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What gear makes you happy?
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Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 00:13:58 MDT Print View

It is late at night. It is warm with a light breeze. I am sitting on my front porch in Seattle, smoking a cigar of unspecified national origin, drinking a gin and tonic, and planning my next hike. When my thoughts turned to gear, as they eventually do, certain gear simply makes me happy when using it: my Zpacks Hexamid Twin Tent, my custom Zimmerbuilt pack, and my Feathered Friends custom Vireo sleeping bag. The Hexamid Twin feels like a palace and has gone through storms, rain, and snow. Just being under it in the wilderness makes me feel secure, yet connected to my surroundings. My custom Zimmerbuilt fits perfectly, is laid out just like I wanted, and is made with such quality and craftsmanship that it is a joy to put on my shoulders. My custom Vireo is warm and comfortable. Just climbing into it makes me feel cocooned and safe.

Ignoring weight, ignoring materials, ignoring design, what gear just makes you happy using it?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 00:21:47 MDT Print View

a mini BIC lighter


Owen McMurrey
(OwenM) - F

Locale: SE US
Re: What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 00:37:12 MDT Print View

None of it. All of it.
Being active outdoors makes me happy, and the gear facilitates that.
I can't wait for it to be cool enough to break out my OR Ferrosi hoody, Marmot Scree pants, and Katabatic Palisade quilt again, though, because cool weather makes me happiest(and those ARE some of my gear favorites).
This time of year is good for happily using the kayak, mountain bike, and Mystery Ranch Dragonslayer-if that comes out, something is getting climbed or rappeled!

Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 00:47:43 MDT Print View

Must..not...preach... soooo tempted.....

Just will say, yes, i do appreciate well made, functional and practical gear. Only makes me happy though, when i'm happy for more substantial and inner based reasons to begin with.

Oops, i still did it.

Matthew H

Locale: Boulder, CO
Houdini on 07/07/2014 00:50:49 MDT Print View

Not necessarily my favorite piece of gear I own, but my 2012 Houdini is just so damn useful.

Edited by vision-quest on 07/07/2014 00:51:30 MDT.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
hmmmmm on 07/07/2014 01:28:34 MDT Print View

I must say I am on a forever revolving gear try and release caracal! Though every now and then I will find a piece of gear I am wrapped with!! They are:

-Zip lock bags
-Mini Bic lighter
-AntiGravityGear blow up pillow (25g!!!)
-TT Rainbow
-UL esbit cooking kit (Foster Pot)
-Dehydrated packets of food
-Plastic bags (here in Oz we get these free at the grocery store) for water tight storage
-Cut down tooth brush and paste kit weighing 11g
-Kathmandu Hiking socks
-Kathmandu pullover (poli outer marino inner). I love ther whale tale length around the waste (I can tuck it in my pants for greater warmth) and extra long arms.
-Deoderant stick 11g. I emptied a lip balm tube and melted part of a deodorant stick into it....excellent piece of personal hygene at next to no weight!!! And the swivel action allows me to empty the entire contents before refilling. Win Win

Edited by mikmik on 07/07/2014 01:30:17 MDT.

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
couple things on 07/07/2014 10:11:02 MDT Print View

Jet boil: It all packs up nicely and boils 8-16oz of water in 1:30.

Diddy sack: When full of my needed supplies, its the go to sack for cooking, cleaning, setting up camp, ect...

iPhone: camera, video, GPS, music, and whatever else.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: couple things on 07/07/2014 10:15:15 MDT Print View

My Batman wayfarer sunglasses because my kids picked it out for me. Too bad they have the following product notice:

Certain states require us to provide consumers special warnings for certain products if those products expose consumers to chemicals above threshold levels. We care about our customers safety and hope that the information below helps with your buying decisions.
FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS: Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Do not put in mouth or chew.
FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS: WARNING: Contains Lead. May be harmful if eaten or chewed. May generate dust containing lead. Keep out of the reach of children.

Now on the search for new sunglasses.

jimmy b
(jimmyb) - F
none and all on 07/07/2014 10:41:35 MDT Print View

+1 on none of it, all of it.

No matter how light or necessary, none of it makes me happy when its on my back.

