Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter – Review

Sawyer Squeeze Kit 2If you’re planning on spending any amount of time in the woods, you’re going to need a means of treating your water so that you can safely drink it. Sure if you’re going car camping, you can bring all the water (and other assorted beverages) you will need or want for a few days. However, if you like to camp via canoe, kayak, or go backpacking, you can’t carry all that water with you and you will have to find some along the way. Finding water isn’t usually a problem in the woods but you can’t just drink it without treating it first or you could get very sick. The problem isn’t just that the water may look dirty from silt or sand; the real danger comes from what you can’t see like bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli as well as protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium. That’s the stuff that will make you very sick, very quickly and could leave you fighting for your life while you’re in the middle of nowhere.

There are lots of products on the market to treat water and they all have their up sides and their down sides. Pump filters for example take a lot of effort, tend to leak, break easily and can cost a ridicules amount of money (from $60 to over $300). Gravity filters are nice because you can just fill the bag with ‘dirty’ water, carry it to your campsite, hang it up and let physics take over while you do other things around camp. They aren’t too expensive either at around $100 for a system, although they can be a bit bulky. You can also use purification tablets (like iodine tabs) and although they are cheap and take up nearly no space in your bag, they tend to leave your water tasting rather nasty and won’t filter out silt or particulates. Another option is a Steri or UV pen which will kill bacteria, protozoa and even viruses but once again, it won’t get rid of particulates and they require batteries, which will of course be dead when you need to use it. And lastly…you could always boil it. Yup…that will kill all the nasty stuff but you will still have particulates and you also require a fire, a metal container of some sort and a way to support it over the flames without burning yourself. Not to mention the  means of starting a fire.

If that wasn’t enough to think about, you also have to consider cost (costing more does NOT mean it’s better) with options ranging from $30 up to $400, as well as size and weight (especially if you’re backpacking). You also need to consider how many people are in your party and how much water you need to treat at once. If you’re looking at filters, you really need to pay attention to how small the filter membrane is and if it can it be cleaned/maintained (ideally in the field). Most filters can filter down to 0.2 microns which is fine because the smallest bacteria are only 0.2 microns in size. Some filters are only 0.5-0.3 microns so that doesn’t make them a great choice for backwoods camping but some filters are an impressive 0.1 microns and that can even stop some viruses.

Viruses from a river or stream water is’t really a huge concern in North America but if you’re traveling to Africa or parts of Asia then it would be a good idea to include a Steri/UV pen in your bag as well as your filter kit. If you’re going to get a Steri/UV Pen, don’t forget to pack extra batteries! As for chemicals or toxins in the water…that’s a whole other problem and nothing can really deal with that. If you think your water source may have been contaminated by chemicals, find another source. Filters won’t really help much, nor will UV treatments, iodine tabs or even boiling.

Well now that I’ve made deciding on what to buy seemingly impossible, let me simplify things a bit and introduce you to the Sawyer Squeeze.

Sawyer Squeeze KitThe Sawyer Squeeze is an excellent light-weight water filtration system. Actually, considering the cost, weight and size, this is probably one of the best filters on the market for suiting the needs of one to three people. Sure, you can still use it if there are more people in your group, it’s just less practical since it will take a lot more time to filter all the water you will need. It can filter 1 Million gallons of water (enough for a lifetime really), comes with three different sized bags (16oz, 32oz and 64oz) and it can be cleaned/maintained in the field. Oh…and it only costs about $50-60 online and that includes the filter, three different sized bags and the syringe to back-wash the filter every once in a while.

Lets start by covering the specs; weighing in at only three ounces, you won’t even notice it in your pack and it fits in the palm of your hand so it takes up very little space. It’s also one of the few systems with a 0.1micron filter able to eliminate 99.99999% of all bacteria and protozoa and no matter how nasty the water is, the Sawyer filter will make it clear and tasting mountain fresh. The Sawyer Squeeze has no moving parts so there is really nothing to break and it works as quickly as pump systems, but without the physical effort. Just attach the filter to one of the bags (filled with untreated water) and start squeezing the bag. The treated water can then be squirted into a water bottle, pot, or directly into your mouth. This is a much better way to go than with pumps where you have to sit at your water source pumping water into a bottle. With the Sawyer, you just fill the bag from the source and walk away filtering it as you need it, on demand. You can also get or make some adapters to attach it as an in-line filter for the hydration bladder in your backpack. You can also easily attach regular water or pop bottles instead of using the included bags. 

