In an earlier post I took at the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1. The Fly Creek UL 2 is identical in shape form and function. The only real differences you will notice is the size. The UL 2 gives you a considerable larger living space. The tent was very easy to set up and it did so very quickly. This tent was provided to me on loan from Chris over at TheGearHouse.com. In full disclosure I did not pay for the tents they were loaned to me for testing and then returned shortly after the review.
Tech Specs of the Fly Creek UL 2
|Fly Creek UL 2||Specifications|
|Trail Weight||2lb 2oz|
|Packed Weight||2lb 10oz|
|Fast Fly Weight||1lb 11oz|
|Packed Size||6″ x 19″|
|Floor Area||28sq ft|
|Vestibule Area||7sq ft|
On the inside there was enough room for myself and all of my gear plus I still had room under the vestibule. This tent was much easier to get into and out of than the UL 1. I was also had more room to change clothes and felt less inclosed like I had in the UL 1. One thing you do get with the larger space and more fabric is more weight. Even then the weight is only an additional 7 oz of total packed weight.
A look at the Inside of the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2
Fly Creek UL 2 set up with rain fly.
Overall this was a great small roomy light weight tent that I will be taking with me on my John Muir Trail in July. To learn more about the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 you can visit the Big Agnes Website. Do you have this tent or have you used one before? I would love to hear what you have to say.
Air mattress explodes as you crawl into your sleeping bag long cold sleepless nights. – “You chose to be out here and its better than sitting in a cube”
Sleeping bag zipper breaks and there are several cold sleepless nights -”You are still warm enough not to be in serious danger. You chose to be out here”
Wake up to freezing drizzle and you must continue on. – “LETS DO THIS”
Half way up a massive up and fading fast. – “Just keep hiking …. left foot right foot …. count your steps and rest after 30″
Those were some examples of how I kept myself going during some of the hardest times of my adventure. As long as you can stay positive anything can be accomplished. If you begin to fade into that black hole of negative attitude your mind will tear you apart both physically and mentally. So how do you keep positive even during the hardest times? Each person is different and they have their own techniques. I can not tell you how to do it or even suggest methods because everyone is different. What I can tell you is that everyone goes through these times on the AT. Some have lots of little moments others have several big moments that change their trip completely. None of the items above were huge but put them all together and they can weigh on you heavily.
The toughest time on the trail was the night my tent leaked and I was forced to stand under an awning for hours. At first I was upset and angry my tent had leaked. My feelings then morphed into trying to stay warm and semi dry. Eventually the whole situation became funny. Regardless of the problems at hand it was still better than being stuck in a cube in my past life. Staying positive is mostly about the perspective you look at things with. Just remember “it could always be worse” and “there is someone else worse off than you”.
How do you stay positive during tough situations?
When planning to go on an backpacking adventure for several months or even several weeks you have to take everything you own and find most near and dear with you. All of that must be placed in your backpack. The challenge is that you can only take what is necessary, what fits, and does not weight a ton. When doing this I began to find that many of my possessions became trivial or not needed and found having less stuff made not only moving easier but my life felt less cluttered. While finding out what was most important to me possessions wise I began to look at things differently. I started to do the same thing with memories emotions and the like. Things that bothered me in the past became trivial and let go. In doing so a clean feeling began to appear. A feeling that plants must feel after a nice gentle rain passes through. (more…)
Recently I had the opportunity to test out the The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Tent and the bigger brother the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2. The tents were provided to me on loan from Chris over at TheGearHouse.com. In full disclosure I did not pay for the tents they were loaned to me for testing and then returned shortly after the review.
The Fly Creek UL 1 is a great little tent. It sets up and tears down quickly. Weighing in at a packed weight of two pounds three ounces puts this tent at one of the lightest on the market. It packs down into a very small package so you can tuck it away in your pack. One thing I would recommend is to not pack the poles and stakes with the tent when you pack it up in your backpack.
My only issue with the tent is size. I am not a huge person, but found it a little hard to change clothes or maneuver around the inside of the tent without bumping the sides. I had plenty of room to sleep and did not feel claustrophobic once i laid down. I do understand it is a 1 man tent and if you do not mind small spaces you can’t beat the weight of the tent for the space you do get.
Tech Specs of the Fly Creek UL 1
| Fly Creek UL1||Specifications|
|Trail Weight||1lb 14oz|
|Packed Weight||2lb 3oz|
|Fast Fly Weight||1lb 6oz|
|Floor Area||22sq ft|
|Vestibule Area||5.5sq ft|
View of the inside of the Fly Creek UL 1 with rain fly on and off.
