Category: Nomadic Gear

nocmanus February 28, 2018 0

Eat Good and Eat Fast on the Trail

Whether you are traveling around the country in  your RV or heading out into the wilderness, when you get hungry you want foods that can cook fast, and are actually tasty. Two new foods have hit the market that we think are the bomb for both the traveler and the backpacker.

For years now Idahoan has given us a wide variety of instant potatoes. We have all used them to make a quick side dish of potatoes by boiling water and whisking the powdered mix, adding some butter or sour cream, and BOOM, we have potatoes. They are very popular on the trail when many hikers are looking for starch and carbs to fill their stomachs after a long day. They are also used as a great traveling companion when looking to create a quick side dish along with dinner. They are light, compact, and very easy to cook.

So when we saw Idahoan put two new products on the market we needed to test these out in the field.

Idahoan Hash Browns 3 oz At only 3 oz, this bag can be divided into 2 parts and make 2 servings. (for 2 people) You only have to heat 1 Cup of water, let is soak for 8-10 minutes, then pan fry which is optional.

TIP: Recycle an old Freeze Dried Mountain House Bag. Keep these around so you can pour the hot water into these bags. That way you can keep the other half in the original bag. You can fry up the hash browns to get them golden brown but this is OPTIONAL. Of course Ariane and I fry them up with some Olive Oil that we pick up at our local Chic Filet.

Idahoan Premium Steakhouse Creamy Potato SoupThe Idahoan Steakhouse Soups are amazing. Finally a good soup that is can be re hydrated and actually has taste. At 6.6 oz these also can be split in two or three, (it makes a lot of soup) and be used as multiple meals.

TIP: Once again, save your freeze dried bags. These can be used to pour the contents of the Idahoan Soup into and then pour your hot water in. Eat right out of the bag and NOT your cooking pot. Saves you from doing dishes. Of course if you are traveling around in your RV dirty that dish and sit back and enjoy a great tasting soup that takes minutes to make.

Both products are very pack-able and lightweight and very very affordable. The Hash Browns you can buy for a dollar each and the soup can be found for around six bucks if you shop around.

The whole idea is to look for foods which you LIKE! But are also fast, lightweight and pack-able. Try these out and let us know what you think? We would love to hear from you.


nocmanus December 19, 2017 0

Ariane & Scott’s Outdoor Gear List

Our Gear is based on our lifestyle when hiking or camping in the wilderness. Not all the gear listed we use ALL the time. Of course it varies on where we are going, how long will we be there, and is weight important to us? Every trip, every trail we hike on always has some special considerations. Most of the time we sleep under a 8×10 tarp. But there are times when a tarp just isn’t practical. It’s always important to know where and how long you will be on the trail.

We wrote this post based on questions we get about gear and wanted to have something where people could use as a resource and then do their own research on the specifications page of each gear vendor. If you choose to buy any of this gear, you are helping support us and the site, so huge thank you in advance. But the point of this post is to help you look at gear based on your lifestyle rather than what someone tells you is the “best”. Please ask us if you have any questions about any type of gear.


Men’s Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15 Degree Sleeping Bag
Unisex Feathered Friends Eider EX -10 Sleeping Bag
Big Agnes Buffalo Park 40 Sleeping Bag
Women’s REI Joule 23 Degree Sleeping Bag
Marmot Women’s Phase 20 Sleeping Bag


REI Flash Sleeping Pad
Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad


Osprey Women’s Aura 50 AG Pack
Osprey Men’s Exos 48 Pack
Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Pack
Hyperlite 3400 55Liter Pack (see video)


REI Half Dome 2 (2 person)
Equinox UL Tarp 8 x10 (2 person & 2 dogs)
Shire Tarp Tent – MoTrail (2 person)


Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
DIY Gravity Filtration System using the Sawyer


MSR Pocket Rocket
WhiteBox Alcohol Stove

See video Toaks VS WhiteBox


TOAKS Titanium 900ml Pot with 130mm Diameter
Snow Peak Titanium Trek Combo Cook Set
Sea to Summit Alpha Light Fork



