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BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



I have 2 go to pairs for different conditions, if you exclude winter footwear.

Danner Explorers, the all-leather and Gore-Tex model. I've had these boots for close to 10 years now, getting them resoled a few times. They are amazing. Yeah yeah trail runners, breathability, etc, etc. But these are the best heavy duty, bushwacking, cool weather (not cold) boots that I've ever owned. They've held up to a ton of abuse, look nice, and fit my foot perfectly after they were broken in. The second these finally kick the bucket I'll go out and buy a brand new pair.

For summer and warmer weather I love the La Sportiva Wildcats. I'm on my 3rd pair now in 7 years, and I just hope they keep making them. Breath great, super grippy, hold up pretty well. Just an all around fantastic trail running shoe.

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xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



Salomon don't have anything with vibram soles, do they? Is their Contagrip comparable?

Because my grip confidence with vibram is so high I'll probably never wear anything that isn't at least that good.

Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

SHUT
THE
FUCK
UP!
BIIITCH!




xzzy posted:

Salomon don't have anything with vibram soles, do they? Is their Contagrip comparable?

Because my grip confidence with vibram is so high I'll probably never wear anything that isn't at least that good.

I've never had any complaints about grip w/ my Salomons.


I am a huge Salomon stan. I love both the Quest 4D and the X Ultra GTX boots. Neither breathe the best so my feet are a bit warm, but they feel amazing on my feet and they've been surprisingly durable, too.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






In a single day I wore the same pair of GTX boots climbing in the snow (11,000 ft) and scrambling in the desert (4,200 ft) without any issues, wet feet, etc.. That's not really a great way of measuring the performance of boots, but if they can do that then they're probably good.

Morbus
May 18, 2004



incogneato posted:

Salomons have been the best fit for my feet, and they've treated me well. I've used both gore tex mids for snowshoeing/snow hiking as well as lighter trail runners, and both have been great.

Actually that leads me to another question. Does anyone have a suggestion for a not-heavy waterproof boot for snowshoeing and slushy shoulder season hiking (eg top half of the hike is still in snow, but not always enough to justify snowshoes)? I'm tempted to get another pair of Salomons, maybe the newer X Ultra 4 GTX mid, but I'd be happy to hear other suggestions.

I stick with lighter trail runners most of the year, but snowshoeing or slushy hiking I like some waterproofing (plus gators).

Do you need to take a crampon or just sometimes snowshoes? Shoulder season can involve a mix of ungodly slush and also really hard icy refrozen snow, but idk what exactly you have in mind.

Salomon boots fit my feet best, but I've found that the waterproofing on my Quest 4Ds isn't always up for snowshoeing. If I recently applied Nikwax or similar it works OK, but after awhile it seems I get leaks around where the snowshoe straps are pressing. I also find them to be cold for anything involving deep snow, which is not surprising since they have no insulation. That's less of an issue if you aren't spending too much time in snow and/or you're back off the snow by the end of the day or in camp.

I think for snowshoes, it's best to have something with a somewhat stiffer/sturdier upper to fit the shoeshoe straps without pressing down on your feet/toes. Depends on the snowshoes though. I really liked the Saloman X Alp LTR boots in this regard. They were stiffer, but still had enough flex to hike in all day comfortably. They fit all major brands of workhorse 12pt crampons perfectly (better than some mountaineering boots...). And the waterproofing was decent. Only problem is they started falling apart after 18 months...but that was after a lot of abuse. Anyway, Saloman discontinued them and seems to be exiting the alpine/mountaineering boot market entirely, which is a shame since their stuff fits my feet really well.

If the Salomans work for you, I'd just stick with them unless you have some specific issues you'd like to fix or improve.

incogneato
Jun 4, 2007

Zoom! Swish! Bang!

Morbus posted:

Do you need to take a crampon or just sometimes snowshoes? Shoulder season can involve a mix of ungodly slush and also really hard icy refrozen snow, but idk what exactly you have in mind.

