Hello everyone !!! Just joined today and I am very excited to get back into Backpacking after almost a 10 year absence. I am slowly trying to replace my old gear with some newer lighter weight(lol) options. I just recently purchased an Osprey Kestrel 48ltr pack. Fits great and walked around the store with 30 lbs in it for about a half an hour looking at all the new stuff. Happy to be aboard with you all! Happy trails!
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Welcome! If you haven't already found them, there are lots of excellent articles on lightening your pack and on gear selection listed in the left-hand column of http://www.backpacking.net/, the home page of this site.
Another good site for gear selection is Mark Verber's website. Lots of ideas for gear, from the latest technology to ultra-low-budget alternatives. Also tons of links to reviews and other sites.
You are liable to find better gear choices if you do considerable research outside the store. Unfortunately most outdoor stores are strictly interested in loading you down with heavy high-priced gear and a maxed out credit card! The above sites will help you get started.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Glad to hear you are getting back into backpacking (and updating all your old, heavy gear!). I'm new to this forum as well, but I've been backpacking since I was a kid, which in reality wasn't that long ago. I used to have an Osprey Kestrel 48 and loved it! Awhile ago, however, I sold it to a friend and bought the Arc'teryx Bora, which is very nice too. Good luck getting back into the outdoor scene and I hope to see you posting around here often!
wstrn welcome. I was misled and rather excited by the name of your post. I'd like to "update" a lot of my old gear too, but you meant "replace". I'd just suggest that you camp a lot with your old gear and only add one new item at a time and I always carry the item being replacedon the first trip too just in case the new item doesn't work the way I expected it to. Jim
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
I'll second that advice about taking the old piece with you on the new one's first trip. I couldn't ever bring myself to replace one thing at a time, though; carrying two sets of gear would be way too heavy, so I always make my first trip of the year a "car camp" where I camp at (or near, say within half a mile) the car, using the new stuff but leaving the old stuff in the car, in case the new doesn't work. An alternative is a two-night trip, leaving old in the car, but looping back by the car early on the second morning so you can switch out whatever didn't work the first night.
In the last two years, I've rotated through a couple of gear changes before settling (I hope) on a set I'll use for a while. I used the car camp/shakedown several times to help with this.
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