Houdini overload :c)

Alrightyyy… It’s been a while since I’ve written anything gear-related. Time to change that and show you the toys I got in the last couple a months.


Let’s start with the Exped down booties I got as “payment” for the outdoor stove tests we did at the outdoor store in Wiesbaden. Probably an item of gear no man would ever buy. But yep, that’s right, I’m a woman/d, so YES I’m sooo gonna use these!
A pair of booties Size S weigh 120g (4,2 oz). So they’re not superduper lightweight, but hell they’re (hopefully) gonna give me warm feet which is kinda worth a ton! I’m pretty curious how they’re gonna perform. I tend to get cold feet very very easily and have a hard time getting them warm, even when I’m in my winter sleeping bag. We’ll see whether they meet up to my expectations or not. I plan on taking them on tour this summer (damn right, you read that right, down booties in summer!) in the alps and put them to the test (they’re so gonna fail if they don’t keep my feet warm in summer haha)!

Next piece of gear I totally didn’t need (yeah you remember the Montane Featherlite windpants I got for Christmas) but still wanted to have, was the Patagonia Houdini windpants. Hummel Ausdauershop (our Patagonia retailer and trailrunning store in Wiesbaden) ordered me a pair in Size XS. I tried them on and… I just had to buy them. My Houdini jacket is one of my favorite pieces of outdoor clothing, so how could I say no to the Houdini pants??? They tip the scale at 83g/2.9oz (holy shit!!!).
I guess that’s gonna scream for a Montane Featherlite VS. Patagonia Houdini windpants review hahaha! Let the battle begin!!!

Tadaaa may I present: My DIY huaraches sandals. Made out of 4,5mm vibram soles, shoelaces and …yep that’s about it. I’ve been wanting to make these for ages but kinda never really found the time to do so. In fact it’s just a matter of 30 minutes. Draw your footshape onto the vibram, cut it out, make 3 holes, thread the laces through the holes, adjust them so the sandals don’t fall off… done!
Since my knee injury I’ve been looking into my footwear and I wanna try minimalist shoes to strenghten my muscles,… Of course I’m not changing my habits from one day to another. I’m first gonna wear them for shorter stretches and then gradually wear minimalist shoes more often.

Ow shit. I didn’t need a new visor either. I actually have a lightweight Arc’teryx one already. One I hardly wear though cuz it feels a bit too small and I just absolutely hate it wearing something tight around my head (gives me headaches). The thing I like about this Marmot visor are 1. the color! (of course the color is important! Duh!) 2. the adjustable strap! I think I’m gonna wear this one way more often!!!

Next: A 1 liter Nalgene bottle. Not gonna use this one for hiking (way too heavy!), but for when I’m working at wilderness school. I tend to not drink enough during the day so I hope this wonderful colored bottle is gonna help me with that :cP

Long overdue: A scale! No more lying to myself about my packweight! Each time I go on a hike, I’ll hang my pack on this truth-teller, which is gonna either make it my enemy or my friend (depending on the number appearing on the screen haha) ;c)

Lately we’ve been playing around a bit with some different DIY alcohol stoves. These are made out of a beer can. As a teenie I collected Fanta cans from allover the world, which now leaves me with a huge collection of bright colored old cans. I never really knew what the heck I should do with all these cans but I guess I found a good way to use them now: Turn them in to flashy fancy colored alcohol stoves :c)

Just a few days ago we went visit Frank from Hummel Ausdauershop to give him one of our selfmade alcohol stoves. I had no intention of buying anything but I ended up leaving his store with a brandnew pair of Inov8 Trail-rocs 238, a rather minimalist trailrunning shoe. Oh damn! One shoe weighs 223g/7.8 oz, so they’re not the ultralightest but they will do. Frank made me a great price I couldn’t say no to (thanks Frank!) and he encouraged me to start training again. I can’t help it but secretly dreaming of running another marathon some day (this year it’s gonna be 10 years since I ran the Berlin marathon, jee I was frikkin crazy back then)… It’s kinda ridiculous but these new shoes give me some extra motivation and really… look at those colors… they’ll match my outfit perfectly hahaha.

That’s about it. Jee now that I listed my new stuff, it’s kinda a lot… I guess I’ll have to write a bunch of gear reviews in the future then ;c) I’m off now… got some playing to do ;cP

Till then wishing you all happy trails!!!
Keep on rocking! Cat

10 thoughts on “New gear toys

  1. Anxious to hear your comments on your new gear as you test it. Those shoes are well respected and are used for backpacking. We always like to hear from you ever since you played with that nice Kitty on the JMT. Earl Williams, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

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  2. Nice new gear!

    I have some down booties from GooseFeet Gear that I absolutely love, and they come with me on most of my trips… granted, not in our summers though… when it's 80 F at night, I can't get cool enough!

    I have wanted to try some of the Montbell Dynamo windpants for sometime, but no pockets are putting me off… I gotta have some pockets!

    Great job on the sandals… I almost picked up some that are similar from a company called Bedrock Sandals (IIRC) a while back, but didn't… wouldn't mind trying them, but I don't know if I want to buy some! 🙂

    Good job with the stove too. That is the first kind of alcohol stove that I made, and still have them. It is a lot of fun not only making them, but also playing with them!

    And I love my Inov-8's! I had the RocLite 315's that were awesome, and now using the RocLite 243's. Great shoes… although, I think I want to try the TrailRoc 245's next….

    Anyway, I just got an early birthday present from my wife in this afternoon, the Montbell Down Hugger 800 #3! It is heavier than my Enlightened Equipment quilt I have been using, but I am so excited to finally get to try one of these bags… 🙂

    Enjoy your new gear.

    ~Stick~

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  3. Hi Stick,
    Thanks! Haha, so there are men who carry down booties :c) Cool!
    I find the sole of the sandals I made a bit thin, and I'd actually love to try a pair of Bedrocks cuz they seem more comfortable (not sure though if I wanna order them on the internet, I'd rather try them on in a store but they don't sell them in europe yet). Or maybe I should try to put a layer of evazote foam on top of the soles and glue both layers together… yeah I think I'm gonna give that a try… :cP
    Curious what you're gonna say about the Down Hugger. A friend of me took one on the JMT last summer and liked it. I hope I'll be able to make enough money this year so I can buy a Zpacks quilt for my PCT thruhike next year… I never tried a quilt before but I think it's a good idea. My NeoAir XTherm definitely keeps me warm on the bottom so I don't need a full sleeping bag, and I hardly use the hood of sleeping bags (rather have my head out and wear a hat)….
    Take care! Cat

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  4. I love them Vincent. Totally comfortable! It's great running with them cuz they automatically make me not run with a heelstrike but with a forefootstrike. I tried several inov8 shoes. In most of them the toebox was too narrow for me, but this one has a wider toebox and I love it!

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  5. i just bought a pair of these exped down booties for me to replace my lost nordisk downsocks wich where also pretty good for the money. going to sleep high with a lightweight sleepingbag, i need to add warmth and hopefully downjacket, primaloft pants AND the down booties will get the job done. men DO wear downshoes for sure, i know some =)

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