Disclaimer: I am not an employee of any of the companies who's gear I review. This page is dedicated to the gear that I take on my adventures. These gear reviews are subjective, however, I try to share an objective view when presenting the pro's and con's.
One of the original Thrupack bum bags, this one has been with me since 2016 and has outlast two others in total durability. Heavier than most, but built to spill. This is my favorite piece of kit.
When I found out Thrupack would be making Summit Bums in DCF, I ordered one, and lo and behold, I got one of the prototypes!. I love how light and waterproof this thing is. I accidently overstuffed it and the zipper is a little wonky but it still works.
High quality, customizable, supporting a U.S. made cottage business, it goes everywhere you go, and they're a perfect fit for anyone. Made by hikers, for hikers.
I could make a fort out of all boxes of shoes I've tried on trail. And there are reasons for this. I have wide feet; one foot has less volume than the other; I heel strike hard on down hills even with trekking poles; my feet sweat a lot; I'm just hard on shoes. But the newest shoe in my arsenal seems to have me covered all the way around.
Meet the Vasque's Men's Juxt hiking shoe.
The Juxt is a solid all around shoe for the outdoors with proven durability. The suede upper performs great in the harsh, clawing conditions of the desert and even kept my feet warm during a harsh rain storm and driving 50 MPH winds on the PCT. The tongue is perforated and breathes out incredibly well keeping my feet cooler when its hot out. The outsole has tremendous gripping ability even under pack weight crossing wet granite rocks and has been great for scrambling up craggy peaks. The midsole and outsole are extremely supportive and lend a sturdy platform when covering uneven terrain. The lace-to-toe system mirrors that of an approach shoe and has allowed me to lock these shoes on my feet in a comfortable and support way that accommodates the difference in volume between my two feet. And the molded toe cap has saved my toes from getting hammered when I get tired and sloppy with my footwork after a long day of walking. Addidiotnally, the Juxt come in wide sizes which makes putting them on my Flintstone feet a dream. Having a bit of a heal had also helped on long uphill, as zero drop shoes have not helped my posture and range of motion in the mountains.
All in all the Juxt has become my favorite footwear on the trail and I look forward to stocking my closet with a few more pair for later.
*As of December 2021, I have gone through 6 pair in 2 years, and I'll keep using them until they stop selling them.
Vasque Juxt Men's Hiking Shoes are a testament to Vasque's long history of making great footwear for the trail. Interested in finding out more? Click the link below to be teleported to the world of Vasque.
Here's why: I've never had to replace any parts and they're nice and seasoned to my hands. They have been with me on all of my trips since 2015. I have used these with the included snow baskets for both snowshoeing and alpine tour skiing. They collapse down into a 45L+ pack for air travel. The locking mechanisms are easy to maintain and hold strong. The multiple adjustments, as apposed to a fixed length pole, allows for adjusting the height of a tarp tent or to lengthen or shorten for snow applications. I typically go without the wrist straps now, but they are comfortable and easy to adjust. Weight wise they are super strong and flexible even after 7,000+ miles. I also don't feel inclined to spend extra money to loose an ounce to move into the carbon fiber version. Maybe next time though!
*As of December 2021, these things are still rocking even after a couple hundred miles in the Sierra this past summer. The tips should probably be replaced this winter.
Check out the specs on Black Diamond's website.
I bought this stove in June 2017 to replace a MSR Pocket Rocket Gen I that was starting to get a tired rivet. I also wanted to go lighter with my entire cook set. This stove has been bullet proof performing well even in the cold and at elevation. I would still recommend something more hardy in the liquid gas style for the 4 season adventures, though. Weighing in at 1.5 oz. (45g), this little jet is powerful for its size putting out a whopping 8,900 BTU with an integrated gas regulator for simmering. The small pouch it comes with usually houses a lighter and P-38 G.I. can opener that's been cut down for those nights when a can of beans sounds good. The pouch nests well into my cup or in on of my pockets. I use a 450mL single wall titanium mug and a 1.2L MSR non-stick skillet with this stove and the stove will boil a cup of water at the same rate as my Jetboil Zip. The biggest differences are the weight savings, menu diversity, and the ability to have a hot beverage with a meal that I got when I switched over to this stove and cook set.
The Olicamp Ion Micro comes from a long line of really good stoves and cookware. Click the link to see more about this stove.
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