upcoming storm, in which case you require shelter to keep you dry. Hot solar accompanies a clear sky in most cases. In this case, you will need to wear sunscreen to protect you from the UV ray. When hiking on the extreme south or north, you should consider wearing a sun hat to protect you from the sunset and sunrise rays. In these cases, you might also consider bringing headlight to use in the dark.
  • Number of people in the group: The number of people in your hiking group affects the amount of luggage you carry. The more the people there are, the better as you will distribute the stuff amongst yourself. You should also decide all together, on the type of cooking you want to do. In case you cook as a group, you will need a larger stove. Each person in a group carrying their stove is easier, but then, eating together is more fun. Also, when there are many of you, chances of somebody getting hurt are high. Consider carrying a more extensive first aid kit with extra supplies.
  • Animal threat: Depending on the area you are going hiking, you should consider having protection against animals and pests. If the destination is bear infested, bring along your bear spray. A bear bell is also useful in preventing a surprise encounter. Have your hip belt at hand and a shoulder strap since anything is possible. If the destination is warm, humid and windless, be ready for an encounter with bugs and mosquitoes. In this case, you need to bring an insect spray and wear clothes that don’t leave any skin exposed. You can also treat your clothes with permethrin days before hiking to repel the bugs. Regardless of whether you are in a bear infested area or not, bringing a stuff sack and parachuted rod to store your food on trees at night safely, is crucial. It protects it from rodents such as mice. For bear infested areas, consider packing your food in bear canisters.
  • Expected trail mileage:The length, condition, and the terrain of the trail, matter a lot when you are preparing your hiking checklist. If the distance is long, consider reducing your gear as much as possible. Also, consider using hiking poles to help keep you balanced and release the strain on your knees. The terrain condition can be determined by checking with the local trail sites. In the case of muddy and snowy trails, you might consider using a bit heavier boots for extra traction. At some point, you might be needed to cross rivers. It is important to determine the depth and bring a pair of sandals to change into to keep your feet dry. The terrain affects the type of gear you carry with you while hiking, meaning that you need sturdy and strong equipment if the destination is rocky and sandy.
  • Remoteness: Some hiking destination might be too remote without network signal. You need to determine how you would reach out for help in case an emergency occurs, when in such places. You might also consider if the place has many hikers within the area who can offer you immediate assistance.
  • Fire restriction: It is always fun to make fire while camping or hiking. However, you need to consult with the authorities in the area you are hiking, to see whether it is allowed or not. In some regions, there are restrictions against using certain kinds of wood as they may cause diseases and pests in the area. In such a case, you should buy firewood from the local center. Also, in places where there is limited deadfall, you should consider bringing your own.

a group of backpackers on the trail

The Essential Hiking Essentials

The following list contains a list of equipment that will save your life throughout your backpacking adventure. You do not necessarily need to use them on a daily basis, but they will be helpful at one time or the other. Also, while shopping, and counting on this stuff for your survival in the wilderness, you need to know that experience, and good judgment is of great importance. You do not necessarily have to be a hiker your entire life to possess the items from the list. Instead, you can learn from other people’s experience and read a lot of materials on hik ng topic.

Having the right equipment is one thing, knowing when to use it is another. That is why common sense is an essential tool that you need to possess all the time. Regardless of the place or the length of your hiking trip, using our list correctly can make a big difference in your entire expedition.

Here is the list of the most essential hiking essentials:

Pocket Knife and Tools

This is one small piece of equipment that is small yet has multiple functions in the wilderness. It can serve in:

  • First aid
  • Making repairs
  • Food preparation
  • Cutting mile skin straps
  • Cutting ropes

A Swiss pocket knife mainly comes with a variety of features all wrapped up to 6 ounces.

  • Cap lifter
  • Corkscrew
  • Wood saw
  • Slip joint
  • Nail file/cleaner
  • Pliers/wire crimper/cutters
  • Can opener

However, when buying a pocket knife, you need to be conversant with your needs.

Victorinox Swiss Army Swiss Champ Pocket Knife

If there is a certain feature incorporated in a knife, but you do not use, you can leave it to cut on weight.


You need an appropriate map for the area you are going. It should be detailed as possible and reveal all the necessary information. The most critical thing, however, is knowing how to use it!


