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SinglePortage
senior member (69)senior membersenior member
 
06/13/2018 05:23PM
Do you have a piece of gear that you recently purchased that turned out to be fantastic, maybe even a game-changer?

While packing for my May BWCA trip I could not find my sleeping bag and pad. I then realized that it must be up north at the cabin. No problem, I'll just stop and pick it up on the way to Ely. But when I stopped they were not there. Again, no problem. It was going to be warm so I grabbed a fleece blanket and decided I would buy a new pad on the way or in Ely.

When I stopped at the Northwest Outlet in Superior I found the ThermaRest NeoAir Xlite at 20% off so I grabbed one. For me it was a game-changer. It only weighs a pound, but it is 2 1/2" thick, 77" long, has an R-value of 3.2 and rolls up the size of a Nalgene water bottle! I am a side-sleeper and have never slept very well on wilderness trips, but on this baby my hips and shoulders never bottomed out and I slept very well.

What new piece of gear made your recent trip even better?
 
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ozarkpaddler
distinguished member(5263)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/13/2018 05:59PM
Well, a few years ago when I bought my NEMO Mezzo Loft sleeping bag with the nice pad sleeve. I don't roll off the pad anymore, it's very versatile and so doggone comfy. The material feels like silk spun for an Angel's attire......never clammy. NEMO doesn't make that specific bag anymore, but they make several similar ones.
06/13/2018 06:16PM
ENO sub 7 hammock. Awesome for midday siestas. Its standard gear from now on. My son has a ENO double nest and midday naps between fishing sessions were priceless.
06/13/2018 06:30PM
I was going to mention "new gear on my trip" in a trip report, but this thread looks better. Biggest purchase was a canoe from Bnd last summer. ...a Northwind 17. Life got busy and I never paddled it until our trip last week. I thought it was an awesome boat. Stable, roomy for gear, fairly fast and easy handling. I really loved it. Second item was a new Sanborn Little Sag paddle. Great paddle. Third was a Garmin Striker that I bought for ice fishing and rigged for the canoe. I thought the unit did quite well and was fairly light and packable.
TominMpls
distinguished member (310)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2018 07:06PM
I've upgraded a lot of gear lately after years of having to make do, but I think you're asking about things that have surprised us with how great they are. With that, I'll say my GSI Ketalist tea kettle. On solo trips it's literally the only cookware I need, and on group trips it's super convenient to make coffee or tea without getting out the cook set. It can be simultaneously ultralight nirvana and also a surprisingly civilized and refined item in the back country.
tarnkt
distinguished member (247)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2018 07:34PM
I have two.

A bear resistant barrel and a gravity filter. I used to spend probably an hour a day screwing with hanging the food bag and pumping water. Now I get to fish more!!!!
Driftless
member (32)member
 
06/13/2018 07:37PM
I decided I am too old to portage Royalex anymore. I recently picked up a used Kevlar UL Spirit II - what a difference!
gopher2307
distinguished member (102)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2018 08:14PM
I picked up several new toys this winter, with purchasing seemingly getting worse as the long winter dragged on...Compact stove, back rests for the canoe, depth finder, tent, rod holders, map case, cookware, gopro, ugh...actually some more smaller stuff too.

Wife and I had the same discussion as we paddled out and the winner was....

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 3 tent - her vote. It rained on us for 4 straight days. I had to set the tent up in the pitch dark and pouring rain, but managed to utilize the tent's ability to set up the rain fly first, and then the tent from inside out. For me, this purchase was a very close 2nd place, but it replaced a half decent Kelty tent I already had.

Garmin Striker 4 depth finder with lithium ion battery - my vote. Man, it is really fun to paddle a deep lake like Knife and just watch for fish as you go, as well as simply to think about the depth of what is below. It's like binge watching an addictive TV show as you paddle. I could also see a well defined, underlying solid rock layer below the bottom of knife, as if I was being able to see two different glacial etching periods.

Good topic.
06/13/2018 08:40PM
I have gradually replaced things over many years that have made my trips better. I also like my Neo-Air - light, compact, warm, comfortable.

