Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Restless Wilderness' End of 2015 Budget Gear List

Backpack: Jansport Klamath 55R
Store: REI Outlet $107.73 
Weight: 57oz

My previous gear list had a phenomenal deal on the Katahdin 50L pack. The Klamath is the katahdin's external frame brother. Yes. Let me be clear. the Jansport Klamath packs are External Frame. As always the BEST things you can do for a backpack are to try them on with a load before you buy, and check the REI Garage Sales, but I can't really link to that on a blog.

The Klamath 55R is twice the price that the Katahdin 50, and since it's a 2014 closeout, I'm surprised that it's still so pricy. But, it's the cheapest pack I've been able to find at the moment. If you MUST buy a pack right now and you're on a budget, this looks like one of your best options. Yes, I did see smaller packs for lower prices, but I'm loathe to recommend lower than 50 liters for multi-day trips.

If you can hold out until say, Late Febuary, you might be able to get a better deal on things, or a newer revision. Personally, since it's winter, I feel like I can afford to wait. But, if you're gift shopping or looking to outfit yourself before spring rolls around, you could do worse than this.

Trekking Poles: Cascade Mountain Cork/Flip Locks
Store: Amazon $47
Like I said here Trekking Poles are a must. Cork is good. Flip-locks a must. $47 is hard to beat.

Tent: Stansport "Scout" Tent
Store: Amazon $23.88 
Weight: 60.8 oz

I'm just enamored with the idea of this tent. It's remarkably cheap and weighs less than my Passage2, and it reminds me of the LL Bean backpacking tent that my dad bought decades ago. You could shave off even more of the weight by leaving the poles at home, and using your trekking poles in their place. I think I'd rather be in my Passage2 if it were raining cats and dogs out, but this should keep the raccons from cuddling with you and hopefully keep you dry outside of monsoon season.

This is the same tent that was on the last iteration of my list, and I don't think you're going to find a tent cheaper than this. If you want to go cheaper and lighter, we start talking make-your-own gear shelters out of Tyvek and Dropcloths. which IS an option, there are ultralighters who do entire scenic trails with little more shelter than that.

Sleeping Bag: Kelty Cosmic Down 41 Long
Store: Amazon $87.17
Weight: 35oz

Same essential bag I recommended last time, but now for cheaper!  Where weight and warmth are a premium, Down is a must. Kelty's Cosmic Down line is a great entry level option, and my own hiking bag is a 2014 closeout Cosmic Down 20 Long I picked up at Scheels Sports in the local mall. I can vouch for these bags, and the 20 is almost TOO warm for me, particularly in the summer. the 41  ought to cover most people's three-season camping/hiking needs.

Sleeping Pad: Blue Closed Cell Foam Pad
Store: Wal-mart for roughly $10
Notes: Cannot find online
Weight: 7.5 oz

For whatever reason, Wal-Mart's online selection and their camping section at every store I've been to, have been in no way similar. I can't in good conscience recommend any of the ones I see on Amazon. I use one of these myself. My car camping self inflating insulation pad is a lot nicer to sleep on, but it's far far more bulky.

Item:  Bacon Grease Strainer used as Cooking Pot
Store: Amazon $9.69 
Weight: 3 oz (w/o strainer part)
Notes: Lightweight and Inexpensive, I keep seeing this popping up in people's gear lists. Up a few cents from before, but still quite affordable. Bring a pot lifter

Item:  Pot Lifter
Store: REI $1.93
Notes: Goes with the Grease Strainer. Needs a handle. Marked down since last time! (might be clearance now)

Item:  Canister Stove
Store: Amazon $7
Notes: Same stove I'm using. Wholly endorse this. Highest price to satisfaction ratio of almost anything I own.
Weight: 3.7 oz
Weight: 2 oz

Item:  Sawyer Mini Water Filter
Store: Amazon $19
Notes: Save on shipping by buying locally if you can find it for a comparable price. If you're in appleton, try the east side wal-mart. Consider pairing with Aquamira or Potable Aqua for thorough purification.
Weight: 6.4 oz

Item:  10L Food Bag
Store: REI $9
Notes: Combine with Paracord, Carabiner and Stick and you can use the PCT Hang on the bag and prevent Yogi from getting into your pick-a-nick basket.
Weight: 1.7 oz

Item:  Morakniv Companion
Store: Amazon $16
Notes: a basic, reliable, inexpensive knife. If you want something heavier duty, I recommend the Buck 110 folding or Buck Pathfinder 105 fixed blade knife.
Weight: 4.1 oz

Item:  Sea to Summit Alphalight Spork
Store: REI $9
Notes: I'm still quite happy with mine. Puts up with a good deal of my abuse with nary a sign of wear.
Weight: 0.4 oz

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