Wednesday, November 03, 2010

My Review of Marmot PreCip Rain Jacket - Men's

Originally submitted at REI

The tried and true PreCip® jacket from Marmot® has been updated with new style lines and improved PreCip coating.

Great Rain Jacket For The Money

By thelosthiker from Central Kentucky on 11/3/2010


4out of 5

Fit: Feels true to size

Sleeve Length: Feels true to length

Chest Size: Feels true to size

Pros: Waterproof, Durable, Comfortable, Lightweight

Best Uses: Casual Wear, Hiking and Camping, Wet Weather

Describe Yourself: Professional/Guide

Was this a gift?: No

I've had one of these for 4 years now and it hasn't let me down yet. For less than $100, you can't beat them. I've taken mine backpacking and hiking in some pretty rough conditions and it's came away unscathed. I've even used it as a light splash jacket while guiding on the river. It's light and packable enough to throw into a spare side pocket on a backpack or a drybag on your boat. It doesn't contain any sort of liner or insulation, but that's ok with me. If I need any sort of a liner or insulation, I just wear a fleece jacket under it, problem solved.

My only gripe is when wearing this jacket in a car on a rainy day, when sitting down and pressing your back against the seat, the semi porous nature of the jacket allows a bit of moisture to come through. It was never enough to be a huge issue, just annoying at times. They made this jacket to be semi porous to allow most moisture to escape or breathe. However, when something else (in my case, a car seat) presses against the outside, it can sometimes seep in. This in no way affects any of its ability to shed or repel water in normal situations, just a funny side effect of the design.

All the seams and DWR is still intact and working great, and I will probably purchase another one when this one wears out someday...but it'll be quite a few more years, mine still looks brand new!


Tuesday, September 07, 2010


One of my many hobbies/interests/jobs is photography and it has begun to really take off as of late. My wife and I decided it would be a good activity for us to do together, so I got her a dslr for Christmas last year and it's kind of snowballed from there. We're now booking steady shoots on the weekends and the occasional shoot during the week when we're not at our day jobs. We have a few wedding shoots in the works, but most are either family or engagements.

My real passion still lies in outdoor photography, which has been reignited with our recent purchase...the widely renowned Canon 70-200mm f/4L. The f/2.8L is actually the more popular of the L-series 70-200's, but the f/4L is a great first step into the high-end lens market. It's not the fastest or the fanciest lens, but it's a pure workhorse of a lens for outdoor photography. It will work ok indoors as long as it's reasonably lit, but it really shines in the outdoor settings. It will work perfect for our first real foray into serious nature photography, giving us a better edge at getting the shots we dream about.

I'm itching/excited to get out this fall to get some shots of the Kentucky whitetail deer, turkeys, and maybe even a bear or two. We'll probably take a little trip to Cades Cove in TN as well, which is almost guaranteed to give us some good wildlife shots. We're serious enough about photography as it is, but we admittedly do not make enough time or take enough opportunities to get out and shoot the outdoors like we really want. We settled into a bit of a funk over the summer with being either worn out from our day jobs or other shoots, or it was too hot to even think about so much as going hiking, much less pack around a bag full of gear in 90+ temp and humidity.

Admittedly, we are a bit of fairweather photogs, which is something we need to work on. Some of the best shots can appear out of the crappiest situations. Neither me nor my wife are too thrilled about getting up at 5:30am to head out to a blind or treestand, but the potential to get some great shots is beginning to override our apathy. We think our recent purchase of some higher end glass will be the nudge we need to get out and really shoot like we need and want. It would be nice to have a few big prints made to hang on the walls and maybe peddle a few as well.
I guess we'll see what happens once the UPS truck gets here today with the goods, this weekend will be fun anyways. We'll have a couple days to get familiar with the new lens, which will be nice since we have a family shoot scheduled Saturday. Probably after that we will head into the woods and see what else we can come up with. Stay tuned, shots will be posted soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Venom Alcohol Stove

As many people know, I've been on an alcohol stove kick lately. My fascination in them lies with the fact that they're cheap and easy to make, plus who doesn't like anything having to do with fire? Anyhow, I was looking to do a little bit tougher stove out of some aluminum bottles that many beer and energy drink companies use. I wound up with a couple bottles of Venom energy drink. I would have rather had the aluminum bud light bottles to work with since I like beer a lot more than energy drinks, but I couldn't find any of the beer in aluminum bottles lately. I'm not really sure what's up with that, but the Venom bottles seem like they'll work pretty good.

