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greg

greg

Pacific Northwest

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Greg's Passions

Backpacking
Camping
Mountain Biking
Snowshoeing
Mountaineering
Alpine Skiing
Kayaking

Greg's Bio

I enjoy cooking,building and creating.


I am a total smart ass and I don't like being like other people. I hope my reviews show that.


Through much debate and group counseling it has been determined I am a gear whore.. Not a hoarder per say, but at some point it becomes a bit ridiculous. How many DH bikes does someone need? How many spare parts? How many sleeping bags? How many stoves? How many tents? How many jackets? Is there really a good answer? I don't think there is a good number based upon the different seasons and all the places to go and explore. Plus, new tempting stuff keeps coming out all the time. FML .


*SPECIAL NOTE* I admire and respect many of you out there. But I shouldn't be surprised that I piss off many of the uptight easily offended people that frequent this site or the ones I see when out and about. You know.. Like the members of the mountaineers club, The clueless people who are REI members. Not to mention the tree hugging hippies that have a stick lodged in their butt sideways. Yep, you hate me and I hate you guys too. I will be the guy out on the trail or the guy having a good time with my friends, then when you come up to another group with your holier than thou attitude I will be the guy telling you to get bent, or go into graphic detail where and how you can go fornicate yourself with any number of nearby tree branches. I am always amazed when I see people who think they have some sort of say over others when out in the middle of nowhere. And let's not forget here on the internet.

greg

greg wrote a review of on August 24, 2014

5 5

I brought one of these to Hawaii for hauling food around while we were at the beach. We drove up to Hawi in the morning and got ice cream for later in the day. Everyone was telling us "You have got to try the ice cream up there." I forgot about it being in the soft cooler and pulled it out that night in our room. It was still ice cream. I was amazed it lasted that long.
I definitely think these are a great vacuum jar for heading out and wanting to keep your food hot or keeping it cold.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 24, 2014

4 5

If they were any smaller I would use them for Limoncello instead of Champagne.
I really like GSI's ability to make the things they make. The stems unscrew and then fit into the glass making them very compact for packing and travel. They are also very sturdy where many plastic champagne flutes can get a little brittle. Hence, why I needed to find new ones.
I have many items that GSI makes for camp kitchens and I have always been pleased. These will be used for our trip to Europe this winter where champagne is cheaper than beer. The French make great things out of grapes. Their beer.. Not so much and they charge so much for it.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 24, 2014

4 5

I am usually a Petzl headlamp guy. The Black Diamond headlamps just haven't struck any desire before to try them. The reason I bought this headlamp is because of the high lumens and the long battery life.

The four AA batteries is kinda on the heavy side but not having to deal with changing out batteries I think is well worth the extra weight. The on off switch takes a bit of time to get used to trying to figure out how to get to the different modes available. Once you know how it works it isn't that bad. I haven't had to use a gloved hand yet to turn it on and off but I could see it being a bit of a pain in the ass.

I was warned that Black Diamond headlamps sometimes have longevity issues.. Is it true? I guess I will find out. Petzl just seems to be getting into some really overly fancy lights for their high end headlamps. I just want a bright lamp with a long battery life that takes standard batteries and not some rechargeable battery that needs a USB port to recharge.

I think Black Diamond is going to start making bigger waves in the headlamp market.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 24, 2014

4 5

I just got one of these packs. I was thinking the 25L would be good but had a chance to try it on along with the 35L and 45L. It was definitely too small for my needs and the 45L was not too bad but I already have a 45L pack. So I guess I was like Goldilocks and this one is 'just right'. Actually Bill Porecca recommended the 35L size. So I guess he gets to be Goldilocks.

I don't think I will ever use the aluminum frame back support. This bag doesn't seem big enough to warrant one. Maybe for Ski touring? We'll see.

