Author Archives: Joe

How Lightweight Camping Gear Could Save Your Life – Dan Wowak

Keeping gear light and minimal will enhance any outdoor experience and will also provide a solid safety net.

3 Knots You Need To Know While Camping

With thousands of knots it’s tough to decide what ones are important to know. Someone on a sailboat is going to answer much differently than someone who is climbing a mountain. Luckily, the knots used when camping work perfect for tasks around the house.

The Cheapest Camping Food Options for a Tight Budget

Food is key when you’re camping. You can’t live on hot dogs all week if you want to keep your energy up—and it’s easy to get tricked into thinking you have to spend tons of money on freeze-dried meals so that you can eat well while in the rough.

Tips for Hiking and Backpacking with Kids

Sharing your passion for nature, exercise, and eco-responsible recreation with your kids is a great opportunity to bond, educate, and start them on a “path” to success.

How to Sharpen Morakniv Knives

Sometimes all you need is a positive attitude and a sharp knife. Whether you are a backpacker, survivalist, hunter, fisherman or boy scout you know the importance of a sharp knife...

Disaster Prepping For The Rest of Us

You don’t have to be a complete Doomsday Prepper to want to be prepared in the event of a grid down emergency. A grid down emergency doesn’t necessarily mean Armageddon or anything like that....

10 Bushcraft Hacks To Improve Camp Life

When it comes to camp life, two words we need to remove from our vocabulary are struggle and hassle. Every problem we face in the outdoors can be solved with the help of Mother Nature. Sometimes, you just need to know where to look!

3 Bushcraft Camping Cooking Systems You Can Totally Make

Campfire cooking can make or break your trip. Let’s face it, everyone loves a good meal, and when you spend the day outdoors, that good meal becomes the pinnacle of camp life...

Naked and Afraid Survivalist reviews UCO Mess Kit, Sprout+ & Flatpack

The first night of our backpacking trip we came into camp at last light. As the light faded, I opted for the Sprout+ instead of the headlamp...

Have Questions About Candle Lanterns?

Looking for UCO candle lantern replacement parts or have other questions about keeping your collapsible candle lantern in good condition?

You Don’t Have to Eat Freeze Dried Food At Camp! – Video

From hot wings to spaghetti to even a blueberry pie, it’s all possible. All that it takes is a few simple tips and tricks with the campfire and you can turn camp food into delicious gourmet backcountry cuisine.

Chickpea Salad Recipe from Pow and Chow Book

Chickpea Salad is everything you look for in a friend: Easygoing, you can bring them along anywhere or enjoy time with them in the comfort of your own home. Healthy, they are positive influences in your life that will give you the energy to get outside the box and live your life...

Camping In The Alpine – Stuff You Should Know

Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline. As unique as the different climates, so is the list of gear you need...

Outdoorsman’s Review of UCO Flatpack Stove & Fire Pit

Nothing beats the ability to have a fire anywhere, at any time. However, there are times when a large, open campfire is not an option, for a variety of reasons. That’s where the UCO Mini Flatpack Grill and Firepit comes into the picture...

Winter #VanLife Camping Done Right

When the seasons change and the weather has you more inside than out, it’s time for a getaway. What are your options in the winter? You can rough it and sleep in a tent, which I will opt for in optimal conditions, or you can get fancy...

5 Ways My Gear Changes for Winter Hiking

There are no two ways about it. Hiking gear changes in the winter months and backpacks become heavier. That shouldn't stop you from getting out in the woods...

How to Have a Backcountry Happy Hour

When it comes to happy hour, there’s no better way to do it than in the backcountry, surrounded by amazing vistas and nature. Here’s our guide to having the best backcountry happy hour...

10 Things to Keep in Your Truck for Emergencies

While we always keep our fingers crossed every trip will be uneventful, an emergency car kit is a good way to make the best out of those uncommon situations...

