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Old 06-30-2016, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by souldier66 View Post
Went to the Poconos along the AT for 2 nights, bit of a test run/camping trip. I specifically wanted to test some lightweight camping gear I picked up over the winter. Kelty Redwing bag, MSR tent, solo stove, magnesium fire starter and some grizzly gear emergency rations.

What I learned:

Kelty Redwing - It's a light bag and gets the job done, a sleeping bag compartment would be nice, but not a deal breaker.

MSR tent worked well, but I could probably get away with just the rain fly now that it's warmer and make the load lighter. I brought my bivy bag, but it wasn't necessary. Makes a good backup if something happens to the tent, so I'll probably keep it in the bag.

Solo Stove sucks... Ok it's not that bad, but I wasted a lot of time in the morning just to make some coffee. It was a good test, but I'll probably never pack it over the jet boil, last resort stove.

Mag stick, this was my first time making a fire with one of these and it took me a good 30 minutes. Add ten minutes it took me to get the solo stove going to heat some water for coffee and you have an impatient camper. I need more practice making fire, but next time I'll do it after I've had my cup of coffee on the jet boil. This also reminded me to always keep a Bic or two in the bag.

Grizzly Gear e-rats were ok, certainly would have liked something else to eat, but I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't have any adverse affects only eating those rations for two days. My farts were lethal...GAS GAS GAS! Make sure to pack a gas mask if your camping buddy decides to eat these.

Summary: It was a good test run, my bag was much lighter then what I've camped with in the past and it made the whole trip just easier. Ditch the solo stove and bring a propane stove, bring a lighter and mag stick as a backup. Don't eat e-rats unless there is an emergency or you're entering a dutch oven contest.
I have tried various methods and using Vaseline and cotton is the easiest way to start a fire with flint or mag fire starters. They take up little space and work like the bomb. I have put together a small fire starter kit that I keep in my knife sheath that includes these. I am sure you may be aware of these but this will make the difference in a fire within seconds vs. struggle, so I thought I would mention it.
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