Zombie Kit

Zombie Kit

Colorado High Country, The Local Watering Hole

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Daniel's Passions

Backpacking
Hiking
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Daniel's Bio

Zombie Kit

Zombie Kit wrote a review of on June 9, 2014

5 5

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

Normally I like to get more familiar with gear before reviewing it, but given the crazy sale on the Alpine Explorer, I figured I'd write this now before they're all gone.
Inflatable SUPs are getting very close to the performance of a fiberglass board, and this one is no exception. I have used it around 12-13 psi (15psi is max) and it feels very solid underfoot. The only way I can get it to flex is if I purposefully bounce up and down on it. When you figure in the convenient transport and portability of an inflatable, it's really quite an attractive option.
The displacement hull does very well on flat water and in choppy water as well. It's not the most stable design, but it's plenty stable enough for a beginner. The twin fins provide superb tracking. When I angle into the wind just right, I can easily do 20-30 strokes without switching arms. In fact, it's almost too good at going straight as it takes a bit of effort to turn it.
Where this board really shines is its portability. It easily meets requirements for airline checked luggage, even with a collapsible paddle. And the included bag seems rugged enough to handle the baggage handlers. I've taken it up to Oregon on a recent trip (see pictures) and it was just perfect. It checks on the airline and fits in even the smallest rental car. Rolled up tightly, it even fits in my 70-liter Gregory backpack, and I plan to hit up some remote alpine lakes as soon as they ice off since the weight is manageable with a stoutly-framed backpack. You can take it anywhere if you're willing to work a bit, and a fiberglass board simply can't compete with that.
Lastly, I love the double set of bungees for lots of deck storage. I can fit my Chacos in the back, my PFD and drybag up front, and still have tons of room to spare.
So far I'm totally satisfied with the Alpine Explorer, and given the sale price right now, it's pretty much unbeatable.

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Zombie Kit

Zombie Kit wrote an answer about on June 22, 2012

Another option is a silnylon tarp. That will give you tons of room under it for not only the bivy, but your pack, boots, and even room to cook your meals while you stay tucked away in your toasty sleeping bag. This makes a killer shelter system that's very versatile. It's like a solo tent with a giant vestibule.

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Zombie Kit

Zombie Kit wrote a review of on May 4, 2012

5 5

Is this cookset as cool as a titanium setup? I may never know considering that you can spend double or triple the price of the Minimalist on a comparable Snowpeak, Evernew, or MSR titanium setup. The value you get out of this kit is amazing and that's what sold it for me.

It functions very well. I have rehydrated oatmeal, ramen noodles, and dehydrated meals with it using the cozy and it works great. It keeps drinks warm for almost an hour when you use it as a mug. See my video posted here for more info and a demo that it can sufficiently rehydrate a meal.

GSI designed this for use with a canister stove, but in my opinion canister stoves are bush league. I use an alcohol stove and it works perfectly.

It's not the lightest cookset you can buy. But honestly, you can shed grams off your pack elsewhere for cheaper, in my opinion (such as using an alcohol stove instead of a heavy canister stove).

So picture this. It's the zombie apocalypse. I'm boiling water to sterilize it with my Minimalist while you all have your fancy titanium pots. A hoard of zombies show up. I have thirty bucks worth of ammo with the money I saved. You all have pots that weigh an ounce or two less than mine but had no money left to buy ammo. Who lives?

Yeah, now you get my point. Buy this cookset if you want to survive, like I will.

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Zombie Kit

Zombie Kit wrote a review of on September 20, 2011

5 5

I'll echo Aaron Nash's review 100%. This jacket has never disappointed me and in my opinion it rivals the competing Gore-Tex Pro Shell jackets (the bird fossil brand in particular). Here have been my experiences:

Skiing: this is my primary ski shell and it has held up to abrasive snow and ice (I am new, so I fall occasionally) and looked brand new after the first season. It keeps the wind out well too, but also lets me dump heat in a hurry so I can avoid sweating on the way down and freezing on the lift back up.
Mountaineering: I climbed Longs Peak with the Mentor in rain and sleet. I was 100% dry and it showed no wear after rubbing on lots of granite while scrambling up and down.
Hunting: I just got back from a hunting trip where it rained non stop and we were bushwhacking through wet brush and shrubs. Again, 100% dry and no wear and tear despite being scraped against trees and branches. Washed it with some Nixwax and it looks brand new.

