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Thread: Hiking gear

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    True Victor. Trekking poles are a huge advantage anytime the footing is unstable. This includes flat ground with ice, snow, sand, or mud. This May, I did a 24 mile, 2 day loop in the mountains where the trail was probably 50% mud and water. I really missed having a pair of trekking poles even though I was using a single hiking stick. (I'm not sure why I didn't just grab another stick actually.)

    Other advantages which stand out for me:

    1. Help out lots on uphill sections.

    2. Reduce knee strain on downhills if carrying a load and going slow. I often just go fast though, and then they get in the way.

    3. Lengthen my stride on flat sections, causing me to walk faster.

    4. Stop my hands from swelling due to gravity when walking for long periods.
    Yes JAVO, I have a nice walking staff of light-weight wattle, it's a magnificent thing but mostly for show. No, the two trekking poles make all the difference. And they have taught me a new way of walking. And made of aluminium, they are as light as a feather. And when I suffer from gout, they keep me on my feet. Really I think of them as another vehicle, but one that exercises all of me as I walk.

    If you did use two sticks on your 24 mile, two day trek in the mountains, they would have lacked the straps on the hands which seem to take most of the weight.

    It does sound like a nice walk and your pictures are wonderful.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Phoenix_400's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Do you wear a regular (32") or long (34") inseam/length on these? I'm wondering if the length of the shorts differ between them.
    I had to pull them out and check them. They're medium/regular. I'm kind of an odd pants size, 31x33. I usually wear 32x34 in jeans, but some brands of clothes fit me better in 32x32.

    I don't think there's any difference in the shorts length. They probably tack the length onto the lower legs.



    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    True Victor. Trekking poles are a huge advantage anytime the footing is unstable. This includes flat ground with ice, snow, sand, or mud. This May, I did a 24 mile, 2 day loop in the mountains where the trail was probably 50% mud and water. I really missed having a pair of trekking poles even though I was using a single hiking stick. (I'm not sure why I didn't just grab another stick actually.)

    Other advantages which stand out for me:

    1. Help out lots on uphill sections.

    2. Reduce knee strain on downhills if carrying a load and going slow. I often just go fast though, and then they get in the way.

    3. Lengthen my stride on flat sections, causing me to walk faster.

    4. Stop my hands from swelling due to gravity when walking for long periods.
    Ya know, I've never been able to get comfortable with trekking poles. I use a 5ft wooden staff. Maybe its 'cause I've been doing it that way ever since I was a kid wandering around the woods and creeks. Just more natural for me and I like being able to keep one hand free as much as possible.
    "People in glass houses shouldn't use Windex when living near bird sanctuaries."- myself

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  3. #33
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Here is my current gear setup, with some pros and cons:

    -- Good waterproof hiking boots, soft and cushioned inside, but I wish I had bought them one size bigger because my toes go numb when I walk downhill for too long. Good shoes are very important. Waterproof is a must.
    -- Things you can attach to your belt. I have this nylon holster-like thing that came with a gift a few years ago. In goes lip balm, sunglasses, snacks, tissues, multi-tool, etc.
    -- Medium size (50 cubic inches? Don't remember) inner frame pack. I like packs where I can attach a bunch of stuff in places that are easy to access. I also have a super old external frame pack that is smaller. Choice of pack is not critical IMO. The super old one works almost as well as the new one, just a bit smaller.
    -- Camelback bladder to put inside the pack. This is awesome and really really important. Way better than a bottle because it doesn't bump into you while you're hiking.
    -- Gravity filter. I know some people swear by pump filters, but I swear by my gravity filter. It's light, compact, simple to use, and fast. Very important for obvious reasons.
    -- Alcohol stove. I made it myself. Once again, I know most people use white gas, but you can't make one of those at home or out of found materials. If your white gas stove stops working, you'll be eating cold food until you can get it fixed or replaced. However the alcohol stove is kind of dangerous in my experience -- boiling water on unstable surface + liquid fuel that doesn't stop burning if you spill it all over yourself.
    -- 25 °F Bag. If it gets colder than 25 °F, put on some thermal underwear.
    -- Half-size pad. Put your legs on your pack, and put your head on some clothes.
    -- 2-person tent. Optional if you're going to a shelter, or your girlfriend isn't coming and the weather will be nice. I do own a hammock but haven't really used it, whether because a) there won't be any trees, b) my GF is coming, or c) there will be a shelter.
    -- Lightweight raingear. Top and bottom. Use as a shell if the weather turns cold, windy, or rainy.
    -- Other stuff I frequently bring: Cord and string, a lightweight tarp, trekking poles, headlamp, trowel, extra socks

