Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Skurka's gear for four seasons of Alaska

To make it short, Andrew Skurka is embarking on the Alaska-Yukon Expedition, a seven month, 4,500+ mile expedition around Alaska and the Yukon. And he's leaving in four weeks.

Please join the conversation about his gear: BPL Gear Discussion. As of this post, the forum is seriously considering Skurka's initial shelter choice, a MLD 2010 Alpine bivy. My comments are posted.

Also, given Roman Dial's response to use a 'mid throughout the whole thing, I'd like to posit this question for later discussion here and eventually on BPL: is a pyramid-style shelter, in some form or another, the be-all and end-all of shelters?


Hendrik M said...

Mids seem to be the latest fad if it comes to shelters. I haven't yet used one, and while I can see their benefits I do think there are better designs out there. But important is that Andrew uses what he's comfortable with using, and goes with that - its after all not a walk in the mountains behind the house.

Matt Lutz said...

On the fad issue: I'm not sure who or what gets credit for this, but I'm going to give credit to Dave Olsen of Oware, Ron Bell of Mountain Laurel Designs, the men of Arctic 1000, and Erin and Hig. Ron probably gets the most credit as of late because of his Duomid and Supermid, and the expansions thereon. Dave Olsen does have his 'mids and Alphamids, too.

As for Skurka, he's use what he'll used. We'll find out at the end if he made the right choice at the onset.

Joe said...

I think Mids are a nice middle ground for a lot of people. They have the extended coverage and greater protection of a tent with the low weight and simplicity of a tarp shelter. Their shape is wind-shedding and can handle moderate snow loads too. They have a lot going for them. Tarps will always be lighter but I think in the near future we'll see a slight 'pulling-back' from the cutting edge of lightweight to find a sweet-spot that hits lightweight, simplicity, comfort and modularity.

Matt Lutz said...

@ Joe: the situation is analogous to a pendulum. From a post by me re: GoLite's 2010 lineup on BPL

"At first, you cut everything and get down to the lowest weight possible. The pendulum swings fast from heavy toward the lowest weight for you (remember, HYOH). And then you add a few things back in for comfort, etc. (read: Thermarest, pillow, sleep socks, wp/b socks, etc). And then your pack weight swings back up. And you cut again, and the pendulum swings down, less now. Repeat the process, and you eventually settle on an optimum weight."

I have seen the pendulum effect in my own gear, and in Ryan Jordan's, too (think his 24-hour adventures using prototypes of the BPL Absaroka pack).