This bag is basically a stripped down toploader with a roll top and an extra zip pouch in the front. I bought it becuase I wanted to try and strart packing as light as possible, and it all starts with the pack. At 1lb 9oz, this is the lightest pack I have ever used. I pretty much take this pack every trip I take.
Why I bought it: I bought this pack because when I was doing the sumit of Kili, my Gregory was way too heavy a pack for just holding a couple fleeces, water and snacks. Who needs a framestay for that! The goal was to get a really lightweight pack that can serve as an all around short duration hike pack.
Good for: Short 1 or 2 days hikes where you have less than 25 or 30 pounds in your pack or for throwing in your heavy pack to use as a summit or day pack on a multi day expedition.
Not for: Longer hikes where you have to carry lots of stuff in yourpack and its heavier than 25 or 30 pounds.
Favorite Features: the pack is one and a half pounds!
Canadian Rockies Notes: I will never go back to a big heavy pack for anything other than a 5 day or more campout. This bag was everything I hoped it would be. At 4300 cu in, its very volumous, which is what I need since everything I own is XXL. This pack was all I needed for all of the day hikes and the 2 overnights at Stanley Mitchell hut.
Mount Washington Notes: I love this bag. It is absolutely perfect for trips like this. It's extremely lightweight and doesn't get in the way. The only drawback is the water bottle holders are a little hard to get to, but I have yet to wear a pack where that was not the case!
Grand Canyon Notes: Hiking in the grand canyon with about 45 to 50 pounds in this pack demonstrated to me the needs for a framestay. I created a makeshift framestay by sticking my tentstakes down the middle of the back, which worked very well. However, going forward, my rule will be anything more than 25 pounds gets a pack with a frame. This pack will be strictly used for day hikes and simmit bids.
Rainier Notes:This is my daypack, summit pack, etc for all of my trips. I used it for the Mt Saint helens climb and as my summit pack for Adams.
Usually I am stuffing all of my stuff into a big back pack. But for trips where our gear is carried by porters, or when we will be setting up a base camp with some stuff being left behind, a duffel works better. Sometimes, you see the same thing all around because it's the only thing available. In this case, you always see a TNF Duffel on any expedition you go to because they are the best. This is the best duffel I have ever owned, hands down. I am now going to buy the XL version.
Why I bought it: This duffel has 3 things going for it. First, it is sturdy because it's made of a laminated material that resist fluids and can withstand abrasion. Second, the zippers are solid and can take a beating. Third, it has three hauling systems including twin handles on the ends (so you can drag it), the normal duffel handles that velcro together (so you can carry it) and finally backpack style shoulder straps that are adjustable (so you can throw the thing on your back). I have the Large, which is 5600 cu in (90 liters). The XL is 9070 cu in (140 liters).
Good for: Base camp. Long trips where your gear is going to get thrown around and punished.
Not Good For: I can't think of anything this thing is intended to do that it doesn't!
Mount Olympus Notes: The Olympic Range is the wettest place in the US and all we did was throw a bunch of wet, dirty and muddy stuff on top of our bags. So the fact that the bag is basically waterproof is huge for a trip like this. Loved it.
Iliniza Notes: I used this bag as my base camp storage. I kept all the stuff I wasn't going to be taking with me on the climb and the trek in it, back at the hostal in Quito.
Grand Canyon Notes: This was just big enough to carry everything on the plane to get me to the trailhead and back home.
The Sierra Designs Lightning 2 Tent was one of SD's first major successes in the ultralight category, winning a Backpacker "Editors' Choice" award in 2004.
Freestanding, simple to pitch, the Lightning weighs a scant three pounds, 15 ounces. Clip-Locs and Swift Clips pull up to the x-pole design, meaning you can pitch the whole gig in seconds. With a nine-square-foot vestibule and plenty of mesh, it's comfortable, organized, and you won't get annoying condensation in the morning.
