Saturday, September 28, 2013

INTRO - Creeper Walk 2013 - The Outdoor Gear Review

Enjoy the Sneak Peak of the upcoming 34 Mile Day Hike.

Aquamira Drops - Chlorine Dioxide - The Outdoor Gear Review

Water treatment drops ideal for camping or traveling Attack Giardia, bacteria, Cryptosporidium, and more Fits conveniently in pack or pocket for easy carrying Chlorine dioxide formula is more effective than iodine 1-ounce bottle treats up to 30 gallons (120 quarts)

Colorless and odorless, the Aquamira tablets are made using a chlorine dioxide formula, which kills waterborne pathogens better than iodine or chlorine. EPA-registered, a single 1-ounce bottle of Aquamira drops treat up to 30 gallons (120 quarts) of water. The drops are also suitable for disaster preparedness kits, water storage, and emergency water treatment.Product DescriptionAquamira Water Treatment Drops are ideal for longer trips and group water treatment. This popular chlorine dioxide kit treats up to 120 quarts (30 gallons) of water yet slips easily into a shirt pocket. Liquid drops are easy to dispense making even large container water treatment a quick process. Long shelf life (4years) is unaffected by partial use of bottles.


Friday, September 27, 2013

The Halfway Point : Abingdon

Well well well. We've made it half way! Not bad at all. Making incredible time!

Lunch Time 10am

Time for some breakfast. This is a quarter of the way there. I love this stove!

Creeper Progress

Having a great time so far. Just saw an awesome spike. Only nine more miles to Abingdon. Feeling good. Glad the sun has come up.

Creeper Walk 2013 Begins Today (Sept. 27th)

Well folks today has begun much earlier than expected and my plans have changed for many things that I had in the works. Due to a scheduling issue that arose late last night (only an hour of sleep) I will be doing the 'Creeper Walk' this morning instead of next Tuesday. Basically that means that today I'm up at 2:30am, I'll be walking out the door at 4am and I will be hitting the Virginia Creeper Trail at 5-5:30am. Then comes 34 MILES of some incredible country and beautiful sights.

- Creeper Walk 2013 (a "little" yearly hiking event that I created)
- 34 Miles
- Damascus to Abingdon and back.
- From Sunrise to Sunset
- 12 hours

It's time to earn my Soreness Badge. We start in one hour.......


The photo above is from Abingdon VA and this is the half way point for the Creeper Walk 2013.  

I will be updating the site from time to time today so make sure to check it out often.  I'll be posting photos of the trip and updating on how I'm doing throughout the adventure.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

34 Mile Virginia Creeper Day Hike : The Outdoor Gear Review

This Day Hike is from early January, right when I launched the channel.  Come and join me before we do our Creeper Walk 2013 Day Hike.   Enjoy guys.

2013 Creeper Walk - Loadout - The Outdoor Gear Review

Notable Gear : 

  • Patent-pending ergoACTIV suspension with OpenAir backpanel
  • Zippered top panel access
  • Breathable, soft 3D mesh on hipbelt and shoulder straps
  • Hipbelt stash pocket, side stretch pockets and front compression stretch pocket
  • Trekking pole/ice axe loops, hydration compatible
  • Also available as women's-specific Spark

  • Volume :
  • 30 L, 1,831 cu in (size L)
    28 L, 1,700 cu in (size M)
  • Average Stock Weight :
  • 1.32 kg, 2 lb 14 oz (size L)
    1.22 kg, 2 lb 11 oz (size M)
  • Materials :
  • 210d Nylon Ripstop, 400d Nylon 

Lightweight stretch nylon, a gusseted crotch, and articulated knees all add to the unrestricted feel you get in the Arc'teryx Men's Rampart Pants. Designed for the trails and cliffs, these pants can take on a multi-day hike or weekend of cragging without breaking a sweat. OK, so pants may not actually sweat―but in these lightweight pants, neither will you. 
  • Lightweight TerraTex fabric takes the durability and quick-drying awesomeness of nylon and adds the flexibility of spandex to boost mobility
  • Gusseted crotch gives you free range of motion so you never feel restricted by the cut of your pants
  • Articulated knees are built to be the most comfortable when you're on the move
  • Plenty of pocket space including hip pockets, pleated thigh cargo pockets, back packets, and a thigh drop-in pocket gives you room to stash your essentials
9.9 oz

