Gear Review 2022 Part 1

There wasn’t a lot of outdoor gear purchased this year (2022). Most of this year’s purchases were building supplies. I would have to say the best outdoor purchase made this year was a house in western Maryland. Due to this purchase and the time spent moving, along with the overall general maintenance of multiple house I had to pass on a lot adventuring. Being an adult has some drawbacks. On the plus side though I now live within walking distance of the takeout of one the rivers I paddle the most. While also being close enough to a ski resort for my wife and I to squeeze in some uphill laps and normally a couple lift runs to start our days. The best part is it’s simple to get some night laps in if we want to at the end of the day! It was a busy year, but definitely did the staycation pretty hard taking advantage of the new location. Here’s to more traveling in 2023 because even though I will be mostly still purchasing building supplies in 2023, we sold the Pittsburgh house freeing up a lot of time!

The gear I will discuss this year will be for backpacking which was used on a weeklong trip in Big Sur, CA. Purchased for the trip was a Crazy Creek Chair, Spork and a variety of food. I will also give an update on the Werner Surge straight shaft paddle I reviewed last year.

Let’s start with the update for the Werner Surge straight shaft paddle.

Below is an excerpt from last year’s post.

Click here to read full review from last year. ……….I think my next paddle will be the bent shaft version of the Surge because, to date, it is the only forward bend fiberglass Werner has available.

Werner Surge Straight Shaft Paddle

I had to purchase Surge bent shaft way earlier than expected. Less than a year after using the paddle I reviewed, the left blade flew off while kayaking. I had just finished paddling Iron Ring on the Upper Gauley in West Virginia when I went upside down. I thought to myself while rolling up that’s odd it’s like there was no brace or resistance when I took that stroke. After rolling up I confirmed my blade was missing upon finishing the river I looked at the shaft and there was no type of breakage the glue had just failed on the paddle.

I called Werner to try and get it warrantied. I knew it was less than a year old but didn’t have the receipt. The nice contact at Werner said I could mail it in at my cost then it would be about $116 to fix it. Off I went to get everything in order to have my paddle fixed. First up by a new paddle because this was going to take a while hence the bent shaft I now own. Hopefully it lasts more than a year! Next up, see how much it cost to ship paddle. Almost $100! Well shit I can just buy a new paddle for almost that total amount, oh wait I already had to. Called Werner again and about a month later after the defective paddle was sawed into multiple pieces and lots of confusion, I now have a replaced Surge straight shaft. I have to say the warranty rep was very helpful though out the whole process and did their best to make things right. Even after I had given up and told them this was no longer worth the time I had been investing to try and get the paddle warrantied they made sure I got my paddle replaced.

I will stay with this paddle unless one of these new paddles are also defective. Overall I am still happy with this product.

Next up the backpacking meals. We used a variety of companies; Evergreen Adventure Foods, Nomad Nutrition, Good to Go, Patagonia Provisions, Peak, Backpacker’s Pantry, Mountain House.

Evergreen Adventure Foods

This is a new company started with the mission of reducing waste. The founders kept seeing plastic food waste everywhere they went. The idea is to reduce this waste with biodegeable food packets. Unfortunately, I don’t think they will have much of an impact. Their target market is probably already responsible hikers. The litter they were seeing comes from people just leaving it here not because it’s not biodegradable. As a user of this product, you still have to hike it out to dispose of it! I love idea overall and their product was the best tasing of all the meals we used on this trip.

If you’re going to try just one Ever Green Adventure Foods meal, they want you to try the Bella Pasta. I agree of the meals sampled this was the best tasting by far.

“Mushrooms are an underrated superfood in our opinion,” says Jessica, “plus the Bella Pasta highlights (and helps protect) the Mt. Whitney area.”

The only down fall of this product unfortunately was a major issue. The packing of all the meals from Evergreen Adventure Foods leaked when we tried to rehydrate the food. with a little ingenuity or preplanning this is not a major issue, but if we hadn’t of had an old meal bag to use this would have been an issue since we had nothing to rehydrate it into on this trip.

Definitely will buy this product again I like the idea behind the company and now know to bring a stasher bag as backup next time. I couldn’t access their website as of this post but here is a link to the Facebook Page.

Next up for review

Continuation of food

Crazy Creek Chair

Sea to Summit Spork


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