Acadia Notes: The one thing I hate about this tent is how it performs in the rain. This is definately a warm weather tent. Cold wet weather doesn't really work well. The bottom of the tent seeps water, even if you are using the accompanying tarp. I ended up having to line the bottom of my tent with garbage bags on the second rainy day in Acadia. It wasn't a river...but when you are using the tarp that comes with the tent, you evpect the only ater in the tent to be the water you track in on your boots.
Grand Canyon Notes: I took this along with me to the Grand Canyon and I absolutely loved it. I usually just use the tent without the fly, unless theres a good chance of rain. It's just big enough for me and my pack so it's great for camping when I don't feel like rooming with somebody. It was perfect for the canyon. I bought 2 of them, so JP slept in the other one, which was good because he decided it was a good idea to roll over on his camelback and dowse his sleeping bag with water. I would not have been thrilled had we been sharing sleeping quarters.
Big dudes need cushion for sleepy time. After my Thermarest Neo Air got a slow leak at the worst possible moment, on a big expedition to Orizaba, I decided to try something else. This was what my boy Brett uses. It is filled with down so it is warm as can be.
Cascades 2010 Notes: This pad is probably the warmest and cushiest sleeping pad I have ever used. That comfort comes at a cost. It is a little heavier than my other pads. It is more difficult and time consuming to get the air out since it is a pump system. But it is wll worth the money. I like this better than any of my other pads.
They say they're some of the best poles on the market. Cor-tec handles, anti shock tips and light as a pair of feathers, they seemed good enough for me. If I had one complaint it would be that they could fold in just a little bit smaller. But other than that, they perform and that's all you can ask.
Why I bought them: If you have bad knees like I do, or you are big boy like I am, you will definately want to bring along your sticks. There are some very steep descents on some of the trails and I can't imagine doing it without at least something in at least one hand. If you don't feel like lugging them on the trip, or they get broken in baggage, just pick up a good stick when you start on the hike. But my suggestion is these.
Pros: FlickLock adjusting is GREAT. I love it so much better than the twist style adjustments. Braek down to a very short size for easiy transport in your baggage. Still lightweigh even with the beefy grips.
Cons: Haven't really had any complaints yet. Although the FlickLock adjutments slook like they may need adjustment/tightening at some point and for that you need a tool. Inspect them prior to your trip if you don't carry a tool with you at all times.
Mt Rainier Notes: Love these poles. The FlickLock adjustments are so nice. I will NEVER go back to twist lock adjustment poles.
This hardshell has a Stow Hood and drop back hem for increased protection in bleak environments. The jacket is made from Goretex material and has five pockets, water tight zippers, and articulated patterning for mobility.
Rainier Notes: I absolutel LOVE the stow hood. I like self contained items and this is the epoitome of that functionality. This will be my new go to jacket.
The Venture Pant is a lightweight thin shell pant that you can use for light to medium rain situations. While it won't keep you totally dry in 6 hour thundershower, it will provide you with enough cover for most of your hiking needs.
Canadian Rockies Notes: This was the only shell pant I took along on the trip and though I never used it, I was glad to have it in my bag the shole time.
This was one of the major items that I had still not purchased for climbing but was looking forward to adding to my gear pile because of its utility. Besides being extremely warm, it is extremely lightweight and very compact and packable.
Canadian Rockies: I will never do a hiking trip without a down jacket again. Best thing I took with me.
Grand Canyon Notes: The beauty of this jacket is its flexiblity. It stowes into a little pocket, is extremely lightweight, and can be used for many things, from a jacket to a pillow. I pretty much take this on every trip or expedition.
El Potrero Notes: This is the perfect item to bring to potrero. It is extremely lightweight. It is extremely warm. And it is extremely versatile, given that you can use it as a coat, sweater, or pillow! It doens get windy and cold depending on what time of year you are going.
these gloves are almost thin enough to be called liners. They fit really well to your fingers and have grippy palm material.
