May 15, 2010 at 4:18 am #1258971
I would really appreciate feedback on my gear list, as I am certain it has lots of room for improvement.
I've been backpacking for about a year and have been slowly accumulating my gear over that period of time. Being a newbie to backpacking means that I am probably carrying a bit more gear now than I hope to in a few years with more experience. For example, I chose a synthetic sleeping bag over a down due to concern for wet weather and cost. Someday I'd like to purchase a nice down bag.
My gear list is in my profile as a pdf file. Thanks for your feedback!
-KenMay 15, 2010 at 9:11 pm #1610194
@chrisfolLocale: Denver, Coloado
-There are lighter packs out there for the capacity.
-Nix the pillow and use a torso length CCF pad.
-Just tyvek for a ground cloth or, purchase a bivy and leave the ground cloth at home.
-Nix one pair of carried socks
-Nix the L/S shirt and add a down jacket or fleece for warmth.
-Nix the running pants. You are wearing shorts and have rain pants. No need for another pair of pants.
-Do you need 3L of water capacity? Nix the hose.
-Nix the TP
-Knock an ounce out of your FAK.
-Repackage your repellant, tpaste and soap.
-Nix the towel. You have a bandana.
-Leave the phone in the car. Use your map and compass.May 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm #1610205
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
Ah, money, with time the limiting factor in most of our lives.
As for my thoughts, here I go:
For a 2 to 3 day trip, I'd carry just two pairs of socks – one I wear on the trail and the other I wear to sleep. Never the two shall mix except on the last day, when you can walk out in your sleep socks.
I would agree that the carrying shorts/rain pants and regular pants is overkill.
In either case, I'd carry the DriDucks.
But I would wear either the shorts or the long pants, leaving the other at home. And I could see swapping both out for convertible pants which have zip off leggings.
The long sleeve shirt works great for sun protection. Do you like hiking in long sleeves? Do you find you need a Columbia Windshirt for warmth? If you really love the Windshirt – and many do – can you wear it with a short sleeved shirt?
These questions are difficult, because where you are in the Central Oregon Cascades can make a fairly large difference – as you approach The Sisters weather patterns change and there is generally more moisture. Also, the time of year can play a big difference.
I prefer a good down jacket for evenings, which can be cool. If I need more coverage while hiking, I generally just wear my rain shell.
A very inexpensive substitute for your 4 mm thick groundsheet is the PolyCro ground cloth offered by Gossamer Gear. It is 1.5 ounches for a 40 x 96 inch sheet, costs $8 for two sheets. When you first unfold it, it has a tendency to stick together. After a few times in the field, folding it becomes a snap. And mine has lasted 60 nights thus far with a few minor repairs with tape.
You don't have any thermal underwear, if you are going in the midst of summer maybe it's not necessary for you. I find that I sleep cold, so I use them all the time. But again, that's me.
If you like your other gear, I'd just experiment to find what works. I am not a huge advocate to change out gear if ounces is the only consideration. If you sleep well on your pad, by all means, keep using it. If you like your pack, well, there are lighter versions, but packs are quite subjective in fit. And TP? Well, that's a real personal issue.
I found water not to be exactly plentiful in certain sections of the Cascades. It was hot when we passed through, and having more than two liters of capacity nice. Of course, every year is different.
Best of luck
DirkMay 15, 2010 at 11:00 pm #1610211
The simplest low dollar weight reductions are the ground sheet and pad. 30" x 78" tyvek is about 3.5 ounces. Two mil plastic even less. CCF pad is cheap and light. Dump the pillow. Are you using a pack liner or dry bag to protect your sleeping bag and dry clothes? A pack cover is not reliable for that purpose. Have you included the weight of ID, $$, Insurance card, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, map and any dry bags or pack liner? Your spreadsheet subtotal for Miscellaneous is 118 ounces. I calculate 26 ounces. Your spreadsheet subtotal for 3 liters of water is 6 ounces. Should be 6 pounds.
Hope this helps. -LanceMay 16, 2010 at 2:08 am #1610230
Thanks all so far! Very helpful. Some of the these thoughts have crossed my mind (not all), but it helps to have someone else confirm that you can lose something.
I am very attached to my pack and tried several lighter, frameless packs out before purchasing the Osprey. Maybe at some point in the future I'll check out frameless packs again, though.
I can't budge on the phone due to my spouse's support of my hiking activities (lots of time and money!) and her concerns for safety… But I'd like to leave it at home for more familiar hikes in the near future… I had plenty of land nav training in the Army National Guard to feel comfortable with my topo map and compass.
I will nix socks, LS shirt (in favor of the windshirt), long pants, and towel for certain. I'd like to buy a pair of convertible pants, which would probably be lighter than my current shorts. I do have very lightweight thermal pants which I forgot to include in the list. I wear those under my shorts at times (I've heard it called the official "pacific northwest hiking uniform" somewhere). I missed that item in my gearlist.
I'll check out the polycro ground sheet (and may be acquiring tyvek shortly from a fellow BPL member). A CCF pad has been on my "want" list for a while, I like gossamer gear's version and might snag one soon. But I do like my clearview pad – I sometimes borrow a friend's Big Agnes Cyclone chair to use with it… a VERY nice luxury in camp.
I like the extra capacity of the 3L platypus (planning some eastern Oregon hiking soon), but generally carry 2L for most hiking days. I have updated that in the spreadsheet, along with a correct weight for that water.
I do have my liquids and creams repackaged in small containers (tothpaste and sunblock in each side of a contact case, Dr Bronners in BPL droppers, etc). I also have my photo ID and several other items included in that weight but did not list them out; I need to go back and note all the little items I've missed in there.
Lance – Thank you for catching those errors in my spreadsheet's built in calculations! It was driving me crazy that my gear list was telling me that I was carrying a base pack weight of about 19 pounds. I knew that couldn't be correct and was getting ready to re-weigh all of my gear. My new calculated base pack weight is 13 lbs. I re-check the weight of my loaded pack right before leaving the house for each hike and now I know why it has been about 5 pounds lighter than what the spreadsheet was telling me :)
Hopefully my hiking skills are better than my excel skills… I've uploaded a corrected spreadsheet for my gearlist.
edit: oh, and I would like to lose the (very significant) weight of my TP as soon as I get a little more comfortable locating suitable substitutes… lol. I've been trying out some of the recommendations found on BPL in that area. But I can't part with my TP just YET.May 17, 2010 at 11:41 am #1610617
My exos 46 has a integrated whistle on the buckle of the cross chest strap… you could nix the carried whistle if your pack is similar.May 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm #1610680
You said, "tothpaste and sunblock in each side of a contact case."
I hadn't thought of that but it definitely sounds like a good solution! I'll have to give it a try soon.May 17, 2010 at 4:58 pm #1610733
I updated the gear list today after re-weighing some items and adding a few that I forgot. (my driducks gained weight in some duct tape patches, I cut the ground cloth smaller, upgraded the camera to a dslr, added thermals, etc).
Nick – I've thought about dropping the fox whistle, but the whistle on my exos is nowhere near as loud. I suppose it would work just fine in an emergency… that's a tough call.
Larry – My wife came up with the contact lens case for repacking; pretty smart of her :)
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