How to Sharpen Knives the Easy Way

Keeping your knife sharp may seem like a daunting task. There are dozens of different techniques and tools to get the job done. Simplicity though, proves to be one of the best practices!

Gifts under $25 for the Outdoorsy Person In Your Life

at the heck do you get the person who has everything? Hard to say but we think it's safe to say that this outdoorsy person will appreciate any and all the gifts below...

Beginners Guide To Winter Camping

Summer and the warm weather that goes along with it may be over but that doesn't mean you have to retire your house for the year. Make your next outing a little bit more comfortable...

Cooking Wicked White Chili in the Woods

Everyone loves a great meal at camp. It doesn’t get much better than a cool evening, sitting next to the campfire, eating a hearty meal. Wicked White Chili is one of our camp favorites and we wanted to share it with you!

Prepare for a Power Outage with Candle Lanterns and Candles

when a major event occurs, the average household can be without power for 20 hours. This is only an average and depending on the natural disaster...

10 Useful Tips for First-Time Car Campers

Do you have (or have access to) a car? Do you have a desire to wake up in a park? Well, good news: you've already covered the two most essential requirements for car camping!

Pro Ferro Rod Tips from Survival Instructor, Dan Wowak

Maybe you are ready to take fire making to the next level? Maybe it is time you become a fire wizard? Maybe…well….you get the point! Here are 5 tips that will help you how to get the most out of your ferrocerium rod...

Ultralight backpacking tips

So – you’re ready for your first backpacking trip where weight really matters. Maybe you’ve done a few short-distance trips, but you’re now ready to cover 10+ miles a day...

How I live in my Toyota Truck

Everyone and their mom is moving into a van - everywhere you go there are sprinters and sweet VW buses and smiling people spilling out of them. And it seems for good reason - the type of life that comes with it is very attractive...

How to Prepare for a Day at the Crag

Washington is blessed to have so many climbing areas in close proximity to the Seattle metro area. Vantage, Index, the Exits, Leavenworth and Mt. Erie are some, just to name a few...

How I roast my own coffee from the back of my truck

Coffee roasting used to be widespread, and many households would roast their own on a regular basis. With the rise of modern conveniences, most people now buy stale coffee in stores. But you don't have to....

Ferrocerium Rod Basics

Ferro rod is referred to as the ultimate emergency fire starting device is because it is impenetrable to all weather and has an extremely long lifespan...

How To Build Simple Survival Shelters

Shelters come in all shapes and sizes with the most important being the home we live in. Creating a home away from home will provide safety, security, and comfort...

#TrashTag Makes a Major Comeback

Back in 2015, the UCO #TrashTag Project started and encouraged the public to clean up litter. Nearly 4 years later, the #TrashTag Project has made a major comeback...

How To Build A Self-Feeding Campfire

Avoid crawling out of your sleeping bag, scavenging for firewood, and battling the cold while camping. Learn how to build a the self-feeding fire.

How To Boil Water On a Campfire – Hacks to help you

One of those chores is preparing and purifying water. Filters, chemicals, and boiling are all great options, but boiling trumps them all.

Eight ways to prepare for the perfect road trip.

Go ahead, grab some friends and hit the road. These tips are sure to help you enjoy the experience more!

The 5 W’s of Wilderness Survival

The 5 W's to help you stay safe in the wilderness.

How to Meal Prep When You Are A Weekend Warrior

Your guide to meal prep to conquer your weekend adventure goals.

Your 7 Step Guide to Fire Safety

Following these simple steps can quickly and easily diminish the chances of causing any forest fire.

10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste While Camping

UCO Mess Kits can help you reduce plastic waste in 10 ways.

Quick and Easy Anti-Inflammatory Oatmeal in Two-Minutes

This quick campfire oatmeal recipe is a heart and muscle-healthy backpackers choice.

How to Cook The Ultimate Campfire Paella

This campfire cooking recipe is for a flavor and protein-rich paella.

