Gear that made you stop looking

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Gear that made you stop looking

Post by ineffableone » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:51 pm

OK folks something we all have noticed there is always new gear coming out. It is easy to get stuck into wanting to keep up with the newest fad, to keep buying gear as new tech comes out, to update for the newest innovation. Even though many of these gear categories should not be that consumable and not need constant replacement it seems a lot of folks get into the buying and updating of gear.

Common gear categories for this include but not limited to

Water filters/purifiers
Tents
Cook ware
Stoves
Packs
Flash Lights/head lamps
Knives

So I thought I would try starting a thread on items that were so good so functional that you stopped looking for any others in that category and just stuck with what you had. Sure something better might have come out, but why bother getting it when what you have will last for another decade or more and do the job it is designed for excellently.

A few ground rules for this thread, lets stick to just saying what the item is a little description including why you found it to be such a good item for that coverage, and maybe some pictures. Lets not overly bog the thread down in side tracks, arguments of what might be better, or off topic discussions. If you do have an item you feel is better than what someone else listed, then post your own comment with your chosen item and why you think it fits that role better.
Last edited by ineffableone on Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by ineffableone » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:52 pm

I figure I would start off with a few items I have found myself that stopped me searching for others to replace them.

My Wetterlings Forester's Fine Axe

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For me I really feel in love with this as a perfect for me all round pack axe. While it is not specifically designed for one use, it is a jack of many trades. Which is what made me love it so much. 24" handle makes it large enough to use two handed, but still small enough to use single handed. Especially with the 1.25 lb head. It is light and nimble. The carpenter style cut out makes choking up for small tasks easy and comfortable. I actually ended up selling off my other Wetterlings axe as I had stopped using it. Making this Forester's Fine axe my go to primary axe.

Samick Sage TD Recurve

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I had been looking for a good takedown bow for my INCH, and found a great one with the Sage. While I could likely find a better quality one for higher prices. The Sage's low cost and high quality made it a perfect bow for me to choose. Not to mention it's popularity makes it highly probably to find spare limbs in PAW if something happens to my limbs. The Sage is one of the most highly recommended entry level bows. This means a lot of other folks will be carrying them. Also the no tools take down was a huge seller for me. Not needing tools that could be lost to take this bow apart was a big selling point.

While I might end up buying other bows, for standard use, the Sage is my dedicated INCH pack bow.

SOG PowerAssist

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After over a decade of having a Gerber 600 series, I finally upgraded to a SOG. I had always wanted one but opted for the cheaper Gerber. Now I have the SOG, I don't ever want to go back. The compound leverage for the pliers, ability to swap out (customize) and replace tools, and with the Assist having the 2 blades accessible on the outside for quick access.

Mystery Ranch Crew Cab

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For my INCH pack I had been using an ILBE, until I was able to finally afford a Mystery Ranch Crew Cab. This pack is just amazing. And makes for a great INCH pack. With the large capacity and heavy load weight ability you can stuff this pack with all the gear you need and the pack will be able to handle it. Though your own body might be another story, LOL. The load cell concept of having 3 different load cells you pack the bag out with instead of a large main compartment makes unloading and finding gear very easy. It also gives the ability to have preloaded cells ready for different seasons or missions. Something I haven't done yet but plan to do. The pack without the load cells quickly converts to a small 3 day style pack. The lid acts as a small day pack. The versatility of the Crew Cab has placed it as the perfect INCH pack for me.

Katadyn Pocket

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The Pocket is a water filter that has been around since the 60's with very little change in the design. There is actually still Pockets from the 60's and 70's with original ceramic elements in them still functioning. 40+ year life filters, with a 20 year warranty. These filters are some of the few that have a proven track record. The simple design with minimal moving parts, and made from long lasting heavy duty material is the key to this filter's long life span. I had gotten the Katadyn Mini which uses the same tech in a smaller form but also plastic housing, until I could eventually afford the Pocket's large investment price. The Mini gave me the chance to affordable test out the tech, and I found I really enjoyed it. After getting the Pocket, I have been extremely happy and feel quite good about my water filtration.
Last edited by ineffableone on Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:57 pm

Snow peak has incredible titanium cookware. Vargo has a sweet little wood burning stove. I love my SnugPak Ionosphere 1-man tent. I like the ILBE, too. Got a good puukko knife.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Halfapint » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:51 pm

I'll join in....

MSR dualist even for solo hiking I love this puppy. I had some TI cook sets but I ended up crushing on accident. I like the light weight aluminum it seems to hold up for the last 5-6 years no problem.



