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What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why
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Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/14/2014 23:08:51 MDT Print View

I am typically not one to start a thread like this so it may die quickly on the vine.......yet, in a recent reply I received from Todd, he mentioned his Montbell Down T is a piece of gear that just really makes him smile.

This got me thinking......what one piece of my gear really makes me smile? My answer......

Trail Designs Caldera Keg - GVP

There is something about pulling out a 2.13 oz cook system when it's time for dinner that always puts a big smile on my face. It takes me back to the early days when my white gas MSR Whisperlight stuff sack weighed about that much - smile.

I know we probably all have lots of pieces of gear we really like, yet, please just state the single winner for you.

What one item really makes you smile and why?

(ardavis324) - F

Locale: High Sierra
Re: What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 00:05:57 MDT Print View

ZPacks Hexamid twin

Yes, way too expensive.. I splurged on it. It's s the only thing made of cuben that I own. Neat to think its made out of fabric that's used for sails. Its unbelievably light. Its gorgeous when pitched nice and taught. It just seems perfect..cant think of anything to add or remove. Its subtle enough to actually enhance pictures of the places Ive pitched it.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why" on 03/15/2014 00:12:24 MDT Print View

Western Mountaineering Versalite sleeping bag. It makes me smile because it guarantees I'm going to sleep warm, no matter what Alaska throws at me spring/summer/fall. Sometimes our nighttime temps in the middle of summer still dip to freezing, this bag keeps me warm. The full length zip means I can vent it on the warm nights, or just use it as a quilt. And it's luxurious to get into- so soft. This bag was my "holy grail" of sleeping bags and I was so excited when I found a deal on a used one. Oh, and it's still relatively light. It weighs roughly the same as my previous bag but way warmer and more loft.

rick .

Locale: NYC
paradoxical response on 03/15/2014 00:17:37 MDT Print View

My empty Kelty pack from days past makes me smile. My current pack/shelter/quilt/pad and most other non-clothing items together weigh less! And, if it fit in that tanker, I brought it! (this is the biggest pack, it HAS to be the best? haha)

My MYOG down quilt is a close second in smiles (since the first one was meta, I took the liberty of giving 2 answers).

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 03:06:50 MDT Print View

The battered Wildcats I walked the CT in last summer....

They hang on the clothes dryer on my upper landing and make me think of this summer...


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 08:09:45 MDT Print View

My WM Puma as it keeps me nice and warm in crazy cold Michigan winter.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 08:25:09 MDT Print View

It's my MYOG pack nicknamed The Great Pumpkin.

The Great Pumpkin ;-)

The reason is that this is the only pack that has been carried by me on more than one successive hike. It is a reminder of all the good times a.k.a. "adventures" that I have had on the trail. It has survived many miles on the trail and many modifications as my gear list has changed and evolved.

Also since I tend to hike on the AT during hunting season the blaze orange color offers me some level of protection. ;-)

Party On,

Newton ;-)

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 08:51:24 MDT Print View

My packraft. Makes me grin like a little kid. :D

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 08:53:19 MDT Print View

Cool thread, Rick.

Ya know, I'm glad you started this thread because when I wrote that the Down T "makes me smile" it actually took me down a road like this.

I am enjoying reading yours and others' responses.


Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
MLD burn on 03/15/2014 09:26:27 MDT Print View

For the same reason a dog gets excited when you get out the lease. "Oh boy, were going for a walk!"

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
GG Spinntwinn on 03/15/2014 10:33:15 MDT Print View

Nothing is quite so esthetic as a well pitched Cat cut tarp like my GG Spinntwinn, a classic UL shelter. Both photos taken today as I have the shelter up for testing in higher winds we are expecting today.

Spinntwinn #1

Spinntwinn #2

Richard R
(alaskaoneday) - MLife

Locale: Northern CA
My pack(s) on 03/15/2014 10:56:39 MDT Print View

My McHale pack(s) because when I grab one it means I am getting out of the house and it will carry anything I bring comfortably.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 11:32:31 MDT Print View

My trail shirt.

I found an odd-ball brand of shirt that I've worn for the past 10 years. I'm on my 4th one (I stocked up) and I only wear it when I'm backpacking, day hiking or fly fishing.

When I pull it out of the closet, I always smile because good times are ahead.

Justin C
(paintballr4life) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Item on 03/15/2014 19:58:57 MDT Print View

I have to say my Goosefeet down booties make me smile. My feet were always cold in the wild, but not anymore!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 20:47:59 MDT Print View

 photo 1020Lead_zpsdb121e43.jpg

Why? It freed up my hibelt (leave the heavy camera now at home!) and became my favorite smartphone ever. With the camera grip I was in heaven. I'll miss it if I have to give it up ever ;-) GPS, maps (even offline), Kindle app, music, camera....all in one. And yes, the camera lives up to the hype I might add......

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 20:56:17 MDT Print View

My MSR Titanium spoon. I've had it since '97 and I use it every day. It's been everywhere with me.

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: What ONE piece of gear makes you smile and why on 03/15/2014 22:21:56 MDT Print View

My gear seems to be in a constant state of flux, so I had to really think about this, but I stumbled across the answer while doing some more stove tests at home. It's just a simple Mini-Bic.

Every time I pull it out to light my stove, or campfire for that matter, I smile to myself, and shake my head a little too. I wonder how in the world I ever spent 30 years of my life as a smoker. Now, 6 years later, the only time I use a lighter is when I'm doing something I really enjoy, instead of doing something I wish I could quit.

I also feel absolved of any and all guilt for even the most expensive piece of gear I own, since it's all money that otherwise would have gone up in smoke!

Edited by Glenn64 on 03/15/2014 22:22:46 MDT.

Mitch Chesney
(MChesney) - F
The ol' dog is still king on 03/16/2014 13:38:30 MDT Print View

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it yet: The Patagonia R1 Hoody

Nothing gets taken along more than my lime green R1 hoody - it seems to have such a wide and adaptive temperature range that only in the dog days of summer here in SoCal does it get left behind.

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Only one? on 03/16/2014 18:34:13 MDT Print View

Criminy! Everything makes me smile in one way or another...

If I had to choose one, I'd say it would be my TarpTent Notch-- roomy, comfy, light, and secure.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
The one that always makes me smile. on 03/16/2014 20:59:59 MDT Print View

This one's easy: my Kelty. It's been nearly everywhere I've ever backpacked, albeit not the trips when I wore my Lowe internal, and it's always comfortable, reliable and functional. It makes other people smile, too: some because they know better and others because it's iconic.

2014 will be Season 33 with the Kelty and I'm smiling already.