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Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


Hungryjack posted:

I'm really curious to find out which one(s) you're looking at and whether they run into any condensation issues when you use them. Obviously, there are a lot of variables at play.

https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/collections/tarps/products/gatewood-cape

I'm a little concerned with how well the top seals up and deals with windy rainy conditions but people seem to like it.

I think any single wall shelter is going to have it condensation problems if you seal it all the way up but in the drier western mountains it's not as big a concern for me...leave it open a bit at night somewhere to vent and close it up if it's supposed to rain/starts raining, deal with the bit of condensation you get if necessary

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Shoren
Apr 6, 2011

victoria concordia crescit


Hello thread, I want to hike more in 2017 and I need to get a good pair of hiking boots. I will primarily be hiking in Arizona so I reckon that I want to prioritize a light, breathable boot over a waterproof boot. As much as I'd like to believe I'll hike in various climates this year I know that at least 90% of my hikes will be in the desert.

I've done a bit of research on what to look for in boots (and I'll ask more of the folks at my local REI), so I want to ask here for brand recommendations and any other advice that may not be obvious to a novice hiker.

Atticus_1354
Dec 9, 2006

Don't you go near that dog, you understand? Don't go near him, he's just as dangerous dead as alive.


I have a down sleeping bag that accidentally got left in my truck for several months. Now it smells musty and awful. What is the best way to wash a down bag? Laundromat or dry cleaner? What detergent or soap do I want?

Unrelated, but has anyone spent much time in the Gila wilderness in Feb? I may have some available time and money for a short camping trip, but I have only really been in NM during the summer months. Also what are the rules on dogs in the wilderness areas?

Atticus_1354 fucked around with this message at 20:29 on Jan 3, 2017

Aniki
Mar 21, 2001

Wouldn't fit...

Shoren posted:

Hello thread, I want to hike more in 2017 and I need to get a good pair of hiking boots. I will primarily be hiking in Arizona so I reckon that I want to prioritize a light, breathable boot over a waterproof boot. As much as I'd like to believe I'll hike in various climates this year I know that at least 90% of my hikes will be in the desert.

I've done a bit of research on what to look for in boots (and I'll ask more of the folks at my local REI), so I want to ask here for brand recommendations and any other advice that may not be obvious to a novice hiker.

I'm a novice hiker in Arizona too. I ended up getting Oboz hiking shoes, but I prefer lowtops and am only doing short hikes (2-4 hours) for now. I was using cross trainers before and those were killing my feet on the rocky trails, so going to something with a protective plate to protect my feet from the rocks and better grip has been a big improvement. The shoes do have high arches, which I am not sure if I like or not. They also recommended getting shoes half a size bigger than normal, so you don't kill your toes.

I picked up some trekking poles and tried them out yesterday. Still figuring them out to be honest, but they seemed to help quite a bit on the tougher (steep incline and really rocky terrain) sections of the trail, but then they seemed kind of in the way and slowed me down in flatter and slight downhill sections of the trails. I know you can use them to help propel you forward, but it will take me some time to get a feel when and how to best use them. Going to try some steeper hikes soon, so that should be a good test for the poles.

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


Get some down wash, different companies make their own versions but generally it helps clean the down and not dampen the loft which normal soap could.

I think most manufacturers recommend hand washing in a bathtub, squeezing out as much water as you can, and then air drying for a bit and finishing off in a large dryer on low heat and some rolled up socks to help break up down clumps. There's some danger of the nylon melting if the dryer is too small and it is held up against the heated part of the dryer, so they often recommend a laundromat sized dryer.

The recommendation to do it by hand is also because the baffles inside the bag can easily be torn if you're too rough with it, and agitator machines in particular are bad for that. A laundromat style front loader would probably be OK too though.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Atticus_1354 posted:

I have a down sleeping bag that accidentally got left in my truck for several months. Now it smells musty and awful. What is the best way to wash a down bag? Laundromat or dry cleaner? What detergent or soap do I want?

Unrelated, but has anyone spent much time in the Gila wilderness in Feb? I may have some available time and money for a short camping trip, but I have only really been in NM during the summer months. Also what are the rules on dogs in the wilderness areas?
i used a down wash and a front loading washing machine, and a large dryer (at a laudromat). It took hours to dry, with some tennis balls in there.

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



I tried hang drying my down bag once. I spent about a week fluffing clumped up clusters of down.

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



CopperHound posted:

I tried hang drying my down bag once. I spent about a week fluffing clumped up clusters of down.
The mental image is worth your effort, thank you.