When I went searching for a Pro-Shell jacket, I basically narrowed it down to the Mentor or the 'teryx Alpha. From there, the decision was cake. What sets the Mentor apart? First, the Mentor wins this easily in terms of ventilation with the torso zips. You'll never get clammy in this thing. The Alpha can't compete in this regard. Second, the Mentor has a two-way main zipper which is great for dialing in the perfect fit. This is just my personal preference, but I gotta have this with my jackets if possible. Third is the main advantage the Mentor has: price. The mentor costs hundreds less than other Pro Shell jackets, yet it is built just as tough, has a lifetime warranty, superior ventilation, and attention to detail.

In my opinion, if you spend the extra one or two hundred bucks for an Alpha AR or SV, you're a sucker. That extra money buys you a less-thought-out jacket with a well-recognized brand logo and that's it. I now consider Outdoor Research to be a top-notch brand with some very innovative products that in my experience are all built solid. If you want a Gore-Tex Pro Shell, this is hands down the best value.

I am 5'11" and weigh 185-200 lbs (depending on the season). The L is perfect for me. Plenty of room for some layers and a down puffy, but not overkill.

When the Zombie apocalypse comes, I'll be happy I have this bad boy, and also happy with the additional $100-$200 worth of gear that the Arc'teryx-wearing fellas couldn't afford. Buy hey, at least they'll be wearing a fancy brand name when they get eaten by zombies.

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Zombie Kit

Zombie Kit wrote a review of on April 27, 2011

1 5

I went through two pairs of these in less than five months and I can say I am through with the Skullcandy brand for good.

My first pair lasted for about 4 months. I did not use them roughly, they sat at my desk for my computer and I would occasionally wear them to work out. I really liked the fit and the sound quality was acceptable. Then the wires started shorting out near the plug and eventually they disconnected completely. They were toast.

So because I liked the fit, I shelled out money for another pair. These ones started having the same wire shorting problem, but it only took about a week. Unfortunately I didn't buy them from BC so I couldn't return them, so I'm stuck with 2 sets of busted headphones.

As a side note I also have the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds (got off SAC) and they are crapping out after about 6 months of use. The left speaker cracks and sounds terrible.

All my Skullcandy buds couldn't handle basic desktop use. That is pathetic. What a trash product. Spend your money elsewhere!

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Zombie Kit

Zombie Kit wrote a review of on March 2, 2011

2 5

The fatal flaw: the inlet connection nipple.

So I was filtering some very cold water (alpine stream, so it was snow about 2 hours before). It was only the second time I had used this filter. It pumps very easily and works great. Then I'm packing it away and when I remove the inlet tube, the connection nipple breaks right off, making the entire setup useless. I would have been screwed but luckily my friend had his filter. I think the cold water makes the plastic extra brittle. I was not careless, it just broke as I pulled the tube off.

My brother owns the same filter and a week later the same exact failure happened to him. He had to boil water for the rest of his trip. Luckily he had extra fuel.

You can read more stories like this in the reviews of REI. I am amazed there are almost none here on BC. This is a habitual problem with this filter.

I learned two things from all of this. 1) I now carry iodine tablets as a backup. 2) this filter is a bad trip waiting to happen. Invest your money elsewhere, especially if your water sources are cold streams and lakes, or you might end up as Zombie food. I now own the Katadyn Vario and so far it's worked flawlessly though it is heavier and bulkier which is a drawback.

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Zombie Kit

Zombie Kit wrote a review of on December 15, 2010

5 5

These sunglasses are epic. They are very lightweight and perfect for being active as they stay put on your face. The price is great for polarized sunglasses, so you can't go wrong.

I have a fairly narrow face (got the oval head) and they fit great. If you have a wider face, I sugest the Native Bolt. They are very similar in design and looks, but much wider.

So while the zombies are devouring your foolish friend who paid the same price for non-polarized Oakley sunglasses, you will be happy knowing you equipped your zombie kit with some great sunglasses.

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Zombie Kit

Zombie Kit wrote a review of on December 15, 2010

5 5

This backpack is definitely deserving of the awards.

First of all, I admit that this pack is on the heavier side, but it makes up for it in comfort. The padded shoulder straps and hip belt do a great job of handling heavy loads that you'll hardly notice. But the main winner on this pack is the big, sticky lumbar pad. It puts the weight right where you want it and keeps it there. Seriously, a heavy load has never felt so luxurious on my back. This pack is a must for multi-day trips. I like it so much that I've even used it as a simple day pack because it's so comfortable. I bagged a few Colorado 14ers with this sucker (not fully loaded) and didn't even feel it there, even when carrying water for two people. The other reviews are spot on about the good adjustability and features too, so I won't repeat what's been said. Believe the hype!

For you gram counters out there, try this pack on and tell me the extra ounces aren't worth it.

You don't want the zombies to show up and not have this pack on your back. Do the right thing. Buy it.

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