Thought I’d make a post about the specific things I replaced with something different or upgraded. It might save some people time and money if they’re just starting out however some people might prefer the stuff I’ve put aside so each to their own I guess 🙂
I’ll start with the things I had changed between my first overnight hike and my second trip away. A few things were different on my second trip and they were:
On the left is a set from Kathmandu I got on my first shopping trip. I used them on my first overnight hike but after that, on my next shop, I found the ultralight Sea To Summit cutlery. The Kathmandu ones were quite heavy and the S2S stuff is feather-light. I bought the set and then I found the long-handled spoon in the same shopping trip and have just used that ever since.
I’m not even sure if I’ve ever taken the other ones out with me. I think I did on my second trip maybe, had them in my pack, but never used them. I know that my next cutlery purchase will be the new S2S long-handled spork and that should be all I’d ever need. (I’ve got my pocket knife as well).
On my second shopping trip, I also found a tiny Jet Boil fuel canister so I got that to replace the bigger one I had bought from Kathmandu.
Much better. Smaller, lighter and still practically full. They last ages which is great.
I was looking for a slightly bigger bum bag that would allow me to organise everything a little better and I found this one.
Handy little pockets all over it and inside as well. Made life easier.
Ah yes, the tent saga.
The first one I bought was the Kathmandu Lansan Ultralight 2 Person tent on the left. Made really well however kind of heavy compared to the others. It also has the tunnel-style opening which annoyed me. It also needs to be staked out to stand upright. As you can see it’s a little bulky and takes up a fair bit of room in my pack.
The second one I bought is a S2S Specialist Solo shelter. Super light and compact as you can see however no good in the cold months because of all the condensation. I haven’t tried it since it’s warmed up. It’s a single-skin so no matter how opened up I had it everything got wet inside. It’s also tiny inside! I’m a small person and I hardly had any room to move in there.
Like I said I only tried it out in the cold months though when I needed my thick down sleeping bag so it might be better in the warm but I have a feeling it’d be very steamy, sticky and hot. I think it’s more designed as an emergency shelter or for an ultralight backpacking trip where room inside the pack is minimal and weight is CRUCIAL.
Final Tent Purchase?
Finally, the last one I bought and LOVE is the Big Sky Revolution 1P tent. It’s perfect. Super light weighing in at 1.1 kgs. Can stand without staking out. Has a door and vestibule on both sides of the tent and for a 1 person has plenty of room inside. Sets up quick, packs up even quicker. Awesome. I put my pack in one vestibule and sit in the other one to cook etc. I’ve also got a large piece of Tyvek that I lay underneath cross-ways so that my vestibules have a floor as well. Very convenient.
Meanwhile, this whole time I had been waiting for the new S2S sleeping mats to become available here and finally they did! So that was my next upgrade.
The very first hiking item I bought was actually my sleeping mat. As I was going from store to store and not finding the pack I liked the look of, this store had a sleeping mat I thought would do.
I used the Outdoor Expedition on my first hike to Hidden Gorge, my second hike to Alligator Gorge and my third hike to show friends Hidden Gorge.
I’d seen and read reviews on the Sea To Summit sleeping mats and was hanging out for that. Finally, I was able to buy the one I wanted, the regular Comfort Light Insulated.
Unlike any “blow-up” mattress. A little noisy but extremely comfortable and doesn’t try to push you off with air moving around inside. Just amazing. The insulating properties work tremendously well. If you’re someone like me who feels the cold pretty bad, you might want to look at a sleeping mat that has insulation. It’s lighter than the Harrier and as you can see a lot more compact.
I got the air stream pump dry sack with it to pump it up and I highly recommend that as well. Makes light work of blowing up a sleeping mat. About three pushes of a full bag of air into the mat and it’s done. I also got a little pillow as well. I was sick of using my clothes and wrestling with them all night.
Finally, My Pack
Started with the Kathmandu Incite gridTECH 60L pack on the right which served me well. A very tough pack with good water resistance in mind. Made extremely well with strong buckles, clasps, and zips. I’ll be using that one on longer trips when I need to pack more.
I bought the Osprey Viva 50L pack as I knew that with all of my weight and size gear upgrades I didn’t need a huge pack anymore. That also meant that I could save weight on a smaller pack as well. The Incite 60L weighs 2.03 kgs while the Viva 50L weighs 1.6 kgs. Every gram counts! 😉
The Viva has a lot more padding as well which makes it super comfy to use. After my first trip with the Incite my lower back was sore and ended up bruised but couldn’t feel any soreness at all after pushing & poking my lower back from using the Viva. Another coo feature about the Viva compared to many other packs and something people might not even think about is the way the water bladder can slide in behind the back padding and not actually inside the pack itself. VERY handy. The water also stays surprisingly cool as well. My last overnight hike was over a pretty warm two days in the dry, unforgiving landscape that is West of Whyalla, South Australia, and my water stayed nice and cool behind my sweaty back.
Incite V Viva
Not sure why but a few of the compression straps on the Incite are pulled in different directions, some towards the back of the pack, some towards the front. Feels weird while getting it all sturdy and secure but the Osprey gear seems very well thought about, researched and tested. I found the hip belt pockets very handy as well and they were something that I wanted in my pack in the first place but dismissed the idea as not important when I saw the Incite. Now that I have them I no longer need to use my bum bag on shorter trips which is great. One less thing to worry about, take off and put on and less weight to carry. They are a little frustrating to try to zip up though because of the shape I think.
The Viva has a bottom access pocket into the pack while the Incite doesn’t and the Viva has a little whistle on the sternum strap clasp which is cute and might be useful. Osprey have also thought about how annoying it is to have to take your pack off to get your trekking poles out or put them away which is what I had to do with the Incite but now I can “stow-on-the-go” with a couple of stretchy pull cords. Happy days!
Over To You
I’m a big fan of anything that makes life easier so I’m extremely happy with the Osprey Viva pack. I could go on but if you’re interested click the links I added and check them out.
There are SO MANY different packs out there. Different manufacturers, different styles, sizes, and features. Your pack becomes a part of you so I think it’s a pretty important decision what one you get. Especially if you plan to do a long trip. You need to be sure that it’s going to work with you and not against you. Trial and error have a huge part of figuring all that out but hopefully, I’ve mentioned a few things that you might not have thought about but could be important.
Happy trails! 😀