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Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Marmot & Western Mountaineering are the go-tos for down bags, but it's drat hard to find WM on sale.

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Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Some of the Exped mats have a built-in pump, which is sweet, highly recommend them. I have the same fear about the NeoAirs (crinkly), thought I've never tried one.

Edit: I've got the Helium, the 15* in that style, definitely a winner - but supposedly the Plasmas are even better

Speleothing fucked around with this message at 04:11 on Feb 5, 2013

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Canna Happy posted:

I personally wouldn't spend 500+ dollars on a REI bag, especially one that still used 700 fill power down. If I were in your position, I would put a little money with it and buy a nice 5 or 0 degree bag from Western Mountaineering or Feathered Friends and wear my puff coat to sleep in. I don't think that REI bag is going to be very true to its rating. Sadly, WM just raised their prices again. :gay:

Ironically, I didn't update those prices on our website until yesterday. Missed your chance.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

BleakLewis posted:

I hope not! I thought it was just electronics and non-novara brand bikes. Sucks trying to get someone to ship a canoe to rural Alaska, was hoping the discount would help me offset the cost of shipping it up here.

I'm surprised you can't find a used boat up there.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME posted:

making your own trail mix is definitely the way to go.

If you've got a bunch of friends who all like to mix their own, it can be a fun game at the campsite to put all the bags into a pile and try to guess who made which one.

I like to put sour gummies in mine.:3:

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

MMD3 posted:

Soft Shell - a cross between a fleece and a outer shell, personally I'd rate soft shells as the most versatile piece of outerwear if you could only buy one. They'll have some water repelling properties and some insulating properties and should be highly packable. Great for day hikes and as a piece to layer under or over other layers as you pick up other jackets. I wear my Arc'teryx soft shell over a base layer, or over a down sweater, or under a hardshell.


Lots of softshells these days don't really have any insulation - they're just a pure shell, to be layered like you would with a hardshell, but more breathable. I would actually recommend a lightweight hardshell over a softshell - a good raincoat is just as handy around town as it is stuffed into the top of your pack as a backup.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Levitate posted:

Yeah, no reason at all not to sign up as a member, especially if you're outfitting yourself with a bunch of new gear now. One time joining fee and then dividends and 20% off coupons every year

On a similar note, BentGate is running their spring coupon right now. 20% off the whole order for non-sale things.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Business of Ferrets posted:

There is no harm in trying on a wide range of models. Fit is most important, so if you find something comfortable that meets your other requirements, you'll probably be fine. I'm sure there are some excellent military-approved boots out there, but in general it seems that the average civilian backpacker is a more demanding consumer than the military is.

It can take a while for the military to adopt a piece for use, so military boots aren't going to be cutting-edge. But it's all about fit.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

mystes posted:

You asked for waterproof 8" boots, so someone suggested something along the lines of what people used to wear when they wore boots like this, but be aware that this is pretty much the opposite of the current trend in hiking footwear. Now most people want lighter shoes and many just use low shoes such as trail runners and this includes people doing backpacking as well. Of course, the trend is also toward carrying less stuff, so it may be a moot point which style is better suited to heavy packs.

For example, I use a pair of Garmont Synchros when I do prescribed burning, which is about as "heavy pack over lovely terrain, for 10 hours" as you can get.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

one1two2three3 posted:

If you're doing serious hiking your feet are going to get wet by either the environment or by sweat. I prefer to have a boots that dry quickly, and just change out socks at the end of the day or if I know they're not going to get wet again. For that reason, if you're doing a lot of walking anything goretex is a bad idea. At worst, with the hot weather boot, your feet will be a little cold until you get the blood pumping.

I don't know what you're talking about. Gore is absolutely fantastic most of the time. The dampness from sweat is nothing compared to the drenching you can get from the environment.

Having two pairs is nice, but unless you do all your hiking in a desert, gore is better.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

As long as nothing is loose in the side pockets or strapped to the outside, you can just check it. I've never had a problem with waering it right up to the luggage check counter, though wrapping or bagging it is nicer. Try to find a way to keep the straps securely tucked away.

Some airlines still allow fuel, I think. But you're best off googling for a store and calling them.

Agree also with renting a car, unless you can find a friend-of-a-friend to pick you up & drop you off for a few bucks. Having a car is incredibly helpful for picking up fuel and trail snacks that you couldn't or didn't pack with you, and you can store your spare clothes & whatever else you brought in it while you're on the trail. Worst case, I've taken the Greyhound from the airport to a closer city where I could get a ride. You meet a lot of interesting people, and they're way more talkative than you fellow passengers on the plane.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

The MSR filters are really good. I'd say that a hand pump is more than easy and quick enough for most purposes. I always carry iodine tabs, it's only 20min until they're ready.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Action Jackson! posted:

Does anyone have any suggestions for 3 season hiking boots/runners? I hike in the Whites so something that's good on rocky terrain is definitely a must. I currently have Merrell moab mids and I keep getting blood blisters underneath my big toe nails so I think it's time for better fitting boots.

edit: ~$150 would be a good price point.

Do you want boots or shoes? At that price point there's a huge difference. I'm going to recommend the Salewa Alp Trainer - you can get them low or high-topped with GoreTex or without. But, as we've said a million times in these threads, it's all about finding a good fit.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Verman posted:

Anyone in here have experience with gravity filters?

I don't feel like pumping and I'm tired of boiling/chlorine tabs. I really like Platypus products, the bags are simple and pretty bomb proof let alone usually cheaper than the alternatives.

I was considering just buying the standalone filter and an extra bladder for dirty water which would only be about $60 versus the $120 they charge for a 2 bladder system with the filter. That would give me 2 - 100 oz. bladders, one for dirty water and the other for clean and allow me to fill the dirty bag and walk away from it.

It's a great system if you remember to read the manual. Be sure to backflush your filter every 30 liters or so. What reservoir do you already have? And you should call around to your local gear shops, I know that mine has a demo GravityWorks that they'll let you play with in-store.

Speleothing fucked around with this message at 02:59 on May 9, 2013

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Osprey is a very good pack company, largely because that's ALL they do. They don't have their fingers in lots of different pies.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

stupid puma posted:

I have an Osprey Aether 82 and it's awesome. It's big as gently caress and pretty heavy but I'm 6'4" so it's not too disproportionate on me. I use it for 5 day trips into the boundary waters. Although it seemed like overkill at the time, I use all the space for my gear plus fishing tackle and other non-essential items that I wouldn't take if I weren't paddling in a canoe for most of the trip, like a weather radio. Anyway, it is easy to fit to your body, comfortable and durable as hell. I'd highly suggest going to REI or similar to try on packs so though so you can choose the one you find most comfortable.

How well does that portage? I've always preferred duluth-style packs for Boundary Waters trips, on the principle that I'd like to carry it and the canoe.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

stupid puma posted:

I know some people swear by Duluth-style packs. I've never tried one but from what I've seen I gotta believe Osprey packs are more comfortable when you're wearing the pack. I usually single-trip portage with the pack on my back (usu 55lbs or so) and the canoe on my shoulders (around 47lbs). For the average BWCA portage it's a good system but I've done longer, hilly 360 rod+ portages like this and it was pretty lovely - mostly because of the added canoe weight though, not because of the pack comfort.

Do you leave your Duluth packs in the canoe on portages? The one drawback of the Osprey is it doesn't fit real well in the canoe because its so long. You sort of have to prop it up on the middle bar which makes the canoe a little unstable in the water. No tips yet though (knock on wood).

You can't leave it in for a portage over about 5m, you'd break your boat. It's just that the low & wide shape makes it easy to carry it and a boat. I'm also a believer in the system where one person carries the boat, and the other double-packs. I've done mile+ portages with two duluths stacked on my back, it works well.

Speleothing fucked around with this message at 14:22 on May 13, 2013

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

mastershakeman posted:

Duluths are the ones with no frame or hip belt, right?

You can get them with frame and belt, but usually they don't have one. When you're going to the BWCA you usually rent them with your boat, so it really depends on the outfitter. It's more about being very square, which isn't a good shape for a backpack except that it's fantastic for a boat.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Browsing their website, I'd focus on the car-camping stuff. A lot of the heftier cookware would be pretty good just for the kitchen at your house. Of course, I'm at the stage in my life where I'm just starting to build a collection of home-goods. If you're already well furnished then I don't know what to say.

Gas lanterns are super-handy to have around.

Don't buy Ti cookware, unless you're going ultralight. It isn't very good for even heating.

Edit: If you can get that Boreas pack, they're pretty nice.

Speleothing fucked around with this message at 19:43 on May 13, 2013

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Oh yeah, $225 is stupid, but Coleman fuel cans use a different thread, so their lanterns aren't compatible with the more standard fuels.

It's a tough situation, because their stuff is very specialized and very overpriced.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Kinkajou posted:

Any blister advice? I haven't really had any problems until my latest hike and now I have a gnarly one on the side of my heel. Should I be taping/mole skinning it during the day or just leave it be? I've been lotioning it up when I get home from work so it doesn't dry out, but that's it.

If you're hiking, I would recommend taping it. If you're just around town during the next few days, then let it get air.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

PRADA SLUT posted:

I have one more gear question.

REI has the Arc'teryx Beta AR jacket on sale for $299 ($475).

