Category Archive: Gear

Discussions about gear for hiking

Dec 10

Is a smartphone GPS Good Enough?

Samsung Galaxy S3 (blue) vs. Garmin 62st (red)

Submitted for your approval. No. The Garmin’s recorded track (red) precisely follows the actual trail as shown by Google Earth. The Samsung phone (blue) … is usually in the right zip code. Details: Garmin 62st, latest firmware. GPS was clipped to a belt loop of my pants during the hike. Samsung Galaxy S3, running “GPSLogger” …

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Mar 01

SPOT Decision

I’ve written before about my experiences with my SPOT Connect. SPOT Connect is a satellite unit you carry while hiking; it lets folks back home track your progress even when you’re out of cellphone reach. It also lets you send text messages (but not receive them), and perhaps most importantly has an SOS button to …

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Dec 28

The Obligatory End of 2011 Post

TidyTip heading to Parker Lakes

It’s nearly the end of 2011, and so it’s practically mandatory that I write the expected “end of the year” post. Gear Of The Year What gear did I use (not necessarily buy) in 2011 that I really really enjoyed? That made things better? Hmm… #1. TidyTip. My 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. I’ve never owned …

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Oct 18

Woolent ‘cha Know It

When I hike, I always wear wicking microfiber synthetic shirts. They do a great job of keeping me comfortable in any conditions. I Never hike wearing cotton … which just gets wet and stays wet, and is like sandpaper after a while. Compared to the street clothes I used to hike in, these synthetic shirts …

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Aug 15

Packit Gourmet Trail Food

After a three day weekend of Packit Gourmet food, I am quite happy. I may have gained a pound on the trip. And unlike the bags of salt that REI sells as “food”, these had actual flavors and textures. First night dinner: All American Burger Wrap and Wild Carrot Salad. The Burger Wrap was really …

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Aug 09

When an upgrade…isn’t.♦ (REI Sahara Hiking Pants)

I have clothes for the work week, and a separate set of clothes for the weekend. Not that I dress up for work … quite the contrary, jeans and a polo are the usual uniform. But the weekend … aah, that’s when the fancy stuff comes out. Weekends are for hiking clothes. For me that …

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Jul 22

The Cool Kids laughed at me!

On a super backpacking trip recently, the topic turned to gear. I brought out my ziplock bag of safety gear – stuff that is ALWAYS in my pack, on a short day hike or an overnight backpacking trip. And the cool kids laughed at me! Well…that’s a BIT of an exaggeration. But they were a …

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Jul 19

SPOT Connect: An Update

SPOT Connect Map

I’ve written twice before about SPOT Connect, a product that combines a satellite emergency beacon with a GPS, and lets you send messages to folks back home even when you’re beyond cellphone service. When I go on long solo hikes or multi-day backpacking trips the family back home likes being able to check in and …

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Apr 10

SPOT me on Sizer

I recently acquired a SPOT Connect satellite tracker for use while hiking. Essentially it’s an emergency “panic button” in case you get in trouble where there are no cell signals. It can also be used to report your location and short text messages back to your family. I wrote earlier about some challenges I had …

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Mar 31

Can you SPOT me?


I am often accused of being obsessed with gadgets. Frankly I think this is highly unfair. I don’t have an iPad 2, and I didn’t try to get one. (OK, I got a Verizon iPhone 4 instead…) But I don’t have that many gadgets! Really! And I can stop buying them anytime I want! Seriously, …

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