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A tumpline is a strap attached at both ends to a backpack used to carry an object by placing the strap over the top of the head. The strap utilizes the spine rather than the shoulders as standard backpack straps do. In North America, you’re most likely to see a tumpline being used on a Duluth Pack and/or to portage a canoe. (Canoe link opens as a PDF)

I’ve actually never used one of these while backpacking. Have you?

April 6, 2010 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 5 }

Sierra Cup

And now you know how the “Sierra Cup” got it’s name. A little more info about the ubiquitous camping cup can be found here.

March 31, 2010 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }


I know times might be a little tough in the print world, but come on, BACKPACKER, who wouldn’t want one of these?

Too much time rummaging through Google Books this week.

March 19, 2010 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 4 }

Duct Tape

If it’s always a good to have duct tape around while hiking (put it on blisters), you might as well make it tie dye, right? Right. (thx)

February 19, 2010 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Bridger Mountain Man Coyote Fur Hat

This awful thing is on sale at Cabela’s right now.

Says one reviewer:

“I have purchased a number of fur hats in my day but this is by far the warmest and most comfortable. Not only does it keep the back of my head warm but you can wrap the legs around your face to block the wind. The only reason this hat did not receive 5 stars is due to the fact that I was attacked by a bird thinking it was wounded prey while I was out for a walk. A rare but unfortunate occurrence when wearing an animal pelt on your head. Also great in the rain. Didn’t smell at all after it was wet and it makes a great present. I’m getting one for my wife.”

(Hat Tip: Get Outdoors Blog)

MP3: Arthur Russell – Close My Eyes

December 11, 2008 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

It’s Getting Cold

Time to buy one if you haven’t already:

Created in Utica, New York, United States, it originated as women’s wear during the nineteenth-century United States clothing reform efforts, as an alternative to constricting garments, and soon gained popularity among men as well. The first union suit was patented in 1868 as “emancipation union under flannel.

November 19, 2008 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }


Pendleton Wikipedia:

…In 1895 the mill was enlarged and converted into a textile mill and in 1896 began making Indian blankets—geometric patterned robes (unfringed blankets) for Indian men and shawls (fringed blankets) for Indian women in the area—the Umatilla, Cayuse and Walla Walla tribes. That business eventually failed and the plant stood idle until it was purchased by the Bishop family. When the Bishop family took over the plant they built a new plant with the assistance of the town of Pendleton, which issued bonds for the construction of the plant.

The family resumed the production of Indian blankets and introduced new designs, colors, and patterns to their product line. They also changed the construction of the mill’s Indian blankets. Prior to 1909 the blankets had round corners. The Bishop blankets featured square corners. Pendleton round corner blankets are highly coveted by vintage Indian blanket collectors. The company expanded their trade from the local Indians to the Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni peoples of the American Southwest. The Pendleton blankets were not only basic wearing apparel, but were standards of trading and ceremonial use.

Pendleton Official

Blankets awaiting transformation into jackets

Cowboy & Indian

Vintage Pendleton on Ebay

MP3: Dennis Linde – I Don’t Want Nobody ‘Ceptin You

October 9, 2008 | Clothing/Gear, Native American | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }


I doubt you could find a more comfortable pair of sandals to put on at your campsite than a pair of Gurkees, so if you happen to have a 20 dollar bill lying around and you need something to wear to State College, PA or you’re getting ready for your local nativity scene, go here and enjoy.

MP3: Brightblack Morning Light – Hologram Buffalo

September 9, 2008 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

oh yes, she will be mine

Is nothing sacred.

MP3: Pearl Jam – Better Man

August 5, 2008 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

gear up

We had some friends who recently got marooned on an overnight trip – rain, hail, wind, the whole bit.  The four of em slept half the night in a greenhouse and the other half in a 2 man tent (with one headlamp).  Now if there’s one thing that we know, its that having the right gear can make all the difference on a trip (ask Bear Grylls or JT$).  And if there’s one other thing that we know, its that the internet is a pretty good place to shop compulsively for your stuff.  If you’re into refreshing constantly and finding killer deals, might we suggest’s one deal at a time haven Steep and Cheap.  You might get hooked.

MP3: De La Soul – Me, Myself and I

June 24, 2008 | Clothing/Gear | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }