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photos of gear and setup
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Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
photos of gear and setup on 04/29/2008 15:01:51 MDT Print View

I wasnt sure where exactly this should go, whether under gear or gear lists since it kind of incorporates both, but i really enjoy looking at pictures of how people use their gear. ex. a loaded pack, a set up camp, gear in action. so i was hoping we could post some aforementioned pictures and feel open enough to accept criticism or make suggestions regarding any of our techniques or gear use. i feel like we can learn a lot from actually seeing how others use new gear we were considering purchasing or that we already have ourselves and maybe have not been using the most efficiently. it also gives us a perspective that we may have not previously seen by simply viewing the default photos of gear online before purchasing.

i will go first, of course. i'm afraid i dont have a lot of pictures from the field as those usually follow a similar format, person + cool background = good picture, and do not incorporate a lot of gear, but i have a few and can post others where the location is not as important.

Sleep setup

This is my sleep setup for generally fair weather. I have a MLD silnylon poncho tarp, homemade meteor design bivy, GG thinlite pad, Thermarest Prolite 3R (I know its heavy but just because my young bones can handle hard ground doesn't they have to), Kelty Lightyear 45 3D, and inflatable pillow. I carry a polycro groundcloth if i anticipate rain or am on longer trips, but am not sure if it is really necessary yet... I plan on upgrading the sleeping bag to a homemade quilt, most likely similar to the current MLD quilt, at some point but have found that with this bag, bivy, and the Montbell UL Down Jacket I can be comfortable to the mid 30s. I set the tarp up A-frame at first but saw a tree nearby (not perfectly positioned obviously but the weather was fair and i didnt feel like adjusting the whole thing) and lifted a corner to give me a little more in/out headroom. The meteor bivy works absolutley marvelously. I feel like I am in a tent basically. I am fully protected from bugs, a little warmer, safe from splashes, and not confined. It was also pretty easy to make. Cut out the pieces at night and had help sewing them together the next day.

Another setup...



For most trips I use the MLD Zip (Atmos 50 for especially hot trips or needing to carry heavier loads) I pack it by putting everything inside a packliner and placing a pad (uninflated if applicable) around the perimeter. In the bottom in the space created by the pad goes the sleeping bag, just stuffed straight in. This helps to not compress the bag too much and to take up any additional space in the pack for trips requiring less food or gear.


Next goes cooking set (shown later), bivy, and clothing/whatever else, in a vertical, cylindrical pattern. this fits the form of the pack nicely and i have found that the keg can is strong enough that i do not need any additional container to store it in. On top of this goes food and any additional gear.


above - pack loaded (usually a couple more odds and ends are loaded in the mesh such as snacks , windjacket, as well as the side pockets, which i can fit a 2 L bladder into each, mpack - superlight, cheap, work great) Base weight is usually around 8 lbs im guessing? no scale yet and i dont know the weights of everything. sorry. if anyone is really interested i can try to figure it out or post a more detailed gear list.

below - pack worn (sorry, crappy picture. i was trying to do it alone and keep the flash out of the mirror. thinking back i should have just used the timer...oh well)


cook set

Cook set up - Heine keg pot (24oz capacity) with windscreen, fuel bottle, lighter, stove, and pot support. Kit purchased from skidsteer since I was under 21, couldn't find the keg pot anyways, and saw his set up and liked it.

So again, any questions, comments, additions, suggestions, feel free to post. Also it would be great if other people could do something similar, even if it's just one photo or description. thanks everyone. and hopefully this all works.

Edited by derekcox on 05/11/2008 22:21:47 MDT.

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Re: photos of gear and setup on 04/29/2008 15:25:50 MDT Print View

This is a great idea for a thread. Hopefully it'll get a lot of posts.

I really like the look of your Meteor Bivy. I've been thinking of making one myself. Sounds like it wasn't too difficult. One question though: does it provide adequate coverage to your head, neck and upper torso when it's really raining?

Also, do you find that the Prolite 3 creates a good virtual frame for you? I was under the impression that only foam pads worked well as virtual frames.

I'll take some photos of my setup the next time I go out.


Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: photos of gear and setup on 04/29/2008 15:46:04 MDT Print View

I have not tested it in bad storms as i usually take a double wall tent when the weather is going to be bad (im a wuss), but in most rain conditions it is not a problem as long as the tarp is pitched well. you can put your head further under the tarp and expose your feet more as well since that area is covered with DWR. the tarp is also almost 9 ft long and can be longer if the "long" version is ordered. im afraid i cannot absolutely answer your question though, since i have not used this system in bad storms, sorry. mesh would be better than nothing at all, i imagine. a good mod to the meteor bivy that i considered doing, but did not in order to keep the project as simple as possible, would be to add a little bit of a bathtub floor, say have the sides of silnylon come up 6 inches or so. a wind jacket could also possibly be rigged to help with this?

I have found the inflatable pad to work just fine as a virtual frame. once its all packed you just turn the valve and it inflates, taking up any extra space and becoming somewhat firm. i believe others using inflatables have reported similar results as well. thanks for the response. cant wait to see your set up as well as some others!