The reason why I wanted to use the aluminum bottles like that is because they're thicker. As a result, they're a LOT tougher than a pop can stove. Now, I will say that there's nothing wrong with the pop can stoves. I've used the same one for several years without incident. However, as several backpackers have found out, they're not so receptive to being stepped on or handled roughly...enter the aluminum bottle stove. While I haven't done any scientific tests on any of them, the aluminum seems thick enough to withstand being jumped on and close to being ran over by a car without incident. I've discovered a way to make one that functions and is built basically the same as the traditional penny stove. They're a little bit harder to get the two pieces to fit together, but with a little coercion with a torch and some stretching of the outer piece, they will fit together quite nicely. I've got the pieces cut out now, so an update will be coming soon with the final pictures and any additional nuggets of info I might come across.

Here is a video basically showing what I'm talking about. However, since my cookpot is a bit bigger than the one he is using, I will be placing the jets on the very top.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Homemade Alcohol Stoves

A couple years ago, I posted up a little video on YouTube that basically showcased a little alcohol stove I made for backpacking. It was a variant of the classic "pop-can" stove that is especially popular with thru-hikers due to their light weight, low rate of failure, and ease of construction. To make a basic penny-stove, it only takes maybe 10 minutes as long as you have a couple pop cans, a knife, and a sewing needle. Of course, to make a nice polished and shiny one or a double wall stove like in the videos below, it takes a little more time. Either way, if you're in a pinch and need a good little stove, the ability to make one of these little gems is definitely a good skill to have.
Here's the videos for now, but stay tuned over the next couple of days for new posts containing construction details. I've got a few little things I want to try out and I've enlisted the help of my little brother in-law to help, so it should be pretty fun.
The first video is the original I posted a few years ago, the second vid is a basic how-to for the same stove. I originally got the ideas and plans from, but a lot of the links are dead now as many people have stopped contributing to the site or updating it. I want to give a little back to the alcohol stove community, so I'll try to post up a few different styles along with the basic instructions to build one for yourself. I am definitely not the only resource for these things, so get on google and search for them. There is a plethora of information out there, you just gotta dig it up. On to the videos....

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fun at The Farm

We finally managed to get out for a night of camping in what has seemed like forever. We've been wanting to take the truck up to the pond on the farm and camp for quite some time. Daniel messaged me on Saturday morning asking if we wanted to go camping somewhere, so we loaded everything up in the truck and set up camp next to the pond. It was also our first attempt at camping with our 10 month old beagle, Lucy.

We got everything set up before dark without any real issues other than realizing the rainfly for Jess's tent had mysteriously disappeared in the 3 or 4 years since its last use. We figured it was back at the house so we went without until a little later. We finally got everything set up and that's when Lucy began coming unglued.

We drove up earlier in the day to get some firewood ready and discovered most of the downed wood was a bit damp, but I took it anyways, I've never been unable to get a fire started and I wasn't about to go without one now. I also gathered up some smaller wood and kindling that was dry. I figured while it was burning and starting a good hot base of coals, it would dry out the bigger wood enough to burn. I managed to get the fire going enough on the little stuff that it was pretty warm and spitting flaming ashed off to the side, of course Lucy had to go after them. That was the first time she had ever been around a fire, she was a little freaked out but relatively fearless for the most part. She was even so bold as to try and pick up the cool end of a few logs and drag them out of the fire to chew on them. That didn't last long once she realized the other end was on fire.