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


Aniki posted:

Going to try some steeper hikes soon, so that should be a good test for the poles.
Hiking in the mountains, I find poles to get in the way when things start getting to class 3. You have to keep flipping them out of the way so you can use your hands, and on downhills they get wedged between big rocks when you're trying to lower yourself.

Terrifying Effigies
Oct 22, 2008

Problems look mighty small from 150 miles up.



PhantomOfTheCopier posted:

Hiking in the mountains, I find poles to get in the way when things start getting to class 3. You have to keep flipping them out of the way so you can use your hands, and on downhills they get wedged between big rocks when you're trying to lower yourself.

I've found the pole straps on Osprey packs are a godsend in those situations. They do a surprisingly good job of keeping collapsible poles out of the way while still having them handy for Class 1/2 sections.

StarkingBarfish
Jun 25, 2006

Novus Ordo Seclorum


I've been enjoying lurking this thread for a while but haven't seen any pics recently so I figured I'd add a few with some euro flavor. Every new year I go up to the Dolomites in Italy where my wife's family has a hut. Europe being europe there are very few sparsely populated areas so you're usually much closer to towns/villages than you would be in some of the bigger parks in the US. Day hiking is more common and there's a lot of variety.

Their hut is well situated as it's in one of the more remote places. It was part of the austrian/italian front in WW1 so the mountain they're on, the Col di Lana is something of a sacred site- 20000 people lost their lives attacking/defending the peak which was of strategic importance as it overlooked a few big passes and valleys. This means it's the only mountain for miles around that isn't populated with ski resorts and their associated infrastructure. It's extremely tranquil: I saw maybe 2 other hikers in the week I was up there, and it means you get to see plenty of nature: Chamois, deer, and eagles in abundance.



This is the Set Sass from above the treeline. It's all meadow with a few scattered huts until the edge of the mountain. The weather this year was crazy- the temperature during the day was about -2C falling to -10C at night, but there has been no rain or snowfall for a month and the ground is tinder-dry. On the paths you're kicking up fine dust even though the streams and rivers are solid ice. The top is relatively straightforward to get to, mostly class 2 but class 3 along the ridge towards the top. We didn't go to the very top as around the back the trail became hard-packed ice along a steep bowl and we didn't have crampons. In the summer it's much easier and usually we wouldn't even have gone that far at this time of year save for the weather.



The view from the top of the Col di Lana. The ascent itself is straightforward until the last km or so where it's steep, icy and rock. During the war trenches were dug in this and they have been maintained by the locals. It must have been grim to dig them and worse to spend nights up here, but I was grateful for the trenches higher up as the trail became treacherous so being able to drop into the trench and use the walls as handholds was welcome. The ground is littered with shrapnel and there is a lot of unexploded ordinance still rising to the surface today.
You can see some of the ski slopes of Arabba/Corvara looking pretty miserable without any natural snow. These slopes are all at around 1800+ m and usually at this time of year I'd be standing in a meter or two of snow to take this photo.



This is the Piz Boe Fassa refuge as viewed from Sass Pordoi at about 3000m. The Dolomites have an unusual topology in that the tops of the mountains are reasonably flat, with a moonscape-like quality. Hiking up is straightforward in summer barely reaching class 3 in places, but in winter without crampons we cheated and took the cable car. Walking around the top you get some really incredible views and there's a lot of hiking off the cable car itself, with a refuge a short scramble down from which you can continue to the Piz Boe proper.



The edge of the Torri del Sella as viewed from Sass Pordoi.

StarkingBarfish fucked around with this message at 17:52 on Jan 4, 2017

The Aardvark
Aug 19, 2013



Here's some pictures from the Grand Canyon over New Year's!




The first morning we were there, there was a ton of fog and really low clouds so visibility was nearly zero.




Luckily though, the weather started to clear up around 3 p.m. so my wife and I went down Bright Angel Trail for a bit.






The next morning was much better for taking some pictures at the rim though, which was nice.




After breakfast we hitched a ride on the shuttle to the South Kaibab Trail. We almost made it to Cedar Ridge but the mules came back up and their smell was getting to my wife. She's allergic to horses so we took a long break to wait for the scent to go away and we went back up to the rim just to be safe.




The last thing we did was go to Desert View to check out the sites. However, the weather started to go south pretty quickly so we didn't stick around too long.


