Product Testing along the Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness

6 day hike the first part of August.

Large Burn Area with Fireweed flowers first day
Trying out new 30d Urethane coated ground sheet, 1/2″ thick Plastazote foam pad, trekking pole extension using a stick and the Duplus two person pyramid tarp. The ground sheet was a hit. not slippery like the silicone coated fabrics, very light and compact compared to Tyvek and much more durable than plastic sheeting. The 1/2″ Plastazote was very light to carry, put in a stuff sack and strapped to the back of the pack it supported the pack upright when on the ground for easy access to the contents. Plenty warm when sleeping. Lacking a little bit of cushioning when side sleeping on a granite slab.
Pole extension was a small stuff sack used during the day for tent pegs, at night turned inside out with sewn on straps that a stick fit into and could be strapped to a single trekking pole to form an adjustable tent pole
Duplus tarp (center tent) on Larch Hill Pass, the most distant point from our trailhead and at the end of the Chinese Wall. Very windy spot, staked out all hem staking points so the tarp remained standing. Decided the tarp needs one of the mid point tie outs on the back as well as the sides.
Chinese Wall looking south. Some wildfire smoke.
Grotto with waterfall at one of the camp sites. A baby water dipper was learning to swim while we were there. Sat on that main log and dove in time and again while the mother chirped at us from above.
interesting pink rock with ridges. Wonder what forces created this?
Russ and Dan Photo Shoot

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backpacking tunic

Bee Hive Lake, Idaho

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Fighting Off Cheatgrass

Plant that blocks cheatgrass. Wonder what it is?

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Lightest Folding Spork? 1.8 grams!

Handle even folds!
Or .0626 ounces

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Outdoor Ed Olympics during Covid, Aspen Country Day School

Pyramid Tarp Pitching event shown

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Cold Weather Quilt Cover/Bivy Sale $39

Great Price while they last.

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Light Inexpensive Multi-Use Hatchet

Backpacking where frozen ground makes pounding in tent stakes tough, a small hammer or hatchet is useful. If one is in an area of excess wood, campfires, wood tent stakes and poles might be part of the trip. Then a hatchet can be good to have.

Marble makes a small hatchet which weighs 13 ounces and I found for $17 plus shipping. Small enough it fits in my back pocket. It does a good job at pounding stakes, and is useful for light wood gathering. I like it for tapping away fire starting pitch chunks from the “cat face” of a pine tree, quickly limbing off the small dead pencil size “magic sticks” at the base of trees, making shavings and getting at dry wood in a dead stump. It is smaller than the usual hatchets, so won’t be up to larger tasks like felling anything more than a sapling. You won’t be splitting rounds with this, but for wood gettin’ I find it better than a pocket knife and sometimes better than a saw. I made a small leather sheath that leaves one side open for driving stakes and weighs 1/2 ounce. It came sharp enough for most tasks but if you like to whittle, it needs a bit of work with a stone to be shaving sharp. The wood appears to have a light varnish, but if you like could be sanded and tung oiled.

Pictures follow

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New Fabrics for the Long Drawcord Bivy

Fits to 6’5″

Two different weights.

40 Denier DWR top in Tan #499, 70 Denier Coated in Coyote Tan 11.5 oz































30 Denier DWR top in Silver Grey, 30 Denier with double thick Urethane coated bottom in Tan #499. 7.8 oz

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How To Set Up The NetTarp

Items needed:

  • 4 to 12 stakes (4 minimum with trees for ridgeline tie outs, more stakes needed if windy, snow load or using poles for support)
  • 2 trees, trekking poles, or tarp poles (use of at least one tree is easier to set up for one person, if using poles two people holding poles on each end really speeds things up)
  • 6 cords @ 3′ on corners and middle sides of fabric panel
  • 2 cords @ 6′ on ridge line (having some extra cord is useful for trees spread farther apart, and needed for tarps large enough for more than one person)

First attach the Ridgeline tie out to a tree or pole at a height that allows the netting to sit 4″ on the ground.

I like to use a releasable tautline hitch.

If using a pole for the ridgeline, tie a clove hitch around the top of the pole and then run the line down to a stake on the ground. Adjustable trekking poles make height adjustments easier.

Have someone hold the pole upright and go attach the other ridge line to a pole or tree.

Stake out the four corners at a height that maintains about 4″ of netting laying on the ground.

Adjust cord length using the tautline hitches and by moving stakes so that the tarp is stretched snug with minimum wrinkles. In a wind, you want the tarp to hum, not flap.

If needed, tie out center side points and four corner points on netting. Shepherds crook type stakes work well for the netting. The netting should be snug but not tight along the sides of the tarp (gentle on the netting) and loose on the pleated ends so one can crawl under the netting easily without having to remove a stake.



















































































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Old carabiners with no marked strength ratings

Just a logo stamped on the side. Note also the locking carabiner with the flaw in the gate pin notch. They were recalled- in a hard fall the pin could get wedged in the notch.

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