This is the place to post information about hiking gear

Reviews, techniques, swap/sale (non-commercial), etc. are appropriate.


Paul_A's picture

OK, I'll be the first to post in the gear section :) Are you looking for a good backpacking tent that both is lightweight and provides good protection from the weather and bugs? If the answer is yes then let me suggest you check out the various tents at . My wife and I have 2 models, the Rainbow, for when either of us go out solo, and the Rainshadow for when we're together. Both of those tents also will accommodate a good sized dog as well as the human occupants. If the tarptents have a down side I guess it's that they are a little pricey, but I'll let you decide that for yourself. To us it's worth a few extra dollars to loose a few pounds from our pack weight.
srtmaintainer's picture

Paul, We agree with you on the Tarptent. My son and I Thru-hiked the Vermont Long Trail last August and I must say our squall 2 at 34 ounces was a pleasure to carry. Although the tent is not free standing it is very easy to pitch. This tent is also very roomy, actually it's bigger then our last tent which was 4 pounds. Andy
brooklynkayak's picture

Traptents are particularly well suited to backpacking and fill the gap between tarps and the heavier alternatives. There are those that like hammocks as well for backpacking. You may also want to consider a tarp like the Mountain Laurel - TrailStar Shelter - 15 oz, large 2 person, 4 season tarp shelter. Add an inner bug tent/footprint combination and you have about the most flexible all season shelter out there. The thing that makes this design particularly inviting is that there are no parts to wear out, can be pitched with very high or very low ventilation, really stands up to weather and can be pitched in a variety of ways, many not mentioned on the web site. stevie
Jay H's picture

Although my Henry Shires Tarptent, a Cloudburst is quite the spacious tent for it's size, not sure if I would go as far as saying it is the ideal backcountry tent. It might be, depending on where you tent to camp or where you may be backpacking, outwest, northeast, down south, etc. The thing is the size is a plus but also a boon, as it is sometimes hard to find a good backcountry site that will fit it. Heck, there are some actual designated campsites that it wont fit in because of it's length. I've also had problems with the silnylon fraying quite badly and some of my guyline anchors are ripping. However, this is after a backcountry camping trip in Wrangell St. Elias at elevations of 8000-9000ft with some pretty heavy gusts 30-40 gusts, estimated. Jay
bralston's picture

I agree with Jay--I carried a Contrail on my (almost)thru of the AT this year, and there were plenty of places where the large footprint made it difficult to pitch properly. Setting it up on a tent platform takes some doing, especially if the platform does not have eyehooks around the perimeter. I plan on finishing with a Big Agnes Seedhouse. Much smaller, and still able to house me and my pack.
dick wilson's picture

Looking for a backpack useful for one or two nighters in Harriman and Catskills. Don't need the tremendous expedition size packs, or the too small daypacks. Any happy intermediates you can recommend?
mvg68's picture

There are medium sized frameless packs available from Walmart and Gander Mt. The one I purchased has a pouch for a water bladder and has various other pockets and straps to hold a small tent and sleeping bag.
Paul_A's picture

I've been using a Mountainsmith Boundary pack with good results. In the summer I've done park trips of 2 days, 1 night to 2 weeks on the AT. Just sinch down the appropriate straps to decrease the volume. it's good also for winter trips in the Catskills where I'm carrying 2 sleeping bags and extra clothing.
NYCHiker's picture

Osprey just put out a new pack for 2009. It's the Exos. I love mine. I'm getting 58 Ls for 35 oz. I love the way it rides too. It's not bomber for a ton of bushwacking, but it's been absolutely perfect for me. I've used it from overnighters in NY to a 5 day backcountry trip in Glacier NP.

My only complaint is that bear cans for Marcy Dam don't fit well in the pack.
srtmaintainer's picture

I bought a Gregory Z55 last year, used it on our LT thru-hike. It was the first backpack that I ever had that felt like it was supposed to be on my back. I have used it on overnights too, in the spring and fall. It is the most comfortable backpack that I have ever owned and carried well even when I was packed for eight days once.
bralston's picture

We are clearing out the gear closet, and would love to find good homes for these three packs: Gregory Forester, Men's size Large--gently used (less than two weeks total of trail use). This pack was purchased in '05. Arc'teryx Bora 75, Women's size Medium--barely used (four total days of trail use). This pack was also purchased in '05. The above are two super-solid packs, just a little too heavy for our purposes. Osprey Stratos 40, size Medium--gently used (probably has a month of trail use, non-consecutive days). I love this pack, but discovered too late that it is the wrong size for me. All reasonable offers considered, I am located in Brooklyn. Thanks!
jrzyrock's picture