Campfire Safety in the Wake of a Record-Breaking Fire Season

Simple steps you need to know for campfire safety.

Wilderness Survival Priorities You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Learn the survival priorities to make sure you are staying safe on your next adventure.

Camp Recipe: Quick and Easy Creamy Tuna Pasta

This easy-to-make camp recipe combines comfort food with high-protein tuna.

How to Choose a Headlamp

Our guide to headlamps helps you understand power, fit, brightness and projection to help you know what to buy.

FIRE STARTING 101 – LESSON 4 – TIPS & TRICKS 

Know these tips. There are a few, "outside the box", tricks that anyone at any skill level can use.

Lantern Buyers Guide – LED vs. Propane

Which type of lantern is for you? Sound complicated? Don’t worry. Here, we shed light on the details.

Fire Starting 101 – Lesson 3 – Natural Fire Starters

It is difficult to distinguish every plant and tree in nature. Dan tells you which plants to use to start a fire.

What does a survival guide think about Candle Lanterns?

Do you need this item in your kit? Survival Instructor Dan Wowak gets real helps you improve your kit in 3 minutes...

How to Keep Your Electronics Charged While Camping and Hiking

Even if you only follow some of these tips, you'll see a major boost to the battery life of your devices on your next camping trip! 

How To: Camp Cooking With Kids

Don’t just ask kids if they want to help - tell them you need their help! Nothing will make kids feel more grown up or more excited about campfire cooking...

Fire Starting 101 – Lesson 2 – Choosing the Right Fire Starter & Creating Sustainable Fire

Creating a sustainable fire is the challenge, it’s the need, and it’s the want to be near something we can’t live without. 

10 Mistakes People Make While Camping and How to Avoid Them

Numerous things can go wrong when you are camping and sometimes it’s completely out of your control, but other times it’s your own mistakes that can ruin your trip.

Camp Cooking Tips & Amazing Spicy Chicken Trail Taco Recipe

Blow your friends away with your amazing trail tacos and general tips on camp cooking.

Fire Starting 101 – Lesson 1 – The Basics of Starting a Fire

Fire is at the core of human existence as it provides warmth, utility, and comfort. Enabling us to cook food at camp, keep warm on a cold night, and purify water; learning to start a fire is essential.

How To Cook Over a Camp Fire

Whether you’re in the desert, jungle, forest or on the sand, the natural experience of cooking under an open night sky and against a warm blaze is as primal as it is gratifying and hunger-quenching.

Make Cold-Weather Camping SO Much Warmer – 7 Tips

Ahh, cold-weather camping. There’s so much to love about it: uncrowded trails and parks, getting the first choice of campsites anywhere you go and enjoying fresh, Hot coffee as you watch the morning fog lift right outside your tent.

How to Start a Fire the Right Way

Knowing how to start a fire is one of the most important survival skills you can learn. Whether your're a survivalist, a backpacker or just a person who wants to be prepared...

Roses – Van Life: FIELDTRIP 009 with Aidan Klimenko

Mountaineering isn't always about charging for the summit, so take your time and stop to smell the roses. Aidan talks about a recent trip up Mt. Adams.

Oregon Splitboarding – FIELDTRIP 008 with Colton Jacobs

A Photo Collection from Colton Jacobs of a recent splitboarding trip around Bend, OR.

‘Guiding Hands’ – FIELDTRIP 007 with Gemina Garland-Lewis

Gemina Garland-Lewis got her start in the outdoors at a young age. Thanks to her parents' guiding hands, she's pursued a rich life full of outdoors experiences. Here's to Mom and Dad!

‘The Road Chose Me’ – FIELDTRIP 006 with Kathy Karlo

Kathy drops in to talk about a life on-the-move, and how she's settling in to the crossroads between a climbing life and a professional life.