Sawyer Squeeze Kit 3So what’s the downside you ask? It’s the bags. Earlier versions of the bags weren’t very durable and the seams tended to burst. The newer bags though are more durable but you could still burst the seams if you squeeze them too hard (ease up there Hercules!) and squeezing hard really isn’t necessary (try rolling the bag to squeeze the water through the filter). You could even rig up a way to hang it and use it as a gravity system leaving your hands free. The other problem is filling the bags. Unless you can fully submerge the bag and fluff it out a bit (blow into the bag first to fluff it out), getting water into the bag can be a bit of a pain. Collecting water from a puddle or stream that isn’t at least 6″ deep can be a tad frustrating.

It is expected that you regularly use the included syringe to clean the filter by back-washing it with clean water. This is especially important to maintain a good flow rate and prevent the filter from getting clogged. If you’re filtering especially nasty water, be sure to back-wash it right away with some of your freshly filtered water.

All in all, this is a great filter system that will last you years and filter more water than you could ever drink in your lifetime. Even if you destroy the bags, you could use a water or pop bottle with a standard sized mouth and full threading, or you can easily buy replacement bags online. With a little creativity, you can make it a gravity filter or, as said earlier, make an in-line filter for your hydration bladder or just buy the adapter kits to do so. Not only is this ideal for your camping needs but it would also make a great addition to your home emergency kit should your water supply become contaminated or should you no longer have a reliable water supply to your home.

Sawyer also offers a ‘purifier’ kit that will remove 99.997% of viruses should that be a real concern for you (and I do mean real concern, not just your own paranoia). If you’re traveling to Asia, Africa or India (or helping out in a disaster area) and there happens to be a Hepatitis outbreak, the purifier kit might be worth considering but otherwise, it’s probably overkill. They are a lot more expensive at around $200 online but the cost could be worth it if you’re in those types of places with an active virus outbreak. Like I said earlier though, viruses from your local lake, river, stream, or even swamp, aren’t really a concern in North America. If you really can’t shake that worry and it’s only occasionally, just filter your water and then add some bleach (3 drops per litre will do) and wait 30min. That will kill pretty much anything but now your water will taste a bit nasty thanks to the bleach. Keep in mind though folks…if your water is contaminated by chemicals or toxins, you’re not going to be able to treat that in the field.

No, I wasn’t paid by Sawyer to praise their products so highly. It’s just that good and gets a 10 out of 10 in my books. In fact…I bought three kits and I never go camping without at least one of them, even if it’s just car camping.

If you want to learn more about Sawyer, what they do globally with their safe water programs, or check out their other products, be sure to check out their website at www.sawyer.com

PrintHere’s a video from their Youtube page:

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Primus OmniFuel Stove – Review

If you’re serious about your camp cooking and are very short on space, then the Primus OmniFuel may be just what you’re looking for. The first time I used the stove, it was very cold and although I had heard just how reliable and durable the stove is, I was a bit pessimistic about how well it would perform.

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Oh yummy coffee! Thanks Primus!

I was doing a 24hr ‘stranded in a car’ winter survival exercise with a friend of mine and although not part of my usual car survival kit, I decided it would be nice to bring it along so I could treat us to a nice cup of coffee in the morning. It worked flawlessly and with the sound of a mini jet engine, I had a boiling pot of water in just a couple minutes to make some coffee with. Of course being the coffee lovers that we are, I restarted the stove 30minutes later and made another pot for us. Yummo.

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Stove comes with a heat shield and nice storage bag.

I have the fuel bottle filled with regular Coleman camp fuel and after pressurizing the bottle with the fuel pump (comes with the stove, but the bottle is sold separately), you can start the pre-heating process. Give the bottle about 20 pumps, make sure the bottle is “ON” side up, turn on the bottle valve, followed by the stove valve for a couple seconds (to saturate the Priming Pad) and light the stove.
*Important notes: Make sure you turn off the stove valve before lighting the stove AND be sure to light the stove down low near the Priming Pad. That last part isn’t too well covered in the instructions but is very important. If you light the stove near the top, you won’t ignite the fuel down on the pad and you won’t complete the pre-warming process. Just as the orange flame starts to die and you start hearing that jet engine sound, gently open the stove valve and you’ll get that nice, clean blue flame in the burner indicating it’s time to start cooking.

