Dear Santa…

‘Tis the season for one and all to come out with all manner of gift suggestions for the holidays.  We all browse through the lists and suggestions, looking for ideas and clues for special things for our family and friends.  But there’s so many choices, so many lists…

There are lists for men and lists for boys…
lists for climbers with lots of toys…
lists for paddlers and lists for bikers…
then there’s always lots of lists for hikers…
or a down bag for two and plenty of whiskey
for when you and yours are feeling frisky!
There are watches and phones with GPS gadgets,
knives and axes and short-handled hatchets…
That list there has lots of clothing
for when the snow really gets going.
But none of these lists are all that complete,
and for what I need they can not compete.
My list is different, my needs are unique…
so I’ve created my own, please have a peek…

So here it is, since I won’t presume to tell you what gifts are best this season for you…this is MY Wish List this Christmas.  And maybe you’ll find a few gems in here that might work for someone you know as well.

Dear Santa, what I want for Christmas…

  1. The Shag Master Hoodie from looks like an awesomely soft and comfy winter jacket.  I’m sucker for soft, fluffy sweaters and jackets…and it usually means lots of hugs from pretty girls my beautiful wife when I’m wearing one. ($200)
  2. Goal Zero Guide 10 solar charger – I’ve been looking at these for a long time and keep talking myself out of buying one…maybe Santa will bring me one so I don’t have to agonize over the decision anymore. ($120)
  3. Kurgo Dog Pack – I have been wanting to get Wiley her own pack for a while now.  This pack from Kurgo is the one I’ve been checking out, it seems to be a pretty universal fit and is a reasonable price. ($30)
  4. Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Lantern – Snow Peak has been coming out with some cool lantern designs.  The Mini Hozuki would be a nice little addition to my hammock setup. ($40)
  5. Snow Peak Titanium Cook Set – This comes highly recommended and everyone loves Snow Peak.  I also have a couple of stoves that will nest nicely inside. ($45)
  6. Jetboil Sol Ti – I love my Jetboil enough that I would really like the smaller solo titanium version for lighter trips. ($150)
  7. Snow Peak Chopping Board and knife – This super cool travel cutting board/knife combo will make camp cooking prep easy!  Not really a backpacking setup, but I am working on putting together a nice camp-kitchen. ($40)
  8. MountainSmith Modular Hauling System (4 piece) – This is good little package for organizing camping/travel gear.  I’ve seen this on a few other “gift suggestion” lists as well. ($100)
  9. GoPro Hero 3 – this is THE HD camera to have it seems…I have to admit that I love the images it produces and it would allow me to start doing more video.  ($400)

I left off the unreasonable items that Santa would have trouble fitting into his sleigh.  What is on YOUR wish list this year?  I want to know what fun little gadgets and goodies you guys are looking for this year…who knows, I might find some inspiration to add to my own wish list!

Merry Chrismahanukwanzakah to all!

Sharing my Love of Hydroflask…

To my dear Hydroflask,

I am truly blessed to have you in my life.  Since the day we met, you’ve been by my side…through thick and thin, through simmering heat and aching cold.  You’ve always provided comfort, even when comfort was impossible to find.

I am lost without you.

I have forsaken all others for you alone.

Forever yours,


The one that started it all, my 18 ounce Hydroflask in Arctic WhiteI was first introduced to Hydroflask in May 2012, at the Overland Expo near Mormon Lake outside Flagstaff.  The guys from Overland Gourmet had a pile of Hydroflasks for sale at their table and on the last day I decided I would try one out.  So I picked out my favorite: a small 18oz wide-mouth in Arctic White.  The size was perfect for sliding in to the side-pocket of my pack and easily fit in to any cup holder.  Without ice at camp, it wasn’t until I got back to Phoenix that the love-affair began.

May in Phoenix is pretty warm, but really just the beginning of the slow, miserable death-march of an Arizona Summer.  As the average highs quickly soared above 100 degrees, then above 110 degrees, my little 18oz miracle began showing off.

