Forum Index > Gear Talk > What's new in the past 10 years?
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SeanSullivan86
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SeanSullivan86
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PostWed Aug 17, 2022 11:14 am 
I bought most of my hiking/backpacking gear ~9-14 years ago. Anyone want to point out any significant new developments in gear since then? Sorry for the low effort post...

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hbb
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PostThu Aug 18, 2022 2:39 pm 
Hollow fiber membrane technology has changed water filtration significantly. New (or more readily available) composite materials have changed shelter, pack, and shoe construction. 2-way satellite communication is widely available at a fraction of what it would have cost a decade ago. There is a robust cottage industry for pretty much any outdoor niche you can think of. While this has always existed to some extent, my sense is this industry sector is much larger these days.

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neek
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PostThu Aug 18, 2022 3:14 pm 
If you didn't post it on social media, the hike didn't actually happen. That's the biggest change I can think of. Plus the minor things mentioned above.

Chief Joseph
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Aug 18, 2022 3:32 pm 
Selfies causing falls off cliffs and overcrowded hikes.🤪

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn

InFlight, Chief Joseph
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rossb
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PostFri Aug 19, 2022 12:32 pm 
Let's see: Sleeping Bags: More or less the same. Synthetics have gotten better, but still aren't as good as down. Some companies use higher quality down (more down, less feathers) but those tend to be very expensive, and probably not worth an upgrade (unless you have a poor quality bag). Can't go wrong with Feathered Friends, even though there are other options. Sleeping pads: In my opinion, NeoAir is a significant improvement in sleeping pads. They are a great mix of low weight, comfort and warmth. There have been several generations, and they seem to be getting better each time. But not everyone likes them. They also aren't cheap. Other companies have stepped up their game to match. But if I had to pick two areas for an upgrade (based on knowing nothing about what you have other than the age of the gear) this would be one. The other is water filters (as mentioned). Tents: A lot of companies -- especially the cottage tent makers -- are using more expensive, lighter materials. Whether it is worth the cost is hard to say. Other than that, they make refinement in designs, but mainstream tents haven't changed that much. If you have a Big Agnes tent and like it, I wouldn't pursue a change, unless you want to sacrifice free-standing to save a few ounces. Packs: Mainstream pack makers are making lighter packs. But if you have a pack that fits comfortably and isn't really heavy, I wouldn't bother changing. A pack is the only item you carry that is designed to make carrying items more comfortable. Thus it is not part of the usual trade-off. You might carry a big fluffy pillow, for example, knowing that it makes your nights more comfortable, but your backpacking worse. Trekking Poles: Again, mainstream companies (like Black Diamond) have lighter options (and just more options in general). There are more 3 section and fewer 2 section poles (a trend I actually don't like). Filters: As mentioned, these are lighter, simpler and flow better. Pump filters are hard to find any more. Alcohol and Canister Stoves: Small refinements, but nothing major, so far as I know. If you have a gas stove you might consider changing to canister (unless you are melting snow). Cameras: Phone cameras have gotten so good that really tiny digital cameras can't compete. There are some really good compact cameras (Sony RX-100 series) or SLR cameras that are better than phones, but they cost a bundle. Clothes: There has been a movement back towards wool and away from synthetics. I forget when that started. Again, not worth an upgrade. Shoes: Lots of different styles of shoes out there, some sold by companies that didn't exist back in the day. Some add a lot of cushioning, while others take the opposite approach. Some are zero-drop (which means the heal is not higher than the toes). Generally speaking, people wear lighter shoes than they used to, but that trend started more than ten years ago (if memory serves). There are plenty of people who hike in big beefy boots (for various reasons). GPS on the Phone: This is a major breakthrough. It is reasonable to keep all your electronics at home, but if you carry a phone anyway (as a camera) and do a lot of off-trail or early season hiking, GPS on the phone can save you a lot of time. That's all I can think of. Everything else is pretty much the same so far as I know.

Cyclopath, Chief Joseph
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PowderPawn
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 7:12 pm 
Reservations for popular trailheads is now a thing. Not a fan of that. I think it is easier to find good Goretex trail running shoes and mid-ankle hiking boots so you can look forward to choosing your new footwear. The rest of the gear improvements are non notable for me. There are some interesting fabric blends available for lightweight tops that you couldn't get 10 years ago. The expensive ones are super comfortable in general.

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Get Out and Go
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PostSun Aug 21, 2022 3:04 pm 
I agree with rossb's succinct summary. Really, the only hiking gear I've bought in the last decade is a couple of Sawyer water filters and an upgrade to a lighter tent. (Don't mention skiing gear... mum.gif ) However, I must say the same trails seem to be longer, steeper, hotter, and buggier than they were 10 years ago. uhh.gif

"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go." (Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart) "Sometimes you're happy. Sometimes you cry. Half of me is ocean. Half of me is sky." (Thanks, Tom Petty)

zimmertr, rossb, InFlight
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InFlight
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PostMon Aug 22, 2022 8:19 am 
Really Bright LED Head Lights that are USB rechargeable For the Photographer, huge SD cards of 128G, 256g and 512G, no need to change them out except for download. Enough to shoot just photos for a year.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately... ― Henry David Thoreau

rossb
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Chief Joseph
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PostMon Aug 22, 2022 9:12 am 
neek wrote:
If you didn't post it on social media, the hike didn't actually happen. That's the biggest change I can think of. Plus the minor things mentioned above.
I especially like the mountain pics of hot chicas wearing yoga pants or next to nothing at all. Look at me, I am so hot and cool at the same time!

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Aug 22, 2022 10:14 am 
rossb wrote:
GPS on the Phone: This is a major breakthrough. It is reasonable to keep all your electronics at home, but if you carry a phone anyway (as a camera) and do a lot of off-trail or early season hiking, GPS on the phone can save you a lot of time.
GPS watches have gone from battery useable (for long hikes) primitive battery hogs to mature and very useful products.

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reststep
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PostMon Aug 22, 2022 10:35 am 
Using what they call quilts in place of sleeping bags. https://www.thehikinglife.com/2017/11/why-choose-a-quilt-over-a-sleeping-bag/

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

Cyclopath
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rbuzby
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rbuzby
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PostMon Aug 22, 2022 2:29 pm 
Gear is lighter now. I just upgraded my pack, for one that is %25 lighter, despite being 55L instead of 45L. And not real expensive either.

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Chief Joseph
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PostMon Aug 22, 2022 2:46 pm 
Which pack did you get? Considering an upgrade myself.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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rbuzby
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PostMon Aug 22, 2022 2:53 pm 
Mountainsmith Scream 55L
Kind of no frills, but it is light and not expensive for a good brand. The giant pockets on the back violate my principal of putting nothing on the back of the pack, but I just put TP and the map, garbage bags, and light stuff in those. Did a 2 nighter last week and the pack felt great. Anytime I can shave a pound off my gear I will do it, since I am, uh, in my mature years now and need every advantage I can get.

Chief Joseph
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Get Out and Go
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PostMon Aug 22, 2022 4:15 pm 
Packable chairs are gaining popularity. A few of my hiking companions have them and I was quite surprised by the number of them I saw out at Toleak recently, where driftwood sitting logs abound. smile.gif Anyway, they are quite comfortable, but certainly anathema to those who count ounces. I don't have one in my gear (yet), but perhaps in the future??? suuure.gif Here's a review of some that are available: https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/camping-and-hiking/best-backpacking-chair

"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go." (Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart) "Sometimes you're happy. Sometimes you cry. Half of me is ocean. Half of me is sky." (Thanks, Tom Petty)
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