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greg

greg

Pacific Northwest

greg 's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Snowshoeing
Skiing
Climbing

greg 's Bio

I like outdoor gear. Maybe too much.

I usually work too much during the year and don't leave myself enough time to go and explore the outdoors like I would like to.

I am a total smart ass. I also play the part and most likely I really am the 'village idiot' when out doing stuff if I am in any sort of group. I can't handle uncomfortable situations when people are uncomfortable just hanging out. I am usually the first person out on the limb doing and saying things to lighten the mood and hopefully it invites others to do the same. It seems to work but it has a tendency to offend certain people. What are you gonna do? Oh well. Life is too short. Make sure you have some fun.

greg

greg wrote a review of on February 8, 2015

5 5

I own the RidgeRest Solite that rolls up but I got one of the Z lite SOL's and would recommend it over the RidgeRest SoLites if you are having trouble deciding.

The way the Z Lite folds into itself makes it the better choice for strapping it to your pack. I also think the egg carton style dimples trap more warm air from your body and is a bit squishier than the RidgeRest. It has a tendency to want to accordion back up when you initially lay it out but it really isn't a big deal.

I was up at Camp Muir this past August and there were two guys who decided to leave their sleeping pads at the car and opted to not carry the extra weight. They set up their single person tents out on the glacier and I saw them the next morning. One guy was almost hypothermic and the other guy bailed on his buddy in the middle of the night and found a place in the public shelter. I spoke to both and was really confused and a bit concerned why the one guy was so cold. When the second guy came out of the shelter and was wondering where his buddy was. It all made sense as soon as he told me they didn't have pads under them while sleeping in their tent on the snow out on the glacier. Luckily the weather wasn't worse and that it was in August. If the weather would have been worse and it wouldn't have warmed up the next morning or there wouldn't have been a shelter. Those guys would have both been fooked.

It seems like a really stupid thing to need to bring. But it is even a more stupid thing to leave it behind.

If you are thinking about getting a closed cell foam pad.. This is a great one to get.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 28, 2015

5 5

I kinda prefer the narrow mouth to the wide mouth nalgenes.

I had owned a few from a decade plus ago and bought a few more for our trip to Hawaii even though the old ones were still going strong.

They are pretty much indestructible and only start to look like crap after being scratched up over the years.

I brought a few of these bottles to Hawaii and used them to hold cocktails in the soft cooler. $15 for a small crappy Mai Tai at our hotels bar and pool. No way in hell. I got 16 oz clear keg cups, 1 gallon zip lock bags to hold clean ice and the other accoutrements in the cooler, fresh limes, orange curacao, orgeat, light and dark rum, the accoutrements of maraschino cherries and slices of fresh pineapple. I squeezed and mixed the ingredients together and filled two nalgenes. In the third nalgene was the dark rum. Fill the cup with ice and fill it with your mai tai mix, add a cherry and a slice of pineapple, then top it of with a splash or two of dark rum. Easy and so much better than an over priced Mai tai made with that crappy pre bottled Mai tai mix. And.. You don't have to keep walking back from the beach to get your drinks back at the pool. Not to mention just sitting in the privacy of your own room, having cocktail hour on your own lanai and getting to watch the sunset.

These nalgenes are really useful in so many different ways, with the measurements on the side it makes it so easy to mix large quantities of booze together and get the ratios right.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 27, 2015

4 5

I finally bought a Snow Peak Spork. I had been looking at them for awhile and thought I would give it a try.

It is light and it has a good surface area so you can get a good amount of grub into your mouth with each sporkful.

It isn't really a great spoon and it really isn't a great fork but it covers two bases at once.

I almost wish I would have gotten the shorter version of Snow Peaks Spork because the handle is a little long to stash in some nesting pot setups. It is also a little short to be good with eating out of freeze dried meal pouches. So I feel the benefit of a shorter handle would be a greater benefit. But at least they do make one that is shorter.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 25, 2015

5 5

I like these Beaners.. Is the short version of carabiner biner or beaner? God forbid I say something un PC. Either way it sounds the same.

It is hard to do reviews on biners. They either work or they don't work. Biners come in different shapes and sizes. What is your intended use for the biner? Do you want one biner to work in unison with another biner? I think it all comes down to personal preference when choosing a biner. I like biners to be the same size and shape so there is some uniformity. If you find a biner that works it is a pretty good chance that picking more of the same biners will work too.