A good compass will save you from losing your track.Just as the map, you should be in a position to read it well.

Stanley compass on a map

Consider buying a compass that possesses the following features:

  • 0-360 degree reading with a 2-degree increment
  • Has a base plate about 3”-4” long and has a straight edge that will correctly take map bearings and determine the distance on the map, accurately.
  • A liquid filled map is recommended as it has minimized fluctuation while the liquid protects the magnitude needle and the jewel bearing.
  • It should have an adjustable declination to help account for the difference between true north and the magnetic north. A compass uses magnetic north, while the map uses true north. To avoid having to calculate bearing every time, use a compass which is adjustable.
  • A clinometer is another important feature for measuring vertical angles and especially helping you in determining the steepness, map positioning, and possible avalanche.
  • A foldout mirror enhances the reading of the compass by positioning it in such a position that distance objective and the mirror are visible at the same time.

Flashlight/ Headlight

A flashlight is essential for both day trips, and multi-day hiking trip since you never know when you might be required to walk the last mile after sunset. Use a flashlight that is both small and lightweight. For handheld torch, use a regular bulb to avoid too much battery consumption. Also, make sure you only use it to carry out small tasks around the camping site. A headlight might require a brighter beam as you will need more light during path finding.

FourSevens MMU-X3R Flashlight

Avoid flashlights that use on/off button as the button can easily jam. Instead, go for the ones that need body and head rotating to turn on and off. Consider the following features when buying this valuable tool:

  • An all-weather flashlight is the best.
  • Buy the one that comes with extra bulbs in its housing.
  • Choose a headlight that accepts or comes with bright beam bulb.

Eye Protection

While going for hiking a pair of prescription contact eyeglasses is important. It keeps your eyes protected from UV rays and especially in higher elevations. It also protects you from mountain skies and light reflecting from the snow while hiking in snowy areas.

Backpacker with eyeglasses

A good pair of glasses should be lightweight and durable enough and optically correct.

First Aid Kit

It is crucial for attending to minor injuries. Especially carry a lot of adhesive Band-Aids and sterilized bandages since they cannot be improvised

Extra Clothes and Food

You cannot predict that the hiking will go all as planned. Sometimes inclement weather might make you get trapped, or you might lose your track, hence delaying you for more days than you had planned. To be on the safe side in case it happens, you need extra day’s food and clothes.

Extra Clothes for Hiking

Make sure the food needs no cooking or need little cooking in which case you will require more fuel. An emergency shelter is necessary. Since you are trying to minimize on weight, consider buying a vapor barrier liner. It offers you additional warmth in your sleeping bag, and in the case of emergencies, it acts as a shelter.

Waterproof Matches and Fire Starter

Waterproof, windproof or all weather matches are a necessity when you are packing your hiking essentials. They should be separate from your normal matches and should only be used in emergencies. A fire starter, on the other hand, is helpful when you want to light wet wood. You can buy it or use plumbers wax.

Water Filters/Bottles

If you are conversant with the area you are going hiking, you already know the type of water bodies around. You also know how much water you need to sustain you until you reach the next water point.

A man using Water Filter

Make sure before using the water you either purify or boil it to kill germs. Make sure you are using lightweight bottles.


A whistle can save you a lot if you get lost, or someone in your group does. In case you get hurt and seeking for assistance, it can be of great help. The best whistles are plastic since they are plea-less and therefore useful even in the mountains.

Sunburn Protection

Depending on your capacity to withstand solar heat, choose the most appropriate sunburn protection. Using lightweight clothes and hats with skirts to shield your neck.


Apply enough sunscreen to any exposed skin and ensure you bring some more sunscreen with you to keep on applying regularly.

Insect Repellants and Clothing

If you have gone hiking during summer, then you know there are lots of irritating insects, including mosquitoes, biting flies, and other bugs. You can protect yourself by wearing lightweight baggy clothes (baggy clothes will leave no skin uncovered when you bend).

Woman using insect repellent

Another option is carrying an insect spray.

