Just a reminder that you can find me on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HikeLighter I tend to be fairly active on my facebook page, often posting two or three times a week. Sometimes I talk about gear that I am working on developing, if I see a cottage company make updates to their gear I try to post about that, sometimes it is simply sharing an awesome articles or videos I have come across, sometimes it is updates on my hiking adventures, and sometimes just about what is going on in my life. I encourage everybody to follow my facebook page if you want to keep up with what is going on. Once you have clicked the “Like” button, please be sure to move your mouse over the updated “Liked” button and a menu will drop-down, and be sure to click on the “Get Notifications” option! Thanks everybody!
Over the last few years there has been a lot of discussion regarding the differences between the Jetboil Sol Titanium and the Jetboil Sol Aluminium, mainly centered around the fact that most feel the titanium version is overpriced and not worth the extra money for the weight. That discussion is all good-and-well, but within this article I want to focus more on the performance aspects of each of this awesome cook systems.
With a large percentage of the Western states of the USA facing laws being put into place that prohibit the use of alcohol and esbit stoves during the 2014 hiking season, I felt it would be important to come out of not writing much anymore and share my research and thoughts on the performance differences between these two Jetboil setups – as I have a feeling a massive amount of hikers on the PCT, JMT, and other trails on the West coast are going to be faced with the decision over the next few months of which canister stove they should buy.
This article will not go into detail or analysis of the Jetboil versus other canister cook systems, rather it will focus purely on personal, non-laboratory, performance testing that I have done myself, both at home and out on the trail. I began testing for this article over a year ago and recently finished up all that I wanted to test, and feel I have enough data to hopefully make a worthy article.
I am very happy to announce that an awesome new product for the hiking community, that I have been co-designing since the middle of 2013, has just been made available for purchase!
It is called the “A-Pod” – and it is a 6 grams (0.21 ounce) ultralight camera-pod for those looking for the lightest of the lightest for their point-and-shoot camera or phone!
The A-Pod is used by placing it over the tip of an inverted hiking pole (or a stick off the ground) and using 3 (or more) pieces of cord that are tied onto the top stabilizing disc and using stakes (or sticks pick up off the ground or even tied to other surrounding objects) that provides stability for the upright hiking pole/stick/whatever!
It is a brilliantly simple camera accessory and designed to be the absolute lightest weight possible to get the job done!
It is designed specifically for point-and-shoot cameras (or mobile phones with cameras if you have a Glif, which is how I use it) and it is not really able to handle the big DSLR cameras. Please do not hate me or the A-Pod for that… it is just that I designed this for thru-hikers and SUL hikers that rarely, if ever, carry a full size camera – and chances are those folks that do carry a full size camera are going to have a tripod capable of supporting a 3+ pound camera.
This is my sixth product I have designed and brought to the hiking community over the last five years and my first time working with Suluk46 to bring a product to market. Steve Evans, the owner of Suluk46, has been an exceptional person to work with on this product! Suluk46 brought me on as a sponsored hiker in early 2013. After a few months I just knew that Suluk46 was going to be a company that would be perfect to approach with the idea for this product – an idea which I had been working out in my head for about 8 months while out hiking.
It only takes a few grams of cordage and when not in use you wrap the cordage around the lower part of the A-Pod. One of the neat things we have discovered is that the A-Pod is awesome for giving you a very stable monopod while out on the trail. If you just want to take a really quick and stable photograph, flip over your pole, graph your camera (I keep my A-Pod attached to my Glif) and it can give you an incredibly stable monopod!! The vast majority of the time I have used the A-Pod has been without using the cordage (thus making a quasi-monopod) and just using it in the monopod/stabilizer mode.
The A-Pod works really well if you carry a small camera and do youtube or vimeo videos! Just setup the A-Pod staked to the ground, attach your camera/phone, and you have yourself a 6-gram way to hold up your camera/phone for shooting that next awesome youtube video!!
We have tested the A-Pod on all the major hiking pole manufacturers that are used within the hiking community… and a whole lot of sticks we just picked up off the ground for that super fast point-and-shoot photo!
Those of you that follow me on my HikeLighter facebook page have been able to follow the progress of this new accessory over the last six months, it has been fun!!
The A-Pod is available for purchase right now!
A Few Photos:
The time has come for me to hang up my keyboard and step away.
The last few years that I have been blogging, writing white papers for the industry insiders, writing articles for the masses, and posting videos, has been a mixture of pure fun and intense focus on details.
Pre 2010 was learning all there was about UL hiking.
2010 & 2011 was spent learning all I could about SUL/XUL hiking.
2012 was me pushing the boundaries of XUL in every possible way.
2013 was about doing big mile days for 200+ days.
2014 is about expeditions!
