Archive of ‘Gear’ category
The Columbia Men’s Bugaboot boot was given to a few of the #omniten guys to test out during the #omnigames. I was one of the lucky guys who got a pair. A very comfortable medium weight super warm water proof boot.
We were told by Columbia that we would be given a pair of boots but I honestly had no idea which ones we would be getting. I had done some research before the #omnigames to see what was out there. I was honestly rather skeptical about a “lifestyle” company who also makes boots. I will say that I am very particular about boots mostly because I have found more that I do not like wearing than I do like to wear. I have owned several pair of Columbia shoes like the Conspiracy and the Master of Faster. Both of which are comfortable and fit great.
I wore the Bugaboots pretty much non stop through the entire #omnigames. During the two full days of events I never felt any discomfort, pain, or found blisters. I was a little worried about breaking in a new pair of boots while needing to wear them all the time. I had taken several pair of wool socks in various thicknesses and chose the lightest pair. I was afraid with the built in Omni-Heat my feet would overheat. My feet did not overheat and instead the boots kept my feet warm while venting when needed.
- Waterproof oil full grain leather shell
- Waterproof waxed canvas
- Omni-Heat thermal reflective liner and 100 grams insulation
- Top hook metal hardware
- Omni-Grip high traction rubber
- Full length Techlite midsole for comfort and cushioning
- Waterproof bootie construction
- Weight: size 9, ½ pair = 23.2 oz/657.71g
- UPPER – Waterproof oil full grain leather mixed with waterproof waxed canvas
- LINING – Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective
- INSULATION -100 grams Omni-Heat technology
- MIDSOLE – Techlite
- OMNI-GRIP OUTSOLE – High traction rubber
Cost: $75 – $150
To Learn more about the Bugaboot and other boots by Columbia check out their website.
I am very pleased with these boots and I am excited to spend more time in them in the coming winter adventures.
Full Disclosure: Columbia Men’s Bugaboot used in this review was provided to me by Columbia Sportswear as part of the #omniten #omnigames at no charge. This did not influence my review in any way. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own and were not guided in any manor.
On the first day of the #OmniGames in January Columbia unveiled a brand new type of insulation and products that use that insulation. The new insulation is called TurboDown. A mixture of Columbia’s Omni-Heat Thermal insulation and premium down. If that was not enough they then added their Omni-Heat thermal reflective system. Below you can see how the products are layered and a short explanation of of the technology behind it all.
There will be three collections of the TurboDown outerwear. The Gold, Platinum and Diamond Collections for both men and women.
The Gold will feature 550 Down Fill + 100g Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation = 650 TurboDown.
The Platinum will feature 800 Down Fill + 60g Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation = 860 TurboDown.
The Diamond will feature 850 Down Fill + 40g Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation = 890 TurboDown.
So how does this new insulation stack up to the other products on the market?
So what does all this tech talk mean? Well its means that these jackets and other outerwear are super warm. Not to mention they are super light weight. We were all blown away by the concept of the new technology and super excited to try it when they came out later this year. In a way that only fate can bring during presentation of the TurboDown technology. All four seasons of #OmniTen were were gathered around a TV screen in a hotel suite in Park City Utah as the wind howled and snow was falling heavily. Little did we know Columbia had more in store for us. As the presentation concluded and a demo product had been passed around our attention was gathered on some of the staffers bringing in cardboard boxes. Inside those boxes were Diamond 890 TurboDown jackets for each of us. The entire group of adults turned into young children as if Santa Clause himself was delivering amazing Christmas presents.
For the next two days we all would be found wearing the jackets at every opportunity we could. Everything from Scaling ropes courses to VIP Events.
Look at all that TurboDown
The jackets are as advertised super warm and light weight. If you are looking to upgrade to a new puffy I would highly recommend looking at the new TurboDown line when it hits the market later this year. They will range in cost from $130 up to $325. With the cost of down ever growing and a continual drive for emerging technologies is needed Columbia has done a fantastic job of merging form function and design.