SmartWool NTS Mid 250 Zip-T Long Men’s Underwear Top
REI Lightweight Base Layer Half-Zip Top – Women’s


Arcteryx Men’s MX Hoody (great insulated soft shell)

Arcyeryx Men’s Delta AR Zip Neck Midlayer

Insulating Layer

Rab Microlight Jacket Men’s
Marmot Women’s Jena Jacket

Hiking bottoms (1 pair synthetic)

Basecamp Winter Down Jacket

Marmot Greenland Baffled Jacket


First Ascent Men’s Telemetry Freeride Pants Men’s
Marmot PreCip Waterproof Rain Jacket Men’s
Marmot PreCip Waterproof Rain Jacket Women’s

2 pairs hiking (Medium weight merino wool)

  • Darn Tough

Underwear (2 pairs: 1 camp, 1 hiking)

  • ExOfficio (Men’s & Women’s)

Camp shoe (At base camp or for crossing Streams)

  • Crocs

Stuff sacks (5, Strong, waterproof)

  • Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Dry Sac (camp clothes, hiking clothes, food, sleeping bag, and electronics- a must for camp clothes and sleeping bag minimally)

Water reservoir (2-3L; Playpus and CamelBak common bladders)

  • Platypus 3-L

First aid kit (the 10 essentials on a Budget Video)

  • Antiseptic Wipes (2)
  • Triple Antibiotic Cream (tiny tube)
  • Ibuprofun
  • Sewing Needle
  • Duct tape
  • Leukotape
  • Emergency Fire Starter (Cotton wool balls in Vaseline)

Head lamp (Lightweight)

  • Black Diamond Storm
  • Petzl Tikka

Hiking Poles

  • Leki Corklite
  • Black Diamond Ultra Lite Z-Pole


  • Dino Bino (no affiliate link here)
  • Caldonia (no affiliate link here)

If you have comments or questions regarding any of our gear, please ask. We always answer all questions.

nocmanus February 18, 2017 2

The Best Outdoor Sunglasses

One of the drawbacks from getting older is that my eyesight just isn’t the same anymore. I have fought over the years wearing sports glasses, sunglasses, contacts, my regular glasses, the list goes on. Being active, I rarely keep a pair of (fill in the blank) for any long period. They usually break in my pocket or I lose them.

Recently my Eye Doctor recommended a pair of sunglasses/glasses/sports goggles, that have been perfect for all kinds of reasons.

A cross between a sunglasses and a goggle the Adidas Climacool Elevation is great for Skiing, Snowboarding, Backpacking, and simply sitting on the beach soaking up the rays. The Adidas Climacool Elevation model A136 has been around for a couple of years now but no one has managed to copy it or – beat it!

The best part: I don’t need a second pair of glasses to read a map. (Can’t see close) If you need prescription lenses then simply snap in your specially made prescription glasses into your Climacool Elevation glasses.


ClimaCool by Adidas is a dynamic ventilation technology.
The ClimaCool Technology for eyewear (made up of the specially engineered vents on the pad) allows for air to be directed in a way that does not disturb the eyesight but rather manages moisture and prevents fogging providing a more comfortable wear throughout. The foam pad surrounds the entire frame front and is easily detachable. It can then be replaced with the sadle nose strap and be transformed into a cool looking sunglass.


The Adidas Elevation is very versatile. within minutes you can change the side and lenses to produce a goggle suitable for windsurfing in low lighting, canoeing or climbing as the image below shows. Everything is configurable to meet your needs. You can take apart the stems and snap on a band that fits around your head incase you are in a situation they may drop off.

A spare set of lenses are included, these are orange lenses which are suitable for low lighting – they enhance contrast and show up lumps and bumps in the ground – so making them ideal for skiing or snowboarding. Just pop out the lenes.

There are quite a few places to buy these. Consult your Eye Doctor to make sure your prescription is good to go. My Doctor was able to send my bi-focal prescription out and they couldn’t be better.