Gear: A Few of My Favorite Things

Have you ever been using a piece of gear doing a job, or recreating, or traveling and thought, “I love this thing.” Well, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things. These aren’t paid product reviews, (Not that I’m apposed to the idea. Ahem.) these are items I have used over the years and they do what they are supposed to do in a simple, strait forward manner. Which, to me, is all the better.

My Dakine Heli Pro Backpack

HeliPro Backpack, Back country pack

Let me just say upfront; Dakine stuff is well made. Simple. Who doesn’t love something well made? No buyer’s remorse.

The Heli Pro was designed for kick-ass skiers/snowboarders who get dropped out of helicopters onto mountain tops. The life of my Heli Pro is decidedly more tame. I picked this up at Wind River Gear in Dubois, Wyoming.  Other than the excellent materials, what I love about this pack is the way it FITS. With a volume capacity of 18 liters, this pack is on the small side. It’s not meant for overnight outings, but it’s narrow contours are perfect for nordic or back country skiing. Your arms swing free without brushing against the pack, and the pack does not shift on your back. A padded layer against the back makes for all day comfort. The waist strap is wide with some padding without being overkill. There is a version specifically designed for women. I’m not sure if I have the women’s version, but the shoulder straps curve in and fit snug over my shoulders.

Even with its compact size, there’s enough room for a water bottle, the requisite fire starter/first aid packet, an extra pair of gloves, a light outer layer, snacks, and even a few tea bags and backpacker stove. What more does one need?

Oh, did you say you’d like to strap your skis or snowboard to your pack?  Check.

Did you say you’d like to strap an ice pick or avi shovel on your pack? Check.

Hydration system compatible? Check.

There’s even a fleece lined pocket for your sunglasses or snow goggles or small camera. Smile. Check.

P.S. I don’t think they make this exact model anymore, but there’s plenty to choose from at


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