John Muir once said, "In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware." To me this really says a lot about being a hiker and writer.
2018 has been a very quiet year for me, which I have to admit has been kind of nice.
In regards to purchasing new gear this year, well, there has actually been very few new things that I have bought, especially compared to the last eight years or so. Some of it I have thought really sucked and some I have fallen in love with.
I wanted to post a few brief thoughts on the Massdrop Veil Wind Shell, based on a couple dozen emails and questions on other social websites that I have gotten about this wind garment.
First a quick recap on the history of it. I placed the order for mine in late February of 2018. It was not yet in production, as has become common on Massdrop these days for their own line-up of products, and I received mine on July 26, 2018.
Recently a patron of mine sent me his new Pa’lante ‘V2‘ Backpack to check out, so thought I would do a brief write-up and video on this cool new backpack from Pa’lante.
The ‘V2’ is a 2018 backpack from Pa’lante and, IIRC, their fourth(?) iteration of a backpack. First was the Simple, then the Simple Cuben, then the Dx version, and now the V2 – maybe I missed one in there, but I think that is right. With each generation, Pa’lante has been refining the design of their backpack. In some ways, they have gotten away from their initial core idea of a backpack (a simple backpack) in order to meet the mass demands they never expected, but at the same time, that drive has caused them to really put in the effort to bring to market a more refined backpack, while staying as true to their dream of a simple pack as possible.
I have had the chance to use all of their backpacks with the exception of the Dx version, so getting a chance to try out this newest V2 has been a special treat for me.
A couple months ago I was up at the Six Moon Designs offices, just South of Portland Oregon. While I was there I had a chance to check out their latest backpack, the ‘Minimalist‘ – and they even allowed me to share a picture of it on my Instagram page.
They asked me if I would like to try one out when they got in stock and I said sure, of course, testing out new packs on the market is something that I love to do. So a few weeks later one showed up at my house. Free of charge, which is always cool. It is super rare for me to accept free gear, but at the same time, there are just so many new packs on the market right now that buying all of them has gotten to be too blasted expensive. Thankfully a few friends have sent me a few backpacks to do some testing with (such as when I did the initial-look of the Pa’lante Simple Pack, and another buddy is sending me his Pa’lante V2 to do the same, woot!) but anyway, yeah, full disclaimer, Six Moon Designs sent me the Minimalist free of charge, and with any obligations beyond reporting directly back to them my thoughts on what I like and did not like.
So onto my insights into the backpack, and down at the bottom of this article will be a video that I did while out on the packs maiden voyage.
The Black Rock Gear “Foldback Mitts” just got released on Massdrop this morning!
Looks like the lowest price is going to be $69.99, if 20 people join, which most likely is going to happen, they are normally $85 bucks.
Looks like this is for the animal down version only.
These things are awesome! I have been wearing BRG Foldback Mitts (both animal down, and more recently the synthetic) for over five years.
My layering approach: Underneath them, put on some PossumDown gloves, and over them put on the Mountain Laurel Designs ‘eVENT Rain Mitts‘. This will give you one awesome cold and wet weather hand protection!
I was recently at the Six Moon Designs office hanging out with them for a couple of days when their shipment of their new 2018 Gatewood Cape finally arrived from whatever port it came from.
After giving their staff some time to get the goodies out of the boxes, they let me grab one of each of the two new color capes and two of the old ones so I could take some side-by-side pictures of the new vs old.
They released this new version of the Gatewood Cape on March 07, 2018.
Below are the pictures – and thanks to the SMD staff for letting me take – and share – these pictures, even before they were released.