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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 12/16/2001 5:32:08 PM EDT
Hi, I'm in the market for some good outdoors/camping/hiking/hunting gear/clothing that is also good for general use. In other words, I want good gear, but don't want it looking too militant (i.e. I'm not going to wear 8" army boots and a British commando sweater to church or work!). Since there's an abundance of outdoorspersons on these gun boards, thought y'all would be good ones to ask. I live in Southern California. The coldest it really gets down here is about 40F, but I am a skinny little bastard and get cold if it's anything less than 60. Stuff I am looking for recommendations for: 1. Turtleneck. 2. Boots. I'm looking at Danner hiking boots right now, but would like something I can also wear to work or a nice restaurant, but be able to hold up outdoors. 3. Pants. Nothing wrong with my pants (Dockers) except their politics (Strauss). 4. Cold cold weather field jacket. I have a military field jacket but it's too martial looking for me to wear everywhere. Waterproof would be great and I'd like to be able to take it if I go where there's white stuff (snow). 5. Backpack: more for school and general use but would like it to be strong enough to bring camping (backpacking trips will require more specialized gear). I like Jansport's stuff (served me well K-12), but I want to make sure they're not a gun-grabbing company like Taco Bell or Levi Strauss. 6. Gloves. My fingers get cold really easily. Ideally, I'd like enough dexterity to still be able to play banjo in cold weather (night time outdoor jams) so I'm looking at fingerless gloves. Well, look forward to hearing your responses.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 7:56:44 PM EDT
You can actually get a lot of good gear at camping stores. There's a lot of really good clothing, packs, and boots out there--just buy the green, kakhi, or earthtone stuff instead of the neon dayglo color scheme. (Well, unless you want to blend in on the beach at Marina Del Rey.) You look like some outdoorsy yuppie in the city, and can actually blend in fairly well out in the woods. (Which some of us like to do anyway, regardless of any "tactical" considerations.) If you're in LA you can just stop by the local REI store and browse around. Pick up a polypro turtleneck or t-shirt for the bottom layer (wicks away persperation from your skin), a fleece jacket, and some kind of goretex/wonder fabric parka. The definitive parka is a North Face Mountain Light. North Face is spendy, but everyone has a knock-off of it. It's great because it's got so much ventilation; if you hike around at all your major problem is getting rid of excess body heat. The idea is to do layering, so you can mix and match to fit the situation. I'd avoid the insulated parkas, particularly in california. You really want just a shell, and you add stuff under that as needed. Boots are highly personal. I've been using Montrail Torre GTX hiking boots lately and been happy with them. Any kind of non-sneaker or trail running hiking boot is going to be pretty heavy to wear around the office or school. See www.campmor.com for some other decent deals on outdoors gear.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 8:31:08 PM EDT
You can spend the money on big name outerwear like The Northface, Alpine Lowe, REI brand... I'd just go with Carhart. Pants and insulated bibs, you'll only need one pair, and the same with an insulated jacket (you could buy bibs, pants and Jacket for the price of ONE North face jacket). Carharts are indestructible, and you won't be afraid to abuse it in the outdoors. Don't forget, it's all about proper layering. Fleece, Poly pro, coolmax ... next to the body, and a protective layer on the outside (against rain, snow, wind...)
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 9:07:21 PM EDT
I'll second the Carhart recommendation. Very good stuff that is tough. At least where I live (Tx), this dress is proper for in the field or in town (not a black tie restraunt). Tate
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 8:11:14 AM EDT
Almost anything you find in an REI store is much better than military surplus. Plus you'll fit into the crowd without people wondering if you're going to freak out on them. Everything mcgredo says it right on the money. Layer, layer, layer. Did I mention the importance of layering? Stay far away from cotton if you want to stay warm in the cold or cool in the heat. It's all about vapor control. [url]www.rei.com[/url] has lots of tips and recommendations. 40F isn't really that cold if you're active. If you just want to look good and be warm while sitting in class you will need more layers. But if you're hiking you'll probably only need a jacket, hat and shorts. If your fingers get cold easily fingerless gloves aren't going to keep them warm. If you must use your fingertips, I'd recommend mittens that fold back to expose your fingers. Boots are a very personal thing, almost as bad as what gun,bullet,scope, etc...is best. Wear what fits and what is appropriate for the job. You aren't going to need actic boots in Southern California, but at the same time there's a lot of time where sandals won't work either. A decent hiking boot will look out of place at a nice restaurant. Buy shoes for the restaurant and boots for the woods. A lot of guys like Danner, but they don't fit me and I don't like the quality control. My (current) preference is Zamberlan. A highly overlooked part of footwear is your socks! NO COTTON at all and you might think about wearing a poly liner sock to help with wicking/abrasion when you're hiking a lot. If you carry lots of weight on your back, there are several different kinds of backpacking socks that have different padding and materials. Try lots, and use what works for you. I personally stay far away from the Carhart stuff. It's