So I have finally recovered from the Demo Weekends. Thanks to everyone that helped with the events. We had some so-so weather for the San Marcos and Houston events, but everyone trudged along. Continuing on with the Camping and Kayaking theme, part two of this three part series follows:

Fire and Water: Fire, Man’s greater discovery. Fire makes everything better. Fire cooks your food, keeps your warm, and can add a romantic touch in the right situation. A simple lighter usually suffices, but as a backup you can’t deny the utility of simple Swedish FireSteel . FireSteel will spark in any type of weather and altitude. The best $12 bucks anyone could spend. Water is a no-brainer. You need a water to transport it and a way to treat the water if you run out of your Evian and have to drink from the bayou. There are chemical treatments as well as ultraviolet systems. Both are equally effective, but the ultraviolet systems are faster and over time become more cost effective. Chemical treatments like Aquamira Water Treatment Drops are fast and effective as well as easy to pack, and take 20 minutes to treat a liter of water. UV systems like the SteriPen Classic Safe Water System allow you to filter and purify a liter of water it in about 45 seconds. Lamp life on the SteriPen?utm_source=ackblog&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=blog is 8000 cycles, so in English that would mean about 2,000 gallons or 36 fifty-five gallon drums of water.

Coolers: Food and drinks MUST stay cold. Yeah, the Styrofoam one from the ‘Snappy Mart’ works just fine, but boy does it make a mess when it gets inadvertently crushed by your x-camping buddy who uses it as a camp chair. A good cooler, like the Yeti Roadie, packed properly and opened infrequently can hold ice for days, sometimes weeks, even in the hottest environments. For a less rigid cooler there are soft-sided ones like the NRS Dura Soft Cooler. Not quite as insulated as the hard-siders but still keeps ice for a day or two. We kept ice in our coolers from start to finish in The Grand. After 15 self-supported days – the margarita’s tasked fantastic on day 13 when we were sure we could spare the extra ice.

Camp Chairs: If you are hiking any distance you don’t want to carry a bulky camp seat, I recommend the Therm-A-Rest Trekker, it turns your Therm-A-Rest?utm_source=ackblog&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=blog Sleeping Pad into a comfy camp chair and takes up virtually no space. If you don’t have far to travel then a camp chair like the Crazy Creek Classic Camp Chair is simple, sturdy and comfortable, just tougher to pack. Those chairs in a bag are great but are no fun to hike, so reserve them for the shortest trips.

Sleeping Pad: Get the biggest one that fits your tent. Why not, they don’t weigh a lot and strap to the outside of your pack. The Therm-A-Rest Base Camp is super comfy and keeps you well insulated from the ground. As mentioned above, these will double as your camp chair so you get a two-fer.

Look for part 3 in a few days. Comments are always welcome and encouraged or you can send an email to