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OSU_Matthew
Aug 23, 2010

IT ME




Toilet Rascal

It seems like a bunch of the same questions keep getting brought up in the backpacking megathread, so I thought I'd put together a quick OP on gear. If you've got questions, have recommendations, or just want to brag about that sweet new bivy you just bought, post it here! I'll update the OP with any good insights as we go.

The goal here is to provide some decent point of reference for people to make their own informed decisions. This OP is split into sections, so feel free to skip around, or post to ask any questions! Between everyone, there's a lot of great knowledge here.

The basics:

  • Ignore that 10 basics list, it kinda sucks.

  • Before doing any big trips, be sure to test your gear and figure out where the shortcomings are for your comfort, and just how much of what you packed isn’t necessary.

  • Don't drink water directly from the stream--treat it first. Giardia can cause dehydration from diarrhea, neither of which are pleasant, you don’t want to be the person that poo poo themselves to death. My goto filter for the last two years is the BeFree, but be aware of your area and water restrictions. Eg Arsenic and heavy metals mine runoff in parts near me render the water untreatable by portable filters.

  • Gear is always some combination of light, cheap, and/or effective. Pick two.

  • How you pack is very important for how heavy it actually feels:

    Rime posted:

    Heavy at the bottom is bad mojo, here's a good illustration of optimal packing:



  • Drink plenty of water! Dehydration sneaks up on you fast. You'll feel better throughout the day if you drink a quart of water when you wake up.

  • If you don't like the taste of water, True Lime is awesome stuff, it's cold crystallized lime wedges in a small packet and it's just like having a wedge of lime in there.

  • Cotton kills: it absorbs water (which is why towels are made out of it), and will make you freeze, or give you blisters as it holds water against your skin, and make your life generally miserable. Especially socks. Hell no to cotton socks. Same as jeans. It's all cotton. Disclaimer being region specific, such as deserts.

  • You want water wicking, not water absorbing materials. Stuff like artificial fiber (polypropylene, nylon, spandex, etc), or wool. Wool is better at absorbing odors and delaying bacterial odor buildup. Articial fiber works great but by howdy does it (and you) smell after a few days outdoors.

  • Sometimes the best time to go hiking is in the rain, don't let inclement weather predictions disrupt your plans--forecasters are usually off anyways, especially if you're visiting a mountainous area.

  • The colder it is outside, the more likely it is you'll have to pee in the middle of the night. Don't hold it in and suffer, just do it, your body is trying to expel the water because it takes a lot of energy to heat up. Yeah it sucks when it's four degrees out, but you'll feel a lot better when you do.

    Bugs and Ticks
  • Morbus posted:

    Permethrin works for mosquitoes, or really almost any insect. It's a straight up neurotoxin rather than an irritant like DEET or picardin, so it won't necessarily have a repellent effect but will prevent biting by making insects spaz out and die on contact. Its main advantages, aside from its lethality, are that it's easy to apply all over clothing or gear in a persistent way that has no odor or residue. Treating clothing or other gear in this way with DEET or picardin is much less practical, and requires frequent re-application due to the volatility of those chemicals. Permethrin and DEET/picardin complement each other, so both are usually used as part of the best anti-insect strategies.

    OSU_Matthew posted:

    For ticks, you only get Lyme disease after they start regurgitating into your bloodstream, about 24 hours after latching. So, if you inspect yourself thoroughly after hiking, you can pry them off with a tick key and not suffer any harm.

    They don't jump, you have to brush up against a plant to catch one. Also be sure to inspect places like your waist band, inside your knees, etc. Ticks love those spots. Also watch out for love star ticks, they carry Alphagam disease, which is basically an allergy to red meat


Tents
    Tents
  • khysanth posted:

    The Duplex is the darling of 2017 but you pay a huge premium for the Zpacks brand and for the fabric (DCF/Cuben). Unfortunately there aren't a ton of comparable 2P, single-walled, trekking pole supported shelters. The Duplex will set you back $600 before tax and ultimately weighs in around 23-25oz after you factor in guylines and stakes.

    The best alternative (and the one I would likely get) is the Gossamer Gear The Two. The bathtub floor is a 10D silnylon and the tarp is a 7D. This tent (and The One) have survived many people's thru-hikes without durability issues. $289 and 29-31oz total. The deep bathtub and the angle of the walls at the head/foot mean you'd probably find it comfortable at 6'4".

    If you like to calculate it, it's about $30/oz saved to opt for the Duplex... on the really high end for most people.

    Another option I would consider is the Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Explorer. On sale until 12/31 for $260 (reg. $325). It's a little heavier than the others at 41oz, but is generally regarded as one of the roomiest shelters for 2P and a palace for one tall hiker.

    One more option is the TarpTent MoTrail. This is a front-entry shelter however, which isn't everyone's cup of tea. Costs $259 and weighs in at 34oz. You'd have plenty of room with the vertical end walls.

    Personally I'm 6'3" and went with the SMD Haven Tarp and NetTent combo. I prefer the modularity and breathability of a double-walled shelter. I can just bring the tarp or the net depending on weather and bug pressure. The tarp alone comes in around 19oz, and the net 15oz. I feel like it is a good fit for me at 6'3". On my sleeping pad, when I lie down or sit up, the tips of my hair BARELY brush the net, which means I still have another ~4-6" of clearance to the tarp. Plenty of room for me and my wife, and a TON of room if I'm solo. Here are some pics of it set up.

    If you can get away with a 1P shelter and a hammock if your GF ever joins, I'd look at the other single-walled 1P shelters from these same manufacturers:

    Gossamer Gear The One (2x trekking pole supported, 21oz, $299)
    Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (1x trekking pole supported, 24oz, $180 til 12/31)
    TarpTent ProTrail (2x trekking pole supported, front entry, 26oz, $225)

    I don't consider the Zpacks Hexamid Solo (even the plus version) because I know several 6'3"+ hikers who say it is too cramped, your head will brush against the (potentially wet with condensation) tarp, it could get on your sleeping bag, etc.

Insulation
  • If you're spending the night outdoors, you need insulation from not only the air, but also the ground because it acts like a giant heatsink and sucks all the heat out of your body. Yes, even in the summer you'll want some sort of pad or insulation from the ground.

  • As far as the air goes, you need a quilt or mummy bag at the very least if you're going to be spending time outdoors. Don't buy anything that is flannel or rectangular, those are old and garbage. Thankfully those kinds of bags are harder and harder to even find anymore, they’re no longer ubiquitous.

  • When buying a mummy bag, look for one with draft tubes along the zipper and hood to block cold air from coming in there. Also remember most temperature ratings just suck, because they're measuring a copper pipe's heat loss in a lab, not real world windy lovely conditions.

  • Also pay attention to how the bag is made--baffles where it's stitched together create cold spots with zero insulation--avoid that! Unless it has compartment baffles with fabric in between so it's not pinched together--that's great.

  • There are two basic types of sleeping bags to choose from, down and synthetic. Both have advantages. Down is light and super compressible, but really quite pricey and can lose loft (therefore insulation) when it gets wet. Synthetic bags are generally heavier, don't compress as well, but they're usually cheaper and will still keep you relatively warm and wick water if wet.

    When storing your sleeping bag in between trips, don't keep it compressed! Put it in a big loose mesh laundry bag in between trips to let it air out, and prevent the insulation from getting crunched up and compressed and degrading over time

  • A popular option in the lightweight and hammock community are quilts! Basically the idea is that you only need fluffy top insulation, because anything underneath you is getting compressed and doesn't offer much in the way of performance. Enlightened equipment and hammock gear are two of my favorite cottage quilt makers. Hammock Gear makes quilts right in Columbus, and they have an econ line of quilts that use a more affordable but similar fabric to shave something like a hundred bucks off the price tag

Footwear and Layering
    Boots vs. Trailrunners

  • The basic idea is that boots offer better ankle support for heavier packs and uncertain terrain, and trail runners are lighter on your feet and quicker to dry out. There's a school of thought that one pound on your foot = five pounds on your back, so the lighter the shoe the better. I personally like the ankle support of my boots when I've got >30lbs on my back, but I never hit that anymore unless I need to carry more than a gallon of water (eg while in the Grand Canyon). There's also another school of thought though that locking in your ankles transfers the twisting to your knee.

    I really like leather boots because they're a natural wonder material. Warm in the winter, temperature regulating in the summer, it's just a great material. My favorite boots ever were Lowa Banffs, which the company even shipped back to Germany and resoled for me after the foam midlayer delaminated after 10 years.

    Anymore I’ve switched to trail runners. Find something you like to fit your style. One guy I hike with even uses sandals.

    Verman posted:

    From the light end of the spectrum to the heavy. The size of your body and your gear load will probably make a difference as well. I'm only 160lbs and have backpacked with a 50lb pack in trail runners with ease but other people only backpack in trail runners if they carry light loads. It all depends on you and it takes some experience to figure out what works best for you. Personally I feel like the less weight on your feet is more noticeable than less weight in your pack.

    Trail runners
    Saucony Peregrine (whatever model they are up to now) these are one of the most popular I see on the trails
    Brook Cascadia
    Merell Agility Peak flex (I currently wear the older model All out Peak)
    Solomon XA pro's seem to be pretty popular as well as the speed cross
    I almost went with la sportivas but the soles didn't seem very grippy

    Light duty boots
    Merrell Moab Mids are crazy popular, probably one of the boots I see most on the trails
    Salomon X ultra/quest boots are also really popular, the 2nd most popular on the trails
    keen targhee

    Backpacking boots
    Lowa renegade
    Asolo fugitive
    Salewa Alp/mountain trainers


    There's obviously a ton more but it sort of depends on your feet. Certain brands just don't fit certain feet so its worth going into a place with a knowledgable staff and try stuff on. I really enjoy trail runners for most day hikes and warm weather backpacking. I feel lighter, my hips are less sore, and they dry out much faster if they do get wet. They also breathe 10x more than any boots I ever had. The only time I wear boots is if its going to be insanely rough rocky terrain, or if I'm going to be in snow/cold for an extended amount of time.

    I would be careful with "minimalist" shoes as a lot of them have varying degrees of drop which can take some time to get used to and you will likely have to change your stride to accommodate not walking on your heels. I've heard of people having knee pain and discomfort from unknowingly buying minimalist shoes that were essentially barefoot shoes with no heel padding.
    Feet slipping around in your shoes? Try this one weird trick!

    Internet Wizard posted:

    Get a cheap foam sleep pad and cut off a strip and put it between the tongues of your boot and the laces

  • Dress in layers so you can strip down/add layers to regulate your temperature to the environment around you. You need a base water wicking layer, a thermal layer (eg fleece jacket), and an outer shell (like windbreaker or rain jacket)

  • Side note on rainjackets and Goretex, when it rains you will get wet. Even with a rain jacket, you'll still be sweating away inside there soaking your body from perspiration. Yes, goretex is supposed to be breathable... but I've had limited luck with that and honestly my philosophy is that you're gonna get wet, so you may as well get wet and just dress to dry out quickly afterwards. Pit zips only work for climbing, because your arms are reaching up and acting as baffles. They help a little, but not much with backpacking or most other stuff in my experience.

Water Treatment
  • Chemical treatment - Stuff like aqua mira kills all micro-organisms. Calcium hypochloride is what most municipal water departments in the US use to treat their water, so you can feel good about using it. I carry a few individually sealed tablets in my first aid kit just in case my water filter clogs up again.
    Pumps- The new MSR Guardian pump is crazy expensive, but claims to filter down to something like .01 microns, which would actually filter viruses, and it's supposed to backflush itself with every pump. Kinda cool!
  • Iodine tablets are bad for you, it concentrates in your liver and causes health problems later in life if used over a long period of time. A bunch of park rangers got sick because they used to use it in the seventies, which is why it's not used anymore.
  • Iodine Crystals - Polar Pure sells a kit which is really interesting, it's effectively reliable unlimited water treatment. Basically you treat a little bit of water in a container with the crystals, then add that treated water to a bottle to treat the water in there. The crystals then recharge another ounce of water which is ready to treat another liter after 20ish minutes (temperature depending). Works great, doesn't have much of a chemical taste, and doesn't fail.
  • Sawyer squeeze- cheap squeazable and light hollow tube filter membrane. This, like a bunch of other filters these days, use dialysis filters. Doesn't do viruses, but that's usually not an issue in North America. Can be a bit of work squeezing the bags though, and don't forget to backflush it after every use!
  • BeFree - Same filter as the Sawyer, but it's completely immersed so it has more surface are so it's significantly faster and easier to clean. It's what I use nowadays.

    meselfs posted:

    I have one of these and think highly of it. Backflushing isn't enough though - they recommend nuking it with bleach now and then. The idea is that it'll destroy all the organic matter stuck in there, but it's hard to find fragrance free bleach, and even if you do it's gunna be stinky unless you really put effort into clearing it out.

    What I recommend is buying some 35% hydrogen peroxide off Amazon (go ahead and get food grade), mixing it 1:2 with boiling water (CAREFUL), and squeezing that through. You'll be surprised how easy your next squeeze will be. It will leave no residue, flush with a bit of normal water and it's like new.

  • Gravity Filters - Fast and do a large volume, a bit heavier. Great for groups.


Materials
    I went over this briefly before, but it stands to mention again:

  • Cotton -- You should not be wearing anything cotton. Jeans, tube socks, you name it. Cotton absorbs water, so it causes you to freeze when it's cold and blister when it's warm. You can't win, just don't try it.
  • Down -- Light, compressible, but expensive and doesn't work hardly at all when it's wet. Don't let your down bag get wet. Also doesn't wick water very well, eg when used in mid layer winter jackets.
  • Synthetic -- Wicks water exceptionally well, not as compressible as down, stinks after a few days. Includes Nylon, polypropylene, spandex, etc. Nylon stretches, poly type materials do not. You see ripstop nylon used in everything from packs to pants, to urethane or silicone coated nylon (silnylon) in tents, tarps, hammock. Parachute nylon is used in hammocks and other stuff. If you're looking for artificial fiber clothes on the cheap, try Academy.com for hiking pants, or goodwill for performance golf polos, or gym shorts are usually some flavor of eleven herbs and artificial fiber blends
  • Wool -- Doesn't stink like synthetic fibers do, keeps you warm even when wet, wicks water decently well but not as well as artificial fiber stuff. Merino is a breed of sheep in New Zealand/Australia, and generally has a very fine wool. Great for socks and t-shirts. Also very expensive, try checking eBay for deals on used gear.

