Backpacking, Hiking & Camping Gear to Use this Year

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IntrepidXJ

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I liked Tyler's post, so I'm going to borrow the idea :) Especially since I am sitting on a lot of new gear I am looking forward to using this year.

As some of you know, I have been gearing up to start backpacking this year. Here's some of the gear that I have purchased over the last few months to prepare. I can't wait to get out and use it once it warms up a bit. Once I get a chance to thoroughly test out this gear in the field, I'll post up some reviews, but for now here's a little info on each with the initial reasons why I got what I did.

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1



Not only is the Copper Spur UL1 the only 1-person tent I could find that was long enough for me, it's pretty light at 2lbs 12oz. It's also a true free-standing design which I was also looking for. The cross-pole at the top of the tent keeps the sides pretty vertical making it plenty rooming inside for myself and some gear. I also like that the whole top portion of the tent is mesh, so on nice nights when I don;t need the fly I will be able to watch the sky. Not only did I get this tent for backpacking, but I think it will work great for overnight raft trips, too.

Western Mountaineering Sycamore MF



When I started looking for a sleeping bag for backpacking, I knew I needed something light but also roomy. I'm not a huge fan of mummy bags, so I ended up going with a semi-rectangular. It's between a normal rectangle bag and mummy bag. After getting into this bag, I can tell you that it's plenty roomy and comfortable inside....so I'm pretty sure I made the right decision. I got the long version of this bag which is plenty long for me and still weighs in at just 2lbs 2oz. It packs down very small, too. The hood and the foot box that unzips were features I was looking for, plus I also like the fact that I can completely unzip the bag and use it as a comforter. The MicroLite XP exterior will help provide a little weather protection, too.

Osprey Atmos 65



After looking at a bunch of packs, this is the one that fit me the best. I was really interested in the Kestrel series when I started looking at packs, but the M/L size just did not fit me well. I needed to get an actual L.

Therma-a-rest ProLite Plus



I went with the Large size even though it added a little extra weight, but it fits me well and is very comfortable. Not sure how well it will work out for me backpacking, but the worst case scenario is that I get something else and keep this one for car camping and rafting.

Big Agnes Jupiter's Cabin 4-Person Tent



Amanda and I have been using a Kelty Grand Mesa 4 for car camping when we are together and it has worked fine for us. Unfortunately, the zipper has gone bad, so I picked us up a new tent for this year. This one has roughly the same floor dimensions as the Kelty, but the roof is about a foot taller which should be nice.

AIRE Tributary Tomcat Tandem



I've rented this exact inflatable kayak before and it's the same one my good friend has....so I know I will like it from experience. It will be nice to finally have my own this season. There are a lot of day trips in the area, and I'm planning on some over-nighters, too. The tandem has plenty of room for myself and all my camping gear.

f-stop Loka



I'll add this one to the list even though I haven't received it yet....I've had it on order for about 2 months and it looks like I'm still going to have to wait until the end of March to hopefully get it....unless that date gets pushed back again. Apparently this pack is very in-demand. I'm getting this pack for day-hiking with my camera gear. It will be replacing my Clik Elite Hiker which is just too big for me for day-hikes. I like that the camera is accessed through the back of the pack, so I can just drop it down and open it up....no need to flip it back over and get the back dirty. I ordered the Medium sized ICU which should hold all of my gear just fine. I also like the fact that the ICU's can be removed so the pack can be used as a normal backpack, too.

If I remember anything else I forgot or pickup some new gear, I'll add it to this thread :)
 

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Nick

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Nice. Looks like it's going to be a great year! So when and where is the first backpacking trip? :)
 

IntrepidXJ

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Haven't decided on when yet....but it will be this spring sometime. The first trip will probably be local....maybe Dominguez Canyon or Knowles Canyon.
 

HomerJ

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I'm jealous of all you new toys!!! :twothumbs: That kayak looks fun! I was planning on getting the Atmos until ibenick mentioned the Kestral. I'm going to have to go to the store and try them both out. FYI - I ran into a group two years ago on a trail in the Winds, the father and son that each had an Atmos 65 and they both loved them! Thought you might like to hear that...
 

Tyler

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Very nice list. My wife wants to get a Kayak badly. Not for insane river stuff though, would you recommend inflatable over the hard shell?
 

IntrepidXJ

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Very nice list. My wife wants to get a Kayak badly. Not for insane river stuff though, would you recommend inflatable over the hard shell?
I got the kayak mainly for easy day trips and over-nighters. Probably won't see anything above Class III....mostly Class I and II.

I prefer the inflatable because it's easy to store and easy to transport. I can fit two of them easily in the back of my Jeep.

I know the hard shells are better for the more extreme stuff, but not needed for the easy stuff.
 

Yvonne

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I use the regular ProLite Plus and really like it a lot. I used it on all my trips last year as well as on some camping trips here in Western New York.
One negative point, it's not really warm which can be an important point here in the East. But for desert camping and backpacking it is really a nice one, lightweight and easy to attach on a backpack.
 

