T Nation

Backpacking Thread

Anyone into backpacking, camping, or any other outdoor shit? I’ve recently gotten into it and I’m always looking for good websites, gear recommendations, stories, etc.

Hennesy Hammocks. I got one for x-mas. Lightweight, no sleeping pad needed.

Learn a few simple knots.

Good all around blade.

Liquer…beer weighs too much.

Went snow shoeing not to long ago with a couple buddies at night with head lamps for the first time. It was quite fun actually for just walking around on a mountain.

Buy a little guy like this. Friend bought it and it boils snow in literally 3 minutes.
http://www.365adventure.com/reviews/data/36/MSR-Pocket-Rocket-Camp-Stove-11.jpg

Dude, I live in a forest.

I spent 5 years of college/gradschool in a tent, mostly field classes (geology).

When I moved to Maine, I lived in a tent for 3 weeks before I got my first rental.

Love that shit.

I’m into ultralight backpacking, mostly mountaineering. It’s not everyones cuppa, but I love paring the weight down to almost nothing, making natural shelters out of whatever’s at hand, etc. A good website: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/index.html

If you don’t want to shell out for a camping stove, you can make one of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverage-can_stove | They’re easy to make, and you only need a couple cans. I have several of them.

For backup flashlights, I recommend the LED flashlights they have at the Dollar Tree (depending on store). They’re surprisingly bright and durable, and cost so little that if you lose one, it doesn’t matter. Seal the lip around the battery cover with clear nail polish to help keep rain out of it.

Carry bear mace, it can put anything flat on its back.

Don’t climb a mountain when a thunderstorm is approaching, the ground becomes live with static electricity, it’s really freaky (and deadly).

Make a few Altoids tins kits (fire starting kit, medic kits, water purification kit, fishing kit, etc) and carry those in your pockets. That way, if you lose your pack, you’ll still have basic supplies with you.

Rub cotton balls in petroleum jelly, then wrap them in tin foil and carry them in a little case. They are easy to light, burn hot for a fair amount of time, and are perfect for starting fires in damp or windy conditions.

Get cheap glow sticks from the dollar store or eBay. They make it easy to keep track of hiking partners at night without having to keep the flashlights on.

That’s all I’ve got off the top of my head.

Usually ski apparel/gear oriented, but some great deals at steepandcheap.com

I love to backpack. I have been for about 5 years, and I mostly go to hike and fly fish. If you have never gone fly fishing I highly recommend it, also do you prefer to do summits? or just hike? because there is a lot of decent mountains to climb in the US, but to get to some tall ones you gotta go out of the country mostly. I know Pikes peak is a tall one, I mostly hike in the sierras, what ranges have you been too? I am guessing the Appalachians?

Original post edit never made it, so…

Equipment advice: Go for ‘tried and true’ names that are still associated with extreme outdoors and wilderness: Helly-Hansen, Northface, Cabela’s, REI, EMS, even Carhartt (20,000 northern New England winter construction workers can’t be wrong about warm clothing).

Exception: L.L. Bean’s quality has gone down in the past 15-20 years. I live 1/2 hour from there, and I can tell you that I’ve returned a bunch of stuff that has broken. Oh, they replace it no charge, but that doesn’t help you in the field WHEN IT BREAKS.

When I was college (early 1990’s), a bunch of us did a month trek into northern Ontario to visit parks, mines, quarries, natural geologic features etc. Slept in tents the whole time. I bought a Helly-Hansen foul-weather jacket for 150 bucks or something. I still have it and wear it on rainy days. Mind you, this jacket has travelled two countries, was my only foul weather jacket when I was a land surveyor and geologist, and it’s still solid. Looks barely worn. I will weep the day I have to get rid of it. I just retired a Carhartt denim coat that was 15 years old, and I still have a pair of REI gloves from the same era (they’re going to be retired this year…) :frowning:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
Original post edit never made it, so…

Equipment advice: Go for ‘tried and true’ names that are still associated with extreme outdoors and wilderness: Helly-Hansen, Northface, Cabela’s, REI, EMS, even Carhartt (20,000 northern New England winter construction workers can’t be wrong about warm clothing).

Exception: L.L. Bean’s quality has gone down in the past 15-20 years. I live 1/2 hour from there, and I can tell you that I’ve returned a bunch of stuff that has broken. Oh, they replace it no charge, but that doesn’t help you in the field WHEN IT BREAKS.

