Feb 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm #1269814
This is an attempt at a basic gear list for multi-day hikes in the Cascades and Olympics. My goal is light hiking, not ultra-light. With reference to clothes, I have to make choices based on fit, rather than weight, as I am short but stout.
Let the commentary commence!
I've never tried to paste a link in like this, hope it works.Feb 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm #1702308
Your list looks pretty good. Something that stood out to me was having all those insulation layers to wear, but you only have a Neoair underneath you. You may be cold no matter how much clothes you put on if your not being insulated from the ground. Perhaps switch out the cut down Z-rest for a Gossamer Gear 1/8" pad. Weighs like 3oz, can fold up and be used as a pack frame like your Z-rest, but at night you could put it underneath your Neoair to better insulate you from the ground.
DanFeb 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm #1702333
Diane- pretty thorough list :)
couple of things jump out at me
camp shoes- fair amount of weight that could be cut out, if you have to camp shoes (does anyone really have to have camp shoes :))- there are some lighter alternatives- check the diy section for some innovative ideas
rain pants- I've never found them to be much help, easier to just get wet (in my experience your going to get wet anyways) and have something that dries out quickly- a possible alternative is a rain skirt- that would save a fair amount of weight
ground cloth- if your tent has a floor, probably not needed
foam pad/neo air- you might be able to get by w/ a shorter inflatable pad w/ the addition of the z-lite for the lower half, OR just a GG sitpad for your pack and sitting 1.4 oz and keep the full length neo
first aid kit- could easily be cut in half imo, I have what I consider a pretty complete kit and only weighs 2.5 oz
filter- that's pretty heavy, I've gone away from filters altogether and just use tabs- much lighter, easier and nothing to clog/break
food storage- a single large OP sack would save you some weight ~ 1 oz, pretty large @ 12.5 x 20"
cozies- if your freezer bag cooking all you need is one for your food, if your cooking out of the pot and in freezer bags- probably a way to come w/ a cozy that would work for both
kitchen sink- well like the expression says :)
MikeFeb 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm #1702354
I know that the rain pants are somewhat heavy. Do folks who use a rain skirt find them to be useful? I personally hate skirts for daily wear, and one long enough to cover would limit my stride somewhat. I did see some reviews on backpackergeartest.org, and the one thing that struck me was that the rain skirt funneled water right onto the lower pants and boots. Then what, gaiters? Hiking around Mt. Rainier, if the trail was at all brushy on the west side, having waterproof pants was great.
I wasn't sure about all the layers, but I do sleep cold. The down pants and booties with a lighter sleeping bag is new for me, yet to be tested out. Last summer I had a heavier bag, which was fine unless it was really hot. I'm hoping that the new set-up will be more versatile for me. Also new is the wind shirt; I'm not entirely sure I'll need it on the trail, although I really liked it for biking.
Water, water, water. I've considered dumping the pump, but having to wait a while for water to be ready after chemical treatment, I haven't worked out how that would work for me. I drink a lot when I hike, and even though I carry a 70 ounce reservoir, it's not unusual for me to pump twice a day if the weather's hot. I've never hiked in the desert, and I'm not sure I want to!Feb 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm #1702401
I think a lot of folks (including myself) do wear lightweight gaiters (talking a couple of ounces tops)- mainly to keep debris out
shoes are going to get wet regardless though (goretex or not- non-gortex have the advantage in they will actually dry out)
the skirt would keep a lot of the wet out of the more "vital" areas, but really breathes well vs rain pants, the few times I've tried rain pants I ended up wet from the inside, my legs tend not to get cold so as long as my torso is warm I'd rather walk out the wet and get things dried, but I may have to try a skirt :)
I think your strategy of using insulating layers to augment your lighter bag is very solid- you'll find that the down jacket (and probably the pants are used often around camp- I sure do
I drink a lot of water as well, but haven't found the treatment to get in the way – I think you'll find a lot of bpl'rs go the treatment route for simplicity and weight savingsFeb 27, 2011 at 9:37 pm #1702512
@plinyLocale: Pacific Northwest
that is a good list. I consider myself fairly experienced and have been accumulation gear over a long time. I don't see much I can add to it. You seem to be thinking well (and spending some $….nice gear!) Sun glasses? Some places in the Olympics they now require "bear containers" and will tell you where you can rent them. Check on that for the area you are going into before the trip. We usually share one and hang food that doesn't fit into it at the beginning of the trip. Not legal, but it works for us.Feb 28, 2011 at 9:50 am #1702628
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
over 3 liter water capacity, in the Cascades and olympics?
