Jan 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm #1297910
– -K.T.- –Participant
The What's Your Favorite Gear? thread got me thinking about those pieces in my kit that I have had for over a decade and still use regularly.
I've got a hooded pertex WM Aspen bag that I bought in '98. Still great. Still light enough. It is true what "they" say about the price of quality gear. It only stings at the register. I've never regretted the purchase.
Granted there are quite a few of you out there who might be using gear much older than that (I'm talking to Duane and Nick) on a regular basis. But you guys are even older. I had most of my earlier gear stolen in the late 80's. Bought some crap through the 90's.
Started to get serious in the late 90's, early aughts.
Still using my Gigapower stove too. Bought it at A16 in San Diego to replace my Primus canister stove/brick.
So what still works for you?Jan 11, 2013 at 8:54 pm #1943044
From the time I re-started backpacking 6 years ago, I've kept my Campmor hiking poles made by Leki. These things seem indestructible. Not overly expensive but they have held up well as hiking and shelter poles. Not a decade old but I can't convince myself to replace them with something lighter.Jan 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm #1943048
I wish I knew- I started camping about 11 months ago! Since then, I've traveled thousands of miles by foot and bike, hiked a half dozen peaks, camped for literally months, and I'm already replacing gear that wore out!
That being said, a few items impress with their durability. Fox River Socks keep going and going. My Inov-8 shoes can't seem to die. The E-Vent dry sacks from Sea to Summit held all my UL gear strapped to a bike rack for 1,500 miles.
And finally, my EMS Solstice 20 is a cheapo sleeping bag that I got as a gift- and then fell in love. It's really perfect for me, no need to replace it!
For every item that seems super durable, I've learned that Light My Fire plastic sporks break, Kelty packs have weak net pockets, and cheap rain gear just plain sucks. I am done skimping there.Jan 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm #1943053
I have a pair of mittens my friend's mom knit for me in 1972 or '73. They go on every cold weather trip I take and they still do the deed. I'm on my third pair of mitten shells but the mittens endure.Jan 11, 2013 at 9:44 pm #1943054
W I S N E R !Participant
-I've only bought two packs for backpacking (not counting the internal frame I bought, and still have, from the early 90s)…a Jam2 and a Granite Gear Vapor Trail. I'm still using both (Jam 3 season, Vapor Trail winter and with my kids). Got the vapor trail right when they came out (6 years ago?), the jam about 5. I lose track.
-My stove: Snowpeak Gigapower Ti (manual). I will occasionally use alcohol, but this has been my go-to for a few years. I bought it when it first came out, no idea how long ago that was…
-My cookpot: Snowpeak 1400 (though I recently added a Four Dog flat lid) First piece of titanium I ever bought. Been going for at least 5 years, maybe more.
-Some stuff gets rotated, but not replaced: i.e. I have three sleeping bags, a 5F WM Antelope for winter, a 30F WM Summerlite for summer, and a 20F EMS MOuntainlight as a shoulder season bag or spare for one of my kids. None have been replaced or worn out, all have been in my kit for many years.
-I don't foresee replacing my ShangriLa 3 anytime soon. Been using it for at least 3 or 4 years now, should get another 3 or 4 out of it. But it also gets rotated with a one man tent…
I've done my share of trying stuff out, but generally, I don't buy much gear or replace stuff often.Jan 11, 2013 at 10:00 pm #1943056
Feathered Friends Rock Wren from 2000. The newer fabrics are apparently lighter and I don't think it had much, if any, DWR treatment, but it has been a great friend for many nights and I see no reason to replace it with my current setup.
I still have most of my stuff from the '80s and '90s but I've simply moved on from almost all of it.Jan 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm #1943059
My original pair of Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Poles.
My original Black Rock Gear Hat.
My original Simblissity LevaGaiter.
My original RoadID.
I just bought a new pair of Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants for the 2013 GGG… my old pair is going strong, it just happens to have some threads that are broken in the wrong spot to be around a bunch of people.Jan 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm #1943067
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
They are my original set and are pretty badly worn but I still like them better than the synthetic models they are selling these days. :)Jan 12, 2013 at 4:48 am #1943097
They are my original set and are pretty badly worn but I still like them better than the synthetic models they are selling these days. :)"
If the synthethetic knees are lighter then I may need to upgrade.
Unfortunately I did a complete swap out three years ago. But other than my sleeping mat I haven't switched any major items out (other than when worn out) and hope to get many more years.Jan 12, 2013 at 6:02 am #1943105
@wrongturnLocale: The Soda
Never heard of the RoadID, just snagged one.
