CamelBak has one of the coolest names in hydration backpacks. Just the mention of it conjures up an image of strapping a dromedary-like hump on your back to tote water wherever you need to go. Fortunately CamelBak’s Vista 32 and Vantage 35 hydration packs are as cool as their name, and while they may not let you hike for two weeks without refilling the way a real camel can, their 3 liter reservoir capacity will let you go pretty far.
A majority of backpackers need a pack large enough to carry all of their gear, but comfortable enough to wear all day. Finding a pack that can balance both needs is difficult at times. The Eiger 40 XT pack, from Marmot, is designed to answer the eternal question of pack comfort versus storage space. Marmot has released a new model for the 2010 season. The redesigned features have only changed slightly, but will increase accessibility overall. The pack now features a top flap in a U-shape. Marmot believes the zipper and U-shape combination will allow users to access their stored items more easily.
Altogether, the Eiger 40 XT pack has one large main gear compartment and five smaller pockets. Each of the smaller pockets is arranged for maximum accessibility with the pack on. Capacity and weight vary slightly by the pack size. Medium sized packs hold 2,450 cubic inches. They weigh 3 pounds, 1 ounce when empty. Large packs contain 2,625 cubic inches of cargo space. The large models weigh 3 pounds, 4 ounces without gear inside. The packs are designed for days of camping at a time and are reasonably weighted when full. Marmot advises users to pack in an organized manner to increase the amount of items carried and to prevent breakage.
Marmot is one of the most established and respected manufacturers of sporting goods and outdoor performance wear. The company was established in the early 1970s when the founders, who were then college students, took to developing prototypes of down products they used for their climbs and treks.
The Big Agnes Hager House tent is a free-standing, three person, three season tent made for backpacking or base camp. This tent is versatile, made with eco-friendly materials, and poles that are sturdy, yet lightweight. For some of the extra configurations, however, you will need either trekking poles or a set of adjustable poles. Another item that you should consider purchasing is the footprint, which is highly recommended by Big Agnes to preserve the floor of the tent. The footprint is required for some of the configurations, as well. The tent is $299.95 (MSRP), and the footprint is $40.00 (MSRP).
The Big Agnes Hager House tent is one of the most versatile tents on the market. It can transform into different structures; sunshade, windbreak, and a car- or tree-supported shelter. Different tent configurations add to the versatility; you bring only what you need and leave behind what you don’t. For example, the fast fly shelter configuration only requires the footprint, tent fly, poles, and stakes. Setup is easy with the plastic clips and press fit connectors; average time is about 10 minutes once you get the hang of it. Fully packed the Big Agnes Hager House weighs in at 6lb, 7oz. The floor length is 86 inches and width is 72 inches, with 44 inches of headroom. All packed up and ready to go the tent measures in at 7”x22”.
If you enjoy being outdoors, you should consider the La Sportiva FC Eco 3.0 hiking boots. These are very lightweight so you won’t feel uncomfortable with them on your feet. They work very well for day long hikes and for avoiding getting your feet wet in various types of terrain. You will find them offered for both men and women.
When you have on a pair of the La Sportiva FC Eco 3.0 you will feel like you have on a pair of tennis shoes. Yet at the same time you have the ability to benefit from what a pair of boots can offer you. This is the ultimate compromise and once you put them on they will become one of your favorite items and you will wear them often.