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jenglish

Hiking/Camping Gear Nerd Thread

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I know I can't be the only one who nerds out on gear.  I buy a sweet new piece of gear and tell my wife about it and get a glazed look.

 

 

So let's hear about your new tent, jackets, boots, pack etc.  Or old.

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So my current gear quest is to cut weight while remaining a cheap ass.  I just bought a sleeping bag considered a cheapo by real gear junkys and extremely expensive by average Joe's, a Kelty Ignite Dridown 20

ignitedridownaward.jpg

 

My first down bag and $140 is a lot for a bag to me.  But it is warmer and saved a few pounds over my synthetic.

 

I have been packing internal frames for years.  But I put this, my foam pad, tarp and stakes in my wife's frameless bag and was at 8#.  It makes me think I can get my 3 day gear down to 20ish pounds.

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I'll say that I have used the same tent  for 30+ years. When I moved to Kentucky I gave it to my friend. Started camping again and had to buy the same one. I've been through so many storms and never got a drop of water on me. The Eureka Timberline 4. There's a reason they have sold over a million.  I'm also a flashlight collector (not sure why. I just dig em). Flashlights, lanterns etc. Anything that takes batteries and provides light.

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Yessss a gear thread! Our household motto is: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear." I am infamous for the emails I send out before taking inexperienced friends camping with lists of what exactly they need to bring.

For backpacking, my current setup is an Osprey Stratos 36, my sleeping bag varies by temperature, my pad is a sad REI lightweight (but I'm switching to a different pad soon), and our tent is the Big Agnes copper spur UL 2. We normally take a pocket rocket stove, titanium cookware, and a steripen plus backup iodine (or a first needs filter if going somewhere with sediment in the water). Then we throw in emergency gear, clothes and personal items, plus food and we are done.

So my current gear quest is to cut weight while remaining a cheap ass.  I just bought a sleeping bag considered a cheapo by real gear junkys and extremely expensive by average Joe's, a Kelty Ignite Dridown 20

ignitedridownaward.jpg

 

My first down bag and $140 is a lot for a bag to me.  But it is warmer and saved a few pounds over my synthetic.

 

I have been packing internal frames for years.  But I put this, my foam pad, tarp and stakes in my wife's frameless bag and was at 8#.  It makes me think I can get my 3 day gear down to 20ish pounds.

8 pounds for your big three (your sleeping kit) gets you into the realm of ultralight! Woot! I can get my three day pack weight down around 20-25 only if my husband carries our tent. We are going out again soon, so I'll have to see how light I can get that pack!

I am all about getting the best gear for ME as cheaply as possible without compromising comfort and safety. There's actually a whole thread on my favorite outdoors forum dedicated to cutting gear weight as cost effectively as possible. I bet you'll love the Kelty. $140 isn't cheap for us, either. Most of our gear has been picked up at REI garage sales and the like over the years. The thermarest pad I'm hoping to get soon is a hand me down from a friend who upgraded to something he likes more. It has a leak which I should be able to patch. Can't beat free plus a little elbow grease. It's the thermarest prolite, I think. I'm really excited to try it out and see if the closed cell foam style works better for me than the traditional air baffles, which I find very painful to sleep on.

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For car camping, I have an approximately 14 year old Mountain Hardwear Skyview 3 that is my favorite tent I have ever owned. Not a hitch in all my years of use, and still not really showing any signs of wear. Plus it has a skylight for stargazing. â¤ï¸

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I'll say that I have used the same tent  for 30+ years. When I moved to Kentucky I gave it to my friend. Started camping again and had to buy the same one. I've been through so many storms and never got a drop of water on me. The Eureka Timberline 4. There's a reason they have sold over a million.  I'm also a flashlight collector (not sure why. I just dig em). Flashlights, lanterns etc. Anything that takes batteries and provides light.

Actually never seen a tent fram like that. I have seen them set up but assumed they were domes.  Interesting

 

Yessss a gear thread! Our household motto is: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear." I am infamous for the emails I send out before taking inexperienced friends camping with lists of what exactly they need to bring.

For backpacking, my current setup is an Osprey Stratos 36, my sleeping bag varies by temperature, my pad is a sad REI lightweight (but I'm switching to a different pad soon), and our tent is the Big Agnes copper spur UL 2. We normally take a pocket rocket stove, titanium cookware, and a steripen plus backup iodine (or a first needs filter if going somewhere with sediment in the water). Then we throw in emergency gear, clothes and personal items, plus food and we are done.

