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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 188 total)
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  • #3753639
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Man, you just can’t catch a break, can you? That’s unfortunate that so many things that usually work for the rest of us don’t work for you. It can get expensive trying to find stuff that fits those situations. I will say though, I think the Coolmax synthetic socks might be more blister resistant than the wool ones, possibly. But, yeah, wool sure does fight the stink so much better.

    #3753636
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Here’s a major wrench to toss into the works…

    Apex has a very large production variation in quality control in regards to both the distribution of fibers over an even area, and the stiffness of those fibers.

    I have ordered quite a few sheets of Apex in various weights. Sometimes the fibers can be extra course or fine on some cuts of Apex. This is obvious in the surface feel. Some can have a rough surface feel, while others are soft. I’m not entirely certain to what is causing the variation, but it is 100% without any doubt very discernible just with handling them.

    Tests like this probably need to be conducted in aggregate over a larger random sample size, eh? Quality control variation could have an impact when looking at deltas between numbers that already pretty close to within the margin of error.

    I think that uncertainty can put a lot of question into tests done with limited sample size. This exact same testing issue happens often with camera lenses. Lens Rentals has amazing articles on sample variation and testing protocols with camera lenses, that also applies to most manufacturing of consumer goods.

    #3753634
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Todd. You need to maybe try using Injinji Coolmax toe liner socks, then wear a nylon or polyester dress or liner sock over that. You shouldn’t get blisters again, at least not as easily.

    If I want maximum blister resistance, I wear Injinji Coolmax liner socks under Gold Toe Nylon dress socks. I can wear just about anything, no matter how ill-fitting, and my feet are usually in good shape afterwards using this setup.

    #3753621
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Yeah, those look terrible in so many ways. The NU25 is all the headlamp anyone could ever need for regular camp stuff and it comes with a high CRI diffused light mode that covers a wide FOV. With head band mod it weighs 1.1 ounces, and a single backup unit without the headband or plastic frame weighs just 0.8 ounces.

     

    #3753610
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    One huge bonus with with trekking pole tents is that even without the trekking poles, it’s super easy to get a stick and put it into there with a sock or something on the top tip against the tent. Makes for nice backup for if someone is using a single trekking pole and breaks it. Just swap in a stick.

    That’s harder to do with free standing tents.

     

    #3753609
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Ooooohhh, that last photo is one sexy tent pitch shot! Nice and taught with an epic background. Perfect.

    #3753527
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    That’s why I went to titanium ‘V’ stakes… they take a pounding better in hard ground and hold better in lose soil/sand

    I’ve been quite confused by how few people seem to like the V stakes. I love them year round. I find they actually go into rocky gravely ground better than mini groundhogs. I have the Zpacks titanium ones and also find there is enough surface on them to just use my fingers and body weight to push them in while guiding around rocks. I don’t even have to pound them or step on them, just my weight on my hands and some wiggle action, even with gloves on for extra tough ground.

    They also work well in sand and snow and they stack neatly together for less wasted space in the pack.

    #3753509
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    2022 on the left and 2020 on the right? Seems pretty obvious to me. Didn’t think that would show in a photo. Kinda fail on my part, as I’m a semi-professional photographer of 3 decades. LOL

    #3753411
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    I can’t get a photo close enough to show it, but the grid on the older version has thicker squares with more open space between them. The new one has slightly less dense squares and a little more fabric between them.

    Both seem the same in terms of CFM/breathability.

    It could be I am only seeing something that is cause by manufacturing variation, but I did read that they updated the fabric a little, so that makes sense.

    The updated one also has a bit more stretch in the lower-stretch direction. So it overall stretches better in all directions.

    The new one will also be more UV resistant over an even area. Since there is less variance between the grid squares and gaps between them, you don’t end up with bright spots and dark spots of light on the skin when in direct contact. For someone just laying out in the sun, not moving, the 2022 fabric should in theory be less likely to allow any small areas of skin to burn from UV more than others, if that makes sense.

    #3753405
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    The problem with crampons is that there is a small window of conditions and slope angle where strap-on, universal crampons are effective over micro-spikes. They are terrible for anything steep.

    For steep stuff, he must be going to full-on mountaineering boots with systems designed to mount crampons, along with being very stiff and well supported.

