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The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby cloudlesssky » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:39 pm

I've really only bought one piece of gear this year, but it's been a nice addition: a silver Euroschirm Light Trek umbrella. I got it to provide shade on open, sunny terrain during midday. I carry trekking poles but don't use them much so my hands are normally free to carry an umbrella. What I've ended up using it for most is hiking during afternoon showers. I don't end up sweating inside my rain jacket and I can see and hear better because my head is not inside a hood. It's an additional piece of gear to carry and I'm not real keen on that, but it's been surprisingly nice to have.



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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby MountainMinstrel » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:12 pm

.
Wandering Daisy wrote:

Bluewater--Please do review the Z-packs bigger pack! It looks like just what I need, but would like to get opinions from someone who really used it. My trusty GoLite Quest bit the dust this last trip. Right now I am holding out on a new pack because I just cannot find something I want. I am limping along on my old Kelty for heavy loads and a new (but not large enough for a bear can) pack for short trips.


Why is it that everything falls apart at once? pants, shirt, boots, and rain gear all got replaced this year. To top it off I was gifted the cost of an Artic Haul that should arrive in time for my 10 day High Sierra Trail trip at the end of the month. I had PM'd Bluewater and he said that with 27-30lb. it didn't feel that heavy (his is used to 20lb.). He did mention that one of the mesh pockets got a rip in it. If he doesn't post a report, I'll post one up when I get back.
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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:40 pm

Here is a pretty informative thread on the ZPack Arc: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... _id=101118 :)
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby MountainMinstrel » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:26 pm

Thanks Maverick, That is one of the threads that I based my decision on. We'll see how the round stays work out.
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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby ERIC » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:55 pm

Not much of a fisherperson, but over the past 6 months or so I've been working on revamping my Sierra trout kit drawing from info gathered here and from local friends. So not a single piece of gear, but collectively my best investment this year.

EDIT: I'll post a pic of my trout kit to the Fishing Hole soon.
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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby oldranger » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:53 pm

Best piece of gear I bought two years ago was a 10x12 tarp I bought before our canoe trip in the boundary waters. I didn't use it again until last year when rain threatened twice when on a trip in the Sawtooths in Idaho. This year it became an important piece of equipment on two trips--a short one to Kennedy Lake and a 15 day trip in the Sawtooths. Both trips had 20 hour periods of rainfall plus shorter periods of a few minutes to a few hours. The tarp gave us place to cook in comfort. We became so gun-shy due to the rain we experienced on both trips that the first thing we did when setting up camp was to set up the tarp, then the tents.

Speaking of tents my best purchase this year was a big sky Evolution 1 person tent. This tent is basically a 7' long mosquito netting side entry tent with sewn in floor and a fly. the floor of the tent 35" wide at the head end and 25" wide at the foot. I paid extra for lighter poles and a lighter fly (but did not go to cuben fabric). But added extrta weight by ordering a fly that could be opened on either side. When stuck in the tent due to incessant rain I discovered a huge advantage to the side entry tent with zipper on both sides. I didn't have to get out of the tent to pee! When as old as I am having to pee at night occurs multiple times each night. In addition the tent had ample head room and I could get in without having to take my hat off. My down bag and vest stayed dry and warm because not a drop of water entered the tent from any direction. Despite requiring just 6 stakes if takes a bit of time to set up because of the multiple attachment points between the tent and fly and the the two tent poles. At 37 oz. the tent weighs 2 oz more than my old Big Agnes Fly Creek 1 UL but makes up for that extra weight with the added convenience the side entry and high headroom. Due to the narrow interior footprint this tent may not work for larger people but for me it is just fine.
1 tent, fly.jpg
Tent and Fly
1 tent.jpg
Closer view of tent


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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby freestone » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:59 am

Very nice setup OR and Mark! OR- I find getting out of any tent getting to be a real pain, even with cowboy style, getting up from the ground level, after hiking all day and the muscles are tired and sore, is a real challenge. At home, I just roll out of my bed onto my feet, on the trail, I realize what a luxury that is!
One last question, are the seams factory sealed?
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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby oldranger » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:19 am

Freestone

Yes. I know what you mean about getting up off the ground. The side entry did make getting in and out much easier than a front entry tent, though.

Fyi total weight for each of us including extras (pack raft, paddles, fishing gear, tarp=5-6 lbs) for two weeks was less than 50 lbs. Figuring about 25 lbs of food each, the remainder of our gear including pack, clothes, camera, headlamps, cooking gear (including 12 oz and 8 oz canisters (8 oz not needed), paperback book, spot locator, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, book, raingear, crocs or water shoes, 1st aid kit, drugs, 25 oz of 160 proof rum each totaled 20 lbs. each. The only thing not used was the first aid kit. Hate to admit it but total cost of gear carried exceeded $2000, not including food!

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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby maverick » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:56 am

Freestone wrote:
One last question, are the seams factory sealed?


Are they Mike? And how would the quality compare to Tarptent?
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: The best piece of gear I've bought this year

Postby oldranger » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:45 pm

Mav

I answered the question! First one word sentence. Equal. A little trickier to set up than the Rainbow, though, which is so simple markskor can do it.

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