Black Diamond Spot (2016)

Black Diamond Spot Review


I wanted to do a quick review of my thoughts on this headlamp. It is super bright (200 lumens) and will last up to 50 hours on the brightest setting. It came be submerged up to 30 minutes in water and the case is rugged. I am very impressed so far with this light and have to say I think it is the best light on the market. Also wanted to mention it takes 3 AAA batteries unlike some that take a weird type battery that can be hard to find in moments notice. Check it out, it is worth 40 dollars.

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Optimus HE Weekend Cook System

Optimus Weekend HE Cook System w/ Windscreen

January 18, 2016

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  • Overview

Optimus Crux HE Weekend Cook System

This is a review of the Crux HE Cook System that I have personally owned and put to the test against many other name brand stoves and also have put to the test against some pretty tough elements. I do a great deal of Hiking/Camping in the south and although we do not see the single digit temperatures that are experienced in the north, we do get some pretty wet, windy and sometimes cold days. These kind of damp conditions can sometimes make for a difficult cooking experience. So I posted this blog to list the good and bad I have encountered with this stove.

Below is a list of everything that I used in my review video and the weight of each item.

  • Pan/Lid – 2.6 oz
  • Pot – 7.3 oz
  • Stove – 3.1 oz
  • Windscreen – 3.2 oz
  • Storage Bag – 0.6 oz
  • Fuel Cradle – 0.7 oz

I did not however factor in the fuel because of the variety of sizes that can be purchased.

  • Links

Here is the link to the video I did using the stove inside of my garage and outside in 15 to 20 mph gusts to show the efficiency of the stove.

  • My Thoughts

This stove has been a great asset to my pack. I have used this stove several times in varying conditions from high lake winds to extreme cold weather. For the weekender looking to boil water to make it potable or for a dehydrated meal this is a great stove. One thing I liked about this stove over similar stoves like the MSR Pocket Rocket is the fact that the stove burner was a little bigger so you got a more even burn. The downside to this is if you crank the stove up you can waste fuel if you are not careful. This stove can produce over 10,000 BTU, which is not controlled can waste fuel. When you couple it with the 0.95 litter pot with the integrated Heat Exchanger (HE), the stove will (in my opinion) out perform any stove on the market. I was able to bring 2 cups of cold water to a boil in exactly 1 minute 28 seconds with this stove and only utilizing 7 grams of fuel. The lid/frying pan works great for me as a lid or a bowl to eat out of. I never quite understood what you could fry in it as small as it was, but it works great for a bowl. One downside that this stove has is the ability to bring it down to a simmer. This seems to be a problem with most of these canister stoves but with practice it can be managed. As far as cooking in the pot goes, 1 pack of Knor Fettuccine Alfredo, 2 table spoons powdered milk and 2 cups of water and I had a delicious Fettuccine Alfredo dinner in about 7 minutes. I have tried several different stoves over the years and always seem to come back to this stove. I have used Pocket Rocket, Snow Peak, Jet Boil, Chinese Knock Off, Primus Eta Lite (Second Favorite) but I always come back to this one. I believe this one is my favorite pick because it just big enough to do more then just boil water, but it is just small enough that you do not feel like you are carrying the kitchen with you. I would highly recommend this kit for anyone looking for a good quality stove.

BearButt Hammocks

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I have just reviewed the new Bear Butt Double Parachute Hammock from Bear Butt and I have to say I love it. It is relatively light weighing in at just about 16 oz and the quality of the the stitching is phenomenal.  If you click on my product review page Product Reviews I will publish all of the details along with a video showing the hammock in use along with the pro’s and con’s. So far I am extremely impressed. You can also see my YouTube video review at YouTube BearButt Review

Pro’s and Con’s

Pro’s

  1. Cost – You get a ton of bang for your buck here.
  2. Quality – The quality of this product is very impressive when you consider the stitching and materials used for the hammock.
  3. Weight – the weight is also pretty good (about 1 pound) when you take the provided ropes and carabiners  out of the equation.

Con’s

  1. Attachments – This is one thing that most people who use hammocks especially hammock campers change because of weight. If you watched my video review then you would know I prefer WhoopieSlings ( www.whoopieslings.com ) because of the weight and quality.
  2. Size – This is the real uncontrollable Con of the product. At 6′ wide and 9′ long this is to short for the diagonal posistion for someone like me at 6’2″.