First Look – Apex Tarp Shelter by GO! Outfitters

Taking a look at my second item from GO! Outfitters, the Apex Tarp Shelter.

This is an 11′ x 9.5′ 70D Polyester Tarp that comes standard with 6 aluminum stakes and 8 guy-lines which can be configured in a variety of ways in conjunction with the Apex tarp’s 20 tie-out points. Personally, I’ll probably tie permanent lines to the 4 main corners and use removable a removable setup (either via larks head or hardware, like Dutch Hookworms) for the remaining lines for maximum adaptability on the fly.

**A note on the side middle side tie-outs: The official production model has the middle tie-outs on each side, unlike the configuration seen in this video. I believe this was simply due it being a pre-production model.

The tarp itself weighs 20 oz. Included guy-lines and aluminum stakes weigh a total of 8 ounces. I can see this tarp work great with any of my current camping hammocks, or as a nice stand alone shelter for minimalist ground sleeping situations. Color options are Forest Green, as seen and Slate Grey. There are also plans for an additional door kit as well, which may shed some light on the importance of those extra tie-out points on each side.

For full specs and the latest details, check out their Apex Shelter Kickstarter Page.

First Look – GO! Outfitters Hammock System

Taking a look at a new hammock I’m testing out, the GO! Hammock by GO! Outfitters.

This is an 11 foot by 70 inch wide, netless, 70D camping hammock, available with or without the cinch buckle and nylon webbing strap suspension system. They also make a full bug net version as well, but I’m looking forward to giving it a spin for some cooler weather and winter backpacking, so netless should work out just fine for now.

For full specs and details check out the official GO! Outfitters website.

Or their original Kickstarter page by clicking here (funding complete).

SinChats – Thoughts on Hiking Poles?

A discussion on hiking poles / trekking poles for backpacking.

Hiking poles seen in the video:

  1. Black Diamond Ultra Mountain FL hiking poles ( 3 piece, folding, z-pole style)
  2. Swiss Gear Adjustable Hiking Poles

SinChats – Spot Gen3 GPS Tracker Reliability & Thoughts

My thoughts & experience with the Spot Gen3 GPS tracking device. 

In this weekly update video I answer a common question posed in my comment sections: How do you like the Spot Gen3 Tracker and is it reliable? My only experience is with the Spot Gen3 device, not the Spot Gen2 device, but I try my best to offer some feedback and insight on both.

ThruNite TN12 – 1,050 lumen LED Flashlight Review

A review and my thoughts on the ThruNite TN12 (2014) LED Flashlight.

Features As Per Manufacturer :
– Improved UI for more lumens
– Cree XM-L2 U2 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
– Uses one 18650 rechargeable battery or two CR123A batteries.
– Max output:1050 lumens with XM-L2 U2
– Working voltage: 2.7V-9V
– 143mm (Length)*25.4mm (Diameter)
– 82g weight (without batteries)
– Reverse polarity protection design to protect from improper battery installation
-Versatile mode 1050lm(90min) 800lm(1.5hour) 280lm(5hours) 20lm(74 hours) 0.3lm(1585hours)
– Aircraft-grade aluminum body
– Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
– Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
– Smooth reflector gives perfect beam and throw.

Press the tail switch gently for momentary on or until it clicks to turn on the light. Press again to turn the light off.

Changing Modes
With the light on, press the side switch to circle through five different modes outputs from firefly mode, low, medium,high and Max.

With the light on, press and hold the side switch for about 1 second to enter into strobe mode (13HZ).
A single press on the side switch will return the flashlight to general lighting mode from strobe.

2015 Ultralight Backpacking Gear List

A look at my current sub-10 pound, 3-Season Ultralight Backpacking Gear List.

In this video we’ll take detailed look at all of the items in my current 3-Season Ultralight Backpacking system load-out.  This is the exact same load-out that I used in West Virginia during early October for the Ultralight Backpacking in the Cranberry Wilderness video.  On this trip the overnight and morning lows got down as low as the mid-thirties and I made it by using the gear seen.  Now, I wouldn’t take this load-out for sustained expected temps in that range, but in a pinch, at least I know I can get by.  This is pretty much my go-to backpacking system for everything except for winter, from Tennessee up to Maine.

As seen in the video, I use a hammock camping system, running at 9.5 pounds, but I’ll show you some modifications for ground sleeping as well as warmer weather options to save weight (as low as 7.5 lbs), in both the video as well as my different gear lists, which are available on the Gear Lists page of my website, for those who wish to see specific weights, categories, and item descriptions.  Below is a simplified list of the items seen.

Backpack – Osprey Hornet 46
Jacket – Montbell UL Down Parka
Shirt, Long Sleeve  – Md Wgt
Underwear – Synthetic (1 Pair)
Shirt, short sleeve
Hat – Fleece
Cookset Stuff sack
Pot Cozy
Spoon – backup, disposable
Stove – Esbit DIY
First Aid
Sunscreen -Travel Size
Spare AA Batteries
Headlamp – Fenix HL21 w/ battery
Hammock – Dream Hammock Darien w/ suspension
Under Quilt – HG Incubator 40
Top Quilt – HG Burrow 40
Bear Bag Line
Zip-lock Bag – Sandwich
Toilet Paper
Toiletry Kit
Wet Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Knife – SOG Blink
Lighter – Eddie Bauer
Sawyer Filter Bag – 64oz
Water Bottle – 1.5 Ltr, Disposable