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 Thiel wrote a review of on October 19, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I don't have a clue what makes this "tactical" ... especially since it's nearly identical to my "regular" helliox chair.

These are good chairs. Quite comfortable for the size, pretty light, and very compact. I bring it lots of places and I don't feel bad if I don't end up using it. A good thing to have in your kit.

Look for them occasionally on SteepandCheap..

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on October 16, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This pack holds just the right kit for an extended day hike, lets you strap on a bit more if you're pushing it, and provides the unrivaled accessibility of wingmen pockets. The three pockets in the main part of the pack are sized perfectly: a small one for essentials, a larger one for likely to use quick grab items, and a main compartment for your layers and backup gear.

When you're wearing it, it just disappears. The weight and comfort is great, the access to the wingmen is great.

The source bladder is quite good and I like the receptical for the tip of the hose (keeps it secure, clean, but requires two hands to pull the valve out...)

Only real negative is that main pocket access isn't as quick as I'd like because of the compression strap arrangement, but that's really a nit pick.

What a pack. Buy one.

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on October 13, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Thank you to Backcountry.com and CRKT for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.

First, it’s important to note that the CRKT Multitool isn’t really designed for camping or backcountry use: it’s more back-forty than backcountry—handy around the house and yard, but heavy and bulky enough to be left at home on more aggressive trips.

I wish I had better news: while the CRKT Multitool has potential, I think it falls short.

First, let’s start off with the good bits:

• Nice clean shape to this tool. Easy to hold and just the right size for the palm of the hand.
• Apparent tool assortment is impressive: knife, saw, wrenches, wirestrippers, bottle opener, and screwdrivers… and a separate case full of driver bits.
• Innovative methods for “opening” the various tools; way easier than fingernail notches. Buttons open the spring-loaded drivers, and steel nibs provide easy access to the blade and saw.
• The T-handle configuration when using the drivers provides superior leverage, making this tool great for driving screws.
• Markings on the tool appear to be etched, so they will last long after the paint wears off.
• There are small holes in the metal casing, allowing you to attach your own (very very thin) lanyard if you so desire.
• The knife was astonishingly sharp when I received it.
• I like that all the tools lock in place.
• I really appreciate the straight blade of the knife, because it makes resharpening at home or on the trail a snap.
• The knife can be opened with one hand, which is a feature many of us value in knives. (It cannot be closed with one hand, however.)

But I’m afraid that’s where the good thoughts end. This multitool is difficult to carry and store, impractical to use, and doesn’t seem to have the durability any of us need.... (continued...)

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on September 11, 2014

5 5

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

So... lots of people don't realize that eggs can go quite a while without being refrigerated. Like days and weeks. In the old days, they did not even refrigerate them in the grocery store!

If you've already refrigerated the eggs, then I would not keep them unrefrigerated for more than a couple days. If they eggs have never been refrigerated (which means you got them from a chicken! AWESOME. GO YOU!) then you have a couple WEEKS to consume those little darlings.

So... this carrier is light, but bulky. But it's a small price to pay for some eggs while backpacking or car camping. Works a treat.

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on July 29, 2014

5 5

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

These are?essentially?thin, light, waterproof, attractive running Crocs. So that basically makes them perfect for:

-- water shoes
-- camp shoes (only 4 oz!) for backpacking
-- a "spare" set of shoes during travel

Long story short they are very light and very comfortable, so any situation where you need those elements in a shoe make these a good choice..

(Make sure to size down. I dropped two euro sizes from 43 to 41 and they are perfect. The reason why is that this company sells this shoe in another version that has an insert, which takes up some room, but these "pure" versions lack the insert.)

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on July 17, 2014

5 5

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

I have a few TwinSix jerseys. I like them best of all the brands I've tried. The material is soft, stays cool, and the cut is a little more forgiving for those of us with a little extra baggage up front.

This particular jersey is just good looking without being flashy. Really like it.

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on May 11, 2014

3 5

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

FWIW... I've had my core for a while.

