Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper

Colorado and Wyoming (mostly)

Scott Jasper's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Scott Jasper's Bio

I live in Ames, Iowa and work as a mechanical engineer for Iowa State University. I love alpine/sub-alpine backpacking and have packed in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, California, Utah, South Dakota, Arkansas and Iowa. I've posted a lot of 5 star gear reviews on backcountry.com. I keep a VERY detailed log of my gear -- every piece of gear/food/clothing has been weighed down to a tenth-of-an-ounce -- and I scrutinize the crap out of this stuff! If I give it 5 stars, I mean it.

Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper posted an image about on October 5, 2014

Granite Gear Air Zippsacks Rock!

Attached pic shows a few of my Air Zippsacks (NOT the Air Zippditty Stuffsacks) in Glacier National Park. I've long thought bc.com should carry the former and was pleasantly surprised that they now have the latter. I assume that Granite Gear created the Zippditty to round out the small end of their zippered stuffsack offerings. For example, the largest Zippditty here (146 cu in) is smaller than the smallest Zippsack (280 cu in) (orange zippered stuff in the pic).

I can't speak for Zippditty's, but GG's Air Zippsacks are the bomb! I've purchased about ten of these stuffs over the years - for myself and for others - and they really help keep my gear organized. The Cordura Sil-Nylon, used in both Zippditty and Zippsacks, is uber-lightweight and is slick (making it easy to slide in/out of my top-load pack). This fabric is also semi-translucent making it possible to identify contents.

Recommendation: Ask bc.com to add the GG Air Zippsacks to their site (I did)!

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper posted an image about on October 5, 2014

BD Ultra Distance Trekking Poles Rock!

On a recent trip 'round The North Circle loop in Glacier National Park (7 days x 60 miles), I used my BDULTP's 90% of the time. They were especially useful on ascents / descents / crossing mountain passes. In this pic we're taking a break on a 1500-foot ascent on the highline trail (just below the Continental Divide). Photo by Gary Munkvold.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on October 2, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After a couple of years on the bench, my Precip hat made it back to first string. On a recent 8-day / 60-mile trip through Glacier National Park, the Precip barely left my head. Mostly, this hat shielded my eyes from 7+ days of bright skies. It also helped hold up the hood brim of my shell jacket during a morning rain.

The mesh liner helped me maintain a cool head in temps that were 15 deg above normal and the adjustable "hook and loop strap" tailored the fit so that it wouldn't blow off in GNP gusts.

Recommended.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on July 15, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Contrary to previous reviewer, I thought the size of the watch is fine (watch case O.D. = 1-3/4" / see pic). Larger watch faces seem to be the trend lately. The band is thin, but comfortable. The watch itself is very light - a plus for some but, for me, it's missing the "heft" of a quality watch. My only real complaint is that the crown pulls out a little too easily and I occasionally mis-adjust the time by accident.

Final analysis: This watch is a fashion watch, not a serious outdoors watch (and, thus, the Backcountry.com recommended use is "Casual"). A pretty good watch for the (on sale) price.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on May 10, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I think the Leatherman Juice S2 has one of the best function-to-weight ratios out there. I've used mine on hundreds of miles of alpine backcountry trips over the past four years and can't recommend it enough.

How do I use this multi-tool?

- I use the knife always
- I use the scissors even more
- I use the pliers for pulling tent stakes out of frozen ground
- I use the phillips-head screwdriver in town, but not on the trail
- I use the medium screwdriver for opening the back of my watch
- I use the small screwdriver in town, but not on the trail
- I use the extra-small screwdriver for adjusting compass declination
- I use the bottle opener for beer
- I don't use the can opener (does anybody?)

Backpacker Magazine gave this tool an Editor's Choice Gold Award in 2014 (Backpacker's Gear Editor, Kristen Hostetter, REALLY likes this knife) and a video:
http://www.backpacker.com/editors-choice-2014-leatherman-juice-s2/videos/319

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper wrote a review of on May 4, 2014

Osprey Exos 58 Backpack Rocks!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Last fall I carried this pack (last year's model) for 38 miles x 6 days - mostly above 12,000' - in Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness. Fully loaded on the first day, my pack weighed 31 lbs and the Exos 58 carried the load nicely.

