Day hike essentials – Product reviews

I decided to write up a few reviews on some handy products I already own and you may want too. These items can make your outdoor adventures a little more enjoyable.

NEOSLING – Water bottle sling

This baby is handy as hell. 

Convenient, durable, and comfortable.

Wear it over your shoulder for a quick drink from your favorite water bottle.

My Contigo 20 OZ bottle fits perfectly. The material is stretchy so you can easily fit larger bottles inside as well. It seems like it helps insulate your beverage if it’s already cold. 

The strap is adjustable, which means you can also purchase this for kids..

It’s comfortable to wear and I have never had a problem with it.

I have had it a couple of years and used it about a dozen times on some pretty vigorous hikes and haven’t seen a sign of wear yet. I received mine as a gift, but you can purchase these in an array of colors from Amazon for about $7 for most colors.

Bisgear backpacking stove and cookware set 

I wanted a small and lightweight but effective burner to heat up water for a French press to make coffee on my hikes. This has proven time and time again a great little stove with a pot perfect sized to fill the French press. 

Everything except the French press, water, and coffee essentials fit in this 6-1/2” H X 4-1/2 ” W package. I bought my set on Amazon for around $30 and it includes the following:

  • Mini stove with igniter & flame adjuster, plus a plastic box to store it in.
  • A medium non-stick pot with fold-out handle – (About 5” wide  X 4” in height)
  • A small non-stick pot with fold-out handle – (about 4-1/2” wide X 2” in height)
  • Fold-up gas canister stand
  • Fold-up stainless steel spoon, fork, and knife with pouch
  • Carabiner and drawstring mesh carry bag
  • Dishcloth and corkscrew bottle opener

To assemble for storage:

Place canister stand (folded up) in bottom of medium put, then gas canister upside down,(bottom of canister is now facing you)

Mini stove goes inside plastic case then on top of gas canister. Now fit the small pot on top upside down so bottom of small pot is facing you. All done!

The medium sized pot is the one used for heating water for the French press if you’re interested in that. The fuel used for this is a Butane/Propane mix. I buy mine at Walmart for around $5 for the 220 G/7.75 Oz size. I have used it for coffee around 10 or so times and have yet to run out of fuel. 

Our old set-up for coffee. Too bulky and too much to pack.

Ozark Trail 26 Quart high-performance cooler 

 This cooler is comparable to the Yeti of the same size and type but much cheaper. You can get these at Walmart for under $100. They keep things cold and ice unmelted for a much longer period of time than regular coolers. Especially if you can pre-chill it by putting ice blocks or frozen jugs/water bottles inside a day or two before your outing. A bonus feature for these coolers is that they’re rugged and keep dust and dirt out. (no more brown dirt water in the bottom of your cooler!) 

Measures L X W X H – 21.75” x 13″ x 15.5” outside dimensions. Fits nicely on our top rack of our RZR 570.

Ideas for mini adventures

Get outdoors for a mini adventure!

Say you don’t have a whole week, weekend or even a whole day to spend getting your adventure on. Maybe you just want something to do while being outdoors.

You’re bored and tired of being stuck in the house. I have some ideas for what I like to call mini adventures.


One of my favorite things to do for a mini adventure, is to pick an area near where I live,  and go find a few geocaches. It’s a great way to see something new, hike somewhere you’ve never been, and maybe even learn something new through an Earthcache. Check out my post about geocaching!

So grab your GPS device and go caching!

Go out to eat

No not out to a restaurant! Gather some food to cook along with the essential cookery, and head out to the hills or to a picnic spot. You don’t have to be camping to cook outdoors and enjoy it. You can get as simple or as complicated as you want with this mini adventure. Listed below are some ideas of what to cook and what you’ll need to cook it.

  • Weenie roast – Get some hot dogs or sausages, with or without buns and fixin’s, and some roasting sticks or plan on finding a sufficient stick to use while you’re out. Depending on where you go, you need to obey the rules and regulations. So if you can have a fire, great! Make sure you bring fuel, a lighter, maybe wood if you aren’t able to gather it in your area, or charcoal briquettes. Just make sure there aren’t any fire restrictions in your area.
  • Grill it up – You really need a portable grill for this one. Take the required fuel and fire building items for it. You could grill up hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, any meat really, veggies, you could put together a quick salad for a side dish. As far as food goes it’s really up to you. What ever you want to deal with while you’re outside. Setting up at picnic table would make this process a lot easier obviously.
  • Tinfoil meals – These are my go to when I’m camping. I always do the tinfoil dinners at least one night. All this requires is whatever food you want in your tinfoil, wrap that up in tinfoil, take some long handled tongs for handling them, a fire grate or grill – whatever you have or prefer, or you can just throw them shits right in the hot coals of a fire. Like I said before, make sure you know your areas fire regulations before hand.

Go out for a cup o coffee – Don’t go to Starbucks or a coffee shop for this one. You may need to acquire a few supplies for this one. I take a little backpacking stove, a French press, and of course ground coffee with small containers of cream and sugar. Don’t forget your favorite travel mug and head out to a favorite spot, or take your supplies in a backpack and hike. Take a coffee break!

Photo scavenger hunt – Grab your phone or camera and drive out to an area you know will be great for photos. This is better with several people involved so you can compare photos and turn it into a game. Here is my post for photo scavenger hunt ideas.