Once Lucy got bored with the fire, she would not stop trying to jump on us. The bullfrogs had her freaked out the most, but she would do a complete 360 to investigate every little noise. To top that, the grass was too tall for her to be comfortable, so she wouldn't sit down. My tough little beagle is a bona-fide priss. Nothing like a fully trained rabbit dog you'd expect her to be. We had hoped she would take to camping relatively well/quickly, especially since she loves to travel, apparently she doesn't want to have anything to do with it.

Somewhere between the whining, jumping, and general chaos she exhibited, we opted to take her back to the house for the night and come back by ourselves. If anything, for peace and quiet. We picked up the rainfly for the tent while we were at the house since there was a small chance of rain, then headed back up to the campsite. By the time we got back up there, the fire had finally caught on the bigger logs, so I didn't have to fool with gathering any more kindling and finally got to relax. We sat around the fire for a few hours, roasted marshmallows and just took in the noises that come with the night.

We finally turned in for the night around 12, the crickets and bullfrogs quickly putting us to sleep. I figured we would probably get up around daybreak, but we wound up sleeping until almost 9am, when it finally got too hot and stuffy in the tent to be any sort of comfortable. We trudged around the campsite for a little bit then got everything packed back up and took off back down to the house.

It wasn't anything truly remarkable, but it was nice to get back outdoors for a night. I miss camping and we have made a vow to get out more, especially this fall once things cool off a bit. It's cheap and one of those things you can usually do pretty much on a whim, in fact it usually works out better that way. No reservations, no check-in/out times, I could get used to that again. I think it was Robert Burns who said it first, "The best plans of men and mice often go awry." Amen to that.

Monday, August 02, 2010

My Review of MSR Titan Tea Kettle

Originally submitted at REI

If you could carry only one pot on your next technical adventure this would be purist's choice.

A Minimalist's Dream

By thelosthiker from Central Kentucky on 8/2/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Durable, Lightweight, Compact, Easy To Clean, Stable

Cons: Pricey

Best Uses: Hiking, High Altitude, Backpacking, Car Camping

Describe Yourself: Professional/Guide

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

Not too long ago, I was all about carrying a big cookset along with a big liquid fuel stove. It was basically enough to cook just about anything for a good size group. The problem? I hardly ever camp with more than one or two people, and usually if there are more, they have their own stove and cookset. That being said, I opted to significantly downsize my setup. Enter the MSR Titan Kettle...

I had a Blacklite Classic cookset from MSR, but it had a few issues. It was aluminum, which (the bottom)warped over high heat. It didn't really affect the overall performance, it was just annoying. It was nonstick, which was great but began flaking off and I usually only boil water so it wasn't really necessary for me. It was huge, way too big for anything I personally needed it for. I decided to sell it and buy the lonely little Titan Kettle. It was expensive for one piece of cookware, but it came highly recommended and I knew that the titanium was significantly tougher, so it would last for a very long while.

I mostly use my stove and kettle setup for adding boiling water to my dehydrated or freeze-dried food, so the Titan works perfect for me. It's just big enough to hold a few cups of water to heat up or boil for coffee, breakfast, or dinner for my wife and I while out on the trail or in camp. Three cups is about all it can handle (safely, without water pouring out, maybe 3/4" or so from the top), so there isn't any fuel or heat wasted on heating up dead space.

I now use the thru-hikers choice for a stove, a homemade pop-can stove (search for penny stove) that runs off of denatured alcohol or HEET, along with a custom pot/kettle support made out of two bicycle spokes and some aluminum tubing. It's the perfect size for the Titan Kettle and the stove is able to heat two cups of water to boiling in around 4 minutes (give or take 30 seconds or so depending on the ambient temperature). The best part is the stove, stand, fuel, and lighter all pack neatly away inside the kettle and I don't have to worry about scratching any of the nonstick off the inside(and consuming any errant flecks of nonstick later on). The lid kind of snaps on and stays put like it should, and it has a little pour spout to keep spillage and heat loss to a minimum.