  • Darn tough socks are also pretty great, just thought they deserve a special mention. They have a real lifetime warranty, I've literally seen people pick them out of the trash and get brand new ones back

  • Goretex and other "breathable" waterproof membranes essentially have outer weaves too tight to allow water in but do theoretically allow water out. Might as well get it since there's nothing better I'm aware of, but I haven't had much luck with the breath-ability promise. Silicone coated and urethane coated gear is not breathable.

  • Cuben Fiber - Crazy light, crazy expensive.
    It's basically a laminated dyneema material, so it has a strong waterproof structure even with the loose weave, which also means it can be effectively repaired with tape. Check out Zpacks for great dyneema/CF packs and stuff

Hammocks
    My favorite topic by far! I personally use a Warbonnet Blackbird with Hammock Gear cuben tarp and quilts. Easy to set up and tear down, and ridiculously comfy to sleep in.

  • The key with hammocks is that you lay completely flat by laying at a slight diagonal. Also, it's virtually impossible to fall out of a gathered end hammocks--the only reason some hammocks are unstable are the spreader bars at the end which only exist because someone a hundred years ago couldn't figure out how to draw hammocks, and then some other dude tried making them by looking at this idiot's drawing and here we are a hundred years later with terrible misinformation and misunderstanding of hammocks.

  • With a hammock, you need suspension, a tarp, optionally a bugnet or hammock sock in the winter, an underquilt or pad for bottom insulation, and a top quilt or sleeping bag for top insulation. That's it! I really love 12' of poly webbing (because polyester/polypropylene stuff doesn't stretch out like nylon does) and cinch buckles for quick easy adjustable suspension.

  • Also make sure you hang your hammock at ~30* angle, for maximum comfort.

First Aid

    bringer posted:

    First aid kit chat: Hypothermia is a real killer. In addition to a basic day kit like in the OP, I carry a cheap survival bivvy bag (one of those plastic/Mylar ones), a waterproof/goretex shell, and a fleece/down jacket everywhere.

    You can't rely on a cell signal in the mountains around here. If you're out on a simple 3-4 hour loop and someone goes down near the halfway point with a mobility injury it might be another 4 hours before they can be evacuated -- able bodied person will need 2 hours to get to the trailhead where they can hopefully place a call, then another hour or two for rescue if they decide you rate a helicopter. Longer than that if you get lost or they need to walk you out.

    I also keep an extra Bic lighter and a couple waxed cotton balls in a ziplock in my first aid kit for that same wait-for-rescue scenario.

    If you wear contacts you really should have a couple spare disposables in your kit as well, and a glasses repair kit if you wear those. Busting a pair of glasses and not being able to repair them is a good way to find out how useful the rest of your first aid kit is after you blunder into easily avoidable hazards.

    ASSTASTIC posted:

    One piece of equipment that always goes into every single med kit I have is a roll of athletic tape. Get GOOD tape (johnson&johnson). If you get a nice gash out on the trail and have bullshit tape in your kit, it won't stick to poo poo if you sweat. I was hiking one time and hit a section of jagged rocks. Tripped on one of the rocks and got a nice gas on my shin. Wasn't horrible enough that I needed stitches, but wasn't fun either. No way a bandaid would be able to close up the wound, but I did have a roll of tape.

    Made a makeshift absorbent pad (with the tape) and taped up my shin. Only issue I had after that was the lack of hair from removing the tape afterwards. Athletic tape is great because it not only sticks well to skin, and sweaty skin, but to itself extremely well.


    OSU_Matthew posted:

    Unless she's taking a backcountry first responder course, realistically there's not a whole lot you can do first aid wise. I bring liquid bandage, alcohol wipe or two and a little bit of gauze for bleeding, ibuprofen for anti inflammation and pain, moleskin patch for blisters, bendryl for allergic reactions, zinc oxide paste for irritation and chafing, a tick key, clippers, tweezers, and some ace wrap for sprains and junk. That's way over prepared in my book.
    Someone who has recently taken a wilderness first aid course feel free to point out that I'm an idiot!


Updated: July 2020

OSU_Matthew fucked around with this message at 14:10 on Jul 19, 2020

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OSU_Matthew
Aug 23, 2010

IT ME




Toilet Rascal

Cookwear/Stoves
    If you want to save weight or are just getting started, you don’t really need a stove. Between clif bars, jerky, pb&j, fruit, pepperoni n cheese bagels, etc, you can eat really well without a stove. I bring a canister stove because I love morning cup o joe, and it’s a treat to have a hot meal at night.

    Stoves by type:
  • White Gas - heavier, but the stoves work really well in cold weather

  • Canister
    What most people probably use. MSR Pocket Rocket is the gold standard. I personally user an Olicamp Ion that I love, especially with the Olicamp XTS
    pot which has heat absorber fins, similar to the jetboil.

  • Alcohol

    CopperHound posted:

    Several months later I decided to do something about not having a pot stand for my alcohol stove:


    And it fits in the pot:


    I used this tool to draw the cone template for me: http://zenstoves.net/PotStands-Conical.htm#ConeTemplates


  • Fuels:
    Alcohol Fuels:

    meselfs posted:

    Both are toxic, but red HEET is isopropanol, a heavier alcohol which will burn with soot.

    Don't buy either, buy Klean Strip Green alcohol because it has the highest concentration of ethanol, which is the perfect balance of energy dense and being almost soot-free. Or Everclear if you want your fuel to be multipurpose.

    I've tried a couple stoves, including the pricier ones, and still love my Trangia best. Storing fuel in it makes it so easy I often take it on day hikes just to make tea.

    Ephphatha posted:

    Might as well expand a bit on fuels for alcohol stoves. Adventures In Stoving: What's the Best Alcohol for Stove Fuel? gives a decent rundown of the different types of fuels and the recommendations are solid, but it's good to be aware of the regional variations when it comes to sourcing your fuels.

    Edit: I should add that alcohol stoves are popular because they're small and cheap, Tetkoba's Alcohol Stove Addict is a great channel if you're looking at making your own alcohol stove.

  • Cooking over a campfire:

    OSU_Matthew posted:

    Tons of people don't bring a stove! Just pick food you don't need to heat up. A lot of dehydrated meals will re-hydrate just fine cold, or pack granola bars, jerky, trail mix, peanut butter, tortillas, etc. Heating water over the fire is a tremendous pain in the rear end and I guarantee will not turn out well. One, building a fire takes a lot of time and energy. Two, a cooking fire needs to be hot coals, which takes hours to build up to. Orange flames make for a terrible cooking fire, it's not very hot at all. Lastly, how are you going to suspend your pot over the flames to boil the water? And now your pot is going to get blackened and nasty from the fire. Hot Dogs and smores are good over the fire though, but I wouldn't get too ambitious otherwise.

