Outdoors 108

Published on February 7th, 2006 | by Greg


Mountains No Match

Here in Hawaii, camping isn’t all that rough- the weather will stay above 50 regardless of season, and there aren’t many bears or wolves or cryptozoological creatures around. The worst it will do is rain. And that can be bad enough- sleeping bags aren’t designed to get wet, of course, that’s what a tent is for! The steep terrain and lack of car accessibility mean that camping here is going to mean hiking, and maybe climbing, before you get to any of the really neat spots.

Which adds up to carrying a tent and a sleeping bag. Several miles. Up mountains. Makes things seem a little rougher now- any sizable tent will require some sort of sherpa-like training to muscle it up the inclines. Since Hawaiian sherpas are a little tough to come by, we went looking for light tents and sleeping bags, and soon found a company called Mountain Hardwear.

Their Light Wedge 2 tent weighs around 6 pounds, fairly comfortably holds 2 people, and was strong enough to withstand reasonable winds (it’s technically a 3-season tent). It’s not really warm, and certainly not going to withstand any serious storms, but for light rains and the inevitable mists, it’s easily worth the $200. Best of all, it was pretty easy to setup and takedown, and is very durable.

The same basic facts apply to their Lamina sleeping bag (we tried the 32 degree version, the 45 degree version is a little less filled and a little cheaper). The bag weighs only about 2.5 pounds, and though it’s “multi-baffled footbox” sounds a bit, well, baffling, it didn’t cramp your legs and feet like many bags do. We were a bit disappointed in the zippers, which could’ve been more durable, but otherwise the construction and style was excellent. If you’ve been using the same sleeping bag for the last decade or so, technology has really improved- they are much more comfortable today, quicker to dry, easier to clean, and lighter. Of course, they are also around $120.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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