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21

I'm going to say that fit is one of the most important elements. I highly suggest you find yourself a store and try on a lot of backpacks. Make sure you properly adjust them. Usually, someone in a store will be able to help you out. Additionally, the various features you listed are useful for different activities. When buying a pack, consider what you'll be ...


16

For hiking with a backpack I would recommend the following considerations: Weight I would go as light as possible. Generally the lighter you go the more expensive you go, but on those long treks it will make a huge difference. Temperature Rating A good 3-season bag is generally at the 20 degree mark. Shape Since you will be trekking with this, definitely ...


14

Here is what I look for in a good headlamp: LED is best for most uses, but you need to decide if you want a "spot focused" LED (usually one high powered LED in the center) or "diffuse light" LEDs (usually an array of many small LEDs). I like headlamps that have both, but sometimes you want one over the other (do you want maximum distance vision on a dark ...


11

I have used both the Pro version of YakTrax as well as the normal version that lacks the velcro strap across the forefoot. They are amazingly well engineered, durable and perform as advertised. On ice, hard snow and frozen trails, they provide excellent footing. Of course - if you are walking on a dry smooth surface like marble or stone, the grip isn't as ...


11

Don't use cotton socks for hiking. When your feet sweat, the socks become wet, and take forever to dry out. Good socks remove the bacteria and moisture that thrive in the environment created by sweating feet and help to prevent blisters. Cotton retains moisture, thus cotton socks will not do the job properly. Rather, buy non-itching ("merino") wool, ...


10

What is practical is up to you, but I can give you some information to help you make up your mind. Typical rental prices for a satellite phone are $15-$30 a week (According to this site). The cost per minute is in addition to this cost, and is around $0.50-$3 USD a minute. Weight is usually around 400 grams, or just under a pound. Battery life is pretty ...


9

For me, feature number one is regulated light output. When I bought my first head lamp I was quite surprised that the brightness significantly dropped after a few initial hours. This is called unregulated light output: the brightness simply decreases as the battery level goes down. It means that you will only enjoy decent brightness for the first 20 % of ...


8

In addition to @Pearsonartphoto's technical specs, it is important to remember that a Sat Phone is one tool at your disposal, and not a replacement for smart decision making, or proper planning. I have seen them provide people with a false sense of security thinking it gives added insurance against making bad decisions. Like any electronic equipment, sat ...


8

One of the main questions is choosing between down and synthetic filling. Down bags are much lighter, they last longer because the down takes less damage when compressed, and they are generally warmer. They have two downsides: they are more expensive and the down quickly loses its insulating properties when wet. If you have the money to buy a down bag, I ...


8

I recently purchased a pair of Kahtoola Microspikes and they are great. I went with the Microspikes over the Yaktracks because all of the reviews I read online said the Yatracks break pretty easily. But I'm very happy with my Microspikes. I got them for hiking mixed terrain where it's part snow, part ice, part rock, and they fit the bill perfectly. They ...


7

Beam spread -- Wide, narrow, adjustable? (depending on what you want) Angle (generally up/down) -= Can you direct it where you want? Ease of turning on/off and changing settings -- I personally hate lamps that make me cycle through strobe to get to another setting (yes a few do) Strap & Comfort -- Is your head going to ache after wearing it for hours? ...


7

The primary difference is good winter camping tents are designed to stand up to and / or mitigate snow building up on top of them. Ventilation is also very important as you don't want moisture from your breathing to build up in the tent as you could wake up with your clothes wet. Winter tents will often have larger vestibules, as you will typically have ...


7

Pack weight - A heavy pack is also some extra Kg on your back. Even though a good pack will put them to good use in distributing the content's weight over your back. Pack frame - Many ultra-light backpacks come with a minimal frame design, or no frame at all. You'd need to use to use your mattress to create a simple frame. Accessibility- The number of ...


6

Lensatic Compasses are often used by the military, because the are: Reliable Durable Compact Stealthy (more on this) The things that I would look for in a lensatic compass are: Solid outer casing Sighting guide with thin slot or notch Compass latching cover. Electrically buffered needle Some lensatic needles are buffered with oil, which can leak. ...


6

As far as compasses are concerned I look for several things: Sealed liquid needle enclosure Creates a much easier to read measurement. Latching lid, to cover the needle and housing. Rotating bezel with Declination adjustment. Allows for offset of True North from Magnetic North, very important to accurate bearings as some regions in North America are up ...


