So we’re just going to do this as a nice little listy list. I’ll try to get pictures of the gear I don’t  have photos of, for those of you who are interested. There have been a few major overhauls, and then several weight based switch outs.

  • Water Filter
    • Original: Sawyer
    • Photo from product listing at Sawyer.comImage result for sawyer filter
      • Pros: Small, lightweight, we each carried one so never had to wait on partner for water
      • Cons: Bags kept bursting, Mini cross-threaded easily, long time needed for amount of water we needed, o-ring
    • New: Platypus Gravity Filter
    •  Photo from product listing at REI.comImage result for platypus gravityworks
      • Pros: Hands off system, about same weight as Sawyer system, easily fit with hydration bladders, quick work of water
      • Cons: sometimes slow to start filtering, o-ring gets dry
    • Overall: We are thrilled with our Platypus system. We will probably still use the Sawyer for overnights back home, but this is definitely our go-to filter for any multi day trip from here on out. It is just an all around easier, faster, more efficient system for the amount of water that we need to filter for the two of us. The only change we might make is to get a larger dirty water bag, so we don’t have to fill it as many times when filtering at camp.
  • Tent
    • Original: REI Half Dome 4
      • Pros: Huge amount of space, easy set up, could set up fly without tent body easily, came with footprint
      • Cons: heavy (about 7 pounds!), big and bulky, LEAKY RAIN FLY
    • New: Big Agnes Copper Spur 3
      • Pros: plenty of space for us/dogs/gear, lightweight for size (about 3 pounds), dries quickly, FLY DOESN’T LEAK
      • Cons: HELLA expensive, can’t set up just fly without Big Agnes footprint, footprint not included
    • Overall: We love Aggie, she’s a wonderful part of the gear fam. We are using a piece of Tyvek as our tarp, which works great. It wasn’t a purchase we wanted to make that early into our hike, but it decreased my pack weight by about 3.5 pounds; we had previously split the Half Dome, but the whole BA weighs the same as Dylan’s half so now he just carries the tent. We sent home (with the help of incredible trail angles John and Caroline) the Half Dome, and it will be our go to beach shelter, as well as to give us ample space for car camping during good weather.
  • Sleeping Pad
    • Original: Cheapo Amazon Inflatable
      • Pros: fairly lightweight, easily inflated, had attached pillow
      • Cons: deflated overnight, tedious to deflate
    • New: Klymit Double V
    • Picture from product listing at Klymit.comImage result for klymit double v
      • Pros: double sleeping pad, AWESOME customer service, 1.6 R value, stuff sack acts as pump for easy inflation
      • Cons: can’t split weight, tedious to deflate
    • Overall: Thrilled with our Double V. We zip our bags together, so we can actually sleep like a couple, and now recommend this system to every couple we meet. The DV is about a quarter pound heavier than two single pads, but it also cost us about $50 less than two pads. Our first one seemed to have a manufacturing issue with the seams, and we found ourselves having to re-patch the same leak at least every other town. That being said, the replacement process under warranty from Klymit was about the most painless one yet; and the new one they sent actually seems to be a newer version, with a higher R value and seemingly made from a different (more durable?) material. The deflate process is a little annoying, just because the width of the pad means there always seems to be a little air trapped in the corner opposite the deflate valve. The Double V is essentially two of the traditional Klymit Single V, so I feel comfortable recommending that to any single hikers.
  • Other Switches
    • We’ve switched our rain shells for lighter ones
    • Now carrying dog jackets, for colder nights around camp and such
      • they are so damn cute I can’t even stand it.
      • LOOKIT
    • gave away the dog sleeping bag in Hiawassee, been carrying a therm-a-rest pad, found at Woody Gap, for them since then.
    • Left my headlamp at the Yellow Deli in Lancaster, carrying one found in the Dungeon at the Lakes of the Clouds hut
    • switched our Primus stove for an Etekcity (HIGHLY recommend – $10 on Amazon!)
    • Switched our stainless steel pot for a Toaks titanium
    • Charlie doesn’t wear a pack, and hasn’t since GA; it turns out commercial packs don’t quite fit him right, so he kept ending up with raw underarms
    • Bandit now carries a Ruffwear Palisades pack. We managed to lose his Outward Hound harness (but not the saddlebags?) and Ruffwear was the only option in Damascus, when we went up to Trail Days.
      • We like Ruffwear, I will know how truly after hearing back from their customer service department, as Bandit’s saddlebags have started falling apart.
      • We are still hoping to get the e-mail that it’s our turn at the top of Groundbird Gear’s waitlist to get both dogs custom sized packs

 

I think that’s all the major ones? If there is any piece of gear you are wondering about, please let me know! I’ll try to get hold of the interest, relatively soon, to revisit our full gear lists and update them! Thanks fam!

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