Review: Pronto Cafe Coffee…

Every once in a while a brand (or rep) will contact me about testing gear.  A lot of times it just doesn’t fit with what I do, sometimes it fits but I’m kinda settled with the gear I have.  Point being, I tend to turn away a fair amount of stuff throughout the year because I don’t feel like I can do it justice.  But when someone offers me coffee, I’m in!

I started working a little with Sport-Hansa after talking to them at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in January.  They’ve been a cool company to work with and represent and distribute several European brands here in the US.  I’ve been experimenting with coffee lately in the field (instant, French Press, Aeropress, Grower’s Cup, etc.) so when Sport-Hansa asked if I wanted to try a new lightweight, portable coffee brewing product I, of course, said “absolutely!”

I first saw Pronto Cafe mentioned at HikinginFinland.com earlier in the year.  Pronto Cafe is a French product with coffee roasted in Italy and packaged in Switzerland.  I didn’t expect to find it in the US, so didn’t give it much thought.  With Sport-Hansa now bringing the product to the US, I was happy to be able to try it.  Each package weighs in at only 8 grams and delivers about 8oz of fresh brewed Arabica coffee.  In the sealed package they are supposed to have at least a 12 month shelf life.  Pronto Cafe seems to be available in a 3 pack sampler (for $3.87) or a 10 pack box (for $12.29) which calcs out to a cup of fresh brewed coffee for about $1.25 each.

Pronto Cafe Field Test…

Pronto Cafe Coffee

Recently I had a chance to do a quick day hike with some awesome Twitter friends in the Superstition Mountains outside of Phoenix.  It was a cold, rainy weekend perfect for desert hiking and fun (dangerous) creek crossings.  As is my usual custom, I brought a Jetboil with me on this day hike so we could warm ourselves up with a hot beverage when we stopped for lunch.  Among the assorted beverages was the new Pronto Cafe packets.

Pronto Cafe CoffeeWhen we stopped I was able to offer up coffee, tea, hot chocolate and hot apple cider.  We tried several of the options including the coffee from Pronto Cafe.  The packets are pretty simple, a bit of ground coffee in a small brewing pouch with built in support arms on either side to allow it to rest at the rim of your cup while you pour water over the grounds.  The water seeps through, delivering hot fresh brewed coffee.  We set everything up and began to pour the heated water through but it poured through very fast not allowing much of a steep with the grounds.  As expected, this gave us pretty weak coffee and left me wondering if there was something that could be done.

Pronto Cafe CoffeeLater I decided to try it again, but this time I tried to compact the grounds a little in the pouch before pouring the water in.  I also deliberately slowed the rate of pour (previously I simply filled the pouch then let it drain out, filled again etc.).  I also made sure I delivered a measured amount of water so as not to dilute the brew.

This method seemed to deliver a better, richer cup of coffee.  The trick seems to be to create a little more of a condensed layer of grounds, then trickle the water through.  It still filters through quickly, but you do seem to be able to control the strength of the brew in this way.

All in all, not a bad cup of coffee for a single-serve lightweight option.  It certainly is lighter and creates less waste than many other brews I’ve tried for the backcountry.  Outside of bringing your own instant coffee, Pronto Cafe seems to be the most compact, lightweight and low waste product on the market.  Given the luxury of space and weight, I still prefer my french press…but this is a good alternative for those lightweight scenarios.

Easy knots with the LoopAlien…

LoopAlien

A little while back I was contacted by Claire over at Outdoor Trail Gear to take a look at the LoopAlien for creator David Burrell.  David developed these cool lightweight gadgets a while back and I’ve seen them around, but never had the chance to play with them until now.

I am not an Ultralight guy when it comes to hiking and backpacking, but I do like to keep things as light as reasonable.  So lightweight, versatile gadgets like the LoopAlien are interesting to me to see how they fit into my overall kit.  This is especially when the weather permits me to do some hammock camping.  Hammock camping has some unique challenges because most of your setup is suspended (sometimes all of it) and that means a fair amount of rope work, small rope work where knots and adjustments can be challenging.  If you’ve ever tried tying a knot in a 2mm line and then untying it…it’s like trying to untie fishing line.