  • Solid fuels - Esbit tablets are popular lightweight options. They also make great firestarters and are pretty cheap, but don't smell great and leave a residue on your pot. They also don't boil very fast like a canister stove. But they're super cheap, super light, and super reliable.


Food!
    2020 Dehydrated food chat starting here:

    MoldyFrog posted:

    In terms of what to pack and eat anymore thanks to America's laziness there are tons of cheap "instant" meals open to you if don't mind putting it all together yourself. On the better side so to speak there's places like backpackingpantry and others that have put together quick to make solid meals.

    If you are a diy fan then aim for at least 100 calories an ounce. Then you can budget about 1.5lbs a day for food. That gives you enough to be at a small deficit. I shoot for 3000+ calories myself a day, about 2lbs, as to minimize weight loss on a longer trip.

    For good quick options you got any of the knoor brand side dishes. Things like flavored mashed potatoes, rice and broccoli, chicken and rice. There's instant macaroni, look for the stuff with the tiny noodles. They'll cook faster and more completely than regular sized mac noodles. Bear creek soups are pretty good and pack some good calories.

    If any local stores have a good bulk section you can get instant refried beans, quick cooking oatmeals, hummus powder you reconstitute and toss onto some wraps you can bring. Hard cheeses and most sausages will keep a few days. There's always the ever popular snicker bars and pop tarts for calorie boosts. Bring a few ounces of oil in a bottle. A lot of extra calories an ounce there and most foods will easily take the oil.

    For a wider variety of options you can get into dehydrated "survival" foods at Wal-Mart. Then you get into dehydrated eggs and fruits. Instant milk and such as well. Dehydrated cheese and freeze dried meats can be added to almost anything to bulk them up and add calories.

    The freezer bag cooking website has a bunch of recipes. There's really a lot you can do anymore. Personally I'm a fan of soups. Harder to scorch a soup and the extra water is generally always welcome. Makes clean up easier too. I generally try to build 600 calorie blocks. One each for breakfast, lunch and dinner and than two snack blocks.

    At the end of day you're going to build around rice, beans or a pasta. Grab some noodles and cheese sauce and you got mac and cheese. You can add chicken or bacon easily to change it up. Switch the noodles to a thin noodle and swap the sauce for a dehydrated white sauce and you have fettuccini. Meat additions are the same. Swap out the white sauce for powdered tomatoes and spices and you got spaghetti. Toss the noodles into a bunch of water and make chicken noodle soup.

    Only difference between home cooking amd outdoors is that outdoors you're going to end up most likely with one main dish. You're probably not going to make food A and then make a food B side dish. It will be a big helping of something and maybe some left over snack foods.

    meselfs posted:


    YES TO MAKING YOUR OWN! If I had the time and energy I'd make my own thread on this. I recommend to anyone: buy a cheap (or not) dehydrator and make your own jerky. It's so easy and soooo good.

    Another idea is a bit obscure: make sujuk, a weird kind of half-dried sausage, somewhere between "normal" cured charcuterie and jerky. I haven't tried making it yet but will soon. It's dense, compact, moist enough, and is really satisfying to slice with a knife.

    You can do wacky dried fruits too on the cheap. My daughter and I are real fond of kiwi chips, which I've never seen for sale.

    When I just started backpacking I figured along with all the other sacrifices one makes to be in the glorious outdoors, awesome food can be one. I'm consistently wrong. I take the most comforting lightweight food possible with me, and also copious tea with my stainless steel double wall bottle.

    Inspiring resource: http://www.theyummylife.com/Instant_Meals_On_The_Go
  • Check out packit gourmet for great dehydrated meals!
  • If you like to make your own, I like Pad Thai, which is just dehydrated chicken, rice noodles, pb2 peanut butter concentrate, Knorr dehydrated veggies, and sriracha to flavor after cooking the rest rehydrate in boiled water for 7 minutes

  • Also, Tasty Bites Madras Lentils are loving awesome, especially with a pouch of chicken, corn, quinoa, and hawaiian rolls. Fried onions on the top for extra flavor!

Random Stuff!
  • Who else desperately wants an Oru folding kayak?
    (Update — Bought one a few years ago, they’re pretty great, but stupid expensive. Roanoke River trail is incredible if you like kayak camping)

Vendors/Best of Recommendations
  • Looking for affordable used gear?

    meselfs posted:

    seems like a good opportunity to bring up http://www.geartrade.com/

    There's a lot of information out there, but not all of it is good. For instance, outdoorgearlab is just an advertising schill that completely ignores a lot of great stuff. But I also appreciate the testing on stuff, so

    After every trip, make sure to pull out all your gear and let it air out. Yes, even if it didn't rain, it got wet from sweat, condensation, etc, and mold will absolutely destroy that nice shiny new 500$ tent. You can pack it back up after a few days, but take care of your gear!

  • Clean your shoes, especially if they're leather. Oil your boots. Don't leave a banana in a bear canister, I did that once for a few months, and it was like a million spiders shat all over everything

Oh, and here's a great link for used gear:

https://lwhiker.com/used-gear-search/recent

It's an aggregator for all the various used gear marketplaces on the different lightweight forums. Allows you to search everything from one convenient spot.

Here’s a really great post about layering for cold and wet weather:

Verman posted:

That would be my suggestion. 40 degrees can really vary. 40 degrees and sunny might have me wearing a lot less than 40 degrees, rain and 15 mph winds. Everyone is different in how they perceive and regulate temperatures etc. Wearing three leg layers for 40 degrees and strenuous activity seems excessive. Stash the rainwear until you need it otherwise you're going to be soaked even before the rain comes. In general, you will likely start the hike somewhat cool because you will warm up once you start moving and have an extra layer or two in your bag for when you stop/if the weather gets cooler. If you're warm and comfortable at the car in your given layers, you are going to be too warm on the trail and likely will start sweating once you're moving along. I dont wear rainwear unless its raining. It usually doesn't breathe well so I dont wear it unless I have to, especially the pants.

Essentially you want to create layers that stack so that you're not having to stop and completely swap out what you're wearing for something else. You can onion peel and put things on as needed, take things off as needed.

Here would be my layer options for 40 degree wet weather:

Head
Beanie. You lose a lot of heat through your head. You might not need it but in the event the weather turns or you stop and get chilly, it will help a ton.

Torso
Base layer: (long sleeve technical shirt or long underwear for more warmth). For long underwear, I wear pretty thin stuff. Super thick long underwear can overheat very quickly and its difficult to remove once layered.
Mid layer: This needs to be insulating and since you said wet weather, avoid down since it loses its insulation once wet. Something like a decent weight wool (insulates when wet) or fleece sweater/hoodie/jacket should work.
Top Layer: Rain jacket - pretty self explanitory. It is mostly to keep you dry but it can help hold in heat but it can also cause you to sweat.
Extra layer in your bag: This is your bonus layer you will bring in your bag in case the 40º weather turns into 28º. Anything from another base layer or mid layer will do. It doesnt have to be a nuclear warmth option, just something extra that will add to what you're wearing and make the smallest difference.