Reports of #omniten members using it on cool breezy nights in Arizona as well as the sub zero temps in the east coast. Do not just take it from me here are some comments from the other #omnicrew
The #OmniGames: On Preparing for the Unknown, Columbia Sportswear Turbodown Reveal, and the Start of the Games
The Big Reveal: The #OmniGames…and TurboDown!
#Omniten: Not Just About Gear. It’s About….
#TryingStuff at the #OmniGames, Part One: A Week in Two Days
Full Disclosure: The Diamond 890 TurboDown used in this review was provided to me by Columbia Sportswear as part of the #omniten #omnigames at no charge. This did not influence my review in any way. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own and were not guided in any manor.
Here is a look back at the 25 most popular posts of 2013.
1. 35 Reasons to Hike The Appalachian Trail
2. 2014 Backpacker Gift Guide – Hydration
3. Whats inside my emergency Kit
4. Asolo FSN 85 Boot Review
5. Armchair adventures 50 great documentaries 1 – 10
6. Gear Review – Hi-Tec Sierra Trek WP Boots
7. Adventures in Dehydrating – ground beef
8. Gear Review: RIBZ Front Pack
9. Timberland Radler Camp Shoe Review
10. 5 Reasons Why Hiking is Better Than Going to the Gym
11. 7 Types of Campers [InfoGraphic]
12. Backpack has been chosen: ULA Catalyst
13. Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Videos
14. A Guide To Cold Weather Winter Camping
15. Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 First Look
16. 10 things I learned about and from the Appalachian Trail
17. Gear Review: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2
18. Gear Review – Columbia Conspiracy™ OutDry Shoe
19. Gear Review: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1
20. 2014 Backpacker Gift Guide – Gadgets
21. On The AT Day 3
22. Trail Ready Fancy Raman – Recipe
23. My Tent and Sleeping Kit
24. On The AT Days 8 and 9
25. On the AT Days 24 – 25 – Headed Home
As the name implies a base layer is the inner most layering of the layering system that helps regulate your core temperature in both warm and cold conditions. A base layer helps regulate your core by pulling or wicking the moisture away from your body. It is worn so that the layer is touching your skin and is typically tight or form fitting. Base layers can be used in both cold and warm conditions. One thing to note is that each persons tolerance to the elements is different so this post will provide some simple general information. Depending on your level of activity as well as your tolerance to the elements will determine how many and what types of layers you might need.
Base Layer Materials
- CoolMax® or Polartec Power Dry®.
- Breathable and moisture wicking.
- Wicks moisture away from skin
- A durable polyester-based fabric available in several weights
- A polyester-based wicking fabric that is treated with chemicals to help spread out moisture to help it evaporate.
- Natural fibers
- Wicks moisture away from skin
- Has a natural antimicrobial called lanolin which prevents stink.
Suggested synthetic base layers
Suggested Merino base layers
I have both Merino Wool and synthetic and will use them independently or together depending on the weather or activities I am doing. Which type and brand of base layers do you use and why?
As a warning these are simply tips. The author of this site is not responsible any damage, personal injuries or death as a result of the use of any advice, gear or techniques discussed on this blog. All outdoor activities are carried out at your own risk.
1. Always take toilet paper with you.
If you are one who like to pack only baby wipes with you to clean once completing natures calling you might want to reconsider during winter trips. Baby wipes will freeze, and once thawed they will most definitely wake you up in the morning. I once had to hold my pack of baby wipes in my armpits to thaw them out in order to wipe. True story. This is why I recommend always taking toilet paper and baby wipes to use just in case your wipes get frozen.
2. Take water into your tent at night.
Some say that you take your water in with you at night. Some people will even sleep with it in their sleeping bags. This is all fun and games until you forget to tightly close your hydration bladder and it leaks everywhere. There is always one person in every group that this has happened too. Thankfully it was not me. I typically will place my water bladder or bottle up near my head as that is the safest place for items in my tent as I tent do roll and shift a lot in my sleet. If you are using a hydration system that has hoses also take those in with you. Having frozen hoses is also no fun.
3. Take your water filters into your tent at night.
Many of the filters on the market today if frozen can cause harm to the filter. A frozen filter is not what causes problems but instead it is what happens when it thaws. It can seize up or crack creating the potential for you to become sick after drinking contaminated water. If you use a chemical treatment make sure that freezing does not harm its effectiveness.