I'm looking for winter hiking gear outlet in the southeastern Catskills to Greenwood Lake NY area. Must have a good selection of womens gear. I tried quite a few stores, even Cabellas in PA and am having trouble finding much of a selection for women. Looking mostly for boots, but also high tech hiking pants.
ahl124's picture

I Have not been there in awhile but try Campmor 810 Route 17 North Paramus, New Jersey 07652 and also Trail Conference members get a discount.
BrianSnat's picture

Though they are just out of your stated range, Campmor in Paramus and Ramsey Outdoors in Paramus and Ramsey (the Paramus store is better) are great places to pick up gear. A road trip to Campmor is certain worth your time. I know people who drive several hours to shop there. "Keep not standing fixed and rooted, briskly venture, briskly roam" - Goethe
Trekker115's picture

Yeah, the store in Paramus has a pretty good selection - I was just up there to get a new pair of day hiking boots. Guess I'll have to check out Campmor next time I'm up in the neighborhood. There's also a shop called The Outdoor Store on Church St. in Montclair. They're small, but they've got an all-right range of books, maps, gear and stuff.
Paul_A's picture

I'll second the suggestion that you look in Campmor for your hiking and camping needs. My wife gets most of her things there, as do I. I know it's outside the area you mentioned, but I think you'll be happy you made the trip. Just keep in mind that they are closed on Sundays. Before you make the drive, they have an extensive web site where you can browse most of what they have, but not all, and even shop on-line if you want to. Hope that helps.
DorothyC's picture

If you sign up on their website you will receive monthly discount coupons via email :-)
daveg76's picture

Hello to all. My name is David Goodfellow and I live only a few miles from Harriman State Park. I hike there about two times a week and I'm fairly familiar with most of the trails there. This past weekend I had an experience that for me, raised concern and thought I should share that with the other members of the club so that they might pass it on. I was parked near Little Long Pond and hiked up past the old boyscout / girlscout camp that used to be there. I take this route often as a shortcut to the intersection of Dunning Trail and the Long Path. On the way out my tracks were the only ones in the new snow that had fallen earlier in the week. On my way home as I cut onto the old woods road I call a shortcut I noticed a set of fairly small prints headed towards the intersection of Dunning Trail and the Long Path. At first I didn't think much of it but as it was getting dark I started to question it in my mind. As I came upon a stream I saw that the person had not followed my tracks from earlier in the day. I had crossed where I know the water slows down a bit, knowing the ice would be thicker. This other person crossed in a different spot because of convenience and clearly fell through with one foot. I just had a gut feeling that this person was lost. When I returned to my truck I started it and began taking off my layers. As I was standing there A park police car pulled up and asked if I had seen an Asian woman hiking alone. He said she was part of a group but had gotten lost. I said no but told him about what I had seen. He took note and moved on as there was probably only ten minutes of light left. I can't be certain it was her prints but you know how minds work. The "what if" factor starts play games with you. Now that I've rambled too much and probably lost most readers I'll finally get to the point. Harriman is infamous for the large "group hikes" that are usually organized in NYC and it's great to see soo many people using the parks services. Hiking in winter is very beautiful to say the very least but can be much more dangerous than other times of the year. Especially when the sun goes down. If someone got lost and wasn't properly prepared or a little inexperienced they could find themselves in a lot of trouble. Last night was 13 degrees (F) and that's without the windchill factor. I'm an Architect and in school they taught us to design or expect the worst and you'll always be safe. The same theory applies here. I'm no self proclaimed expert in survival by any means but I always carry a few basic things that I feel everyone should carry in their pack this time of year. I carry a cell phone, map, compasss, matches & flint, a headlamp, an extra t-shirt ( if you break a sweat you should change your base layer) All of these things are small, light and cheap and can literally save your life if something went wrong. I would have loved to have helped that woman had I seen her but I'm sure they found her. Happy trails Dave Goodfellow
JROGG's picture

David, Thanks for the wake up call for us to be careful. I do a lot of lone hiking including winter. We can get a little to comfortable in thinking we're not too far away from emergency aid. I also carry extra socks in case they get wet. In winter I always stay on a well marked blazed trail. If you start bushwacking in the snow there's no telling what your stepping into and finding a lost hiker of course is easier. Good hiking, Jeff Roggenburg
Paul_A's picture

I know this is a long shot, but here goes. Back on Martin Luther King weekend I lost 1 Stabilicer of my pair. It would have been at the Wildcat Shelter, the parking area on route 17A, or someplace in between. If you found it I'd like to get it back, Please.
Paul_A's picture

Later this year I hope to do a long, solo hike. I'm looking for a pot to cook in. I'd like something that is large enough to cook up the Lipton/Knorrs meals but not much bigger. Now here's the kicker, I'm looking for a pot that's noticeably wider than it is high, because wider pots seem to heat faster on my stove. Any suggestions?
PVPatrick's picture

