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!


About Joslyn

My name is Joslyn and I primarily hike with my husband Richard. We live in Northern Arizona with our dog, Jäger and love camping and hiking. We are continuing our adventure in backpacking inn this our second year and as always, striving towards going Ultra Light.

Posted on 17/07/2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. WooHoo! Congrats on the ZPacks order, and a Happy Belated Birthday! 🙂

    It looks like our minds think a little alike… I also have a tiny cuben stuff sack from ZPacks that I store all my miscellaneous items in… my ditty bag. I love it. It works well, and is as light as I am gonna get for what it does. Can’t beat it.

    Glad to hear you like the pillow too. I am still loving on my GFG pillow case with the large Exped pillow inside. I don’t mind wearing my puffies to sleep in, and would prefer it so I can get away with a lighter quilt… But on nights when it is too hot to wear them, I can stuff them inside the pillow case too to give myself a more plush pillow…

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing what you make with your sewing machine (didn’t I read that you also got a new one sometime a while back… or am I crazy)?


    • Thanks! It was so much fun getting that package while I was on the Island and pulling out all that crazy Cuben in front of my coworkers. As far as the ditty bag, I guess genius minds think alike, really is true!

      I did like your pillow! GFG makes some sweet stuff. I don’t really have a pack liner and I’m still not sure I want to get one, a dry bag pillow made more sense for my setup.

      No you are not crazy, I did sort of get a new machine. Since I do so much more than just myog, I decided to go with a pricey machine and it’s on layaway right now. We’re waiting for one last thing before I can go pay it off and take it home! I’m having a hard time waiting and have been drawing up plans of things to make to keep my mind busy. Waiting it so hard to do!!

      • Joslyn,

        As for a pack liner, I have been using the ones from LiteTrail for quite a while now. They are light (1 oz) and pretty inexpensive ($5 for 2 I think). They are tough, and see through. However, they are simply an open top like a trash compactor bag, so not waterproof like a dry bag closure. However, I have simply been twisting it after filling it, then folding the twisted top (like an elephant trunk) over in front of it. This makes it totally waterproof so long as it is not dunked. Anyway, I recommend them…

        And that is cool on the new machine! I will admit, I do much less than you do, so my cheap Singer from Wal-Mart is still doing fine… I really would like to learn more one day though, and I know at that point (if it comes) then I will also want a different machine…

        Anyway, enjoy your cuben fiber!


  2. i just love your blog – can’t wait to start hiking more once the weather improves.

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