Gear Reviews

EMS Techwick Short Sleeve Shirt

  It seems like every outdoor clothing manufacturer or retailer on the planet has their own branded wicking layer. Picking between them is a complete crap shoot and I recommend that you try out a few of the brands available on the trail in order to figure out what properties …

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Selecting a Sleeping Pad

NEMO Astro 20R Inflateable Sleeping Pad

Selecting a sleeping pad for a backpacking trip depends on a variety of factors including personal preference, outside temperature, terrain, and weight. It’s important to understand the tradeoffs between these when selecting the right sleeping pad for a backcountry trip. First off, sleeping pads provide you with two primary benefits: …

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Ursack Bear Bag

Ursack Bearproof Bag hanging from a tree. There's no need to hang it 10 feet off the ground and 5 feet from a tree trunk because the bag is made out of super strong fabric.

Ursack is a company that specializes in the manufacture of bear bags made of bullet proof fabric that are far lighter than rigid bear canisters. Weighing only 7.5 oz, the TKO (since renamed the A29 All White) sounded like it was worth trying out and I took it on a …

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Choosing the Right Camping Shelter

Hennessey Hammock Ultralite Backpacker Asym Classic with a Down Underquit at Lost Pond, New Hampshire

I’ve started planning my early spring trips and I have been weighing the pros and cons of different shelter alternatives.  I own ultralight tarps, tarp tents, 4-season tents and a Hennessey Hammock and have different criteria for bringing each along on a trip depending on terrain types, trip duration, weather, …

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Platypus Hydration Bladders

A 2.5 liter Platypus Reservoir weighs 1.2 ounces

I am a big fan of Platypus hydration bladders and I normally carry a 3L reservoir with me when I’m backpacking. Platypus bladders are different from Camelback reservoir, which I have used in the past, because they have a much smaller opening screw top openings. This is important when you are …

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Black Diamond Trail Hiking Poles

About 3 months ago, I lost my favorite hiking poles and had to replace them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my old poles anymore. I got them a few years ago at Sierra Trading Post and I don’t think they’re available in this country. My old poles were 130cm, 1-piece carbon …

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Gossamer Gear – NightLight Sleeping Pad

Gossamer Gear is a leader in the ultralight hiking community. They specialize in ultralight backpacks, but they also sell other accessories which can save you a lot of weight. The NightLight Sleeping Pad, in the 29″ size, only costs $18 and weighs 2.4 oz. The NightLight has an egg shell-like …

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