In my setup I’ve got some Dutchware that I use to fasten line, tie things down and string ridgelines and they’re great but somewhat limiting.  The LoopAlien can do the same thing, with an insignificant weight difference, and much more.  I’ve used them to tighten tie downs, secure loads on the backpack, hang gear, etc.  They’re light enough (at 2.5 g for aluminium and 2.9 g for titanium) that the weight doesn’t even factor in to my overall load.  They’ll work well with the 1.75mm and 2.2mm Dyneema chord but also work easily with paracord.

In a pretty nasty little storm we encountered in Arches National Park, I used the LoopAliens to rig my tent to a tree to reduce the shaking from heavy wind.  In the cold, windy conditions at night the LoopAlien made it easy to secure the improvised tie down line without having to fumble around in the dark and cold with a knot.

I’ve also used it to add secure attachment points in line that’s already tied down.  Pushing a loop of line through the large hole and wrapping it around the outside of one of the smaller holes allows me to secure a tight attachment point for tying off another line or hanging something from a ridgeline.  I’ve only been using these for a little while, but it seems like the potential uses are endless if you work with small line a lot.

David was just successfully funded at his kickstarter for a new LoopAlien design that will prove to be even more versatile that the original.  Check out the design at the kickstarter page to see the new design and info on when they might be available.

LoopAlien from Canny Designs

At only $4 for the Aluminium LoopAlien is pretty affordable to add to any gear set.  The most expensive version (heat anodized Titanium) is $10 and is still not a bad price for something like this if you are going to be using it often.  They’re nice to have around and a set of 3 or 4 of these would be a sweet stocking stuffer for the hammock enthusiast or lightweight backpacker in your family.

Testing Columbia’s Omni-Freeze Zero…

Being #OmniTEN has it’s perks.  One of the awesome parts of this experience has been the opportunity to dig a little deeper than usual into a brand’s technology.  Usually, I get to test one or two pieces from a company and give my opinion.  Columbia has sent us a pretty wide sampling of pieces hosting a collection of technologies.  The big focus for us, as Spring/Summer Omniten, has been on the Omni Freeze and Omni-Freeze Zero fabrics that are featured this year.

Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero Technology

Omni-Freeze Zero Products I’ve used…

Between the products that I’ve received as part of the OmniTEN welcome package, pieces I’ve asked to test and a couple of pieces I’ve purchased I have quite a collection of Omni-Freeze Zero products.  Here is the list of what I’ve worn:

Omni-Freeze Zero Technology…

Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero TechnologyOmni-Freeze ZERO is the culmination of a four-year development effort including Omni-Freeze, the short lived Omni-Freeze Ice and now Omni-Freeze Zero.

The basis of the technology is to use the sweat (moisture) we produce during exercise or in extreme heat to cool the fabric.  Omni-Freeze Zero fabric is embedded with thousands of little blue super-absorbent polymer rings that trap up to 300% more moisture than normal fabric then use that moisture to physically drop the temperature of the fabric for an extended period of time.

Excerpt from Popular Science Magazine about the technology:

“The human body already has a highly efficient cooling system: As perspiration evaporates, it draws heat away from the body. Wicking fabrics facilitate this process by distributing sweat evenly over the fabric, so that it dries more quickly. Despite devising cheats, such as menthol-like chemical coatings added to fabrics, companies have never actually improved upon the body’s natural cooling process. Designers at Columbia Sportswear have now made a fabric that does.

Omni-Freeze ZERO shot with a thermal camera

image taken with a thermal camera that displays, when it was moistened with steam, darker blue areas signify colder temperatures

The wicking polyester base of the Omni-Freeze ZERO T-shirt is embedded with thousands of 0.15-inch hydrophilic polymer rings (a men’s medium has more than 41,000 of them). As the base spreads sweat, the rings absorb moisture and expand into three-dimensional doughnuts. In order to swell, the rings require energy, which they gather as body heat. In tests, the shirt was up to 10 degrees cooler against the wearer’s skin than shirts made from any other material.”

