Favorite Gear of the Year, 2017

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Wow winter season is fast approaching and it is time for my Favorite Gear of the Year for 2017.

A few of the items are going to be fairly long term gear, having used them for a season or two, or more, yet I still consider them the best-of. Similarly, some of the gear is going to be pretty new pieces for me, things that I just started using this year but that have impressed me enough to highlight them.

This article will not be just about gear. Down towards the bottom I will share some of my favorite videos, website, things I am looking forward to trying next year, and some honorable mentions. Please do not forget to read the disclaimer at the bottom of the article. And a special thank you to those folks who have joined my patron page this year!

Anyway, with all the mumbojumbo out of the way, here are my picks for the 2017 season!

Continue reading “Favorite Gear of the Year, 2017”

[Initial Walk-Around] Pa’lante Packs, ‘Cuben Simple’

Greetings Adventurers,

I was able to get my hands on one of the Pa’lante Packs ‘Cuben Simple’ backpacks last week, and just finished up shooting, editing, and uploading an initial walk around video.

Pa’lante Packs also makes a non-cuben version, with more features, called the ‘Simple Pack‘, I just did an article and video on it a few days ago.

So the ‘Cuben Simple’ is basically a simplified version of their X-Pac version. Less features, less hardware, and lighter weight fabric.

As they describe it on their website: Continue reading “[Initial Walk-Around] Pa’lante Packs, ‘Cuben Simple’”

[Initial Walk-Around] Pa’lante Packs, ‘Simple Pack’

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Hey Adventurers!

I have had a chance to get access to a Pa’lante Packs, ‘Simple Pack’ for doing my fourth ‘initial walk around‘ video!

This is not a backpack that I have bought, nor that was given to me, I simply have had access to it for a short period of time.

I suspect almost all of you already know the vast majority of what there is to know about the Simple Pack, so probably not going to be much of anything new in this video for most of you.

You will, perhaps, see some parts of the backpack that you have not seen anybody else online share, however.

Continue reading “[Initial Walk-Around] Pa’lante Packs, ‘Simple Pack’”

Enlightened Equipment ‘Enigma APEX’ Quilt

Enlightened Equipment 'Enigma APEX' Quilt

The Enlightened Equipment ‘Enigma APEX‘ quilt is a sewn-closed footbox + Climashield APEX synthetic insulated quilt being made by one of the biggest cottage quilt manufacture in America, Enlightened Equipment.

The ‘Enigma APEX‘ is a quilt that I have been using on and off for the last eight months. As a 100% synthetic hiker (no animal down products) getting the chance to acquire and use this quilt has been really great and it has impressed me in many ways!

Continue reading “Enlightened Equipment ‘Enigma APEX’ Quilt”

Mountain Laurel Designs (MLD) ‘Core’ Backpack

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.

Continue reading “Mountain Laurel Designs (MLD) ‘Core’ Backpack”

Zpacks ‘Wallet Zip Pouch’, 6+ Years of Daily Use!

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Greetings Adventurers!

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

Update, June 2019: I have now passed the 6 years of use mark. I have updated the article/title to reflect this!

Update, January 2018: I have now passed the 2,000 days of use mark! I have updated the article/title to reflect this!

Update, October 2017: I have now passed the 1,500 days of use mark! I have updated the article/title to reflect this!

I initially posted an article on the wallet zip pouch after using it for 800+ days, back in June of 2015. I have since given my ‘Top Pick‘ award to the Zpacks ‘Wallet Zip Pouch‘.

Continue reading “Zpacks ‘Wallet Zip Pouch’, 6+ Years of Daily Use!”

ZIPPOD 45 Inch Tripod

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.

Continue reading “ZIPPOD 45 Inch Tripod”

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‘.

Continue reading “Solumbra ‘Active Pants’ [400+ Days of Use]”

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.

Continue reading “Vargo ‘ExoTi 50’ Backpack”

MSR PocketRocket 2 + GSI 3 Cup Percolator – Total Boils

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.