John Abela

Welcome To HikeLighter.Com!

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.

Thanks everybody!
+John Abela

Written by John B. Abela

February 24, 2014 at 9:47 am

Posted in News & Updates

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Interview: TarpTent

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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!

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Written by John B. Abela

December 4, 2016 at 1:00 am

Posted in Interviews

Interview: Six Moon Designs

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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.

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Written by John B. Abela

November 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Interviews

Interview: Enlightened Equipment

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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.

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Written by John B. Abela

November 22, 2016 at 6:08 am

2 Favorite Items From My Sponsors!

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Greetings Adventurers!

It seems it is time for the hiking blogosphere to start posting their “Christmas Lists” – I have already seen three or four just in the last week.

I had an article about 95% of the way written, and decided to delete it and do something different. The idea pop’ed into my brain to write up ‘my favorite piece of gear from my sponsors‘, but the more I thought about that, the more I realized I just could not decide on a single piece of gear from a couple of my sponsors. For instance, I have over 2000 days of use with the Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants and my absolute love for the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket would make it impossible for me to pick between the two. (opps, guess I just gave away that companies two favorites, doh!). The same could be said of companies like Six Moon Designs and ZPacks. So I figured the only way I could make this happen is if I picked two pieces of gear from each company that sponsors me!

So, here we go, in alphabetical order!

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Written by John B. Abela

November 19, 2016 at 7:14 am

Questions & Answers: #005

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Questions & Answers

It has been far too long since I have published another article within my Questions & Answers series of articles, and I have a backlog of questions to answer, so time to get back to answer them!

This is going to be a long article… probably too long… but I wanted to get the vast majority of the questions I have been asked into one big post instead of a bunch of little posts/articles.

Also, it might get a bit… uhhh… irascible along the way, and downright waspish towards the end. I make no excuse, nor apologies, for this – I am saying what I feel and think about the given topics. I have that right. You do too, just do it on your own website, as I will not approve any censorious comments. And, as always, do not expect me to defend myself nor anything I have said – such things I do not do. I say what I have to say, and that is all I have to say about it. Attempting to defend one self just leads to further captious activities.

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Written by John B. Abela

November 15, 2016 at 5:39 am

Black Rock Gear ‘Synthetic Beanies’ – 15% Off Coupon

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Greetings Adventurers!

As most of you hopefully know, Black Rock Gear, the makers of the most beloved beanie in the outdoor industry, and a sponsor of mine, has been working on creating a non animal down, synthetic, version of their beanie for the last year.

With Christmas fast approaching I have worked with Black Rock Gear to be able to get a 15% off coupon that I can share with all of you.

The coupon is only applicable for the synthetic beanie and will expire on Tuesday, November 8th.

Black Rock Gear is offering free USA Domestic Shipping, and only $10 for International shipping.


On the checkout page, enter the coupon code ‘nogoose15’ for your 15% off!


Written by John B. Abela

November 4, 2016 at 4:50 am

Posted in Gear Announcements

Tagged with ,

Common Small Hiker Cups / Pots

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Greetings Adventurers!

Way back in 2013 I posted the article Small Cups/Pots for the SUL/XUL Hiker and it has been one of my more popular articles so I thought it was time to give it some TLC.

Over the last few days I have updated the spreadsheet to remove discontinued cups/pots, update pricing, update weights, add a few extra currencies, add some notes, and just do a generalized clean-up on it.

I decided to stay with the previous four guidelines:

  1. It must be at or under 450 ml in volume.
  2. It must be at or under 100 grams in weight.
  3. It cannot be a beer can style cup/pot.
  4. It must be one of the common cups/pots used by sub 2268 hikers.

It is by no means a list of every cup/pot out there that meets those requirements, but it is a list of the ones that best meet those requirements, especially #4.

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Written by John B. Abela

October 29, 2016 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Comparisons

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