I am beginning to think I am just rough on gear...

9:40 a.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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The title says it all. 

On my most recent trip my Aqua Source sleeve in my Argon completely grenaded and the the stitches blew out at the bottom. 

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Osprey has already provided me w/a RA # to shoot this one back for a replacement. I have just been way too bogged down as of late to ship it...

Then on the same trip my Leki poles locked up. By locking up I mean that both of the lower shafts have locked/extended as they should but will not collapse. 

This is the same shaft section that has the anti-shock mechanism in it. I can spin the shaft but it won't unlock. 

So I contacted Leki and they sent me out replacements. I was kinda caught off guard in a way. The first response they sent me informed me that the shafts were already on their way from the warehouse which I received a few days back complete w/new tips. 

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I am really wondering if I am just hard on my gear...

I do use it quite a bit so maybe that has something to do w/it. 

10:04 a.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Same here Rick. My tent floor is full of patches, my poles are bent, my main pack is full of patches, my footwear is in a constant state of degradation, my bags and sweaters have little down plumes trying to escape hear and there, my stuff sacks are in various stages of de-evolution, my shirts are fraying at the edges, my feet hurt, I smell bad..... oh wait those last two aren't gear issues.

10:26 a.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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I think I am in the same group, though I think it is just a matter of actually using our gear a lot. My SD Revival pack is all scraped up and in need of repair. My boots, which I've only had a year, are looking long for wear after 3-400 miles.
 I also think that we don't limit ourselves to picture perfect manicured trails and camp locations.  

10:33 a.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Patman, gonz- I always say when it comes to boots the scrapes add character. :)

Maybe that is just how I justify the wear & tear in my mind. 

Some of my favorite trail shirts look like rags that have been "stone washed" with a sand blaster. 

I gotta say being hard on gear might be a good trait to possess for maybe a gear tester?

Hmmmmm.....

12:15 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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My gear seems to break only at the hands of others.  I could list all manner of gear damaged or destroyed, but two rather costly examples stand out.  The first was a Marmot 0F mummy bag that a friend borrowed for a car camping trip to North Lake above Bishop, California.  That weekend it rained a bunch.  In the middle of the night the rangers ordered everyone to leave everything behind and immediately evacuate the camp ground.  My bag was swept away when the damn containing the lake heaved.

The other notable equipment abuse story also involves a sleeping bag.  I had a TNF -20F down mummy bag that marmots at Arch Lake in the Sierras mistook for a salt lick, and chewed a bunch of holes in the hood and groin area.  They also did a good job on my blue foam pad, giving a custom scalloped cut pattern along the edge.  The repair seamstress wondered what I was doing in that bag to cause such damage.

I guess these were both acts of nature, versus other people, but take my word, I have had fishing poles crushed by car doors at trailheads, a stove enveloped in a fire ball bashed against rocks when the person who botch the priming tried to chuck it away from their gear;  other stove’s fuel lines terminally plugged by substances spilled on them; mosquito netting ripped by clumsy milling about camp, and cameras dropped beyond repair by less than nimble fingered photo bugs.  The list is numerous.  Heck I wish you didn’t bring this topic up, I just realized half my equipment replacement costs were the result of third party screw ups! 

Ed

12:33 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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What you are describing is the inevitable when people are so concerned about weight.  Equipment keeps getting lighter and unfortunately sometimes flimsier.  I use old ski poles to hike with.  They do not adjust, but will never get stuck or collapse at an inoppotune time.  They cost $10 used.

12:54 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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ppine said:

What you are describing is the inevitable when people are so concerned about weight.  

My solo pack weight for extended winter trips is around 80lbs or more. I am hardly concerned with weight. 

My poles are also used as a monopod and I like having the ability to collapse them so they fit better in the vesti of my Hille Soulo in heavy, winter weather. 

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If and when I get dumped on by the white stuff I really don't feel like digging for them. Nor do I feel like freeing up a frozen lock mechanism. 

Neither seems like a good time to me to me.

Not knocking what you use. As long as it works for you then by all means have at it. 

2:14 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Here is the best example I could muster up in regards to how I am with my gear at times. :)

2:28 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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ppine said:

What you are describing is the inevitable when people are so concerned about weight.  Equipment keeps getting lighter and unfortunately sometimes flimsier.  I use old ski poles to hike with.  They do not adjust, but will never get stuck or collapse at an inoppotune time.  They cost $10 used.