4. Pick up fuel canister immediately after turning off.
When you are in near freezing or below freezing temps fuel canisters can become frozen to the ground or objects after use. These fuel cans are used by many light weight backpacking stoves and contain isopro gas cool down instantly after use. When in cold temps they cool down so much that any air or moisture that might be trapped under the can will create a seal against the object it is sitting on. I have seen them get stuck to the ground, wood tables, and metal objects. To fix the problem simply remove your pot of boiling water and sit it down. Pick up the stove and fuel canister before turning it off. Turn off the stove and hold for 30 seconds or so. The canister will quickly accumulate to the outside temps.
5. Start Moving it will warm you up.
We wake up all warm in our sleeping bags and dread having to get up and out. Just remind yourself that the more you move the more you will warm up. You might be silly dancing around waiting for your water to boil in the morning but you are creating body heat. Do several pushups, run in place, or even do a little dance. All will get your blood pumping and your body warming up.
6. Eat a cold breakfast and stop to have a warm snack down the trail.
Many backpackers will have some type of cold breakfast such as a energy bar or a pop tart. They will then hike long enough to warm up some let the water thaw out and then stop on the trail for a warm beverage and warm food. This can get you out of camp and onto the trail quicker since there is no time needed to prep food and boil water. This is not a strategy for everyone. Some folks simply do not like to stop and cook once they have started.
7. Use your body heat to thaw out water or keep items warm.
Similar to taking your water into the tent simply place any item you need to keep warm or thaw out inside your inner most layer against your skin. It is going to be super cold at first but as you continue to move whatever you are warming up will gradually thaw or stay warm. Keep in mind however that you need to make sure that your core is warm because if it is not this could push you into hypothermia if you are not careful.
8. Electronics can freeze keep them warm.
Batteries and your electronic devices can freeze and exposure to the cold can cause them to stop working. A large percentage of the time the devices stop working due to the energy being sucked out by the cold. Keep your electronics especially ones you may need to reply on in an emergency such as phones, GPS devices, or locator beacons in pockets closest to your body. Make sure to put them in waterproof bags to ensure your sweat does not hurt them. Also keeping them with you at night in your tent or even inside your sleeping bag is also a good idea.
9. Layers are you friend.
Layering your clothing is a must for cold weather activities especially backpacking and hiking. Each persons natural thermostat is different so you will have to experiment with which layers work for you. The most common layering system is to use is broken down into 3 parts. A base layer, mid layer, and shell. I typically will use the following:
Base layer: merino wool or synthetic base layer pants and shirt.
Mid Layer: A long sleeve hiking shirt and hiking pants
Mid Layer: A light weight down jacket or fleece.
Shell: hard shell / rain coat to shield from wind and moisture.
10. Keep yourself hydrated and full of energy.
No matter the time of year or the temperature you need to keep yourself hydrated and your gas tank full of much needed calories. Many people think that because it is cold you will not sweat or become dehydrated but it is very easy to become dehydrated during the winter months. You will need to also stock up on those much needed calories during your meals and snacks because your body is working overtime to keep your body warm and your blood pumping.
Do you have any winter backpacking and hiking tips? How do you keep yourself and your gear warm during the cold months?
Over the past week or so I have put together some gear gifts ideas. Here are all of those posts in case you missed them.
Do you have any of these items on my gift lists? What do you think of them?
1. Geiger Rig Hydration Systems
The award-winning pressurized GEIGERRIG Hydration System allows you to spray water to hydrate, share, clean, cool, etc.–anything you need. The pressurization enables convenient in-line plug-and-play filtration for on-the-go access to natural fresh water sources. When you are done, simply flip your Hydration Engine inside out and place it on the top shelf of the dishwasher for easy cleaning and drying.
Made with Ballistic Nylon material that was built to handle anything you can throw at it. Put it to the test buy one today.
