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#200368 - 03/09/18 04:55 AM If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I've heard this referred to as "Herblock's Law."

What's your favorite example? Here are a few of mine:

Marmot Precip Anorak...nice piece of lightweight gear, several ounces lighter than the jacket. In fact, they could have made it a jacket with a zipper without much weight sacrifice.

Pur used to make a filter that screwed onto the top of a Nalgene bottle and used small, nearly weightless filter discs. More expensive per quart filtered, but the discs were so light you could easily carry a spare or two. And you didn't have to lay out $50 for a new filter cartridge. The actual pump part was similar to the "Hiker", so flow rate was good, and If they wanted to, they could have made it without the screw-on adapter, making it even lighter. I think it was about 8oz.

Penny's "Plain Pocket" Jeans...50/50 cotton/polyester, ideal for those of us who like jeans for hiking. Now, instead, I pay $85 for hiking pants. Grrr...
_________________________
There are two kinds of people: people who think there are two kinds of people and people who don't.

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#200370 - 03/09/18 07:13 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1507
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Princeton Tec Scout headlamp. Very simple: you could angle the unit; it had low, high and flashing LED (no red LED). Push-button switch. The greatest thing: there was a small lip on the baseplate rim. When you pushed the unit against the baseplate (no angle), the push button nestled under that lip on the rim. No way it could turn on accidentally. (I recently found one on eBay, so I’m good for several more years.)

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#200584 - 03/28/18 06:46 PM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: Bill Kennedy]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1201
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Safe Water Anywhere filter and bladder set up. The bladder and tube, IIRC, had a silver ion lining, reducing the chances of unwanted microorganism growth. I read that some other filter supplier bought the company to kill off the competition. That filter technology was considered one of the best if its time. Bummer!

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#200587 - 03/28/18 07:43 PM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: Bill Kennedy]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6518
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Montrail Hardrock trail runners. By the time I discovered them, Columbia Sportswear had already bought out Montrail, but they did make the Hardrock model for another couple of years. However, they gradually altered the last until the last ones they made were too wide in the heel for me (I need a wide and high forefoot and a really narrow heel to accommodate my rather deformed feet). Then Columbia discontinued it altogether, and none of the new models fit. I did manage to buy up several pair of the old (pre-Columba) last, but I am now on the last one.

Which is why I still refuse to buy anything made by Columbia, even though it's a local company. I can still wear New Balance shoes with their SL-2 last, but they don't make those with a trail runner sole.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#200608 - 03/30/18 04:28 PM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: Bill Kennedy]
steve-in-kville Offline
member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 20
Loc: Rural Pennsylvania
I second the Columbia shoe post. I wore their low and mid-top shoes for years... always fit great and lasted for years. Seems the quality just went to the birds. I just switched to Merrells.

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#200613 - 03/31/18 03:59 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Two more: Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Raisins & Spice flavor. I used to eat this often at home, and always when backpacking. Oddly, the Winco variety pack still has two packets of Raisins & Spice in it...I would have thought it was made by Quaker. I even emailed Quaker to inquire about it, but they apparently don't answer their emails (which is a pet peeve for another time...Marmot is another one in the we-don't-care camp.)

Mountain House Shrimp Creole, discontinued years ago. I think I took one on every trip while they made it.
_________________________
There are two kinds of people: people who think there are two kinds of people and people who don't.

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#200614 - 03/31/18 09:17 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: Bill Kennedy]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1201
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Hi, Bill-

Have you considered making your own "instant oatmeal?" Two ways to go could be pulsing regular quick oats in a blender or food processor as your base oats and buying plain instant oats. I spotted some Bob's Red Mill (plain) instant oats during a recent shopping trip.

Once you have the oats as you want them, experiment with the right blend of milk (dried cow, goat, coconut, etc.), dried fruit and nuts, plus spices to your liking. Yes, it's more work, but many of us make what we can't find to suit us. Your own oatmeal is likely to be cheaper and more nutritious. Just be aware that dried milk can go rancid once exposed to air, so make your mixes close to trip time or freeze/vacuum pack them.

