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Bringing fun luxuries into the backcountry
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michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Bringing fun luxuries into the backcountry on 10/06/2012 22:38:23 MDT Print View

Just wondering what you "extra" non essentials all you ulighters bring every other time. I'm thinking about bringing a flask next time because I'm at the tail end of a wedding and having a great time, life is good! We have a bartender that mixes custom drinks at my sisters wedding btw.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Bringing fun luxuries into the backcountry on 10/06/2012 23:25:10 MDT Print View

You're going to a wedding that requires backpacking? If so, that sounds pretty cool. I bring a small Rum Runners Flask and/or a 0.5L Platypus bladder for evening refreshments on most of my trips. I also include my camera gear in my list of "luxuries".

jason quick

Locale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne
Boombox and a nip of the good stuff on 10/06/2012 23:35:08 MDT Print View

... I always take my Degen 1127 radio. It has 4Gb memory, with AM, FM, SW and MP3 player....would you believe it's also an e-Reader (on that screen!!??).

The reason why I bought this one is that it has an external speaker....ok, not quite a boom-box but great sound for its size with equaliser options. One thing I don't like when hiking/around camp, is listening to music and blocking out the sounds of nature (which is what happens with headphones). I prefer to have low level ambient music, with the emphasis still on the sounds of the bush. However I still have the option of using headphones if I wish....great for when 'white noise' is needed, or to override the sound of hail/storms/wind noise etc. that may stop me from sleeping.

The menu system is a bit archaic, and frustrating at times...but you know... whatever/who cares! It only weighs 92 grams with dimensions being a mere 11cm (length) x 4cm (width) x 2cm (deep). It will run for in excess of 8-10 hours at medium output. Well worth every penny. You can't beat the serenity infused with 'The Spice Girls'. (I'm so kidding).

Otherwise, it's a 600ml soft platy with either Cointreau (Orange liqueur) or Glayva (Whiskey liqueur) for a nip before bed....which goes down a treat when on the rocks (albeit snow) during winter/snow hiking.

Degen 1127

Degen 1127 in hand
...just for a bit of perspective and scale

Edit: battery run time & menu system

Edited by jase on 10/06/2012 23:42:04 MDT.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Mac on 10/07/2012 03:40:05 MDT Print View

Hi Jason,

How does it mesh with the Mac? Can you import into it from iTunes?

Cost and availability?

Thanks, Rod

jason quick

Locale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne
Degen 1127 and Mac compatibility on 10/07/2012 04:32:30 MDT Print View

Hi again Rod! :-)

You can't import from iTunes, but you can simply drag and drop from the library files.

Remember that it only plays mp3 files, so if you import music to your iTunes in m4a format, you'll have to convert to mp3 prior to drag-and-dropping.

The other thing I found with mac, is that they create those ._ files (whatever they are) when you transfer (which are invisible on Mac, but become apparent on PC), which is a real pain in the a*s. (If someone knows more about this, or a workaround, please let me know).

So I simply do all my file transferring at work on the PC. It's a bit of a pain, but it gets the job done.

Perhaps a software update by Kaito/Degen will be coming soon.

Cost: $69 (shipping is usually with tracking, so I paid about $25/$30 for it)
Availability: seems to be readily available from here (which is where I bought mine)

If you're in Melbs I'm happy to show it to you if you wish.

Edit: cost and availability

Edited by jase on 10/07/2012 04:36:06 MDT.

Andy Chasse'

Locale: The Front Range
craft beer on 10/07/2012 07:46:08 MDT Print View

I routinely pack in craft beer..usually two or three but sometimes a sixer if it's an easy trip and I just wanna lounge. I just can't resist the draw of a big stout on a cold night in the backcountry, or an IPA on a hot summer

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: Bringing fun luxuries into the backcountry on 10/07/2012 08:49:35 MDT Print View

I'm not sure I consider it luxuries or not but I carry about a pound of fly fishing gear with me. It's probably not a luxury but a neccessity since fly fishing is the main reason for my backpacking trips. I take a minimal amount of gear - a small foam fly box and a small fly "vest" to hold it and some tools/tippet

fly box

and my fly reel and rod in fluorescent light tube rod case

reel and rod case

edit - pictures added

Edited by RichardCullip on 10/07/2012 09:02:17 MDT.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
books, booze on 10/07/2012 10:31:50 MDT Print View

I took a book with me on every trip this summer, read a ton of good books (The Cactus Eaters is a great read). And vodka usually makes its way into the pack somehow.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Degen 1127 on 10/07/2012 11:08:21 MDT Print View

Can you say anything about the quality of the voice recorder? I use the one on my phone quite a bit, but I don't take my phone hiking.

Logan Bowling
(bowlingl25) - F

Locale: Almost Heaven
Books on 10/07/2012 12:40:07 MDT Print View

A paperback book has become an essential to me while going on solo trips. I have also been considering an ipod and a bigger/brighter headlamp now that hours of daylight are really getting shorter.

