View Full Version : Longest Enduring Piece of Gear
What is your longest enduring piece of gear? For example, I have a Kelty Bristlecone down sleeping bag purchased in 1972 and used every year for several weeks and many weekends each year that is still as good as the day I bought it. I have two WM down bags also, but the Kelty is still my favorite.
Here's my list:
1) MSG Model G stove (similar to XGK but burns only gasoline): I've had this stove for over 20 years and it's still going strong. Seldom needs maintainence except oil on the pump gasket. I have other stoves, but this is the one I pull out in winter or when reliability is important. It's never let me down. I carried it for a week on the AT last summer cooking for 3.
2) Dachstein wool mittens: I don't think you can wear these things out. Mine are 25 years old and in perfect condition. They are made of boiled wool and are incredibly dense and windproof. I only wear them winter camping and hiking in below zero temps because they are so warm. You can still buy them at Campmor.
3) Justrite headlamp: I don't use this much any more because it's heavier than newer headlamps, but it still works after 25 years. Requires some sanding of the contacts once a year. The lamp housing is steel, the headstrap and forehead padding have been replaced. The battery pack is on a long cord so you can keep the batteries warm in winter. Takes 4 D batteries - it's really heavy with alkalines, more reasonable with lithiums (but lithiums didn't exist in the 70s and we carried alkalines).
I can't think of anything else I haven't replaced over the course of 25 years. My polypro underwear hasn't worn out, but polypro has only been around for ~20 years. (If you want some racy stories, ask me how we winter hiked before polypro. Sometimes it wasn't much different than summer solstice.) Nalgene bottles break after 15 years. Coated nylon loses its coating. Moth eat your wool shirts...
I still have the Optimus 8R stove I purchased for my second AT section hike in 1974. I've painted over the light blue steel cover with a matte black to cover up all the scratches and dents. I only use if for camping now, and then only as a second stove, since it probably weighs about a pound. I last used it while hiking in 1986. Come to think of it, I may still have the remaining white gas sitting in its Coleman can somewhere in the depths of my garage...
Kerosine, I remember the 8R too. Venerable stove. Ever use
the 111B? They must have weighted 2-3 pounds, but great for