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New gear list, nothing fancy
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Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
New gear list, nothing fancy on 02/21/2014 17:19:35 MST Print View

So I just packed up everything for a weekender so I cant weight everything, but had the desire to post a gear list to have maybe some ol' vets look at it.

Primary uses: Weekenders/Weeklongs Fall/spring/mild winter on a college students budget

Golite poncho----Best budget UL shelter IMHO
8 mini hedgehog stakes---I have heard these are better than titanium stakes for some reason
30 feet of spectra/nylon sheathed chord w linelocs
Two Trashbags 1.5 oz total!--use as groundsheet primarily, can be used as vb poncho and leg device or as partial bag cover if its hurricaning

Neoair xtherm UGGHH expensive but worth
MH nitrous hooded--CRAIGSLIST 45bucks!!
EE 20 deg quilt 750 fill reg/reg UGGHH expensive but worth, and relative to other options actually a lot cheaper
Unzipped down hood from winter down jacket---Jacket was 20 bucks from platos closet
SOOON I will also have the goose feet socks with covers----UGGHH expensive but worth
Cheep waterproof insulated gloves--3 oz 7 dollars!

Wind layer
Pullover hoody found at goodwill 6oz amazingly water resistant and pretty breathable--4 dollars!
Same with a pair of wind pants 3dollars

Base layer
Underarmour waffle type thing for tops and bottoms-8oz each already had
Smartwool phd socks times 2 ---got with a giftcard

Goretex Brooks trailrunners ghost 6--ALready had

Modified Jam-no foam, bladder, draw chord etc-->21oz new weight---Good value 100 bucks seems okay here

Two smartwater 1L bottles

Visor, handkercheif, half toothbrush, mini toothpaste, headlamp, mini first aid, PLB,

I think my total weight with this is around 7.5 or something, maybe a bit more

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: New gear list, nothing fancy on 02/21/2014 17:31:44 MST Print View

You might like to read THIS

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Re: Re: New gear list, nothing fancy on 02/21/2014 18:41:24 MST Print View

Fair enough, I acknowledged the lack of weights, not really what I am concerned with.(at the moment) More of a shout in a loud room from a newbie to the form to see if anyone has some good info on anything. I will be camping in utah and colorado in all kinds of weather usually below tree line. Solo, i guess that last part is somewhat important. Sorry for being such a BEGINNER haha


David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Re: New gear list, nothing fancy on 02/21/2014 19:57:08 MST Print View

Hi Alex,
If it were me, I'd be concerned about using a small, barely-waterproof tarp for shelter *and* rain gear, with no bivy, only down for insulation and sleep, and fall/spring/ "mild" winter conditions.

Has this system worked well for you in the past? How will it handle "all kinds of weather"? For example, what's your plan if you have to set up the shelter in driving rain (when it's also your poncho)?

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: Re: Re: New gear list, nothing fancy on 02/23/2014 03:26:02 MST Print View

I'd add a bug bivy from borah and a Sawyer squeeze mini filter. The golite poncho works well but it leaves one side exposed and it's pretty minimal in a bad storm. The fabric is weak too. I've torn a tie out just by setting it up. It's only 15d.

I would keep your eyes out for SMD wild oasis. 360 degree weather protection and bug protection so you wouldn't have to get the Bivy. I think they go for around 150 used. Also look for buying something like a Zpacks hexamid or mld solomid. They will cost about $300 but they will last many years with care. It's almost a one time investment but very light and better than a poncho tarp.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Another budget option on 02/23/2014 07:34:50 MST Print View

Don't overlook making your own gear. Thrift stores often have good used sewing machines for $20 or so. You can make a ~10 oz shaped tarp with 360 degree protection for about $30 in materials. Plenty of good info, articles and tutorials for MYOG on this site (and others).

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Poncho tarp sawyer squeeze on 02/24/2014 19:34:36 MST Print View

Thanks for all the insight guys! So far it has worked but I can say that it hasn't been rainy and windy at the same time. I just now perfected a really low pitch that I think will protect me from all weather. Another member here expressed it as a breathable bivy sac. And since I started my UL journey with waterproof bivy sacs I am plenty comfortable with the tight space. However I am VERY Interested in getting a pyramid for group camping or exposed camping etc. I was looking at the appy trails mark 3 or 5 as a possibility... Wind proof enough? Thoughts? And also I keep seeing those sawyer filters on the trail but for now will make due with my life straw!!!! Same principle. As far as the transition between poncho and shelter my wind layer is exceptionally waterproof for being so old and cheap. As a result though it isn't very breathable haha!

Edited by AlexHerron on 02/24/2014 19:48:42 MST.

