2013 Staff Picks

As we close out the year, take a minute and see which gear our staff uses often.

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by BackpackingLight.com Staff | 2013-12-27 00:00:00-07

As we close out the year, the BPL staff would like to share our favorite gear with you! These items are not a formal endorsement but rather a list of gear that our staffers use often. This year we have asked our staff to send us their choices related to ultralight backpacking, an outdoor activity, and an item related to their lifestyle.

Add your favorites in the forum below!

Dave Chenault

Ultralight Backpacking item: LaSportiva Anakonda

 - 1
Taking a rest on the trail and admiring the shoes.

The Anakondas are perilously close to my ideal backpacking shoe.  They have close to unequaled traction under all conditions.  They have just enough padding and stiffness.  They absorb little water and drain fast.  The uppers are acceptably durable, by which I mean they'll last about as long as the sole tread, which has heretofore been the shortcoming of every comparable shoe.  My only issues are that that the minimally padded heal cup is a bit too unyielding, and that they're expensive.  I need to wear at least moderately padded socks or I get pinch blisters, and money spent on good shoes is the best way to spend gear funds.  They won't fit paddle feet, but those folks are catered to by many companies and don't have my sympathy.  If LaSportiva fixes the heel cup, I'll have a pair of trail shoes as good as current technology allows, which after years of thrashing sub-standard shoes will be a strange sensation.

Weight: 12 oz per shoe in size 45 MSRP: $125

Outdoor activity item: Browning Citori 725 Feather 12 gauge shotgun

 - 2
The gun and the latest kill.

In all fairness I didn't backpack much with this paragon of function aesthetics, but I did hike enough miles carrying it this fall to get mild tendonitis in my left elbow.  It killed a turkey, a number of squirrels and grouse, and a whitetail.  The attention to flawless detail is amazing, and if it fits you as well as it fits me, you'll get to experience a thoughtless union with a material object which is exceedingly rare (my only other comparable example is my Werner paddle, nominated here two years ago).  Function alone doesn't justify the sky-high price, my H&R single shot would have in most cases done the job just as well at 1/15th the price.  But in a world where cheap, virtual experience has become the norm, some things are just worth the money.

Weight: 6 lbs 5 oz with 26 in barrels MSRP: ~$2,000 street price

Lifestyle item: 2011 Salsa Mukluk

 - 3
Biking on a riverbed - a challenge without the right gear.

I got bored with mountain biking a few years ago, and it had nothing to do with riding.  Rather, the experience of being hemmed in on singletrack and dirt roads couldn't keep up with packrafting and alpine ridge traverses.  Then I got a fatbike, and the world changed.  I did beach trips.  I rode the Flathead River corridor in early spring, pedaling gravel bars, flood channels, and game trails.  Thanks to that change in perspective, this year I fatbiked wilderness trails almost unrideable on conventional bikes, and on a four day trip hiked my normal mountain over two 11,000 foot passes in the snows of early summer to link up rideable roads and trails.  In even the most crowded areas there is no lack of fresh and interesting terrain, only a lack of fresh ways of seeing it.  If a tool like a fatbike helps you do that, embrace it and be grateful.  I'm not convinced there's anything especially special about the Mukluk, other than that I found one at the right price at the right time.  Fatbikes are exploding in popularity, which is driving down prices, making this a good time to buy.  Most riders aren't using them to their potential, but no matter where you live that potential is available, waiting to be unlocked if you can see it.

Weight: 25 to 35 lbs complete depending on the build MSRP: $400 to 500 for a comparable frameset in a increasingly competitive marketplace

Daniel Paladino

Ultralight Backpacking Item: Tenkara USA Amago Rod

 - 4
Tenkara USA Amago Rod.