Salomon boots fit my feet best, but I've found that the waterproofing on my Quest 4Ds isn't always up for snowshoeing. If I recently applied Nikwax or similar it works OK, but after awhile it seems I get leaks around where the snowshoe straps are pressing. I also find them to be cold for anything involving deep snow, which is not surprising since they have no insulation. That's less of an issue if you aren't spending too much time in snow and/or you're back off the snow by the end of the day or in camp.

I think for snowshoes, it's best to have something with a somewhat stiffer/sturdier upper to fit the shoeshoe straps without pressing down on your feet/toes. Depends on the snowshoes though. I really liked the Saloman X Alp LTR boots in this regard. They were stiffer, but still had enough flex to hike in all day comfortably. They fit all major brands of workhorse 12pt crampons perfectly (better than some mountaineering boots...). And the waterproofing was decent. Only problem is they started falling apart after 18 months...but that was after a lot of abuse. Anyway, Saloman discontinued them and seems to be exiting the alpine/mountaineering boot market entirely, which is a shame since their stuff fits my feet really well.

If the Salomans work for you, I'd just stick with them unless you have some specific issues you'd like to fix.

Usually just microspikes packed along with if I'm not doing full on snowshoeing from the get-go. You're right that they seemed to tear up the fabric of the Salomons, though. I had considered something with maybe a leather upper that I could apply Sno Seal to every year, but my previous leather boots were so drat heavy. Maybe I should look into it again.

Right now I'm just at that late spring point where most of the hikes I want to do are snow free at the trailhead but inevitably get into some as I climb a bit. Conditions could be anything from old and crunchy to half-melted slush.

I appreciate the response. I think you're right. I'll look for some shoulder season boots for now, and worry about snowshoeing boots when next winter rolls around.

FogHelmut
Dec 18, 2003

Your authority is not recognized in Fort Kickass.


Weird idea but I'm sure someone has thought of it - they make like those bags that the dehydrated food comes in, but reusable? Or something similar? I was thinking for like one nighters, make your own food and seal it up in a vacuum bag, and freeze it flat. Pack it with you, defrosts along the way. Stick it in your mylar bag, fill with boiling water, it heats up the contents of your vacuum sealed food.

This probably needs a lot more hot water than it seems, dunno if it's feasible.



incogneato posted:

Salomons have been the best fit for my feet, and they've treated me well. I've used both gore tex mids for snowshoeing/snow hiking as well as lighter trail runners, and both have been great.

Actually that leads me to another question. Does anyone have a suggestion for a not-heavy waterproof boot for snowshoeing and slushy shoulder season hiking (eg top half of the hike is still in snow, but not always enough to justify snowshoes)? I'm tempted to get another pair of Salomons, maybe the newer X Ultra 4 GTX mid, but I'd be happy to hear other suggestions.

I stick with lighter trail runners most of the year, but snowshoeing or slushy hiking I like some waterproofing (plus gators).

I wear my Merrell Moabs waterproof in the snow, never had a problem.

Chard
Aug 24, 2010






FogHelmut posted:

Weird idea but I'm sure someone has thought of it - they make like those bags that the dehydrated food comes in, but reusable? Or something similar? I was thinking for like one nighters, make your own food and seal it up in a vacuum bag, and freeze it flat. Pack it with you, defrosts along the way. Stick it in your mylar bag, fill with boiling water, it heats up the contents of your vacuum sealed food.

This probably needs a lot more hot water than it seems, dunno if it's feasible.

you can get these https://www.packitgourmet.com/Cook-in-Bag.html for pretty cheap, i've used them to break pre-made meals into me-sized portions and they work great... EXCEPT, as far as i can tell they only get to be sealed once or maybe twice and then the plastic ribbons won't mate again. i havent tried the mylar bags they also sell, so if those work better someone please tell me.

the other probably better option is just using freezer ziplocs and accepting that we all consume plastic in every breath bite and sip already so it doesn't hurt too much more

FogHelmut
Dec 18, 2003

Your authority is not recognized in Fort Kickass.


Yeah, the only thing about the freezer ziplocks is about half the time they leak when submerged.

Chard
Aug 24, 2010






oh yeah i wouldn't try to cook, like, sous vide style in a ziploc. that same site apparently also sells boilable bags which i also havent tried

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


Something like a vacuum seal food saver bag with zippers would be ideal. Durable material and they're meant to stay airtight.

h3r0n
Dec 22, 2005






Rolo posted:

I tried lots of shoes on and ended up with a pair of Salomons. Anyone here hike with them?

