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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Trail Designs “Caldera Cone” for the Vargo/Massdrop 700 BOT

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I just got an email from the guys at Trail Designs that they have released a Caldera Cone (both standard & classic ti-tri) for the Vargo Outdoors/Massdrop “BOT 700”.

As I have previously shared, Trail Designs cannot make a Sidewinder for the BOT 700 due to the design of the pot, so this is great news that there is now a Caldera Cone for it!

You can order the Standard Caldera Cone or the Classic Ti-Tri Caldera Cone directly from Trail Designs, just look for the “Vargo BOT (0.7 Liter)” pot size!

Written by John B. Abela

October 16, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Patreon Weekly Updates – October 15, 2016

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It has been an active week for me over on my patreon page, averaging one post every day, here are the links to the posts:

Montbell Goodies!This includes a look at the Montbell Sun Umbrella, the brand new Climaplus Knit Parka, and the Tachyon Wind Pants, which is the #1 most requested product my followers have wanted me to start testing and know about.

[First Thoughts] Peak To Plateau ‘Base Camp Beanie’Some initial thoughts on a unique 50%yak/50%merino beanie.

Zpacks prototype backpack(??)is this a prototype harness system from zpacks?

MSR ‘Pocket Rocket 2’ Slowmo videoa brief video of the 2017 pocket rocket 2, in slowmotion!

MSR Pocket Rocket 2, Impressive Total Boils Per Canister!these days it is hard to find a stove that impresses me when it comes to fuel efficiency, and this one did!

Cottage Interviews Updatea quick update on how things are going with the cottage industry interviews.

[Non-successful] Lawson Beta Cordagesometimes things work out, sometimes they do not. here is a video and backstory on one that did not.


I posted an update on my facebook page, located here, on this years ‘HikeLighter Christmas Gear Give Away’!

Written by John B. Abela

October 15, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Posted in patreon

Solumbra / Sun Precautions BodyShade Workout Athletic T-Shirt + Active Pants

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Solumbra / Sun Precautions 'BodyShade Workout Athletic T-Shirt' and 'Active Pants'

Greetings Adventurers!

Want to share my thoughts on the Solumbra ‘BodyShade Workout Athletic T-Shirt‘ and the Solumbra ‘Active Pants‘.

Earlier this year, after wearing them for 600+ days, I reviewed the Solumbra ‘Ultra Athlete Shirt and Pants‘ after having first talked about them back in 2013.

After my 600+ day review, the kind folks at Solumbra, who are a sponsor of mine, asked if I would want to try giving their BodyShade Workout Athletic T-Shirt a try. It was a garment I had seen on their website previously but had not yet purchased. The BodyShade Workout Athletic T-Shirt is a newer garment in the Solumbra lineup of products and they were wanted to know how it would handle day after day after day of use, such as how I tend to put garments to the test.

While I was placing the order for the TShirt I decided to also order up a pair of the Solumbra Active Pants, thinking it might match better with the TShirt than my Ultra Athlete Pants, and glad that I did.

The combination of the Solumbra ‘BodyShade Workout Athletic T-Shirt‘ and the Solumbra ‘Active Pants‘ have, like the Ultra Athlete garments, proven to me to be a rather exceptional couple pieces of garments.

I started off with a white color BodyShade Workout Athletic T-Shirt and here recently bought a sky blue color one. The white one was just getting too big for me, as I had ordered a large, and it was time to order a medium. Went with the sky blue in hopes of reducing the dirt factor that comes along with being an active hiker and trail runner.

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Written by John B. Abela

October 1, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Posted in News & Updates

Tagged with ,

Klymit ‘Hammock V’ Pad

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Hitting the scale at 765 grams, our good friends at Klymit have gotten their new ‘Hammock V Pad‘ up for sale.

Due to the ‘wings’ (shall I call them) the pad ends up being 47 inches (119cm) wide, which puts this pad into the realm of, well, wide.

MSRP for the ‘Hammock V Pad‘ is $139.95

The bottom side (underneath) of the pad appears to have two plugs, which is typical of pads this size. I wonder if these are one way plugs or if Klymit has leased the rights to use the S2S two-way air plugs (‘multi-functional valve’ I think they like to call them these days), which honestly, every company that makes air pads should just do, they really are nice.

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Written by John B. Abela

September 15, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Posted in Gear Announcements

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[Video+Gearlist] Sept 2016 – Sub 4 BPW [e2b.88.4]

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I have posted a sub 4 pound gear list + video from a hike I just finished over on my patreon website.

It includes a lighterpack gearlist showing a breakdown of every piece of gear. I think this might be my first sub-2268 gearlist that I have released in at least two years(??)

The video is ~11 minutes in length.

Available for all patrons (only costs a buck a month)


Thanks everybody!
+John Abela

Written by John B. Abela

September 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Hiking Journal

Tagged with , ,

Updates from last week (September 06, 2016)

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Hey Adventurers!

wow, it is already September… crazy!!