Extra Precaution

  • Travel Medical Insurance – while backpacking far away from home, you never know when a medical emergency might occur. For this reason, it is necessary to take an insurance of urgency.
  • Avalanche Safety – avalanche should not stop you from hiking, camping or backpacking in areas they occur. But you need to take an extra precaution of having tools such as: snow shovels (an ultra-light shovel can help you dig out one of your hiking mates in case they get buried in snow); wands with flags to strategically place in your paths and especially at night ( they ensure you do not miss your track in case snow buries your way at night); avalanche beacons and probes ( the traditional ones are slowly being replaced by digital ones, but whatever the case, they are a must if you are hiking in avalanche prone areas. They help you in pinpointing the area where an avalanche is possible.). Having these tools might seem obvious and silly, and to some, they are easy to ignore, but they are for your good and safety.
  • A Weather Station – when hiking in the mountains or you are canoeing, a weather station is an essential. It should include the following instruments: altimeter (for measuring the altitude. When used in combination with the map and compass, you can easily know your exact location. Luckily enough, there are hiking watches that incorporate an altimeter and a compass.); anemometer (it can help you determine the wind speed when you are in the waters); barometer ( it helps you determine atmospheric pressure and hence predict the weather and altitude. Similarly, some watches incorporate a barometer.); hygrometer (you can use it to determine the amount of moisture in the air.)
  • Portable Phones – they are a great way of contacting each other in case you take different routes. Ensure you only use them for emergencies to preserve power.


Wrapping it up

Your hiking destination will determine a lot the kind of clothing you should carry. Make sure you have done a previous survey prior embarking on the trip. The most important thing when hiking is using your knowledge of the wilderness. Take your time to study the area you are going and thoroughly familiarize yourself. Doing this can save you while packing your checklist.

Also, while planning a hiking expedition, try to go as a group to help in sharing the necessities. There are some items, however, that each should carry their won. During the trip, make sure you keep same track, and in case you have to separate, let no one go on themselves. This way, you will always be there for each other.

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The Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bag: The Most Important Outdoor Gear For Adventurers




The difference between backpacking and hiking is that the former implies you will spend at least a night in the wilderness. As a result, backpacking can be quite different from hiking, especially when you consider the duration you will be spending outdoors and the kind of gear you will need to take with you.

However, whether hiking or backpacking, a rough night spent in the wilderness could ruin your entire experience. Since a sleeping bag is crucial for most of these trips, looking for one that suits you will go a long way in ensuring you have a memorable expedition.

The best sleeping bag should cover you in a cocoon of comfort and warmth, enabling your whole body to recover, so it’s ready for the next day’s expedition. But selecting the right gear can be a little cumbersome.

That is why we are going to show you the Western Mountaineering Cypress Gore WindStopper -30 Degree Sleeping Bag so you will have to search no more! This semi rectangular sleeping bag is so comfortable and warm, that you can literally sleep in really frigid temperatures and still stay toasty inside! Let us dive into all of the information about this summer time sleeping bag!



Your sleeping bag will come compressed in the package that is just a little bigger than 6 x 14 x 22 inches. The package weight should be about 7 pounds and include the sleeping bag as well as the stuff sack so you can compress your bag down to a size that lets you tote it around.

Durability and Design

This sleeping bag is designed to be semi rectangular, very warm, and cozy. It is designed with a storm flap, draft tubes that keep cold air out, and is weather resistant with the Gore Wind-Stopper. It is also highly durable, has a left side zipper, and will last you for many years of outdoor adventures! This sleeping bag has proven to be great for summer use, but it can be used on warm winter nights as well.

It has a temperature rating of 25 degrees F, so it will work down past freezing temperatures. It may get too warm for you if the temperature outside is too warm, but it gives you the ability to vent the sleeping bag so you do not feel too warm or get sweaty. This bag is made to give you the perfect sleeping experience no matter where you are sleeping. If you feel the need for more padding, you can put a sleeping pad inside of it with ease.

Shell and GWS

The shell of the Cypress GWS is excellent and adds to the amazing features of this bag. This component is extremely water resistant and highly breathable as well, given its weight-to-performance ratio. The GORE-TEX WindStopper shell offered by Western Mountaineering makes the sleeping bag ideal for use in humid areas as this feature is water repellent. Good breathability, is essential in a cold weather sleeping bag as the build-up of perspiration will compromise the down’s lofting power during your extended trips.


