Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown

Utah/California

Kevin Brown's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Climbing

Kevin Brown's Bio

With my Dad's bum knee, my outdoors adventures didn't start until I got out of my parents house. I've been hooked ever since. Backpacking is my favorite, whether I'm high up in the Wind Rivers, Down low in the deserts or Southern Utah, or somewhere in the middle in the Wasatch range, I'm a happy hiker. I like to go light and fast.

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on February 9, 2011

Perfect
5 5

I am extremely pleased with these crampons. I have been putting them on a semi bulky size 10 winter hiking boot. If I was one shoe size bigger, I'd need the extender bar. The crampons come with a little more strap than you need, so I would recommend cutting off a few inches.

I've never had to touch or adjust or tighten the crampons once strapped on, they stay in place just as you would hope. I don't plan on doing any ice climbing in these, but these will be my go to crampons for anything short of that.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on February 1, 2011

5 5

I spent some time trying to decide whether or not I wanted the Raven or Raven Pro. I ended up finding a deal on the Raven that I couldn't pass up, so I bought it hoping that I would be happy... and I am

The two axes are nearly identical with the weight decreasing as the price increases.

Like anyone else I am concerned with weight, but when I got a chance to compare my Raven with a Raven Pro, I really couldn't tell the weight difference while holding them side by side. The Pro has a shinier and slightly smaller head as you can see in the pictures, but otherwise they are nearly identical. I am sure a scale could tell the difference, but it's pretty close.

Given the same length of the two different axes, I don't feel that the small weight difference should be a determining factor, they really are that close to each other. If money is an issue you will be happy with the Raven, if it isn't then choose whatever you think looks better. Either way you will be happy with a great axe.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on August 4, 2010

5 5

I use purification drops and tablets and I love how easy it is to scoop water out of a stream with the wide mouth. I have had a few of these for several years.
-They make for a great measuring cup (when the marks are still there).
-They are easy to mix things in, just open the wide top pour stuff in and give it a shake.
-I am also impressed by the fact that they never leak, even after years of use.
-The attached lid creates a nice little loop when the top is on to make it easy to attach these bottles to pretty much anything with a beaner.

Great product that I will continue to use for years

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on August 3, 2010

5 5

I am a huge fan of these bars. They give good energy and are easy to pack. Their weight to energy ratio isn't bad and they are easily one of the most tasty snack foods out there.

I look at my backpacking trips as vacations and eating good is always an important part of a good vacation. My personal favorites are the chocolate almond fudge and the chocolate brownie.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on July 29, 2010

4 years, Tons of all kinds of use.
5 5

I am on my fourth year with this pad and I am still extremely pleased with it...

As far as closed cell pads this is the only way to go. I've used this as my only pad on several trips and it has done its job for sleeping, but where I am most impressed is how easy and convenient it is to use for so many other things.

I usually have this pad outside of my pack, because it is tough to fit inside, but this has always worked to my advantage as it is easy to unstrap and use for some padding for a quick rest or even nap no matter the location. I would never try to lay down and take a nap on wet ground for during a 30 minute break on a 10+ mile day, but this pad makes that kind of thing easy.

It also make a great place to sit or set your pack down when you are on the snow it will keep your butt or gear dry with no problems, and again, because it is so easy to pull out and then pack away again, it's not a bother doing that kind of thing even for short breaks.

When compared to other more expensive and inflatable mattresses this pad isn't too comfortable, but you can't beat it when comparing it too other closed cell pads.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on July 28, 2010

5 5

I purchased this bag recently and was a little worried that the quality wouldn't be amazing due to the price. I have been pleasantly surprised.

I'll start with the PROS:
-The draft collar is well placed and down filled.
-The zippers are smooth (not catch proof, but this problem exists even on more expensive bags).
-The bag comes with a compression sack and a storage sack, which is a huge advantage over bags that come with a storage sack and then a rather large non-compressible stuff sack
-The hood has a smooth locking draw cord, which doesn't give any discomfort to the face
-The bag lofts up just as well as other bags using a 650 fill.
-The bag uses the EN13573 temperature standard (The same European Standard used by Marmot, Mountain Hardware, and other high quality sleeping bag manufacturers)
-Low feather leakage, It still leaks a bit, but I've seen a lot worse from more expensive bags.

CONS:
-No small pocket like most other bags I have had. I like being able to put chapstick or a small headlamp in a pocket directly on the bag for easy access at night.
-Compression Sack Durability. I have had no problems with it yet, but it doesn't seem like it would be nearly as durable as my granite gear rock solid.

