We're happy to announce that the fifth prototype for our North Rim sleeping bag series is complete.
In this latest design, we've enhanced the signature features and versatility of the North Rim series to create a bag that is useful in a wide range of temperatures but maintains the light weight and low bulk that keep it in step with long-distance backpacking ethos.
The bag is still being tested in Yosemite National Park and on the Pacific Crest Trail, but preliminary data suggest that it will be comfortable to 30°F. It weighs just 23.5 oz. (1 lb. 7.5 oz., or 667 g). The insulation in the sleeping bag is PrimaLoft One, and the lightweight 1.1-oz. ripstop nylon is water repellent and durable.
Although even the simplest meals seem, to me, to taste gourmet after a day of hiking or on a calm morning by a high-altitude lake, every now and then I find myself wistfully longing for food items or condiments that would be too cumbersome or heavy to bring on trail or cannot easily be prepared as a backpacking meal. On a two-week trip in 2011, I remember hankering for fresh produce or fruit in the final days of the trip and being delighted to bump into the cook for a trail crew who invited us to stop by the base camp where she had apples to share. Maple syrup is another item that I often find myself wanting on trail. It's easy to bring liquids in a bear canister in small, tightly sealed containers, but because we carry other liquids (vegetable oil, for example) that are integral parts of some of our meals, luxuries like maple syrup don't make the cut. In addition, I'm not sure I could carry enough to satisfy my sweet tooth for more than one breakfast, let alone pack enough for two.
Enter maple sugar.
I knew it existed from my days in upstate NY, where maple sugar producers were local and I
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