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David Chenault (DaveC) - BPL Staff

My Locale Crown of the Continent
About Me Social worker. Backcountry traveler and writer in my spare time.

I have given up on PMs due to their tendency to encourage poorly considered inquiries. Please contact me through my website. I enjoy pack construction and trip planning questions in particular.
CityThe Fish
My Website URL
My PDF Gear ListWinter '14/15

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All Forum Posts by David Chenault

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Forum » Thread

wrist straps and durability
I don't like and don't use wrist straps for trekking poles. Too clumsy and slow to get in and out of, and I like to vary my grip depending on cadence and terrain. These poles have been ...

In Make Your Own Gear » 6 oz/pole, $30 DIY poles
May 21, 10:33pm

air mats
Harvey Butchart (grand wizard of Grand Canyon hiking) used an air mattress to cross the river on loads of hikes back in the day. Of course, the NPS now looks upon such activities rather dimly. I ...

In Chaff » Air mat for river crossing?
May 16, 9:24am

different strokes
I have bony hips and find that too much weight on the belt chaffs and bruises in fairly short order. My usual distribution with a 25+ load is probably close to 50/50. As long as you can carry y...

In Philosophy & Technique » Over-tightening the load lifters on packs
May 16, 9:19am

re: bindings and falls
Sam, Non-release bindings and falls are certainly a potentially problematic combination. My "real skis" are 185cm, and I ski them with light plastic tele boots and non-release three p...

In Make Your Own Gear » MYOG approach/bushwack/spring touring skis
May 14, 10:46pm

skinny heels
I'd look at Sportiva or New Balance.

In GEAR » Trail runners for feet like mine!
May 14, 10:37pm

injuries!! ack!
Nate, I have no experience with your specific symptoms, so I can't offer advice on that. I can offer advice on overuse injuries, and my advice is to look at the long term. It seems like thi...

In General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Training for a speed hike.
May 13, 4:47pm

re: skis
Thanks Steve. I'll post a detailed followup. If one wanted to sink more money into this project, much lighter skis could easily be found.

In Make Your Own Gear » MYOG approach/bushwack/spring touring skis
May 13, 4:38pm

guidebooks and water
W/r/t water in the desert, not all guides are created equal. Steve Allen lists large, medium, and small spring and potholes. The descriptors do not necessarily refer to size, but to longevity. I...

In Philosophy & Technique » Finding reliable water sources
May 12, 11:55pm

re: sunglasses for wading
The polarized glasses are a good call. I got some last year (primarily for fly fishing), and they can make quite a difference. Most of my previous stream crossing and river swimming experiences h...

In Philosophy & Technique » Fast Water Solo Stream Crossings - Looking for Best Practice Solo Method/Techniques
May 12, 4:21pm

Not usually. Just hard dirt. In the more alpine areas with rocky soil, rocks for staking are usually in abundance. Forgot to add: Buff Gap is a great little campground. Theodore Roosevelt in ...

In Hiking Partners / Group Trip Announcements » Which Glacier Campground?/Catch a ride?
May 11, 10:43pm

All Reader Reviews by David Chenault

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Tastes good enough, tiny and easy to use. What could be better? It not being so darn expen$ive.

In Foods - Energy Bars, Gels, and Drinks
July 27, 2:17pm

Lara Bars Cherry Pie
Tasty, moist, tasty, good calorie to weight ratio, compact, resists deformation, doesn't freeze too bad in the cold, tasty, made of real food, and tasty! Bar-shaped food does not get any bett...

In Foods - Energy Bars, Gels, and Drinks
July 27, 2:16pm

Patagonia Capilene 1 T-Shirt
Cap 1 seems to have changed very little since it was called silkweight capilene back in the day. It dries very quickly, wicks pretty well (though not as well as cap 2), and most importantly feels lig...

In Clothing - Baselayer & Fleece - SYNTHETIC
July 27, 2:12pm

Therm-A-Rest Ridgerest
I use a cut-down 48" Ridgerest on every trip. Bombproof, comfy, light, cheap. In winter, I add a full length under it. I actually sleep better on this than most inflatables, but realize I&...

In Sleeping Pads - Foam
April 11, 10:47am

MLD Trailstar
In summary: Aside from a bivy sack for good weather and race pace endeavors, I've sold off the rest of my shelters. It's a great cross of a pyramid and a tarp. Finished weight, seam sealed...

In Shelters - Tarps & Floorless
April 11, 10:39am

Gossamer Gear ThinLight insulation pad 1/8" approx. 2 oz.
It's hard to get more warmth for the weight (or price). I like having a few pieces to add in as supplementary feet and/or torso pieces. It is quite fragile. Do not leave this on the outside o...

In Sleeping Pads - Foam
March 28, 3:18pm

FireLite Trapper's Mug
A very well designed cup. Light, but seems just as functionaly durable as Snowpeak or Evernew stuff. Ideal size for a soloist. The taller than it is wide shape is one I prefer for cooking on a fire...

In Cookware - Titanium
March 28, 3:03pm

Patagonia Houdini Wind Jacket
Note 1: This is a review of my 2005/6 Houdini. It's longevity is revealing (it may have been the Dragonfly back then, even). Note 2: If the price is outrageous, no one would buy it! The prote...

In Clothing - Wind & Soft Shell
January 29, 8:08pm

Patagonia Ready Mix Softshell Pants
I disagree with all Kev's objections, and desperately wish I could find more mediums to buy. The simplicity is what I love best. Actually, the perfect in all conditions from 70-10 F fabric is ...

In Clothing - Wind & Soft Shell
January 29, 8:00pm

patagonia down sweater
Note: I'm folding this review of the Down hooded pullover into this section because 1) the hooded p/o isn't made anymore, 2) the critical comments likely apply broadly. I really liked the d...

In Clothing - Insulating - Down
January 27, 10:07am