Oldest Gear you still use?

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Re: Oldest Gear you still use?

by phydeux » Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:52 pm

A CampTrails external frame backpack bought in the mid-1970s. Unlike the cheap, screw-together external frame packs available today, this one has a welded aluminum frame (no screws), its made of high quality aircraft aluminum, and has survived numerous falls, being tossed around through airports and on third-world buses, and still keeps going. The actual nylon sack has been repaired many times over the years, mostly due to squirrels tearing through it to get to food (amazing how fast those little varmits work when you turn your back for just a few seconds!). Its easy to adjust the hip belt and shoulder straps for different size loads, too. I've got an internal frame pack, but if I'm going on a trip thats just trail hiking or easy off-trail stuff, its the pack I'll choose first. This picture is off of Ebay, and its in pristine condition compared to mine. The seller wants $75 for it.


About that same time I was working in the SF Bay area and purchased a 'factory-second' North Face Superlight sleeping bag (5 degree F) and a North Face Westwind tent (a three hoop tunnel-style tent) from the old outlet store in San Leandro. Still use the sleeping bag occasionally in summer, haven't used the tent in a few years (kinda heavy). Picture of a similar tent (no, its not my rifle either).


I did have a SVEA 123 stove from the early 1970s, but it got crushed when I backed over it with a car in the late-1990s. :( Not a lot of heat output for its size/weight, and eavier than today's stoves, but it was extremely reliable.

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Re: Oldest Gear you still use?

by p.vandendriesse » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:01 am

When we're car camping, I still use a super old coleman two-burner propane stove like the one here, except about 40 years older. It's stupid simple and indestructible. That and my dads old external frame pack, which is heavy as hell and wildly uncomfortable. But if you rock a flannel and some big 70s glasses, you feel pretty cool.

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Re: Oldest Gear you still use?

by asmrz » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:42 pm

In 1978 I bought set of rigid Friends on sale at REI. I still have the three biggest ones and use them all the time.

In 1980, The Sierra Club Mountaineering Committee purchased Marmot -5 F Goretex bags for me and Miguel Carmona to try a new route in the Sierra in winter. We both still have those bags and use them in shoulder seasons. BTW the route has not yet been climbed, summer or winter.

I still have Chouinard North Wall axe and hammer that I bought in the late 70s. They are great for alpine climbing. I still use them.

I also use Marmot Taku Goretex tent. At 4lb 8oz with vestibule, it cannot be denied ever today.

My Mountainsmith 4,000 c.i. pack still carries my gear in J Tree and on Tahquitz. I bought that one in 1978 for cragging and it still works well.
Last edited by asmrz on Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Oldest Gear you still use?

by Bob Sihler » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:03 am

Sometimes I use myself for body jams. I don't know if it's bomber, but it hasn't failed (yet). I've had that gear for almost five decades now.
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Re: Oldest Gear you still use?

by dadndave » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:01 am

I've got an Edelrid rope that's about 30 years old but I wouldn't be game to use it even though it still looks OK.

I've still got a a few carabiners and some nuts of a similar vintage. Never been dropped or abused so I reckon they're still OK. I still use my old figure-eight descender of about the same age. I've got a Whillans sit-harness around the place somewhere but haven't used it for years.

Oh yeah, and then there's the vintage "Royal Mail" mail bag that I somehow aquired along the way to keep my stuff in.
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Re: Oldest Gear you still use?

by MoapaPk » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:08 pm

My wife and I sewed a 1-layer ripstop nylon pullover jacket in 1983. It is my most-used piece of cool-weather gear.

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Re: Oldest Gear you still use?

by Palisades79 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:04 pm

Svea 123 I bought in 1965 for $10 .

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Re: Oldest Gear you still use?

by Bill Reed » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:40 pm

Got a couple REI goose down sleeping bags that I bought new in 1975 for $110ea. Still use them occasionally for colder conditions. Too heavy for backpacking though, coming in at about 6 lbs ea. They're still plenty warm!
Have a lot of old stuff sitting around that I don't use; Svea123, Optimus 8R, Sigg Tourist cook set and sierra cups.

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Re: Oldest Gear you still use?

by LincolnB » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:48 pm

This JanSport backback I bought forty years ago. Built like a tank. I use it for strength training - pack it with up to seventy pounds of iron plates and lug it up a steep hill near my house. Also if I'm leading a group trip and we're short on packs I'll take this. Love the hip bars, which make it self-standing, and also serve as hand rests while hiking. But at five pounds it's not my first choice.


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