Tag: Gear

Review: Osprey Exos 58L Backpack

Review: Osprey Exos 58L Backpack

If I could only buy one backpack for all my varied hiking needs, it would be the Osprey Exos. Dollar-for-dollar and pound-for-pound, this go-anywhere, carry-anything pack remains one of the best (if not the singular best) backpack you can buy for the trail or distance 

HOW TO: Make Your Own Camino Backpack Shell

HOW TO: Make Your Own Camino Backpack Shell

One of the universal symbols of pilgrims in western culture is the simple scallop shell. The shell is used both both for waymarking and as a metaphor for the Camino de Santiago, its lines said to represent the different routes to the tomb of Saint 

PACKING LIST: First-Aid Kit for Blisters and Foot Care

PACKING LIST: First-Aid Kit for Blisters and Foot Care

One of the questions I get from both experienced and newer backpackers alike is: what first aid and foot care items should I carry in my backpack in case I get blisters or have foot pain? This is a really serious topic for hiking, whether 

PACKING LIST: What to Pack to Hike the California Missions Trail

PACKING LIST: What to Pack to Hike the California Missions Trail

Once the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a change in my plans to hike the Via Francigena through England and France, I set my sights on walking the California Missions Trail in the summer of 2020. With abundant options for lodging, food, and resupply, the California Missions 

HOW TO: Five Tips for Urban Hiking

HOW TO: Five Tips for Urban Hiking

Nearly all of my pilgrimage trips have included some amount of urban hiking through modern cities, including the Camino de Santiago as you arrive at the Cathedral and the California Mission Trail through the major metro areas of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. 

PACKING LIST: Backpacking First-Aid Kit

PACKING LIST: Backpacking First-Aid Kit

As a lifelong Scout and Scout Leader, I’ve probably created and carried more than 30 unique first-aid kits over the years. I say “created” because – more often than not – retail first aid kits are not specialized enough for backpacking – lacking a few 

The Top Hiking GPS Apps for iPhone and Android

The Top Hiking GPS Apps for iPhone and Android

Looking for the best GPS apps for your iPhone or Android smartphone for your next hike? As a solo hiker and pilgrim, I never leave home without a GPS map and guidebook. Since your phone contains a GPS chip that does not require cellular or 

Packing List:  My Recommended Gear for Walking the Camino de Santiago

Packing List: My Recommended Gear for Walking the Camino de Santiago

In the summer of 2019, I set out on my first Camino de Santiago pilgrimage along the ancient route from Portugal into Spain to Santiago de Compostela. As an experienced hiker, I spent a lot of time researching my backpack and clothes to ensure I 

Gear Hack:  Refill Your Backpack Hydration Reservoir from Water Bottles or Filters

Gear Hack: Refill Your Backpack Hydration Reservoir from Water Bottles or Filters

As I’ve explained before, I use hydration reservoirs almost exclusively over water bottles when I’m hiking. For me, I drink more, stay hydrated, and make better time along the trail when I can easily drink from the tube without stopping. One of the biggest challenges 

The Best Hiking Poles for the Camino de Santiago

The Best Hiking Poles for the Camino de Santiago

Hiking poles (or trekking poles, as they are known throughout much of the world) are one of the most hotly debated items for pilgrims on the Camino. Some peregrinos swear by them; others swear at them.   Let’s settle the debate quickly: Hiking poles are 

How To: Sleep Peacefully on the Camino de Santiago

How To: Sleep Peacefully on the Camino de Santiago

One of the more unique aspects of the Camino de Santiago is the system of pilgrim hostels established as accommodations along the way known as albergues.  Available exclusively to pilgrims, these facilities offer an inexpensive one-night stay option along The Way.   Generally, albergues provide 

Review: Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Traveller Liner with Insect Shield

Review: Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Traveller Liner with Insect Shield

Whether I’m walking the Camino de Santiago or hiking the Via Francigena, one of my essential pieces fo backpacking gear is the Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Traveller Liner with Insect Shield. Designed as a lightweight, packable addition to your sleeping kit, this breathable barrier 

Packing List:  Trekking The World

Packing List: Trekking The World

By far the most frequent question I receive relates to how to pack for an international hiking trip. With that in mind, I’m sharing my packing list for anyone who is considering a distance hike internationally, such as the Camino de Santiago, or planning to 

Review: Garmin inReach Explorer 2-Way Satellite Communicator

Review: Garmin inReach Explorer 2-Way Satellite Communicator

Of all the gear I own, the only one item I will NEVER leave home without is the Garmin Inreach Explorer 2-Way Satellite Communicator. Why? Because – quite simply – the Garmin inReach is an essential life-safety device that keeps me connected anywhere in the 

Review: Osprey Manta 34L Backpack

Review: Osprey Manta 34L Backpack

I carried the 2019 version of the Osprey Manta 34L backpack through Portugal and Spain on the Camino de Santiago and recommend it most highly. In fact, I believe this is one of the best backpacks for the Camino de Santiago or any supported distance 

How To: Select a Backpack for the Camino de Santiago

How To: Select a Backpack for the Camino de Santiago

The most frequent question for those planning to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain is: What is the best backpack for the Camino?  From size to fit to how you will carry your pack, selecting a backpack for the Camino is a balance of