Expedition Tales

  • Backpacking Hacks Part 2

    Part two is a smorgasbord of advice from the Feathered Friends staff on simple ways to maximize the fun while on a backpacking (or camping) adventure.

    clean socks hanging from a line Who doesn't love a good pair of clean socks? Photo: Claire Giordano

    1. Bring “Sacred Socks”

    Our feet take a beating on hikes, especially backpacking trips, when we wear the same pairs of socks for days on end. While some feet (and noses) don’t mind, others do not take kindly to the abuse and complain. Our solution; bring a pair of clean “sacred socks” that are only worn in the tent. Not only does this keep your bag clean and fresh, but it also gives you the opportunity to rinse the salt and dirt from your hiking pair to prevent salt rash and unhappy feet.

    2. Don’t skimp on your sleeping pad

    Campsite comfort matters. After a long day of hiking there is nothing better than sitting down for a good meal, and then crawling into a cozy tent and sleeping bag. Sadly, too often people forget about their sleeping pad, and end up tossing and turning all night trying to find a comfortable position.

    For some people, the simple foam layer will work well, but we are big fans of inflatable sleeping pads like those made by Therm-a-Rest, Exped, and Sea-to-Summit. While expensive to get a high quality one, when taken good care of these pads can last a long time. They are also not only more comfortable, but quite a bit warmer in cold conditions.

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  • Backpacking Hacks Part 1: Food

    It’s backpacking season in Washington, and the Feathered Friends staff is getting out there on adventures big and small. Here is a collection of some of our favorite backpacking tips. Part 1 focuses on food!

    Backpacking meal by Claire Giordano Dinner in the Sierras. Picture: Claire Giordano

    1. Fun food = happy hikers

    You may have been told that it doesn’t matter what food you bring, because you will be so hungry and eat it anyway... no matter how bad it tastes. While we have all choked down our fair share of freeze dried cardboard packs, taking the time and energy to bring exciting food elevates our backpacking experience like little else out there.

    From lugging cold pizza to base camp to carrying in a bag of candy, we each have a favorite food that we bring along. If weight is a concern, however, we suggest bringing something simple but fun like Expedition hot sauce or sausages to add to a lightweight freeze dried meal.

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  • Section Hiker Flicker 40 UL Quilt Sleeping Bag Review

    Philip Werner, the adventurer behind the Section Hiker blog, wrote a review of the Flicker Sleeping bag. Here is his summary:

    Image of the Flicker bag by Section Hiker

    When I first received the Feather Friends Flicker 40 UL, I wondered if was a bit overbuilt for three-season backpacking. Was an insulated draft collar really necessary or a full length zipper? While highly desirable, you don’t find these features on other ultralight quilts or hoodless sleeping bags.

    Then I started using the Flicker UL 40 on backpacking and camping trips and became a complete convert to the design philosophy behind this bag. If you’re the kind of person who likes to switch between different tents, tarps, or hammocks as the seasons change, it’s nice to have a sleep system that can be reconfigured for different temperatures and in different ways to complement them. Especially, if there’s no weight penalty or price premium for the added flexibility. I’d rather own one product that can be used in several different ways than buying several products that only have one purpose.

    If you’re looking for a new lightweight sleep system, I’d encourage you to include the Flicker 40 in your search. Do the price and weight comparisons and consider the benefit of the added versatility that the Flicker provides. I can tell you that I’m seriously considering selling my top quilt and hammock underquilt and replacing them with a Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL Quilt Sleeping Bag. Consider me a convert.

    Click here to read the full review!

  • The Flicker Family History

    Flicker in action in North Cascades

    They are finally here: a wide version of our bestselling Flicker Quilt sleeping bag, AND a kids edition!

    Take a look at them on our website!

    Here is a little history on how the Flicker family of bags came to be.

    Two years ago, we launched the Flicker series of down quilt sleeping bags. They quickly became favorites of our staff and adventurers of all types searching for a light bag that could meet a wide variety of needs.

    The Flicker was a long time in the making. Our designers are always exploring ways to not only make traditional bags even better but also to create new designs. Their work has resulted in a wide range of bags, from the Penguin and Condor sleep systems to expedition bags for the coldest climates and the innovative and unusual Spoonbill. The quilt-style bag was an area of increased interest for outdoor enthusiasts looking for lightweight but adaptable insulation, so we began experimenting with designs that maximized versatility in a unique and effective way.

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  • 2016 Mount Rainier Permits Demystified

    Glaciers on Mount Rainier

    Planning for Mount Rainier isn’t just about gear, food, people, and conditions; we also have to think about permits.

    Summertime within Mt. Rainier National Park is truly stunning - from lowland forested trails to the massively glaciated alpine - it offers exceptional recreational opportunities. Being so close to Seattle, however, things get a little complicated if you are looking to experience the beauty by exploring the high mountain or staying overnight.
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