Dec 26, 2013 at 8:40 am #1311405Dec 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm #2057706
Tim DrescherBPL Member
@timdcyLocale: Gore Range
Wait. Did Dave Chenault really just admit to fatbiking on gametrails and on wilderness trails? …yikes.Dec 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm #2057715
Matthew PerryBPL Member
@bigfoot2Locale: Hammock-NOT Tarptent!
Very disapointed. Hardly any backpacking items listed, and when there were, some were discontinued? What gives? Is this Backpacking light or Packrafting/Bikepacking/"Lifelist Planning"/Hunting Light??Dec 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm #2057720
If Dave's Browning is feeling harassed, it's because I've been sending it cat-calls since I read this article. That is one sexy boomstick but as the price tag is greater than a 10-22, Remi.308, and a Mossberg 500 combined (probably could get a new Glock while I'm at it), I'll have to stay in the cheap seats and live vicariously through Dave's experience with this shotgun. Nice piece of iron though; happy hunting.
I've promised my daughter a Tenkara rod before next summer but I'm not sure if I'm going to get her the Iwana or the Amago. I realize a thorough review is outside the scope of this article but it'd be interesting to hear which line you are using with this rod and if you stick with traditional Tenkara flies or not.Dec 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm #2057731
? Lifestyle item ?
I was relieved when I read the choices.Dec 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm #2057740
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I'm not looking for new gear at this point so have only a theoretical interest here. However, i agree that very few of these items are backpacking-related. As for shoes, since shoe fit is so individual, and I have really weird feet, I have always ignored shoe recommendations. I still have one unused pair of the old (pre Columbia Sportswear takeover) Montrail Hardrocks which will keep me shod for another year.
On the other hand, I don't think I've ever bought any of the past BPL staff picks, except for a very few items that I bought before BPL staff recommended them.Dec 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm #2057755
Alice HengstBPL Member
@moondustLocale: Southern Sierras
These were probably the least helpful picks ever, here or on any other hiking site. Let's summarize what's on the list (* denotes hiking or backpacking gear I might be interested in):
shoes that give the wearer blisters – good thing they have a "heal cup"
a fishing rod
an avalanche protection backpack for skiers which costs over $1000 dollars
a recommendation to take a class
a tent which is "not available for several years"
a running shoe with no details given
a foam roller
a puffy jacket*
a text editor
10 year old snowshoes
snowshoes for kids
a commuter bike
the idea of journaling
a cuben fiber pyramid costing $800 (those ads must be generating some revenue!)
a kayak paddle
a national park
Three out of 21 items are realistic hiking and/or backpacking items. To be fair, the title of the article was not "Staff Gear Picks", so I guess we should feel lucky we got items somehow related to being outdoors. They could have picked their favorite beer or movie star. But the email said "…take a minute and see which gear our staff uses often." I would have gotten a lot more out of reading about gear I would potentially be interested in buying.Dec 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm #2057759
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: The West Slope
Wilderness with a lowercase w Tim, what's the problem with that?
Sounds like you folks might want to think about backpacking as involving more than just hiking.Dec 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm #2057781
Dave, or maybe you staff want to think about not watering down the concept of this site. This was just another boring article. Wow, Ryan likes HMG, is he an ambassador maybe?Dec 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm #2057805
Kids, the site's been branching out for quite some time now. Embrace it already! Instead of whining, add your picks. I'll add a second place to each of my picks because I like to be wordy.
Ultralight Backpacking item: My Enlightment Equipment Enigma quilt system. The three pieces snap together to give me an exceptionally functional piece of kit for a wide range of temps. Close second: Ruta Locura WiFi stove. A toasty stove for just over a pound. Really ups the fun factor on winter hikes when distance isn't important. And yes, it's UL compared to most other backpacking stoves.
Outdoor activity item: Elemental Horizons Kalais pack. Finally found a pack that just feels right. More than worth the few extra ounces. Runner up: I'll be like the other Doug and list something I've had for years – my Koga Miyata World Traveller touring bicycle. It's maiden voyage was a solo trip from Garlstedt, Germany, to East Berlin to watch Roger Waters and guests perform The Wall in PotsdammerPlatz – after the Berlin Wall had come down but before reunification. Finished that trip by cycling down to Dresden, up to Leipzig, and then back into West Germany down to Munich. What a trip! That bike also carried me on unsupported trips in Ireland, Scotland, France and New Zealand, and a trip around Arizona as well.
Lifestyle item: Vitamix 750 Professional. This thing rocks! Getting my health back, one smoothie at a time. Yesterday I used it to make some almond/oat/coconut milk (delicious!). Tonight I put a mug's worth in the Vitamix and added Godiva dark chocolate hot cocoa mix and let it spin on high for around 3 1/2 minutes. Presto! Hot cocoa! Close second: Superfood Smoothies and Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris. Fabulous recipes!
So what are your picks?Dec 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm #2057808
Katharina LångstrumpBPL Member
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
I don't mind the branching out at all; I have been doing that myself…
Ultralight backpacking item.
Hennessy Hyperlite Hammock. This system is super comfortable, easy to set up and weighs in at one pound and 12 ounces, including the fly .
