Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell

Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Valley

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Ryan's Passions

Backpacking
Camping
Snowboarding
Mountain Biking

Ryan's Bio

I love the silence of the wilderness, scenic vistas, and this wonderful planet, so I like to take care of it.

Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote an answer about on July 11, 2011

I am about the same size, just measured. I tried this pack on the store in the regular size and it fit extremely well, now I just need to get the money together... the shoulder strap adjustments are AWESOME, and it not only adjusts for length/height it also adjusts width-wise as well, and it's not just velcro, take a look at this link, it has a video for the adjustments http://www.arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Mens/Packs/Altra-65#Over_60L This pack rocks, just don't have the loot for it yet, but all in good time :)

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on July 3, 2011

5 5

best socks ever! I LOVE my PhD socks but these are better for more serious boots, and a more serious day, no problems at all for two days straight. They are worth every penny, and I look forward to owning more in the future. IMO these are WAY better than Thorlos, practically no comparison.

UPDATE: recently developed a stress fracture in my left foot, and I have to wear a boot constantly, this is the ONLY sock I own that works all day under the boot, I wore one for five days before it needed changing, they don't slip, itch too much, or lose their padding over the days, PERFECT!! and those same thorlos I mentioned earlier are TERRIBLE underneath, and less comfortable than plain cotton...

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on June 9, 2011

5 5

These things worked out perfectly, I split the pair with my fiancée on a recent trip and we both enjoyed them thoroughly. The handle is slim and doesn't rub on your hand AT ALL, both the grip and tether are very comfortable. The stability of the pole itself is very nice and helped a lot on our recent rocky (terrain) adventure. They weigh very little but still feel reliable and high quality. It is also nice that they can be used in the snow, which I have not done yet, if I do, I will update on how they work out.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on June 8, 2011

5 5

This filter works very well on the trail, it's small, light, and easy to pump. It's a lot lighter than 6 litres in your pack, and will give you maybe twice that before it needs cleaning. I used mine for about 10 litres (without cleaning) and it was pumping fine. The first time, I used a coffee filter on the end, I then snapped the rubber band so... no more coffee filter, but Katadyn even recommends this in the instructions. There are other tips in the instructions that help prolong the life of your filter, this makes me feel like a I bought a quality product and that the manufacturer cares about my satisfaction with their product. It's swiss made, which says something for the filter already, even if the parts are made elsewhere swiss design is typically top of the line.

I did a lot of shopping before settling on this filter. Katadyn solely makes water pumps, hoses, bladders, etc. This gave me reason to trust their product over the competitor. The nalgene attachment with the pro version does NOT fit snug in an MSR dromedary, but the hose works fine, and is what I use to fill. The Nalgene attachment IS very helpful when pumping for yourself without assistance. The bladder attachment seems nice but I don't use hydration packs so I do not know how well it works. All in all, Buy this filter and you will not be disappointed.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on May 30, 2011

5 5

These things are awesome, I always have them around. They pack quite a punch of nutrition, and still taste good, 2 really hit the spot when you get a sudden hunger on the trail. My favorite flavors are as follows: Blueberry Crisp, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Maple, Black Cherry Almond, Carrot Cake.

ALSO-Look for seasonal flavors if you can find them, they are very good and are offered for limited times only.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on May 30, 2011

4 5

Packs down small and light, which is awesome. Takes a bit of breathe to blow it up, but the pack space saved is awesome. It seems pretty tough and I am not worried about popping it, even if I do there is a repair kit included. It's not the most comfortable pad ever but it's way better than the .75" inch pads, this will keep your bones off of the ground so you don't wake up with stiff spots. Oh yeah, and it's WAY cheaper than other pads, keep in mind that this is likely due to the fact that this pad offers no insulation, at all.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on May 30, 2011

5 5

Wow this stuff is good, I found myself SCARFING it down and wanting more. I like Mary Janes Farm and all but it was really good, not just for Dehydrafood but good... period. Like, I would eat this at home if I wanted to also, because it's that good, so just get some, and you'll see!!! Plus, you can burn the bag, the foods organic, and really Delicious... Seriously. My new staple.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on May 30, 2011