bulky, heavy, and absorbs water like a tampon. It's okay if your doing a messy job like working under the car, but if you're 10 miles away from the nearest heated indoor area it's not worth the risk of hypothermia. My jacket system is one of the Columbia Titanium parkas with the Omni-tech ceramic waterproofing. It has a removeable fleece liner that I wear when its not very cold out. Add the shell and you've got a weatherproof coat. Add the removable hood and you've got a parka. It has lots of vents, pockets and drawcords. They're expensive as hell but it's the only coat I've ever had that has kept me toasty and dry in -20F windy days, and 30F freezing sleet and rain. Also, it's the only coat I've had that I don't freeze to death in if I've been sweating like a pig and start to cool off. It's very versatile. Backpack: There is not much I can tell you except again to get what works. I've got a Jansport "bookbag" daypack that I use every single day that I'm in classes. There is no reason on this earth for college students to be toting around a 3000 cubic inch, internal frame Gregory. Your suspension system and frame should be appropriate for your load and the time it must stay on your back. For extended backcountry trips I prefer Gregory packs because they fit my torso better but any of the big manufacturers make quality stuff. Go to a store and get fitted. Most people don't realize that backpacks come in different sizes for different sized people. If you get one that doesn't fit I guarantee you will hate it. That about covers it... I think.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 8:16:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Muad_Dib: My jacket system is one of the Columbia Titanium parkas with the Omni-tech ceramic waterproofing. It has a removeable fleece liner that I wear when its not very cold out. Add the shell and you've got a weatherproof coat. Add the removable hood and you've got a parka. It has lots of vents, pockets and drawcords. They're expensive as hell but it's the only coat I've ever had that has kept me toasty and dry in -20F windy days, and 30F freezing sleet and rain. Also, it's the only coat I've had that I don't freeze to death in if I've been sweating like a pig and start to cool off. It's very versatile.
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I give a solid two toasty-warm thumbs up to the Columbia Titanium parka. I have never owned a better designed, complete upper body comfort enhancing garment.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 8:21:43 AM EDT
Layers. Never buy anything cotton. Learn how to vent. The best hiking boots ar the Scarpa Manta M4, by Fabiano. They will last a lifetime, if cared for.[img]http://store5.yimg.com/I/bentgatemountaineering_1664_1167791[/img] They accept crampons.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:40:25 PM EDT
(1) No Cotton (see a pattern?) (2)Scarpas are nice but might be a bit stiff. Boots are very personal as someone above said. Limmer's are nice too,(sons have taken over now that the father has passed, still exceptional work Im told). Asolo, Danner, Vasque all make decent stuff, decently priced. [b] Fit is more important than brand [/b] - depends on your foot shape and the last the boot is made on. Try on lots of boots - then try on more. Try until your sick of it - your feet will thank you. Check the WEB Im sure there good buying guides out there. (3) Dockers=Cotton=Bad Get a pair of Railriders or North Face Tekware $50.00 in most of the mail order catalogs- or any quick dry synthetic that fits. (4) Been Mentioned - Fleece under a Goretex shell - I like the North Face Mountain Light. Ive got a Marmot Anorak that Ive basically worn out ITs preference (5) Been over this before in a another thread so you know my spiel (6) Preferenceb - no cotton Luck Alac If you live out west there should be plenty of good outdoor stores to choose from, people there are normally pretty knowledgeable and admit their biases. Find what works for you - Wife and I have totally different equipment.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 4:25:21 AM EDT
Never buy a pair of boots that don't need to be broken in. Boots that feel great, right out of the box, are fine for light hiking, but if you intend to have some weight on your back, you need a good stiff boot.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 5:06:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2001 4:59:15 AM EDT by Ponyboy]
Just last night I ordered a new pair of Danner Timberwolf 8" 400gram boots. [img]http://www.danner.com/images/productimg/55900.jpg[/img] They cost me about $170 from Bass Pro, but you should never skimp on your boots. You'll be sorry if you do. I don't see where you can go wrong with any of the Danner boots. They are all quality stuff.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 5:27:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2001 7:47:29 AM EDT by Alacrity]
[b]Major:[/b] In a previous thread he was speaking of a 2500-3500 cu in pack. I dont think enough weight to warrant, if, as Im told, these work well with step-ins, and not just articulated. Main problem Ive seen with mountaineering boots is under light loads strides are'nt shortened (short stride=less foot bend up front). Since the boot doesnt flex the heel rises and heel friction becomes a problem. Heel slippage is the killer. But I have'nt worn them so maybe they're plenty comfortable under light loads as well. But absolutely, most people overcarry and underboot. Dont buy one of these hightop sneaker boots. The boot needs to be stiff enough to be supportive, but flexible enough to move through a limited range of motion. Sure any boot, even one custom made to your foot, will still need breaking in - but it shouldnt feel constricting at purchase. Put a boot on and if its feels tight, pinched, jammed, in areas- or loose or vague etc. - move on. Dont think "Hmm it just needs broken in". This doesnt mean they'll feel like slippers, but they shouldnt exhibit any of these problems. Try the boot with both the sock (or if your sold on 2 socks, socks) you'll use and barefoot. If anything seems aggravating barefoot, pay attention. It'll only be magnified over a week in your boots. No matter what boot you buy, get some duct tape, moleskin/second skin and benzoin your pack. Sooner or later you will need it, for yourself, especially when breaking in, or, if you got a good fitting, someone else. Again try on plenty of boots. Some brands of boots are too narrow for me in the toe box - but If you'd just tried on just the one boot you might think you just need a larger size. Asolo and Vasque fit me much better. But thats me, you need to get fitted for your [b]own foot.