Ramblings: February 02, 2016

Six Moon Designs 'Cuben Haven Tarp' + Haven NetTent + 4 Suluk46 stakes + 2 Groundhog stakes + SMD carbon fiber poles
Six Moon Designs ‘Cuben Haven Tarp‘ + Haven NetTent + 4 Suluk46 stakes + 2 Groundhog stakes + SMD carbon fiber poles. A new double wall shelter setup I am using.
Check out more photos here and here, over on facebook.

There have been a few exciting updates within the cottage industry over the last two weeks, as well as some hopefully insightful other topics, to share in this Ramblings update.


I would like to share that I have joined a small group of other hikers and adventurers, that I highly respect, that are Sawyer Ambassadors! You can check out my bio on their website.

I have been a huge fan and user of the Sawyer products for years.

At least twice a year, sometimes three times, I treat my hiking garments with Sawyer Permethrin Premium Insect Repellent, it has been amazingly successful at keeping ticks away.

I have, of course, been using the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter since it hit the market. My initial article on the Squeeze, way back in 2012, has been one of my most popular articles/reviews since I started hikelighter.com and it is still one of the top referenced articles on the Squeeze. Over the next year I wrote about the 2013 version of the Squeeze and a thoughts/tips follow-up to that.

In July of 2013 I was the second person to post about the Sawyer Mini, a lighter, smaller, and less expensive version of the Sawyer Squeeze. Props go to Brian Green for being the first, and for sharing with me and allowing me to use a photograph he took of the Mini before it even hit the market. I think it was at an OR event. The Mini was released in September of 2013 and I got one the day they were released, and subsequently updated my article with photos and all the details anybody would want to know about the Mini.

Needless to say, with the Mini water filter Sawyer had an even bigger success. What few things hikers had to negatively say about the Squeeze were put to rest with the Mini. The lower price point, a reduction in weight, small form factor, all of these equated to a massive migration away from the Squeeze to the Mini.

Interestingly, over the last two hiking seasons, a fair number of long distance thru-hikers that bought the Mini have, like myself at times, moved away from the Mini and back to the Squeeze for the higher/faster flow rate.

But regardless of which one you like, there is no questioning that the Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer Mini, have dominated the non-virus level water filtration market for most ul/sul hikers.

My long time readers know that I am all about being apart of companies that are making the best of the best within the hiking community, and being apart of the Sawyer Ambassadors team is an honour. It is not about promotion, though that is obviously a part of all ambassador/sponsor programs, but rather being able to be apart of something that is leading the way in the hiking community, and Sawyer is at the pinnacle of the market when it comes to insect repellents and non-virus level water filters!

Mountain Laurel Designs:

Mountain Laurel Designs has brought to market their second FKT product, now up: the FKT Quilt.

The FKT Quilt has a dual insulation design. At the lower part of the quilt it has 4oz sq/yd Climashield Apex insulation, and at the top part of the quilt it has 2oz sq/yd Climashield Apex insulation.

This approach of dual insulation allows the hiker/ultra-runner the ability to not have to carry thermal bottoms, and use their thermal tops to keep their core body warm. In other words, this approach of dual insulation allows you to not have to take thermal bottoms (note: thermal bottoms does not mean next to skin base layers, such as patagonia cap 4 bottoms, rather it means synthetic/animal down pants, such as montbell thermawrap pants) by having a heavier weight insulation on the bottom of the FKT Quilt, and the lighter weight insulation at the top is off-set by your existing thermal top (such as montbell ul thermawrap jacket) which almost everybody already has with them.

I have used a similar method in the past with the Nunatak  Arc A.T. Quilt, and a heavier thermal top, but it just did not work for me. Not saying it does not work, it just did not work for me. I have some strange thing in my brain that demands I have my blanket/quilt wrapped around my shoulders, whether I am at home or out on the trail, so that approach just did not work for me.

Anyway, I have one of these new MLD FKT Quilts heading my way and once I get it and get some use on it I will post up some photos and any thoughts. Also will have the poncho head slot, so I can give that a try and see how that works out.

Tarptent MoTrail


TarpTent has announced a two person version of their quickly becoming popular ProTrail, called the MoTrail.

The MoTrail is a 52″ wide tent! Yes, that is right… 52 inches! That means you can get two 25″ wide sleeping pads inside of it. That has been a huge complaint of mine against a lot of two person shelters out there. If you have two people, each with, say, a Large XLite or XTherm, they cannot fit inside of a ZPacks Duplex or a Six Moon Designs Haven NetTent or a host of other two person shelters. So, huge props to Tarptent for making a two person shelter that is actually wide enough for two large sleeping pads!

Priced at $259 and hitting the scales at 36 ounces (2.25 pounds), the MoTrail is looking like a really great shelter for those looking for a two person (or massive solo) shelter that does not have the omg price factor of the current cuben fiber two person shelters on the market.

The MoTrail looks to have about as much ventilation has a solo head-entry shelter can have too. Great to see a shelter with as much ventilation that the MoTrail has!


Here are a couple of articles worth checking out if you have not already:

cenazwalker did up a really nice review on the MLD Burn.
lady on a rock, middle of last year, did a write-up on hiking with essential oils.


Here are a couple of videos.

This first one is for all you folks that enjoy having food-fun out on the trail!


This second one I have shared in the past, but I keep coming back to it. There is just something about this video that speaks to me in a really deep way.

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