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Author: jacopple

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.

The Grocery List: The 5 Worst Things to Forget While Camping

The Grocery List: The 5 Worst Things to Forget While Camping

Jacob Copple Camping PictureEverybody has that feeling. The feeling you get when your ride pulls up to your driveway or you take your first steps away from your long term parking spot at the airport. You utter those famous pre-trip words either in you mind or to your travelling companion: “I feel like I forgot something”.

It can conjure up the same butterflies in your stomach you get before a presentation or meeting with your boss, and for some people those butterflies (sometimes the size of hummingbirds) stick with them all the way to their destination. No matter if it’s something as big as your wallet or something comparatively smaller like a toothbrush ( I realize for some this might be as monumental as forgetting your wallet, but come-on really?).

So here at Mountain Hideaway we came up with a list of top 5 things not to forget on a camping trip. Now, every time you go on a trip you can look at this post hanging on your bathroom mirror, which I assume you do with all the Hideaway Outdoors posts, and double and triple check that you have everything on this list. Because without these 5 items, your camping trip will be littered with moments of torture and despair.

5. Equipment for a Good Night’s Sleep

For some reason I always hear about these people, they’ll be on a camping trip about to leave the car and head to whatever campsite they’re hiking to or unloading right after arrival, and out comes they’re favorite swear word. Forgetting your toothbrush can be easy, but forgetting something like a rain fly, sleeping pad, or sleeping bag is on the border of ridiculous. Make sure you go through a typical day out hiking while you’re packing, just don’t forget to go to bed in your senario.

4. Camp Stove

Backpacking food isn’t great, and car camping food isn’t that much better even though it might seem like it when you’re famished after hiking or climbing all day. So when you have to eat all of your dry food from lunch or tomorrow’s granola bar for dinner, it takes a routine trip down a peg to on the border of miserable. Unless you like crunchy dehydrated food or cold hot dogs, then by all means, go ultra light and keep the Jetboil in your closet. But, if you don’t want to see your group get real grumpy in a hurry, bring the stove.

3. Rain Jacket

Not everyone likes the cold, but it’s pretty safe to say that no one enjoys being cold and wet. Leaving your rain jacket at home can seem like a trivial thing to do when you’ve gone through your checklist and packed your backpack to the brim, but trust me, the one time you do decide it’s ok to leave the rain jacket at home on the hanger, is the one time that Big Bend will get 4 inches of rain in the same weekend.

2. An Extra Pair of Socks.

Going lightweight is the name of the game in backpacking, that’s why you’ll see titanium sporks that cost $50. Keeping the ounces off your back will make you’re trip more enjoyable, and I get that. But, trying to keep the blisters at bay when your only pair of socks is drenched from 4 straight days of hiking in them isn’t worth the extra couple ounces left at home. Bring the extra pair, if you don’t need them, it’s more than likely that someone in your group will.

1. Coffee

This may seem like the least important of the five. It may seem trivial that leaving your coffee at home would beat out leaving your sleeping pad on a winter backpacking trip, but consider a trip without everybody’s favorite bean-based drink. You get up and have to drink hot water while your friends stare you down because they trusted you with the coffee. You set up your French Press, start the water to boil and then you freeze, hunched over your backpack as you gaze at the bottom nylon. Please, don’t subtract yourself from enjoying the rich bold taste of (insert favorite coffee brand here). When you’re not racing to the next camp site or deflating your sleeping pad faster than your buddy, enjoy your time while sitting back with a cup of coffee as it warms your hands and helps you take in the view.

Take it or leave it, there’s the list of Mountain Hideaway’s 5 worst things to forget on a camping trip. This may seem silly to someone who has always remembered everything or who packs everything they’ll need for a week long trip on their weekend outing, but trust me, you do not want to leave home without any of these 5 things.  Then again, if you’re itching for an adventure and a horror story to tell all your friends, purposefully leave everyone of these at home. I promise you the climax of your story back at the pub will be “And then we realized it…. We forgot the coffee.”