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Poncho on 02/24/2014 22:55:30 MST Print View

I have spent a few rainy nights under a Golite Poncho and found it to be pretty tight and not much margin for error. Site selection and wind orientation is super important. I have gone with a Gatewood Cape instead. It is just as good as the Golite as a poncho and superior as a shelter, wih full coverage.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Poncho on 02/24/2014 23:32:18 MST Print View

+1 on a Gatewood. Light years past a poncho as a shelter. Not very stylin' as rain gear, but it will keep you dry. I added a bivy with a waterproof bottom, breathable top fabric and insect screen rather than an inner nest. That option is lighter, more versatile, easier to rig and even less expensive. Bugs were the main impetus for adding the bivy, not weather.

And I like ponchos. They are inexpensive, light, ventilated, and cover your entire pack. I think they make a fine emergency shelter, but require a waterproof bivy to make a complete shelter. I carry an AMK space blanket bivy for my day hiking backup shelter, paired with the poncho.

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Gatewood cape on 02/25/2014 18:33:32 MST Print View

My main goal is to speed up pitching, be windproof enough, and eliminate a bivy because I believe it is somewhat unnecessary and I am shying away from any groundsheet that isnt polycro. The gatewood cape does look pretty bomb proof and easy to set up. As far as eliminating the bivy I am considering just sleeping with a head net. This sounds pretty spartan relative to everyone here using a bug insert or bivy but I really dont want to jaunt around with all that fabric and again, not a fan of silnyon as groundsheet or cuben fiber due to lack of waterproofness or induced paranoia from expensiveness. If all you cape users can comment on wind resistance and slam the hammer down as far as rain splatter testimony goes I might have to order myself one!!

Thanks for all the advice!

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gatewood on 02/25/2014 20:19:49 MST Print View

Provides excellent wind protection. I don't use a bivy, just a ground sheet, that is part of the reason I went with the Gatewood over another poncho like the Golite or MLD.

Here is Will's excellent review of the Gatewood:

Edited by on 02/25/2014 20:22:54 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: New gear list, nothing fancy on 02/25/2014 20:28:56 MST Print View

If you do enough trips with only a poncho/tarp and no bivy, you will eventually be in weather with a soaked sleeping bag or quilt. The poncho/tarp is just too small. When you move to 8' X 10' tarp or similar size, then the bivy is not necessary to keep your sleep system dry.

I have a Wild Oasis, which is the same size as the Gatewood, but not a poncho. I can vouch for it being an excellent shelter; even in sleet/light snow/wind.

Ponchos, IMO, are great rain gear, especially in prolonged downpours. They have some disadvantages in wind (a waist cord helps) and they can catch on stray branches or cactus spines.

Even with lots of practice, you will get soaked during set-up or take-down in a good rain.

With lighter tarps (think Cuben), I have quit using poncho/tarps, but still use a poncho for rain gear.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Gatewood cape on 02/25/2014 20:46:49 MST Print View

I use a MYOG silnylon shaped tarp, 9.6 oz including lines. Roughly the same size and coverage as a Gatewood. 360 degree coverage--can pitch pretty tight to the ground if need be. No concerns about rain splatter. I use polycryo for a groundsheet--pretty standard practice around here--1.5 oz trimmed. I've slept in a head net (0.5 oz), and might do it again, but it's definitely an adjustment. I found I needed earplugs to sleep, because the head net still lets mosquitos close enough the buzzing is hard to take, even if they can't bite.

Minus heavy bug pressure, or having to camp in established sites where critters run across my face, I like the openness of a tarp. I really like that my shelter is something I designed and made.

Having said that, my wife and I just got a SMD Haven tarp and net inner for hiking together, and I'm kind of looking forward to a little fully-enclosed comfort, with very little fiddle-factor. Especially since it's only about 18 oz each to carry.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Gatewood cape on 02/25/2014 20:59:55 MST Print View

Take a close look at the new SMD Deschutes tarp - essentially a larger version of the Wild Oasis (minus the bug netting) / Gatewood Cape (minus the poncho hood.

Cuben fiber weighs 7 ounces (6.9) without pegs and lines

49 inch peak height (raises canopy; expands covered space for larger hikers)

Has the same canopy size as the Lunar Solo

Has 42 square feet of coverage; 7 (20%) more than the Wild Oasis or Gatewood Cape (35 square feet @)

A variant of the Serenity Net Tent is being designed to accommodate the 49” peak height.

It will have an 8 inch bathtub floor to block ground winds because the edges of the canopy are so far off the ground.

Shoiuld be available by the end of April. Watch the SMD Facebook page.

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Gatewood cape on 02/25/2014 23:19:45 MST Print View

You asked for input, so this is all I have. I bought into the Gatewood idea, but the snow-piles along my driveway are over my head yet, so it'll be a couple months before I get to try it out. There are so many reviews on it already, that there really isn't anything I can add, except for my first out-of-the-box impressions.

When I received my Gatewood, naturally the first ting I did was put it on the scale. It tipped in at well over 12oz!!! Well over the quoted 11oz, or even the reported 11.6 oz. So I zipped open the pocket zipper, hoping to remove something that caused the extreme overweight reading. First thing that popped out was a sewn in tag that said "Made in China". Disappointing since i thought I was supporting a cottage company. All I found for added weight, was a slip of paper that was the instruction card, and it didn't weigh but a gram, if that.

