Misc Gear

Here are some misc gears items that I use and might be helpful to you.

1.) Granite Gear AirZip Bags – These little zip bags are very cool. Stuff sacks are nice but anytime you want something you have to empty the whole bag to find it. These just unzip and expose the whole contents right there. They are not water proof but not much really is.  I use one 16L for my food bag and one 9L for my ditty bag.








2.) Six Moons UltraLight Umbrella – For 8 Ounces this thing is handy to have. I have used it in the desert to save me from heat, so much more than in the rain. Cools you down a good 5-7 degrees and saves you from the hot sun. Rain in Arizona usually is accompanied by wind and lighting….. not the best idea to be holding an umbrella out on trail. My hat and rain jacket works much better for that stuff. Update 07-26-2017…. After the Rain hike at Snowbowl, the umbrella works good in the rain too when it’s not a thunderstorm. I learn something new all the time.







3.) GSI Soloist Cookset – I have a very expensive complete titanium cookset (17.1 Ounces) but I just like this $60 GSI set so much better (22.6 Ounces). It’s easier to use, more durable, has more features, nests perfectly and it’s versatile. Most summer day hikes I will not pack a cookset, but in winter, in the cold, a hot lunch is nice. On overnights it’s a must have.








4.) Therm-a-Rest Z-Seat Pad – It’s $12 and I use it every time I sit on the ground. Only weighs like 4 ounces. Kind of a” duh”… if you ask me. Subs as my back panel on my Z-Packs Nero / Zero backpack also.








5.) Evernew Water Bags – Verdict is still out on these guys. Hard to clean after a couple uses and I have had one pop on me. Trying a Platypus Big Zip 1.5L right now for my reserve water bag. Keep you posted.

6.) Toaks Titanium Plate – For 2.3 Ounces and only $12 this one is just nice to have for lunch, snacks and dinner. Keeps my food from getting dirty and scattered about.







7.) Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink – Ok….. who does not need a kitchen sink on a hike….. well…. ok maybe no one…. at least not so much for day hiking but overnights this thing can be handy. 5L one is all but 3 Ounces and….. well…… it’s just cool how it holds the water. Good for cleaning you and your stuff.






8.) Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles – Trekking Poles….. a must have. Helps me on the ups, saves my ass from falling on the downs, protects me from animals, can be used as a weapon, and good for digging cats holes….. If I could only have one piece of gear, these poles might be it.  The Black Diamond ones I use are aluminum, weigh 16 ounces, carbide tipped with Flicklocks. I have had other fiberglass ones that are lighter but I just feel safer with these. Like the weight and feel.








9.) Petzl ELite Headlamp – This headlamp is not cheap…. well for a headlamp. About $35 but kind of worth it for what it is. It’s not going to act like spot light…. that’s for sure, but it has white and red light, it’s super light and you can use it in your tent flat on a surface or attached to whatever you wish with the string cord…. including your head. For night hiking it’s ok… not the most powerful or brightest.








10.) Big Sky Insulite Czoy Food Pouch – This guy you can find on Amazon and helps rehydrate your Mountain House and other freeze dried foods. Cheap at about $15 and once again weighs nothing. You can make one if you like but this one works well. Keeps my fingers from getting burnt on hot mountain house bags and I think it keeps everything cleaner too.








11.) Toaks Titanium Long Handle Spoon – The Spoon…. You need one to eat and at 1.5 Ounces and long enough to dig into a Mountain House Bag. It’s kind of another no brainer. I like the smooth cup end one. Another $12 item that just makes sense.








12.) Coghlan Mosquito Head Net – It’s a bug net. It weighs nothing and just stays in my side hip pouch or ditty bag. It also costs nothing but boy if you don’t have it and need one, it’s worth a million dollars to get them dam bugs out of your eyes, nose and mouth.






13.) Rothco Shemagh Scarf – Another nice thing to have as a towel, head wrap and ground cloth. Our guys in Iraq and Afghanistan used these things all the time.  Except, I do not use it much as I thought I would. Pretty much is at the bottom of my pack and rarely comes out. The bug net is better with the bugs and I usually just use my rain jacket or a ground sheet coupled with the Z-Seat to sit on during breaks.

14.) Sawyer Water Filter – There are tons of YouTube videos on these things. Kind of an insurance item. It is a must have if you need it. Can be fun to filter out of a stream and taste the cool mountain water. For day hiking though if you have 3L of bottled water, your pretty much good. Overnighters and thru hikers use this item all the time…….. if they are smart.  But for me, just another item that rarely comes out of the pack.

15.) Aqua Clips – Just plain handy to have. Only cost about $3.00 too.







16.) Z-Packs Document Zip Pouch – Now, these things are very cool. I keep all my papers and electronics in mine. Functions as a dry pouch, comes in many sizes and you can completely deck it out with hiking patches….








17.) Cheap Safeway Outdoor Thermos – I have come to find out in my travels…. Even though a Thermos weight is a pain (17.6 ounces), it’s a god sin to have ice cold water on a hot day. Especially after many hours of hiking when your unprotected ice water bottles already have turned warm.