In Vancouver we’re taking the chance to upgrade some of our outdoor gear. We figure it’s a good investment now, since we’ll be using the gear on a daily basis for the next 6 months. Also, it’s all about weight, that is, reducing the weight of our packs without compromising performance or safety. So we are keen to check out the latest technologies that give us a step change in function to weight ratio.
Most important item is a tent. Our beloved Meteor Light has been a wonderful tent for us for more than 10 years, from winter camping in Ontario to the Inca Trail, Baffin Island, being tent bound in Mongolia, stormy weather in NZ and views of Everest in Tibet. Now it’s a bit worse for wear and we’re looking for something similar in design, but lighter. However, after setting up numerous tents with similar specs, we’re captivated by the cleverly designed MSR Hubba Hubba. When we find out we can buy an add on vestibule called the Gearshed, it’s agreed. Our new tent will be green, super lightweight, and have a ridiculous name.
For kayaking we want a compact waterproof camera with a zoom better than our old waterproof camera, which had a view finder akin to looking down binoculars the wrong way around. We buy one that ticks all the boxes. So now we have our Lumix for fair weather hiking and the Optio for kayaking or wet weather.
Then we discover the new Thermarest sleeping mat that weighs dramatically less than the old ones and packs down to the size of a 1L Nalgene bottle. Unfortunately the one we want is not in stock so we’ll try to buy it another time. On the other hand, we find lighter cooking pots and lighter t-shirts. We both find jackets to replace our bulky fleeces.
We’re really pleased with the results of our weight loss program. There’s just one item that will add weight, just a bit, it’s a personal location beacon. In case of an emergency we can activate a signal to alert search and rescue. For this item only, it will be acceptable to carry extra weight for something we probably will not need.
Weight savings at a glance:
MSR Hubba Hubba tent 2kg vs SD Meteor Light tent 3.7kg
MSR Hubba Hubba tent with Gearshed 2.9kg
MSR Ultralight pot set 459g vs old set 660g
Pentax Optio waterproof camera 163g vs Panasonic Lumix 370g
Several lightweight merino t-shirts to replace heavier cotton ones
Thermarest Neoair 410g vs Paul’s old Thermarest 710g
Arcteryx Atom jacket 370g vs Jodie’s old fleece 500g
No photos yet, but hopefully the tent and other gear will be featured in future posts.