Ramblings: January 14, 2016

This is the second of my “rambling” series.

Without a doubt, the last week the hiking community has been going psychotic about two things:

  1. DSM changing the name of “cuben fiber” to “dyneema composite fabrics
  2. The #DyneemaProject video

I have found both of them interesting, but it is safe to say things are going overboard. It has become such an issue that folks like Will Rietveld are writing articles about it for Gossamer Gear. I posted a comment (#76951) sharing some backstory to the situation, that Will did not discuss, but Gossamer Gear has apparently chosen to not approve my comment. Ah, so typical of GG.

While we do not always see eye-to-eye on every issue out there, Philip Werner posted an insight that I have not seen anybody else talking about, and one I have been silently wondering about and if it would come to light. That being: does North Sails still own the “cuben fiber” name? Is that something that CTC ended up acquiring, or did NS retain ownership of it? Does somebody else own it? Did the DSMd buyout include that asset? All interesting questions. I do not know the answer too. Could be a question I ask DSMd the next time I bounce them an email. But if anybody does know, post a comment and share your insights, or, as always, contact me if you prefer to not publically post.

I have stayed quiet on this whole issue, and pretty much intend to keep doing so. If I have to start typing “DCF” instead of “CF” well, so be it. But I have to be honest and say I am not sure how long it will take me to start typing “dyneema composite fabrics” /shrugs/

Ryan Jordan, over at BPL, has also done up a good overview/generalization article on all of this entire set of events, well, on most of it. It has been nice to seem him make updates to the article since it was initially published. Myself and many others suggested to get him to update a few things, so props to RJ for being willing to update a high profile article. Oh, it also seems RJ has taken to calling me (the link in his article goes to my ct/dsm buyout article), and I am not sure if he is doing so mockingly or respectively, “our favorite ultralight prophet” – either way, Love you RJ :)


As for the #DyneemaProject video… it was neat to see a few different folks within the industry within the video. Seeing Ron Bell in it was especially nice. Got tired of seeing the same slab of rock over and over though. #droneoverkill

There was some insanely harsh criticism over on this reddit post about the #DyneemaProject video.

And without a doubt the funniest discussion of all of this was this reddit post — the comments by /shroom_throwaway9722 had me ROFL.


Alrighty, moving on as that is all I really have to say about those two topics…



First, I want to pass along a huge “go for it!!” to Mary ‘Speedstick’ Moynihan (married to the trail) as she has just started her calendar year triple crown hike! If you do not already follow her (uhh, why would you not!!!) you really should do so. If when she makes it she will be the first lady to pull off a calendar year triple crown. And, if you have a few dollars sitting around, send her some support!

Mountain Laurel Designs:

In my last ramblings post I asked everybody to share thoughts on the MLD “FKT” lineup.

Ron Bell, from Mountain Laurel Designs, has teased us on what the FKT Quilt is going to be via this facebook post: “It’s a Spirit like quilt with 2X the insulation over the lower body section and a few other tweaks.

Black Rock Gear:

BlackRockGear Synth Beanie
BlackRockGear Synth Beanie

Update on the BRG Synth beanie.

We are at phase 3 of the process (two more left)  and are currently working on two issues.

First is BRG/HikeLighter working on how to proceed with an initial promotional and selling of the first run of beanies and foldback mitts. I think we have most of that worked out.

Second is BRG acquiring the synthetic fabric. An entire roll of apex is a bit on the expensive side for BRG to put out for an unproven product. Being a smaller cottage company, we are trying to find ways to get them enough climashield apex without having to spend the big bucks on an entire roll. Could end up being a lot of money sitting around their shop if those who have contacted me saying they wanted some synth BRG gear ended up not buying any. Anyway, hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can share some more on this progress.


Suluk46 Bucksaw
Suluk46 Bucksaw

My good buddy Steve, owner of Suluk46, has put the finishing touches on a 12″ bucksaw.

Hitting the scale at under 150 grams (5 ounces)!

Keep an eye on the Suluk46 website, their facebook page, and their instagram page for updates!

As a hiker within the Suluk46 Backcountry Team, I am getting one of the first ones off the production line. There is a local trail that has gotten hammered by crazy high winds, resulting in a lot of blowdowns, so I am hoping to put this new bucksaw to the test later this month. Will try to get video of it in action while I am out doing trail maintenance.