Typically coupled with complementary technologies like Omni-Wick EVAP and Omni-Shade, these new garments are tailor made for adventures in the heat.

Omni-Freeze Zero Performance…

It’s hot in Phoenix, there’s no getting around it.  A clothing product that can cool itself sounds like a desert dweller’s dream.  So when Columbia sent me the first batch of Omni-Freeze Zero stuff I was anxious to try it out.

I decided to do the first test mid-day on the bike with a brisk 20 mile ride in the Trail Dryer Hat and Freeze Degree 1/2 Zip long sleeve shirt.  I didn’t sweat.  This told me two things: I need try harder and the light, breathable fabric with Omni-Wick kept me pretty dry.  Halfway through the ride I poured a little water on the headband of the hat and did feel some cooling, but it wasn’t significant.

Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero TechnologyLater, I took the Terminal Zero shirt out for a hike.  It was over 100 degrees and I did 6 hot miles on a rocky, exposed trail to work up a sweat.  I could tell that certain areas where the sweat was accumulating I could sense the cooling in the fabric.  I never really built enough sweat to get larger sections of the shirt to cool so I sprayed some water on my neck, shoulders and arms to give the fabric a little boost.  BAM…there it is.  Initially, there’s the immediate natural cooling effect you would feel in any shirt when you splash it with water, but then the fabric cools down and goes well beyond anything water would do alone.  Even spraying it with warm water, the fabric cools below the temp of the water.

There is a tipping point where the fabric saturates enough to activate the cooling of the material.  I decided to see if more water meant more cooling and later put on the Freeze Degree Long Sleeve shirt and jumped in the pool.  It was well over 100 degrees in full sun.  I got out of the pool and sat in the sun with the shirt on.  The shirt didn’t seem to significantly cool until it had dried out a little, then the technology kicked in and I felt a significant sensation of cooling where the shirt was touching my skin.  This cooling effect slowly dissipated as the fabric dried out.

Coupled with complementary technologies like Omni-Shade (50 SPF UV protection) and design features like a vented back panel (in some shirts), the clothing performs well outdoors.  I do feel like I was more comfortable on my warm weather hikes in the Columbia clothing I tested.  Like most technical fabrics, it doesn’t take much use to build up some stink, there’s something about tech fabrics that really amplifies body odor. The Omni-Freeze Zero materials are best used next to the skin so wearing something underneath defeats the purpose.

Room for improvement…

I’ve heard some complaints about Columbia having inconsistent fit and sizing with their garments.  That makes it difficult sometimes to order things online especially when you’re sort of in between sizes like I am.  I don’t think it’s so much that the sizing has been inconsistent as much as they sell different cuts and some styles are more fitted than others.  I found most of the sizing true to convention.

It would be nice to see Columbia develop an Omni-Odor Block technology of some kind.  All of the tech fabrics in athletic wear seem to amplify body odor and these shirts are no different.

Other than that, I like the styling, fit and weight of the garments.  I do wish they made the Terminal Zero in a black or dark gray color but I seem to be in the minority lately about acceptable clothing colors…and I like the blue.  There’s not a lot I would suggest beyond what they’ve done.  I think Columbia does a pretty thorough job in designing clothing that works well in the outdoors.

Bottom Line…

It works.  If you’re like me and you don’t sweat buckets when you’re exercising, you might need to add a little moisture to activate the cooling but the fabric works.  We did get free samples to test as part of OmniTEN, but I felt confident enough in the products after using them to purchase more pieces with my own money AND buy some for my wife.  A little cooling help in Arizona means an extra month or so of enjoying the outdoors before even Omni-Freeze Zero can’t compete with the heat.

 

More from The OMNITEN…

For more Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero talk…check out the reviews from fellow #OmniTEN bloggers Kristie, Eric and Erika.

Kristie:

“I decided to put my long sleeve 1/2 zip top on myself and throw Rainy in my Freeze Degree short sleeve top.  We then took a dip in the water, and it was instant relief and disbelief for me.  I felt unbelievably cool in the water, but once I stepped out of the water (after dunking my Trail Dryer hat in the water), I stayed cool for a couple hours without going back into the water!”