2. Platypus Gravity Works
Using revolutionary Hollow Fiber technology and a little physics, the Platypus CleanStream™ microfilter system treats 4L of water in less than 2.5 minutes – all without a single pump stroke. Need a lot of water? Just refill the Dirty side – even before the Clean side is empty and you’ll be automatically refilling as you go. A quick-disconnect fitting allows for easy removal and filling of the Dirty reservoir and back flushing for optimal performance is as easy as changing the height of the reservoirs. It’s lightweight enough for two, and efficient enough for a whole group. Learn more about this awesome filter system.
LifeStraw is the award-winning personal water filter, designed to provide you with safe, clean drinking water in any situation. An ideal water filter for hiking & camping, travel, emergency preparedness & survival, the LifeStraw makes contaminated or suspect water safe to drink. LifeStraw surpasses EPA guidelines for E. coli, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium oocysts, rigorous standards for water filtration. Learn how you can buy a LifeStraw and donate clean water.
4. Purify Cup Filter
PurifiCup eliminates more than 600 kinds of bacteria, providing you safe and clean drinking water worry-free. PurifiCup is a portable water filtration system perfect for travelers or for outdoor enthusiasts such as hunters, hikers, campers, boaters and anglers. PurifiCup’s world-patented design uses a silver membrane filter to eliminates up to 99.99% of bacteria, parasites, and pathogens such as E.coli, giardia, crypto, etc. Read my review of the PurifiCup and add one of these to your backpackers emergency kit today.
5. Humangear capCAP
capCAP is the civilized 2-in-1 accessory cap for Nalgene, CamelBak, and other popular wide-mouth drink bottles. Most wide-mouth bottles are easy to fill and clean, but the standard opening is too big to drink from easily without spilling.
capCAP offers the best of both worlds. Drink spill-free through the small spout, and then clean and fill easily with the large cap. The rubberized small cap (available in green or blue) is easy to grip, even with gloves on. Slim down all those wide mouth bottles this holiday season with a capcap.
6. Jetflow Hydration
Jetflow Hydration System, simply attach your favorite beverage’s bottle directly to the hydration system, and you’re ready to hit the trail. There is no bladder to clean and maintain. And because you’re drinking directly from the beverage bottle, you’ll enjoy clean, fresh contaminate-free water or sports drinks. Made in USA.
Read this awesome review and get your Jetflow Pack today!
7. Camelbak All Clear UV Bottle
CamelBak All Clear™, is a powerful UV purification system. All Clear uses proven UV technology that turns any tap or clear natural water into potable drinking water in just 60 seconds. Fast, effective and backed by the Got Your Bak™ Lifetime Guarantee, CamelBak All Clear maximizes UV exposure for drinking water you can trust.
The All Clear UV Purification System is perfect for Aid Workers, International Travel and Backcountry Travel. Check out the CamelBak website for more tech specs and watch it in action!
We all like to draw our water from nature when camping or hiking, but even a stream that looks clean may not be. Microorganisms most often come from animal and human waste and are spread by water run-off. SteriPen utilizes the latest in UV filtration technology to kill those harmful organisms allowing you to drink harm free water. Check out the entire line of SteriPen Products today.
9.”The Original” Klean Kanteen Water Bottle
The original 18/8 stainless bottle designed to be the healthy alternative to polycarbonate and lined-aluminum reusable bottles. From the onset; free of BPA, Phthalates, lead or other toxins. Today, our Classic line continues to be revered by many for its iconic place in history and for it’s durability and prolonged performance.
The Classic is safe and toxin-free, and doesn’t retain or impart flavors. No matter how many times it is filled, or what is put into it, these Kanteens keep drinks fresh and clean tasting. With a variety of cap and color options. Check out the entire Klean Kanteens today!
10. Vapur Anti-Bottle Element
The Element is a performance water bottle created for running, climbing and even the most extreme sports. The widemouth of the flip-top SuperCap equips it for even greater gulp-ability. With a stronger, integrated attachment clip built into the cap, the Element hangs on tight during high adventure and variable ground. The lightweight, portable, ultra-durable design of the Element makes it a favorite of both urban and outdoor runners. Check out the entire line of Anti-Bottles now!
Is the backpacker in your family always looking for the latest technology to hit the trail with? Here are some ideas to help gear up your gadget geek.
