Backpacking season has finally arrived! We have lived a month of #vanlife, and we’re remembering everything we love to hate, and hate to love about it—putting up mosquito nets every time we stop, falling asleep to crickets, showering irregularly and brushing our teeth to sunrises, to name a few. It’s time to get out from our mobile metal walls and sleep in the backcountry. Here are just a few items that we use to help us with our backcountry adventures in Gear On The Go: May 2018 edition.
Introducing your favorite holiday-style meal without the mess and hassle. New for 2018 in the extensive line-up of Mountain House freeze-dried meals is the Homestyle Turkey Dinner Casserole. When we’re in the backcountry, food is always a morale booster. After a long day on the trail, being able to enjoy some warm comfort food makes sleeping under the stars a little sweeter. In true Thanksgiving fashion, you’ll enjoy a combination of turkey, stuffing, harvest vegetables and familiar Thanksgiving spices in a savory broth. With 14 grams of protein and two servings in a pack, you can bet that you’ll be full and ready to go on the next day’s adventure. Mountain House is known for having the longest proven shelf life in the business. Mountain House guarantees that the taste of the meal will keep up to 25 years on the shelf. Their meals are freeze-dried as opposed to dehydrated. This allows them to be lighter weight and have a longer shelf life. Keep some on hand in case of an emergency. Just add hot water to the pouch, let it sit, and dig in!
Simply put: this pack has everything we want, and nothing we don’t. In an age of ultra-technical, expensive packs that never fit quite right comes a breath of fresh air. The Aeon 35 pack from Lowe Alpine is just what we’ve been looking for. It’s part of a new, lightweight, and versatile range of backpacks from Lowe Alpine. While the Aeon comes in a few different sizes we usually stick to the 35-liter version. When your home is on wheels, it’s important that you only carry the gear you need. We use this pack because it’s so versatile. Quick over-nighter or weekend trip in the backcountry? This pack fits the bill. Day hike where all you need is some water and an extra layer? The Aeon can easily sinch down and pretend it’s a smaller pack without feeling and looking ridiculous. The Aeon comes with Lowe Alpine’s MultiLock ice axe, helmet and pole attachment as well as their Tipgrip trecking pole attachments. This pack is great because it’s built extremely well and even more importantly; it’s not over-built. Lowe Alpine’s AirContour back system is simple, lightweight, and easy to adjust. Gone are the days of spending an hour adjusting your pack to get it to fit right. The Aeon doesn’t have a metal frame so the pack can be folded down to fit inside another bag if you’re traveling. The hip belt and shoulder straps do an excellent job balancing weight without being bulky and obtrusive. The lightweight and unique design of the shoulder straps allow them to contour to your body, ensuring a comfortable fit and even weight distribution. The Aeon 35 comes in both men’s and women’s specific versions.
These women’s specific trekking poles from LEKI are absolute featherweights. Weighing in at just under 7.5 ounces, these are one of the lightest sets of poles with the smallest pack size that we’ve ever used. The Micro Vario is LEKI’s answer to the growing folding pole category. They collapse down in a second with the push of just one button. They are designed and engineered specifically for a woman with smaller grips, shorter straps, and overall smaller dimensions to fit smaller woman’s packs. The Micro Vario is fully adjustable from 100cm to 120cm and will fit just about everyone. They are crafted with 100 percent carbon to ensure lightweight durability. It may sound silly, but when you put these poles on, it sort of feels like you’re strapping into a sports car. But that sports car is going to take you to the top of a mountain. The edgeless Aergon Thermo Foam Grips offer maximum comfort at minimal weight. LEKI has been in the pole business for a long time, making various types of poles used by countless Olympic athletes. When we speak with our friends at LEKI one thing is clear: they only care about making the absolute best product possible.
Hex marks the spot! The Hex 2.0 is Crazy Creek’s lightest and most packable chair. These chairs are made to go anywhere and be your butt’s best friend. The Hex 2.0 is similar to the Original chair that you know and love but rolls up to about the size of an extra-large burrito. We take ours with us on bike rides, hikes, and pretty much on any adventure when we might not want to sit in the dirt. The Hex 2.0 supports up to 250 pounds and is made from 210D Ripstop nylon that will protect you from wet ground. The 8mm high-density cored EVA closed cell foam provides more insulation without adding bulk. As a result, the Hex can double as an ultra-lightweight sleeping mat for those looking to shed some precious ounces from their pack. When we’re hiking or backpacking we store the rolled up Hex in the mesh water bottle pocket on the outside of our packs. One of our favorite unintentional features of this chair is that when you’re planted next to the campfire the smoke rolls right over your head. It makes for a comfortable seat, no matter where your adventure takes you.
Keep an eye out each month for another installment of Live Outside and Play’s Gear On The Go.
There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors like Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to win our Grand Gear Giveaway!