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FR - OR DryComp Ridge Sack - Mike Wilkie

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  • Mike Wilkie
    FR - Outdoor research DryComp Ridge Sack   Mike Wilkie   Hi, below is my text version of my report or you can find the HTML version via the link in the the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2010
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      FR - Outdoor research DryComp Ridge Sack
      Mike Wilkie
      Hi, below is my text version of my report or you can find the HTML version via the link in the the test folder.  thank you in adavnce for your edits.

      Mike Wilkie

      November 02, 2010
      NAME: Mike Wilkie
      EMAIL: foreverwild76 at yahoo dot com
      AGE: 34
      LOCATION: Davenport, New York (USA)
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
      WEIGHT: 150 lb (68.00 kg)
      Hiking for me started at an early age, as I was always an avid camper and as a Scout my backpacking obsession began. Now living in the Catskill Region backpacking has become serious for me over the years. I hike, snowshoe, canoe, snowboard or multi-day backpack through the Catskills or Adirondacks almost every weekend. I use and practice safe lightweight techniques and have greatly reduced my pack weight, adding both comfort and miles to my adventures. As an aspirant of the Catskill-3500 Club and Adirondack-46ers, peak-bagging is my main outdoor activity. My long-term goals are to complete long distance thru-hikes.

      For my final field use and evaluations, I tested the Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack on several day paddle trips and a canoe camping trip. The sack was alo used on a base camping trip and for limited day hiking.  And for extended use, the sack was used in the front country during wet conditions.
      Cedarlands-Rock Pond Area - Adirondack State Park
      2 day/1 night canoe camping
      Camp elevation: 1750 ft (533 m)
      The weather average 80 F (26.67 C) and 65 F (18.33 C) at night.
      Light rain at night and mostly cloudy during the days.
      Saratoga Springs State Park – 2 days/1 night Base Camping
      Conditions were hot around 80 F (26.67 C), high humidity and a quick sprinkle of rain over night.   The sack was used for some light hiking from base camp.
      Utsayantha North Lake (unofficial name) – 2 days/1 night canoe camping
      This camping spot is situated on a small island toward the center of the lake.  The conditions were warm with light rain in the evening and temperatures around 80 F (26.67 C).  The ground condition was sandy, few rocks and pine needles.  There were some light wind gusts in early morning.  The lake’s elevation is at 2000 ft (610 m).
      Other paddling trips taken to evaluate the Ridge Sack were day trips on mostly flat water. Most of my trips were at a local pond, were the only other occupants were a family of beaver.  Weather conditions were usuallly warm and dry.  Another trip was down a segment of the Susquehanna River, with some quick water due to previous rains,  but it was relatively flat which emptied me out into the Goodyear Lake.  Weather conditions for this were warm, with high humidity.
      Balsam Lake Mountain - Catskill Mountains
      This is a short easy hike up an old logging road to an elevation of 3723 ft (1135 m).  The weather was cool and damp with some light rain on the way up.  I spent a few hour on top celebrating my friends wedding ceremony.
      In addition to backcountry and on water use, I also used the DryComp in the front-country for some light walking during inclement weather.
      For my field use I have logged eight days of use in addition to the front country use.  Six of these days were on water and the other two, besides the front-country use, were on land.
      As I evaluated and tested the Outdoor Research DryComp Ridge Sack in the field, I learned the packs limitations and what activities it is best suited for in my personal opinion.  The sack has shown to be quite durable and has proven to be very water-resistant.
      There are a few negative views I have about this dry sack, but I do want to express that the sack has become an important piece of my gear list and I am very pleased with what the DryComp Ridge Sack has to offer.  I did find the sack it best suited for canoeing or water activities compared to trail or mountain hiking.
      For hiking, I did find the sack to be a bit uncomfortable as most of the gear stowed all sinks to the bottom (especially the heavy stuff) causing the weight to pull down on the shoulders.  I found that gear cannot be securely stabilized due to the lack of form; however I do know it's not suppose to have form being a sack, but this did allow gear to shift while hiking and awkward when climbing steep sections or scrambles.  In addition, without this gear being completely stabilized it did create a bounce like effect, causing more discomfort to the shoulders.  At times finding gear was a cumbersome task, because it was not where it was initially stowed.  And my last negative complaint about the Ridge Sack is about the backpanel.  Boy, did my back get hot on the warm days in the sun.  The backpanel has no means of breathability; just the water-resistant nylon material is against the back, causing much trapped heat and moisture.
      Again, let me make this clear, for select activities the positives of the DryComp Ridge Sack far out weigh the negatives listed above.
      I absolutely loved using the DryComp Sack on day paddling or canoe camping trips.  It consistently provided highly water-resistant protection to my gear and essentials.  The sack helped to reduce weight in the canoe when portaging by wearing it as a pack.  My hydration reservoir was easy accommodated in the front mesh pocket and the size of the sack provided ample space to stow gear.
      The sack was also used on several front country trips when inclement weather was expected.  Again, it continued to protect my gear from the elements.
      Highly water-resistant
      Excellent as a dry-bag/portage backpack
      Not comfortable for long day hikes
      Heavy gear shifts and causes uncomfortable weight on the shoulders
      Backpanel is not breathable and traps lots of heat.


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