This page is going to showcase the gear I currently take into the backcountry and my thoughts on it. I don't own a couch or a television but I do obsess over having the perfect gear to take into the backcountry. I have spent hundreds of nights in the backcountry over the past decade and have thru hiked all 2,660 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Hoping I can pass some insight on. I am not affiliated with any of these companies and only choose this gear because I think it is the absolute very best. Eventually all of the gear I use will be on this page as I have the time to do thorough reviews. 


This backpack is a work of art. I haven't seen another bag that is comparable on every level. It is constructed out of 100% waterproof Dyneema. In my eyes this is by far the most superior material that can be used for a backpack. Coming in at only 40 ounces it is one of the lightest bags in its size.  I really want my bag to cover me for any possible trip I might go on. From a day trip to a three week trip this thing has me covered. The waterproofing of this bag is no joke. I have had it in many downpours and no water has been able to make its way inside. I was just on a backpacking/pack rafting trip on the Queets River in the Olympics. We spent 3 days hiking as far up the Queets as possible and then rafted over 40 miles to the ocean over the next two days. We encountered lots of rain and I ended up hitting some whitewater and flipping my raft over. My bag was completely submerged in water until I was able to flip my raft back over. After getting back to shore and opening my bag I was  surprised to see that the inside was almost completely dry. The slightest bit of water had made its way through the opening for a water hose. The opening is designed so water wont get in from the rain though. I had all of my gear further protected in a trash compacter sack lining the inside of the bag and I would still recommend doing that if there is a possibility of your gear being completely submerged in water. I no longer line the inside of my bag while i'm hiking in rain.

While this bag is considered ultra light it can handle heavy loads better than any other bag I have used. I just took this on a 13 day backpacking trip covering over 120 miles traversing across the Olympics. Not only was I carrying 13 days of food for me, I made the decision to carry all of my partners food so she would have no problems being able to complete the hike.  On top of that I had about 13 pounds of camera gear, Ice axe, microspikes and the rest of our backpacking gear. It was by far the heaviest load I have taken into the backcountry coming in at about 70 pounds and this thing performed flawlessly.  

I love the simple design. No unneeded compartments or features. Its basically a big empty tube with an outer stow pocket and side pockets for a water bottle. I have been using bags of this style for many years now. I much prefer to organize my gear in stuff sacks than backpack compartments. I also love that the bottom of the bag is a sewn on flat panel. The bag stays standing upright while you are loading and unloading it.  The strap system allows you to synch everything down nice and tight which is great for day trips or hikes from basecamp where you aren't carrying much.  It will feel like a comfortable daypack instead of your standard 70 liter bag. There are also small pockets on both sides of the hip belt that can be used to store your phone or a couple snacks. Also comes with a sewn on loop for securing an ice axe. After using this bag extensively there is only one thing I would personally want to change and thats getting rid of the opening for a water hose. 


Tent

ZPacks Duplex

I have spent more time in my duplex these past few months than my house. I absolutely love this thing. Weighing only 19 ounces this is the lightest fully enclosed two person shelter available. With that being said this thing is surprisingly spacious. I am 6'5" and the Duplex more than accommodates me and all of my gear. Me feet and head have room to spare and i can fully sit up straight inside. Me and my partner fit no problem with all of our gear inside the tent as well. It has two doors, so you get ventilation, views, and vestibule space on both sides of the tent, plus you don't have to climb over your partner to get out. It has a waterproof bathtub style floor. It is constructed from Dyneema. Unlike Sil Nylon that most tents are constructed of Dyneema stays taught in all conditions. I have found this shelter to do incredibly well in the rain and wind. I find it extremely easy to set up and get a perfect pitch.

This is a single walled non free standing shelter so there are some things to keep in mind. Like a tarp the Duplex must me staked down very securely, If one of your stakes comes loose it will compromise the entire shelter. I pair my shelter with 8 Full length MSR groundhog stakes. Going ultra light on your stakes is a big mistake. Trekking poles are used instead of tent poles for set up. I prefer this because tent poles are a common point of failure in strong winds. The Dyneema is slightly see through so you loose some privacy. Condensation can build up on the inside in certain conditions. I try to keep as many of the doors open as possible for ventilation and I carry a small  microfiber cloth to dry up any condensation that may occur inside. 


Sleeping Bag

Enlightened Equipment Enigma 30 Degree Quilt

I prefer using a quilt over a traditional sleeping bag. I find quilts to be much more comfortable. This is especially true if you roll around a lot in your sleep. They also provide more warmth per ounce than a sleeping bag by putting the insulation that would be compressed under you on top of you. This quilt is made from treated DownTek. If it were to get wet somehow it would still insulate me. I will not carry any down product into the backcountry unless its treated. I use a size wide and it also doubles as a quilt that me and my partner can use at the same time. Even though this quilt has a 30 degree rating i find it to be on par with any 20 degree bag or quilt I have used in the past. This quilt is extremely light and mine weighs in at less than 18 ounces.   

IMG_0064.jpg