Mar 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm #1287299
So I'm coming pretty close to finalizing my gear list for this summer, and thought I'd post it on here to see if there's anything I forgot or any cheapish/obvious ways to cut a little more weight.
This will be my first backpacking trip of more than a week, and am mostly just looking to gain more insight into the process by hearing people's opinions on my choices/lack thereof.
Updated List as of 4/9: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=6784Mar 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm #1855325
Looks pretty good overall. Couple ideas….
1. I don't see your cell phone. I'm assuming you'll want it at some point on the trip. I'd send the charger in a resupply box. Unless you use it a lot you should be able to just use it at resupplies, recharge it, and send the charger on to the next P.O.
2. I don't see a windshirt unless the driducks is going to do double duty.
3. In case the dryducks tears I'd bring some ducktape (and maybe have an extra set in a resupply somewhere).
4. You might want to night hike at some point so I'd make sure to bring an extra set of batteriers.
I have no experience with the Sawyer Squeeze. Aquamira worked well for me. If you use Aquiamira just do this. Swap out your 1 liter Platypus for a 1 liter Gatorade bottle. The stiff bottel and bigger opening is a lifesaver if you have to scoop water out of some tiny little puddle.Mar 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm #1855335
Thanks for the comments!
1. I don't own/use a cell phone. So luckily that won't be a problem.
2. From what I read, the Driducks are fairly windproof? But i'd love to hear from someone who has actually worn them. I had been thinking my arms may get cold at some point with only my underarmour for protection, but I'm a pretty warm person if there's no wind.
3. Duct tape is definitely in the repair/sewing kit that I made. It's a life saver.
4. True that on the batteries, I'm probably bringing a heavy oldschool camera as well so I could use the extra batteries for either.Mar 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm #1855341
I haven't personally used driducks so I can't comment on their breathability. Since you're in Colorado you might be able to pick up a light wind shirt fairly cheap at a thrifts store. They are nice but you will survive just fine with the driducks, just don't let them get trashed and leave you without rain gear (if you plan on wearing them a lot I'd throw in a disposable poncho, 1oz and $1 at Wally World) that could get you through a rain or two if you catastrophically trash the driducks.
FYI have you been to Wilderness Exchange in Denver? Sometimes they have good deals there.Mar 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm #1855347
@butts0989Locale: Northern Rockies
List looks excellent man. The contrail and a 30 degree bag are a perfect fit for the trail. I did the CT last summer with a contrail and a WM summerlite, it was a great combo. Honestly you might be able to drop the leggings, I only used mine twice on the entire trail but that was because I didnt bring pants. Also +1 on night hiking. The segment from sargents mesa to spring creek pass (segment 17,18, and 19 i think) get pretty hot during the summer and are flat. It would be a great part of the trail to hike at night. When exactly will you be hiking the trail?
Also for your water purification i would suggest aqua mira drops, 1 set lasted me the whole hike.Mar 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm #1855350
Oh come to think of it…
I ran out of Aqua Mira near Lake City. If you use AQ I'd put some in a resupply. Or if you want to be cheap some Iodine tablets. You could probably drink a lot of the water unpurified but there are some places I would not want to to this (Sergents Mesa comes to mind, Cachotopa creek has a LOT of beaver dams etc.)
I have not used the Contrail. I was fine with a tarp but there were no bugs when I wnet in late summer. If you want to be cheap I'd get a simple 8X10 ft. tarp and a bivy (Equinox for $60). Add a $10 headnet and you're good to go.Mar 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm #1855353
@butts0989Locale: Northern Rockies
Luke is right about the water drops, definitely have a backup, there are some places where having some sort of purification has to be used. Also Luke good idea on the tarp setup, there really arent any bugs in the late season.Mar 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm #1855355
I was also mulling over the possibility of doing a tarp/poncho like the golite or mld cuben, and one of the borah gear bivys because I'd also save weight/money by not having to purchase or use the driducks.
I mostly "chose" the sawyer because of it's cost efficiency. At 15 dollars a bottle, it'll only take 3-4 long distance trips to spend the same amount of money on tablets/drops as I could by buying the sawyer which supposedly has a lifetime guarantee on the filter. I'm not really worried about the quality of water out there, but unless it's snows/cools down sometime soon…there probably won't be much running water late in the summer.
