I recently purchased new trekking poles, and being me, I did a lot more homework on the purchase than most folks looking for camping gear. I have been looking for some time (since we got back from Philmont in 2012) for new trekking poles as I bent one of my trekking poles while at Philmont. They are still usable, but collapsing them is hard now and since I have had that set for about 10 years, I figured it was time to replace them.
I looked at no less than 50 different styles, brands, and types over the past 9 months or so and finally found a pair that I really like and thought I would give them a shot.
First you may ask, what the heck took you so long? Great question. Like I said, I over researched them. When looking at good high-end trekking poles, I knew that I would be committing at least $100 to the purchase. But since I also knew that the poles I buy needed to last, after all I use trekking poles all year round and on every hike, backpacking trip and camp out, I became real picky in the choice.
What I ended up getting is the MSR SureLock ™ UL-2 Ultralight 2 section Poles. They retail for $90, but with a Boy Scout discount and finding them on sale at a local outfitter, I paid $62.
So here are the specs:
According the packaging the SureLock ™ UL-2 trekking poles weigh in at 16.5 oz or 468 grams. As these are MSRs “ultralight” trekking poles, I am sure that they put the heavy end on the packaging. On my scale with the winter or snow baskets on the poles, both of them weigh in at 15 oz. The trekking poles with the summer baskets weigh in at 14.5 oz. The length of the poles are as advertised. At its lowest setting the trekking poles are 41 inches long or 105 cm. They extend to 55 inches or 140 cm. Fully collapsed the trekking poles are 31 inches. There are 8 adjustable holes along the trekking pole to find the right setting for you. I personally set them at 120 cm.
Here is what I like compared to my last poles, which for the record are the Black Diamond Trail Trekking poles. The MSR SureLock ™ poles are 2 section poles, the Black Diamond poles I have are 3 section. This makes the MSR poles faster and easier to set up. I really like that.
I LOVE the Positive Locking system on the SureLock ™. The rolling bearing pins smoothly lock into place and once seated are not going anywhere. I configured the trekking poles to my height and leaned over them with my entire upper body weight, they did not flex or pop out. With your standard cam lock or twist friction locks over the course of a hike I always had to readjust due to slippage.
The poles have a unique design in that they are not round. This design is called Non Rotating tri-lobe geometry, this assists with the poles not being able to rotate. This keeps the Positive locking system in place.
The trekking poles are made of 7000 series aluminum. This is super light and very strong.
I am very happy with these trekking poles. They are comfortable, light, strong, and easy to use. I can not wait to get them out on the trail. I will shoot some video of the poles in action as soon as I can get them out.
In the mean time, I thought it would be nice to include in this post the promotional video put out by MSR on the Trekking poles so you can see them and get a better picture of what I am talking about.
As a set of poles that I have over researched and now purchased, this review as a first look leads me to be very impressed with the MSR SureLock ™ UL-2 Trekking poles.
Stay tuned for more on these Trekking poles.
Do you use trekking Poles?
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: Backpacking, blog, camp skills, Camping, High Adventure, Just fun, reviews
Tags: backpacking, hiking, MSR, reviews, Trekking Poles
In a constant quest for new gear and nifty gadgets I have found my new favorite knife. I recently purchased a knife that is multifunctional, light weight and durable.
From the makers of the Light My Fire Swedish Fire Steel, Meal kit, and ever so famous Spork, comes the Light My Fire Swedish Fire Knife.
This great knife is all you need while out in the woods.It is a Mora Swedish style knife sporting a 3.75 inch blade made of Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel. The Actual size is 225x45x38mm and it weighs in at 94 grams. In the TPE rubber handle or grip is a Swedish Fire steel. The fire steel produces a 5,400 degree spark which is perfect for starting fire in even the wettest and coldest temps.
The knife is great for camp chores and starting fires, lighting stoves, and is not effected by the altitude.
The top or back edge of the knife is your striker. It has a perfect edge that ensures a strike every time on the Swedish fire steel. The fire steel is durable and is good for about 3000 strikes. That’s a heck of a lot better than a book of matches or bic lighters.
The Light my Fire Swedish Fire Knife comes in 5 colors, I chose the black one, but it also comes in Orange, Green, Blue, and Red. I looked at the orange version and it was just a bit to loud for me, but if you decide it’s for you I bet you never lose it.