Edited by derekcox on 04/29/2008 15:51:12 MDT.

Ben Egan

Locale: The Grid, Brooklyn
*blush* on 04/29/2008 20:48:25 MDT Print View

Your cooking set is beautiful . . . something about it, I can't explain, I think it's love (the who). Anyway, what is this skid steer you speak of? I know where to find other Heineken stoves and such, but where do I get that one?

And this picture thing is genius. Normally, I wouldn't consider the backpack you use, because I'm afraid of frame-less packs, but it looks magnificent here.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: photos of gear and setup on 04/29/2008 21:12:38 MDT Print View

thanks a lot! skidsteer is a moderator on the stove-focused backpacking forum along with zelph (who i think posts here under the same name but not sure) here is a link to a video of the system he uses that i got from him that also allows you to make coffee (im not a coffee fan though yet, i'll admit so i leave that part at home) . you might have to be a member to view not sure, but its free to sign up if you do. i encourage you to talk to him. real nice guy.

i really enjoy looking at pictures of people using gear because it gives you a completely different perspective, hence starting this thread. hopefully it'll pick up.

Gail Lusk
(AlohaTink) - F

Locale: In the Middle of No Where!
Great Idea on 05/01/2008 14:43:36 MDT Print View

Really enjoyed seeing your gear with the list :)
Nice idea, when I get back from my trip I want to do this.
It really helps to see the set up, then to try and visualize it.
Nice round fuel bottle...looks like glass, but I am sure that is just a illusion.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: photos of gear and setup on 05/01/2008 17:54:19 MDT Print View

thanks, I look forward to seeing your setup! (the bottle is plastic ha)

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
tarp/poncho -- set up in the rain? on 05/05/2008 14:55:30 MDT Print View

OK, so I have a question. The tarp/poncho seems like a great idea, but how does that work if you actually have to set up in the rain? I'm from Southern California, so it doesn't happen often (that I have to set up came while it's actually raining), but it's bound to happen sooner or later. How does one deal with it since one would want (at least I would) to continue to wear the poncho while one was setting up camp, but one (I would think) would want to set up the poncho first in order to set up the rest of the gear underneath. I must be missing something obvious. :)

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: tarp/poncho -- set up in the rain? on 05/05/2008 20:12:06 MDT Print View

Here's a great article from this site...

Have fun!

Patrick Matte
(ytsuejam) - F

Locale: NW Georgia
gear pics on 05/08/2008 21:21:04 MDT Print View

This is from Wednesday morning.Equinox Tarp w/ MLD Bug Bivy

Equinox Tarp w/ bug bivy

Edited by ytsuejam on 05/08/2008 21:23:45 MDT.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: photos of gear and setup on 05/10/2008 17:52:56 MDT Print View

cool, patrick. looks like there is plenty of room underneath that tarp, what size is it?

Patrick Matte
(ytsuejam) - F

Locale: NW Georgia
tarp size on 05/10/2008 20:23:41 MDT Print View

10 x 8

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Re:"photos of gear and setup" on 05/10/2008 23:24:57 MDT Print View

Derek, great idea about these photos. Ive posted plenty of individual items, but I will post group shots asap.
Question, where did you get that round fuel bottle? I have PET bottles as small as 100ml, but none which are round.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: photos of gear and setup on 05/11/2008 01:14:16 MDT Print View

great patrick! i have focused on losing base weight through various methods but i think a larger tarp like yours might be the way to go in general for more comfortable/less stressful hiking!

Brett - I got that round fuel bottle from skidsteer (can;t remember his actual name, sorry... it was through the forum) anyways it fits perfectly in the hiene and after shaving the edge down a bit to fix a little leak it works great. i have no idea where he got it from though... you would have to ask him.

Edited by derekcox on 05/11/2008 12:37:52 MDT.

liang kong
(mcluxun) - F

Locale: Tulsa,OK
great job on 05/22/2008 18:17:05 MDT Print View

i'd like to know what kind of stove it's?
is it a open fire?

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Recent sleep set-up #1 on 05/22/2008 23:57:25 MDT Print View

Great idea for a thread. I have lots of these pictures, and they really are useful to share!

This first set-up was used in fairly dry weather. Components are sleeping bag, policro sheet, emergency blanket tarp, home-made bug net.

SUL tarp!

bug net

The 2-man emergency blanket really is a good SUL back-up option if you're in a dry climate and aren't expecting much rain. If it rains, it provides adequate coverage, but you may not get much sleep the first night because of worrying about it :-)

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Recent hammock sleep set-up #2 on 05/23/2008 00:01:55 MDT Print View

Sorry these pictures are small, but they show the process. Here I am using a Travel Hammock Skeeter Beeter (because I am tall - 6'3''), a 2-person MLD tarp, and the super-multi-functional emergency blanket as a wind blocker.

hammocking 1
hammocking 2
hammocking 3
hammocking 4

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Recent hammock sleep set-up #2 on 06/14/2008 14:46:52 MDT Print View

Sorry, I hadn't checked back in a while. Thanks for sharing though guys. I don't have an emergency blanket, but I might carry one now, seeing how useful it is for the you both. Thanks again.