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  1. #1

    Default Outside Your Circle of Trust

    Okay boys and girls, let's survey what gear has failed you in the field or out on the trail or inside some wilderness area. When something falls outside our circle of trust, well, we are reluctant to ever take it out again. I'll start.


    Exped Downmat---baffle tube blown on Day 1 or a 19 day trip. (Must admit the company sent me a brand new pad after I sent them this email photo). Question is, will I take the new one out on my February trip? Dang warm and comfy.



    Crappy Corona hand pruners for trail work. Not strickly "gear" but close enough.



    Alas, the highly vaunted Limmer boots, lightweight model. This is the least of the problem---think soles coming off.



    A large series of Sangean radios. How many have I been through? Many. They seem to last about 8 months and then, well, cannot be field-repaired.



    Trying to do a "field-repair" on a Sangean radio atop my tent stuff sack. Verdict? FAILURE. But hey, there's a new Sangean in my kit. I'm an idiot.

  2. #2

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    YET MORE


    The slow delamination of the Asolo boot sole. Crappy Asolo 520's.



    What happened by the next trip? The wondrous Asolo boots. Outside my circle of trust, maybe forever.



    INSIDE MY CIRCLE OF TRUST---The BearVault 500 after a bear attack, black bear that is. Gnawing is never nice but he didn't eat. The vault held.

  3. #3

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    My dog is outside my hiking circle of trust.

  4. #4

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    All gear will fail under the right conditions. What you left out were those conditions and the age etc. Be fair when you make reports. I have had things to fail on their first use and others that have lived well past any expectations. Some equipment that I have used were used outside there recommended uses. I have had boots to blow with few miles and others t last much longer. Same with electronics, clothing, stoves packs,stuff sac etc

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    Last year I sold all my single person backpacking tents and bought a MSR Carbon Reflex. The center pole made of carbon snapped! I sent the tent back got a new one and the same thing happened again. I still have a MSR Hubba2 that I'll likely sell as well. My go to tent is a Lightheart Solong6 It's a single but my wife and I did a few hundred miles in it as well.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  6. #6
    Registered User mudsocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post


    Alas, the highly vaunted Limmer boots, lightweight model. This is the least of the problem---think soles coming off.
    All shoes are outside of my circle of trust. There was a time that I simply wore through the soles of shoes. Today shoes seem to fall apart long before they wear out. My last three pair of shoes suddenly delaminated without any signs of imminent failure prior to use. 5 miles into a snow shoe trip, on Katahdin's gateway and roughly 4k into a 10k road race. Luckily para cord and duct tape respectively saved the day in the first two incidents. Now I go barefoot whenever possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    A large series of Sangean radios. How many have I been through? Many. They seem to last about 8 months and then, well, cannot be field-repaired.


    Trying to do a "field-repair" on a Sangean radio atop my tent stuff sack. Verdict? FAILURE. But hey, there's a new Sangean in my kit. I'm an idiot.
    Looks like this radio was a "crushing" failure to me or did those heads get bent while taking it apart?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtntopper View Post
    All gear will fail under the right conditions. What you left out were those conditions and the age etc. Be fair when you make reports. I have had things to fail on their first use and others that have lived well past any expectations. Some equipment that I have used were used outside there recommended uses. I have had boots to blow with few miles and others t last much longer. Same with electronics, clothing, stoves packs,stuff sac etc
    My items were newish---the Exped two years old, the boots about the same. Not expected and fairly common in the review literature. The Limmers were only about a year old and fell apart to I think a manufacturing flaw. Expeds seem to commonly delaminate with bladders, etc. When things do blow out, people need not be squeamish to point out the flaws. And as I said, the radios never last long enough to even have a history.

    And as you rightly say, all gear will fail in the right conditions or eventually. Sadly, most reviews never cover the eventual failures---which in my mind is the most important facet of a piece of gear---How It Will Fail. Although Hilleberg tents are not on this list (and still tightly inside my circle of trust), I could write a couple pages of their weaknesses and eventual problems. No piece of gear is perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by bamboo bob View Post
    Last year I sold all my single person backpacking tents and bought a MSR Carbon Reflex. The center pole made of carbon snapped! I sent the tent back got a new one and the same thing happened again. I still have a MSR Hubba2 that I'll likely sell as well. My go to tent is a Lightheart Solong6 It's a single but my wife and I did a few hundred miles in it as well.
    You remind me of a Mt Hardwear pole which snapped for no real reason---and field repaired for the duration of the trip since I didn't bring a replair sleeve. I blamed their new fangled Atlas pole system. In fact, this field failure caused me to go to Hilleberg tents.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by octothorpesarus View Post
    All shoes are outside of my circle of trust. There was a time that I simply wore through the soles of shoes. Today shoes seem to fall apart long before they wear out. My last three pair of shoes suddenly delaminated without any signs of imminent failure prior to use. 5 miles into a snow shoe trip, on Katahdin's gateway and roughly 4k into a 10k road race. Luckily para cord and duct tape respectively saved the day in the first two incidents. Now I go barefoot whenever possible.