When I was college (early 1990’s), a bunch of us did a month trek into northern Ontario to visit parks, mines, quarries, natural geologic features etc. Slept in tents the whole time. I bought a Helly-Hansen foul-weather jacket for 150 bucks or something. I still have it and wear it on rainy days. Mind you, this jacket has travelled two countries, was my only foul weather jacket when I was a land surveyor and geologist, and it’s still solid. Looks barely worn. I will weep the day I have to get rid of it. I just retired a Carhartt denim coat that was 15 years old, and I still have a pair of REI gloves from the same era (they’re going to be retired this year…) :([/quote]

It’s a shame you’re a fascist Steely, otherwise I really think we’d get along :wink:

Last weekend I went camping in the Catskills… my watch has a thermometer in it, ended up reading 4 degrees at about 11 oclock… and then the wind started. Fuck me.

Between two pairs of thermals, a flannel jacket, and the 0 degree bag, I was warm enough though.

I lived by Carhartt when i worked outside… no other jacket gets you ten years of hard use. But they’re too damned heavy to carry on a backpacking trip… I tend to go with the flannel, fleece lined jackets instead.

I tend to stick with stuff from REI or a store around here called Campmor… generally the best stuff, not the sports authority crap.

[quote]Squiggles wrote:
For backup flashlights, I recommend the LED flashlights they have at the Dollar Tree (depending on store). They’re surprisingly bright and durable, and cost so little that if you lose one, it doesn’t matter. Seal the lip around the battery cover with clear nail polish to help keep rain out of it.
[/quote]

I tend to spend a little more on my flashlights. The cheap ones crap out too easy here… and I’m not dealing with that when hiking at night. I have a coleman one that cost me 15 bucks and kicks a lot of ass. Good suggestion with the nail polish though.

Nice. I like that one too.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
Original post edit never made it, so…

Equipment advice: Go for ‘tried and true’ names that are still associated with extreme outdoors and wilderness: Helly-Hansen, Northface, Cabela’s, REI, EMS, even Carhartt (20,000 northern New England winter construction workers can’t be wrong about warm clothing).

Exception: L.L. Bean’s quality has gone down in the past 15-20 years. I live 1/2 hour from there, and I can tell you that I’ve returned a bunch of stuff that has broken. Oh, they replace it no charge, but that doesn’t help you in the field WHEN IT BREAKS.

When I was college (early 1990’s), a bunch of us did a month trek into northern Ontario to visit parks, mines, quarries, natural geologic features etc. Slept in tents the whole time. I bought a Helly-Hansen foul-weather jacket for 150 bucks or something. I still have it and wear it on rainy days. Mind you, this jacket has travelled two countries, was my only foul weather jacket when I was a land surveyor and geologist, and it’s still solid. Looks barely worn. I will weep the day I have to get rid of it. I just retired a Carhartt denim coat that was 15 years old, and I still have a pair of REI gloves from the same era (they’re going to be retired this year…) :([/quote]

It’s a shame you’re a fascist Steely, otherwise I really think we’d get along :wink:

Last weekend I went camping in the Catskills… my watch has a thermometer in it, ended up reading 4 degrees at about 11 oclock… and then the wind started. Fuck me.

Between two pairs of thermals, a flannel jacket, and the 0 degree bag, I was warm enough though.

I lived by Carhartt when i worked outside… no other jacket gets you ten years of hard use. But they’re too damned heavy to carry on a backpacking trip… I tend to go with the flannel, fleece lined jackets instead.

I tend to stick with stuff from REI or a store around here called Campmor… generally the best stuff, not the sports authority crap.[/quote]

Ouch. C’mon, you should know that if anything, I’m —> <— this close to being an anarchist . Besides, here in Maine, and especially near the capitol, it’s home of tree-huggers, Socialists, and gay-cation destinations, so you can’t help but to have friends Lefter than Lenin :wink:

Come up to Maine, I’ll show you how to catch dinner on a fly-rod.

(Note: Ignore my fat-ass face. This pic was about 2 years before I dropped 70 pounds)

Good stuff in this thread. Damn FightinIrish. You create all the threads of gear I’m looking for!

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
Original post edit never made it, so…

Equipment advice: Go for ‘tried and true’ names that are still associated with extreme outdoors and wilderness: Helly-Hansen, Northface, Cabela’s, REI, EMS, even Carhartt (20,000 northern New England winter construction workers can’t be wrong about warm clothing).

Exception: L.L. Bean’s quality has gone down in the past 15-20 years. I live 1/2 hour from there, and I can tell you that I’ve returned a bunch of stuff that has broken. Oh, they replace it no charge, but that doesn’t help you in the field WHEN IT BREAKS.

