Saturday, January 25, 2014

Some New Gear for the Pack

This Christmas I got a bunch of awesome hiking/backpacking gear and I just have to share them because I'm so excited to put them to use! I've been wanting a lot of these pieces for a while but as you know, gear can get expensive real fast. It'll be nice and useful to finally have these in my pack as I explore the northwest outdoors.

From left to right: Standard hatchet, Primus P stove, 2-Man first aid kit, ALPS Mountaineering air pad, LifeStraw, Gerber folding shovel, Katadyn water filter system

1. Hatchet
I've been wanting a hatchet for a while. It pretty much looks like a miniature axe and chopping things down is a source of entertainment for myself. It has a nice wooden grip and my hubby sharpened it for me so I'm ready to chop down a small tree if ever needed.
Price: $18
Functionality: 10
Coolness: 10

2. Primus P Stove
I got this stove as a birthday gift back in July last year. I already had another one that I love and use a bunch (MSR Pocket Rocket). However the Primus stove hardware is different because instead of the three-prong system used to hold your pot, it has a flat circular base that you screw on to the fuel. It uses the same type of fuel and heats up well which is nice, but I don't like how it is less compatible than my MSR and it requires two pieces of hardware. You loose one backpacking and no fire for you!
Price: $30
Functionality: 6
Coolness: 8

3. 2-Man first aid kit
This is my first ever large first aid kit. I haven't used this yet on a trip, but my friend had the same one when we climbed Mt. Bandera last December and he pulled out some ibuprofen from it for myself when my knee started to act up. It's real light, pretty cheap and has a bunch of supplies. This one is good for 2-people but they have ones suited for smaller and larger groups.
Price: $12
Functionality: 10
Coolness: 8

4. ALPS Mountaineering Air Pad
This is my first quality self-inflating air pad. ALPS is a good outdoor brand so I know it will work to my standards. It's pretty lightweight and just wide enough to fit me and strap to my backpack. However, after much recent use, I've noticed that the pad is pretty large and takes up lots of room in or on the outside of my pack. I guess the comfort is worth it for me though. I got the Standard/Regular size. They have about five air pad sizes too so you have the option of choosing specifically what you want from your air pad.
Price: $45
Functionality: 7
Coolness: 6

5. LifeStraw
This thing I picked up at REI because I thought the idea was cool. It's basically a straw filter that allows you to drink any wild water from streams and lakes. If you find a crystal clear stream it is so amazing to stick your straw right in a safely drink the water. Yum. The one downside is that I'd rather not have to drink water from a straw in general. The suction can be difficult and it leaks when you clear it out a little. You could survive with a Nalgene and the LifeStraw though by collecting water as you travel and drinking from the straw, but it's not worth it to me. Just a cool piece of gear that's all.
Price: $20
Functionality: 7
Coolness: 10

6. Gerber Folding Shovel
This little shovel is pretty cool! Its shaft extends and compacts, and the face folds closed into a small-ish bundle of metal. I wish it were a little smaller and lighter, but it could still come in handy out there. Plus its got a metal head thing on the backside to use as a hammer.
Price: $20
Functionality: 7
Coolness: 10

7. Katadyn Water Filter
I can't wait to use this thing. I haven't backpacked in a while but I once used my friends filter when we hiked around Mt. Rainier and I realized it is an essential piece of gear to have in your backpack. I'm not sure how my filter works, like how you pump the water and how long the tubes are and if it connects directly to a Nalgene. Excited to try it out!
Price: $60
Functionality: 10
Coolness: 10

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