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Bruce Tolley (btolley) - BPL Premium Member

My Locale San Francisco Bay Area
About Me I have been backpacking off and on since Boy Scouts at the end of the 1960s. Although at that time, it was called camping. We just had to walk 5 or 10 miles to the campsite. :))

I moved to lightweight to be able to keep up with my son when he joined Boy Scouts. Now I mostly aim for winter camping in Yosemite or the Tahoe-Donner area, spring and fall hikes in the Santa Cruz mountains, and summer trips to the Emigrant or Carson-Iceberg wilderness.

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All Forum Posts by Bruce Tolley

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Forum » Thread

Beginner to Winter backpacking... need help
Yup. The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter Snow Camping Class is Tuesday Jan 13- 6 to 900pm

In Winter Hiking » Beginner to winter backpacking...need help with layering
November 21, 12:53pm

Beginner to winter backpacking.... Need help
@ the original poster. Bob Gross refers to the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter, Snow Camping Section. The class this year will be held Jan 10 in the East Bay. Go to for...

In Winter Hiking » Beginner to winter backpacking...need help with layering
November 21, 12:25pm

WTB 2 to 3 person 4 season tent
While I think you are shopping for a used tent, check out the online sales for example at Exped 2 person tent under $200 The MSR Fury and the DragonTail are on sale at MooseJaw a...

In Gear Swap » WTB: 2-3 person 4 season tent
November 21, 10:39am

Which Arcteryx Hardshell- puffy under or over hardshell
Just wondering why put the puffy under the hardshell for winter camping. Are you expecting it to rain? When I am out doing rudimentary mountaineering or winter snowshoeing and snow camping I ju...

In GEAR » Which arcteryx hardshell?
November 06, 9:41am

REI Returns
I think many of us are now suffering from the many folks who were using the generous return policy to test gear with no intention of actually keeping it. I have seen labels on gear the the used and...

In GEAR » REI Returns
October 25, 10:18am

Synmat UL7 vs NeoAir XTherm
I cannot speak to the comparison of the Synmat vs NeoAir. But I do use a the orginal rectangular NeoAir regular for 3 season backpacking. I am mostly a side sleeper and it took some experimentat...

In GEAR » Post-hike thoughts on my Synmat UL7 vs NeoAir XTherm
October 25, 10:07am

SMD 6 inch L stakes
I have not used the SMD stakes but they look similar in design to the short "u" shaped stakes Hilleberg sold me in 2006. They work well for softer soils. But as noted above, for harde...

In GEAR » Thoughts on SMD 6" L Stakes?
October 20, 9:13am

Black Bears and Your Food in Bear Country
I just read through this whole thread. It started with a question about the risk to the human if the human backpacker did not properly store his or her food in the manner required by the respect...

In Philosophy & Technique » Sleeping Wth Your Food in Black Bear Country
September 14, 11:42am

Shelter Recommendation Needed
@Corwin If it were just you or you and an older hiker, I would say go with tarp plus bivy. But there are other considerations. You might think of what you and your son like to do at night befor...

In GEAR » Shelter Recommendation Needed
September 07, 6:25pm

New Suunto Core Owner
"..the altimeter readings do not jive." I wrote what I did earlier in this thread because from the original post, it seemed that you were looking at the Suunto's altitude differenc...

In GEAR » New Suunto Core owner - Help please.
September 01, 10:05pm

All Reader Reviews by Bruce Tolley

Showing 1 - 8 of 8 | Page: 1



Big Agnes Sting Ridge 2
My usual solo snow camping shelter is a MLD duo mid with bivy sack. But last year I started doing base camping so I started looking for an affordable, relatively lightweight 4 season tent. After exa...

In Shelters - Double Wall Tents
September 15, 2:55pm

Black Diamond Ultra Distance
The new BD poles need to be praised for applying design principle of avalanche probes to hiking poles to create a lightweight, foldable pole. The 120cm carbon fiber pole has a manufacturer's claim...

In Trekking Poles
April 24, 11:12pm

Arc'Teryx Gamma LT pants
I bought these pants because out of the pletora of sub 16 oz. softshell pants on the market, they were about the only model that seemed to come with multiple zippered pockets (3), a built in belt, and...

In Clothing - Wind & Soft Shell
November 07, 11:16am

Lightweight Backpacking and Camping by Ryan Jordan et al.
I found Lightweight Backpacking and Camping for $24.95 in REI before I discovered the web site, so cannot fault it for repeating material on the web site. I had already read Ray Jardine's books so...

In Books and Media
September 07, 3:00pm

ULA Equipment
After much comparative shopping, I bought a Relay Pack from ULA. It arrived only a few days after placing the order. After four short trips, the haul loop ripped out. I wrote a short email to ULA (...

In 1 - COMPANIES (Customer Service)
September 05, 10:39pm

Suunto Vector
I bought this watch primarily as a watch and as an aid to navigation. More specically, my goal was to possess for a trek in the Rocky Mtns of New Mexico to have a compass to discretely double check b...

In Navigation Gear & Accessories
August 25, 3:59pm

Osprey Aether 60
While other reviewers have noted that this pack is not truly lightweight, some of that extra weight is due to features that come in handy for winter treks. This pack has shovel pocket that you can act...

In Backpacks - Internal Frame
September 24, 3:30pm

Hilleberg Akto
The Hilleberg Akto is a relatively lightweight, one-person, double-walled hoop tent weighing in at a minimum 2 lbs. 14 oz., packed 3 lbs. 5 oz. (manuf claimed weights). I bought this tent for solo hik...

In Shelters - Double Wall Tents
April 20, 9:02pm