8 pounds for your big three (your sleeping kit) gets you into the realm of ultralight! Woot! I can get my three day pack weight down around 20-25 only if my husband carries our tent. We are going out again soon, so I'll have to see how light I can get that pack!

I am all about getting the best gear for ME as cheaply as possible without compromising comfort and safety. There's actually a whole thread on my favorite outdoors forum dedicated to cutting gear weight as cost effectively as possible. I bet you'll love the Kelty. $140 isn't cheap for us, either. Most of our gear has been picked up at REI garage sales and the like over the years. The thermarest pad I'm hoping to get soon is a hand me down from a friend who upgraded to something he likes more. It has a leak which I should be able to patch. Can't beat free plus a little elbow grease. It's the thermarest prolite, I think. I'm really excited to try it out and see if the closed cell foam style works better for me than the traditional air baffles, which I find very painful to sleep on.

 I had used a Kathmandu 70+10 internal frame for nearly a decade.  Very feature rich but heavy and allowed me to pack too much.  Last year there was an insurance wellness program that I used points to by a Teton 4000.  It wouldn't have been my first choice but it was serviceable and free. But it weighs 6# empty.  I started packing it and realized I didn't need half the room.  So I grabbed my wife's el cheapo walmart with just two plastic stays in it and I think if I only take 2 liters of water and my planned food I can get away with no frame.

 

I would like eventually to look at either a ULA CDT or maybe a Jardine kit.  

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Actually never seen a tent fram like that. I have seen them set up but assumed they were domes.  Interesting

Classic A-Frame wth aluminum poles. I've been in a storm with 45mph winds during a nasty storm. Tent was solid as a rock. It's very popular with boyscouts also. What it isn't is light and small for backpacking.

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I have a 12x12 cabelas centerpole tent for truck camping, a cheap walmart dome for canoe trips.  My Packing shelter is ghetto fabulous homemade.  I plan on making some silnylon tarps at some point but stil ussing 3.5 mil plastic to try designs.

 

tn_gallery_35076_2010_420378.jpg

tn_gallery_35076_2010_748.jpg

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Oh, my...the gear thread...I'm about to feel like a bad infomercial.

 

Current pack is an Osprey Ariel 65 (link is to a newer model; mine's a couple years old).  It's big, but I stuff it for short hikes and call it a work-out.  On longer hikes or group events, it lets me take on gear for others (especially kids), lightening their loads.  We do own sleeping bags and a tent that my son really likes, but when solo I use a Hennessy Hammock and an ultralight blanket.  The hammock can be propped up like a bivvy if I absolutely have nowhere to hang it, but true hammock sleeping is the best.  Nothing hard under you, no dependence on finding ground that's high, dry, and smooth, quick set-up and take-down even in bad weather, easy to set up during rain and still have a dry place to sleep.

 

About a year and a half ago, I replaced my other reservoirs with Geigerrigs, and I couldn't be happier.  SO easy to clean (turn inside out, stick in dishwasher) and, because it's pressurized I can drink, irrigate a wound, share with another person, or clean something without risking contamination of my water supply.  The pressurization also means that they maintain their shape, so no pack shifting issues as I consume the supply.  I can't recommend these enough.

 

I cook my food with a Bushbox, which can handle any solid fuel, and an Esbit Spirit Burner which adds capabilities to the Bushbox for alcohol, diesel, and other liquid fuels.  I carry alcohol fuel in a Trangia fuel bottle because they don't burp or leak and are easy for kids to pour from safely.  The food itself goes in my Snow Peak Multi-Compact Cookset.  I like this particular cookset because it scales well down to one person or up to 3-4, without costing much weight/space.  The Spirit Burner, plus a couple of sporks and such fit neatly inside, and the Bushbox fits at the bottom of its stuff sack under the cookware.  Fuel flexibility and being able to cook for others are extremely important to me due to SAR work.  I can only carry so much fuel, so I need to be able to scavenge up more as I go, be that wood, charcoal, diesel, heating oil, alcohol, solid fuel tablets, or something else.