I haven't had any issues with warping the bottom even when using this kettle with a higher output gas stove like a MSR Pocket Rocket or even the super high-output Dragonfly. The only thing is it's prone to getting a little dirty on the outside from soot and normal handling, but with a little cleaning it's fine. There's no coating to worry about coming off when you clean it, so if it bothers you, by all means, scrub it clean and buff it back up.

I've packed the Titan around in my pack and used it for a little over two years now and had zero issues with it. No dents, dings, warping, etc. It does what it was built for, and it does it very well. It's tough as nails and will probably outlast all of us.

The only thing that MSR could really do to improve the Titan Kettle, would be to make the handles a bit longer. The handles can get a bit hot when cooking since they're so close to the actual body of the kettle. That can be remedied by using gloves or a bandana, but it's a bit annoying. I may try to bend up some new longer handles out of some bicycle spokes.

The bottom line, to me it's worth the investment. It's a no frills kettle that does what it should and nothing more, nothing less. It's perfect for the minimalist and the best part is it fits perfectly into a Crown Royal bag for storage! (Not really to protect it, it doesn't need it, it just cuts down on the clanking against other stuff)

The funny part is I've never used it to brew tea...


My Review of Guyot Designs Squishy Bowl and Cup Set

Originally submitted at REI

Backpacker April '07 says these ingenious bowls will ''...mash into a tiny crevice of your pack; impervious to heat, cold, and hard knocks.''

Ok Travel Bowls

By thelosthiker from Central Kentucky on 8/2/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Lightweight, Compact, Durable

Cons: Pricey, Unstable, Difficult to Clean

Best Uses: Car Camping, Backpacking

Describe Yourself: Professional/Guide

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

I decided a few years ago I would give these little guys a go, and I'm pretty much indifferent about them. They're pretty tough and super packable, but can be difficult to clean and not the most stable things in the world.

I use mine more at work fixing oatmeal for breakfast than I have for camping, but that's mostly because when I camp, we usually pack up freeze dried or dehydrated food in a couple bags or tupperware containers. We usually pour the hot water in the bags or containers and eat directly from them.

The theory behind the squishy bowls is great, but they could use a little improvement. They're a bit difficult to clean sometimes (especially in the woods), especially with sticky foods, sauces, etc...and there's no real way of just sealing them off with a lid or anything. They're a bit unstable when filled with hot food and trying to move around the campsite. It's extremely easy to grip them too hard and squish the food out of the top of them. I understand you have to make a bit of a trade-off to get the flexibility, but think if they were a hair stiffer, they would be a lot more stable and still just as packable.

I think part of what bugs me too is the price. I think they're just a tad too pricey for what they are and what they do. If they were closer to $10, then I might not feel so inclined to point out the flaws. They work ok and I probably would still recommend them to a friend, but I wouldn't really rave about them.

All that being said, I'll still continue to use mine and I may very well get another set if they're on clearance or something, if anything so we can have a set for me and a set for my wife. Until then, the big one is good for packing to work in my laptop case and fixing some oatmeal for breakfast, plus makes a pretty snazzy water bowl when camping with our beagle (Yes, I wash it between those two methods of use...thoroughly).


My Review of Chaco Z/2 Unaweep Sandals - Men's

Originally submitted at REI

Sporting a lightweight design and high-performance outsoles, Chaco Z/2 toe-thong sandals set a high standard of comfort.

Excellent Outdoor Sandal

By thelosthiker from Central Kentucky on 8/2/2010


5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Width: Feels true to width

Pros: Comfortable, Good Arch Support, Breathes Well, Durable

Cons: heavy

Best Uses: Casual Wear, Commercial Guiding, Watersports, Travel, Going Out

Describe Yourself: Casual

I've had my Z/2's for seven years and dread the day I have to give them up. The soles are just now starting to wear a bit thin, the straps are still in great condition though. I've guided for a whitewater outfitter for several years and I have used these sandals for every single trip. I've also wore them on countless backpacking and hiking trips. It's safe to say that I've put them through the wringer and they're still going strong.

