My Next Adventure!

Hey all,

I have a new adventure that I will be on for the next 6-9 months, so things here will be quiet for the rest of the year and maybe into 2019.

My hikelighter website, hikelighter facebook page, my patreon page, and my discord channel, will be in a silent mode for a while.

Hope everybody has good health and lots of fun the rest of the year!

[Deal] Zpacks Bear Bags

The Zpacks Bear Bag kit includes… the bag, cordage, a carabiner, and a cute little rocksack.

It is not all that often that I share about price deals via my website, I think the last one was when I reviewed and offered a coupon for the Solumbra BodyShade Tshirt (which I now have 500+ days of wearing, and hope to have a follow-up review out soon), and as all of you know, Zpacks pretty much never offers deals (sometimes for the holidays they do), but every so often they work out a deal with my good friends over at Massdrop — Yep, I am a huge fan of Massdrop, check out my MD profile if you want to follow me over there.

Anyway, right now there is a Massdrop deal for the Zpacks bear bags, what has pretty much become one of the de facto bear bags for thru-hikers.

Continue reading “[Deal] Zpacks Bear Bags”

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

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.

Continue reading “Solumbra / Sun Precautions BodyShade Workout Athletic T-Shirt + Active Pants”

Join me on Patreon!

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:

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

Gear Updates: May 2016

Here are some updates on different gear that I have been using and testing. As previously mentioned in a few different past articles, instead of waiting until I have 200, 500, 1000, or even 1500+ days of use with a specific piece of gear to write up a detailed review, I would instead post minor updates on the gear in shorter durations, so, here are some gear updates.

Continue reading “Gear Updates: May 2016”

Gear for sale, cottage updates, ramblings

Greetings adventurers,

Hope everybody is having a wonderful May. Crazy that the year is almost halfway gone.

First up is some gear for sale. I have listed all of this gear within the facebook “SUL/XUL Gear Swap” Group, but wanted to post it here for those that do not do facebook.

If you are wanting to buy any of the below gear, please contact me.

Continue reading “Gear for sale, cottage updates, ramblings”

Gear of 2014

Fastpacking along the 400 mile 'Bigfoot trail' I have spent four years helping to develop. Photo by Brian Doyle
Fastpacking along the 400 mile ‘Bigfoot trail’ I have spent four years helping to develop. Photo by Brian Doyle

Gear of 2014

Ah, the end of another year and another awesome hiking season. I figured this also meant that it was time to take an honest look at the gear I have used this year. Some of it I really loved and some of it I did not like at all and some of it I liked but sold or gave away because it just did not work out for my style of hiking.

In this article I am going to go into detail on my favorite backpacks, shelters, sleeping quilts, sleeping pads, jackets, shoes, cook systems, clothing, and other misc gear.

This will likely be a long article, and I hope you enjoy it.

Continue reading “Gear of 2014”

Favorite Winter Gear, 2013/2014

Greetings All,

Seven months ago I published my Favorite Summer Gear, 2013 article and in it I indicated that I was going to two two articles on gear used in 2013, the summer gear I was talking about within that article, and I promised that I would publish a winter gear after the winter hiking season came to an end.

This winter ended up being the driest winter within the Redwoods of Northern California in the 19 years that I have lived here, so I got very little use out of my rain gear.

We did get a lot of colder nights than in the last few years, so that allowed me to break out the winter gear and use it for 25-30 nights on the trail.

The lowest I recorded was 16°(f) / -8.88°(c) so by no means really cold, and had a few nights it was probably a bit colder and I just did not record them.

I just do not think this is really going to be a “favorite winter gear” list… all of the winter gear I used worked and performed as expected, none of it failed and I was not out enough to play around with different sleeping bags or such. So, just going to list the few things that I ended up using and/or taking to help me keep warm on this winters hiking trips.

Let The List Being:

Continue reading “Favorite Winter Gear, 2013/2014”

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

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

I have also become very active at

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

Thanks everybody!
+John Abela