I am still trying to get used to the top cinches and the way the packs inner expandable collar works with the lid. It is very innovative but it takes a bit of getting used to. I have found myself re adjusting and re packing it just to get it right. Then I realize I forgot something and have to go back through the process again.

I mainly wanted to get a summit day pack for Rainier. I don't see the need to haul a huge backpack to the top. This thing rolls up very small and is just over a pound with the frame removed.

I think Patagonia did a great job with this pack. I am also looking forward to using it when we get to Chamonix and get to do some cool day climbs.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 24, 2014

4 5

Low and Slow is what I was going for when I purchased this stove. I have an Optimus Crux stove and know they are a stove head you can simmer with. I also wanted to get a stove that was as low to the ground as possible and had a wide base for stability reasons.

I had a chance to Fondue this last weekend at our local Winery. Once the water gets boiling in the double boiler set up you want a stove that can be reduced down to a very low flame. You don't want steam and boiling bubbles shooting out all over the place. I didn't see any issues with the stove at all except for the fact I had it in the center of the blanket and set it on a cutting board to protect the blanket from any sort of heat because the stove is very low to the ground. I will most likely make a stove base for it so it can be mounted more securely.

It is a great little stove that can pack into the Snow Peak 1400 along with their Ti nesting bowls along with a fuel canister.

I am glad I got one and looking forward to using it this winter when we go on some adventures.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 23, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Many places you go to have a picnic don't allow alcohol. I really like these bags for putting wine in and going Sea Kayaking or just down to the local lake or park for a picnic. The fact it has a wine bottle and glass on the side just kinda advertises what you are pouring. "No Officer, this isn't wine.. Heavens no. Just some fruit juice full of vitamins and minerals. Why does it have a bottle and wine glass on the side of it? I have no idea Sir. We would 'never' consciously break the law Sir."

They do pack really well and they allow you to bring some vino along where a bottle would be impractical. They just need to lose the picture on the side. Put a picture of an apple or a cherry on the side. "Just apple juice Sir. Or just fruit juice Sir "

The last time we were in Paris I was using these bladders to haul wine around to different places we would picnic at. In some ways the advertising helps because people don't freak out when they inspect your bag and wonder what is in it.

Wine drinkers are pretty weird. Like an elegant picture of a bottle and glass is going to improve what you are pouring.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 22, 2014

4 5

I wanted to get a waterproof blanket for sitting on when we snowshoe or stop for lunch when skiing. I guess I didn't really know what to expect.

The double is quite large and it isn't a small package when folded up. It would take up the majority of a backpack if it was shoved in there. They made the zippered case with a shoulder strap part of the blanket. It all folds into itself and then three sides zip together to look like a flat shoulder bag. I think it will be awesome for concerts or for picnics. I also really like the soft fleece top.
We used it at the local winery for a picnic and it is a very nice blanket.

I still need to find a more packable waterproof blanket to get for skiing and snowshoeing.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 22, 2014

4 5

I really like this hammock.

The Grand Trunk single is supposed to be a bit longer than the Eno. Does that make it more comfortable? I saw the reviews that Outdoor Gear lab did on hammocks so I decided to try a grand Trunk over the Eno.
The material is the same as the double Eno I have. The GT carabiners are way too heavy and I replaced them with some small lightweight wiregate carabiners. Much better.
The GT comes with two twine cords for hanging. They use a simple method of knots along the doubled up cord and are easy to set up and are better than nothing but you would definitely scar a tree using them. The Eno hammocks don't come with anything but I think I will just use the Eno Atlas straps with this hammock instead of the supplied twine cord.

Whose is better? I think it is a toss up.. Better and lighter carabiners with the Eno but no supplied ends for hanging. The GT has Carabiners that you could use as weapons to knock someone unconscious and they come with twine cords for hanging.

