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Archive for the ‘Thoughts on Gear’ Category

Mountain Laurel Designs (MLD) ‘Core’ Backpack

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Getting ready to unpack my MLD Core 22l backpack.

Greetings Adventurers!

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.

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Written by John B. Abela - HikeLighter.Com

May 28, 2017 at 7:59 am

Zpacks ‘Wallet Zip Pouch’, 1300+ Day Usage

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Greetings Adventurers!

The Zpacks ‘Wallet Zip Pouch‘ is now officially receiving my “Top Pick” gear award!

I recently passed the 1300 day mark of using the Zpacks ‘Wallet Zip Pouch‘, and while I tend to think that any piece of gear that can survive 1200+ days of use should pretty much instantly qualify for a top pick piece of gear, I still reserve this award of mine for those items that make it this far and I expect to keep going strong and lasting a lot longer.

I initially posted an article on the wallet zip pouch after using it for 800+ days, back in June of 2015. Now, after another 500+ days of using it, I felt it was time to both post an update and give my ‘Top Pick‘ award to the Zpacks ‘Wallet Zip Pouch‘.

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Written by John B. Abela - HikeLighter.Com

April 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm

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ZIPPOD 45 Inch Tripod

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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.

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Written by John B. Abela - HikeLighter.Com

March 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

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Solumbra ‘Active Pants’ [400+ Days of Use]

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A friend took this picture of me while out on a hike in late 2016. The indigo color of the Solumbra ‘Active Pants‘ has not faded after one full year of wearing them, and the pants have had zero durability issues, even from scrambling over fallen trees, through nasty blackberry bushes, and cactus, rocks and boulders down in the deserts in and around Death Valley.

Greetings Adventurers!

The Solumbra ‘Active Pants‘ are a pair of lightweight, durable, and high sun level protective pants designed for just about anybody for use in just about any outdoor type of activity.

I received mine from Solumbra, a company that has been a sponsor of mine for a few years, when I ordered/bought some other Solumbra garments. The pants got added into the box and I have been really happy that Solumbra tossed them in, as I have now worn the pants for over 400+ days – while out on working on building new hiking trail routes, while hiking throughout California (from the Redwoods to Death Valley), and around town and at home. Solumbra wanted me to give them a go and let them know how they would hold up to the type of long term outdoor testing that I tend to put gear through, much like what I did with the 600+ consecutive days of wear/testing of the Solumbra, Ultra Athlete Shirt and Pants that I bought a number of years ago and wore from 2013 onward until I started wearing these Solumbra ‘Active Pants‘.

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Written by John B. Abela - HikeLighter.Com

February 24, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Vargo ‘ExoTi 50’ Backpack

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The 2017 Vargo Outdoors ExoTi 50 backpack. Slightly overstuffed, and strap tangled, but initial thoughts are very good on this new backpack from Vargo!

Greetings Adventurers!

Earlier this week (first week of February 2017) I got in the mail the brand new, 2017, backpack from Vargo Outdoors, the “ExoTi 50

I have done an initial video walk around, much as I did with the SMD Fusion 65, and other backpacks when the first show up. This article is intended to show the features of this new Vargo ExoTi50 and some of the differences between it and the Vargo Ti-Arc backpack.

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Written by John B. Abela - HikeLighter.Com

February 12, 2017 at 9:39 am

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MSR PocketRocket 2 + GSI 3 Cup Percolator – Total Boils

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Hey all,

I recently bought a GSI 3 cup percolator for making coffee, mostly around my house and when truck camping.

Kept track of how many boils I got per 110g canister of MSR fuel, when using the new MSR PocketRocket 2 stove, so here is a 2 minute video showing everything.

This post first appeared at: https://www.patreon.com/posts/7935418

Thanks for reading,
+John Abela
HikeLighter.Com

As of the time of this article being published I am a sponsored hiker of  MSR. They sent this stove to me (had no idea it was coming, it just showed up one day) six months before release date so that I could perform pre-release testing & feedback to them (something I do throughout the year for many companies with alpha/beta/prototype products) and with zero expectation of publicly writing about it.

Written by John B. Abela - HikeLighter.Com

February 5, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Thoughts on Gear