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2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks
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Daniel Benthal

Locale: Mid-Coast Maine
Recipe on 12/28/2011 14:33:08 MST Print View


"Does anyone want my Raw Date Ball cookie recipe?"

Sounds good - Yes I'd like the recipe!


John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/28/2011 15:30:27 MST Print View

Here is my own list of my top 10 favorite pieces of hiking gear that I used in the 2011 hiking season.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
2011 Backpacking Light Reader Picks separate thread on 12/28/2011 16:01:41 MST Print View

The thread for the Reader Picks is here:

Edited by hikinggranny on 12/28/2011 16:03:00 MST.

Joseph Regallis
(backpackandgear) - F
2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/29/2011 07:58:34 MST Print View

Some very good recommendations and it's good to see your staff has a great sense of humor as well! I will add some of my recommendations. Hope they help. Joe from Backpack and Gear

Hi Joe
Bit marginal, close to an advertisement. Tread lightly.
I have left the URL to your web site.

Roger Caffin
Online Community Monitor
Backpacking Light

Edited by rcaffin on 12/29/2011 13:32:17 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

2 for 2 on 12/29/2011 11:38:15 MST Print View


Edited by dandydan on 12/29/2011 14:07:31 MST.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
2011 Backpacking Light Staff Picks on 12/29/2011 11:54:21 MST Print View

nm, Roger has spoken. Thanks, Roger! And thanks, Dan! I'm a mod on another backpacking site so your info is useful to have.

Edited by hikinggranny on 12/29/2011 17:46:37 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Links on 12/29/2011 13:23:57 MST Print View


Edited by dandydan on 12/29/2011 14:06:26 MST.

C Nugget

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Canon Powershot G11 Camera - waterproof sac/bag for camera mounted on strap on 12/29/2011 21:30:01 MST Print View


I was just looking at the G12 as a soon future upgrade. I love the sound of the mounted camera bag on the shoulder strap. Would it be possible to get an image of what the setup looks like? I'd love to have something like this. I used a small bag attached to my shoulder strap last year and looking for a better way to set this up. Maybe a future MYOG project for myself..


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Canon Powershot G11 Camera - waterproof sac/bag for camera mounted on strap on 12/30/2011 02:57:24 MST Print View

Hi Christy

Simple top-loading bag, padded (2-3 mm neoprene foam), stainless steel hook sewn on back to clip into either a D-ring on the shoulder strap or a loop of cord threaded through PART of the strap. Waterproof outer fabric - probably 240 denier PU-nylon or maybe left-over Goretex I think. Silnylon inner - slippery. Foam is of course 'sticky' which makes it hard to slide a camera in and out.
CameraPouch1 (old)
The version 1 here has a full throat which folds down and is secured by a strap with a watch-band buckle (source OWFINC or similar). The full throat proved to be a bit of an encumbrance when single-handed, so V2 has only 'half' a throat - the back half.

I press on the buckle middle to release it, grab the wrist strap on the camera, and wiggle it upwards and out. Take photo. Insert back into pouch, wiggle downwards, fold throat down and clip buckle home. Yeah, well, doing up the buckle might take two hands sometimes. :-)


Daniel Galhardo
(dwgalhardo) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Trout Sticks - UPDATE on 12/30/2011 10:54:26 MST Print View

I'd like to point out that after that trip with Ryan I have somewhat perfected the art of using trout sticks!
1) When skewering the trout, it is best never to puncture through it so it is not exposed to the fire. Also, twist it around at the top of the fish as you push it in so it won't rotate when cooking (a small problem I had before). I had a chance to learn this in depth while spending a couple of months in Japan this year and posted a small video here:
2) I also learned how to clean trout without using a knife and without opening it, just with a Trout Stick. The video will be the best way to show that, and it takes a little practice. Here it is:

C Nugget

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re:Re: Canon Powershot G11 Camera - waterproof sac/bag for camera mounted on strap on 12/30/2011 15:38:12 MST Print View


Thanks so much for the info and pics. I will ponder & mull over what fabric I have to work with.. Thanks for the input :) Definitely going for a top loader.


Edited by nuggetwn on 12/30/2011 15:39:29 MST.

nathan matthews
(nathanm) - F

Locale: Bay Area
recipe for chocolate-hazelnut spread on 12/31/2011 00:19:07 MST Print View


Nevermind the date ball recipe--can you share your recipe for chocolate hazelnut spread? I've been buying Justin's as the occasional treat, but I'd be happy to make my own.

