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#203347 - 08/19/19 10:44 AM Gear up to date?
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Napa, CA
My wife and I have hiked something more than 2500 miles in the Sierra Nevada and other parts of the West. We've backpacked for years and years, and we are as experienced a pair as you are likely to find on any given day on the trail. So what could possibly go wrong?

Well, on our last trip, just as an example, we had a few misfortunes. My toothbrush broke. It was a source of some amusement to see me trying to brush my teeth holding the stub of the brush with both hands and still reach the teeth in the back of my mouth.

And my sunglasses also snapped above the ear. No worries, we had packed duct tape--except that for some reason I had switched lip balms, and the supply of duct tape was wrapped around the old lip balm tube, not the new one. That's OK. We also have adhesive tape in the first aid kit. In fact, that tape came from my parents' first aid kit...and let's see...my mom passed away how many years ago?

So It was tape, but it wasn't adhesive. hmm. Luckily, we still had a few small band-aids, and a couple of them, wrapped around a twig as a splint, fixed the sunglasses at least enough to get him home. Just a reminder that it pays to make sure all your gear is newish...and that you've also got a back up!
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balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#203348 - 08/19/19 11:11 AM Re: Gear up to date? [Re: balzaccom]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3075
Loc: Portland, OR
I just returned from a 3-night trip with my wife where some old gear failed.

I use a Sawyer mini as a water filter and was using an old Platypus 1-liter bag (2003 vintage) as the dirty water bag to squeeze the water through the filter. On day 2 it sprang a serious leak in a seam where duct tape was useless. Luckily the leak was located where I could pinch it shut with my fingers, if I pinched hard enough. We got by.

Just minutes before it failed I remember looking at it, thinking about how old it was and wondering how long it would last. laugh

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#203349 - 08/19/19 12:01 PM Re: Gear up to date? [Re: aimless]
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By aimless
Luckily the leak was located where I could pinch it shut with my fingers, if I pinched hard enough. We got by.



And doesn't THAT sound like fun? LOL. Been there, but luckily we had the original tiny bag that comes with the filter. God knows how old it is now.
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balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#203350 - 08/19/19 01:35 PM Re: Gear up to date? [Re: aimless]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 230
Loc: PNW
That's one of the reasons I always carry one of those tiny Gorilla glue things in my first aid/repair kit. It can help solve a number of issues in the field.

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#203351 - 08/19/19 02:40 PM Re: Gear up to date? [Re: balzaccom]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6696
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
That's why it's a good idea to go through your gear at least annually and check its condition. Good task for the winter!

One particular thing that needs at least annual attention is the first-aid kit. Medications expire and can become ineffective or even harmful; paper coverings of gauze pads and bandaids become yellowed and brittle, compromising sterility; elastic (as in Ace bandages) dies; and so on. Besides, you don't want to find that you've used up all your ibuprofen just when you need it!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#203353 - 08/19/19 07:39 PM Re: Gear up to date? [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1793
Loc: Southwest Ohio
The annual gear review is a terrific idea, and something I've done every year for a long time. (Well, most years...)

There's also a similar hazard when you decide to upgrade or replace something. You need to make sure that you have all the little auxiliary stuff to go along with it, and that it all works together.

For example, I'd been using Platypus bags with the Sawyer filter, back when it first came out. The bags wore out a couple years later, so I bought some replacements and tossed them into the pack. When I went to filter water, I connected the bags and water gushed out the connections, all over the filter. I didn't connect the new bags before the trip, and didn't realize that Platypus had changed their bottles, just a tiny bit, so they weren't compatible with the Sawyer.

Likewise, when I realized my headlamp was shot, I replaced it. A few trips later, when the batteries played out, I grabbed the spares - to discover that the 3 AAA batteries (old lamp) didn't fit into the 2 2032 coin cells the new one used. Luckily, the moon was full.

Sometimes, you need replacement stuff to go with the replacement stuff.

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#203366 - 08/27/19 04:20 PM Re: Gear up to date? [Re: OregonMouse]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
That's why it's a good idea to go through your gear at least annually and check its condition. Good task for the winter!

One particular thing that needs at least annual attention is the first-aid kit. Medications expire and can become ineffective or even harmful; paper coverings of gauze pads and bandaids become yellowed and brittle, compromising sterility; elastic (as in Ace bandages) dies; and so on. Besides, you don't want to find that you've used up all your ibuprofen just when you need it!

Yup, the 1st aid kit and toiletry kit contain all manner of items that don't age well and with the former, you hope not to use at all and can languish a decade before you know it.

I discovered in one of my too-seldom gear reviews that all my ClO2 tablets (a few of which I kept in several spots, including the 1st aid kit) had all oxidized into useless powder. My emergency water treatment had had its own emergency.

Live and learn.
_________________________
--Rick

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#203536 - 10/12/19 10:14 PM Re: Gear up to date? [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3956
Loc: Bend, Oregon
every time I replaced an old trusted piece of gear I learned that it also had other functions not covered by the replacement item. Often a simple change in backpack gear caused a total mess up because the few items that I had were not compatible anymore. I always try to carry the old item and the new item on the next trip to compare them.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#203538 - 10/13/19 02:22 PM Re: Gear up to date? [Re: Jimshaw]
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Napa, CA
Not sure you read the original post, Jim. It's not about replacing gear, but making sure your FAK is up to date and the supplies are fresh.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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