Feb 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm #1313595
So I just packed up everything for a weekender so I cant weight everything, but had the desire to post a gear list to have maybe some ol' vets look at it.
Primary uses: Weekenders/Weeklongs Fall/spring/mild winter on a college students budget
Golite poncho—-Best budget UL shelter IMHO
8 mini hedgehog stakes—I have heard these are better than titanium stakes for some reason
30 feet of spectra/nylon sheathed chord w linelocs
Two Trashbags 1.5 oz total!–use as groundsheet primarily, can be used as vb poncho and leg device or as partial bag cover if its hurricaning
Neoair xtherm UGGHH expensive but worth
MH nitrous hooded–CRAIGSLIST 45bucks!!
EE 20 deg quilt 750 fill reg/reg UGGHH expensive but worth, and relative to other options actually a lot cheaper
Unzipped down hood from winter down jacket—Jacket was 20 bucks from platos closet
SOOON I will also have the goose feet socks with covers—-UGGHH expensive but worth
Cheep waterproof insulated gloves–3 oz 7 dollars!
Pullover hoody found at goodwill 6oz amazingly water resistant and pretty breathable–4 dollars!
Same with a pair of wind pants 3dollars
Underarmour waffle type thing for tops and bottoms-8oz each already had
Smartwool phd socks times 2 —got with a giftcard
Goretex Brooks trailrunners ghost 6–ALready had
Modified Jam-no foam, bladder, draw chord etc–>21oz new weight—Good value 100 bucks seems okay here
Two smartwater 1L bottles
Visor, handkercheif, half toothbrush, mini toothpaste, headlamp, mini first aid, PLB,
I think my total weight with this is around 7.5 or something, maybe a bit moreFeb 21, 2014 at 4:31 pm #2075804Feb 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm #2075830
Fair enough, I acknowledged the lack of weights, not really what I am concerned with.(at the moment) More of a shout in a loud room from a newbie to the form to see if anyone has some good info on anything. I will be camping in utah and colorado in all kinds of weather usually below tree line. Solo, i guess that last part is somewhat important. Sorry for being such a BEGINNER haha
AlexFeb 21, 2014 at 6:57 pm #2075847
If it were me, I'd be concerned about using a small, barely-waterproof tarp for shelter *and* rain gear, with no bivy, only down for insulation and sleep, and fall/spring/ "mild" winter conditions.
Has this system worked well for you in the past? How will it handle "all kinds of weather"? For example, what's your plan if you have to set up the shelter in driving rain (when it's also your poncho)?Feb 23, 2014 at 2:26 am #2076194
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
I'd add a bug bivy from borah and a Sawyer squeeze mini filter. The golite poncho works well but it leaves one side exposed and it's pretty minimal in a bad storm. The fabric is weak too. I've torn a tie out just by setting it up. It's only 15d.
I would keep your eyes out for SMD wild oasis. 360 degree weather protection and bug protection so you wouldn't have to get the Bivy. I think they go for around 150 used. Also look for buying something like a Zpacks hexamid or mld solomid. They will cost about $300 but they will last many years with care. It's almost a one time investment but very light and better than a poncho tarp.Feb 23, 2014 at 6:34 am #2076217
Don't overlook making your own gear. Thrift stores often have good used sewing machines for $20 or so. You can make a ~10 oz shaped tarp with 360 degree protection for about $30 in materials. Plenty of good info, articles and tutorials for MYOG on this site (and others).Feb 24, 2014 at 6:34 pm #2076710
Thanks for all the insight guys! So far it has worked but I can say that it hasn't been rainy and windy at the same time. I just now perfected a really low pitch that I think will protect me from all weather. Another member here expressed it as a breathable bivy sac. And since I started my UL journey with waterproof bivy sacs I am plenty comfortable with the tight space. However I am VERY Interested in getting a pyramid for group camping or exposed camping etc. I was looking at the appy trails mark 3 or 5 as a possibility… Wind proof enough? Thoughts? And also I keep seeing those sawyer filters on the trail but for now will make due with my life straw!!!! Same principle. As far as the transition between poncho and shelter my wind layer is exceptionally waterproof for being so old and cheap. As a result though it isn't very breathable haha!Feb 24, 2014 at 9:55 pm #2076760
I have spent a few rainy nights under a Golite Poncho and found it to be pretty tight and not much margin for error. Site selection and wind orientation is super important. I have gone with a Gatewood Cape instead. It is just as good as the Golite as a poncho and superior as a shelter, wih full coverage.Feb 24, 2014 at 10:32 pm #2076773
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
+1 on a Gatewood. Light years past a poncho as a shelter. Not very stylin' as rain gear, but it will keep you dry. I added a bivy with a waterproof bottom, breathable top fabric and insect screen rather than an inner nest. That option is lighter, more versatile, easier to rig and even less expensive. Bugs were the main impetus for adding the bivy, not weather.