Other recent things:

Ridgeline stuff sack for my CCS tarp so I could pre-rig it and deploy quickly and easily even solo.

Ursacks to replace bear canisters, which saves weight and space.

Other things over the years:

Sawyer Water Filter Bottle for drinking on the go; gravity filter for camp vs. pump.

JetBoil Sol stove to replace old Colemans - lighter, smaller, faster, more efficient, more stable, easier to use.



GearJunkie
distinguished member (106)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2018 09:07PM
Nemo Cosmo XL Insulated @ 80 x 30 x 3 and under 3 pounds

At 6’2” 210 my arms wont be falling off this at night and neither will my feet. Plus the insulation will allow me to use my down bag as a quilt if I need to cool down.

A close second would be my Vasques.

doubledown
senior member (65)senior membersenior member
 
06/13/2018 09:25PM
10L gravity feed water filter by Katydyn.

Cold, Tasty, running water whenever you want without effort.

Othello
member (25)member
 
06/13/2018 10:29PM
Not new, but I finally used my Chota Hippies on my trip in mid-May. I have never had an issue wet-footing, but these were, and will be a game changer for the shoulder seasons. The other little item that I picked up just before the trip was a Tie-Fast tool - game changer on the fishing front.
Rs130754
senior member (74)senior membersenior member
 
06/13/2018 10:34PM
I like my Fry-Bakes they seem to be really well made. I also like my More pot from 4dog.
SinglePortage
senior member (69)senior membersenior member
 
06/13/2018 11:05PM
Othello: "Not new, but I finally used my Chota Hippies on my trip in mid-May. I have never had an issue wet-footing, but these were, and will be a game changer for the shoulder seasons. The other little item that I picked up just before the trip was a Tie-Fast tool - game changer on the fishing front."

I looked into the Hippies, but with size 15 feet choices are very limited.
carmike
distinguished member(1395)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/13/2018 11:29PM
I finally picked up some snakeskins for my hammock. Don't know why I waited so long.
ParkerMag
distinguished member(1035)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2018 07:05AM
It's been several years now, but as a few others have already mentioned, a gravity filter was a liberating find for us!
murphylakejim
distinguished member(593)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2018 08:41AM
Sven saw is the perfect bwca tripping saw and im so happy i didnt but another cheap crap saw from the camping isle of fleet farm.

Also i set up my new ccs tarp and marveled at it on my last trip but then the rain stopped. I look forward to getting rained on now!

Freeze dried MRE or back packing style meals were also a huge convenience for my last trip. Easy to cook and I even ate one meal while floating down the beartrap river with the wind at my back. Very nice :)
Minnesotian
distinguished member(1598)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2018 09:42AM

Muck Boots

CCS Tarp

Gravity Filter
BuckFlicks
distinguished member(521)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2018 11:39AM
Big Agnes Lost Ranger sleeping bag. Never slept well in the wilderness until I got a sleeping bag that suited my sleep needs.

I've recently purchased a mini travel CPAP and a battery pack that I think will topple the sleeping bag from that top spot, as soon as I'm able to take it camping.
OCDave
distinguished member (109)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2018 12:07PM
Rs130754: "I like my Fry-Bakes they seem to be really well made. I also like my More pot from 4dog."


+1
I learned of the Fry-bake pans on this site. I have been using the Alpine Deep for several months. Made a pot cozy for it and it now does everything I needed from my 12cm Imuse cup and more.

Just placed and order for the Expedition. Not sure I need it as the Alpine Deep is so near perfect.
SinglePortage
senior member (69)senior membersenior member
 
06/14/2018 12:22PM
BuckFlicks: "Big Agnes Lost Ranger sleeping bag. Never slept well in the wilderness until I got a sleeping bag that suited my sleep needs.


I've recently purchased a mini travel CPAP and a battery pack that I think will topple the sleeping bag from that top spot, as soon as I'm able to take it camping."