Eric:

coming soon!

Erika:

“Here is the main reason I’m in love with this shirt, it adapts to the temperature of my body, avoiding those too hot, too cold, moments so common in spring. I can put the Omni-Freeze ZERO long-sleeve shirt on and wear it all day comfortably from sun to shade.”

 

Lessons about knowing your outdoor gear…

Have you ever made a mistake?  A stupid mistake?  The kind of mistake that makes you kick yourself for doing something you KNEW you shouldn’t have done?  No?  Then stop reading, this isn’t for you.  Piss off.

We all make mistakes from time to time.  We get complacent, or hurried or distracted and we do things we otherwise wouldn’t do.  Sometimes these mistakes make us laugh at our own folly, but (particularly in the backcountry) mistakes can be very dangerous.

I’ve had my share of mistakes.  One night camping in the mountains around Mount Graham outside Safford I hurriedly tossed the rain fly on my tent in the dark as a storm was starting to move in.  It wasn’t long into a pretty solid downpour that I discovered I had put the fly on upside down.  Turns out those waterproof-breathable fabrics they use for protection only work one way.  I knew that, I just missed it.

Another time, on luckily just a short hike, I had performed a quick check of my small pack, checked the hydration hoses, filled the bladder, packed a snack and shortly thereafter shot out the door to make my hike.  It wasn’t until I arrived at the trailhead and picked up my unusually light pack that I realized I had left the full hydration bladder on the counter, right by the sink, right where I had set it after filling it up.  A stupid mistake because I wasn’t fully paying attention to the process.

There was also the time I loaded my tent for a quick backpacking trip and discovered, a day’s hike in to the middle of nowhere, that I had grabbed the rain fly, not the tent.  Luckily I was able to easily make a bivvy shelter with the fly and it wasn’t a total catastrophe.  I’ve also packed my tent with the wrong set of poles before…that was fun.

This most recent mistake learning experience was a result of simply not paying attention.  I even remember second guessing myself and some little voice telling me, “nah, it’ll be FINE…”

My Snow Peak 450 Insulated mug on the SoloStove cook system - outdoor gear

I had just built a nice little fire in my new SoloStove.  I had received one to test out and was anxious to put it to use.  I prepped my fuel, built a beautiful little top-down fire (as instructed) and had quite nice burn going.  Now I just needed to boil some water, time it, record it and round one of the testing would be in the books.

I’m in the process of moving so I don’t know where half of my stuff is currently.  I could not find a camp pot anywhere with which to boil a little water.  In haste, I grabbed my Snow Peak Titanium mug and filled it with water.  There was a piece of me that hesitated, but I couldn’t put my finger on why and dismissed it.  I set the mug on the stove and watched the flames lick at the titanium.

Now, this is for a review, so I’m taking pictures, recording a little video, talking about the technology of the burn system and why the fire was built top-down…so I’m distracted.  The nagging hesitation was set aside so I could focus on the review.  Then it hits me!

The Snow Peak Titanium 450 Double Wall mug is an insulated mug.  The outer shell of the cup is made up of two walls of titanium with air space in the middle to serve as an insulating layer.  This helps reduce heat transfer through the wall of the cup.  This means it will NOT heat efficiently, it is not a good cooking vessel.  More importantly, and the reason for my sudden anxiety, is that the super-heated air trapped between the two layers of titanium will expand when heated and can cause the weld seam to burst.  Depending on how well the seams hold, this could be a pretty dramatic rupture or simply a small hole to let the air escape.  Once I realized this error I pulled the cup off the heat.

Luckily, my seam held and the only real damage (aside from severe discoloration) is a slightly bulged and rounded bottom on the mug.  Not the end of the world.

In the privacy of my own home, I can simply kick myself for being stupid and potentially ruining an expensive piece of gear.  In the backcountry, we can’t afford to make those kinds of mistakes.  This sort of thing is a reminder of how easily, and innocently, mistakes can be made.  It’s a reminder that we really do need to slow down, pay attention and think through our actions…especially in the field.  It’s also a reminder to know your gear.  Know it’s intended uses, it’s limitations, be familiar with the technology and why it works.  The proper gear can save your life, but only if you know how to use it properly and do so with thoughtfulness.

