Gear you thought would be a good idea but wasn't (1 Viewer)

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MetalBryan

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I might get grief for this, but those Therma-rest foam sleeping pads. I bought one and found another that I cut in half, but neither one would give me a better sleep than cardboard. Cardboard doesn't squeak when you shift around, so I just got really annoyed I spent $40 to have this ugly yellow foam thing that was worse than my experiences with cardboard. It's one advantage is that you can get the Therma-rest wet so it's basically squeaky waterproof cardboard.

I've seen this recommended on StP as an upgrade - Static V Luxe - https://klymit.com/products/static-v-luxe-sleeping-pad

I'm a bigger guy so that might limit the Therma-rest's usefulness. I'm also older so maybe this kind of thing isn't ever going to be comfortable. I haven't had a need to sleep rough since I struggled with therma-rest about a year ago. I can't help but think I'm going to have to throw money at the problem before I head out.

I have a full winter US military surplus bivy setup and that heavy bag might be enough cushion.

If I have some $$$ I'll look at one of these lightweight cots - Lightweight Cots | Supportive & Packable - https://helinox.com/collections/cots
 

Colinleath

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Re: thermarests, I've been pretty happy with my neoair xlite. It has a very slow leak that i can't find but it weighs only 12oz and lets me get a decent night's sleep on concrete and can be used in the hammock.

Mylar reflective bivys, similar to the one linked were my attempt to have a cheap and light way to stay insulated in a hammock.

Unfortunately, at least with the $10-15 version i was using, after repeated use the mylar coating breaks into 1000000s of little pieces and coats everything. So I'm no doubt breathing and eating it and I and other gear that come in contact get sparkly.

In addition, moisture accumulates on the inside.

So at this point i just use a tarp and underquilt and topquilt.

It is possible to stay warm in cold temps though with two of those tubes over lapping around the hammock as shown in certain YouTube videos in -30f weather (or at least below zero).

But as a long term piece of gear they're useless and probably harmful to health imho.
 
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ali

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I love my foam sleeping pad thingy. I don't use it for comfort. It's basically no different from sleeping on the ground. I just use it for insulation. I like that you can get it wet and it'll dry off no problems.

Personally i can't stand inflatable mattresses, they always seem to leak or they're too springy or "gappy". I'm more comfortable on the ground. I'd only get one if i was going to sleep somewhere extremely cold and was forced to have the extra insulation.

My most useless bits of gear have been a Leatherman, which i only ever used a handful of times for the knife, and one of those solar rechargeable battery packs, which doesn't recharge fast enough to be worth it over a regular battery pack. Both of those were gifts, though, so better than nothing.

Something i spent my own money on that wasn't worth it was good headphones. They were useful when i was housed up and DJing or writing music, but they're dead weight when i'm traveling because listening to music is either not worth wasting the battery or (on headphones) it's a distraction/safety hazard.

The other thing i carried around for years and definitely wasn't worth it is a second pair of sneakers. My theory was when the first ones get wet i'll swap them around. That worked, but it's much better to get wool socks that dry faster than cotton and a thin hiking/trail running shoe that can dry itself off at least halfway overnight, or while you wear it.
 

RiverRat

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My most useless bits of gear have been a Leatherman, which i only ever used a handful of times for the knife, and one of those solar rechargeable battery packs, which doesn't recharge fast enough to be worth it over a regular battery pack. Both of those were gifts, though, so better than nothing.
I really thought both of those would have been great items to have with you. I have heard of others recently saying their Leatherman's are dead weight. I see my packing list needs revised
 
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I love my foam sleeping pad thingy. I don't use it for comfort. It's basically no different from sleeping on the ground. I just use it for insulation. I like that you can get it wet and it'll dry off no problems.

Personally i can't stand inflatable mattresses, they always seem to leak or they're too springy or "gappy". I'm more comfortable on the ground. I'd only get one if i was going to sleep somewhere extremely cold and was forced to have the extra insulation.

My most useless bits of gear have been a Leatherman, which i only ever used a handful of times for the knife, and one of those solar rechargeable battery packs, which doesn't recharge fast enough to be worth it over a regular battery pack. Both of those were gifts, though, so better than nothing.

Something i spent my own money on that wasn't worth it was good headphones. They were useful when i was housed up and DJing or writing music, but they're dead weight when i'm traveling because listening to music is either not worth wasting the battery or (on headphones) it's a distraction/safety hazard.

The other thing i carried around for years and definitely wasn't worth it is a second pair of sneakers. My theory was when the first ones get wet i'll swap them around. That worked, but it's much better to get wool socks that dry faster than cotton and a thin hiking/trail running shoe that can dry itself off at least halfway overnight, or while you wear it.
Stuffing newspaper inside wet shoes will dry them out in no time. Years as a bike messenger taught me that...
 

ali

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I think it depends a lot on the type of traveler you are and what other gear you need to maintain. In my case, i've never had a big mechanical bit of gear that i need to fix or jerry rig. The tools are too crude to work on anything i have, like a phone, tablet or even a bicycle (i have a separate mini toolkit for that). It might come in handy if you drive a vehicle with a motor or need to cut through fence wire or something? I dunno. I switched to a fixed blade knife which takes up more space, but it's lighter and when i do use the knife (which is rarely) it cuts much better. The other thing about my Leatherman is that it rusted/corroded a bit after being at sea, which was kind of annoying.

For solar i think you're better off going with a foldable or bendy set of multiple solar panels that you can use to charge anything rather than just those battery packs which only only have one panel on them.
 

Tony G

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I think it depends a lot on the type of traveler you are and what other gear you need to maintain. In my case, i've never had a big mechanical bit of gear that i need to fix or jerry rig. The tools are too crude to work on anything i have, like a phone, tablet or even a bicycle (i have a separate mini toolkit for that). It might come in handy if you drive a vehicle with a motor or need to cut through fence wire or something? I dunno. I switched to a fixed blade knife which takes up more space, but it's lighter and when i do use the knife (which is rarely) it cuts much better. The other thing about my Leatherman is that it rusted/corroded a bit after being at sea, which was kind of annoying.

For solar i think you're better off going with a foldable or bendy set of multiple solar panels that you can use to charge anything rather than just those battery packs which only only have one panel on them.
I have three panels they all connect up it works well ive found the bendy panels dont hold up as well as the hard ones and yeah leatherman do have a tendency to rust thats why i coat my army knifes in a sealant it works well since i hop and can be in the weather for days on end
 

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