When I was college (early 1990’s), a bunch of us did a month trek into northern Ontario to visit parks, mines, quarries, natural geologic features etc. Slept in tents the whole time. I bought a Helly-Hansen foul-weather jacket for 150 bucks or something. I still have it and wear it on rainy days. Mind you, this jacket has travelled two countries, was my only foul weather jacket when I was a land surveyor and geologist, and it’s still solid. Looks barely worn. I will weep the day I have to get rid of it. I just retired a Carhartt denim coat that was 15 years old, and I still have a pair of REI gloves from the same era (they’re going to be retired this year…) :([/quote]

It’s a shame you’re a fascist Steely, otherwise I really think we’d get along :wink:

Last weekend I went camping in the Catskills… my watch has a thermometer in it, ended up reading 4 degrees at about 11 oclock… and then the wind started. Fuck me.

Between two pairs of thermals, a flannel jacket, and the 0 degree bag, I was warm enough though.

I lived by Carhartt when i worked outside… no other jacket gets you ten years of hard use. But they’re too damned heavy to carry on a backpacking trip… I tend to go with the flannel, fleece lined jackets instead.

I tend to stick with stuff from REI or a store around here called Campmor… generally the best stuff, not the sports authority crap.[/quote]

FightinIrish26, where were you in the Catskills? I’m a stones throw from Woodstock. Hiked most of the ones around here. Good stuff.

I always liked US Cavalry for outdoors stuff…

http://www.uscav.com/main.aspx?tabID=1287

I’m a huge fan of hiking, backpacking and camping. Every year I go to a different National Park or Forest to backpack, hike or camp. Been to the Rockies in Colorado, Continental Divide in Montana, Death Valley, among many others. I’m also in NJ and love Campmor. It’s one of the best camping/hiking stores in the country. Their online store is really good too.

Since you go to Campmor you’ve probably heard of the NYNJTC but I’ll post their link any way since theres lots of great hikes there:

http://www.nynjtc.org/view/hike

This site also has good hikes and is for around the country. Easy to navigate:

http://www.localhikes.com/

SteelyD:
Been to Acadia National Park in Maine and I’ve got to vote it for one of the most photogenic and scenic parts of the US west of the Mississippi. It puts both the Smokies and Shenandoah parks to shame.

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
SteelyD:
Been to Acadia National Park in Maine and I’ve got to vote it for one of the most photogenic and scenic parts of the US west of the Mississippi. It puts both the Smokies and Shenandoah parks to shame.[/quote]

I have to agree. The juxtaposition of the ocean, mountains, rocky coast, and forest is spectacular, although the other parks you mention are beautiful as well. Hell, even New Jersey’s portion of Appalachian Trail (Delaware Water Gap) is pretty nice!

New Hampshire is just as awesome. I highly recommend Tuckerman’s Ravine trail to the top of Mt. Washington any time of year (given good weather). People hike in the summer and ski the bowl in the winter.

You don’t want to be there when the weather goes bad, though. I took my (then 60 year old) dad up there in Mid-August. The weather turned sour just as we got the top of the bowl and when we finally got to the top, it was rainy and 40 degrees with high winds.

I moved to Maine particularly for the outdoors lifestyle. I have everything you can imagine right in my back yard. Acadia, New Hampshire, and Mt. Katadin within 2 or so hours. The coast is 50 minutes away. I live a 5 minute walk from a world class fishing tidal river, 2 hours from world class white water rafting (see my profile), and the whole state beginning about 10 minutes from here is filled with any kind of hiking, biking, skiing (downhill/X-country), fishing, boating, hunting you could ever imagine.

Indeed, our state tag line is “Vacationland” (or, locally as “Taxationland”)


Once of the many reasons I love the outdoors. Mountains. I snapped this panorama at Grand Teton National Park this past July.

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
Once of the many reasons I love the outdoors. Mountains. I snapped this panorama at Grand Teton National Park this past July.[/quote]

Picture never loaded. Lets try again…

[quote]poophead wrote:

FightinIrish26, where were you in the Catskills? I’m a stones throw from Woodstock. Hiked most of the ones around here. Good stuff.[/quote]

Hey man- I was on North Mountain. Normally we do the whole trail around, but in the winter we just went about a mile in, by one of the old hotel sites, and camped.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
Ouch. C’mon, you should know that if anything, I’m —> <— this close to being an anarchist . Besides, here in Maine, and especially near the capitol, it’s home of tree-huggers, Socialists, and gay-cation destinations, so you can’t help but to have friends Lefter than Lenin :wink:

Come up to Maine, I’ll show you how to catch dinner on a fly-rod.

(Note: Ignore my fat-ass face. This pic was about 2 years before I dropped 70 pounds)[/quote]

Hahaha of course. Nice fish man. What’d you get? I haven’t been freshwater fishing in fuckin’ forever… that looks like one of the stripers I caught off the coast of Long Island this summer.