The MSR Guardian Purifier is now available to purchase!!

I am not going to lie, this purifier has excited me since the day I first heard about it.

Here in the Redwoods of Northern California, it is not something I have a huge need for, locally. However a few trips a year I end up in places where having a filter of this level inside my backpack would be oh so nice. No longer having to pre filter through a bandana, and than wasting precious canister fuel in order to boil the water.

A virus level filter, at 490 grams, starts to make sense when you factor in how much weight in fuel you would have to carry in order to boil purify a large volume of water over the course of an expedition/long hike. (hope that makes sense) Those are not numbers I have worked out, but I think the 490g would win out by a pretty far factor. Not to mention wait time as you sit and boil water, carrying the dead weight all those empty canisters, and the backpack volume of the Guardian purifier vs dozens of canisters.

Six Moon Designs:

I have been trying to get a video put together on the new/second generation of the Flight 30 but the weather is not behaving here in the Redwoods. My camera gear does not like all this rain. But, I would rather have rain than another video, the Redwood trees need all the rain we can get!

For now I will just say that I am enjoying this 2nd generation vest pack. Awesome pack load weight distribution. Updated pectoral support. Much nicer side pockets. Additional shoulder strap pockets. A lot of small changes that have made big improvements. Refined in every way.

I have seen a few people on the internet being crybabies over the second generation of SMD packs, both Flight and Fusion, being heavier than the first generation, but the reality is these weight increases have allowed for improved pack load weight distribution. Those who have followed SMD packs from the previous style to this new style are fully aware that SMD did not set out to create the  lightest packs on the market, they set out to re build how backpacks should be made to handle pack weight distribution. When an 18- 20 pound TPW pack feels like 5 or 6 pound backpack, that is a success. They have done so.

Microsoft Band 2:

For Christmas I got a MS Band 2 and I have been enjoying it. Mostly using it to compare how it handles sleep tracking versus other dedicated sleep tracking devices I have. For a couple of local hikes I have been on I turned on the GPS to see how well it does on track recording, which is surprising good. It just kills the battery though. Get maybe two hours of GPS usage before it goes from 100% to 10%. So nowhere near viable for any real hiking, but for short hikes or trail runs, seems to be doable. As I use it some more I will post updates on how it is working out.

Favorite Videos:

Thought I would start sharing videos that I have watched and enjoyed, here are some I have watched over the last couple of weeks that I felt were worth sharing:

Check out what Lint carried on his adventure last year, while along the CDT:


Joe Brewer shares his thoughts on the BRS Titanium Stove. I, like Joe, have been using the Snow Peak LiteMax, but when I see the BRS side-by-side with the LiteMax… wow!!


RevHiker shares a nice adventure… love the beardsickles!


Speaking of beards… RedBeard shares some slogging along the Florida Trail:


And, because you have always wanted to know!



for those unaware… these “ramblings” are meant to be a fun way to share information about what is happening within the outdoor industry, by no means to be taken 100% serious or literal, and, most importantly, just a way for me to share some totally random thoughts about, well, about whatever.

3 thoughts on “Ramblings: January 14, 2016

  1. Re the BRS Titanium Stove.

    I am now on my third one of these. The first one snapped in half – on a mountain top – in the rain. With the second one I had, I stored the stove inside my beer keg pot – damp. When I went to use it I found the stainless steel ‘paper clip’ gas control knob had corroded right through the titanium block – like a knife through butter.

    The electrolytic corrosion potential of mixing brass, aluminium, titanium and stainless steel in a damp warm environment should not be under estimated. The stainless steel screw holding the wooden knob on my aluminium pot lid also ‘burnt’ through the aluminium lid ( I epoxied it back in place, and removed the screw).

    if I ever plan of taking this stove with me my response has been to carry a backup. A gram cracker stove, hexamine and caldera cone pot stand (which enables me to resort to wood fuel if I run out of hexamine). I simply don’t trust it. I tend to use my alcohol stove – using it is so much more peaceful, and you can see how much fuel you have left.

  2. It seems that the term cuben fibre has been dropped. On the DSM.COM website it is referred to as dyneema or DSM DYNEEMA. DSM shares are traded on the Euronext stock exchange if anyone wants to explore that side further.

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