A little over 5 months ago I posted an article called Yes-Gear For 2012! in which I detailed some of the gear that I had already bought this year and some of the gear I was thinking about buying.
I figured that with it being just a week or so short of 6 months after that article, this would be a good time to review how my list has gone so far.
As most hikers eventually realize, there is an initial period of your hiking life when it seems all you are doing is buying gear, buying more gear, selling off gear, and than buying new gear in hopes that it will work better. At times it seems I encounter hikers who bought some initial gear when they got into hiking and use it for years without every buying or trying anything else. That has not been me – I have easily bought and sold over $10,000 worth of gear – granted a rather large percentage of that has been for the express purposes of building prototype gear, and paying to have a lot of my custom hand-made gear that simply did not exist before I went through the process of prototype development and eventually seeing at least three of those items now in the market place and being used by hikers around the world, which is really awesome.
But over the last year, my buying of gear has very much started to slow down. Two years ago I went through six different shelters, costing well over $3,000 bucks for them. Thankfully I was able to recoup most of that money when I sold them. I have also slowed down the process of buying backpacks. While not as expensive as shelters, at $150-$200 bucks each, they add up rather fast. And I do not even want to think about how many stoves and pots I have bought, sold and even thrown in the trash some of the truly horrible ones – and of course a few of them have blown up (err: had catastrophic failures) on me, as I have shared on different websites over the last few years.
So back when I posted my Yes-Gear For 2012! article I had hoped that the article would help me slow-down on the buying-gear-addiction that I was having – and thankfully it did. It helped me really stay focused on the gear that I knew that I needed to buy, and give me time to think about some of the gear I had thought about buying, but I was not sure about. It was a quest to end the “oh, now that I have just got to get” whenever I was reading another blogger talk about gear, or watching a youtube video, or keeping up to date on what was being released from OR events.
I have still been testing gear that has been in prototype development, and I have been testing gear for a few guys getting ready to bring products to market, and I have added a couple of new sponsors this year – so the gear is still flowing, but not so much and thankfully, it is not costing me much or anything at all.
So, how have I done on my Yes-Gear For 2012! so far? Let us take a look!
Here is the gear that I stated I was planning to buy:
Black Rock Gear Vest — I have bought this and I freaking love it!!
Montbell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger #1 — I plan to buy this in the next month or so before the winter season arrives.
Icebreaker Layer 1 and Layer 2 Clothing — I have now purchased three IB items. A t-shirt and two top base layers (120 and 160)
LifeProof iPhone Case — Have not bought this yet. Not sure if I will not or.
Suunto MC-2 Global Compass — Purchased. A truly exceptional compass, far from the lightest compass out there, but it can do double-duty as a signalling device, as a mirror to shave or other medical needs, and much more!
GoLite Race Visor — I decided to go with the ‘Kavu Chillba Hat’ instead for this hiking season – it is heavier but provides the best protection of any hat I have ever used.
Rite in the Rain DuraCopy paper — I have not needed it yet, so have not purchased it yet.
Sealskinz Waterproof Thin Socklet — I actually decided to go with NRS Wetsocks.
ZPacks Heximid Solo w/o Beak w/Netting — I decided against buying this and instead decided to devote myself fully to the Six Moons Design, Skyscape X.
ZPacks Zero, Size Small — I actually decided to go with the Hyperlight Mountain Gear, Stuff Pack. (I will share why in a future article)
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Cuben Stuff Sack Pillow — Have not talked myself into buying this yet. It seems high priced for what it is.
Gear I Stated I was Considering Buying:
Here is a list of items I stated I was thinking about buying but I was not sure about.
Numa Optics Prescription Glasses — I have not bought these yet, but got my eye-doctor to fill out the information to send them.
Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone — The hike I was planning on using this for never happened, maybe next year!
Mountain Laurel Designs, Patrol Shelter — Decided to not go with this, as I am trying to give the SMD SX a lot more use!
Kestrel 4500NV Pocket Weather Tracker — Decided I did not need to spend 400 bucks on this.
BushBuddy Ultra — If my QiWiz FireFly does not work out on my new pot I will probably end up buying this, though at 5.1 ounces, it will be a hard choice.
Evernew 900ml Ti Pot — I just ordered this pot today!! A crazy heavy 6.2 ounce pot and pan. I might not like it, but hopefully I will.
TiGoat The Bug Bivy — I still very much want one of these, but giving the SMD SX a go for its money!
KUIU Skeleton Caper Knife — The guy that makes these knives sent me an email offering to make one for me, I responded back to his email, and never heard back from him. Sigh.
Other Gear I Have Bought:
Not a whole lot, as I indicated above I have been trying to stick to this list of gear.
I have bought a couple of different shoes trying to find something that fits me better. The Inov-8 X-Talon 212 that I have been using for the last few years I have started to have trouble with. My feet continue to get flatter and flatter and I have gone up almost two full sizes in shoes, and I have noticed that the larger these 212’s get, the worse that they provide side protection. Not sure what I am going to do, nothing else I have tried seems to be working as well as the 212’s do, yet provide lateral support.
I have also bought some more carbon fiber stakes, a North Face Windstopper High Point Hat (because I have gotten tired of waiting for Black Rock Gear to make a hat that protects my ears), and I bought (tried and than sold) one of the Gossamer Gear, Murmur Hyperlight Backpack (2012 editions) which end up just being 1000 cubic inches too big for me. I also bought some of the Bonnie’s Balm that Skurka has been pimping lately, as a potential replacement for Hydropel and after using it discovered it to be a total and absolute joke and waste of money. And lastly, I spent another $25 bucks for another year of membership at backpackinglight.com which is still the best backpacking website that exists (the forums are worth the money/support) and I also picked up a Mountain Hardware Way2Cool t-shirt to try (which worked really well, except it has a seam point at the very top of the shoulders, thereby making it totally suck-worthy for hikers with backpacks on their shoulders)
Anyway that about does it for my update on my 2012 hiking gear!!