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Showing posts from February, 2011

Snow Trip Gear

Tomorrow I am off to Park City, Utah for a few days of snowboarding before I head off to South America in three weeks. I thought it might be a cool opportunity to highlight the humorous fact that the gear load for a five day trip to a cushy place with a bunch of buddies is almost exactly the same as the load for a few months around South America on a motorcycle. Aside from my sleeping bag, liner, basic tools, and a couple pieces of camera gear not going with me to Utah, this will be the sum total of my worldly possessions for the next few months: For the picky or curious, there’s a detailed breakdown below.

ExOfficio ExO Dri Tee Mini-Review

[ Product Link ] Nothing gets abused like my shirts on an adventure – sure, my underwear gets worn as often and as hard but it’s (almost) always under something to protect it. Mostly I’ve given up on caring about t-shirts, instead I make it a point to buy cheap shirts locally when I’m on the move, wear them until they fall apart or start to stink (2-3 weeks usually), then give them away and buy new ones. In India I picked up a couple great Nike shirts that held up to the rigors of hand washing and generally didn’t stink too much, but even after a lot of care back home, well… let’s just say I can’t really wear them in polite company because they look pretty nasty. Worse, even in India they were damn expensive, they did well in heat but were useless in the cold, and generally had a constant low-grade funk that wasn’t obnoxious but could get annoying. Similarly I had a couple North Face shirts that I thought might make the grade until they started to come apart at the seams and hand w

First Ascent Downlight Sweater Mini-Review

[ link to product page ] Imagine spending nearly 80+ straight days wearing a jacket, only taking it off for brief periods of time while grabbing food or sleeping. Each time it’s worn over dirty, unwashed clothes and at night it’s wadded up for a pillow, drooled on and smashed out of shape. Never washed or maintained in any form, the jacket slowly becomes disheveled and discolored until it has aged many years in a few short months. Then, when the trip is over, without any receipt or proof of purchase or nary even a bit of fuss, the company let’s you trade it for a brand new one. That alone is enough of a mind-blowing reason for me to recommend this down jacket (and by extension any other First Ascent gear), but that reason doesn’t have to stand alone. In spite of some very clear negatives, the 2009 Downlight Sweater I bought last year was a fantastic piece of kit, and if you can find one on clearance and need some down, pull the trigger without hesitation.

ContourHD 720p Review: No Regrets, BUY ONE!

On September 24, 2009 I received an order from Amazon with my brand new ContourHD video camera. Five minutes later it was torn out of the box and the Hat Cam was born ; it’s that easy to get started with a Contour cam. In the time since then, I have recorded many hundreds of gigabytes and hours of video with my ContourHD on five different continents, from sea level to over 16,000 feet, in jungles, snowy mountains, deserts and other terrain. It’s been strapped to my head, peeked out from my jacket, smashed onto my backpack, held in my hand and mounted to all kinds of vehicles and devices. I’ve punted it off (small) cliffs, fumbled it onto the side of the road at 35MPH, driven over it, stepped on it, fallen on it and left it out in the rain and cold… all more than once.