Paria Outdoor’s ReCharge UL

Paria Outdoor’s ReCharge UL

$69.99 haha.

20oz

R-value- 3.5

This is a product I am very excited about as I believe it is one of the highest quality pads of its type, but also the most bang for your buck.

So a few weeks ago I received my Paria Outdoors ReCharge UL sleeping pad. I ordered it before a camping trip/family reunion in the Sawtooth’s, so I could test it out. It arrived the day before my flight and I was pumped to see how small it really was in its stuff sack.

I ordered the regular size as it also comes in an XL which is 26oz, but also has an R-value of 4.7. I easily fit it inside one of my bags which were stuffed with camping gear for both my girlfriend and I along with fishing gear.

But before I packed it, I had to blow it up in my room and check it out. First thing I noticed was how damn light this thing is, 20 oz for an r-value of 3.5 is awesome, especially at $69 dollars. It came out of the stuff sack folded in thirds which appears to be the best way to restuff this pad. Now was the part I was kind of worried about, I’d read online that this thing was a bitch to blow up. I began blowing on the 2 way valve and within 45 seconds and maybe 15 breaths this thing was blown up, and it’s not like I’m Paris Hilton with the blow game, it’s just easily blown up. I was pissed I listened to people, because I had already ordered the blow up sack for this item, which attaches to the valve, but actually makes this way more of a chore to fill up.

Once I had the pad filled up, I layed on this thing and I jizzed in my pants out of complete and utter comfort, leading me to another point, this thing cleans up with wet wipes very easily if you spill anything on this like your mountain house or jizz. But in all reality, God this thing was awesome, I’d been used to my dads old foam roll that he gave me and a thermalite z-lite I bought for myself (which I still love), so this thing was bliss. The Recharge has horizontal baffles, which I prefer over the chambered style on the Klymit Static V and closed cell designs. The pad also utilizes Diamond Ripstop nylon which is a textured surface, supposedly to keep you from sliding off, but that mostly falls on how you sleep. The pad has insulation on the interior of the pad which is meant to retain warmth and warm you throughout the night as it protects you from the cold earth. You can move around on the pad without annoying the hell out of yourself which is nice, unlike the Thermarest Neoair xlite which in my opinion sounds like a bag of fritos being crumpled if you so much as fart on the pad.

The Neoair xlite also costs $60 more than this item with the exact same R-value. The Xlite does save you 4 whole ounces so if you really care more about 4 ounces than $60 go right ahead and get that thing. I will do a comparison review one of these days for a few of the top-selling sleeping pads and compare them against some other ones on the market that aren’t getting as much love.

Deflating this thing takes about 30 seconds if you do the Spazzy McGee on it. Overall, I really loved this thing and give it a full 5/5 fucks given (Sorry, just read Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck).

As for my actual field experience with this thing, I couldn’t be happier. The Sawtooths were perfect, during the day it got pretty damn hot, but at night it got real nipply, in the mid thirties. I slept in no socks, shorts and a t-shirt completely fine on this pad. I am a crazy stomach sleeper and this thing was perfect for me. Ashley, tried to use my pad one night but I told her I needed it in the name of science and I got it back, thank the lord, she was stuck with my z-lite.

Overall, couldn’t be more pumped with this bag. I actually just got my first quilt the Aegismax WindHard the other day and tried out the straps on my pad and I loved the feel of that too. Ill be reviewing the WindHard soon. Thanks for reading.

Stop Bullshitting, Keep Hiking

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First Camp Jitters

I brought my girlfriend, Ashley, on her very first camping trip this last weekend. We have been attempting to make this plan for about a year now, and it just has not happened due to our schedules being so conflicting and her being kind of a pansy. We finally figured out a time for us to make it to the outdoors and get a night of camping in this last weekend.

Ashley went down to Rolla, MO a great St. Patrick’s day location for a couple nights of heavy drinking and fun with her friend Megan, while I patrolled the streets of St. Louis. I already know some of you might be thinking why would I let her go down alone to a college town to drink and party? Because the guy/girl ratio there is 70/30, so the guys have absolutely zero game with women. So, I already knew there was a possibility she might flake and not want to camp due to the raging hangover that might ensue.
I arrived in the sultry town of Rolla, MO, about an hour and a half away from STL and met up with my girlfriend and a few of her friends at a Waffle House. The Waffle House, per usual was a classy establishment with puke only encrusted on the corners of the building, where the mop doesn’t reach very well. Ashley was not feeling very well, which was a bonus for me because I got a second  breakfast for free. So, I smashed her breakfast while she went and threw up with her friend Megan in the bathroom. Ashley came back out of the bathroom feeling rejuvenated and ready to conquer a trail and her first camp.

