Katadyn BeFree Upgrade! – Larger Water Bag & Gravity Filter System

Using the Katadyn BeFree Water Filter with a HydraPak Seeker 2L Reservoir and Gravity Filter Tubing Setup.

After my previous review of the Katadyn BeFree water filter, I discovered and acquired a compatible water reservoir bag that would increase my filtering capacity to 2L – the HydraPak Seeker collapsible water bottle (also available in a 3 liter version).  The main challenge with the BeFree filter is finding a water bottle or reservoir with wide mouth 42mm threads, which the HyrdaPak has.

In the video I go over my thoughts and experiences using the Katadyn BeFree in conjunction with the HydraPak Seeker 2L and Sawyer Squeeze 64 oz Pouch as part of a gravity water filter system, as well as a stand alone squeeze style system using just the HydraPak Seeker and BeFree.

System Components Seen in the Video

Katadyn Befree Water Filter With Hydrapak 0.6L Collapsible Flask
Hydrapak Seeker 2L Water Storage Bag, Mammoth Grey (for dirty water)
Sawyer Inline Adapters for Screw On Filters
1/4″ Food Grade Plastic Tubing
Sawyer Squeeze Bag – 64 oz Pouch (for clean water)

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.

Operation
Turn ON/OFF
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.

Strobe
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.