Peter Burke

Peter Burke

Madison, WI

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Peter Burke's Passions

Camping
Backpacking
Mountaineering

Peter Burke's Bio

Hiking in the high places of the planet since childhood. Favorite places include Corsica and the California Sierras.

Peter Burke

Peter Burke wrote a review of on February 2, 2009

2 5

I've used water filters in the Sierras since the late 1980s and was hoping that this highly rated unit would make the act of pumping less of a chore. When new, the thing really flows, but it only takes a few days and the filter will clog, even though I was using it in rather pristine clear water with prefilter. After 18 days in the mountains and only maybe 50% of the water we needed the flow was down to a trickle even with a lot of pressure applied on the pump. The worst part - the alleged back-flush option is a virtyual no-go. I sure could not figure out how to do it on and off the trail, and I am somewhat of an engineer. The thing simply doesn't budge when put together in backflush orientation. This year I plan on doing what most ultralight hikers do: bring a small bottle of bleach for water that may be suspect. Lighter, failproof, and considerably less aggravating than a pump that starts out fast but turns into a clogged pain after just days of use.

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Peter Burke

Peter Burke wrote a review of on January 19, 2009

1 5

yeah,they are light, they look good, are supportive, etc - too bad they just don't fit a normal foot, nor do they last long enough to get them broken in.

These boots are too narrow - my cobbler claims there's no way to stretch them due ot the protective rubber. My feet are actually narrow and the length of the boot is perfect, but after 15 miles of hiking I have numb toes for half the night following the hike. Worse: the shoe soles come apart after less than 200 miles, so that now I am stuck with boots that have to be replaced. The local shoe repair guy claims unless he has the special glue the factory uses, he cannot fix the part where the red foam is separating from the yellow layer on the left heel. Then I post here to get an answer regarding that alleged lifetime warranty (go to La Sportiva and there they only know of a one year warranty), but my post gets flagged as misplaced. Well, the boot is less than a year old, but nobody here at this site bothers to answer my question about the warranty claim process - La Sportiva wants you to go through the vendor. Bottom line - a shoe that expensive should not come apart from light use (no climbing, just walking on a marked trail), and if it does somebody should honor the alleged warranty that is being advertised right here on this page right below the weight.

Back to reliable Lowa of Koflach for me - at least they know how to glue their stuff together.

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Peter Burke

Peter Burke wrote a review of on January 16, 2009

5 5

Been using this bad boy for over 18 months now. I have it on my motorcycles when searching the limit on gravel and in the mountains it keeps me on the proper route, too. Hardwired on the moorcycle or in the car, it runs extremely accurately with fast updates. On the trail I had to switch to power saver mode, because it does eat the AA's up otherwise. Still, even in power-saver mode, you can maybe get 18 hours out of a pair of batteries. I carried a large Brunton solar charger, but we never spent enough time sitting around in the sun to keep up with recharging AAs for this thing. Bring enough batteries if you're going to be in the backcountry for a long time. I have no idea if other units are better at power consumption, but I am willing to deal with that given the accuracy of the unit. Never had trouble acquiring satellites even in the deepest gorge or thickest woods. Garmin software is great and there's even a 24k top map set for all of California and Nevada you can use in this device. It is fully waterpoof (1800 miles in the rain on my KTM950 at 70mph+ without a problem are my real world testing results).

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Peter Burke

Peter Burke wrote a review of on January 16, 2009

5 5

I bought two of these for my 10-year-olds last summer for a 200 miles hike. It is difficult to find any serious gear for smaller children, but at least in the backpack department we found what we needed (unlike shoes - nobody makes a real mountaineering boot for size 2...). The packs set for the smallest back size fit them just right, plus were large enough to carry their part of the gear with room to spare. We had absolutely no failures and the packs proved to be pretty resistant to water. Unlike my fancy Gregory pack, these kept the down bags dry in a 6 hour hailstorm. Once my daughter even slipped during a river crossing and the entire pack dipped into the river - nothing got wet during that brief submerge.

It took bending of the frame rails to make the packs fit well but since the packs are designed for this type of adjustment this is not a negative point - other packs won't let you get to the frame that easily.

We'll use these packs again this summer for a month long backcountry adventure

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Peter Burke

Peter Burke wrote a review of on January 15, 2009

4 5

I used to cook on the generic GAZ stoves, but it was getting harder and harder to find the fuel for those. Last summer I took this stove on the Muir Trail, cooking for three for 18 days. It used up about 1 of the smaller gas canisters every 2 days, cooking for breakfast and supper. I liked the fact that the canister is remote and the center of gravity of the pot stays low - no more tipped over food! The ignition on it was quite useless, and I only consider it a backup in case our lighter didn't make it. I also felt that the hose to the remote canister was rather stiff, trying to tip the stove unit when only a light pot was on it. With some twisting this was usually fixed. Easy to store inside my titanium pot - light weight, worked like a charm on high and simmer mode. I'll take it on my next large hike.

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Peter Burke

Peter Burke wrote a question about on January 14, 2009

How do I take advantage of the lifetime warranty of this boot? I bough them here via Amazon Feb 15 2008, order number 3535800. Used for one hiking trip last summer. Problem: the glue between yellow plastic and red foam on the inside of the heel of one boot is coming apart. There is no wear in that area of the shoe - it is just failing in an area shoes usually don't fail from wear.

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Peter Burke

Peter Burke wrote a review of on January 14, 2009

5 5

Bought this pack last summer to do a John Muir Trail hike with my two 10-year-olds, meaning, I had to carry the bulk of the gear for the three of us. Even though this was the heaviest pack I ever carried (50-60lbs), I have to say it was more comfortable than any of my old internal frame packs. After 200+ miles in the High Sierra it looks like new. With a few extra pockets on the outside, I was all organized. things I liked the most were the great ventilation, the glove-like fit, the small pockets on the hip belt. Not so much the fact that the fabric is absolutely not rain proof - soaked my sleeping bag in a hailstorm on Donohue Pass. Nothing a cover can't remedy, though.

It also generated a squeak from the belt system somewhere behind me when leaded heavily - more a think that had me worry about something failing (which didn't happen) than a real issue.

It is light for the size it provides: at the end of the hike, I was carrying all my stuff, our tent, and two bear canisters (bearicade Expedition and Bearvault 500) inside of it.

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Peter Burke

Peter Burke wrote a review of on January 14, 2009

5 5

I used to sleep on flimsy foam pads when younger, but the old back needs more padding these days. Therm-A-rest was too heavy for me, and I kept sliding off. This pad is lighter, packs smaller, and had the genius edge that keeps me on the pad where I belong. Easy to deflate in the morning, too, which with the Therm-A-Rest I had was a big effort. Self-inflation is a no-go, but then that's the same with the other brands. It only takes a few blows of air to get it right.
Used it for a month of hiking in the Sierras last summer, no leak, no problems. Washed it in the shower after the summer and will take it back into the Sierras this year.

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