Monday, October 15, 2007

The Gear Report

CLOTHES

___ 2 pair extra socks smartwool hiking --Excellent
___ Wigwam Gobi liners 7.0 oz. -- Failed. These literally hurt my feet, while an equivalent product from REI does not.
___ REI Mohave Pants. Failed. 3 days in the Canyonlands and they were torn and worn.
___ REI Sahara Pants. Excellent. Survived two days of wet hiking, dried quickly.
___ SmartWool Microweight Long-Sleeve Crew 6.3 oz. Excellent.
___ Patagonia Capilene 3 bottoms 5.1 oz. Excellent
___ Patagonia Capilene short sleeve shirt. Failed. This was extremely uncomfortable.
___ Alpaca Hat 1.90 oz. Excellent.
___ Outdoor Research Wool Pullover 14.1 oz. Not used.
___ North Face Summit Rain Parka 1 lb. 12.2 oz Not used. This is too heavy.
___ Sierra Designs Anorak Rain Jacket. Excellent.
___ marmot precip rain/wind pants w/stuff sack 7.80 Not used, Again, too heavy.

SHELTER & SLEEPING SYSTEM

___ Sierra Designs Light Year Tent 3 lbs. 15 oz. This is excellent. Stood up to strong wind and blowing sand. Very nice.
___ North Face Snowshoe sleeping bag, 3 lbs. 10 oz. I hate this bag. It's really uncomfortable, I am never warm. It's heavy and hard to stuff. It sucks.
___ Therm-a-rest Pro-Lite 4 Regular 4-season ultralite mattress 1 lb 9.5 oz . Excellent

PACKING

___ Kelty RedCloud 5600 6 lbs. 0.5 oz. Passed. This bag is heavy but does all the tricks. It has a hole worn in it now so will need to be replaced patched.
___ stuff sacks, The Sea to Summit dry sacks were excellent.


COOKING & WATER

___ Katadyn Hiker Microfilter with stuff sack 14.8 oz. So far, so excellent.
___ 1 Platypus 2-3 liter hydration bag/pouch. Failed. One of these sprung a leak in camp the first day.
___ MSR Whisperlite Stove 15.4 oz. My stove performed OK. It didn't really want to warm up and required a lot of attention to reducing the cooling influences during startup. It was generally grumpy during the trip.


NAVIGATION

___ Silva Ranger compass 1 oz. Cool.
___ Aurora Princeton led headlamp w/ 6 AAA batteries 4.2 oz. This is excellent and light.
___ (1)Streamlight Scorpion Stinger Flashlight 3.3 oz This light rocks


CAMERA

Canon 20d with 17-85 lens 3 lbs. 4 oz. The camera had many issues on this trip. The batteries died before the hike was over. It fell and the filter broke.

THE GEAR I WOULD BE WEARING

___ North Face Polargaurd Jacket -- Excellent
___ Etrex Venture GPS with neck lanyard. Failed. I have never picked up a Garmin GPS unit that the batteries were still good.
___ REI Men's Sahara convertible pants 1 lb 3.4 oz. Failed. These tore badly during my Oregon trip.
___ Merrill Wilderness Boots 3 lbs. 10 oz. Excellent.
___ Keen Taos River Shoe. Despite having worn these for miles and miles of casual walking and light hiking, and having replaced the shok-cord laces with regular cord, these covered the task of hiking the Paria with a pack so well, that I am now going to buy another pair. I wish I could get the same shoe with a high top design. They seriously rock.
___ Black Diamond Hiking Poles. Excellent
___ Smith Factor Sunglasses 4 oz. Fair. I had two pair. One failed due to blowing sand destroying the lenses.

4 comments:

suthsc said...

I should preface with the admission of being a Smith glasses fanboy.

"ruined due to blowing sand"? Really?

Smith Factor glasses are the exact model that I have/use/love and I have only ruined lenses by: smashing them on the ground from significant hight and/or speed (sometimes by applying force with my head) or allowing a Labrador to chew on them for a while. In each case, then lense was toast, but the glasses themselves were unharmed.

shawnkielty said...

I like the smith's too ... Honestly, I had two pair. One pair was destroyed by sand, but the ultimate question will remain how.

The sandstorm left sand everywhere, including in my ears where pieces are still dropping out, and something as simple as carrying the glasses in a pocket with a bunch of sand for 8 miles of hiking can destroy the lenses.

Whether direct blowing sand or sand embedded in a t-shirt chosen to clean the lenses, it's no different, they're hosed.

I like those X-factors which I use alot in adverse conditions - I don't find them to be all that attractive, however.

Fritz said...

Nice on the quick review checklist Shawn.

I'm a big fan of Patagonia *anything*. Most REI gear are a great value.

SmartWool socks are comfy and nice but the stuff falls apart. Bridgedale socks are much better for hiking. I'll never buy SmartWool again.

I'm in the market for a new stove. I'm considering the whisperlite but I kind of like my water to boil without waiting forever.

Digital SLRs eat up batteries like nobody's business. When I used to carry film SLRs into the backcountry I always had extra batteries. Digital SLRs are even more battery hungry.

shawnkielty said...

Fritz,

Thanks

I have never had any smartwool product fail on me, I am still using the first pair of socks I ever bought from them, and I find that their merino wool micro base layer shirt absolutely rocks. I'll never choose want anything else.

I would definitely recommend my stove. It boils 2 cups of water in about 2 minutes and is good enough to manage a full pot of coffee fairly quickly in the morning or water for dishwashing. I suspect my stove needs cleaning or a larger initial dose of fuel to get it going. It was quite windy and I wasn't thorough about the windblocks. The Whisperlite. And a Comparison.

As for the digital camera, I am going to buy a couple more batteries and charge them in advance. Rumour has it that there is a solar charger. It's a nuisance to carry the extra baterries, but I really want the better quality and experience that an SLR provides.