Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris

Coastal North Carolina

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marshall's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Paddling

marshall's Bio

I have always found that simple is best. From relationships, to work, to life, to the gear I carry... I lean towards clean designs and highly functional, reliable stuff to take with me when I backpack. I appreciate designs, concepts, and applications that have stood the test of time: Top-loading packs, wool layers, etc...

Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on February 26, 2012

5 5

Who are you? That's the question. If you are the ultralight enthusiast who goes to the extreme of cutting the tags out of your clothes, then yes, of course, you have to have this! Keep in mind that a plastic spork from KFC actually weighs less (but is obviously not to be trusted on the PCT!)... but this, I imagine, is what Neil Armstrong would have taken to the moon if he'd had the choice. I don't cut the tags out of my clothes. Hell, I weight 250 lbs NAKED... but I, clearly NOT an ultralight camper, also carry this spoon. Why? Because it's just that cool. Seriously.

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 27, 2012

5 5

I have heard stories of pads being punctured through the bottom of these types of chairs, depending on where you happen to sit (pine forests of the east, with lots of roots, twigs, etc.... come to mind) so to protect mine, I went to my local Home Depot and picked up (for free) a scrap square of Tyvek "house wrap" which weighs nothing at all, and I just fold that up and put it under my pad before I sit down. Never had a problem, and the peace of mind is nice :)

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 20, 2012

A constructive bit of advice....
4 5

Hard to review a shovel, but I do have a bit of constructive advice for GSI (if you ever read these reviews) as you guys look at updating your products. The shovel I currently use (I won't mention the name because I don't want to drive traffic away from this website- and it is NOT made by any outdoor-type product maker) is long enough to hold a roll of TP on its handle- making it a convenient item to keep lying around at a campsite. Love GSI products, and if they could use recycled materials to manufacture a trowel with this type design, I would happily buy one from them!

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 20, 2012

5 5

Yes, this is the new, 2012 design. Upgraded and improved torso adjustment system and an "on the go" adjustment system for fitting the redesigned hip straps. Most everything else remains the same as the 2011 version. It may also be worth noting that the pockets on the hip belt are now fabric instead of mesh as they were previously... I know that was a concern for some. Here is a link to Osprey with the full details and lots of pictures of the details: http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/mens/atmos_65-new_2012?tab=features

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 18, 2012

5 5

Great cups, a snazzy system, but I too noticed that the lids are a bit brittle. Dropped a cup and the top chipped. It is still perfectly usable, but I wonder if they will become more brittle as they age? Having said that, I don't really care that the tops might chip. I have a ton of these and use them all the time. They are easy to clean, everyone gets their own color (a nice bonus), and four of them fit neatly into my Primus 2.1L ETAPower pot... Perfect! Recommended.

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 15, 2012

4 5

I put two thin camp plates in the bottom of this pot, then insert four of the quarter-round GSI mug/cup combos (they nest right in and though they stick up out of the top of the pot by about an inch (without the plates under them, they are a virtual perfect fit)), and it all looks as if it were made to fit together. I sometimes also put my Optima Crux stove into one of the cups and (if i remove two of the cups) have room for a small fuel canister as well. I put all this into a stuff sack I made (my pot didn't come with the one that should have been included, so I just grabbed some fabric, took the pot and cloth to the local shoe repair shop, and 5 minutes later, for $3 had a custom fit stuff sack). All in all, a great pot, and now a part of my little cooking/ camp kitchen "system".

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 11, 2012

4 5

Have had a pair of these for several months, and noticed recently that an uneven level in the padding was developing in the heel of one of the shoes. I guess I could have covered it with a stiff-heeled insole, but I contacted Merrell, and they cheerfully accepted my shoes and agreed to send me a new pair. Thanks for the great customer service- I remain a loyal customer.

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 11, 2012

5 5

I carried an Atmos 50 for quite awhile... until I realized how light the Atmos 65 is (just about 3 oz's more)... The compression straps on both bags are so good that I upgraded to the 65, but still treat it as if it were my 50. I can pack it lightly and cinch it down to where it makes a decent day pack, and then of course, open it wide whenever I want to carry everything I own on an extended trip. If you are on the fence between the two sizes, consider going with the (only slightly) larger pack. The weight difference is minimal, the shoulder and hip straps are more robustly padded, and the pack still carries well with less than 20 lbs. (P.S.- The updated 2012 version is coming soon and will allow for specific inch-by-inch adjustments of the torso length and will have a new hip strap system allowing for on-the-go adjustments... I can't wait!)

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 11, 2012

5 5

Love this pack and used it for quite awhile... until I realized how light the Atmos 65 is (just about 3 oz's more)... The compression straps on both bags are so good that I upgraded to the 65, but still treat it as if it was my 50. I can pack it lightly and cinch it down to where it (almost) makes a decent day pack, and then of course, open it wide whenever I want to carry everything I own on an extended trip. If you are on the fence between the two sizes, consider going with the (only slightly) larger pack. The weight difference is minimal, the shoulder and hip straps are more robustly padded, and the pack will still carry well with less than 20 lbs.

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 11, 2012

5 5

I can't really add anything to what's already been said here about the technical details of the stove- boiling times... weight, etc... It obviously compares well to other, similar stoves, and those reviews offer great reasons to consider buying a Crux Lite. But I do have something unique to offer that a potential buyer may want to consider in addition to the other qualities mentioned...

Last week, I stepped on mine.

I weight well over 200 lbs...

Fortunately, I can report that both stove and owner are doing well, and I am now a fan for life of this stove. It is as strong as they come.

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Bruce Garris

Bruce Garris wrote a review of on January 11, 2012

5 5

Love the tent. The $$$ you would have to spend to get anything that is significantly better than this (read: lighter) is exponentially greater than seems reasonable to me. Sets up easily, packs down small, and at less than five pounds is a great tent for all but the most determined ultralight enthusiasts. Wish the vestibules were a bit bigger, but they work for keeping boots dry and can be used for cooking in the rain. And there are two of them! And have you seen how roomy it is?...

The bottom line for me is that spending another $100+ to save a pound isn't worth it. If I need to go light, I'll go really light and take a bivy or just a tarp. When I want or need a tent, this one works perfectly, seems quite durable, and if one person carries the tent body and the other person carries the poles/ fly/ stakes, it comes out to just over two pounds per... about the same as a 1 litre water bottle. For the price, that's not bad at all!

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