Selecting new ultralight sleeping bag is hard given all the options: sleeping bag, quilt, down, synthetic, waterproof, etc. There are also a myriad of resources posted to help one select the best to buy. I default to a simple ‘supplier selection’ variable matrix that I used in a previous life. Here is the process I used and its result (an order was placed). Answer: Why a new sleeping bag needed? My current sleeping bag, REIKeep Reading …

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 L backpack

Backpacking season 2022 finished with over 1000 miles hiked around OR and WA. Time to comment on the final backpacking gear kit including which gear needs replaced or updated and gear that helped make a great season. Packing this all into either day pack or backpack will be another post, and a separate post for food too. A quick aside on gear retailers For purchasing new gear, the default retailer is Garage Grown Gear (GGG),Keep Reading …

gear review submission form

A challenge submitting a gear review to favorite retailer taught important lesson for future successful gear review submissions (based on a post here). Published review terms and conditions (T&C) diverge from how retailer moderates gear reviews. They rejected my post for specific content NOT clearly in terms and conditions. My rejected submission received no explanation until I followed up with customer service / support. Published T&C link at gear submission (one must accept before submitting)Keep Reading …

Black Diamond Cork Carbon Alpine Poles

For the last two years, Black Diamond Carbon Cork trekking poles (Company Link) have gone with me over 2000 miles. I broke one 2 years ago crossing Elliot Creek, Mt Hood Timberline Trail (REI replaced that one as it was brand new). They are light enough, the cork handles are great imho. I have used them from North Cascades to Crater Lake in rain, snow, hot weather and freezing rain. I also crossed 10 milesKeep Reading …

I recently purchased a new day pack for those fast and longer day hikes. Research was focused on the following features / requirements: The search took several weeks while reading reviews and exploring different options. I discovered the Yar Gear 28L Mountain Drifter (Link). It met every requirement and was decently priced. Garage Grown Gear introduced me to Yar Gear, so i sent GGG a message asking if they could secure the 28l Ultra Drifter.Keep Reading …

After two hikes, this is my ‘go-to’ water purification system for ‘flowing water’ sources (contrasted to ‘still water’ sources, e.g., ponds and lakes). Katadyn BeFree (Rei page) This is so light and easy to make small, I carried it in pant’s back pocket after drinking what I needed. Filtering a larger amount for the next day was also fast and easy. A side benefit is that I am not committed to filtering all that IKeep Reading …

For the last two years, Topo Athletic has been my go-to shoe for hiking and training. Nothing has changed; they are the best shoe so-far for my odd-ball feet. With this spring season closing and summer starting, different shoes take over, leaving old, too tired, dead shoes. The trail runners are in, the boots are out. The current pair of trail runners is my 4th and will most likely NOT make it to the endKeep Reading …

I have gone through backpacks in the recent couple of years. Not from wearing them out, but due to them just not working out – fit, comfort and usability on my hikes. I sent back an REI “old fashioned” pack two years ago. Last year, I swapped out my Granite Gear Crown 2 for an Osprey Exos 55, and finally a swap to current Gossamer Mariposa 60. After 4 nights out and over 100 milesKeep Reading …

After my Granite Gear Crown failed to live up to expectations last year, I replaced it with an Osprey Exos 58 Pack. After 2 test runs (hikes) of >15 miles each, I am rejecting the Exos as well. What I like about the pack: Weight = ok Fabric = ok Brain, body design = good Huge back pocket = good Size = good, could fit 450 BV easily What I DO NOT like about theKeep Reading …

If one is to hike in OR during ‘wet season’ – really anytime between October 1 and June 30 – then being prepared to get wet is very important, especially if like me you hate to get wet to the core. My system is redundant (and probably too much for ultralight die-hards, but I hate getting wet) but I’ve yet to get wet to the core on a wet, rainy hike, and I’ve completed severalKeep Reading …