Gear Review

ZPACKS Bear Bagging kit-  Is this the best kit out there?

Cost $50.00 (However Defiantly Worth the money)

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When I recently did the triple crown in Virginia, which is composed of McAffe’s Knob, Dragons Tooth, and Tinker Cliffs, I met a lot of thru hikers who were sporting the ZPacks Bear Bagging Kit. If you ever have the opportunity, I would highly recommend hiking the triple crown.  It is a 32-Mile loop trail that provides some of the AT’s best viewing areas.  While this trip was absolutely amazing and gifted me with some amazing photos it sparked my interest to try out the ZPacks Bear Bagging Kit.

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I ordered the Kit and it took no time to get to my house.  The shipping was quick and it was packaged well.  When it came to my door, I immediately wanted to try out the bag.  I have taken this bear bag out on more than 10 hiking trips logging more than 500 hours of use on it.  There is almost no show of wear and tear on the bag and the rope is also still in excellent shape.

The bag is very easy to use and can be packed up extremely quickly.  When it is packed up the bag is smaller than a can of coke and weighs in at 3 OZ.  The bag has a roll top that has a secondary seal of Velcro.  This system paired with the waterproof taped seam has kept everything inside nice and dry even through some extremely hard rains.

I wanted to test the real limits of this system so I used loaded the bag with 50 pounds of weight and hung it up for three days. The cord had the slightest bit of wear and tear but it stayed nice and strong for the entire duration of time.  I also wanted to test the durability of the bag so I loaded it with gardening Rocks and dragged it around on the gravel.  After a solid 30 minutes of dragging it around the bag had noticeable wear and tear but its fabric was still solid with no holes.  I would defiantly choose this bag because of its durability and strength.

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Overall I would give this bear bagging kit a 9/10 minus one point for the high price point, however I believe that this investment is well worth your money.

Features:

Comes with Bear Bag, Carabineer, and Zline and Rock sack.

Zline- 2.2 mm super slick and extremely durable line.  I would highly recommend getting the Zline, even if you do not get the actual bag portion

Total volume 12.4 liters

Material- Heavy duty Cuben fiber material.  This means it is puncture and rodent resistant and extremely durable.   I have heard three separate reviews on the trail where rodents tried to get into the bag and they were unsuccessful.

Great Warranty Policy- They stand behind their gear and they know it’s a good

Pick your new bear bag up at http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/bear_bag.shtml

 

Goture Spark Reel- How amazing is it?

First Impressions:  Right out of the box you see the smooth silky bag that the reel is encased in.  The reel itself is a little heavier than most but not bad at all.  The weight of the reel is not bad at all and the reel has one of the higher strength to weight ratios on the market.  The packaging of the reel was as if it was a 300-dollar reel.  When Taken out of the bag and given a turn it is very smooth.  There is no bumps at all in the rotation.  The drag adjustment knob is also very smooth.  It does not lock up anywhere when tightening it down.   The look of the reel itself was a very cool high end look.  It does not look or feel cheep in any aspect. This reel compares quite well with an Allen or Taylor reel and it is a fraction of the cost.  It is an aluminum alloy which made for an exceptionally light and strong reel.   The alloy that this reel is made of will not rust meaning you will have fun for many years to come.

This reel is equipped with a wonderful drag system which can handle some of the bigger fishes.  The drag system is very effective at protecting the tippet and leader which allows the fly fisherman to tackle some of the larger fishes.

The Start up friction for the Goture Spark Reel is very minimal and the retrieval is quick and there is minimal coiling.  On top of all the great features the reel is easily interchangeable between the left and right hands allowing all users an amazing experience.

 Grayl Water Bottle One of the best combination Water Bottle/Purifier in my opinion

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This water bottle provides an insanely portable and convenient approach to tradition water purifying methods.  This water bottle not only held up to all of my tests with ease, but it is also much cheaper and lighter than many water bottles on the market. I have found this bottle to be much better than a life straw because of the convenience, flow rate, and many other advantages that will be discussed later.

Pros

Rugged look

Daily and Outdoor lifestyle driven

Advanced Filtering

Easy Use

All in One Solution

BPA free

Good Price

Multiple colors

The Tests I preformed on this water bottle were fairly simple strength, filter ability, and taste.  The water bottle was able to survive 25 foot drops from my testing as well as be dropped and thrown on concrete a few times.  The water bottle’s filter preformed to the tests flawlessly.  I had water filtered from a nearby pond and river as well as water that I knew to be infected with virus’s.  After filtration I took the water to my fried at Virginia Techs Lab and they guaranteed that the water was safe to drink.  As for the taste, I personally believe that when I took this bottle to the beach it improved the flavor of the water (My Opinion).

