Mar 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm #1300697
I have been working on this gear list for several months now. Finally got the last big piece of gear in the mail today to just about complete it, a Zpacks 5C/40F sleeping bag.
So of course I played with the bag, and my initial impressions are that it is just as awesome as I thought it would be. Very comfy, fits my body great (wide/long, I am 6ft and 185lbs), love the colors, seems like great quality stitching… oh and then of course with the Cuben dry bag it clocks in at a mere 428g/15.1oz. Have no idea how accurate the temp rating is yet, will try and test it out on an overnighter next week if possible.
Then I had to get all my gear together and pack and play pack Tetris. I also threw in 5 days worth of food, and everything fits great with some room to spare, which will be for layers of clothing worn and wild edibles when I can find them. Or I could put another day or two worth of food and strap stuff on top with my top strap.
I don't think I have ever been this excited before about a gear list, can't wait for the two big 5-6 day section hikes I have planned–one in May and one in August. Plus all the overnighters, of course. I will write a blog post going into detail the whole system in the future when I have more time.
This list is for use in Sweden/Norway from roughly May-September, with some minor tweaks to clothing worn to adjust for weather as needed. A goal of this list was also to account for literally *everything* I plan on taking down to the last little detail other than clothing worn.
Note that I use a stick from the woods for my tarp (i.e. I don't bring tent pole or use trekking poles), or use but net in trail shelters (about 50/50).
I always use public transportation and/or buses/trains to get to trails, so no leave/hide things in my car/trail head.
Cell phone is a must, proud father of two small kids, and I call to make sure they are okay and to say goodnight to them each night I am out. Other than that phone stays switched off most of the time to save battery, which lasts easily for a week with minimal use.
***There is one small piece of gear I am thinking about adding, which is a camera. I have been getting by on friends who are into photography that join me on trips, and borrowing my wife's camera, which is too heavy for my likes and is several years old now. What is a great point-n-click (i.e. good auto setting), light weight, not too expensive digital camera? I am not a photographer and only looking for "not bad" to "good" quality for documentation purposes (i.e. my blog) mostly.
Any questions, comments, etc. are welcome :)
Total weight 3431g/7.56lbs
Here it is: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=11363
EDIT: I also added a PDF of the gear list to my profile, in case you prefer that, and updated total weight based on some small changes (see: below).
UPDATE – After bivy test, swapped out bivy for bug net, see: below. Noted changes in final weight above and on gear grams list.Mar 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm #1968059
Nice list Ceasar!Mar 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm #1968066
Nice list, but I liked it more when you posted in the SUL forum ;)
A few things:
Consider ditching the extra long shirt, and long johns.
Your cook kit is 8.18 ounces, you can easily cut that in half.
Your health and saftey is nearly 14 ounces.Mar 21, 2013 at 1:47 am #1968084
David – Thanks man! :)
Michael – "Nice list, but I liked it more when you posted in the SUL forum ;)"
Haha, yeah for section hikes I like to have a few luxuries, like a beefier knife, mug and pot both, more clothing options (especially for sleeping), etc. But this system can also easily go SUL with a few adjustments depending on the conditions–this is mostly for overnight/weekend trips with warm/dry weather. For example, if I switch out my Neoair pad for my thin foam pad, I drop 260g. Use my campfire cook kit, drop 101g. Ditch rain jacket and sleeping clothing, drop 590g (!). I also have more basic FAK and survival kits for shorter trips, but not sure exact weight savings at the moment.
But with those cuts, that's 2438g/5.4lbs, and I know with some other smaller cuts (FAK, survival kit, smaller knife, no cook kit, etc.) I could easily get under the 5lb mark with this core set of gear.
I have found that on section hikes and/or longer trips that with a good night's sleep it is hard to overstate the overall positive impact on my body, mind, and mood. A big part of this for me has been tweaking warmth rather than "comfort." A cold chill can wake me up, although I am a somewhat warm sleeper, rather than how hard the surface I am sleeping on is. I can easily sleep sitting down on bus and tram rides, wooden park benches, and out in the woods on just a bed of moss, and have always been able to do this as far as I can remember, and consider myself lucky. Which is why such a big hit to my weight with clothing–not to mention, I live in Sweden, and have had cold saps in July down to 8C at times. May and September can go under freezing temps, but I am pretty sure that my full system of clothing and sleeping bag could handle temps as low as around -3C, though I do need to test out my bag to confirm this. Also keep in mind that I am not "cheating" and not including my rain shell, windbreaker, and or other clothing in my base weight.