Outdoor activity item.
No surprise here that this would be a Trail Camera. After trying a few of them out, I pick the Cadillac of trail cameras, the Reconyx Hyperfire. Seeing what wildlife shares the trails with me has made my outdoor life even more interesting and very exciting.
Well, soon it might be my brand new Vitamix, but I just got that so until then I will pick the item I do not own as a lifestyle choice: a tv.Dec 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm #2057812
Paul MagnantiBPL Member
@paulmagsLocale: Front Range Zoo
For some of us, various outdoor items fit into backpacking.
I backcountry ski a pretty good amount and do some winter backpacking while skiing.
I would not want to see backpacking light become the Ski Forum, but there is enough room in the tent for the occasional rafting, biking, climbing etc post that happens to involve backpacking too.
These are the personal picks of the staff members as well. People who are active in the outdoors who do purely backpacking/hiking are in the minority. Snowshoeing, skiing, trail running, climbing, fishing etc all are into the mix. And often backpacking is way to do part of it.
So the picks reflect the outdoor style of the contributors.
I do not see it as watering down the site but making it more interesting.
Just my nickels worth.
(My personal lifestyle item is a good craft beer. Because at the end of an outdoor trip, craft beer is awesome. Maybe I should spend more time outdoors so I would have a more appropriate pick? ;-P)Dec 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm #2057815
I don't mind the diversity at all, but not at the expense of the core product.Dec 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm #2057822
While I'm at it. In a world of constant information overload, there's a real quality in specialised information. Less is more?
Hiking is as simple as it gets.Dec 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm #2057823
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
If mountain biking and packrafting are the new direction of BPL, that's fine, but that means I'll be here less and less! Actually, that's already true–even in the forum, I now skip the majority of the recent threads. That's even more true of the articles. It's not that I've lost interest in backpacking, just that I'm happy with the gear I have and also find much of the forum material and articles to be repetitious or about stuff that doesn't interest me. Anything I'd list in my 2013 gear picks will be no different than 2012. Somewhere along the line, I've lost my "gear geekness."
The posts/articles that make me pick up my ears these days are either about backpacking with kids or trip reports. As I get older (and the grandkids are able to carry more shared gear), those grandkids are going to keep me out on the trail longer! And I've always loved a good adventure yarn! There is a reason I jump at the trip reports with kids from Ike Jutkowicz (I hope I spelled that right!)–they combine the two!
And after having nearly been run down several times by mountain bikers (who are supposed to give right of way to hikers but instead forced me to jump off the trail), I have an intense dislike for the species.
Will ORVs be next here at BPL?Dec 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm #2057824
Tim DrescherBPL Member
@timdcyLocale: Gore Range
Wilderness/wilderness. Got ya. But with all due respect, game trails? Perhaps its just the tree-hugger/conservationist in me but, I think its pretty irresponsible. The relationship between hunters and mountain bikers gets very testy sometimes in my neck of the woods. Hunters often complain about mountain bikers pushing animals out of BLM so they can ride game trails and that consequently turns it into "their singletrack".
Perhaps I'm just bitter because I pay a county tax fee for an open space fund which seems to only benefit mountain bikers who want to just build more tread in these "open space areas". What ever happened to setting aside land for the protection of habitat/wildlife and keeping pervious surfaces?
End rant.Dec 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm #2057827
I personally think hiking with a backpack on is a pretty narrow topic and enjoy reading about these other adventures and interests.
UL Backpacking Item: I had to revamp my kit this year so I have many items to choose from but the Lite Trail Solid Fuel Cook System V2 continues to impress. This system works well for when I want to shed weight from my pack but still want a warm meal at the end of the day. I fully expect that 2014 will bring a Flat Cat dry baking system into my life for the trips where I am less worried about hiking from dawn to dusk and want to bring my back-40 culinary experience up several notches.
Outdoor Activity Item: As mentioned above, the very large majority of my 2013 fun money went to my backpacking kit. Slowly but surely I'm bringing my 29er up to snuff for some bike packing in 2014. A couple buddies and I are planning a couple rails-to-trails trips next summer to shake down our gear before we commit to a more ambitious single track adventure.
Lifestyle Item: I started a thread a few months back about wanting to improve my photography. I've ordered a couple books today which were recommended to me on that thread and hope to steal a day here and there to explore the wilderness and work on my photography.Dec 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm #2057835
All these extraneous toys: rifles, tenkara rods, saws, skis, daggers, bikes, ropes, axes, helmet mounted HD video cameras, selfie helping trekking pole me, me, me thingies, live tweeting smartphones, battery driven loudspeakers, drones, music instruments, breaking bad playing tablets. They all remind me of what my generation is called. The masturbating generation. More, more, more!
What happened to the art of just going out in the wild, find a nice rock, sit, be.
I have loads of toys myself. But that's another story. Not one I need this site to tell me.
Don't take this personally, just ranting on. Take care, merry christmas :-)Dec 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm #2057850
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"What happened to the art of just going out in the wild, find a nice rock, sit, be."