 

Your sweeping generalization is probably true for some of my stuff (even though you didn't ask me what my concerns and motiviations were and assumed that you knew them)

2:28 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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nice photo - i have never seen a hydration sleeve explode like that.  my big backpack, the hydration sits in one of the big pockets in the lid, so the surrounding material is the outer pack material. 

Trekking poles get hammered, but I think that is part and parcel of using them.  the carbide tips on my black diamonds have an annoying habit of getting wedged between rocks and pulling out of the plastic ends, which are mashed and essentially beyond repair.  

similar to rick's experience, black diamond is standing behind the gear and shipping me new lower pole sections and baskets, plus a spare pair of carbide tips - for the price of the shipping. 

2:39 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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leadbelly2550 said:

black diamond is standing behind the gear and shipping me new lower pole sections and baskets, plus a spare pair of carbide tips - for the price of the shipping. 

I have heard on more than one occasion that BD is really good to work with as far as CS goes with their poles. 

Even though they have a 1yr warranty on the product sometimes they have a tendency to "overlook" the date of purchase and hook their customers up. 

Nice to see they helped you with your problem. 

3:49 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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ppine said:

What you are describing is the inevitable when people are so concerned about weight. 

 An interesting and telling perspective, which seems to reveal more about the speaker's preconceptions than about the people it addresses. 

My boots are robust, Italian mountaineering style, full grain leather boots. Neither light, flimsy, or concerned with being light. My pack was received as a gear testing item, and my review specifically mentions the need for reinforcement or heavier fabric on the edges most susceptible to abrasion.  

My stove is a Optimus Nova, my sleeping pad is an older thermarest, my most used bag is a 5lb sythetic, my cookset is a large aluminum set, I often use satainless water bottles, and I frequently carry a large DLSR.

It seems your presumptions about being being overly concerned with weight are more than a little off the mark.  

6:21 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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One thing for certain here: I may not be hauling around a Teton Sports Mammoth 0-Degree Sleeping Bag, but I will confide that pack in my avatar ain't UL.  In this specific instance it included a five gallon bulk water transport for a dry camp destination five miles from the trailhead.  And makings for rumaki d'oeuvres, two lamb racks, baking potatoes, asparagus, a fine merlot, and cognac with Swiss chocolates to finish it all off with.  Beer, more water, and other meals too, of course, but these carried by my friend. Our nod to UL was transferring the spirits from glass to nalegene, and selecting beer in those miniature aluminum keg-like dispensers.  Don’t ask how heavy, ‘cause I don’t bother weighing my pack.

Ed 

6:30 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Mmmm the sound of your meal makes me hungry Ed. I have taken steak and potatoes, spaghetti, and most recently salmon and a cedar plank to smoke it on. Lamb on the trail sounds fantastic though, any mint sauce to accompany it? Hahah.

Gonz- what is your opinion on your boots? You have alicos? Even 400 miles seems a little premature to be degrading to me. Or am I over imaging the condition they are in?

7:02 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Jake W said:

Mmmm the sound of your meal makes me hungry Ed. I have taken steak and potatoes, spaghetti, and most recently salmon and a cedar plank to smoke it on. Lamb on the trail sounds fantastic though, any mint sauce to accompany it? Hahah.

Actually I used rosemary from my garden, cut into a baste of purée garlic, salt, ground pepper, and a little of the cognac.  The racks were impaled on a wood skewer, and braised over a wood fire.  The juices running from rack on the plate indicate a medium rare finish.


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Ok now I am hungry...

Ed

2:38 a.m. on August 9, 2012 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

The other notable equipment abuse story also involves a sleeping bag.  I had a TNF -20F down mummy bag that marmots at Arch Lake in the Sierras mistook for a salt lick, and chewed a bunch of holes in the hood and groin area.  They also did a good job on my blue foam pad, giving a custom scalloped cut pattern along the edge.  The repair seamstress wondered what I was doing in that bag to cause such damage.

 When I was a hutkeeper in NZ I strung up my hammock on the front porch of the hut. An Australian guy I was working with slept out in it and left his Army surplus down bag in the hammock when we went out to do trail work. While we were gone, the local gang of keas, the legendary "shredding parrots" of NZ, got into it big time. Holes from head to toe, and drifts of down all around the front of the hut. The Ozzie in question already had a pretty foul mouth, but he went into overdrive on that one.

12:57 p.m. on August 9, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick.

