But now I live in Oregon and I no longer feel the urge to keep every animal under the sun. I have a cat, that is all. And if I leave enough water and food out, he'll be fine while I'm gone. Granted, he may hate me upon my return and sulk for awhile, but he'll live to meow another day. And that hiking/camping gene? Yeah, it's been triggered again big time. I've been scouring the Net studying all the gear that has been produced for avid hikers and backpackers and let me tell ya, technology sure has helped this area of interest out. Things that used to weigh a lot 15 years ago, now weigh nearly nothing. For example, the sleeping bag I purchased when I lived in NC is a North Face +20 bag which compresses down to the size of Thanksgiving turkey (and that's stuffing the hell out of it). It's big and it weighs about 5 pounds and it takes up half the space in my backpack. Now I'm looking at a Western Mountaineering Ultralite sleeping bag which weighs 1 pound and a few ounces and compresses down to the size of a cantaloupe. Ha! I will own this amazing bag... soon.
The two man tent I was using weighed 6 pounds and barely fit two people. My solo tent is the Eureka Backcountry 1 which weighs just under 4 pounds and has just enough room for me and my pack. But now I'll be using the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL3 for everything, which only weighs 3 pounds and can fit 3 people decently, but will fit two people plus all their gear, comfortably with no problem. The same goes for every other aspect of this hobby. Everything got lighter and improved upon in so many ways. I've been having a lot of fun exploring YouTube, watching peoples' gear list videos, taking notes and learning which products are awesome and why. I've also been exploring a website called portlandhikers.org and learning about all the remarkable hiking trails that exist everywhere around me. The members of that website have proven to be an invaluable resource and I have since been on several amazing hikes due to reading their trail reports. So, a quick shout-out to all you PH'ers... thank you!
Now that I've gotten the initials out of the way, I'll share some pics and videos of some hikes I've done and gear that I've acquired. First off, the boots:
Okay, next up is the backpack. I chose to go with an Osprey Atmos 65 for my overnight hiking trips:
Here's another item I purchased that has great potential, but I haven't had the chance to use yet:
Here's my basic backpacking cook set: