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Discussion Starter #1
I had been thinking about getting new "stuff" for a while but put it off because I thought I'd be moving for educational reasons--but that won't be happening so this matters now :). Anyway, I'm a student, but I like to get out and do some hiking, shooting and climbing when I can. Fortunately my backyard just about fits the bill. I do have to head out for an hour or two before it starts to get interesting, though. So, with that in mind...

A New Watch
I've been without a watch for about a year now and I'm looking to pick one up. I'd like to keep it under $200 but I'll spend up to $250 (Canadian). I want something I can take outdoors. For ~$100-200 I would expect it should have no problems at all in the rain or snow, should be able to get me across a stream and shouldn't be fine with lots of dust.

I heard Luminox watches were extremely rugged and reliable and that they were used by some US armed forces. I also read that they're terrible watches :). Maybe a good Casio G-Shock would be a better choice? I'd prefer analog but a good digital watch is certainly great! What do you guys wear? What would you suggest?

A Backpack / Rucksack
My pack from high school is just about torn to shreds. I'd like something that can fill a dual purpose role as my school bag as well as an outdoor bag. I want something a bit bigger than a regular school backpack that functions as an tough outdoor pack. I do a little hiking, climbing, shooting and stream crossing. I also plan on using it when winter comes around, but I don't think that makes much of a difference.

There's a military surplus store I plan on checking out soon. CADPAT camo rucks stand out a bit too much in class ;). An average army green would be just fine. Do you think the packs there would be tough and reliable?

What are some good brand names, retailers or websites I could take a look at for something that fits this bill? Someone on another forum pointed it this pack. It's the right size and looks like a fantastic balance between the two roles I'd like a pack to fulfill.

Any thoughts of suggestions are cool right now :). I'd like to know what you guys use, I'm sure it's all good stuff.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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A watch is kinda a personal item, but personally, I've used a Timex expedition now for about 5 years of abuse....cost back then....$29 US

Backpacks:
This brand will be the last that you buy, and will last you forever:
http://www.maxpedition.com/

I buy mine here. I have no affiliation with the store, just good deals and a no hassle return policy.
 

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for an analoge watch look at fossil. they have a wide range of price points. their water proof watches are just that. I swim in mine and it works great. and the look great and keepgood time too. if you want more features look at a Suunto www.SuuntoWatches.com they will be at the upper end of your price range but they will do things like track altitude changes which if you are hikng and climbig can be very useful as some times all you need to know is your elevation and you can fnd your exact position on a trail with a map. for packs I recomend the following brands, Arc terryx (great waterproof gear) Osprey (great ventilation) I think if you plan on doing any real climbing or hiking you will want a more comfortable pack with a narrower profile for balance. I can't say which pack would be best for you. you will need to try on a variety of packs and load them with weight to find a good one for you. i recommend REI to shop at they have a great return policy. we call them "Return Everything Inc." it does not matter why you want to return something there they will take it back. Have a pack fitting done to find the right size and to adjust it properly for you.
 
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