I am just happy that I have a hammock that I can sleep in that doesn't try to smother me in my sleep like the doubles do.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 22, 2014

5 5

I got the blanket for our upcoming winter trip to Europe. It is great stopping at some small stand and getting a treat to eat and doing some people watching. My wife gets cold very easily and I like to stay prepared to keep her warm. This is a great blanket. It comes with a stuff sack and is very thin, yet it is very warm. I have been using it in the evenings while I lounge in the hammock after dark.

The price is a little steep but the quality is top notch for a compact blanket that does a great job keeping you warm.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 20, 2014

3 5

It smells good. I usually eat too fast and don't drink enough water. That is not going to be the case eating these. I got the Turkey and it is really hard to get down. The bitterness is weird and overwhelming. While you are chewing it you can tell there are nuts in it. The chewing just goes on and on while trying finish the bite you just took. It is hard to eat one. I need liquids to help wash it down. The lingering smokey flavor isn't that bad and it almost entices you to take another bite where you get to relive the first bad experience.

I would definitely tell someone to buy a single bar and try the different ones before committing to a whole box.

Are they gross? They sure as hell aren't delicious. They do have a Jerky flavor quality and a overpowering weird bitterness/tartness. I think they still have some serious tweeking to do with their recipes.

I gave one to my Indian neighbor ( Not a Casino Indian. An India Indian.) He gave me a look and his head shot back.. "What the hell is this? That is weird and gross.." I think they have sort of a curry flavor to them. Needless to say, He didn't like them.

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greg

greg wrote an answer about on August 18, 2014

Hey Casey,   I have one of the Optimus...

Hey Casey, I have one of the Optimus Crux's that was manufactured in Japan. I wasn't quite sure what you meant with your question so I took a photo of the O ring. It seems it is 'inside'..?

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greg

greg wrote an answer about on August 15, 2014

Mary, I am going to look at the Primus...

Mary, I am going to look at the Primus windscreen and see if that will work out. It looks kinda cool and doesn't impact the canister heating up. Someone farther down in an older post showed it does work with the Crux.
I still found them for sale on the internet around 20 bucks. I could see it being useful with a number of small stove heads.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1CnpuhodB4

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 11, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have the packets and I also buy these larger containers. I use them for my early morning workout water. I squeeze a few shots into my water bottle and I am good to go during my workouts until I get home to get some real food in me.
I am not a fan of taking the shots straight into my mouth. I feel for all you ladies. I mix the stuff in water bottles and drink some sweet water. Hydration and energy all at once.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 11, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This Hammer Gel has saved my ass so many times on road rides where all the roadies decide to climb hills for fun. Funny how so many can't descend down a hill for shit. It has also been my go to fuel when wanting to ride all day at Whistler and you start to feel the Bonk at the end of the day. Nothing is more fun than doing lap after lap on wide open trails right before the park closes.

I also use it when hiking. I don't like taking the shot straight either. I haven't found a gel yet that makes me want to stick that crap in my mouth. I add it to a water bottle or sometimes I add it to my hydration bladder.

I think the Hammer Gels are the best ones to get to stop the Bonk and get the quick absorption you want when you are on the verge of the dreaded Bonk.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 7, 2014

5 5

That doesn't really sound right. The hot spicy burrito I had a few nights ago certainly kicked my ass the next day.

So, Stinger products are really really good. I will go so far as to say they are "Yummy in your tummy" and they are gentle on the way out.

I have eaten enough and have enough Clif bar products stashed in the garage to last me through the next ice age. I kinda get sick of them after awhile and they kinda just sit there. The 'Guy' I help with DH races and riding camps and clinics is sponsored by them. The people who are riding love the fact they get free goodies at lunch and during breaks. I just get burnt out on eating them.

These Stinger products I feel are much better and way tastier. I am always really leery trying new energy or recovery products. It usually is just another form of Hell trying to chew them up and swallow them down with copious amounts of water. I dont find that the case with Stinger products and especially these energy chews. Way better than Clif blocks and anything is better than trying to swallow down a shot of energy gel. Unless you are Rod Stewart. I don't see how anyone can enjoy that.