6

What really gets to me, is strap placement. Since I'm a big guy, if the straps on the top half of pack are close, it gets really uncomfortable real fast. So I'd also like to add strap placement on the watch-out list. So I definitely agree that you should buy a backpack hands on. Internet is too much of a gamble for me.


6

I think you've covered all the factors except shape. The shape is either rectangular or tapered at the feet (aka mummy). Tapering means less weight and less space to heat with your body, but also a bit less freedom of movement. Rectangular sleeping bags can often be connected together, which is good if you're a couple and want to share body heat (amongst ...


5

Instant ice packs, like this one, which are usually used for treating sprains and strains sound a bit like what you are looking for. They use a chemical reaction to cool, but, they are single use only. Such instant ice packs work by mixing ammonium nitrate with water. The hydration of ammonium nitrate is endothermic (absorbs heat). Perhaps unintuitively, ...


5

First, you have to figure out the dimensions you're looking for. Too big is uselessly bulky to carry, but too small can prevent it from being useful. This will depend on the size of your tent/hammock or whatever else you're trying to protect. Apart from that, things you can look for are: Waterproof-ness: This should be indicated on the label, but looking ...


5

I think this depends on what exactly you want the carabiners for. Most hardware stores carry a variety of carabiners in a range of sizes, weights, and purposes. The "S-Biner", for example, is a cheap, stainless steel multi-purpose clip. I use them for all sorts of household things and while camping, but there aren't really any ways to use them climbing. ...


5

Pea vs. Pealess -- In very cold temperatures, pea whistles don't work Volumn -- Louder is better... to a point. My safety whistle has a health warning to not be within 10ft or risk hearing loss. Okay, I'm sure it can be heard for miles but... how do I blow it from 10ft away?


4

Pack-Buying Priorities: Comfort Comfort Comfort Workmanship quality Everything else Best Materials: Dyneema (which is the same thing as Spectra): Ultra high-end fiber stronger than Kevlar. Packs made of full Spectra/Dyneema cost $1000-2000. BEWARE there are lots of cheaper packs that claim Spectra or Dyneema, but which only use these high-end fibers ...


4

I had a pair of Yaktracks for a couple of winters, and they turned out not to be what I really wanted. They do work very well on packed snow and you can walk inside most places without having to take them off. However, they work poorly on hard ice, which make them less than ideal for walking around town in the winter. The hard metal coil spring doesn't ...


4

I got the yaktracks a couple of years ago and they have performed really well - through two sub -15 degree winters. They have enough flexibility that I still managed to run in them for a couple of hours at a time, and very easy to remove when entering a building. This takes about 20 seconds for each one. Where there is a layer of ice or snow on a pavement ...


4

During the 1996 Summer Olympics, there were vendors all over Atlanta selling these: Cool bandannas. I think they're filled with polymer beads similar to the ones found inside diapers that hold moisture once you get them wet. I wouldn't say it kept me completely cool, but-- being "completely" cool in 96-degree heat is a fantasy, unless you're in air ...


4

The key factors are going to vary from person to person. You'll ultimately have to decide for yourself what's more important. As far as warmth goes, that's going to depend on where you are going, and how well your body handles the cold. Just like you noticed, sleeping bags fall into one of those classic triangle patterns with the other factors you listed: ...


3

Reusable heaters rely on heat of crystallization of sodium acetate, that is, heat you obtain by crystallization of a solution. Coolers rely on heat of solvation, which is the heat that gets absorbed (in this case) when ammonium nitrate is dissolved in water. You cannot make an easily reusable hand cooler, but technically the system can be restored to its ...


3

As already stressed by others, the backpack has to be comfortable. If the back system does not fit you, other features won’t make a difference. But there are plenty of good back systems and therefore good backpacks to choose from, so here are a few more tips: I like pockets on the hip belt. Good for a small camera, change or handkerchief to keep at hand. I ...


3

If you use your current tent, you should make sure the rain fly (outer layer) covers the entire tent. Otherwise you will have a healthy layer of frost on the inside of the tent (in the uncovered area) every morning. Four season tents usually have more poles and are sturdier than three season tents, for wind and snow protection. They may also have the option ...


3

Most tarps have a coating applied to them. DWR should be avoided, it's only water resistant and will eventually drip. Silicone impregnated (aka silnylon or sil-nylon) is lighter than polyurethane-coated, and is supposed to be equally waterproof, but some people say silnylon can mist during heavy rains but it's more likely from condensation than ...



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