Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hiking Equipment

Another hobby in which I have is Hiking/backpacking. Before you can go Hiking, you need the appropriate equipment to aid you in your adventure. The following are some of the items in which I have used so far while backpacking. Feel free to add to the posts.

In the above picture I am wearing a number of items which may be of interest to you..

The first item is called a 2C solar light cap. I have found this useful for the following night time activities, Walking the dog, reading or setting up at camp, as well as power failures. No need to use batteries. Wear it during the day, and the solar panel in the cap will keep it charged.

The next item is called the Ribz Frontpack. While Hiking, have you ever needed something, but remembered that it is buried deep in your backpack? With the front pack you can put such items in the front for easy access.  These included items such as Flashlights, maps, snacking foods, gloves, etc.

The next item is called Geigerrig Hydration Pack. This unique design allows you to have pressurized water to used while backpacking or Hiking. Go to the website to see the other benefits.

The equipment on the left is called a Kelly Kettle. I got this from Ireland and it comes in 3 sizes. This size is the largest they have and would ideally used for car camping or for a base camp.  These kettles are made of either aluminum or stainless steel.  This one is stainless steel. In the snow, it took about 5 minutes to boil the water. Outside temperature is about freezing.
I used a fire starter and newspaper to get the wood going as well as wood chips. to keep it going. The hole at the bottom is facing the wind to create the updraft needed. very little wood chips were needed to keep the fire going. (Enough chips to fill the bottom tray.)
To lift the fire from the bottom tray without getting burnt, I lifted the  handle in a horizontal position until it was well away from the bottom tray. I used the cork and chain to act help in the pouring the water out of the kettle.
I used the leftover water in the kettle to put out the fire out. The cleaning of the kettle afterward was not a problem as much of the ash and soot came off of the inside chimney and the bottom pan.



The Next item In which I have for Hiking gear is called the Clarke Jungle Hammock. There are various styles. This one is the North American. I liked this Hammock quite a bit with quite a bit of features built in. I liked the bug net which have kept the mosquitoes out.  I also liked the side pouches on both sides of the Hammock. I found these pouches useful in storing much of my camping gear and clothes. This hammock also has an extra layer of protection which goes over the bug net. The fly on top of the Hammock also acts to keep the rain out. If there is too much rain, I can close the top fly against the hammock body. I have not got cold in this
                                                                                    
Hammock as I have been using an Exped mattress inside the Hammock. Set up time is about 15 minutes. Take down time even shorter. Finding trees at the correct distance to set up the Hammock may be a challenge, (If you are assigned a campground.) . I find sleeping in this hammock okay.  I just need to force myself on the back. If you are a stomach sleeper, this may be a problem.  There are other hammock (Bridge Hammocks) which may be more ideal for stomach sleepers.

For the Light weight Hikers here are some shoes which you may like. These are called the Vibram Five Fingers shoes. This web page displays the shoes best for Treking (Hiking).  I own a pair of Vibram Five fingers Sport Trek shoes. I also have a pair of KSO  shoes.

The shoes on the left are the KSO while the shoes on the left are the Sport Trek shoes. Notice the extra grips on the bottom of the Sport Trek shoes.

These shoes can take some time to get use to. First, in getting them on. You need to get these shoes on much like you get a glove on your hand. I have found it best to get the big toe and the little toe lined up first. I have also found it best to get the 5 toes in before pulling the shoe over the heel of foot. Also, when you get them on for the first time, you will notice that you will only be able to walk for short distances at a time. This is because you are using muscles you have not been using before. There is an adjustment period to get use to the shoes.  The shoes have a tendency to force your feet to "move naturally." After a weekend Hike or two days of use, you will need to put them in the washer. They need to Dry naturally (To avoid shrinking in the dryer.) I have had my KSO shoes for 2 years and I can still fit them on. (No Shrinking.)
Now for the good news. It feels like your bottoms of your feet are getting a massage. expecially on grass. I have noticed that these shoes can be used for watersports, especially for paddle boarding (this is one thing I would like to try in the near future.) I have used these shoes for a 18 hole round of golf and liked the feeling of the grass on my feet. I like these shoes. (Some call them slippers.)
The Kso, I usually use for walking close to home while I use the trek shoes, for more rugged terrain. As for stream crossings, I will need to find out if this will work. I have added a Youtube video in the video player below about the Vibram Five fingers. How much protection do these shoes offer in very rough terrain? There is some protection.

Another Item in which may interest you is the Biolite Camping stove. This device will not only boil your water, but will charge your Iphone, Ipod, or any other listening device.
I was able to order this stove on pre-order.
The stove has a built-in fan powered by a battery cased in the yellow housing unit.
This device requires initial precharging from your home computer. Te flashing orange light then changed to a solid orange light when ready. When you have the fire going, the solid orange light will change to a green light indicating that It is ready to charge your device. (See Picture).
It does throw out a lot of heat. It seems to be an efficient way to burn the wood in that there is very little ash left over. Best of all, there is little to no soot residue in the chamber. It does require some cool down period to cool down the stove. It comes in a carrying pouch.




More Hiking equipment ideas can be found on my pinterest board

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