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Tubbs Gaiters

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Above are photos of my beloved Tubbs Gaiters.  This is a very versatile piece of gear that I absolutely love in the winter.  They are easy to put on- the elastic band goes under your shoe or boot and a small metal hook hook attaches to your shoelaces.  They velcro the rest of the way up.  The bottom elastic stretches to go over your shoe, keeping rocks, snow, and mud out.  At the top there is a band that secures the gaiters just below the knee.  They are very durable, and they keep the wind and cold off your legs, which I especially appreciate because I tend to wear leggings and skirts, even in the winter.

I wore mine daily during this past winter and treated them as a staple in my winter wardrobe.  I first tested these Gaiters during my college backpacking trip in southern Utah.  They kept rocks and desert sand from getting in my boots and helped keep my feet comfortable during stream crossings.  They have been a great investment and I highly recommend trying them out for your self.

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Meet the Life Saver Bottle

I first learned about the Life Saver water bottle from a TED Lecture.  When you have the time, check the video out for yourself.

Lifesaver bottles filter down to 15 nanometers, which filters out bacteria and virus’.  I relied on mine during a week long backpacking trip in Utah.  I was expecting the bottle to be both a water filter and water bottle, but I learned that it should be used as a filter only.  Be prepared with a separate vessel to store the clean water.  I made the mistake of filling it and just carrying it around with me and having water leak on me and my pack.

Here it is strapped to the outside of my pack.  It also fits nicely in the side stretchy mesh pockets as well as the front pocket

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Meet My Summer Sleep System

Tent.  Sleeping bag.  Air mattress.  For me, I have combined these three items into a compact system using a piece of gear designed for bike touring.  More on this in a a later post, I have used the modular tent attachment to my Axiom Bicycle Panniers to stuff these three things into one easily packable bag.

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Below on the left is my single person Kelty Salida 1 single person backpacking tent emerging from an inexpensive stuff sack from Wall-Mart.  In fact, both the 40 degree bag with attached stuff sack and self-inflating packable air mattress are made by the Ozark Trail company, a Wal-Mart brand.

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Below you can see the air mattress before and after it is inflated.

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I absolutely love how packable these little 40 degree bags are.  I actually own two.  Because of their rectangular shape and double zipper, they can be zipped up together to create a larger bag.  I use one bag inside of another as a substitute for a more expensive and bulkier warm bag.

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You can see how effective the compression straps are on this little bag.

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Here is the mattress and bag together.  Another thing I like about the bag is its rectangular shape.  I feel so trapped in mummy style bags, and my bag-in-bag layering system keeps me just as warm as a mummy.  One trick I use is to alternate the zipper side of the inner bag with the folded edge of the outer bag.

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Here is my Kelty one person coming out of its bag.  As you can see, it packed down quite a lot in the stuff sack.

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This tent is so well designed that set up is a breeze.  As you can see, there is no threading of the poles through loops on the tent body.  Instead, the tent is secured through hooks that snap over the poles.  The poles securely snap into a plastic mount on the corners of the tent, and it is very easy to set up solo.

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As you can see, there is plenty of height to sit up right in this tent.

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The rain fly attaches quickly and easily as well, though it does require two stakes.  When set up, it gives the feeling of a lot of extra room in the tent.

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Meet the Chico Bag!

I absolutely love my Chico Bag Sling rePETe.  What is this bag and why is it so special?  Simply, it is an ultra light, ultra compact sling bag made from recycled bottles.  It takes up very little space when stuffed down, but it can be attached to your pack if you are short on space.  It’s also great for green living, as it can be used in place of disposable grocery bags.

The Chico Bag company has come up with a ton of great products, and I look forward to testing out more of their stuff.

Meet the Osprey Exos 46

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This amazing, ultra light pack from Osprey is an older version of their current Exos 48.  It is designed for through hiking and can carry a TON.  This pack has so many amazing features.  One that I love is the Air Speed suspensions system in the back, which stabilizes the pack and allows air flow between your back and the pack.  The suspension system is so effective I often do not even need to fasten the hip belt.

The bag has a ton of stretchy pockets and straps to attach bulky gear.  In the above photo, my sleep system is contained with in the pack.  But if you need more room inside, you can attach it to the bottom of the outside of the pack using the straps.  The versatility is awesome.

The side mesh pockets are very large and more versatile than most pockets designed just for water bottles.

Inside, there is a clasp and pocket to hold a Camel Back hydration bladder and a slit along the shoulder to run the straw down.  It conveniently and securely attaches to the shoulder strap for easy drinking.

As you can see from the photo below, the hose to the camel back bladder secures nicely along the ventilated straps.  The straps also feature a place to put your phone (or a candy bar) and a loop to secure walking sticks.

Below you can see the adjustable sternum strap and the whistle feature on the buckle.

A nice feature are the mesh zippered pockets on the hip belt, perfect for snacks or anything else you need handy.

Welcome to Bok Choys Backpack!

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Welcome to my blog.  My name is Bok Choy and my Osprey Exos 46 backpack is the source of inspiration for this blog.  It is an amazing piece of gear, and I decided I want to fill this bag with gear that is equally awesome.  I am interested in light and ultralight backpacking and camping equipment, as well as low impact and off the grid living.

Each week, I will highlight a piece of gear from my collection and share it with you.  I will also be actively seeking out the latest and most innovative new gear available.  Please feel free to contact me with suggestions for gear to feature on the blog.

I hope you enjoy the reviews and find them useful in whatever adventures your own life takes you on.

Sincerely,

Bok Choy