Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Gear Links at Two-Heel Drive

My friend Tom Mangan has been steadily plugging away at creating the must useful hiking blog in Central California, and he has now added a gear page to the site. Tom tracks and lists lots of great deals on outdoor equipment. Don’t miss the rest of his site either – tons of great stuff there. I recommend subscribing to his RSS feed like I do.

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gear Links at Two-Heel Drive

Could It Be That I Have All The Gear I Need?

Nah. Not possible. But…

I am going on a rather substantial pack trip later this summer, as I do every summer with a group of my friends. (The basic idea is a west-to-east transit of the Sierra Nevada that climaxes at the summit of Mt. Whitney.) I’ve been backpacking for decades, but it seems like before every trip there is some piece of gear that I just must have – a replacement for something that has worn out, a better version of something I already own, or a new item that I haven’t used in the past.

During the weeks before a relatively long trip like the one mentioned above I begin to consider the packing process. It isn’t an all-consuming thing at this stage (that doesn’t happen until 10:00 p.m. the night before I leave. ;-) but I begin going over my mental list and considering changes to my equipment. I’m somewhat disappointed that so far the most substantial new equipment need I can come up with is… well, nothing.

But I think I’ll survive… :-)

July 29, 2008 Posted by | Commentary | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Take on 'Sleeping Systems'

Having just read a post at the Mt. Whitney and Eastern Sierra Hiking Blog (see “On Backpacking…Sleep System“) I thought I’d add my two cents on this topic.

To my way of thinking, a backpacking “sleeping” system includes several components: sleeping bag, pad, ground sheet, shelter, clothing – and for some, a pillow.

Sleeping Bag – My current first-string sleeping bag is the Marmot Helium that I purchased a few years ago. This is a really fine sleeping bag with 800+ high-fill down, great design features, and a weight of around 2 pounds. The high-fill down decreases the weight and allows the bag to stuff smaller, taking up less space in a smaller pack. The version that I use has only a half zipper – this decreases the weight and cost a tiny bit and isn’t a significant drawback for me. The 15 degree rating is sufficient for me into the colder October season in the Sierra and is more than warm enough for typical summer conditions.

I have also used a lighter 30 degree bag, Continue reading

May 31, 2008 Posted by | Commentary, Equipment, Technique | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on My Take on 'Sleeping Systems'

   

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