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With Three different filters that require no maintenance for up to 300 Gallons you can choose the one that is right for your lifestyle.  There is one designed specifically for tap water, one designed for the trail and one designed for ultra rugged travel and trail use.  I have dropped this water bottle countless times on my hike on the AT as well as during my daily use, it has some slight scratches but other than that it is in fine condition.   The water bottle is very easy to use and can be filled with clean water in less than 30 seconds.    This is the perfect water bottle because it is quick and convenient.  I can filter my water without even taking off my backpack.   This filter bottle also tops much of the competition by having a 10 year warranty and by being designed in the USA.The-Grayl-Water-Bottle-Purifier-has-an-outer-bottle-used-to-hold-pre-filtered-water-and-an-inner-bottle-with-a-cap-and-purifier-cartridge-that-holds-clean-water-once-filtered.jpg

If you would like to purchase one of these water bottles visit www.thegrayl.com

 

 

 

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Wind Catcher  Air 2+ Sleeping Pad

Pros:

Entrainment inflation technology

4 inch thick

extremely compactable

Durable

Included Repair Kit

Seat Feature

Cheaper than most air mattresses

Wonderful Customer Service

Cons:

Slightly heavier than Ultra light pads

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Overall:  I had the pleasure of reviewing the Airpad 2+ from wind catcher. The wind catcher sleeping pad was an excellent Idea which I found to function as it is designed to.  The pad inflated for me in 16 breaths, much fewer than it takes to inflate my Neo air ultralight pad. I just used the Airpad 2+ on a week long backpacking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail. During my trip I put it through a series of tests.  I first used it like a normal pad as instructed. I then also used it as a raft on some of the deeper streams.  The water did not affect it at all,  It dried quickly and inflated flawlessly.  I also set the pad up on some sharper stones which it handled with ease,  it did not get punctured and I didn’t see much wear on it. Over the course of the entire trip  it stayed inflated overnight and provided great support to my back.  I woke up after one of my best sleep experiences on the trail.  The sleeping pad is very light and very compact.  Although it is not as not as light as my Neo Air ultralight pad the easy inflation was nice after a long day of hiking and I did not mind the few extra ounces. The Airpad 2+ also has the G-hook fastener which was very nice and made packing up very easy.  I also found that using the pad as a seat was very comfortable and efficient. You no longer need a second kit, like the Therm-a-rest, to have a sleeping pad and a chair.  If you are an avid adventurer or outdoorsman this is a great pad for you to consider purchasing.

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I am hoping that Windcatcher makes a two person sleeping pad for longer nights with friends because the larger sleeping pads are the really hard ones to inflate. I would highly recommend as a gift or a purchase because of the superior design build, and extra features

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Tips: When done using the pad Hang up in a cool dry area to let the plastic dry

Do not get frustrated the first time you are inflating the wind catcher.  The plastic will be sticking together from being compacted in shipping. After the first time the pad will inflate a lot easier.  If you are looking for more tips and hints watch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqcEqKjmwYw

If you would like to make your purchase of an AirPad 2+  visit

https://www.windcatchergear.com/products/windcatcher-airpad-2-plus

 

RZ Mask Review

Quite Possibly Best Mask for Emergency Preppers, Outdoorsmen, and home remodeling teams

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M1

Pros                                                                                       Cons

Very comfortable for long duration                               Rather Hot

Quick to Put on                                                                    Slightly Harder To Breath

Amazing Filter

Easy to Replace Filter

Great for Cold Weather

One way Valves

Spare Filter

Carrying Case

Compact

Durable

Stays on head

Glasses did not fog up

Looks Great/Low Profile

 

M2.5

Pros                                                                                       Cons

Easy to breath                                                                      Straps are a little uncomfortable

One Way valves                                                                   over long duration

Great for hot weather                                                          Longer to put on

Amazing Filter

Easy to replace filter

Spare Filter

Carrying Case

Compact

Durable

Stays On head

Glasses did not fog up

Looks Great/Low Profile

The Pros Easily Outweigh the Cons

Introduction The Masks from RZ Masks come in either a Neoprene or mesh mask shell. With two choices of straps.  You can either choose to have to quick release/attachment one strap which will go around your head, Or you can choose the two strap which takes longer to put on but is more secure. You are then able to choose whether you would like a carbon filter, HEPA filter or a combination filter.  All three of the filters are proven to filter down to .1 microns and are at least 97% effective.  These filters can be used anywhere from home remodel, Allergies, pollution, smoke, off-roading, paintball, airbrush painting and many more.  The filters also last a really long time compared to off the shelf Walmart masks.  The filters last 40 hours long if you are using them continuously in hard conditions if you don’t they last even longer.  If you are in need of a light, comfortable, reliable, affordably price filter  this is the one for you.

