Jul 6, 2014 at 11:13 pm #1318681
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
It is late at night. It is warm with a light breeze. I am sitting on my front porch in Seattle, smoking a cigar of unspecified national origin, drinking a gin and tonic, and planning my next hike. When my thoughts turned to gear, as they eventually do, certain gear simply makes me happy when using it: my Zpacks Hexamid Twin Tent, my custom Zimmerbuilt pack, and my Feathered Friends custom Vireo sleeping bag. The Hexamid Twin feels like a palace and has gone through storms, rain, and snow. Just being under it in the wilderness makes me feel secure, yet connected to my surroundings. My custom Zimmerbuilt fits perfectly, is laid out just like I wanted, and is made with such quality and craftsmanship that it is a joy to put on my shoulders. My custom Vireo is warm and comfortable. Just climbing into it makes me feel cocooned and safe.
Ignoring weight, ignoring materials, ignoring design, what gear just makes you happy using it?Jul 6, 2014 at 11:21 pm #2117825
a mini BIC lighter
–B.G.–Jul 6, 2014 at 11:37 pm #2117827
@owenmLocale: SE US
None of it. All of it.
Being active outdoors makes me happy, and the gear facilitates that.
I can't wait for it to be cool enough to break out my OR Ferrosi hoody, Marmot Scree pants, and Katabatic Palisade quilt again, though, because cool weather makes me happiest(and those ARE some of my gear favorites).
This time of year is good for happily using the kayak, mountain bike, and Mystery Ranch Dragonslayer-if that comes out, something is getting climbed or rappeled!Jul 6, 2014 at 11:47 pm #2117830
Must..not…preach… soooo tempted…..
Just will say, yes, i do appreciate well made, functional and practical gear. Only makes me happy though, when i'm happy for more substantial and inner based reasons to begin with.
Oops, i still did it.Jul 6, 2014 at 11:50 pm #2117831
@vision-questLocale: Boulder, CO
Not necessarily my favorite piece of gear I own, but my 2012 Houdini is just so damn useful.Jul 7, 2014 at 12:28 am #2117835
@mikmikLocale: Brisbane AUSTRALIA
I must say I am on a forever revolving gear try and release caracal! Though every now and then I will find a piece of gear I am wrapped with!! They are:
-Zip lock bags
-Mini Bic lighter
-AntiGravityGear blow up pillow (25g!!!)
-UL esbit cooking kit (Foster Pot)
-Dehydrated packets of food
-Plastic bags (here in Oz we get these free at the grocery store) for water tight storage
-Cut down tooth brush and paste kit weighing 11g
-Kathmandu Hiking socks
-Kathmandu pullover (poli outer marino inner). I love ther whale tale length around the waste (I can tuck it in my pants for greater warmth) and extra long arms.
-Deoderant stick 11g. I emptied a lip balm tube and melted part of a deodorant stick into it….excellent piece of personal hygene at next to no weight!!! And the swivel action allows me to empty the entire contents before refilling. Win WinJul 7, 2014 at 9:11 am #2117883
@gordongLocale: Front Range, CO
Jet boil: It all packs up nicely and boils 8-16oz of water in 1:30.
Diddy sack: When full of my needed supplies, its the go to sack for cooking, cleaning, setting up camp, ect…
iPhone: camera, video, GPS, music, and whatever else.Jul 7, 2014 at 9:15 am #2117884
My Batman wayfarer sunglasses because my kids picked it out for me. Too bad they have the following product notice:
Certain states require us to provide consumers special warnings for certain products if those products expose consumers to chemicals above threshold levels. We care about our customers safety and hope that the information below helps with your buying decisions.
FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS: Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Do not put in mouth or chew.
FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS: WARNING: Contains Lead. May be harmful if eaten or chewed. May generate dust containing lead. Keep out of the reach of children.
Now on the search for new sunglasses.Jul 7, 2014 at 9:41 am #2117888
+1 on none of it, all of it.
No matter how light or necessary, none of it makes me happy when its on my back.
It all makes me happy when its time to make camp at the end of a long day hiking.
jimmybJul 7, 2014 at 9:51 am #2117890
…Jul 7, 2014 at 10:05 am #2117892
@mdiltheyLocale: MaxTheCyclist.comJul 7, 2014 at 10:12 am #2117894
Ian, i thought i told you before, your sunglasses are not a backup snack for when you run out of regular hiking food. Sheesh, you can lead an Ian to water, but you can't make him filter it properly. `Jul 7, 2014 at 10:59 am #2117915
Like my EE quilts, my cuben Solomid (though still plan to mod it some), sawyer squeeze, Houdini, yes bic's are awesome too, and i'm sure more. I don't have a great pack. Well i gave a great one away recently to a friend for a bug out bag. Fit well and rode nice, the pack, not friend, that is.
Oh, and who can forget the trusty, reliable scale, without which i wouldn't be able to obsessively weigh and record weights in such a convenient and fairly accurate manner.