The Western Mountaineering Cypress LZ Gore WindStopper Sleeping Bag is amazingly wide, with more girth and insulation compared to other bags, in its rating. Even though the Cypress GWS isn’t a mummy bag, it’s capable if keeping you warm at thirty degrees Fahrenheit.

With an average loft of eleven, this bag will engulf your body with a wall of the best thermal protection. The bag consists of 850+ fill power premium goose down. The Cypress Gore Wind-Stopper is an excellent way to cover yourself in a warm goose down as each of them is filled with almost fifty ounces of it.

In addition to its excellent fit, the Cypress GWS Sleeping Bag is made of a down collar that runs on the upper side of the chest to prevent heat from escaping during the night. Additionally, this product has a full zipper which is significant for venting in warm weather. The down filled draft tube is also important as it helps prevent side drafts.

A goose down is the most compressible and the lightest insulator available, giving a bag a surprisingly high warmth-to-weight ratio. In that case, a 30o down bag would weigh less compared to a synthetic sleeping bag of the same rating. Down insulation is important for hikers or backpackers who are looking to pack more efficiently.

Manufacturer Recommendations

  • Do not store a wet bag. Always ensure the sleeping bag is dry before you can store it
  • For goose down options, never store them in a stuff sack. Store them in large bags, such as the laundry bags. The synthetic options are quite forgiving and can be stored, at least for some time, inside the stuff sack
  • If you have to wash your bag, make sure you utilize a front-load machine, with some cold water and soap.
  • Never dry clean a bag, especially those filled with goose down.

 Value for the Money

The value of thus sleeping bag is one that is hard to bear. One of the greatest reasons why most backpackers would go for quality down sleeping bags is that these products have a long lifespan, and the Cypress GWS is not an exception. Compared to the synthetic products, these models can be easily stuffed and unstuffed without damaging their insulation. If you can acquire a quality sleeping bag that can handle the on- and off-trail adventures, you’ll be able to save a lot of money in the long term.

At about $1,130, the Cypress GWS sleeping bag is quite worth the investment. In addition to that, if this bag is able to withstand abuse, and can sustain being used for an extended period without losing its efficiency, then it’s worth the investment. Given its features, the Cypress GWS can be used for all backpacking adventures, as well as periodic ski tours and mountaineering expeditions. These aspects are what make it a go-to option whenever you are in need of something that can serve you efficiently while in the wilderness.

Cypress LZ GWS utilizes down from free-range mother geese. With its features, you can use this bag to climb mountains and camp in areas you’ve always dreamed of. As the wind blows through the night and the cold is almost freezing your bones, you can zip yourself in the Cypress GWS for warmth. As mentioned, the bag is packed with 850+ fill power down to create a loft of about 11” so you are able to sleep soundly, dreaming of accomplishing your tour objects come the next day.

The Gore WindStopper shell fabric offers the weather resistance you desire in extreme temperatures and weather. Who would have imagined that all the warmth of this sleeping bag can weigh in at about 7 pounds?

The Cypress GWS comes with outstanding features that make it suitable for your outdoor needs. These include an insulated draft tube on the inside of the zipper combined with a storm flap covering on the outside, a three-dimensional draft collar (insulated), a GWS outer shell material, and a second zipper that allows the bag to open entirely around the foot. Other features of the Cypress GWS are as follows:

  • Full down collar
  • 64/39” foot/shoulder girth
  • Insulated external hood ruff
  • 5 ¼” V-block side baffle

This sleeping bag compresses down to a smaller size in a compression sack. This is an important aspect for backpackers looking to save some space on their pack. If you are a mountaineering enthusiast, you are aware that the size of the sleeping bag is directly proportional to the size and weight of the backpack you carry, since it takes almost fifty percent of the space in the pack.

The GORE-TEX WindStopper fabric, the soft, lightweight, and lofty materials of the Cypress GWS make this product quite attractive and a suitable place to sleep in. If you prefer comfort over anything else, then this is the right product for you. It offers the softest and most comfortable touch compared to most sleeping bags within the same ratings.


  • Temperature rating down to -30 degrees F
  • 50 oz of down filling
  • Weather resistant, Has Gore Windstopper
  • Adjustable Collar
  • Warm and well insulated, includes storm flap
  • 5 inches of loft


  • Very pricey, over $1,000
  • Only comes in one color
  • Gets too warm around 50 degrees F

When it comes to choosing a backpacking equipment such as a sleeping bag, there are numerous aspects you will need to consider to ensure you make the right choice. This guide provides some essential pointers that will help you to make an informed decision as far as selecting a sleeping bag is concerned.

