Friday, February 26, 2021

🆘 Survival with only a Vehicle Emergency Kit in a Winter Storm


After a hike on a remote trail, Luke the Lone Wolf returns to his truck to find that he is stranded with only his Vehicle Emergency Kit.

To compound the problems, a Winter Storm is closing in and temperatures are dropping....
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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Best of Both Worlds - Enlightened Equipment Convert Sleeping Bag & Quilt...


This is a sleep system which can CONVERT into what you need for it to be; a sleeping bag for colder conditions and a quilt for warmer nights.

In this review of the Enlightened Equipment Convert Sleeping Bag & Quilt, Luke is going over the pros and cons of this Ultralight product.

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Enlightened Equipment Convert :
Agenda Free Link : https://enlightenedequipment.com/convert-custom/

Price : Starting Price : $350 - With the options that I selected, $480 (cost will vary greatly depending on what you are needing)

Lengths Available : Xshort, Short, Regular, Long, Xlong - Widths Available : Slim, Regular, Wide, X Wide - Temp Ranges Available : 50F, 40F, 30F, 20F, 10F, 0F, 10F Down Types Available : 850 and 950 Draft Collar is Available
 
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Details:
Full-length zipper and shock cord footbox allow for use as a quilt or sleeping bag Double draft-blocking tubes along the zipper keep you covered, with reinforced zipper backing for durability

Pad attachment system included for quilt use: when the Convert is open, use elastic straps and clips on each side to keep it secure on your sleeping pad and lock out drafts

Snap and drawcord neck closure lets you fine-tune draft control
Tapered full-length vertical baffles

Ethically sourced Down from an RDS certified supplier

Ultralight nylon fabric has a DWR finish and has been customized for comfort

Quilts available in 3 fabric options: 7D, 10D, and 20D. Read more about the differences in our Fabrics.

Selecting the custom option of "draft collar" adds draft collars to the head and foot of your Convert quilt. 2 draft collars total.

Handmade in Winona, Minnesota. Included:

Silnylon Stuff Sack (.3oz-1oz)

100% Organic Cotton Storage Bag made by Freeset

Elastic Straps x2 (0.4oz each - One Straight, One Loop)

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Review Pros
:

Excellent handmade quality
Price is very fair considering this is a handmade, high quality price of kit. When compared to other cottage companies and their offerings, the prices are very much on level with those.

Excellent warmth to weight ratio!

Very compressible
Ability to use it is as sleeping bag, blanket and quilt is awesome.
Versatile - because it can be used in so many ways means you can u use this product in a wider range of temp ranges.

The DWR treatment that has been done for this bag is absolutely incredible. I experienced a leaky tent and had a pool of water in the center of my bag; extremely impressive! The entire bag was covered in water and I saw no evidence of the down being wet. I wiped the bag off and it dried very quickly. Customization means that you can have a product made for you that you specifically need to your specs.

Full length zipper - Easy to get into and out of.
Foot box can be opened or closed

Can be cinched to your sleeping pad when using it as a quilt

Draft collars work very well and do a great job of hold heat in at the top and bottom

Review Cons :

Because this is a hybrid bag, it isn’t the best sleeping bag due to the fact that there isn’t a hood and also, it is a bit roomer than a sleeping bag which can allow for more air inside of the bag that your body needs to warm. A mummy bag would fit closer and be a slight bit warmer.

Warmer than a quilt, not as warm as a sleeping bag.

Pricey : No matter how you swing it, this is pricey.

Summary :
Throughout the fall and the winter, this bag has proven itself to be an excellent sleeping bag. I love the versatility, the low weight and the overall warmth. I have used this inside of tents, under tarps, inside of Bivy in a wide range of conditions and it has excelled everywhere.
 
The quality is top notch, it’s American made, can be used in many different ways including in a hammock and I easily can recommend it for those who want a hybrid bag that they can use in a variety of conditions and seasons and for those who have the money.

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Monday, February 22, 2021

LiteFighter Responds - LiteFighter Catamount 2 Tent Update (Recall)


Since the catastrophic failure of the Catamount 2 Tent I have been in touch with LiteFighter and I am here today to share with you all that I have learned.
 
