Sunday, August 28, 2011

What's for dinner? ( A labored and forced review of the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Soloist Cookset)

This is another little gem I picked up along the way; The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Soloist Cookset). Coming in at a hefty 10.7 ounces, it's massive weight is only outdone by it's behemoth dimensions of 5.5 x 5.4 x 5 inches.

The fact that it can either be used on an open fire or a jet-boil type cooking stove without ruining the finish should make you no never mind; neither should the fact that the coffee mug/bowl has an insulated sleeve that comes off for easy cleaning. The fact that the whole thing comes wrapped in a waterproof cinch-sack that can be used for washing said set is equally as unimpressive. Overall, on a scale of ten stars? Eh, I'd give it a paltry 9.5, maybe 9.75.

(The sarcasm included in this review was completely non-gratis...Your welcome)

Friday, August 26, 2011

To Hammock, or not to hammock....

Since the last time i really and truly posted something of worth, I have entered the world of hammocking...

I had been batting the idea around for a while, and when Boudreaux ended up going to Webelo resident Camp, I gave him and two of his friends my small tent to use. I was only coming out a for a few nights, so I bit the proverbial bullet, went down to my local REI store, and got the ENO Single nest in Olive and Khaki (always mindful of the LNT ethic "Be Considerate of Other Visitors", I chose a hammock that had the lowest visual impact).

How does it feel? Well, it sleeps really well, the only problem is, right now it's just sooo hot, it's really not comfortable to sleep outside in any conditions! Webelo resident camp found the low at a frigid 89 degrees, and since then, Ive only had one other chance to use it, and that was on a family trip to Pisgah. I did indeed use it there, but unfortunately, the lights from the bath house were right in my eyes ( the position of trees in a campground plays a great factor in how your nights rest will be) the first night, and the second found us in the middle of thunderstorms.

Can I suggest that if you plan on getting a hammock, you go ahead and buy a rain fly for it at the same time? I only had a very small tent footprint to use (Tent footprints are just as good as a fly, and sometimes about 75% cheaper too), and things got a little bit damp. Thank goodness the kids and my wife had the Taj Mahal of tents set up or I would have been soaked through and through.

ENO also makes these things called "Slap straps" which are really cool. They are essentially a set of adjustable straps for your hammock that help you set up your hammock in a matter of 2 or 3 minutes, and also help minimize the impact you will have on the trees you are securing the Hammock to. I did not buy these, but immediately regretted that decision when I saw the marks I left on two trees (securing my hammock with rock climbing rope) the other weekend. They are now on my shopping list for the next trip.

One really cool benefit of it is how small the thing is! Wrapped up and put away in it's attached sack, it's about the size and weight of a softball. This can seriously cut down on your weight, which is a plus if you are trying to do the whole ultra light hiking thing.

I have also been over to the "Hammock Forums" (yes, there really is a forum for hammock users, and it is one busy site!), and seen it suggested that you replace the carabiners on your ENO with some serious rock climbing carabiners. The ones it came with work just fine, but I do intend on doing this as well, just to be safe...er.

Anyway, thats a short run down on the ENO SingleNest Hammock.. I'm hoping that this Fall I will get a few chances to use it; we are taking several scout camping trips, and my hope is to use the Hammock instead of the tent. I'll have to write more and let you know how it goes!
I took this picture two weeks ago in Pisgah, along the Davidson River Campground trails. Pisgah has always been one of my favorite places, and I still love it, but ever since I took my LNT training, I look at things differently. Has anyone else experienced this?

Its almost as if I've become misanthropic, because I love the scenery there, but the litter, the sea of ignorant humanity that comes through there disgusts me. I hate to sound like that, but when you go to Looking Glass falls, you want to see these great waterfalls, feel the cool mist on your face, not pick up batteries that people have thrown on the rocks when they changed ot the batteries in their camera!

So what do you in a scenario like this? How should you act?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Finally!!

For the longest time, I could not figure out the pass word to this particular blog, and lo and behold, today I remembered it!! So watch out, new posts are-a-comin!!