Mt Adams Notes: You don't need heavy gloves for this climb in the summer good weather. A good thick pair of liners or thin pair of fleece is enough. I liked this because they have this rubber plam grip that helps you hold on to the ice ax.
Nice little fleece hat to cover my newly shaved head! I like it because there's more fleece on the ears thatn the top which is exactly how I like it. My ears are sensitive like a little girls!! lol
Grand Canyon Notes: I brought one fleece hat and only used it in camp at night and in the morning. But I was glad I brought it. it's cold enough in camp during the spring that you will definately need one.
Asolo makes really good boots. These are extremely comfortable and they are the proper color...NOT BROWN!
This is the third pair of Salomon Trail Runners I've bought and they sure won't be the last. The best part is the quick lace feature that keeps them tied tight and eliminates the need to tie your laces!
I absolutely love these things. I did all of my hikes in these. They are vented so your feet stay cool. They did well on the wet day (even better than some in boots).
I do not like cold feet. I decided for my first winter mountaineering trip that I would finally break down and get a pari of these. if I was going to be in minus 15 degree weather, my feet were going to be warm at ALL times.
Mount Marcy Notes: These things keep your feet really warm. The one thing I do not like about them is that the bottoms are a little hard to keep clean. But they are really nice to have in cold weather hanging around camp.
I have a tendency to get blisters but with one of these liners, it's not a factor. They move the moisture away from your feet very well and provide the extra softness beneath those wool socks.
Smartwool's Expedition Trekking line was the winner of Backpacker Magazine's Great Sock Test. They expertly control temperature and moisture, cushion your digits and are extremely durable. Wicks and evaporates moisture to keep feet and shoes dry. Keep your feet cool in the summer, warm in the winter and not too bad for odor prevention either. I can't see myself ever buying another brand of sock
Canadian Rockies Notes: Once again, my favorites. Others say that the socks tend to slip or move on their feet, but I haven't had that problem (partly because I almost always wear a liner). No matter what brand you bring with you, make sure you have wool socks for the hike.
These are the best underwear I have ever used. Because i have a problem with my legs rubbing to together as i walk, which causes my pant to ride up on me, I decided to change to biker shorts (slick material) rather than a cloth material to see if that would alleviate my problem. They worked better than I ever would have expected. I will never go back to cloth boxer briefs.
These zip off pants are quick drying, comfortable, and come in good colors. What else can you ask for. The bottom of the pants have the side zip to the calf so you can zip off the bottoms without having to take off your boots. Comfortable shorts by day, bug-thwarting pants by night! These travel-savvy convertible pants offer versatile comfort. Plus they are baggy with a deep enough crotch.
Canadian Rockies Notes: Definately bring at least one pair. I personally brought 2 pair. While I never unzipped tham on any of my hikes, others in my group did on the one hike I didn't do, because it got so hot.
Grand Canyon Notes: I brought 2 pair of pants, but only used these as my hiking pants all three days. I used the other pair as my camp clothing.
I needed a microfleece and this one was cheap and felt softer than a baby's a$$. Plus I really wanted a fleece that was a pullover rather than a full zip for a mid layer so that I could tuck it in.
This synthetic fabric wicks moisture away from the skin, dries quickly, and resists wrinkling, tearing, and unraveling—a must for the adventure traveler. A lightweight, high performance microfiber fleece with a luxurious finish, TKA microfleece provides lightweight warmth next to the skin or in a layering system. This 100% polyester fabric is engineered to be both durable and resistant to pilling. It offers warmth when wet, launders well and packs easily.
This is now one of my more favorite shirts. First, the material is breathable. Second, the shirt is warm. Third, the shirt is quick drying. And last, the half zip is highly functional.
5 Boro Bike Tour Notes: This is usually all you'll need on the five boro because it's usually spring like conditions. I like this one because it looks good no matter what you do to it.
