Camping gear

Discussion in 'Outdoor World' started by fraggler, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Ok, so we've got bags and poles covered for hiking. Time for some camping gear recommendations! I used to do a lot more when I was younger, but got away from it. I want to start doing some more and want to hear about the gear you guys use. I like lightweight gear for packing and carrying purposes, but I don't have the money or nervosa for ultralight. I used to carry around a 4 pound sleeping bag and a 9 pound tent in a 6 pound frame pack when thise actually were reasonable.

    So far, all I have is a Klymit insulated inflatable pad from Massdrop. Looking at 3 season tents and lightweight sleeping bags for shoulder season camping.
     
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  2. mattie

    mattie Rando

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    Have you though about a quilt? They can be a awesome option for saving weight, and might be more comfortable too. I’m a very warm side sleeper, so they are pretty much ideal of me.
     
  3. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Quilts are definitely something I should look at, as I am a dynamic sleeper who can feel claustrophobic in a sleeping bag. I dont think I can actually handle a mummy bag.
     
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  4. mattie

    mattie Rando

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    I’m the same with mummy bags. I can barely tolerate rectanglar bags.

    I have an Enlightened Equipment Revelation. I really like it, but I haven’t had it long enough to give a recommendation. I also considered a Katabatic quilt, but the EE was already more than I wanted to spend. They look awesome though. Might also want to check out UGQ.
     
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  5. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    So it might be time for me to get a new rain jacket (the one that I'm using was bought back in 2002).

    Have there been any significant advances in waterproof/breathable fabrics in the past decade, or has it mainly been a procession of new marketing names and buzzwords? There's a slew of in-house WPB fabrics now.

    The last time I paid attention to this stuff, eVent fabric was a new thing. I tried it- it seemed a bit more breathable than Gore-tex at the time, but jackets still needed pit zips for venting.
     
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  6. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    @mattie 's recommendation of Enlightened Equipment is solid. I've had one of their Revelation X quilts since 2012 (mine's the 10deg overstuffed version). It's my winter bivvying quilt & I've used it down to -10c with no issues. Excellent warmth to weight & pack size (though of course still packs waaay bigger than my PHD 3-season mummy bag).

    @JustAnotherRando , eVent breath-ability has historically been superior to Gore-Tex in my experience, but the more recent Gore-Tex Active Shell is pretty good and has served me well in some pretty nasty & remote conditions. Gore have at last cottoned onto the fact that waterproof zips suck (I have four jackets & gilets with broken waterproof zips) and they're now using regular zips with a storm flap on at least some of their jackets. On the budget side, I'm super impressed with the Alpkit Gravitas waterproof jacket...a very light, proper 3-layer jacket.
     
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  7. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    That Alpkit jacket looks very appealing- do you have one? If so, what's the fit like on it. Is it super skinny or 'normal'?

    My potential issue is fit, I used to be a typical skinny climber/cyclist and then dabbled powerlifting work at the gym and now nothing fits around the waist/hips (I had a bunch of Rab climbing clothing which stopped fitting). But that Alpkit stuff is only 10 pounds to post and they have an American-style return policy. And it's cheap enough that I can risk having a seamstress to retrofit pit zips into it without worrying about wrecking a four hundred quid jacket.

    The Alpkit is 170g. My existing jacket is a Paramo and weighs over 700g.
     
  8. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    Yup, I've had the Gravitas for about 18 months, bought on the advice of a friend who reviewed it for a magazine & was impressed. It replaced a Gore Fusion (Active Shell) that was excellent but, yeah the zip failed after a few years.

    The Gravitas is pretty roomy, definitely not a race cut! Mine's a M and I'm 31" waist, 176cm tall but short femurs so I ride a bike with a L reach. There's loads of adjustment around the waist so I'd go with your usual size tbh. It's properly waterproof (tested many times!) and stupid light for a 3-layer jacket. It feels more like a softshell, so packs easily into a back pocket but isn't quite as effective as eVent & AS for keeping the wind off (still fine though). It breathes extremely well, better than AS I'd say...maybe even eVent, though I haven't used my eVent jacket for quite a while.
     
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  9. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    Thanks for the feedback @pedalhead.

    I'm 178cm and always wore S, but have recently ballooned from a 29" to a 33" waist. I went from super skinny all over, to super skinny up top and weirdly chunky at the bottom because of a really lopsided workout regime. I'm going to try Small and hope for the best.

    Really looking forwards to retrofitting pit zips- they are essential for this part of the world but these days it seems that pit zips are reserved for top of the line jackets.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  10. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Well you guys posting about gear coincided with the start of REI's anniversary sale and I ended up getting a new tent...
    [​IMG]
    Was going to grab some cheap aluminum cookware from Amazon but showed my girlfriend some Snow Peak titanium sets and now she wants those. Budget about to get wrecked and I just started...
     
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  11. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    So I have the following which should be fine for glamping/car camping this summer and fall, but I am trying to think of stuff that I might need/want for more hiking oriented camping. Probably won't do anything too serious till 2020 when planning to camp around Japan.

    Tent - REI Half Dome Plus with matching footprint
    Sleeping bags - old/cheap stuff that is good enough for now
    Sleeping pads - Klymit Insulated Static V, 45 year old Thermarest from my father
    Stove - MSR Whisperlite International
    Cookware - super duper cheapo aluminum set from China
    Nalgene water bottles

    Do you guys carry stuff like a kettle for coffee/tea or furniture like foldable table and chairs? I have found some intriguing stuff that weighs only a couple pounds a piece, but added up adds some weight. What kinds of luxury items do you guys go for, or when hiking is it mostly about weight savings?
     
