Saturday, February 6, 2010

Random Gear Talk

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22 comments:

d40 said...

I'm interested to see how that mesh bag holds up to animals. I've read that some rats can chew through concrete. And that animals will work harder to eat your food after they get a taste of it.

Jason Klass said...

I'll probably test it out on squirrels and crows. According to their website, the best practice is to line the Outsack with an odor proof bag like the Aloksak. I'll probably try it with and without to see if what you say is true about getting a taste of the food.

Aaron said...

I really like the idea of the stake bags! I am surprised no one has made those, yet. The first thing I did when i got my new tent was replace the existing sil-nylon sack (which was ripped from one of the stakes, already) with a duct tape bag. The weight penalty is worth it to keep the stakes from ruining something, but I look forward to one of your bags instead!

a2Eric said...

Sorry, Im a party pooper...The mesh bag is a neat idea, but Im weary it would quickly fall into the gear box labled "neat stuff, but unlikley to pack." Afterall we pride ourselves on using enhanced technique in leu of packing more gear made of metal.

That fatwood stuff ROCKS! Quality and burn intenisty vary greatly though. Im sorting through a pile to find the most amber colored resin pieces.

Jason Klass said...

Eric,
Yes, fatwood is awesome. Chris has got me hooked now.

I won't carry the bag every time. But I can definitely see some applications where there are a lot of rodents and other camp robbers. A couple of years ago, a raven got into my food bag which was hung from a tree and tore all my food apart while I was on a dayhike. It would have been nice to have had an Outsack on that trip. :(

ccorbridge said...

I'm interested to see how the fly fishing pouch turns out. I'd like to see a minimalist, lightweight alternative to the Mayfly I have now. It's the best thing I've found so far, but it seems to me it could be lightened up without compromising function.

Joe and Lisa said...

I'm interested in hearing about a TR from the USVI.

Jason Klass said...

Boomer,
Do you have a link or a picture of the Mayfly you're using? I'd like to see it for design ideas. This pack will probably weight around 1-2 ounces. very minimalist, but functional.

ccorbridge said...

Jason, here's a link to the Mayfly. It's a post on your Fly Fishing Blog

http://www.backpackflyfishing.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=87

Hope it helps, Carol

Matt DeWitt said...

I just about bought a mesh bag from Opsack. I am trying to figure out a good way to hang our food and like the idea of the mesh bag over the bear canister. What do you use now Jason?

Matt DeWitt said...

I love the idea of the mesh bags. I just about bought one but will wait for a review first.How do you store your food now jason? I think this method would be a bear canister. I will be planning a trip to an island where there are know bears but alot of chipmunks and I have been warned they will chew your tent or bag for the food .

Jason Klass said...

Hey Matt,

Mostly, I use just a silnylon bag I sewed myself and hang it. In 99% of cases, it works fine. If you're using a bear canister, you don't need the mesh bag over it. You'll have more than enough protection. This bag (in my opinion) is better for places where there are no bears and a lot of rodents or scavenging birds.

Matt DeWitt said...

Jason that is what I will have on my next trip. Rodents racoons no bears on the island. I just got some opsacks in the mail so now looking for a way to store the opsack bags in.

Matt DeWitt said...

did your email change? Its the same msn on your blog here but I get bounce back.

Jason Klass said...

Matt,
It's jasonk1974@msn.com

Chad said...

Jason, glad to hear you talk about the Outsak. I love my large one I bought a few months ago. While it is big, it is great for 2 people on multi-night trips. (I have a review on backpackgeartest.org for the large version) I think that they are a very good investment since it offers a peace of mind (if done correctly). I was able to try out one of the UL versions and they are pretty sweet. I will be excited when I get the final production in the mail (hopefully soon). I do line mine with the Opsaks (but I have used just Ziploc bags in a snap and still no problem.)
Simple Outdoor Store is a great business to deal with as well, very nice people.

Matt DeWitt said...

can't wait for a review from Jason on the opsack. Chad your review is great i think this is a great lightweight alternative to a bear canister is areas with out bears. What do you think a dear would do with this if he could reach it?
chad review
http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Stuff%20Sacks/Dry%20Bags/Outsak%20Backpacking%20Storage%20Bag/Owner%20Review%20by%20Chad%20G%20Poindexter/

Chad said...