I did try to make my own dehydrated shrimp Creole. It tasted OK, but the rice stayed crunchy. I might try making something similar by adding dried ingredients to portions of freeze dried rice or chicken and rice from a MH #10 can.

(PUT DOWN THE COFFEE NOW!)


Canned (very small) shrimp do well with dehydration and rehydration, but they look squeamishly like dried maggots...

Cheers!

Rosaleen

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#200622 - 04/01/18 04:48 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: CamperMom]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Good idea. I've thought of using the "original" flavor (plain instant oatmeal) and adding to it, but I have no idea what spices would be appropriate. I've added raisins to some of the other flavors and it wasn't bad.

I do like the Quaker "Real Medley" instant oatmeal, particularly the "Summer Berry Medley," but they're more expensive and need to be repackaged, depending on length of trip. "Nature's Path" brand is pretty good, too. Both have larger portions than the regular Quaker instant.

I didn't realize that dried milk can go rancid. Good to know. I want to buy a vacuum sealer...I had a cheap one, but it quit working and I didn't like the fact that it couldn't be used without the vacuum. Ideally, it would be nice to be able to control the amount of vacuum. Any recommendations?

Also good to know about the canned shrimp. I tried dehydrating canned chicken, and it wasn't too bad, but still a little chewy.
_________________________
There are two kinds of people: people who think there are two kinds of people and people who don't.

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#200623 - 04/01/18 07:34 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: CamperMom]
wgiles Offline
member

Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 154
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
I have been getting along quite well using quick oats and just adding boiling water. After a few minutes it thickens up. I used to partially grind the oatmeal in a high speed coffee mill, but I don't really see any improvement over quick oats. I haven't used instant oatmeal for some time, although I still keep a few plain packets around. I make rice and kasha grits in a coffee mill that I add to the oatmeal. Buckwheat groats toasted in a cast iron pan have a delightful aroma and I prefer them to commercial kasha. I add some peanut powder and some protein powder along with mixed dried fruit. I normally keep my dried milk separate,but have had no real problems with non-fat dried milk going off. Spices are usually Cinnamon and maybe a bit of nutmeg. Apple pie or pumpkin pie spice mixes are OK, but I don't use them very often. At home, I use Stevia extract for sweetening, but I use raw sugar on the trail.

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#200625 - 04/01/18 10:03 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: Bill Kennedy]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1201
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Tilia makes a very good vacuum sealer, marketed under Foodsaver. The sealing feature and vacuum can be used separately. My strip burned out and I haven't replaced it. My sister had the same issue and thinks that although the appliance is touted for resealing mylar chip bags, doing so may a big factor in the strip burning out. The same company makes a hand-held vacuum unit that can be used on jars, and specially made plastic bags. Ziploc makes a vacuum kit that uses a syringe-like hand pump for its line of specialty plastic bags. While the bags have lost the vacuum in my experience, I really like the little hand pump. It works on jars, not just bags, is simple, QUIET, inexpensive, and extremely portable. I keep one with my (car)camping gear and really appreciate not needing electricity to use it.

In case you haven't seen any, a lot of info is available concerning sealing repurposed jars that have a rubber seal built into the lid. (Try food-preserving@yahoogroups.com,or similar plus prepper info on You tube.) Peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, and other foods may be packaged this way. Clean the jars and lids thoroughly, punch a small hole near the center of the lid, place a tiny piece of black rubbery electrician tape over the hole, and vacuum. The tape should be attached except for one lifted corner that just allows air to be sucked out of the jar. Store batches dehydrated food in jars, pour out some as needed before a trip, and reseal the jar for another trip. I've had great luck with that Ziploc sealer as well as the hand pump. For individual meals assembled right before a trip, I usually just suck out as much air as possible through a straw and seal my bags with a clothes iron.

Wgiles, IIRC, posted next that he uses plain quick oats with hot water and waits a bit. I think he is correct about this, too. My kids used to eat them right from the box with cold milk. I like his add-in suggestions, too.

You may be happy with your own "recipe" for a breakfast porridge. Do remember that the more a food is mechanically broken down (like smoothies or regrinding oats) makes the food easier and faster to digest. If you need quick energy, great, but if you want a more sustained full feeling, it is not so good.

