BioLite Camping Lites Follow-Up

Got to use these a bit…

A couple weeks ago I wrote about BioLite camp lights and all of the various options they have.

I took them with me on a recent camping trip and the SiteLite Minis were a huge hit with my family. We strung them inside of our big family sized REI tent and when it was raining in the later afternoon and evening on a couple of the days, I had the Minis powered by the Base Lantern XL that I got on sale over Memorial Day weekend.

Part of what I was trying to figure out was what all we would actually use and what would end up staying in the bin of camping gear. The minis and the baselantern worked great.

BioLite Headlamps

Before the trip, I broke down and bought my kids new rechargeable headlamps from BioLite too. I was tired of the batteries in their cheap headlamps running out and having to buy new batteries.

These were another hit with the family as my kids loved having their own headlamps …and I didn’t have to worry about them running out of juice since I could just recharge them from the BaseLantern XL.

Win win.

Overall Impressions

I like them.

They’re a super fun addition to the campsite, not completely necessary (except headlamps in my opinion) but they are nice to have.

I liked having the BaseLantern XL as that also serves as a powerbrick should I need to recharge basically anything…plus the light it puts off is great.

If you’re looking for a fun campsite addition to your gear box…I would recommend these lights for sure.

image via BioLite

Best LED Rope for the Outdoors? Luminoodle Basecamp

These things are so freakin cool…

I started researching outdoor lighting back when I stumbled across the Biolite Mini and I was planning my first real camping trip with my whole family.

I had actually book marked another led light string (from Lightforce that I’ll link here) that I purchased…but like most research I do on gadgets…I couldn’t stop. Somehow I stumbled across a top 10 list and the Luminoodle caught my eye.

This was actually a Kickstarter campaign back in 2015 and the company has continued to grow from the original product line.

The Basecamp version is 20 feet long, has a remote to control brightness and colors, and runs off of a 12v socket (or 12v battery pack…not all usb battery packs are 12v).

Let me tell you…1000 lumens of leds really lights up a campground.

Check them all out here (not affiliate links).

Links of the Week (6/22/2020)

Gadgets, wanderlust, and climbing…

This is one hell of a knife.

I’ve owned a Benchmade knife for years and love mine.

Benchmade Bugout, Believe The Hype


If you’re feeling a bit of wanderlust at the moment, but are stuck at home waiting out the pandemic, perhaps this video will help.

Video: Antarctica—Land of Extremes — The Adventure Blog


Head out to any crag these days, and you’re as likely—maybe more likely—to see people scrolling through Mountain Project on their smartphones as you are to see them leafing through traditional guidebooks.

I remember when MP first started up…never thought my stack of climbing guide books would be obsolete. still cool to see this site continue to grow.

Mountain Project and REI Split, New MP Partnership To Be Announced Soon – Rock and Ice


Some of the most famous climbers in the world, such as Lynn Hill, came from gymnastics backgrounds. When I started climbing, I had a high degree of bodyweight strength and conditioning from my time in gymnastics and parkour

​I was a gymnast and let me tell you, lots of that translated to climbing. But just like this author, I had to work my climbing technique before I really started to progress.

From Weak to Strong: An Expert Gymnast’s Training Guide | Evening Sends

Happy Early Father’s Day

To all the Dads…

I know that Father’s Day isn’t until the 21st, but since I’ll be out camping with my family that day…Happy Father’s Day!!

Funny enough I was talking to my mom recently and asked her about the first time I went camping as a kid…thinking we had started when I was about 7 or 8. She laughed and said that my younger brother was still in diapers when we first camped (we are 20 months apart).

My mother told me that she just stripped us both naked and we played in a creek for a whole day in the Sequoia National Forrest. And she got to read a book for the first time in 5 years.

Hearing that just made me smile and realize even more how much a part of being in the outdoors is a part of me.

