Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Zpacks Birthday!

So I don’t know how this post never got published but I did this write up about the order I got from Zpacks for my birthday all the way back in April.


Birthdays are hard on Catalina Island.  There are no shops, no stores and nowhere to buy anything except food anywhere near where our camp is.  So when our birthday’s rolled around I knew we didn’t have a lot of options.  That’s when Richard came to me and said that he would give me a budget and let me pick out anything for backpacking that I wanted.  With my budget in hand I searched and scoured every gear site I could think of, reworked my gear lists 20 times and prioritized my needs and wants lists.  Finally, after everything it came down to just a few things.  I could have gotten a new bivy sack, a tarp, a wood stove, or a bunch of the little things I needed.  What made my decision was that in several weeks we would be coming off the island and I would have access to my sewing machine again and my step dad and his garage full of tools.  The bivy, tarp and stove are all things that I could make once I got back to civilization and would probably prefer MYOG versions of anyway.  So I got a bunch of the little things that I’ve been needing but waiting until I had a big enough order to make up for the shipping.

100_0923I knew the store I was going to get my grab bag birthday from had to be Zpacks.  There are so many things that a girl could want and a lot of things made the first list, but when it came down to the things I couldn’t live without, four things were left.  In the end I got, 2 stuff sacks, 50 ft of Z-line spectra cord and the new pillow dry bag.  The two stuff sacks are things I’ve been wanting for a long time but have just never gotten around to getting and I’m really happy they made my list.  I got one mini stuff sack for all those little things that rattle around in the bottom of your bag like fire starter, first aid kit, you know the little things.  I also got one of the small stuff sacks for my solo cook kit.  I thought about going with one of their custom cook pot stuff sacks but the small stuff sack, as you can see, fits not only my cook kit but my cozy.100_0922  The 50 ft of Z-line is of course one of those things that is always useful and I didn’t have any backup line currently in my pack so I needed some more.

My favorite purchase of the birthday was the pillow dry bag.  It’s something new that Zpacks put out recently and I thought I’d give it a try.  I’m really glad I did!  I have to say I love this pillow bag.  It is, as the website advertises, big enough to fit a down quilt.  It also fits my fleece pullover or my puffy jacket.  Frankly, it fits my backpacking style perfectly.  I’m not a huge fan of wearing my insulation layers to sleep in so having a bag that keeps my quilt dry during the day and is a pillow stuffed with my daytime clothes is pretty much perfect!100_0925

So it was pretty much the best birthday ever.  I got some things I’ve been putting off for some time and one really cool new toy that really fits a huge hole that’s been in my gear!

ASMR University

The Art & Science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

Lady Light Travel

Women's travel with a single carry on. Tutorials, packing tips & techniques, clothing ideas, and more!

What A Ride

Navigating the peaks and valleys of this crazy, beautiful life

Adventure with The Triumphant Trio

Oh the places we will go

UL Gear Blog

- ultralight backpacking gear reviews


After 4 plus years of leasing a small house on a patch of land 20 miles outside of Atlanta, we moved 80 miles to our Forever homestead.

Home Yoga Practice

Merging into the divine sound form that is beyond time, space, and matter

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...


Hiking gear reviews for hikers with short attention spans.


"In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you." Leo Tolstoy


When BackPackin' go GreenPackin'

Intentionally Small

exploring small spaces and simple living

Hiking Acorn

Tales of Blisters and Bears

Loneoaks Ramblings

On going Hiking Adventures

Paddle In

New Journeys, Old Traditions

Catalyst Strength & Wellness

Strength Begins With Breaking


Hiking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Northbound in 2013- sharing my preparation for the hike and my day to day experience while I'm on the trail. Inspiring people to follow their dreams.

ultralight backpacking gear reviews, trail reports, wisdom and smack

living extraordinary small

compact living with responsible design

The Lazy Homesteader

The latest dirt from the Schell Urban Homestead

My Charming Beauty

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

Randy's Outside Blog

Let's Go Hiking

Off the Couch and On the Trail

Preparing for Our 2013 AT Thru-Hike

Camp Smarts

Life in the outdoors

Imagine It's Finished

Ramblings of a Frustrated Overachiever

patagonian dreams

live your dream, share your passion


...from the middle of nowhere

The Not So Empty Nest...

join me in my transition

50 years of walking

Into the 6th decade!

Bedrock & Paradox

I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with a non-human world and yet somehow survives still intact, individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock.

Fat Man of the Mountains

Combining three favorite pastimes: writing, hiking and running, slowly.

Things To Luc At

Alaskan Adventure & The Packraft Handbook

Minimalist Meg

one Megan on a mission.

Fat Eagle Scout

A journey into shape and back outdoors

Wilderness Backpacking Blog

A guide to backpacking in the wilderness

Not Molly

Rebelling in Very Small Ways

Ray Anderson

Hiker and Writer

Stick's Blog

Trip reports, gear reviews, and anything else "Ultralight" backpacking...