MSR PocketRocket 2 + GSI 3 Cup Percolator – Total Boils

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Hey all,

I recently bought a GSI 3 cup percolator for making coffee, mostly around my house and when truck camping.

Kept track of how many boils I got per 110g canister of MSR fuel, when using the new MSR PocketRocket 2 stove, so here is a 2 minute video showing everything.

This post first appeared at: https://www.patreon.com/posts/7935418

Thanks for reading,
+John Abela

As of the time of this article being published I am a sponsored hiker of  MSR. They sent this stove to me (had no idea it was coming, it just showed up one day) six months before release date so that I could perform pre-release testing & feedback to them (something I do throughout the year for many companies with alpha/beta/prototype products) and with zero expectation of publicly writing about it.

Written by John B. Abela

February 5, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Thoughts on Gear

Interviews: Vargo Outdoors

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Vargo Outdoors is an outdoor company that sells specialized gear, nearly all of it titanium, that happens to be a fairly small cottage company yet with a big global reach. Located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with a population of about 6000 people, Brian Vargo (founder/owner of Vargo Outdoors, hence the name) and Chad North (the #2 guy at Vargo) recently took a bit of their time to allow me to interview them!

Hello guys and thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions!

Before we get started, anything you would like to just throw out there for readers?

For those who aren’t familiar with Vargo, we are a titanium outdoor gear manufacturer based in Central Pennsylvania. The company was started in 2002 by Brian Vargo a few years after his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. With an innovative approach to product design and an almost exclusive use of titanium, we aim to create unique products that help lighten loads and meet the needs of adventurers worldwide.

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Written by John B. Abela

January 31, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Interviews

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[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’

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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:

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Written by John B. Abela

January 12, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Gear Announcements

New Hiking Products, Jan 09, 2017

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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 21 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!

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Written by John B. Abela

December 4, 2016 at 1:00 am

Posted in Interviews