MSR whisper light for liquid fuel cooking, no explanation required. Simple, tried, reliable, and can take many different fuels just replace the jet.



My custom made StormCrow parang. This best is the best machete I've ever had the pleasure of fondling. Plus it holds a shaving sharp edge even after trail blazing (my dad stole it from me because his army surplus one just doesn't compare)



Arc'tertx rain jacket..... Let me tell ya..... This beast is hands down the absolute best piece of waterproof clothing I've ever owned. I don't like the fact that I got it on DAY GLOW ORANGE but it's held up to monsoon downpours, the light misty shit we get here on the NW that just soaks into everything, plus for me. The biggest bonus is, it breathes.... I sweat, constantly always have, and with that bad boy it's for vents in the right spots to keep air moving. The biggest downside is the price. I paid $500 for it about 4 years ago. So it's expensive. Oh and the color as I said it's so bright I could use it to summon batman. But eh.....



For my EDC knife I've carried a Kershaw for 13 years. I can't remember the name of the knife but is the half serrated/half straight blade. It's a lovely knife and stays sharp
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Caenus » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:35 pm

Sunglasses are Oakley (4+1)2. Replaced the lenses once. I've had them since 2008...which might be a record since they go everywhere with me and I haven't lost or broken them yet.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:30 pm

MSR Pocket Rocket.

Ignored all other canister stoves like the Jetboil. Sure they're good but this works fantastic.

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Kahtoola microspikes.

For their intended environment as near to perfection as humanly possible.

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Osprey Argon 85.

Until it breaks I don't see a need for replacement within it's class.

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Sawvivor buck saw.

Stopped looking at smaller buck type saws. Gotta sniff out a few standard 15 inch blades however.

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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:07 pm

ineffableone wrote:
Samick Sage TD Recurve


I had been looking for a good takedown bow for my INCH, and found a great one with the Sage. While I could likely find a better quality one for higher prices. The Sage's low cost and high quality made it a perfect bow for me to choose. Not to mention it's popularity makes it highly probably to find spare limbs in PAW if something happens to my limbs. The Sage is one of the most highly recommended entry level bows. This means a lot of other folks will be carrying them. Also the no tools take down was a huge seller for me. Not needing tools that could be lost to take this bow apart was a big selling point.

While I might end up buying other bows, for standard use, the Sage is my dedicated INCH pack bow.
I have been looking for a take down bow. Seen a few but still on the fence. What exact model is that in terms of draw? I was thinking about getting a 45.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by nolongpork » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:34 pm

MSR whisperlite (owned and used since the mid 80's) still going strong and have not found a better gas stove yet.

Leatherman multi tool... broke about every kind out there BUT leatherman.

Glock knife for a GP "big knife" works like a Glock should.

Glock Shovel for my e-tool needs.

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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by ineffableone » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:52 am

Woods Walker wrote:I have been looking for a take down bow. Seen a few but still on the fence. What exact model is that in terms of draw? I was thinking about getting a 45.
Sent you a PM to not make a big post here about bows.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Halfapint » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:04 am

ineffableone wrote:
Woods Walker wrote:I have been looking for a take down bow. Seen a few but still on the fence. What exact model is that in terms of draw? I was thinking about getting a 45.
Sent you a PM to not make a big post here about bows.
This is a thread about gear, specifically gear that made you stop looking.... So please, post a long ass post. We all want to see it, I know I do!

also
MSR Pocket Rocket.

Ignored all other canister stoves like the Jetboil. Sure they're good but this works fantastic.
^this, this, THIS!! My appologies I can't seem to get copy and paste/forums to work right tonight. but yes the MSR pocket rocket is an amazing canister stove. I'll take it over ANY jetboil system anytime, hands down, money on the table. For one simple fact. you can use ANY pot, cup, kettle on an MSR. Whereas a Jetboil you HAVE to have a jetboil pot.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Drop Dead Zed » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:01 am

Tru-Spec 24/7 Tactical Pants, poly/cotton rip stop. I ran across them a few years ago while I was working at a museum.

At the time I was wearing Dockers to work and they were getting torn to shreds. The problem was that on any given day I might be moving furniture, crawling around abandoned houses, meeting with donors or city council, or just plain office work and customer service. Sometimes all in the same day. I needed pants that could stand up to the wear and tear but still be presentable.

The 24/7 pants worked great. Aside from being very durable, one of the great things about them is that I can clean them very easily with water at the office if I get a little stain. They dry very fast. I still have all of my original pairs I bought over five years ago (although they've faded a little and are non work wear now.)