Legs
Socks: Wool socks, decent weight. Wool does the best in wet weather in terms of drying, not stinking, and keeping you warm.
Base Layer: Long underwear or leggings (depending on thickness)
Outer Layer: Traditional hiking pants (non insulated synthetic, water repellent etc)
Rain Layer: Only use when needed
Optional: Leg gaiters, they keep snow out of your boots and guess what, they work pretty well for rain too. Most peoples shoes wet out in wet weather not because they stepped in water but because their pants and legs are pushing water down their legs into their boots. Put them beneath your rain pants and your feet should stay pretty dry.

Updated: July 2020

OSU_Matthew fucked around with this message at 14:19 on Jul 19, 2020

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


on the first aid stuff yeah basically if it's something that's major enough and goes beyond simple abrasions, cuts or tweaks, the idea is that you need to evacuate. You're not going to fix a major problem in the backcountry, don't carry a giant first aid kit because you think you're going to re-attach your arm, the goal is to stop bleeding or stabilize whatever the wound is and either gtfo or call for help.

meselfs
Sep 26, 2015

The body may die, but the soul is always rotten

OSU_Matthew posted:

Alcohol
Fuels:
eg don't buy red HEET, it's toxic... or was it yellow that was toxic?

Both are toxic, but red HEET is isopropanol, a heavier alcohol which will burn with soot.

Don't buy either, buy Klean Strip Green alcohol because it has the highest concentration of ethanol, which is the perfect balance of energy dense and being almost soot-free. Or Everclear if you want your fuel to be multipurpose.

I've tried a couple stoves, including the pricier ones, and still love my Trangia best. Storing fuel in it makes it so easy I often take it on day hikes just to make tea.

OSU_Matthew posted:

Sawyer squeeze- cheap squeazable and light hollow tube filter membrane. Doesn't do viruses, but that's usually not an issue in North America. Can be a bit of work squeezing the bags though, and don't forget to backflush it after every use!

I have one of these and think highly of it. Backflushing isn't enough though - they recommend nuking it with bleach now and then. The idea is that it'll destroy all the organic matter stuck in there, but it's hard to find fragrance free bleach, and even if you do it's gunna be stinky unless you really put effort into clearing it out.

What I recommend is buying some 35% hydrogen peroxide off Amazon (go ahead and get food grade), mixing it 1:2 with boiling water (CAREFUL), and squeezing that through. You'll be surprised how easy your next squeeze will be. It will leave no residue, flush with a bit of normal water and it's like new.

OSU_Matthew posted:

If you like to make your own, I like Pad Thai, which is just dehydrated chicken, rice noodles, pb2 peanut butter concentrate, Knorr dehydrated veggies, and sriracha to flavor after cooking the rest rehydrate in boiled water for 7 minutes

Also, Tasty Bites Madras Lentils are loving awesome, especially with a pouch of chicken, corn, quinoa, and hawaiian rolls. Fried onions on the top for extra flavor!

YES TO MAKING YOUR OWN! If I had the time and energy I'd make my own thread on this. I recommend to anyone: buy a cheap (or not) dehydrator and make your own jerky. It's so easy and soooo good.

Another idea is a bit obscure: make sujuk, a weird kind of half-dried sausage, somewhere between "normal" cured charcuterie and jerky. I haven't tried making it yet but will soon. It's dense, compact, moist enough, and is really satisfying to slice with a knife.

You can do wacky dried fruits too on the cheap. My daughter and I are real fond of kiwi chips, which I've never seen for sale.

When I just started backpacking I figured along with all the other sacrifices one makes to be in the glorious outdoors, awesome food can be one. I'm consistently wrong. I take the most comforting lightweight food possible with me, and also copious tea with my stainless steel double wall bottle.

Inspiring resource: http://www.theyummylife.com/Instant_Meals_On_The_Go

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



How to make a hammock:
1.)Find a loving table cloth: http://www.tableclothsfactory.com/tablecloths-Table-Linens-Chair-Covers-Sashes-s/132.htm
2.)Lash the ends http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeHammock2.html or just gather it and tie a sheet bend with your loving suspension: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJlEQpcbM1I
3.)Hang the hammock and don't you dare use loving rope on a tree in a public park and ruin it for the rest of us: https://theultimatehang.com/2012/07/hammock-camping-101/

Congratulations. You just made an ENO hammock for less than 1/3 the price.

CopperHound fucked around with this message at 05:11 on Apr 21, 2017

Supradog
Sep 1, 2004

A POOOST!?!??! YEEAAAAHHHH

Soiled Meat

OSU_Matthew posted:


The colder it is outside, the more likely it is you'll have to pee in the middle of the night. Don't hold it in and suffer, just do it, your body is trying to expel the water because it takes a lot of energy to heat up. Yeah it sucks when it's four degrees out, but you'll feel a lot better when you do.

This bit is a little iffy, the wording makes it sound like it's the water in your bladder that is the heat loss, rather than constricting blood vessels in your skin due to cold causes more blood to be filtered into water in your bladder. Though exact cause and mechanisms is afaik still debated.

Ephphatha
Dec 18, 2009






Might as well expand a bit on fuels for alcohol stoves. Adventures In Stoving: What's the Best Alcohol for Stove Fuel? gives a decent rundown of the different types of fuels and the recommendations are solid, but it's good to be aware of the regional variations when it comes to sourcing your fuels.

Summarised from that article: Ethanol and methanol are the main alcohols used for alcohol fuel stoves. While they both burn fairly cleanly and produce decent heat output methanol is highly toxic if ingested. Ethanol is safer (it's what you want in booze) and burns hotter making pure ethanol solutions the preferred fuel. Actually getting highly concentrated ethanol will vary depending on your region and it can be very expensive or outright impossible to find a safe supply. Denatured alcohol solutions are more readily available, these will generally be an ethanol solution with a denaturing agent to discourage recreational consumption. Often the denaturing agent will be methanol (methylated spirits) or some other potentially toxic additive, so care should be taken when storing/transporting it and before burning it. Next up would be pure methanol solutions (e.g. yellow HEET). While toxic methanol does have a lower boiling point which makes it more reliable as a fuel in colder weather. It would also be more readily available given that it is unfit for consumption and so isn't taxed as an alcohol. Finally isopropanol (rubbing alcohol, red HEET) can be used in a pinch but as it produces a lot of soot and is toxic methanol would be a better choice.

Fuels to look for:
  • High proof alcohol (190 proof, meaning 95% ethanol) - Might be available at a liquor store but will be expensive in countries that tax alcohol.
  • Ethanol Absolute (laboratory grade ethanol - 95-99%) - Could be sourced from chemical suppliers, however you need to be very careful as solutions above 95% cannot be achieved without an additive. Benzene is the most common additive and is highly toxic even at the small concentrations used for these solutions. Look for 95% ethanol.
  • Denatured Alcohol/Methylated Spirits - If you're in a country that bans methanol as a denaturing agent* you can find solutions of 60-95% ethanol with the solvents/cleaners at hardware stores and the like. You would still need to check the MSDS before using it as a fuel but if you can find 95% ethanol with no toxic denaturing agents you're golden.