What I have planned for the 2014 hiking season is just going to require so much of my focus and effort out on the trail, and here at home in front of a computer, maps, and reams of paper, that I just need to sign off for the foreseeable future. I might be back and start writing articles again, but at this point I am thinking the time has come for me to pass along the movement to other folks.
When I first started posting and writing about SUL/XUL almost nobody in the hiking community was talking about SUL hiking, and I only knew of 4 guys on the internet writing about XUL hiking – and none of them were still actively writing. Times have certainly changed over the last few years and that is just so great to see!
To the thousands of hikers, runners, adventure racers, rock climbers, summit baggers, and those doing huge expeditions… everybody that I have had the amazing pleasure of being able to help in some small way… keep going at it! Keep getting out. Keep learning. Keep learning both the hard way and the right way. Those who are able to, keep pushing the boundaries of both adventure and technology!
I have updated my hiking gear list to include the setup I will be using as the core setup for all of my 2014 expeditions. Each expedition will of course vary a small bit but it will be the core set of gear that I plan to use for most, but not all, of the trips. They are by no means going to be SUL/XUL adventures, but what I have planned is taking me into locations that are at the highest risk of the hiking world – and doing it all solo adds even greater risk to the already risky.
I am ready for the challenge. I believe the last few years have taught me what I needed to learn, have put me into situations that I needed to experience, and have allowed me to push myself and my gear to the point of failure and beyond – all things I am going to need for this next phase of my hiking life.
None of my trips will be the “OMG” type of hikes that guys like Nimblewill Nomad (my true hero in the world of hiking) and Andrew Skurka (the modern day master of non-polar expedition) have done over their time out on the trail, but rather the type of shorter hikes that put you into very high risk places – and that really is all I am going to say for the safety of myself and those involved, beyond: One expedition involves attempting to hike a trail in one of the most deadly places in the United States, for a hiker, that has not been transversed in over 200 years, is all but lost and forgotten, and that I have spent the last 2+ years trying to piece back together. Another involves over 21,000 feet (6.4 km) of elevation change in just under 150 miles (241 km) and is something that has never been done before. And three other trips I am just not willing to share anything about until, and unless, I accomplish them and feel safe sharing about them – because all too often hikers without enough experience want to do what other hikers with far greater experience have barely been able to do – I have learned this the hard way the last two or three years while building a 500 mile trail in Northern California.
It was sometime in mid-2013 that I decided to put aside the big miles and massive amount of days out on the trail (223 days in 2013) and instead put my focus towards something new… higher risk trails that have never been done and/or are ones that all but forgotten about. If even one of the five I have planned succeeds I am going to hopefully be filled with joy by this time next year!
To all of those companies that have helped me out over the last few years, I owe you a lot of my success. Thank you for what it is that you do and thank you for helping me.
If you are on facebook I invite you to follow my HikeLighter page, as I will still be keeping it going and trying to post throughout the year.
If you are not on facebook and want to drop me a message, you can do so here.
Thank you so very much for all of the amazingly wonderful comments!
Back in March of 2012 I wrote an article entitled “Yes-Gear For 2012!” and it was sort of a counter to those who were trying to get people to stop buying gear and doing a “No Gear For 2012″ movement, which I just giggled at. I understood the reasoning and all behind it, and totally admire anybody who stuck to it, but it was just not going to happen for me. Even this year, 2013, a year I have bought the least amount of gear since I got into hiking, I have still bought a fair amount of gear. Not going to get into listing all of the gear that I have bought this year, but I do want to do a forward-looking “Yes Gear” for the 2014 hiking season.
Most of the gear on this list are pieces of gear I have been thinking about buying but have not for one reason or another, or is not yet on the market, or a piece of gear I have been waiting for others to use and review, or I just have not had the money to buy. By no means saying I am going to buy all, or even any, of this gear next year. Some of it is from my “maybe buy” (some of which I have bought already) and “Winter Setup“ pinterest lists, as well as bookmarks I have kept for gear.
Greetings hikers, adventure racers, alpinists, runners, and all other outdoor enthusiasts.
In April of 2011 I was the first person to post an online review – both a video and article – of the then brand new “Jetboil Sol Ti” which has become one of the highest awarded cooking systems the outdoor industry has seen in the last decade. Before the Sol Ti was released I had used their aluminium “Personal Cooking System“, the original Jetboil, and had extensively used the Jetboil “Helios” system. In May of 2013 I posted an extensive review sharing my overall thoughts on the Jetboil Sol Ti as well as numerous modifications that I have made to my Sol Ti.
Since the very first day that I held the Jetboil Sol Ti there was this thought in the back of my mind, “I wonder what it would weight, and how fast it would boil, if the volume of the cup was not 27 oz (0.8 Liter)?“
Two years later, I have finally taken the time to find out these two questions.