When I first bought them, I was a bit apprehensive about the toe-loop. They took a bit of getting used to, but once I got the toe strap adjusted just right, I will never go back. They came highly suggested by other guides, so I decided to try them and I'm glad I did!

They are simply the most stable sandals you can work/play in, hands down. Yes there are other shoes out there that might a bit more stable, but they're just Shoes might offer a bit more protection as well, but they do not offer the freedom and breathability that the Z/2's do.

As with pretty much any sandal, I suggest you clean them every so often to keep them from stinking, but that's a given. Otherwise, they're the most breathable thing you can have on your feet while still protecting them. Many adventurers, guides, photographers, filmmakers, etc...use these, especially in wet and/or humid environments where shoes and socks become a problem to keep clean and dry.

They work great on land and in the water, with one exception...although it should be a given as well. They're not the greatest things to wear to the beach. Sand gets in the footbed, in the straps, and between the straps and your feet...leading to some serious abrasion if used for an extended amount of time in that environment. Once you get in the water though, chug them a few times and that will get most of the sand out. Occasionally you might want to pull the straps back and forth in the footbed and rinse them out as well.

I prefer to use these over hiking boots/shoes on most of my lighter trips although for trips with heavier loads, they do not offer the same support as a boot and were not designed to. As for sheer distance, I've never had a problem. Although to prevent chafing, you need to properly adjust them and have them broken in before taking any longer trips.

The only problem that I can really think of is for some people who aren't used to them, they can be a bit heavy. That's the tradeoff though for a super-tough pair of sandals that will take anything you can throw at them.

One of the big things that people (including myself) love about Chacos, is the ability to send the sandals back to have them resoled and/or restrapped in the event of a mishap or if they are simply worn out.

The bottom line, these are great sandals for casual all the way to commercial use and they look great in the process. The footbed is very supportive and will accommodate just about any foot given you pick the right size and width. Chaco's have an almost cult-like following and it's for good reason...they're tough as nails, comfortable, and the signature Z's they leave on your feet(tan-lines) are a huge bragging right!


My Review of MSR DragonFly Backpacking Stove

Originally submitted at REI

For the international backpacking gourmet, the multi-fuel MSR DragonFly stove has the most adjustable flame of any liquid fuel burning stove.

My favorite stove so far!

By thelosthiker from Central Kentucky on 8/2/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Stable, Lightweight, Easy to Light, Powerful, Easy To Clean, Great temperature control

Cons: Bulky

Best Uses: High Altitude, Car Camping, Hiking, Backpacking

Describe Yourself: Professional/Guide

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

This is one of my favorite stoves of all time, although it does have some drawbacks...
I love the fine control over the flame and the ability to use pretty much any liquid fuel imaginable, which is a HUGE plus when camping in locations where specialized fuel and canisters are few and far between (overseas, long-range trips, etc). The stove is relatively easy to setup and take down, albeit a bit bulky compared to others. Some may not like having to refill the fuel bottles, but it's usually not a big deal, it comes with the territory. The varying sizes of fuel bottles available will accommodate pretty much any trip, whether it be a overnight, weekend, or week long expedition.

I have heard complaints that the jet will clog up from time to time, but I've only used white gas and kerosene and have had zero problems out of three years of use. With some "dirtier" fuels or fuels that you think might be a bit contaminated or dirty, most people expect that cleaning the jets will become necessary at some point in time. If the shaker mechanism doesn't clean it, it's usually easy to take apart and clean the jet yourself.

I wish the stove were a little easier to pack, but it's more of a basecamp style stove anyways, so if you're packing one around for an expedition or big adventure, you'll usually have a pot or cookset big enough to stick it in. It's great for car camping and basecamps and will do good for weekend trips...just not the easiest thing to pack for all the minimalists out there.

