Gear Review: Selecting a new pack

Granite Gear Crown2 60 vs. Osprey Exos 48

There will never be a pack like my beloved Rosie, but the thru-hiker funk refuses to dissipate, no matter how many times I wash her and how strong the chemicals. She’s being retired, and for my upcoming birthday I am treating myself to a new pack.

I’m going to step you through my decision-making process. Remember, everyone has unique needs, body types, budgets, and tastes – this is just a glimpse into mine.  Continue reading “Gear Review: Selecting a new pack”

Gear Review: The North Face Thermoball

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

There is one piece of gear that goes with me everywhere: my North Face Thermoball full-zip jacket. On the A.T., Camino, short backpacking trips, day hikes, ski trips, snowshoeing, and around town, this is in my pack or I’m wearing it. I’ve had it for three years, and it’s still my go-to item.  Continue reading “Gear Review: The North Face Thermoball”

Trail Tip: Use gear company support

Help them help you

There are hundreds of gear manufacturers out there, and all have different policies on the level of customer support, warranty, gear replacement, and other services the provide. In my experience, when you are in a pinch on trail, they are eager to help. After all, the best advertisement for gear isn’t on a website or in a catalog – it’s in the woods, being used by a hiker that, though they and their gear reek, know what it’s all about.  Continue reading “Trail Tip: Use gear company support”

List: Helpful Links

#themoreyouknow

While I definitely have first-hand experience playing in the great outdoors, I also do a lot of research on trails, gear, and other topics before I set out. Here are some sites that have been very helpful in the past few years with my gear, the AT, el Camino, and general recklessness.

Feel free to comment with your own helpful links for others!

Continue reading “List: Helpful Links”

Gear Review: Sawyer Squeeze

And my backup water filtration plan, Aquamira

Water is crucial to survival, and you never know where you may have to get it – like out of a mud puddle on the Appalachian Trail in New York because a drought has dried up all the streams. Clean water is critical, and here are the two ways I treat my water.

There are a lot of ways to filter water in the back country – pumps, tablets, drops, straws, UV lights, and other filters. My main choice is the Sawyer Squeeze water filtration system, and my backup is Aquamira dropsContinue reading “Gear Review: Sawyer Squeeze”