For countries which use methanol as a denaturing agent ethanol/methanol blends would still be worth investigating. As ethanol burns hotter than methanol a blend with a good ratio of ethanol to methanol and minimal other additives would still be better than pure methanol solutions.

* For example, Australia and New Zealand do not allow methanol to be added to methylated spirits. 95% ethanol solutions are available at hardware stores advertised as solvents (Methylated Spirits) or stove fuel (Bio-Flame). Both of those products are effectively identical, the bioflame smells slightly better and costs twice as much.

Edit: I should add that alcohol stoves are popular because they're small and cheap, most designs can be easily constructed from aluminium cans with a pair of scissors and a small drill bit. Tetkoba's Alcohol Stove Addict is a great channel if you're looking at making your own alcohol stove.

Ephphatha fucked around with this message at 13:11 on Apr 21, 2017

Picnic Princess
Feb 9, 2008

I was under direct orders not to die




Even if your plans are just going on a day hike, think about what you'll need to survive overnight and bring it. poo poo can get ugly in the backcountry. Nature is not safe. Accidents happen and sometimes you get caught. Research what the trending temperature and conditions have been for nights in the area for that time of year and prepare accordingly.

Some places the temperature and conditions will vary little, so you won't need to worry too much. But where I live, it can easily snow at altitude at night int he summer while it was super warm during the day, and it's something I always need to consider if I happen to have a bad accident and am forced to spend the night.

I learned this the hard way. While I didn't spend the night, I got into major trouble in the late afternoon, and it took over 2 hours to secure a rescue on a cliff overlooking the town where the rescue team was based. In that time the temperature dropped significantly and I had neglected to bring a fleece jacket, I just had my lightweight waterproof shell. The trip was projected to be only a few hours, but I had my accident towards the end of it. On top of being in shock, I was freezing cold and it was way worse a time than it could have been had I been prepared with the proper layers. So don't skimp on any trip!

I also find it helpful to know just how much water your body needs in a day to perform optimally. It might vary a bit from person to person, but I know for me that if I'm not getting 3 litres a day while backpacking I start to get dizzy and experience blackouts. For that reason, I love my Nalgene because I can track exactly how much I'm drinking and keeping myself properly hydrated. I have a litre and half bottle so as long as I drink two of them I'm solid.

Chard
Aug 24, 2010






I recently upgraded my pack from a 20-year-old external frame (still perfectly good just lacking in modern amenities), and am I the only one who thinks that having a 'dedicated sleeping bag compartment' at the bottom of most new packs is kind of weird? I mean of course you can do whatever with whatever, but I'm used to putting the bag in a stuffsack and cinching it down with the top flap over the rest of everything else. In my mind heavy stuff goes down in that area to keep center of gravity low. What am I missing?

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


Dunno, people like being able to pull it out of the bottom for some reason.

I think heavy stuff is best in the lower middle not necessarily the absolute bottom but can't remember where I got that.

Chard
Aug 24, 2010






Well Imma put my food and water down there, and if Osprey wants to come tell me otherwise I'll fight 'em.

Anyone have a good recommendation for lightweight optics? I like birding and backpacking, but my nice binoculars are too heavy and awkward to bring while hiking. Ideally I'd like something that can clip to a gear hook on a shoulder strap, so probably a monocular, at least 10x.

meselfs
Sep 26, 2015

The body may die, but the soul is always rotten

Chard posted:

Well Imma put my food and water down there, and if Osprey wants to come tell me otherwise I'll fight 'em.

I use a big BD rock climbing bag for everything. I love it because it's just... like... a big bag thing without anything fancy.

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



Chard posted:

In my mind heavy stuff goes down in that area to keep center of gravity low. What am I missing?
Moving your weight higher in the pack can help you stand more upright.

Here is a lovely example of how you would have to balance if your pack's center of mass is at the red spot:


There is a limit to how much weight you would want high, especially on technical terrain. Small movements of the pack can push you off balance.

Rime
Nov 2, 2011



Heavy at the bottom is bad mojo, here's a good illustration of optimal packing:

bringer
Oct 16, 2005

I'm out there Jerry and I'm LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT


First aid kit chat: Hypothermia is a real killer. In addition to a basic day kit like in the OP, I carry a cheap survival bivvy bag (one of those plastic/Mylar ones), a waterproof/goretex shell, and a fleece/down jacket everywhere.

You can't rely on a cell signal in the mountains around here. If you're out on a simple 3-4 hour loop and someone goes down near the halfway point with a mobility injury it might be another 4 hours before they can be evacuated -- able bodied person will need 2 hours to get to the trailhead where they can hopefully place a call, then another hour or two for rescue if they decide you rate a helicopter. Longer than that if you get lost or they need to walk you out.

I also keep an extra Bic lighter and a couple waxed cotton balls in a ziplock in my first aid kit for that same wait-for-rescue scenario.

If you wear contacts you really should have a couple spare disposables in your kit as well, and a glasses repair kit if you wear those. Busting a pair of glasses and not being able to repair them is a good way to find out how useful the rest of your first aid kit is after you blunder into easily avoidable hazards.

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

One piece of equipment that always goes into every single med kit I have is a roll of athletic tape. Get GOOD tape (johnson&johnson). If you get a nice gash out on the trail and have bullshit tape in your kit, it won't stick to poo poo if you sweat. I was hiking one time and hit a section of jagged rocks. Tripped on one of the rocks and got a nice gas on my shin. Wasn't horrible enough that I needed stitches, but wasn't fun either. No way a bandaid would be able to close up the wound, but I did have a roll of tape.

Made a makeshift absorbent pad (with the tape) and taped up my shin. Only issue I had after that was the lack of hair from removing the tape afterwards. Athletic tape is great because it not only sticks well to skin, and sweaty skin, but to itself extremely well.

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

ASSTASTIC posted:

One piece of equipment that always goes into every single med kit I have is a roll of athletic tape. Get GOOD tape (johnson&johnson). If you get a nice gash out on the trail and have bullshit tape in your kit, it won't stick to poo poo if you sweat. I was hiking one time and hit a section of jagged rocks. Tripped on one of the rocks and got a nice gas on my shin. Wasn't horrible enough that I needed stitches, but wasn't fun either. No way a bandaid would be able to close up the wound, but I did have a roll of tape.

Made a makeshift absorbent pad (with the tape) and taped up my shin. Only issue I had after that was the lack of hair from removing the tape afterwards. Athletic tape is great because it not only sticks well to skin, and sweaty skin, but to itself extremely well.

I got turned on to that stuff years ago and it's pretty much replaced Band-Aids for me. And yeah, if you can't stand to use alcohol to loosen it first, you gonna get baby-butt smooth legs once you get that tape off.

I was actually shopping for first aid supplies the other day and came across what appears to be a consumer version of Quick clot. I was in a hurry and didn't really read the package, but it seem to be like single use tubes, but they were pretty large, like the size of those singleserving ice tea powders. Has anyone else seen this stuff?

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



I did look into it a little but decided against buying some for my first aid kit. From what I read, It burns like hell and has to be completely washed out before you can get stitched up. It is pretty much stuff that should be a last resort to bleeding out from a severed artery. Do you see yourself barely winning any knife fights?