With no prior fishing experience, I decided to try the Amago on the blue ribbon trout streams of southwest Montana. I caught a beautiful little rainbow on my first outing. The addiction was born. From then on, my lightweight backpacking trips quickly transformed into lightweight fishing trips. The Amago, Tenkara USA’s ‘big fish’ rod, has landed me everything from tiny feisty Brown Trout in small fast moving streams, to big lazy Goldens in the high alpine lakes of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. If you’re looking for a do-it-all beginner Tenkara rod that can handle larger fish, you can’t go wrong with the Amago.

Weight: 3.5 oz MSRP: $169.00

Outdoor activity item: Mystery Ranch BlackJack Pack

 - 5
Mystery Ranch BlackJack Pack.

No single piece of gear should be relied on to save your life in an avalanche. Experience, knowledge of the conditions, and a good, trustworthy partner are your best bet. With that being said, more and more research is pointing to avalanche airbag packs as the best tool to improve your chances of survival if you are caught in a slide. The Mystery Ranch Blackjack, lovingly built in Bozeman, Montana, uses a compressed air system triggered by a ripcord on the harness, to inflate a 150-liter airbag in 3 seconds. The airbag increases the volume of the skier, helping to keep them afloat in fast moving avalanche debris. With 43 L of volume, the Blackjack is plenty big for an overnight hut trip and its 200 denier fabric, coated with porcelain dots in high abrasion areas, ensures that the pack will live up to the durability I’ve come to expect from Mystery Ranch.

Weight: 7.8 lbs MSRP: $1,025

Lifestyle item: Survival Education

 - 6
Education hard at work.

Whether a taking a Wilderness First Responder course or an Avalanche Safety course, the utility of education and mental preparedness go much further than any piece of gear. A well-furnished backcountry kit is useless if the person using it lacks basic or technical survival skills. These classes can better prepare you for the unpredictable nature of the sports we participate in, and they’re often relatively affordable. The avalanche safety courses I’ve completed over the last five years have turned out to be the most useful piece of “gear” I could imagine. Perhaps we should forgo that new pack or those shiny new skis, and instead invest in something intangible, that could potentially save a life.

Weight: none MSRP: varies

Kevin Sawchuk

Ultralight Backpacking Item: GoLite Shangri-La 8+

 - 7
GoLite Shangri La and a stunning campground.

I love the Shangri-La as a lightweight family tent.  One of my favorite memories is of playing cards in this tent with my family during a windy rain/hail/lightening storm at Moose Lake in King's Canyon.

Weight: 3 lbs 2o z for body only, stock poles 1 lb 13 oz, stock stakes 5 oz each for a total of 5 lbs 4oz. Using your own trekking poles as poles save nearly 2 lbs.  MSRP: $540 when sold – not available for several years

Outdoor Activity Item: The Hoka One One Stinson B

 - 8
Hoka One One Stinson B.

The Hoka One One Stinson B adds cushioning in a shoe with only 6 mm of "drop".  This lets me hammer hard on rocky downhills while protecting my feet and legs.

Weight: 10 oz each MSRP: $170

Lifestyle Item: Trigger Point Foam Roller

 - 9
Trigger Point Foam Roller.

I'm a runner and recovery--including stretching and using my foam roller--is critical to working out the kinks and tight muscles that cause injury and worsen performance.  There are a lot of choices but the trigger point foam roller is firm and durable.  It comes in several sizes including a 5 in travel size.

Weight: 1 lb 5 oz MSRP: $40

Damien Tougas

Ultralight Backpacking Item: Rab Xenon synthetic puffy jacket

 - 10
Rab Xenon synthetic puffy jacket.

The Rab Xenon is light, warm, water resistant, and low profile enough that it fits nicely under my rain shell. I find myself taking this thing everywhere, not just backpacking. When a piece of gear makes its way from my pack to my daily life, I know it is a keeper.

Weight: 10.5 oz (298 g) MSRP:  $200 MSRP

Outdoor Activity Item: Black Diamond Carbon Cork trekking poles

 - 11
Adjusting the Black Diamond Carbon Cork trekking poles.

