April Lunch and Learn – Selecting Rental Equipment, April 20, 2011

Vic Hasler reporting

During this lunch and learn, a discussion was held on how to decide which of the club’s tents, backpacks, or sleeping pads to rent for an outing.  Most rental items have a description on the website.  Selection guides exist for the tents (for 1-3 or 4-6 people).  The group was fairly familiar with the existing equipment, so the talk became an idea session of what new gear the club could purchase.  Like HT-1, other styles of hammock tents could be offered.  Even lighter than the 1.5 pound HT-12, a very lightweight hexagonal fly could provide backpacking shelter.  A backpack, which combines the close fit of an internal frame with air flow across the back offered by external frame, would be desirable for hot summer treks.  A German brand, Deuter, was suggested.  A new item, a pair of trekking poles, from a quality supplier, such as Leki ($80/pr + shipping) found favor with the group to allow folks to try them out, thus likely to be pursued once agreement with Recreation is obtained.  A very compact, air chamber (thus not self-inflating or foam) sleeping pad was discussed to help get the gear volume down.  The downside is that repairs are needed in case of puncture.  Big Agnes has Air Core pads for around $40 plus shipping.  Since the current rental set is in great condition, we hope to purchase several of these items in order to give members a chance to try out new gear for themselves.  If you have any suggestions on future purchases, please let me know at rental@tehcc.org.  Finally, a show-n-tell session for these lunch gatherings was proposed to share what has been working for each of us.