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Most important gear item
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Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Re: Re: Most important gear item on 04/10/2013 13:35:37 MDT Print View

Sounds like you found some great deals!

As far as the cookset goes, I also started with the SP700 and Ti spork and still use them. I really like that it has graduations on the inside to measure volume. That alone makes me grab it over the MSR Titan kettle most of the time. One tip: The lid is way heavy, replace it with some aluminum foil.

Regarding the tent, that Hi-tec reminds me a lot of the Eureka Zeus 2 I started with. Man I hated that thing! Nothing I tried would alleviate the condensation inside it. Even sleeping solo in it with the vestibule open. But the humidity here plays a large roll in that and I have to deal with condensation in pretty much every shelter I've tried. The thing that made the Eureka so miserable was that with two people inside it was so tight you couldn't help but touch the walls and soak everything. But the important thing is that you've finally got everything you need and are planning a trip! Let us know how it goes!


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Most important gear item on 04/10/2013 13:38:19 MDT Print View

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Most important gear item on 04/10/2013 13:39:58 MDT Print View


I only lived in Missouri for one year but I certainly don't miss your humidity. It's quite a bit drier here and I haven't had any condensation issues with this shelter yet. In fairness, it only sees limited use when I'm camping with my kids but I find that it's ventilated well. MMMV if I were in your neck of the woods though.

Edit: I agree with the OP on the link above that there is some sag but I was able to mitigate this by adjusting the guy lines. I also have only used it in light rain and not what the author was describing. When I purchased it, I realized that I was buying a $50 tent and kept realistic expectations. I plan on using it during some rain storms this spring and I'll report back on my experiences with it.



Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/10/2013 13:48:18 MDT.

Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Re: Hi Tec V lite on 04/10/2013 14:20:42 MDT Print View

I can confirm that yes the new, or current model does have the twin stake out points for the front vestibule. I too will take and post some pictures from this weekends use and let everyone know.

Adam-- Honestly that was a huge selling point for me as well (measurements). Its more efficient to only use what you need as far as time and fuel goes. I am happy to hear that it has served you well I too hope its a staple of my kit, so far I like it. Also thanks for the lid tip. I'll definitely update the thread upon my return and let you all know how it went.

John-- I haven't used the tent so I really can't comment too much however for my planned use; solo, summer/fair weather use it was difficult to pass up this tent. Obviously due to the price my expectations are realistic. But I don't plan to use with another person so that will alleviate me hitting the walls and as far as the pitch I will mess with it in hopes of negating the sag but even with it I don't expect much of any rain during my uses. Also condensation won't be much of a problem here as well since its normally not too humid here.

For what its worth I will use and report back with my findings hopefully the tent has been restructured and works better but I am confident it will preform well in the conditions I plan to use.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most important gear item on 04/10/2013 14:43:58 MDT Print View

I should have mentioned that I have absolutely no experience with the Hi-tec tent. The general shape sort of reminded me of my first backpacking tent and I just rambled on from there :D Its hard to imagine any tent designed as poorly as the Eureka Zeus. They're still suckering people into it today by calling it the "Classic"!

Come to think of it, Missouri in the summer months is probably the ideal place to see if a single wall tent has effective ventilation. Henry Shires, if you need to test any new tents let me know!


Sean Monahan
(Zvolen) - F

Locale: CA Central Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Most important gear item on 04/15/2013 17:25:45 MDT Print View

Well, just to give a general update I did happen to make it out this past weekend although it was more of a base camp situation rather than backpacking I did take all of my backpacking gear to 'test' in a safe environment. Overall everything worked great, the temperatures were in the mid 30's at night and mid 60's during the day so I was able to find my comfort spot with clothing.

I also wanted to report back regarding the tent as I said I would as well. After initially setting up I didn't have an issue with sagging at all. I was however slightly disappointed with the size inside. The tent is described as a 2-person tent and while that may be possible I didn't find it would be the best case scenario with my given needs and size. I am 6'3" 195 and I'll be the first to admit I do like my space. My only other complaint was the interior usable space; since the slope of the tent from the center pole to the rear is so steep it doesn't leave much room to move around. For instance the height at the rear is about a foot high where the apex in about 43 if I remember correctly. Therefore the back half of the tent is unusable with out laying down granted that is where your feet will be but I found that a tad restricting when entering and exiting. I did have a little bit of condensation during the evenings that rubbed on my bag, due to the low height of the rear, but for me not much of an issue.

Overall I was generally content with the tent as my expectation were realistic and given the price and weight think its a good beginning tent and suits my needs. I enjoyed my trip and look forward to other outings soon.

I'll try to put up some pictures I snapped as well. Thanks again everyone.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Gear..gear...and more gear. on 04/16/2013 19:54:57 MDT Print View

The most important gear item is what is between your head! :)

I may get banned from this forum and have to turn in my Real Outdoors Person (TM) membership card, but gear is the least important part of backpacking.

