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Gshephard

Gshephard

Cascades, Sierras, Rockies, Wasatch, Mt. Shasta

Gshephard's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Paddling
Skiing

Gshephard's Bio

My great-great-great grandfather survived the lost wagon train of 1853 to settle in the beautiful Willamette valley of Oregon. Today I follow in his footsteps, crossing mountain passes, fishing freshwater lakes and streams, and exploring the somewhat-less wild west.

I spend my summer's living out of a backpack working as a wilderness ranger for the US Forest Service.

My passions include backpacking, skiing, reading, fishing, fine whiskey, painting, and writing. I have an affinity for Anderson and Tarantino films, and I am open to any book recommendation you would like to throw at me.

Follow my profile for weekly reviews of gear, and follow my adventures via Instagram @garrettshephard

Gshephard

Gshephardwrote a review of on August 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The Eider Target Knit Spirit jacket is an ultra light rain jacket made for active users on both the city streets and on the backcountry trails. Ive been putting this jacket to the test for the last month and here is what I have found:

The jacket looks incredible. What makes the jacket so unique is the base material; a knitted nylon which is soft to the touch, looks beautiful, and creates very little noise so no more swishing sounds as you walk.

Laminated with a 3-layer Gore-Tex active membrane this jacket offers maximum protection from the rain while remaining breathable. The 3-layer membrane was created to increase the durability over a garments lifetime, so you wont need to replace this jacket anytime soon. The downside to all this technology crammed into one jacket is the price tag.

The design is cut with runners in mind. It has thumb holes keep the sleeves from riding up as you move, and elastic bands at the waist and on the hood keep the jacket snug. At 11 ounces this jacket weighs next to nothing, and its quickly become my go to jacket for backpacking. As a fly fisherman, I also found the thumb holes to be especially helpful for remaining dry without sacrificing dexterity on the river.

The flaw in the jacket is its minimalistic nature. The jacket has only two pockets, and they are somewhat shallow. That is perfect if you are using this for running or as an outer layer on a backpacking trip, but it can feel limiting at times. I found myself wishing the jacket had one deep chest pocket to throw my phone into. The thumb holes are great when you are moving, but if you have to stand in the rain for long periods, you may need a more heavy duty rain jacket as they do expose your hands to the elements.

Pro’s:
-Waterproof, breathable, and lightweight
-Looks, sounds, and feels great
-Eider nailed the athletic fit
-Durable membrane will keep you dry for years

Con’s:
-Lack of pockets
-Expensive

Bottom line: The price of quality is worth it with this beautiful, high tech, minimalistic rain jacket from Eider.

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Gshephard

Gshephardwrote a review of on June 29, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This compact and lightweight headlamp is perfect for stashing in the glove compartment, first aid kit, tool box, or wherever you think you might need it.

Weighing in at 1.1 ounces, the Petzl E-lite offers 26 lumens which has a max beam distance of about 30 meters. The light is substantial enough to hike in the dark with, and has bailed some of my forgetful friends out when their headlamps didn't make it to their packs. Don't let that fool you, this shouldn't be your trail running headlamp, this is meant to serve as a emergency light. Where the light really shines however is in close proximity, the permanent home for my E-lite is in my first aid kit.

The E-lite runs on a 3v lithium ion battery and has a projected battery life of 55 hours running on high. Thats quite substantial when compared to other headlamps in this class. (check out the Black Diamond Ion and the Petzl Tikkina for the closest comparable options). The E-lite is waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, just in case you drop your back up headlamp in the lake as well.

The headlamp itself is two pieces connected by a ball and socket, allowing the light portion of the headlamp to rotate 360 degrees, which is a great feature for customizing where the light is pointing without needing to move your head (I use that feature when changing oil and breaks on the car). The E-lite uses a retractable string instead of a headband to save space and weight. At first glance, the string looks like it would be fragile and uncomfortable, but on the contrary has turned out to be both durable and unnoticeable when worn on the head.

Bottom line: The perfect headlamp in its particular niche, emergency application. Toss it in whatever drawer, kit, or compartment you see fit and at some point down the road, it will save the day.

