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End of the year gear evaluation - Printable Version

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End of the year gear evaluation - justsaymo - 12-08-2018

Every year I try to evaluate my Go-BOB-GitHome-GP-Everthing Bag. This year I made a few changes with the goal of reducing weight and size of gear, mostly in the shelter category.

I picked up a Paria sil-nylon tarp 12x10. It was almost half the weight of my previous tarp and a little bigger but packs smaller which was a nice bonus.

[Image: Mb9rfTql.jpg]

Fortunately/unfortunately I didn't get to test it in severe conditions. Light rain, moderate wind and some frost were about the extent of the environmentals it was exposed to. It handled those conditions with ease. How it would do in heavy and persistent rain went untested.

The tarp comes with guy lines and stakes. The line is dyneema which is light and strong and seemed to work pretty well when I used trekking poles. When I used a ridgeline I'd use paracord. The Y-stakes are quality aluminum that work best in firm soils. Not so much in the duff common in our forests.

Underneath the tarp I tried out the Paria Mesh Tent. While not as roomy as my previous tent it is pounds lighter and more compact. It is well made and kept the skeeters at bay.

Another new addition was my sleeping bag. I went with the Kelty Sine 20*. It too performed well and paired with my thermarest trail scout made for several comfortable nights outdoors. I never tested the thermal rating but had a number of nights in the 30's with some frost and never once felt chilled. There were some warm 60* nights too and the unique venting zippers worked well. It did take some getting used to as it zips diagonally across the top of the bag at the torso and at the feet. It was a feature I grew to like as I am mostly a back and side sleeper and never had to deal with laying on top of the zipper. The fit was snug but roomy enough for me 5'-9" 210 pounds. With the pad it takes up less room that my previous bag in my pack.

In the kitchen I bought one of those inexpensive butane backpacking stoves. Small and weighs less than an ounce. Screws on a fuel canister and boils water fast.  Not great for simmering or reheating and fair for frying but doable if you're attentive and stay busy stirring. Somewhat noisy which only concerned me early mornings in a crowded campground or while out hunting from a spike camp.

I transitioned to Smart Water bottles as my Sawyer filters will screw onto them and they are easier to fill from most water sources. They are also allow you to see the debris or discoloration of the water before running in through the filter. They seem pretty tough, come in a variety of sizes and relatively inexpensive.

Mountain House meals... A bit spendy but taste good and are super easy to prepare if you can boil water. No dishes needed but a long handled spoon is handy. A cozy made out of Reflectix (?) keeps em warm when it's cold out. If my plan is to do a lot of hiking or work I treat myself.

I did "upgrade" to the larger Corona pruning saw. It handled larger wood and wasn't that much of a weight and space penalty.

Other frequently used items, Paracord, First aid (Ibuprofen, tweezers, clippers, iodine, bandaids mostly), Headlamp, gloves, Stanley pot and cup, watch cap, bandanas, knife, lighter, extra batteries, socks. toiletries,

Less frequently, extra clothes, extra ammo, raingear (this year), map and compass, camp towel, water filter,

Never, tourniquet, whistle, water bladder, pack cover.

Most used pack: Camelbak Ranger (day use)
[Image: 2vce4kZl.jpg]

Overnight trips, Kelty Redwing
[Image: HAjTzLml.jpg]


RE: End of the year gear evaluation - bmyers - 12-09-2018

Nice setup


RE: End of the year gear evaluation - Bob - 12-12-2018

Every trip out is an opportunity to do this!


RE: End of the year gear evaluation - David - 12-12-2018

(12-12-2018, 04:39 AM)Bob Wrote: Every trip out is an opportunity to do this!

Agree big time.  Let's you know what you really don't need as well as what you do.  With all of our SEP gatherings we've really been able to fine tune necessities from luxuries.  Good experience.

Good thread!


RE: End of the year gear evaluation - justsaymo - 12-15-2018

I agree that post trip evaluation is important. Gear failures, deficiencies and value are typically instantly apparent - a tarp that leaks, a tool's limitations and usefulness in field, etc.

Overall the value of an annual evaluation is it takes a broader view of gear needs across multiple seasons and conditions. Things like was the weight savings of the tarp shelter worth the extra time it takes me to set it up? Do I really need that much paracord? Where could I pare weight while maintaining a high degree of versatility. If I do make a substitution I want to test it to build confidence in it and proficiency in its use across as broad a range as possible.

If I carry it all year and never use it, do I still need it? That's why I do it. I bet we all know a lot of folks that make a go-bag and drive it around in their vehicles without ever checking it again.

This was the first year in a while that I used multiple bags. It worked out OK but didn't get really tested. No unexpected nights out. Things went according to plan. It did make it a little more complicated but probably worth it with the increase in mobility.


RE: End of the year gear evaluation - bdcochran - 12-22-2018

You are correct.

Car go bag.
Always adding things. So, I do the following. 2 Korean waterproof locked duffel bags with the gear that never changes. One large plastic box with the things that periodically change. Other stuff is thrown in loosely and I look at the stuff about once a month. The biggest danger is car burglaries in the driver/passenger compartment areas. Constantly making sure that I do not have a build up of expensive tools or trash.

Going through the garage and attic annually and now because the weather is cooler in the dead of winter. I create a large plastic sort box. Rather than always trying to find where to put an extra computer wire immediately in a computer container that I cannot find, I put it in the store box. Then, I work from the store box to put things away. In this way I remind myself whether the segregated boxes are for nails/computer wires/that interesting tool I simply bought.


RE: End of the year gear evaluation - David - 12-30-2018

I feel pretty good about my end-of-the-year evaluation.  

As far as defense I feel good.  I've got all the boxes checked and can basically concentrate on buying ammo, continued practice and add some typical maintenance parts.

As far as EDC I feel good.  Used some aspirin out of my EDC pack just last night.  Thinking about outfitting that smaller sling bag I used to carry for just around town runs.  I find I don't carry the Max Lunada as much as I should but the little sling back was pretty much always with me.  Perhaps concentrate on making the Lunada part of the GHB in the vehicle.

Starting the garden up again which will be a plus, particularly since I've stared the Kaufmann diet.  I need a lot of kale in my diet and that is one item that grows particularly well for us.