I put a few steri-strips and some benzoin tincture in my first aid kit for deep cuts. I figure that is as much as I can handle without doing more harm than good.

Chard
Aug 24, 2010






Rime posted:

Heavy at the bottom is bad mojo, here's a good illustration of optimal packing:



This is useful, thanks!

CopperHound posted:

Moving your weight higher in the pack can help you stand more upright.

Here is a lovely example of how you would have to balance if your pack's center of mass is at the red spot:


There is a limit to how much weight you would want high, especially on technical terrain. Small movements of the pack can push you off balance.


And this pretty accurately depicts my posture during the back half of a trip, so I'll give this a try.

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


Leokotape works really well as an alternative to athletic tape (better IMO)

OSU_Matthew
Aug 23, 2010

IT ME




Toilet Rascal

Thanks for the great contributions! I'll be adding those to the OP!

Question for you guys, I'm thinking about buying a rodent proof sack for storing my food. Normally I either hang a silnylon bag or bring my bear canister, and I haven't had a problem, but this weekend a pony ripped up someone's food bag in the Grayson Highlands so I'm thinking I'd like something a bit more durable but not quite bear canister heavy.

I'm torn (wamp womp) between the Ursack Minor and Ratsack... anyone here use either of those, or should I do something else entirely?

On the same topic, someone showed me the PCT Hang over the weekend and thought I'd post it here:



When you pull on the cord, it just raises the bag up!

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

OSU_Matthew posted:

Thanks for the great contributions! I'll be adding those to the OP!

Question for you guys, I'm thinking about buying a rodent proof sack for storing my food. Normally I either hang a silnylon bag or bring my bear canister, and I haven't had a problem, but this weekend a pony ripped up someone's food bag in the Grayson Highlands so I'm thinking I'd like something a bit more durable but not quite bear canister heavy.

I'm torn (wamp womp) between the Ursack Minor and Ratsack... anyone here use either of those, or should I do something else entirely?

On the same topic, someone showed me the PCT Hang over the weekend and thought I'd post it here:



When you pull on the cord, it just raises the bag up!

Holy gently caress, that Ursack costs 80 bucks for a bag? I mean, I get why people use bear cans, but was that dude's bag that the pony got into hung correctly or on the ground? I've always used a stuff sack/silnylon bag to hang my food and 80 bucks sounds a bit too much for a sack. Any reason why its so expensive?

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

bongwizzard posted:

I got turned on to that stuff years ago and it's pretty much replaced Band-Aids for me. And yeah, if you can't stand to use alcohol to loosen it first, you gonna get baby-butt smooth legs once you get that tape off.

I was actually shopping for first aid supplies the other day and came across what appears to be a consumer version of Quick clot. I was in a hurry and didn't really read the package, but it seem to be like single use tubes, but they were pretty large, like the size of those singleserving ice tea powders. Has anyone else seen this stuff?

You can get quicklot at REI and I highly recommend people put one into their med kits. Usually served to help gunshot wounds, this could be really life saving on a trail if someone gets seriously hurt.

Escape Addict
Jan 25, 2012

YOSPOS


Does anyone have any gear recommendations for hot, humid, tropical environments? South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, etc.

The information in the OP is super great, especially for Canada and New Zealand-type environments, but what kind of gear should I get if I want to avoid hyperthermia, not hypothermia.

In jungles, the air is like a sauna and sweat often doesn't evaporate. When there is no canopy, the direct sunlight can be loving scorching when you're close to the equator.

Also, trench foot and other fungal infections are more likely since it's so hot and moist all the time. Anyone have any first-hand experience trekking through this kind of terrain?

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


ASSTASTIC posted:

Holy gently caress, that Ursack costs 80 bucks for a bag? I mean, I get why people use bear cans, but was that dude's bag that the pony got into hung correctly or on the ground? I've always used a stuff sack/silnylon bag to hang my food and 80 bucks sounds a bit too much for a sack. Any reason why its so expensive?

It's tear resistant, basically bear proof if used properly, and lighter than bear cans. Not approved in all places though.

Not sure it's rodent proof though

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



I always scoffed at alcohol stoves, but today I had some denatured alcohol, aluminum cans, and time:




I still need to try it out in breezy or rainy conditions, but I think I'm a convert.

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

Escape Addict posted:

Does anyone have any gear recommendations for hot, humid, tropical environments? South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, etc.

The information in the OP is super great, especially for Canada and New Zealand-type environments, but what kind of gear should I get if I want to avoid hyperthermia, not hypothermia.

In jungles, the air is like a sauna and sweat often doesn't evaporate. When there is no canopy, the direct sunlight can be loving scorching when you're close to the equator.

Also, trench foot and other fungal infections are more likely since it's so hot and moist all the time. Anyone have any first-hand experience trekking through this kind of terrain?

I don't have a ton of experience with tropical climate, but I do have experience with pretty humid environments. I would definitely suggest a bug net for your head/face. Also, I went on 2 hikes with my then girlfriend now wife during the summer in hawaii before noon. I didn't realize how much "friction" was happening in my inner thighs. I'm definitely not a fat guy, but I got those tree trunk thighs.

Now, I never go hiking without #1 boxer briefs #2 Body Glide. Body Glide goes on like a deodorant stick, but prevents blistering and rubbing. Works for feet as well.

In regards to feet, make sure you use liner socks.

Levitate posted:

It's tear resistant, basically bear proof if used properly, and lighter than bear cans. Not approved in all places though.

Not sure it's rodent proof though

Wow. I can see the appeal of a bag like that instead of a bear can just in weight saving & bulk factor, but 80 bucks seems extreme. I wonder if they have a patent or something on it.

Chard
Aug 24, 2010






CopperHound posted:

I always scoffed at alcohol stoves, but today I had some denatured alcohol, aluminum cans, and time:




I still need to try it out in breezy or rainy conditions, but I think I'm a convert.

Did you have much trouble getting the alcohol to vaporize properly? I've messed with alcohol stoves only a little bit, and each time it seemed like I had to pour a lot of fuel around to get the metal heated up to the point where it was actually a stove and not just a wisp of blue flame. Big weight savings over a white gas stove but I wonder if the extra fuel eats into some of those savings, or if I was simply doing it wrong.

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



I built this style of stove: http://zenstoves.net/BasicSideBurner.htm
I don't need to pour priming alcohol around the side and just light the center. At least in my kitchen the jets fire up pretty fast. I didn't time but I think less than 30 seconds. I still need to RTV the two halves together, so if I put in enough fuel to get a liter of water to a rolling boil it does sputter out the sides some.

I'll still bring white gas for two person trips longer than a couple days because I estimate that we boil close to 20 cups of water a day with all the tea we drink.

Picnic Princess
Feb 9, 2008

I was under direct orders not to die




I've always used alcohol stoves for my personal trips and only used other types for school trips. I love my Trangia, although it seems have a difficult time producing enough heat when temperatures drop. I'd prefer a gas stove for winter conditions.

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

ASSTASTIC posted:

You can get quicklot at REI and I highly recommend people put one into their med kits. Usually served to help gunshot wounds, this could be really life saving on a trail if someone gets seriously hurt.

