I’m an avid outdoorsman. I have many hobbies, including surfing, diving, climbing, skiing, biking, backpacking, fly fishing and camping, to name a few. A lot of hobbies require a lot of gear; I’m a gear head, through and through.
TREW Gear Trewth Bib
Bomber Bibs for All Conditions
In 2012 I was looking for a do-all bombproof bib that could handle all skiing conditions of the Pacific Northwest. Some days you will head up to the mountains and get conditions from rain to sleet to snow, with temperatures of 36 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit. These bibs offer incredible waterproofing without all the excess layers to keep you too hot or too cold, allowing for personalized layering underneath. The extended length zippers on the outside of the pant allow for incredible ventilation. When I am alpine touring and getting into that super sweaty uphill battle, I can unzip these guys and get a ton of heat out of the bibs, and then zip them back up and be completely protected from the elements on the way down. Historically I have shredded cuffs on pants due to grabs, falls, and powder skiing. The material used on these cuffs is like that of a rubber basketball - virtually impenetrable with a skis's edge. This feature really helps to protect their longevity. If you ski all day you like to bring lots of things up the slopes or into the backcountry that you easily have access to. Snacks, gloves, cellphone, wallet, chapstick, goggle cloth, etc. These bibs have an array of pockets to fit all items you will need on the slopes. They are also all completely protected from the elements with waterproof sealed zippers. Do yourself a favor and buy a bib that will last, keep you dry, and look good on the mountain. Trews quality and craftsmanship can't be beat, and their a local PNW company that understands variable conditions and local style.
Big Agnes Q Core SLX Sleeping Pad
This pad has been with me since 2013. The new valve system on the the q-core pads is incredible. Unlike the classic twist-to-inflate valves on most sleeping pads this dual in and and out system holds air extremely well and deflates in seconds. The pads thickness per weight and size ratio is unbeatable. That being said, if you don't like having to stand around inflating your pad, the volume of air needed to inflate this pad may be somewhat tedious - but I have never felt that way. The pad is also insulated so it doesn't allow any temperature changes on the ground, hot or cold, go affect your sleeping. Here in Hawaii we have very variable sleeping surfaces and this pad helps to not feel a thing. Having a pad that doesn't need to go on the outside of your pack due to size is a plus and it takes nearly no room in a pack. This pad can be a little loud, due to the material used, when rolling over or adjusting. But that being said it is not as loud as some of the other superlight pads I have used from sea to summit. If you love comfort, packability, and weight reduction when possible, this is the pad for you. Big Agnes is a company I stand by because of their dedicated customer service. My original pad had a leak in the inflate-deflate valve that had me waking up on less than an inch of air. I sent the pad to Big Agnes, which at that time was outdated and no longer manufactured, and they promptly reviewed my issue and sent me a new one.
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System
Light, small, efficient.
In 2009 I began purifying water with pump-systems (i.e. katadyn). They are quick and easy. But I opted later for the steripen, which provided a smaller product. However I found the steripen time consuming and difficult to read which made me pursue my first straw-tech filtration system. The Sawyer straw is light, quick, and easy. I use it with a squeeze bag that allows me to fill from a stream or catchment and push through the filter efficiently. It packs super easily, even fits in my shirt pocket when working in streams in the Backcountry. I highly recommend this product because it is small, light, and efficient. Get yours and start drinking cleaner water faster.