September 19, 2008 What Lies Beneath Gear

What Lies Beneath

One of the things I didn’t mention about my recent Pacific Crest Trail hike was that I froze my butt off at night. At first, I was convinced the problem was the sleeping bag I’d chosen: Marmot’s 30° Hydrogen. Since it was mid-August, I was anticipating temperatures to be mild. Instead, overnight lows dipped down (more...)...

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September 15, 2008 MSR Hyperflow Gear

MSR Hyperflow

With its various parts and configurations, MSR’s Hyperflow Microfilter weighs between roughly 7.6 and 9.9 ounces total. Go with the higher number—leaving parts at home (such as the Nalgene bottle adapter or even the carrying sack) is not recommended. That makes the Hyperflow roughly two and a half ounces lighter than my current pump/filter darling (more...)...

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September 14, 2008 PCT: Onion Valley to Cottonwood Pass Hiking

PCT: Onion Valley to Cottonwood Pass

Horseshoe Meadow, California — I take one last look inside my car, checking to be sure nothing will appeal to the bears, and then I lock the doors. It feels kind of spooky as my hiking partner Bill drives us back down Horseshoe Meadows Road in his truck, heading east to Highway 395, then north (more...)...

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September 5, 2008 God, I Love the Smell of HDPE in the Morning… Gear

God, I Love the Smell of HDPE in the Morning…

Among the more esoteric search topics that bring visitors to SierraDescents is the question of the scent of HDPE water bottles. Do HDPE water bottles really smell bad, people wonder? Or was that just a marketing pitch started by the creators of Lexan? Here at the world-renowned SierraDescents Institute for Plastic Odor Research (SIPOR), I (more...)...

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September 4, 2008 Jetboil PCS Gear

Jetboil PCS

Rarely does gear prove to be such a complete home run as Jetboil’s Personal Cooking System (PCS) canister stove. The only conceivable knock on the Jetboil is its potentially-alarming 15-ounce weight. That may sound a bit startling if you’re used to the 2.5 ounce posted weights of stoves like Snow Peak’s GigaPower or my Coleman (more...)...

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When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.