Make sure you choose a bag that has the features that will enable you to survive the outdoor conditions. One of the best options that would suit you during cold weather camping and backpacking is the Western Mountaineering Cypress LZ GWS Sleeping Bag.

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Jetboil Stove Review: The All-in-One Integrated Stove & Cookware System




Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Nobody enjoys doing chores. Unfortunately, even when you’re out in the wild these necessities can be unavoidable. Cooking, cleaning, heating, washing… these are simply requirements if you want to stay at all hygienic during your outdoor expeditions. Our best advice is to simply get them over with as quickly as possible.

The more efficient you are about these activities the faster they’ll be done and the quicker you can get on to enjoying fishing, hiking, hunting or other adventures. The easiest way to speed these things up is to utilize the right equipment and we think we’ve found a real wonder on the market. The Jetboil Flash adds a whole new level of convenience to outdoor water heating & cooking.

So much so that we’ve decided to provide you with a full write up of its features and how it could be used to make your next outdoor trip even more fun by minimizing your ‘chores’ time. So without further ado, let’s jump straight into discussing the features of The Flash Personal Cooking System in this Jetboil Stove review


In less than two minutes the Jetboil Flash can help you prepare a hot drink or an instant hot meal. This is the ideal choice for anyone who is in need of efficient cooking/boiling energy. The Jetboil Flash is well-organized, lightweight and fast.

High fuel efficiency, and all-in-one package, means that you do not need additional cookware. Here are the specifications that make the Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking System special.


The very first consideration to make when shopping for an outdoor cookware is packaging. The Jetboil Flash Personal is one of the lightest, weighing in at 0.88 pounds when removed out of the box. The weight along with the system’s dimensions (7.09 by 4.09 by 4.09 inches) makes the stove the ideal choice for backpackers. The cookware will fit comfortably in your backpack.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Apart from the weight and dimensions, the major benefit of the Jetboil Flash Personal cookware is simplicity. Basically, it contains fewer parts: 1 liter of the FluxRing cooking cup, adjustable burner, and fuel canister. The fuel canister and stainless steel burner stow suitably inside the cup. This makes backpacking remarkably easy.

Design & Durability

The cooking system’s construction is undoubtedly higher end with the burner being made of stainless steel and the cooking cup of aluminum. Both these metals are known for their durability, which is an incredibly important factor when assessing outdoors products. You want to know that a bit of rough and tumble won’t break your brand new stove, and we’re fairly confident you can be sure of the stove’s durability.

The cookware seems to be a cooperation of a well-made cooking cup and an unrivaled ignition system. Out of the box, you will observe at first glance the cute packaging. Each piece fits in the cup for easy transport. This simply signifies how resourceful and versatile the design is when compared to other backpacking stoves in the market.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System and moutains in the background

The multipurpose plastic cover found at the bottom of The Flash Personal Cooking System’s cooking cup is very useful for the minimalist outdoor packer. You’ll find that it has three uses (that we can think of), namely use as a measuring cup, a small bowl, and as a protective cover on the bottom of the cooking cup to keep your hands from being burnt by the heat while you enjoy whatever is inside.

The cooking system has a clever tripod for added efficiency. The tripod is specifically engineered to be used on rugged terrain and accommodates the little stove perfectly. We think the idea has a fair bit of merit, and anyone who has spilt hot water on themselves before, is sure to agree. The tripod doesn’t add any inconvenience to your transportation needs either as it folds up and fits with the rest of the system into the cooking cup.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System and moutains in the background on the table

The cooking cup of The Flash Personal cookware not only includes something useful at its base (the plastic cover), but also at its top. Built into the neoprene upper lining of the cup is a wonderful little heat indication window. This window will slowly turn orange as the interior contents of the cup heats up, which is a highly resourceful feature when boil water.