I took Ashley to a favorite place of mine along the Ozark Trail, Curtois Section. It isn’t exactly a designated campsite, but it is an easy clean that harms exactly zero habitation. The site isn’t the most private as there is road access to this part of the trail which makes for annoyances with random people coming by. There is a high bluff on one side of the creek and a beach on the other. The campsite is set at a split in the Curtois Creek as it rolls lazily into the split it then speeds up around the corners, which makes for a peaceful water rush as you are going to sleep. We made camp quickly and I showed Ashley a few things about setting up. I didn’t even have to show Ashley how to set up the tent as She saw what I was doing and immediately picked it up. I was quite proud because while using the 10-12 foot poles for the tent I perfectly penetrated the diagonal grommet to give my tent the proper frame. Ashley did not exactly get the innuendo as I gloated over my great aim. After camp was set,  it was time to go for a little day hike.

Before we came, Ashley told me she forgot her hiking boots in her friend Megan’s car, so while on duty I swung by her friends house and grabbed them with the help of Megan’s parents. But, of course I forgot to grab them out of my fellow officer’s car that night and came bootless to our excursion. We then picked up a pair of cheap comfy sneakers for Ashley to wear during our short hike. There was an easy creek crossing to get to the other side of the ozark trail, which Ashley was not exactly pumped for. The water was probably about a foot and a half deep at its deepest, but Ashley was not about that life. I eventually coaxed her across the creek, and we began our hike. Ashley still wasn’t feeling the best from her last couple days, so I set an easy pace and allowed her to lead. We only hiked about 2.25 miles but that was enough for her as we turned around rather quickly.

Upon returning I set up for the first time the Fox Outfitters Hammock my brother got me. The hammock was awesome even though due to my newness to the whole, “Hammock scene” I kind of looked like an idiot. I set it up too low about 3 times, so as soon as I got in my ass hit the ground. It basically looked like a Nicki Minaj concert out there. Ashley and I sat in the hammock for a good bit and just relaxed. Until, some random family decided to come and start fishing about 40 feet from our tent and backpacks. Ashley didn’t see how this was a very big deal. But, I was pretty pissed that some family decided to bring their cooler, chairs and 4 kids right next to our camp. So, I walked back to our camp as to keep watch over our domain.

Ashley and I began to get hungry pretty quickly as usually happens when you get to the outdoors. I told her to sit there and take in the beauty of this place for at least another thirty minutes, then I would make dinner. Ashley, incessantly relaxed in the tent and managed to smuggle a box of cheese-its in there with her. Of course we forgot our books, and just about every activity I could think of. Luckily I had a deck of cards, so I introduced Ashley to the game, War, before we ate dinner.

I grilled up some hot dogs on my pocket stove, which might be the coolest thing ever. The hot dogs were done by the time Ashley got back from her 3,478th bathroom trip of the day.   We then relaxed in the tent playing few more card games, before without even noticing both of us fell asleep…at 7PM.

We woke up at around 10 and we were cold as hell. The temperature must have dipped to the 40s after the sun went down and we were frigid. We went and grabbed the extra blanket out of my car up the trail a little bit, with Ashley scared of just about every sound imaginable. Ashley snatched the headlamp off my head real quick and shined it on every rustle of the leaves. We got our comforter and attempted to go back to sleep, but not before we heard an incredibly loud splash, in the creek a few feet from our tent. Ashley’s head immediately went to an Alligator, which I assured her were not here (She watches too much Naked and Afraid). A few sounds continued throughout the night putting me on hyper vigilance mode because Ashley would not allow me to sleep through them. I assured Ashley that there hasn’t been a bear sighting here for at least a week and we were fine, which really pissed her off. But, the next thing I knew it was the morning and she had managed to go back to sleep.

We woke up the next morning and broke camp. Ashley wowed me and managed to actually contribute a ton on the breaking down of camp.

