Katadyn BeFree Water Filter Review

My thoughts & review of the Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle – 0.6 Liter for Backpacking & Camping

The Katadyn BeFree is a backpacking water filter with a very small footprint and low overall weight.  In this video I’ll cover all of the bases from the initial unboxing, to specific features, individual item weights, test usage out in the field, pros and cons based on individual backpacking styles, as well as some thoughts of future improvements for the system.

Specs and Features as per the Manufacturer

  • Dimensions (in) 9.05
  • Diameter (in) 2.73 ∅
  • Output (gal) 2.11 quart/min
  • Technology Hollow fiber filter 0.1 micron
  • Weight (kg) (oz) 2.05
  • 0.1 micron water filter removes harmful organisms like bacteria 99.9999% and protozoa like Giardia & Cryptosporidium 99.9%, surpassing EPA standards
  • Collapsible 0.6L hydrapak soft bottle flask packs down small to fit in tight spaces (pant or jacket pockets, purses, cycling jerseys, fly vests.
  • Ez-clean Membrane is simple and easy to clean by simply shaking or swishing the filter to clean debris, no backflushing or extra tools required
  • Filters up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water without using chemicals or other devices and • hydrate quickly and easily with the free flow channels fast flow rate
  • Stay clean drink nozzle keeps the mouthpiece clean and sanitary (replaceable with standard plastic water bottle caps)

Update: After further research, it looks like there may indeed be a third party bag that works with the wide mouth threads on the BeFree filter cartridge.  It looks promising, but I have not been able to personally test it’s compatibility.  It’s called the Hydrapak Seeker 2L Water Storage Bag

 

Backpacking Sit Pad Options & Dutchware Sit Pad Review for Hiking & Camping

A discussion on sit pad options for backpacking, hiking and camping, along with a review of the Duchware Folding Sit Pad

I this video, we’ll discuss some options for taking a seat on the trail without getting a sore rear end.  Over the years I’ve experimented with several sit pad options, but most recently, I’ve become quite attached to my Dutchware Folding Sit Pad.  Weighing in at a scant 17.15 grams, I find it to be a great balance of ultralight backpacking minimalism and function.

Check out the full specs for the Dutchware Sit Pad on Dutch’s site here.

Want more coverage?  as seen in the video, there’s always the folding full size Z-Lite Pad

Also seen: My DIY sit pad made of Reflectix.

 

Backpacking Clothes – What I Wear & Pack

A discussion on clothing choices for backpacking, hiking & camping trips.

In this video, I’ll go over each backpacking clothing item that I’ll be wearing for an upcoming backpacking trip, as well as spare and alternate clothing options that I’ll be packing for the hike.

These are pretty much the same clothes take I would take on just about any 3-season hiking trip.

Backpacking Clothes Seen in the Video (worn)

Synthetic short sleeve tee shirt
Synthetic long sleeve t-shirt
Convertible camp pants (zip-off shorts)
Baseball cap
Synthetic sport underwear
Darn Tough merino wool socks (quarter length)
Trail runners – Merell Moab Ventilator shoes
Gore-Tex trail runners – Adidas Terrex Swift-R shoes
Mid-top boots – Garmont Zenith GTX Mid
Cheap sunglasses

Backpacking Clothes Seen in the Video (packed)

Microfleece hat
Synthetic lightweight gym shorts
Long underwear (synthetic or merino wool)
Spare underwear (2 pair)
Spare Socks (1 pair)
Flip-flops
Down parka
Dri-Ducks rain suit

Flat Packable Ultralight Backpacking Bowl – Fozzils Bowlz Review

A review and my thoughts on the Fozzils flat packable bowl for ultralight backpacking & camping. 

Fozzils Bowlz are a unique and lightweight backpacking and camping bowl that packs down flat, but quickly converts into and bowl and 16 oz measuring cup using four simple plastic snaps.  The flat configuration also gives you the ability to use Fozzils Bowlz as minimalist plate or makeshift serving platter at camp.

In this video, I specifically review the bowl, but Fozzils also has a 3 piece set consisting of a bowl, cup, and plate bowl that function in similar fashion.

The ability to clean it while flat, combined with it’s non-stick silicone coating makes for easy cleanup in the field as well.  The plastic is also BPA free.

Weight for each bowl is 1.4 oz (40 grams).

Link to Official Fozzils website.
Link to where I found them on Dutchware Gear.

SinChats – What’s Your Backpacking Style? Mileage Killer or Camp Chiller?

What’s your Backpacking & Hiking Style?  Do you like to hike hard & pump out the miles, or do you prefer to spend spend more time at camp, or taking breaks at vistas?  Join in the discussion on this edition of SinChats.

 

Hiking the Whites – Zeke’s First Backpacking Trip

Join Mike, TJ and I for 4 days of hiking & camping as we initiate our friend Zeke on his very first backpacking trip!

For this backpacking trip, we’ll be visiting one of my favorite areas, the White Mountains, for a counterclockwise Pemi Loop.  While I’ve previously done this loop as a solo hike, I switched things up this time by doing the loop in the opposite direction, starting with Bondcliff Trail and the Bonds and ending with a traverse of Franconia Ridge to return to the Lincoln Woods Visitor Center where we started. We also stretched the hike out to 4 days and 3 nights.  This enabled us to get some more camping and exploring in, and also let us do less miles per day, since this was our friend’s first backpacking experience.  The White Mountains are home to some of the most aggressive hiking trails in the country, and our goal was to make sure he actually wanted to do this again!

If you’ve never done a Pemi Loop before and are looking for some more logistics, trail listings, etc, feel free to check out my previous solo video.  For this video, we’ll be focusing more the amazing views, camp camaraderie and of course, the biggest question – will Zeke ever want to do this again?  Or will he want to push us off one of the numerous precipices that the Pemigewasset Wilderness has to offer…

 For info on the “helicopter situation” click here for a link to an August 28th post the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team’s Facebook page.

 A note on GPS Data: I didn’t record new GPS track data for this trip, as the data from my previous trip pretty much covers the route (in reverse of course) and includes waypoints for points of interest included in that video as well as this one.  I also tagged a decent amount of extra potential tent and hammock camping spots as I hiked, which some may find useful if looking for alternative camping spots.

Notable Items and Gear that may be of interest:

My hammock – Dream Hammock Darien, single layer.
Mike’s Hammock – Dream Hammock Thunderbird, double layer
TJ’s hammock – Dutchware NylonD hammock, 11 foot, single layer with Dutchware Summer Sock

Zeke’s Tent – Marmot Eos 1P Tent

Myself and Mike’s tarps – Both are Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarps with 11 foot ridge lines.

TJ’s Tarp – Hennessy Deluxe Tarp, 70D model, 12’x10′

 My underquilt – Hammock Gear Phoenix 30°
TJ’s underquilt – Hammock Gear Incubator 40° (seen up close in my earlier post here)

Mike’s underquilt – HG Phoenix 20°

Top Quilts – Hammock Gear Burrow 40° for me and HG Burrow 20° for Mike (TJ used a “regular” down sleeping bag as a quilt.)
My backpack – Osprey Hornet 46 (no longer in production)
Mikes backpack – Osprey Exos 58
Zeke’s backpack – Gregory Contour 70

Dehydrated meals tried in the video:  Mountain House, Packit Gourmet, and Alpine Aire.