They were super comfy and REI has their insane return policy so

I have a pair of XA PRO 3D (or some such) and love them. They are quick drying and comfortable hiking or rucking. I will absolutely 100% get another pair.



SLEEPING BAG CHAT

Can anyone recommend a 'couples' bag or set up for backpacking? It doesn't have to be ultralight as we generally just do long weekend trips. The load will be split between the wife and I if that matters.

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



Are you backpacking or car camping?

Backpacking, just stick with two individual bags.

Car camping we have some North Face Dolomite double sleeping bag thats rated for 35F that we like. I've had it for 8 years now and its held up pretty good, even with the dog jumping all over and in it.

Business of Ferrets
Mar 2, 2008

Good to see that everything is back to normal.

incogneato posted:

Does anyone have a suggestion for a not-heavy waterproof boot for snowshoeing and slushy shoulder season hiking

Not sure how heavy is too heavy, but you might check out the lighter-weight Scarpa and La Sportiva (depending on your foot shape) mountaineering or hiking boots.

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


Mountaineering boots have been better for snowshoeing from a waterproof perspective but the sole doesn't flex much which makes walking annoying.

First things first, gaiters. They keep the majority of the snow out of the top of your boot down to your laces. My other suggestion is look for winter specific boots. Moabs will work for a while but my gore tex version always soaked through eventually. I haven't used my salomon quests in the snow too much yet but they seem more robust than my moabs and my feet stayed dry so far.

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



incogneato posted:

Does anyone have a suggestion for a not-heavy waterproof boot for snowshoeing and slushy shoulder season hiking (eg top half of the hike is still in snow, but not always enough to justify snowshoes)? I'm tempted to get another pair of Salomons, maybe the newer X Ultra 4 GTX mid, but I'd be happy to hear other suggestions.
I have been pleased with my Lowa Renegades for slush. They seem light to me, but my only comparison is work boots.

h3r0n posted:

Can anyone recommend a 'couples' bag or set up for backpacking?

Men and Women's versions of the same bag often have zippers on opposite sides that can zip together. Go that route so you can go back to sleeping in separate bags once you realize how miserable it can be.

This is coming from someone who has managed to share a twin bed with their partner at home, so it's not like I hate cuddling.

OSU_Matthew
Aug 23, 2010

IT ME




Toilet Rascal

CopperHound posted:

I have been pleased with my Lowa Renegades for slush. They seem light to me, but my only comparison is work boots.


Men and Women's versions of the same bag often have zippers on opposite sides that can zip together. Go that route so you can go back to sleeping in separate bags once you realize how miserable it can be.

This is coming from someone who has managed to share a twin bed with their partner at home, so it's not like I hate cuddling.

^^This, you get stanky outdoors, plus everyone has very different temperature tolerances in unconditioned environments. This is super good advice since you can have it both ways!

Alternatively, you can look into backpacking quilts. They have separate footboxes, but you could flap the tops over one another and snuggle in. You could also probably snap the tops together, like thereís a snap button that closes the collar around the shoulder, and you could just snap that to your partnerís quilt.

Youíll want a good insulated sleeping pad, but quilts save a lot of weight and bulk, plus youíre not constricted like a sleeping bag

h3r0n
Dec 22, 2005






Sperate bags it is. Thanks much all!

Rob Rockley
Feb 23, 2009





So I'm looking for a tent to get some car camping going. I got a Trail Hut 4 from REI but it had a seam blow out while putting it up and I'd like something I know isn't going to fall apart. We were looking for ideally a 3 or 4-person tent that will be pretty sturdy and not a huge hassle. Light and small enough to go backpacking with in a pinch would be nice, since we don't need standing room or anything but I'd rather get something reliable than something light but flimsy. Anything that fits the bill well there, preferably available at REI? We've already got suitable pads and sleeping bags.