This is a VERY traditional list, and this is a lightweight forum. You should re-think your mind-set about your list. I would advocate NIXING a LOT of un-needed items.Feb 28, 2011 at 10:11 am #1702635
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
"This is a VERY traditional list….."
Some items might be, but the list as a whole is far from VERY traditional.Feb 28, 2011 at 10:51 am #1702650
@jmathesLocale: Southeast US
at few items to start with, there's more, but I'll stop with this list
1- compass AND Highgear Alt/Baro/Watch, does the Highgear not have a compass, mine does?
2- multi tool- much lighter options available, single edge razor blade or small folding knife under or at 1oz
3- trowel- instead use a stick or trekking pole
4- extra batteries- leave with fresh and/or fully charged batteries. Batteries are sold in towns and at outfitters.
5- water filter- instead use drops or tablets
6- 70oz Camelbak to connect to water filter 7oz- by dropping the filter you can carry a much lighter container with more volume
7- kitchen sink– use a 1 gal freezer bag for washing/cleaning up <1oz
8- pot caddy- ??? I don't know what this is
9- 50 feet of thin rope- is this in addition to the bear hang cord, leave one at home
10- leave the ground cloth at home
11- first aid, 8oz can be much-much lighterFeb 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm #1702684
Yes, my Highgear has a compass on it. Haven't felt comfortable relying on it because of my considerable inexperience with navigation. I find the Brunton compass easier to sight on. The Highgear compass seems ok for knowing general trend of direction, but haven't felt that easy about actual sightings—plus, I've screwed up once or twice on the calibration of it, and it's entirely too easy to make it read in all sorts of screwy directions! Since my compass has a mirror on it, I've considered ditching the mirror for signaling, but a discussion here talked about how hard it was to aim a mirror to get a good beam. What I want to know is, here in the cloudy PNW, how useful is a mirror for signaling most of the time anyway?
Part of this list reflects my general lack of experience—I've only been backpacking for 2 years. Fortunately I found this list relatively early on, it was easier to accumulate nice gear as I went, and not have to wish that I'd made other choices, at least in the major stuff. Every body around me with any experience is of the old, heavy-duty, take-everything-with-you philosophy, so I get caught between the two quite often.
I guess I picked up on the kitchen sink from reading too many ideas about "Leave No Trace" and needing to wash stuff far away from the streams, including myself. With freezerbag cooking, that reduces the camp chores so dishes aren't really necessary. It was nice to have on the Wonderland Trail (I soaked my ankle with it in camp while I ate dinner), but you're right, for basic backpacking it's not really necessary. The pot caddy–this came as a set from Anti-Gravity Gear, and it's just to protect the pot cozy from abrasion. Not really necessary I suppose. When I was buying the set, I did call George at AGG and asked him, is it waterproof? Could it be used like a kitchen sink? He said, well I don't know, let me see. Next thing I heard over the line was SPLAT, and him hollering to someone else "Could you get me a mop?":-) Guess it's not waterproof. Now if they could make a waterproof caddy so it would serve 2 purposes, that would be more in keeping with the philosophy.
