Aerospace engineer during the week and camper/fisher/hiker/paddler/backpacker/climber on the weekends. I grew up in the SF Bay Area and came back here to work after school.
I love the diversity of opportunity offered by this area. In the winter, I can't get enough of skiing up at Tahoe (usually Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows). In the summer, you might find me camping out in Yosemite, abalone diving on the coast of northern CA, climbing some big mountain, or hiking into the back country to do some fly fishing.
I received my Never Summer as a gift probably 8 years ago or so. I'm sure a few things about the design have changed since then, but I can tell you that after many years, I have no plans to retire my Never Summer any time soon!
Over the years I've beat mine up pretty well. It has definitely lost some down and maybe doesn't fluff up quite as much as it used to, but it is still super cozy to slip into after a long day on the trail and I never have a doubt about staying warm in it. Most nights I have to leave the hood totally open and zip it open at the feet so I don't sweat.
My only disappointment with the bag would have to be the weight. At 3 lb 8 oz, it's a bit on the heavy side. Still, not bad when you consider the temp rating and the price.
Overall, I definitely recommend this bag.
I bought this jacket just before heading out on a trip to Alaska for some back country fly fishing. We spent several days on a river way out in the boonies fishing for salmon. We got rained on almost every day, including one day on which the rain was nearly constant and ranged from a light sprinkle to a solid downpour. I didn't really expect the jacket to be 100% waterproof, but it turns out this thing repels water like a champ and I stayed nice and dry all day long.
As for warmth, the temps were in the 50s to low 60s and I stayed mostly comfortable with just a t-shirt under the jacket. I did get a little chilled a couple times after standing still in deep water for too long (with waders, of course), so I would advise a mid-layer depending on the conditions.
I'm 5'11" and 180 lbs with an athletic build. I purchased a large and was happy with it. The medium probably would have fit fine, but the large leaves just the right amount of room for some layering.
I have brought this along on a couple of different trips now and it always scores well with the group. As with all of the mountain house stuff, it's pretty easy to make. Just don't forget to remove the desiccant!
If everyone in your group only takes a spoon full, one pouch can be enough for around 6-8 people. Obviously, if you have greedy friends, you'll want to be first to test it (just checking for quality, of course!).
These bars do exactly what they are supposed to - they stay stuck on your roof rack so you can tie things to them! I've used these many times to carry canoes or kayaks, even in some pretty nasty terrain. I have lost an end cap or two, but that's no big deal. I will say that I still don't quite understand the high price for metal bars with a plastic wrapper... oh well.
These bars are perfect for carrying two canoes or kayaks.
I'm about 5'11" and 175 lbs with a fit build. I usually wear a medium, so that's what I ordered. When it arrived it looked a little big, but after one trip through the wash it came out perfect. Feels solid and fits well!
Melting snow on Mt. Shasta
I've had this stove for over 10 years and absolutely love it! I used it many times when I was in Scouts and have been using it a lot again in the last few years. Despite sitting dormant for probably several years in a row at one point (And never being serviced, like... ever. No new O-rings, no lube, nothing. Yes, that does make me a bad stove owner.), it still lights up like a champ every time. The beast is loud for sure, but I've grown to love the sound. It boils water quickly and is surprisingly gentle on the fuel consumption. I recently brought 2 of these on a 7-person, 3 night backpacking trip above 9000 ft, where we boiled endless amounts of water and I was amazed at how little fuel we used.
I bought this kit to replace a very small one I've had for MANY years. The size is reasonable and just right for full day hikes or multi-day trips.
The kit comes with 2 bags of medical goodies inside the main pouch. Both bags have the same writing on them which tells you the contents of bags 1 and 2. The only bummer about that is that they both have the same text and they aren't labeled as bag 1 and 2, so you have to think about it for a second to know which bag to open. Not really a big deal though.
The only other minor complaint I have is that it doesn't come with very much quantity of the things you'll need most. For example, it comes with 2 packets each of 3 types of painkillers. The first time I used this kit was on a hike up Half Dome, where my friends quickly used up 3 of those 6 packets plus 1 of the 2 packets of Benadryl.
So, good kit. Good size. Make sure you stock up on the things you know you'll need.
I bought one pair of these through Backcountry and liked the fit so much I bought another at the REI anniversary sale. I'm 5'11" about 175 lbs with a fit build and the medium with 32" inseam is perfect!
I've already worn one pair on two hikes up Half Dome and a hike up Mt. Whitney. They might be a little too warm in hot weather, but for cool to warm temps these are perfect. The cargo pocket with top and side zipper is pretty handy for snacks on a long hike and the built in waist adjustment works well enough that I didn't need a belt on my recent Whitney trip.
I purchased this for my big list of summer adventures and so far I'm very impressed. For it's size and weight, it is quite powerful. The legs hold it up easily. The rings at the top allow it to easily hang from the ceiling of the tent and light up the whole thing. The single button for on/off and dimmer is straightforward once you know how to use it. No complaints!