Entries to Win Afghan

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

New Gear- Small Tweaks

I had ordered a couple of things and they came today. One is a winner, one not so much.

The first is that little blue item on the left. That's a Deuce Ultra-lite backpacker trowel. It will replace the plastic one on the right. A trowel is an essential part of the backpacker's potty kit to dig "cat holes." The plastic ones are relatively light, and the orange color shows up well enough they are fairly easy to keep track of when you set them down. But they don't cut through peat or roots very well.

I'd seen the other kind- space material aluminum, and liked what I saw. Then, last fall, Annie Nelson had one, so I got to see for sure how good they are. The high-quality metal means it won't structurally collapse when stressed. They are sharp enough to actually cut into rooty ground. You can see it's shorter than the old one, so it packs better. And, the plastic one weighs 2 oz. The new one is 0.6 oz. Savings of 1.4 ounces. Winner

backpacker trowels

New here are several piles of tent stakes.

tent stakes

The blue and red ones on the right are my old ones. They are exceptionally good stakes. I bought them in 1992 at a specialty backpacking store. You can see that I've not bent one yet. Not with a foot, a rock, or a hammer in 28 years of regular use. Again, high-grade aluminum. So why do I need more stakes?

For one thing, my wonderful little solo tent needs 9 stakes, not 8. For another, I've been using really crappy stakes if I needed to put up a tarp. And, I had no decent spares if I were to lose one.

So, I went looking to try to get some more of the same stakes. Shape looked the same. Weight of each stake matched at 0.56 oz. each. These were a little cheaper, but that's hard to compare- different type of sales venue- long time difference. These are Freehawk "high quality aluminum alloy" stakes.

Now look at this picture. Not too closely. It didn't focus and I decided I wasn't going to bother to take it again.

First of all, the smaller stake in the middle is what I've been using for my 9th stake. It's steel and actually weighs more than the aluminum ones. So taking the new stakes will save weight.

But here's the bad news. These are not the good stakes. Just for kicks, I tried to bend one by hand. Just hold it in my two hands and bend it. Yup. I didn't want to get carried away and totally destroy one, but perhaps you can tell that the two silver ones to the left of the steel stake are not quite the same any more. Or that the single one in the top picture is no longer straight. I'll probably keep these. They didn't cost too awfully much. But I'll have to keep looking for the good ones.

tent stakes

In other news: I wrote all morning, and edited quite a lot of the afternoon. The big news was a power outage, so I moved to Ludington before time for bell choir so I could recharge the computer. Still not restored after that, so I went to movie night at writer's group. The Consumer's web site said power was still down, but I came home anyway figuring I'd just go to bed. But the power was on. Good deal!

I haven't told you what I think of that new "sleep system" I got two years ago. Maybe soon.

See New Gear- Sleeping System


Ann said...

At least one of the two was a winner. Even the other one wasn't a total loss so I would say you did pretty good.

Lin said...

It's hard to find good stakes anymore. Or good equipment. We finally paid REI prices and have a great tent now. I am hoping we get out in it this year.

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