I would imagine that if the deer were able to get to it and if it were persistent enough it would eventually get through the mesh bag. I believe it would take it some time and effort though.
I think the whole key though, no matter what kind of bag/sack is hanging is to hang it properly. Large animals should not be able to get to it. I would imagine it would be easy to keep from a deer, however with bears or other animals that can climb......
I try to hang my Outsaks properly. Alot of times I am able to use bear cables while on the AT. I always use at least a Ziploc inside, but prefer an Opsak (odor-proof bag). As long as I hang it right I don't have to worry about the large animals, but those flying squirrels, and acrobatic mice....
On the last trip I went on a squirrel jumped right up on our bench at the shelter where a buddys food was and ran off with a Clif bar, in the wrapper. We found the wrapper not far away. Ill bet that squirrel was in for a treat!

Matt DeWitt said...

Wow that is a crazy. From what I hear its the little guys that will get your food over the big ones. I am looking at the UL sacks too. They look great just looking for some reviews on the UL version before I buy.

Plinko said...

Crittersack (Reviewed here in 2007: http://www.clubtread.com/gear/productdetail.aspx?productversionid=160 ) was a home-based operation making similar sized rodent bags as the Outsack, but from full Spectra material and weighed 2.5 oz. These bags kicked ass and Ursack got all up in their face about it claiming patent infringement and forced the inventor to close his doors. Lighter and much less expensive than the Ursack, the Crittersack was such an ideally suited product for backpackers who don't hike in bear prone areas. This is one of my favorite pieces of gear ever and I wish I could have done more to help the guy stand up to Ursack, since Ursack’s design were different and patent strictly applied to bears, and Crittersack's design was focused at rodents. The venerable Crittersack came with a fold-over top, double-row Velcro closure design, complete with sewn spectra hang loops, 50’ of spectra line, and a sewn on storage bag to hold the line and function as a throw bag (with a rock to weight it). Regardless, the backpacking public is now worse off for Ursack's heavy-handed ways. Shortly after anhilating Crittersck, Ursack came out with the Ursa Minor, but the design allows mice to enter unobstructed in certain situations. The Ratsack, and now the Outsack all attempt to tip-toe around patents Ursack strictly enforces in court. As a result, the final product is made from less-than-optimal materials. Spectra material is the right tool for the job. The Ursack Minor uses the right material, but its design doesn’t come close to the fully featured Crittersack.

The stake bags look great. I’ve sewn silnylon stake bags and the weight savings was great, but it wasn’t durable enough for the task. I’d love to see some out of full Dyneema single material would be faster / easier to sew as well.

Re: Fly Pocket, I’m a huge proponent of pockets on both hips, AND on both shoulder straps. Sunglasses live in one of the shoulder strap pockets, camera in the other. Hip belt pockets get bumped a lot (hiking off trail / scrambling / falls while skiing, etc.) Keeping the breakable items on the shoulder straps adds an extra level of protection. Snacks aren’t as fragile so they go on the hips. I have various detachable models, mostly made by Ultimate Direction, who specialize in running products. Several of their packs including the current Diablo feature, “Two front multi-use mesh pockets attached to shoulder straps”. It might be worth looking at their offerings in person. Will it be a fully-padded construction? On the blog vid Random Gear Talk it appears your current design has two Velcro closures for attaching to shoulder straps. Are you including any reinforcement/buckle on the Velcro ends? When these are loaded heavy the Velcro can and does loosen (sugg. Nifco FR-15 KF8, seen here: http://www.nifco.com.hk/en/detail_5713.htm ) Hit me up and I can take some photos of some successful design elements of past shoulder pockets. djbenno at gmail period com

Jason Klass said...

Hi Plinko,
I'm not adding a buckle as it would add too much weight. I'm trying to keep the thing as light as possible and avoid ending up with a product that is the status quo (something like Fishpond produces). It's so small that I don't think you could put enough in there to make weight an issue. Maybe I'll post a prototype soon to get more feedback from guys like you.

J.R. said...

Looking forward to your test of the outsak