LiteFighter has gone All-Hands-On-Deck and I am more than impressed!
This is an episode of Companies Respond!
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Friday, February 19, 2021

I Didn’t Expect This - Litefighter Catamount 2 Tent - Test Night


In this episode of Test Night, Luke is putting the Litefighter Catamount 2 Tent up against an ice storm, some snow and some rain....

This is not what I expected to happen and is the very reason why The Outdoor Gear Review has the Test Night Series.

The Catamount 2 Tent failed....not just a little but in major ways and thanks to this video a recall is under way now. More on that soon.

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: https://litefighter.com/product/catamount-2-cold-weather-tent/
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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Reinforce Down Jacket? - Outdoor Research Helium Hooded Jacket Review


In this episode of The Outdoor Gear Review, Luke is passing on his review on a new type of Down Jacket, one that is stronger and more durable than most. Warmer too!

This is the Outdoor Research Helium Hooded Jacket Agenda Free Review!
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Agenda Free Link : https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/mens-helium-down-hoodie-277572

Price : Retail is $280 but at the time of filming can be found for less than $200.

Weight : 14.6oz for the medium size

Materials :
Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse (2.5-layer), [face fabric] Pertex Diamond Fuse (100% nylon ripstop), [lining] 100% nylon 20D ripstop YKK Zippers 800+ fill goose down, RDS-certified

Sizes : Small - X Large

Colors : Madder red, Black, yellow and black and so on.

PRODUCT FEATURES

A lightweight down jacket for active pursuits in alpine conditions

Durable face fabric reinforced at key points with waterproof fabric

High-loft down delivers impressively packable warmth-to-weight ratio Elastic cuffs and drawcord hem keep out chilly weather and trap heat

Left hand pocket doubles as a stuff sack, includes carabiner loop

Brushed tricot lining inside hand pockets offers a soft touch


Chest pocket equipped with media details

Pros :
Excellent quality jacket

Very well made - no issues with stitching

No issues with down loss

Excellent wind resistance

Warmer than the average middle weight down jacket

It can be stored inside its own pocket

Waterproof fabric along the shoulders and hood

Sizing is on the bulkier side which I like; plenty of room to move and for layer which expands the use of this jacket.

Reenforced sections

Excellent zippers, very smooth

Windblock behind the zipper

Chin guard materials is present if you have zipped all the way up.

Lifetime warranty

Good hood; adjustable and warm

Very large internal pockets

Good value for the money; when taking into account the warmth, the features, the weight, compressibility and the robustness of the materials, the value for the money is there and the price is comparable to other available options.

Fairly lightweight

Fairly compressible 

Cons :
Not the lightest down jacket but it is tougher; so the question is, what do you need? Weight wise, completely acceptable but there are lighter jackets on the market.

The same can be said for compressibility - not the most compressible - within acceptable ranges though.

Reenforcement areas could be expanded to the cuffs where a majority of down jacket punctures take place at - pushing through brush, climbing over a rock, that is where the reenforcements are truly needed.

Hand pockets are only half lined with hand warming material; I would like to see that material on both sides

Summary :

The Outdoor Research Helium Down Hood is a bit different when it comes to being a down jacket. It stronger, slightly more waterproof, wind resistant, warmer, and heavier and is made for taking a bit more abuse.

With that being said, while more waterproof and stronger than your average down jacket, you still need to be careful with the materials and with the weather. This isn’t made to be in bushwhacked in or to be in full on rain.

In the end, do I recommend this jacket?

I do, it is a top notch performer and while there are less expensive down jackets out there, check out my reviews, this one does punch above its weight class in many ways.
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Monday, February 15, 2021

What Happened Was Shocking - When Too Much Snow Falls - After the Camp


You've seen the adventure but now learn about all that you didn't see that took place on this trip. It will shock you!

This is After the Camp for the When Too Much Snow Falls overnight adventure.
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Friday, February 12, 2021

When Too Much Snow Falls - Over a Foot of Snow - Multiday Winter Adventure


The biggest Winter Storm of the season is approaching and it will force Luke and Susan to escape the high peaks before it's too late.

This is an extremely snowy multiday adventure and it begins now!
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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Backpacking Basics - Protect Your Hands, Face and Head - Winter Gear


- My Winter Kit -

With the winter in full swing and with so many of my snow adventures being posted, I have been receiving a constant stream of questions concerning the gloves, hat, mask and mittens that I am often using and wearing.