Overall it was a great experience to see the Grand Canyon in the winter. We camped at Mather for two nights. It was also my wife's first time camping (she's from Toronto) and she enjoyed the experience so that was pretty great. We have an annual pass to Joshua Tree so we're planning on doing a night or two of camping there before the pass expires in May.

runawayturtles
Aug 2, 2004


What's the general consensus on Outdoor Gear Lab? Is there a similar/better site I should be checking?

Related to that, I'm looking for a good midlayer fleece. The impetus is that I'm going skiing for the first time in 15 years and likely won't go again for another many years, so instead of buying a ski jacket I plan on wearing a fleece under a lightly insulated shell. Of course, it will be useful to have for hiking as well. The above site loves the R3, and I've seen it mentioned (alongside the R1) elsewhere a lot too. Do you guys think that's the best choice? Any other recommendations?

I wish I could at least go try it on and see how it fits, but it's not carried by any store near me, including several Patagonia stores.


PRADA SLUT posted:

Any opinion on the Arcteryx Camosun?

http://www.arcteryx.com/product.aspx?country=us&language=en&model=Camosun-Parka#opi2519430096

I'm looking at it for a snow / wet jacket. I need something I can wear without a waterproof shell over it. Main use for cold snow or sometimes rain, but lighter activities like snowshoeing.

I like the fact that it's usable in wet conditions, and isn't massive and baloony.

gohuskies posted:

You don't need a $650 jacket for around town.

Funny you guys should bring this up. I'm actually looking for an around-town parka, and looked at that one because of the above glowing review. I liked it a lot, but yeah, too expensive. Any suggestions for something similarly warm and not bulky that's like half the price?

nate fisher
Mar 3, 2004

We've Got To Go Back


TheEye posted:

What's the general consensus on Outdoor Gear Lab? Is there a similar/better site I should be checking?

I have used this site several times over the years. I like it, and my biggest complaint is that sometimes I'm looking at a product that they haven't tested. Just recently I purchased a camping stove partly based on their review of it. Still I never rely on just one site. If I see Outdoor Gear Lab recommend something I will google it for more reviews. Also give sites like Backcountry, Amazon, and REI a search for reviews.

Speaking of gear reviews Backpacker's website is really disappointing.

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


Gear lab isnt great for ultralight stuff last time I checked but maybe they got more into it

Electoral Surgery
Mar 19, 2010


My opinion of outdoor gear lab is based more on their climbing reviews than their hiking reviews but: they rarely say anything that isn't obvious about the product and they have some strong brand biases. Generally things they give glowing reviews to are popular for good reason.

gohuskies
Oct 23, 2010

I spend a lot of time making posts to justify why I'm not a self centered shithead that just wants to act like COVID isn't a thing.

TheEye posted:

What's the general consensus on Outdoor Gear Lab? Is there a similar/better site I should be checking?

Related to that, I'm looking for a good midlayer fleece. The impetus is that I'm going skiing for the first time in 15 years and likely won't go again for another many years, so instead of buying a ski jacket I plan on wearing a fleece under a lightly insulated shell. Of course, it will be useful to have for hiking as well. The above site loves the R3, and I've seen it mentioned (alongside the R1) elsewhere a lot too. Do you guys think that's the best choice? Any other recommendations?

I wish I could at least go try it on and see how it fits, but it's not carried by any store near me, including several Patagonia stores.



Funny you guys should bring this up. I'm actually looking for an around-town parka, and looked at that one because of the above glowing review. I liked it a lot, but yeah, too expensive. Any suggestions for something similarly warm and not bulky that's like half the price?

Outdoor Gear Lab is good, even if you don't take it as the final word they usually have helpful info.

Patagonia DAS is a excellent parka and much cheaper http://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-das-parka/84102.html Might still be too much parka and too much money for around town but the DAS is seriously bad to the bone. That thing can and has been a mainstay alpine climbing parka all the way up over 8000 meters.

Aniki
Mar 21, 2001

Wouldn't fit...

PhantomOfTheCopier posted:

Hiking in the mountains, I find poles to get in the way when things start getting to class 3. You have to keep flipping them out of the way so you can use your hands, and on downhills they get wedged between big rocks when you're trying to lower yourself.

I could see that. I did a rougher stretch this summer around Grouse Mountain in Vancouver where poles would have got in the way, but right now my concern is just dealing with quick elevation gains, which are tough on me right now. I'll get better at those over time, just need to get used to pushing myself for sustained periods of time instead of intervals like I'd do with tennis or hockey.

