Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson

Southern Appalachian Mountains

Ty Nelson's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Ty Nelson's Bio

From my front porch, I can look beyond the shining rail lines and across the river and up to the big blue mountains sitting against the sky, like embodied truths, like perfect beings without fear or desire. This day they are just a scant shade darker than heaven...shorn and damaged and eternal.

~Charles Frazier
"Thirteen Moons"

Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on December 19, 2009

5 5

This pack is actually a lot bigger than 24L when you consider the AirCore space and the straightjacket straps. I put my hydration bladder in the AirCore space which frees up a lot of space in the pack. With this arrangement, I use this pack for ultralight, warm weather overnight/weekend backpacks. It really fits more gear than you think it can. The fit of this pack is a dream. It hugs me perfectly, with no pressure points. The hipbelt design keeps the pack secure, and takes some pressure off your hipbones. This is a great day pack, and a great warm weather ultralight overnight pack.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on December 19, 2009

5 5

I use the large size for my food bag, and the medium size for a ditty/survival bag. Whenever I need something out of my pack, i just reach for the ditty bag, everytime. Organization can literally be a life saver. These things are extremely lightweight, and though OR makes no mention of this, very water resistant. I have left my food bag up on a bear line in a pouring rain all night, and in the morning there may be a little moisture in the bag and that's it. These bags are indispensable on any backpacking trip.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on December 19, 2009

5 5

Some gloves keep your hands warm, but give you about as much dexterity as if you had tennis rackets for hands. With these gloves, I can still manipulate most objects so I don't have to take my gloves off to do in camp chores (what is the point of that?) Keep in mind though, that these are lightweight. I wear smartwool liners under these and my hands stay toasty, but by themselves I would only wear them down to about 32 degrees. I also wear these biking. They do a good job of keeping the wind from freezing my knuckles.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on December 19, 2009

5 5

I use this as my primary headlamp. It is very light and I find it to be plenty bright enough. And you don't have to carry a bunch of heavy alkaline batteries. The little 2032 disc batteries weigh nearly nothing. It has adjustable brightness so you can read in your tent without blinding yourself, and you can night-hike without tripping on every root and rock. Also the red led is great for preserving night vision if you just want to walk out of the tent to pee. Have not had to use the SOS feature, but I like that it is there. In short, this little guy is up to the job.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on December 19, 2009

5 5

I had two pairs of these on the Appalachian Trail. Now, 5 years later, they are still the pairs that I grab first out of the drawer. They are very comfy and non-restrictive. They wick, they don't bunch up much, and don't ride up, or fall down. They do what you want in a boxer. Besides being comfy, my favorite aspect of them is their ability to stretch (I want to be able to make that bouldering move without my boxers riding up my crack), and the fact that they dry lightning fast. Wet boxers are a real drag when hiking. It also means you can wash them by hand in camp with some dr bronners, put them back on, and be on your way!

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on December 18, 2009

5 5

Smartwool has come out with a few different lines of socks recently (PhD, Adrenaline, etc.), and while these newcomers are great socks and live up to the Smartwool name, they seem a bit unnecessary. The midweight hikers have been around for a bazillion years, and are the gold standard of the sock world. I have four pairs, including two that are still in great condition after a 40-day, 550 mile section of the AT. I wear them every day when it is cold. They are warm and comfy, and just make you feel good. On top of that, they are the best hiking sock available. They wick sweat, repel odor, retain warmth even when wet, and are very durable.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on July 24, 2009

4 5

Great for base camp. Especially if it is a hike to the water source. I have a 6L so that I can have enough water to cook dinner, breakfast, heat water for tea, have drinking water, brush my teeth, and fill my camelbak reservoir for the next day's hike. It only weighs a couple ounces and folds up, so it is very convenient to have.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on July 24, 2009

4 5

I see the other reviewer's complaint, and maybe my striker will suffer the same fate. But for now, it works great. Throws a BUNCH of good sparks. Starts fire. Great to have in the pack as a primary source of fire or as a backup.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on July 24, 2009

5 5

For some reason, in the gear world, Columbia is considered somewhat of an ugly stepsister to the elite Arc'Teryx, Patagonia, Marmot, etc. I don't understand this. I have several Columbia products and all are first rate pieces of gear which cost much less than similar pieces from the elites. This vest is no exception. It is an essential backpacking piece. Its 700 fill is very warm, yet it weighs a mere 8 ounces, and packs to the size of a softball with the included stuff sack (could get smaller with a compression sack). It could be a life saver in an emergency (such as when I got caught in a thunderstorm in near freezing temps above treeline in Glacier NP and only had this and a merino mid-layer dry to stave off hypothermia) or just worn around the fire on a car camping trip. And if you care about that sort of thing, the reversible function is kind of nice. Bottom line: buy it put it in your pack and be thankful later.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on June 5, 2009

5 5

I've seen a lot of people's stoves on the trail, and am always glad that I bought the WindPro. Most canister stoves have two modes, off and jet engine (both in noise and power output). The WindPro has the full range from simmer to blazing heat. It boils water lightning fast, and then turns down to simmer so I don't char my broccoli cheese rice. I am usually eating before my buddies with alcohol have their stoves up and running (seems like you have to perform a seance to get those things to work right). The stove is sturdy as a rock, so you don't need to worry about spilling your dinner. And it is aptly named, because the wind does not faze it.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on June 5, 2009

4 5

Have used the Z rest as my only sleep pad for years. Its main advantage is that it VERY light, which I appreciate when going up 2000ft gainers. Also, I love the hassle free accordion style. It is always ready for a quick rest on the side of the trail without having to dismantle my whole pack. The only reason I can't give it 5 stars is its thinness. I am a side sleeper, and I have to switch sides several times a night because I feel pressure on my hip bones, not enough to be seriously uncomfortable though. I will stick with the Z rest for years to come though, because the ease and weight savings are too good to pass up.

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Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson wrote a review of on June 4, 2009

5 5

After obsessively researching 0 degree bags for the upcoming winter backpacking season this past fall, I finally settled on the TNF Snowshoe for 3 reasons: warmth, weight, price. There are plenty of light and warm bags out there, but I couldn't bring myself to spend $400 on a sleeping bag. This is a great winter backpacking bag, 3.5 lbs, packs small, and is toasty into the teens. It is the best value out there. I came across a lot of minor complaints in my scouring of user reviews and I will address them here. "Zipper dangles in face". Saw this one a bunch, but I did not find it to be an issue. While it was in the area of my face, i did not notice it during the night. "Hood is shaped weird, hangs over eyes". In my experience, covering some of your face when it is friggin cold out is a good thing. "Hood draw cords difficult to adjust". My Kelty 25 is like a nailed coffin in this area so the Snowshoe cords seem like a breeze to open. "Not warm enough". Have only tested it down into the teens, but was plenty warm. "Synthetic not as good as down". I disagree, while down is very light and packs small, it loses some of its warmth when wet, where synthetic doesn't. A couple nice additional features are the glow in the dark zipper and the draft shield. Overall, a very nice buy. I recommend completely.

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