It was my second time out with the stove, on a winter hike in Algonquin Park, when problems began. I needed to melt some snow to rehydrate some breakfast since all my water was frozen and this is when I ran into trouble. I got it lit easily enough and it was burning fine for a few minutes but once the pot full of snow started warming up, suddenly the flame went out. Then began the frustration. Before attempting to relight the stove, you must allow it to fully cool or you risk some serious injuries, but since it was -8celcius, it didn’t take long. But I think the freezing temps and user error would lead to damaging the stove to the point where I couldn’t get the damn thing to fully ignite again.

In my ignorance, I wasn’t lighting the stove down low where the priming pad was and since the snow on the side of the pot melted off and slide down onto the pad and then froze solid, the stove was never to light again without some maintenance. At the time though, I just thought the problem was the snow on the pad and cold temps. Ignorance is bliss or perhaps a touch of hypotherma was hindering my ability to think straight.

Primus_OmniFuel_02

Partially Disassembled Stove

My next time out though was much warmer but when I couldn’t get the stove to light again, I started realizing what the possible problems could be (clogged nozzle jet, damaged primer pad, or both). Turns out…it was likely both. Oh..and me not paying attention to lighting it down low near the pad instead of up high near the flame spreader (I can’t blame hypothermia this time though).

The Primer Pad was wrecked.

The Primer Pad was wrecked.

With the warmer temps, I was able to dismantle the stove without worrying about frostbite. I had the repair tool, and I had the forethought to buy a full repair kit when I bought the stove, so I carefully got to work taking apart the stove. I cleaned out the jet and replaced the pad with a fresh one, reassembled the stove and fired it up. After the warmup process, I was able to get that nice blue flame again along with that jet engine sound and the stove was once again working perfectly. Lessons learned indeed. I can’t state enough how important it is to be fully familiar with how to use your equipment before you have to rely on it and it’s also important to know how to repair it before you’re forced to do so in the field. This is another reason why I always have a backup plan and in this case, while I was repairing the stove, breakfast was being cooked over an open fire nearby.

The main reason I chose the OmniFuel is because as the name suggests, it can burn pretty much anything including White gas, Kerosene, Diesel, Petrol/Gasoline, LPG, and even Aviation fuel. Don’t however try and use alcohol because it burns very differently and to my knowledge, no multi-fuel stove can burn alcohol. If you try it and suffer serious injuries…don’t say you weren’t warned.

The stove comes with a nice storage bag, heat shield, repair tool, spare primer pad and two other nozzle jets, which you change depending on what fuel you’re planning on burning (different jet sizes for different fuels). You can also fore go the fuel bottle and instead directly attach the fuel hose to a Primus fuel canister (less messy and no priming is required).

The pot arms are serrated and grip pots rather well so if you’re cooking on slightly uneven ground, you can have confidence that your pot isn’t likely to slide off. It also supports a frying pan well enough and thanks to it’s ability to simmer, this means you can actually cook with this stove and not just use it to melt water for rehydrating food packs.

All in all, this is a great little stove and packs up very small (fits in the palm of your hand, or pant pocket) and once you get used to using it, it works without difficulties. This stove is still fairly new to me but based on the very favourable online reviews, the Primus OmniFuel stove can work pretty much anywhere…at any altitude and at any temperature.

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GSI Glacier Dualist – Review

GSI_04Weighing in at 695g, this great little cookset from GSI is perfect for the avid backpacker and as its name suggests, it’s ideal for two people. The kit is available with an aluminum pot as well, which obviously weighs less, but the stainless steel pot can handle more heat and be placed right in the fire.

The set includes a 1.8L stainless steel pot with strainer lid, two 590ml insulated cups, two 590ml bowls, two sippy lids, two telescoping foons,  and stuff sack. You’re going to want to replace the ‘foons’ (or sporks) pretty quickly though. They really are flimsy and I wouldn’t expect them to last through a single meal without breaking.

The bowls are basically the same as the cups, less the insulated coating, and they all fit into each other rather nicely. They are designed to hold a 225g LPG canister and a small folding LPG stove but a MSR PocketRocket and some other small stoves could also fit. Unfortunately for me, my Primus OmniFuel doesn’t fit, so I use the space to store a bunch of fire starters and matches, as well as some coffee, tea, spices, etc.

GSI_01The stuff sack is waterproof and although GSI says that it can be used as a washing bowl to clean the cookset in, I found it pretty much useless for cleaning in. It is handy just to use as an extra water dish for the dog though.

Most well equipped camping stores carry GSI cooksets and this one retails for about $65.