Although not the lightest poles out there, they are tough. I abuse them hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, and backcountry skiing. I appreciate the all-season versatility and durability they bring in a relatively lightweight package.

Weight: 1 lb 7.9 oz (678 g) for the pair MSRP: $160 MSRP

Lifestyle Item: Markdown

 - 12
My staff picks contribution in the Markdown plain text editor.

I love the simplicity of a plain text editor for writing and taking notes. By doing this I am ensured that my documents can be written anywhere, read anywhere, buy anyone, on any device without any problems. Markdown is a simple text-based format for marking-up plain text with headings, underlines, bullet points, links, images, etc. By passing Markdown text through a simple processor, you can instantly turn it into well formed HTML for publishing on the web, printing, PDF, etc. A fantastic, simple tool that I use every day. Future proof, and open source.

Weight: 0 oz (0 g) MSRP: $0

Doug Johnson

Ultralight Backpacking item: Northern Lites Backcountry Snowshoes

 - 13
Northern Lites Backcountry Snowshoes.

I have had my Northern Lites snowshoes for over 10 years now.  I love snowshoeing and I use snowshoes hard- jumping off small cliffs, climbing across frozen rocks, and using my snowmobile to access the really deep Washington snow.  In the past I've broken more than one pair of good snowshoes, but that ended with Northern Lites.  These things are STRONG!  But much like a carbon fiber mountain bike, these snowshoes are strong AND light.  In fact, these are about as light as you get- my 30" snowshoes weigh just 45.3 oz (1285 g).  In the world of snowshoes, that qualifies as "wicked light".  (They're even lighter than the Crescent Moon Rocket Carbon Fiber racing snowshoes, and the Rockets are much smaller.)  The binding on the Northern Lites is simple, but it works.  The crampon can be a bit minimal when on high alpine ice, but everywhere else, they are great and don't pack with snow.  I love the Northern Lites snowshoes.  They retail for $269 with the 30 in Quicksliver model at $199.

Weight: 45.3 oz (1285 g) MSRP: $199.

Outdoor Activity Item: Northern Lites Youth Snowshoes

 - 14
My kids using their shoes for some outdoor fun.

No, I don't work for the company, but last year I discovered the new Northern Lites Youth snowshoes and now my kids both have a pair.  Very similar to the adult models but with cheaper materials to keep costs down, these snowshoes absolutely smoke all other kids snowshoes that are on the market.  Weighing in at 28.0 oz (794 g), the only thing lighter are toddler snowshoes and the quality and durability matches my adult snowshoes.  At $94, they are just a tad more expensive than other kids' snowshoes.  This an excellent piece of kid gear that will be passed between family members for years and years.

Weight: 28.0 oz (794 g) MSRP: $94

Lifestyle Item: Bike commuting

 - 15
My bike!

This year my family moved to a new town, cutting my daily commute from 2 hours to 20 minutes.  It has been a life-changer.  It also cut my bike commute to just 6 miles, which I can do almost every day.  I added a Tubus Fly rack, some SKS Raceblade fenders, and a set of Exposure lights to my carbon road bike, and I'm speed commuting more often than not.  Getting in a bit of exercise, saving money, and easing stress by commuting on a 16 lbs race bike- I love it!

Eric Vann

Ultralight Backpacking item: Patagonia M10 Rainjacket

 - 16
Fishing at Heather Lake.

Whether it is raining or windy, I have found my Patagonia rainjacket to be very reliable and adaptable. I wore it this summer on packrafting trips as a dry top of sorts, I’ve used it in torrential rains between classes at my university, and as a windbreaker when hunting this fall. Not only is it exceptionally waterproof but it is durable and lightweight. I have been impressed and am grateful for the comfort it offers as I enjoy the outdoors.

Weight: 8.1 oz MSRP: $350

Outdoor Activity Item: Switch Necky Kayak

 - 17
My kayak wishing it was out on the river.