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Gshephard

Gshephardwrote a review of on May 19, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

As a wilderness ranger I have found there is a constant need for lightweight yet calorie dense foods to fill the bottomless pit that is one's stomach. Unfortunately the majority of lightweight yet calorie dense foods come in bar form, and have the same bland, monotonous taste that leaves you wanting more. Probar breaks the mold by offering 290 calories and 20g of protein in a surprisingly delicious bar. The ingredients list is made up of actual foods, and not synthesized compounds that give you flashbacks of chemistry class.

Try it, you will like it. And if you need something more substantial, check out the meal bar which offers 400 calories and tastes delicious to boot.

10/10 this is a backpackers delight.

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Gshephard

Gshephardwrote a review of on May 19, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have used the Swiss tool Spirit X as my every day carry for the past two years, and I have not been disappointed. Let's get into what makes this multi-tool great.

Weight-
At 7.3 Ounces the Victorinox is lighter than competing tools such as the Leatherman Wave (8.5) and the Charge AL (8.3). Yet when comparing the three tools side by side, Victorinox feels sturdier in the hand. In order to cut an ounce from the overall weight Victorinox did have to make sacrifices, most notably in the knife which is significantly smaller than the Leatherman.

Durability-
After two years I have had no rust issues, no broken tools, and have only had the knife sharpened several times. I don't treat my tools lightly, if there is a job to be done I put the tool to the task. At no point have I ever worried that the Swisstool would break. Victorinox offers a lifetime warranty just incase you do manage to break it.

Quality-
The craftsmanship of the Swisstool is where it outshines the competition. When you compare the capabilities of the Victorinox vs. the Leatherman, they offer relatively the same tool selection, but in a side by side test the Leatherman screwdriver, scissors, and can opener feel clunky, whereas the Victornox has a smooth and sturdy feel that just feels right. When you have to use a multi-tool every day how it feels can save time and keep you focused on the task at hand.

Bottom Line: Light weight, durable construction, and quality craftsmanship make this one of the premier Multitools on the market, unparalleled by anything in its price range. If you need a knife, buy a knife, if you need a toolbox for your pocket, buy the Swisstool Spirit X.

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Gshephard

Gshephardwrote a review of on November 7, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

To test the Cayoosh LT I took it on a 15 day, 1500 mile October adventure that started with fishing in Oregon and ended with a 5 day backpacking trip along the Escalante route of the Grand Canyon, here is what I found:

First off, the Cayoosh LT feels great. Made with Pertex Quantum, a featherweight 15 denier nylon fabric weave that is listed as having the best strength to weight ratio in the Pertex line. 850-900 fill Hutterite Down, (for those who don’t know, Hutterite down is harvested from fully grown Canadian geese raised as a sustainable food source. the down is hypo allergenic and exceeds the European Class I standard of 94% down-to-feather ratio, and is known for its 100% natural chemical-free water repellency. Taken from Westcomb’s website.) The underarms are made with Polartec Powerstretch, a breathable/stretchable fleece fabric that lets your heat out while still offering wind resistance.

The Cayoosh is made to move, and it performs as such. Movement is unrestricted and It’s warm enough to keep you comfortable, and it sheds heat well enough to keep you, well, comfortable. The athletic fit of the jacket is nice, I never felt like I was constrained while hiking, scrambling, or fishing.

There are limitations however. During a particularly early morning I was pressing my arms to my sides to stay warm where the down didn't cover, and another time I found myself freezing while riding a fourwheeler because the wind had free access to my armpits.

Limitations aside, this jacket has a spot in any outdoor recreationist’s arsenal. Westcomb is targeting a niche market of cold weather activities that require both warmth, breathability, and unrestricted movement, of which the Cayoosh LT is king. This is a great layer for skiers, hikers, climbers, fisherman, or anyone who finds themselves outdoors and in motion during the winter months. The jacket performed quite well as my primary source of warmth.

Bottom Line: Stay mobile and warm in the cold without sweating it.

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