Your Favorite Piece of Gear?

What’s your favorite piece of gear. I’m picking up a GFC tomorrow and it a hell of a chance to upgrade my kit. The world had changed since I ran across the country in a POS Ford Explorer in 2000. We had a tarp (not a fly mind you - a tarp), a tent, rope, propane tank, “wand”, Coleman stove and lantern. Did just fine. I’ve made little updgrades along the way. Telescoping poles and a lightweight fly are awesome. Most recently full suspension bikes have changed my world (thank God for 10 year olds insisting on shredding - would have left that behind a million years ago.) But what’s your favorite new arrow in the camping quiver over the past 20 years or so? I know the list is long and I want to keep it rustic. It is camping after all and to me that’s still the point. Could be cheap, could be expensive. I’m pretty set on adding a Mr. Buddy Heater and a Jacker. I can run the lights in the camper and my kid, gasp, can charge his Ipad SOMETIMES. I can also charge up the laptop and crank some tunes…what a world.

But what’s your favorite addition in the past 20 r so years. Telescoping poles were a technological leap for a backwoods camper. PACKABLE SHELTER…whee! When I was backpacking across Europe “The Absorber” was a god send. Dry off after a shower, pack away in a tidy little container and the rest of my gear didn’t mildew or wreak and I was making tracks again…HURRAY. So what gadget blows up your skirt these days…again, big or small is ok. Unfortunately I think a sidearm probably has to be on my list these days. Probably also adding some sort of water container. Beyond that… water container, heater, power bank, what was that thing that you have now that you wonder how you lived without. For context we mostly fish and bike. Probably adding hunting back into the mix next season.

Thanks and thanks for all of the advice in prepping for the GFC transfer tomorrow…I’m stoked and trout and biking season or well within reach!


we use scepter water cans

  • i have 3 i think, then converted one lid to a hand pump so that even the kids can easily get water…based off this idea

we used this cheaper hand pump (there are others like it)

so rather than me having to pick up and pour the water (or fill multiple bottles every day) everyone can get their own - small things sometimes (ive had the spouts etc, they weren’t as easy to use as this - this we can have secured in the back of the truck and still use anytime) - also can just transfer the lid to another container when needed


Love it. Low tech, daily use, low cost (presumably) - out of stock on Amazon at the moment - will source. With a 10 year old on board I’m 100% on that. Thanks for your posts on Gen 2 install stuff as well. Been threw most if not all of it if I had to guess.

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yeah that hand pump was like $16 and some hose was a couple bucks. cheers mate - let me know if i can help in any way. started riding mtn bikes in Rotorua, New Zealand in 1990 i think, brought my bike with me to the states in '99, recently built a single speed up, not going to lie Rotorua spoiled me thou

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Bike transport is the biggest issue on my mind and I’m afraid a great answer doesn’t exist. Right now I’m spoiled. Truck pad, hoist the whips up and over and off to the trailhead. Truck is 20ft. long as is. Don’t really want to add a couple more feet with a swing away. One guy (or gal) on here said they were still using a truck pad and just tying down the back. Don’t love it, but maybe. Also saw a guy build a slide out with a couple of fork mounts that just slid in the back…not bad. Like I said, no great answer.

A trip to ride out West in the GFC is definitely in the cards. Boy is 10 so probably between now and when insanity ensues. Maybe Moab. We’re in the Appalachians so while it’s not the West (and certainly not New Zealand) its still pretty good. And I remember the 90s as well. Still have my Specialized Rock Hopper. It was a big deal that it was aluminum and that I couldn’t afford a shock. Ibis Mojo has me pretty well covered these days :wink:

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hearing good things about these - although i haven’t done much actual research myself…

Feedback I see consistently is the One Up is far and away the best. There was another that seemed to be in between them and the Rocky Mountain. I haven’t put hands on any of them though. I still hate the idea of adding another 2ft or more to the back of the truck. I’m also seeing bad reviews on any kind of locking system which is somewhat disappointing. I guess I’ll install a Pop N Lock but those things get as many thumbs down as they do thumbs up. I’m surprised a competitor hasn’t jumped in the fray.

Personally, I’m a huge coffee dude. My girl and I both are. I prefer a warm cup of coffee to start the day versus a cold bottle of beer to end the night, however, I’d argue both are critical - especially since you have kids! Haha. The Jet Boil is probably a necessity for myself personally, it’s a hefty price tag for a coffee maker. But worth it’s weight in gold honestly. REI sells them and you can find them online. I think mine is going on seven years and I use it religiously!


Sounds like you’ve got the basics covered, agree with the nice water jug and fast boil stove as nice upgrades. Most of the other stuff I’ve collected…is just more stuff, not necessity.

That all said, I am pretty fond of those inflatable lanterns that have a built in solar charger- anything that doesn’t need batteries.

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i also enjoy ‘the coffee’, been trying all the things from Vietnamese instant premix to regular instant to stovetop mocha pot. jetboil with a pot support made the jetboil just that bit more versatile

p.s. i use sweetened condensed milk for milk - a throw back to when i was a kid and we would drink tea with it whilst hiking in NZ with my Dad


favorite truck mod, seat spacer (in my second gen) changed the seating for me to go from being mad sore after loooong drives to being able to get out and run around, huge difference for me

even more stuff -

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I feel like I’ve seen it discussed before, but cannot remember…what is that pump/spigot on your water can?

How’s the Vietnamese Instant? Never heard of it. I’ve got an old French Press I carry along.

This is the “wand” I was talking about in the original post:

Didn’t know the real name was Propane Tree Adaptor. But its been the mainstay of my set up for YEARS. So easy to plop down a propane tank, screw the lantern into the top for height and have two ports ready to go. I’ve only ever used on (for a a Coleman stove) but I’m adding the Mr. Heater to the mix so that’ll use up the other port. Only thing I’ve ever changed on that thing is a rubber o ring at $.85. I’m going to upgrade from my spare grill propane tank to one of the smaller varieties. Kind of interesting that if you go with a non-outdoor brand on the smaller propane tanks it saves 30-40%. Gearhead gouging I suppose. I broke out the Whisperlite International this morning as well. That’s my go to for heating water. It’s fast and with the second provided jet you can use kerosene on top of the allowed White Gas and Gasoline for the first jet. I think the Wick is required for that as well.

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@Nevadan just look up a few posts - i listed the one i copied and the cheaper version i used a few posts ago

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that is a cool piece - we use a 5lb propane bottle - costs like $1.87 to fill - its awesome

so i have a vietnamese supermarket in my hood and the premix i enjoy the most is the G7 strong X2 (they have several brands there with all sorts of combos of sugar, no sugar, no milk, ginger etc etc)