Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Porsche or Climbing Mt. Everest?

Mt. Everest

It turns out that if you want to climb Mt. Everest, you'll have to plonk down about the same amount of cash as if you wanted to buy a car. A solo expedition will run you about $60K while a seven person team can bring that cost down to $35,000. But wait, if you've never done something like that before, you'll probably want to join an expedition team that'll help you get up that mountain... that'll push that bill up yet again. Take a look at this article from Outside for the details.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Using A Canister Stove In The Cold

An often asked question is whether or not a canister stove can be used in the winter. Well, the answer is, "it depends." The fundamental problem is that the fuel in canister stoves needs to be warm in order for the stove to operate. For more information about canister stoves and how they work, take a look at this. To be completely safe, you probably shouldn't use a canister stove in the winter, or if you do, definitely to make sure to test out your stove and fuel before you use it as your sole source of cooking heat. I was able to use my stove (SnowPeak LiteMax using the JetBoil 4 season mix) when the ambient temperature was about 27F (-3C) at about 1500 ft (500m) elevation. Also, you should be able to use the stove at a lower temperature at a higher elevation (since there is less atmospheric pressure keeping the gas in the canister).

So, what can you do to use your stove in the winter? Well, first, make sure that you are using a "4 season" fuel mix. This basically means that the fuel is some sort of isobutane mix (isobutane has a lower boiling temperature then butane). Second, use a full canister. Third, you have to keep the fuel canister warm -- if the canister is cold, your food will stay cold as well.

Although it is probably self evident as to how to keep the canister warm, I went ahead and explicitly wrote it out below.

Fun In The Snow

A couple of weeks ago, at the end of January, my wife and I went up to the White Mountains for a little weekend getaway. I had just handed in my PhD thesis three days earlier and was looking forward to a couple of days of sun, fun, and snow. One of the days we took a walk along the Lincoln Woods Trail and Bondcliff trails (the same ones I had hiked when doing the Pemi-Loop in the summer) and so I took the opportunity to augment the usual picture taking with some video.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 Winter Gear Sales

I'm sure you are all aware of this, but Patagonia, REI, and EMS are all having spectacular sales at the moment for their winter gear.

Patagonia Sale REI Sale EMS Sale