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Desert Explorer Recommended Gear

Gear Shop Page 1- Packs, Gaiters, Trekking Poles
Gear Shop Page 2- Shelters, Bug Nets, Ponchos, Sleeping Pads

Gear Shop Page 3- Water Storage and Purification

Just about everything made by Golite has been at the top of my list for a long time. Unfortunatley Golite is no longer in business. They are presently trying to recreate themselves in the form of My Trail Colorado. It appears that they are buying back their designs and in the process of opening a retail space in Boulder, Colorado to sell them. Until then, some of shelter designs that I raved about from Golite are made in similar form by the Canadian company Integral Designs. I Currently use an Integral Designs silponcho, and also carry one of their ultralight bivys. I am absolutely happy with these two pieces of gear. I feel like you won't find anything much better, if you find anything even close. Integral Designs is now making bug shelters which are very similar to the now defunct Golite Shangrila series. I do not have one of these yet, But rest assured that I wouldn't hesitate to purchase one if my Golite Shangrila gives out.

I will add more information about these products soon. But for now here are links to them on Amazon.

The Silcloth Ponch- I carry an Integral Designs Silcloth poncho. Although I do not own the Sea To Summit poncho, I do own a few of their dry bags and am very happy with them overall. I am acquainted with a local representative of the company and have spoken with him at length about their designs, materials, and logic behind their equipment and I am convinced that they make very good products. Be sure to take a look at their poncho if you are in the market. The REI description follows:
The Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Tarp Poncho is an all-in-one raincoat/tarp/pack cover/ groundsheet—it's made with a super lightweight, waterproof Ultra-Sil fabric and all seams are taped. Ergonomic 3-panel hood features a functional, generously sized brim and drawcord. Designed to fully cover you and your pack in a downpour. Also ideal for temperate climates when a waterproof jacket would be too sweaty. Makes a great emergency shelter to have along for day trips. Made with Ultra-Sil Siliconized Cordura®; waterproof seams, double stitched and tape seam sealed. Guy attachment points on corners convert it to a shelter. Sides snap together for additional rain protection. Dimensions: 102 x 55 inches. Includes a stuff sack made from the same fabric. 

Exped SynMat 7 Sleeping Pad
I cannot say enough about this sleeping pad. Since purchasing it I have enjoyed more good nights of sleep at the truck and on the river than I can remember- it's just too heavy for me to carry on a backpack. This inflatable sleeping pad has an integral pump which inflates it in just a couple of minutes. No blowing it up by mouth involved! I have the synthetic fill version which is rated at an insulation value of 4.9, but there is a higher rated pad that has down filling. The pads are not cheap, but if you are struggling with getting a good night's sleep on a thinner pad, you may want to give one a try.


Outdoor Research Bug Bivy Outdoor Research Bug Bivy
I have not used this shelter; it looks like a decent option, although it may feel a little tight inside.

The no-see-um netting will not let the obnoxious little buggers through, and the overhead pole keeps them from getting too close to your head. The long-zip end opening allows rapid entry so you can minimize the number of micro guests. Sleeping pad straps keep your sleeping pad secure. Shoulder width 25".   Weighs one pound.

Therm-a-rest prolite sleeping pad. Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad

With a new, streamlined shape and lighter materials than its predecessor, this ProLite sleeping pad is the lightest, most compact, self-inflating mattress in the Therm-a-Rest line. It weighs just 8 ounces. The new design has a different shape and is made from lighter fabric and foam. Bottom features an innovative, sticky-dot, non-slip surface. This items comes in other sizes as well, each a bit more expensive and weighing a few ounces more.

Heatsheet emergency bivvy, single Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy- This is a great item to add to your survival kit. It replaces the usual space blanket carried by many of us- it is basically an enclosed space blanket, containing more of your body heat. Made of vacuum-metalized polyethylene, providing durable yet quiet protection. The bivvy reflects up to 90% of your body's heat back to you. Bright orange in color, weighs just 3.8 ounces. It measures 3 inches long and about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Bivvy provides protection from water and wind; it's sized to shelter 1 adult. Comes in stuff sack pictured.

Back to Top
Gear Shop Page 1- Packs, Gaiters, Trekking Poles
Gear Shop Page 2- Shelters, Bug Nets, Ponchos, Sleeping Pads

Gear Shop Page 3- Water Storage and Purification

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