Oct 15, 2013

Gear Review Summary

I've backpacked another 200 miles this year, and have new observations on my gear and the pros and cons.  Here goes:
1. I still love my Osprey Exos 58 backpack.  I worried about the hip belt, but its fine.
Pros:  mesh pouches on sides allows access to water bottles while moving! Big enough to carry 10 days gear and food AND a bear canister.  Love having a lid pocket.  Cons:  Wish the hip belt pockets were solid and not mesh.
2. I bought a used REI Halo 25 down sleeping bag.  I'm still very happy with this bag.  I covet a Montbell UL Super Spiral, but this one works well and is roomy enough for a good night's sleep. Light, compact, and fairly warm.   No longer sold.  If I could find a used Montbell, I'd jump on it.
3.  Still using my Tyvek traptent.  It would be nice if it was a little smaller, and NOT bright white.  Makes for hard stealth camping.  I purposely made it a little larger to sit up and have room for my backpack.  That means you need a larger flat spot.  After my last campout with no decent campsites, I've ordered a Warbonnet Outdoors Blackbird hammock.  Still can't beat the weight of my tarp.
4. As mentioned in another post, I wore out my hiking poles in New Hampshire.  The Mountainsmith Carbonlite just didn't hold up. I wore the tips totally out ant they can't be replaced.  First I lost the carbide, then wore the metal tips to the plastic.  One of the wrist straps also broke.   I can't recommend them for long hikes.  I've replaced them with Black Diamond Distance FL trekking poles.  Seems like great light poles at a moderate price.
5. Still like my Therm a Rest Ridgerest pad.  Warm and unbreakable.  Will work great in my hammock.  I cut the leg a feet area into a "coffin" shape to save weight.

I'll add more in a later post

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