But since we are on the subject of clothing worn, it looks something like this most of the time:
Generic, light weight nylon hiking pants (1=May, June, September) or thin running pants (2=July, August)
Synth t-shirt (1) or cotton t-shirt (2)
Generic, light weight fleece pull-over (1) or generic, lightweight synth vest (2–though sometimes nixed when very warm)
Wool buff (1) or cotton bandana that also doubles as towel (2)
Thin wool socks (1) or cotton socks (2)
Cotton boxer briefs that double as swimwear (1,2)
Merrel trail gloves (1,2–might be my favorite pair of shoes)
Baseball cap (1,2)
I think this addresses you point about clothing and to a lesser extent cooking and my health/safety stuff. Point is, it can and does change, and perhaps I should have noted that in the OP–but the OP is pretty long as is. Indeed, I am a bit long winded :)
Anyhow, thanks for your feedback. Looking forward to seeing your new pack btw.Mar 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm #1968629
Honestly it seems like a lightweight down or syn. jacket will go wayyyy further than a long sleeve and long johns. It will be both warmer and lighter.
Baselayers are pretty heavy for not much warmth. Its a marketing thing if you ask me.
Also the bivy, I had the exact same one, used it one night and not even half way through the night it was a steamy mess. The M50 just doesnt seem to breathe. But im curious if its been working for you. I would prefer a net tent x1000000.Mar 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm #1968668
You raise a valid point about the base layers vs. a jacket, I admit it is a bit of a luxury. They are mostly pajamas and morning/night clothing worn around camp. My normal routine before bed is to put on the base layers, then depending on how cold it is, put on other layers (or not). In the morning I will eat breakfast and break camp in my base layers worn under my pants/jacket, and then hike a bit until it gets warmer, then stop for a water break and change.
Yeah I am concerned about it being steamy, but we'll see. I have been to busy to try it out yet, might get a chance next week. If there is too much condensation, I plan on putting that foot box vent I wrote about in other threads. If that does not work, I will probably end up with a net tent or bivy, we'll see.Mar 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm #1968670
After I used the M50 cuben bivy for 1/2 a night I decided to have Borah make this one. M90 on head and foot end with mesh inbetween. Unfortunatley I just couldnt get used to the bivy idea (too restricting) and sold it too.Mar 22, 2013 at 4:34 pm #1968676
Hi Cesar, thx for sharing your list.
You stated "Sawyer Filter – Water filter, plus 700ml recycled plastic bottle for raw water that fits into filter"
How do you get the recycled bottle to fit the sawyer filter??
GMar 22, 2013 at 11:08 pm #1968745
Michael – That looks like a nice bivy, too bad you don't like bivies, but they are not for everyone. I don't mind the whole cocoon feeling of a bivy, and actually enjoy it–makes me feel safe and cozy for some reason.
I actually own a Zpacks bug tent and like it quite a lot, but prefer a bivy. I suppose if I can't get my bivy to work, I can always just switch to that and take a 110g weight penalty.
Garth – I found a bottle that fits onto the filter. Just like they show in their video, around the 1:05 mark: http://youtu.be/lKWQjlq-uYA
I used to use the 1 liter bladder that came with the filter, but prefer hard bottles to bladders most of the time. Easier to fill, tougher and more durable, cheap and easy to replace, etc.Mar 29, 2013 at 9:43 am #1970800
I had some rare time to myself today, so I played around with a lot of my gear. Best I could do due to not being able to work out a test run overnight trip yet–hopefully next weekend.
But just in case anyone is confused about some minor changes:
-Removed labels and glue from my water bottles, and switched to a slightly heavier big bottle because it fits nicer in my pack's side pocket.
-Added a spare water bottle cap that fits both of my bottles.
-Nixed my beloved Ti mug from cook kit. Just not as into spending time making tea or coffee as I was, and I already have both a big and small bottle for water that I can use to pour/wash up with.
-Switched a silnylon stuff sack for a Cuben one for my bivy.
-Switched out bottle for raw water for older Platypus bladder that fits my Sawyer Squeeze.
