Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Interesting Design! - Kelty One Man Military Field Tent - Preview

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This episode is all about the Kelty One Man Military Field Tent;

Design issues?

Monday, October 28, 2019

☠️COFFEE or D.I.E. - Viewer Mail Episode #66

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It is mail time and look at what was sent in by some very generous viewers!

We are speechless and thankful!

Friday, October 25, 2019

I Don't Understand What This Means! - Kelty Tactical Tents

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Luke has an interesting story to tell in regards to Kelty's customer service and their line of tactical/military tents.

You don't want to miss this!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Susie's Ultralight Gear Loadout - Woman in the Backcountry Alone

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Susan is going over all of the gear that she brought with her for her first Solo Backpacking trip. It was an ultralight loadout which came to 17lbs / 7.7kg.

Find out what she had with her now!

Monday, October 21, 2019

After the Camp - Woman in the Backcountry Alone - Susie's First Solo Adv...

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This is After the Camp for Susie's first SOLO backpacking adventure!
She's going to answer questions, talk about the trip and more!

Friday, October 18, 2019

The $600 Zpacks Duplex Tent - Preview

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It is time for the Zpacks Duplex Tent Preview!

This was filmed a few months ago and only now am I getting this uploaded; I have been testing this out and in fact, it was our tent of choice when backpacking in Colorado!

A Test Night video is coming soon along with the review.

Link Zpacks Duplex :

Link Zpacks Flex Flex Freestanding Kit :

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Winner Announcement - Fenix E30R Rechargeable EDC Flashlight

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It is time to announce the winner of the Fenix E30R flashlight!

Was it You?  Did you win?

Find out now!

Thank you all for entering, another giveaway is coming up soon.

Link :

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Woman in the Backcountry Alone - Susie's First Solo Adventure

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Join Susie in the Mountains of North Carolina for a night in the backcountry for her very first Solo Adventure.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Japanese Cassette Stove - Soto G Stove ST-320

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Different, definitely different!

In this episode you are going to see a Japanese backpacking stove which is known as the Soto G Stove ST-320.

It's a 'Cassette' stove and you likely haven't seen anything like it before.

Link : Find on eBay

Price : $80 - $300

Weight : Stove with case : 15.6oz

Stove with Gas full Canister : 1lb 11.5oz

Material: Body = Aluminum / Stainless, Tinder = Aluminum die-casting, Valve = Brass

Measurement of the stove folded  : approx. 1” deep – 3 “ wide – 5.5” long

Measurements of the Stove attached with gas can : 14.” long

BTU:  Every source that I have looked at states a different figure in regards to performance.  Some say its 8,000 BTUS while others state 9,900.

Canvas case

Book stove – which you may know as a cassette stove.  90% of you have likely never heard that term before.

Butane canisters are CHEAP; 12 of these for $25

Brand Soto, which is owned by the Japanese company Shinfuji Burner Co., specializing mainly in the design and manufacturing of outdoor gear, has recently introduced a new gas burner stove G-Stove ST-320, which inherits the previous version Soto STG-10. The new burner stove stands out for its original design, which combines a relatively compact size, a good protection from the wind and a high level of stability on different surfaces and for its ability of adapting to the size of any pots and dishes.

The case of G-Stove ST-320 is designed as a book, in it is placed directly with the burner control, and Heat Reflector with gas ignition and a curved stand under the cookware. To fix the burner on the open box special grooves are fixed with clips. Two folding aluminum frames support the canister from the outer side of a gas stove.

At this point, the burner Soto G-Stove ST-320 is officially available only for the Japanese market. The cost of the burner stove starts from $100 depending on the choice of retailers.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with butane gas canisters, that notch is important, and needs to be facing up when in use.  The reason is that the notch is aligned with a tube inside the gas canister, and that tube ends up along the inside edge wall.  When the notch is facing up, the intake for the tube is also at the top.  Why does this matter?  Because the gas canister needs to send out vaporized gas, not liquid.  So the tube alignment facing up ensures that only vaporize gas is released through the fuel exit point.]

Since I learned of this stove and got one of them in, I have learned from a viewer that in Japan at least they are very common stove but there are stoves much are much cheaper than this which work just as well.

Pezo ignitor doesn’t always work and from what I heard have a high failure rate.

Popular with motorcycle riders because of the slim form factor

Connecting to Butane cans can be troublesome if you are not experience.

There is another version of this stove which is called the STG-10: 2.9kW – offers more btus

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Outdoor Community is Like No Other! - Viewer Mail Episode #65

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It is mail time and look at what was sent in by some very generous viewers!

We are speechless and thankful!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Foldable Kayak? - ORU Bay St Kayak Review

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Is a foldable Kayak the right boat for you?
What are the pros?
What are the cons?

Is it worth $1,600?

This is my Agenda Free review of the ORU Bay St Kayak.


Price : $1,600
Weight : 28lbs 
To be honest, I haven’t heard of this company but I have been impressed by how many people have! 
ORU offers multiple styles of foldable kayak, each with a specific area of use; this is the Bay ST which is perfect for fishing, river, lake, etc us. Best Use Flatwater Kayaking
12ft long, 25” wide
Packed Dimensions33 x 12 x 29 inches
300 lb weight capacity, allowing room for 1 adult + plenty of gear
Made in USA.

