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Monday, April 23, 2012

Equinox Gear

Hello All,

Sheepish loved ultralight camping.  No wonder he knows so much about Equinox gear.

Equinox Gear


Equinox Ltd. is an earth-friendly gear manufacturer located in Pennsylvania that makes some seriously well-made, lightweight hiking, backpacking, and travel gear that is also very affordable. Sheepleg has  their line of products in our store and we’d like to share our staff’s favorite pieces of Equinox gear with you.

ARAS-2

The Equinox ARAS pack is durable and lightweight, constructed of 1.1oz  ripstop silnylon to keep your gear dry with minimal weight. Features include generous mesh back pocket space to stow gear in and keep it readily accessible without opening the pack, compression shock cord suspension (great for strapping wet rain gear to dry as you hike), and, rare for lightweight packs, generous hip belt pockets and a lid with pocket to keep rain away from the top opening of the pack.
Sprawler Ultralite Bivi-2

The Sprawler bivy sack proves that keeping things simple is always the best way to go when it comes to making effective lightweight gear. At $59.95, it’s one of the most affordable bivy sacks on the market, and at 6.6 ounces (less than many wind jackets), among the lightest, it’s constructed of waterproof silnylon on the bottom and a water-resistant/breathable top to keep water from creeping into your sleeping bag and also allow moisture to escape through the top of the bag.

Terrapin Ultralite Poncho Ext-2

The Equinox Terrapin ultralight poncho is one of my personal favorite pieces of gear. A lightweight (9.6oz) silnylon poncho like the Terrapin serves not only as excellent rain gear, but with the addition of a few stakes and trekking poles, can be erected as a tarp shelter, replacing your heavier tent. The Terrapin comes in two sizes, one with an extension on the back to fit over your pack to keep it dry as well, and one without. Using a poncho is an excellent way to knock the weight and expense of carrying separate rain gear, pack cover, and shelter.

What is your favorite piece of ultralight gear? 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Making the most of your Outdoor Gear Budget

Hello All,

Some great advice from Sheepish.  

 Making the most of your Outdoor Gear Budget


You might think you'd never hear this from a business selling outdoor gear, but let's face it, getting together a complete backpacking kit can be a considerable investment, so let's consider how to best go about making decisions for gear. One thing I found difficult when putting together my gear was the tendency to concentrate on the super cool accessories at the expense of more vital gear. A common example? Getting several iterations of titanium spoon while not yet having a sleeping bag that doesn't have a Disney character on the front. What's the main problem with having this approach, after all, can't you just get gear over time, as you can afford it? Certainly, but consider the fact that while you can carry a regular tea spoon, you're not quite as likely to get into the outdoors with your futon mattress. Try to place a priority on your essential gear, like your pack, shelter, and sleeping bag, and that will allow you to spend more time outdoors, then you can concentrate on getting the creature comforts just right after you get more experience and learn what your actual needs are.

Shepherd's note:  If you are looking to replace that Little Mermaid sleeping bag, now is the time!

What do you think is the one piece of gear you cannot be without when outdoors?

Happy Hiking!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Aquamira Frontier Pro Water Filter

Hello All,

Here is another good write up from Sheepish.

Aquamira Frontier Pro Water Filter

Aquamira Frontier Filter Pro-2

The old traditional debate for campers, hikers, and backpackers, and even lightweight travellers, when it comes to water filtration usually comes down to somewhat heavy pumps for those who can’t stand the taste of chlorine or iodine, and those light but pungent chlorine or iodine tabs. Recently, Aquamira entered a new lightweight champ into the ring: The Aquarmira Frontier Pro Water Filter.

Weighing in at a scant 2 ounces and about the size of a mini maglite, the Frontier Pro has no moving parts that can fail like filters can, and is extremely simple to use. On the mouthpiece end is a tethered cap to keep the bite valve clean and clear of debris when not in use. It’s tethered, so you can’t loose the cap. On the other end is a 28mm threaded connector, which allows it to screw onto most standard water bottle openings and Platypus hydration bag openings. The filter will also connect with most hydration bag tube systems, such as Platypus or Camelbak, so that you can filter water stored in the bladder in your pack. The system will also allow you to drink directly from a water source, using the Frontier Pro like a straw. In practice, it will probably be best to use a plastic bottle to collect water for use with the Frontier Pro since filling bladders from a water source can be difficult, and the water in the bladder can be potentially contaminated.

The Frontier Pro lightweight water filter contains replaceable prefilters (replacements included) that help to strain out the larger debris from the water, extending the life of the 3 micron porous filter and the activated carbon inside. The filter will remove 99.9% of cryptosporidium and giardia and improves the taste. The medium also incorporates Miraguard, which protects against the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. The Frontier Pro can also be paired with chlorine dioxide tablets to provide extra protection against waterborne viruses in areas where such conditions are prevalent. Aside from hiking use, the Frontier Pro can provide a traveller extra piece of mind while taking up very little space in a carry-on bag when visiting areas with questionable water quality.

Have you used one?  Tell us your story.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sheepleg Reuses and Recycles

Hello All,

One of the things we are proud of here at Sheepleg is that we try to reuse and recycle as much as we possibly can.  Businesses can generate lots of trash and often times it is much more "efficient" to simply throw it away.  I'll admit that after a long day, the last thing I would think about is how to make better use of our cardboard boxes that came from suppliers.  But truthfully, it is those little things that can make all the difference.  I guess we could lease or buy a baler, but why bother with the expense and loss of space.  Not to mention the cost of running it, safety inspections, etc that go into having equipment like that.  So why not just break them down and reuse them for the shipments going out tomorrow?

So we do.  Certainly not in all cases.  Many of our shipments are priority mail and have special packaging, but for those that are not, let's do it.  So we do.  And if you have received an order from us in a brown box, chances are it was either reused or recycled.  They may be ugly, but they get the job done.  After all, does it matter what the box looks like or how many stickers it has on it?  We think of those as badges of honor.  The more shipping labels we cover up, the happier it makes us. 

So if you get a brown box from us, please make every effort to keep the cycle going and either reuse it or recycle it.  Recycling is not that hard.  I bet you can find a recycling drop off point in your town.  All the ones in our little town are listed at earth911.com.

Of course we don't have the luxury of always having a great supply of boxes to reuse (certainly not the perfect sizes), so when we have to buy them, we like to go to Globe Guard for our shipping supplies.  Not only do they have a great selection of recycled and environmentally friendly products, but they also donate a portion of their sales to 1% for the Planet.  So working with them is win-win.

We also started a worm farm a while back to try to turn our shredded paper into compost, but I ended up messing that up.  Back to the drawing board on that one.  But the goal is not to be perfect...just a little better every day.

The Shepherd.