Friday, September 5, 2014

New Zpacks Upgrade

I recently sent my Zpacks Arc Blast back to Joe for an upgrade. These are now standard in all current models.

As the photo shows, he now puts a bar across the top of the two stays to stop these "folding in" under load.

Also he has change the way the netting back-rest adheres to the frame. It was originally constructed as a material extension of the seam. This was rather hard to pull through the jam-locks.

As you can see from photo, these are now cord based. A vast improvement.

These improvements come from users comments and Joe's continuous field tests on long-distance hikes. This is what I like about the Zpacks brand - made by experienced lightweight hikers for both the new and seasoned lightweight aficionados.

   

Zpacks Sleeping Bag

It's finally arrived, my new Zpacks sleeping bag. I weighs in at 575 grams (in cuben stuff sack).

I had Joe make this in the longer length as these have no hood and with a beanie on I can also pull up above my head for extra warmth. It is stuffed with the new waterproof down and new pertex fabric cover.

There is an elastic cord to close bag around at the top,

See full details at http://www.zpacks.com/quilts/sleepingbag.shtml

The rating is -7c and from all reviews is true to rating. Labour W/E in Kaimanawa's will test this out!

My current bag, that I will still use for summer, is the Western Mountaineering HighLite - 455 grams. A great bag I have used for a few years now and rates +2c.  

Joe recommends sleeping "zip under" after holding zip horizontally and shaking down so the bulk is on top of you





 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wood Burning Stoves

I am not a great fan of wood burning stoves, but have a open mind. Brian Green's great blog site features a new product in this arena. Check it out at http://briangreen.net/2014/07/tato-element-makes-wood-burning-enjoyable.html

At 128 grams it could be worth thinking about if you were constantly outdoor-cooking with guaranteed wood supply. As an emergency kitchen it has merit, but if you carry a jetboil you need to carry a pot. Then one could argue, just light an open fire and hang the pot over it.
What do you think?

Auckland Tramping Club

After a torrid few weeks of issues with service providers, the Auckland Tramping Club website is back and fully functional. Check out your next trip at http://www.aucktramping.org.nz/

Monday, July 7, 2014

Altra "Lone Peak" Trail Runners

Back from my 4th trip in these FANTASTIC shoes. I love the comfort, the wide toe box and zero drop heel. They are taking a beating (see photos below). You can check them out at www.altrarunning.com

I was an Inov8 lover, but now an Altra convert. These are the Lonely Peak model


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tarp/Tent Pegs

I have an assortment of pegs I choose each trip based on conditions. If I am going to be in exposed conditions for my overnights, on the tops and expecting high wind/rain, I will take MSR large Groundhogs. If summer, bush conditions, titanium shepards hooks.

MSR now do the groundhogs  in mini style. This allows better options at lighter weights.

I just purchase the mini Groundhogs and feel they will work well with all situations if "mixed and matched".

For my Hexamid Zpacks Solo or Twin Tarp, I will now be taking a standard set up of 6 mini Groundhogs and 2 large. The total peg weigh is 90g including the cuben fibre storage sack.

I've included a photo below - the mini groundhogs are on the left with a matchbox to give size comparison. I use the two large one for the front and rear anchor points of my Hexamid Tarp.

These pegs are $4.79 each and available from Outdoor Action - a NZ online store

  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Camp Shoes - Or should I say Sandals?

A lot of ultra light guys frown on camp sandals. Personality I love getting out of my hiking shoes at days end and letting the feet breathe.

I have been using the light weight Teva sandals (172grams) but recently discovered Bedrock. I have their toe socks (to wear with thongs). These socks are good for cold weather, or is you are in bug infested country.

The Bedrock sandal were designed for "bare foot" runners. I tried them out as a camp shoes last w/e on Stewart Island. They performed great. At 95 grams I think these are a great addition to your lightweight kit.

Check them out at http://bedrocksandals.com/bedrock-earthquake-sandals-v2/