As a bonus, the hidden elastic expander means they fit me just as well if I'm carrying IWB or OWB. My only complaint is that I wish the pocket closures were snaps rather than hook and loop.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by ROCK6 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:37 pm

Screw the tent! Warbonnet Black Bird hammock! This is my preferred shelter, but if I had to go to ground for long term, I’ve been extremely happy with Tarptents (Stratospire and Notch).

I own a half-dozen Katadyn water filters and although I love my Pocket, the Sawyer Squeeze/Mini simply rock for weight and versatility.

I’m about set on my cook ware. The Snowpeak 900 Ti with the small pan (used as a bowl) and the Sea to Summit collapsible mug along with a titanium spork. I also have a Four Dog’s modified 900 with bail and lid for use over open fires.

I go back and forth on stoves depending on if I’m focused on distance backpacking or just out practicing bushcraft. The 900 Ti pot will hold both fit my Bushbuddy wood-gasification stove or a 220gram fuel canister for a small Snowpeak stove. Both have a place depending on the activity.

Hmmm, packs? I think I found my ideal pack but it’s really pushing it for four-season and more than a week on the trail. For now, it’s working (mostly AT or similar type trail hiking; not mountaineering) quite well. ULA Circuit…and better yet, it’s partially in mulicam! It’s comfortable, has excellent fit and features, and the perfect size for loads between 25-30 pounds.

Headlamp is the Zebra headlamp; goes everywhere with me (either the single CR123 or the single AA version).

Sleeping bag: I’ve have a few but keep coming back to down and more recently “dri-down”. I don’t care for mummy sleeping bags and really considered a quilt; however, the Sea to Summit Mc Micro III is a unique design that can open up like a quilt and I absolutely love it. Anything above 25 degrees and it’s my number one choice.

Hammock Under-Quilt! I’ve tried three different types and the dri-down Jacks-R-Better simply rocks and makes the hammock a real cold weather option for only an extra pound.

Backcountry/trail CCW platform: HPG Kit Bag. This piece of kit goes with me every time I’m on the trail (or on the mountain bike, kayak, fishing, hunting, etc.). This is about as much a part of my clothing system as my boots and simple the best way I can carry essentials and a firearm.

I’m a knife whore…I’ll have to revisit as this is a hard one; it really depends on the activity and it can vary from hardcore survival custom to a simple SAK.

Alright, call me a pussy, but I use hiking poles. I have a pair of Exped poles and love them. I like them so much I travel with them (flying) even I’m only planning on a day hike. They are simple excellent when traversing rough terrain, water obstacles, when used with an improvised shelter or even to create and awning from my hammock rain fly.

Speaking of hammock rain fly, Warbonnet’s Super Fly is…well, super. I can close that thing down just like a large tent and seal out the elements or open it up for a fresh breeze even in a down pour. Sil-Nylon is exceptional and I still think it’s more robust than Cuben-Fiber.

I do love practicing a few of my favorite knots, but I must confess, I have two devices that I love for my Super Fly: mini titanium “Stingerez” tension devices and the guy-line “line loc” tightening devices. They add a few grams, but darn if they don’t make getting my hammock setup extremely fast…very important when a down pour is minutes away!

Too tired to continue, but I’ve found some items that just fit, work and outside of shaving a couple grams for an extra $300-400, I’m quite comfortable with their performance and durability.

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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Hudson5969 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:33 pm

SoloStove and 900mL pot set.

SoloStove gassifier stove can burn gassified wood, or put a Trangia brass alcohol stove inside. It nests inside the Solo pot 900mL pot, and the Trangia fits down inside the stove with a bandanna around it to keep it from clanking. So I have multiple fuel choices, and a cookpot/kettle that nests down into a small package.

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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by TacAir » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:27 pm

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MSR XGK (original)

The top pic shows both the original XGK and the newer XGK-ex. The second image is a XGK-II (gen 2, pre-shaker jet). Mine is the Gen 1, with a wire wrapped generator.

The new (ex) stove has a flexible fuel feed vs the originals rigid feed - something of a PITA. Both stove require priming to pre-heat the generator. My Svea 123 and older Coleman gas stoves also require prime/preheat, so it comes with the territory.

The stove takes off like a rocket in heat (pun intended) and melts snow in industrial lots. You can get it to simmer, sort of. The XGK replaced my Svea 123 back in 1977 - as it did for many that carried the 123. Parts are still available - and my original pump is still working, something that not everyone has experienced.