In this video, I will be touching upon each of those items and what I like about them also, what I dislike. I have reviewed most of these products already so if you have specific questions that I didn’t answer in this video about one of these items, those questions are likely to have been answer in their individual reviews.

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Agenda Free Link to Knit Gloves : Try on in store - www.amazon.com

Agenda Free Link to Mittens : www.eBay.com

Agenda Free Link to Mask : No Longer Available

Agenda Free Link to Smartwool Hat : https://www.amazon.com/SmartWool-Merino-Beanie-Medium-Heather/dp/B01BERR88Y

Video Review of Mittens : https://youtu.be/gF2jI4T657w

Video Review of Hat : https://youtu.be/r3Rbx7E46zI

Video Review of Mask : https://youtu.be/nOWi0y3rXGg

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Knit Gloves :
During 99% percent of the cold months, this is what I am wearing; these are knit gloves and they provide just enough protection to keep me warm without overheating. I find for myself this is enough for most conditions unless it is extremely windy and cold to keep me comfortable. When I need more, I generally go with the Mutant Mitts which I will talk about here in a moment.

Pros :
Knit gloves are normally very inexpensive and can often times be found in bundles; 3 pairs for $3 dollars sort of thing. If you go looking for knit gloves with a name brand on them you’ll pay more though.
Keep me just warm enough that I can wear them without getting too hot.

Cons :
Low durability - a pair usually lasts me a season or so; fingers will fall part first

Getting the right size can be difficult; even those with medium sized hands will find it hard to locate gloves that fit correctly - you don’t want material sticking up passed your fingers.

Because of the fitting issues, I would recommend trying them on before you buy; knit gloves can easily be found in most department stores.

Advice - if you have this issue, look at the kid sizes; since the gloves stretch they will fit medium size adult hands and will be less expensive.

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Outdoor Research Mutant Mittens :

Pros :
Inexpensive for high quality mittens, warm, versatile, liner can be removed, waterproof.

Cons :
Bulky, heavy, and finding the right size for you can be difficult as they have been discontinued.

The good news is that OR makes a ton of variants of mittens and they can be found rather inexpensively on eBay. The FireBrand mittens are an excellent choice.
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IO Merino Wool Mask (Limitless Bandana) :

IO Merino Email Address : hello@io-merino.com

I’ve had this product for a very long time and I wish that it was still available because it is excellent! Easy to put on, it stays in place, it’s warm and even keeps your neck warm.

Pros :
Comfortable, warm, blocks wind,

Cons :
Discontinued

It was expensive for what it was.

Finding a good substitute isn’t easy during the age of covid; if you search for mask every result has to do with the virus and not with winter weather. If you search for bandana the results are the same.j

This isn’t the same as a neck gaiter or a buff and making one from merino fabric or even from a merino wool shirt might be a good option for some people.

Everyone should email IO Merino and ask that they bring back out the Limitless Bandana as there is no product like it. I’ve put their email address in the description box.


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Smartwool 150 Hat/Beanie :

Pros :
Just warm enough to make me comfortable. Long enough to cover ears Good price

Cons :


Previously there were different versions of this beanie from Smartwool and some were shorter than others. To make it worse, in the past, smartwool did a terrible job of making it clear which one that you are looking at.... I put a link to what I believe are the longer versions in the description box. That isn’t an affiliate link, I’m just trying to help out. I don’t care if you buy this or anything else as it doesn’t benefit me at all.

Advice : These hats are very lightweight and because of that, I will often carry two with me just in case that one gets soaking wet while backpacking and hiking. If that does happen, I have a dry one which I can change into say when I get to camp.

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Monday, February 8, 2021

2020 Epic Adventure - Truck Camping and Backpacking the Holy Cross - The...


This is the full length movie involving the epic 2020 adventure that Susie and I had last year while traveling across the country.
 
Part 1 (traveling to Colorado)
Part 2 (backpacking the Holy Cross Wilderness) 
Part 3 (traveling home)
 
all together in one video which we hope that you enjoy!

In this movie, The Outdoor Gear Review is going out West to backpack what is known as the Bermuda Triangle of Colorado!

People Go Missing and are NEVER to be seen again. Plane Crashes. Death!

