Propane vs. Gas: The Camper’s Debate

 

Propane vs. Gas: The Camper’s Debate

 

Although they say every “opinion” is worth about two cents nowadays (and if you’re career happens to be in politics it’s worth even less) there are some definite facts that come along with choosing what is easier and better, between propane and gas, to use in the Great Outdoors.

 

backpacking, environment, summer, travel, propane, white gas, hunting, camping, fuel options, bio-fuels

Let us begin with the issue of ease. It is absolutely true that propane is one of the easiest fuel sources to use. After all, you screw in the container, turn on the valve, and simply light the gas that’s exiting the burners; how much more ease can you ask for? Seeing as that propane is already under pressure, you do not have to pump it or do anything special. When you’re talking about white gas (Coleman fuel), you have to pump the container up, heat up a bit of the fuel, and then ignite it. So it obviously takes more time in the set up and start up categories than when speaking about a propane stove.

 

Propane stoves for the camper also provide the benefit of ease when it comes to transportation. There is no need to worry about filling it up, spilling fuel by mistake, or priming the stove, which makes it more fun and less of a chore for the individual when it comes to enjoying their camping experience.

 

Although this is starting to sound like propane runs away with the race, it is important to note that even with all the benefits, propane does have some definite problems that you will encounter with gas stoves. Propane is not able to be used in very low temperatures. Say you’re looking at a forty degree hunting/camping/fishing weekend. Or maybe you are an ice fishing lover and will sit in 0 degree weather or less; if that is the case, propane is definitely off your list and white gas is the one and only choice.

 

If we’re talking about backpacking instead of driving that RV or camper up to your site, propane also is not the one you want to go with. Although it’s easy to transport, that benefit falls apart when talking about throwing it into your backpack for the long trek. Propane containers are heavy and they are not disposable. Seeing as that garbage cans can usually not be discovered on top of the mountain, you will also be forced to carry those containers back down with you. When it comes to gas containers, they are lighter and smaller, which makes the backpacker far happier.

 

In addition, when it comes to refilling the propane canister – the small ones, that is – you will be unable to. You will be forced, instead, to trash them in a landfill, whereas white gas stove containers can simply be refilled.

 

When you get down to the brass tacks of cooking, another issue also crops up when speaking about cooking with propane. Simply put, when propane burns, heat, light, carbon dioxide, and water are produced. When the water vapor comes in contact with your food it alters the taste ever so slightly. This is why many choose to use charcoal to cook instead of propane, because the briquettes offer a great flavor to the food.

 

Keep in mind that there are three types of stoves to choose from: Canister stoves, which are easy-to-use, low-maintenance stoves that typically screw onto the threaded tops of self-sealing fuel canisters that contain two pre-pressurized gases (isobutane and propane). Liquid fuel stoves, which are extremely versatile stoves that connect to refillable fuel bottles, not only white gas. And, last but not least, Alternative-fuel stoves that is a category that continues to grow bigger with each passing year. More and more backpacking and camping stoves are being made that run on fuel pellets or actual wood.

 

Make sure that the size, ease of transportation, and the ability to run the stove in certain temperature are all issues you take into account before choosing what is right for you. Whereas propane might be perfect for that family camping trip, your backpacking excursion most certainly will call for the smaller, easier to carry gas options.

 

But no matter what, keep those Great Outdoors safe and have one heck of a trip!

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Eat Well While Enjoying the Great Outdoors

 

Eat Well While Enjoying the Great Outdoors

 

The Great Outdoors is a stunning place to hike, explore, and commune with nature. It is also a haven where you can stop, take a breath, and inhale everything Mother Nature has to offer. However, the one thing many do not understand is that they can also ‘inhale’ come extremely good food, if only they had the right information and tips when it came to planning and preparing food for their backpacking trip. Even the backpacking fan knows that, other than water and some extremely comfortable shoes, food is something you have to have. It is a piece of the outdoor “gear” that must be taken into consideration before venturing outside, because your body needs that fuel to keep going in order to enjoy each and every step of your journey.

It is a fact that you can eat far more than oatmeal and granola bars out there. When it comes to nourishment, pack those food items that weigh the least but deliver the most calories. The market for these particular foods is growing each and every day, by the way. From pre-prepared soups (which are great for their water content) to freeze-dried and powdered foods that actually taste good and add minimal weight to your pack, stores like Whole Foods and others provide choices you never even imagined.

 

As you think about your outdoor menu, think about dumping the original container and cutting meals down into serving-size amounts that you can carry in sealable bags. Less bulk and less trash will be had.

 

If you take those fresh fruit and veggies along, make sure to eat those first to get rid of the weight as soon as possible.

 

Not to mention, always remember to pack just enough food to get you through your planned trip, plus an extra cold meal or two in case you run out of fuel. Packing too much can hurt the body.

 

Then comes the backpacking stove. “Stove” is a difficult word to deal with when thinking about what you need to carry. But a backpacking stove is perfect for those who want to enjoy a little flavor with their scenery.

 

The best method to use when cooking dried foods with your backpacking stove, is called boil-soak cooking. Not only is it extremely efficient for the backpacker, but it also allows you to conserve both fuel and water.