Depending on the water situation, I might leave earlier rather than later (Mid june?). I don't really have any time constraints.
I've been pretty comfortable at 35F with just pants and no liners on, so I may just leave them out. Planning on doing a few "trial" trips when some more snow melts.Mar 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm #1855363
I used a poncho tarp for a while. It won't keep you as dry as a rainsuit in rain and its smallish as a shelter, you really need a bivy underneath it so factor that in as a cost.
I'd personally go with a rainsuit and a separate shelter. If you want cheap and reasonably light I'd check out Etowah Outfitters. Their 6×10 tarp is $35 and 18 oz. and their 8×10 is $45 and 24 oz. You won't find anything cheaper. If you want lighter Etowah also has silnylon tarps starting at $70 and 9oz.
I'd pair one of these tarps with a Equinox bivy ($60 and 6.5 oz if I recall) and a headnet from REI ($10). You could have a system for as little as $105 or as much as $140 depending on whether you value weight or cost more).Mar 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm #1855365
Timing would be something to consider. There wasn't a lot of water this past year and this looks like it will be drier due to the snowpack. If you go late you may have a lot of dry creeks. On the other hand the thunderstorms seem to be less of an issue.
One warning on water. A couple sources in the Cachatopa are listed as "marginal" in the official guidebook. They mean it! One "creek" was a tiny trickly so small you could barely get water out of it. Another was just a couple of puddles, no flow at all. If this year is drier than last year those may not be there period.
Speaking of guides, I like the official databook because its more pessimistic about where water is. You're less likely to be lured into a dry area by false hope. That said I thought "Erik the Black's" guide was better in every other way. I'd get Eriks and make notes in it on what water sources are "reliable" for Erik but marginal in the official book.Mar 18, 2012 at 1:57 am #1855424
@walksoftly33Locale: New England
I have not hiked the CT
But the cheapest way to loose weight is to not bring things, I personally would drop:
Dri ducks pants, jacket for your torso, legs dont mind being wet so much, save ~4oz
Dr. Bronners soap, I just dont think its worth its weight, I clean my pot well enough by hand, brush my teeth with out paste and just use water and rubbing to clean my body. save 2.6oz
Do you need all 3 stuff sacks? the bigger one is for food right? I see you have a mesh bag for cookkit, what are the other two for? I found keeping my sleeping bag and extra clothes in a large clear plastic bag kept everything dry/easy to find/ less bags to pack each day. So the liner you have may be enough. save ~1oz
Knife- there are alot of knifes out there that weigh less. You could go extreme here and bring a razor blade, but I found Leatherman micra(about $30) to be great, mine weighs 53.3g/1.88oz I really like the scissors on them(i.e they work), I end up using them more then anything else, cutting your nails/mustache, duct-ape, threads etc. Plus it has tweezers that actually work for ticks/splinters. If you wear glasses, the tiny flat head it has works with eye glass screws and saved me on more then one occasion. the knife was adequate enough for the times I needed it. Only tool on there did I not actually use (the larger flat head) save 1.3-3oz
I also trimmed the draw cord from my dri ducks jacket, the string was really long if I remember. Trim any other tags and useless hanging-ons save~1-2oz
That is 9.9 to 10.6oz saved, over half a pound right there, with no real drop in performance or ability right there. (For my purposes yours may be different)
And keep in mind though what ever you end up carrying your body will get used to it, it is not like you are carrying a 25lb base weight here. I think the list is great and you are at the tweaking stage. Bring what will make the experience. Weather that is less weight on your back or a little more to make it more comftorable/enjoyable.
oh and +1 Aquamira
Is a bear canister needed on the CT? I have no idea.Mar 18, 2012 at 8:04 am #1855467
Hard sided bear canister is not required on the CT. I would recommend Ursack with an Opsak inside of that.Mar 18, 2012 at 8:41 am #1855482
I haven't done the CT (yet) but I read Pmags guide to the CT and thought you might find it helpful:
Dri-ducks are pretty breathable for rain gear but I'd still prefer a real wind shirt for anytime it's not raining. I don't hike in DDs unless I have to. In Denver, you can get them at Big 5 sporting goods. Lots of them around town. I cut the rain pants down and made a rain skirt. 1.85 oz. Saves some weight and only your lower legs get wet.
Is that a trash bag or a trash compactor bag? Hopefully the latter although I have 2.25 oz for the weight of the ones I use.
The list says 0g consumables but you do list soap so I wanted to make sure you put sunblock on your final list. I gave a couple of guys from out of town a lift to start the CT and when we got to the TH, they realized they forgot to bring sunblock! Luckily, somebody finishing a section hike came in to the parking lot and gave them some.Mar 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm #1855649
@mzionLocale: Boulder, CO
Looks solid – I agree with the above suggestions. Except, I have to respectfully disagree that you need an Ursack or Opsacks – simply overkill.Mar 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm #1861295
Is a vest all you need? I would think a lightweight jacket would be important to have. It gets pretty cold at night.Mar 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm #1861380
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Use all your clothing as a system. A vest with windshirt and fleece equals a jacket. Versus do deliver more warmth for the weight.Mar 30, 2012 at 6:58 am #1861429
According to the gear list though, he is only bringing a UA baselayer and some SS shirts + the vest. I don't see a warm fleece on the list.Mar 30, 2012 at 7:37 am #1861450
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I use jacket, synthetic insulated vest, long sleeved base layer – down to 20 F around camp but that's pushing it, pretty comfortable at 30 F which may be a good summer minimum temperatureMar 30, 2012 at 8:00 am #1861463
Yeah I'm gonna be trying that set up out more in the following weeks. I was out last weekend and it got a little chilly in the wind at camp, but the vest/windshirt/base layer seemed to work alright. Plus I figure I can use my quilt to wrap around me during extended cold camp sessions.Apr 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm #1862767
I would not take the vest. I took my Montbell thermawrap vest last summer and never wore it, except in Breck at night because I had it.
Also, no need for long thermals. Just rain/wind pants will do. I used the Montbell stretch wind pants that were just under 3 ounces. You can sleep in your rain pants on cold nights. I had a Katabatic Gear 30F down quilt, which was fine warmth wise, and I sleep very cold. However, if I had it to do over again, I would prefer a synthetic quilt because of how wet the trail is. Expect a lot of rain showers and hail storms.
You will need top rain gear frequently, so not sure about the driducks for sustained performance. My Montane rain jacket weighed about 6 ounces, so my rain gear total was less than 10 ounces. Of course, my stuff is all size small.
+1 for both the leatherman micra multi-tool and an empty Gatorade bottle in place of the spare Platypus. It's easier to scoop from low streams, plus mix flavored drink mixes in like Emergency-C, etc.
I still use the 2 part iodine tablets and found them to be fine and readily available in resupply towns.
Enjoy!Apr 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm #1862800
no vest really? i'll have to explore that thought. I've also mentally abandoned the driducks idea, and if anything i'll be bringing some cheap tyvek pants and a more durable rain jacket (yet to be purchased). Any cost efficient rain/wind jacket recommendations?
Yeah i'm not too picky about the water storage, and it seems like those gatorade bottles will pack better and be less likely to spill anyhow. I just like the re usability factor of a filter compared to 12 dollars worth of tablets, it'd only take like 4 long hikes worth of tablets to practically pay for a discounted filter.
I wish it was june already….Apr 3, 2012 at 8:13 am #1862985
@mzionLocale: Boulder, CO
You can get away without an insulation layer if you spend most of your time moving. I hiked with just a wind shirt/pants combo (although, many mornings I left my down hood on hiking until the sun had come up). As far as a rain combo my preference is umbrella + windshirt. Umbrella is also a nice break from the sun in some of the lower hot stretches like the burn areas in segment 2 and the approach up to Gunnison NF.