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Algonquin Park – Highland Backpacking Trail – Spring 2014

DSCF2856Algonquin Park is one of Canada’s great treasures. It’s nestled in the middle of Ontario and is home to a wide range of wildlife, from the smallest of mammals such as field mice, all the way up to the majestic Moose, as well as everything in between like rabbits, squirrels and their predators like foxes, coyotes and wolves. Bears are also common in Algonquin, but they aren’t so much of a concern until early to mid May when they start coming out of their dens.

I decided it was time to get out of the city for a couple days, so I loaded my backpack with all that I would need (all 50pds of it) and head off to Algonquin Park for some backwoods camping. The idea was simple enough, hike in to the campsite and then hike out again. The reality turned out to be somewhat different.

On my way to the park, I was curious about needing snowshoes because I knew that in many places, the snow was a few feet deep. As usual, I saw the large signs for Algonquin Outfitters and saw that they rented snowshoes, so I decided to stop in and see if they had any information about the condition of the trails. DSCF2862It seemed reasonable that they would since they would be getting reports from other hikers whom they had rented equipment to already this season. Sure enough, the friendly young lady at the counter advised me that the trails had for the most part been packed down by other hikers with snowshoes but if I stepped off the trail I would likely sink in up to my waist. She also advised that the warmer temperatures expected the next day would make the snow very soft and I had to expect some serious sinking. I inquired about renting some gear but in the end I decided to just buy a set of snowshoes and I was lucky enough to get a 20% discount. Every time I visit the park, I always take the time to stop into this shop; If the Algonquin Outfitters don’t have it, you probably don’t need it. www.algonquinoutfitters.com

Once I arrived at the West Gate of the park, I had to stop in to purchase a permit. It’s Park policy that anyone who visits the park, checks in with the office and lets them know exactly where you will be hiking or camping and for how long, so that if something happens, or if your overdue, they will have some idea where to send a search party. Over Algonquin’s long history, many people have got lost or seriously injured and unable to get out. In some cases, their body’s have never been found. It’s a beautiful place to stop for some pictures and have a picnic, but if you’re going backpacking or canoeing, you need to be damn sure that you’re prepared to survive and be able to find your way out again. I was prepared with everything that I needed and I had backups of most things. If my GPS failed, I had a waterproof map and compass (be sure you know how to use them), If my flashlight died, I had extras. If my stove failed (and it did), I had several ways to make a fire if I really needed one (which I really didn’t). The list goes on and on..

After arriving at the Highland Backpacking Trail Head, I started suiting up with all my warm gear and prepared myself for the long walk into the campsite. It wasn’t long before I realized just how unprepared I was for this. Not because it was below freezing and I wasn’t dressed warmly enough, or that I didn’t have the right equipment for the job, but I was totally unprepared physically. I’ve had two major leg surgeries in the past two years and they aren’t as strong as they used to be. Actually, my whole body was deconditioned and the steep slopes, deep snow, and patches of ice was turning out to be a serious challenge. After a couple hours, I was starting to wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew. The answer would come just before sunset.

Onward I hiked and my trusty Garmin was telling me exactly where I was. I pre-loaded it with the topography of the area and the GPS version of Jeff’s Maps (a sample of which is the feature image at the top of this article and shows the actual trail I was on). My GPS was also keeping track of my altitude and was showing just how high I was climbing. After ascending 100ft, it’s no wonder my legs felt like rubber. I was also working up a serious sweat and in cold temps, this is bad and it could make it harder to fight off hypothermia. I was starting to think about finding any good flat and clear spot that I could find and pitching my tent. There was a lot of loose wood around here that I could make a fire with but onward I pressed. Just a little further. Take lots of rests. You’ll make it Shaun. Pace yourself.

It was getting very late in the day and I could see the light was beginning to fade. My GPS showed that I still had about 1km to go. I figured I would get there after sunset but that’s ok since I will be staying at an established camping spot. Eventually I came across an old abandoned railroad that had been converted into a walking trail and a ‘show stopper’. On the other side of the rail-trail was a very steep, very high hill. My heart sank. It was a treacherous climb of about 80-100ft and of course…it too was covered in deep snow and ice. There was no way I would be able to handle that hill; Not with my legs in the condition they were. At this point nearly every part of my body was screaming in pain (except for my fingers, which I couldn’t really feel anymore because they were so cold). This was it…I had to stop here and setup my tent. Light was fading fast so I had to work fast. Several minutes later (and a few times sinking into deep snow), I was setup. Wouldn’t you know it though…it was the one bloody place I had passed all day that didn’t have loose wood that I could collect and start a fire with. So much for the nice psychological boost of a nice warm fire. I crawled into my tent and hunkered down for the night. I was exhausted, very sore, and very disappointed with myself for having not reached my goal. I had indeed bitten off more than I could chew.

