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.
Being one of the few people in the long distance hiking community, it seems, that has really invested time and money into putting to the test Yak wool garments, it was hard for me to not back this project.
Earlier today the garment showed up. As anybody that has done kickstarter knows, any non-digital kickstarter that shows up, is a good thing, and at five months past the Kickstarter estimated date of delivery, that is something that does not bother me all that much. Small start up companies, trying to get all the cogs in order, working with products (in this case, yak wool) outside the normality, well, they deserve some leniency.
It is not all that often that I share about price deals via my website, I think the last one was when I reviewed and offered a coupon for the Solumbra BodyShade Tshirt(which I now have 500+ days of wearing, and hope to have a follow-up review out soon), and as all of you know, Zpacks pretty much never offers deals (sometimes for the holidays they do), but every so often they work out a deal with my good friends over at Massdrop — Yep, I am a huge fan of Massdrop, check out my MD profile if you want to follow me over there.
Anyway, right now there is a Massdrop deal for the Zpacks bear bags, what has pretty much become one of the de facto bear bags for thru-hikers.
Back in February of 2016 I ordered a Mountain Laurel Designs ‘Core 22L’ backpack for use as my primary summer backpack – it was my first backpack from MLD and it will not be my last – quickly fell in love with this backpack!
The MLD Core is offered in two different volumes, a 22L(1300ci) and a 28L(1700ci) volume – I went with the 22L knowing that I could get all of my gear into it and about three days worth of food. YMMV.
One really has to ask themselves what the targeted market is for a backpack as simple as the MLD Core. Let me try to share my thoughts on that.
Zpacks has released their Flex, free-standing pole system, previously only available on their Duplex shelter, for their solo ‘Solplex’ shelter, and is being called the Zpacks Solplex Flex Tent Upgrade.
For a bit of background, the Zpacks Solplex was released on November 12, 2014, if my records are correct.
Update: September 2019: Zpacks has updated the Nero with a new buckle system for the roll-top and other minor issues. See this post for further information.
The sub 2268 hiking world went a little berserk back in January (2017) when they noticed that the Zpacks Zero and XS-Zero backpacks were no longer being offered.
Today, Zpacks has unveiled the reason: the brand new Zpacks Nero backpack!
In the words of Zpacks:
If you can’t take a Zero take a Nero! The Nero is an ultralight frameless backpack stripped down to only the most popular features. This compact backpack has no frame aside from a closed cell foam sit-pad for cushioning. It is best suited for hardcore long distance hikers with base weights around 5-6 lbs (2.5 kg) and maximum loads up to 20 lbs (9 kg).
Gossamer Gear has introduced a new trekking pole, called the “LT5”, which is a three piece carbon fiber pole.
Many years ago I tried (and had no success) in making a three piece GG trekking pole (they sent me a bunch of hardware and poles and extra parts and such) and they had tried for a few years prior to that, so it is really nice to see that Gossamer Gear has worked out the manufacturing process to make a 3-piece trekking pole.
The nice thing about a three piece pole is that it can compact down to a smaller/shorter size, making it easier to air travel with, not having it stick up above your backpack, and making it useful for being a support pole on shelters that use/require a very short support pole.
A few weeks ago, over on my facebook account, I posted a message asking folks to share any insight they had into the lightest weight tripods out on the market.
I had some pretty amazing feedback from the post, including comments from folks that rarely comment on facebook – it turned out to be a product search that more than a few folks seemed to be interested in.
A few comments lead to me search down a few tripods that seemed to meet the requirements I had, but they ended up being discontinued or way to expensive.
While researching one of the ones suggested, I came across a tripod called the ZIPPOD 45 and decided to take the risk of buying one to see how it would work out.
A new rain wrap/kilt has hit the market today, called the “Rain Wrap“, from Enlightened Equipment.
There is not a lot of specs when it comes to a rain kilt/wrap, but the jist of it is that the Rain Wrap is 1.4 oz for a small, 1.75 oz for a medium, and 2.1 ounces for the large, and the fabric is a waterproof 15D Silnylon.
This collage image was in their newsletter email announcement:
Where To Buy:
Directly from the Enlightened Equipment Rain Wrap page.