This journal chronicles my thoughts, discoveries, acquisitions (or divestiture), and critiques of the gear I use on my adventures.
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After almost 10 years, I finally had to replace my Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork winter poles. I have been incredibly happy with Black Diamond poles, however this time I decided to give the MSR Dynalock Ascent Carbon poles a chance - for no other reason than to try something different. What I like about them: they are very light, they break-down super small, they have 20cm of adjustability, and the locking mechanism can be tightened without tools. All I hope for now is that they stand-up similarly durability-wise to the Black Diamonds... we shall see.
The first step in my transition back to snowboarding... a new pair of boots! I purchased these while on our family Christmas trip to the Eastern Townships. Super comfortable (much more so than my telemark boots in the previous post). The continuation of the black/orange theme is purely coincidental...
Every once-and-a-while the planets align and I find a really good deal on something I want, in my size, and it isn't even the off-season. That's what happened last night... I happened to be in Sports Experts and discovered they had these babies on sale for 50% off: Salomon Snowcross 2 waterproof winter trail runners with a built-in gaiter.
These are going to be perfect for winter running, hiking, and snowshoeing!
@brienne and I both got new trail shoes this week. Both of us back to Inov-8 after a long hiatus, I got the Trailtalon and she got the Roclite. I am relieved that some online Canadian retailers are now providing free shipping for returns. It makes the whole process a lot easier. I was able to order three pairs of shoes, and will return the other two.
Sorry Merrell and Altra, you guys didn't win this time.
In preparation for this summers backpacking plans, I purchased two new pieces of gear today.
I got a pair of Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ poles to replace my very aged Black Diamond Carbon Cork poles. I really wanted a pair of Gossamer Gear poles, but could not justify the ridiculous expenses after the exchange rate, shipping costs, and duty fees.
The other purchase was a new GSI Pinnacle stove. These stoves are actually made by Kovea from Korea, who sponsored us on our AT thru-hike in 2014. We loved this stove, but sadly due to a bum canister last summer, both of our Kovea stoves got plugged (Never again Coleman!).
Thanks to a last-minute tip from our friends at Les Randonnées du Pèlerin, I found out about a huge gear sale at La Cordée that was scheduled to happen this morning. I went in thinking it would be a reconnaissance mission to see if it was worth going to on a regular basis (the sale happens twice a year). I also had one thing on my would-be-nice-to-find-but-zero-expectations list: a winter sleeping bag. I was shocked to find exactly what I was looking for at an equally shocking price: A perfect condition Western Mountaineering winter sleeping bag at less than 20% the regular retail price. Score!