While some people look at Occupy Wall Street and see a chance to debate economic inequality, we see a chance to test new camping gear. So we sent our own Mail Room Joe to join the protest and see how the latest outdoor stuff survives a barrage of drum circles, patchouli, and ornery cops.
Big Agnes Hogan Park Sleeping Bag, $300
“The bag was plush. It had this built-in insert to slip the sleeping pad into, so I was extremely comfortable, even when an overly excited bongo player accidentally stepped on my face.”
Outdoor Research Chaos Jacket, $260
“This jacket was really comfortable and extremely warm for how lightweight it is. It also has waterproof Gore-Tex fabric—just in case I got pepper-sprayed. Oh, and its pockets had tons of room for protest party favors.”
Who’s that 6'6", pierced, tattooed guy in line for Justin Bieber tickets? Why, that’s Mail Room Joe! After New York’s finest booted Joe and his fellow Occupiers from Zuccotti Park, Joe set up camp among his true tribe: a couple hundred crazy Justin Bieber fans who had camped outside Rockefeller Center hoping for a glimpse of their pubescent idol.
Black Diamond Mercury 75 Backpack, $280
“The Black Diamond comfortably carried every single bit of my gear. I especially liked the way the waist strap was built to pivot and act like a shock absorber. This way, when I quickly adjusted my weight—such as during a quick pick-up-and-run from a midnight police raid or a surprise Justin spotting—it didn’t shift the entire bag.”
MSR Nook Tent, $400
“This tent was awesome! Because it packed so small and light, I thought it would pop up into one of those tiny tents you can barely lie down in. But it turned out to be large enough for two adults to move around in with tons of room to spare—great if you happen to find that special politically like-minded some¬body or a hot single Bieber Mom.”
Solio Bolt Solar Charger, $70
“The coffee shops and delis were pretty irritated by people popping in to charge their phones, so I was able to make a few bucks by renting out some juice. Capitalism ain’t so bad sometimes! The charger also helped make sure I had enough power to snag digits from the cuties in line for Bieber tix.”