Photo by Samy Santos on Pexels.com

Being with my mom and dad camping are some of my fondest memories of my childhood, so I am incredibly excited to start forming those same memories with my own kids.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you know that my handle is @patagoniadad (or a slight variation)…and I’m proud to have that dad part of me out there.

To all the fathers out there that are trying make sure they keep their kids alive, fed, happy, and socially well-adjusted…thank you.

Happy Father’s Day.

Links of the Week (6/15/2020)

So much outdoors…

Despite characteristically capricious weather and relatively brief weather windows, this past summer season in Patagonia proved to be an exciting one for climbers, paragliders, and BASE jumpers alike.

​The pictures alone are enough to inspire you to get out there.

Highlights from Patagonia’s summer climbing season: new routes, linkups, paraglides and BASE jumps – Alpinist.com


Getting big sponsorship dollars to pursue your outdoor adventures is a dream for many people. After all, who wouldn’t want to make a living hiking, backpacking, traveling, and pursuing your other passions.

Makes sense…but good to hear it distilled down here.

Video: How to Get Sponsored in the Outdoor Industry — The Adventure Blog


Being able to fix a tire on your bike is a fundamental skill that ever rider needs to know.

​As someone who accidentally ran over his own bike recently, this is a video I needed to watch.

Video: How to Fix a Flat Tire on Your Bike — The Adventure Blog


Solo backpacking can be the ultimate meditation experience. You can travel at your own pace, view beautiful scenery in solitude, and really get the chance to tune into your environment with minimal distractions. But, for some, venturing out to the backcountry alone conjures up visions of long, wide-eyed nights in the sleeping bag, wondering what is making that noise outside the tent?

Whether you’re committed to conquering solo backpacking by choice or forced to go alone because your trail partners can’t get time away from work, this article offers some tips to help you make the transition from backpacking with others to backpacking alone with confidence and ease. If you’re already backpacking solo, review these tips for additional ideas for safety and comfort.

I dream of the day I can get out and do some real backpacking camping trips again.

Tips for Solo Backpacking – Gaia GPS

Links of the Week (6/08/2020)

National Parks are opening and I wish I was there…

With a three-day weekend before them, Southern Californians will have to weigh the lure of desert vistas against the chance of crowds and the challenge of rising temperatures, expected to reach the 90s by Tuesday.

Even though I’m not back home to enjoy my state’s parks opening, I’m happy to see that they are.

Joshua Tree just opened, before a three-day weekend. Here’s what to expect


Although tens of millions of American children show no medical symptoms of COVID-19, their education, mental health, and development have suffered because of the virus. Adults need to help them regain normalcy. One way to do that is by opening summer camps as soon as possible. Children face a relatively small risk of harm from summer camps, the risk that their participation poses to adults can likely be managed, and the benefits of giving families at least the option of sending children to camp are substantial.

Amen to that.

Summer Is Approaching. Bring Camp Back.


Earlier this month, for the first time in recent memory, pronghorn antelope ventured into the sun-scorched lowlands of Death Valley national park. Undeterred by temperatures that climbed to over 110F, the animals were observed by park staff browsing on a hillside not far from Furnace Creek visitor center.

​Very cool.

‘We’ve never seen this’: wildlife thrives in closed US national parks


When Italian towns began offering houses for sale for little more than $1, they inspired legions of dreamers to take a gamble on moving to a remote corner of Italy.

Although spending a few thousand dollars extra on renovating the property was usually part of the deal, it was sweetened by the prospect of a new life in an idyllic corner of a beautiful country.

And then the coronavirus struck, plunging the world into crisis, with Italy among the worst affected countries.

🤯

They bought a $1 house in Italy, then Covid-19 struck

Some Stories: Lessons from the Edge of Business and Sport

Climbing and business CAN go together…

Bought this book a while back because I have always enjoyed reading about the adventures of Yvon Chouinard and his fellow climbers. This book sprinkles in a bit of business and it’s neat to see how lessons learned on a mountain can apply in the office too.

Lessons from the Edge of Business and Sport