Which CPAP did you get? I have been thinking about getting one for a while.
BuckFlicks
distinguished member(521)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2018 12:31PM
Resmed Air Mini. There are others that are smaller and cheaper, but this had the most features and best reliability/reviews that I could find. Also, the power unit is built in to the body of the CPAP so there isn't a separate power brick. Makes it very easy to transport. Another feature I like is that you can download the "Air Mini" app and control everything through it. You can adjust your pressure up or down, make it so that it shuts off automatically when you take the mask off and start automatically when you put it on (problem with this is if you have a leak, it will shut off, so I turned that option off.) It will also graph your sleep, which is pretty cool. I like the app.

Unfortunately, my insurance wouldn't cover it since they already paid for my home CPAP and I still have 2 years before I'm eligible to replace that one.

The only drawbacks I would bother to mention are
1) It is slightly noisy at the point where the air comes in to mask. The hose is thinner than a regular hose AND it narrows down at the mask connector so it does make some noise.
2) It is only compatible with 3 masks (obviously all Resmed) ... the F20 (full face) the N20 (nose only mask) and the P10? (nasal pillows). I used to use the OLD Resmed Quattro mask and liked it, and converted my home mask to the F20 when I got it and used it with my travel CPAP. It's a superior mask.
3) This is the biggest drawback - there is no humidifier. If you need to humidify the air, you have to buy a separate setup kit (hose, connector) and put some HumidX inserts in at the connector. This uses the moisture from your exhalation to humidify the incoming air. It's pretty ingenious, but I haven't used it yet. The sub-drawback is that the humidx inserts are ONLY compatible with the nasal mask or the nasal pillows, not the full face mask. My jaw goes slack when I sleep, so I've always used a full face mask. But I also started using a chin strap and since then, my mouth rarely opens... so I did a trial run on the nasal mask on my home machine to see how I liked it and it worked out just fine (more on that below.)

My first trip with the travel CPAP seemed at the time to be perfect. It easily packs into a small shaving kit and took up no space in my carry-on backpack. Previously, I had to carry a separate bag for my Resmed S9. It worked fine, the noise didn't terribly bother me, and at first I didn't feel any negative effects from the lack of humidification. But it was also a guys weekend, and there was lots of beer consumed, and aspirin taken for a sore back. When I got home, my spring allergies kicked back in and while in the midst of a sneezing fit, I ruptured a blood vessel in my nose and had a massive nosebleed that required a trip to the ER. Doctor said it was multiple issues... dry nose, thin blood from alcohol, platelets "lubricated" from the asprin prevented the bleeding from stopping, and high blood pressure... so I had to make some changes... got on BP meds, stopped taking aspirin, and tried using the nasal mask on my home machine to see if I could tolerate it so I could use it for the travel CPAP with the humidifier inserts. I also regularly use saline nasal spray, especially before I go to sleep and when I wake up. All is well now.

So... long story .... but yes, I give the Air Mini 2 thumbs up now that I've got all the kinks worked out. My respiratory tech recommended against using the Respironics Dreamstation Go because it wasn't much smaller than a home unit but I looked and it doesn't look any bigger than the Air Mini to me, and the two other main travel CPAPS like the HDM Z1 and the Somnetics Transcend, while cheaper, have a lot more problems. I'm happy with the purchase, but it wasn't cheap.
Chainsaw
member (45)member
 
06/14/2018 01:17PM
I bought the 60L barrel pack at the Piragis outlet store in Ely before going in on our latest trip to Carp Lake. It came with a barrel all for $190. It is made by CCS and I am extremely happy with this purchase and plan on using it for years to come.
SinglePortage
senior member (69)senior membersenior member
 
06/14/2018 01:56PM
Thanks for the CPAP info, I will look into it. As it turns out, I do not mess with the humidifier and I use the nasal pillows so it should work well for me.

Back to actual canoe gear.
firemedic5586
distinguished member (120)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2018 03:29PM
New to me...









BuckFlicks
distinguished member(521)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2018 04:15PM
SinglePortage: "Thanks for the CPAP info, I will look into it. As it turns out, I do not mess with the humidifier and I use the nasal pillows so it should work well for me.


Back to actual canoe gear."


Yeah... should be perfect for you.
bwcadan
distinguished member(1214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2018 06:57PM
Bug whacker for tent.