It's still too early, and with a lack of experience to list my modded poncho, but i do have high hopes. Might come closest to being the holy grail of WPB rain gear for warmer weather, that is so far possible while being super inexpensive too.Jul 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm #2117952
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>" a mini BIC lighter –B.G.–"
Which I'd tweak to "a mini BIC lighter with the child-safety guard removed".
For snow camping, I'll splurge and bring a full-sized BIC (also modified). It's easier to use with cold or gloved hands.Jul 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm #2117959
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
The constants of my backpacking universe put a smile upon my face:
My hiking poles are old friends without which I could not complete my trips. The strap around my wrist is like an old and comfortable glove and the worn handles slips into the palm of my hand effortlessly. The familiar sound of carbide tips tapping step by step on Sierra granite as I head down the trail to round the next bend in the trail to reveal the next magnificent sight.
My 2008 MLD eVent Soul Side Zip…my home away from home that is safe and secure in all weather that gives me the piece of mind to find weary slumber to take me away to the next sunrise and daily adventure.
My MSR Titan Kettle….yeah, it is a little big for my needs, but cradling my only hot meal in my hands at the end of the day after a long day on the trail to watch the sunset is magical.
Other gear changes or gets worn out…these seem to be eternal and constant.
TonyJul 7, 2014 at 12:54 pm #2117961
David, did you know that you can purchase lighters that have no child safety guards?
–B.G.–Jul 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm #2117962
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Bob, Nope, I didn't know that. I've heard they don't come that way in other countries, but all the ones I've seen have the little guard near the sparker wheel. They are easy to pop off or grind/file in half and then they fall off. Where do you find them without?Jul 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm #2117968
I've found the non-safe lighters in stores where children are not around. Try a smoke shop or a liquor store (not that I would know anything about those establishments).
Some 50-year-old bearded pipe smoker is not going to want to fool around with child safety devices. He wants only the straight stuff.
Of course, the best lighters have a nearly transparent plastic butane compartment so that you can see the fuel level. Some are barely transparent. A few are opaque, so I never take those to the field.
Also, in winter, I always carry two (one for each front pocket). You don't want to take a chance on the fuel getting too cold to operate.
–B.G.–Jul 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm #2117971
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
1) My old BPL Firelite 550 w/handles, Esbit Ti-wing stove, homemade foil windscreen. Well worn and faithful. Quieter than a whisper.
2) I WILL love my new, fancier Litetrail version of same, but haven't used it yet!
3) My Montbell Down T (w/snaps) – this was what started an earlier thread on gear "that makes you smile"
4) Wild Oasis and Gatewood Cape from SMD
5) Bridge hammock, but not the big tarp required with it
6) Steripen Journey – fits most bottles easily
7) I think I'll love my Arc Blast from ZpacksJul 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm #2117978
All of my gear makes me happy. My GG Hyperlight Murmur pack makes me so happy now because when I pack it and put it on my back it feels so nice and I don't even notice it is there. My BPW bug bivy makes me happy because it let's me sleep as close to nature and cowboy camping as possible but be protected from those darn skeeters…Jul 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm #2118057
"what gear just makes you happy using it?"
Everything down that it really light. Montbell jackets, WM bags, EE quilts.Jul 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm #2118061
Anything I've made myself, especially if it was from scrap parts. Part of it is the joy of creating, but another part is the lack of guilt from spending more than I should have.Jul 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm #2118073
@mammomanLocale: NE AL
Gear that makes me happy to use….starts with Blue Head Reposado Tequila :) ALWAYS makes me happy.
Being out and able to use even my crappy gear makes me happy, but things that have become consistent sources of good vibes include my quilts, NeoAir, Hexamid SoloPlus, custom ZimmerBuilt pack, LT4 poles (agree with Tony completely about poles)….good eats from PackIt Gourmet and Hawk Vittles, and especially the companionship of either my wife or my sock-burning hiking partner. And the many cool folks I've met on the trail.Jul 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm #2118090
Both of my quilts.. EE 20* and my MYOG 45* both feel lighter and warmer than they look.
Optimus Crux stove.. the folding feature amuses the crap out of me
Neoair. finally a pad that is light and my bony hips aren't sore the next day
sawyer squeeze. simple, light, works.Jul 7, 2014 at 8:54 pm #2118105
@johnzotkLocale: Northern Rockies, USA
I very much like my EE, MLD, Katabatic, GG and all the other cottage gear. Light, efficient, comfortable.
Looking beyond hiking and backpacking, one of the best things I have bought in the last 10 years is a hitch and bike rack for my car. No more removing the wheels to transport the bike. Wonderful!
None of the above stuff comes close to bringing me the happiness that I discovered when I discarded the OEM shoe insoles and switched to using Superfeet Blue insoles. After a walk my feet now feel like feet, not like pummeled aching mashed potatoes. Happy feet, happy walking!
(I have no connection to Superfeet).
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