I pulled out my windup radio but I was so deep in this valley, I couldn’t really get a lock on good stations. It was nice to at least hear a bit of music even though it was heavily mixed with the sound of static. Once again my trusty headlamp allowed me to sift through my gear as I needed and I activated my SPOT GPS Messenger to let people know where I was and that so far I was doing ok. Well…mostly ok. I was hurting badly but I wasn’t injured. I was defeated psychologically also but a good nights sleep should help that. Not that I got a good nights sleep though. My hearing became acutely aware of the sounds of my surroundings. I could hear the snow falling on my tent from the trees above. I could hear the sound of small to medium sized animals scurrying around in the brush. And I could hear something else…and it was big. I lay there curled up in my tent wondering if it was a Moose coming to check me out. I took a mental stock of pretty much anything stinky that could draw them in but it was all sealed. Great…just what I needed…to be attacked by a bloody Moose! I was so tired though, I just didn’t give a damn anymore and I’d rather get trampled to death by a Moose in the woods than at a Black Friday sale at some shopping mall.

Eventually the sun came up and I began to assess the aches and pains in my body. I felt like I had been hit by a car. I really didn’t want to leave the warmth of my sleeping bag but a full bladder made it necessary. While I was outside, I began walking around taking in the scenery. It really was beautiful. Cold yes, but beautiful. Then I found the Moose tracks not far from my tent. Those were NOT there last night and my tracking skills are good enough to realize just how fresh they are. Wasn’t hard considering the tracks were directly beside my own foot prints from the previous night and in some cases on top of mine. I was indeed visited by a reasonably large Moose last night. He or she must have come walking along the rail-trail and came within about 15m from my tent, then turned and bolted off the way it came from. Since I heard something large during the night, perhaps it was just my smell that scared it off. Luckily…most animals don’t really care for the smell of humans.

I was hoping to fire up the stove and rehydrate some breakfast but since my entire supply of water was frozen solid by this point, I would have to melt some snow. This was going to take a while since it takes about 20 cups of snow to melt into one cup of water. Well…I have plenty of snow and lots of time. Assuming of course I could keep the stove lit but alas…this would not be the case. I’ve used this stove before without any issues but this time it was a hell of a lot colder. Add to that, that some condensation was dripping off the pot into the burner, I couldn’t keep the damn thing lit. Screw it. I have some energy bars so that will have to do for now. Time to take another look at that hill.

I climbed the first 20ft and looked at the rest of the hill before me. Slowly my eyes raised higher and higher into the sky. Oh hell no. For a brief moment I thought about trying it anyway but I realized that I will most certainly lose my footing and fall and if I break a leg here (or anything else) there would be no way I could get myself back to safety. I would have no choice but to hit the SOS button on my SPOT Messenger and it could be at least a day before I’m found. I came here to test my camping skills…not my survival skills (although in a way I tested both). I wanted to walk out on my own…not be airlifted out. The choice was made…I was going to turn back and after packing up all my gear, which was caked in a layer of ice, I hoisted my pack up onto my back and I started hiking back the way I came.

Why the hell are my legs so much more sore today?? Ah yes, because I beat the hell out of them yesterday and now I was doing it again. I really was hurting badly and I had to stop every 20m or so to stop for a rest (sometimes less). Eventually I came across the river that I crossed the previous day. Time for a much needed break and for some cold water. The hydration bladder in my pack was still frozen, my water bottle was empty and I was getting dehydrated from sweating so much. I reached into my pack and fished out some paracord, tied it around the neck of the bottle and tossed it into the river to collect some water. I had to either boil it or filter it though and since my stove wasn’t reliable right now, there was little point in unpacking it. Time to put the Sawyer Filtration kit into action and it worked like a charm. Finally some fresh water to drink and I stocked up so that I could filter more as I continued hiking as I needed too.

DSCF2863Every once in a while as I hiked along, I would pass a large depression in the snow where I had collapsed the previous day for a 10min break. Eventually I came across a strange distance marker which was one of two massive piles of Moose dung right in the middle of the trail that I had passed the day before. Strange to say it but seeing that pile of Moose scat was heartwarming because I had basically reached the halfway point back to the car. I was very much looking forward to seeing the next pile of poop and I eventually came across it. That is one big pile of crap!