I'm a worry-wart, plan-for-everything kind of person, fighting against my instincts by trying to go lightweight. The first aid kit is lighter weight than it was–it was 14 ounces! I'm medically trained, so I want to have all the toys for every contingency. Not a lightweight philosophy at all, but I'm trying. I'd have gone with a lighter tent, too, except my hiking partner absolutely refuses to consider anything that's not free-standing.Feb 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm #1702687
if youre using a map for navigation, vs a GPS … an orienteering compass is the only way to fly …
just make sure you know how to use itFeb 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm #1702751
Yeah–knowing how to use it is the trick! I've got my navigation card from the Mountaineers–it means squat. I really need practice, practice, practice. For now, no off trail stuff for me!
The camp shoes–last year I was wearing heavier Keen boots, that had great room in the toe-box, but with day after day after day of hiking, I got blisters pretty badly. I've got Innov-8 boots now, that when I first got them I didn't have the ankle strength–I pronated all over the place in them. Now I'm hiking much straighter in them, not nearly as much wobble, so I may be able to ditch the camp shoes.
The pillow stays!Feb 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm #1702768
I don't leave home w/o one either :) mine only weighs 1/2 ounce though and pretty darn comfy, second season on the same one- so I'd have to say durability is pretty decent tooFeb 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm #1702823
Wow — this one looks like it may be good enough to get the better half out on the trail again. Thank you Mike.
Staying on topic of the list. You will know what to do once you get back from your multi-day hike.Feb 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm #1702863
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
the NIX list (lotsa stuff is un-needed)
foam pad to stiffen backpack?
all stuff sacks but two, keep one for food & one for cook set
70 oz water bladder
nix freezer bags and use your titanium mug
altimeter barometer watch
thin 50 foot rope
fire starter (you have alcohol)
The EXCHANGE LIST (get a lighter and cheaper alternative)
tent (get a tarp!)
multi tool (exchange for single edge razor blade)
backpack (34 ounces is way too much, find something less than HALF that weight!)
8 oz is TOO much for a first aid kit, 3 oz is plenty
get a one oz compass
one HEFTY trash compactor bag for waterproofing the interior of the backpackFeb 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm #1702917
Diane wrote, "My goal is light hiking, not ultra-light."
There are any number of ways to enjoy our hikes — some like to turn them into SUL quests while others don't. Each to his or her own.
Diane, if you too were on an SUL quest, then the above may be useful. But given what you wrote, you can dismiss much of the fanaticism in the post above. So long as your pack weight is "light enough" such that you can hike comfortably and enjoyably — what's the added payback for further weight cutting?? And again, given what you wrote about getting blisters — why not bring a pair of camp shoes? Again, so long as everything comes within your "comfort weight"…
My own comfort weight is in the low to mid 20 pounds. And because I have been careful to choose compact and light weight gear pieces, I can well afford to bring my camp shoes. And on multi-day hikes, I certainly do.Feb 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm #1702927
@mzionLocale: Boulder, CO
I'm sorry if this is misplaced or off handed but
"I guess I picked up on the kitchen sink from reading too many ideas about "Leave No Trace" and needing to wash stuff far away from the streams, including myself."
In general I would say this is true. You can always use a bottle to soak/rinse for washing yourself but when it comes to washing dishes if you're boiling water to cook then you absolutely have no need to 'wash' your dishes. If boiling water is suitable to sterilize water it is just as suitable for sterilizing your dishes. Grey water and drink and wipe out but there is no reason to wash and dump even if you're removed from water sources. As you can see this is a pet peeve of mine.Mar 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm #1703179
Thanks, Benjamin! I knew that there would be someone who would really complain about my list, and tell me I was taking too much stuff. The purpose of the exercise is to help me think about my choices. I'm definitely not masochistic enough to dump everything that brings me comfort in the woods—this is for fun, not real life, and I intend to be comfy! I'm sure that those who really want to be ultralight say that they are much more comfortable with their sub-5 pound base-weights and can hike farther, but I'm not there yet, and likely won't ever be. I was surprised someone hadn't picked on my Kindle before this–my hiking partner certainly does, but tough!
