Outdoors

Grand Tetons from Yellowstone National Park

If you have been around us for any amount of time, you’ll know that we love to go outdoors. I hope you’ll enjoy the breakdown of gear and locations. I have this page broken down into camping, which is basically car camping where it’s for comfort and being in a single location for a number of days. And backpacking, which is where we carry all of our gear on our backs and travel from place to place. Enjoy our memories at the bottom of this page!

Click here to watch our recap videos of our Lone Star Trail through-hike in March 2022 where we completed 106.7 miles in 7 days.

Camping

Shelter

We are a 5 person family, plus a doggie. When car camping that means lots of stuff and supplies. We got this Ozark Trail 10 person tent around December of 2011. We have used it a number of times and find it still suits our needs. At 10’x20’, its huge, a ton of space, and is actually not made anymore. So we will continue with this until we need to replace our base camp or car camping tent.

Sleep System

Depending on how long we will be using our huge tent and temperatures overnight, etc…we have a number of options for sleeping. Momma and I have large cots, which I will get pics of and names for you on our next trip in January 2022.

Cooking

Most cooking when we base camp is done on a Coleman 2 burner propane stove. We do however utilize grills in campgrounds for cooking when available.

Headlamps

I use a Black Diamond Storm headlamp
Jen uses a Black Diamond headlamp similar to this one
Bennett and Corbin each use one of these affordable but very strong Energizer headlamps

Locations

2021

July

Palo Duro Canyon State Park Canyon, TX

Timberline Campground Jefferson,CO

Lowry Campground Dillon, CO

Copper Breaks State Park Quanah, TX

August

Inks Lake State Park Buchanan Dam, TX

October

Pedernales Falls State Park Johnson City, TX

2022

January

Backyard Campout Spring, TX

Grand Tetons in Alta, WY

Backpacking

If you’re interested in getting started or are a seasoned veteran, please feel free to ask questions or even check in to see if you can join us on a trip! It takes years to build up the gear inventory and a good bit of monetary investment. Don’t sweat that. Don’t let those things be the reason you don’t get started. Just go for it!

Backpacks

I’m currently using the Gregory Baltoro 65 liter pack. This is not an ultralight backpack but it is very sturdy. I chose it for personal comfort as well as its many user friendly features. I could go to a lighter pack but I risk damaging it quicker or it not carrying my weight load as comfortably. L5lbs 2.24oz
Jen is using the Gregory Deva 60 liter backpack.
Bennett is currently using the Magellan 40 liter backpack
Corbin us using this Gregory Jade 38 liter backpack that we got at an REI garage sale for 75% off
Davis is currently using this Camelbak 14 liter backpack with hydration bladder

Shelter

We have a few different tents used by different family members depending on who is backpacking and for how long.

We recently upgraded our backpacking tent to the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 with the footprint. This one is much much lighter than our previous backpacking tent and allows me to carry the entire tent system while Jen can carry the cooking system…lightening both of our loads. 3lbs 6oz
We had been using the Magellan Gallivant 2P. We love the tent, it has a super large vestibule where an additional person and gear can also stay. Unfortunately it’s heavier than we would like although much lighter than our base camp tent. At 7lbs 9oz total, it had to be split between Jen and I to share the load.
The boys each have one of these Magellan Arrowhead 1P tents. They are affordable, light enough and large enough. At 4lbs 4oz it is lighter than the Magellan 2P tent but still not an ultralight option.
Bennett recently got the Kelty Late Start 1P tent to replace his Arrowhead. This tent weighs in at a svelte 3lbs 12 oz it is about a half pound lighter but packs down considerably smaller and has a vestibule for exterior gear storage. Definitely an upgrade.

Sleep System

Each of us has a slightly different sleep system for backpacking. And honesty it changes in cooler or warmer weather as well.

Each of us has one of these PIDO “z pad” style foam pads with us each trip. They are 24”x72” and help make that thermal break between the ground and the sleeping air mattress. Furthermore, we use them as camp chairs, laying out to look at the stars, etc. At 8.3 oz it makes a huge difference when sleeping out on the trail.
Jen is using the Nemo Tensor Insualted Regular Mummy sleeping mattress. 1lb 1oz
Bennett and Corbin are rocking the Riptide Origins sleeping mattress. 15.1oz
I am currently loving my sleeping mattress. It’s the Klymit Static V Luxe. At 76”x30”x3” and 1lb 10.8oz it’s my go to for overnights anytime.
Since I use my sleeping bags like quilts, I actually have this sleeping mattress cover as my fitted sheet. The Klymit V Sheet. It also has a pocket which holds my pillow in place. 15.6oz Also, during warmer weather, Jen will put her sleeping mattress cover on hers and use her lightweight sleeping bag as a quilt or even a fleece blanket. 5.6oz
Jen is currently rocking this Nemo Fillo pillow and loving it. 9.2oz
Bennett and Corbin are both using this Nemo Fillo pillow. 9.2oz
I, being twice to triple the size of anyone else in my family, and using the Nemo Fillo Luxury pillow as it is the larger version. Again, I love it as well! 12.5oz
I am currently using the Outdoor Vitals Atlas 15° for my cold weather bag. It weighs 3lbs 2.9oz, which is a cold weather weight worth carrying. I actually use this like a quilt instead of a sleeping bag. That way I can side and stomach sleep with it still over me. I can do this because this sleeping bag actually zips up the middle, and that way I can leave it unzipped and have material all around me.
Jen recently upgraded her cold weather sleeping bag to the Nemo Disco 15°. She recently slept in it at 39° and said she almost got hot. At 2lbs 15oz it is a no brainer for her cold weather sleep system.
Bennett recently upgraded his cold weather sleeping bag to the Kelty Cosmic 20° synthetic. He used it down to 39° already and slept almost sweaty. At 2lbs 13oz it’s a cold weather necessity.
Our warm season sleeping bags are the Kelty Rambler 50°. Super affordable and they pack down very small for loadout. Weighing in at 2lbs 7.3oz they aren’t ultralight but they do squeeze down nicely.

