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December 08, 2009



Lauren and I love our half-dome tent. And you can totally put it together by yourself if you ever get to the point of backpacking alone.


Coincidentally, my list also contains a yoga mat.


@Fletcher - that's what I'm aiming for! Once I get a tent i am seriously going to practice setting it up in my living room over and over.

@Kanishka - I love prAna stuff (their hiking pants i bought recently are invaluable) and that mat looks really nice, but rather pricey. is there a reason it might be worth investing in over some cheapo mat from target?


My experience has been that the more expensive mats are worth it, though I haven't tried the prAna one (my latest teacher, who is pretty hardcore, recommends it). I bought a Lululemon mat for $65 two years ago. It is easier to clean (and handles cleaning better) than my cheapy mat was. It also stays sticky when covered in sweat, and in general just feels better. Sadly, after two years of use in the India heat it is time to retire it.

Matt F

For water purification, an alternative to a pump filter is something like Polar Pure. I've always preferred chemical disinfectants to filters, mostly because I'm lazy, and because they're substantially cheaper. Also no moving parts to break.

It depends on how sensitive you are to the slight iodine-y taste, though. I don't mind it at all, and the one I linked to is better than most (it uses these weird crystals instead of normal tablets, which gives it an indefinite shelf life; you'd probably only need 1 bottle for like 10 years of hiking), but it's something to keep in mind.


@Kanishka - thanks for the tips! It'd probably be worth it for me at this point to invest in a good mat, considering how often I do yoga...I might head to the Lululemon store this weekend.

@Ficke - good tip, too. We used tablets in Yellowstone and I didn't mind the taste at all. Plus they're smaller and lighter to pack, presumably. And yes, much cheaper!


But you have not been good this year.




Tents - I feel about tents like I feel about sailboats - better to have a friend with one than to actually own one yourself. Seam sealing needed for max waterproofing. "Footprint" needed under floor for max waterproofing. Sometimes new stakes needed because the factory ones are flimsy. Tents collect pine needles, little bits of trash, and old leaves - tedious to clean out. Even if easy to pitch, tents usually are hard to cram into their stuff sack when you're packing up in the morning. I have a love-hate relationship with tents.

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