Vasque Juxt Features:
  • Arc Tempo last designed for those with higher arches
  • Leather and suede uppers
  • Molded rubber toe cap for serious durability
  • Dual density EVA footbed
  • Molded EVA midsole with TPU plate for added stability
  • Vasque slip-resistant outsole keeps your ready for anything

  • merino-wool
  • Machine Wash
  • 65% Merino wool, 20% nylon, 10% silk, 5% spandex
  • Seamless toe closure
  • Cushiony all over, foot-hugging fit, stay-put top and leg
  • Machine wash warm do not bleach tumble dry low
  • Made in USA

Mountain House Scrambled Eggs With Ham and Red & Green Peppers

Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

Mammut Yukon Fleece

  • Lightweight pullover fleece will become one of your most versatile pieces of outdoor apparel
  • Quarter-zip collar to assist with thermal regulation
  • Made of soft Pontetorto Tecnopile Micro 100 fleece material that packs down to almost nothing
  • High-quality polyester microfiber fleece has even tuft, which retains its shape even after repeated washing
  • Includes limited manufacturer's warranty; details included with purchase
  • Pontetorto Tecnopile Micro 100

Optimus Crux Stove with Terra Cooking Set

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sleeping Pad Types - The Outdoor Gear Review

Self Inflating Sleeping pads
- In this video :
Thermarest prolite plus
3.8 r value
1lb 6oz
Open cell foam

Air Pads

- In this video

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Peak Elite AC-Black-Regular
  • R-Value 2.2 - 4.4
  • Radiant Heat Return (R.H.R.) technology that increase your R-value by 10% for a warmer night sleep
  • 2.5 inches of air core cushion maximizes comfort on your ultralight excursion
  • Bio-Mapped Insulation to improve thermal efficiencies and allow for the smallest possible packed size
  • Oversided outside tubes for cradling you in the saddle to keep you from shifting of the pad at night
14. oz

Foam pads
- In this video 

Thermarest Ridge Rest Solar Sleeping Pad
3.5 r-value
1lb 3 oz
closed cell foam

Sleeping pads provide 2 vital benefits: cushioning and insulation. Cushioning might seem like a pad's most useful function, but often more important is its ability to insulate your body from cold surfaces. This article helps you find the best sleeping pad for your needs.
Sleeping pads insulate the same way that sleeping bags and clothing layers do. They trap and hold a layer of "dead" (non-circulating) air between your body and the cold (in this case, the cold ground). Your body gradually warms this layer of dead air and it becomes an insulating barrier.
Beneath you, though, a sleeping bag's heat-trapping loft gets compressed to almost nothing due to the weight of your body. As a result, you need a pad to buffer you from heat-depleting contact with the cold ground (this is known as "conductive" heat loss). The insulative performance of a pad depends upon how much air it holds inside and how free that air is to circulate.
When it comes to sleeping pads there are many different types as well as makes and models.  They come in different colors as well as different prices that range from extremely cheap to fairly expensive.  They also come in different sizes from long, to regular to even short (3/4 length).


Air Pads

These pads use air for cushioning and must be manually inflated. Some models integrate foam, insulative fill or reflective materials to increase warmth.
Pros: Comfortable and lightweight. Fine for backpacking or camping in warm conditions; insulated models can be used year-round. Can be extremely light.
Cons: Can puncture, though field repairs are not difficult. Noninsulated models offer poor insulation due to free circulation of air inside. Can be expensive.


