Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Gear Review: MSR Nook 2 Tent and Pocket Rocket Camp Stove

August 14, 2012, 11:13 am

By Heather Crowley

MSR Nook 2 Camping Tent from REI

MSR Nook 2 Tent

Preparing for a backcountry trip in Glacier National Park meant time for a new tent. The beauty of exploring the backcountry is the solitude and the ability to create your own adventure. Finding a tent to stand up to the rugged, natural Montana elements can be challenging.

A few crucial factors enter my mind when searching for a new temporary home. First off, I need my tent to be light. Lugging a monstrosity across the mountains only gets worse as the sun climbs higher in the sky. After days of hiking, you will view the tent as the enemy if it bogs you down. The MSR Nook checks in at a little over three pounds, making it ideal for my old college buddy and me. I strapped it to the upper portion of my pack and didn’t notice its weight any more than my Nalgene.

What makes the Nook amazing is its ability to thwart whatever Mother Nature unexpectedly drops on you. Nothing is worse than waking up in the tent at night and realizing your sleeping bag is soggy. Glacier threw thunderstorms, rain and wind at us throughout the five days, and our Nook handled the pressure.

One of my favorite perks was the ability to throw my pack down at my feet. With 28 sq. feet of space inside the tent, I could easily reach the necessary tools while still having a separate place for my sleeping bag. Despite the weather being nippy at times, the Nook’s side ventilation with props made all the difference after a long day of hiking. I did not expect the Nook to have so much airflow because it is a double-walled tent. It was a very pleasant surprise!

If you are camping in an established campground, you most likely won’t need the optional MSR Footprint, which goes directly underneath the tent. However, given that almost all of my adventures take me out into the backcountry, I found it extremely helpful. I anticipate it extending the life of my tent over the years and, therefore, worth the investment. It helped keep the bottom of the tent much cleaner, something I definitely value.

Set up is quick and easy, especially with the ability to put the tent up in free-standing mode by using a hiking pole. Having this option can be extremely handy if the ground isn’t cooperating. I used mine so we could move our tent toward a better view. We managed to put up the tent in less than 15 minutes and this alternate way of pitching the tent allows for camping in areas that otherwise would be off-limits.

All in all, the Nook is excellent for standing up to the elements and providing a cozy shelter. I would recommend it for backpacking trips where you need a light tent that can resist the wind.

MSR Pocket Rocket Camp Stove REIMSR Pocket Rocket Camp Stove

Nothing quite compares to unzipping your tent and seeing a stunning mountain view. For some, sipping coffee or tea competes the experience. The MSR Pocket Rocket camp stove is a handy tool when you simply want piping hot water without the hassle of making a raging fire. I love this little guy because it is so light and easily slips right into your pack. For us, the stove received most of its use during the early morning.

After sleeping in 30-degree weather, I couldn’t resist the temptation of hot cocoa to get me going in the morning. The pocket rocket boiled enough water in just over four minutes. Additionally, the flame control can go from torch to simmer, while the Wind Clip™ wind shield allows it to function in howling weather. The scalding hot water was just what the doctor ordered so I could get my caffeine fix and get ready for hiking.

If you’re looking for an efficient, reliable way to quickly boil water, the pocket rocket is perfection. I love its light, easy-to-use design. If you’re hiking in the backcountry and simply need to sterilize water, you won’t be waiting long. This is a must-have stove for any adventurer.

Photo credits: Courtesy of MSR