Overall: Great Buy, Great Value. Not having to buy an additional compression sack easily saves you an additional 20-40 dollars on a bag that is already priced well below most other down sleeping bags.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on July 27, 2010

5 5

I have used a lot of hydration systems, camelbak and non-camelbak. There are two things that keep me coming back to camelbak over and over.
1. Non-leaky Bladder
2. Their bit valves - These things have to take a lot of abuse before they will leak and I don't feel like I am going to suck myself into the bladder when I am trying to drink. The wide mouth allows me to drink comfortably, which is a huge advantage if you have ever used a bite with poor flow.

This is the only way to go when looking for a bite valve.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on July 27, 2010

3 5

I have been a Camelbak fan for a long time. I have played with generic reservoirs and they don't hold a candle to the camelbak quality, but I have had trouble with this specific piece. I love the idea and they start out great, but after two failures with the hydrolock I'll avoid it.

After a lot of use one of them began to leak from from the yellow valve. Without much use at all the other piece became completely useless when the yellow valve became so loose that it would just fall out while walking, causing the water to gush out in its place.

The whole concept is to prevent water from coming out when you don't want it to, but I have found that I leak more water with the hydrolock than I do without.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on July 20, 2010

5 5

I use this camelbak for every hike I go on. I liked it so much I ended up getting my wife the same one. This is perfect for long day hikes, but it is also a great companion on longer backpacking trips.

It is a little bulky to throw into a backpack for extended trips, but it is an invaluable piece of gear once you have a multi-day base camp set up and you are doing long day hikes without your full pack. This little guy has plenty of storage options to take everything you need for a long day hike. I can easily fit food, a light jacket, compass, map, knife, water treatment, first aid kit, head lamp, knife, and an emergency bivy.

The open mesh pocket between the two zipped areas is great for larger awkward shaped objects like a collapsible fishing pool. I often have a carabeaner on the outside to attach things like a travel bottle of suncscreen.

I can't emphasize how useful this has been on my dayhikes. It helps me stay hydrated and prepared, but has enough straps so that I can secure it to my body so I can hike, run, and climb like its not even there.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a question about on July 19, 2010

I'm very seriously considering purchasing this bag, any suggestions on a good compression sack that I should get with it. Would I be fine with a really light weight water resistant sack? I like the granite gear air compressor compression sack, anyone think this would be a bad choice?

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on July 17, 2010

5 5

These eggs are great. I was a little nervous about at first, because I had read that some people claim they are soggy. I pulled out the pack, followed the instructions (specifically the draining part), and gave them a try. They were really really good. I saw another poster mention that the bacon was crispy. You might be thinking he just didn't let them sit long enough before eating, but I had the same experience. I followed all the time recommendations and I also had some crispy bacon(in a good way).

There was a tiny bit of water at the bottom of the bad when I finished, but it was nothing that distracted from the meal.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on July 17, 2010

4 5

I will go ahead and say what everyone else says, because it is true. This pack is extremely comfortable. The buckles and adjustments are smooth. You can tell from the first time you put this pack on that it is a quality pack.

Here are some of the things that would have made this pack perfect. The pockets on the belt are awesome, but... they are a little small. They don't need to be too much larger, but even fitting a very small point and shoot or cell phone is a stretch. No problems for something like keys or chapstick. This isn't a huge setback as I am thrilled just to have pockets on the belt, regardless of the size.

There is also that really cool zip out pocket that fits a nalgene perfectly, but it's position is pretty hard to get at. I found that pulling the bottle out isn't a problem, but when the pack is full it is really tough to guide the water bottle back into the pouch while wearing the pack. This isn't a huge setback for me, because I usually just do the hydration bladder so I don't need to get at my water bottle while hiking.

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Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown wrote a review of on July 17, 2010

4 5

I've used almost every pad on the market and this is one of my favorites. Having the extra thickness of an air pad like this a huge help in the back country where you can't always find a perfectly flat spot to sleep. I can't count the number of times where I've discovered random mounds and bumps under my lesser pads after getting completely set up. This pad can make golf ball sized bumps disappear.

There are other pads similar to this one that don't include a pump, both by exped and other manufacturers. While the pump is a really cool idea and reduces the amount of moisture that goes inside of the pad, I'm not sure it's worth the size, weight, and cost it adds to this pad.

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