Cot

Rocking chair

Light weight canoe
Duff
member (12)member
 
06/14/2018 09:48PM
I've been a camp chair guy for decades. This sidekick table is a very nice addition.



boondock
member (39)member
 
06/14/2018 10:13PM
Its heavy but I got a Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe SI mat it is the best I've slept camping in a long time. It is too big to fit in the sleeve in my bag, but its wide enough that I haven't slid off.

Last year I got a Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL4 tent, it's really nice to have a 6lb tent that can handle 3 of us, and the built in lights are nice when the kids are getting ready for bed.
06/15/2018 08:47AM
boonie: "Sawyer Water Filter Bottle for drinking on the go"

+1!

I picked up a Sawyer Squeeze just before our trip last month. It was great. We were able to fill it up and have a quick drink on the go. No carrying water or pulling out the gravity filter after a long portage. Small, light, and easy!
chessie
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/15/2018 09:24AM
We paddled a river route in early May shortly after ice out (this year). We typically wear portage shoes (with drain holes). Due to the cold water temps, and knowing day 1 was going to be cold and rainy, I ran into the surplus store in Ely and bought some Waterproof Socks by Hanz (made in the USA). They saved us from getting truly cold/chilled/or worse! It was the best 'last minute' $40 I ever spent!
bwcasolo
distinguished member(1565)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2018 06:39AM
food
these folks were at copia, and by the sold out entrees, they must have gotten popular. i bought a years's worth at copia, so far they are delicious.
Lotw
distinguished member (281)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2018 07:21AM
I bought a couple of sportneer folding camp chairs of amazon, these things are great!

I switched to a quilt this year. I love it!

I finally broke down and added a pillow, it’s a TNH inflatable. Best $15 I’ve ever spent, if you think a wadded up sweatshirt under your head is just as good think again. I slept great on this last trip.

OldFingers57
distinguished member(5374)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/16/2018 10:50AM
Just got my wife a new Mountain Hardwear Phantom down 15 degree sleeping bag. She was complaining about being cold in the shoulder seasons in her 32 degree bag. She had been using her 0 degree bag but that thing is very bulky.
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(1011)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2018 02:50PM
BuckFlicks,

May I ask how much you ended up paying for the ResMed Mini, and where did you purchase it? I have been looking at that model since it came on the market. What battery pack do you use? I have battery packs for my ResMed AirSense 10 but I never take it with because it large, bulky and I can only get 3 nights on 2 battery packs. I was wondering if the Mini would do better. I also travel often for work and would love to not have to drag the full size unit along all the time.

campcrafter
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2018 03:33PM
Haven't had it in the woods yet, but I just got a REI FlexLite Macro chair. Very comfy! Definitely a step up from the camp stool. Can't wait to sit in it by a lake watching the sun set.

Blue Skies!
cc
06/16/2018 03:50PM
LL Bean Woodlands Screen House! Absolutely the best made screen house I have seen.
06/16/2018 05:26PM
We rented our gear for our first couple of trips to the BWCA, and decided to outfit ourselves this time around. Big hit to my wallet, but new this year for us are:

2 CCS Pioneer packs for the kids
1 CCS Traditional pack for me
CCS Thwart bag
2 new 20 degree sleeping bags, don't remember the make off the top of my head
3 Thermarest pads
Kelty Noah tarp
MSR Elilxir 4 tent - just seam sealed it today
MSR cookset
MSR Pocket Rocket
2 inexpensive hammocks
1 Helinox camp chair (we already had 2)
Made 1 paddle, usable but not a piece of art, working on a 2nd, hope to do better

Now we have everything we need except a canoe....can't wait to try it all next month.




mgraber
distinguished member(744)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2018 05:45PM
Agawa Canyon, Boreal 21 saw. Really an amazing saw. Also, a Trechology camp table. 40.00 for a medium hard top aluminum table that folds up small enough to poke in a pack for a base camp type trip. I would not take the table on one of our long distance trips, but it was amazing for our last base camp trip.
SinglePortage
senior member (69)senior membersenior member
 
06/16/2018 07:33PM
mgraber: "Agawa Canyon, Boreal 21 saw. Really an amazing saw. Also, a Trechology camp table. 40.00 for a medium hard top aluminum table that folds up small enough to poke in a pack for a base camp type trip. I would not take the table on one of our long distance trips, but it was amazing for our last base camp trip."

