It seems that these days, my backpacking gear is in a constant state of flux. Between testing gear for reviews and trying out my latest DIY projects, the contents of my backpack is often quite variable. Up until yesterday my “Current Gear” page had been a reflection of my kit from a few years ago, not my current setup. But no longer! I’ve just updated the page with all of my latest gear. Check it out here: Current Gear. Moving forward, I think I’m going to keep a history of my past gear on this page as well, that way my revisions and upgrades in gear can be tracked as time passes.
In light of some recent requests and in hopes of sharing more of the DIY process with viewers, I’m going to start live streaming some of my DIY builds, experimentation, and just general foolishness. Though this is very much a new thing for me, hopefully through trial and error we can figure out what works best for livestreaming and what you the viewer wants to see. I’ll do my best to announce my streams as far ahead of time as I can, but they’ll likely be pretty spontaneous to start. As of now, I’m using Facebook to live stream, however I may explore different channels in the future. Follow this link to my Facebook page and follow me to get a heads up of when I’m streaming. For starters, I’ll be streaming toninght (2/18) at 4:30 mst. Tune in and say hey!
Being less active outside throughout most of this winter has left me in serious need of some decent exercise and a way to keep in climbing shape. And while I would love to build a small wall in my apartment, I don’t think that would fly with the management, plus I’ll be out of here too soon to justify a full on wall anyways. Thus I am left with few great choices. Sure, I could go with a small board that mounts onto a doorframe “ironman gym”, but I want to have something more substantial, with plenty of climbing space, adaptability, and room to experiment with different holds. Enter the DIY doorframe climbing training board. Or, as it has become dubbed in my apartment, the “bathroom board.” What follows is a video and details on how to build your very own doorframe climbing board. Continue reading “Make your own DIY climbing board”
Once again, I’ve made a guest post over on Massdrop.com. This time I’m focusing on how to properly size and eventually buy a quilt for backpacking. One of the biggest questions I get now (especially after releasing this video on why you should switch to a quilt) is, “What size/type/brand/features should I look for in a quilt?” Well, hopefully this article will help to guide any of you that are struggling with buying a backpacking quilt and what to look for. I’m sure that I’ll eventually make this article into a video, but for now you can find it here on massdrop.com: https://www.massdrop.com/talk/1091/how-to-size-buy-a-backpacking-quilt
When I’m not on trail, my mind is… I often find it wondering why I’m not out hiking all day every day, coming up with ideas for new pieces of gear and DIY projects, and figuring out ways to improve upon my existing gear. This article/video stems from the latter and is the best system I could come up with for the weight/functionality. I present to you the Ultimate Ultralight Kitchen. Continue reading “The Ultimate Ultralight Kitchen – Only 4 oz!”
Recently I posted a guest-article on Massdrop.com’s ultralight talk forum. It focuses on using umbrellas and rain skirts on trail and the plethora of benefits that this system offers. Check out this link for the article and more details: https://www.massdrop.com/talk/965/on-umbrellas-and-rain-skirts-and-why-you-should-try-hiking-with-them
Long story short though… You should give hiking with an umbrella and rain skirt a try, it’s the bees knees!
Though I tend to be quite picky about the quality and reliability of the gear I take with me into the backcountry, there is a side of me that loves finding decent gear on the cheap. While it may be nice to have the latest and greatest gear when heading out into the woods, cheap gear is an unsung hero of the backpacking world. Whether you are starting off, or just can’t justify spending $400 on a new sleeping bag, cheap gear helps you get out there and enjoy the mountains, which is all that matters. Gear, while shiny and cool, is a means to an end… and in that light, cheap gear is a doorway to adventure. Continue reading “The $20, 1lb. Ultralight Down Summer Quilt – A Gear Review/DIY Tutorial”
Recently, the community based gear purchasing site known as Massdrop has been releasing some interesting new products based on feedback from the ultralight and hiking communities. The latest product of these efforts presents a partnership between the website and well known sleeping pad manufacturer Klymit. Historically, Klymit has made some acceptable sleeping pads, but never anything that was outstanding. This new offering, the Ultralight Static V Insulated, is a huge step in the right direction for Klymit, featuring very competitive specs and a superb price point. Check out the video below for all the info and a comparison to my favorite pad, the Thermarest Xlite. Continue reading “Klymit x Massdrop Ultra Light Static V Insulated Sleeping Pad – Gear Review”
Having decent audio in my videos has always been a goal of mine, and up until now it has been lacking. Being able to hear the true sounds of the natural places I adventure, the steady din of hiking shoes crossing a trail, or even of the needle on the sewing machine as it carefully places each stitch will hopefully add whole new layer of depth and enjoyment to my videos. Continue reading “Can you hear that? – Better audio equipment is here, thanks to my Patrons!”
Rain skirts are a quick and easy way to keep your shorts dry while hiking in the rain. Far more breathable and at a fraction of the weight of rain pants, they are my go to rain gear for much of the hiking season. Though there are a few places that sell rain skirts, they still aren’t quite mainstream yet and prices are not cheap. This means that you’ve got two options: buy an expensive rain skirt from one of the few vendors, or make your own! Continue reading “How to make a rain skirt (step by step) – DIY Gear Tips”
This series has been several months in the works now, but alas my final CDT edit is done. Looking through all of my footage from the trail has been both wonderful and horrible. It’s wonderful to go back and relive these memories, but it makes me horribly homesick for the trail. Take a trip along the lovely Continental Divide Trail with me as I complete the last state in my thru hike: Colorado. Continue reading “Continental Divide Trail – Colorado”
Recently a customer at the gear shop I work for, brought in a relic from the early(ish) days of backpacking. He told me of the great adventures he and his Kelty backpack had shared since it’s original purchase date in 1983. Regretfully, he said, it was time for him to move on. He had been using this pack somewhat frequently since day one, but no longer gets to backpack as frequently; he longed for a lighter and smaller pack to bring him into the modern backpacking scene. He kindly donated the pack to the shop, as he didn’t have any room to keep it stored at home any longer. Upon first inspection, I was amazed at the great condition and build quality of the pack. This got me thinking… maybe it’s time we look back at where backpacking once was. Sure, it’s easy to see that modern backpacking has changed for the better, with lighter, more comfortable loads, but let’s not forget how we got here. The early backpacks may have been heavy by todays standards, but they were beasts of design and craftsmanship. Continue reading “Respect your elders – The 1983 Kelty Sonora III backpack”