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 Post subject: 3 piecesof gear advice
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:10 am
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Real Name: Grant Strugnell
Right, so, three important purchases need to be made soon. I have taken the list, come up with a shortlist, and am looking to see if anyone can tell me about potential bad descisions. So, Its about tents, stoves and pacs.

Firstly: looking for a very lightweight one man tent for trekking and hiking etc. Think its down to the BD Spotlite (new version of light sabre) or paying half of that for the E3 eclipse. Any comments?

Next is stoves: has anyone had any problems with MRS whisperlites? Its def on the short list.

Lastly, any comments about BD infinity 60L? I am looking for a good pac for multi day. This pac looks great, i am a little worried that it will be too small for over a week. unfortunatley the bigger alternatives, like the mnt Hardware intention 75l is over R2500, so thats an issue, while the Bd is R1500. Anyone expierienced in this matter?

Thanks[/color]


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:49 am 
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Instead of buying the MSR whisperLite, go for the MSR SimmerLite. It's lighter, has a more flexible fuel line and works better at low heat (do not confuse this with simmering - only the dragonfly can simmer, but at the cost of your hearing and your friends) than the whisperlite. All in all it's a better stove, and isn't much more expensive than the whisperlite. Oh yes, it also sits more stably on the ground.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:02 am 
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I agree on the Simmerlite.
Currently I have Wisperlite and Dragonfly, and Simmerlight seems a good balance between the two.

Beware of the Light Sabre.
Last info I had on it was that it is more a dust and dew shelter than 'Berg storm capable.
Rather go with a Bibler bivvi. Tripod or whichever.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:10 pm 
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Regarding the BD Light Sabre.....it can't really be compared to the E3. 1.7kg vs 670g. Worlds apart.

If you're even vaguely looking at the LightSabre/Spotlight, you're into gram counting (like I am) in which case you are looking at it for very special sort of hiking/climbing.

My experience of the LightSabre is as follows.

1. I've only used it in the following conditions. Good weather, cold weather (frost conditions) -4 to -8 and light rain. It is rated as a 3-season. For the most part in comparison to US/European seasons. South African really only gets 3.
2. It is NOT 100% WATERPROOF. That is to say, take 10 hours of constant rain you'll survive, but things might get a tad damp.
3. It is AMAZINGLY small and light. Until you've seen one and handled it its hard to imagine.
4. It does have a little bit of a condensation issue inside.
5. I'm 6'2". It takes a little bit off a maneuver to get into it. Shorter people? No problem.

At the end of the day the LightSaber is a specialised piece of gear which you need to use tactically. In its element it can't be beat. I love mine, but know when its not the best option for a trip and leave it behind.

A bivy is a great option. They get very light (<500g), but a 4 season ones don't breathe very well (you'll soon be stewing in your own sweat...at least that is my experience).

zb.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:19 pm 
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Real Name: Nigel Bailes
Hi, I have PM'd you regarding the tents


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:52 pm 
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Real Name: Russell Warren
To ZA: Have you slept in one of the Bibler Bivvies? I have a hooped bivvy and admittedly have only used it twice, both in minus conditions and I was happy with the result. That said in my view one rarely needs a bivvy. One can normally share a tent load with a friend and if that is the case a Bibler Awanhee is the bees bollocks for SA conditions or 4 season. THe advantage of the Awanhee is that both side open completely so it is still usable in the summer. The extra space offered by a tent is really great when the weather is really crappy.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:08 pm 
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Real Name: Grant Strugnell
when speaking of such space issues, what do you normally do with your pac while you are bunkered down in the tight fit bivi? from what i can see (and you can hear i dont have bivi expierience) there is NO space inside for your pac.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:27 pm 
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Sharing a tent is always an option. I like my LightSabre, so even camping out of a car I use it.

Where it comes into its own is solo mission. I did a trek where weight was a concern. 30km per day and very little water, so saving space for water was very very beneficial.

There is very little space inside the LightSabre. Pack is outside. There is a bit of space above your head. I normally put essentials and valuables in a small bag there.

I haven't used the bibler bivy.....the thing with a bivy is that when its really cold and inclement its fine to hunker down. But in good weather you're basically leave it open because its too hot....and then you're essentially sleeping on the ground.

