Gear We Use
Welcome to the Greenwoods Uncharted “Gear We Use” section. Here, you can find the specific items that we use when hiking, backpacking, climbing, or mountaineering, as well as books to educate or inspire you for all of your outdoor adventures. We have personally used and endorsed all of the items on this page.
Altra Lone Peak 3
A great pair of lightweight, zero drop trail running shoes that are great for hiking. I first bought these shoes after I had injured my foot, and was looking for something with an especially wide toe box. I have loved these shoes for both hiking and the occasional run. If you have never tried zero drop shoes, they take a bit of getting used to, but I loved them so much I wish I could get backpacking or mountaineering boots that were zero drop!
Saucony Women’s Peregrine 6
Lightweight trail runners. If you are not ready to make the switch to zero drops, or if they just don’t agree with you, this is a great, neutral pair of trail runners. Michole has used these for fifteen plus mile hikes in rocky terrain with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain, and loved them every step of the way.
Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX
Like the Altras, these boots have an exceptionally wide toe box. As someone with wide feet, this is an absolute must for me. The give me plenty of room in the tow, but the awesome lace locker keeps my foot secure so I don’t bang my toe when kicking steps in crampons. The “4D chassis” keeps my foot from twisting even over the most rocky terrain, and the gore tex lining has kept my feet dry after a full day in the snow without gaiters.
Salomon Women’s Quest 4D 2 GTX
Black Diamond Women’s Distance FLZ Z-Poles
A great, lightweight, adjustable, folding set of poles. Michole uses these poles and loves them. In fact, she wrote a full length review on them. If you would like more info on these poles, you can read it here.
Men’s Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec
Another pair of lightweight, adjustable, folding poles. I use these and feel that they are the perfect pole for me. I am confident that if/when these poles are retired, I will replace them with another pair of the same. If you would like to read my full review of these poles, you can find it here.
Osprey Stratos 36
This is a great daypack, and will likely serve you on overnight trips, depending on how lightweight and compact your gear is. It features Osprey’s “Anti Gravity” suspension system. This lets more air flow to your back and, more importantly, shifts the weight of the pack from your shoulders and back to your hips. I love the “Anti Gravity” suspension so much, it’s hard for me to imagine ever buying a pack without it. I wrote a full review for this pack, you can find it here.
Osprey Manta AG 28
A great women’s daypack, the Manta is a dedicated hydration pack that comes with a 2.5 litre reservoir. This has been an extremely solid day pack. Like the Stratos, it features Osprey’s patented “Anti Gravity” suspension. The external mesh storage compartment, as well as several divided compartments with easy access make this a great pack for storing snacks, gloves, hats, or anything else you might want on the go.
Big Agnus Copper Spur HV UL2
The new for 2017 redesign of the ultra popular Copper Spur UL2. The new HV features steeper walls, creating a more spacious living area. Meanwhile its durable, ultralightweight fabric shaves off a few grams from the original version. Its four way hub design makes the Copper Spur HV UL extremely easy and intuitive to set up and break down. We used this tent in Joshua tree with howling winds. It kept the wind out, and even remained relatively quiet while doing so. We love this tent, and a full review will be coming soon.
The Therm-a-rest Prolite Plus is a great, lightweight sleeping pad that is perfect for backpacking. With an r value of 3.4, this pad will insulate you from the cold ground in temperatures well below freezing. Open cell foam means this pad is self inflating, and I find it makes it a bit stiffer, which keeps my hip from digging into the ground as a side sleeper. It is available in three sizes, depending on your needs.
The Black Diamond Storm Headlamp is plenty bright for almost any application, giving off 250 lumens. Better still, it’s waterproof! So you don’t lose those 250 lumens if it rains, which is a problem for many headlamps. We use our Black Diamond Storm headlamps for everything from alpine starts on snowy mountains, to cooking dinner while car camping.
Jet Boil MightyMo
If you want an ultralightweight stove, but also want a stove that you can actually cook on, beyond just boiling water, then the Jetboil MightyMo is a solid choice. It can create the extremely hot flame often associated with cannister stoves, but adds excellent simmer control for actually cooking things. This adjustability is also useful if cooking in the cold or at high altitude.
GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist Cookset
The GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist Cookset includes a 1.4 litre pot (with lid), 2 14 oz. insulated mugs (with lids), 2 14 oz. bowls, 2 telescoping “sporks,” and a bag to carry a stove. It all stacks together to fit inside the pot, along with a small fuel canister and your stove! This has been a great cook set for us. It is lightweight, more than big enough for the two of us, and doesn’t break the bank.
Climbing and Winter Gear
The Petzl Glacier is a lightweight ice axe with a straight shaft and a hot forged, positive clearance pick. Michole uses this ice axe and has been extremely satisfied with its performance. The same hot forged pick as the more expensive Petzl Summit and its light weight both set this ice axe apart from others near its price point.
CAMP USA Stalker Universal
The Stalker by CAMP USA is a great crampon for general mountaineering. The universal, strap on bindings means that they can be used with almost any mountaineering, backpacking, or hiking boots. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone who wants/needs a solid set of legitimate crampons, but does not want to spring for a pair of mountaineering boots. They have served us well on several hikes in ice and snow, including our climb up the iconic Baldy Bowl.
Black Diamond Vector
Whether you are climbing at the crag or mountaineering, the Black Diamond Vector is a great choice. It is well ventilated, lightweight, very easy to adjust, and features very functional headlamp clips. We chose this helmet over some of its competitors mostly due to the fact that it offers a bit more coverage on the sides. This is extremely important for climbing, because you will likely turn your face away if you hit the wall, exposing the side of your head.
The Origin, by Scarpa, is a great entry level shoe for beginners, and gym shoe for more advanced climbers looking to save the rubber on their redpoint shoes. I am on my second pair of these and love them. They are a fairly grippy shoe, that is absolutely bombproof, even after multiple trips climbing Joshua Tree’s famous monzogranite.
Mammut Ophir 3 Slide
Mad Rock Mad Pad
At five inches thick, the Mad Rock Mad Pad is thicker than most bouldering pads. This extra padding is definitely a plus when you are going for highball boulder problems. It also comes with a comfortable backpack style setup, for trekking to those problems that are conveniently located miles away from the nearest road.
Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills
While there are many books that can teach you backcountry skills, for me, this one is in a league of its own. Aimed particularly at mountaineers, it contains all of the information you need for less technical outdoor pursuits, such as camping, hiking, and backpacking. If you go beyond that, venturing into the high mountains, or even just winter hiking, the knowledge in this book could very well save your life. I learned to read a map and compass directly from this book. And the fact that it was authored by “the mountaineers” of Seattle, the same group who created the list of 10 essentials, just adds to its credibility.
The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre
The Tower is an amazing look at the efforts of humans to climb a mountain once thought to be impossible. Controversy and death have swirled around Cerro Torre since the earliest attempts on it, more than 50 years ago. Kelly Cordes, AKA “Sketchy Kelly,” is no stranger to Cerro Torre, having put up a new route on it in 2007 with Colin Haley. In the tower, he truly takes an investigative approach to uncovering the truth behind the legends, myths, and controversies of Cerro Torre. It is a look at humanity, through the lens of a mountain, and a huge part of what inspired me to become a mountaineer.