Suluk46 Backcountry Team – Sponsorship

suluk46Greetings Hikers,

Today I am very excited to announce that I have become a sponsored hiker of Suluk46, joining their Backcountry Team sponsorship program.

The owner of Suluk46, Steve Evans, and I have been in contact with each other for a number of years now. He has traveled the world, lives in Canada, and is the maker of some of the finest gear that I have ever purchased.

Steve has a great YouTube Channel that I have followed since he started posting videos.

He is one of the very few hikers in the world that has a decent amount of miles using a 0.34 cuben fiber tarp, and I am not positive but I think he has the second most miles of anybody, after myself. He strives for everything that I strive for: intimate knowledge of your gear, having the finest gear that does what it is designed to do, and the experience to be able to go out there and push yourself without putting yourself at risk.

I have been a long time user of his gear and have never purchased a single piece of gear from him that I felt was sub-par in any way.

The Suluk46 Titanium Windscreen is an absolute vital part of my sub two ounce cook kit (see video).

The Suluk46 Collapsible Titanium Stove is without a doubt the best wood burning stove for sub 400ml cups that exists. (see my review)

The Suluk46 Titanium Trowel is unquestionably the toughest and lightest full size trowel that I have ever owned. (see my review)

I am presently testing his newest product, the Suluk46 Titanium Double-wall Wood burning Stove, and it has been truly amazing me. (full review coming after I get more testing in different weather conditions) It is a sub-three ounce dream for wood burning fans!

And one of these days I am going to end up buying the Suluk46 Titanium/Carbon Fiber Ice Tool. I almost bought it the end of last year but I was not sure of just how long of a handle I would want and have been testing different length handles on some cheap’o ice axes this winter. Still not sure to be honest… what a tricky thing it is, trying to pick the best length for an ice tool.

As a hiker, and as many of my readers know, I tend to really push the boundaries of gear. It has been this reason that I have sought out companies such as Suluk46 in order to find gear that allows me to push the boundaries without excessive risks. I demand the lightest weight gear possible, and at the same time I also demand that gear to handle situations that weekender gear would never be able to survive in. Not that I am abuse towards my gear, but rather because I carry so very little gear as a SUL/XUL hiker, what gear I do have has to perform without failure every time it is called upon. Suluk46 has become one of my go-to companies for gear that I know I can buy – and trust that it will perform without failures and be as lightweight as a piece of gear can be made with modern material.

I know that a lot of my readers have bought gear from Suluk46 and that is awesome – if you have not already bought some gear from them, I would really encourage you to check out what they offer.

I am truly grateful to Steve Evans, to Suluk46, for adding me as a member of the Suluk46 Backcountry Team!!

+John Abela

suluk46_sponsorship

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Black Rock Gear – Sponsorship

Black Rock GearGreetings Hikers,

I wanted to let all of my readers know that I have become a sponsor of the awesome cottage company “Black Rock Gear“, makers of the absolute best UL/SUL down hats, gloves, vests, and more.

For a numbers of years I have been using Black Rock Gear and have been a huge fan and supporter. Both here at HikeLighter.Com and my previous website, RedwoodOutdoors.Com, I have had the honor of announcing a few of their products to the hiking world.

To me, Black Rock Gear is at the very top of the list when it comes to the finest made specialty gear for hikers and runners. I have, honestly, never seen any clothing products made to such exact detail, precision, and quality. It is for this reason that BRG makes up such a large part of my gear lists in both the summer and winter hiking seasons. As a long distance hiker I demand high quality gear that can endure and be as light weight as possible with today’s fabric. A few years ago when I bought my first BRG hat I did not think a down filled hat could be any lighter weight, yet they have continued to push the edges and have been willing to invest the money in buying the leading edge material in order to keep producing even lighter weight hats and vests. Their cuben fiber rain mitts are the pinnacle of what it is I am talking about.

To me, becoming a Sponsor of Black Rock Gear means a great deal. Those who follow my articles know that I care a great deal about the hiking cottage industry. In my sponsorship letter to Black Rock Gear I made the point that the type of sponsorship I am after is not the type where I am asking for free gear, discounted gear, or gear of any kind. Sometimes sponsorships should not be about a hiker getting free gear and a company getting PR in exchange. The relationship and respect that I have had for Black Rock Gear has always been one where we drive each other to build the best that can be built (on their part) and I am out there on the trail using the gear and providing feedback on the gear. I value this type of a sponsorship more than any other – the type where a company is willing to listen to their customers and work with them to find ways to make their products better.

Over the last few years Black Rock Gear has sponsored a number of hikers, athletes and trips on Everest, K2, McKinley, the PCT, the AT, the Grand Canyon, the Machu Pichu trail, and trips to China, Pakistan, Patagonia and on both North and South Pole. A true testament of both their gear and their value to the cottage industry!

I would like to thank Black Rock Gear for trusting in me, for allowing me the honor of becoming a sponsor, and for being out there making the kind of gear that ends up in the backpacks of hikers such as myself.

-Abela