When I started backpacking, I had an old external frame pack, a Campmor Hollofill II (synthetic bag), a Eureka Tent with fiberglass poles, an old cookpot, an acrylic sweather and a Coleman 1 burner propane stove (which I still have and use! Great for truck bivvy's before a backpacking trip at the trailhead)

If you notice the gear, it is heavy and bulky, but serviceable. I knew enough to not wear cotton jeans, but at 22 yo was in no position to buy "real" backpacking gear.

I hiked the White Mountains with a buddy and then solo. And learned to love the wilderness.

Two years later, I was on top of Katahdin with a smile on my face as I just thru-hiked the AT.

And after THAT I moved to Colorado.

Over the course of the years, I started getting the "right" gear and clothing that fit the style of backpacking. I learned to appreciate the lightness of down after I saved my pennies. And that aluminum poles work a lot better than fiberglass!

It is laudable to buy the "right" gear but frankly you won't know what is the "right" gear until you use it and gain experience. A tarp may not work well for you. Everyone loves inflatable mattresses..except for Luddites like me who can't stand them. :) An alcohol stove IS light and cheap..but maybe you want to cook more? You get the idea.

A good sleeping bag is well, a good investment. Other than that? Too easy to get gear paralysis and not actually gain the experience and love for the outdoors you need.

Try using things you may already have. Buy a few choice items you know won't change too much (again, like a sleeping bag)but don't sweat the gear too much. Just get out there and go hiking! You'll learn far more from getting out there than any REI gear sale. :)

Finally, I wrote an article for going on the cheap. You won't want to follow ALL the ideas..but they are still ideas that may help:

EDIT: Maybe I should have read the whole thread. :) Looks you are getting out there..coolio.

Edited by PaulMags on 04/16/2013 20:08:11 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Gear..gear...and more gear. on 04/16/2013 19:56:52 MDT Print View

Well said Mr. Mags :-)

Phillip Asby

Locale: North Carolina
Goal #1 on 04/17/2013 09:05:20 MDT Print View

You've met your primary goal - which is getting (back) outside!

I'm a newbie - learning to camp/backpack right along with my scout son. There are all kinds of rabbit holes you can lose yourself in when starting/restarting and I've gone down plenty of them. You've already avoided the first real mistake I made which was buying stuff on the cheap not knowing any better that is now much too heavy/bulky for anything other than car camping and is not really worth trying to sell.

I agree with all the comments about how personal this can be. I backpack with guys who seem to happily carry overstuffed Baltoro 85 packs that have to weigh 40-50 pounds without food/water. These guys literally pack in bags of charcoal to cook (4-5 pounds at least). Talk about commitment. This past trip my base weight was 19 and change which is not any feat around here but still not bad considering where I started (and I had some luxuries folks here would put me to the guillotine over!). I've tried 3 pads, the third being an Exped Synmat 7 (not the UL) which changed my view of what a good nights sleep could be in the outdoors. Some folks are fine on 1/2 of foam. Etc...

Personally - I think the choices you've made are good ones. Even if you go to an alcohol setup that 700 pot will almost always be worth using. Same for the spork. And I use my Gigapower regularly - just a great all around stove and easily sellable if you find it collecting dust. And the inflatable pad for me at least is the answer over other options at least for the moment. I'll only give up the Synmat 7 for a lighter insulated pad...

I think shelters are the trickiest for me at least to get right. You have to have one and at some point no pun intended start putting stakes in the ground and getting some data points. Sort of like a stove I don't think a decent light double walled tent is ever a bad investment as there will likely be some conditions in the future you may want one (ex. shift to hammocks but not a full over/under quilt setup and want to go to the ground in colder temps - a few guys in our troop do that).

I've spent far too much time pondering and fretting - sort of my nature admittedly - with gains not necessarily proportional to the mental energy I've expended.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Gear..gear...and more gear. on 04/17/2013 09:54:26 MDT Print View

"The most important gear item is what is between your head! :)

I may get banned from this forum and have to turn in my Real Outdoors Person (TM) membership card, but gear is the least important part of backpacking."

Well said. I hate those trips when I accidentally leave my brain at home. I once did a long hike with with Levi's and am still alive to tell about it.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Gear..gear...and more gear. on 04/17/2013 10:13:32 MDT Print View

Nick and Paul. I'm with you, but unlike Paul I didn't have the sense/cents not to hike in Jeans, and like Nick I have lived to tell about it

I have posted this before, but it needs another look: (my brother wasn't very smart either and he ended up a Lawyer?). BTW, I was wearing a wool shirt (rolled up sleeves). I had to borrow the Jansport, rent boots, but the glasses were all mine (you have to look cool while you ski!)Tad-Brad on Rainier

Edited by bestbuilder on 04/17/2013 11:24:42 MDT.