Dec 13, 2010 at 6:27 pm #1266560
Hey everyone. I am fairly new to the backpacking world. I love the idea of it and always have, I have just never gotten into it. So, one day I took the jump and haven't looked back. I started out with a great, thick, inflatable sleeping pad, a pretty nice two person tent, and a big internal suspension backpack. But now I realize, I want to take that minimalist approach and only take what I absolutely need. So after doing a bit of research, I have compiled a list of the necessities in my pack and I wanted to get some input on them.
But first, a little about my location and such: I am interested in solo camping. I usually camp with friends, but I like the ability to go out and do things on my own, so I want to be always equipped as a solo backpacker. I would probably be camping in Texas only, though I may change that if I have the funds/time. I don't really see my trips at this point extending longer than 4-5 nights. As for weather, Texas doesn't really ever get too cold, but it certainly does get hot in the summer.
So here is my gear list:
Thermarest Z Lite 15 oz $40
Kelty Cosmic 35 42 oz
Granite Gear Compression Sack, Medium 5.1 oz
GoLite Jam Pack (L) 32 oz $118
Oware Flat Tarp 1.5 12.5 oz (with 50 foot of cord and stuff sack) $76
Integral Designs BugaBivy 17 oz $80
Lights 16 oz
Platy Bottle(2L)/plusBottle(1L) 2.6oz $12 (plusBottle)
Cooking Gear and Fuel 25.8 oz
Paracord/Stakes 8 oz
First Aid Kit 24 oz
Total 200 oz (12.5 lbs)
-Cooking gear is: MSR Pocket Rocket, GSI Pinnacle Soloist Cook System and one MSR
8 oz Isopro canister.
-Lights are: Surefire G2 LED, Coleman CR123a pack-away lantern and Energizer
headlamp. I think cutting out the headlamp would be a good idea.
– First Aid kit hasn't been assembled yet, that's just a ballpark estimate.
– I would plan on carrying 2-3 liters of water and Mountain Home meals.
– Also, any prices are things I don't own yet that I am planning to buy.
Thanks for any help you can give me!Dec 13, 2010 at 7:14 pm #1674027
There are a lot of things on your list that you could change to help save weight, however, I will let others touch on them. What is going to be included in your first aid kit?? 24oz is A LOT for a first aid kit. Most people are able to carry nice kits that only weigh a couple of ounces.Dec 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm #1674037
Read the posts in the threads below.
Lots of info there.
Think 6# big 4, 6# for everything else.
A lot of things are missing from your list.
See this google list as a reference.
Copy it and make your own etc.
Thermarest Z Lite 15 oz OK
Kelty Cosmic 35 Too heavy – shoot for a down bag in the 1.25-2# range.
The montbell #3 weighs like 1#3oz
Granite Gear Compression Sack, Medium OUT, but you do need a pack liner
GoLite Jam Pack (L) 32 oz Probably OK if all your Eq is very compact.
Oware Flat Tarp 1.5 12.5 oz GOOD
Integral Designs BugaBivy 17 oz THUMBS up, but it could be lighter
Lights WAY to heavy. Do it in 2-3 oz
Platy Bottle(2L)/plusBottle(1L) 2.6oz $12 BUENO
Cooking Gear and Fuel TOO heavy. My complete kit with stove and fuel bottle weighs 5.5 oz
Paracord/Stakes OUT – triptease and stakes 4oz although I do like paracord.
First Aid Kit way too heavy for an estimate – You can do this at 2-7oz max with a decent kit. If you want more of a serious emergency kit then think more disaster recovery plus a little extra, like a quickclot sports silver, duct tape, a very small antibiotic, Some suture strips, various pills like motrin, aspirin, anti diareal etc. If you carry an alcohol stove and also carry 190 everclear for fuel then that can be used for wounds too.Dec 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm #1674038
@ Andy Shill:
Awesome! I really haven't looked much into first aid kits yet. It was a really generous estimate so I wasn't underestimating how much a first aid kit could weigh. I will definitely have to look into that. Thanks for the input!