  • Half Deck Rigging
  • Floor Board
  • Adjustable Footrests
  • Bow and Stern Bulkheads
  • Skirt Ready Concept
  • Six Zipper Channels for Installation
  • Back Rest and Seat Pad
  • Maintenance Kit
  • Made of 5mm double-layered custom-extruded polypropylene (double walled plastic)
  • Manufacturer-rated for 20,000 fold cycles
  • 10-year UV treatment
  • Withstands sliding over rocks or bumping into obstacles under the water
  • One-year warranty
  • Seat Type Padded / Foam

Who is this for? :
Because of the lightweight nature of this kayak I would recommend this for relatively smooth water; hit the lake on a nice day, launch into a slow flow creek.  Oru rates this for handling class I and II rapids.  Personally my comfort level with this kayak would be class a and class 1.
Class A; - Lake water. Still. No perceptible movement. Calm
Class I - Easy. Smooth water; light riffles; clear passages, occasional sand banks and gentle curves. The most difficult problems might arise when paddling around bridges and other obvious obstructions. Classification

The Bay ST wouldn’t be my first choice for Class II or higher rapids; it’s simply to light and is easily affected by the elements which you are facing.

Class II - Moderate. Medium-quick water; rapids with regular waves; clear and open passages between rocks and ledges. Maneuvering required. Best handled by intermediates who can maneuver canoes and read water.
Review Pros :
Folding and unfolding is going to take some learning but once you have done it a few times it can go quickly. 5 minutes is about the norm for both setup and breakdown; that is me though and it should be said that everyone is going to have different levels of difficulty with this; I’ve spoken with people who it took hours to put together to begin with and after years of use it can still take them 30 minutes.  Everyone is different.
It folds and that is amazing - Stash it pretty much anywhere: your trunk, closet, boat, garage, van, even under your bed – Easy to put inside of your vehicle, easy to maneuver it.  That’s huge! 
Because of the design, you don’t have to worry about putting your kayak on top of your vehicle.  Forget having to strap your yak to the top of your SUV or truck
Size when folded is impressive – 
Weight is impressive –
Easy to clean
Skirt is available
Great acceleration due to it’s light weight
Performance is very good, slices through the water smoothly.
The turning radius on this kayak is also quite good for a 12 foot boat!
Sitting is comfortable; I broke my back when I was in high school and my back generally beings to hurt after roughly 2 hours in any kayak and the Bay ST is no different.  With that being said, I find the sitting to comfortable.
Can hold a surprising amount of gear – multiple smaller bags work better than larger ones.
Speed isn’t bad; you won’t set any records but its not bad.  At the highest I would estimate 5mph going all out.
Plastic is strong enough to handle average use with beaching, grounding and so on.
Review Cons :
Depending on the design of kayak which you are accustomed to, you may find that this boat handles differently and that is due to the sharp lines of the boat and the light weight.  
Not the straightest of traveler because of the light weight of the boat.  In other words, it’s not the straightest in terms of tracking.
Water can gather inside of the channels of the boat material which you will have to drain.  This translate to time and even potential water inside of your vehicle
While I haven’t had a roll, the boat doesn’t feel as stable as more rounder, heavier kayaks.  Make sure to clip everything in just in case of a rollover.
I’ve found that a good bit of water will get inside of the kayak due to the openings in the front and back; they are cover with neoprene but water still makes its way in.  You will need to make sure to use dry bags.
Price – It is pricey and there is no way around that but what you are paying for is size and convenience.  With that being said, there are other foldable kayaks on the market which are much more expensive.
Instructions can be a bit confusing; luckily there are plenty of videos online to take care of you.
No knee braces but you could come up with something fairly easily
Get ready to talk to people about this boat; this may actually be a good thing depending on who you are.  But if you don’t like having lots of conversations, this isn’t the kayak for you as people are going to notice it and are going to ask questions.
Company claims the kayak folds down to roughly the size of a suitcase….yeah, the biggest suitcase I have ever seen!
I have noticed a fairly high amount of negativity online concerning this company, the quality of their boats and their customer service.  I have to mention this due to my allegiance being with my viewers.  I have had an issue in terms of quality as well as a bulkhead channel ripped off after my first use.  With that being said, this boat is a used one which the company sent me and with the bulkhead channel becoming detached I can see that this was previously repaired by the company and yet again it has failed.
The issue with the bulkheads is a common one and there are reports of failures that I have bound online which are very recent.
Seat isn’t really comfortable; after an hour I start becoming uncomfortable.
There is only a 1 year warranty and because this kayak is so expensive and there are known issues, I would like to see a lifetime limited warranty. If I smash it into a rock, it’s my fault but if the bulkheads rip off then they should replace it; you have to keep in mind, this kayak costs $1,600.  
Summary :
When it comes to kayaks, this one falls in the middle in terms of use.  In my opinion, it’s better and more robust than an inflatable but not as durable as a hardshell. With that being said, it is way way way more convenient to store, to load and unload.  For people who have cars, apartments, condos, etc this is an option for them to consider so that they can get into kayaking.  Considering that, one has to keep the cost of this boat in mind as the price is certainly high; my first car was less expensive that this kayak.
The slimmer design of the kayak may make you feel less stable; you have to use 
An inexpensive kayak can be had for a couple hundred dollars; my personal kayak is an old emotion which cost around $450; I purchased it from Amazon and that price included free shipping to my home.   
Yes it is heavy, it’s a pain to get it to the water at times but again, it only cost $450 and while it takes up a lot of space in my back yard, I can store outside no matter the weather and it’s always ready to go when I am.  It should be mentioned that my hardshell kayak weighs in around 45lbs.
With the Bay St, it has many advantages but they do come at a cost and even still there are disadvantages with this boat.
Do I recommend it? 
I like where the company is going with this kayak but the one question that comes to mind is durability.  As mentioned I have had an issue right off the bat and there are plenty of reported issues online.  With my old Emotion kayak, I’ve had it 8 years and it will last another 20 easily.  There is nothing to break where as with the Bay ST; there is plenty which can fail you.
The Bay ST solves a lot of problems and the question becomes, does it solve enough of the common kayak issues to justify the price?  Only you can make that decision.  
With TOGR the channel is 100% agenda free; Susie and I present our thoughts and feelings on a product so you can make the best decisions for yourself.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Our Favorite Waterproof Jacket - Outdoor Research Interstellar Review