My newest outdoor passion is river sports. While I want to start packrafting more I really have enjoyed doing some frontcoutnry boating in my kayak. I have really enjoyed being on the water and going through the process of improving. It has been awhile since I have really started learning a brand new skill, and facing my fears and becoming better has not only helped me enjoy kayaking but helped me become better in all areas of my life. Additionally, kayaking prepares me for any packrafting trips I might take as it helps me become comfortable on the river and learn the strokes for safe river navigation.

Weight: Too heavy for backpacking MSRP: ~ $250

Lifestyle Item: Journaling

 - 18
A journal.

Journaling has really helped me crystallize my thoughts and I have found that I am really able to improve as a person by writing down what I did well and what I could do better each day. I go through phases, some stretches I’ll journal every day and other periods I won’t at all. Regardless, when I need to help resolve a conflict in my mind I resort to this tactic to help me figure things out. I don't usually bring a lightweight one with me when I go backpacking but that is definitely something I would recommend to help you remember your trip.

Weight: a few ounces MSRP: a few bucks

Ryan Jordan

Ultralight Backpacking item: Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid

 - 19
Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid and a nice campsite in the High Sierras.

I spent more nights in the UltaMid in 2013 than in any other shelter - always with a partner. For many years, I've been waiting for a pyramid made of Cuben Fiber (no stretching in response to temperature!) that was big enough for pals and light enough, and strong enough, for expedition use. The UltaMid was the answer.

Weight: 22 oz (4-man version) MSRP: $800

Outdoor Activity Item: Werner Sherpa

 - 20
Celebrating a great packrafting trip on the Swan River.

The biggest change I made in my whitewater paddling this year was moving to a shorter kayak paddle with a larger blade. This has forced me into learning more efficient paddling techniques, which in turn allowed me to run harder water with more confidence. I've thoroughly abused my Sherpa and other than a few scratches, it looks and feels new, even after hundreds of runs (photo: Swan River).

Weight: 41 oz (4 pc, Fiberglass, 194 cm) MSRP: $300

Lifestyle Item: Grand Teton National Park

 - 21
Grand Teton National Park.

I'm a sucker for living on the road, and one of our family's favorite vagabond destinations is only a few hours south of home: Grand Teton National Park. There may be nowhere else in the world that offers the density of opportunity for camping, hiking, rock and ice climbing, packrafting, fly fishing, big game wildlife watching, backcountry skiing, and backpacking (photo: Gros Ventre Campground).

Weight: 0, other than the Annual Pass weight. MSRP: $80 (Interagency Annual Pass)

Will Rietveld

Ultralight Backpacking item: Trail Designs Caldera Keg-F

 - 22
On the trail making some food.

I have been using the Trail Designs Caldera system since it first came out. Basically the cook pot is enclosed and supported by the windscreen, which holds it the correct distance above an alcohol burner. The Caldera Keg-F is their lightest system because it utilizes a Foster’s 25.4 oz beer can as a cook pot. The complete system as purchased weights just 6.3 oz, and I strip it down (sans caddy and beerbands) to just 4.25 oz contained in a plastic bag. The Trail Designs Caldera cooking system has revolutionized backcountry cooking with an alcohol burner because of its lightweight, efficiency, and dependability.

Weight: 6.3 oz MSRP: $60

Outdoor Activity Item: Backcountry Nordic Skiing

 - 23
Enjoying the fresh snow.

When winter comes my outdoor time is split between backcountry skiing in the mountains and hiking in dryer places of the Southwest. I prefer a lightweight ski with lots of sidecut and 100-120 ml of width at the tips, a fishscale pattern in the center, NNN-BC bindings, and leather boots. This lightweight and versatile ski system is ideal for touring and telemark turning in consolidated powder snow on moderate terrain. Although I shy away from developed ski areas, I still like doing lots of downhill, like skiing through the trees and meadows from the top of a mountain pass to near the bottom.

Lifestyle Item: A Hot Tub Soak After an Outdoors Trip

Nothing is more soothing than soaking in 105F water after skiing all day or after a hiking trip. Our tub is indoors to conserve energy and we use it only fall-winter-spring.