Snowboarding Notes: This is my number 1 favorite Shirt for boarding. I now longer go on a snowboarding trip without it. It's warm, but has a half sip for hot days in the sun. It doesn't need ironing and doesn't get wrinkled so you can go right from the slopes to the bar and be good to go. It has thumb holes that make it easy to layer and not get you're sleeves all bunched up. Perfect shirt.
I love this shirt. It has thumb holes to keep your sleeves from riding up (or keep your wrists warm), it's comfortable and it has the half zip neck which I love because you can use it like a turtleneck or you can open up to breathe. Designed to be versatile enough to use as a high-mobility base layer for winter sports or a midweight outer layer in warmer climates.
Canadian Rockies: This was my staple shirt for the entire trip. I don't go anywhere without it.
Grand Canyon Notes: I will only bring one long sleeve shirt. And since I did, this was the only one I brought. My staple shirt on all my trips. So much so, that everybody says I need to buy some new shirts!
This is a lightweight synthetic shirt that is highly breathable and quick drying. It wicks moisture away from the body.
Pros: Highly breathable, wicks great, breathable, soft.
Cons: Snags very easily.
La Malinche Notes: Malinche got warm and a lightweight t shirt was all I really needed for a good portion of the climb.
I really like this balm. Its very much like "Unpetroleum" that i took on Alaska trip and loved.
Grand Canyon Notes: Do not forget to bring lip balm on this trip. You will regret it if you do.
Mt Rainier Notes: If you have never been on a glacier in the middle of the summer, you can't really understand how important it is to have lip balm. I buy these 6 at a time every time I go to the camping store. I avoid chapped lips at ALL costs.
These bottles are indestructible and supposedly, they don’t promote bacteria growth or hold odor. In every picture I see of someone camping or on a mountain, I see them holding a Nalgene bottle. I’m not even sure they have any competition they’re so well entrenched. And what makes them even better is most water filtration systems are built specifically to fit Nalgene bottles!
I always wrap some clear and some gray duct tape around my bottles. First, it helps to tell whos they are and it also is an easy way to keep duct tape which is the most important item you can take on a mountain! It fixes everything from blisters to leaky tents. I always bring 3 liter bottles for summit day. I also sometimes bring an extra to pee in if im too lazy to get out of the tent! just be careful. Aim smart.
Jetboil PCS – the original Jetboil – has sparked a revolution in outdoor cooking. Boiling two cups in two minutes at 75-80% efficiency, the PCS is twice as fast and uses half as much fuel as conventional stoves. The PCS boils up to 50 cups (12 Liters) of water from only one Jetpower isobutane/propane micro-canister. Such outstanding performance results from the patent-pending FluxRing™ heat exchanger, which captures and focuses the burner’s heat.
Jetboil Notes: I love this thing for backcountry camping because its self contained and easy to set up and put away. And I don't have to deal with any fuel issues. Just hook up the taknk and get to boiling.
Mt Marcy Notes: This is great for winter camping. Easy to set up and compact.
I only bring my SLR when the trip isn't too difficult.
Acadia Notes: This is mmy big camera.
Colorado Rockies Notes: I was quite annoyed at the crop factor (1.6) on this camera during this trip. All I wanted was to have a full wide angle and adding that crop factor made it even worse. After this trip I've decided to go ahead and invest in a full frame camera.
I only bring my SLR when the trip isn't too difficult.
Acadia Notes: This is mmy big camera.
Gatorade is one of the best tasting electrolyte replacement drinks. I't probably not necessary when mountaineering because you are not sweating, but it can't hurt. But if you're out there in the heat, you need to replace those electrolytes.You can get them in 1 quart packages which are perfect for your nalgene liter bottles.
Mt Washington Notes: Adding gatorade to your water on a freezing cold mountain helps to keep it from freezing. It's high salt and sugar content will add at least a few degrees to your drinks max freezing temperature.
Grand Canyon Notes: You should definately bring at least one liter per day. It gets really hot in the canyon.
Fruit bars are my favorite food. But these are fruit bars to the next level. They are gluten free, soy free, vegan, etc, etc. I don't go anywhere without them.