Self-inflating Pads

Pioneered by Therm-a-Rest® pads, these offer a combination of open-cell foam insulation and air. Open the pad's valve and air fills the vaccuum. These pads are wrapped in air-tight, waterproof nylon shells. Popular with backpackers, a few of the thickest models are better suited for car campers.
Pros: Comfortable; excellent insulation; firmness is adjustable; very compact when rolled up.  More durable than air pads.
Cons: Heavier than simple foam pads and more expensive. Can be punctured or ripped, though field repairs are not difficult.


Foam Pads

These basic backpacking pads feature dense foam filled with tiny closed air cells.
Pros: Lightweight, inexpensive and durable; excellent insulators; won't absorb water.
Cons: Less comfortable. Relatively stiff and firm, so they tend to be bulky.  Often jut-out from the pack and can hit limbs, etc.
Pads of this type tend to be the cheapest and can be extremely light weight.  They are also known for being extremely uncomfortable.  A friend of mine just got back from section hiking on the AT and that was his only complaint.  The foam pad he brought left him tired, uncomfortable and soar.  
I recommend them if you are getting into backpacking and you are testing to see if this is something you are interested in.  Otherwise I would recommend a self inflating pad or an air pad.  They will cost more but if you're thrifty you can find them for comparable prices ($40 - 50).
-- Often times you will see inexperience hikers and outdoorsmen carry what are known as yoga mats or workout mats.  Yes they are cheap but they are also heavy and aren't made to sleep on.  With that being said they offer extremely poor performance when it comes to insulation and cushioning and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.  Just because you can make it through the night on one doesn't mean you should.  For the same price of a typical mat you can find a good foam pad that will offer much better r-value and comfort.  A yoga mat or workout mat would only be acceptable during the winter months when it's used as an additional layer between you and the ground.  But still, a foam pad that's made for backpacking will be lighter and provide better performance.  Some yoga mats are closed cell foam just like some sleeping pads but that doesn't make them equal.  Typically weighed in POUNDS.
R-value: Insulation is measured according to its capacity to resist (that's the "R") heat flow. The higher a pad's R-value, the better you can expect it to insulate you from cold surfaces. The R-values shown on product pages are provided by the manufacturers and range from 1.0 (minimally insulated) to 9.5 (well insulated). Thicker pads generally offer higher R-values.


Air Mattresses
Are mainly for car camping and drive to camping sites.  For that sake I won't go into much detail there.
Choose a Pad Suited to Your Style
Your pad decision can be narrowed quickly by considering your type of travel.
  • Minimalists and long-distance hikers: If you seek the lightest possible pad, pick a basic foam pad or a "short" or "3/4 length" of a self-inflating or air-pad model. Low weight and a small packed size override all other concerns.
  • Backpackers: If you prefer a bit more comfort, compare pads with greater thicknesses and durability. The tradeoff, of course, is a moderate increase in weight.
  • Family campers, boat campers, car campers: For you, size and weight are not limiting factors. You are free to choose a thicker, larger mattress for more luxurious sleeping comfort.
  • Winter campers: Camping on snow requires more insulation. REI recommends the use of 2 pads: a self-inflating or air pad atop a closed-air-cell foam pad. The foam pad adds insulation and offers insurance in case the inflatable pad is punctured.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Creeper Walk 2013 - Final Reminder - The Outdoor Gear Review

Alright folks, our Creeper Walk 2013 34 miles day hike is coming up on the 1st of October.
If you would like to join me, I will be at Damascus at 5:30am!  Remember this is 34 miles.  From dark to dark.  Damascus to Abingdon and then back to Damascus VA.

If there is a 60 percent chance of rain for the 1st, the trip will be moved to the following day.

Purifying - Boiling Your Drinking Water - The Outdoor Gear Review

Here's some information concerning Boiling Water to make it safe for drinking.


Minutes and Temperatures (Below Elevation)

*  30 minutes at 160° F
*  3 minutes at 185° F

*  Instant at 212° F

Boiled water will not remove chemical toxins that may be present.

Very dirty water should be filtered first with a cloth or other material to remove sediments, and/or let stand for awhile to allow sediments to settle – then pour off clearer water on top.