NORRA Mexicana 1000 – Van Life: Fieldtrip 005 with Aidan Klimenko

Aidan covers the NORRA Mexicana, an off-road race through Baja that is renowned for thrashing vehicles. Especially a 30 year old van.

Death Valley – Van Life: FIELDTRIP 004 with Aidan Klimenko

Otis and Aidan head off to catch the elusive 'Super Bloom' in Death Valley National Park.

Aidan and Otis – Van Life: FIELDTRIP 003 with Aidan Klimenko

Otis' latest hiccup has left Aidan in central California, but that suits Aidan just fine.

Where Ocean Meets Desert – FIELDTRIP 002 – Sailing Baja

Gemina Garland-Lewis sails to the tip of the Baja Peninsula from Santa Barbara, CA.

I’m Pissed Off – Taking a Stance on Utah Public Lands – BEARS EARS

UCO President Graeme Esarey is pissed off at the way Utah government handles public lands like Bears Ears National Monument.

Cabin Weekend Off the Grid

A weekend of product testing and cabin fun in Hoodsport, Washington.

Turbotantrums – Van Life: FIELDTRIP 001 with Aidan Klimenko

Vol. 1 of our series with Aidan Klimenko and his VW Syncro as they travel together across the Americas.

Holiday Stocking Stuffers People Actually Want

As the Holidays quickly approach, it’s time to begin finding gift ideas that will be a hit with even the most tricked-out gear junkie. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite items that we know will make you a hit with your family and friends:

Our Vie Adventures 59 National Park Tour

In honor of the 100th anniversary they are visiting all 59 National Parks via RV.

Gold Bar Climbing Trip – FIELDTRIP 001

The UCO Gear Creatures of the Night crew headed up to Gold Bar, WA for some night climbing & camp vibes.

#Trashtag EarthLove 2016 Giveaway

Nominate a world changing organization on instagram and win some gear and money for the organization.

Seeing Sparks: SHOT Show 2016

January always starts the year with a bang for UCO: We get to attend Outdoor Retailer and SHOT SHOW.

Intova at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market

Winter Outdoor Retailer always comes with some fun times on the mountain for our crew.

UCO New Years Resolution

The start of a new year always brings about the inevitable question: What will your New Year's resolution be?

5 Best Ways to Add the Festive to Your Festivities

We want to help you have the most festive holiday yet. Follow these tips and you'll be prepared for anything this holiday season.

Titan Wins 50 Campfires Gear of the Year Award

We’re pretty lit up about our Titan Stormproof Match Kit™ winning the 50 Campfires Award!

Trashtag Project Ambassadaor Profile

In early October, we officially launched our #TrashTag Project. We’ve signed on an ambassador crew that has done a stellar job helping us clean up, spread the word and encourage others to pack out trash spotted on the trail.

A Boulderer’s Wishlist

We asked our resident climbing fanatic, and Product Design Engineer, to spell out his most favorite climbing gear. So if you've got a climber, or any outdoor adventurer on your shopping list this holiday season, read on.

Our Award-Winning Titan Stormproof Matches™

We are extremely honored and ecstatic about our Backpacker Editor's Choice Award!

#TrashTag Project

We’re so eager to introduce the brain child of UCO + Steven Reinhold, the #TrashTag project. Here’s how it came to be:

UCO and Big city Mountaineers

Light My Fire, a UCO partner is a very proud supporter of the Big City Mountaineers, and their Summit for Someone charity climbs. UCO People member, Steven Reinhold, reflects on his experiences with the program

UCO Stormproof Survival Kit

In honor of this very important month, we have released our new Stormproof Survival Kit.

The 10 C’s with Dave Canterbury

Noted survival expert Dave Canterbury shares his 10 C's for survival at the 2015 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Show.

Team Elsie Piddock Wins 2015 Race to Alaska

UCO Team Member Graeme Esarey and the Elsie Piddock crew take first place in the 2015 Race to Alaska from Victoria, BC to Ketchikan, AK.