Osprey built this pack to be a super-lightweight, full-featured pack. My size large weighs in at 2 lbs, 12.2 oz and, other than low weight, I wouldn't call this a "minimalist" pack (look at the bullet point list of features above). I thought the previous model's zippered, mesh waist-belt pockets were too big / too floppy and Osprey addressed that with their current model. I wouldn't use the elastic shoulder strap pockets, but no star deduction for that feature here.

I'm a big proponent of using 55 - 60 liter capacity packs for week-long trips. My other pack in this category is Gregory's excellent z55 (also received an update for 2014). My older z55 weighs 14 oz more than the Exos 58 but carries the load a little better at the heavy end of the spectrum. I'll likely choose the z55 for 6- and 7-day trips and the Exos 58 for 3- and 4-day trips. (Looks like it's gonna be a fight to see who gets to go on the 5-day trips!)

Photo shows "gear dump" at Bear Lake camp site in Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper posted an image about on May 4, 2014

Sizing Guide for Trekking Pole Length

I went through the trekking pole sizing exercise a couple years ago. I'm 5'-11" and went with the 120 cm length in Black Diamond's UDTP. After many adventures with these poles, the 120cm length feels great (!) on ascents, descents and level hiking. The pole length (my example = 120cm) is measured from the pole tip to the top of your hand at the top of the grip - just below the "knob" at the top of the pole grip (see pic). Wear your boots, stand on level ground and have a friend assist with measurements**. The goal is to have the underside of your forearm level (+/- 5 degrees) when holding the pole in this position.

** Note: inches x 2.54 = centimeters

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper posted a video about on May 3, 2014

NOTE: This video needs to be watched in full screen mode (click on the "full screen" icon in lower right corner of video). If not, most of the notes, created in YouTube Video Editor, get chopped! (?)

Jetboil's "color change heat indicator" is built into the insulating cozy. Use this feature to save fuel.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper posted an image about on April 27, 2014

Jetboil Fuel Study

Photo shows a Jetboil Jetpower 100g / 3.53 oz fuel canister weighing in at 6.95 oz (full) and 3.40 oz (empty). Therefore, weight of gas in canister is 6.95 - 3.40 = 3.55 oz (darned close to the stated 3.53 oz!).

Jetboil says their stoves can boil 12 liters of water (= 24 half-liters) with one of these canisters. Therefore, on average, each half-liter uses 3.55/24 = 0.15 oz of fuel. With this information, and if you have a decent scale**, you can estimate how many "half-liter boils" remain in your used canisters using the following formula:

Remaining "half-liter boils" = (x - 3.40) / 0.15
where x = weight of partially used canister, in ounces.

When I return from a backcountry adventure I write remaining gas weight and remaining boil info, with a Sharpie, on the bottom of my canisters.


** I bought this scale - accurate down to 0.05 oz - and a set of calibration weights (to confirm accuracy) for $15-20 on eBay - search "5kg 11lbs 1g digital kitchen scale". I've also used a digital postal scale, at work, in the past.

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper posted an image about on April 27, 2014

In addition to opening beers...

...this little guy can also puncture Jetboil (and other) fuel canisters for safe disposal/recycling. From Jetboil website:

- Rugged stainless steel construction
- Safely vents fuel prior to puncturing
- Bottle opener and jet orifice wrench integrated into handle
- Clips onto carabiner or key ring for convenience

The can-opener-shaped tool is sharp - sharp enough that I wouldn't attach this tool to a key ring and stick it in my pocket!

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Scott Jasper

Scott Jasper posted a video about on April 13, 2014

If you're looking at this cartridge you probably already know about its features and benefits. If not, see my review of the excellent Platypus GravityWorks 4.0L Filter System. I think the GravityWorks systems flow like a stream!

Video (test/first video upload) shows Arkansas' Buffalo River Trail after a spring rain.

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