I don’t know if Ashley really enjoyed her first camping experience, but I loved showing her a little bit of what makes me tick and why I love being in beautiful places so much. I’m hoping to take her on an actual backpacking trip soon, but we will see how long that takes to happen. If anyone wants details on where we went, feel free to contact me.

A Great Shitty Day Hike.

Yesterday, I had the wonderful idea to grab my pack and go out for a hike on the Ozark Trail again. I’m slowly but surely going to finish the entire trail, and if all days go like yesterday it could be years.

I planned on going for an overnighter on the Curtois Creek Section again. I got on the trail around 2 PM, because I work the midnight shift at work so I wake up around noon. This time I was starting out where I ended on it last time. I don’t know if i’m the only one but I have a tendency to find an awesome spot to camp with great scenery or a great water hole close by and can’t help but stop hiking and stay there for the night, which is why my plans of hiking 20 mile days sometimes gets derailed.

So I’m out hiking and my hike starts out with a creek crossing. I’ve been to this creek before and it is usually much higher than this and splits at this crossing. But that day the right fork actually was completely dry. I crossed the creek and bam, Spidertopia. Literally every other step on the trail I stepped through a spider web. Webs in the face, webs in the shin, webs in the hair, webs everywhere. If you didn’t like spiders’, or had any sort of arachnophobia this would have been the worst day of your entire life. For the first mile and a half of the hike I stepped through 7,283 spider webs, yeah I fuckin counted. Then the trail started to open up so I thought wow it would be much harder for spiders’ to spin webs between two trees 12 feet away. Boy, was I wrong it wasn’t quite as often but I still walked through approximately 3,479 spider webs during the second mile and a half.

At this point, I am completely miserable and just want to punch spiders’ in the face. Luckily, I arrive at a checkpoint on the trail a great overlook of the Huzzah Valley. After smacking away 72 spider webs on my 15 foot walk down the ledge, I realized there were heavy rain clouds and thunder coming towards me. There had not been rain in the forecast, but this is life. I was hungry so I figured I would pitch my tent on the bluff and eat while I waited out the storm.

I just bought a new tent, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 1, which I will review later. This tent is awesome, but I foolishly went out on the trail without fully assembling the tent, with rainfly. I never do this, but I really wanted to get out on the trail and knock out some miles. So I set up the tent quickly, but the rainfly had other ideas. I could not find any places in the ground on this bluff to stake my tent. I managed to find places the stakes were 3/4th the way in the ground. I put the rainfly on and didn’t know how to use the guy lines properly. So, the inner tent got a little wet due to the sides of the tent laying parallel with my rainfly. This was totally my fault, so I take credit for that dumbassery.

I get in my tent and the downpour begins shortly after and my tent is blowing around barely stable being 3/4th staked. I pull out my food and stove and begin pouring water into my Toaks Titanium Mug 550ml, which I will also review later. I’ve poured 475 ml of water and I begin to look for my gas canister. That is when I knew I fucked up. I left the canister, which is usually in this pack in Whidbey Island, WA in my dads gear closet because I couldn’t bring it through TSA and get lucky again.

So at this point, I  had about 2 inches of extra skin from all the spider webs I’d walked through. Stuck in a rainstorm I was unprepared for, and I didn’t have a stove to cook my food which was required for anything I brought. Sure, I could have gone full minimalist and not enjoyed any of my food, but I decided to be a little bitch, lick my emotional wounds and walk back. I’d only gone three miles so I hiked back in an hour and only hit about 2,000 spider webs on the way back.

If you’re wondering why I was feeling spiderwebs on my shin, it is because I wore shorts. If you’re wondering why I wore shorts you must have never been to Missouri in the summer. It is one of the most humid and hot places in the U.S that time of year. Pants aren’t a choice, unless you love lakes of sweat for your junk to take dives into every step. Sorry for the graphicness of that last sentence, not really.

But, at the end of the day, I actually was very happy with my choices of the day, minus the whole stove thing. The entire drive home, I jammed out and just enjoyed the drive and the delicious Jack n’ the Crack I had, no stove or canister required.

Update: 2 days later and I realized I had been spit on by every chigger this side of the Mississippi. Yes, I said spit, the itch you feel from chiggers Is there spit dissolving skin. That is all.

Stop Bullshitting, Keep Hiking.