Kristin Tennessen
(ktenness) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevadas
Recipes on 01/01/2012 22:14:22 MST Print View

I've been traveling far from my kitchen this week but as soon as I return I will find my notes and update here. Happy New Year everyone!

Kristin Tennessen
(ktenness) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevadas
Date balls and Nut butters on 01/03/2012 21:56:52 MST Print View

I admit, I use recipes as suggestions not rules. Rarely do I make something exactly the same- that's too boring, right? I throw things together and the majority of time, it tastes amazing. Just like finding your perfect ultralight set-up, you can do endless recipe tinkering before perfection is attained. Here are some suggestions:

Chocolate Nut Butter

2 cups raw whole almonds, soaked for two+ hours
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup honey
dash of salt
0 - 1/2 cup water

Drain almonds, then grind in a food processor or vitamix. Add cocoa powder, honey (or maple syrup), and salt. Depending on what you plan on doing with this mixture (spread it on bread, mix in oatmeal, eat with a spoon...) you can add zero water or up to a 1/2 cup. I suggest using walnuts, pecans, even peanuts. Hazelnuts are a tad expensive, but yummy as well. The mixture doesn't get as creamy as nutella, but it is quite a bit healthier.

There is also a great recipe called Super Spackle in this fabulous BPL article.

Raw Date Ball Cookies

2 cups date paste or 4 cups whole (pitted) dates
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips or crushed chocolate bar
dash of salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder for rolling

If you are using whole dates, use the food processor to grind them into a paste. Put the paste in a bowl and add the shredded coconut, chocolate, and salt. The mixture should be sticky. Use your hands to form the mixture into balls. Roll each ball in cocoa powder, so that the cookies don't stick to each other. Even though these cookies have no added sugar, they are as sweet as my stomach can handle. Warning: be sure to drink a lot of water when you eat these, to wash down the cocoa powder.

Feel free to tinker with these recipes- I'm sure you can make them better and I'd love to hear how.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Yummy recipes! on 01/03/2012 23:54:46 MST Print View

Thank you, Kristin, I'm going to try these out!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Date balls and Nut butters on 01/04/2012 07:53:17 MST Print View

"2 cups raw whole almonds, soaked for two+ hours"

What about almond meal? Already all ground up for you without the soaking and waiting!

Thanks for the recipes Kristin, they look great!

Kristin Tennessen
(ktenness) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevadas
Re: Re: Date balls and Nut butters on 01/04/2012 18:51:34 MST Print View

Almond meal is a great idea, but it can be a little dry, so add more liquid. For a super shortcut, use marzipan!

jim logan
(jim_logan) - MLife
My three from 2011, today's version on 01/08/2012 10:54:37 MST Print View

This year I spent a LOT of time in the North Maine Woods on logging roads past and present. Right at the top of my 2011 list is the DeLorme Maine Atlas and Gazateer; without it my trips would have been much longer and, probably, less fruitful. If you're coming to Maine and getting anywhere off the beaten track get one. Cost about $22, weight irrelevant.
Another one is my Ice Breaker Short-Sleeved Zip-Neck Tee, wool of course. This may not still be in production but and the shirt requires a lot of washing to remove the scratching before wearing, but once done it is a wonderful addition to my fall-winter-spring layering. It replaces a Dickie and it is vastly easier to adjust for changing conditions. It keeps me much warmer when damp, too. For fall-winter-spring in Maine I wear Smartwool arm-warmers and this shirt and I can easily adjust my base layer up or down for when I get colder or start sweating like the proverbial pig. Cost (on sale) about $60, weight 7.1 oz (200 gr).
My third for 2011 is my hiking buddy, Bill: he ALWAYS brought good weather in addition to good humor and good sense. Additionally, he is an ace navigator especially with the atlas. Cost: priceless; weight: a lot less than mine!

Patrick Starich
(pjstarich) - MLife

Locale: N. Rocky Mountains
Trout Sticks? No Kidding. on 01/16/2012 22:35:15 MST Print View

You can't imagine how surprised I was to hear that "fish sticks" had recently resurfaced as "trout sticks." Mrs. Paul would be delighted. I first stumbled upon these as teenager. The most enjoyable part of the meal is the crispy salted tail near the end of each stick.

Michael Bachman
(rivrfox) - F

Locale: Western Slope, Colorado
Happy New Year to everyone... on 01/29/2012 19:22:41 MST Print View

Congrats Addie!

Safe travels all :0)