  4. #34
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    I also prefer to use a single wooden pole overall, roughly 5 feet. It has many more uses, imo, than a pair of manufactured trekking poles: weapon, spear, potential fishing rod if need be, general tool for reaching high objects.

    As for porable stoves...those are one of those camping staples that I kind of hate because i can't see the point. I much prefer setting up my own fire pit which can burn any amount of wood thats laying on the ground, and make it as big as I need. This is where I conflict with the eco-conscious crap. Wood is wood. It needs to be burned at some point, especially in CA where you only end up getting giant fires when the forests and chaparral don't get regular small fires. Down here its almost universally outlawed to set fires beyond a developed campsite with a premade fire pit/ring, but it really doesn't do shit above making your own if you know how to do it right. It's just an extra hassle that ruins primitive camping. Why carry a stove when you can set up a fire yourself at the spot where you sleep at, and cover it up when you leave? WHY BRING SAND TO THE BEACH!?!?

  5. #35
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    -- Good waterproof hiking boots, soft and cushioned inside, but I wish I had bought them one size bigger because my toes go numb when I walk downhill for too long. Good shoes are very important. Waterproof is a must.
    I'm still trying to decide whether I like waterproof breathable (GoreTex) shoes or not. I have GoreTex boots, but rarely wear them in favor of hiking shoes which actually have holes in the bottom (protected by fabric-like screen) to drain and dry faster. I guess if it's mostly wet, waterproof is more comfortable than wetting out the shoes just by walking across the wet grass to the trailhead, especially if it's cooler.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    -- Alcohol stove. I made it myself. Once again, I know most people use white gas, but you can't make one of those at home or out of found materials. If your white gas stove stops working, you'll be eating cold food until you can get it fixed or replaced. However the alcohol stove is kind of dangerous in my experience -- boiling water on unstable surface + liquid fuel that doesn't stop burning if you spill it all over yourself.
    What type of stove did you make? I've made a Penny, Supercat, and Zen Chimney. I think I like the Penny the best. I usually cook over a fire, but lately I've enjoyed the convenience of not needing a fire if I want to hike or sleep more.


    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    -- Half-size pad. Put your legs on your pack, and put your head on some clothes.
    Great tip! I do this also, except below 30 F or so.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    -- Other stuff I frequently bring: Cord and string, a lightweight tarp, trekking poles, headlamp, trowel, extra socks
    I use either a found stick, rock, trekking pole, or tent stake as a trowel for digging small potty holes.

  6. #36
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    I'm still trying to decide whether I like waterproof breathable (GoreTex) shoes or not. I have GoreTex boots, but rarely wear them in favor of hiking shoes which actually have holes in the bottom (protected by fabric-like screen) to drain and dry faster. I guess if it's mostly wet, waterproof is more comfortable than wetting out the shoes just by walking across the wet grass to the trailhead, especially if it's cooler.

    What type of stove did you make? I've made a Penny, Supercat, and Zen Chimney. I think I like the Penny the best. I usually cook over a fire, but lately I've enjoyed the convenience of not needing a fire if I want to hike or sleep more.

    Great tip! I do this also, except below 30 F or so.

