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Thanks to the military I was able to surf, climb, dive, and hike all around the world. Now that I am married with kids and a career it's much harder to get out as much as I would like to but I still love the outdoors and now I am trying to experience as much as I can with my kids and hopefully they can grow to love outdoor sports as much as I always have. I am no expert but I can offer a unique prospective of how gear is used when you have no time or money to waste, and you want to get the most out of every activity by yourself or with your kids.
Which is better, wash-in or the direct spray on?
Stuff size is not much larger than a typical water bottle.
For the price this headlamp is not really worth it. It's basic and really no better than my $10.00 cheaper Petzl Headlamp. The button is difficult to depress especially with gloves, compared to the Petzl which turns on with the greatest of ease even with thick gloves on. So the lamp is ok, I just cannot recommend.
This is not necessarily a negative review, I just have a few observations about this headlamp. Comparing this head lamp to my Petzl Tikka 2 Headlamp I find a few short falls. First of all the light never seems to be where I want it, it seems that the Tikka 2 has an angle slightly lower than the Black Diamond Headlamp and when the headlamp on the black diamond is adjusted to a lower position to compensate it is just a little too low. Also it feels a little uncomfortable and I dont know why, all I do know is that I never even know that my Tikka 2 is on my head whereas I am always fully aware that the Black diamond is there. Another observation is that the button on the top is a little difficult to find and turn on, compared to the Tikka 2 button which can be instantly found every time and has no difficulty in turning on. Finally for the price you get the strobe light feature with the Tikka 2 as well as the high and low beam, whereas the Black Diamond spot headlamp only has the high and low beam. This is not a bad headlamp I just prefer the Tikka 2.
Perfect Water proof shell.
The Momentum Fleece on the Devils Slide after shedding all other layers.
Probably my favorite North Face Jacket. I bought it as a technical jacket for rock climbing; as it turns out, rock climbing is just about the only activity this jacket is not so great for, but as far as versatility this jacket is my favorite. I actually thought this jacket would not be great for much so I started wearing it to work since it is comfortable and looks great with nice clothes but I had to start using it as a base layer for climbing in the snow during a period of 2 years while I tried to find what I was looking for, and as it turns out this jacket was what I wanted all along. Its tougher and warmer than it looks and works as a perfect mid base layer when climbing or hiking in temperatures from 20 deg 40 deg. but its also perfect for cool winter nights by the camp fire or cool winter mornings at work. The jacket has taken a beating for 2 years so I plan on buying a second one to keep nice for work so I can continue using my old one as my go-to mid base layer. Now is the perfect time to purchase this jacket since REI dropped the price by $40.00, but it looks like Backcountry.com dropped the price by $42.00. So you can try it on at REI and see how it fits and then purchase it for a couple bucks less at Backcountry.com. (P.S. Sorry REI, Times are tough.)
Almost identical when it relates to traction and weight. Inside feels much more insulated yet breathable, it actually reminds feels much like the Merrell Moab but with a little less weight and much tighter traction on wet rocks. If you like the XA Pro GTX I would recomend giving these a shot. I use these primarily to mountain bike, but their also great for hiking and trail running. Additionally they are just like all Salomons, no breaking in neccessary, no blisters, and no twisted ankles.
The Salomon XA Pro 3D is a great trail running shoe but an even better mountain biking shoe. Its much more breathable than the GTX Version.
Nice light but a little pricy. I searched far and wide but could not find a more compact a suitable lantern with versatile capabilities and durability. The wide stance base allows for more stability while when retracted the lantern is perfect for hanging overhead light. The legs do seam flimsy but they hold up strong. The light produced is remarkably bright even in the darkest of nights. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars just because of the price. I made the mistake of purchasing it at REI and paid 10 more bucks then I should have. Just buy from Backcountry.com and avoid this mistake.
Obviously titanium is the best way to go. Sure its expensive but its as light weight and durable as you can get plus its the last mug you will ever have to by. The thermal heat transfer across titanium is distributed less than more dense metals which means you can heat the cup directly over the stove and drink it without burning off your lips. No more waiting for your coffee to get cold before you can drink it. An added feature that makes it that much better is the collapsing handle which makes it much easier to pack inside of other nesting cook sets. Once you go titanium you dont turn back.