“Ridiculously awesome insulating properties. Large enough for a days worth of fluid.” – from

Winderness Dave using the 18 ounce wide mouth HydroflaskI’ve been in the desert now for nearly 20 years.  I don’t go anywhere without water.  If I go to the grocery store, I take water…a quick drive to a meeting, I take water…heading across town for dinner, I take water.  For those who have never visited a desert in Summer, you have to understand what happens inside a vehicle in heat like this.  When it’s 120 degrees outside, the inside of your car (with the windows up) can easily blast past 160 degrees.  I know people who have had CDs melt on their dash, and others who have literally burned their hands by touching the steering wheel.  The inside of your vehicle is an inhospitable place during the Summers out here.  Especially for bottles of water…

For many years now, I’ve used reusable bottles.  I try not to use plastic water bottles if I can help it.  I’ve tried most, if not all, the bottles on the market and quickly realized that I needed an insulated bottle if I wanted my water to remain drinkable during the summer out here.  I had tried a few, but they were miserable.  Enter Hydroflask

Assorted Hydroflask bottles

I think the moment I was sold on these little technological wonders was after an especially long afternoon meeting.  I had packed up and headed out, Hydroflask in tow as usual.  The bottle had a half-dozen or so ice-cubes and the rest was filled with room temperature water.  My expectation was simply to have cold water on the way to the meeting and I would get more after.  I drove out to the job site, offering no shade to park under, and left my truck sitting in 115 degree heat.  The meeting ended up lasting over 3 hours (way longer than I like my meetings to last).  When I got back to my truck I could barely stand to be inside of it as I fired it up and cranked the AC to high.

“Unlike other bottles we’ve tested, this thing actually works!” – from

my 40 ounce Hydroflask bottle in blueNot expecting it to be drinkable, but needing something after the marathon meeting, I picked up the Hydroflask and heard the tell-tail sounds of ice clinking against the metal interior!  No way!  I unscrewed the lid and there it was, waiting for me…icy refreshment.  After more than 4 hours in a vehicle that surely reached temps well above 140 degrees I still had ice.

Since then, I’ve learned to rely on it.  I’ve left it in the truck for up to 6 hours of brutal Summer punishment and still found icy goodness.  I’ve left it full for 24 hours in 100 degree (daytime) heat and still had ice.  I’ve read some reviews where testers have left the Hydroflask bottles for 3 days in near 90 degree weather and still found slivers of ice in the bottle.  This thing performs above and beyond expectations every time.  The only problem I have had with it is mainly a result of the amount of use and abuse I put mine through.  After about 4 months of daily use, the strap that connects the lid to the bottle broke.  I’ll eventually order another one (or maybe Hydroflask will send me one) and that problem will be solved.  Otherwise, Hydroflask is a Rock Star product.

The Hydroflask collection...


“I filled the 18oz bottle with 190ºF water and 4 hrs later the temp was 174ºF at 8hrs it was 161ºF and a full 24hrs later it was 119ºF! Which is still pretty darn warm. As for the cold claims I put 6 regular ice cubes in with cold tap water and 3 days later I still have some small slivers of ice in the bottle. The average temps that the bottles were in hovered around 65ºF. But I will say that we took one of the bottles into a sauna for 45 minutes at 165ºF and the water was still ice cold! All of these number will of course change depending on how often you open the bottles etc… but it should let you know that they really do work very well.” – from Steve “Yeti” Hitchcock at

A Thank You from Wilderness Dave…

an assortment of Hydroflask insulated bottles has reached a few milestones recently and it’s all because of you guys, my loyal readers (which, thankfully,  has grown beyond my mom).  We all know it’s not about “fans and followers” but I do appreciate that you guys take the time to LIKE my FB page and follow my ramblings on Twitter.  I’ve done some giveaways here and there, mostly with products donated for reviews.  But this time it’s special.  Hydroflask really is my go-to, everyday, never-leaves-my-side gear and I want you guys to have a chance to own one.

So, I reached out to Hydroflask and asked if they would be willing to offer up something for you guys.  And they said yes!  So someone will be winning their choice of two (2) 21 ounce standard mouth bottles (you pick the color) courtesy of Hydroflask.

THEN…I will pick TWO MORE WINNERS and each of them will get a brand new 18 ounce wide mouth bottle (I have one in black with the hydro-flip lid and one in red with the standard wide-mouth lid).

Get your entries in below.  I’ll make it super easy, just be a FB fan or Twitter follower and/or comment on this post below.  Make sure you confirm your entries in the Rafflecopter widget so they get counted.  And if you follow my posts on G+, just leave a comment letting me know (and give it a +1 while you’re at it!).


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Winter Gear Giveaway – FINAL WEEK!

Winter Gear Giveaway is almost over!

Win lots of great winter gear

This is it you guys!  The final week of giveaways.  This package is a BIG ONE!  Starting Thanksgiving Day, you can win fantastic outdoor gear from these fine bloggers:

Don’t miss out on this massive offering of winter gear.  If you entered the previous two weeks but didn’t win, don’t worry because I have a good feeling about this week.  SOMEONE is going to walk away with all this gear!

Here’s what we have to giveaway this time:

Week 3

Enter now!

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