    I use either a found stick, rock, trekking pole, or tent stake as a trowel for digging small potty holes.
    Hey, thanks.

    Waterproof is a must for me, if you're crossing a creek and you have to step in (or accidentally step in), it's nice to not have swamp feet for the next (xxx) miles. I guess you could take your shoes off before you cross, eh?

    This is the alcohol stove I made: Zen Alcohol Stoves - Mini Zen Alcohol Sideburner Stove
    ^Great website, btw

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    Waterproof is a must for me, if you're crossing a creek and you have to step in (or accidentally step in), it's nice to not have swamp feet for the next (xxx) miles. I guess you could take your shoes off before you cross, eh?

    This is the alcohol stove I made: Zen Alcohol Stoves - Mini Zen Alcohol Sideburner Stove
    ^Great website, btw
    I've been just wading through water in shoes, but swamp feet do suck. In shoes, any water over 4 inches deep runs over the tops, so waterproofing is less helpful. If I wear boots, the creeks will be deeper and run over the tops of them. I might try GoreTex socks and just wade deep creeks barefoot.

    Cool stove. Sideburners are nice to not have to fiddle with a separate pot stand.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    I also prefer to use a single wooden pole overall, roughly 5 feet. It has many more uses, imo, than a pair of manufactured trekking poles: weapon, spear, potential fishing rod if need be, general tool for reaching high objects.
    I'm an urban trekker and sometimes I take my five foot staff with me, but only to impress the natives. And you are right, it is very nice to poke things with. And of course it looks like a lethal weapon. My only problem is not crossing wet streams but absent mindedness - so I tend to leave my beautiful decorated staff behind in coffee shops. But the staff always keep my staff for me but look at me as though I am a little odd.

  9. #39
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    While I'm waiting for a refund on my Columbia Pole creek hiking boots for being too small, I'm looking at Hi-Tec's ion mask technology as a possible alternative. The tight fitting size 13 Pole Creek shoes had a GREAT design, and actually getting to wear them had me sold, but alas... god damn my big feet. Anyway, I've been considering the advantages and disadvantages to waterproof shoes in terms of breathability, durability, and drying speed. It's hard to get a boot that doesn't have tradeoffs in those areas. I prefer a boot that keeps my feet from getting wet in the first place, and offers them a good deal of support and protection. That usually means a thicker, leather based boot that might not breathe as well as a light mesh runner, and might hold on to water more if it gets into the booth through sweat or over the top.

    However, Hi-tec's military derived ion-mask technology might very well alter the balance altogether. It's a revolutionary technology that trumps goretex by waterproofing the entire surface of the boot, a treatment that lasts forever, and COMPLETELY blocks water and dirt. It was originally developed by the military to ensure no chemicals could penetrate their clothes.
    [YOUTUBE="AyQjTiX7-Zw"]Hi-Tec ion mask[/YOUTUBE]

    So, I am considering getting these considerably less stylish (Man I hate wearing green, and I had a cool outfit based on the jet black and blue Pole Creeks), but more hot weather and water friendly V-Lite Mach 3.0 boots.


  10. #40
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    However, Hi-tec's military derived ion-mask technology might very well alter the balance altogether. It's a revolutionary technology that trumps goretex by waterproofing the entire surface of the boot, a treatment that lasts forever, and COMPLETELY blocks water and dirt. It was originally developed by the military to ensure no chemicals could penetrate their clothes.
    See Richard Nisley's post in this thread (he's a respected one-man gear manufacturer):

    BackpackingLight Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Nisley
    If you are thinking of ion mask™ treatment of a breathable fabric it will provide long term water repellency but not true waterproofness. For true waterproofness, the treated breathable fabric has to provide resistance to water pressure mm/H20 - JIS I 1092 of at least 17,586. I am not aware of any non-waterproof fabric that can be ion mask treated to provide this pressure resistance.

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