Ultimate Camping Gear

With summer just around the corner, I have camping and hiking on the brain. Although I’ve transitioned to more local/car camping trips, I still look forward to quality gear that is easy to set up and ultra light weight. I’ve found the best of the best and I can’t wait to take Athena on her first official camping weekend.

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL3

Big Agnes’s Copper Spur UL3 is just right in almost every camping situation. At 3lb 14oz and plenty of space, it beats out the competition where it matters most.  The Big Agnes Copper Spur Ultralight 3-Person 3-Season Tent gives you enough room to move at night without adding too much weight to your pack. Thanks to gram-saving poles and a silicone-treated, ultralight nylon rainfly, it offers 44 sq. ft. of space at an ultralight weight. The lightweight hubs, featherlite pole system with press fit connectors, color-coded rainfly attachments, and curved clips make the Copper Spur quick and easy to pitch, while abundant mesh, two roof vents, and good cross-ventilation kept warm nights cool and cold nights condensation-free ($499.95; www.bigagnes.com/). Continue reading

“Darn Close to the Perfect Daypack for General Duty” – Gregory Z30

Backpacker Magazine claimed that the Gregory Z30 backpack was “Darn close to the perfect daypack for general duty”, and I knew I needed to check it out for myself. The Z30 is part of Gregory’s ‘Fast and Light’ series, which probably tells you everything you need to know. The company says the intention is to “strike a balance between low weight and durability without sacrificing performance”. The positives are endless: the suspension system is lightweight and the thin shoulder straps and hip-belt are wide enough to distribute pressure; the pockets are endless; and the single main compartment of the Z30 is long and wide enough to make loading easy. This ventilated hiking pack is ideal for light and fast overnights and daily hikes. Continue reading

It’s Time I Got off the Ground with Trek Light

Last year, when my husband and I were married in Jamaica, our families joined us for a beach wedding and a relaxing week in the sun. When I asked my ten year old sister what was her favorite part of the trip, she didn’t say the ocean or the pool, the sun or the weather, the kayaks or the paddle boats. No, her favorite part of the entire trip was hanging out on the hammocks. She loved it so much that it was the first thing she told her friends about when she returned home. We were reminiscing about the vacation a few days ago and it reminded me of how much I truly enjoyed the hammocks as well. I spent the last few days searching for the perfect hammock and I found it in the Trek Light double hammock. What puts the Trek Light hammock above the rest? It’s lightweight, durable, water-resistant, portable, and safeTrek Light Hammocks are not just for the backyard! Whatever your passion, you’ll quickly realize that bringing along a Trek Light will make the experience infinitely better. Continue reading

Kyangwali Refugee Camp: Between Hope and Despair

Kyangwali Refugee Camp: Between Hope and Despair
Featured Writer: Ella Rychlewski

Soon after I arrived in Uganda, I had the opportunity to visit Kyangwali Refugee Camp in Hoima district, western Uganda. COBURWAS, a partner organisation of Educate where I work, is based in the camp. The journey from Hoima district town to Kyangwali takes over four stressful hours on dirty bumpy roads. Continue reading