Here are five updates/posts/thoughts that I originally published on my Patreon page over the last week that I am making available.

Malachowski ‘Ultralight II 300 Sleeping Bag’https://www.patreon.com/posts/malachowski-ii-6637348

An impressive looking sleeping bag. By the numbers I think it has the potential to put the hurt on a number of the top cottage industry sleeping bags, and even the quilt sector.

ZPacks Product Updates (August 30, 2016) – https://www.patreon.com/posts/zpacks-product-6645439

^^^ All ZPacks users should read this post ^^^

ZPacks Tent Disclaimer Taghttps://www.patreon.com/posts/zpacks-tent-tag-6669590

Followup to the previous post about zpacks product updates.

Locus Gear offers a red colour for shelters!https://www.patreon.com/posts/locus-gear-red-6623044

Our friends from Japan have introduced red cuben fiber shelters. Looking forward to seeing a production version outside!

Soylent ‘Coffiest’ – My thoughtshttps://www.patreon.com/posts/soylent-coffiest-6620492

You all know I like my Soylent, so I decided to give the new coffee soylent a try. Interesting stuff.

If you find such updates helpful and have a buck to spare each month, please become a patron!

Written by John B. Abela

September 6, 2016 at 7:09 am

Posted in Cottage Updates

Join me on Patreon!

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Greetings Adventurers!

Well folks, I thought a long time about this… as in pretty much the entire 2016 hiking season… and decided that I would give it a go!

I have joined Patreon and am now inviting folks to become a patron and join me in something new!


There are things that I have wanted to do that my website and facebook are just not really setup to do, and Patreon seems to be the idea solution.

For a dollar, or three dollar, or ten dollar, each month (or more, hey it is totally up to you) you can help me have a bit of extra money for trail food, pay my website bills, and all that good stuff. But that is not the important part here…

What is, is that as a ‘thanks for supporting me‘ – depending on the level of patronage – you will get to have access to stuff that I will not post on my website and/or on facebook, maybe get early access to some of my articles and videos, and maybe even a place to chat with me (which you are always welcome to do so on facebook), and maybe the chance to participate in some live chat sessions (via a mobile app), and perhaps even the chance to have me call you a couple times a year and talk about your gear, or my gear, or almost anything else related to hiking — what features you get is all based on what level you support patron at, which is all explained on my main patreon page.

So how is this going to be different from my website or facebook?

Good question… and the main question that I have been asking myself for most of the year. I really think it will all just come down to the fact that Patreon offers the ability to have a community in a better way than my website, and outside of facebook (which I know, a lot of you are always telling me you refuse to use facebook… so here is your chance to use something other than facebook!!)

Patron, in many ways is a community that perhaps offers me/us the ability to do things that I would not use my website for, and that can be something that is not facebook. Not that I will be abandoning my website and/or facebook, but rather that I want to post more, or perhaps maybe different stuff than what I usually post on my facebook page, and stuff that would not even think about posting on my hikelighter website – which I try really hard to keep focused on articles.

Anyway, yeah, anybody that would like a bit more insight into my life, my thoughts, my writings, my adventures, and all that stuff, I invite you to head on over to my patreon page and become a patron!

If I am lucky enough to have some of you join me over there, and it actually generates some revenue, know that the funds will go right into my annual hiking budget, which, honestly, is insanely expensive, and could use whatever help it can get!

Again, my patreon page is: https://www.patreon.com/hikelighter

ps: while you are over there, you should also become a patron of Joe Brewer!

ps: yes, I am very hairy right now… getting close to one year without taking any scissors or shears to my body… why… I really have no idea… doh!

ps: to those who are anti-patreon, anti-kickstart, and as the great PMags terms it, the Go Fund-Yourself issue (which what guys like Joe Brewer and now myself are doing are far from that)… anyway… yeah, I know… really… I know… it is why I hesitated for an entire year! I just think patreon has the potential to help open up some new ways to doing things I have wanted to do. Trust me when I say it is not about the money… I came really close to just having a single patron level of $1.00 (the minimum amount you can have at patreon) but then a friend and fellow hiker that I respect brought up the issue of how insane it would be to try to call potentially hundreds of people and talk with them for an hour or two. So at some point there needed to be seperation, for my own sake, to be able to accomplish what I really want to accomplish in doing all of this… hopefully helping folks in a closer way than I can here on my website and over on facebook. If we do not try new things, and very few people are these days within the hiking community, than we are all pretty much just shooting ourselves in the foot. I like my feet… without holes in them, so I am sure there are some people out there right now with the “sigh, abela is going money hungry” thoughts in your brain… but please, purge those negative oriented thoughts from your brain… use your brain for good thoughts, not bad thoughts!

Thanks everybody!
+John Abela

Written by John B. Abela

August 26, 2016 at 2:08 am

Posted in News & Updates