I think a little background on me may help folks get a feel for where I’m coming from when it comes to my perspective on gear, trip reports, what my priorities are and my deep philosophical beliefs on all things gear related (or not).
I’m 47 years young, 6’1” and right now a little over 240lbs (working on getting this number down). So what this means is I like a little extra room in my clothing, a larger cut on my sleeping bags and a wider sleeping pad. I destroy light weight foot wear in short order, it’s boots for this guy. The majority of my trips are overnight solo adventures in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. My daily mileage is usually between 9 to 14 miles a day. I’m blessed to have a pretty sweet work schedule. I work four 10 hour days so I have three day weekends all summer long. The best part about this deal is that I’m off Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, so while I-93 Southbound is a parking lot jammed with people heading home I’m Northbound to enjoy crowd-free trails and summits! I’m also a volunteer Search and Rescue team member so much of my gear does double duty and see plenty of use.
Two places I won’t compromise to save weight are food and sleep gear. One way I stay motivated to keep moving on the trail is to think about how well I’ll sleep after a great meal. I’m not saying that you have to carry crazy weight to eat well, in fact with a little planning you can eat very well and keep the weight down. I hope to cover some recipes and cooking gear here. Sleep gear can be very light and super comfortable just be ready to spend some money.
I’m not easy on my gear, in fact I’m a bit rough on it. I’m not a gram weenie. I’m not interested in SUL (Super Ultra-Light) gear that is delicate and needs to be handled gently. I’ll carry a couple extra ounces and run it hard. That being said no one wants to carry unnecessary weight. I read somewhere that if you have 60 or so items in your pack and you shave an ounce or two off each item you can save some noticeable weight.
Most of the gear I review here will be stuff I purchased myself. If at some point I’m given gear to review I’ll try to remember and disclose that fact. I support my local EMS when it’s reasonable to do so (EMS in Concord, NH on Fort Eddy Rd. good people). I’ve gotten to know several employees on a first name basis and I consistently get great info from a few of them. My daughters give me a hard time and say it’s a sign that I have a serious gear issue when most of the employees there know me by name.
I’d love to hear your comments on any gear I go over and please share your favorite backcountry cuisine recipes or maybe a suggestion for a gear review.