One thing I can say that is great about a bivy is that you can put your sleeping bag (+inner or outer) + thermarest inside it....then roll it up and put on the bottom of your pack. Makes setting up of camp for sleep a 10 second affair. Tents (even the light sabre) is a little more involved.

zb.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
i opted for an UltraLight 2-man tent in the solo category - TNF Dyad 22 - weighs in at a sweet 1,2kg; single wall with 2-poles & no vestuble; can sit upright inside; enough space for a bigger guy; can stash pack inside tent when raining.... and can squish girlfriend in as well if she's getting cold :) the 2-man sizing is a bit misleading though because you'll only fit 2 medium sized people in and then you will be fairly snug.
what i found is that i still opt for my "normal" sized 2-man tent more often than not cause the extra 1,8kg I pick up there makes up for itself in terms of comfort (and a vestuble is just "it" when raining). if i had to do it all again i'll just go for one of the many normal sized 2-man tents in the market that weighs in at 2,5kg or below.

on the pack front go for 75l plus if you do proper multi-day. its versatile; you can always pack small in a big pack but not vice versa. and its pointless to have a small pack and then strap all sorts of things on the outside. Deuter makes proper packs and won't cost you an arm and leg. Osprey & Mountain Hardwear are the berries but you'll pay. I've carried many 30+kg loads in my Osprey and am thankful everytime since i've never ever had a sore back or shoulders - the extra bucks really pays off.

ps: Osprey on sale at backcountrygear.com - i've used them in the past and no hassles. some schweet deals on tents as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:10 pm 
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Real Name: Grant Strugnell
To be honest, the more you guys impart knowledge, the more questions i have, which is great! Here is the thing: I have some confusion regarding the difference between a bivi bag and a one man tent. The confusion is that sometimes you will find something like the Litesabre listed under Bivi's, when in fact its a one man tent, am i correct? am i right in saying that strictly speaking, a bivi bag doesnt have poles or anything, and its basically a bag that protects you from the elements; whereas a one man tent will have a basic poles system and space inside to breath? yet they may sometimes be classified under bivi's?
So, using laymans language, i guess what i am looking for is a one man tent. I think. now i doubt myself...:-)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:31 am 
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Real Name: Nigel Bailes
I personally use a Hilleberg AKTO one man tent, a true all season double wall tent weighing in at 1.6kg.
This has been great for the Berg and has good size vestiblule for your pack and/or girlfriend :wink: The head height is 90cm so you can sit up and move around quite nicely.
The Hilleberg Nammatj 2 man is my alternative for more room and if I am camping from the car.
Something else to consider & add to your dilema....


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:40 am
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Location: Stellenbosch
Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Hi

On the tent issue:

The lightsabre is a bivvy bag with a pole structure to keep the bag off your face. Useful if you get claustrophobic. IMO, get a lightweight two man tent like the I-Tent (under 2-kg all in) and you can get a detachable vestibule to make it bigger.
The advantages of a proper tent in terms of space and user comfort over a bivvy bag cannot be overstated.
However, if you are completely sold on the one-man tent/bivvy bag idea, get the BD one. The difference in quality between it and E3 is huge.

Packs:
BD packs are fantastic. Minimalist and simple. Hard-wearing too.

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Nic


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 7:25 am
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Real Name: Russell Warren
I made a mistake by saying I had the hooped bivvy, i actually have the bibler bipod which from the description of the sabre sounds similar. It has a pole to give you place to breath and move around your head. I think Nic's advice is good except that the I-tent is in my opinion not suitable when things warm up a bit. One could argue that when it warms up you don't need a tent, but sometimes you do and the Awanhee as mentioned is very versatile and gives much more space than the i-tent. I used it with a vestibule for 3 people in the karakoram for nearly a month. 3 in the tent (quite tight, but it was cold enough for that to be a bonus) and the packs in the vestibule. I have found that with the vestibule I carry around 3.5kg and without it is below 2.5kg.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:34 pm 
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Real Name: Grant Strugnell
Does anyone know much about Vango tents? i havent heard of them and so not sure on what kind of quality? worth looking at or not?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:21 pm 
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I have a Vango Odyssey 2 man tent, BUT I bought it 10 years ago. The tent is excellent but rather heavy. Good for severe storms, but a pain in the back. I'm not sure what their pricing is like at the moment but they were never cheap. For lightness and quality I would now go with a Hilleberg tent, heard fantastic things about them


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:06 pm 
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Obes wrote:
Lastly, any comments about BD infinity 60L? I am looking for a good pac for multi day. This pac looks great, i am a little worried that it will be too small for over a week. unfortunatley the bigger alternatives, like the mnt Hardware intention 75l is over R2500, so thats an issue, while the Bd is R1500. Anyone expierienced in this matter?