You could probably tell that the cup is ready without this window when you are boiling water as the device tends to make a small bubbling sound and let off some steam. Where the heat indication window really shines is when you are cooking up a delicious rehydrated mini meal. Just sit back and relax and wait for the little window to turn orange to let you know your food is hot and ready to be consumed.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

The Flash Personal Cooking System is ready to go in any weather thanks to the elemental resistance screen. The system not only runs off hot jet fuel, but protects its flame from wind and rain by utilizing a barrier around its flame area. This is great because when it is cold and rainy what can often help to brighten your mood the most is a nice cup of hot cocoa or coffee – this stove makes that possible.

Ease of Use & Efficiency

To use the stove, you have to link the canister to the clever tripod. There is an ignition button, which you have to push to turn on the stove once you have switched on the gas flow. The igniter has actually simplified your work. Then add water to the 1 liter cup and have it fixed to the stainless steel burner. The one liter capacity will allow you to prepare two cups of hot coffee or cocoa in two minutes.

jetboil-flash-components on the table

Basically, the one liter capacity is sufficient, but you are strongly urged to boil less amount of water at a time to circumvent accidents. The reputation of the Jetboil Flash Personal cookware is attributed to its boil time. In actual fact, the boil time is the main reason why most outdoorsmen like the cooking system. Impressively, the stove boils one liter of water in two minutes under normal conditions, and four minutes in extreme conditions.

Storage after Use

To ensure the durability of the cookware, you have to store it correctly after every use. Once you are done cooking, turn the control valve off so as to put out the flame. Then go ahead and separate the cup from the base of the stainless steel burner. Have the stabilizer removed from the fuel canister. At that point, unbolt fuel container from the burner base.

JetBoil Flash Personal Cooking System - components

Make sure you replace the plastic fuel cap. For easy storage, position the stabilizer in the bottom of the cup, followed by the burner base, and eventually the fuel canister. Place the lid to secure the items inside the cup. Never forget to disconnect the fuel cartridge once you are done cooking. To ensure the cup is not damaged, you are advised to wash it by hand.

Unique Features

Jetboil FluxRing Technology: The burner is handily connected to the cooking cup by use of FluxRing tech. This ensures there is minimal or no heat loss during boiling or cooking, thus better boil times.

Built-in Windscreen: Unlike traditional camping stoves that are known not to function properly in windy conditions, the Jetboil Flash Personal has a built-in windscreen that allows it to perform exceptionally in windy climate.

Cooking with Flash Personal Cooking System

A Resourceful Neoprene Lining: The cooking cup is enclosed by a neoprene lining that maintains the warmth of drinks and food for the considerable time duration. The lining also incorporates a color changing window that always signals when food or drinks are hot.

Quick Ignition Ability: The quick ignition ability of The Flash Personal Cooking System makes it ideal for big families who will have multiple users handling it. There is an auto-start filament built into the system which enables the jet flame to be created without the use of matches. Anyone who has ever forgotten to pack matches for their trip will know that this is a big help.

Value for Money & Guarantee

The Jetboil Flash Personal Cookware is worth your every dollar. The price is reasonable when you consider its amazing features and performance, especially its boil time. At approx. $100, you get a fully functioning stove that prevails both in normal and windy conditions. Some individuals may consider it to be an expensive unit; but camping and hiking enthusiasts will appreciate the price.

Flash Personal Cooking System

There are compatible accessories and products that are sold separately, including: 1.5L cooking pot, 1.8L spare cup, 1L tall spare cup, and an 8-inch FluxRing fry pan. There is a manufacturer’s warranty for the cooking system in case it does not perform as expected under normal use. However, the warranty does not cover damages due to improper use, accidents, negligence, poor maintenance, and normal wear and tear.

The Jetboil Flash Personal is the best backpacking canister stove system that addresses the shortcomings of traditional cooking systems. The most defining feature of the Jetboil Flash Personal is the fact that it is an integrated stove system. As aforementioned, it combines a fuel cartridge with an effective built-in windscreen, stabilizer, stainless steel burner and a FluxRing cooking cup.

As far as the Flash Personal cooking system is concerned, every part has its unique purpose and contributes to the general performance of the stove. The FluxRing heat exchanger makes sure that the flame is uniformly distributed at the base of the cup so as to maximize fuel efficiency. The creative temperature indicator alerts you when food or drink is hot and cooked, saving fuel.

Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking System and two adults passing by

The adjustable burner is enclosed by an inbuilt windscreen so as to reduce heat loss and at the same time improve fuel efficiency. You really do not need a match to ignite the stove, since the push button electric igniter is enough to start a flame. This makes the Flash Personal System a very reliable choice for emergency situations other than regular outdoor adventures.


  • Stabilizing tripod base for added convenience & safety
  • Plastic cover acts as a measuring cup, small bowl & heat protector
  • Interactive cooking window indicates when food is hot & ready
  • Fabric cozy provides helpful handle and attractive exterior
  • The overall construction is high quality with durable materials
  • Resistive barrier allows the stove to be used in any weather conditions
  • Auto-start filament for matchless immediate ignition included


  • 32-ounce capacity only provides enough room for 1 or 2 people rehydrated meal preparations.
  • Relying on the supply of isobutene and propane gas (unable to run off renewable energy)
  • Does not work well in high altitudes and very cold climates. 

A decent Jetboil stove is a worthwhile investment that can take hours off your outdoor ‘chores’ time over the course of years. The Flash Personal Cooking System is one of our favorite choices because of its clever design and easy portability. If you’re looking to create quick and easy meals or simply boil water for purification, then it’s a great option.

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BioLite Stove Review: Highly Efficient and Good in an Emergency




biolite-gear in a storeAre you an avid camper, hiker, fisher or general outdoors enjoyer? If so, then you’ve probably already discovered the amazing benefits of having a decent campfire. An outdoor stove takes that one step further and provides you with not only warmth and light, but a convenient fireplace to cook/boil water over as well. Add to that functionality the USB charging ports built into BioLite Wood stoves and you’ve got the best thing since portable tents.

These smart stoves are absolutely amazing. As such, we’ve decided to write a full BioLite stove review on our favorite one: The BioLite Wood Burning Campstove. We’ll cover the good, the bad and the ugly about this little stove in this review. So if you’ve been looking for a camp stove in general or at this one in particular, then be sure to read this review. We’ll start with the specifications.



This unit will be shipped to you in a 5 by 5 by 8.3 inch box that weighs 2.9 pounds. The unit itself is lightweight and compact, weighing in at 2.1 pounds. This means that you should have no trouble fitting it in a backpack in case you need to carry it with you on a hike. Plus, it definitely won’t weigh you down.

People cooking outside on BioLite Stove

The stove consists of two main components: the stove itself and the power module (where the USB port, fan and internal battery are located). The power module can be placed inside the stove when not in use, reducing its size considerably to be the same as a 1-liter Nalgene water bottle. It also has a grill top for balancing your pots when placed on top the stove. It also comes with a nylon stuff sack that you can place it in after unboxing for proper storage.

Design and Durability

The BioLite Wood Burning Camp stove is a sturdy piece of equipment built to make outdoor fire use easy. Its technology features are some of the best in the outdoor stove industry, including both a USB charging port and fans to help fires burn hotter. That it runs off biomass as well makes this stove particularly attractive due to emergency and environmental benefits.

The stove’s frame is mostly made up of aluminium. This metal is known for being both strong and lightweight, which is a great combination for any portable item. Although still too heavy to carry on extremely long hikes, we certainly think it’d earn an easy spot in the car or boat transport as well as short backpack trips.

BioLite Stove on a table

The creators of the stove have made it a good size in terms of dimensions, not adding more than needed but not leaving anything crucial out either. You might want to test carry an item of similar weight and dimensions to ascertain whether this stove is right for you.

Overall the shape and outer design of this stove are well thought through. They complement its inner, smart technology design well, by making it functional. We appreciate that they’ve kept it relatively small so as to make it easier to transport. There are a few other feature worth mentioning though, so here’s our take on the main features to be aware of if you’re thinking about buying this stove.

Unique Features

This stove comes with some rather unique features that give it an edge over the competition.

Thermoelectric Generator: This BioLite Campstove allows its owners to personally generate electricity from nothing more than burning wood. This means that you can choose to take a variety of USB chargeable items with you when visiting the great outdoors and charge them as you cook or boil food/water. This thermo-electric generator is perfect for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors while remaining contact-able.