I set it up in my living room, using freeweights as anchors. I like using them because they are easily slid around to get the perfect pitch, especially on something I've never pitched before. Well, it's impossible to get a taught pitch with the supplied beak cord. Other reviews say it's possible, but with what I had to work with there is no way. It just isn't long enough to stand the beak high enough off the ground to bring the front panels taut. So I added about three feet of cord and got a taut pitch.

It was actually much roomier than I thought it would be. I pitched it as low to the ground as I could, and had no problem with end room or sitting upright. Being a 5' 10", 160 lb male, I feel quite comfortable in it. I moved forward with the seam sealing, but was disappointed again with some of the single stitched construction. As one coming from an MLD Duomid, I found it very weakly made. Compared to something like a Duomid, the Gatewood feels like a made-in-china toy. Perhaps an apples to oranges comparison, but just noting my personal impressions. I'm still new to the homespun variety of gear, but compared to my MLD, ULA and GG purchases, I guess I had higher expectations from SMD.

I mixed up my silicone very thinly and painted it on carefully with an artists acrylic brush. I used as little as possible and it turned out well, at least to the eye, time will tell as to the thoroughness I achieved this time around. There isn't much to seal though, as the only seams to worry about, besides the hood itself and 2 side tieouts, are the 2 seams attaching the front panels. The back and sides are all cut from a single piece. I went ahead and sealed the bottom hem and all the tieouts for reinforcement to the single stitching. With the very minimal silicone I added, the total weight came to 12.4 ozs.

I was initially really tempted to return it, but the roominess and overall concept is so compelling, that I'm hoping now for a wet summer! :-)

Oh, and YMMV, HYOH, and all that jazz...

Edited by Glenn64 on 02/26/2014 10:31:24 MST.

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
new gear list on 02/25/2014 23:20:10 MST Print View

Nick - Are you saying the Gatewood Cape does not provide enough coverage as a tarp? Or that set-up and take down will get you wet? Seems like enough coverage to me, but yeah, in set-up you will get wet, but can get less wet in the take down. What has your experience with the Gatewood and/or Wild Oasis been like?

David - I wold love to see some pictures of your MYOG poncho/tarp. I am thinking about trying something like that in cuben.

Bob - I suspect the SMD Deschutes will be pretty expensive. The Haven in cuben is $460.

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gatewood on 02/25/2014 23:24:10 MST Print View

Glenn - Mine came in at a bit over 11oz and is about 12oz seam sealed, which does not seem out of line from what I have read. I hike in the PNW, so yes, let it rain!

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: new gear list on 02/26/2014 08:04:31 MST Print View

Hi Edward,

I should have clarified--mine *isn't* a poncho tarp, just a tarp. I carry separate rain gear. Pictures are near the end of an article here:

Edited by DavidDrake on 02/26/2014 08:05:17 MST.

Alex Herron
(AlexHerron) - F

Locale: Front Range
Gatewood/ bug net on 02/26/2014 09:19:22 MST Print View

Thank you all for the insight into the gatewood. The stitchig gives me pause and the made in china is a letdown. Since I mostly do trail runs with my pack on quick overnighters I am going to wait and see if my golite poncho can stand up to what I want from it. It's super lightweight, and even though it takes some time to setup I will be wearing a pretty water resistant wind layer underneath. With a modified a frame I think I can handle most conditions and for the few I can't well then I failed to pick a good spot to pitch!! Thanks for the info on the head bug net. Up here in the Rockies they don't bother me to much but around some less windy places here and Utah they would probably be buzzing around me like that all night!

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Gatewood/ bug net on 02/26/2014 09:53:21 MST Print View

I feel I need to retract a bit of my comments on the stitching. I looked it over again, and areas around the hood and zipper are double stitched, some areas better than others. So my comment about it being single stitched throughout is clearly false. I'm going back to edit my comments to better reflect that.

It does little to change my overall impression however, it still feels weakly constructed to me, and it still has a made-in-china tag. Other reviews have stated how it's a fine choice for moderate weather, but not the best choice for anything severe. Although I've yet to get it out in the real world yet, that seems like a pretty accurate assessment.

Some things are clearly made superior and easy to recommend, others are pure junk and easy to give a big thumbs down to. For me, in my novice opinion, the Gatewood is somewhere in the middle. I'm still excited to use it, but was a little let down in my initial expectations. For my mild weekend use, I think it will be just fine. I guess I'd just gotten spoiled with other, more "bombproof" items, which I wouldn't categorize the Gatewood as.

I can't afford to try every option out there, but for this genre of gear, it seems like the Gatewood is the best thing going for now. I just wish it was made more locally and with more pride in the workmanship.

Edited by Glenn64 on 02/26/2014 10:28:03 MST.