We’ve already published a couple of reviews from Andrew Forsthoefel, our gear tester who is walking all the way from his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, to the West Coast.
Andrew has now made it past Santa Fe—a full 2,400 miles from his starting point. He’s walked the equivalent of 91 marathons, or 1.2 Appalachian trails, along railroad tracks, highways, and country lanes. He packed using the Granite Gear Air ZippDitty stow sacks (available now, $15-$30; granitegear.com) and the SealLine Nimbus Drysack ($20-$38; cascadedesigns.com).
“Before I left I was only thinking that big items were critical to my trip, like a tent, pack and boots. I didn’t think much about stow sacks or dry sacks,” he said. “But now I know that these items are also completely essential.”
The Air ZippDitty’s small packing bags made of ultra-light silicone impregnated nylon with a rugged zipper hold all the odds and ends Andrew needs on the road, from toiletries to clothing. Forsthoefel reported them “impressively durable” despite the fact that they’re stuffed and jammed daily.
For total weather protection, Andrew stores his electronics in a Sealline Nimbus Drysack. That way, his netbook, cell phone and charger are protected against the elements.
“If I didn’t have a waterproof bag, I’d be hosed,” Andrew said. “It’s been a lifesaver.” The Drysack is made of 210D nylon and has a roll top that clips shut. “The closure system is quick and bombproof,” he said. “Packing systems might add a few ounces to your load, but they’re worth their weight. Being organized saves time and hassle.”
—Berne Broudy & Andrew Freeman