I got to try to make time to go back to the place I saw the stuff and pick some up. It didn't really look like it was for trauma medicine, but just another iteration on liquid Band-Aids.

CopperHound posted:

I always scoffed at alcohol stoves, but today I had some denatured alcohol, aluminum cans, and time:




I still need to try it out in breezy or rainy conditions, but I think I'm a convert.

What finally killed my enthusiasm for small alcohol stove was in fact, breezy and rainy conditions. I tried dozens of different combinations of stoves,pot supports, and wind screens, nothing I worked was ever as efficient and dependable as a little pocket rocket stove. Other issue was that the ones that work the best tend to require a much wider pot than I would ever carry for the solo trips I usually go on.

OSU_Matthew
Aug 23, 2010

IT ME




Toilet Rascal

ASSTASTIC posted:

Holy gently caress, that Ursack costs 80 bucks for a bag? I mean, I get why people use bear cans, but was that dude's bag that the pony got into hung correctly or on the ground? I've always used a stuff sack/silnylon bag to hang my food and 80 bucks sounds a bit too much for a sack. Any reason why its so expensive?

Because it's a lightweight bear or rodent canister, so that's worth a pretty penny to people. Plus the fabric is pretty pricey and hard to work with.

The guy that got his food bag muched was an idiot and hung it low enough that the pony was able to reach it, 100% his fault. But, I have heard plenty of other horror stories of raccoons and mice so i figured a chew proof bag might be a good preventative measure even though I've been pretty lucky thus far. I don't need their bear sack, just the steel threaded cut resistant bag to stop the local critters. I think I might try that over the ratsak since it's a bit lighter...

CopperHound posted:

I always scoffed at alcohol stoves, but today I had some denatured alcohol, aluminum cans, and time:




I still need to try it out in breezy or rainy conditions, but I think I'm a convert.

Nice! You've got me wanting to bust out my whitebox alcohol stove again, now that it's summer.

Only downside to alcohol is that it isn't very efficient in winter, but you can use canister stoves, like this 10$ chineesium Olicamp Ion knockoff stove instead if you want to save weight. That one in particular has been pretty skookum for me, and it's crazy light.

So I finally heard back from Lowa, and it looks like I'm going to officially be getting my boots resoled by them, and it's only gonna be 85$!

For reference, I had a catastrophic blowout on my trip to Grayson Highlands last weekend:



Fortunately I had a pair of chaco sandals with me for camp shoes, (mainly because I saw the foam mid layer starting to blow chunks off the side right before the trip), so I was able to finish the hike no problem. However, I'd really love to get some lighter sandals for camp shoes that I can use as backup hiking sandals if something like this happens again. Someone suggested Xero Sandals to me... anyone have any thoughts or recommendations? The chacos just aren't comfy for long distances, and they're pretty drat heavy.

meselfs
Sep 26, 2015

The body may die, but the soul is always rotten

bongwizzard posted:

What finally killed my enthusiasm for small alcohol stove was in fact, breezy and rainy conditions. I tried dozens of different combinations of stoves,pot supports, and wind screens, nothing I worked was ever as efficient and dependable as a little pocket rocket stove. Other issue was that the ones that work the best tend to require a much wider pot than I would ever carry for the solo trips I usually go on.

I was very happy cooking in windy -10°C (don't laugh, Canadians) using Trangia stove + hacked Evernew stand + this:

https://toaksoutdoor.com/products/wsc

I cut some complementary slots on both ends with a Dremel wheel to make it go nearly snug on my favorite pot.

Previously, I was always field expedient about it: rocks, snow, sand, etc. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get a good enough seal and reasonable cooking time.


Cold doesn't affect efficiency (the alcohol's boiling point constrains operating temperature), only starting difficulty (keep the lighter + filled stove in your pocket). Because the stove system is so light, it's very practical until there are a lot of people or a lot of nights.

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

OSU_Matthew posted:

So I finally heard back from Lowa, and it looks like I'm going to officially be getting my boots resoled by them, and it's only gonna be 85$!

For reference, I had a catastrophic blowout on my trip to Grayson Highlands last weekend:



Fortunately I had a pair of chaco sandals with me for camp shoes, (mainly because I saw the foam mid layer starting to blow chunks off the side right before the trip), so I was able to finish the hike no problem. However, I'd really love to get some lighter sandals for camp shoes that I can use as backup hiking sandals if something like this happens again. Someone suggested Xero Sandals to me... anyone have any thoughts or recommendations? The chacos just aren't comfy for long distances, and they're pretty drat heavy.

Fuckln nice. Glad they are taking care of you. When I worked at REI, and if someone was going to get serious into hiking, once they found a boot that works awesome for them, I'd suggest they get 2 pairs. More often than not, when the season changes, so do the boot designs. Even when the boot style name hasn't changed, the design of it did in someway when the company updates it. Some people might hate the new design and you are SOL. The updates might not happen every season, but even after 1 years time, they might revamp and the boot you once knew is gone. Then you are slumming it through the REI garage sale used boot bins to find a matching pair.

I didn't take my own advice and I my main hiking boot is a The North Face boot that fits like a glove. I only have 1 pair.

Also gently caress the haters, chacos + socks are the perfect camp shoe combination.

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

ASSTASTIC posted:

Also gently caress the haters, chacos + socks are the perfect camp shoe combination.

Camp fashion is very important. Half of everything is looking good. Right foot: red croc, american flag sock. Left foot: blue croc, rainbow sock.

Levitate
Sep 30, 2005

randy newman voice

YOU'VE GOT A LAFRENIÈRE IN ME


I just don't bring camp shoes

Epitope
Nov 27, 2006



Grimey Drawer

Barefoot, the true way of the hiking master. How many grams are we wasting on boots and socks? Shameful

Lest you think I be joking https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cody_Lundin

Epitope fucked around with this message at 21:17 on Apr 25, 2017

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

If anything, a pair of super light flip flops like the cheap ones from Hawaii called "locals" are great to have as camp shoes. I only like Chacos because as OSU_Matthew experienced, poo poo got real when his boots exploded on him mid hike.

Chacos are excellent for times like that. Also I can wear my wool socks with them. Only downside is they are heavy as gently caress.

ASSTASTIC fucked around with this message at 21:54 on Apr 25, 2017

Escape Addict
Jan 25, 2012

YOSPOS


Thank you for the advice, ASSTASTIC.

What kind of underwear do you guys recommend? Is the exofficio boxer brief the best? Smart wool? What works well for you?

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ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

Escape Addict posted:

Thank you for the advice, ASSTASTIC.

What kind of underwear do you guys recommend? Is the exofficio boxer brief the best? Smart wool? What works well for you?

Exofficio boxer brief. Expensive but worth it. I would also look at underarmor boxer briefs. Make sure you maybe get one pair and try them out. The main advantage is they dry REALLY fast so if you want to you can go commando while you wash and dry your underpants. Hung up they probably dry in 30 to 1 hour if not shorter once rung out.

Again, I can't emphasize enough, body glide. I do not work for them, but I am an avid user. Before I quit REI i seriously bought like 5 bars before my discount was gone.

ASSTASTIC fucked around with this message at 21:57 on Apr 25, 2017

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