    His first goal should probably be to use an ice axe (if not already) and learn how to use it in all situations, even if just traveling with microspikes.

    The Enchantments are the last place you want your kid LEARNING how to use any of this gear. It’s fairly  remote and not at all a safe place for people to push their limits without the proper build-up of skills.

    If his micro-spikes and ice axe are not cutting it, he should turn around.

    Crampons of any type also pose many safety issues just with the use of them and take lots of practice not to ruin your gear or yourself with the spikes while in use or during a fall.

    It’s not at all casual stuff going to crampons.

    #3753362
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    The OR Echo was completely redesigned for 2022. It is now cut looser all around and the fabric is slightly different with less open space between the grids. It’s now a bit better as a sun shirt and less better as a base layer, which is the way it should be. It’s a sun shirt. There are a billion base layer shirts to choose from. Base layer people need to stop ruining our sun shirts. :)

    Tight sun shirts make baby Jesus cry. ;(

    If you used yours primarily as just a regular shirt and not for ideal hot weather use, then the redesign might not be your jam, but I have both the 2020 and 2022 models and find the loose cut to be better in hot weather.

    #3752775
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    I should add that what I wrote about him being dirty was not meant as an insult though. I’m actually quite impressed by people who can put the effort into living their best lives. I have a lot of respect for this guy out walking the world, dirty or not. Just thought I would clarify that. I don’t wish to come across as clowning on the guy, even though the subject of his video is funny and it’s good to joke about his experiment. I’ve looked 1,000% more nasty myself at times. :)

    #3752749
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    If that were the case, then one would have a free-standing tent, no?

    I had an Aeon Li and while it had a very minimal setup of stakes, they were very difficult to get into ideal positions on rocky ground due to how limited the guy lines are in how they can be pitched to get stake spots that let something go through into the ground. So, the number of guy lines being limited didn’t help and might have made it worse. Ended up having to stack rocks and dead-man the guy lines in several corners.

    I pitched in the same spot with my Altaplex and had an easier time getting something that worked due to how much variability is allowed in where I can place the stakes and even which stakes even get placed.

    I know threads like this can get very argumentative, so please, don;t take this as me trying to trash talk anything. I’m genuinely curious about the perception of guy lines to customers.

    Regardless of what I think though, for the guys who have to market these things to people, do you think the number of stakes is a large factor in their buying decision?

    #3752738
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Is putting a tent stake into the ground really something that a lot of people struggle with? Seems like a strange flex to make a big deal out of being able to pitch with 4 or whatever number of stakes. As long as the core structure is easy to pitch with a basic number of stakes, then putting in additional stakes for stability isn’t much of an issue.

    Is the general public fearful of stakes in general? Honestly asking here.

    Something like one of the Zpacks mids looks very complicated to set up to someone who has never used something with so many guy lines, but the core of the structure goes up fast with only 3 stakes, and then the rest are easy or optional. My Altaplex is the fastest pitching tent I have ever used.

    —————————

    Overall, these look like neat shelters due to the massive amounts of living volume inside. I don’t think many people are going to care much about how few stakes it can be pitched with. The volume and weight are going to be the selling points, in my opinion.

    #3752728
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    You’re pretty much SOL for approach shoes if those options didn’t work.

    Here’s another idea, just get a different pair of trail runners.

    I have the Topo Terraventure 3 shoes. While not approach shoes, they are a lot better off-trail than my Altra shoes (but not as good as my TX3s). They have Megagrip and a tread pattern that works well in loose stuff. The wide toe box is similar to Altra shoes.

    Might also be worth looking into insoles that are completely flat? I find that swapping insoles completely changes every shoe or boot I used.

    #3752727
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Might not be cheddar, but this guy took 27 McDouble burgers as his only food for a section of the PCT. Dude is absolutely filthy though and probably has an immune system that could put komodo dragon’s to shame. Like, seriously, can’t even be bothered to just rinse your hands in a stream for 5 seconds? Bro… LOL But, he does prove that some food can last pretty long without making you sick.

    YouTube video

    He did another one where he ate nothing but chicken nuggets for an entire stretch. Dude was hurtin really bad by the end of that one. haha

    #3752725
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    If you have two sets of poles and one 2P shelter, you can strap/lash the sets of poles together so the tips are pointed at both ends and the baskets can keep from digging into snow. People do this with single pole mids in snow all the time, but to be fair, it’s also to increase the pole length.