I tried one on and really liked it, and every reviewer has nothing but good things to say about it. I will absolutely spend the big money if it's a piece that I will end up keeping forever, but I'd still like a goonpinion before spending $300 on a rain jacket. I would be using this for basically everything, from hiking, backpacking, anything outdoorsy (fishing, etc), wearing to a sporting event, etc.

Is there anything I should know about upkeep or treatment of a jacket like this? Can you stuff it in a backpack or will that somehow damage it? How long are these expected to last? Anyone have one?

The salesman at REI told me it was his favorite jacket he owns, and it should be treated for re-waterproofing every 3 washes or so.

It's fantastic, I highly recommend it. I've got the Theta AR, and never had to do anything for it. Remember that the DWR will go away and can be reapplied. The GoreTex membrane is part of the construction and is functioning perfectly even if water no longer 'beads' on the outside. Your REI dude was probably confused on this point.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Verman posted:

I had just purshased an rei kitmah shell a few weeks back. Seriously debated returning it and paying the extra dough to get the arcteryx today.


Drop the store-brand, cuz it's going out of style.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

UglyDucklett posted:

Yeah, gear is just an easy topic to talk about between the photography and trip reports, I don't see a problem with it, even if I don't have an REI membership and most stuff posted here is way out of my price range. I have nike trail runners, baggy shorts with deep pockets and under armor tops. What about socks in the summer? Is smartwool best for hot and cold weather or should I just buy the thinnest wicking socks I can find?

I finally ordered the guardian bugnet and a profly tarp for my doublenest eno hammock, gonna try to take it out to kissimmee state park in FL this weekend. Making the best of flat-rear end florida even if the heat and bugs kill me. :woot:

A question about the appalachian trail. How did you get the 4-10 grand to do it in the first place? It'd take a few years to work up that kind of money, for me at least, and when people say "if you're thinking about doing it, just do it." It bugs me. 6000, to go one way comfortably, is not "just do it" money to me :(

Smartwool isn't that good. Get one of Darn Tough's thinner styles.

We could talk about other stores having sales.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Business of Ferrets posted:

Check the last thread, where I believe one goon posted their homemade trail bars.

A bunch of us did. My recipe that I got from Outward Bound was field-stable for a month or more. I'll repost it once I get back to my laptop next week.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Those tents will be too heavy for anything other than car-camping. And will not be particularly durable nor have clever features. 100 US dollars is an incredibly low price for a tent. Even on clearance, I would expect to pay closer to 150 or 180 for a 2.5 person tent. More than 200 if you're buying full-price.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

BeefofAges posted:

I'd definitely go with the gatorade bottle plan suggested by PabloBOOM. They're cheap and very sturdy and you'll be able to easily carry several liters of water.

2 plastic gatorade bottles will weigh less (empty) than your metal 20oz, and carry more liquid. And gatorade is good for when you're sweating a lot! It's a triple-win. I always use a one-quart gatorade & a one-liter nalgene when I go caving - if you're not planning to be away from camp for more than 5 hours at a time, you should have plenty. The platypus/camelbak probably isn't worth it, but iodine & a coffee filter will carry you through. Get nice & hydrated before you leave.

As for socks, do not buy cheap socks. Carry two pairs of good socks (wool, not synthetic), and maybe two pairs of liner socks if that's your thing. I recommend Darn Tough above all else.

Jeans are fine (in good weather), but usually don't have a great range of motion. I prefered slacks before I got my hiking pants.

If you've got a fleece, why carry a hoody? Just bring a hat!



Also, where are you coming from and how are you arriving? There are a million-billion stores in the greater Denver area that will have good stuff for you to get - most of the major online retailers will have a brick & mortar that you could stop at.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Hypnolobster posted:

How dare they continue to have an absolutely remarkable and unparalleled return policy compared to nearly every other company in existence.



(you can send returns through the mail too)

It's about loving time. Their return policy was bad for small businesses. It's still more generous than I was expecting when I first heard that it was changing. (Who doesn't allow returns through the mail?)

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Menschsein posted:

I need some hivemind help, goons. I haven't trawled the thread for analogous problems, apologies if this was recently discussed.

I have an amazing Osprey Crescent 85 backpack, I've used it every week for five years, but now one aluminium side rod has snapped in half, making the backpack unusable. The thing is, I'm in Europe, land of not-so-amazing-service-guarantees, and the UK Osprey customer service claims they don't have replacement rods, as it's an old (2007?) model. I tried asking them for rods from the Argon series, that replaced the Crescent series, but no go.

What the hell do I do? I'm not throwing the whole bacpack away because of one missing part.

Osprey warranty will cover repair or replacement. This seems like a replacement case, given the age of the pack.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

I usually keep mine about 1.5 inches from my back, but I guess some people do it differently.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

TopherCStone posted:

Just got an internship working in forest regeneration. Gonna need new hiking boots, as the tread is wearing out on my current pair. I want something pretty light and breathable, but that won't kill my feet if I have to stomp on a shovel. Can anybody recommend me a pair?