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


Aniki posted:

I could see that. I did a rougher stretch this summer around Grouse Mountain in Vancouver where poles would have got in the way, but right now my concern is just dealing with quick elevation gains, which are tough on me right now. I'll get better at those over time, just need to get used to pushing myself for sustained periods of time instead of intervals like I'd do with tennis or hockey.

One of the reasons I stopped using poles is that it was driving up my heart rate too much (sorry if I already said this) on uphills. Also if it results in you taking larger steps up, you might be more likely to sustain injury.

You are correct about intervals, though. They are great exercise, but LT training will get you to more comfortable uphills faster, as will dumbell squats and deadlifts. On the other hand, there will always be a steep enough hill and you'll be back to doing intervals anyway. I prefer intervals to 0.1mph trudgings.


vvv Yes, I always carry them, but rarely use them. They are very good for emergencies, when you're really tired, etc.

PhantomOfTheCopier fucked around with this message at 20:41 on Jan 6, 2017

Tsyni
Sep 1, 2004

I love you boy, One Pack, always.


Lipstick Apathy

Poles really are situational, but if you can fold them up and strap them to your pack (i usually just slide them inside my daypack and they poke out a bit). I'll bring them one hike and wonder why I brought them, and the next hike I'll leave them behind and wish I had them.

I was hiking with a search and rescue dude a little while ago and he said he stopped using poles because he wasn't paying attention to where he was putting his feet when he used them. I find this to be true, but not a knock against them. I noticed afterwards that when I was walking through the forest over slippery roots I would just step on the roots and let my feet slip and slide all over because my poles were keeping me steady.

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



I don't use poles on smooth ground much, but they really save my knees when I have to take a step down with some extra weight on my back. I also like keeping an extra point of contact when crossing streams.

Generally I only use one.

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


Yeah I just use one. Handy for extra balance on certain terrain and stuff, handy to have a pole around if needed etc. Knees aren't an issue for me but lots of people love them for that

Some people really love 2 poles, others don't so much, I think it's worth it just to find what makes you comfortable. Same with shoes, equipment, etc.

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


Someone at work the other day asked me if I carried a gun while hiking. Sheesh people really have no clue about my weekend marathon, where it happens, or what people and/or animals are around, let alone the weight versus utility of various items.

The one time I plan to carry a gun while hiking is the day I've lived my life and am ready to die miles from civilization on the top of some snowy ridge with an enormous dropoff.

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer

If I lived anywhere with wildlife more dangerous than white tailed deer, I would carry a gun. Hell, if it were legal in my state I would carry a tiny little .22, mostly as a last resort signaling device.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






None of the local wildlife here (GA) is that dangerous to a person. I do worry about my dog getting into a scuffle with coyotes or hogs, but I don't think a gun would solve that.

If I carried a gun it would be for other people, but I'd probably never actually need it. It's a comfort thing.

gohuskies
Oct 23, 2010

I spend a lot of time making posts to justify why I'm not a self centered shithead that just wants to act like COVID isn't a thing.

bongwizzard posted:

If I lived anywhere with wildlife more dangerous than white tailed deer, I would carry a gun. Hell, if it were legal in my state I would carry a tiny little .22, mostly as a last resort signaling device.

Bear spray is much better at protecting people from grizzly attacks than a gun. https://www.researchgate.net/profil...ublication_list

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


Yeah the people who carry guns for "protection" in the backcountry worry me a lot more than any wild animals.

They always want to show them to you as well

Also aren't there bears where you live bongwizard. There definitely are in the Shenandoah area and forests of PA etc etc

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

I used to watch this one dude's hiking videos on youtube until I got to one where he's in the Catskills and whining about how "New York took away my right to defend myself," and it dawned on me that he was packing a silly little handgun on all his other trips. Dude, if you're getting into gun battles in the woods, you might be the problem.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

bongwizzard posted:

If I lived anywhere with wildlife more dangerous than white tailed deer, I would carry a gun. Hell, if it were legal in my state I would carry a tiny little .22, mostly as a last resort signaling device.

Please tell me how a .22 makes a good 'last resort signaling device'.

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



Fitzy Fitz posted:

None of the local wildlife here (GA) is that dangerous to a person. I do worry about my dog getting into a scuffle with coyotes or hogs, but I don't think a gun would solve that.

If I carried a gun it would be for other people, but I'd probably never actually need it. It's a comfort thing.

