I love my coffee and making sure I can have high quality coffee in the morning while camping is important. I normally bring packets of Starbucks Vita for backpacking trips to cut down on weight. While they are pretty good for instant coffee, I wouldn’t call it “high quality” coffee. Luckily MSR has the perfect option for people wanting more out of their backpacking coffee. The MSR MugMate Coffee/Tea Filter weighs only 1 ounce and allows you to bring ground beans and filter them straight into any mug.
For a while I had thought about picking up a pair of trekking poles, but had waited so I could focus on replacing other gear. As luck would have it I ended up winning a contest from Sierra Trading Post for a new pair of Komperdell Hiker Trekking poles! Having never tried hiking with trekking poles before, I was looking forward to putting them to the test.
I have been using my a cheap Rayovac headlamp for a while. It got the job done, but it wasn’t very bright. After Backpacker Magazine had a feature on new headlamps, I started looking at the Black Diamond Spot. I received the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp as a gift and I was looking forward to trying it out.
Even though I have been on countless camping trips and go hiking by myself all the time, I had never done a solo camping trip. Wanting to give it a shot, I decided to check out Lake Kissimmee State Park. The park is about a 1 ½ hour drive from Orlando to Lake Wales, FL. When I finally arrived, I checked in with the park ranger at the entrance and headed in. With my gear ready to go, I slung my pack over my shoulder and started down the trail towards the Buster Island Primitive campsite: my home for the night.
Over the last few weekends I had the chance to spend some time hiking and camping in Withlacoochee state forest. I grew up in Inverness, FL, so trips to the State Forest were always part of our camping schedule when I was in Boy Scouts. Even today I typically camp there about once a year. Looking back I was pretty lucky to have such a great forest next door.
If you live in East Orlando near Avalon Park, you may be familiar with the preserve in your backyard but never given it much thought. Located right next to this area is over 9,000 acres of natural Florida. It’s an area without much amenities, but if you’re looking for miles of trails where you’ll see 4 people on a busy day you can’t go wrong with Hal Scott Preserve.
Have you ever wanted to camp on the beach along the Florida panhandle? If you’re willing to make the 5 hour drive from Orlando to St. George Island State Park and then hike the 2.5 mile trail through sugar sand, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best camping locations I’ve been to so far.
You may have noticed that I took a couple of weeks off during the busy holidays from my regular posts. Now that we’re into 2014, I’m back and looking forward to putting together some great posts in the coming year. Below are a few of the topics I plan on covering as well as goals for myself.