+1 for Gatorade (or other disposable bottles). Typically have one hard sided bottle to use w/ my platys – makes filling much less complicated. As far as treatment, I did my yo-yo w/o treating at all – probably would of come in handy for the above mentioned Gunnison NF stretch – lots of cows and 16 miles w/o a 'good' water source. And on my return trip the herders had moved livestock up into the public lands. Crossing Snowy Mesa I grabbed a nice fresh liter of water from a stream and had a "boy it kind of smells like po.op (apparently BPL thinks thats profane) here" thought but I couldn't locate any sign of it. When I crested the hill out of the stream and after about half of the liter drank I walked up on a giant herd of sheep just lounging so I dumped the rest and kept walking to look for better water. Drops or tablets will be your lightest option though for treating (drops will allow you to use less/more as the water situation changes).Apr 3, 2012 at 8:11 pm #1863350
Another option for insulation is wearing your quilt draped around you, under rain gear if necessary. I actually put my feet through the double zip at the bottom of my sleeping bag and put wind or rain pants around that, so the bag covers a decent amount of my body, excellent for camp chores. I find all I need down to about 25f is to hike in thin wool tights and LS shirt, and have a windshirt and wind pants (Montbell dynamo, 2.8oz), a shell jacket, and a balaclava, available, with the sleeping bag draped if needed when I stop. If you do that, you may especially want a more solid rain jacket though, although you can also buy a larger driducks and it's easier to drape an entire quilt up top. Marmot essence is cheap, Montane and the new Rab Pulse are both nice, or Go-lite. You can save the extra 2 oz by wearing tights instead of pants. Rab meco 120 is maybe lightest, 4.4oz, or something powerstretch, like from MH, is about 6 and warmer, perhaps faster drying. I find wool is nice because of the large comfortable temp range. It's annoying to want to change everytime it gets shady or sunny… I like to wear short wool shorts as boxers (or just wool boxers if I'm really in the backcountry) and use them as shorts. Wool also a need for less soap. +1 for a lighter knife – I rarely use mine unless I'm fishing or going without a stove… A folding dermasafe razor would probably do, at 8g and $1.59! You could save a lot on the shelter too, depending on funds and your willingness to use a tarp. Zpacks hexamid is fully enclosed and about 11 oz with Vargo stakes, around $400 though. I don't know how a mylar turkey bag would hold up as a liner, but that would save 1.5 oz or so. Possumdown gloves would save an oz, $30. You might try a wool shirt as well for the stink factor, Rab Meco 120 is the same weight as your current one, a little tough to find now in the states, and a bit pricey. You cap is pretty heavy too! Though its worn so that may matter less. My Salomon xa cap weighs 1.5oz. Nightlight sleeping pad would save 3oz. Dr. Bronners is nice bc it can double as toothpaste, but you could use smaller bottles. I get mine from US plastics, 6cc or 10cc will last a week or two and weigh very little. You could switch to a smaller, lighter pack too, though its a bit pricey… GG gorilla is around 15oz without the stays, 2700ci, maybe more. You may also save your most on food, if you stick to around 4.75cals/g… I bring an oatmeal with nuts, seeds, sugar, cocoa, cayenne (gets the blood flowing on a cold morning) and add a liberal amount of coconut manna from Nutiva and butter, and that mix is around 4.75cals/g or 135cals/oz.Apr 6, 2012 at 7:24 am #1864318
I have a sawyer squeeze and I love it. Im not a fan of aqua mira yet it is a lighter solution. Anyway, if you go with the sawyer squeeze keep in mind that you need to carry the dirty squeeze bags. I carry two 2 liter bags and use them to store extra water when necessary. Using this method you can drop your 3L platy in favor of the lighter 2Liter sawyer bags.
Sawyer filter with backflow syringe = 4.3 ounces (wet weight) 3.6 ounces (dry weight).
Two 2 liter sawyer squeeze bags (4 liters total) with a rubber band = 2.1 ounces. (I use the rubber band to keep the kit together but it's not necesary)
Water filter + water storage = 6.4 ounces.Apr 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm #1865054
So i made a few changes. updated list is here: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=6784
I'm going to give the umbrella/wind shirt a go, and am experimenting with removing the aluminum stays from my pack and using my pad as a frame. I'm still waiting on a few pieces of gear to be able to pack things right, but it seems to be very comfortable with random clothes/weights in it up to 25 pounds.
I bout a dehydrator yesterday and it's been going nonstop, the idea is to spend as little as possible on food so I can enjoy other things along the way.
I am also currently planning on doing a yo-yo, and possibly another denver/durango with a friend directly after…the third leg is questionable, but I mostly want to yo-yo to extend the trip to 2-3 months, and to save the cost of getting back to denver from durango lol…plus it's a totally different view coming from the west.
thanks for all of the input guys. ~2 months away
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