Steve Burgess helped us put together this poetic and informative short video on our trek poles. He covers the basics of selection, care and use. He adds his own flare and we are most grateful for his efforts. He is an expert on the Wonderland Trail and an innovator of ultralight gear. If you want to see more, check out his blog.
Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks help you use your gear smarter and lighter. If you have a tip or a trick you would like to share with us, email it to us and we will post it to help all our tribe.
by Philip on January 27, 2012 No Comments »
The most amazing part of this video, is that he had neck surgery just one week before!! Now this is what we call a dedicated DIYer. Thanks Don! Read more of his post here…
by Will Rietveld, Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador on January 20, 2012 No Comments »
Post by Will Rietveld, Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador
The biggest wear problem I have with hiking shoes and boots is seam failure.
I like to bushwhack and explore, and things like sliderock are hard on boots, especially any exposed seams in the lateral (outside) metatarsal head region. That region is subjected to heavy abrasion, which wears through the stitching, causing the seam to open. The first photo shows what I mean.
Unfortunately, shoes and boots with seams in that region are fairly common. My first piece of advice is to avoid purchasing footwear that has exposed seams on the sides of the shoe or boot. An example is shown in the next photo.
However, we purchase footwear based on fit, support, and traction (mainly fit), so it’s not always possible to find the ideal shoe or boot without exposed outside seams. In that case you can greatly extend the life of hiking footwear by coating the stitching in the exposed area with McNett SeamGrip or FreeSole, which is available in most outdoor stores.
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by Philip on January 13, 2012 No Comments »
From JJ Mathes Post from JERMMs Outside:
I spent a weekend with four traditional backpackers in the woods of North Georgia. I planned for this trip to be an outdoor classroom, no PowerPoint, no whiteboards, no charts, but all hands on. I asked everyone to bring everything they thought they would need and want to be comfortable and learn techniques to lighten their pack weights. Read more…
by Will Rietveld, Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador on January 5, 2012 4 Comments
Post by Will Rietveld, Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador
What you use for a groundsheet under your shelter or under your sleeping bag depends on the ground surface.
If the ground is fairly smooth and you use a groundsheet mainly to keep your gear clean, the Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Cloth is ideal because its very tough and very lightweight. No need to look any further.
For a bomber groundsheet, many hikers use conventional Tyvek housewrap, and there are places on the Web where you can purchase it piecemeal. It’s very durable, and will soften with a few trips through the wash machine, but it’s a bit on the heavy side.
A better option is Type 1443R Tyvek, which is a lighter, softer version used in Tyvek clothing. It’s inexpensive, weighs about the same as silnylon, and its waterproof like other Tyvek. It costs about $3.50 a yard (60 inches wide) at stores that sell kite-making supplies, like Into The Wind. Since it’s breathable, some people argue that it’s not waterproof, but I have yet to have a problem with water passing through it, even when camping on wet ground.
The breathability of this Tyvek makes it usable beyond groundsheets. An inexpensive Tyvek bivy works wonderfully for sleeping on the ground under the stars or inside a floorless shelter, and it adds a few degrees of warmth to your sleeping system. It’s very simple to construct a simple bivy by folding a sheet over lengthwise, sewing one end and one side, then turning it inside out. This yields a bivy with a 60-inch girth, which is a bit on the slender side. For a roomier bivy, especially if you put your sleeping pad inside the bivy, you will need to add a strip of Tyvek to the open side. Adding a 7 inch strip yields a 63-inch girth (the formula is to add 2 inches for each inch of girth you want to add, plus a 1 inch for seam allowances). Type 1443R Tyvek is very easy to sew, or you can tape it with filament or ripstop tape. If you want to seal the seams, use Roo Glue.
by Gossamer Gear on December 23, 2011 2 Comments
It’s no secret, I like fire and I’m always interested in hearing about, trying and using new types of fire starter & tinder, new to me anyway. Not long ago my friend KP gave me a baggie filled with cotton pads coated with wax that resembled wafers. KP makes and uses them for fire starter or tinder. I had to try them out and was very impressed with the simplicity and effectiveness of these wafers. The wafers can be used in whole, broken in half or quarters depending on the quality of kindling and how dry it is, the larger the piece the longer the burn time and better for damp kindling. Read more…
From JERRM’S outside: Blog fueled by JJ Mathes’ genius on the outdoors: tips, stories and lore
by Gossamer Gear on December 16, 2011 7 Comments
I do a lot of off-trail hiking, and I like to wear lightweight liner gloves for summer handwear. However, these two things are not very compatible – I frequently wear holes in the fingers of my liners from grabbing branches and rocks, which gets me in trouble with my wife (who repairs them for me, bless her heart). The solution I found is Gorilla Grip gloves (http://gorillagripgloves.com/), which are super-durable and weigh just 1 ounce per pair in size XL. They are similar to the nitrile-coated gardening gloves you can get at hardware stores, but much better. Besides being lighter, they have a nicer coating that is more compatible with backpacking and camping, they’re fairly warm, and they breathe very well. I got mine at Home Depot for US$5, which is cheap for backpacking gear.
On backpacking trips, I’m amazed with their grip on rocks, their durability, and comfort over a fairly broad temperature range. They’re great for scrambling. No more glove liners worn through on the finger tips. This is a good example of finding off-the-shelf inexpensive gear that works great for ultralight backpacking.
Post Written by Will Rietveld
by Gossamer Gear on November 18, 2011 No Comments »
If you have an inflatable sleep pad and use a tent with a silnylon or other slick floor then you’ve probably experienced the midnight crawl. Waking up during the night only to find yourself crammed against the foot or side of your tent. You reposition your pad go back to sleep…2:37A wake up…reposition…4:19A wake up…reposition…this goes on all night. No wonder you don’t get a good nights sleep when you go backpacking, you’re up repositioning your pad a.k.a. the midnight crawl. Read more on JJ Mathes’ blog post…
by Gossamer Gear on November 11, 2011 No Comments »
Ryan Linn, aka Guthook, is one of our newest trail ambassadors. He not only is one really, really nice guy, but he also lives a very simple and humble life. Read his latest post, it is a great perspective builder. He has made a vow this year to not buy any new gear unless the money comes from the sale of some other piece of gear. Which makes us think. It is time to clean out that closet and put up some Deals for you guys.
by Gossamer Gear on November 4, 2011 10 Comments
You want a 2oz bug bivy? Who doesn’t! Check out this idea one of our trail amabassadors, Steve Burgess, came up with. The idea is that you create a bivy that can be used for bug protection, and mild rain protection. You can read alot more about it here in his post. So customers, do you think this should be a real product?