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David Thiel

David Thiel

Western Massachusetts, Southern Vermont

David Thiel's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Skiing

David Thiel's Bio

Outdoor pursuits include mountain biking, backpacking, road cycling, and wintersports like snowshoeing and skiing.

I travel a fair amount and am lucky to go to some interesting places.

I do quite a lot of photography and video work (semi professional) and I have the great fortune to work with most of the very best Canon gear.

David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on February 23, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

The Elite In-R-Cool has been my goto short/bib for a few years now.

Bottom line is that it's an excellent, durable short, that's comfortable to wear and about middle of the road in cost. I think the fit is particularly good for those of us with larger thighs.

I am not an enormous fan of PI stuff, but honestly it's hard to argue with the fact that they do a great job at both design and construction. If you prefer to drop your cash on Assos, be my guest.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on February 23, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When I watch TV in an active house (two kids), I keep the volume at about 20.

When I watch TV in a quiet house (kids asleep), I keep the volume at about 8.

When I watch TV on this trainer, I keep the volume at about 45. And when I do, my kids and wife remain asleep.

It ain't silent. But it ain't loud either. A massive improvement over my past trainers. Recommended.

===

PROS
-- Bike at "normal height" is a massive plus.
-- Stability is great, and it does feel more like "real" riding.

CONS
-- Heavy. Worried that my kids will try to use the bike as a handle for moving the trainer and it will break the bike.
-- No handle for moving the trainer. Kinduvapain.
-- Setup isn't terrible, but you need a chain whip and a cassete wrench.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on February 18, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A bag that lives up to its temperature ratings is a rare bird indeed, and this one does. Hit a new low at -4F and found this bag to be quite sufficient.

Very comfy too. I find the hood ever so slightly claustrophic, but I suppose that's the point.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on February 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I find wipes wasteful, so I prefer to repellent directly from a bottle.

Still, I leave a couple of these wipes in each of my packs and in each set of 10 essentials that I keep on hand....

Good as an emergency backup but too wasteful to use as a primary method for applying repellent EXCEPT for small children: I find that wipes are a good way of applying repellent on little kids since it creates a very even and very light distribution.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on February 15, 2015

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I know: everybody loves this stove, but I can't say that I'm a fan.

It's bulky, it takes a bunch of setup time, and it's heavy too. Lots of moving parts to depend on, and lots of bits to keep track of. Doesn't pack well.

When I'm backpacking and I almost feel guilty eating instead of logging miles, that's a bad combo.

Flame control isn't very good either. (Certainly not as good as my SnowPeak litemax..)

I know they have drawbacks, but I'm much happier with a canister stove (unless it's winter!)

For backpacking, unless it's winter, I just like the canister stove better.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on February 10, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

So tiny, so light. So expensive.

Still, you only have to buy it once ... and every time you use it you will realize that nothing else comes close to providing the versatility (with so little weight penalty) that this bucket does.

I use mine for dipping out water to filter (because pouring it from the bucket is the easiest way to fill my Sawyer squeeze).

I also use mine as a sink for dirty dishes and such. It makes an ideal "last wet dirty thing" to deal with before bugging out of camp, and it cleans and dries easily.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on February 9, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

These are not as beefy as Sorel's other boots, but I have been quite happy with them nonetheless. I think the simplicity of the laces/drawcord is a real positive for my kid, and we've camped at 0 degrees farenheit without any complaints of cold feet.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on February 9, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

Mittens with liners are tricky. So much about what works and what doesn't has to do with how easy they are to take on and off (as one unit) vs. how difficult it is to just remove the shell and then get your lined-hand back inside with a minimum of fuss.

On these two fronts, these gloves score extremely well. Selectively removing the whole mitt vs. just the outer glove works easy every time. I was running a rifle range last weekend with these on, and it was easy to manage my various tasks including shooting with the liner on.

The mitts have a huge tether string which easily finds its way inside the outer mitten and does not disturb. Hand warmer pockets, removable fingers for the liner mitt, and magnets (yes MAGNETS!) to keep the inner liner in place. Nice design. They shed water and dirt quite well and have a nice finger loop for hanging them up to dry.

Complaints? The thumb is tight, as is the width of the palm. The palm is more bothersome, but I suspect that if it was really really cold, the thumb would be the bigger factor. Size up!

Price is right for these, and they are more than adequate for us mere mortals. Mountaineers might look elsewhere...


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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on February 2, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I would love to love this bottle, and there's a lot to love about it:

-- great size ... a generous 32oz
-- fit and finish is excellent
--quite durable
--keeps hot things hot for quite a while

The problem is the cap. If you let hot things go cold in this bottle (say when you're camping in the below freezing) then the vacuum pressure that builds up inside is too much for the cap to handle. When you unscrew it, it begins to feel like you have misthreaded it... until finally you realize you just need to break the seal. A pocketknife or screwdriver will do the job--but when it does, you will invariably spill your liquids (not good in the freezing cold either).