Dude, BD packs rock. Are you in Joburg? Drifters is having a sale - I was just there and got a BD 50 Caliber for R800. For kinda the size your looking for, they still have 2 of these
http://mountainhardwear.com/Product.aspx?top=2039&cat=2066&prod=2923
selling for R1800 (75 liter)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:25 pm 
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Real Name: Grant Strugnell
Dude, seriously!? guess where i am going sat morning! thanks for the heads up!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:32 pm
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
on the pack front: if you're going to carry heavy the suspension is by far the most important thing on the pack. forget the bells and whistles. both Osprey and MH have top-notch engineered suspensions with pack shape the focuses weight on your hips; not back & shoulders (most packs have a "weight straight down" design and the only way you get the weight on your hips is to tighten the hipbelt - a proper "weight to hips" design will focus weight on your hips even if you do not tighten the hipbelt). i've never used BD but it seems like its also bullseye.

happy gear hunting!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:25 am 
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I've got one of those Mountain Hardware South Col packs and it is fantastic! For R1800 it is a serious bargain - I paid double that about a year ago and I think it was money well spent. I'm not sure what you are planning to take along with you on your multi day outings, but you can pack an astonishing load into a south col. I've seen they make a 120l pack too. I reckon you can pack a fridge, microwave and washing machine into one of those jobbies. I had a trusty old Backpacker that served me well for 15 years and was looking for something worthy to replace it. I looked for something that had every good thing my old pack had and none of the bad things. The South Col fit the requirements best.
What I like about it:
Light weight
Clever optimised design (long and narrow with no stupid side pockets to catch on everything)
One big compartment (I hate those packs with lots of compartments, its just a waist of space)
Strong and durable (by the looks of it after a year of hard labour)
Really good back support despite the flimsy first impressions (I have a rather serious lower back problem).
Just big enough to fit in everything, including full rack & ropes
I think it handles water well (it doesn't even come with one of those silly rain jackets)
Comfortable with very heavy loads

The only "bad" things I can think of is that you have to pack it properly so you don't get a cam in the kidneys. I also can't figure out why they made it white.

Something I found interesting about the hip belt is that I used to strap my old pack really tight to my hip bones to carry heavy loads, so I naturally tried the same with the south col and found it very uncomfortable. To my surprise I found it works best to kinda hang the hip belt over my hip bones. It's a bit strange to me, but it really works fantastic and it stays comfortable. I don't know how fat people do it and I don't know if it will work well for female hips, but for me it works great.

If someone from Mountain Hardware reads this, I won't say no to a nice light weight tent :wink:

I have a whisper lite stove and I love it. I've used it a LOT for many years now, and it only let me down a few times, but that was pretty much from not understanding how it works. What I've seen from the simmer lite is that its probably slightly better. The dragon fly is the best performance wise, but it makes you unpopular.

I usually don't bother with a tent, mine's too heavy. I have a bivvy bag, but only ever slept in it once or twice. It gets seriously warm and sweaty in that thing, so I see it as something I'll use only when things are getting really desperate.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Location: Stellenbosch
Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Hi

On the pack size thing, I'm a strong advocate of using smaller packs for everything (I've done a 7-day hike in the 'Berg with my 42l BD pack). If you have a large pack, you will fill it up. If you have a small pack it makes sure that you carry only the essentials and don't end up staggering under a huge load.

MH stuff is really good, if you can afford it. One word of warning: the MH warranty only covers repairs and not the shipping costs to and from America... If it needs repairing it may be cheaper to buy a new one.

_________________
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Nic


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:32 pm
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
Nic Le Maitre wrote:
If you have a small pack it makes sure that you carry only the essentials

ja, that's true....sometimes - i've seen a guy in the Berg on a 4-day hike with a 30l pack; he was so proud of doing things "light". only problem was that he had about 10 items strapped to the outside of the pack :roll:

maybe a bit philosophical and each man to his own here: after many many multi day hikes i do not get too excited about "minimalism". i actually like my comforts when i disapper into the mountains for week. there is abviously a tipping point but i'd rather carry a few extra kgs and ensure i sleep lekker (most important), eat lekker (second most important) and stay toasty. and if you mission up to tafelberg for a week's climbing you will need lots of space for your trad gear & other comfort kit. i guess its all about what you intend to do at the end of the day, darren.

ps: i concur with shorti re simplicity. once you go off the beaten track (or high exposure) you want a strong, streamlined pack where everything fits inside.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:10 am
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Real Name: Grant Strugnell
Well lads... i took advantage of the almost-half-price-special at drifters and got hold of the south Col! It looks so good! Now i just want to get onto a mountain!
It looks like it has planty of space, and yeah, i agree that having stuff in a bigger pac is better than having half you gear hanging around. Also, the bigger size is great for rope and hardware on a climbing expo. So, i'm well chuffed!
So, one down, just the tent and stove in the next month or so! Thanks for all the good advice guys!


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