  12. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    @pedalhead thanks for the Alpkit jacket recommendation. After a bit of trial and error, I found one that fit (one size up, but in the womens' cut!) so I'm now a happy camper. The new jacket is 22% of the weight of the old jacket.

    In other news, I impulse bought a climbing rope during a trip to the US and the mandatory REI visit- $100 for a 60m Mammut. So now I have plans to take up the sport again.

    It was interesting to see the big changes in jacket technology, versus what appears to be zero changes in climbing equipment technology over the past decade.
     
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  13. pedalhead

    pedalhead Friend

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    Excellent, glad to hear the Alpkit jacket worked out in the end. It's pretty amazing how lightweight and packable a fully waterproof, 3 layer jacket is these days.

    Hopefully, the lack of "progress" in the climbing gear world means they got it right the first time :) .
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
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  14. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    So I've had 4 pairs of Icebreaker merino underwear in use for the last roughly 4 years and really liked them. Starting to wear holes in them. I'd like to replace, but don't want to drop $30-50 a pair at the moment. Any recommendations for wicking, quick-drying underwear for travel/hiking? I'd like natural fabrics or at least some blends, as full synthetic tends to feel horrible when wet, regardless of how quickly they might dry. I have a few pair of cotton/poly blend from Uniqlo which are pretty good for daily wear (haven't really tested their sinkability/stinkability). I tried their Airism which feels kind of terrible when wet.

    How is Tencel as underwear?
     
  15. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Honestly, for coffee we do home made cold brew concentrate in a small silicone squeeze bottle for 1 or 2 days light camping/backpacking. Just squirt a bit into a metal mug, add water, and sit the mug next to the fire in the morning. If we're glamping with electric, we do this and this for snobby cappuccinos. But, holy fuck, that Nespresso milk frother used to be like $40 before they discontinued it.

    For tea, just brew in whatever small pot you've got. No need to be fussy. Clean socks, and hot coffee (even cowboy coffee) or tea in the morning is all it takes to make anyone feel like a civilized human after a night in a bivvy.
     
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  16. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    20190525_114117.jpg

    My loadout for a 2 night trip 2 weeks ago
     
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  17. hikergrl

    hikergrl Friend

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    MSR Whisperlite International stoves are terrific, we've had ours for about 20 years and have subjected it to so much abuse (and wierd fuels, since white "gas" is not available in many countries). It only hiccuped when we tried to use it with paint/thinner/turpentine at altitude in the Peruvian Andes (it still worked, but not very well).

    My hiking buddy (husband) and I find it more difficult (and less fun) to carry heavy packs as we get a little older, and we also like to be out hiking/backpacking for a week or (much) longer, so food weight is a real issue for us. However, one of the great joys in life is having a nice cup of coffee in the morning surrounded by mountains (and no other bipeds). We take instant coffee and just add boiling water. Starbucks instant is actually awesome (but expensive) but Nescafe taster's choice is pretty good and comes in individual packages (which makes it easy when your fingers are frozen and wind is howling).

    For treats while backpacking - my husband is crazy for jerky (need to repackage into smaller ziplockbags and double bag it so it is not so odiferous and animal-attracting). Also mid-afternoon we need a pick-me-up and take powdered "energy" drinks (caffeine!!). There are a lot of fancy ones (and instant powdered teas, etc), but we like the Walmart ones - mix in with your bottle of filtered water (links below for egs).

    I really like seeing what others take backpacking, but folks really have different styles (and different weather conditions). The main thing for us is to ensure we put up the tent in the back yard before we leave to check that we have enough stakes, etc, and also to try out any new gear before we leave on a trip. One thing that we've found handy - we don't take bowls/plates/forks spoons, etc - we take a light tupperware bowl + lid each and a spoon (and one Al pot with lid to boil water). Pour flavoured potato flakes + TVP + flavouring (perhaps some fancy dehydrated stew) into tupperware bowl, add boiling water and put on lid and let rest. Then eat - lid keeps it warm and the potato flakes +TVP really expand - giving a filling, inexpensive meal with very little clean-up (and the dried food is really light weight).

    Also - (since you asked about seats) if you like to take a seat - these foam ones are a good choice (used them when cycle-camping), really light weight and are also useful for sleeping on (we only take 3/4 length thermarests so these can go under our feet). Also, can be used for a range of other things (they float and you can also cut them down to smaller size).
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Portable...PE-Waterproof-Chair-Cushion-Pad-Mat/652274550

    It looks like you have really awesome gear.
    Hope you have great weather and a terrific trip/adventure in Japan.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Va...k-Mix-0-88-Oz-10-Count/16940543?selected=true
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Starbuck...dium-Roast-Coffee-1-box-of-8-packets/54276086
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/2-Pack-N...hguid=5dc4e540-17d-16b57c0bacb954&athena=true
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Idaho-Spuds-VeggieMash-Mashed-Potatoes-with-Broccoli-Cheddar/184476247
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bob-s-Red-Mill-Textured-Vegetable-Protein-12g-Protein-10-0-Oz/35512370
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  18. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Recently added these to the mix when they were a Lightning Deal: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FLW4XS3/
    Not bad at all. Quite comparable to the stuff I have tried at REI. I don't know about long term reliability, but I would only use them a few times a year, so probably good enough for now.
     
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  19. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Thanks to the REI 4th of July sale, just picked up two NEMO down sleeping bags for me and my girlfriend. Went with the Disco and Rave 30s (https://www.rei.com/product/112098/nemo-disco-30-sleeping-bag-mens). Hopefully the interesting shape will work out well for us, as I am a side sleeper and my girlfriend sleeps in constant rotation. Not the smallest, warmest, or lightest, but look like a good compromise given our requirements. I think only things left on my list are a camp table and some cookware and utensils.
     

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