Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson

Southern Appalachian Mountains

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Ty's Passions

Backpacking

Ty'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 an answer about on December 19, 2009

This is the quintessential layering piece. Whether you use it as a base layer, midlayer, outer layer, or the only layer depends entirely on conditions and activity. When backpacking, I wear it as an outer layer over an ultralight merino base. This arrangement is good down below freezing as long as you stay active. Warmer layers go on top once I reach camp. For higher speed activities (biking, skiing), I like to have an outer layer that blocks the wind. Check out the rime and shift softshells. With these outer layers, it is sometimes too warm to keep the midweight merino, so i wear the softshell over the ultralight merino. If it is cold enough, i will wear all three layers. They key to layering is to have many different combinations available. For me, more often than not, this shirt is in my layering equation. But to answer your question more directly, this shirt alone will probably not be warm enough by itself for 20F nordic skiing.

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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 have the 3L version, and i take it on every hike and backpack. 5 years and no signs of wear. It is so great to be able to drink on the go. The biggest advantage of a bladder over a bottle is that it fits in the sleeve of your pack right up against the frame. The advantage is that water is the heaviest thing that you carry, and you want the heaviest items closest to your back. This reduces the torque on your pack and creates a more balanced load. Therefore, your pack will feel lighter. If you are even considering getting this item, get it. It is one of the least expensive pieces of gear that I own, yet easily one of the most important.

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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 December 18, 2009

5 5

These pants perform very well. They are light, breathable, stretchable, they shed water, and they hold up well to abrasion. I recently replaced my standard nylon hiking pants with these, and couldn't believe the difference. The range of motion while wearing these is nearly the same as not wearing pants at all! Simply put these are now my default pants when heading out to the backcountry. In addition to their function, these pants also have form. They look good enough to wear out. They are a classy chocolate brown color and don't look to techy. The fit is good. I am 6'3" 185lbs, i usually wear 34" waist, and i got a Large. Could have used an inch or so more in length, but it is not really noticeable.

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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

I wasn't sure how much I would like this shirt, I am a merino maniac when it comes to mid-layers, but I quickly found it to be indispensable. It is a great layer because it is versatile. Provides a little warmth on a cool morning, and keeps the sun off you in the hot afternoon, keeping you cool. If it gets too hot, roll the sleeves up using the convenient button and loop attached to the sleeve. It handles sweat well, and dries out lightning fast, even after a complete soaking (much faster than my merino layers, I must admit). This (along with my Smartwool midweight) has become a layer that I take on every backpacking trip, regardless of the season. The fit is good, go by the sizing chart.

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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 an answer about on July 24, 2009

Per the sizing chart, I am right at the border between M and L. I went with the L and it fits well. Im sure the M would fit me also, but the L allows me to pack a few layers underneath. If you are at the low end of the M range, you might go with the S if you want it snug. Otherwise, if you want a few layers underneath, go with the M.

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