1. Goal Zero Solar Chargers and kits.
Keep talking, emailing, surfing, and always stay moving. The Goal Zero Switch 8 Recharging Kit is an ultra-lightweight power supply and foldable solar panel that recharges smartphones and USB gear anywhere. It’s the perfect pocket-sized companion and won’t weigh you down, only charge you up so you always stay connected. This is just one of the many options that Goal Zero has in their tool kit. Everything from charging small stuff to keeping your base camp charged and running. Check out all of their products now!.
2. Spot Gen3
When your adventures take you beyond cell service, SPOT Gen3 lets family and friends know you’re ok or sends emergency responders your GPS location, all at the push of a button. Add this rugged, pocket-sized device to your essential gear and stay connected wherever you roam. Long live adventure. The Spot products range from simple tracking devices for your vehicles all the way up to a GPS phone. Check out the entire product line here.
3. New Trent PowerPak Xtreme
The PowerPak Xtreme acts like a tank without feeling like one. Weighing in at just 9 ounces, it’s a heavy-hitter with 12,000 mAh of charge capacity and dual USB ports. Designed by the adventurer, for the adventurer. The PowerPak Xtreme was built for extreme conditions and environments. The PowerPak Xtreme is waterproof when submerged 3 feet for up to an hour. This device can easily handle impact and drops of up to one meter. To learn more about this device and the other products by New Trent check out The New Trent site today.
4. Hit Case
Turn your iPhone 4 and 5 into a fully waterproof and drop resistant case. It keeps out the dust and can be submerged to depths of up to 30 feet. The case can be mounted to several different mounts created specifically for the Hitcase. It can also fit onto any standard tripod head with a simple included attachment. Great for capturing your adventures while hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and so much more. View the entire line of Hitcase cases and accessories today.
5. BioLite CampStove
Cook your meals with nothing but the twigs you collect on your journey, eliminating the need for heavy, expensive, polluting petroleum gas. Quick to light, fast to boil and easy to use.
Converting heat from the fire into usable electricity, the BioLite CampStove will recharge your phones, lights and other gadgets while you cook dinner. Unlike solar, BioLite CampStove is a true on-demand source.
To learn more about how the technology works and to see their entire line of products visit their website today.
6. GoPro Cameras
Capture all your adventures with this high definition light weight nearly bombproof camera system.
Born from a passion to capture your adventures from your perspective. The GoPro line of cameras are the most advanced lightweight adventure cameras on the market. Driven by adventure there are attachments and mounts for almost every scenario you can dream up. Check out their entire line of cameras today.
7. Black Diamond ReVolt rechargeable headlamp
The Black Diamond ReVolt rechargeable headlamp is the perfect for the adventure geek that is always on the go. Recharge virtually anywhere that can charge USB devices. Everything from your desktop, laptop, solar panel, wall socket, or vehicle will work. You can also choose to use standard batteries if you are in a pinch.
1 TriplePower LED, 2 SinglePower white LEDs, and 2 SinglePower red LEDs provide whatever level of brightness you need. 12 hr. burn time on max setting with rechargeable batteries 70 hr. on max setting with alkaline batteries. Check out all of the tech info.
8. The Power Pot V
Need to juice up your mobile device? Use this clever multi-use put to make dinner and charge your devices. Charges cell phone in 60-90 minutes. Just as fast as your wall outlet. Use to power any USB handheld device. Works over any heat source (including open flame). See the entire product line and tech specs at the Power Pot Website.
9. Aquapac Waterproof Camera Cases
The Aquapac waterproof camera cases are built with shooting photos in mind. The cases allow for full functionality of the cameras while inside the cases. they can even be used underwater.
The cases also protect the cameras from dust, dirt, and sand. They however will not protect the camera if dropped on hard objects such as the ground.
Aquapac waterproof cases will work with most DSLR and point and shoot cameras as well as camcorders. Find out which case works with your camera on the Aqupac website.
10. E-case waterproof mobile device and tablet cases
Designed to accommodate the latest smartphones and tablets. E-case guarantees protection from threatening environmental conditions without sacrificing use of your device. And like all our cases, lash points let you tether it to your apparel, pack or PDF for security whatever the adventure. Find the right case for your device today.