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Gear you use off the trail
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J Chandler
(sccrman13) - F

Locale: VA
Gear you use off the trail on 09/29/2012 16:01:56 MDT Print View

I'm just wondering if there is anyone out there that is using any of their backpacking gear past or present in a daily fashion.
I have been considering using some gear at home just to see if it is worth it. I am a minimalist so this would also eliminate some clutter at the house.
1. Using a big Packtowl in place of bath towel
2. Titanium bowl/mug/plate/utensils instead of ceramic
3. Using platypus water bottle at work (I drink a lot of water but really only like filtered or spring water)

I'm sure their are other examples. Please share what gear of yours has made it into your day to day life.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Gear you use off the trail on 09/29/2012 16:11:17 MDT Print View

This summer, I stayed in motels over 30 nights when I worked out of town, and when I did some zero days between backpacking trips in YNP and GNP. I used my Jetboil every morning to boil my water for the Via coffee. However, that stove never gets put into my backpack, so this likely doesn't count. I do use the same SP 450 insulated mug with its lid though, whether at home, in a motel, or when I backpack. It's my favorite all time gear item, and my one trail luxury piece.

J Chandler
(sccrman13) - F

Locale: VA
Very cool on 09/29/2012 16:25:16 MDT Print View

Thats exactly what I was hoping to hear. Doesn't matter if you do or don't use it on the trail. I'm looking for stuff that was made for the great outdoors being used in the comforts of our normal lives. This could be because we like the piece of gear so much or maybe it just works better than the "normal" stuff.

Thats awesome about the mug, I have a SP 450 but its Single Wall Titanium so it cools down way to fast.
I have been thinking about using Snow Peak tableware.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Gear you use off the trail on 09/29/2012 17:03:58 MDT Print View

Items that I use on a regular basis, daily life, etc. that also double as backpacking items:

Pack. I have a simple rucksack made by Christopher Zimmer that is simple, functional, and really durable. This is my backpacking pack and my grab and go pack used daily, always beside me in the car, my mobile locker and general gear hauler for work, running and riding.

long handled titanium spoon. Lives inside my pack and gets used almost every morning with breakfast, post run or ride.

Petzl XP2 or BD Storm headlamp, whichever one I can find and has battery life- For the darker/shorter days I use my headlamp almost daily, whether that is for a morning trail run or evening, especially in Dec.-Feb.

Merino socks- I don't discriminate, the same Darn Tough or Defeet merino socks are on my feet year round, they get used for all occasions. I'm a trade worker who works in jeans and boots though, so it's not a stretch. If I were a suit and desk riding jockey I would probably still wear my same merino socks.

Patagonia Nano puff hoody- it's about ideal for the temps here in southern NM, it is in my vehicle most of the "winter", gets thrown on immediately after a run in the morning, or with me at work.

CCF sleeping pad (ridgerest or Gossamer gear nightlight)- I have one of these in my daily pack that goes out the door with me during the week, it gives my pack some structure and also gets thrown on the desert ground when I change clothes post workout. Everyone should have one in their vehicle.

Windshell. Always in my pack, gets thrown on whenever I need it.

Classic specialized mtn bike water bottle. I take one for backpacking trips mounted on strap, trail running, mtn biking, around work to stay hydrated.

Buff (merino)- I own two of them in wool and alternate through them during the colder months. They're great for everything.

Sunglasses. I wear the same pair of shades for all purposes. Either a Rayban wayfarer, or my Native shades.

Edited by Eugeneius on 09/29/2012 17:05:16 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 09/29/2012 17:43:32 MDT Print View

Nice list Eugene, I don't think I can top that but:

- zpacks cuben wallet: What I put in there stays in there, .05 ounces... and pretty waterproof.
- Wool socks: Varios brands, whether low cut or high cut, use these daily at school. I can not remember the last time I washed cotton. Also synthetic or wool boxers only now.
- MT1010's: These are my trail running/ hiking shoes, but I've been wearing them a lot latley just because they are comfortable and I can use them to work out in.
- Ghost whisperer down jacket: This packs into its own pocket and is tiny, I usually can always find a spot for it in my backpack or in my car within reach!