I really like these biners.. For me they are just the right size, shape and weight. They are also really strong and they really don't cost much when you need to pick up a few. They do a great job holding stuff and some people use them for a multitude of uses around the house.

None the less. If you are looking for a great biner these are the ones you should pick up. And No.. You won't find them at the HomeDepot . I have seen biners at HomedDepot but I don't think they are rated for climbing use. Not to put down the biners you find there. I am sure they are great biners for small projects around the house and small construction sites. Aisle 5 about halfway down on the right under the bungee cords.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 25, 2015

4 5

I was taught to keep the outside of my pack clean and not have crap strapped all over it dangling around. Bottles do fine inside the pack with not getting frozen when your body is against it.

We have all seen the people whose packs look like a Gypsy wagon as they clamber by. Stop every hour to hour and a half and pull out your bottle.

I like these because you can leave bottles out of your sleeping bag and out of your parka if it isn't way below freezing and they help insulate warm water or beverages from getting cold quickly.

I will agree it is a nice winter essential but there is no need for one the rest of the year when most people do their hiking and climbing.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 25, 2015

4 5

I have forgotten to screw my screw locks into their safety position many times before. It isn't until I am unclipping that I realize I forgot to screw the lock down.

What is great about the Triact lock is that once it is in the closed position it is locked.

It just makes it a no brainier.

I am very fortunate that I haven't had issues with any carabiners as of yet so doing reviews on anything other than size and shape and ease of use seems like there really isn't much to say about them. They work or they fail. Pretty black and white. Now add the human element to something that should work and be perfectly safe and you can come up with any number of issues. So I think what is nice about these Carabiners is that they remove one element of forgetfulness out of the equation.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 25, 2015

4 5

I like the 2 liter because you can put it in your pack and it conforms to what your pack is doing. I just keep refilling my nalgene bottle and stuff it back in the pack till the last refill. I think it is much easier to use than having two extra rigid nalgenes stuffed in there.

The only reason I go with the rigid nalgenes over this pouch is if I want to put any electrolytes or amino fuel into my bottles. I just use the pouch for plain water.


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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 25, 2015

4 5

Compared to any of the plastic helmets this thing can get dented with anything hard being pressed against it.

I have a few dents in it from being shoved into a pack and having something being pressed hard against it.

I prefer the Vector helmet to my plastic helmet. I just know it won't take the abuse any plastic one can take.

It is very comfortable and I have found my head really doesn't get hot nor does it get cold when wearing it depending on the conditions. The headlamp clips work great too.

If I could go back and not buy my plastic helmet I wouldn't have bought it and just gone with one of these. Now would I ever loan my Vector helmet for anyone to use? No way in hell. I know it would come back beat to shit and have the dents to prove it.

You aren't going to be seeing these in any outfitters rental gear.

For personal use.. I would recommend it because it is a great helmet.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 25, 2015

4 5

What I like the most about the mug is the sleeve and the flip up lid opening.

I was using a MSR mug which is a good mug but it doesn't have a way to close the top drinking port. I have spilled hot drinks before just trying to move around in and out of the tent and just when you are not holding it taking sips. You set it down and things start getting jostled around and it spills. What I like about the lid on this thing is that it doesn't leak. Flip it closed and no worries.
I wasn't really sure how I was going to like the strap handle but it works just fine. I also like the fact you can pull the mug out of the sleeve to clean it . The sleeve has a rubberized non skid bottom so it won't slide if you set it on a un level surface.

For the price it is a better value than a lot of mugs out there.

I would recommend it if you are looking for a light insulated mug.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 23, 2015

To press or not to press..
4 5

The Reactor is such a great set up to melt snow and boil water. Having a coffee press that integrates into the pot is really cool. The rubber gasket can be a little tricky if you put it through the lid. I don't put it through the lid. Take the lid off once you are done boiling, add your coffee grounds or tea, seep, then plunge the press down and pour your coffee or tea into your mug. No issues whatsoever.. I don't really understand the need of putting it through the lid.

I am more of a tea drinker than a coffee guy and it works great with loose tea as well.

I have two Reactors in the 1.7 liter size and I just keep it in one and grab that one when I think I might want coffee or tea in the morning.

Nothing is better than watching the sunrise on Mount Rainier with a hot cup of tea or coffee first thing in the morning.