Weight: Far too heavy for backpacking but natural hotsprings are common throughout the world. Perhaps you can plan your route around one of those. MSRP: Priceless.


Citation

"2013 Staff Picks," by BackpackingLight.com Staff. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/2013-staff-picks.html, 2013-12-27 00:00:00-07.

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Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » 2013 Staff Picks


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Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 09:40:22 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

2013 Staff Picks

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: The Gore Range
Re: 2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 13:32:50 MST Print View

Wait. Did Dave Chenault really just admit to fatbiking on gametrails and on wilderness trails? ...yikes.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 14:24:44 MST Print View

Very disapointed. Hardly any backpacking items listed, and when there were, some were discontinued? What gives? Is this Backpacking light or Packrafting/Bikepacking/"Lifelist Planning"/Hunting Light??

Edited by bigfoot2 on 01/22/2014 08:59:41 MST.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: 2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 14:53:43 MST Print View

If Dave's Browning is feeling harassed, it's because I've been sending it cat-calls since I read this article. That is one sexy boomstick but as the price tag is greater than a 10-22, Remi.308, and a Mossberg 500 combined (probably could get a new Glock while I'm at it), I'll have to stay in the cheap seats and live vicariously through Dave's experience with this shotgun. Nice piece of iron though; happy hunting.

Daniel,

I've promised my daughter a Tenkara rod before next summer but I'm not sure if I'm going to get her the Iwana or the Amago. I realize a thorough review is outside the scope of this article but it'd be interesting to hear which line you are using with this rod and if you stick with traditional Tenkara flies or not.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: 2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 15:12:52 MST Print View

\? Lifestyle item \?

I was relieved when I read the choices.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 15:28:23 MST Print View

I'm not looking for new gear at this point so have only a theoretical interest here. However, i agree that very few of these items are backpacking-related. As for shoes, since shoe fit is so individual, and I have really weird feet, I have always ignored shoe recommendations. I still have one unused pair of the old (pre Columbia Sportswear takeover) Montrail Hardrocks which will keep me shod for another year.

On the other hand, I don't think I've ever bought any of the past BPL staff picks, except for a very few items that I bought before BPL staff recommended them.

Edited by hikinggranny on 12/26/2013 15:29:12 MST.

Alice Hengst
(Moondust) - MLife

Locale: Southern Sierras
re 2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 15:55:51 MST Print View

These were probably the least helpful picks ever, here or on any other hiking site. Let's summarize what's on the list (* denotes hiking or backpacking gear I might be interested in):

shoes that give the wearer blisters - good thing they have a "heal cup"
a gun
a bike
a fishing rod
an avalanche protection backpack for skiers which costs over $1000 dollars
a recommendation to take a class
a tent which is "not available for several years"
a running shoe with no details given
a foam roller
a puffy jacket*
hiking poles*
a text editor
10 year old snowshoes
snowshoes for kids
a commuter bike
a rainjacket*
a kayak
the idea of journaling
a cuben fiber pyramid costing $800 (those ads must be generating some revenue!)
a kayak paddle
a national park

Three out of 21 items are realistic hiking and/or backpacking items. To be fair, the title of the article was not "Staff Gear Picks", so I guess we should feel lucky we got items somehow related to being outdoors. They could have picked their favorite beer or movie star. But the email said "...take a minute and see which gear our staff uses often." I would have gotten a lot more out of reading about gear I would potentially be interested in buying.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: the grinch on 12/26/2013 16:18:27 MST Print View

Wilderness with a lowercase w Tim, what's the problem with that?

Sounds like you folks might want to think about backpacking as involving more than just hiking.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Re: re: the grinch on 12/26/2013 17:12:11 MST Print View

Dave, or maybe you staff want to think about not watering down the concept of this site. This was just another boring article. Wow, Ryan likes HMG, is he an ambassador maybe?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: 2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 18:46:24 MST Print View

Kids, the site's been branching out for quite some time now. Embrace it already! Instead of whining, add your picks. I'll add a second place to each of my picks because I like to be wordy.

