Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan

American living in Cairo, Egypt.

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Seth's Passions

Telemark Skiing
Camping
Backpacking
Trail Running
Road Cycling

Seth's Bio

Now a blue/Off-Piste telemark skier going into my third season. Formerly a Black / double black snowboarder since '98 who prefers the trees and bowls over the park.

Former collegiate rower / cyclist gone to the computer geek world. In the seasons free of powder, I'm primarily a Trail runner, though I've also competed in the top 5% of my age group in triathlons (all distances). Always been a backpacker, though getting into mountaineering.

Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan wrote an answer about on November 20, 2010

I've been putting 2 sets of skis in my bag, and it seems like putting 3 would be pretty tight. The bindings just take up too much space. If you got creative you could probably fit 3 sets in here. I'm putting in 1x tele and 1x AT in the bag. If all 3 sets are as high profile as Randonee bindings then I think you'd have a hard time.

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Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan wrote a review of on November 11, 2009

2 5

While my wife and I used this for 5 weeks while backpacking across the country this past summer, we found the batteries dead at least once. Thankfully we had a backup plan, but it got me thinking: why bother with this, if you're going to carry a backup plan?

Yes, the SteriPen can purify 1L in 90 seconds and we never had any problem that appeared to be related to water, but for something this fundamental reliability is key. With a chemical treatment you know how many doses you have left. With this, you have no idea if you have 100L or 1L left, and who knows, if the button gets hit in your pack or the temps kill the batteries, your new batteries may be dead tomorrow morning.

There are plenty of chemical treatment options that can purify your water very quickly. Many are as light or lighter than this and you know exactly how much you have left.

I like the steri-pen, I really do. But if I'm going to carry a chemical backup plan, why am I carrying this in the first place?

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Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan wrote a review of on September 3, 2009

4 5

With 94% of your daily fiber requirements in one serving (NOTE: There are 1.5 servings per pouch) you may want to be careful when eating this around friends. This meal tasted great, and no doubt it would make a great burrito filling, but the after effects caused some bio-warfare problems the following day.

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Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan wrote a review of on February 20, 2009

5 5

Love this vest. I don't usually want extra warmth, but I think this is my most versatile safety/comfort layer. Stuck standing still longer than you planned? Temperature drop 15 degrees on you suddenly? Need a pillow to sleep on? This vest packs down very small and is super light. Stick it in a small stuff sack and it can be so many things for little weight or space penalty.

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Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan wrote a review of on February 20, 2009

3 5

I planned on using this jacket for on- and off-piste. I generally run warm, so if it's above 20F I'm usually 2 thin layers and the hardshell. (Same with my old Columbia jacket.) This liner is sooo hot that I think I've worn it twice in the teens and I still eventually soak it in sweat. (I classify this as generally a good thing.)

However, we got some wet snowfall the other day and imagine my disappointment when I watched the snow melt and soak right into my coat. The wet snow eventually got colder and then stopped, so I didn't have a chance to soak the coat right through, but it certainly seems like eventually it would have caused a problem.

Overall, still a decent coat for skiing/riding in or handling known cold temps, but not as versatile as I had hoped.

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Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan wrote an answer about on November 26, 2008

I ride with the Gobi on my mountain bike, but I tried it on my road bike and I honestly don't care for it as much. After trying scads (20+) road saddles, I'm personally sold on these two:http://www.backcountry.com/store/SEL0004/Selle-Italia-Flite-Classic-Gel-Flow-Saddle.htmlhttp://www.mtbr.com/cat/controls/saddle/tioga/spyder-saddle/PRD_412516_140crx.aspxI will also strongly discourage you from the fi'zi:k Arione saddle, that thing is a pain!Mr. Fuller above doesn't like the Arionne for roadies, but I for one know quite a few teams that race at the collegiate level who love it. (myself included) Your mileage may vary.

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Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan wrote a review of on November 13, 2008

2 5

I know a lot of friends of mine like 'em but I'm not a fan. Here's why:

1) Climbing Mt. Rainer with the winter mix. Winter mix got too cold to light. (Thankfully I had my MSR Whisper Lite to cook / make water with.)

2) Can't fly with the canisters. So if you're flying some place, you're going to have to cross your fingers and hope you can find a store that sells it. That's fine if you travel to western populated locations, but eastern Europe or Central Asia. Good luck, I'll take the stoves that can take unleaded fuel or karosene.

3) Another on flying: Say you do buy some. Odds are you probably won't use it all. Still can't fly with it home, so you're stuck donating it to someone. (Which I'm sure they will appreciate.) At least with the unleaded fuel options you can pour the $0.30 of gas into a car.

4) Care about your carbon footprint? Think about everyone of those cans that gets thrown away.

And generally: I found my MSR WhisperLite to be able to boil 2 cups in a pot just as fast as the Jet Boil can in it's specialized mug. (And another plus to general stoves: you can cook 4 or more mugs at once, so you're not eating in shifts if you only brought one stove for a group.)

Overall, if you're a solo hiker and this is the ONLY thing you have, it's not bad. It is REAALLY easy to use. But for people in groups or air travelers, I think there are better options out there.

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Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan wrote a review of on November 13, 2008

2 5

I know a lot of friends of mine like 'em but I'm not a fan. Here's why:

1) Climbing Mt. Rainer with the winter mix. Winter mix got too cold to light. (Thankfully I had my MSR Whisper Lite to cook / make water with.)

2) Can't fly with the canisters. So if you're flying some place, you're going to have to cross your fingers and hope you can find a store that sells it. That's fine if you travel to western populated locations, but eastern Europe or Central Asia. Good luck, I'll take the stoves that can take unleaded fuel or karosene.

3) Another on flying: Say you do buy some. Odds are you probably won't use it all. Still can't fly with it home, so you're stuck donating it to someone. (Which I'm sure they will appreciate.) At least with the unleaded fuel options you can pour the $0.30 of gas into a car.

4) Care about your carbon footprint? Think about everyone of those cans that gets thrown away.

And generally: I found my MSR WhisperLite to be able to boil 2 cups in a pot just as fast as the Jet Boil can in it's specialized mug. (And another plus to general stoves: you can cook 4 or more mugs at once, so you're not eating in shifts if you only brought one stove for a group.)

Overall, if you're a solo hiker and this is the ONLY thing you have, it's not bad. It is REAALLY easy to use. But for people in groups or air travelers, I think there are better options out there.

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Seth Spartan

Seth Spartan wrote an answer about on November 11, 2008

Angus pointed out a long bit about using vinegar to wash out the system, and leave notes for TSA. I agree whole heartedly with him and didn't realize a "tweak" was going to remove his comment. (Sorry man.)The vinegar seems like a good idea. I've also had good success in taking about 3 plastic bags (from the grocery store), some packaging tape and making a seal around the bottle. Step one: put bottle (and anything else with fuel smell) into bag. Step 2: completely encase plastic bag in packaging tape so no part of the bag isn't covered with tape. Step 3: Leave note for TSA. Step 4: Put 2 more plastic bags around it.This may not be the most "approved" version. But it's worked on 5 international and domestic flights. Your mileage may vary.

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