Mar 14, 2014 at 10:08 pm #1314422
I am typically not one to start a thread like this so it may die quickly on the vine…….yet, in a recent reply I received from Todd, he mentioned his Montbell Down T is a piece of gear that just really makes him smile.
This got me thinking……what one piece of my gear really makes me smile? My answer……
Trail Designs Caldera Keg – GVP
There is something about pulling out a 2.13 oz cook system when it's time for dinner that always puts a big smile on my face. It takes me back to the early days when my white gas MSR Whisperlight stuff sack weighed about that much – smile.
I know we probably all have lots of pieces of gear we really like, yet, please just state the single winner for you.
What one item really makes you smile and why?Mar 14, 2014 at 11:05 pm #2082924
ZPacks Hexamid twin
Yes, way too expensive.. I splurged on it. It's s the only thing made of cuben that I own. Neat to think its made out of fabric that's used for sails. Its unbelievably light. Its gorgeous when pitched nice and taught. It just seems perfect..cant think of anything to add or remove. Its subtle enough to actually enhance pictures of the places Ive pitched it.Mar 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm #2082925
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
Western Mountaineering Versalite sleeping bag. It makes me smile because it guarantees I'm going to sleep warm, no matter what Alaska throws at me spring/summer/fall. Sometimes our nighttime temps in the middle of summer still dip to freezing, this bag keeps me warm. The full length zip means I can vent it on the warm nights, or just use it as a quilt. And it's luxurious to get into- so soft. This bag was my "holy grail" of sleeping bags and I was so excited when I found a deal on a used one. Oh, and it's still relatively light. It weighs roughly the same as my previous bag but way warmer and more loft.Mar 14, 2014 at 11:17 pm #2082926
@overheadviewLocale: Charlotte, NC
My empty Kelty pack from days past makes me smile. My current pack/shelter/quilt/pad and most other non-clothing items together weigh less! And, if it fit in that tanker, I brought it! (this is the biggest pack, it HAS to be the best? haha)
My MYOG down quilt is a close second in smiles (since the first one was meta, I took the liberty of giving 2 answers).Mar 15, 2014 at 2:06 am #2082935
@edhyattLocale: The North
The battered Wildcats I walked the CT in last summer….
They hang on the clothes dryer on my upper landing and make me think of this summer…Mar 15, 2014 at 7:09 am #2082949
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
My WM Puma as it keeps me nice and warm in crazy cold Michigan winter.Mar 15, 2014 at 7:25 am #2082951
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
It's my MYOG pack nicknamed The Great Pumpkin.
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The reason is that this is the only pack that has been carried by me on more than one successive hike. It is a reminder of all the good times a.k.a. "adventures" that I have had on the trail. It has survived many miles on the trail and many modifications as my gear list has changed and evolved.
Also since I tend to hike on the AT during hunting season the blaze orange color offers me some level of protection. ;-)
Newton ;-)Mar 15, 2014 at 7:51 am #2082957
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
My packraft. Makes me grin like a little kid. :DMar 15, 2014 at 7:53 am #2082958
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Cool thread, Rick.
Ya know, I'm glad you started this thread because when I wrote that the Down T "makes me smile" it actually took me down a road like this.
I am enjoying reading yours and others' responses.
ToddMar 15, 2014 at 8:26 am #2082962
For the same reason a dog gets excited when you get out the lease. "Oh boy, were going for a walk!"Mar 15, 2014 at 9:33 am #2082973
Nothing is quite so esthetic as a well pitched Cat cut tarp like my GG Spinntwinn, a classic UL shelter. Both photos taken today as I have the shelter up for testing in higher winds we are expecting today.Mar 15, 2014 at 9:56 am #2082974
@alaskaonedayLocale: Northern CA
My McHale pack(s) because when I grab one it means I am getting out of the house and it will carry anything I bring comfortably.Mar 15, 2014 at 10:32 am #2082979
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
My trail shirt.
I found an odd-ball brand of shirt that I've worn for the past 10 years. I'm on my 4th one (I stocked up) and I only wear it when I'm backpacking, day hiking or fly fishing.