These energy chews are fantastic.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 5, 2014

5 5

It is a bowl. Kinda hard to screw that up.

What is awesome about the bowl beyond the fact it is really light and not really that expensive is the fact you can use it as a double boiler in the snow peak 1400 pot set.

I like to fondue when we go snowshoeing or during lunch when we go skiing. I haven't been able to find a small compact double boiler and saw a video of someone showing how the bowl will sit in the 1400 that I already had. I had to get one. Well, I actually got two. One for the cheese fondue and one for the chocolate fondue. I am so stocked to Fondue again. It is so easy to pack in a backpack and so easy to set up. Pre cut salami or pre cooked steak into cubes along with baguette bread and try some apple slices too. You can pre make the cheese sauce at home and reheat it on the hill. Chocolate and just a bit of cream to make your chocolate sauce. Then dipping marshmallows, strawberries and I also get shortbread cookies to dip. Get some cheap disposable bamboo skewers or regular wood skewers for dipping your goodies in the cheese and chocolate.

A glass or two of wine and you have a gourmet meal for two.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on August 1, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I am not a TNF fan. I think their gear and apparel are for High School and College age nimrods who are like lemmings who follow the others. Too bad they don't all find a tall cliff to plummet off of into the sea.

That being said.. I really like these Rolling Thunder bags. I first purchased one for hauling DH gear on Whistler trips. Then I purchased another for hauling even more DH gear for airline travel going to races.
I own quite a few TNF expedition bags.
Large through XXL and two of the large Rolling Thunders. They have been my go to travel luggage. Europe, Central America, Hawaii, China, Australia, Canada and quite a few DH expeditions throughout the U.S.
Snorkel gear and fishing gear for Hawaii trips. They hold a ton of stuff and let you easily go beyond the 50lb weight limit set by the airlines. Yet, they are well within the total added dimensions for checked bags without incurring the non lubed prostate exam feeling they want to charge for oversize luggage. I use the old school toe clip straps and piggyback them on one another and pull them through the airport having a train of them following behind me.

I dislike the company, but I like their Base Camp expedition bags and rolling duffels. Maybe I need to go find a cliff and see who else wants to jump?

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greg

greg wrote a review of on July 27, 2014

4 5

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

The Bug shield works awesome.
I put it up and have really enjoyed lounging around in it both laying down and sitting in it just swinging back and forth.
I got it for when we go back to Hawaii and just want to chill under some palm trees. Mainly brought on by the fact that many of the best beaches that you can visit on the Big Island only allow resort guests to use the chairs and chaise lounges at their beach. Many of the beaches we went to had palm trees right at the beach and this would make for a very easy set up.
I also purchased the ENO Atlas straps and they make setting this thing up way too easy.
I did sleep in the thing overnight and I have mixed feelings about it.

The Good:
It is comfortable being off the ground and no need for a mattress.
The double is quite large and gives a cocoon feeling as it wraps around you. If you throw the stuff sack that is attached to the side over the top over the other side it completely wraps around you giving almost zero space for any lil sombitch mosquito to even attempt a bloodsucking mission.

The Bad:
That was one of the worst nights sleep I have ever had. I woke up throughout the night with cramps in the back of my legs especially in the calves.
I woke up twice gasping for air like I was being suffocated by the cocoon effect of the extra material wrapping around you. I tried to open it up as much as possible but when I woke up the second time gasping for fresh air I had about enough of sleeping in the thing. I could see if there was a sufficient breeze blowing that you could get fresh air but that brings me to the last concern about this thing. You have zero insulation underneath you and you get cold underneath very easily. I understand that there are ways to insulate under hammocks but when you go to bed and it is still warm out then if and when the temperatures drop or plummet at all during the night you are going to freeze your ass off.

Anytime you sleep outside there are pros and cons to any sleep system.

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