Category: Backcountry Gear Reviews

  • Puffy Jackets

    One of the things I’ve learned over the years is to never go into the wilderness without a puffy jacket. Puffy jackets keep you warm when you’re at a cold belay, they help you survive an unplanned night out, they stave off cold when you’re at the end of a long hard mountain day. Putting […]

  • Long Term Update: Salewa Quick Screw ice screws and Climbing Technology Alpine Up belay device

    Several years back, I did an initial review of the Salewa Quick Screw ice screw and the Climbing Technology Alpine Up belay device. The initial review for the Alpine Up can be found HERE The initial review for the Salewa Quick Screw can be found HERE This is a long term review update, detailing my […]

  • Leki Trekking Poles: Leki Micro Vario Carbon Pole – Black Series; and Leki Carbon Titanium

    For several years now, my go-to trekking poles have been the Leki Carbon Titanium poles. They’ve been with me on hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and I’ve put ski baskets on them and used them as my for winter backcountry skiing too. (Leki’s Big Mountain Binding Basket is a great basket for both skiing […]

  • Compact Cameras for the Backcountry: Panasonic LX100, Ricoh GR 3, Sigma DP1 Merrill and DP2 Merrill

    I own a pretty extensive array of Micro 4/3 lenses and an Olympus OMD E-M1 Micro 4/3 camera body. This interchangeable lens system provides a lot of flexibility in my photography. However, even though the Micro 4/3 format allows for much smaller cameras and lenses than other interchangeable lens systems, I find that I seldom […]

  • SCOTT PATROL E1 40 BACKPACK (Avalanche Airbag Pack)

    I was an early adopter of avalanche airbag packs. I’ve been using them for over a decade, and have owned and used models by Snowpulse/Mammut ABS, and Dakine. My packs have all used compressed gas (either oxygen or nitrogen) to inflate the airbags. My first airbag pack was an ABS model, which uses nitrogen charged […]

  • Hydration Part 1: Insulated Water Bottles

    An insulated water bottle can be a great piece of equipment for winter outdoor activities. Depending on temperatures and what sort of bottle you’ve got, you can keep your water from freezing or enjoy a hot drink. I will usually take an insulated bottle with me when I’m backcountry skiing or ice climbing. Sipping hot […]

  • Hunt Gear Checklist Part 3: Rifle and Shooting Gear

    Rifle and accessories Christensen Arms Summit Ti/Th  6.5 Creedmoor rifle with thumbhole stock for deer For elk, I use a slightly heavier, RBros Rifles LW Hunter  300 Win Mag rifle Both of these rifles are top quality.  At 100 yards, they will consistently shoot groups of 1/2 inch or less. Christensen Arms Rifle is 99.4 ounces; Scope […]

  • Hunt Gear Checklist Part 1: Introduction and Clothing

    Hunting Gear and Clothing:  Intro and Context This is part 1 of my post on hunting gear and clothing.  A few notes about this list to provide some context: I hunt deer and elk.  My hunts are all self guided.  I tend to backpack hunt, generally 3-8 miles from my vehicle.  I don’t have pack animals.  […]

  • Optics for Backpack Hunting in the Western Mountains

    I hunt public lands in the Western states.  I’m not a particularly skilled hunter, so I look for an edge by using my legs to travel far enough from roads and access points that I can minimize competition from other, more experienced hunters.  Because I’m usually backpacking, carrying all of my gear for multiple nights […]

  • Lightweight Tripods for Backpack Hunting

    Choosing equipment for backpack hunting is difficult.  Hunting is a gear-intensive activity, but carrying all of that gear into the mountains can be way too strenuous, so it is important to assess the weight of every piece of gear you carry. Hunting optics are one of the heavier categories of hunting equipment.  I have tried to […]

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