My Klean Kanteen insulated bottles do not have this problem (instead, they overestimate their volumes).

If they fixed the cap, this could be an ideal bottle.

OH.. and for the record I hate loops on caps: I wish this one was removable.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 29, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

People have already mentioned that this thing burns HOT, and you can tell from the stats that it's light.

What you might not know is that the flame is very adjustable, and it even makes a simmer possible.

Very versatile, super light. It's a great combination. I fear my JetBoil may never again see the light of day.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 29, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

So... I don't exactly think of Louis Garneau when I think of snow shoes, but I got these on sale and they were just the right size for my son.

I am taking them out with a friend the other night... so an adult who was at the edge of their weight rating. I was surprised at the quality of the bindings, and in general I found that they were much nicer than I thought they would be when I looked at them close up.

The findings are ratchet style, which makes tightening them down a cinch, and also makes removing the shoe very easy.

These are a true Randonee style snowshoe, so not an excessive amount of float but quite nice on packed trails, or when following someone who is breaking trail effectively.

I think I'll keep them.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 23, 2015

I do not use these as intended.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I use these for clipping my 5D to the D-rings on my backpack. I do this for two reasons:

1) makes me look cool

2) holds camera securely and makes it easily accessible for shooting.

Seriously though, this is my preferred way of carrying a "ready" camera for shooting when traveling. The carabiner provides so little travel that the camera stays put even when hiking up aggressive terrain.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 23, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Likes: the sizes for the condiment packages and salt/pepper are perfect--just what you're willing to carry on a backpacking trip.

Dislikes: the towel is terrible and the utensils are comically delicate. Instead, I carry a bamboo flat-spatula (a "flatula" if you're keeping score) instead.

Cut up the scrubby into small squares so you can use it ones per meal and put it away, saving another clean small square of scrubby for your next meal. Easier.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 23, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

All my life I have hated duffle bags. The lack of organizational features and general "lug"agenicity really turned me off.
Turns out I just wasn't taking the sort of trips for which a duffle bag is ideal, nor had I ever owned an ideal duffle bag.

Let me explain. A recent trip to South America was a mixture of hotels and lodges, some swanky, some **extremely** scant in their amenities. In some cases we travelled by air, some by land, and some by canoes I was convinced would sink.

As a consumate backpacker, it pains me to say that a backpack is not ideal for this sort of trip. As bags are passed to porters, the benefits of a pack quickly become liabilities as straps and external pockets are dragged through the crap, catching on everything along the way.

Enter the basecamp duffle. Not submersible, but high and dry in a deluvian rainstorm nonetheless, this bag provides a perfect platform for aggressive third-world travel, lodge and hotel stays, etc. It's a mixed bag bag, and the versatility and durability make a potent combination that results in worry free travel.

This bag is also great for winter camping when you're using a packsled, or even for handling the larger/rougher gear transport for family vacations.

Could the shoulder straps be more backpack like? Sure. Could there be more interior pockets? Sure. But that's not the point. This bag is supposed to be a giant impenetrable, portable home base. It's a modern steamer trunk. And it does the job perfectly.

FWIW, the Small is too small to be worth it. The Medium is a nice size for extended travel with light gear, but think of the larger sizes (and the HUGE XL) if you want to be able to bring along technical gear (camping gear, climbing gear, etc.).

Bulletproof. And worth the price.

Incidentially, I really don't like TNF, but I make an exception for this bag. I have two.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I have some lighter buffs, and I have a thick turtle fur for the really cold stuff on the slopes. This is nicely in-between.

Warm enough to get me through an unexpectedly cold snap, but not so cloying as to make me want to GET IT OFF OH MY GOD GET IT OFF ME the way a really thick one can be.

Arc' quality etc. Very nice item and not unreasonably priced.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 21, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

A knowledge of backcountry first-aid really is a must if you're going to be out there. This kit is good for cuts and scrapes--the small stuff--and not much else. And that's fine. Not only is the small size what you primarily run into, but it's really the only stuff you can reasonably plan for.

Make sure you have the knowledge to treat the big stuff in the field, and keep this little kit on hand for the little stuff.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Not sure what I was expecting (and this is my first backcountry shovel purchase..) but I guess I imagined it would pack a little smaller. It fits quite easily into my Arcteryx Quintic 28 though..

That aside, it's a very well made piece of kit. I don't imagine babying it, nor will I regret carrying it since it is nice and light.

Great D handle, good length, and a nice bright color. And the price was right too

*** Update: I've been beating the crap outta this thing for a little while now and it's not even letting go of its paint. Very impressive. ***

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