Keep in mind that boiling temperature decreases with altitude at roughly one degree per 500 feet. So on top of Mount Washington (6,288 feet), the boiling temperature will be almost exactly 200 degrees F. If you're traveling to high country outside of the Northeast, boiling temps can be as low as 195 degrees F (9,000 feet) or 190 degrees F (12,000 feet). 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Water Treatment Series - In the Making Now

Over the weekend we will be launching a new series on Water Treatment and we begin with fundamentally the most well known of methods.


There are many ways to go about it and there are many, MANY different ideas on how it should be done, at what temps and how long.  We discuss those and more.

Appalachian Trail Overnight Adventure - The Outdoor Gear Review

Sunday, September 15, 2013

AT Overnight Adventure Gear Sneak Peek

Black Diamond Octane 28Liter
210d Ripstop/400d Nylon Twill

- One of the most comfortable packs I have ever worn.  Period.

Check out this awesome ACTIV Suspension.
This will be showed off in the Loadout video

Grand Trunk Air Bivy Extreme Shelter
Mesh bug netting
250lbs support
10x10 Rainfly

- Honestly I could have gone much lighter and much smaller with this system but it's time to test this bad boy out.

Garmin GPSMAP 62stc - Described often as the ALL END ALL of GPS units.  If you need one that does it all and is one of the most advanced.....Nuff Said.

Jacks R Better Shenandoah Quilt
- 800 Power Fill Goose Down
40 - 45 degree range
15.0z weight


Fully Loaded pack weight comes in at 18lbs.
That does include 3L of water and food.

Ferro Rod Striker Mod - Mainenance - The Outdoor Gear Review

This mod offers substantial gains in spark throwing and it's very easy to do indeed.

Ferro Rod Striker Modification

The last time I was up in the woods recording an instructional video on fire creation I noticed that my ferro rod was throwing less hot sparks than before.  After looking at the striker, it became apparent that it was the problem.

Time for some maintenance and modification.
Coming up soon.

Note: The picture above is the end result of the modification.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Military Surplus Giveaway - Winner - The Outdoor Gear Review

I'm most pleased to announce the Winner of the Military Surplus Giveaway. Thank you all for entering and for the support.

The Winner receives a real MRE.
Canteen cup.
Survival blanket.
Crosman pack.

Thank you all for entering.  Another contest will be coming up in the future.

Road Trip - Surplus Run - The Outdoor Gear Review

Why not join my wife (The Boss) and I on a road trip to acquire some Military Surplus for a giveway that's coming up soon?  We laugh, joke and have a great time.
Thank you all for watching and your support.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Gear Collection and Storage - The Outdoor Gear Review

A Look Ahead Sneak Peak

Here is a look at some gear and projects we have going on now.  A look ahead (sneak Peak).

The Catoma Rainfly Upgrade for the IBNS

USGI 'ICS' - Improve Combat Shelter by ORC

Marpat Field Tarp...but a little different

We're doing some cooking...not really.  We're showing you all how to make an awesome meal for your adventures.

Oh yeah!

When it's all said and done...YUMM

Trail Food....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Catoma Improved Bednet System - The Outdoor Gear Review

The Improved BedNet System (IBNS) was designed to fit securely onto a military cot with push-andlock straps on all four corners. The IBNS can also be used in the field thanks to its strong, waterproof tub floor. Its instant deployment, waterproof floor, and four corner buckles make the IBNS an efficient, fast-access shelter to protect soldiers from insects while asleep or resting on a cot OR in the field. In addition, the IBNS is designed to be upgradable to our EBNS using a single pole and fly. This givesyou protection from the elements in addition to the IBNS’s unsurpassed protection from insects. The IBNS is constructed of 70 Denier 1.9 ounce ripstop nylon and fine mesh. It is EPA registered and has Permethrin bonded to the material for insect repellency. It is supported by a strong and ultra-light .134 diameter pultruded fiberglass rod which winds around the shelter, expanding it to its given shape. When the rolled up IBNS’s cinch strap is removed, the shelter is released and snaps into shape automatically; no assembly or set-up is required. A carry bag is included. The coiled, stored size of the shelter is 13” x 13” x 3”. CPAI-84 Fire Retardant rated. The Improved Bednet System can be upgraded to the Enhanced Bednet System with the Catoma Bednet Upgrade Kit.

