I swear, I still have a bike!
Since I’ve been doing a lot of backpacking and hiking lately, I thought I’d update my 3-season backpacking list.
And here are the most notable changes to my kit:
The classic is back! For 2014, Thermarest is re-releasing the original Ridgerest without the aluminized coating. This has two distinct advantages: firstly, the torso-length Ridgerest is now only $15. That’s an excellent price for a high-quality, durable foam mat with an R-value rating of 2.6. My mat only weighs 9oz, which is about what my Z-rest weighs, but I find this is a bit more substantial than the veritable Z-rest, so it’s good for trips when you expect to be sleeping on a lot of rocks.
I use the torso pad underneath my torso and my pack underneath my legs.
I find that I’m only cooking once in a while. Carrying around a Snow Peak Gigapower stove felt like overkill if I turned it on once a weekend. Instead, I’m using the tiny Esbit folding stove and a couple of tabs of esbit, which weigh about 1/2 an ounce each. The entire stove fits in the palm of my hand, and I can keep using my Snow Peak 700ml pot.
I haven’t actually bought these yet since it’s still 70º around here, but they’re on my hit list for the fall backpacking season. At just a hair over 2oz for a pair of mittens AND a hat, I don’t think there’s a lighter bit of warmth available right now than these fleece bits. Kudos to Zpacks for sealing a void in the market between heavy duty winter mittens and “liner” style gloves.
Oh, and the Patagonia Micro D 1/4 Zip Pullover that I have been raving about for ever is available again for fall 2014! Patagonia re-launched this ultralight fleece in a few colors and it’s still only $65. A great option at half the weight of regular fleece, and all the loft/warmth. Stretch is nice too! Check out Patagonia’s website for men’s sizes.
Here’s some more pics from this past weekend’s camping on Mt. Florida! The Backcountry Stoic Templum 2.1 tent has survived a mild hurricane and a whole mess of trips. It’s a good tent. That’s Kelley smiling at you down there:
And some bonus pics from this week. I climbed Mt. Greylock and all I got was this stupid view: