Thanks Dad

Thanks Dad

One of my most vivid memories as a child is my first fishing experience. My Dad, an avid fisherman, had been patiently waiting until I was big enough to use my own Mickey Mouse fishing pole so that he could take me with him.

I remember being absolutely fascinated when my dad pulled a yellow bucket out of the water that was filled with tiny fish, that fascination was quickly followed by terror and intrigue as my dad grabbed one of the minnows and forced a hook though it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A short while later a 16 inch striped bass took my bait, but it was I who was hooked from that moment on.

I have taken up numerous outdoor hobbies since that pivotal moment, and it’s no coincidence the ones I am most passionate about are the ones my dad has done with me.

It was he who took me camping first, it was he who spent countless hours wandering around with me, it was he who drove me to Boy Scouts in a town 30 miles away every week, it has been him that has encouraged me to go on most of the crazy adventures I have cooked up throughout the years, and it is he who I call every time I get off the lake, trail, mountain, or whatever else I have decided to take on.

The time I spent with my dad outdoors was not wasted. It provided me with critical learning experiences as my father modeled to me what it looked like to be a man. My dad not only instilled a love for the outdoors and adventure in me; he helped mold and shape me through these things. I credit a lot of who I am today to the time I have spent with him and am thankful to still have with him.

I hope that you have had the opportunity to spend time with your father outdoors, because I am convinced there are few things better in life. Unfortunately, I know this isn’t the truth for many. But know, that you have the power to change that for others. Whether it be for you own kids, present or future, the neighbor child who is missing a father figure in their life, or anyone else that may cross your path. You can help instill a love for the outdoors while being a role model for someone, by taking time to be outside with them.

This Father’s day I hope you take some time to thank the fathers in your life for everything they have done. And while you are at it get outside and enjoy the great outdoors with them!

We at The Mountain Hideaway want to wish a happy Father’s Day to all the great Dad’s out there!

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All Water Guides – Austin, Texas

All Water Guides – Austin, Texas

If you’re looking to add to your Fly Fishing portfolio and mix it up from the usual Colorado, Montana or Alaskan trip, then we have the place for you. Call our friends at All Water Guides down in Austin and get a premiere guided trip for all and any Hill Country fish. Their specialty, Guadalupe Bass. This diamond-patterned green beauty is as much of a fighter as any Rainbow or Smallmouth which is why this “Texas Trout” should be on your list.

Check out their Best of 2012 Video and a recent blog post they put up regarding the Guadalupe Bass and a possible new world record with your name on it.

Tight Lines, MH Team

Gear Review: MSR Pocket Rocket & Micro Rocket

Gear Review: MSR Pocket Rocket & Micro Rocket

Backpacking is one of my favorite things to do on a long holiday weekend or time off from work. There isn’t much else out there that allows me to, as the Tolkien quote goes, wander and not get lost. Searching the wilderness for sights not yet seen by my eyes or if I’m lucky, anyone else’s.

In previous posts I’ve talked about what not to forget on a camping trip, and that’s all fun and games, but this post will be about one of the most valuable camping tools in my quiver. One that is the first to be packed, checked for malfunctions, and maintained. The camp stove is an essential part of any backcountry experience, whether your just dumping in ramen noodles for dinner and coffee for breakfast, or you’re going the whole nine yards and cooking a meal fit for the wilderness grand master you know you are.

There are tons of stoves out there that use every kind of fuel you can imagine from liquid white gas to one of the newest products on the market, the Biolite stove, that uses whatever twigs you can find. For the sake of your precious time we’ll focus on two of Mountain Hideaway’s top selling stoves: the MSR Micro Rocket and Pocket Rocket.

Let’s start with the Pocket Rocket; at 3 oz. and just about 4 in. tall, it’s definitely on the light end of the spectrum for backcountry stoves. The overall design is quite simple as well with the main burner and three supporting legs that will fit a pretty good-sized pot with low wind conditions. If the wind starts to howl or you find yourself in a seemingly perfect camping spot but it turns out to be some kind of natural wind tunnel, the design of the burner itself will lend you a hand with it’s trisection wind clip that keeps at least one third of the flame going at all times. A trusty lighter or waterproof matches will get you going on any kind of iso-butane pressurized gas mixture (even though MSR boasts that their IsoPro fuel will give you the best results). After you get the flame going the easy-to-use glove-friendly flame control will help you reach the perfect flame for whatever you taste buds desire. No pressurizing, no pre-treatments, no waiting.

The newest addition to MSR’s Rapid Cooking stoves is the Micro Rocket. If you’re thinking that they didn’t spend enough time thinking about a new name, just hold on until you send that letter to your congressman. The Micro Rocket is the updated lighter weight version of MSR’s best selling compact stove. The Micro Rocket weighs in at just 2.6 oz, and if 0.4 oz doesn’t seem like a big difference, find someone who takes less than 20 lbs total for a 5-night trip into the backcountry. In fact, that’s the only specification that changed from the original Pocket Rocket. Both stoves boil 1 liter in about 3.5 minutes, have an approximate burn time of 60 mins/ 8oz. canister of fuel, and can boil 16 liters with an 8 oz. canister at about 2 liters/ 1 oz. of fuel. One of the more noticeable changes on the Micro Rocket is how small is can pack down. The 3 support legs don’t just fold in like the Pocket Rocket, they also fold down so the total height of a packed Micro Rocket stove turns into just under 3.5 ins, small enough to fit in your camp mug. If you’re on a mission to reduce your load to the absolute minimum, this is your rocket

I’m not one to baby anything I buy for the backcountry, if I have to keep it in bubble wrap on the way up to fly fish an alpine lake, it’s not worth the money. So, believe me when I say that both stoves are waiting and ready for anything you can throw at them. I have personally stepped on my Pocket Rocket at least 3 times; the only damage done was I had to bend one of the legs back to its original position before using it again. When I’m in the backcountry, I usually throw my stove in and out of my bag, dropping it in mounds of dirt and mud before thrusting it in my bag again. But, before each trip, I put it through the paces and make sure that everything is in working order, and every time it’s like I never abused it at all.

If you were on the fence on which camp stove you’d like to add to your essential gear list, I hope this post has helped. I hope that on your next trip to the mountains you know without a doubt what item to grab first. We have both the Pocket Rocket ($49.95) and the Micro Rocket ($59.99) stocked at all times at the Mountain Hideaway because of the demand. Give us a call or check out our new website, once it’s fully functioning, to order yourself one of the best stoves on the market. And if you’re still on the fence or have more questions, give us a call, we love talking gear and vicariously going on trips through our customers.