And I like ponchos. They are inexpensive, light, ventilated, and cover your entire pack. I think they make a fine emergency shelter, but require a waterproof bivy to make a complete shelter. I carry an AMK space blanket bivy for my day hiking backup shelter, paired with the poncho.Feb 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm #2077063
My main goal is to speed up pitching, be windproof enough, and eliminate a bivy because I believe it is somewhat unnecessary and I am shying away from any groundsheet that isnt polycro. The gatewood cape does look pretty bomb proof and easy to set up. As far as eliminating the bivy I am considering just sleeping with a head net. This sounds pretty spartan relative to everyone here using a bug insert or bivy but I really dont want to jaunt around with all that fabric and again, not a fan of silnyon as groundsheet or cuben fiber due to lack of waterproofness or induced paranoia from expensiveness. If all you cape users can comment on wind resistance and slam the hammer down as far as rain splatter testimony goes I might have to order myself one!!
Thanks for all the advice!Feb 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm #2077107
Provides excellent wind protection. I don't use a bivy, just a ground sheet, that is part of the reason I went with the Gatewood over another poncho like the Golite or MLD.
Here is Will's excellent review of the Gatewood:Feb 25, 2014 at 7:28 pm #2077110
If you do enough trips with only a poncho/tarp and no bivy, you will eventually be in weather with a soaked sleeping bag or quilt. The poncho/tarp is just too small. When you move to 8' X 10' tarp or similar size, then the bivy is not necessary to keep your sleep system dry.
I have a Wild Oasis, which is the same size as the Gatewood, but not a poncho. I can vouch for it being an excellent shelter; even in sleet/light snow/wind.
Ponchos, IMO, are great rain gear, especially in prolonged downpours. They have some disadvantages in wind (a waist cord helps) and they can catch on stray branches or cactus spines.
Even with lots of practice, you will get soaked during set-up or take-down in a good rain.
With lighter tarps (think Cuben), I have quit using poncho/tarps, but still use a poncho for rain gear.Feb 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm #2077116
I use a MYOG silnylon shaped tarp, 9.6 oz including lines. Roughly the same size and coverage as a Gatewood. 360 degree coverage–can pitch pretty tight to the ground if need be. No concerns about rain splatter. I use polycryo for a groundsheet–pretty standard practice around here–1.5 oz trimmed. I've slept in a head net (0.5 oz), and might do it again, but it's definitely an adjustment. I found I needed earplugs to sleep, because the head net still lets mosquitos close enough the buzzing is hard to take, even if they can't bite.
Minus heavy bug pressure, or having to camp in established sites where critters run across my face, I like the openness of a tarp. I really like that my shelter is something I designed and made.
Having said that, my wife and I just got a SMD Haven tarp and net inner for hiking together, and I'm kind of looking forward to a little fully-enclosed comfort, with very little fiddle-factor. Especially since it's only about 18 oz each to carry.Feb 25, 2014 at 7:59 pm #2077124
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Take a close look at the new SMD Deschutes tarp – essentially a larger version of the Wild Oasis (minus the bug netting) / Gatewood Cape (minus the poncho hood.