Jen Churchward
(mahgnillig) - F
chair on 10/07/2012 13:24:54 MDT Print View

I don't claim to be an ultralighter, but I do pack fairly light. For trips when I'm backpacking with a partner, I usually bring my Alite Monarch chair as long as my base weight is under 15lbs (if I'm alone I leave it behind to make up for having to carry the tent). I also pack my phone along - it's lighter than a book and I can read it in the dark :)

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Bringing fun luxuries into the backcountry on 10/07/2012 14:51:51 MDT Print View

My baseweight without luxuries is about 8lbs. Right now i am trying to add luxuries that a heavy weight backpacker would take.

So far I am adding 2lbs of camera gear giving me 300mm zoom, 8 oz of extra pad to bring a large neoair xlite, 28oz of chair. So that is about 4lbs extra leaving about 3 - 4 lbs more space to have a sub 25lb pack on weekend trips. I am looking for more ideas on stuff to take.

Beer seems like a good idea, i am thinking about doing a steam baking set up or a pizza oven. What other luxeries do people who are heavy weight take?

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re on 10/07/2012 15:09:21 MDT Print View

Update: the wedding was good and I was very drunk last night lol.

I am thinking about buying a flask from Lawson next time I order from him.

X2 on a paperback book, but only sometimes when long high mile days aren't on the agenda. I am going to try and bring my iPhone from now on though.

Mike Whitesell
(madgoat) - F

Locale: Ohio
luxuries on 10/08/2012 05:14:36 MDT Print View

La Gloria De Cubana or Macanudo cigars (I tend to smoke 2 or 3 cigars a year)

Mike Whitesell
(madgoat) - F

Locale: Ohio
luxuries on 10/08/2012 05:42:36 MDT Print View

Got back last week from a 5 day trip in the smokies (where it rained incessantly). Got up to Mt. Cammerer for the third time... no visibility again! (1st time heavy snow, 2nd time monsoon style rain, this time dense fog that rolled in about a half hour before we got to the top).

I took my phone with me and really enjoyed having it. I have a galaxy s3 that I supplemented with a 4200 mAH battery ($20 on amazon). It remained turned off in my pack for most of the trip, but I would get it out and use it at rest breaks, campsites and nice views.

What I used it for:
camera (not much of a shutterbug, so this sufficed for me)
video camera (i'm surprised how much I am enjoying watching the videos I took)
weather reports (we could occasionally get 1x/3g signal when we were high up)
books (finished most of House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds and got a little bible study in using the kindle app)
altimiter (the gs3 has a barometer built in, so I played around with it... not very practical when leaving the phone off most of the time.)
text and phone (my wife and kids appreciated me checking in with them when I could)

I still had about 40% of my battery left at the end of the trip. And while this saved me weight (over carrying a camera, paperback & a small bible, or my kindle touch), I still treated it like a non essential luxury item since I wasn't using the phone for navigation.

I have been really happy with the 4.8" screen size on the gs3. It has replaced my kindle touch. I have read through several books on it, and while the screen is not as good as the e-ink on the touch, I have been fine with its quality. That said, I was not happy using the kindle app on my htc incredible (3.5" screen) due to the smaller screen size.

Does anyone know of any good first aid books that are well suited to the kindle app?

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
No "utility", just fun on 10/08/2012 06:56:22 MDT Print View

I have an ultralight box kite tucked in the side of my pack. It's a triangular, about 12" on the sides, with carbon fiber stays and about 100' of light kite string wrapped around a thin cardboard tube. It's pretty stable, but when the wind suggests a tail, I just grab some grass or a hunk of sage, tuck it in one corner and off we go again.

Ah, it's a Prism Triad.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: No "utility", just fun on 10/08/2012 07:40:04 MDT Print View

I always bring some down goodies to keep me toasty in camp and uprate my bag if needs be, I supposed not a luxury more so a chilling reminder of nights I froze my ass off as teenager in sub standard gear

I do carry an Android mobile phone (with spare batteries) but I don't carry a camera, GPS or a book. If hiking in a area with no mobile coverage I will carry a Satphone,.

Rob Daly
(rdaly) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
fun? on 10/08/2012 10:53:02 MDT Print View

I wouldn't say they're fun, but they are enjoyable. I almost always bring a couple cigars, usually Romeo Y' Julieta, and some alcohol. Could be wine, whiskey, or Guiness. They're just great in the evening after a long days hike.

Mal Hooper

Locale: Valley of the Sun
Something to read on 10/08/2012 11:38:34 MDT Print View

Either my Kindle, the Kindle app on my phone, or a paperback, but I have to have something to read.

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
A hammock on 10/08/2012 12:24:03 MDT Print View

My biggest luxury is my Nano 7 hammock with a bug sock. It is hugely satisfying to take a break every three hours or so and hang, giving my feet and back a break. And occasionally take a nap. Pure bliss for 12 oz.