Apr 8, 2013 at 7:56 am #1301443
@pgasbyLocale: North Carolina
I'm sure this is typical but we were getting my son's pack together for next weekends trip (lower than first class have a mandatory pack check at tonights meeting before a trip) – our second backpacking adventure. This will be a slightly longer hike – nothing crazy but still 3-3.5 miles in a bit more adventurous terrain. A good step up from the relatively rolling 1.2 mile maiden voyage. Panthertown Valley, NC but I'm not sure yet which trail.
Anyway – my son is going through his list with my assistance and he is considering every … item … critically … saying "I'm not sure I need this since I have to lug it in with me…" Funny how a heavy pack can inspire real thought on what you need or don't need. We are still far from UL or SUL status – both of us – but I was proud of his efforts to really put some thought into what he wanted versus needed.
My job is to keep him from leaving something he might not think he needs – but compared to the sample packing list I'd say just from judicious layering and clothing selections – elimination of unnecessary packaging weights (i.e. First Aid kit is a well labelled ziplock with key items rather than a bulky/heavy premade kit; mess kit is a ziplock bowl and spoon rather than the metal "all in one" kit, etc…) he probably has 2/3 of what some of the other kids are carrying.
And this time the weather looks much more accomodating compared to snow/sleet and low 20s temps for the first trip!Apr 8, 2013 at 8:57 am #1973998
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
That's great, another ULer in the making! It sounds like you guys are off to a great start.
I've related this story a few times but every time I hear about a Scout's first hiking trip I think of this episode from when I was in Scouts. Our troop was preparing for our first overnight backpacking trip. None of us kids had hiked and only a few of the leaders had so we were all pretty green. Some of us were savvy and researched what to pack on the internet and had figured out that going lighter was probably better. We did a shakedown hike where we camped at a State Park then loaded up our backpacks and did some short loop hikes and ended up back at the campsite that night. While none of us were anywhere near "lightweight" most of us did ok. There were some laughable things like a kid having an entire roll of toilet paper and one who had one of those giant bags of M&Ms. But the kid that took the cake was a scrawny guy named Brett. He had a massive external frame pack that was loaded to the gills and had all kinds of things hanging off it. Around lunch time we could tell Brett was struggling so we decided to go through his pack. As we're going through it noting that he really went above and beyond the packing list we'd given out weeks before he finally admitted that his mother had packed for him. The thing that stands out most in my mind is the three entire sets of clothes he was carrying. Each ziploc bag had a t-shirt, socks, underwear, JEANS, and SWEATSHIRT. So in total he had 4 complete changes of clothes for an overnight hike. We all got a kick out of that. We ended up dividing up some of his gear among the older, stronger Scouts so he could keep up the rest of the day. Suddenly the security officer at the airport asking if you packed your own bags doesn't sound quite so absurd.
AdamApr 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm #1974068
Very cool, and those weight-saving measures mean so much more to young hikers than to parents: every ounce you save is a larger percentage of their body weight that it is of ours.
Mess kits are a great place to save weight and I love the look of realization when the guys put the versions we do on the gram scale, right after their cool Light My Fire plastic or my old BSA aluminum they can try. (We use noodle bowls similar to margarine tubs, and reflectix.) The best part is when other Scouts help them "find weight to cut" or actually propose sharing items to save weight for the Patrol.Apr 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm #1975925
Seeing Adam's post reminds me of a trip a few years ago with the Scouts… We were heading out to the AT for two nights and about a dozen miles. When loading one of the boys packs into the truck, the loaders were completely astonished at "David's" pack weight. It was easily almost twice the weight of everyone else's (including the adults). We did a quick check and discovered that his mom had packed for him… Almost the same as Adam's story of Brett's clothes but David also had six medium cans of pork/beans, fruit cocktail and BBQ beef in addition to his trail snacks! Fortunately, we were able to help him "skinny" down a bit before hitting the trail…
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