4 5

Just used it for the first time and this thing is awesome, it's nice to not have to worry about leaking in my pack. Also, the Nylon cords along the edge make this bag so much more, it hangs at camp so easily and allows for easy and controlled access to your water. My only small gripe is that it has a slight rubbery taste to it, I heard from some that this was an issue going in to this, so I cleaned it and dried it properly, I am going to clean it again, and see if I cannot get it to dry better. The taste was not that bad though, thirst is greater than slightly bad taste. I look forward to using this bag more and also getting different sizes, I feel that I will eventually have to get all of the attachments as well, they look awesome. Solid bag, slightly bad taste, any recommendations would be much appreciated! Would also be nice if the filter adapter for my Katadyn Hiker Pro fit the mouth but it doesn't, it's slightly too big but this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on May 30, 2011

5 5

This stove works really well, the remote temperature control adjusts much better than that of the Pocket Rocket. The stove itself is stable if you can find a fairly flat surface of course. On top of that, the stand is wide and holds a decent sized pot. First using it we camped on a ridge, the wind was constant, especially in the morning, the windscreen did it's job well and allowed me to cook my food without wasting extra fuel, seems that this windscreen may need replacement after some use, but should hold up for a bit NOTE: they only cost $10 from MSR. It boiled 2 cups in my GSI Ketalist in just a few minutes, and continued to perform in the wind with the windscreen up.

One thing to note is that in wind, the flame will whip up the side of your pot, pretty badly, I found it to be more extreme when the pot was offset. This being said, my pot has rubber coating on the handle and could be burned if I don't watch the flame, Not worth taking off points, just something to keep in mind. What it came down to with this stove is efficiency and versatility. The full burner as opposed to the rocket burner heats evenly, and I feel boils faster in the right pot. You also have the ability to cook with this stove, not just boil, which practically made the deal for me. It is not the lightest stove but you already know that, it has more parts than most. If all of these things suit your needs you should be good to go with it.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on May 27, 2011

4 5

This thing came in handy during my seasons with the National Park Service, Ticks were a daily problem... multiple times a day. One day I pulled 32 ticks off of me, only half or so of which were embedded but you get the idea. This thing killed many a tick and was eventually dubbed the tick slayer. The needle nose pliers are spot on even after heavy abuse, allowing me to pull ticks with ease. Definitely a solid multi tool, haven't had any problem with the tools holding up to whatever I've thrown at them. The blade is nice and sharp, and seems to stay sharp. Downside, the case is garbage, it still holds it, but that's about it, barely closes, frayed all over, looks to be needing replacement soon. Seems like a good deal, I got it as a present, but I would probably pay this much if I were in the market.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on May 27, 2011

Best of the Best
5 5

I have one similar to this minus the two flatheads on the bottom, and the file and saw on top. There were other knives more similar but I wanted to make sure I reviewed one with the scissors, because they are just incredible. They were one of the main things I was looking for on my knife when I got it... in Interlaken, Switzerland. They cut through pretty much anything, nylon, rope, unreasonably thick plastic packaging, even 1/4" thick leather with no problem. I've had one with scissors on it practically my whole life, but I lost my small Swiss Army a year or so before going to Switzerland. Good reason to buy another :)

My point is, get a knife with scissors, they rock! everything else is top knotch on the knife also, I recently sharpened it (after three years going strong) and it's fresh again. I mean c'mon, I shouldn't have to say much, it's Victorinox, Swiss made products tend to be incomparable.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on May 26, 2011

4 5

I used this stove a few times while backpacking with some friends, It boiled my water quickly and that is all I used it for. The temperature control seems to be okay but like I said, I only boiled water, and I don't think the heat is distributed evenly to the pot. This also depends on the pot but mine is a little wide and I found it to be slightly unstable on this stove. It packs down so small I guess It's worth it, I've decided to go with the windpro for now due to it's versatility. All in All good for the price, def the cheapest option out there.

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Ryan OConnell

Ryan OConnell wrote a review of on May 26, 2011

5 5

My fiance got me these for Christmas a few years back and I've loved 'em ever since. The wrap fit is perfect, the polarized lenses are a MUST in my book. Also, these things break and go back together very easily. I had a nasty accident on my bike involving a log, a tree, and a fairly thick branch that broke off on my neck, these things were in about 4 different pieces when I realized they weren't on my head, everything popped back together fine, never a problem, and they have taken quite a beating, will likely just buy new lenses, these frames are holding up fine.

Bottom Line: If you like the style, BUY THEM, they are well worth it!

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