Deadeye008

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Nice! That Atmos is a SWEET looking pack. I need to get a little bigger tent for car camping. All I have right now is a 2 man and 3 man backpacking tents. You'll have to let me know how you like that Big Agnes Juniper Cabin. I am also dieing to try out one of their new insulated Q-Core pads. That might have to be my next purchase...
 

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Tyler

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I'll have to look into a new pack next year. I used to not care so much about my pack, but if I want to get out more, I know I'll need something better.
 

Tyler

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I got the kayak mainly for easy day trips and over-nighters. Probably won't see anything above Class III....mostly Class I and II.

I prefer the inflatable because it's easy to store and easy to transport. I can fit two of them easily in the back of my Jeep.

I know the hard shells are better for the more extreme stuff, but not needed for the easy stuff.
Thanks. How much should I plan to spend on a decent inflatable kayak? 2 seater.
 

IntrepidXJ

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Thanks. How much should I plan to spend on a decent inflatable kayak? 2 seater.
For a good one you will be looking at spending anywhere from around $700-1500 (I wouldn't recommend getting one of the cheaper ones out there). The Tomcat Tandem that I got is probably the cheapest model you would want to go with, IMO.

Of course, that's for a brand new one.....I'm sure you could find a slightly used one at a better price. Many raft-guides use the Tomcat Tandems for a season or two and then sell them off.
 

IntrepidXJ

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f-stop Loka



I'll add this one to the list even though I haven't received it yet....I've had it on order for about 2 months and it looks like I'm still going to have to wait until the end of March to hopefully get it....unless that date gets pushed back again. Apparently this pack is very in-demand. I'm getting this pack for day-hiking with my camera gear. It will be replacing my Clik Elite Hiker which is just too big for me for day-hikes. I like that the camera is accessed through the back of the pack, so I can just drop it down and open it up....no need to flip it back over and get the back dirty. I ordered the Medium sized ICU which should hold all of my gear just fine. I also like the fact that the ICU's can be removed so the pack can be used as a normal backpack, too.
I finally did receive the f-stop Loka and found hat it was a bit smaller than what I was looking for. I ended up sending it back and getting a Tilopa BC instead. I like the size of the pack, but I'm not sure on the ICU size that's going to work best for me yet.

I've used the Western Mountaineering Sycamore bag twice while camping out of my Jeep and so for I really like it. I'll be taking it along with my other new backpacking gear on my first backpacking trip this weekend....so I'll finally be able to test out more of this stuff :)
 

Nick

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I finally did receive the f-stop Loka and found hat it was a bit smaller than what I was looking for. I ended up sending it back and getting a Tilopa BC instead. I like the size of the pack, but I'm not sure on the ICU size that's going to work best for me yet.

I've used the Western Mountaineering Sycamore bag twice while camping out of my Jeep and so for I really like it. I'll be taking it along with my other new backpacking gear on my first backpacking trip this weekend....so I'll finally be able to test out more of this stuff :)
Nice! Where ya heading for your first trip?
 

IntrepidXJ

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It figures that the year I finally buy my own IK the rivers are very low! Hoping to get it out on Ruby-Horsethief in a few weeks, but that will depend on the flow...
 

IntrepidXJ

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I finally went on my first backpacking trip over the weekend and everything went well. I also got to try out some of this new gear...here's a few quick thoughts.

Copper Spur UL1- Light yet big enough for me. Easy to quickly setup. I didn't use the rainfly since the weather was nice, so I had a nice view of the stars through the mesh. I think this tent will be perfect for backpacking and raft trips

Western Mountaineering Sycamore- I've camped out of my Jeep with this bag a few times and now carried it backpacking. I gotta say I really love this bag! Super roomy while still very light. Plenty warm down to 25 degrees. When I was getting too hot in it one night I unzipped it open and used it as a blanket. I also like having the hood.

Osprey Atmos 65- Currently a good size for my gear that was easy to pack and organize. Like the mesh on the back which kept my back nice and cool all day. Was comfortable at first, but later in the day my shoulders were getting sore. Not sure if that is the pack or something I am doing wrong....need to figure it out...

Therm-a-rest ProLite Plus- Very comfortable and large enough for me, but I don't think it will work well for backpacking. I'd like something a bit lighter and smaller. This was strapped to the outside of my pack and kept dragging over the rocks as I descended ledges...don't think it will last long if I keep that up. This will be great for rafting and camping out of my Jeep still.
 

HomerJ

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Osprey Atmos 65- Currently a good size for my gear that was easy to pack and organize. Like the mesh on the back which kept my back nice and cool all day. Was comfortable at first, but later in the day my shoulders were getting sore. Not sure if that is the pack or something I am doing wrong....need to figure it out...
Sounds like too much weight was on your shoulders. The bulk of it needs to be on your hips. The shoulder straps should mostly keep the pack against your back and not hold the weight. You may have to adjust the straps a bit to get it right. Keep the heaviest items in your pack near the middle of your back. Proper gear packing goes a long way.
 

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