@ Troy Ammons
Thanks for all the input. I will look at some of your other posts. As far as some of the things you said…I could definitely cut down my lights. The surefire with batteries weighs 4.4 oz. So that cuts almost 3/4 of a pound.
The sleeping bag is what it is right now. I will have a hard enough time finding money to pay for everything on the list, much less adding that almost $300 sleeping bag to the list. I can get rid of the compression sack for the Cosmic though. Just use a regular stuff sack? Or maybe some cord? And, have any suggestions on a pack liner?
Good call on the trip tease. I saw that and was already considering it. I will definitely make that something I purchase for my setup.
I wasn't sure if I could get away with the Jam or if I should go ahead and get the Pinnacle. Anybody else have comments on that? It looks like you might suggest switching to the larger pack? It's only a difference of 2 oz and not much money.
Could you gives me some links to those lightweight stoves? I may not have money to replace that right away, but I can down the line probably.Dec 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm #1674042
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Brandt, I believe that you will find that few experienced backpackers carry the expensive and heavy commercial first aid kits. For one thing, many of them have heavy cases that you don't need. They do have lots of little gimmicks in tiny portions, but often you can buy those same items individually at REI or a store that sells goods to ambulance drivers.
My own handmade first aid kit consists of one small plastic bag of items that would fit into a shirt pocket, plus one roll of good tape that will fit into a pants pocket, so the total weighs about 3 oz.
If you go solo most of the time, then you may want more stuff. Also, you want to decide your strategy if you are out in snake country.
–B.G.–Dec 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm #1674054
If you are interested…
Here is a list of my EDC, emer and med stuff.
Ther eis some duplication of items here and there.
#6,7,11, I carry every day everywhere in my pocket.
I carry #8 in my backpack and hunting pack.
In my backpack it goes into a plastic bag and weighs 4 oz.
In my hunting pack it goes into an 8oz crushproof tang
container inside a cut off coke can just in case I need to boil some H2o
That adds about 2 oz
#9 goes into my hunting pack only.
#10 is usually my hiking med kit. Just minor stuff and about – 3-4oz
#12 is my hunting med kit which is more of a disaster type kit – 7oz
I always try to carry a small amount of everclear. Good fire starter. Good disinfectant.
In TX you probably want to carry a SUL snake bite kit.
6 KEYCHAIN SURVIVAL In pocket
Fire steel 2 oz
GI can opener
Small Swiss Army knife
7 POCKET SURVIVAL KIT In pocket
In the micro altoids can.
$$ 1.4 oz
1 micro pack antibiotic
4 iodine tablets
16' of spiderwire cord
Brunton button compass
2 fish hooks
1 xacto blade
2 Suture strip bandaids
5 wp matches
1 micro mag glass
1 wet fire tinder
8 EXTENDED SURVIVAL PACK 1 4oz
Extra Button compass
More WP matches
More Iodine tablets
1 wet fire tinder
1 fire tender
6 suture bandaid strips
1 xacto blade
2 pc WP paper
2 rubber bands
9 EXTENDED SURVIVAL PACK 2 3.5 oz
Large piece of polypro plastic
2 fire tinders
2 wet fire tenders
Gallon plastic bag
10 MEDICAL 3 oz
1 tube krazy glue
aspirin (a few)
advil (a few)
diphen (a few)
Imodium (a few)
6 suture strip bandaid
2 regular bandaids
2×2 surgical sponge
Neosporin to go
11 IN POCKET
#6, #7, Swiss army knife with saw
12 MEDICAL HUNTING 7 oz
1 MICRO tube krazy glue
aspirin (a few)
advil (a few)
Imodium (a few)
6 suture strip bandages
Extra 1" Duct Tape
Quick clot sport silver
Swift snake bite kitDec 13, 2010 at 8:36 pm #1674059
Where do you live in TX ??
The sleeping bag….
You have to do it a bit at the time otherwise it will kill you financially.
The problem with that bag is its fairly heavy for a 35dF bag and it will probably not compress small enough to fit in the jam II with all your other gear and food. You may have to tie it on top. I have an ultra 20 quilt that I have used down to 14dF, weighs 21 oz and compresses to about the size of a football if that. You can find them used occasionally. Very nice.
IMO Just hang on to the Jam II for now.
My cook kit is a MYOG kit from a Fosters can. IE country time lemonade container, 24 oz Fosters can for a pot, cozy, Alcohol stove (a catfood can stove is an easy one to make)
half libman cloth, light my fire spork or a folding spork, some type of flashing or foil for a windscreen, and a fuel bottle of some sort. Cost mostly nothing to make. Here is what it looks like. You cook instant food freezer bags with a rig like this.
This one is cut down to 18 oz with a smaller container.Dec 13, 2010 at 8:46 pm #1674064
That gives me a good idea of what to pack for myself. Thanks for that.
Also, a reason I was thinking of keeping my current cooking setup is for water purification. I could boil water quickly and easily with that instead of also getting a water filter that adds weight. I haven't run the numbers yet, but if it comes out close to the same, I don't really see the point in spending all that extra money to save 8 or 9 oz. I could also get the smaller fuel canister and shave off four ounces.Dec 13, 2010 at 8:52 pm #1674065
Nothing wrong with boiling, but its not weight efficient if you have to boil on a stove.
With snow or ice, yes but not liquid water.
Get some chlorine drops and an aquamira frontier pro and a few platy 1L bottles.
The filter gets the big stuff, and the chlorine drops kills viruses and bacteria.
The fronteir pro is cheap. Yoou can use it as designed or as a gravity filter.
It weighs about 2 oz.
Link – This is one way to use it – via Jason Klass
My complete 2L H20 kit weighs 6 oz with everything.Dec 14, 2010 at 4:26 am #1674120
What are you doing for rain gear? Here in Texas you can get away with a poncho tarp most of the year even with little to no experience as long as you practice setting it up. A lot of the year if it rains you rejoice in the fact you're soaking wet since it's 100+ degrees outside.
I see that you said the prices were for things you don't own yet and are planning to buy. A friend of mine has a Jam and a Big Agnes Fishhawk (about 13"x8" in the stuff sack IIRC) and he complains about how much space that takes up in the Jam. Personally I've never seen a Kelty bag I'd want in a Jam. All the ones I've seen are just too stinkin' big and are all Big Box Store bags.
Therefore, if I were in your situation and didn't think I could afford a more expensive bag ANY TIME SOON(!), I'd consider a Golite Pinnacle. It doesn't weigh just a ton more for the 2010 models and has quite a bit more room. It still compresses down pretty small with Golite's Compaktor system or whatever it is and they say it weighs 2 pounds even with 4392 cubic inches instead of 3050 for the Jam. I've seen the Pinnacle on e-bay pretty cheap from time to time. Also check the gear swap forum on here geartrade.com out. Personally I wouldn't pay more than $90 shipped for a Jam. More than that and I'd just get a ULA CDT new if I needed a pack in the 3000 cu. in. size range. I'm not sure what I'd buy if I couldn't get a Pinnacle cheap. Probably another ULA pack or something from MLD.
Alternatively, realize that you might be able to find a sleeping bag used for a good price. Then save some money and wait and see what turns up with 800fill power down. For a 30 or 40 degree bag some 650 fill bags aren't completely unreasonable either. It wouldn't be to much more than buying a new pack and would probably save a similar amount of weight. Then you can just bide your time and snatch a good used pack off gear swap for next to nothing.
Since you already have gear you CAN use just use it and take your time going light. You don't have to jump in all it once with gear you're going to want to replace down the road. Sit back, enjoy the process, and do it right the first time.
EDIT: Also where are you at in Texas? If you're out West you'll have different requirements for carrying water weight than if you're in the South East or even in North Texas.Dec 14, 2010 at 8:50 am #1674167
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Most of the stuff you have looks good. If you like to go backpacking, just go. There is nothing that will constitute a major problem. Depending on the exact area, you may need less or more water. I usually carry two 20oz bottles of water into the ADK's. You can go lighter as wanted.
Like you say and others have commented on, the bag would be the first item to replace. And it will likely cost as much as the rest of the gear combined. You can make one. A good quilt can usually be made for about 1/2 the cost of purchasing a good bag. Check and/or post to the MYOG section for help there. Same for a bivvy.
The tarp you have is a good one.
Canisters are generally less efficient than most people think. The general cost for carrying fuel should include the fuel bottle. Soo, 8oz of fuel with a 5oz can adds up to 13oz. For the first 4 days out, this is OK, but you could do better. A home made Caldera cone, for example. The complete cooking system will be the entire weight of what you use: fuel, bottle, stove, pot, cup, spoon, lighter, windscreen. By anylizing everything needed for one, two, three or more days out, you will find you can indeed do a better. Both the starting weight and ending weight should be averaged, of course. 'Corse it is hard to apply a number to things like simmering. Alcohol stoves typically do not simmer well.
First aid? Well, as they say, what you know doesn't weigh anything. Get and read a couple books (they will likely differ in details.) Then figure out what you actually need. For example:
You cut your finger. You need a clean bandaid. You need to clean off your hands to work. You need to clean off the wound, removing any debris. It needs to be fairly sturdy so you are not constantly fussing with it. I would wash with a little clean water. Then with a little fuel wash my hands down. Sterilize the wound with alcohol. With a strip torn from my bandana, I would dose that with alcohol. Then cover the wound. Then with a strip of duct tape wrap it around the cloth bandage to reinforce it and keep it clean. Should last a couple three days with no problems. In fact, I have had these on for a week with no problems.
The point is, I did NOT carry anything extra. I *knew* how to keep it from getting infected and making me sick. It was an outdoor bandage, not too pretty.
You may need Tylenol PM or Advil. Mostly, First Aid is knowledge and not things. You can improvise most splints, cold and hot packs. If you get hurt bad enough that you need to get out, you should be prepared for a painfull, carefull trip out. In almost every case, *you* will be the one performing the rescue. Not to worry, this is RARE.
jdmDec 14, 2010 at 8:46 pm #1674347
My Kelty Bag can get kinda small in that granite gear compression sack, but if I was cutting the sack out for weight, I obviously won't be able to compress it much. So yeah, it would probably take up alot of room in the pack. I guess the Pinnacle would be the way to go.
For rain, I was thinking of buying a really light nylon rain suit. It would be pretty cheap and pretty light as far as I can think. I don't want to get a poncho tarp just because I don't have trekking poles to set it up as a tarp and I already was going to get the Oware tarp. I don't know how much weight a rain suit would add, but I don't think it would be much.
The sleeping bag is a big issue. I'll need to keep looking into it and maybe make that my top priority.
I am around San Antonio and I go to places pretty close around there. I was planning on carrying 2 or possibly 3 liters of water on me.
For cooking gear: I realize that a ultralight setup with a cola can alcohol stove or the like would be a good way to go and having a separate water purifying system as Troy Ammons mentioned earlier. Canisters are not very efficient. I was thinking of pairing an antigravity gear alcohol stove with my GSI Pinnacle Soloist system. That would weigh 12.3 oz without fuel. Just the pot set, the stove and the fuel bottle. I could also make my own pot and cup out of cans, plastic containers, etc. to cut down even more.
Thanks everyone for all the awesome info on first aid kits. I will be planning/building one soon.Dec 14, 2010 at 8:59 pm #1674349
No reason to spend $ on an alcohol stove and screen.
You can build one in about 5 minutes.
Just go on youtube and search alcohol stoves, and you will get a lot of hits.
Easiest is a cat food can stove, made with a 1/4" hole punch
As for raingear just start off with a driducks rainsuit or poncho.
In cold weather the suit makes more sense considering it can be used as a wind layer.
The poncho weighs about 10 oz.
I have an XL suit and it weighs 10.6 oz.
Either should cost about $20.Dec 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm #1674548
I added the DriDucks to my list of things to get. It will probably be one of the first things I buy because of how cheap and effective they are. I will probably just buy the suit.
So, here is an updated list. I have the base weight listed. I made an denatured alcohol stove today and it's really cool. I already added it to my gear. Question though, is it okay to put the fuel in my pot if it is in a screw tight container? Also, what is a good guess on how much fuel I would need for a 4 day 3 night trip?
Here is the list:
Total Base Weight
-Shelter Pack Sleep
-GoLite Pinnacle (L)
-Montbell UL Spiral Down Hugger # 3 (Long)
24oz $241 Priority 1
-Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite Regular
15oz $40 Priority 2
-O Ware Flat Tarp 1.5
10oz $76 Priority 4
-50 ft Triptease, Stuff Sack, Stakes
-Integral Designs BugaBivy
17oz $80 Priority 3
-Platy Bottle 2L (Dirty Water)
-2 plusBottles 1L
-Aquamaria Frontier Pro Filter
2oz $25 Priority 5
-Platypus Drink Tube Kit
1oz $13 Priority 6
-Katadyn MicroPur MP1 Tablets
1oz $13 Priority 5
-Cat Can Stove
-4 oz. Fuel Bottle
-GSI Pinnacle Soloist Set
-Silva Guide Compass
-Surefire G2 LED
12oz $29 Priority 1
That isn't everything, but it certainly looks like I am getting there. Priority means which items I am looking at getting first. Sleeping bag wasn't originally at number one, but it is now along with the driducks suit. Also, sorry for the not so nice looking list. It looks alot better on my excel document.Dec 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm #1674571
Looks good so far.
I dont store alcohol in my cookset unless its everclear 190 proof.
DNA is poisonous.
Amount depends on how much you boil. If only few cups of water a day maybe
1-1.5 ounces per day. Maybe carry 6 ounces for 4 days.
A fluid ounce of alcohol weighs about .85 ounces I think.
You probably need to carry some extra until you get used to using it.
Also you can just use plain old chlorine bleach instead of tablets.
6 drops per qt is the typical amount.
Get some titanium stakes later on and lose about 2 oz.
You need to add a few more things to your list.
You need a ground cloth. Order a frostking sliding glass door kit and that will make 2-3.
That will be about 1.5 – 2 ounces.
You need a food bag and cord you can suspend to keep the critters out.
Ursak minor maybe if you really want to keep them out.
You probably want more everyday gear…
This is my list. You might not want to carry all this stuff.
Some people carry a p00p shovel for #2.
UTILITY GEAR AND EVERYDAY
Deoderant (in a contact case)
Toothbrush (traveler from walgreens)
Floss (dual purpose)
Powdered borax soap
Micro insect repellent
You should carry a pocket sized emergency kit and a small med kit.
Emer kit IMO should have a spare button compass, duct tape, several ways to start a fire, like WP matches, a spare lighter, striker. Other odds and ends too like some spare water tablets you never touch. Also a cube or two of weber fire starter from Ace hardware is a good thing. If you shave them they will catch a spark from a dead lighter or a sparker, they will burn wet, and one cube will boil 2 cups of water, so they are good to have. They weigh 11 grams each and are cheap. Just keep them in an air tight container.
Should have a mirror and a whistle too.
Actually just look at what is in this emer kit.
Its a decent list.
That is pretty close to what I carry but I added a couple of weber fire cubes and a emergency space blanket, spare lighter and a few other odds and ends.
Med kit is whatever you want to plan for. Either very light medical, IE aspirin, Advil, Anti diareal, bandaids, suture strips, small antibiotic at about 2 oz.
Or a disaster type kit with a quickclot, snake bite kit, tape and pad at 6-7 oz.
You need cloths….
Depending on the time of year.
Wool gloves – good for pot lifting
Fleece balaclava or warm hat – I am a hammock sleeper so…
Spare socks – 1 or 2 spares – in winter for me one thin spare, one thick.
Smartwool Johns – base layer or for sleeping
Driduck suit – rain
MB thermawrap or UL down parka
Some people on extended hikes carry camp cloths to change into when they park it.
Some people carry water shoes – water crossings
Water proof mitts are a good thing in the winter
Water proof socks maybe too depending. Nice to stop and get your feet dry
and keep them dry.
You dont need to carry all that stuff, just saying.Dec 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm #1674606
I have added some stuff to my list. I constructed a rather extensive first aid/emergency kit list. I don't know the weights for hardly anything. I need to get a scale. Also added clothes and added on to the everyday gear list. I will just post what has changed.
Silva Guide Compass 1 oz
Surefire G2 LED 4.4 oz
Lighter 1 oz
Bug Spray 2 oz
DriDucks Suit 12oz
Patagonia Capilene 1 Shirt 4.6 oz
North Face Khumbu Jacket 18.9 oz
Under Armour Gloves
Emergency/First Aid Kit
5 WP Matches
Needle and Thread
Adventure Medical Heatsheets 3.8 oz
Spare Water Tablets
Weber Fire Cubes
3 oz Denatured Alcohol
QuickclotDec 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm #1674620
Thats a lot of stuff in first aid/emer so its going to be a bit heavy.
I would skip the DN alcohol in the emer and just carry the weber cubes.
Also there are two ways to look at medical, at least I do.
You can carry a tiny kit for minor cuts and scrapes, moleskin, maybe glue a deepish cut together with super glue, some various pills, or you can have more of a disaster kit, and that one I would just carry a sport quickclot silver, a gauze pad, some duct tape, snakebite kit and maybe a few other odds and ends.
Thought is if you are doing something a bit more risky or far from anywhere you can seal up a serious wound until you can get to a hospital.
Just going out for a 2-3 day simple hike you dont need much IMO so a small kit will do.
Actually just some duct tape, Everclear, a decent size gauze pad and a couple of bandaids, superglue, a few aspirin, advil and imodium is probably more than enough. Another good reason to carry everclear.
You should be able to get your Emer kit to 4 oz and your med to 2-3 oz.
I would not do anything else until you get a digital scale and start a spreadsheet.
Makes it a lot easier.Dec 16, 2010 at 8:24 am #1674679
@mzionLocale: Boulder, CO
First aid should begin with using common sense. Not taking unnecessary risks, etc. A couple safety pins, guy line, a bandana, and some Dr. Bronner's soap should be good enough for just about 99% of the things that will probably happen on trail. "Extra" and "Just in case" is simply how you're justifying what you really don't need. Leave it at home.
"If I need it and I don't have it, then I don't need it" – Ray JardineDec 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm #1674965
I went out and did some shopping today and made a small emergency kit for 2.6 oz.
Here is what is in it:
Extra Lighter (.7 oz)
5 WP Matches (.7 oz)
Needle and Thread
Razor Blade (.2 oz)
Spare Water Tablets (.5 oz)
Weber Fire Cubes x2 (.8 oz)
Anti-Diarrheal (.3 oz)
Krazy Glue (.3 oz)
If there is something with an oz reading after it, it is something I don't have yet and only have a really rough (and probably wrong) estimate on what the item weighs. After I have those items, my emergency kit will be done.Dec 17, 2010 at 12:53 am #1674981
@cooldripLocale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Hi Brandt, you mentioned in a previous post that you didn't want a poncho tarp because of your lack of trekking poles for pitching. How are you planning on pitching the Oware tarp? It doesn't include poles, and unless you are always tying off to trees, you'll want some nice stiff poles like trekking poles. Lightweight shockcorded tent poles just won't work with a tarp, as they aren't nearly rigid enough. You can pick up a decent pair of trekking poles cheap at Walmart or Target.Dec 17, 2010 at 5:21 am #1675002
I have some friends around your neck of the woods and have been out there on more than one occasion (I'm in South East TX). From what I've seen there are plenty of trees to tie off to if you're mostly going to be hiking close to home at first.
Rumor mill is the Wal-Mart poles have the same hardware BD uses. I can't comment for sure though because I've never seen Wal-Mart poles with flick locks and that's what my BD poles have.
The Wal-Mart or equivalent poles will work for a while but the noise is a bit bothersome. The straps broke on my Sprort's Authority examples after about 5 miles but the poles still work for loaning out. I haven't had the problems with the locking mechanism failing like some have reported on here. I only put about 8 miles on them before getting BD poles though.
However, I've seen Komperdells at Camp Saver or Sierra Trading Post for $35 once a coupon was added. So that's something to look out for as well. These are the same poles REI rebrands and sells as their own. You can randomly get good deals on the REI version as well. I know two people who have them and so far so good. They're a lot nicer than Wal-Mart/Sport's Authority Poles.
If you go to the Gear Deals forum on here you'll see a 40% off coupon to Golite and if I were you I'd get their poncho and possibly base layers or a wind shirt with the coupon. You'll read on here and other places about how poncho tarping isn't for the faint of heart etc. etc. however Texas is poncho tarp training ground. It's like the starter area in a video game or something. You'll want a bivy but chances are you'll want and appreciate one under the larger Oware tarp as well. Or you could do what I did for a while and fashion one out of a DriDucks poncho like the one on the JRB website.
Just my 2 cents.Dec 17, 2010 at 9:08 am #1675049
I was thinking of tying off to trees. I have tried it around my house with a blue tarp and it has worked well. As others have said, there is a lot of trees to tie off to down here. I just don't think I would be using the trekking poles along the trail very much, I would only be buying them to set up my tarp. I figure a flat tarp is a whole lot easier to set using trees than a poncho tarp is.Dec 17, 2010 at 12:30 pm #1675105
Personally if it was me, I would save up for a good pair of ultralight hiking poles from GG, that is if you want them.Dec 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm #1675109
A poncho is a flat tarp – albeit a small one. The only difference is you have to tie the hood off.
A cat tarp is supposedly easier to pitch but I can't really tell the difference and actually prefer the flat tarp myself.Dec 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm #1675128
This is my technique:
Get all of your gear together and put it on the table or counter about a week before your trip. Each time you walk by your gear, look at and find something around the house that will do the same thing, but is lighter and smaller. By the time you take your trip, your pile of gear should be way smaller than when you started.
Wait and pick up a used Jam2 on Gear Swap for around $75. If you get a smaller sleeping bag, you will not need anything larger than the Jam2.
Pick up a quilt for a good price. Right now on gear swap there is a Te-wa quilt for $160. 18 oz. 30dF. 40% off from Golite will get a decent quilt for under $175.
Buy a cheap blue tarp from Walmart. I Got one from Harbor Freight for under $5.00 and weighs about 12-14 oz. for a 6'x8'. Glad I tried it with a cheap tarp because, I decided flat tarps aren't for me.
There is a Prolite sleeping pad (small) on gear swap right now for $45, 11 oz. Regular lenght Prolite 3 for $40, 21 oz. A little heavy, but worth the weight.
Everything else you should be able to find around the house for free. Spend the money on the sleeping gear and pack for now. Try the cheap tarp and if you like it, bet a better one later.
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