It works perfect for what I've needed it for, my only real gripe other than the bulk, is the noise. That being said, I was warned before I bought the stove, when you really have it cranked up beyond a simmer, it's a bit loud. The thing sounds like a jet engine, it's almost hilarious. However, it is a powerful stove that can boil water extremely quickly, but still able to simmer a stew or cook eggs for breakfast.

Although I think it would take a near hurricane to blow the flame out, it comes with a windshield/barrier that helps keep an even flame as well as facilitate quicker cooking times by reducing the amount of heat lost around the sides. The shield also seems to dampen the sound a bit, which is nice. It also includes a circular shield that goes under the stove with its main purpose being to reflect heat, but it also keeps the stove from scorching the ground underneath.

It seems to be a pretty economical stove to use as well. I have a small 8oz MSR fuel bottle and I've used it for several multi-day or weekend trips and haven't had to refill, and that's cooking breakfast and dinner for 2-3 days.

Bottom line, it's a great stove for bigger/longer trips with several people. Excellent for base-camps and car camping. Not so much for thru-hikers and fastpackers, but there's other stoves in MSR's lineup that are better suited for that style or method of travel. It's loud, but not to the point of being unbearable. Fuel is available pretty much anywhere. SUPER stable and quick to setup. Will operate in the coldest environments and at any altitude. For this style of stove, I highly recommend the Dragonfly!

PS: A few people have heard of the issues MSR had with their earlier fuel pumps breaking and have asked me if I've experienced any problems out of mine. I've never had any issues with mine and I think when MSR changed the design a bit a few years ago along with using a tougher material, they remedied any issues with breakage. Although with any plastic or composite material, extra care should be taken when being used in colder environments as the colder temperature causes it to become brittle and more susceptible to breakage/failure.


My Review of MSR Pocket Rocket Backpacking Stove

Originally submitted at REI

Hands-down winner in the race for space! The tiny MSR Pocket Rocket stove delivers full-size performance yet fits into the smallest corner of your pack.

Great for a canister stove

By thelosthiker from Central Kentucky on 8/2/2010


4out of 5

Gift: No

Pros: Lightweight, Compact, Great temperature control, Powerful, Easy to Light

Cons: Unstable

Best Uses: Car Camping, Hiking, Backpacking

Describe Yourself: Professional/Guide

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

I'm not the biggest fan of canister stoves, I'd rather use something that's easy to refill and doesn't produce waste. However, I've had one of these for years for quick meals while on the trail. They're super easy to light, quick to set up, and easy to pack (especially with the hard case, very nice). My only real gripes with them is you can't refill the canister (although you can recycle them, and new ones are less than $5 usually), you can't find canisters everywhere, once completely assembled it's a bit unstable on bumpy ground, it won't support bigger loads like cooking in a base camp, and any sort of isobutane fuel is finicky in cold weather and/or high altitudes.

The bottom line is if you don't like to fool with the mess of filling up fuel bottles, priming, etc...and you need a fast and light setup, these are just the ticket. Super simple setup...screw the canister in, turn on the gas, light and cook!
If you need something a little more diverse or are cooking for more than two people, look at maybe a liquid fuel stove. Either way, this stove is great for what it was designed for, fast and light setup and simple meals.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I was always a fan of satellite dishes.

I love how all these people keep saying Apple is getting pwned over the iPhone4...many will likely be the same people in line for one when the current issue gets resolved. The big question is if it was a different phone from a lesser-known manufacturer, but just as revolutionary and with the same issue...would there be so much public outcry and blatant bashing of that company?

I'm far from a fan-boy, but I have enough intelligence to understand (maybe enough humility to admit) that a company this big didn't get that way by accident. Is Steve Jobs handling it the wrong way...possibly, or are the arguments that he's arrogant overblown? As a leader, engineer, creator, whoever you may be to that company...I think you have the right to be a little defensive and stand up for your design, and from what I've seen and read, many people are really going out on a limb to slam the iPhone4.

