GSI Outdoors Camping Gear

GSI Outdoors: Glacier Stainless MicroLite 500, Fairshare Mug II, Camp Dish Cloth

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GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless MicroLite 500

GSI Outdoors is one of those companies that you know is going to have everything you need for your camping adventure, regardless of whether you like to camp in 5-Star style, or go dirt-bag stealth mode on the side of the road. We checked out some of the newest gear from GSI Outdoors at the Outdoor Retailer show this past January and found a handful of items that we thought were pretty cool and right up the alley of just about any climber/camper.

I was impressed right away with the Glacier Stainless MicroLite 500 vacuum bottle. Quite often I find myself, especially ice cragging, wanting a warm beverage to keep the chill from sinking too far into my bones. I have a couple of big vacuum bottles that work great, but when it comes time to add another 3 lbs. to my pack, it’s just not worth it, so I never take them. The MicroLite 500 solves that little problem by coming in at a slight 7.9 oz. Your beverage of choice will probably bring that to closer to a 1 lb., but I’ll leave that up to you. The design is not only light, but sleek too. The narrow width and nearly seamless lid make it easy to slide this into any small void in your pack.

As the name implies, it holds 500 ml. Perfect for 1 person, or maybe just enough if you’re nice and want to share… The lid is nice in that it seals well with no worries about drips or leaks. The top of the lid opens with an easy (lockable) push of a button to reveal a great sipper/pouring spout. Throughout the early spring ice climbing and as we’ve moved into Creek season our testers have been enjoying easily portable warm beverages. The vacuum seal and double wall design make it so your drinks stay warm for hours. The plus side is that this same design will be keeping my cold beverages cold as we move into the hot summer months.

GSI Outdoors Fairshare Mug II

Years ago backcountry.com sent me one of the original Fairshare Mugs for contributing to their online community. I didn’t know what it was, but it looked like a sort of clunky big plastic mug and I wasn’t sure I was going to have much use for it. I looked it up online just to see what its purpose was and found that it had a longtime fan club. I decided to take it with me on my next trip to the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range. It turned out to be a fantastic mug for eating or drinking just about anything. Big enough to hold plenty of food, but not so big that it was cumbersome.

Fast forward to now and GSI Outdoors has redesigned the Fairshare Mug to make it even better. The new version is just as bulletproof as the last version. Great for dumping piping hot ramen in, or a shared beverage around the campfire. GSI Outdoors got rid of the big plastic handle that stuck out, and honestly made it a little bit of a pain to pack, but not enough that I left it home. In its place they added an insulated jacket around the mug with an integrated soft handle. Now my ramen stays warm longer and it’s more packable. The cover comes off easily by undoing one snap to make it easier to wash up afterward. The lit is tough and fits tight. The Fairshare mug holds 1 liter, which can be a bit much in a pack, but I always just fill it with fuel or food so no wasted space. The Fairshare Mug is one of those things that you do without if you don’t have one, but once you have one you’re really glad you do.

GSI Outdoors Camp Dish Cloth

GSI Outdoors has solved my problem with having a good way to clean camp dishes. It’s a sad truth, but once you’re done eating you have to clean up. Sometimes, like in the case of my (in)famous hash, the pans can get a lot of stuck on food that is hard to clean. The Camp Dish Cloth is polyester fabric with a series of stiff polyester threads woven in that will make short work of kitchen cleanup. Combine that with something that’s also easy to pack and you have a winner with this camp dish cloth. It’s hard to get too excited about something like a dish cloth, but look at it this way. You can get done with cleaning faster, and easier, so you can get back to campfire fun, or sleeping before your early tower start to beat the sun. The 8″x 8″ size is great. It has a little snap closure that lets you roll it up when you’re done. You can even shove it in your Fair Share Mug when you’re packing up. Folded and rolled up, it takes up about the space of an egg so it’s hard to go wrong there.

GSI outdoors has you covered with all of this, plus a lot of other really cool things like back country cookware, soft flasks, and a crazy number of options for dishes and utensils.

More info at www.gsioutdoors.com

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