Like I said, the only people around me to talk to are old-school, full pack-weight, you-gotta-take-everything-to-be-safe-hikers. This forum helps to draw me away from that. As my experience increases, I'll be able to make some of the changes suggested. For example, right now a tarp would be stupid; I don't know enough about pitching one and picking out campsites to be comfortable using one as my primary shelter. I have one in my day-hike kit, though, as emergency shelter, and as I fool around with it and learn how to set things up, eventually I can change.
If readers think *I'm* too heavy in my packing, it's just funny compared to folks who see me on the trail. When I and my partner did the Wonderland Trail last summer, we met guys with *huge* packs, huffing and puffing down the trail. One guy was taking a break, and when we talked with him, he said that our packs didn't look like we had enough stuff to be "safe" out there. He'd taken his pack off, and it came up past my waist, it was so tall. One fellow even had an ice-axe with him. ??!! In the woods? He wasn't traveling near any glaciers, and didn't have a route that planned to cross any.
So, I take criticism with a grain of salt, and realize that I have to adapt anything to My Personal Hiking Style. Compared to some other hiking forums, this one is relatively civilized. there's one that's made me so uncomfortable with the snide comments and misunderstandings, I rarely go back to it anymore.Mar 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm #1703181
I hope you weren't thinking I was disparaging LNT—I'm certainly not. I've just found that the bucket wasn't completely necessary, just something that made things a little easier in camp on occasion.
You are right about dishes—pour boiling water into the mug, swish the spoon around, lick it off and make another cup of tea and drink it—no soap, no scattering. Hand washing is the big key for safety, and the only time I use any soap at all.Mar 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm #1703196
Freestanding vs. Traditional Tarp set up both have their likes and dislikes — I've tried using both and like both types for different uses — I'd say that you could get by using the TarpTent Rainbow (about 34 oz.) and a GG Polycryo Groundsheet (1.6oz.) for a total of 36 oz. versus your over 80oz. for the T2 tent and ground cloth…..while I've decided on the "bare bones" set up for longer hiking I have really loved the lightness and ease of use of the extremely light weight Rainbow — its about the space of the BA Copper Spur UL2 (about 4lbs if my memory serves me) while weighing around 2 lbs depending on stake and guyline usage. — certainly cutting tent weight would really help you feel better about those camp shoes… :-)
FYI: I've previously used the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 , UL 2, Emerald Mountain SL 3, MSR Hubba Hubba, and MSR Mutha Hubba freestanding tents, For weight to function — I'd say for a freestanding tent with mesh and a floor — can't go wrong with the Rainbow… (a 1+ tent — can fit 2 side by side 20" mattresses on it – but only has 1 door…)Mar 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm #1703656
I would *LOVE* to use something lighter. I'm running into issues with my boyfriend here. I had purchased a Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo. We practiced setting it up in the backyard to get the hang of it. Bill was immediately "Send it back" because we didn't get a perfect pitch instantly with no fussing. An unrealistic expectation, to be sure, but it was easier to send it back and exchange for my Traveler than it was to put up with the bitching from the boyfriend. A trade-off, to be sure, but since he's my main hiking partner I was willing to make it for now. I'd like to go backpacking with someone that is running ultralight and see the tarping in action—I think it would be easier to convince him than showing him in a book or on-line discussion. At 60 years old, he's enjoying the hiking, but adamant that he is going to be comfortable OR ELSE!
Mike, if you think my 34 ounce Traveler was heavy, you would have really freaked at the pack I had before–the 65 L Osprey Ariel—5 pounds empty! Probably would have lasted for years on end, but ridiculously over-engineered.Mar 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm #1703669
See post below.Mar 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm #1703672
"At 60 years old, he's enjoying the hiking, but adamant that he is going to be comfortable OR ELSE!"Mar 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm #1703673
An interesting option. http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/travel/27next-oman.htmlMar 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm #1703721
Perfect, Ben! He would enjoy that! But what about paying the coolies to pack it and set it up? That would be too much for his thrifty ways, I think!
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