Matt B

Matt B

Olympic NP&NF / Mt. Rainier NP / Gifford Pinchot NF / Mt. St. Helens NVM

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Matthew's Passions

Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Snowshoeing
Kayaking

Matthew's Bio

For years camping always included the amenities of home, which literally could only be transported in the back of a truck. The very first time I went backpacking, I discovered that everything you really need to stay warm, dry, and well-fed could be condensed down into a few basic elements. It was the most fun I ever had camping. The idea of getting more enjoyment out of life by simplifying things left a deep impression on me. Today, backpacking continues to help keep my life in balance and perspective. The unbelievable views of nature, the peaceful solitude, and the occasional tests of will and determination are all secondary to the sense of calm I get from removing all the excess for a week.

Favorite Place to Hike: Olympic National Park's Wilderness Coast... 60+ miles of pure hiking bliss...your tent right on the beach, the glow of a warm fire, the sounds of the sea, eagles soaring overhead, and the evening sky lit up like an explosion... Man, I gotta start planning my next trip.

Shout out to my hiking bros...Kevin, Graham, Paul C., Tom, Bill, Alan, Evan, Paul N., Randy, Darrin, Derek, & Teto.

Matt B

Matt B wrote a review of on August 18, 2011

4 5

I bought mine about 7 years ago. It has been on many backpacking trips and is still in great shape. I consider it somewhat of a luxury item so I don't bring it on every trip. I DO bring it when I know the ground is going to be wet or if I am camping in snow. It is also super-handy when filtering water out of a creek. I took away one star for weight but I would buy another one if I had to.

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Matt B

Matt B wrote an answer about on October 2, 2009

I have had my pocket rocket for about 5 years. It does not work well in the cold or at high altitudes. When it's cold you can put the fuel canister under your shirt to warm it up but I usually take a liquid-fuel stove on high altitude trips or if I know it's going to be really cold.

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Matt B

Matt B wrote a review of on October 1, 2009

3 5

I have used my eTrex while hiking, snowshoeing, in my car, and while boating on Puget Sound. I get the most use out of it in the winter when trails are covered in snow. I've had trouble getting a good signal in foul weather. I also wish I had gotten the one with the color screen. You can buy a National Parks CD and download trail maps to your GPS which is a pretty cool feature. It's nothing fancy. It has all the basic features and it works just fine for me.

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Matt B

Matt B wrote a review of on September 29, 2009

4 5

I got the 775ml (next to smallest) pot about 4 years ago. Yes, stainless steel is heavier than aluminum (which leaves a bad taste on food) and titanium (which is really expensive), but this pot is bullet-proof plus I can stow my MSR Pocket Rocket inside it along with some aluminum foil (wind screen) and matches. Then I can lock it all up and forgetaboutit. I took away one star for the weight but I still love this pot.

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Matt B

Matt B wrote a review of on September 29, 2009

4 5

I've had my Sweetwater filter for about 5 years now and I have filtered plenty of water with this beauty. It is a "must-have" in my pack. I really like the double action pump (pumps on the up and down stroke). There are other systems that are smaller but they filter slower (I prefer not spending all day pumping water). When you get home from your trip, put the filter canister in the freezer to prevent mold and to kill any bacteria.

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Matt B

Matt B wrote a review of on September 29, 2009

5 5

I have had my pocket rocket since 2003. My all-time favorite stove for summer hiking. Uber-small with a blow-torch-like flame. I really appeciate the large flame control that flips out from the body. Mine came with a hard case. Don't use in winter (unless you feel like warming up the canister under your shirt). Don't use at high elevation. I would buy another one without hesitation.

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Matt B

Matt B wrote a review of on May 4, 2009

5 5

We bought this pack for our 9-year-old daughter's first "big" overnight hike (A 10-mile out-and-back on Olympic National Park's Hoh River Trail). We are really pleased with Deuter's Fox 30. First, the adjustability is super. Right out of the box, it took only a few moments to fit the pack to her torso length. Second, the pack has all of the little features you would find on adult-sized packs just smaller. Third, the 30L/1800 cu in. volume was just right for our little hiker. Obviously, kids won't be hauling any of the heavy stuff, but we got all of the essential "kid gear" inside (small sleeping bag, water bladder, some clothes, snacks, flashlight...etc.). Fourth, and the most important test in my opinion...comfort. She wore the pack all day hiking in and all day hiking out with no complaints of discomfort (trust me we asked). Bottom line, if I had to buy another kids pack, I would buy the exact same one.

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Matt B

Matt B wrote a review of on March 17, 2006

5 5

For years I used a closed-cell foam pad or a self-inflating pad. I finally decided to get an InsulMat Max-Thermo to see if would make a difference. Wow, I never knew how much sleep I was losing. A good night's sleep means I have more energy on the trail and a more enjoyable hike if I’m out there for a several days. It's a bit narrower than I was hoping but I have no complaints. It stuffs to about the size of a small loaf of bread and weighs far less than my self-inflating pad. Inflating it only takes a few min which I make up for by sleeping all night.

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