Try a small frying pan or small saute pan with a lid.
Paul_A's picture

Thanks for the suggestion. I found something at K-mart that should work well. It's a small, aluminum pot, with a lid, that holds 4 cups. Lid and pot together weigh about 4.5 ounces.
egoodell's picture

Looking to buy size 9, 3-pin ski boots for light backcountry use.
Michael K7's picture

I have two pairs of barely used (never used for hiking) hemp boots made by Wicked Hemp- the Pathfinder model. One pair in natural, the other black, both men's size 13.
The black ones have only been worn a couple of times (to the store and back, etc), and are in mint condition. The natural ones have been worn once or twice and could easily pass for new.
The boots are not made to be waterproof, but have been coated with Nikwax waterproofing- i cannot guarantee that they will be waterproof however.
$25 each pair + $10 shipping if i have to mail them to you. Contact me through this site for more info and pictures. Thanks.
Brian W's picture

Hi, I'm looking for snowshoe purchasing advise;and in spending under $165 for men's size 25-26 for hiking in Harriman. Thanks much
snacker's picture

I have northern lites 8x25 I use mine for running but they hike great also, they cost abit more though ,but are diffently worth looking into.I have the elite model. Yellow
Brian W's picture

how long have you been using your northern elites ? I see they have aluminum crampons, which although lighter are considered to be less durable. My concern is related to Harriman's unavoidable rock.
neil's picture

I am looking to get a GPS for hiking - I don't need top of the line but I want it to work, be reliable, and have good battery life - It seems the most popular brand at this time is Garmin - I have a Garmin car GPS and have been happy with it - I was looking at something from the eTrex series in the $110-$200 range.   I had a few questions about recommendations on the device itself and even more so on the topo map I load on it - there is a good deal of information out there and it can get confusing - Garmin and other retailers sell a northeast topo for the device but as far as I can tell that is not the USGS topo - is the Garmin map just as good or do I really want the USGS topo?  Can I load the official USGS topo for NJ or NY on the device?   Any insight would be appreciated.  Thanks.
Jeremy Apgar's picture

Hi Neil! Some of your questions may be answered by a page we have devoted to choosing a GPS unit, and this can be found by clicking here: At the bottom of the page are some specific GPS device recommendations by other users as well. Lastly, I'd suggest visiting an outdoor retailer with various GPS units in stock to try out different units and ask knowledgeable staff any additional questions. ~Jeremy, TC cartographer
neil's picture

thanks a lot - I saw your article right after I wrote my post - I was reading through the article and I saw a particular unit that comes pretty highly recommended and I have found it in a bundle with the Garmin US Topo and an SD card for a very reasonable price - the Garmin gmaps 60csx - most of the reviews of that unit seem very good...but it is a little older - it was released in 2006 or so - but most current reviews as of 2010 or so are still very good   do you see any downside to a unit that is a bit older like this one?
BrianSnat's picture

The 60CSX is still a great unit and the one that most newer units are measured by.  Because there is a newer model in the line (62S) it is a very good value. You will not be disappointed.
neil's picture

thanks all for the input - concerning gps in general i have been doing a lot of reading etc and wanted to ask...for hiking what will a GPS do for me and possibly more importantly what will it NOT do for me?  do the topos (garmin, nat geo, usgs, etc) have trails on them?  from what I have seen the answer is no - so if i am going to a park in ny or nj...or wherever i still need a trail map - i realize a gps is not a replacment for a map and compass and should never be relied on as such as it can break, lose signal, get lost etc - i am just trying to understand what it will do for me and what it won't so my expectations are in line - i know it will enable me to retrace my steps back if i get lost - but what if i am not lost per say but i reach a junction and i have doubt over which way to go and the map is not entirely clear?  how does a gps help there?  i am just trying to understand how it is used as a real navigation and safety tool as opposed to a gadget/toy - i am a tech dweeb so i am all for gadgets - i just want to understand this from someone's personal experience
neil's picture

fyi - I bought a GPS device and  I completely understand its value and purpose now - definitely a good thing to have - not essential if you are in an area with clear trails and good weather...but if you get lost and you are not a map/compass expert or clear landmarks are not available to determine your location - seems like a GPS is a great use of technolgy ;)
alexpicanyol's picture

Waiting for my membership card to go shopping all gear I would need for the long path thru-hike next July. Tent or hammock? Any advicde? Thank you
LindaC's picture