    I personally just compact down the spot where my pole goes and then extend it as the snow melts under it slowly. And that’s with with a skinny pole jack and not even a handle. I also have 1/8 in foam pads used for my doorstep sometimes and can put the trekking pole on it to stay in place.

    #3751429
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    The AirMesh is not designed to be an alternative to an OR Echo as a sun shirt. It’s a thermal layer than can also dump heat and moisture when opened up. Actually, the two shirts work very well together. I’ve been using them combined nearly daily. The Echo also isn’t a shining example of snag resistance. I have 3 of them and they pull threads super easy.

    Been using mine a lot so far and not any signs of wearing out at all. Quite a bit more durable than the alpha direct style fleece I had before.

    #3750680
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Mountain Hardwear has them all on sale right now, if anyone was curious to try out the AirMesh shirts.

    I’m also a bit perplexed that there isn’t much talk, it seems, going on in this forum about this fabric. There’s a lot to geek-out over it. :)

    It’s honestly some of the most novel stuff I have encountered since synthetic fleece came out decades ago.

    #3750608
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Whoops! THIS IS WRONG. I meant to say maximum, not minimum. Can’t edit original post.

    When you want minimum maximum moisture and heat dumping in wind, wearing it right side out is more ideal, but at the cost of greater temp swings.

    #3750607
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    I would say the upper end of the temp range, for me, without much wind, is 65-70F by itself. With plenty of wind, higher than that. In the sunshine directly, it then goes down from there 5-10F depending on inside-out or not.

    There are absolutely no days in which I have encountered where I would not have airmesh with me if out all day or multiple days. I would though probably try different airmesh models to see how they differ.

    I would also like to see them make airmesh pants. A full airmesh suit would be just off the charts incredible. I have two airmesh hoodies, one in XXL. The XXL has enough fabric on it I could cut it up and build my own airmesh pants. I am VERY tempted to do this. The arms are already large enough for most of my legs, so wouldn’t take too much sewing.

    #3750402
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    The 3400 is the perfect size and any extra room folds down easily. Keep in mind that their packs are listed for main compartment volume and does not include pockets. It’s a lot more volume than one would think. So the size is comparable to much larger, more traditionally measured packs.

    I live at the base of the Olympic Mountains. I tried the Southwest 3400. I now only use a Zpacks Arc Blast and Arc Haul.

    The HMG packs have pretty close to zero adjustability in some key areas.

    The HMG packs looks cooler in photos, but they are very low-tech packs that are not at all optimized for carrying long distances compared to other packs. A lot of people are tough and don’t mind at all carrying a sub-optimal pack as long as it is simple, light-ish, and durable, which they are.

    EDITED POST: Missed part of not wanting pockets. So Zpacks are out of the question as an alternative.

    #3750276
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    This might sound silly, but try also bulking up the insulation on your arms, even if you have to look like Popeye. Heck, you can even take sheets of Apex insulation and just stuff them into your jacket or shirt arms. I’ve done literally exactly that and it works great for adding heat to the hands.

    Otherwise, you should be looking at a mitten system. Gloves of any type are vastly inferior to mittens. You can run glove liners that can be taken out of the mitten shells when needing to use your phone or other stuff. You can also toss hand warmers into the mitten shell and get so hot the flesh melts off you bones like cheese. ;)

    #3750274
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Wicking is now sort of passe. All the current hype is around direct airflow through all the mid layers and base layers, and I am starting to believe the hype after trying the new systems this last year.

    One interesting this about my MH Airmesh base layer is that when worn right side out, it acts as direct airflow with not needing any wicking action, but when it is turned inside out the airflow aspect is reduced and the wicking aspect is greatly amplified.

    I don’t have a real BPL membership, so couldn’t read article, so sorry if my mentions were addressed in the article.

    #3750142
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Todd, very good point. It’s really bad if there is any form of water molecules on the ground.

    I started using a clear Zinc-oxide sun screen on my face to help prevent reflective UV damage. But only use that when too hot to wear my buff.

    Anyone can see this effect going fishing for a sunny day using a wide hat. You’ll get sun burnt on the face still.

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