The main problem I see here is that many people want to see Apple fail at something. The company as a whole has grown exponentially since the ipod came onto the market, so this whole climb to the top began a long time before the iPhone hit the market. When you create something, there are two main things that you will actively seek. Number one, you will always want to make it better. Number two, you will always want to protect it, if anything to preserve your ideas and keep other people from stealing them. People get pissy when you try to protect your product and preserve your ideas, so it's a given that some of those people will start attacking you.

People will preach a whole sermon about open source and how you should leave your code, device and application design open for anyone to access. It is a heartwarming idea, the intent is good and in the right situation is very effective. When you build a product to set your company ahead, to multiply your customer base, and raise your bottom don't give away the millions of dollars in research and design to just anyone. You might however, want to walk around the middle ground and put forth a set of criteria and standards, then instruct potential and existing developers to adhere to that to preserve all that you've worked for. Sound familiar?

I admire the whole Android movement, I briefly considered buying into it after trying out a few devices. However, I went with the iPhone for it's history (I know, it's only been around a few years. I'm of course speaking of the actual smart phone market), support, and the fact that it has become almost an industry standard in the field I work in and the business I own. Trust me, I thought long and hard about the decision to buy an iPhone. I researched the various operating systems, application design, application availability, the actual engineering of the phone itself, even the aesthetics. It fits my business, my lifestyle, and my interests. It works for me, quite well I might add and the only regret I have is not making the switch sooner.

I like to try to live by the whole "to each his own" philosophy and avoid fighting ignorance, but given the latest barrage of unreasonable and excessive scrutiny over a product that is otherwise exceptional and revolutionary (even if 1st gen iPhone started the revolution)'s become a bit hard to bite my tongue.

Someone mentioned the antenna issue as a design flaw, so I decided to sort of add in this little bit.
Yeah, I do see the whole antenna thing as a design flaw if the problem is easily reproduced, but I haven't been able to reproduce the problem myself when messing with a few of the 4's. That being said, I think the issue as a whole has been way overblown. I do think they responded to it pretty piss-poorly though, maybe that's why it's been overblown? No better way to get people hating on you when you first say there is no problem, then admit there is a problem, then people find you knew about the problem for a long time. I'm definitely not claiming to be an authority on it, just stating what I've found and my opinion.

As far as being revolutionary, I'm not trying to claim the newest iPhone4 as revolutionary or single out any one particular model, moreso the series as a whole. While that's up for debate for many people, and that many (if not all) of the same features can be found in other smartphones, but the iPhone was the first (for me) that really brought all those features together in one device and made them work well.

Friday, May 07, 2010

My Review of Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite - Regular

Originally submitted at REI

For sleep-anywhere comfort, Z Lite is the lightest, most compact, full-length closed-cell foam pad Therm-a-Rest® makes.

Great minimalist pad

By thelosthiker from Kentucky on 5/7/2010


5out of 5

Gift: No

Pros: Durable, Warm, Lightweight, Packs Easily

Best Uses: Winter Camping, 3 Season Camping, Backpacking, 4 Season Camping, Car Camping, Cold Conditions

Describe Yourself: Professional/Guide

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

I didn't put down comfortable as a pro, nor did I put it down as a con, mostly because it's what you make of it really. It cracks me up when people say this product is uncomfortable. What did you expect, the same comfort as a tempurpedic? It's a foam mat, get a clue. The best suggestion that I have taken and will now pass along is to pile up a bunch of leaves under your tent directly under where you'll sleep. That helps make it nice and cushy and the crinkling really isn't an issue for me, it comes with the territory. People expect this cushy luxurious outdoor experience, it won't happen unless you stay at some sort of all inclusive lodge! It's camping, in the woods, in a tent, on the ground. For $40 you get a nearly indestructible mat/pad that's light and isn't a pain to pack up. If you want a VERY reliable, very tough, light, simple sleeping pad...then this is it. To make it really comfortable, the rest is up to you!