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My Tests I used both of the masks over the past two weeks for multiple purposes, I went hunting, paint balling, made smore’s and did a house remodel.  I was curious of how I was going to test the smell factor.  I figured I would hunt and see if the deer smell the garlic and onion pizza I had the night before. The deer walked right past me and didn’t even notice.  I then went home and asked friends if they could smell my breath. They didn’t think the smell was strong at all. So congrats to RZ masks for finding a way of blocking the scent. The next test I tried was I went paint balling.  I conducted this test to determine how stain, and sweat resistant the masks were. I was shot multiple times in the face and by the end it was stained yellow.  None of the paint made it through the mask and it was still extremely easy to breath through.   I took it home, removed the filter threw the mask in the washer and it came out looking brand new.  The mask did not have a mark and smelled perfectly fine.  After the long day of paint balling I went home had a cold one with the boys then we made smore’s.  Throughout the entire 8 hours we had the fire burning the smoke was not a problem at all.  The odor of smoke did not make it through the mask and it wasn’t hard to breath.   The final test I tried was a dust test.  We did a home remodel where there was asbestos tiles and pipes.  I felt extremely comfortable when using the mask for all 13 hours of work.  It was tight around my nose and mouth not letting in any particles and was not fogging up my safety glasses.   I am extremely confident that the RZMasks are highly effective and a purchase you should make.

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Recommendations

I would personally recommend the RZ M1 mask with the active carbon filter because it is the most reliable, easies to put on, most comfortable, and in my opinion best light durable mask you can buy.

Conclusion

This mask is well worth the price.  A set of masks from Walmart will cost you 8 dollars and can only be used once.  An RZ mask can be used over and over, is much comfortable, and is much more effective.  Remember that this mask is not a replacement for a quality respirator, however, in the field of air filtration masks this ranks at the top of my book.  Go over to RZ masks and pick up a few to keep in your car and your bug out bag. Remember “Success comes to those who are Prepared”

Website for RZ MASKS and accessories — https://rzmask.com/

 


 

Apache Pine Ridge 45mm Wooden WatchThe_RidgeThe Ridge watch by Apache Pine is a unique timepiece that is built for the adventurer, with its waterproof design, high quality movement piece and scratch resistant glass this watch will be able to last through the numerous adventures and memories that you make in the great outdoors.

Style

If you like the more classic design of a quality wooden watch go for the original design.  The Original has markings for every hour and provides a sleek minimalist look.  I however wanted to go more outside the box.  I went with the Ridge 45mm, the design is flawless.  All the lines are straight, defined, and clear.  The Leather strap is comfortable and stylish.  The green watch hands and threading on the wrist strap create a beautiful color scheme which will go with most styles.  The quality of bamboo they use is strong and lightweight and has an original design for each watch made.

Comfort

The 45mm watch fit my wrist perfectly It is not too big and it is not too small.  The watch also because it is made of bamboo, is extremely light weight and breathable.  Metal watches are heavy on the wrist and get wet from a buildup of sweat.  The leather band of the Ridge is very soft and comfortable for long periods of use. The genuine leather also is very effective at wicking any build up of humidity away.  The watch band is buckled with a standard stainless steel clasp with the brand name engraved. I am not worried about this breaking or bending because of its high quality. This is one of the most comfortable watches I have ever worn.

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Features

All of Apache Pines watches are water resistant.  You don’t have to worry about rain, or splashing from kayaking.  I have gone multiple times and had no problem at all.    I have read in other reviews that people have gone swimming without a problem but I would not recommend it.  The Glass on the watch is also of superb quality.  It is coated with a special material to make it scratch resistant.  Throughout all of my adventures that I have already taken the watch face has maintained its crystal clear look.  I was surprised to see Swiss Quartz Ronda 762 internals in this price range of watch.  This is a very high quality internal system for this price range of watch.  This internal system is extremely power efficient meaning you have to replace the battery once every ten years.  This watch system also is very accurate.  It is only off by 3 seconds every month.  If you go with the ridge you will have to learn how to estimate time.  There is no hourly marks meaning if you need an exact time this watch is not for you.  I however think this adds originality to the watch and makes it more unique.

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Customer Service

The help from customer service from Apache Pine was flawless.  The first watch I received was broken in the mail.  I emailed the support team and the problem was solved in a timely and efficient matter.  I have no complaints with the customer service.

Conclusion

I absolutely love my Ridge 45’s uniqueness, durability, high quality and style.  If you are looking for a watch that will last throughout all of you adventures and memories to come which won’t break the bank this is the watch for you.  I have worn the watch for just over two weeks and every single day I have gotten multiple compliments.  Throughout the two weeks I have worn the watch rock climbing, kayaking, and mountain biking.  The dirtier the watch gets the better it looks. The founders of Apache Pine Jordan, Ethan, Nate, and Marcus succeeded in their goal of creating a stylish, durable and down to earth watch.  So far I have had absolutely no problems with the watch and I plan on testing out some of their sunglasses soon as well.Photo-Jul-14-2-20-47-PM

If you are looking to purchase or gain more information about this watch you may visit https://apachepine.com/

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