HikingBear Trekking Poles Review

A Review of HikingBear Trekking Poles

In addition to checking out the Hiking Bear poles I also discuss my personal experiences with finding the the right trekking poles for ones individual needs in terms of balancing price, features, quality, etc.  For comparison, I compare to other poles to the HB poles, as well as go over the differences in how to use the trekking poles in terms of locking mechanisms, etc.

Other poles seen in the video
Suisse Gear Trekking Poles – my first budget hiking poles.
Black Diamond Ultra Mountain FL Z-poles – heavier grade poles for more rugged winter trips, mountaineering trips, etc. (no longer in production?)

Specs for the Hiking Bear Trekking Poles, as per the Manufacturer

Carbon Fiber Shaft for reduced weight with and increased strength vs aluminum
Weight: 8.1 ounces per pole (I confirmed this on my own scale)
3 section collapsible shaft.
Collapsed length: 25.6 inches.
Maximum expanded length: 53.1 inches.
Grip: Ergonomic syncork grip made of soft EVA material with strap, waterproof and anti-slip texture.
Tip options for different terrain: Each pole comes with a pavement and a snow basket to prevent sinking in a variety of hiking terrain, especially muddy basin, snowfield or grassland.

 

Winter Ultralight Backpacking Gear List 2017

A detailed look at my 2017 Winter Ultralight Backpacking Gear List

For a detailed list of my winter backpacking gear, with itemized weights and descriptions, you can download PDF and CSV format copies of this list as well as lists for previous trips / videos my Gear Lists page.

List in PDF Format  for viewing and printing.

List in CSV Format  for use in your favorite spreadsheet or backpacking software.

Below is a simplified list of the backpacking items shown in the video (without weights or descriptions).

Pack
Backpack – ULA Ohm 2.0
Pack Cover – Dutchware Argon

Stuff Sacks and Storage
Bear Bag Stuff Sack, Water Resistant 8L
Bear Bag Line
Zip-lock Bag – Sandwich
Stuff Sack 4L
Zip-lock Bag – Gallon

Tools
Compass
Lighter – Eddie Bauer
Multi Tool – Tool Logic Card
Carabiner, S-Biner – Large
Carabiner, S-Biner – Mini
Fire Starter, Wet Fire
GPS Unit – Garmin Oregon 650

Cooking & Eating Utensils
Cook Pot – 750ml Titanium
Cookset Stuff sack
Matches – Waterproof
Fire Steel – Light My Fire, Mini
Pot Cozy
Spoon – backup, disposable
Spork – Sea to Summit Alloy
Windscreen – Titanium
Stove – Mini Canister Stove
Paper towels squares and Soap

Hammock System
Hammock Body – Dutchware Chameleon w/ over cover
Hammock Suspension – Dutchware Dyneema straps with Beetle Buckle

Sleep System
Under Quilt – HG Incubator 0
Top Quilt – HG Burrow 0

Shelter
Tarp – Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarp
Ground Cloth – Tyvek, long
Tent spike – Titanium

Water Treatment & Storage
Water Filter – Sawyer Squeeze
Sawyer Filter Bag – 64oz Dirty
Water Bottle – 1.5 Ltr, Disposable
Spare water bottle caps.
1 Liter Bottle, Insulated – ‘Forty Below’
Sawyer Filter Bag – 64oz Clean

Light Sources
Headlamp – Fenix HL21 w/ battery
Spare AA Battery
Flashlight – Preon 2

First Aid & SOS Messenger
First Aid Kit
Spot Messenger

Toiletries
Toilet Paper
Toiletry Kit
Wet Wipes
Hand Sanitizer

Clothing, Secondary & Spare
Jacket – Montbell UL Down Parka
Socks, Wool – Heavy Wgt
Hat, Beanie – Lt Wgt Fleece
Shirt, Long sleeve – Fleece Lt
Long Underwear, Merino
Shirt, short sleeve
Sock Liner, Med Wgt
Pants, fleece lined
Gloves, Work

Clothing Worn
Hat, Beanie – Hvy Wgt
EMS Hard shell Jacket
Fleece, Military – Hvy Wt
Shirt, Long Sleeve -Lt Wgt
Shirt, short sleeve
Pants, Hardshell
Socks, Wool – Med Wgt
Long Underwear, Synthetic
Boots, Winter High Top
Sock Liner, Med Wgt
Gloves, Heavy Winter
Glove Liners, Merino Wool Lt
Face mask / neck gaiter

Aukey 30,000mAh Portable Charger Review

A Detailed Review of the Aukey 30,000 mAh USB Battery Bank. 

For this gear review, I’ll go over the specs, operation, and my own personal experience using the Aukey USB charger.  My primary perspective for this charger was from that of a backpacker looking to keep his gear running in the woods on backpacking and hunting trips, but I have also found the AUKEY 30000mAh Portable Charger with USB C Input & Output charger to be quite handy even for just around the house or on outings away from home.

Specs and Features, as per the Manufacturer

  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
    Engineered to refuel devices up to 4x faster than conventional charging. Powered by INOV (Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage) Technology for fine-tuned power output and more optimized charging cycles. Up to 45% more efficient than Quick Charge 2.0 & compatible with a full range of USB connector types, from A to C.
  • Turbo Recharge at 5V 4A
    Simultaneously plug into the micro USB and a USB-C input on the PB-Y3 to recharge the Power Bank in about 8 hours with a combined current of up to 4A. Large Power Bank capacity doesn’t have to mean long wait to recharge.
  • AUKEY EntireProtect
    Advanced circuitry and built in safeguards to protect devices against excessive current, overheating, and over charging.
  • Universal Compatibility
    Designed to work with all popular USB powered devices from iPhones to Android phones, tablets, photography gear, Bluetooth speakers, headphones and more. Whatever USB powered gear you’ve got, we’ve got you covered.
  • 24 Month Warranty 
  • Battery Indicator Light
    Press the power button once to check the remaining battery level. Battery level is indicated by the color of the LED indicator light. green battery indicator light means your Power Bank is charging, when it reaches 100% the light will turn white.
    Red 0 – 30%
    Green 30% – 70%
    White 70% – 100%
  • Technical Specifications
    Capacity: 30000mAh
    Micro-USB Input: 5V 2.4A
    USB C Input / Output: 5V 3A
    Output 1 (Quick Charge 3.0): 3.6V-6.5V/3A, 6.5V-9V/2A, 9V-12V/1.5A
    Output 2 (AiPower): 5V 2.4A
    Dimensions: 5.9” × 3.3” × 1.1”
    Weight: 20.4 oz

Scandinavian Gear 65L Backpack Review

A full review of a low cost 65L Backpack from Scandinavian Gear for Backpacking, Hiking and Camping.

In this video we’ll take this low cost backpack out for a hike on the trail for some hiking and general discussion out in the field, as well as a full detailed table top review to go over the various features of the Scandinavian Gear 65L backpack – or as they like to call it the ’65l Multi-day Pack for Hiking, Backpacking with Rain Cover’.  But that’s a bit of a mouthful, so…  Oh and of course, there’s a healthy dose of my own personal experiences with the pack and some of my opinions on backpacking backpacks in general.

Full Specs, as Per the Manufacturer

  • Capacity: 65 liters
  • Dimensions: 5 x 17 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Features:
    Water resistant & water repellent material main body (not water proof)
    Main compartment opens from side, top, and bottom
    Rain cover included (inside bottom compartment)
    Hydration / water bladder ready, up to 4l (bladder not included)
    Emergency whistle on chest strap
    Reflective strips, front & back
    Empty backpack weighs 3.8 lbs
    Full backpack measures 26 x 18 x 17 inches
  • Adjustments & straps:
    Adjustable straps allow the backpack to be expanded by an additional 5l
    Adjustable shoulder, chest and waist/hip straps
    Adjustable torso
    Waist/hip strap with pockets

 

MSR Flex Skillet Review …and other thoughts on choosing a Camp Skillet

A review of the MSR Flex Skillet camping fry pan, as well as a discussion of other camp skillet options for comparison.

The MSR Flex Skillet is a light weight, easy to pack frying pan aimed at weight conscious hikers who wish to do some some more advanced cooking on their backpacking and camping trips.  And by “more advanced”, I mean more than just boiling water for a dehydrated meal.  Because some of us, myself included, think anything more than boiling water on a 3 oz stove is going full back country gourmet.

If that sounds like you, then you may be interested in the MSR Flex Skillet, or maybe even it’s little brother, the MSR Quick Skillet, which we’ll also touch on a bit in the video.  If your a more hearty backpacker looking to do some heavier duty cooking on perhaps a canoe or car camping trip, then the MSR Flex Skillet may be a tad more minimalist than you need.  Towards the second have of the video I’ll also go over some heavier duty alternatives (as the MSR Alpine Fry Pan), as well as some more inexpensive options, depending on your expected usage and needs.

Below are the Flex Skillet’s Specs and details, according to the manufacturer.  *As discussed in the video, I did find some discrepancies with MSR’s official specs.

Manufacturer’s Specs and Details

Weight 7 oz / 199 g
Height 2.5 in / 6.35 cm
Diameter 9 in / 22.86 cm

Easy Clean-Up: Scratch-resistant, hard-anodized nonstick aluminum.
Versatile: Nests with MSR® Flex 3 and MSR® Flex 4 Cook Systems and Pot Sets.
Includes: 1 Talon™ pot handle.

Pocket Chainsaw Review – Lightweight Backpacking and Camping Saw

A Review of the Pocket Chainsaw – a Packable, Lightweight Backpacking or Camping Saw 

As discussed in the video this is not a brand specific review, but rather an overview and discussion on pocket chainsaws in general. There are many different manufacturers out there making camping and survival saws with this general design, so if this design meets your usage needs, it’s probably best to just find the best value one available to you. As you can see, it’s basically just a length of chainsaw blade with nylon handles attached at each end.Of course there are minor variables to keep in mind, such as specially designed blades, alternative handle shapes, and chain lengths.

The specific model seen in the video is a Chainmate 24-Inch Survival Pocket Chain Saw With Pouch style= (model CM-24SSP), but any brand with similar features should be just fine. It’s pretty much your standard pocket chainsaw in terms of quality and features, so I think it makes for an decent baseline for reviewing this type of saw.