a brief gear review after my first backpacking trip

sk1

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,203
Location
SE Wisconsin
so since i've ordered a ton of new stuff this year to make my first backpack hunt a reality....i just thought id give a really brief overview of how they performed for me.....even though you can find a much better in depth review for a specific item if you search for it.

thanks to rokslide and the people on it, i was able to make this trip happen this year, when originally it was planned for the next.

tenzing 6000 - loaded it with 80lbs for the 5 mile trek to camp, it really functioned flawlessly IMO, the fit for me at 6'1, 185lbs was perfect, it felt great and definitely not like 80lbs.....however, that being said i ended up with some seriously bruised hips, but all packs seem to do that as im a skinny guy with my hip bones sticking way out, and due to occasionally taking weight off my hips my traps were sore. That aside, this is the best store bought pack I have ever owned and really exceeded my expectations, if i didnt know pack companies like kifaru existed, i would not consider buying any other pack....totally happy with it!

jetboil SOL - complete success, loved every second of it, and mountain house meals are delicious, who knew!

katedyn hiker pro - epic fail, after filtering water for the third time on a brand new pump, it broke.....filtered water through a t-shirt and used purification tabs after that.

golite SL3 - total success, it functioned great, kept me completely dry in an all night downpour...very little if any condensation inside with the good ventilation. however while it functioned perfectly, not sure it is the design for me....still trying to figure out why i want something else when this thing worked to perfection, i did seem seal the tent out of precaution, though probably not necessary

kuiu merino gear - loved most of it, no stink!!! my only small gripe is the 185 crew t, the neck opening is rather large and am slightly concerned it will eventually look like a gold's gym workout shirt

sitka ascent pants - wow!! so this is what i have been missing.....if people say they like the attack pants better than these, i sure cant wait until my pre-order comes through! the pants were awesome

core4element:

merino boxers and pants - totally comfortable and fit great, no issues so far, why pay more $$ for something else

polyester ball cap - for $14 shipped, what a steal, this thing was so lightweight and dries in a second, never wearing a regular hat again.

SPOT2 gps satellite messenger - just like you guys said, read the instructions and it will work just fine.....it worked flawlessly, the only time it said no signal was on a stormy cloudy day AND in really dense pines, but my garmin was barely functioning then as well.....got into a little less dense area and was working great again....every message went through and my wife loved the tracking feature to look on the map and see where i had been chasing elk.

garmin gpsmap 62sc - bought this last christmas after i lost my old etrex vista on the mountain side, i didn't want a touch screen and have nothing but praise for this model, great functionality especially when paired with huntinggpsmaps

rocky stalker boots - somewhat a fail. bought these for 2011 season as i had a serious achilles injury and these were the only boots in the entire cabelas store that didnt hurt....hunted hard last year and day 3 of this trip the soles are ripping off, bummer................although i didnt expect much from rocky, but they felt good so i had to go with it

3L platypus bladder - mentioning it just because i love the top fill option, very convenient

exped synmat UL 7 - slightly loud if you're sensitive to that kind of stuff (im not) and i slept like a baby, never felt the ground once and i think if i remember right the long wide model i took in was somewhere around 16 or 18oz, a definite winner

sierra designs arrow rock 15 - a long down bag coming in at 3lbs, extremely warm and comfortable....zipper does seem to get hung up a bit, but if you pay attention to what you're doing not an issue - thanks curtic c for a good deal!

kuiu spindrift - awesome jacket to have if you have room, cant tell you how many times i either wore it glassing, or around camp in the early morning getting ready to go out or late night repacking for morning.....very warm and a good make shift pillow.

kuiu guide vest - never been a vest guy, but im a believer now, nice for hiking and not over heating, loved it on cold mornings

zen ray optics - using the ed3 10x43s and ed2 82mm spotter, wont go into details but very happy with them, although i didnt digiscope much as many days were very hazy

black diamond flick lock trekking poles - cant remember the model name, luke recommended them....a definite LIFE SAVER, i would have been laying in a stream like a turtle on its shell without them, and man does it save the knees going downhill as well

petzl myo headlamp - eats batteries for breakfast if you always leave it on high power, but man it sure is nice to have a bright headlamp, i always bought cheapos in the past, love this thing! (no red or green lens, but great for doing work or not near your hunting area)

darn tough socks - success!! talk about comfortable, this is the first season i had no blisters.....hot spots but no blisters....and this is the most ive ever hiked in one weeks time with the most weight ive ever carried in. also being merino the stink stayed away so much longer

alaska guide creations bino pouch - not perfect, but the best i have been able to find so far.....worked great at protecting the binos and giving me extra storage, i see myself using this for years...overall pretty happy with it, and think most people will like it if you can tolerate its bulkiness.


well that's what i could think of off the top of my head, definitely things i left out, but as you can see that only being a part of it....ive spent some coin this year! I just wanted to give a quick impression of things, many of which i was inspired to buy because of this site and people trying to help me get outfitted properly. Obviously more in depth reviews are out there, but if you have any questions about any of that stuff let me know, so far im loving most of it!


By the way - for those curious i am currently eating tag soup, i went to an area ive never stepped foot in and saw elk everyday, 4 bulls and around 60 cows, and had several close encounters but never quite released an arrow unfortunately. however i still have more time to hunt later in the year, so hopefully ill get a chance to use that tag yet....awesome experience and couldnt have done it in such a short amount of time without all of the knowledge here at rokslide, thanks again.
 

Attachments

Jager

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2012
Messages
658
Location
Australia
Awesome mate, a good, no holds bared review of your gear, was hoping to see a pic of a big bull, never mind, your out there getting into it, top stuff.
 

broncoformudv

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
186
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Great gear review nice touch with some humor thrown in there!

Glad you liked the Guide Creation bino pouch, they are a tad bulky but have never gotten in my way. Then again I am not an archery hunter so that might be different?
 

trdhunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
321
Location
Salem, UT
Good job on review, can never get enough info on gear when it comes to spending my hard earned money. That area looks familiar, believe I have rifle hunted there.
 

craitchky

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
118
Location
Chicago, IL
Very informative review! I really like hearing about everyone's real world experiances's with their gear, thanks for posting!
 

pyroducksx3

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,249
Location
Kitsap Co, WA
Try the sawyer gravity filter with quick connect I dont even take my bladder out of my pack. And 80 lbs wow I think Im around 50-55 lbs tops and that's with a 10 lbs rifle. Awesome pics though I have been scouting 3 times and havent found an area I like yet, nothing that looks like that. Sierra trading post has assolo sassalong boots for under 150$ shipped ,I love mine.
 
Top