The new model has a 'shaker' jet and filter - both needless complication IMO. Maintenance is possible with a simple flat blade screwdriver. Changing jets is simple, I carry my extra jets in the small alcohol bottle used to prime the stove. The windscreen is the key that makes this stove so efficient. All parts can be had via mail order from REI.

For those times when the noise of the stove is objectionable, I carry a Trangia but for melting masses of snow, for water when out in the winter...the MSR XGK is hard to beat.

As for fuel - if it burns, you can use it - gasoline, white gas, kero, jet fuel (all types), DFA, Stoddard Solvent...you get the idea.

Is the XGK the 'perfect' stove? No, I don't know of any that are. But despite its age, mine is still heating up job lots of snow - if you see an older one for sale, consider it for purchase if the seller can demo that it lights.

The newer XGK-EX has legs for stability and is well built, certainly worth a look. Price varies, but be prepared to pay over $100 USD, even for a used unit.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Dragon80 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:19 pm

Well the only things that have made me stop looking are as follows.

Boots - Salomon Comet are the best boots I've ever worn. I honestly don't think I'll be looking outside of the Salomon brand for a long time to come, definitely glad I dropped the coin to get these rather than stick with Merrell's which I really used to love. I will be buying a lightweight boot of theirs for Summer months here shortly.

Stove - The Optimus Crux has definitely hit that mark for me. It's super small, very lightweight, and has worked in temps as low as 16 degrees for me so I won't be moving on from her until she bites the dust.

Headlamp - The Princeton Tec Fred... I've used headlamps that were brighter, had more features, and were cheaper, but this one is for my GHB/BOB and I don't think there's a better design of its type. It is a red first, military style design that requires you to use their two second on in order to get white light. Two different brightness settings on red and white and a very long life in every mode. I'm very impressed by it and it fits exactly what I've been wanting in a headlamp.

Backpacks - Well I'm working on that still. I love my Karrimor SF Sabre 60-100 but want to move on to a MR Crew Cab for the added expansion and customization. As for day packs, I'm whittling down my collection in order to get the MR ASAP, now I just have to sell my Camelbak Trizip and TAD Gear Litespeed. I want to narrow it down to only two packs instead of the four I had been using to fit all of the roles needed.
BOB also used for backpacking
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=114606

GHB dedicated thread in need of serious updating!!!
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=112108

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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Murph » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:32 pm

Dragon80 wrote:Headlamp - The Princeton Tec Fred... I've used headlamps that were brighter, had more features, and were cheaper, but this one is for my GHB/BOB and I don't think there's a better design of its type. It is a red first, military style design that requires you to use their two second on in order to get white light. Two different brightness settings on red and white and a very long life in every mode. I'm very impressed by it and it fits exactly what I've been wanting in a headlamp.
Me too, Dragon80. The FRED is the prefect headlamp for me.

Stove: SnowPeak GigaPower, SnowPeak Wind Screen, JetBoil 4 Season Fuel, MSR Universal Canister Stand
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Tixx » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:31 pm

I do enjoy the MSS or Military Sleep System. Covers a wide range, durable, a little heavier, but really not much need for any other bags.

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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by moab » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:54 pm

Anything that I couldn't get in multicam before I buy now as it comes out. Like my pack. I just picked up what I wanted in multicam. That had not been available before. That's not to say I wouldn't buy an improved version if it was available in multicam. Also looking to change out clothing that will hopefully someday come in multicam. Same goes for goretex pants in multicam.

Things that I won't ever upgrade:

ESEE 5 knife
Czech Mess Kit
Fancy Feast Cat Stove
Sven Saw 21"
Leatherman Wingman
AK47
Glock .357 SIG (Was a gift from my deceased grandfather. Sentimental value. But either way I'd carry a Glock.)
Hill People Gear Recon Kit Bag
UK ECWCS Goretex Jacket
Leather Gloves (No brand name from Fort Bragg Surplus. Just really nice leather heavy weight gloves.)
Nalgene water bottle
Olicamp Aluminum Cup (fits over the nalgene)
Fenix E21 flashlight
Photon mini led lights from China with permanent on off switch.

That's just off the top of my head.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Flying Lead » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:56 pm

Western Mountaineering sleeping bags. Stay toastie at 10 degrees below the rating.

Henry Shrires Tarptents. Henry, you rule in the lightweight tents.

Vasques boots. If your foot is narrow and or flat, these are the best.

Swedish Army Model firesteels. Heavy duty and last forever and nothing to break.

Polished end titanium spork. They finally made a shiny one you can find if it's on the ground.