 

When using the boil-soak method, set up your backpacking stove on level ground in a location that’s insulated from the wind. Add the required amount of water to your cooking pot and light your stove. After putting the lid on the pot, bring the water to a rolling boil, then turn off the stove and insulate (a fleece jacket or pot cozy can be used) around the cooking pot to retain as much heat as possible. Leave it alone to rest at least 10 minutes (or as instructed on the meal pack). After that, simply lift the lid, stir in those beloved herbs and spices to make it taste absolutely delicious, and enjoy!

 

This method always prepares food the same way: with the lid on tight, the steam is absorbed into the food to help it cook, rather than dissipate away into the atmosphere. From soups to stews to pasta, you can practice before heading out on the trail and end up becoming a super backpacking chef.

 

There is also, of course, no-cooking backpacking for those who do not wish to carry the stove, or for those who have run out of fuel and the crackers and granola bars are long gone. Again, with the outdoor industry growing, there are more than a few dry foods on the market that supply a hearty meal for the backpacker. All you have to do is soak the food in cold water and enjoy. From rolled oats to couscous, there are definitely choices.

 

As far as snack foods are concerned, everything from pretzels to some hard sausages and cheeses will keep for several days on that exciting hike. In addition, peanut butter is a great backpacking supply. Just take it out of the jar, put it in a baggie, cut one corner off so you can squeeze the peanut butter on your bread, and then re-store in another baggie. And never forget breakfast, while on your hike. If you need extra warmth, make sure to take along a few flow-through coffee and tea bags, instant coffee packets or hot chocolate to really enjoy that sunrise.

 

Just make sure that your stomach never has to pay for your great day. When heading out on that trail, be safe, have fun, and learn that you can definitely have great meals while also having a great time.

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

 

Where to Vacation?
Go Big or Stay Home!

by Amy Lignor

We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy these jaw-dropping wonders. However, whether you are a backpacker looking to “become a journeyman” and all you need is the price of the plane ticket; or one that is saving up for that “ultimate trip,” these are locations where either can go to create memories that will be among the greatest and grandest of their entire lives.

create memories, gateway to the world, Germany, backpacking, go BIG, the place to be, Ecuador, Morocco, India

Let us start with the island of Kauai in the United States. For those who are unaware, Kauai was the stunning backdrop for the Jurassic Park movies. Taking aerial tours will show you the sea cliffs of the Na Pali Coast that reach into the sky like monoliths towering over the water below. When it comes to exploring the island on the ground, just hiking along the marked paths is a photographer’s dream. Heading onto the floor of Waimea Canyon, or through the bogs of Alakai Swamp, visitors hike through the largest mahogany forest North America can boast. Whether journeyman or someone looking for luxury, Kauai is awe-inspiring beauty to the ‘nth’ degree.

When talking about remote, rustic and a place that actually offers up reindeer farms and snowshoeing, the Arctic Circle in Lapland, Finland is yet another “big” vacation that will never be forgotten. Staring up at the Northern Lights, Finland is filled with national parks, historical sites, and hiking sanctuaries for those seeking silence and tranquility that can be found nowhere else on Earth.

Another country that people are saving every nickel to visit is India. Here, the wild tiger population is growing by leaps and bounds (thankfully), and being able to see those regal Bengal tigers is a true vision that can only be viewed here in the U.S. inside an IMAX theater. Which is fine, of course, but definitely takes away from the magic of it all. In Central India, the Madhya Pradesh national parks are absolute havens for these wild tigers and visitors can even ride the Indian Railways’ new Tiger Express tourist train to go on the ultimate safari.

In Ecuador’s Chocó region, visitors can actually be a part of the primeval cloud forests – these are areas filled with the richest plant and animal life on the planet. North of Quito, these Andean slopes shrouded in fog play home to hundreds of species of birds, the rarest of orchids and air plants, as well as the olinguito – which just happens to be the newest mammal species discovered here in 2013. Can you just imagine exploring these sites by flying through the clouds on a zip-line Sky Bike? The immensity of this one-of-a-kind spot offers both thrills and chills.

For those looking to “go big” in the city and see beauty they’ve never before seen, Marrakech, Morocco is just the place to be wowed. With colors that set the imagination on fire, this former imperial city is now a major economic center that allows visitors a look at some of the most amazing palaces, gardens and mosques to be found anywhere. Mazelike alleyways allow people to come upon thriving, busy marketplaces packed with traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. Even the famous fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent used Marrakech’s kaleidoscope of colors as his own palette when creating his vibrant fashions.

Another city that deserves to be on the “big” list was enjoyed by Hemingway, himself, who was so intrigued by the place that he called it “The Capital of the World” in one of his short stories by the same name. This is Madrid, Spain, and is a cosmopolitan fantasy come to life. With everything from parks and gardens to street artists and more than sixty museums, Madrid is all about creativity and class.

Last but not least is Germany’s “gateway to the world.” Although many plan trips to Berlin, it is Hamburg that takes the breath away. This floating city located on the Elbe River near the North Sea is a maze of canals that rivals Venice, itself. You can cruise the canals and take in the spectacular views of one of the world’s largest historic port warehouse districts and even visit the brand new concert hall complex that was built atop a brick warehouse providing stunning views of the city.

So whether heading out as a nomad with a backpack and a dream of viewing some of the world’s biggest sites to be seen; or one with money in the bank looking for luxury in a new locale that just has to be part of that proverbial bucket list – these “big” locales are the ones to see!

Original Source:  St AUG News