When I pull it out of the closet, I always smile because good times are ahead.Mar 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm #2083071
@paintballr4lifeLocale: East Coast
I have to say my Goosefeet down booties make me smile. My feet were always cold in the wild, but not anymore!Mar 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm #2083088
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Why? It freed up my hibelt (leave the heavy camera now at home!) and became my favorite smartphone ever. With the camera grip I was in heaven. I'll miss it if I have to give it up ever ;-) GPS, maps (even offline), Kindle app, music, camera….all in one. And yes, the camera lives up to the hype I might add……Mar 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm #2083092
@pitsyLocale: Central Texas
My MSR Titanium spoon. I've had it since '97 and I use it every day. It's been everywhere with me.Mar 15, 2014 at 9:21 pm #2083121
@glenn64Locale: Snowhere, MN
My gear seems to be in a constant state of flux, so I had to really think about this, but I stumbled across the answer while doing some more stove tests at home. It's just a simple Mini-Bic.
Every time I pull it out to light my stove, or campfire for that matter, I smile to myself, and shake my head a little too. I wonder how in the world I ever spent 30 years of my life as a smoker. Now, 6 years later, the only time I use a lighter is when I'm doing something I really enjoy, instead of doing something I wish I could quit.
I also feel absolved of any and all guilt for even the most expensive piece of gear I own, since it's all money that otherwise would have gone up in smoke!Mar 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm #2083256
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it yet: The Patagonia R1 Hoody
Nothing gets taken along more than my lime green R1 hoody – it seems to have such a wide and adaptive temperature range that only in the dog days of summer here in SoCal does it get left behind.Mar 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm #2083337
@carpenhLocale: St. Vrain River Valley
Criminy! Everything makes me smile in one way or another…
If I had to choose one, I'd say it would be my TarpTent Notch– roomy, comfy, light, and secure.Mar 16, 2014 at 7:59 pm #2083382
This one's easy: my Kelty. It's been nearly everywhere I've ever backpacked, albeit not the trips when I wore my Lowe internal, and it's always comfortable, reliable and functional. It makes other people smile, too: some because they know better and others because it's iconic.
2014 will be Season 33 with the Kelty and I'm smiling already.Mar 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm #2083409
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I generally just consider the gear as tools.
For those who are familiar….
You gotta smile.Mar 16, 2014 at 11:21 pm #2083420
@oystersLocale: South Australia
At the moment my Montbell Tachyon does this without fail every time. Every time I don it, it impresses me again in a new situation.Mar 17, 2014 at 12:32 am #2083425
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
the moraMar 17, 2014 at 1:50 am #2083432
A bus ticket.
It may only be a tool, as Nick says, but I like what it does:)Mar 17, 2014 at 3:11 am #2083434
Sorry, can't pick just one. Current top five off the top of my head:
My regional transportation card. Right now I work in a town that is 40 minutes away by train, so recently bought a train/bus card that is unlimited use any time of day/night for a month in the county I live in, which is slightly larger than the US state of NJ. A lot of the E1 trails pass through this county, and I am in the process of hiking them, so it's a win-win situation for me with work and play. Also, it weighs like 4g.
Zpacks Arc Blast backpack. It's just such a great pack, and can handle anything from winter weekend trips to longer section hikes. If/when I do a thru-hike, this would be the pack I would take.
Waterproof/resistant maps. Recently bought both Tyvek and Pertex treated maps, that are also the most updated (2013). I love looking at maps. When I am stressed out or feeling down, often I will break out one of my newest maps and read it for a while, daydreaming about future trips. That I don't have to waterproof my maps myself saves a lot of time and weight, and is like the icing on the cake. I also love finding things that are not marked on maps that are nice little surprises. Last weekend I did a section hike and found three different shelters, all of which were really nice, and none where on the map.
Borah gear down vest. So light yet so warm, and such a versatile piece of clothing. Great at night and in the morning when its colder, and great to sleep in, plus fits nice under or over other layers. It's a great upgrade to my sleeping system–it's like I upgraded my 5C Zpacks bag to a 0C bag. Very comfy, simple, elegant, easy to pack, 105g.
Camera. I am no photographer and just have a point and shoot little digital camera I got like 4 years ago. But over the past few years I have taken more and more pictures and family and friends have said that my skills are improving and that I have a better eye for a good picture. It's also great to capture some of the beauty that one encounters, and helps one to remember details from trips and of the area. Looking to upgrade in the near future, but cameras in general have earned a new place in my heart as a backpacker. I used to be one of those "memory is best" type people and didn't want to be bothered with taking the time to snap a bunch of pictures. Now I enjoy it, and found it takes very little time and is really worth it.
Wow, picking just 5 was hard enough. I don't know how a lot of you just picked one! I think most of my gear has made me smile at one point or another.
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