USB chargeable on BioLite Stove

You’ll get approximately 60 minutes of talk time on regular smart phones from 20 minutes of charging time on a strong fire. We’d recommend turning off your electronic devices now and again anyway to enjoy the outdoors more, but in general this is a fantastic concept. The best part about it is that the thermo-electric generator technology works off principles and airflow, meaning it’s usable for as many times as you want or have wood for. No running out of battery charge ever again!

Burn Increasing Fan: The internal fan and gas jets built into the BioLite Campstove is ideal for outdoors people who want to get their fires up and running quickly (and don’t we all?). Having appropriate kindling or dry wood certainly helps, but isn’t a necessity with this cool stove’s design.

BioLite Wood and a waterfall in the background

The HI/LO set-able fans push air into your fire which improves the combustion system. You’ll get a hotter, more efficient flame, much faster, and some find the air circulation helps with smoke control as well. If you intend to get started on making your fires late in the evening, this is a perfect choice for you.

Biomass Fuel System: The BioLite Campstove takes renewable energy to a whole new level. The system not only runs off renewable biomass like twigs and sticks found while out and about, but also takes that renewable energy and turns into electrical energy to charge your devices with! We love that it’s not reliant on coals or petroleum. It’s a much more environmentally friendly approach to fire starting and we give it a big thumbs up for that.

Two persons cooking on Biolite Wood stove

NOTE: This stove would be useful in emergency situations because it is not reliant on petroleum or electricity to start. You can charge your electronic devices from it, despite power line outages using just biomass (twigs and wood) from your surrounding gardens. Stay on the grid!

User Friendly Interface: The big, ON button, and easily discernible USB charging port on the BioLite Campstove, are just a couple of the user friendly features of the design. When looking for a smart camp stove you ideally want something that anyone can use. This system makes it easy to start fires by storing a little charge to fan your initial fire starting with.

Barbeque on BioLite Wood stove

That means even beginner fire starters should be able to get the flames going in this stove. For those who have tried fire starting themselves, you’ll know it’s not always as easy as it looks, especially if your wood is damp. That’s why the user friendly fans and gas jets to help start this stove’s fires are so great.

Value for Money and Guarantee

Once you consider how much you will actually be saving in terms of purchasing fuel for a gas powered stove, the decision to get the BioLite Campstove becomes easy. Furthermore, you also don’t need to buy any extra emergency battery packs in case your phone dies on you.

Cooking diner on BioLite Wood stove

The unit costs approx. $130 on Amazon. It is currently not available on the BioLite website, so people looking for this unit will have to purchase it on Amazon. Once you add up the specifications, it is easy to tell that getting the BioLite Campstove will provide you with great value for your money.

We would definitely recommend this BioLite Wood Burning Campstove to anyone looking for a high quality piece of fire making and cooking outdoor equipment. Do, however, ensure that you are aware of the size and weight of the item prior to purchase. To get it to your outdoor spot you’ll have to transport it!

In addition, we’d also recommend taking a couple of small fire-starting cubes and some waterproof matches with you when you head out. This will make the fire-starting process even easier, though the design of the camp stove makes that pretty easy already.

Cooking on BioLite Stove in the wild

A final note is to choose pots and pans to use with this system that are metal, no more than 10 inches in diameter, and no more than 8 pounds in weight. Other than that, this stove is ready to go. You’ll find it adds a whole new level of cool to your outdoor experience and makes cooking/boiling food/water so much easier. When it comes to camp stoves it can be worth digging a little deeper in your pocket to get a great multifunctional product, that will go the distance with you.


  • Compatible with most common USB devices
  • Can generate better flames than average stoves because of its fans and gas jets
  • Easy to use scalloped upper design supplies a sturdy surface for pots and pans
  • Cool to the touch safety conscious honeycomb exterior
  • Aluminium frame is lightweight and strong
  • Smart technology runs completely on biomass fuel which is renewable and readily available


  • Slightly heavy
  • Somewhat bulky

(Some may find that carrying a portable camp stove around is too inconvenient when they know they can just find sticks and build a fire on the ground at their destination site).

A pros and cons list is good to ensure that you get an unbiased review, and we hope that you agree with us that the pros more than make up for the cons. This is based on our educated opinion, and we are confident in recommending this stove as one of the most highly efficient, easy-to-use and useful outdoor stoves around. If you take it to the great outdoors for off-grid living, you will not be disappointed.

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