Friday, April 24, 2015

Wish List: MSR Groundhog Stakes, 100oz Camelbak Reservoir.

When I bought my used Passage 2 tent, it came with a bunch of aluminum J stakes ... but not enough of them. All told, it needs 8 stakes to fully raise the tent and guy out the rain fly. Sadly, it only came with 6 of the necessary 8. For testing purposes I just borrowed some of the steel stakes that came with my Base Camp 6. Those are a bit heavier than I like for a backpacking tent though. I'm not the most confident in the j stakes that the tent came with either. They seemed decent enough in optimal conditions, but I suspect the reason there are only 6 may lie in two of the originals breaking.

So, I did some reading, and the MSR Groundhog stakes come pretty well reviewed. Lighter than the steel stakes, even if they are heavier than the J stakes, they look like something that's worth the added weight. I have a lot more confidence in their design, particularly in sub-optimal conditions, than I do in the simple aluminum stakes. If I recall correctly, Bob's old LL Bean backpacking tent could use a couple stakes (I'm pretty sure it was one or two short there at flint ridge and we had to improvise with local materials) and what I might do is anchor the main tent with 4 Groundhog stakes, and use 4 of the J stakes for the Rainfly.

Additionally, I'd like a bigger hydration reservoir. My first Camelbak was actually purchased for use while skiing. Just a 50 ounce reservoir in a bag large enough to only hold it and nothing else. Kept it warm enough not to freeze, and on one or two occasions, served as an impromptu sled. More than once I'd fallen and landed on my back, my skis popped off, and a full reservoir served to elevate me off the ground and let me slide halfway down a run. It was one of their older model bags though, and when I broke my leg, we forgot to drain it for a few months. It picked up an indelible funk that I still haven't managed to purge, even with multiple dilute bleach, vinegar and denture cleaner rinses (not all at once, each one seperate). I'm thinking of using it as a Dirty Bag for a filter system. Might be able to salvage it that way. Because it's an older model bag, it doesn't have the quick-lock coupling system that my replacement has.

Speaking of that replacement (one of their modern Antidote model bags), since I wanted to be able to put it in the same sno bowl pack that my first one went in, I picked up another 50oz. Now that I'm getting out on the trails, I'm finding 50 ounces a little lacking. I want to grab a 100oz Antidote reservoir and leave it in the hydration pouch on my Gregory Baltoro. I'll just have to remember to send a bit of the Sweetwater drops down the tube before I pump into the bag.

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