When I was in Tanzania (I toss that in so you will think I'm cooler than I actually am) I was regularly applying DEET, and I'm sad to say that it ate away at the watch in a surprising way.

I've always been aware that DEET eats plastic, but honestly I didn't expect the Core to be susceptible.

That said, my now pretty wildly deformed watch makes me look a lot tougher than I actually am!

Also note: be careful with replacement bands, especially if you want to replace the original awesome black stretchy band... that one is called "elastomer" and I found out too late.

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on April 14, 2014

5 5

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

I purchased this and the Western Mountaineering Quick Flash Jacket (which is over $300). Yes, the WM looks better, feels more durable, and has .5 oz more down in it. All that for only twice the price. Make no mistake: the WM is a NICE jacket and probably worth the price... just not to me :)

I was tempted to keep the WM jacket .. and I rarely skimp. But this Hadron Jacket is warm, quite comfortable, and has two features the WM lacked:

1 -- Hadron has a drawstring waste
2- - Hadron has a built in stuff sack (vs. no sack at all for WM).

Add to that that the WM has oddly shaped pockets and I had to stick with the Hadron.

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on April 7, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

Comfortable, dries quickly, and doesn't stink. The arms are just the right length. I even like the colors.

Wore a couple of these on the equator for a few days and never noticed the heat--a real boon for those of us who need to cover up in the sun.

Worth the crazy price.

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on April 6, 2014

5 5

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

So.. there's not much to say about UL down jackets that hasn't been said: this jacket weights nothing, feels great, and is super warm.

Things I like about this WM jacket in particular:
-- handwarmer pockets are insulated and relatively deep
-- collar is pretty snug, so it prevents drafts
-- zipper seems well designed with backing tape and draft tube
-- WM stuff has no logos junking it up.

Things I don't love
-- No drawcord on the hem
-- Supershiny and doesn't come in colors that don't look black.
-- No stuff sack and the pockets don't seem designed for stuffing


I would say that the fit is "roomy" but true to size.

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on March 28, 2014

4 5

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

Picked up a couple pairs of these for a trip to Tanzania and wound up very pleased with them. I'm a photographer and I found the pocket configuration surprisingly useful -- with a couple small "special" pockets that worked perfectly for lens cloths and caps.

Never felt hot, and the pants went through sink washing with good results.

The material is very lightweight and feels good. Dirt brushes off easily too.

I found that overall they have a slimmer (but not "slim") fit than other pants of this type. I'd say the waist and thigh sizes run on the small side of true. Still, I didn't feel like my movement was restricted at all.

Three complaints:

-- The belt is not removable. I'll be modifying these pants to fix that, but it meant that the belt was not available for us on other pants, I had to carry more belts, and I could not deploy the belt as a useful piece of webbing when I needed to strap something down.

-- Even the regular size seems longer than advertised. This is more of an FYI than a complaint since the extra length kept the bugs out of my ankles.

-- The boot removal zippers are on the inside of the leg, which is just dumb.


Especially when they are on sale, these are a good choice.

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David Thiel

David Thiel posted an image about on February 22, 2014

Lime Green

I bought green specifically because everyone else has grey and black. This way when I'm totally slaying it the hotties in the lodge will know its me for sure. Also, makes it easy so my kids can locate me and totally cramp my style.

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David Thiel

David Thiel wrote a review of on February 22, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'd been rocking the 80s look--with some sweet Oakleys sunglasses paired with my awesome lime green helmet. That was until my young friend asked where I kept my time machine, were those Guess jeans I was wearing, and did I drive a four cylinder BMW convertible?

Message received, I bought these prophecy goggles. I picked them because they were on sale and I'm not picky about fashion (but you already knew that). Thing is they are comfy, fit over my rather chunky plastic glasses, and they have effectively eliminated my Rip Van Winklish style choices.

These are great goggles and they make me look great as I take some totally tubular runs while rocking Bon Jovi and David Lee Roth. Huey Lewis too!

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