THAT is downright un-American! Expect to be pulled aside for interrogation by the TSA the next time you try to come and sit on a rock and be, here in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. :=[Dec 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm #2057854
Katharina LångstrumpBPL Member
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
Peter, then why even go online? Just head out and enjoy.Dec 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm #2057856
Dan DurstonBPL Member
My picks out of the gear I acquired in 2013 are:
1) ULA Catalyst Cuben Hybrid
This pack is great for larger loads such as packrafting and winter hikes. The cuben hybrid fabric minimizes water weight uptake and keeps my gear mostly dry when packrafting (I use drysacks for crucial stuff). At 40oz, it enables me to undertake a wider variety of backpacking trips. Compared to the HMG cuben hybrid packs, the Catalyst is more fully featured which suits my style.
2) Locus Gear FL CP2 poles
The Locus Gear Flick lock poles are the best poles for ultralight hiking. The flick locks are much nicer to use than the GG LT4 twist locks, and they're decently stiffer too. The also collapse shorter since they're 3 piece and the price isn't too ridiculous. My only complaint the small diameter grips, which I remedied by replacing them with GG grips. 4.8oz ea with the straps off.
3) Garmin Geko 301
This GPS is excellent for trips where you'd prefer to have the safety net/convenience of a GPS, but you don't plan on using it much. The Geko 301 is very light (~3oz) and it gives me a my UTM coordinates which is all I need to locate myself on the map. It's been discontinued for several years now, which means they are widely available on eBay for $30-$70. The 301 has much better battery life than the 201 and 101 versions.
Nite-Ize #1 S Biners -Light, strong & well made. Great for bear bagging. 0.1oz.
Nikon AW100 Camera – Waterproof camera's are much nicer to use, and this one is good.
Mountain Hardware Quasar Rain Jacket – The move to more durable 9oz 3 layer rain jacket with a higher quality membrane looks promising.Dec 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm #2057858
Kat, because I like to communicate. But you are partly right. I'm taking an online break, and I'll see you guys some time in 2014. Take care :-).Dec 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm #2057874
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
Ultralight Backpacking Item – Exped Lighting 60. Great pack! Best 2 pound load hauler I've tried so far.
Insert anti-anti-consumerism rant here
Sometimes the focus on gear isn't some selfish consumerism its just a real need. I would have been happy to use my old pack till the end of time but it wore out, and is discontinued. I didn't go shopping for a new pack because I wanted too but because I had too. I imagine people who hike hundreds of miles a year like Jordan and Chenault are in the same boat.
End of rant.
Outdoor Gear – Running in Merrell Trail Gloves. I tried this on a lark after deciding I didn't have the energy for a 2 mile run in my regular shoes. I thought I'd run a mile. But I felt great! It wasn't just the forefoot striking and ground feel often discussed. I was already forefoot striking more or less. The problem was my stiff NB shoes would slip on the loose gravel as my feet landed and as I toed off. It wasn't as bad as running in sand but it wasn't real efficient. The Merrells just worked better. I think it was because they had a smaller "footprint" so I was slipping on less gravel. Also they wrapped around rocks they hit rather than slipping on top of them. I beat my feet up a bit more but my running was more efficient and I felt less fatigued overall.
Lifestyle – Focusing on Family and Friends. I had ambitious plans for the summer but due to a death in the family I kept feeling like certain family and community events were more important and my backpacking trips kept getting pushed back. I took cousins on a backpacking trip (at there not UL pace), volunteered to help a church youth group on a car camping trip, took my little brother on a short trip and spent a week in Yellowstone with my immediate and extended family. In the end all this cut into my backpacking time a lot more then I thought it would. If I'd known how little backpacking I'd do I might have skipped a few family events. But in the end it was one of the richest and most rewarding summers of my life and I'm glad I (unknowingly) sacrificed backpacking for more important things.Dec 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm #2057878
@pitsyLocale: Central Texas
Also a bit underwhelmed by the article, but enjoying the responses!
Ultralight backpacking gear: Exped UL-7 sleeping pad and Exped Schnozzel pump bag. Can't say enough good things about this setup.
Outdoor item: Electric pump that plugs into the car to inflate tubes for when we go tubing the Comal or Guadalupe rivers. I see these kids using their lungs to inflate tubes… taking all day when they could be out on the river like this lazy old man. Or renting a tube every time. Dang! Buy your own tube, inflate it yourself, and save money and time!
Lifestyle item: Baby carrier/backpack. I wouldn't be able to get out on the trail at all without it, but it still gets a lot of use in town. Like when Mrs. pitsy has the stroller with her in the car and I need to go collect my paycheck at work… Just pop little Radley Moon in his carrier and hike over to the shop.
Bonus item: Merino/baby Alpaca hat from Kat_P. My head was the only thing that stayed warm on my walk home from work this evening. Severely underdressed for the temperature drop this afternoon. Remembering my new hat was in my bag brought a smile to my face.Dec 27, 2013 at 12:07 am #2057894
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
…is the picks that you all have in each of your categories. I really enjoy learning about the diversity of what makes BPL readers tick. Thanks to those of you who are contributing yours, as well.
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