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Take a Hike: Get yourself geared up for hiking and camping with MSR and SealLine!

I started writing this post on Saturday, April 15th, the first AMAZING day of the year. After a winter filled with snow, ice, and rain (sooooo much rain), it was hard to really even think about camping. Yeah, I know that makes me a fair weather camper, but I am what I am. I finally pulled down the pack and started working on updating my gear and was thrilled to remember that I had a variety of new items that I haven’t had the luxury of trying out this year. Check out some of what I will be hitting the trails with this summer!


MSR PocketRocket 2 ($44.95) – Amazon
Specs:

  • 2.6 ounces and packs up inside MSR Titan Mug
  • Boils 1 liter of water in just 3.5 minutes
  • Newpot supports accommodate a wider range of pot sizes
  • WindClip windshield boosts efficiency in breezy conditions

Paired with IsoPro fuel

If there is one item that is essential for overnight camping, it’s a good stove. I have been working with a make shift option for the past few years and it gets the job done (sort of), but extremely inefficiently and to the point that I’m worried it is going to give out while out on a multi-day trip. Time is ripe for an update that the PocketRocket 2 is a fantastic option. It folds up SUPER small, lightweight, and can fit inside of other pots and  with ease. Pair it with the small IsoPro fuel (also from MSR) and you have something super small, yet up to the challenge of your boiling needs.

Speaking of boiling, this has held true to the 3.5 minute boiling time in my tests and works well with the MSR pots (see below). I would think that this is a great and relatively inexpensive option for those who are just getting into camping and are building their essential collection, as well as those more experienced hikers and campers who are looking to cut weight.


SealLine Discovery Deck Dry Bag ($49.95-$79.95) – Amazon
Specs:

    • Comes in multiple sizes: 10L, 20L, 30L, 50L
    • Carry strap
    • Oval bottom
    • Welded seams
    • 330D 18 oz. polyurethane-coated polyester
    • Light-colored interior
    • PVC-free

Last summer, my father-in-law and two brother-in-laws spent a few nights deep in the Wallowas. While the temperatures were pretty perfect during the day, we got caught in a few pretty impressive thunderstorms, which brought pounding rain to our camp. I did my best to keep things dry in the middle of the night, but had I been equipped with a SealLine dry bag, I could have slept a lot easier – and my underwear wouldn’t have been damp the next day.

We reviewed SealLine BlockerLite Dry Sack last year and had good things to say about the company and product.

The SealLine BlockerLite Dry Sack is extremely lightweight. The 5 liter dry sack is just 1.2 oz. – almost like it’s not even there. I appreciate being able to throw items into something that is waterproof, but not bulky or stiff.

When the weather improves and I am out kayaking, the dry sack will be ideal for packing smaller items to put into my dry bag. For now, this dry sack will work great for putting items in a backpack for a day hike or packing dry clothes for after a rainy day race. I think it will also come in handy for throwing my wet clothes into post-race so that I can put them back in my duffel bag without getting everything else wet.

These dry sacks were their lightest sacks – the largest of which topping out at just 2.1 ounces. The SealLine Discovery Deck Dry Bag is definitely more heavy-duty and slightly heavier (the 50L tops out at 1 lb 11 oz) and is their cream-of-the-crop dry bag. This sack means business. It can be taken on hikes for unforeseen weather occurences (see above), but also is so waterproof that it can be attached to a stand up paddle board, taken on boats or kayaks, of even just plain strapped to the roof of the car – all without fear of getting the insides wet. Just holding the bag in your hands, you can tell how tough and strong it is.

I think one of the coolest features is the PurgeAir valve which will compress the sack even further once you have it sealed up via an updated rolling top closure.


MSR DromLite Bag ($26.95-$32.95) – Amazon
Specs:

  • Available in multiple sizes: 2L, 4L, and 6L
  • Made with rugged film and RF-welded seams
  • BPA-free

My father-in-law, a much more seasoned hiker than myself, has yet to give in to all of the new technologies that are out there. He still hikes in some extremely heavy and old hiking boots and we chide him for the old plastic foldable water storage container he brings each trip. It definitely gets the job done, but it’s neither space-saving nor efficient. It’s not made to be easily attached to a tree (or really off the ground in any matter), so we always have to jimmy-rig something together and hope it survives. Maybe bringing the new DromLite Bag along this year will get him to upgrade!

The DromLite Bags come in three sizes and can fold down to mere inches (the size of their cap!), allowing for a much more efficient pack. Shoot, this is a perfect bag to stick in a backpack or even your packet if you are going to be out running and know you will need some water availability at some point. Pair it up with the MSR Trailshot for on-the go and straight-from-the-source hydration or easily attach it to your tree at camp and keep it at the ready at all times.. Then fold up to near nothingness and move on.

While it looks pretty thin, it is made of a pretty strong film and has “RF-welded seams” so that it won’t break easily. Couple it with one of their add-ons (like a shower kit), and you are good to go!


MSR Big Titan Kettle ($99.95) – Amazon
Specs:

    • 2 Liters
    • 6 ounces
    • 6.25 x 4.5 in
    • Titanium construction

For the first few years of my camping “career”, I was stuck with some old pots that ended up cooking OK, but were not durable or light. I just had them, so I used them. I have upgraded in the past few years, but the MSR Big Titan Kettle is really an amazing addition to my pack. It is constructed of titanium, which holds together better than it’s aluminum counterparts and is so ridiculously light – 45% lighter than steel in fact.

This is a great option for a variety of hikers and campers, from those who are looking to cut some weight or have smaller packs, while still having enough volume for those who have a hearty appetite (or who are perhaps travelling with companions – like I plan to with my 7-year-old this summer). This works quite well with the MSR PocketRocket 2 (see above).

MSR Ceramic Solo Pot ($59.95) – Amazon
Specs:

    • 1.3 L (44 oz)
    • 7.5 ounces
    • 6.25 x 3 in

This pot is a little more in line with the standard aluminum pots that I mentioned earlier – yet coated with a ceramic non-stick layer. Yet, this one is super lightweight and holds a decent amount of volume at the same time. It also comes with a couple of cool features – a strainer lid and foldable “Talon” handle. The handle is super efficient and makes utilization a cinch without having to worry about removable handle which can get misplaced (thought it is definitely super simple to remove if you aren’t a forgetful individual like me).

In my testing, it’s impressive how easy the clean up has been, with the non-stick surface just letting it slide off with minimal effort. You will want to avoid burning food on there (it’s not super thick, so you may not want to “set it and forget it”), but it will get things warmed up quickly and easily. I have yet to allow myself to use some of my metal silverware on the pan to test its scratch resistance, but some “minor” attempts in my kitchen have yielded promising results.


Thank you to MSR and SealLine for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

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About Matt Rasmussen (965 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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