It all makes me happy when its time to make camp at the end of a long day hiking.


. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 07/07/2014 10:51:46 MDT Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 06/29/2015 22:01:08 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock on 07/07/2014 11:05:59 MDT Print View


Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: Re: couple things on 07/07/2014 11:12:10 MDT Print View

Ian, i thought i told you before, your sunglasses are not a backup snack for when you run out of regular hiking food. Sheesh, you can lead an Ian to water, but you can't make him filter it properly. `

Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
A serious post on 07/07/2014 11:59:45 MDT Print View

Like my EE quilts, my cuben Solomid (though still plan to mod it some), sawyer squeeze, Houdini, yes bic's are awesome too, and i'm sure more. I don't have a great pack. Well i gave a great one away recently to a friend for a bug out bag. Fit well and rode nice, the pack, not friend, that is.

Oh, and who can forget the trusty, reliable scale, without which i wouldn't be able to obsessively weigh and record weights in such a convenient and fairly accurate manner.

It's still too early, and with a lack of experience to list my modded poncho, but i do have high hopes. Might come closest to being the holy grail of WPB rain gear for warmer weather, that is so far possible while being super inexpensive too.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 13:18:03 MDT Print View

>" a mini BIC lighter --B.G.--"

Which I'd tweak to "a mini BIC lighter with the child-safety guard removed".

For snow camping, I'll splurge and bring a full-sized BIC (also modified). It's easier to use with cold or gloved hands.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 13:45:30 MDT Print View

The constants of my backpacking universe put a smile upon my face:

My hiking poles are old friends without which I could not complete my trips. The strap around my wrist is like an old and comfortable glove and the worn handles slips into the palm of my hand effortlessly. The familiar sound of carbide tips tapping step by step on Sierra granite as I head down the trail to round the next bend in the trail to reveal the next magnificent sight.

My 2008 MLD eVent Soul Side home away from home that is safe and secure in all weather that gives me the piece of mind to find weary slumber to take me away to the next sunrise and daily adventure.

My MSR Titan Kettle....yeah, it is a little big for my needs, but cradling my only hot meal in my hands at the end of the day after a long day on the trail to watch the sunset is magical.

Other gear changes or gets worn out...these seem to be eternal and constant.


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 13:54:28 MDT Print View

David, did you know that you can purchase lighters that have no child safety guards?


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Re: What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 13:56:24 MDT Print View

Bob, Nope, I didn't know that. I've heard they don't come that way in other countries, but all the ones I've seen have the little guard near the sparker wheel. They are easy to pop off or grind/file in half and then they fall off. Where do you find them without?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 14:03:03 MDT Print View

I've found the non-safe lighters in stores where children are not around. Try a smoke shop or a liquor store (not that I would know anything about those establishments).

Some 50-year-old bearded pipe smoker is not going to want to fool around with child safety devices. He wants only the straight stuff.

Of course, the best lighters have a nearly transparent plastic butane compartment so that you can see the fuel level. Some are barely transparent. A few are opaque, so I never take those to the field.

Also, in winter, I always carry two (one for each front pocket). You don't want to take a chance on the fuel getting too cold to operate.


todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: What gear makes you happy? on 07/07/2014 14:17:04 MDT Print View

1) My old BPL Firelite 550 w/handles, Esbit Ti-wing stove, homemade foil windscreen. Well worn and faithful. Quieter than a whisper.

2) I WILL love my new, fancier Litetrail version of same, but haven't used it yet!

3) My Montbell Down T (w/snaps) - this was what started an earlier thread on gear "that makes you smile"

4) Wild Oasis and Gatewood Cape from SMD

5) Bridge hammock, but not the big tarp required with it

6) Steripen Journey - fits most bottles easily

7) I think I'll love my Arc Blast from Zpacks

Joe A
(dirtbaghiker) - M
All on 07/07/2014 14:28:44 MDT Print View

All of my gear makes me happy. My GG Hyperlight Murmur pack makes me so happy now because when I pack it and put it on my back it feels so nice and I don't even notice it is there. My BPW bug bivy makes me happy because it let's me sleep as close to nature and cowboy camping as possible but be protected from those darn skeeters...