Monday, February 20, 2006

Gear, Gear and More Gear!

Since this years trip is going to be lightweight, I have had to do my homework on what is the best gear for my application. This has resulted in a constant battle:

What I want VS. What I can afford

A couple of months ago, Gerry and I nailed down a realistic needs list and this is what we have acquired:
  • MSR Miniworks Water filter- This was a no brainier. We will need to filter water as required as it is far to heavy to carry. The filter is handheld, very lite and like all products form MSR it is well designed and field serviceable. I considered buying a used filter, but there was no significant savings. We ended up buying one retail at MEC.

  • Internal Frame Backpack- This was a great deal! I didn't want to go cheap on my pack, as everything I read placed this as the one piecee of gear that can be the difference between a good trip or one in constant discomfort. I was fortunate to find a used 75+ Liter pack on MEC's gear swap and ended up getting a practically brand new, high end pack for $150.

  • MSR Simmerlite Stove- This is one of the best and most compact stoves available. It is lite, durable, fuel efficient and field serviceable. The only problem is the cost. Once you factor in the cost of the stove, 2 fuel bottles, field service kit and tax, it will cost over $170. I would have paid it, but I put a "stove wanted" posting on the MEC gear swap page and managed to negotiate a price of $92 including delivery form British Columbia. It included all the accessories I wanted and I managed to save over $80. Another great deal!
  • Thermarest mattress/Chair- On one hand this is a need, on another it is a luxury. It will be used as a mattress at night, but by day it converts into one of the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat in. I found one for sale on eBay, won the auction over 5 weeks ago and still no mattress. When I contacted the seller he claimed it was a "shipping error" and blamed UPS for the delay. I spoke to him last thursday and he claimed he sent it again and that it should be here by tomorrow (Tuesday). Track the delivery of my "mattress of mystery" UPDATE: It arrived as promised and just as described.

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