 

I carry the usual stormproof matches, but I use a ferrocerium rod from Exotac instead of a traditional firesteel or similar.  The ferro rod actually drops miniscule bits of burning iron onto my fire material, which gives me a more reliable start than just throwing sparks at it.

 

My first aid kit is home-packed because I'm OCD about it.  For blades, I favor Cold Steel.  That's it for specific brands/tools unless anyone wants to shoot me questions.  I do put gear through hell.

 

General tips:

  • Always carry more socks than you think you need.
  • Always carry good a good water treatment system, and a back-up.
  • Be careful about "fun" camping foods that are mostly bulky carbs.  Protein will get you further per ounce.
  • Carry comfort items.
  • Do dangerous things with your kids.
  • If you have limited ability to spend on gear, do the best you can on your pack (so you don't have back problems), hydration gear, and anything that goes between you and the ground (footwear, sleep system), then cheap out on the rest and upgrade as you go.
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I tinkered with making an alcohol stove for awhile out of a couple of redbull cans, but never could get it dialed in right.  I went with a knock off Amazon pocket stove.  I mean it's really a brass fitting to let pressurized gas out that I set on fire... it's not that complicated.  I have a buddy wit a $100 stove that works about the same as the $12 one.  Now most of the time he brings a home-made "twig rig" made for cooking with small sticks. 

 

I didn't even think to mention blades.  FOr backpacking I use a Morakniv Companion for weight. 71fnDPm2BJL._SL1500_.jpg

On trips where weight doesn't matter I use a Cutco knife.  They use a crappy steel now but I have had this one for 20 years and it's high carbon steel and super thick.  Only thing that sucks is it is so thick I have to sharpen it by hand as it wont fit in most aut sharpeners.

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Getting packed up for my trip this weekend.  I always go overboard on food.  And right now I have all my food and 3 meals I have another guys food as well so maybe I can unload a bit of that. 

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Took an 8 fl oz ice mountain bottle and filled it with Wild Turkey 101.  Just enough to nip.  I don't want to lose my wits or dehydrate myself on the trail.  On the other hand camping without whiskey is just sleeping in the woods.

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Took an 8 fl oz ice mountain bottle and filled it with Wild Turkey 101.  Just enough to nip.  I don't want to lose my wits or dehydrate myself on the trail.  On the other hand camping without whiskey is just sleeping in the woods.

Low quality gear is the bane of the outdoorsman That's why I always bring, Eagle Rare, Angels Envy, or Blantons :P :P :P

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Heh, at a certain point drinking really good whiskey on the trail feels like dehydrating lobster tail.  Last big trip we drank Basil Hayden and Woodford Reserve and it seemed a bit like a waste.  Plus we drank a fifth and half of another before we left the trailhead and it might have affected pace.

 

 

So this was the first trip I tried to use my wife's ell cheapo outdoor products bag to save weight.  It tore in 3 places.  It can be patched bu tis making me pine for a true lightweight.

 

New Moutainsmith shirt rocked and while the map pocket seemed stupid it was very useful.

 

Getting a true EN rated bag rated at 20F is much different than a unregulated manufacturer saying a bag is good for 20.  At a low of 40 I rarely put my torso in the bag.

 

First time rocking my Altra Olympus 1.0 trail runners on a hike.  I noticed the poor tread design (no longer used on later shoes) on steep hills but with trek poles it was OK to slip.

 

I learned I can make a pretty wicked Cajun Chicken Alfredo on the trail.

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I tinkered with making an alcohol stove for awhile out of a couple of redbull cans, but never could get it dialed in right.  I went with a knock off Amazon pocket stove.  I mean it's really a brass fitting to let pressurized gas out that I set on fire... it's not that complicated.  I have a buddy wit a $100 stove that works about the same as the $12 one.  Now most of the time he brings a home-made "twig rig" made for cooking with small sticks. 

 

I didn't even think to mention blades.  FOr backpacking I use a Morakniv Companion for weight. 71fnDPm2BJL._SL1500_.jpg

On trips where weight doesn't matter I use a Cutco knife.  They use a crappy steel now but I have had this one for 20 years and it's high carbon steel and super thick.  Only thing that sucks is it is so thick I have to sharpen it by hand as it wont fit in most aut sharpeners.