We've been doing the Long Path in sections for a little bit now.  It's an interesting trail.  There are some parts in Rockland County that are very suburban.  For the first 30 miles or so, at the most you'll be a couple of miles from stores and restaurants.  Once you get in Harriman there are some shelters.  In July it will probably be very hot and if there were reliable shelters all the way up, which I am not sure about, you might not need a tent.  But you certainly don't want to risk getting you and all your gear soaking wet.  How many miles per day are you hoping to do?   The membership discount is a great benefit especially when you are buying more expensive items.  We bought new boots, crampons and snowshoes this winter and the savings really added up.
alexpicanyol's picture

I think that and average of 15 miles a day would be fine, however this would depend on how I could feel and the day and path conditions I'd find. I have a good guide in the Jacob Aronson's blog to get an idea. On the other hands, I hope I will save some money , since I have to buy all gear, including the expensive one, I will need; Tent, backpack, boots, gaiter, tracking poles..etc. Thank you
srtmaintainer's picture

We had a tent when we backpackpacked the Long Path. Shelters are in Harriman / Bear Mountain - Catskills - a few on the Long path North. So the answer is you will need shelter. If you are doing the backpacker route you can use the sheters while on the AT. We have no shelters on the Shawangunk Ridge Trail but camping is plentiful on the SRT We did the LP in trips but did thru hike the Vermont Long trail. I sent you a message with my email. Please contact me as I have information that you will need for a thru hike.
Paul_A's picture

If the tent is for one person I'm going to recommend the Rainbow made by I've got one and it's everything you want in a tent, almost. It's roomy and you can sit up in it, it's light weight and packs pretty small, and it does a good job of keeping out the weather and the bugs. All single wall tents made of silnylon have some issues, but I believe the pros out weigh the cons. Check it out at as well as their other models of tents too. And just in case you're wondering, I have no connection to the company other than as a customer.
exed's picture

I disagree. I find Tarptents to be flimsy, delicate, they have misting isuues in th rain, condensation is a big issue, over priced and a real pain to pitch properly. I've tried them before and find them a waste of time and money. There are way better options out there. They may not be as light, but still light, they'll go up better, last longer, keep you drier etc.
Paul_A's picture

I wasn't sure if I should post this here or in the dog section, but here I am. We're looking for new booties for our dog to protect her feet. The set we had got torn up during a recent traverse of the Presidential range in New Hampshire's White Mountains. While they protected her feet from all the rocks they held in the heat and her feet got very warm. We're wondering if anyone knows of any dog booties that have a tough surface for under the foot and a ventilated fabric for the top part of the boot. Thanks for any info you can share with us.
srtmaintainer's picture

I would leave it here and post it in the dog section too!
thegup's picture

I have hiked my dogs for years and they don't require booties which are designed to make their humans feel better while taking their money. 
Melissa McCutcheon's picture

My dog is a Catskill 35er and he recommends Mushers Secret paw wax.
pintoj's picture

Can anyone recommend a good UTM coordinate/protractor tool and where to purchase it? The scale of the North Jersey maps (1:40000) is not a common one found on UTM tools. The closest I've found is a tool designed for the NatGeo Trails Illustrated maps with a scale of 1:40680 and 1:24000.
Jeremy Apgar's picture

The scales of our maps vary greatly due to factors that don't focus as much on the standard map scales.  As such, I don't currently know of any commercially-available UTM grid overlays that work with some of our less-popular map scales, including the North Jersey maps.  I do know that a few map-users have approached me with their makeshift solutions of producing their own overlays by using the scalebar in the map legend, achieving 50m accuracy or better in some cases.  While this certainly is not as accurate as a UTM grid overlay, it can help pinpoint locations in most cases.   ~Jeremy, TC Cartographer
alexpicanyol's picture

40 days of Dehydrated Food Hello!  For two months I have been organizing a Long Path thru hike. I bought a  lot of dehydrated food; unfortunately, due to job issues I can’t do this hike. In total I spent over $250.00 dollars, but I am willing to sell it for half the price or best offer.  Everything is sealed and in perfect condition, with varied foods and brands of food like: (Packit Gourmet, Mountain House and Backpacker's Pantry ).  The 40 days of food include breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and energy bars “Mojo” and more. If you are interested, please send me and email.   Thank you and happy Trail. Alex
qvideo's picture

I just found this post, and I don't know how well you made out with moving this food. But I wanted to mention that freeze dried stuff lasts forever...well close to it. I have actually had Mountain House eggs that were about twenty years old for breakfast with no ill-effects at all. There was a bit of oil separation when I first hydrated them, but it was good. So don't throw it away!
noel.benford's picture

A few weeks ago, I got to try out NYNJTC's new Digital Maps for the iPhone and iPad on an overnight hike in Harriman State Park. I really like the app, and I found the maps with GPS to be very useful. Read the review here: