I notice you mentioned a large furry companion...and I would caution that Big Agnes and many light weight tents use fairly thin material on their floors. You will probably want to uses some kind of internal mat to protect the floor from dog claws. You could make something out of Tyvek or similar. Tyvek is a bit noisy but if you wash it in a machine, it quietens down. Just something to consider. I have not shared a tent with a dog. This is separate from a footprint that protect the tent floor and keeps it clean from the ground.
... View more
I have limited experience with my Tiger Wall in rain but it worked fine in a Sierra squall and hail storm. It is a popular tent on the PCT. Possible issue I have heard are that rain can bounce up under the fly and the solid panels of the body are not waterproof. Not sure if that is true. I didn't have that issue but I was camped in a well drained spot. Also it is semi freestanding and can take longer to set up than the freestanding copper spur. If you get the factory footprint you can set it up fly first but that feature is probably more practical as fly last to keep the body drier when taking down the tent. The CS has that feature also. The fixed guylines on the TW do need modification to be more adaptable. Probably true of similar tents. The new CS has those nifty porches which could be nice in the rain. You definately should use some kind of footprint with these tents. You may want to consider a single wall trekking pole tent since these are naturally fly first and while the must be staked, with practise they can go up very fast...particularly those that use a single pole. They are typically mostly single wall so condensation can be more of an issue. The Zpacks Altaplex is one example. Made from Dyneema which does not absorb water like nylon used in most lightweight tents but it is expensive and there are some concerns about longer term durability.
... View more
@Carolyn54 - It depends on the the particular tent pole design but generally working to opposite corners one pole at a time works. If the pole system is an X this will be the opposite diagonal corner but some pole systems work along a side so you need to understand that to pick the correct corner.
Lay the tent body out over the footprint if you use one. Consider staking it out.
If the tent body uses sleeves to attach the poles you will need to insert the poles through the appropriate sleeves and spread them evenly.
If it uses hooks instead or in addition then you attach these later.
Stake one or more corners to prevent the tent from blowing away. If you staked the footprint you reuse those stakes. Do this as habit so you don't forget when it is actually windy. With some tents staking the pole corners first makes thing easier.
Attach one end of the first pole to its tent body corner with the grommet or other attachment.
Move to the other end of the pole and grab the tent body close to the pole attachment with one hand and then the pole with the other giving the pole a light tension to ensure the other end is still captured.
Push the pole so that it starts to bend and pull the body until you can attach the body to the pole end. If you have staked the corners you can probably just push the pole. You may have to de-tension the pole (let it go straight again) and adjust the sleeve position on the pole if it does not self position.
Repeat with the other pole. The tent should now be standing. If you didn't already, immediately stake a corner or more of the body to prevent it blowing away in a wind gust.
If your tent body hooks to the poles attach them. Some tents have hooks that hold the separate poles together and cause them to stand up. You should attach those ones first.
If you will use the fly place it over the tent, arrange it and guy out as appropriate for the conditions. Generally you need to stake out any vestibules or roll them back if you are not going to use them
... View more
I have not used them myself yet but there are apps that share this kind of info for RVers. Just search for " app for free RV overnight camping" or similar. Generally you can dispersed primitive camp in National Forests and on BLM land for free for a limited period but the rules vary from unit to unit and may have local restrictions so need to check the local rules. The NFS web sites have some information including how to contact the local office.
... View more
@TerryM - Jetboils are a pleasure for their all-in-one convenient well made design and ease of use and can make sense for a couples/buddies cook system on short backpacking trips and for car trips/camping and other outdoor activates (eg climbing because you can hang the stove) but they are a bit overkill for solo backpacking. We have an original 2003 JetBoil and 2019 Minimo and they are great for those uses (note: we do not climb). We also have the 1.8L Jetboil pot used on a 3 person trip which I don't particularly recommend because the JetBoil pot stand gizmo is not secure enough and tends to catch on the pot's fins..that pot would probably would work well on a remote burner stove.
For solo 3 season backpacking only the new JetBoil "Stash" system makes sense weight wise although I have not tried it personally. The chief advantage you get a competitively light weight one stop 800ml system that is very fuel efficient. Casual tests indicated maybe as little as half the fuel compared to the PR2. It does not have an integrated igniter which it should for the price imo. And it might not be that great for melting snow - I have not seen a test - because the fuel efficiency comes partly from having a lower BTU burner. It is apparently fast from room temp to boiling but pretty similar or slower to other stoves from near freezing to boiling. Note: I have not tried melting snow in my JetBoils. The Stash is not quite the elegant convenience fetish object that the traditional JetBoils are.
Fuel efficiency makes the most sense for longer trips. However the fixed sizes of canisters make fuel efficiency a bit of inconsistent advantage from a pure weight perspective. The Stash system is light enough that I think you pretty much always break even or come out ahead. With the other heavier JetBoil systems the advantage is less clear.
Generally, for solo use if you only heat water you can get away with a lighter stove and smaller pot. My personal favorite is the Soto Amicus igniter model and for minimal use I have a Toaks 650ml light which together weigh about 5.5oz bare where the 800ml Stash apparently weighs about 7.5oz including a couple of giblets. The Minimo is apparently 14.5oz with giblets.
As far as I can tell the Amicus performs similarly or maybe slightly better than the PR2 except the Soto slightly cheaper and there is an igniter version. The PR2 is definitely an improvement on the original Pocket Rocket. The PR Deluxe is a bit overkill unless you have aspirations to actually cook...it has a regulator which makes a long slow burn more reliable and it is supposedly better in the wind.
... View more
@John"clipless" means the pedals don't have cages (clips) but have a mechanism in the pedal and a cleat on the shoe. In other words it means opposite of what it seems. It is one of those oddities of terminology evolution. https://www.purecycles.com/blogs/bicycle-news/115633607-but-why-are-the-called-clipless-pedals @REI-GregM I have no bikepacking experience and am only an occasional bike rider but If you are not familiar with them I suggest using pedals that can be used both platform or "clipless". Shimano make a variety of platform pedals with clips (eg PD-M424) and they have a line of offroad footwear which recess the clip (eg SH-MT301). Carry a spare cleat and screws. These won't be the best hiking shoes but should work well enough for short walking sections. And/or consider carrying a second pair of shoes. Unless you expect it to be very cold something like Bedrock Sandals or similar hiking sandals pack fairly flat and allow a fairly quick change and may be more comfortable to hike in. You may want something a bit more substantial if the places you have to walk the bike are rugged. A light weight trail runner with elastic lacing can give a quick change and might be worth a try. They wont pack as flat but if you switch shoes you will need a place to store your bike shoes anyway so that may not be an issue.
... View more
Most trekking pole tents (ie non freestanding) are (mostly) single wall so naturally go up "fly first" so the inner floor is always mostly protected from direct rain. However you do have to stake such tents to get them to stand up at all and that can be frustrating at times and made worse by rain. Most freestanding two wall tents usually go up tent body first then fly over the top. Since the tent body usually consists of a lot of mesh, rain will get in. For such tents the best way is to be quick and the best way to be quick is to have competent help. If you are traveling with others, help each other set the tents up one at a time. Some two wall tents such as the Big Agnes Copper Spur can be set up fly first if you use the factory footprint. It is a bit of a faff to do because you need to work inside the confined space of the fly. Also you will likely have wet rain gear on which ideally you should take off before going under the fly. I would only resort to it if you have no help and the rain is heavy enough to make it is worth the extra contortionary effort. The feature is probably of more use when taking down the tent in the rain allowing you to keep the fly up while you pack away the dry(er) tent body.
... View more
Use a pack liner. A compacter bag works well. Pack covers are of marginal use. They do not cover all of the pack, then can accumulate water and they do not protect your gear if you dunk the pack. They do have some benefit keeping a nylon pack from absorbing water in the rain and for keeping your pack cleaner when you set it down so you might still want to use one but you should regard it as an extra rather than primary protection. For an Ice Axe specifically....These are the things I have learned but not yet had a chance to put them practice so take it with a pinch of salt and do your own research. For self arrest when hiking a shorter ice axe like the 50cm Petzl Lightride may fit within your packs length. It does mine. You can also carry it tucked down your back inside the shoulder strap with the adze on your shoulder. That is recommended if there is any chance you need to use it and also safer if you are traveling with others. The so called ice axe loops actually put the axe in a dangerous place for people following you closely unless the upward facing spike has a protector fitted.
... View more
I've watched a couple of reviews. Here are some observations... The 100g canister clip in the lid is a gimmick but it does keep the rust from the canister rim from staining the pot at least until the plastic wears out. I'm not sure if a 230g canister fits in the pot. Sometimes that is all that is available. Storing the canister in the pot is not my preferred option but it is a nice option to have. Stove seem like a robust design at the expense of compactness. The burner shape appears similar to to the Soto windmaster/amicus design which the MSR Deluxe copies. It's a shame they didn't copy Soto all the way on the burner and add a rim for wind protection which seems like it might be lacking. although I haven't seen a good test of this. One of the big advantages of the original Jetboil integrated design was that the stove locked to the pot which makes it possible to hang the stove...great for climbing etc. This new unit doesn't do that and is clearly limited to/intended as a "hiker" stove which I suppose is fair enough. The folding pot handle looks well designed in that it can't collapse with a full pot and it won't rattle. 200g is a good weight for an 800ml setup but you can do better. A Toaks 750ml pot and lid is ~100g and the BRS3000T is 25g or if you want a "better" stove the Soto Amicus with igniter is ~80g. Personally for a larger pot I prefer 1L since that is big enough to boil water for two or cook a noodle meal for one. The fuel efficiency of JetBoil's systems is generally hard to beat and that can be an advantage on longer trips. I'm not sure how this one compares but that may make it very weight competitive with these slightly lighter weight options. The fuel efficiency thing is always a bit of a tossup for canister stoves because of fixed size of the canisters. For the price, not providing a plastic cup to cover the fins just so they could claim the "lightest" is "cheap". You can leave it home if you don't need it... Same goes for the neoprene cozy which they could have made removable. Perhaps it didn't work with this design but I doubt it. Not including an igniter is perhaps understandable since those are a mixed bag. It is a part that needs replacing every so often. JetBoil's igniters has never been that great and personally I have had trouble with them not igniting at altitude. However I feel it's not really a justifiable omission at this price point. JetBoil's are not minimalist systems and the primary reason to pay the money is to get convenience. Rather than omit it, a design that made the igniter easy to remove and replace would have been a better innovation. At least they do include the canister stand which is good to have when using 100g canisters.
... View more
@hikermor A good point. Your cell phone is your first line of defense. I don't know what SAR's recommends specifically but obviously it will be more efficient if you can talk directly to your potential rescuers since you can discuss options and get immediate first aid advice. It is a reasonable assumption that SARs can call back to a cell phone number if there is service. However if you call 911 from a cell phone you need to be prepared to give your location. Unlike land lines, 911 support for cell phone location is very variable and there is a good chance you will connect to a cell tower that is not in the same district as the SAR you need. This reasonably current random article I found seems to give a current status although it probably deserves a deeper search to confirm its veracity. https://www.safety.com/calling-911/ An InReach or similar sends a location with the SOS. Probably a good idea to make a preset message so you can send your cell phone number easily. If you both call 911 and trigger an InReach SOS make sure to tell the 911 dispatcher you did so to avoid duplicate incidents.
... View more
The Mini is lightweight and generally the better choice because of that. The Explorer+ with its mapping can be a backup GPS navigator but it is is not a very good GPS navigator. I would only consider it if you don't carry printed maps because you use your phone so that you have a backup to your phone. The main reason people prefer the Explorer+ is it is slightly easier to compose custom messages 2D vs !D letter selection and in winter/cold/wet it is more reliable than using you connected phone to do that....Generally you would use your connected phone out of choice because it is much easier. The Explorer+ does have a longer battery life which is better for an aggressive or impetuous day hiker where you might not bring a battery bank. For backpacking you will almost certainly bring a battery bank and the Mini battery life is more than adequate for most situations. InReach devices are messaging devices which require an active paid subscription to work so not the same as PLDs which usually just work once registered. PLDs once triggered can also have more reliable continuous radio location and can act as a beacon...that may depend on the device.
... View more