Judith  Levy

Judith Levy

Out and about Fairbanks, Alaska

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Judith's Passions

Nordic Skiing
Backpacking
Camping
Mountain Biking
Hiking
Paddling
Road Cycling
Ice Climbing

Judith's Bio

Growing up in the outskirts of Berlin, Germany, the woods always felt like my home. I started organizing outdoor trips with friends in highschool and ever since have been roaming around.
Explored most of Europe by foot, canoe and especially bike, seen some amazing things.
Now I live in Alaska and enjoy the great outdoors, especially the awesome winter season.

Judith  Levy

Judith Levy wrote a review of on January 10, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So far I have used this tent in summer and fall on backpacking and bike trips with my dog.
It is definitely super lightweight! And I find it still fairly spacious inside, regarding it's a one-person tent. There was even room for my husky joining my feet. Pockets insideto stash away little things like your glasses/headlight/maps come in very handy.

With it being ultra-lightweight gear of course comes some vulnerability of the material. At first I was kinda worried something underneath the tent might punch through the bottom (even though I am always using a footprint) or the dog's claws might punch through, but it stood its ground so far. You also have to be careful with the mesh in the inside wall. I was also really amazed about the venting in this tent. So far I usually had issues with moisture builtup inside, especially in the fall. But even with heavy rainfall and thunderstorm outside, everything inside this guy stayed perfectly dry. Also, there are many ways in tying it down in case of heavy wind, or if everything seems clear as far as weather goes, you can just put it up, sneak in and fall asleep. No need to anchor it down, it's free standing. I did have to get used to setting up the poles, but after doing it a couple times it really is handy that they are all connected and just fold together. Having used a Hilleberg Nallo 2 for years, I am used to cooking in my vestibule in case of bad weather. With this tent, you'll still get wet doing so, just because of the construction of the "vestibule" but after all, it is still a great ultra-lightweight companion!

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Judith  Levy

Judith Levy wrote a review of on January 10, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This little awesome looking guy is just pure fantasticness! Apart from it being an eye-catcher (speaking of my blue-green version), it is a luxury I take on backpacking trips now, that I don't want to miss again. It is super comfy to sit on ( can even be used as an improvised version of an outdoor rocking chair), it insolates your butt from the elements below, meaning it keeps you warm and dry. I found it great sitting down in this thing while starting my dinner with my whisperlite camp stove, which sometimes takes a while. Sitting down in this chair, makes it all the more enjoyable. Since I have a tiny light-weight tent that you can barely sit up straight in, it is also great to use this chair inside the tent for rainy reading days. Just laying around can get pretty tiring and results in sore spots after a whole day. Pretty much whenever I unrolled this little friend, I got envious questions where I got it from etc. It is lightweight and you can attach it pretty easy to some backpack side pocket, you should always find a spot for the camp chair for sure!
So I hope I convinced you there is just no way camping without this buddy!

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Judith  Levy

Judith Levy wrote a review of on May 4, 2012

Now a worthy hiking buddy ...
5 5

What can I say, I couldn't get this pack fast enough on my alaskan husky for him to run off with it and play like he didn't even notice it was on him. Since he is a sled dog he was already harness broken though.

The pack itself is not the lightest, but I guess it makes up by its sturdy built and nice little features. I did think the internal water blatters were a nice addition for both padding (I just blew them up when I didn't put any water in) and water supply. I got the M for my dog and wasn't sure how much would actually fit in, but I was amazed at how much room these bags offer. My one dog carried dry dog food for 3 days for 2 dogs plus some water. Because my 2 dogs love to play, the pack sure didn't stop them and I was surprised at how well the thing stayed in place although they were jumping all over each other and rolling on the ground.

One thing that I found a little bit annoying was the velcro straps on the sides that stop the bags from 'flopping' around the harness. The first time I closed it I guess the velcro wasn't completely covered and kinda rubbed on the strap and messed it up a bit. Plus they are a bit tedious to close if you have an impatient dog.
Other than that the pack was definitely nice to have so I didn't have to carry the dog's stuff as well.