This is an epic adventure in some incredibly beautiful locations and we did it all on a very LOW budget!
Thank you to those who reminded me to put this video up (I forgot),
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Friday, February 5, 2021

A Lot of Rain - NatureHike Opalus 3 Tent Test Night and First Thoughts


In this Test Night episode, Luke is testing out the NatureHike Opalus 3 person Tent in a lot of rain;
There will be problems.....

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NatureHike Cloud Up 2 Agenda Free Link :

https://www.naturehike.com/products/naturehike-outdoor-four-seasons-cloud-tunnel-2-person-tent-for-camping-nh20zp006?variant=36758917808282

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

I had the Surgery - Random Lunch and Chat


Luke is here to talk about his surgery and what the recovery will look going forward. He will share his experiences and some advice to those whom may be considering what he had done.

In this video, Snow, Coffee, Lunch, Drifter and more.

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Monday, February 1, 2021

Savotta Big and Bad Bushcraft and Survival Stove - Real Review


This is it, the last of the Finnish Wood Burning Stoves which I have been working to review!

Made by Savotta, this is the Big and Bad and the question becomes, how big is too big?

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Savotta Big and Bag Wood Burning Stove – Real Review
Price : Retail price is around $55 but I have seen it for as low as $44 as scandinavianoutdoor site; that is where I purchased mine.

Availability : If you are interested in this stove and you live in Europe, they will be easy to locate. If you are in the USA, it will have to be imported.

I ordered this from scandinavianoutdoor with my own money as I am Agenda Free. I ordered it from this site even though it says that it can be exported to the USA or Canada.

Weight of Stove with Bag : 18.4oz / 1.24lbs

Weight of Bag : 1.4oz

Stove Material : 0.8mm Laser-cut stainless steel.

Protective Bag Material : 1000D Cordura, PUR coated.

Setup Size : (Measure) roughly 5 1/2” wide x 5 ½” long x 5 ¾” tall with pot supports

Dimensions Flat : 6 ¾” x 6.5” x .5” thick
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From the Company :
Big Bad Stove – the heaviest artillery of Savotta twig stoves! Big and bad, this stove is stronger and the firebox is larger than its younger siblings Happy and Grumpy. It has the same high-functioning structure because why improve on perfection? The stove comprises 7 laser-cut stainless steel components: three side walls, a bottom, a “face” and a cooking support in two sections. Once clicked into place, the stove is ready for use.
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Pros :

The pros and cons that I have for this stove very much match those that I have stated for the previous editions of this stove as the only real difference between them all is size, weight and thickness of the metal plates.

This being the largest of the 3 stoves and features the thickest plates.

Setup : For an experienced user like myself, I can set this up in roughly 30 seconds and rock and roll. There is a flip side to this, if you aren’t familiar with stoves like this, it might give you a little trouble....more on this soon.

Design is good - the ash plate protects the ground while the stove still offers good oxygen allowance for your fire to burn efficiently. Also, the way that the stove goes together is just as good as many of the top names out there and is better than some of the collapsible wood burning stoves out there.

There are some bad ones and in fact, I recently reviewed one of them and that was the Small Lixada wood burning stove.

Included pot supports - you would be surprised at how many stoves don’t come with these and their efficiency suffers greatly because of it.

Packs down flat which means that it can easily fit just about any place; backpack, pocket, chest rig, etc.

Light weight.

Good size for one to two people and with small to medium size pots, pans and cups.

Due to the size, it is good for high heat and also simmering

The gauge of the stainless is good; it is thicker than some while being thinner than some others. It’s a good balance of thickness and strength while keeping a good weight.

Free fuel…..which saves you money.

Fun to use

Easy to clean up.

Very stable - can be setup on just about any type of surface and it doesn’t have to be completely flat like with some similar stoves.

Cons :

While not complicated by any means, the setup will take a bit more work and attention the first couple of times that you use it. You might have it come apart or have to work to get everything to connect and fall into place correctly.

Pricey for a Hobo Stove…but you are getting an awesome form factor and great quality in addition to a very well thought-out and good performing stove. I should mention that this isn’t the most expensive of folding wood stoves; emberlit is a good bit more expensive for an example. They are much cheaper versions as well.


Summary

Savotta makes excellent stoves and that is the case with the Big and Bad version. It is expensive but you do get a very nice product that has a sense of humor.