J Chandler
(sccrman13) - F

Locale: VA
Great stuff on 09/29/2012 18:52:03 MDT Print View

I bet that wallet is sweet Michael. I have looked at the tyvek ones before but heard they don't hold up well. I agree with the socks. My smart wool and Wigwam socks are coming out here soon.

Eugene thats quite a list. This is all inspiring me to take my ti mug and spork with me in my day to day pack. I'm still searching for a light down jacket for the milder temps here in VA.

Keep it going. This is awesome.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Gear you use off the trail on 09/29/2012 19:58:06 MDT Print View

I use nearly all my backpacking gear for car camping. I use the merino wool socks for everyday wear. The woven polyester and nylon shirt I use for backpacking in bug season (a bit less easy than a baselayer top for the bugs to bite through) gets worn around house/town, too. My Sunday Afternoons Adventure hat gets worn for gardening/lawn mowing or whenever I'm outside. Three years ago I bought some Ex-Officio underwear for backpacking; I liked them so much I bought more and wear those everyday, too. I use my trekking poles (with rubber caps on the tips) for everyday exercise walking around the neighborhood; they turn walking into a whole-body exercise that exercises the core muscles. My headlamp gets used when I need light around the house; I never use flashlights any more.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Gear you use off the trail on 09/29/2012 21:00:56 MDT Print View

100% of the clothing gets using in daily life. iPhone, Camera(s). Platypus (used to be... just recently switch to a glass bottle around town). Larger pack towel (which typically only goes on trips where I am planning to go swimming) gets used after I shower at the gym. I would use my flashlight, but around town I use my daughters backpacking flashlight, and mine stays with my backpacking gear.

Most everything else doesn't *typically* get used in everyday life... it lives in a container that I can grab and go without haven't to think about or gather items. I often discover I am free to take a quick trip a couple of hours before I want to be on the trail. This is also part of my family's earthquake / disaster "go bag".

There are times that various items have been used. Sleeping mat / bag used when we have more guests than beds / couches. DOwn quilt as a bed comforter on particularly cold nights.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Gear you use off the trail on 09/29/2012 22:18:03 MDT Print View

Our old bushwalking clothing (MYOG Taslan/Supplex) gets worn at home more than 50% of the time in summer.
GSI plastic bowls for breakfast.
Any power outages see the stove trotted out.


Ron Berry

Locale: Southwest Florida
gear in civilization on 09/30/2012 13:48:21 MDT Print View

I EDC my Zebralight and wear my Starter Tech shirts.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
SP Ti Spork on 09/30/2012 16:19:32 MDT Print View

In an effort to make less waste. I have been keeping a Snow Peak Ti Spork and bandana in my desk drawer at work. This way when I eat out or use the office facilities to dine "al desko" (TM), I do not make waste in the form of paper napkins or forks. My cups and mugs are reusable but not gear.

Ben Figula
Light on 09/30/2012 18:27:01 MDT Print View

I keep a headlamp stashed in various locations in the house, the most used is next to the bed. I wake up at 5am some mornings and use the lamp to navigate around/get ready without turning on any lights to let the lady sleep. As others I also swear by my smartwool socks day in and out.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Gear you use off the trail on 09/30/2012 19:32:59 MDT Print View

Like Eugene and others, I use my Darn Tough socks many times at work since I can get away with the civilian version of military cargo pants, sometimes with my trail hikers or light hikers. My winter boots are the same as my all-day snowshoe boots (Black/blue Lowe Renegade GTXs). Haven't thought about using my simple ruck as an all-around bag though.

My older usually heavier backpacking gear is now car-camping or emergency gear, stashed in stuff sacks with an older headlamp.

rowan !