Personally I've been using my ULA conduit for about 5 years or as long as I've been UL backpacking. I've cut off everything I deemed unnecessary and it has seen better days, but it still goes strong as my Fast Packing weekend bag in late spring through fall.Jan 12, 2013 at 6:08 am #1943106
I have tried to replace my ULA circuit (not because I dislike it, just trying other methodologies), but I keep going back to its combination of low weight, internal support and durability. Plus, it just feels good on my back. :)Jan 12, 2013 at 6:40 am #1943111
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
Still use a pocket rocket, Ti pot and knife and fork which are probaly 10 years old. Have lots of gloves and hats and bits and pieces which are fairly old and see service.
My rain gear is about 5 years old and still going strong.
My old base layers/ socks and puffy gear I use for around town and car camping also have a pair of boots which are 10 years which I keep in the truck.Jan 12, 2013 at 8:08 am #1943124
1. Nunatak Arc Alpinist quilt, my go to sleeping gear for years. It's what I always use for 3 seasons, I could probably go with a lighter 30D quilt for summer but the Nunatak works so well over such a wide range of conditions
2. Caldera Tri-Ti ULC. They appear to be discontinued now but it's compact, works great and everything fits into my 800ml pot. I played with a lot of stoves and all of them went into a box after I got this one.
3. Houdini windshell. over the last 7-8 years I've used it to the point where the fabric is starting to shred and I've repaired it with Tenacious tape.Jan 12, 2013 at 8:26 am #1943130
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
Pocket Rocket Stve
ALuminum cookpot found abandoned in a campsite years ago
Small Buck knife that was a gift from my wife
Single wall tent I made years ago
Zip off pants and US Navy short sleeved shirt—bought at a thrift shop
Fleece bought at a thrift shop
Actually, the list would be shorter of stuff we have upgrade:
Go Light packs to replace our old Eureka 3800s which have hundreds of miles on them.
REI Sub Kilo bags we got a few years ago on close out
Probably the biggest change for us was going to Neo Air pads…
Guess we're not gear head…only backpackers.
ducking!Jan 12, 2013 at 8:34 am #1943132
My Skaha w/hood.
Original EE cuben quilt.
RAB Bergen pants.
Calera Cone system (I have gone from 850ml to 550ml to 450ml, but have stayed with the Caldera Cone through the 'downsizing').
MLD gaiters and water bottle holders.
GG4 Lighttrek poles.Jan 12, 2013 at 9:24 am #1943150
@mammomanLocale: NE AL
Like many of us, the stuff I purchased when I initially got back into backpacking has largely been replaced as I dialed in my wants and needs better….but I did hit several homeruns right off the bat with my GG LT4 poles, Snowpeak Gigapower stove and 700ml pot, and a gifted WM Vapor jacket.Jan 12, 2013 at 9:33 am #1943152
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Although it is mostly retired, I still have my MSR Int'l from '89 bought new to replace but still have a cheapo butane stove from Thrifty Drug store. I started using my Sears Ted Williams sleeping bag again for car camp trips. It was given to me as a kid in the early '60's I guess by my parents. It needs to be retired as the lining is pretty thin now. Still have my First Need filter, bought in the '80's also. I gave my Camptrails bp away 9 years ago that I bought used in the early '70's. Wish I had it back, it was used for 8-9 day trips and I since learned it was large enough for weekend trips. I was ahead of my time and didn't know it.
DuaneJan 12, 2013 at 11:00 am #1943172
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
I'm a young buck, having been doing this as long as many here, so what still works for me is barely in it's infancy.
Some items that are still around and get used:
Fancy Feast catfood can stove. My first MYOG item. Works well enough for when I go alcohol.
Snowpeak Litemax Ti stove. Light, compact, boils water. Not going anywhere.
Long handled ti-spoon. Goes everywhere. Bought this one several years ago after trying those silly Light My Fire sporks.
Lawson Equip. early production Cuben Pack liner. There isn't a better constructed cuben pack liner available. Period.
MSR Groundhogs- I purchased a bunch of these 6 years ago and haven't had a need to replace them. I've supplemented them with some lighter ti needle stakes on trips where I know soil will be kind, but those other stakes can't shake a stick at the versatility, holding ability, and durability of the MSRs. I think these will last me several more years assuming I don't lose them.Jan 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm #1943192
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I'm not using anything from my Scouting days in the 1970's. But I still have my BSA pocketknife. I prefer a SAK, but maybe I should bring it on a trip. I got it late in Cub Scouts in 1973, so that's coming up on 40 years.
