Apparel / Hard Goods / December 22, 2020

Christmas Bonus Time: The Trek Tech Intern’s Wish List

She’s a sharp cookie, she knows her way around the outdoors, and the girl’s got a great eye for gear, as you can clearly see below. Meet Wendy Hecker, our bright-eyed and bushy-tailed  intern. We’re looking forward to seeing more of her work, and you should, too. And buy her some trekking poles, for pete’s sake. Kid’s gotta hike.

Jet Boil FLASH personal cooking system
I’ve been in the market for a stove for a while now and simply haven’t committed. Nothing screamed, “I promise, I’ll make your backcountry life way better!” I’ve developed this new love for good cooking in the backcountry so a stove that boils water quickly and with adjustable heat intensity is ideal. The Jet Boil Flash looks as though it might just win my vote. Having used the MSR WhisperLite on all my expeditions, something lighter, faster, and all-in-one sounds like a huge benefit. Weighing in at around 1lb total and boiling 16oz water in 2-3 minutes, I could get my food cooked in no time. Plus this cooking system comes in 5 different colors. Seriously? They even have a frying pan weighing 10oz. that’s made specifically for the Jet Boil system. Um, yes please. The $100 set-up is built to be one of the safest and most efficient cooking solutions in the backcountry. Bonus point? It has a color-changing heat indicator that lets you know when the stuff inside is hot!


Arc’teryx Gamma MX pants
These look like the perfect pair of pants, and let me tell you, you want the perfect pair on a 10-day backpacking trip. They stretch, they breathe, and they shed the light rainstorm. They even have a micro-fleece lining…it just sounds like a polar bear hugging your legs. These seem like the all around pants to wear in most any weather 60 degrees and under, and in the North West, that’s pretty much every day. Unfortunately, they cost an arm and a leg, running around $300. I will say, however, being made by Arc’teryx you know it’s quality gear sure to last a long time, made by a quality company. I place a huge significance on the companies I buy from and Arc’teryx has won my vote with their environmental and ethical commitments. I would take these pants alpine climbing, ski touring, or just hiking with me any day. And let’s be honest, what girl doesn’t look good in a little bit of black.

Black Diamond-Trail Shock Trekking Pole
Trekking Poles. A backpacker’s Godsend for a great trip, especially expeditions. Trekking poles allow the body to share the weight load and muscle use a bit more than most people realize. And when you’re carrying a 40-60lbs pack…they make a huge difference. The last two expeditions I’ve been on, I was able to borrow these poles. I have nothing bad to say about them. They’re light, the grip is great, and they have the FlipLock to adjust the length. I’ve tried the twisting kind and they were terrible when my hands were cold. With the FlipLock they’re super easy to use with gloves on. These poles also have shock absorption, which is surprisingly noticeable, especially going downhill. At $119, it’s worth it; I’m betting I could get a lot of use out of these. The poles can be used trekking and climbing, and you might even get some groomed run skiing out of them. Lastly, they come in a women’s specific version, awesome. I definitely wouldn’t say no to pair of purple trekking poles.

Salomon XR Crossmax Neutral CS W
I love running on country roads and I love running on mountains trails. Most would say it’s not possible to have one shoe for both; you can’t have your cake and eat it too right? Well, maybe not. The Salomon XR Crossmax Neutral CS are for women who can run the neighborhoods with the girls on Sunday and hit the dirt on Monday. I personally am a huge fan of mud and snow, so the weather resistance is an awesome feature and the Quick Fit lacing system allows for getting out the door in no time at all. I speak from experience with that one. Though a little on the pricey side, around $130, the XR Crossmax shoe is a high mileage shoe, allowing its runner to get plenty of use before needing to retire them. Plus, these shoes hit my soft spot with having their OrthoLite sock lining made with recycled tires. My feet and my soul will be comfortable in these shoes! With so many positive reviews, these look like a great shoe to have.

G3 Alpinist Skins
For the last item on my wish list, I’ve done a good deal of research for it. Having lift skied for almost 20 years, I’m ready for some Alpine Touring. I’ve got great skis for it and decent bindings…now I need the skins. I recently tried climbing on a pair of Black Diamond Ascensions and they worked great. Being a nylon skin, they made for great grip going up the slope. However, in researching the G3 Alpinist, I found that they’re lighter and have a better glide than the Ascensions. I’m not lazy, but that sounds pretty helpful for a rookie. Though the Ascensions apparently have better durability, I’m not sure I’ll be getting out enough for that to matter. The Black Diamond skins may be a better pick in the future when I’m getting out more and can get lighter skis, but for now, I like the idea of lighter skins with a better glide. Going at about $160, they’re on the more affordable end of what skins are going for. Plus, they look pretty sweet.


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Tags:  apparel awesome backpacking camping gear hiking outerwear sportswear

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Wendy Hecker

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1 Comment

Dec 23, 2020

Now that’s a good Wish List!

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