My picks:

Ultralight Backpacking item: My Enlightment Equipment Enigma quilt system. The three pieces snap together to give me an exceptionally functional piece of kit for a wide range of temps. Close second: Ruta Locura WiFi stove. A toasty stove for just over a pound. Really ups the fun factor on winter hikes when distance isn't important. And yes, it's UL compared to most other backpacking stoves.

Outdoor activity item: Elemental Horizons Kalais pack. Finally found a pack that just feels right. More than worth the few extra ounces. Runner up: I'll be like the other Doug and list something I've had for years - my Koga Miyata World Traveller touring bicycle. It's maiden voyage was a solo trip from Garlstedt, Germany, to East Berlin to watch Roger Waters and guests perform The Wall in PotsdammerPlatz - after the Berlin Wall had come down but before reunification. Finished that trip by cycling down to Dresden, up to Leipzig, and then back into West Germany down to Munich. What a trip! That bike also carried me on unsupported trips in Ireland, Scotland, France and New Zealand, and a trip around Arizona as well.

Lifestyle item: Vitamix 750 Professional. This thing rocks! Getting my health back, one smoothie at a time. Yesterday I used it to make some almond/oat/coconut milk (delicious!). Tonight I put a mug's worth in the Vitamix and added Godiva dark chocolate hot cocoa mix and let it spin on high for around 3 1/2 minutes. Presto! Hot cocoa! Close second: Superfood Smoothies and Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris. Fabulous recipes!

So what are your picks?

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: 2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 18:57:02 MST Print View

I don't mind the branching out at all; I have been doing that myself...

My picks:

Ultralight backpacking item.
Hennessy Hyperlite Hammock. This system is super comfortable, easy to set up and weighs in at one pound and 12 ounces, including the fly .

Outdoor activity item.
No surprise here that this would be a Trail Camera. After trying a few of them out, I pick the Cadillac of trail cameras, the Reconyx Hyperfire. Seeing what wildlife shares the trails with me has made my outdoor life even more interesting and very exciting.

Lifestyle item.
Well, soon it might be my brand new Vitamix, but I just got that so until then I will pick the item I do not own as a lifestyle choice: a tv.

Edited by Kat_P on 12/26/2013 20:41:58 MST.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
the great outdoors on 12/26/2013 19:05:53 MST Print View

For some of us, various outdoor items fit into backpacking.

I backcountry ski a pretty good amount and do some winter backpacking while skiing.

I would not want to see backpacking light become the Ski Forum, but there is enough room in the tent for the occasional rafting, biking, climbing etc post that happens to involve backpacking too.

These are the personal picks of the staff members as well. People who are active in the outdoors who do purely backpacking/hiking are in the minority. Snowshoeing, skiing, trail running, climbing, fishing etc all are into the mix. And often backpacking is way to do part of it.

So the picks reflect the outdoor style of the contributors.

I do not see it as watering down the site but making it more interesting.

Just my nickels worth.

(My personal lifestyle item is a good craft beer. Because at the end of an outdoor trip, craft beer is awesome. Maybe I should spend more time outdoors so I would have a more appropriate pick? ;-P)

Edited by PaulMags on 12/26/2013 19:11:07 MST.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Well on 12/26/2013 19:12:41 MST Print View

I don't mind the diversity at all, but not at the expense of the core product.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
And on 12/26/2013 19:24:01 MST Print View

While I'm at it. In a world of constant information overload, there's a real quality in specialised information. Less is more?

Hiking is as simple as it gets.