Titanium pots. It's all good.

Osprey packs, maybe not the lightest or most indestructable, but for the weight and dollar the most feature filled.

Vaude day packs, 7 years and it won't die. Has over 60 trail maintainance trips on it. Gets dropped on the ground at least 20 times a trip and shows no wear.

First Needs filters. Weighs a whole pound, but takes sewer quality water and turns it into water better than your tap.

Wool socks.
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by ineffableone » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:45 pm

Thought I would add a couple more items to the list

The Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel

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I was never happy with any of the folding shovels on the market. They either didn't work well or were too heavy, or both due to the locking mechanism. And the small trowels just didn't move enough dirt. The CS shovel really cut all the extras out and gave a good pack shovel. With the easy to remove handle, you can leave the handle behind to lighten the weight, and craft a handle in the woods. Even giving the shovel a longer full length handle instead of the small handle it comes with.

next

Bob's Quick Buck Saw

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A light high quality buck saw. These are great buck saws that use standard saw blades. These buck saws offer a nice amount of room for use giving a decent space between blade and frame to accommodate the wood your sawing. Simple design that is easy to operate. But just in case you forget how, there are instruction printed on the handle.
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Dragon80
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Posts: 400
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:26 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead
Location: Indiana

Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Dragon80 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:42 am

I'm adding another item to my list after getting to spend some time in it recently.

Snugpak Ionosphere 1-Man Bivy Tent

I owned a Catoma EBNS before this and it was too short for me to fit, making sleep uncomfortable. The Ionosphere solves that, adding a LOT more room and actually making it a 2-man in a pinch or if you have a significant other. The footprint is nice, it's 4 season capable though I wouldn't trust it buried in a foot of snow, and it's actually very lightweight at around 2.5lbs. Snugpak has definitely earned my business now and I'm looking forward to getting a Bunker in the future.
BOB also used for backpacking
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=114606

GHB dedicated thread in need of serious updating!!!
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=112108

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RonnyRonin
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Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:58 pm

I'll have to think on this, the only one that solidly deserves that title right now is my HPG kit bag. It is the only piece of nylon gear I have that I have honestly never considered modifying. It is also one of the few things that has completely changed my gear system. I tried to make my own but somewhere around the third try I just said "screw it, I'll just buy one" and never looked back. It is now the cornerstone of both my GHB and my BOB, as well as being the only pack that has a guaranteed spot on any given backpacking trip. Any time I'm in a car (my own or on a road trip with others) it lives within constant reach so I know even if I leave the car in a hurry I'll always have the bare essentials.

I'll probably get a ribz pack at some point just to give it a fair shake, but I seriously doubt I'll like it better.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

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Halfapint
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Location: Central Cascadia

Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Halfapint » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:11 am

I'll post a few more...

Asolo TPS 520: The absolute best hiking boots on the planet. I've had mine since 2002 and put countless miles on them. They've been though creeks and rivers, dunes and deserts, rain forests, and to the top of Mt Rainier 3 times, I've had them slogging though glycol (deicing fluid) soaked slush, and through the city. Never had a thread come loose, the insole still feels brand new, the treads are still great, and other then the top part of the toe section they look brand new. They are spendy little suckers but well worth it.

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Colman Micro Lantern: I've only had this little bad boy for a couple of months, I've taken it on one little out door excursion over the winter and it worked fantastic! I was in the market for a small lantern and I was contemplating getting a LED lantern but they seemed heavy for the amount of light. I remember seeing expensive ($70-130) isobutane lanterns at REI so I looked around and came across this gem. It's about half a pound, it does have a frosted glass globe, and uses mantles. I set it up in my apartment one night with the smallest (I want to say 2oz) isobutane canister I had. It ran for 3 1/2 hours at max setting. I had read that they burned though mantles lasting only 1hr or so at high setting. It never burnt the mantle out, I set up another canister (same size) and let it go again, another 3 1/2 hours no problem. I've probably but 10 or more hours of burn time on the mantle and it still hasn't gone out. Plus I can use the same fuel to cook with, as I use for light which is nice. Plus I've got more isobutane canisters then I know what to do with so this is perfect

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Whiskey
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Re: Gear that made you stop looking

Post by Whiskey » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:47 am

My ESEE Laser Strike is the perfect full size knife for me. I've had almost all of the ESEE line, a Gerber LMFII, Mora, Swamp Rat RMD... none of them are what I end up taking to the field, other than my Junglas.
ZSC:034 Kansas City
Fightin' 34th "Guardians of the Frontier!"

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