A few days before my trip I did a mock pack out of my OHM for my 3 day trip.
Gotta tell you I was a little skeptical with the backing being fabric with not much support but I put faith in my new UL gear.
Total pack weight for the trip weighed in at 20.2lbs which is 5lbs lighter than my March 2010 3 day trip so there's a plus right there.
Side pockets are awesome. One holds my cook kit the other everything else that's a misc item.
Hip belt pockets are much smaller than the circuit but I was able to put a few snacks in and have my aquamira drops, compass, mirror and chapstick in the other one.
the large mesh pocket holds quite a bit now that my gear is lighter and packs smaller. I was even able to stuff my cuben tarp in the pocket no problem. However I do wish there was a bit more fabric to stuff more items but I'm just being picky.
The main compartment is MUCH smaller than what I was used to but I'm glad the exterior compartments were able to hold what they did. I was able to stuff my 3 season mamba, 3 season yeti, 1.1 WB Blackbird, clothes bag, down pants, down jacket, and 4lbs of food plus my 2 liter water bladder.
closed it all up and stared at it for a minute... picked it up a few times... still skeptical. The back was bulging a bit.
OK finally put it on and adjusted the staps. Wow not bad... better than I thought. The backing felt fine and not annoying as I thought it was going to be.
Weight felt good, shoulder straps were really comfortable.
Hipbelt I'm still out to lunch on. The medium belt initially feels a bit small but I tried on the large and it was way too big. Good thing I've lost 6 lbs over the past 2 weeks jacking up my cardio for this trip. Tightening the belt is a bit of a pain because it's hard to grab the ends to yank on them to cinch them up. Honestly wished there was 3" of extra slack on either side which would probably alleviate this problem. Hip belt comfort was initially "weird" but after about 10 min of walking around the house you get used to it and the "weirdness" goes away.
All in all as of today 4 out of 5 stars (mainly for the hip belt). Everything else was really on point.
Took a little 3 day adventure with my buddy Gear Slug across Long Island on the Greenbelt Trail. The trail goes from the southern part of Long Island at Hecksher State Park to the northern part at Sunken Meadow Park with a zag to the west in the middle.
All in all I give the trail a 5 out of 10. Mainly due to the amount of road walking and neighborhood crossing you have to do to get to the other parks. A lot of that walking is basically dodging traffic due to the roads utilized have no shoulders for walking on. Also, the trail markings are either confusing or unnecessary in a lot of the trail. To be honest the first 14 miles of the 33 mile hike were by far the most scenic and best for wilderness walking.
Broke a lot of personal bests this hike as far as distance, pack weight, and gear testing.
So for all you gear junkies out there here are some of the results:
Salomon XA Pro GTX Trail Runners – wow no blisters with each day in the double digits as far as mileage. Also, for gortex they breath really well due to the shoes being low cut so by morning they were dry and ready to rock.
MLD eVent Gaitors – I really like the slip on approach makes it really easy to put on and off and I don’t have to fiddle with the Velcro to get it just right. Breathability… well lets say I wasn’t feeling hot wearing them.
Mountain Hardware Kilt – gangsta…. Love it never going back to shorts. Even at 37*F on day two they were fine and my legs weren’t really cold for very long. Definitely a 3 season garmet.
Anti Gravity Gear Rain Jacket – used it as a wind shirt and not being observant on the first day it was raining on the inside of my jacket. More conscious about the situation the next 2 days it worked out perfectly. As soon as you feel like you are getting hot rip it off pronto. By then you don’t need it anyway.
Montbell UL Down pants – with a base layer I was good at 27*F walking around camp. BAM
Montbell UL Down Parka – same as the pants, awesome.
Possum Down Gloves – Great down to about 40*F. Below that it gets iffy for me.
Black Rock down beanie – beyond awesome in the fight against the cold.
Warbonnet Mamba and Yeti (3 Season) – awesome as always. New low with this at 27*F. However when it got to that temp I was getting the development of CBS (Cold Back Syndrome) so for me that is an indicator of when to switch out to the winter versions. Nice to now know the limitations of this set for future reference for myself.
Z Packs Cuben Fiber Tarp – packs so small I am able to put it in the mesh back area of the OHM pack which saved a great deal of space. The cuben tape I used to reinforce the stress points seems to have held out fine especially being stored in a compressed state.
ULA OHM – Believe the hype. When you have enough UL gear to have a pack weight 25lbs or below this pack can handle what you throw at it. I’m a believer after 33 miles.
Stickpick – love it… you’ll see in the videos.
Hawvittles – Video is not the whole truth… Bison Stew was friggin awesome… Shrimp Jumbalaya is ok… I’m not a big couscous fan so that played a huge role in my taste buds… packers potatoes were eeehhhh but I took a chance as the potatoes don’t rehydrate all the way. Knowing what I know now I still recommend it but I’m steering clear of the couscous based meals he has.
New Technique utilized – in the cold weather I tend to sleep in my coat and pants with the top quilt and under quilt. Doing some research basically that method does not provide a method of having your body sufficiently heat up the bags to keep me well insulated. So this trip I only slept in my base layers and it made a HUGE difference in sleep and heat.
Also, I timed my sleep with my meals and went to bed no more than 10 min after I ate. My furnace burned HOT most of the night. Reason being is last year in the cold temps I woke up hungry and cold everytime. This time I was warm almost all night until I got hungry again. I had a snack on hand to handle that as well.
All in all a really great trip and Gear Slug and I had a really good time joking around with each other and walking the trail.
Here are the videos:
Water Monkey & Gear Slug