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


Rob Rockley posted:

So I'm looking for a tent to get some car camping going. I got a Trail Hut 4 from REI but it had a seam blow out while putting it up and I'd like something I know isn't going to fall apart. We were looking for ideally a 3 or 4-person tent that will be pretty sturdy and not a huge hassle. Light and small enough to go backpacking with in a pinch would be nice, since we don't need standing room or anything but I'd rather get something reliable than something light but flimsy. Anything that fits the bill well there, preferably available at REI? We've already got suitable pads and sleeping bags.

Is the current tent you have repairable by any chance? They're all just stitched together and my guess is someone could probably repair it.

Whats your budget for a new tent? When you say car camping, sturdy, 3-4 person ... I have a hard time imagining something you would want to backpack with.

Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

SHUT
THE
FUCK
UP!
BIIITCH!




So I was hoping my local REI would have bear canisters for rent, but apparently they were planning on it, then covid and now

Since it looks like I'm going to be buying, anyone have thoughts/recommendations on canister versus bag? It's for two people for a long weekend's worth of food.

We're not going to a super high traffic area, so bears are not likely to be habituated to people and their food. I haven't used a bag before, but outside of being somewhat lighter and more customizable to pack, it seems like a canister is still the way to go?

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



Rob Rockley posted:

So I'm looking for a tent to get some car camping going. I got a Trail Hut 4 from REI but it had a seam blow out while putting it up and I'd like something I know isn't going to fall apart. We were looking for ideally a 3 or 4-person tent that will be pretty sturdy and not a huge hassle. Light and small enough to go backpacking with in a pinch would be nice, since we don't need standing room or anything but I'd rather get something reliable than something light but flimsy. Anything that fits the bill well there, preferably available at REI? We've already got suitable pads and sleeping bags.

If you had to just have one tent I'd say look at some of the REI Half Dome tents. I think they make a 3 or 4 person size. I have a 2+ person model that I use when the wife and I go on backpacking trips. Its been great for us over the last couple of years.

I would also add, that if you can, look for the Kingdom tents at one of the REI garage sales. I love that tent for car camping so much. I may have told this story here before, but we went on a big family camping trip with the in-laws. 4 groups, 3 families in tents and another in a pop-up trailer. We got one of those awesome midwestern summer storms that came through in the night. A ton of rain, thunder and lightening and wind. Our tent was the only one that survived the night unscathed. The other tents had leaks or broken poles, the pop-up had a broken sun shade from the wind. Out Kingdome stood up just fine!

I attribute a lot of that to me looking at the forecast and putting out all of the guylines before it hit, but still it held up great.

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



Read up on the local requirements. Canisters are the near-universal first choice but there are areas where they've been banned (somewhere in the Appalachians I think, one bear has figured out how to open them and is passing the skill to her cubs).

Reviews for bags say they tend to be pretty bad at actually stopping bears, but they are a lot easier to pack.

Casu Marzu
Oct 20, 2008

SHUT
THE
FUCK
UP!
BIIITCH!




xzzy posted:

Read up on the local requirements. Canisters are the near-universal first choice but there are areas where they've been banned (somewhere in the Appalachians I think, one bear has figured out how to open them and is passing the skill to her cubs).

Reviews for bags say they tend to be pretty bad at actually stopping bears, but they are a lot easier to pack.

There's no official requirement for this trip. I also spoke to the local ranger up there and his response was "eh, might not hurt".

We're prob gonna do hikes further into bear country in the future, so I guess I might as well just grab a decent canister.

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



I have both a BearVault and a Ursack.

I mix them up depending on the conditions. Low bear pressure I go with a bear bag. I think using them with a scent lock bag actually works really well if you hang them properly and arent lazy with them.

I dont hate the canister as most people seem to, but Im not an Ultralighter, and my bag can carry the volume and weight a bit better than a lot of through hikers packs. They're kind of a pain but not that bad, and they double as a seat!

hypnophant
Oct 19, 2012


xzzy posted:

Read up on the local requirements. Canisters are the near-universal first choice but there are areas where they've been banned (somewhere in the Appalachians I think, one bear has figured out how to open them and is passing the skill to her cubs).

Reviews for bags say they tend to be pretty bad at actually stopping bears, but they are a lot easier to pack.