-Removed my glasses from BW, don't know why I didn't do this before, as I wear them nearly all the time (other than sleep, duh).
Total savings of roughly 70g/2.4oz :)Mar 29, 2013 at 10:45 am #1970819
Good job Cesar! Seems that most gear (and gear lists) are getting heavier as people decide they want more durability or comfort. Mine included to a certain extent. I've enjoyed watching you refine your list and continue to find ways to drops those grams.
RyanMar 29, 2013 at 11:34 am #1970836
Thanks Ryan! I am happy that you have enjoyed my evolution. I certainly have enjoyed tinkering around with my kits! Yeah, durability and comfort are constant factors that change for lots of reasons. For trips longer than a few days, I like to have certain luxuries. A dry change of clothing at the end of the day is my big luxury right now I think, but at least I can also wear my extra clothing at night and in the morning when it is cooler. Then if there is an unexpected dip in temperature, I am prepared. The extra clothing is the main thing keeping this list from being in the SUL range.
Last April I was so very grateful to have taken along an extra fleece on an overnight trip. The weather reports said it would be a low of -2C. Didn't wear the fleece at all during the day, and at night it was just a pillow. Then I woke up in the middle of the night from the cold. Found out the next day that it had gotten down to -10C, and I was only in a -1C rated sleeping bag plus a bivy.
What is great about the Zpacks bags is that they are kinda like quilts if you want them to be. If it is really warm out, I can opt to open it up like a quilt.
Will be sure to give any more updates on how this list goes, if anything for you Ryan :)Mar 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm #1971209
…took pics of everything and wrote a long, nerdy blog post about all this:Apr 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm #1972473
Been trying to find the time to get out on an overnighter, but life has just been too busy as of late, so I got desperate and decided to test out my new sleeping bag and bivy outside in my backyard last night.
I checked the temperature before going outside around 11:30pm and it was -1C/30F. Clear skies, not much wind. Put down my ground cover, then set up cowboy camping (bivy, sleeping mat, sleeping bag only) to gaze at the stars. I wore my synth base layers, sleep socks, gloves, down beanie from my gear list–plus added a wool buff and light fleece pullover because I am pushing the given rating of the bag which is 5C/40F. Use my hiking pants and windbreaker as a pillow.
It is much easier getting in and out of a bivy with a side zip, I noticed. I then noticed and was pleasantly surprised how quickly the sleeping bag seemed to warm me up from the chill of the night as I set things up. Shortly after getting inside the bag and fumbling around with the zipper I was no longer chilled–very impressed. Was also pleasantly surprised that it was easier than I thought to zip up bottom zipper (just rolled to the side, zipped, rolled back). By the time I had the bag zipped and drawstring pulled so that the bag was snug around my neck, I was nice and warm. After no more than 5 minutes of adjusting the bag a bit and getting comfy, I was fast asleep and quite cozy. I opted to sleep with the bivy hood open to see the stars, and could feel the chill only on my face, but the rest of me was quite warm so this chill was very superficial and no drafts got in at all.
So the good news is the bag passed my first test very well, even with pushing the temp rating, though I do tend to sleep a bit on the warmer side.
The bivy on the other hand… was the bad news. I woke up chilled around 2:30am, and this was in stark contrast to how warm I was before and how fast I fell asleep. I tried to go back to sleep for about 15min before the thought of my nice warm bed inside won out. I was convinced that the temps must have dropped significantly in the time I was asleep, and aborted my test. As I got out of my bag I noticed that the bag was slightly damp on top, and I soon found the inside of the bivy to be fairly soaked. When I got back inside with all my gear I noticed that my sleeping bag seemed slightly deflated than before and was a bit damp on most of the top. I turned the bivy inside out and sure enough, most of the inside of the top was covered with drops of condensation. It was like I had taken a spray bottle to the inside of the bivy, and this is the first time I have had such so much condensation.
I checked the temperature and it was exactly the same as it was when I went outside: -1C/30F.