    Looks like this radio was a "crushing" failure to me or did those heads get bent while taking it apart?
    Some of us are rougher on boots than others. The final radio pic is a sort of joke on doing any kind of field repair. I wanted to smash it with a big rock. What happens to my Sangeans? They won't turn off, the lock button turns on for no reason and cannot be turned off, the channels start surfing without my participation, going to the weather channel causes the radio to blurt out and scan FM stations. Totally fubared. I tore it apart just for the heck of it as a sort of final autopsy and it made for a good pic.

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    That bear canister picture is classic. Did you see the critter do it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboo bob View Post
    My go to tent is a Lightheart Solong6 It's a single but my wife and I did a few hundred miles in it as well.
    that's a good tip. I've been carrying a shires double rainbow but I think I'll leave it behind a take the solo next time my wife goes with me on a section hike.I can only think of one way two people can fit comfortably in a solo backpacking tent! I always pick up something on this site which helps me on the next trip.

    as far as the exped mats, I had one blow up about 2 days south of Franklin on a hike last spring. It was 2 unpleasant nights on the ground until I got to the outfitter. got a neo air which I don't like as much. I wasn't too upset though - I figured I had maybe 3,000 miles (and equivalent nights out of it) and I wasn't real gentle with it - just rolled it up and stuffed inside my pack.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malto View Post
    That bear canister picture is classic. Did you see the critter do it?
    No, never seen, but he rolled two canisters about a hundred feet down a weedy hillside. Had he been smart he would've waited for me in the brush as I looked for the things. Black Bear 1 Human 0.

    He also did this---


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    I've had the same exact Sangean radio for over 5 years, only thing I've done is lubricated the volume pot. Great little radio for its weight.

  13. #13

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    I've often thought how neat it would be to start a company making things, any things, as long as they are quality things made in the US. I suppose if I lived in France I would want things made in France, but I live in the US. Make water sprinklers, bicycles, backpack gear. The problem is, I don't think anyone would pay what it would cost to create a successful business.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    I've had the same exact Sangean radio for over 5 years, only thing I've done is lubricated the volume pot. Great little radio for its weight.
    You must of got the special edition model made in Germany. I'm on my 5th Sangean in about 6 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by perrymk View Post
    I've often thought how neat it would be to start a company making things, any things, as long as they are quality things made in the US. I suppose if I lived in France I would want things made in France, but I live in the US. Make water sprinklers, bicycles, backpack gear. The problem is, I don't think anyone would pay what it would cost to create a successful business.
    Some great gear is made in the US---the Mystery Ranch pack I use, for instance. And the Hillebergs sure aren't made in China. There are a bunch of stateside companies. I think TarpTents are made in the US and they are popular.

  15. #15

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    I own some US made gear and I am happy with it, and I didn't mind paying a premium for it. If you could point me in the direction of a quality, lightweight, US made 6 inch or so hiking boot, I'd be appreciative.

    Three is a niche market, but I don't think the general market will support it growing very much. I'd like to be wrong.

  16. #16

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    Nalgene made a run of plastic water bottles sort of like a platypus. First one failed in the middle of the smokies, 2nd and third failed on day hikes. I gave up and switched to a MSR dromedary and 10 years alter its still fine.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by perrymk View Post
    I own some US made gear and I am happy with it, and I didn't mind paying a premium for it. If you could point me in the direction of a quality, lightweight, US made 6 inch or so hiking boot, I'd be appreciative.


    Three is a niche market, but I don't think the general market will support it growing very much. I'd like to be wrong.

    Limmers come to mind . . . . but . . . . but . . . .but

    Peakbagger---
    Platypus is still deep in my circle of trust, and I have a new one waiting in storage just in case.


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    There's a guy on here making American made hiking poles from Bamboo. I would buy them but they don't telescope so they would be difficult to ship. i may get some anyway for local (no fly) trips.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

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    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboo bob View Post
    There's a guy on here making American made hiking poles from Bamboo. I would buy them but they don't telescope so they would be difficult to ship. i may get some anyway for local (no fly) trips.
    My first hiking poles were bamboo cross countru ski poles bought in a yard sale.

  20. #20
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    The only thing I can think of that's failed me is me. Shoe wear out, that's not failure, but forgetting to bring a sleeping pad on a cold rainy night hike or poking a hole in a Platypus trying to get ice out is personal failure, not equipment.

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