Maybe your equip problems stem from going heavy.  Few packs are designed these days for more than 50-60 pounds.

 

Gonzan,

No need to get personal.  I don't care much about equipment compared to most people on this forum.  But I care about experience and ability, and I am willing to debate the philosophy of the outdoors with anyone that is civil about it.

 

Patman,

My sweeping generalizations have nothing to do with you.  Please don't take everything so personally.

1:28 p.m. on August 9, 2012 (EDT)
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Is it just me or are things getting a little hostile in here?

I immediately had the same thought as ppine  before I even finished reading Ricks post. I didn't make any assumptions as to the preferences of the hikers using the equipment, but I think most, certainly not all, but most definitely, manufacturers are following the trend/fad towards lighter, lighter, lighter.... and the newest, flashiest, most eye catching materials and the gear's durability is suffering as a result. There's just only so far you can go in that direction before it is going to begin to have a negative effect. But the marketing professionals are paying attention to quarterly earnings reports and the promise of next year's newest design.

Red, I think those parrots would have resembled Ed's photo's above after that episode.

2:41 p.m. on August 9, 2012 (EDT)
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ppine said:

Rick.

Maybe your equip problems stem from going heavy.  Few packs are designed these days for more than 50-60 pounds.

The pack in my avatar photo(which is my go-to pack) is an Osprey Argon 85. It is rated to haul loads over the 50-60lb mark.

I have actually had coversations with the folks at Osprey that assured me that the pack will haul 70lbs+ without much trouble.

As far as saying "few packs are designed these days for more than 50-60 lbs..."

Hogwash.

If ya don't believe me look through the expedition packs here on TS. Many will haul well over what you state.

I suppose if you are talking smaller capacity packs then yes but the expedition sized load monsters are more than capable of hauling these kinds of loads.

5:21 p.m. on August 9, 2012 (EDT)
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ppine said:

Patman,

My sweeping generalizations have nothing to do with you.  Please don't take everything so personally.

 Cool, I gotcha...no worries! I typically don't take stuff personally but I admit that my head wasn't in a good place when I replied to that post....work stress and such....I'm usually not so serious.

Point taken!

1:17 a.m. on August 10, 2012 (EDT)
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ppine said:

..I am willing to debate the philosophy of the outdoors with anyone that is civil about it...

I am only half flip when asking what IS the philosophy of the outdoors?  Is it anything like the philosophy of space?   Or trees?  I'll debate anything with most anyone, but I don't think I have conjoured a philosophical understanding of the outdoors.  If a tree fell on Descartes in the forest, would he hear the sound?  If there is Mother Nature, where are her spawn and who is the daddy?  Help me here...

Ed

7:34 a.m. on August 10, 2012 (EDT)
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 Ed,

 

I'm pretty sure the Tipi Walter is the illegitimate spawn of Mother Nature but have no guess as to the father.

1:36 p.m. on August 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Whome,

Backpacking is a perfect example of a sport that is interpreted and practiced in a great variety of styles and equipment.  It reflects peoples' philosophies in their choices.  There are no right answers, which is why it is a compelling sport.  BPing can influence peoples' everyday lives in ways they often may not realize.

Gearheads tend to focus on the practical, lefthand side of the brain.  I am not up date on all the latest equipment, so I am at a disadvantage here, but willing to learn by having some lively discourse.  But I have been backpacking for over 50 years, and retired from a career in the outdoors.

 

1:51 p.m. on August 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Patman said:

 Ed,

 

I'm pretty sure the Tipi Walter is the illegitimate spawn of Mother Nature but have no guess as to the father.

I am at a loss for words, and just as well.  I will let you be the focus of a fungal lambaste, and witness his wonder of nature .

Ed

7:55 p.m. on August 11, 2012 (EDT)
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i agree that the decision to carry less weight, and the way that one goes about getting there, is a personal choice and an interesting challenge.  lightweight doesn't have to mean less durable, but that's often the result.  no matter - so long as your stuff does what you want, it can help aching/aging muscles and joints to carry less.

on the other hand, there are situations where carrying a lot of weight goes with the territory - long hikes, winter hikes, etc. - and it's nice to be able to carry it.  while a lot of people aren't necessarily looking for load-hauling backpacks, there are plenty of options available that can carry 60 pounds or more "comfortably" - if 60-100 pounds on your back is ever really comfortable.  my quads tend to disagree from time to time. 

 

 

 

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