Item # 64581F - Coyote Brown 64583F - Woodland Camo 64581 - Coyote Berry Compliant 64583 - Woodland Berry Compliant

NSN# 3740-01-543-5652 (Coyote Brown) Licensed Under Patent 6,672,323 Goes up in Seconds Flame Retardent (CPAI-84) Floor material: 70 Denier 1.9 oz. Ripstop Nylon Tub Floor with has 1200mm Waterproofing Embedded Permethrin Insect Protection

Sleeps 1.
Weight 30oz
Pack Dimensions 13" x 13" x 3"
Material 70 Denier Ripstop Nylon

Swiss Camo Wet Weather Poncho Review - The Outdoor Gear Review

The other day we posted this video in regards to the Swiss Camo Wet Weather Poncho and today I came across a picture of myself wearing it in the middle of a snow storm. Good times.  Great Poncho!

If interested in purchasing one, they can be found at;

Voter's Choice Update : Van Camp VS AT Hammock

Voting Ends on the 15th of September (2013) and the trip will be on Monday the 16th.
Thank you for casting your vote folks.

Sneak Peak : If Hammock Camping wins here are two pieces of gear that will be used;

The Golite Jam UL Pack.

and the Grand Trunk Extreme Hammock.

Starting a fire with a Magnifying Glass - The Outdoor Gear Review

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Catoma Improved BedNet System


I have been following this item for a while now and I figured for $40 I couldn't go wrong.   We will be looking at this item tomorrow and the Fly Upgrade Kit later this week.

Voter's Choice - Overnight Adventure - The Outdoor Gear Review
Make sure to vote on the right side of this page!  Thanks guys!

Latest Score : M.O.L.L.E. II Rucksack. Front Second Shot.

Another shot of the front and some Stats.

M.O.L.L.E. II Large Rucksack Backpack Features:

  • Foliage Green Frame (Multi-Cam Pack) or Urban Grey Frame (ACU Digital Pack)
  • Enhanced Shoulder Straps and Heat Molded Waist Belt for Greater Comfort and Durability
  • Two Side Sustainment Pouches (holds 3 complete MREs each)
  • Integrated Sleep System Compartment (Holds the Complete 4 Part Gore-Tex Bivy Modular Sleep System, or Any Other Popular Sleep System)
  • Barrel Lock Drawstring Closure with Quick Release Fastex Buckles
  • Large Map Pocket Under Top Flap
  • Drag Handle
  • Compression Straps and Shoulder Straps with Quick-Ditch Buckles
  • M.O.L.L.E. Webbing on Front and Sides
  • Made of Water Repellent Denier Cordura
  • Approximately 4500 Cubic Inches of Space with Sustainment Pouches
  • Approximate Weight w/Frame 9.5 lbs.
  • Genuine Military Issue
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Latest Score : M.O.L.L.E. II Rucksack. Side

Two side sustsinment pouches which can hold 3 complete MREs each.

Latest Score : M.O.L.L.E. II Rucksack. Back/Frame View

Grey frame with ACU pattern camo.

Frame Features:

  • Made From a New Polymer for Superior Field Durability
  • Lightweight  (2.2 lbs)
  • Designed with an Innovative Rib Configuration that Allows the Frame to Flex Around the User's Body for Load bearing Comfort and Increased Range of Motion (With or Without Body Armor), Yet is Rigid Enough to be Stable While Supporting as Much as 200 lbs.
  • Numerous Attachment Points as Well as 8 Built In Jam Cleats
  • Impact Resistant - Capable of Surviving 32 fps Impacts with Concrete

Latest Score : M.O.L.L.E. II Rucksack. Front

This here is the Large Molle II pack and I found this bad boy on eBay for only $50! That's a score.