[/b] Man if you want to be miserable on the trail - get an ill fitting boot. Luck Alac Edited for spelling and clarity
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 3:03:42 PM EDT
Columbia does make a lot of good, reasonably priced gear. The North Face is more for the more-money-than-sense crowd, but they do make some excellent stuff. I like shells with pit zips _and_ chest vents. The later often double as pockets. Getting rid of heat will be your #1 problem when moving. A mesh lining is valuable, too--helps get the sweat away from your skin. I used to use heavyweight boots, but I've dropped back to midweights lately. I really don't need crampon compatability, I stay on trails most of the time, and lighter boots help your day a lot.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 3:09:05 PM EDT
Learning how to properly vent is so important. Knowing what to wear when you start out on a hike, and how to maintain an even temperature. Little things, like removing a hat for a few minutes, picking up a snowball, are ways to keep your body temp at a safe level, when out in extreme weather. Campmor is a very good source.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 3:09:41 PM EDT
Forget sports stores, stick with EMS, REI, ect. Then go to [url]www.campmor.com[/url] and see if they have it there. you'll save alot compared to REI and EMS.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 4:52:03 PM EDT
Follow most of the advice posted here (esp. the NO COTTON advice) and then check out Sierra Trading Post [url]http://www.sierratradingpost.com[/url]. Last year's gear (and some other crap) at decent prices.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 6:23:30 PM EDT
What everyone else said. I snow camp and hike a lot (because yuppies don't go then) and have tried / had most of the better equipement mentioned. It all works well. Keep in mind that layering is the BEST way to stay dry and warm and still be able to get cool when you get hot - even in sub zero weather (and it is possible to get hot in sub zero weather). When shopping for boots, buy your socks first and then make sure you are on your feet all day by walking or something similar before you go try on boots. Your feet swell when you are on them all day. Boots that are nice and comfy when you try them on in the morning at the store can be feet killers after hiking for a few hours. Boot fit is a very individual thing. Try on a LOT of different boots even if you wouldn't consider buying them just so you get a feel for how they all differ. My personal favorite is Vasque Sundowners in leather. The are a mid weight boot. Good for plain hiking on or off trail to heavy back packing (but they do not do well with crampons if you plan icy mountain climbing). They break in quickly, give excellent traction on Cali's granite mountains, have very good breathability, and have a Gore Tex liner. I have waded through many mountain stream and puddles up to the ankles and had no problem with wet feet.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 6:57:15 PM EDT
Pthfndr I hate to mention boot brands because then its the focus, instead of fit, but Im with you. Ive had real good luck with them, with these caveats. Dont mistake them for a heavy boot. Anymore I dont get time for but one long trip a year. on Three-days Im rarely over 25 lbs. The Vasques are fine, but I'd not pair them up with my Terraplane - they dont support me enough. Not real fond of the sole, and they do flex more than my wife likes. She had enough pain at the ball of her foot that she retired hers. (Thats another thing dont be surprised to go through a few bbots to find what you need.) Otherwise a nice boot. As far as Columbia vs. North Face, Ive never paid much more for North Face or Marmot than I would for Columbia retail. Keep your eye out an you'll find good deals. The way the stuff lasts you dont need to find many. But I do have some odd colors. Luck Alac
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 7:18:29 PM EDT
I used to swear by Vasque boots for years. I'd say they make some of the best light-mid weight boots around. But I also think the sole is the weakest link. The last pair I had flexed a lot, even when new and they didn't have a whole lot of wet or ice traction. I found this out the hard way while walking behind a waterfall. Long story short, I slipped and fell/slid about 80 feet down a sandstone cliff to the bottom of the fall. I learned that Goretex doesn't do much good if your boots fill with water after you're completely submerged. And swimming with boots on isn't as hard as I thought it would be. The good thing about the boots though is that my ankles were the only joints on my body that weren't sanded down to raw flesh. [BD] Those boots lasted about two years of abuse like this.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 7:34:06 PM EDT
Yeah, what they said! Stores in So. Cal.: REI Adventure 16 Sport Chalet Avoid Big-5, Oshman's, and the like- unless you already know exactly what you want. Once you've seen and tried it on in the big 3 stoers, look online or at Campmor...