So it looks like it is back to the drawing board for my shelter system. 350g is awesome low weight for a fully enclosed shelter system, but I would have hated for this to have happened to me out on the trail. I could just swap bivy for net tent and go to a still pretty damn light 450-460g, but I feel like I can somehow still crack the bivy puzzle. We'll see, I still have over a month until my section hike to solve my shelter situation. As is clear I really want the tarp/bivy combo to work because of so many great benefits it brings to the table… but I never want to repeat last night's experience. I have done plenty of bivy nights before, but nothing like this has ever happened. In fact, last April with the same temps and conditions I did cowboy camping on top of a mossy hill in a clearing, and slept quite well and woke up with only minor foot box dampness.
I think I have one last and pretty extreme modification idea I want to try out before I give up on bivies… will report back if/when I go through with it.Apr 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm #1972503
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
On the bad news bivy, do you think it may have to do with being out in an open area in the cold? Maybe a nearby tree canopy to try it out again before modifying the bivy.Apr 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm #1973143
HK, I am not sure about testing it again or modifying it at this point. Think I will just go with my Zpacks solo bug tent, which was my back up all along. The appeal of having a 350g all in shelter set up was pretty strong, as I am sure most of us reading this can understand, plus I like bivies in general. But that amount of condensation inside was just not acceptable. I want to be able to cowboy camp in the open and not always sleep under tree canopy.
I dug out the bug net, took off all the mitten hooks (I never stake it out anyhow), and re-weighed it, and it came out to 213g/7.5oz which is not bat at all. Then I got a bigger stuff sack to fit both my tarp, bug net, and ground cover, and with my stakes my all in weight for this set up is 448g/15.8oz–only a 98g/3.5oz difference.
Then again the GG bug canopy is also a tempting option…Apr 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm #1980160
What size torso did you end up getting? And what is your height and weight?Apr 25, 2013 at 3:54 am #1980340
If you have the Hexamid bug inner, do you not have the plain Hexamid outer? As I mentioned in the parallel thread, Hexamid outer + Hexanet inner = 13.2 ozs for a fully waterproof shelter. (You would have to add your choice of pegs).May 8, 2013 at 12:35 am #1984311
Michael – I got the default torso, but keep in mind that I have just a webbing belt. I am about 6ft tall and 185lbs.
John – Yes I have the Hexamid solo tarp and bug inner tent. Total weight with ground cover, stakes, and everything for my this shelter system is 448g or 15.8oz.
Update – I got my hands on some net material that I think would be great to modify my Borah bivy to eliminate condensation, and getting a professional seamstress to do it for me. The modified bivy plus my tarp (provided the mod comes out okay) is what I plan on taking with me on my 5 day section hike coming up next week.
When it comes down to it, I just like bivies more than net tents when I factor all the pros and cons. If you can figure out a way to keep your bivy light (under 250g) and not have much/any condensation, paired with a good tarp I think it is one of the single best option a UL/SUL backpacker can have for a shelter system.
I may also swap out my Xlite for a foam pad depending on the weather forecast. If it is warmer nights predicted, I will go for it and save around 150-250g depending on which foam mat I choose to take.
Excited to finally have a longer trip! Overnighters are good, but section hikes are great. I can only imagine that thru-hikes are pure bliss if you are lucky enough to have the time and/or money to pull one off. If I won the lottery tomorrow, the day after tomorrow I would start planning a thru-hike, and in a few weeks I'd be on the trail.
EDIT – Forgot to and another small update about my sleeping bag. I went on an overnight trip several weeks ago and took it out for its first overnight field test. It has been an especially cold spring this year, which I was actually glad about, to really put my bag to the test. It got down to -3C, and I had to wake up in the middle of the night to put on my fleece pullover and windbreaker, but was able to go back to sleep and get a full nights rest. A very comfy, effective, and lightest sleeping bag I have ever owned. I am very happy with it and am fairly certain it will serve me well :)Aug 11, 2013 at 3:47 am #2014323
Would you recommend the 6'1" wide or the reg width for me? I am 6 foot 150 lb. Is it still a snug fit with your weight? Too loose?Aug 13, 2013 at 1:23 am #2014853
I would ask Joe just to play it safe, which is what I did, and my wide/long bag fits me great. There is some extra room for layers, like a sweater and windbreaker (which I have slept in with this bag and it was great). Seeing as we are the same height, my guess would be that the long is your best choice, but not sure about the wide, as I weigh roughly 35-40lbs more than you.
I love my Zpacks sleeping bag. In a few years I will replace my 3 season bag (Marmot Plasma 30) with a Zpacks bag for sure.
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