Edited by prse on 12/26/2013 19:24:52 MST.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 19:30:16 MST Print View

If mountain biking and packrafting are the new direction of BPL, that's fine, but that means I'll be here less and less! Actually, that's already true--even in the forum, I now skip the majority of the recent threads. That's even more true of the articles. It's not that I've lost interest in backpacking, just that I'm happy with the gear I have and also find much of the forum material and articles to be repetitious or about stuff that doesn't interest me. Anything I'd list in my 2013 gear picks will be no different than 2012. Somewhere along the line, I've lost my "gear geekness."

The posts/articles that make me pick up my ears these days are either about backpacking with kids or trip reports. As I get older (and the grandkids are able to carry more shared gear), those grandkids are going to keep me out on the trail longer! And I've always loved a good adventure yarn! There is a reason I jump at the trip reports with kids from Ike Jutkowicz (I hope I spelled that right!)--they combine the two!

And after having nearly been run down several times by mountain bikers (who are supposed to give right of way to hikers but instead forced me to jump off the trail), I have an intense dislike for the species.

Will ORVs be next here at BPL?

Edited by hikinggranny on 12/26/2013 19:39:31 MST.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: The Gore Range
Re: re: the grinch on 12/26/2013 19:31:51 MST Print View

Dave,

Wilderness/wilderness. Got ya. But with all due respect, game trails? Perhaps its just the tree-hugger/conservationist in me but, I think its pretty irresponsible. The relationship between hunters and mountain bikers gets very testy sometimes in my neck of the woods. Hunters often complain about mountain bikers pushing animals out of BLM so they can ride game trails and that consequently turns it into "their singletrack".

Perhaps I'm just bitter because I pay a county tax fee for an open space fund which seems to only benefit mountain bikers who want to just build more tread in these "open space areas". What ever happened to setting aside land for the protection of habitat/wildlife and keeping pervious surfaces?

End rant.

Edited by timdcy on 12/26/2013 19:33:53 MST.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: 2013 Staff Picks on 12/26/2013 19:41:18 MST Print View

I personally think hiking with a backpack on is a pretty narrow topic and enjoy reading about these other adventures and interests.

My picks:

UL Backpacking Item: I had to revamp my kit this year so I have many items to choose from but the Lite Trail Solid Fuel Cook System V2 continues to impress. This system works well for when I want to shed weight from my pack but still want a warm meal at the end of the day. I fully expect that 2014 will bring a Flat Cat dry baking system into my life for the trips where I am less worried about hiking from dawn to dusk and want to bring my back-40 culinary experience up several notches.

Outdoor Activity Item: As mentioned above, the very large majority of my 2013 fun money went to my backpacking kit. Slowly but surely I'm bringing my 29er up to snuff for some bike packing in 2014. A couple buddies and I are planning a couple rails-to-trails trips next summer to shake down our gear before we commit to a more ambitious single track adventure.

Lifestyle Item: I started a thread a few months back about wanting to improve my photography. I've ordered a couple books today which were recommended to me on that thread and hope to steal a day here and there to explore the wilderness and work on my photography.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 12/26/2013 19:45:12 MST.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
A rock on 12/26/2013 20:01:54 MST Print View

All these extraneous toys: rifles, tenkara rods, saws, skis, daggers, bikes, ropes, axes, helmet mounted HD video cameras, selfie helping trekking pole me, me, me thingies, live tweeting smartphones, battery driven loudspeakers, drones, music instruments, breaking bad playing tablets. They all remind me of what my generation is called. The masturbating generation. More, more, more!

What happened to the art of just going out in the wild, find a nice rock, sit, be.

I have loads of toys myself. But that's another story. Not one I need this site to tell me.

Don't take this personally, just ranting on. Take care, merry christmas :-)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: A rock on 12/26/2013 20:27:04 MST Print View

"What happened to the art of just going out in the wild, find a nice rock, sit, be."

THAT is downright un-American! Expect to be pulled aside for interrogation by the TSA the next time you try to come and sit on a rock and be, here in The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. :=[

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: A rock on 12/26/2013 20:43:41 MST Print View

Peter, then why even go online? Just head out and enjoy.