Welcome To HikeLighter.Com!

Thank you for visiting my website. I really do hope that there is something here that will help you out.

If you are on facebook and would like to follow me head over to https://www.facebook.com/HikeLighter

You can find me on instagram at @johnabela, twitter at @hikelighter, and on youtube at @hikelighter.

I have also become very active at https://www.patreon.com/hikelighter

Patreon, for those unaware, is a website that allows individuals to give a few dollars each month to content creators (such as myself) and get access to content. I ask only one dollar a month and in exchange for your dollar a month you will get early access to some of videos and articles, get access to exclusive mini-reviews, insights into products I cannot talk about on facebook and my website, and such things.

If you would like to drop me a message, but all means, go for it.

Thanks everybody!
+John Abela

Written by John B. Abela

February 24, 2014 at 9:47 am

Posted in News & Updates

Tagged with

[Poll] Next Cottage Companies To Interview

Cast your vote for which cottage companies I interview next!

Voting is open to patrons and non-patrons (no patreon membership should be required)


Want to read the interviews I have already published?

Check them out right here!


Written by John B. Abela

January 16, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Posted in News & Updates

MSR ‘PocketRocket 2’

with 4 comments

Greetings Adventurers!

Here is my first article on the 2017, second generation, of the MSR PocketRocket!

Most of this was originally published on my patreon.com/hikeligher page, on September 2016, five months before being published here at hikelighter.com – so I invite you to become a patron so you can gain early access to other gear that I get early and/or get exclusive access too!

First the disclaimer that I am sponsored by MSR and that the MSR Stove Division sent this stove to me for doing T&E (testing & evaluation) as a ‘pre-launch use & report back‘ usage case. They also gave me permission to share photos/video of it – as a pre launch product. So big thanks to them for the early access and gracious kindness to sharing it with my readers.

The MSR PocketRocket 2:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

January 12, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Gear Announcements

New Hiking Products, Jan 09, 2017

with 2 comments

vargo triad alcohol stove

We are into the second week of a new year (wow, already!) and a few new hiking related products have already hit the market. Here are three that I thought I would highlight.

  1. Vargo Outdoors ‘Triad Multi-Fuel Stove’ – a smaller, lighter (titanium) version of their existing multi-fuel stove.
  2. How to Hike the Appalachian Trail: A Comprehensive Guide to Plan and Prepare for a Successful Thru-Hike‘ – a new book by Chris Cage, the owner of the awesome Greenbelly Meal Bars.
  3. Borah Gear ‘Ultralight Down Vest’ – which is of course not new, but it has been re-introduced back onto their website store.

Be sure to follow my patreon page https://www.patreon.com/hikelighter for more announcements and early access!

Written by John B. Abela

January 9, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Posted in Gear Announcements

Montbell ‘Sun Block Umbrella’

with 20 comments

montbell-sun-block-umbrellaHello Adventurers!

Here is a quick video on the Montbell ‘Sun Block Umbrella’ which has been a really nice umbrella to use.

It is, for all intents and purposes, a baby chromedome. The weight is not all that different from the chromedome (47 grams / 1.66 oz lighter) but the overall pack volume, or stored length (for when you are not using it) that it offers is a massive savings!

If you are like me and pack volume is precious, it just makes sense going with this little umbrella over the chromedome.


mine weighs: 178 g (6.29 oz)
folded length: 25cm (8.9 in)
full length: 53cm (20.9 in)
diameter: 98cm (38.6 in)

The video quality did not come out very well but I did not feel like reshooting it all, but the important stuff is covered in the video.

You can buy this little guy directly from the montbell website and it is priced at $45.00

Thanks for reading,
+John Abela

As of the time of this being published I am a sponsored hiker of Montbell. I purchased my sun block umbrella as I do with ~99% of my gear. This article was originally published on my patreon page, if you feel like having early access to my article and sharing a dollar a month to help the cause, please consider becoming a patron!

Written by John B. Abela

December 26, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Interview: TarpTent

with 8 comments


I recently had the opportunity to speak with Henry Shires, owner of TarpTent, based out of Nevada City, California (population ~3,000) and one of the original outdoor cottage companies.

Let us just jump right into this interview!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

December 4, 2016 at 1:00 am

Posted in Interviews

Interview: Six Moon Designs

with one comment


I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ron ‘Fallingwater’ Moak, owner of Six Moon Designs, based out of Beaverton, Oregon (population ~90,000) and one of the original outdoor cottage companies.

Ron started Six Moon Designs back in 2002 with TarpTent and Nunatak being two of the few start-ups that are still around and older than Six Moon Designs. And while not the first to introduce shelters made of cuben fiber (as it was called at the time) Six Moon Designs was producing DCF shelters back in the 2008 era. Eight years later, now in 2016, many are wondering if they have finally thrown in the towel on this fabric, but more on that below.

Six Moon Designs has been a company that maintains a very narrow focus on a few products, with little energy spent on trying to come up with the next big thing, and instead focusing their efforts on constantly trying to refine their current products. In an age when most cottage companies fly with the times and are constantly putting efforts into new products that oft do not make it more than one or two generation cycles, Six Moon Designs has constantly stood by the business model of putting years of effort into a new product to make sure it is great and stands the test of time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

November 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Interviews

Interview: Enlightened Equipment

with 4 comments


I recently had the opportunity to interview Tim Marshall, owner of Enlightened Equipment, based out of Winona, Minnesota (population 27,000), which has been a rising company within the ultralight outdoor industry for the last few years. The amount of times I have gone “wow” while conversing with Tim is likely more than any other interview I have ever done.

What I thought was a rather small time operation is actually a fairly large scale company.

Why not just move right into the interview and let Tim share some insights into the industry, his company, product development, and all that good stuff.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by John B. Abela

November 22, 2016 at 6:08 am