I kept encouraging myself mentally “Ok Shaun…keep pushing…you’re only about 1km away from the trail head”. My legs and my butt felt like they were on fire. Even my biceps were ablaze. At least I could feel my fingers today as the temps went above freezing and continued to climb.

IMG-20140406-00113At some point I heard something ahead of me on the trail and I froze in my tracks. It continued toward me and I thought maybe…Moose? Deer? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it was another hiker! I figured I might come face to face with another mammal eventually but I wasn’t expecting a human. Not on the trail at least. We talked for a bit and he was really struggling hard. He was trying to make it to the same campsite I was aiming for originally but there was no way he was going to make it. He had only gotten 700m in from the start of the trail and he had a very long way to go. To make things worse, he too was a tad out of shape and he was already seriously suffering. My serious handicap was my legs still recovering from surgery…his was the sled he hoped to drag behind him. He had left it behind him a ways in hopes of finding a spot to camp, ditch his pack there and go back for the sled.

My thoughts of getting to the campsite were at the very least ambitious and in the end I couldn’t make it. His thoughts of getting there with all that gear was nothing short of delusional. I kid you not…this sled could have stored enough gear, food, water, etc to have lasted me over a month in the woods. He was only going in for two nights. Hell I wouldn’t have tried to drag that sled behind me even if I was as fit as I was back when I was in the Infantry.

I wished him the best of luck and I carried on and it wasn’t too long before I emerged out of the woods to the sight of my car. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so happy to see that car. At this point I could barely lift my legs into the car to drive away but eventually I managed to get my rubber legs in.

Before I could really head for home, I had to stop in at the Park office and return the permit. Usually, you can just leave your permits in the drop boxes at the trail heads but considering the time of year, it seemed better to stop into the office in person to let them know I was alive and ok. This was very much appreciated by the Park staff and after talking for a bit about the trail conditions, the clerk was amazed at how far I got considering not only how challenging the trail is this time of year but also how challenged I was with my legs. I certainly left feeling a lot better about myself and what I had accomplished. The next stop was back to Algonquin Outfitters. I told the young lady there that I would stop in when I was leaving and she wasn’t surprised to see me so soon. It turns out…most people don’t make it as far as I did. Those who make it to the campsite are extremely fit and healthy and fully equipped with arctic gear.

After the long drive home, I reviewed the maps and my progress in detail and I realized that not only did I do pretty darn well but also, that there was no way I would have made the campsite. I’ll try again in the Fall when my legs are stronger and I’m more fit. Not to mention…warmer temperatures and no snow!

I was able to take some video, so please watch and enjoy.

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Woolpower Base Layers – Review

Woolpower-logoIt’s not too often I want to talk about my underwear (by that I mean never) and I know hearing about someone else’s underwear isn’t high on most peoples ‘enjoyable’ list. Unless perhaps someone is teasing you with something silky or lacy (you can find that kind of stuff somewhere else). So when I take the effort to talk about mine, you should probably take the time to read about it, because in this case, it really is something special. I’m talking about Woolpower under garments.

Woolpower makes a pretty good lineup of under layers including socks, long-johns, shirts, balaclavas, hats, and even mittens. No matter what part of your body you find gets cold, Woolpower has a solution with various degrees of thickness too. By that I mean they come in various weights measured in grams per square metre. The really great thing about this stuff is that it works when it’s wet. Unlike cotton or most synthetics that suck all your body heat away when they get a bit damp from sweat, this stuff still works.

Each winter I find myself standing out in the cold for long periods of time, or worse, sitting in a cold car unable to move around much to stay warm while trying to conserve fuel (I’ll only run the engine for warmth, when I really get cold). This past winter has been especially long, cold and miserable so I’m very grateful that I got a set of Woolpower under garments before the cold really set in. The Merino wool/polyamide fabric has a smooth outer surface and terry loops on the inside. I opted for the 400gram socks and Long Johns and the 200gram long sleeve crew neck shirt and I must say…they really saved my keester this winter. I was especially grateful to have them with me when I had to survive 24hrs in a stranded vehicle this winter. Damn that was cold and if you want to read about it, you can check that out here: http://www.chroniclesofadventure.com/winter-driving-and-survival/

If you like any sort of outdoor sporting or hiking activities or if you’re just an average Urbanite who doesn’t like freezing their toes off while walking to work, give some serious though to getting some Woolpower base layers. You can find them at The Canadian Outdoor Equipment store.

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