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I’d love to hear about YOUR gear related mistakes.  Comment below if you’ve ever made a mistake with your outdoor gear…it’ll make me feel better about my own stupidity. ;)

Winter Outdoor Giveaway – Week 2…

Week 2 of the Winter Outdoor Giveaway is here so you get a second chance at some awesome winter gear.

We’ve added a new entry option called Refer-A-Friend.  Use this entry option to score up to 10 bonus entries!  Here’s how it works:

After you enter using any of the options, a box will appear at the bottom of the widget that will give you a unique URL that you can share with your friends. For each friend that enters the giveaway, you will receive +1 entry into the giveaway. You refer up to 10 people.  Cool, right?!

Win lots of great winter gear

Entering is easy, just click on the entry options below to secure your chances.  The more you enter the better chance you’ll have to win this fantastic gear:

And don’t forget to show your support for our fellow outdoor bloggers who have put in considerable time and effort to pull this outdoor giveaway together.

What are you waiting for?  Enter the Winter Outdoor Giveaway now!

 
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Winter Outdoor Giveaway – Week 1…

Winter Gear Giveaway

Let’s get this party started, folks!  Winter is upon us and you KNOW you want some fancy new gear to play with this season.  We had great participation last Spring and we’re hoping to give even more people a chance to win this time around.

Entering is easy, just click on the entry options below to secure your chances.  The more you enter the better chance you’ll have to win this fantastic gear:

Week 1 Prize Package:

And don’t forget to show your support for our fellow outdoor bloggers who have put in considerable time and effort to pull this outdoor giveaway together.

What are you waiting for?  Enter the Winter Outdoor Giveaway now!

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NEW Winter Gear Giveaway starts Thursday!

HEY! It’s Winter Gear Giveaway time!

Winter Gear Giveaway

 

You guys remember last Spring, right…a bunch of us handed out piles of awesome gear!  Well, it’s time to do it again and we’ve got 3 weeks of killer winter gear giveaways starting this Thursday from:

You know the drill, we will give you tons of chances to enter.  The giveaways are even bigger this time around.  But don’t worry, you can accumulate entries over the week leading up to each drawing.  The more you enter the greater your chances are to win this fantastic winter gear.

Here’s what we have to giveaway this time:

Week 1

  • Backpackers Pantry Freeze Dried Meal Set
  • Teton Sports Trailhead Ultralight Sleeping Bag
  • GU Energy Packs
  • Patagonia Men’s Scree Shield Boots
  • Bottle Bright Cleaning Tablets by Clean Ethics
  • Klymit Sleeping Pad
  • Injinji Toe Socks

Week 2

  • Hillsound Crampons
  • Hillsound Gaiters
  • Chaos Sports Balaclava
  • GU Energy Packs
  • Hydrapack Day Pack
  • Bottle Bright Cleaning Tablets by Clean Ethic
  • Injinji Toe Socks

Week 3

  • Tubbs Mountaineering Snowshoes
  • Terramar TXO 3.0 Half zip top
  • Terramar TXO 3.0 pants
  • Terramar TXO 3.0 beanie
  • Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles from The Gear House
  • JetFlow Hydration Pack
  • Eco Vessel Water Bottle/Filter
  • Chaos Sports Gloves
  • GU Energy Packs
  • Chaco Tedinho Waterproof Boots (unisex)
  • Bottle Bright Cleaning Tablets by Clean Ethic
  • Injinji Toe Socks

Stay tuned and DON”T MISS this giveaway!  In fact, if you subscribe to WildernessDave.com in the form at the top of the page you won’t miss a thing!  Just drop you’re email in and you’ll get all the updates straight to your Inbox!  It starts Thursday so GOOD LUCK!

Platypus Big Zip Hydration System Giveaway…

The Hydration Summit was a month long content explosion about hydration, hydration systems as well as the dangers of dehydration and untreated water.  Much of the Summit revolved around the major hydration systems on the market including GeigerRig, CamelBak, Platypus and Osprey (and a few more were mentioned as well).  We had 15 popular outdoor bloggers sharing their expertise and experience as it relates to hydration in the outdoors.  The result of this grand experiment was an amazing collection of stories, reviews and instructional articles that all of us who spend time in the backcountry would find useful.

Platypus Big Zip hydration system

For my part, I contributed 3 total articles: A four system comparison of hydration reservoirs, a treatise on the signs and symptoms of waterborne illness and how to treat it, and a product review of the PurifiCup water filter.

The reservoir comparison review required that I actually have all four of the systems I was to review (clearly).  I had all but the Platypus, so I purchased the Platypus for the review.

Platypus Big Zip hydration systemThe abridged version of my review:

The Platypus reservoir is a top-opening design with a Zip-Loc style closure.  The reservoir is clear and has measurement markings along the side to allow you to gauge the fill capacity.  The drink tube is connected with a quick-coupling valve, the same valve used by all of the other major brands (which subsequently allows you to swap tubes if you prefer the drink tube and bite valve from another brand).  The top-opening design, we all determined, was the easiest for filling and cleaning the reservoirs.  I did not use the nozzle (bite valve) but I have heard from others that it is their favorite and one of the easiest to drink from.  For more info on the nozzle, check out Paul’s article here.

Check out this review from RamblinBears-

This specific Platypus was the 70 oz (2.0 L) Big Zip SL Reservoir.  It retails for about $33.

Since I have many (MANY) more reservoirs that I could ever need, I am going to give this one away!

I will be giving this away with all the original packaging.  The reservoir is USED as it has had water in it and has gone through some very mild abuse in testing it’s durability and functionality for the review.  The drink tube and nozzle has never even been attached to the reservoir (I removed it as soon as I brought it home).  I will ship the reservoir as soon as I confirm the winner.  Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  THANKS!
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Gear Review: ENO Doublenest Hammock…

ENO Doublenest Hammock

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows I’ve been talking about hammock camping a lot lately.  That’s one of the reasons I was lucky enough to review a copy of Derek Hansen’s book, The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide to Hammock Camping.  Hammock camping is something I dabbled in years ago, without really knowing what I was doing, and now have returned to exploring.  There are so many more hammocks and accessories on the market now that I’m really excited about testing out a lot of this new gear.  But what got me back in to exploring the Hang was a fluke contest win last year.  I managed to win an ENO Doublenest Hammock kit (including their slap-straps and some other accessories) on Facebook!  Now, I was looking forward to getting outdoors for some overnights with my hammock.

It took a while, but I finally managed to start planning trips that would specifically put me in locations where I knew I could set a hammock.  I’ve now had the ENO out a half-dozen times and I have to say I am really enjoying it.  The Doublenest is pretty small packed into it’s own attached stuff sack (about 4x4x5) and weighs about 22oz.  It’s not UltraLight but it’s lighter than my tent.  The size of the hammock unfolded is 9′-4″ x 6′-8″ which is a little short compared to most hammocks designed for camping.  I would admit that the ENO is designed to be an all-purpose hammock.  It’s not long enough to be considered a true “camping” hammock or “expedition” hammock but it’s a comfortable size and it’s portability means you can take it almost anywhere.

The lightweight parachute nylon material has held up well so far.  The carabiners that came with the ENO were heavy, so I have replaced those with lighter, stronger carabiners (also lightening the overall load by a few ounces).  The seams are all triple-stitched and the gathered-end design translates into maximum strength at the attachment points.  The load capacity on the Doublenest is somewhere in the neighborhood of 500lbs, making it possible for two people to sit in the hammock.  This really isn’t practical for anything more than a nap as two people trying to sleep together overnight in the same hammock will lead to two people not wanting to see each other gain.  The load capacity is effected by the angle of the hang (as illustrated in Derek’s book) so if you are planning on pushing the weight limits of the product, make sure you achieve a solid 30 degree hang.

This is a great starter hammock.  For those new to hammocks, or hammock camping the ENO would be a good place to start.  It’s versatile, light, small, packable and easy to set up.  ENO has tons of accessories on their website like the Slap-Straps, tarps, bug-nets, LED lights for your ridgeline, even speakers so you can have tunes while you hang.

Enjoying the Hang in PrescottFor me, I love the low-impact nature of hammock camping.  I also love having the ability to camp in places where you just can’t with a tent.  I will be exploring more hammock options and looking into some of the more lightweight, expedition hammocks for backpacking trips.  I’ve got a few in mind and, thankfully, Derek has been a great resource for getting deeper into these products.  But I will always love my ENO and I’m sure it will find it’s way along on many future adventures.

 

 

Campsite Impact comparison

Hydration Summit – Week 3…

Hydration Summit

Week 3 of the Hydration Summit has come to a close and we’ve got some great new material!  Last week we got in to some great discussions about how hydration needs change as you get old and tips for keeping your kids hydrated.  We also some new perspectives on the hydration systems themselves.  If you are just discovering the Hydration Summit, check out my round-ups of Week 1 and Week 2 then get involved!

June 18th -

Tiffany looks at the GeigerRig pressurized hydration engine from a new angle…what does it offer as a camp tool?  How many jobs would be easier at camp with a little water pressure?  From sharing water, to cleaning, to putting out fires…a good spray of water can be very useful.  Check out her article and chime in with your thoughts on how you would use a pressurized system at camp.

We also got a nice review from Melissa, looking at the GeigerRig as a Family Friendly hydration system.  She looks at how effective the spray technology is in sharing and caring for the entire family on the trail.

June 19th -

Ever the Boy Scout, Adam takes a look at the history and importance of hydration in the Boy Scouts of America.  He takes us back to his early days in the Scouts when old surplus canteens were all the rage.  Now, with hydration system technology so easily acquired, keeping the Scouts hydrated is a less daunting task for Scout Leaders and parents.

Ryan offers us a nice breakdown of the hydration systems and compares them by taste.  Those of you have have been using hydration systems for a while are very familiar with the odd, plastic-y chemical flavor your water absorbs in the reservoir…especially after sloshing around all afternoon.  Adding flavored, sugar drinks like GatorAid also can leave a residual flavor and odor in the reservoir. Ryan takes a look at which brands are the least offensive and gives some tips on how to reduce the offensive flavoring…hint: keep it clean!

June 20th -

We are seeing a huge increase in the over-50 set exploring and enjoying the outdoors.  On my hike up to Kendrick Peak, I would say that the large majority of the people I saw on the trail that day were well over 50.  Many of us have learned to enjoy the outdoors from our parents and quite a few of us still get to enjoy their company on our adventures.  The importance of hydration is amplified for those more experienced explorers and adventurers.  The body’s ability to recover and deal with outside stressers, like dehydration, is diminished with age.  Erika covers this topic well in her article on Hydration for Adventurers over Fifty.

Brian takes his GeigerRig 1600 for a spin and has a chance to test out the main advantages of having a pressurized system.  He walks us through using the GeigerRig to irrigate a wound, wash dishes at camp and share with his awesome trail pal, Coco.

June 21st -

We bounce from worrying about our parents’ hydration needs to considering the hydration of our children in Melissa’s article.  She discusses the factors, besides heat, that can cause dehydration in children then discusses ways to monitor your child and make sure they stay sufficiently watered down.

Katie’s review is a no-nonsense look at whether or not the pressurized system is really all that necessary.  For those of us who have used the traditional systems and the pressurized systems, it’s obvious that there are some benefits…but does it really become a necessity?  Go read Katie’s article for yourself and let us know what you think.

Week4!

Week four is kicked off with another 4-system comparison, this time by Whitney.  Be sure to check out Whitney’s video review of the four different hydration systems.  I agree with her criticism of the Osprey’s tube attachment…I really wish it was a quick-release tube like the others.  About 5 1/2 minutes in she discusses the GeigerRig’s in-line filter and demonstrates it’s use.  (about 12:15 into the video Whitney admits to being a “weirdo”….her words, not mine! hehe)

Go check out the Hydration Summit and keep checking back since new content is being added every day!  Make sure you register and join in the conversation for a chance to win a GeigerRig Hydration System of your own.