The journey from Seattle to Garafia is long. Too long, by the standards of some. But to me, it is exactly the type of thing that makes me buzz with life. From Seattle to London it is nine hours, three more to Barcelona. I spend one night in a monastic room in the leafy Eixample neighborhood, embark on a series of bus, metro and cab rides and board a final, four-hour flight. Finally, I land on the smallest and northernmost island in the Canaries—La Palma.


When the work week ends, we pack up Dave and head for the hills. In our PNW vocabulary, "hills" could mean mountains, islands, rivers, rain forest, canyons, valleys, ocean, inland lakes or ... actual hills. A top favorite on our weekend destination list is Lake Cushman, a particularly God-blessed corner of America and freshwater lake at the base of the Olympic Mountains on the Peninsula ...


Our favorite way to travel is the "One Backpack" method. Only having one backpack means less to pack, lug and lose and makes for a breezier travel experience all around. The only drawback? With limited space, where will we put the little culinary tools that help make our precious picnics possible?

We decided that if we couldn't find a mess kit to fit our needs, we would curate our own. So we did. What we love about our mess kit most is that it's light-weight, takes up hardly any space and packs FLAT ...