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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard

Ohio State Parks, Smoky Mountains, Boundary Waters.

Ian Pickard's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Ian Pickard's Bio

I love the adventure and challenge of a great backcountry trip. Life today for most people is easy and we forget what it feels like to survive.

Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on January 3, 2012

5 5

All of the reviews for the Marmot Helium bag seem to be for the men's version. I bought this bag for my wife to use in the spring and fall backpacking seasons. Some bags, big agnes rectangle bags in particular, claim to be rated to 15 degress but most fall short. This bag easily keeps my wife warm down to the low 30's upper twenties with no complaints, we have never tested it below a temperature of 25 degress. My friend bought his girlfriend a Big Agnes lulu which is also rated as a 15 degree bag but synthetic. The loft between the bags is incredibly different (so is the price). The helium lufts up 3+ inches higher with a noticably more even distrubtion of down. The fit on the regular is great for my 5 ft 3 in wife, enough extra room to bury into the bag or keep your clothes in the footbox. My only complaint is the stuff sack, it takes me about 5 minutes to get this thing packed in and I rarely get the sinch all the way closed. Maybe the down will compress further with more use and this will become easier. You get what you pay for in a sleeping bag and this is one of the best bags in the market.

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on January 3, 2012

5 5

Pricey tent but you get what you pay for. You get all of Marmot's excellent tent features plus the extra large size. Easily fits a family or a couple with cots and extra gear. Fully set up with all guylines staked out, the tent is very firm. It can easily withstand steady wind without shifting and the full coverage fly is fully taped and waterproof. The fly covers all the way to the floor seam of the tent and stakes out to keep water from touching the seam. The vents on the fly are tiny, in hot and humid weather sleeping with the fly on is uncomfortable. With the fly removed there is a large amount of mesh that allows for great ventilation. Set up is fairly tricky with a peak hight of 6.2 inches. You have to heave the fly over the tent and pull it down to the clips. There is an incredible amount of room inside the tent and you can easily stand up straight in all corners due to the design. The hanging pockets and vestibule ground covers are great additions. I would recommend the ground sheet to keep your tent floor clean and safe. Expensive price tag but a great value with the design and additional features.

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on October 31, 2011

5 5

I don't have a need for a winter sleeping bag but I do like to camp in the shoulder seasons when temps can drop down to the 30's. I picked up the reactor liner for myself and the reactor plus for my wife. If you really want the extra warmth i'd grab the reactor plus. Its noticeably thicker and does add substantial warmth (Sea to Summit suggests it adds 20 degress while the reactor adds 15). Again, extra comfort, keeps your bag clean, and adds warmth for 9oz. I was on the fence on if this was worth $60 but it is totally worth it. You can also use it as your bag in the summer or take it on travels when you don't trust the bed sheets.

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on June 4, 2011

5 5

I bought this after a hot summer trip to the Smokies. After realizing that the campgrounds had no showers and having spent 4+ days on the trail before hand, we really really needed a shower. I didn't want to buy one of those ridiculous 5 gallon showers you can get from walmart so I went with this one. The pack size is great, perfect for backpacking but still holds enough water to get a good shower in. If you are expecting water flow like your shower at home, forget it. You get a steady flow of water but you will have to do a lot of scrubbing and rinsing to get your self clean. I like this thing, sturdy construction, simple design. Its a nice luxury especially if you are sharing a tent and want to keep your wife happy!

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on June 4, 2011

5 5

I love this pack. I struggled at first when look at the osprey line because they range from 10 to 30 liters in size. I went with the manta 20 becuase I wanted a day pack that could work for short mountainbiking trips to all day rides. This pack is perfect for MTB. Stays super tight with hip belt straps, chest straps, and shoulder straps. The bladder has a rigid back so it doesn't slosh around when you are riding some bumpy singletrack. Perfect for an extra layer, food, your tools, extra tube, and your water. I also love this pack for day hiking. It has all the features of a full sized pack. Hip belt with pocket, trail pole strap, hydration bladder, included rain cover, etc. I bought one for my wife and she loves it. Certainly a little heavy but you won't find another 20 liter pack with all of these features. Get it!

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on April 22, 2011

5 5

Great for backpacking. Super small and light, you can fit it inside your backpack just about anywhere. Its nice for making dinner and sitting around your campsite at night. With a headlamp you are constantly blinding your friends when you look them in the face, with this lantern you can shed light on your campsite without getting your headlamp thrown into the woods. Light output is plenty and the dimming feature is great for inside the tent.

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on April 22, 2011

5 5

These are great around a campground. Set it on your picnic table and you have 20-30square feet of light. Carry it with you to the car or the bathroom. You can get the fuel canisters everywhere around the US and the mantles are not hard to find either. The mantles last for a long time as long as you are careful when you move the lantern. If you touch the mantle they turn to powder. Everyone should have one of these for car camping.

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on April 22, 2011

5 5

I needed a new winter jacket for every day use and I decided to go with this. I don't do much winter climbing or mountaineering so I can't speak to its performance with these activities. But for every day use its great. It has a comfortable fit and the hood has great goverage of your face and neck. Its a simple coat with out many pockets or fancy features. Super warm jacket. Now I agree with some comments that the fabric is not really made for everyday use as it is a thin polyester. If you want a warm coat this is great. Pack size is perfect if you are traveling, just fold it into its own pocket and throw it in your bag.

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on April 22, 2011

5 5

Packs great into a suitcase or backpack and you don't have to worry about bending the bill becuase it folds in half. Great fit and great for sun / rain. Even though it is not water proof it stills keeps your head dry in light rain. Not the most fashionable hat but its great for a hiking and backpacking.

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on April 14, 2011

5 5

This rack is perfect for 2 mountain bikes, diamond back Overdrive 29'er and a GT Avalanche. I think the fit is tight on a 2" hitch, the threaded bolt needs a 7/16 spanner or ratcheting socket wrench. The threaded bolt really sets the rack tight and stops any wobble. It takes about 30 seconds to put the rack on your car and probably 5 minutes to get your bikes on. The anti-sway bike cradles are stiff and hard to move and the rubber straps can be hard to undo. Great rack though and I trust my bikes on it.

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on April 14, 2011

5 5

You can't go wrong with the q towers. I have them on a 2010 Nissan Rogue with the q-clips. Fit is great and they are very stable and can take weight. I use them with bikes and canoes. They also look great on my Rogue and give it a sporty outdoor look. No issues at all, I feel very confident that these towers can take it!

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Ian Pickard

Ian Pickard wrote a review of on April 14, 2011

5 5

I bought this for my wife to go backpacking with me. She loves the fit and it has all of the features of top quality packs. Its tough to buy a pack online and I would highly recommend finding a local retailer to get a true pack fitting. Packs are like shoes and they fit everyone a little differently.

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