The Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve is the perfect hiking shoe for me. If I could, I'd go barefoot on all my hikes;
these are pretty close.
The Coleman 2 person Hooligan tent is great for car camping. It has one collapsible pole that runs across the top and a removal rain fly for extra privacy.
The Chinook Summit Bivy is perfect for backpacking. It wraps up to the size of a thermos and sets up in seconds. But, it can get quite
a bit claustrophobic.
I bought the ROKK Front Range 74L backpack in 2001 for my first UK trip, but didn't use it. (Mine's Forest Green.)
The 35L no limits bag is super for day hikes.
The Outlander is a no-frills 35L that packs up into itself. It's good for throwing a few things into for a quick walk.
The Kelty 44 is probably the most useful of my packs.
I made this video of my tents. Details are in the video itself.
The one on the far left has a front door and a back door which will be handy if my brother goes with me to Scotland..
The next one over is the one I bought in 2001 for my England trip but never used. Its widest side is 5 1/2 feet;
I'd have to curl up a bit to sleep in it.
This is the Kelty Gunnison 2.3 tent.
It's 7' x 4'4" which is plenty of room to lie down in. Having a front and back door means no climbing over your tent mate.
One very cool thing about it is that you can set up a little front canopy to sit under.
I've also bought a couple of new sleeping bags that will be way warmer than I'll ever need.
On the left is the Ticla Rambler sleeping bag which is rated for temperatures as low as 15 degrees. I will never be anywhere that cold.
On the right is the Kelty Discovery sleeping bag which is rated for 30 degrees. Again, temperatures lower than I'll encounter, even on the Scotland trip.
Why, then, did I buy them?
For one, I'm compulsive that way, but the truth is my 2001 mummy bag (the yellow one) was way too constricting.
I also bought an inexpensive warm weather bag from Ozark Trail. They make a "40 degree" bag that packs to the size of a football.
That might be the thing to take to Scotland.
For added comfort and warmth, I bought an REI Air Rail self-inflating pad. I tried it out in Arkansas when the night time temperature was in the 30s. It provided nice padding and great insulation between me and the ground.
As I said up at the top of the page,
I'd rather hike barefoot, but when it's cold, wet, and rocky, I need real hiking shoes.
These are the Merrell Moab 2 waterproof shoes that I tried out in Arkansas and found to be sufficiently comfortable.
As much as I like the Coleman tent, it's just not backpack size, so I bought the Alps Lynx 1.
It packs up much smaller. (It's a smaller tent.)
My new backpack for 2018, the Kelty Revol 65, has a zipper at the bottom to stash a sleeping bag. The Ticla bag is just a bit too big to fit, even compressed, so I'll fold up the Lynx and pack it it the bottom with my sleeping pad.
It's the first thing I'd want to take out anyway.
Somehow, between last summer and now, I've lost those Merrell Moab shoes. I don't know how that could happen.
I went to REI and found some Keen shoes that fit very nicely with my wide feet and long toes.
I went home, looked them up on the Keen website, and got them for $45 less.
And now the ultimate "gear" addition:
a 2008 Nissan Xterra!
I've yet to do any hiking where I've had to carry anything on my back, but just lugging stuff around in a traditional backpack in the car is annoying.
I don't like the top-loaders,
I have one that has a zipper to open the entire front,
and I have one that has a bottom door.
I don't like any of them.
So I bought the Alps Outdoorz Commander frame.
(It's for hauling at a kill after a successful hunt.)
I'll strap my big winter sleeping bag
to the carry shelf and tuck the tent in on top of it.
My walking sticks will go in the rifle slot on the left,
important/ fragile items and snacks
will go in the side pockets and hip belt pockets
I'll load up my waterproof "Friendly Swede" bag
with clothes and such
and strap it onto the back.
This bag will hold 60L worth of stuff
and will really work best for me (I think).
The bag is 23.6 inches long and 14 inches wide.
I won't wear it like the guy in the picture,
but it gives you an idea of the size.
I have a gray pair of those Keen Montfords and have discovered that they're not too waterproof or warm. And after an 8-mile hike, one of my ankles was sore, but I think it was because I walking along the side of the road and it slanted to the right, so my foot was at an angle for much of the walk.
Anyway, I'm buying a pair of KEEN Men's Targhee II Mids.
This chest bag, which I hope isn't as wide as it looks, plus the kit that fastens to the front, will be for things that I need quick access to.
The yellow bag is not going to work, so I bought the pack that goes along with the frame above. I've loaded it up and it does exactly what I want it to.
The problem - I'm not going to Scotland this summer.
Instead, I'm going to Ohio which you can read about on my travel page
and I won't be doing any kind of long-distance hiking.
November 2019: Bought some new hiking sandals: Keen Arroyo II's.
They make an Arroyo III now, and I could have gotten them for less, but the reviews seemed to favor the II's. I guess I'll find out if they're any good in a couple of weeks.