Born in the USA

I have a hard time finding gear that was made in the states. I look at my mountain hardware jacket and shirt that I bought 4 or 5 years ago. It was made here. The shirt I bought a few months ago was made in Sri Lanka and the backpack was also made overseas. This brings me to where I stand now. I want new down booties, I LOVE mountain hardware. I look on their website and it says imported (both things I needed and bought out of clearance bins.) I looked at a few other items all imported. This was a bit disappointing to me, but not entirely surprising. On a whim I searched for down booties made here and in my loops I did find a few pairs. Western Mountaineering, Feathered Friends (their website is down right now, but it was working yesterday and I have faith it will come back,) Naunatak, and the non-down Forty Below. I’m just observing that these are out there and have never ordered anything from any of those places, except for back country. I love backcountry.com as they are the brains behind steepandcheap.com. I’m thinking about my options and will probably go with the western mountaineering, or forty below because of the price point. I’m excited to have found some stuff made here (but I would have taken made in Canada) My next challenge is to find some long underwear made in the USA. I’m not holding my breath on that one.

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Running Away

Jake and I are going backpacking and climbing up in New Hampshire for a few days. I’m looking forward to a break in the heat. I woke up this morning feeling like I was going to melt, and sitting here with my laptop I still feel like I’m going to melt. The heat broke me down and went to the local “pond” for a swim for the first time since I was much younger. I have to say swimming laps in a pond is not fun. I need to remember to pack a spindle tomorrow, so I will be ready to start the tour de fleece.

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New Tent!

Somehow I have gotten this far in life without owning my own tent. I’ve gotten by with mooching one from my father and sharing with Jake. I’ve been looking at bigger tents for car camping for quite a long time how, and after our trip to The Red it was pretty obvious that we needed a bigger tent for longer trips because two people in a two man backpacking tent is as crowded as a can of sardines. Then I happened on a tent on the clearance rack at EMS. I feel in love with the north face’s (discontinued) Manta Ray 33.

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(Dog added for scale)

It has these little wings off the side that ad nice interior storage space.

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As a result the vestibules are a little smaller then the ones on Jake’s mountain hardware tent; however, the huge interior more then makes up for it. There are also small outside pockets for the vestibules, which makes no sense at all to me… but there you have it.

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It also has a lovely little gear hammock for all your little odds and ends… like knitting, glasses and headlamps and the lot. Or to hang up your damp socks to dry.

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Thats the interior with an extra large therma rest and a regular sized ones pushed up all the way against one side. It does a good job of pointing out why you really wouldn’t want to put three people in it.

the Kelly Kettle

I ordered this toy from Ireland and it got here just in time for our trip.

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Its a genius little gadget. Its a double walled kettle in which the water goes between the walls. The middle section actually acts as a chimney. This maximizes the surface area allowing the water to boil very quickly. I didn’t time it when we used it at the crag, but today it boiled water 5 minutes after I put the kettle on the fire. (8 minutes from the time I got the matches out to boiling) I’m quite confident that I can get that faster next time with better choice of fuel and by not having to get the dog part way though my fire starting procedure.

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