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Today Luke and Susie are reviewing the award winning Outdoor Research Interstellar jacket.  Is it as good as everyone says that it is?  Find out now with our year-long review.

Link Mens :

Link Womens :

Price : Retail is $299 but will vary; at the time of filming, I saw the black version for $200

Versions : Men's and Women's

Colors : Will vary depending on refresh but at the time of filming there is Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, and I have seen Orange still in stock from a previous OR refresh on amazon. The women's version has their own colors as well such as black, purple, a teal color and a red which they call garnet

Sizes : S, M, L, XL, XXL (women sizes XS-XL)

Fit : Trim Fit – meant more for being active – low bulk – still enough room for a mid insulation layer

Weight : Large is 11.6oz; lighter is smaller size, heavier if larger.

Material : 3  layer nylon shell Hardshell with an AscentShell ; 20D nylon stretch ripstop front with 100% polyester 12D backer; material feels very soft, not plasticky or silky.

There is a lot of geeky talk that I could go into when it comes to this material but to sum it up; what makes it so impressive is how much moisture can transmit through it

Ykk aqua-guard zippers with a storm flap behind it

Who is this For : This is a high-end waterproof jacket for those want a very lightweight jacket that also performs at a high end level.  There are plenty of excellent low-end waterproof jackets but with lower level materials you breathability suffers.  For an example, the Marmot Precip is one that I often recommend when asked about a budget friendly waterproof jacket.  The con is breathability and the amount of moisture which can collect on the inside of the jacket.

Pros :

Price – This is a pro and con; pricey but yet cheaper than a good quality goretex jacket.  Much, much cheaper than some brands.

Superlight weight; lighter than any Gore-Tex jacket that I have ever owned. In fact, this is the lightest hardshell I have seen.

Excellent waterproofing performance. – If you are going to be in an environment which features nonstop flooding downpours, a much more expensive gore-tex pro jacket would be recommended.  For most people though, that level of protection and weighty jacket isn’t needed.

Excellent breathability – better than any high end goretex jacket that I have ever owned and I have many; Mountain hardware, Marmot and so on.

The jacket will flex and stretch with you allowing you to move and do what you need to.

Packable – you can pack this super, super small and it will stuff into its own hand pocket!

Can be used with a helmet for climbing as an example – but the brim doesn’t cover your face

Performances excellently with snow-

Sizing is right on; it is a trim fit though so you may need to size up depending on what you want to wear underneath it.

Very comfortable – it doesn’t feel like you are wearing a waterproof jacket -

Stylish – I really like the orange color but couldn’t find it in that color at the time of ordering.  I do like the yellow; it’s banana yellow, sticks out like a sore thumb….and I still like it a lot.

Font pockets sit a bit low for use with a backpack; the waist belt will cover up at least some of the pockets but luckily you can still use them even with a harness.


Cons :

This is without a doubt one of the most breathable of waterproof jackets that I have used and still, I wish that there were pitzips.  Not to release moisture but for the simple fact of airflow.  In the air, hot summer day, hiking on the trail…some air here would be oh so nice!

When wearing this jacket with a backpack, the friction will wear off the DWR coating on the back and shoulders; luckily this is easy to reapply when needed.

While not a con for me, this jacket has not media port.  Might be important to you.

Chest pocket has a cellphone sleeve….which I have found hard to use….so I don’t use it.

location of the drawcords on the hood: they reside deep inside the collar against the cheek, a location that is not convenient or easy to access for fine-tuning a hood fit.  Not sure hard to adjust by any means but it may take some extra fiddling.

Additionally, the drawcord buckles used on the hood, as well as the single hem drawcord, are small and very difficult to release if wearing thick warm gloves.