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 9:36:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2001 9:36:15 PM EDT by Skunkabilly]
What do you guys think of the Filson Mackinaw Cruiser jacket?
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 10:19:25 PM EDT
It's basically a heavy wool jacket. Tres 1950. Cost is around $240, and for that you can pick up a good gortex shell and fleece. With that you'd wind up with better weather protection and some more sophisticated fabrics. It's way reactionary, which is cool if that's what you're into, but there are other things that can make you more comfortable.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 5:18:03 AM EDT
[b]Muad Dib:[/b] Do you have the "Old" Sundowner or the "New" one. The new one has the padded ankle cuff. Wonder if they've changed the sole? Ive never had any trouble with traction, but I cant specifically think of when Ive been in the wet with them. My bitch was poor wear. I pronate a bit and these things sole wears worse than any boot Ive owned. [b]Major Murphy:[/b] Still curious about the Scarpas, as Im going to need to replace my heavies/Mt.s soon. Can you front point in them? Does Scarpa use a European last? If so out for me right off. Do you use them for everything? Or just when your out long? As I said above I wonder how they do light. Always nice to have user feedback - couple of my local "consultants" know the boot but havnt worn them so limited insight. Thanks mates Luck Alac
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 5:47:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Alacrity: [b]Muad Dib:[/b] Do you have the "Old" Sundowner or the "New" one. The new one has the padded ankle cuff. Wonder if they've changed the sole? Ive never had any trouble with traction, but I cant specifically think of when Ive been in the wet with them. My bitch was poor wear. I pronate a bit and these things sole wears worse than any boot Ive owned.
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I don't know if they were the old or new model. The cuff was padded. They lasted about two years and that was about 1 1/2 years ago. I didn't have any problem with the sole wearing out but I didn't wear them much on the street. My thought was that the composition of the rubber was too hard causing loss of traction in foul weather. The uppers held together pretty well. I got rid of them only after they began flexing way too much and lost most of their support. I finaly blew a seam and tossed them. By the end it was like wearing a used pair of high top sneakers. They always kinda felt like sneakers though. I initially liked that but soon realized that they were only good when I didn't have much weight on my back, like none. If I'm carrying 40lbs over rough terrain the last thing I want is a pair of boots that feel great but give zero support.
Link Posted: 12/19/2001 3:13:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2001 6:13:58 PM EDT by Alacrity]
Originally Posted By Muad_Dib: I didn't have any problem with the sole wearing out but I didn't wear them much on the street. My thought was that the composition of the rubber was too hard causing loss of traction in foul weather.
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Not much street wear for me either, I thought just the opposite. Thought the soles were to soft from the wear on the outside heel.
If I'm carrying 40lbs over rough terrain the last thing I want is a pair of boots that feel great but give zero support.
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Yea I noted that too. Mighty comfy if I stay light though. Ive got the "new" ones, padded cuff. They fit me well and do what mid weights are supposed to do. I do always scratch my head when folks with Sundowners tell me they never have that problem with heavy packs (rigidness). Ive got some bad ankles though. Luck Alac
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 4:41:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Alacrity: [b]Major Murphy:[/b] Still curious about the Scarpas, as Im going to need to replace my heavies/Mt.s soon. Can you front point in them? Does Scarpa use a European last? If so out for me right off. Do you use them for everything? Or just when your out long? As I said above I wonder how they do light. Always nice to have user feedback - couple of my local "consultants" know the boot but havnt worn them so limited insight. Thanks mates Luck Alac
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Yes you can "front point". I have the Scarpa Mantas (got a pair of lady Mantas for the wife, too). I use these boots, with shorts for summer hiking. They're not just for the extreme stuff. I use them with snow shoes, and crampons in the winter. I have topped some intense peaks with them, too, in all seasons. I'm not sure about the Euro Last question, but I'm just a plain old, size 10, and they fit great. I think they're the best all around boot there is.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 8:41:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Alacrity: Not much street wear for me either, I thought just the opposite. Thought the soles were to soft from the wear on the outside heel.
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It sounds like maybe you have a newer model. They probably changed the rubber compound to make it more grippy (sp?) and went too far. I wasn't dissapointed with them or anything. It's just that for the money, and for me, these Zamberlans offer more support and wear resistance. My wife has the womens model. [img]http://a1072.g.akamai.net/f/1072/2062/1h/gallery.rei.com/largeimages/649655.jpg[/img] I did replace the insoles almost immediately with a pair of Sof Sole molded boot insoles. After a tough break-in period they've been the best wearing and most comfortable boots I've ever had.
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