2009 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable 2009 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

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    Alex H
    BPL Member


    Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW

    1. Thermarest Prolite XS- I am always out when it's too cold for a Neoair and it is an ounce lighter.

    2. Keen Voyaguer low shoes- great desert shoe

    3. Thermarest Compack Chair- it is perfect with a cut down Ridgerest and the Prolite XS for long nights in camp.

    Fred eric
    BPL Member


    Locale: France, vallée de la Loire

    One that comes far ahead for me :
    my neoair regular

    never slept that good
    i would sacrifice hot food / stove before sleeping again on my cut ridgerest

    Robert Kelly
    BPL Member


    Locale: UL gear @

    GG Murmur Pack
    GG Litetrek poles
    Gatewood Cape
    Marmot Driclime Windshirt, with homemade hood
    Western Mountaineering Megalite
    Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket

    all six of these go on just about every trip except warm summer ones (when down insulation not needed) or longer ones (when bigger pack is needed for >2 days food)

    Jim Cowdery
    BPL Member


    Locale: South Florida

    Reconfigured Western Mountaineering bag to use as a quilt;

    Western Mountaineering down jacket;

    Home-made soda can stove (various versions)

    Janet; When does the pack review come? I need a smaller pack and would love to see some comparisons….

    Nick Truax
    BPL Member


    Locale: SW Montana

    1: Neoair med –
    marvelous, just had to learn to under-inflate

    2: Bushbuddy reg version –
    I know, its not new but it is new to me. It came with me on nearly every trip since acquiring it and hasn't let me down once.

    3: Western Mountaineering down booties –
    Light and toasty for a great price. Have not had much field use but will soon, that is if my lady doesn't commandeer them first!

    EDIT: 3. Patagonia R1 Hoody –
    I'm gonna eat my words on the WM down booties, as they haven't seen enough use yet and as I just remembered the R1 hoody. This is truly a great piece of gear. Amazingly versatile and fairly lightweight for its temp range. Also not new but its a first for me. I can't get enough of it.

    With so many recent advancements in fabrics and materials in general, I am curious to see what the next decade has in store for us lightweight enthusiasts. Heres to Twenty-ten!

    Thomas Kight
    BPL Member


    Here are my picks. Not really new gear in 2009, but new to me, so here goes:

    1. Trangia (sp?) Stove: Used on WT1. Many feel it is too heavy for UL, but I find it transfers heat more efficiently and effectively than some other alcohol stoves. It holds enough fuel so it doesn't run out just before your pasta is done. Plus, you can put it out whenever you want with the lid.

    2. Gossamer Gear SpinnTwinn Tarp: light, pitches beautifully, and is luxuriously spacious.

    3. BPL Merino Hoody: great design with the hood and the thumb tabs. The warmth for weight return is remarkable.

    Peter Sustr
    BPL Member


    Locale: Boulder

    I just noticed that for the first time Don Wilson didn't list his picks, is he still involved with BPL?

    Don Wilson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska

    Hey Pete –

    I'm still here. Just got too busy to send in my picks.

    My picks for 2009 would probably be:

    Montrail Mountain Masochist Trail Running Shoes. Light. comfortable, durable. The best shoes for my feet that I've ever used. Just bought another pair.

    My homemade super simple can stove. I've made lots of these, but this is the best one I've made. It's similar to Skurka's approach, but I use three rows of small holes, instead of two rows of standard hole-punch sized holes. I love the fact that the can also serves as the pot stand. Simple, always works, wicked light.

    Last is my favorite meal from 2009. Ore-Ida potatoes, mixed with foil tuna and olive oil. Throw in random spices. Heavenly when hungry. Sticks to your ribs.


    Sam Haraldson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Gallatin Range

    > Ore-Ida potatoes, mixed with foil tuna and olive oil. Throw in random spices.

    I should not be hungry for this at 09:45 a.m. – – but I am!

    Thomas Gauperaa
    BPL Member


    Locale: Norway

    Caldera Cone – It's just a genius design with the pot stand being the wind shield. Very stable, very efficient and cool looking too. I have three of these now: the Keg-H, the standard cone for the SP900 and a ti-tri with inferno for the MSR Titan.

    Buff – it's always in my bag/pack, being used year round as a cap, scarf, mask etc. Everyone should have one. I've recently bought the Polar Buff too, which I like.

    Lundhags Traverse Pant with Schoeller strech material. Very comfortable! Only downside is that it is a cotton-polyester lend pant, so will wet through eventually. A bit heavy too, but worth it.

    Honorable mentions:
    Trekking poles (Leki) – just makes it easier, faster and more fun to hike. Great multi-use item when used as poles for a tarp too.
    Swedish fire steel with quick-fire tinder
    MSR Titan kettle
    Jason Klass's lid for the SP900

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