That's really broad. Go to a store and try some brands on - is your foot wide or narrow or high volume or what? I recommend leather, mid-height.

Depending on the nature of the terrain & job, goretex may be necessary (swampy & need to work in the rain).

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Golden has been nice to me. If you don't mind not having nightlife.

It's the last place along I70 before things start getting steep. And now it's got a lightrail that runs downtown.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Chroisman posted:

Does anyone use Arc'teryx jackets or can comment on them? They're so massively expensive compared to other brands that have similar looking (and functioning?) jackets I was just wondering how they justify charging up to $900 for a jacket. Is half the cost just the name, or are they actually super amazing?

The $900 jackets are top-end skiing equipment. The jackets most people would need are the Beta AR or the Gamma SL Hybrid Hoody. And they are the best. I am in love with my Theta AR, and will be ordering (prodeal) that gamma with my next paycheck. The construction is just miles ahead of anyone else. The only people who come close are Mammut, and even then only on the top-end Eiger Collection.

Supposedly BD will have a line of clothes this winter that's meant to compete with the low-end Arc'teryx stuff.

https://www.bentgate.com/all-products/browse/brand/arcteryx/sale/yes

Speleothing fucked around with this message at 17:25 on Jun 18, 2013

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

If you can figure out what size you need, that sort of o-ring should cost about 25 cents at an hardware store.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

If you like camelbak-style hydration systems, then they're the choice you want for everything. If you prefer bottles, then they're the better choice in every situation. Actual camelbak-brand packs tend to be mediocre.

I prefer pills, personally, and carry a coffee filter if I'm unsure about the water sources. I think the MSR Hyperflow is one of the smallest full-feature filters available.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Ropes4u posted:

What do you carry for first aid? More to the point should I cut the gauze and trauma bandage to save room?
What other stuff are you bringing along for a day hike? You should have plenty of room in a 20ish liter pack for a prepackaged first aid kit.
Let's go over the basics: Water, snacks, raincoat, warm shirt, headlamp, first aid kit.
Bonus items: sunscreen (instead of leaving it in the car, not instead of none at all, doofus), plant ID book, gloves, spare socks, victory beers.


Edit: in my (prepackaged) kit I've got; athletic tape, bandaids, steril pads, ace bandage, scisors, antiseptic swabs, moleskin, and a small selection of pain pills. There's some other stuff in there, but I've never used it - and most of the stuff I've only ever used when we were at camp and I could have had a much larger kit in the car. Sometimes I store my iodine pills in it, and I usually keep a spork in it as well.

Speleothing fucked around with this message at 02:50 on Jul 8, 2013

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Ropes4u posted:

Patagucci nano puff
Rain jacket
Zipped off pant legs
Extra socks
First aid - basic adventure pack plus a trauma bandage and compression gauze
Epi pen - wife is allergic to bees
Short length of thin line - 6mm
E-blanket
Bladder
Water filter
Fire kit
Binoculars
Camera
Compass
Headlamp
Sun screen
Bug repellent
Wet wipes
Food - peanut butter sandwiches - power bar - trail mix or dried fruit - drink mix

I understand the trail to piles peak will be busy but this will not , I hope, be the last 14er we tackle and I would like to sort out my setup. I'm with four people (22-37) who have little experience in the mountains and would prefer to be over prepared.

Keep the camera & binocs out of the pack & ready-to-use. The group only needs one of most of what you're carrying. Split it up, see if you can get the filter & sunscreen, or repellent & first aid kit into someone else's pack. I get what you want wet wipes for, but do you actually use them? Go to a rib joint & get those little mini prepackaged ones or maybe slip three into a ziplock bag. How long is the 6mm line & what would you use it for - you can probably go thinner. You don't need a fire kit other than a full lighter & some gause from the first aid kit - everything on the ground in Colorado wants to burn already. I'm guessing your wife is also carrying an Epi pen, but I agree with the choice to carry an extra.

You're hiking with friends, not guiding an them. Make them do some of the work.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

On the contrary WFA isn't really that much better than a standard First Aid course. Your current training is probably just as good, if you've kept it up-to-date.
Wilderness First Responder is where the specialist training starts.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

There are several of companies that offer them.

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Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

d3k0y posted:

The tent is my biggest weigh down (~8 pounds) but I can't find an smaller tent that I can afford since most tents under 4-person start getting into ultra-lights.

Vibram is a rubber, widely used on climbing & casual shoes, hiking, monutaineering, & work boots, and sandals.
VFFs (Vibram Five Fingers) are a silly toe shoe. Please don't cause confusion by vague terminology.


Tents can be expensive. But I wouldn't want anything that had an MSRP of less than $170 - that seems like a recipe for failure.

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