Little late to comment on this but nice choice on a Mora. Ridiculously cheap knives for their quality.. Sandvik steel is good stuff. They are a hidden treasure. Because weight isn't an issue when I camp, I usually bring a Cold Steel Bushman and I rarely leave the house without my trusty Spyderco Delica 4. Pocket knife is the handiest tool ever!!!

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I used to have a Bushmen but I haven't seen it in a couple moves.  It was neat but almost too big for most uses that were't better served by a corn knife or an ax.  One of my work buddies loves his spyderco but I don't recall the model. 

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Low quality gear is the bane of the outdoorsman That's why I always bring, Eagle Rare, Angels Envy, or Blantons :tongue: :tongue: :tongue:

med_gallery_35076_2010_138356.jpg

 

It can get even cheaper than ol Austin Nichols.  It's hard to be high class when you're white trash.

 

What I love most about my Bushman is that it was <$30 so I don't care if it gets lost or mutilated.

They have gone up since then.

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I need a new coat.  One for actual cold.  I am looking for soemthing for work wear to the hospital but that has some outdoor use once it's retired.... or before.  I am still a cheapskate but looking for something warm, light and packable but avoiding this look

 

tumblr_m3pexzu6Ki1rvci91o1_1280.jpg

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I've car camped before, but since I've started backpacking, I haven't used a tent. Cowboy camped the first night out, and ended up pulling a tarp over me when it started to sprinkle. Since then I've been using a hammock. I do use a sleeping pad (Thermarest) tho.

 

One of my favorite pieces of gear is the Esbit Ultralight Folding Pocket Stove:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001C1UGVO?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

 

This is such a simple easy setup. I love it.

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Ive read some about the solid fuel stove.  Do you notice much residue on pots?  How fast does it boil a liter of water?

 

There is some residue, most of which wipes off. I don't know about a liter, but it did boil 2 cups in about 5 minutes. One pellet burns for 10 minutes, and the stove is cool to the touch about a minute later. It wouldn't be hard to slide a second pellet in tho to boil more. I think it's more of a personal stove than for a large group.

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So my current gear quest is to cut weight while remaining a cheap ass.  I just bought a sleeping bag considered a cheapo by real gear junkys and extremely expensive by average Joe's, a Kelty Ignite Dridown 20

 

I'm about to take the Dridown 0 out for a spin in about 2 weeks.

How do you like your 20?

 

 

Yessss a gear thread! Our household motto is: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear." I am infamous for the emails I send out before taking inexperienced friends camping with lists of what exactly they need to bring.

8 pounds for your big three (your sleeping kit) gets you into the realm of ultralight! Woot! I can get my three day pack weight down around 20-25 only if my husband carries our tent. We are going out again soon, so I'll have to see how light I can get that pack!

 

 

New motivation to get married.. Though I use a Hennessey Hammock, so I guess maybe I'll be ok. :) My guy uses a hammock to so he'd be NO help if I could even get him to go backpacking. Overnight kayak trips are fine, but he won't walk with his stuff! Lol

 

 

 

Oh, my...the gear thread...I'm about to feel like a bad infomercial.

 

Current pack is an Osprey Ariel 65 (link is to a newer model; mine's a couple years old).  It's big, but I stuff it for short hikes and call it a work-out.  On longer hikes or group events, it lets me take on gear for others (especially kids), lightening their loads.  We do own sleeping bags and a tent that my son really likes, but when solo I use a Hennessy Hammock and an ultralight blanket.  The hammock can be propped up like a bivvy if I absolutely have nowhere to hang it, but true hammock sleeping is the best.  Nothing hard under you, no dependence on finding ground that's high, dry, and smooth, quick set-up and take-down even in bad weather, easy to set up during rain and still have a dry place to sleep.

 

Have you used the Hennessy with the super shelter any? I have used in cooler weather, just not actual COLD yet. Thinking of taking it out on one of my tent sites in the park for a cold night, but I've been lazy and attached to the fireplace. :)

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I'm about to take the Dridown 0 out for a spin in about 2 weeks.

How do you like your 20?

 

 

I loved it.  I nearly got sweated out of it. I got used to el cheapo bags that say 20 and you freeze at 30.  At 20 in my light polypros I had to hang an arm and leg out, but I run pretty hot.

 

 I do so little winter hiking I decided I would get more use out of the 20 even though at one point I found a clearance 0 even cheaper.

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