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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 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

4 5

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

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.

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.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 8, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this bag as a "don't need to take it off" camera bag, and it works wonders that way. I can keep an arsenal of lenses on my back and switch them in and out through the side pocket without removing the pocket. Score.

For snow sports, I really like this bag. Fits nice, just the right size, and the straps are durable for edged objects like skis and snowshoes. I particularly like the shallow pocket at the top and the zippered bottle pocket (big enough to hold a 20 oz insulated klean kanteen).

My one beef: as a snowsport pack, the zipper pulls on this thing are inexcusable-- too small. Easy enough to remedy, but I buy Arc so that I don't have to think about things like that!

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 8, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

Had real trouble fitting these around my herculean calves while merely testing them on the sofa. Imagining myself struggling to attach them while sinking into the snow, with gloves on, I quickly decided that they were not for me.

If you're skinny, I bet they are just the thing. Well made with nice design features.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote a review of on January 4, 2015

4 5

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

I like Buffs and wanted a heavier one for the winter. This one is lighter than I expected.... pretty thin actually.

I use buffs for all the normal reasons, plus two specialized ones:

1) a very light buff is ideal for abating camera strap fatigue (and having the strap rub on a burnt neck) when traveling in off-the-grid type places. Not hot. Works wonders.

2) I find that a buff keeps the sweat from my face from dripping onto my shirt, and that keeps me much dryer overall in the heat. Seems counterintuitive to add what is essentially a neck warmer in order to stay COOLER, but there it is.

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David Thiel

David Thielwrote 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 Thielwrote 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 Thielwrote 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 Thielwrote 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 Thielwrote 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 Thielwrote 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 Thielwrote 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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