Locale: SF Bay Area
Lots of Things on 09/30/2012 23:48:04 MDT Print View

All my backpacking clothes except shoes and liner socks get worn as everyday clothing. I use titanium sporks and long handled spoons to eat most of my meals, and carry a short spork in my around-town gear. My backpacking toiletries kit goes everywhere with me too. My lunch travels to work in a stuff sack. I also have a set of MSR stainless steel expedition pots that I use in the kitchen but don't take backpacking.

Should have added that the pot lifter is extremely useful for taking hot pans out of the oven also. You can pull out the oven rack with it and then grab the edge of the baking pan. Works much better than a cloth potholder.

Edited by romonster on 10/01/2012 01:11:38 MDT.

J Chandler
(sccrman13) - F

Locale: VA
Creative on 10/01/2012 07:23:57 MDT Print View

Very creative Rowan. I agree with the clothing. Most of it is far more comfortable/versatile than the hohum clothes or most peoples everyday.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
just about all of it on 10/01/2012 08:14:21 MDT Print View

Clothing, all of it depending upon the season.
Long handled spoon
Water bottle
Stoves when there is no power
Sleeping pad when it is cold or for guests
Quilt when it is cold

I think the only things I don't use are my pack, water filter, dirty hydration badder, firesteel, and shelter. I am trying to install my hydration system in a hidden way so we can use it as the main way to purify water.

I really don't try to buy the gear unless I can think of a use for it at the house also. Just being more efficient/sustainable/financially sound.

J Chandler
(sccrman13) - F

Locale: VA
Towel on 10/01/2012 08:41:02 MDT Print View

Brett what towel are you using?

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
multi-use on 10/01/2012 08:57:16 MDT Print View

*Almost all my clothes, except the stuff that's too stained to be worn in public.

*Headlamp (zebralight h51w) and backup clip-on LEDs. Got rid of all my other flashlights except my D-cell Maglite that stays in the car.

*Sleeping bag, silk liner, travel pillow - currently my daily sleep system.

*Pocketknife and multi-tool

*Most travel toiletries are repackaged into hiking-size containers and are dual-purpose.

*Foam sitpad/sleeping pad

I do quite a lot of cooking, so a tiny titanium pot and skillet don't do it for me.

A lot of my possessions are non-hiking-usable, and whittling them down has become the larger job. As I have fewer options, I'm sure more hiking items will become multi-purpose.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Re: Towel on 10/01/2012 09:13:19 MDT Print View

My big one is a Personal PackTowl because it does absorb all the water and has not stunk after almost two months of day after day use with washings every 10 days on average. I also have a much smaller Discovery Trekking one that is only made for Canada that is a lot smaller and lighter. It absorbs a good amount of the water but after a week it does tend to smell a bit but more on the musky side than straight out stench. It is made of a much better material than the US ones and can be used as a water filter and head wrap.

I also use my Evernew Ti 1.3L pot for just about all of my water boiling and cooking in my life.

I bought a Sea to Summit X-mug a while bag and use that as my cup because when I am bumming through populated areas I can stop off at a convenience store, using my p-51 dump a can of ravioli I just bought there into it and pop it into the microwave. Nice hot and warm meal for a buck and a half. That and I can boil some water, put part of it into my cup for tea and the rest for my meal. The x-mug only weighs about about 2.7oz. I have even drunk beer out of it when my main glass stein is dirty a sit holds close to a pint.

For water I use a Nalgene hdpe bottle because I never have to worry about it breaking, puncturing or otherwise going to heck.

Edited by bpeugh on 10/01/2012 09:22:21 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Gear you use off the trail on 10/01/2012 09:15:40 MDT Print View

LED light, Leatherman Micra, Bic lighter & waterproof matches (non-smoker), hiking shoes & socks, bandanna, FAK, EDC daypack, cell phone (yes I hike with it), poncho (in the daypack) and a hat or cap (no hair);-)

I'm pretty much the always be prepared UL boy scout type. LOL

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 10/01/2012 09:16:41 MDT.