Refining my gear

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Over the years I have accumulated a ton of gear to the point I can outfit several groups on any length trip and still have left overs. I have found over the past few years I have refined my gear to some favourites and basics that seem to go with me on every trip. Some of these gear refinements have been due to me taking more solo trips. Other gear has just sat on the shelves in the storage room taking up space. (but for some reason I won't part with it all.) So what gear have others found they have replaced or just left sitting to more efficient gear, or more useful gear. Here's some of my gear "swap outs." 2 man tent replaced by a Hennesey Hammock. Loud MSR fuel stoves replaced by Trangia Alcohol stove and Little Bug Sr. Stick stove. Large inflatable bed pad replaced by Therma Rest. Axe replaced by small folding saw (Sawvivor). Utensils replaced by Spork and one flipper. Bulky tarps replaced by Sil-Nylon tarp.Any others for you folks????
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
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1,819
Location
Schenectady, NY
A few years back I switched from a Coleman backpack stove to a Kelly Kettle, never looked back, never run out of fuel anymore... Also, I switched solo tents from a Solitaire I (really just a nylon coffin) to a Big Agnes solo something or other, at least I have enough room now to put my pants on!! I stopped using my tried and true Thermarest self inflating pad, replaced by a NeoAir matress, I would highly recommend that swap to anyone. Shortly, my ancient Tough Traveler Hatchback back pack will be replaced with a newer Osprey.

I periodically go through my equipment, and look for lower weight, lower volume alternatives...
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
Mors Pot or a German Mess Kit for a set of BlackLite cookware, silnylon McCat tarp and hammock for a tent, WM down bag for a White Stag something other other bag, Go Lite Gust for something that weighed close to 4 lbs, and an MSR Pocket Rocket for an old Coleman one-burner that weighed 2lbs. I quit carrying a fork and plastic table knife (along with all other kitchen utensils) for a single tablespoon. I carry an old Kool Aid jar with lid for a bowl and cup (though sometimes I still bring a plastic mug... very nice for cocoa). I use wide-mouth AquaMira or Gatorade bottles instead of Nalgenes (save 5oz each). I finally found a hatchet and saw combo I love, but they have changed more in quality than in weight.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
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2,435
Location
Colrain MA
We're headed for that gear exchange. I've put my son on notice that next year is the last year, for a while, that we'll paddle the Allagash, heavy, 2015 I'm headed for Algonquin, light. One of the things that won't go will be my thick mattress. I don't sleep well on the thin ones.
 
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Love reading the "gear swaps". Sweeper go light in Algonquin as some of the best places are hiding behind the longer portages. Well worth the work though.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
Messages
2,435
Location
Colrain MA
I know I'm ready, I just need to get my son and grandson in shape for it and I'm teasing my grandson with BWCA for a graduation present, if he can handle Algonquin.
 
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Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
30
Location
Waterloo, ON
Two years ago I upgraded from using Sealline Pro Packs to an Ostrom Pack. Why did I wait this long? I still have a few Seallines to use as overflow if I'm heading out with the family, or some friends who don't have any gear, but the Ostrom is the Rolls-Royce for sure.

I also bought a Bob Dustrude 24" folding bow saw to replace my Sawvivor 14" saw. The Dustrude design is ingenious and comes highly recommended.

I've replaced my cheap hatchet with a Gransfors-Bruks Small Forest Axe. Three years in and I couldn't be happier! A great tripping axe.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
924
Location
Red Lake, Ontario
Refining? I don't know if the "refining" will ever stop. I have been accused of being a gear collector. I think I need to build an out building to store all my "refining". But there is more I absolutely must have. I tried out a Hellinox chair this past fall and would love one of those. Still want to give hammocking a shot too.
 
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Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
427
Location
Long Island, NY
Yep, the more I use the gear the more I learn about it and myself. I learn if it's easy to use and does what I expect it to. I'm also trying to learn to do more with less but that takes practice and vacation time. I still have much to learn but I am certain I have too much stuff.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Messages
42
Location
Old Lyme, CT
I also have a basement that resembles a used gear shop/ monument to outdoor gear that spans back into the early 80's. I feel like I'm in a constant state of refinement when it comes to gear.. Trying to get the system down just right to find that perfect balance between light weight and living well. Over the past few years I've spent a lot of time experimenting with switching over from gas stoves to a small wood stick DIY stove. I have a MSR Dragonfly, but I don't love ending the day by sitting next to a jet engine while I cook. Two weeks ago on a short backpacking trip I tried a switch from my Mountainsmith tent to a DIY hammock modeled after a Hennesey Hammock and I had some of the best nights of sleep I can remember in the backcountry. I don't sacrifice when it comes to meals on paddling trips so I've been thinking about switching from a dutch oven to trying a reflector oven this year. One winter gear swap project is sewing a custom silnylon tarp to replace my heavy current one. I find that I also take my Optimus cooking pot ,that has the heat exchanger built into the bottom, works incredibly well with the stick stoves. I know I'll stick with this Optimus cook set for a while since I grabbed a different cook set for my last trip and didn't realize it until I took it out on the first morning. I can still feel the disappointment of having to wait so long to get that coffee water boiling.
 
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