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

My New Hammock Gear Zero Quilt Set – Titanium Wide Burrow 0° w/ snaps (gasp!) and Green Incubator 0°

HG Zero Set Laid Out
I was super excited to get my hands on my new deep winter quilt set today – Green HG Incubator 0° (26.5 oz w/ stuff sack) and a wide Titanium HG Burrow 0° (25.75 oz w/ stuff sack). I couldn’t resist running contrary to general consensus, so yes, I went with snaps instead of a sewn foot box on my wide Burrow. I’ve grown to really love the snaps on my Burrow 40° and also anticipate using my Zero in situations that it may be overkill – since my other bag is a 40, waaay at the other end of the spectrum.

Fully aware that my 40° Burrow had a bit of a gap in the foot box area when cinched, I took a bit of a gamble and expected that the Burrow 0° would have an even smaller gap, due to the increased volume of down. If I was wrong, I could simply plug it up with my stuff sack on colder nights, but as you can see in the side-by-side picture below, there’s virtually no gap present on the Burrow 0°. Nice.

Just to continue the theme of keeping things interesting, I also plan to test the Hammock Gear Burrow 0° on the ground with a sleeping pad, during an upcoming snowshoeing trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Hopefully, we’ll get some brutal temps up there, so I can share the results in my next video. I can’t wait!

I plan to use the weight savings to bring along my wife’s gi-normous Big Agnes Q-Core SL wide sleeping pad to test it with. Paired up with the wide Burrow, I’m hoping to be sleeping about as classy as one can on the ground. Heck, even if I brought an additional fleece throw as a top sheet, the total weight for all three would still be a couple ounces less that my previous bag alone (Kelty Cosmic Zero, 4lbs!).

Of course, after ground testing, I’ll be have to take it out for a solo trip somewhere frosty to run the whole rig on my hammock, it’s true home.

Fully opened. You can see that the wide Burrow makes for a nice amount of coverage. You could probably ground sleep 2 people under this thing in more modest weather. Assuming your camping partner is down for some light spooning, that is.

HG Burrow 0° wide in closed configuration.

HG Burrow 0° wide in closed configuration.

Close-up view of the Burrow 0°'s cinched end in all it's lofted glory.

Close-up view of the Burrow 0°’s cinched end in all it’s lofted glory.

Side side view of HG Burrow 0° and HG Burrow 40° for loft comparison.

Side side view of HG Burrow 0° and HG Burrow 40° for loft comparison.

Side by side comparison of foot box area cinch on the HR Burrow 40 and HG Burrow 0. Notice that the 0 model has a much smaller gap – a very good thing for those frigid nights!

For more detailed info and a look at other models and options, check out http://www.hammockgear.com/  A quality cottage vendor based right here in the USA.

Fenix LD12 G2 Flashlight Review

My review of the Fenix LD12 G2 Flashlight for backpacking, camping, hunting and EDC (every day carry).

Manufacturer’s Specs:

Cree XP-G2 (R5) LED (max 125 lumens using singe AA battery)
Six outputs: Turbo-125 lumen (2hr 20min)
High-65 lumen (4hr 45min)
Medium-30 lumen (10hr 15min)
Low 3 lumen (100hr)
Strobe (125 lumen)
SOS (60 lumen)
Tail cap with momentary capability and side switch mode operation.
Anti-slip body with body clip.
IPX-8 Waterproof, 2 meters for 30 minutes
Limited lifetime guarantee from Fenix Lighting, US

Fenix HL21 Headlamp Review

My thoughts and review of the Fenix HL21 LED Headlamp

Manufacturer’s Specifications:

Light source: Cree XP-E LED (R2)
LED lifespan: 50,000 hours
Output: 97 lumens (high); 43 lumens (mid); 3 lumens (low)
Runtimes: 2 hours, 3 minutes (high); 5 hours, 43 minutes (mid); 53 hours (low)
Extra function: SOS
Distance: 93 meters
Intensity: 2158 candela
Impact resistance: 1 meter
Waterproof rating: IPX-8, underwater 2 meters
Dimensions: 2.6 by 1.3 by 1.9 inches / 66 by 33.7 by 48.8 millimeters (LxWxH))
Weight: 41.1 grams (without batteries)
Battery: one 1.5V AA (Ni-MH, Alkaline) battery
Accessories: diffuser lens, spare O-ring