I like that saw also. When I think that I might need more than my 7" Silky, that is the one I bring.
TomT
distinguished member(5086)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/16/2018 08:15PM
I switched from using a pad underneath me in my hammock and bought a Hammock Gear Incubator 20 Underquilt. So much more warm and comfortable!

bwcasolo
distinguished member(1565)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/17/2018 06:15AM
TomT: "I switched from using a pad underneath me in my hammock and bought a Hammock Gear Incubator 20 Underquilt. So much more warm and comfortable!


"

welcome to the uq world.
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(809)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/17/2018 09:11AM
Eager to try my new crazy creek seats with backs purchased at Piragis in Ely yesterday!
BAWaters
member (12)member
 
06/17/2018 11:01AM
New gear to try out on a trip starting Friday:

Silky Gomboy Saw
Sawyer Gravity Filter
Kelty Noah Tarp 12 ft

Tested in the backyard, but can't wait to put them to real use!
06/17/2018 11:16AM
Not for my canoe camping (although it weighs 2 1/2 pounds and rolls up to a 4 inch diameter), Stainless Mesh Fire Pit
Compact, light, easy to start a fire because of the draft. Thing is very economical of wood in use.
it's right of the fire pit. Sorry no photos in use as it rained every nite.
Over the last 45 days it has been used 7 times, 3 nites at Road America 4 nites at Trails End. A commercial (park or gas station) $5 bundle of wood has lasted over 5 hours. No need to split further the bundled pieces due to the airflow. Perfect for public campground use, at lest for me.

butthead
TomT
distinguished member(5086)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/17/2018 12:22PM
bwcasolo: "TomT: "I switched from using a pad underneath me in my hammock and bought a Hammock Gear Incubator 20 Underquilt. So much more warm and comfortable!

"

welcome to the uq world."

I should have done it years ago but there was always another priority. It’s pretty awesome.
LilyPond
distinguished member (267)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/18/2018 12:05PM
UCO fire pit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HZF9FMG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I haven't actually used this yet. It's on its way from Amazon. The reviews look good. I've gone without a fire for several years because I don't enjoy hunting for wood and maintaining a regular-sized fire. This little stove will provide cooking, heat, and ambiance with a small quantity of wood.

Also this single-burner propane stove: https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Portable-Backpacking-ignition-Carrying/dp/B01LW87Z9O?ref=pf_ov_at_pdctrvw_dp Used it on a recent trip and loved it.
blackdawg9
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
 
06/19/2018 12:55PM
my eno double delux versus the plain double.

it has more width and doesn't pinch my shoulders any more and is easier to roll up and over the wall of the hammock. it's just a bit easier.
froedad
 
06/19/2018 01:46PM
A Hawkeye portable depth finder. A game changer for me. All those years of guessing. I will never be without one again. It's small (fits in a small Crown Royal bag), lightweight and takes 4 AAA batteries (is easy on the juice). Best of all, it shows depth, temp and marks fish for less than $100.
tombo131
distinguished member (133)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2018 03:32PM
-Replaced old Sawyer gravity with newer squeeze style. I can squeeze a bag through on the go and still hook up for gravity once in camp.

-Nemo Bugout tarp, I think this thing saved my marriage. Pre-rigged on continuous ridgeline with stuff sack that stays on the line.

-Thermarest Ultralite Cot. Under 3 pounds and finally lets me side sleep comfortably

-Exped Mega Pillow, again, for side sleeping it was perfect.
SinglePortage
senior member (69)senior membersenior member
 
06/19/2018 07:41PM
It has been great to read everyone's great gear additions. You are giving all of us some great ideas (which was kinda the point I guess).
06/19/2018 10:45PM
I picked up a Kondos pack that holds 2 30L barrels. It's incredible how much easier it is to pack in food for a large group when you have the right equipment.
 
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