I would recommend it to anyone who has a Reactor stove and pot.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 18, 2015

5 5

These have turned into my favorite shoe to wear.

I have people remark about them everywhere I go. "Nice Shoes"

They don't have any waterproofing but they are great to wear while working out.

I have said it before.. They grip like crazy in the right conditions. They will also lay you out flat on your ass in the wrong conditions. They aren't great in wet and smooth conditions. You could be running down a trail and if you are in the loam you'd be fine. Step on a wet log or rock and you could end up on your ass.

I still love them.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 15, 2015

4 5

I was going to go with SMC snow pickets until I grabbed both, then held them together and compared the weight.

In the 60cm it was really noticeable and then even more so when you are going to carry two.

The SMC's are like $23 dollars and the MSR's are $30. Plus, the MSR's have the nice rubber nubbin on top to wack at.

I think if anyone compared the weight it is a pretty easy choice of which one to get.

The websites I found say that the SMC 60cm is 13.6 oz and this page says the MSR is 14 oz.. No way in hell. I held them side by side and the SMC's are much heavier.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 13, 2015

4 5

So the new rope arrived..

Wife.. "Why do you need a new rope?...?....? Hello.. HELLO!.... "

Me... "What?..?"

Wife.. "Why do you need a new rope?..?"

Me.. "Yeah, I heard you the first time.."

Wife.. "Well..?"

Me.. "I'm thinking.."

Wife.."You're thinking..?"

Me.. "Yeah.. Ok, it is really light."

Wife.. "So what is wrong with the other ropes you have?..?"

Me.. "They aren't very light."

Wife.. "That is the answer you are going to go with?"

Me.. "Yep.. Final answer."

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 13, 2015

Nice fleece beanie
4 5

Fit: Runs small

It is a basic fleece beanie. It is what I was looking for.

If you have a large head this thing will be too tiny for you. I am a small medium in hats and this thing almost feels small on me. So I will say it runs small for anyone with a large dome.

Just an FYI.. The black one doesn't have the red dot with mammut's mammoth on it.

They have what looks and feels like a silk screened mammut logo emblem on the right side along the brim.

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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 12, 2015

4 5

It was really the only ultralight down puffy that fit me through the chest and back. I am 5' 7" and about 190lb. The large fits perfect and feels just a smidge long in arms and body but nothing excessive.

I think there are better jackets from other manufacturers out there but their sizing is a bit scrawny to fit me.

It is a nice jacket but it really is sparse compared to Marmots Quasar and even Patagonia's Ultra light down jacket.

It wouldn't have been my first choice if the Marmot Quasar fit me.

It is a very lightweight jacket that does a great job keeping you warm. I have been wearing it walking to the gym at 5:30 in the morning and I am surprised how warm it is even when I am walking back home being sweaty.

My biggest concern with the jacket is the durability of the ghost whisperer fabric and the tiny zippers the thing has. They zip up alright but unzipping them seems like it puts strain on the zipper.

It just feels like a jacket that you will own for a season or two and it will be finished, then you will be replacing it.

I didn't feel that way with the Marmot Quasar or the Patagonia Ultralight and even the Arcteryx Cerium SL. They have a more durable feel and seem like a jacket you would own for many seasons to come.

I have seen too many Ghost Whisperers that have been tenacious taped and kinda look like shit for what isn't a cheap jacket.

It seems to be a great jacket for its performance and light weight but I question its longevity.


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greg

greg wrote a review of on January 12, 2015

4 5

I searched and searched for a lightweight down puffy.

Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, Arcteryx, Mammut and Marmot's. I tried them all in large and a few in their XL's.

I like the Marmot but it doesn't fit me through the chest and back. Their large is 44" through the chest if not a bit smaller. I am just a bit over that and this thing was a a little more than snug. The 'Angel Wing' shoulders leave a ton of room in the shoulders which could be looked at as a good thing or a bad thing. It is a strange look when you raise your arms at all and you have the shoulders sticking up.

I ended up getting a large MHW Ghost Whisperer because the fit is better for me, though I prefer the Marmot's quality and little touches it has.
The hood cinch, the 900 fill down, the Pertex 10 denier nylon, the lining inside the jacket and it even has a chest pocket.

I would have gone with the Quasar if it fit.

Just an fYI.. The red one has black Marmot lettering on the chest, shoulder and a Marmot logo on the back of the shoulder. It looks good.

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