In parts of the adirondacks in New York, bears have regularly defeated bearvault-style canisters, but other types of canisters are still mandated. Ursacks donít meet the requirements.

Slimy Hog
Apr 22, 2008



xzzy posted:

Reviews for bags say they tend to be pretty bad at actually stopping bears, but they are a lot easier to pack.

I see this a lot when people talk about bags and I think it's really silly. If "they tend to be pretty bad at actually stopping bears", then they straight-up don't work and being easier to pack doesn't mean anything if the bear is more acclimated to human food and you have no food to eat

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



Slimy Hog posted:

I see this a lot when people talk about bags and I think it's really silly. If "they tend to be pretty bad at actually stopping bears", then they straight-up don't work and being easier to pack doesn't mean anything if the bear is more acclimated to human food and you have no food to eat

No arguments with this from me. I'm just reporting what I know.

I guess the basic theme is that nothing is 100% against bears, they're smart as gently caress and strong as gently caress. Everything you use to defeat them is going to have drawbacks.

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



I really wish for a functional bearsack because the fixed volume of a bear can is a huge pain in the rear end. Who among us hasn't been tempted to shrug off a bit of overflow?

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


I personally like the bear vault because its easier to use, is cylindrical, lighter and has a bigger opening than the keg shaped canisters.The keg shaped bear bins are awful. They're a weird shape, annoying to open and close, and they're really heavy. Ive never used a ursak but I've hung stuff a lot which is what I do most of the time. I have the big bear vault but I would prefer the smaller one as the big one can fit 4 peoples worth of food for nearly a week. Its too big for smaller trips. Anytime we've had overflow, we either tried to eat more that night or resorted to hanging things really well. Not ideal but its better than nothing.

Keep in mind each park might have different requirements on what type of canister you use.

1redflag
Feb 15, 2012

I'm accidentally a suicide bomber!


I have the bear vault BV450 and itís fine enough, although I think itís easier to crack (and easier to pack) than the styles w the inset tops.

sb hermit
Dec 13, 2016




1redflag posted:

I have the bear vault BV450 and itís fine enough, although I think itís easier to crack (and easier to pack) than the styles w the inset tops.

I have the bv450 too, I think. I like it, but I had a hell of a time getting it open in the field, for some reason. Turns out that if my hands are cold and numb, it is much harder to open a bear canister!

CopperHound
Feb 14, 2012



sb hermit posted:

I had a hell of a time getting it open in the field, for some reason. Turns out that if my hands are cold and numb, it is much harder to open a bear canister!
Too bad Yellow-Yellow is no longer around to help you open it.
https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2012/11/a-yellow-yellow-obituary.html

Math You
Oct 27, 2010

So put your faith
in more than steel


It's interesting how much geographical variance there is in food storage. I haven't met anyone who uses a bear canister (though campgrounds will often have bins). We hang our food, and use 30-60l "canoe barrels" which are waterproof, limit smells, and prevent rodents from gnawing through.
All dishes, cookware, rags, or even the shirt you slopped on, get tossed in the barrel and hoisted up at the end of the day.

The canisters themselves seem really impractical to me. 11 liters? Sure, I can get my food in there.. but what about everything else that might be holding food smells?

Dead Nerve
Mar 27, 2007



When I hang my food bag on a branch in a tree, I'm thinking to myself "I'm just hanging a bear pinata for them to find".

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



Well they don't get much entertainment living in the mountains so it's important to keep them happy, otherwise they're prone to closing the 100 yards to your tent looking for cuddles.

Canisters are just bear soccer balls.

Quixotic1
Jul 25, 2007



Increase the size of the bear canister/vault that so it fits perfectly inside a backpack and takes up all the space ala a bag liner.

withak
Jan 15, 2003


Fun Shoe

Cobble together some kind of webbing arrangement that allows you to attach straps to the canister, then just pack all your stuff in there and carry that on your back. No backpack required.

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009



Kidnap a bear cub at birth and train it to carry your bag for you and fight off wild bears at night.

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Slimy Hog
Apr 22, 2008



Buy a bear box plus a bunch of other backpacking equipment and then never go backpacking as much as you want

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