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843 Summer Gear Report 2013-08-14

In June and July of 2013, we spent 8 weeks camping, hiking, backpacking, scrambling, and a bit of that time rock climbing. During our trip we used a lot of gear and discussed regularly what we liked and what we didn't.

This Report, covers mostly gear that we have had for at least six months. It does not cover the great new gear we bought for the trip or during the trip. Most of the gear in the Report has already been reviewed on the site. The links are to our reviews. Due to space and time limitations, we can only hit the highlights of the gear we used.

The Gear

Yakima Rack and Gear Box (has not been reviewed) - We have been using the rack and gear box for 10 years! The box developed some cracks in 2009 that we attributed to a bad design by Yakima. We made some spacers to fix the design problem and repaired the cracks. The fixes cured the stress cracks. We are always surprised by how cool the box is even when the vehicle is parked in the sun.

Action Packer - Our kitchen box is a small (cooler sized) Action Packer. We have several Action Packers that we use for storage at home, but only carry one on most trips.

Sea to Summit Pocket Shower - We never used the small shower. A friend let us demo the Nemo Helio shower and wow! It was that good.

Osprey Talon Packs - These great mid-sized packs do it all. We have been carrying them for years and still think they are the best.

Black Diamond Carbon Fiber Poles - We like these trekking poles because they are lightweight and strong. We have used them for two full years and they are almost good as new.

MSR Zing - Last year we purchased a Zing (tarp) and can only say it is the best tarp that we have ever used. The only problem we have ever had is getting stakes that can hold the massive - you can live under - tarp in place.

Sand Mat - The CGear multimat is a perfect compliment to the Zing. They should be sold together as a package.

I-Tent - For the first time we used the Black Diamond, I-Tent instead of the Eldorado. The smaller, lighter tent functioned well, but we missed the ventilation of the Eldorado's two doors.

REI Stowaway Chairs - About halfway through the trip we replaced the chairs with ALITE Mayfly's. We gave away our beloved Stowaways. The new chairs were lighter and more compact. Our Stowaway chairs always seemed to be in the state of repair.

Western Mountaineering Alder - The Alder is a great sleeping bag. It was the only bag we brought.

Thermarest Dreamtime - The pad is not compact or lightweight, but it is plush and comfortable.

Neo Air - On the trail we used the Neo Air pad. They are lightweight and compact and are more comfortable than any of the closed cell foam pads.

JetBoil Sol Ti - We are continually amazed by the stove. It is lightweight and boils water in just minutes. It is incredible. We love the stove.

Go Lite, Chrome Dome Umbrella - We hardly ever packed Goretex rain gear. Instead we carried a lightweight wind shell, a bomber waterproof jacket, and an umbrella. If it rained we would use the umbrella. Amy also used the umbrella if we were hiking in the hot sun.

Tilley Hat - I wore my Tilley on most days. After weeks of wear, I decided to was the hat. It looked as good as new after a bit of water and a brush. The Tilley is a great hat.

Hoka One One, Mafate - The Mafate is a super cushioned trail running shoe. We hiked in the Mafates all summer. If we had the option, we always chose the Mafates. They work for us - however different feet like different shoes. The Mafates helped tame the rocky paths.

Over the next few weeks, we will talk about the new gear we used, books we read, and media we watched. There is a lot of new stuff. Some just might find a home in your closet or bookshelves.

Happy Summer Gear trails


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