Joshuaposted an image about Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy on February 25, 2010
No need for stakes with this bivy!
I grew up with family vacations being spent camping for 2 weeks each summer. Now years later I am enjoying them even more. Being able to work in the Sierra Nevadas and going on several backpacking trips (work/pleasure) each year has been amazing. As long as I can put a pack on and get moving, you can count on finding me outside somewhere. Life is too short to sit behind a desk!
No need for stakes with this bivy!
I have used the Pocket Shower for both work and pleasure. I stayed in the wilderness for a week doing surveys; hiking all day from site to site. Sure I used the lakes up above alpine levels, but once we descended below that elevation I was using this shower. This pocket shower worked great for campsites near streams hardly flowing. We dug a hole in the creek to collect water, filled up the Pocket Shower, and hung it in a tree to warm up. It does take a long time to warm up, but where I was it was warm. A cool shower was welcoming. We were able to rotate two to three people through one full load of water (10L). However, this really depends on the person and how quick/long they want to shower. I tested a full bag to see how long it would last without stopping. The test took approximately 14 minutes for all the water to drain out!
It is very easy to use and you just need to turn one the knob to adjust the water flow. Once emptied, it was simple to put away. It comes with a case that you can just stuff back into. It is very durable and instructions on use are straight forward. This also comes in handy when you have a group of people who are not comfortable stripping down to simply jump in a lake or stream. Simply collect the water, find a spot for privacy, and shower away. Also by using the shower you dont have to worry about possible contamination of streams or lakes. Worth the 5 oz! Plus you could always use it to hold water in camp for boiling. It holds 10L! Now that I have one, I dont leave home without it.
I ordered this set for my ultralight gear set. The product description is exactly as described. Light weight, multiple pieces, and it is perfect for a single person setup. The only problem I had with it is how it fits on the MSR Dragonfly stove (and my friends MSR Whipser). Due to the small pot base size, the biggest pot barely fits on the MSR Dragonfly (about 1/2" on the three grills). The MSR whisper grills are further spread apart so the pot doesn't even fit due to its small size (according to my friend). I'll have to post a base pot width so you can measure before purchasing. Otherwise this would have been a great set to have.
I have owned this tent for almost a year now and have really enjoyed it. I have used it on several weekend backpacking trips during the Spring and Summer months. As long as you don't mind sitting or lying down to put on your clothes each morning, then you'll be good to go. I am 6'2" and found the tent to have plenty of room. I use a long sized sleeping bag and pad too. The only thing I found to be a problem was the vestibule was rather small for my backpack. Granted, I did have a Dana Design Glacier backpack (5500 cubic inches) and that is probably why it didn't fit. However, in a rain storm I could make it work. Plenty of room for shoes though and other smaller pieces of gear. The tent's white material glows with the moon, providing a minimal amount of illumination inside the tent. Personally I really like that as I could grab a drink from my nalgene or grab my headlamp quicker instead of fumbling around for it. Make sure you can stake the tent or otherwise you'll need to be creative in keeping the tent from collapsing. Just as the previous reviewer stated the bag is a permanent part of my soloing gear as well.
Used it out in the desert last weekend. Temperatures were in the low 30's and I didn't feel cold at all. It worked very well with my Therm-a-rest Prolite 4 (regular) mattress. One concern was how the straps would work and how durable they would be. So far no problems at all. I keep the "clamp" or "buckle" part of the straps near the bags eyelets. This makes it easy to adjust and get out of the bag. The amount of room it allows all depends on how tight you have the straps tightened. Another concern was not having a "hood" to put my head in for warmth like a mummy bag typically provides. I didn't have a problem there either as my head was never cold. If my head did get cold, I would just put on a ski cap and problem solved. One thing I did learn is not to put the sleeping pad into the lower portion where you feet are "cocooned." You'll have too much tension and could possibly rip the sleeping bag. Keep that portion above the pad and you'll be fine. Great product and I highly recommend it.
I absolutely love this stove. I don't ever have to worry about how low I need a flame to simmer a meal or how high I need it to boil the water faster. The MSR Dragonfly gives you complete control of the flame. Simple get the pressure built in the bottle, lite the stove, and adjust the flame and heat intensity to your cooking needs. I have owned this stove for a couple years now and it never lets me down. In my opinion, it is worth the extra money to have the control and fuel options this stoves gives the user.
Update 02/2010: I use white gas and haven't had to clean anything out or do repairs. It is sturdy and light weight. It does live up to the word "dragon" regarding noise. It is quite loud that after cooking I am always surprised how quiet it is around me. Still works great and I don't expect that to change anytime soon.
Another great product from Nalgene. I use it for work, home, hiking, backpacking, traveling, working out, you name it. One doesn't have to worry about the BPA issue either. Even though there are mixed reports on the levels of BPA that are safe/unsafe, I figured it was better safe then sorry. Got ride of my 3 year old bottles for these and recommend them. Same durability as their previous lineup.