But in the mid 1980's, I worked in a backpacking store and developed some of my own UL techniques (no tent, no stove, no sleeping bag). The gear and the techniques weren't as well developed as they are now, but:
I just used my Alpenlite UL "day and a half" pack last week in Hawaii because with the wife and kids along, I needed more lightweight gear. It's not much heavier than today's offerings, given that it has a foam back pad/stiffener. I got it in 1984, I think, so 29 years ago.
I've still got my orange and brown Thermarests from that era including one with a brass, not plastic valve, and still use the brown ones with larger groups – so those are 26 to 29 years old.
I should have brought my MSR whisperlite (26 years old?) or my Optimus 8R (30 years old) because I couldn't find canister gas anywhere on Kauai and ended up cooking Top Ramen over Sterno (whereas, I did find white gas at Walmart). Actually a stove head for standard propane cylinders or an adaptor would have even easier for sourcing fuel.
A little of my polypro from the 1980s is still in the mix. Patagonia Baggie Shorts last forever, or at least more than a quarter century.
My oldest sleeping bag is a semi-rectangular synthetic by Caribou (1985). The weight-saving aspect is that I have a slip-cover for the bottom that holds two thermarests and the bag itself unzips flat and serves as a double-wide top (early quilt concept). Hence, my wife and I can share the weight of one bag. There are other benefits to that arrangement, as well.
My oldest tent is a Jansport "Yellowstone", 3-person, 3-pole free-standing dome (1984). Not at all UL, but it goes on canoe- and car-camping trips still.Jan 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm #1943194
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
My great grandfathers original granfors bruks american felling axe (dayton pattern) and his william mann double bitt cruiser axe, both are about 100 years old. He was an old school lumberjack for most of his life and used these tools. They will last another 100 years and beyond if cared for.
Ok, I know that's not really "backpacking" gear, but I will probably take the double bit cruiser (28 inch handle, 2.5 lb head) winter snow camping with me some time.Jan 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm #1943225
My hiking buddy (also named Max) uses his Dad's old stuff. He's the same age I am, 23, but unlike me, he's grown up camping and has done a couple of thru-hikes. He uses an external frame bag from the 1970's, mittens from the 1960's, boots from the 1980's, etc. Most of his stuff is either brand new and UL, or incredibly old and heavy, but he does great with it.
The panniers he used on our Bike Tour were from the 1970's, and the bike he used was a 1970-something Schwinn Paramount. Build it to last, and use it forever…Jan 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm #1943246
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
I started backpacking in early 2004 — and here're the gear pieces purchased that year that I still use:
1. Mountainsmith Ghost backpack — fits my light weight backpacking style — great features and oh so comfortable.
2. MontBell UL Down Hugger No. 3 — very lightweight, soft and comfy to the touch, and true to its warmth and weight ratings.
3. MontBell Thermal Sheet (hoodless 50F bag) — same as #2.
4. Duofold Varitec tees – 80/20 poly/cotton blend — yep, I'm still wearing the ones I bought in 2004.
5. REI Sahara convertible pants – love the Dupont Supplex nylon – but am currently on my second pair.
6. Duofold Varitec undies – comfy and fits me just right.
7. Platypus bottles/bladders — haven't worn one out yet — although I've lost one down a steep ravine.
8. Nalgene wide-mouth cantene (soft bottle) – greatest pee bottle on earth.
9. Permethrin and DEET – Been using them since 2004 – they both work — esp. Permethrin.Jan 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm #1943248
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Body parts. Knock on wood……Jan 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm #1943266
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
In order of importance:
1. Like Tom, body parts. Good luck and ibuprofen have helped.
2. My two Bibler tents, each 15+ years old. Great tents, don't need replacing.
3. Western Mountaineering Sequoia bag. My go-to winter bag for many years. Occasionally gets some help from an over bag.
4. Mystery Ranch BDSB pack. Sometimes I think I keep it for sentimental value, then I take it out on a ski tour and re-recognize its superb weight transfer.Jan 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm #1943278
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
My first hiking poles by Komperdell. Heavy @ ~20+ oz/pair and the antishock has never worked well (that's how I discovered I don't need antishock), but I love 'em. From 1996.
Still using a pair of polyester base layers from the late '90s. Feel and work great (mostly for sleeping, that's why they've lasted so long). The bottoms are by Body Sensor and the top is of unkown brand, made for a small outfitter that used to be in Greenville, SC.
I still find the Gerber LST to be absolutely great. Nice blade and handle. I have many knives I consider "better", but few I grab when I need a blade. What does that say about which knife is really "better"?
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