It's really long odds of course, but my friend got murdered on a hike on Blood Mountain, up near Helen, about 8 years ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Meredith_Emerson

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


I rarely carry a gun in the wild, usually only when I'm actually hunting. I've only carried my handgun once while camping which was during the fall rut, hunting season, and there was lots of bear sign and I had no spray with me. It was more of a security blanket than anything.

Bear spray is 10x more effective for the average person unless you can hit a charging target repeatedly with a large caliber gun while stressed and full of adrenaline.

When I'm bird hunting, I tend to carry a few buckshot shells in a pocket nearby out of habit. In northern Michigan, wolves were the biggest worry but realistically they weren't really a huge threat especially considering you tend to have a dog with you while bird hunting. Bears were around but you were lucky if you saw one. I only ever saw one in all the years I spent up there and it was late at night. Out in eastern washington where I bird hunt now, I don't really need to worry about predators, I'm more worried about snakes.

Out here in Washington there are bears, wolves, mountain lion, elk etc in the mountains but I've yet to really feel the need to carry as most of the trails are pretty highly traveled and wildlife is rare aside from goats and deer. The further out you go the more likely you are to see something.

But still, if you feel the need to protect yourselves, bear spray is your best bet and is a lot lighter than a gun/ammo.

Fitzy Fitz posted:

If I carried a gun it would be for other people, but I'd probably never actually need it. It's a comfort thing.

This is probably the most honest answer for carrying a gun in my opinion.

Hunting season means everyone out there is armed. Poachers are out there along with all the law abiding citizens. If I carry its mostly for people but even that's pretty rare.

Verman fucked around with this message at 06:39 on Jan 7, 2017

Officer Sandvich
Feb 14, 2010


black bears are just fluffier dogs

Here are some cool photos of a group of mountain lions.

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


Officer Sandvich posted:

black bears are just fluffier dogs

Here are some cool photos of a group of mountain lions.

If I saw a pack of mountain lions, I would only need one bullet ... for myself. That's loving crazy.

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


Pretty sure having lived in cities I was more at risk of being shot every day than anytime I was in the backcountry.

Backpacking during hunting season can be odd though. You sometimes see some real characters...

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer

Levitate posted:

Also aren't there bears where you live bongwizard. There definitely are in the Shenandoah area and forests of PA etc etc

There might be, but even guys who are trying to hunt them rarely encounter one. We also have coyotes now I guess but again, they are still so rare that I have never even seen tracks or scat.

n8r posted:

Please tell me how a .22 makes a good 'last resort signaling device'.

There are tiny revolvers that weight like 4-5 ounces and a box of 50 shells weighs like 6-7 more. Even a little .22lr has a report that carries really far, even more so if you use supersonic ammo. If no one knows I am in trouble, the gunshots might get someone to call the police/wardens about poachers, if there is a SAR group looking for me, I kinda think three quick shots repeated a few times might get their attention as well.

Tsyni
Sep 1, 2004

I love you boy, One Pack, always.


Lipstick Apathy

bongwizzard posted:

There might be, but even guys who are trying to hunt them rarely encounter one. We also have coyotes now I guess but again, they are still so rare that I have never even seen tracks or scat.


There are tiny revolvers that weight like 4-5 ounces and a box of 50 shells weighs like 6-7 more. Even a little .22lr has a report that carries really far, even more so if you use supersonic ammo. If no one knows I am in trouble, the gunshots might get someone to call the police/wardens about poachers, if there is a SAR group looking for me, I kinda think three quick shots repeated a few times might get their attention as well.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B0019...oYVL&ref=plSrch

This item is very loud.

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


or get with the times and buy a PLB

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






a foolish pianist posted:

It's really long odds of course, but my friend got murdered on a hike on Blood Mountain, up near Helen, about 8 years ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Meredith_Emerson

Ah man, I'm sorry. I distinctly remember when that happened, and it still crosses my mind from time to time. I just try to remind myself that things like that are as rare as they are tragic.

bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"

Grimey Drawer


I already have a whistle and even a little baby .22 is still useful for gunstuff as well as making noise.

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Business of Ferrets
Mar 2, 2008

Good to see that everything is back to normal.

TheEye posted:

What's the general consensus on Outdoor Gear Lab? Is there a similar/better site I should be checking?

OGL is a good site and the one reviewer I personally know on there is a real-deal mountain guide. They do tend toward the higher-end price-wise, and their reviewed selection is sometimes limited, but you at least can be sure the items have had legitimate outdoor use. Their study on headlamp brightness and battery life filled a real void, too

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