The Light My Fire Swedish Fire Knife retails for $39, but I picked mine up on Amazon for $29 new.
I will be doing a video on the knife as soon as I get my camera and computer working together again… long story, let me just say that you need to stay out of creeks when the rocks are slick.
I really like this knife and it is now a full time part of my kit.
Until I get my own video up, here is the promotional video by Light my Fire of Sweden.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: Backpacking, blog, camp skills, Camping, gear, Hammock, High Adventure, Just fun
Tags: fire, fire steel, gear, knives, mora knife, reviews
This year I got a new pack. I traded in my Granite Gear Nimbus Trace for a lighter pack in an effort to reduce pack weight. I read somewhere that it is a good idea when reducing base weight to start at the base.. the pack.
So I did my homework and decided based on research and other reviews to buy the ULA Ohm 2.0 Pack.
The ULA Ohm 2.o is made by Ultralight Adventure Equipment in Logan, Utah. They specialize in Ultralight packs but don’t be afraid, you don’t have to be an Ultralight backpacker to use one of their packs. I am not UL hiker, but I do like the idea of watching what I pack and reducing the weight of the gear I carry.
The ULA Ohm 2.0 is a great pack. It is super comfortable and big enough for everything I carry, even winter gear. You do need to watch your weight though with this and all UL Packs. They are made of lighter materials and while they are durable, they do need to be handled with a bit more care. The Ohm is recommended for weights that do not exceed 30 lbs. My winter gear this year was right at 23 lbs and when I added additional water, it pushed the limit of the pack. I was careful packing it and certainly watched the seems as I went out on the last couple trips. The pack held and even at the weight max was real comfortable.
Here are the specs on the pack: Volume Breakdown= 2,100 cu in. in the main body, the front mess pocket holds 500 cu in, the 2 side pockets hold 400 cu in each. The hip belt pockets each hold 100 cu in each and the draw string extension collar (top of the pack) will hold an additional 500 cubic inches. That gives you a grand total of 3,960 cubic inches of space. That is a ton of room. The packs weight, unpacked is 29 ounces.
The ULA web site describes the pack as “A full featured, full suspension (active) ultralight pack that offers exceptional load control, on-trail functionality, and full body compression.
Combining a 1.2 oz carbon fiber/delrin active suspension hoop and exceptional compression, the Ohm 2.0 maximizes load control, load transfer, pack compression, and overall pack rigidity in an ultralight package.
1.9 oz ripstop nylon, ULA 210 Robic, and ULA’s proven construction methods insure the Ohm 2.0 is built to last despite its minimal weight. The Ohm 2.0 Backpack is now available in four colors, standard green and purple blaze in the ULA 210 Robic, and Woodland and Multicam in 500 Cordura.”
The standard features of the pack are: The suspension hoop, a must when lifting a lower a pack made with UL materials. Internal Pad holster that comes with a CCF pad. This is your back panel. A contoured padded hip belt. I love the way they have made the adjusting straps on the hip belt. The double strap allows for more adjustments to be made adding to the overall comfort and ride of the pack. Hip belt pockets. Contoured Shoulder straps that are comfortable and don’t dig in. The bif front mess pocket, easy access to the things that you need right away. I keep my rain gear, first aid kit, and that kind of stuff in there. Top compression strap keeps the pack tight and allows for flexible loading options. Ice Axe/ Pole retention loops hold your trekking poles or your ice axe snug. All of those features make the pack a great pack for weekend trips as well as extended days on the trail.
Inside of the pack is a hydration pouch that will hold a bladder up to 2 liters. There is also a removable mesh pouch inside, perfect for your keys, wallet, or even your iPhone.
I have been using this pack for a few months now and can honestly say that I really am happy with it. I love the weight, the construction, the features, the ease of use, and the comfort of the pack. It is solid and well made right here in America.
I highly recommend the ULA Ohm 2.o.
You can see more ULA packs at their website. http://www.ula-equipment.com
If you have questions, comments or ideas on your gear.. let me know.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: #52to16, Backpacking, camp skills, Camping, gear, High Adventure, Skills
Tags: backpack, backpacking, gear, reviews, Scouting, ULA Ohm