Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Prudent Prepping: Camping & Gear

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

My first camping trip of the year is in two weeks and my gear is being sorted and organized right now. I don't have any vacation hours available, so I won't be doing any hiking; just a Friday night to Sunday trip to a local lake for a bit of fishing.

I have all of the gear that I need, but since bargain hunting is how I have to shop for my equipment, this bundle from REI might just fill someone's wish wist -- or might even be the starter set for their way to prepping success!

Camp Bundle From REI
This is a combination of three items everyone needs: a tent, a pad and a sleeping bag, all in one box.

From the website:
  • Get your adventure started! Bundle Includes Camp Dome 2 tent, Siesta 30 sleeping bag (Regular size) and Trekker 1.75 self -inflating mattress (Long Wide size) 
  • REI Camp Dome 2 tent is lightweight and easy to pitch, sleeping 2 comfortably across 3 seasons and offering plenty of ventilation through 2 easy-access doors 
  • REI Siesta sleeping bag offers plenty of room to stretch, turn and snuggle in for the night with a rectangular shape that will keep you comfortable in cool weather 
  • REI Trekker self-inflating sleeping pad offers low weight, comfort and warmth for backpacking and camping 
  • R-value equals 5.6; most sleeping pads we sell range in R-value from 1.0 (minimally insulated) to 9.5 (well insulated) 
  • Weight per piece: Siesta sleeping bag (reg) 3 lbs. 12 oz.; Trekker pad (long wide) 3 lbs. 3 oz.; Camp Dome 2 tent (packaged weight) 5 lbs. 
  • Value of items sold separately $269.85; you save over 25%! 

The Components

Trekker 1.75 Self-Inflating Mattress
I have seen the Trekker pad in person, and I have a friend that uses one. It is REI's house brand Therm-a-Rest style pad, and it's held up to my friends' use very well.

Camp Dome 2 Tent
The Camp Dome tent was a model I looked over and was possibly going to buy, until a great tent was offered to me by a friend.
From the website:
  • Durable, equal-length aluminum poles and pole-clip design offer quick setup
  • Polyester taffeta rainfly and a bound, cut-in floor provide a taut, water-resistant pitch
  • Polyester fabric resists UV degradation
  • Mesh storage pockets inside tent keep small items organized
  • Includes stuff sack, pole and stake bags, 4 stakes, 2 guylines with tighteners and pole repair tube
  • Large mesh windows secured by zip open panels
  • Awnings enable views and ventilation while providing weather coverage

Siesta 30 Sleeping Bag
The REI Siesta is a retangular poly-fill 3 season bag that is not the most compact bag, but in a pinch is backpack-able.

From the website:
  • Polyester synthetic fill offers all-conditions warmth down to about 30°F; offset quilt construction prevents cold spots and stabilizes the insulation
  • Two-way main zip lets you open the bag fully for use as a quilt or unzips at the bottom for ventilation
  • Short zipper on the other side lets you fold down the top for a bedlike feel
  • The bag can also be zipped to another Siesta bag, forming a double-wide camping bag
  • Polyester shell is treated with a durable water repellent finish to repel moisture and stains
  • The REI Siesta Sleeping Bag includes a stuff sack and a storage bag

From the specs, there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this gear, especially for someone needing to buy everything at once, from a reputable company with an outstanding reputation and equally amazing return policy. $200 for all of this is a fair and reasonable price for the contents of the package when REI's "1 year, no questions" return policy is factored into the decision.
You'd better hurry if this is interesting to you, since this is a Limited Quantity deal!

MSR Red LED Tent Light
My street at 5AM
Last year I, was walking to the local doughnut shop when I had a conversation with a local police officer about safely navigating my neighborhood. He politely told me that it was bad to be walking with a dark jacket and a black backpack in a neighborhood that doesn't have sidewalks, whose streetlights are very far apart and whose streets have needless curves. 
I used to have a small light that clipped to my bag, but it fell off and I never replaced it. But I always look for closeouts or other specials when I'm in REI, and after looking at the Camp Bundle I found a replacement light for my bag.

This is a closeouts item in REI, and has been dropped from the MSR catalog. I like the fact that this light can be used as a blinking or constant on light.

From the Amazon page:
  • Two Colors: Available as a white tent light or a red tent light
  • Ultra Bright: Tent light produces six Lumens and lasts for more than 10 hours
  • Multiple Modes: High, Low and Strobe functions provide a variety of options
  • Tent Light Includes: Two magnetic tabs, two 2016 Lithium batteries

Its listed run time is 30 hours in the blink mode, and since the light will only be used on the weekends, the supplied batteries should last quite a while.

The light has a handy clip for hooking on a belt or on a MOLLE loop. I'm not sure how well I'd trust the two magnetic hangers to keep the light from falling in a tent, but this will be tested soon!

The Takeaway
  • Shop for bargains and ads. Pre-made kits can be a way to save big money.
  • If you are willing to buy discontinued items, the savings can be even better.

The Recap
  • Purchased this week: One MSR Red LED Light,  $11.93 from REI on Close-Out. Available from Amazon for $11.99 with Prime.

Just a reminder: if you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!

If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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