Cooking

I got the Soto backpacking stove kit on sale at REI for about $25 and have loved it. The Soto 750 mL pot is super for our needs while the lid is actually my coffee cup. Everything ticks neatly inside and then fits into the convenient mesh carrying bag.
I purposefully use the 4 season isobutane/propane fuel since I never know if we will be at altitude or in cold weather when we are backpacking. Jet oil brand pictured but any will work.

Footwear

I started backpacking and hiking again back in 2018. At that time i knew my ankles and feet were not broken into trail conditions. I opted for a hiking boot instead of a trail runner at that time. From the moment I put on the Vasque Breeze 3.0 GT, they felt broken in already and I never looked back. Now, these are very sturdy and overall very comfortable, but they are heavy. I have since gotten my trail ankles and trail feet again, I have switched to trail runners which dry out quicker and are lighter weight.
The trail runners I switched to are the Merrill Meru. I love these things. I’ve dunked them accidentally in water to my knee or waist twice and they dry out overnight. They are much lighter as well. The only thing I will say is that they don’t maintain super reaction on damp or wet large rocks. Other than that they are super grippy.
Jen had also started back using her new Vasque hiking boots. However, during her proceeding few mints she realized that she has super flat feet. She has been rehabilitating and training her ankles and arches and has actually switched to the Altra Lone Peak trail runners. She doesn’t have any problems now!
Bennett is rocking out the Hoka One One Speedgoat’s for his trail runners
These aren’t exactly what Corbin wears but they are pretty close to the Magellan Hikers he uses.
Davis rocks these Merrell Trail Chaser hiking shoes

Gear

Below is an assortment of other gear we use backspacing. Check it out!

We each have a Kammock Roo Single, with Python Straps to attach to trees. 1lb 2oz
We tried Sawyer squeeze and Lifestraw gravity flow filters for on trail. However, these systems clogged up rapidly and water flow was pretty slow. I switched back to my old Katadyn Hiker hand pump filter system. I found out that the Hiker Pro replacement filters are better than the original. I also hacked my system by installing a one way 1/4” check valve on the intake hose and now I have zero loss of water on my discharge stroke.

Locations

2021

February

Lone Star Trail- 16 miles Richards, TX

March

Lone Star Trail- 16 miles Richards, TX

April

Lone Star Trail- 16 miles Richards, TX

November

Lost Maples State Natural Area- 16 miles Vanderpool, TX

Good Water Loop-Lake Georgetown- 27 miles Georgetown, TX

December

Pedernales Falls State Park- 6 miles Johnson City, TX

2022

March

Lone Star Trail- 100 miles Richards, TX

Hiking

Gear

I’m currently using the Osprey Daylite-Plus 20 liter daypack/hiking backpack
Jen is using the Osprey Daylite 20 liter daypack/hiking backpack
Beesly uses the Ruffwear Fromt Range Day Pack at 18.5 liters. Just let her carry snacks, collapsible water bowl and 2 half liter bottles during day hikes. On backpacking trips she carries some of her food and her tie-off lead

Locations

2021

April

Spring Creek Nature Trail- 3 miles The Woodlands, TX

May

Spring Creek Nature Trail- 2.4 miles The Woodlands, TX

Neighborhood Hike- 1.3 miles Spring, TX

Cypresswood Trails- 5 miles Spring, TX

Spring Creek Nature Trail- 2.5 miles The Woodlands, TX

June

Spring Creek Nature Trail- 2.8 miles The Woodlands, TX

July

Kenosha Pass- Continental Divide Trail- 2 miles Jefferson, CO

November

Neighborhood Hike- 3 miles Spring, TX

December

Cypresswood Trails- 3 miles Spring, TX

Rob Fleming Trail- 2 miles The Woodlands, TX

2022

January

Cypresswood Trails- 3 miles Spring, TX

Cypresswood Trails- 4 miles Spring, TX

Cypresswood Trails- 3 miles Spring, TX

Pics

A coyote in the fog
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Cypresswood Trails
Twin Falls at Pedernales Falls State Park
Goodwater Loop around Lake Georgetown
Jen on our cliff campsite overlooking the North San Gabriel River
My forever tent mate
Sabinal River overlook
Lost Maples State Natural Area
Blue Lakes near Breckenridge, CO
Kenosha Pass On the Continental Divide Trail in Jefferson, CO
Timberline Campground in Jefferson, CO
Lighthouse Rock in Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Spring Creek Nature Trail
Lone Star Trail
Cypresswood Trails with some guest hikers

Videos

Enjoy our adventures!

Continental Divide Dillon, Colorado July 2021
Frisco and Dillon Colorado July 2021
Breckenridge July 2021
High Plains Fairplay, Colorado July 2021
Continental Divide Trail- Kenosha Pass and Jefferson, Colorado July 2021
Palo Duro Canyon July 2021

Tell Me What You Thought!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.