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 set up with rain fly on.
Overall its a great backpacking tent. Sturdy light weight and all around great tent. I would honestly consider purchasing this tent if it had a little bit more room. Do you have this tent or have you used one before?
To learn more about this tent check out TheGearHouse.com for more information.
Happy Trails and Happy Camping.
There has been a large debate ever since the creation of portable music devices. The heart of the debate is whether or not you should listen to music while you hike. My personal opinion on the matter is that of to each their own. I typically do not listen to music while hiking, but having it available and using it every now and again is great for getting you out of some funky days or times. A lot of it boils down to what makes you comfortable while out on a hike. If I am hiking in a place where there might be mountain bikers or is heavily traveled by hikers I will hike with one ear bud in and one out. This is so I can hear when people come up from behind and want to pass.
If you were to take a look at my music library there is no real theme other than music. I collect music so there is everything from Classical to Pop and everything in between. There are a few exceptions however. I am not a huge fan of the metal genre or rap. I also find myself creating sound tracks based on moods or even themes like using the word hike or walk.
There were several times on the AT where I found that it was just me out there between points a and b and needed some kind of boost. During those times it was nice to pop in my ear buds or even just play without head phones. I will say that natures sound track could use a bit of a mash up with your favorite tunes. It is also neat to have your own soundtrack. One thing I would like to stress is that that just because you like it does not mean everyone else does. When I had my music blaring out of my pocket I had not seen another human for hours that day. Just remember to be aware of your surroundings and be courteous to other people.
Do you hike or trail run with music? If you do what do you listen to? If not why do you prefer not to?
The weekend of May 10th, an old college friend and myself headed a few hours east of Kansas city to Knob Noster State Park. The goal of the weekend was to hang out, catch up, test some gear, and have fun. The weather could not have been better for the weekend. Low forties for the lows and high sixties to low seventies for the highs. Perfect temperatures for tent camping. We left my place around noon and picked up a few last minute items and grabbed lunch before heading out of town.
The park was relatively empty when we arrived with a few RVs and spots taken for the weekend. We arrived set up camp and headed out for a quick hike before dinner. The hike was a nice one and a half mile loop and was a perfect warmup for the weekend. The trail ended at the park office and as we walked through the campground to our site in the back the entire place had filled up almost completely while we were out hiking. We built a fire had dinner and just chatted the rest of the evening.
I had heard of Knob Noster the town and had visited Whiteman Air Force base, but this was my first time to the park. Overall its a great park and I recommend going if you are in the area. It is quite small and only has a handful of trail to hike. We grabbed some maps from one of the trail heads, but they ended up being incorrect and the longest trail was 6 miles.
View of the trail.
Testing tents. Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 (on left) and Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 (on right)
The first night I opted to test out the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 tent. I will not spoil my thoughts on the tent but it was easy to set both of the Big Agnes Fly Creek tents and they are quality shelters. The other gear that I tested the next day was the RIBZ Front Pack. We hiked several trails and were able to get in about 8 miles that day. There is not a whole lot to do at Knob Noster state park if you go there to hike. It is great for folks who camp in RVs or campers because its quiet and allows you to just enjoy whatever you RV folks do. A great weekend catching up and testing gear. Also did some research on possible locations for other hiking and camping trips later in the summer.
Ribz Front Pack
There are several ponds to fish in at Knob Noster State Park
To view more photos of the weekend please check out the Knob Noster Photo Gallery.
This past weekend I got to experience testing out my first ever front pack. The pack that I was able to test was a RIBZ Front Pack. Before I get into the review let me take a brief moment to explain what a front pack is.
A front pack is a bag or pack that allows for easy access to important equipment from the persons waist or chest. These have become very popular in Europe however they are quite new to the outdoors in America. The front pack not only provides ease of access to your essential gear but it also provides a counter weight if worn with a backpack.
The RIBZ Front Pack uses a unique harness system to allow for the weight distribution allowing the pack to be comfortable as a stand alone or used in addition to any backpack. It also allows for the weight in the RIBZ Front Pack to be distributed comfortably and even. One thing about the RIBZ Front Pack is that the harness system can not be removed to be used with a backpack. (more…)
Give people enough time and they will surprise you.
In my last post I talked about community. Today I want to talk about people. There are always people who will rub you the wrong way and then there are others who you will more naturally gravitate towards. On the AT you can always hike on your own and you can choose to camp on your own but if you camp near or in the shelters you are stuck with those people for the night. Being stuck with some people is not always a bad thing. (more…)