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Judith  Levy

Judith Levy wrote a review of on April 22, 2012

5 5

I own multiple dry bags and love this one because of its sturdiness. My siliconized nylon ones, I am always a little hesitant to put outside my backpack or throw around in a canoe because they might tip. This tough material is really abrasion resistant and therefore I strap it outside of my pack if needed. The loops are perfect for holding it in place. I also used it to strap it on my bike rack on top of the panniers. I chose the bright orange color that makes it easy to find in camp.
The only slight downside - it is a bit heavier than the other dry bags, but really, its sturdiness makes up for it.

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Judith  Levy

Judith Levy wrote a review of on April 21, 2012

5 5

This dry bag is super lightweight and thus accompanies on every backpacking trip. I use one for my down sleeping bag and one as a stuff sack for clothes. The siliconized nylon makes it easy to stuff and compress my bulky sleeping bag. I also used it on a canoe trip and so far everything stayed dry. I have a sea to summit ultra-sil bag as well, but the tape over the seems pretty much came off all around, so I wouldn't bet on it being waterproof anymore. The OR version of this seems to be better, I also like the strap enforcing the top, it makes it easier to roll. Also, the 2 D rings on each side of the buckle make it easy to either hang it up in a tree or to just make sure the bucke doesnt open.

I love that it's so lightweight!

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Judith  Levy

Judith Levy wrote a review of on April 21, 2012

5 5

The Tikka2 is great little companion. Doesn't weigh much, so I can just throw it in the head compartment of my backpack to be ready when it gets dark. I always use rechargeable batteries with it and since I live in Alaska, they have to work also when it is 40 below or less. So far this little guy never let me down, be it on a trip or just skijoring or mushing. I personally think the range of the lightbeam is not that far, but so far this has never really been a problem, since usually all I want to see is not that far away. I can hang it up nicely in the tent for playing cards. I almost always use it on the lowest setting and it seems to last forever on one charge.

Bottom line: simple lightweight piece of gear that will not let you down for your 'everynight' camping trip needs!

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Judith  Levy

Judith Levy wrote a review of on April 21, 2012

5 5

The MSR whisperlite was my first and only stove so far. I've had it now for about 7 years and it still works like a charm. There are so many great things about it, I don't even know where to start:
- it packs so small that (without bottle of course) I can stuff it inside my pots for transport.
- it is lightweight
- every thing on it you can take apart and if necessary repair (although mine never broke)
- people that are unexperienced say you can not regulate it and I agree, it does take some special touch to manipulate it the way you want, but you CAN definitely lower its burning power or increase it according to cooking needs
- I am too cheap to buy white gas and always use the cheapest fuel from the regular gas station and it does get dirty, but the really handy shaker jet auto cleans it nicely. After cooking and before storing it away I just give it a good shake to get the carbon out of the jet and that usually does the trick. I think in all its life I have taken it completely apart only twice.

One downside of it being a fuel stove however, is that some problems might occur at the airport. Traveling back to the US through Vancouver Airport, they actually took out my fuel pump and the fuel bottle although both were empty, but apparently smelled. In all my travels across Europe this had never happened before. So just make sure you completely let all parts air our before trying to get it in the plane. O and never mention you have camping gear in your backpack, makes things a lot easier.

But anyways, I can highly recommend the stove!

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Judith  Levy

Judith Levy wrote a review of on April 21, 2012

Finally one that fits all ...
5 5

I have been eyeing the Osprey Xenon for probably a couple years before I finally decided to switch from my old pack over to Osprey. And the decision paid off! The first tour it accompanied me to Katmai National Park, southern Alaska and made the trip so much more enjoyable. On the ~18mile hike in to the base camp with roughly 80lbs on my back it was amazing how light and comfortable the load felt with the Xenon. For dayhikes I tried both the hood that converts into a fanny pack as well as the lightly packed backpack. It compresses really nicely due to the tons of straps on it, so that it even makes a comfortable daypack if you don't want to pack any extra weight. Because my old pack was extremely simple, no fancy zippers or straps, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the stuff going on around the Xenon, but once you got it figured out it actually all makes sense and has its purpose. So although a bit heavier than my older pack it is definitely worth the additional comfort especially with heavy loads.

Because Osprey has a very thought-through fitting system with special sized waist belt, shoulder harness and backpack size, I actually went to a nearby store for fitting it and then bought it at backcountry because it was way cheaper.

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