I've read also that coconut flour can be mixed with cold milk (choice of types) as a "porridge." My digestive system appears to better cooked. I may experiment with this more at home to avoid unpleasant surprises on the trail. Wheat bran HAS to be cooked for me. The first may help some who need to avoid gluten or just want some variety, the second is target to low carbers and those whose system just sucks too much water out of their food before elimination. Corn meal as mush, polenta, or grits is another hot or cooked and chilled cereal possibility. Quaker makes instant grits. Pricey, but convenient.

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#200626 - 04/01/18 11:56 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: CamperMom]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6518
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I can't stand cooked oatmeal--makes me gag. I breakfast almost daily--at home as well as on the trail--on muesli, a mixture of raw oat flakes, wheat flakes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit. At home I add blueberries (raw or frozen partially defrosted); when packaging for on the trail I add freeze-dried blueberries or raspberries and a few more chopped nuts, along with dried milk. My favorite brand is Bob's Red Mill, and I generally use their gluten free version, not because I need to but because the grain is all oats, whereas the grain in the "regular" version is nearly all wheat. I far prefer the taste of oats. (Perhaps I'm part horse?)

While I try to get as much air out of plastic bags as I possibly can, getting all the air out (as with a vacuum sealer) tends to make the contents brick-like, thus more difficult to fill up space in bear canister or bag. On the other hand, vacuum sealing is great for long-term storage, as CamperMom points out.

As usual, everyone's mileage may and probably will vary!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#200632 - 04/02/18 03:26 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: CamperMom]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
One thing about vacuum sealers - the bag material is expensive. I found a bunch of YouTube videos about using regular freezer bags with vacuum sealers, though. One guy made a clever little plastic device (easy to make) to adapt a vacuum sealer for use with freezer bags. It looks like it only works with a sealer with a fairly wide vacuum chamber, but I think most are wide enough.
I've looked at some of the FoodSaver units. Nesco makes one that looks good and is slightly cheaper, but I haven't seen it in stores. It would be ideal if you could control the amount of vacuum, but that doesn't seem possible on the units in my price range. Seems like they just have vacuum, extra vacuum, or no vacuum.

I'll file away the jar idea. Probably better for quantities larger than I'm likely to use, though. My food planning tends to be last-minute, I'm afraid.
_________________________
There are two kinds of people: people who think there are two kinds of people and people who don't.

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#200633 - 04/02/18 06:06 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: Bill Kennedy]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 877
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By Bill Kennedy
It would be ideal if you could control the amount of vacuum, but that doesn't seem possible on the units in my price range. Seems like they just have vacuum, extra vacuum, or no vacuum.


I have a Food Saver and the vacuum is not adjustable but it is progressive and you can push the seal button at any point and just seal at that point.

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#200658 - 04/03/18 02:49 AM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It [Re: GrumpyGord]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
You're right! I didn't see that. Thanks!
_________________________
There are two kinds of people: people who think there are two kinds of people and people who don't.

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#200923 - 05/07/18 12:34 PM Re: If It's Good, They'll Stop Making it [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 281
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Here is my example. Today I saw on the Backpacking Lite site a review of a two pound 19 degree Patagonia Sleeping bag made especially for climbers. http://t.dripemail2.com/c/eyJhY2NvdW50X2...2luZytMaWdodCJ9

Long link and I wonder if it will work. Anyway, it reminded me that North Face no longer makes my excellent NF Hightail 3S (3 season) sleeping bag. The 15 deg. F rating is a little optimistic, but it has features no other bag has. At first I thought they were gimmicks, but it turned out they were valuable. It has some spots of synthetic insulation under the shoulders and butt where down would be compressed to nothing. So that adds comfort and warmth. The shell is Pretex and is water resistant and breathes extremely well. On the head and foot the external shell is a more waterproof form of Pretex so that if you touch the tent there is no chance of water passing through. This is a 850 fill power down bag and of the 4 quality down bags I have used over the years it is the warmest. 32 ounces. Unbelievable. Just like yard sticks; They don't make them any longer.
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Jim M

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