Gear Talk: Merrell Mix Master 2 Minimalist Trial Runners

Bicyclists take care of their bikes, equestrians care for their horses, and subsequently hikers must take care for their feet.  I have tried hiking boots, hiking shoes, running shoes, tennis shoes, and even my vans for hiking… and I have yet to find anything that I like more than my new Merrell Mix Masters. I will give my first impressions review.

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Winter Day Hikes with the GG Murmur

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Stinging Fork Falls Cumberland Trail

Brian Green has sent me both a Gossamer Gear Gorilla backpack and Murmur Backpack to give me the chance to use and review them. I really appreciate the opportunity because every person has their own comfort levels and packing styles; I would go broke if I bought every item of gear that caught my eye! Brian actually gave his own review of this pack; I encourage you to check it out here.

The specs can be found on Brian’s review or Gossamer Gear’s website, so I will just spend time discussing my experience. Continue reading “Winter Day Hikes with the GG Murmur”

GEAR TALK: Hammock Gear Burrow 20 F

A new piece of gear for me has been the Hammock Gear Burrow 20F top quilt. I plan on giving a fuller review in the future, but I wanted to give a little of what I experienced while it is still fresh on my mind. I bought this quilt used from a fellow ultralight hiker and he had it custom made with M50 outer shell material, 10D inside, and roughly 11 oz 900 FP down (maybe +1 overfill). With a button-snap closure system this quilt comes out at 528 grams or 18.6 oz, which is much lighter than my previous bag- a North Face Blue Kazoo (40 oz). On This trip I used this quilt in conjunction with my Therm-a-Rest Prolite 3 and Gossamer Gear 1/8 in sleeping pads and the Borahgami.

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Pre-trip Prep.

Before heading out on any overnight trip make sure your sleep system will keep you warm, especially when you are testing the lower limits of your gear is being pushed. Before leaving for my 140 mile trip from Chattanooga to Nashville, TN, I am laying out open while the temperature is 21 F in my HG Burrow 20, Thermarest Prolite, GG 1/8 Thinlight, and DIY down pillow. Total weight: 42 oz.

Just to be sure, I have on my Rocky polyester bottom baselayer, smartwool socks, Baffin slippers, my MH wicked lite, and marmot reactor 1/4 zip. Not only am I warm enough to make it through the night, but I am feeling toasty!

Updated Trip Planning

This are our intended resupply markers. If all goes as planned, because everything usually goes according to plan, this is also when we start looking for a place to sleep. We suspect we could add 5 to 10 miles for most days, but with we want to allow time to resupply often, and thus carry less food, we would like to keep cameras, phones, and ipods charged, and the sun will be setting each day before 6 pm. We are also considering adding longboards to our trip!

I haven’t finalized the gear list yet but here is the general outline:

  • GG Gorilla
  • Hammock Gear Burrow 20 F
  • Thermarest Prolite Regular
  • GG 1/8 Pad
  • Borah Gear Borahgami- GG tent stakes/polycro groundcloth

Before I leave I will post a full gear list and I will make note of the new gear for this trip!