Cuben fiber weighs 7 ounces (6.9) without pegs and lines
49 inch peak height (raises canopy; expands covered space for larger hikers)
Has the same canopy size as the Lunar Solo
Has 42 square feet of coverage; 7 (20%) more than the Wild Oasis or Gatewood Cape (35 square feet @)
A variant of the Serenity Net Tent is being designed to accommodate the 49” peak height.
It will have an 8 inch bathtub floor to block ground winds because the edges of the canopy are so far off the ground.
Shoiuld be available by the end of April. Watch the SMD Facebook page.Feb 25, 2014 at 10:19 pm #2077190
@glenn64Locale: Snowhere, MN
You asked for input, so this is all I have. I bought into the Gatewood idea, but the snow-piles along my driveway are over my head yet, so it'll be a couple months before I get to try it out. There are so many reviews on it already, that there really isn't anything I can add, except for my first out-of-the-box impressions.
When I received my Gatewood, naturally the first ting I did was put it on the scale. It tipped in at well over 12oz!!! Well over the quoted 11oz, or even the reported 11.6 oz. So I zipped open the pocket zipper, hoping to remove something that caused the extreme overweight reading. First thing that popped out was a sewn in tag that said "Made in China". Disappointing since i thought I was supporting a cottage company. All I found for added weight, was a slip of paper that was the instruction card, and it didn't weigh but a gram, if that.
I set it up in my living room, using freeweights as anchors. I like using them because they are easily slid around to get the perfect pitch, especially on something I've never pitched before. Well, it's impossible to get a taught pitch with the supplied beak cord. Other reviews say it's possible, but with what I had to work with there is no way. It just isn't long enough to stand the beak high enough off the ground to bring the front panels taut. So I added about three feet of cord and got a taut pitch.
It was actually much roomier than I thought it would be. I pitched it as low to the ground as I could, and had no problem with end room or sitting upright. Being a 5' 10", 160 lb male, I feel quite comfortable in it. I moved forward with the seam sealing, but was disappointed again with some of the single stitched construction. As one coming from an MLD Duomid, I found it very weakly made. Compared to something like a Duomid, the Gatewood feels like a made-in-china toy. Perhaps an apples to oranges comparison, but just noting my personal impressions. I'm still new to the homespun variety of gear, but compared to my MLD, ULA and GG purchases, I guess I had higher expectations from SMD.
I mixed up my silicone very thinly and painted it on carefully with an artists acrylic brush. I used as little as possible and it turned out well, at least to the eye, time will tell as to the thoroughness I achieved this time around. There isn't much to seal though, as the only seams to worry about, besides the hood itself and 2 side tieouts, are the 2 seams attaching the front panels. The back and sides are all cut from a single piece. I went ahead and sealed the bottom hem and all the tieouts for reinforcement to the single stitching. With the very minimal silicone I added, the total weight came to 12.4 ozs.
I was initially really tempted to return it, but the roominess and overall concept is so compelling, that I'm hoping now for a wet summer! :-)
Oh, and YMMV, HYOH, and all that jazz…Feb 25, 2014 at 10:20 pm #2077192
Nick – Are you saying the Gatewood Cape does not provide enough coverage as a tarp? Or that set-up and take down will get you wet? Seems like enough coverage to me, but yeah, in set-up you will get wet, but can get less wet in the take down. What has your experience with the Gatewood and/or Wild Oasis been like?
David – I wold love to see some pictures of your MYOG poncho/tarp. I am thinking about trying something like that in cuben.
Bob – I suspect the SMD Deschutes will be pretty expensive. The Haven in cuben is $460.Feb 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm #2077194
Glenn – Mine came in at a bit over 11oz and is about 12oz seam sealed, which does not seem out of line from what I have read. I hike in the PNW, so yes, let it rain!Feb 26, 2014 at 7:04 am #2077275
I should have clarified–mine *isn't* a poncho tarp, just a tarp. I carry separate rain gear. Pictures are near the end of an article here:Feb 26, 2014 at 8:19 am #2077300
Thank you all for the insight into the gatewood. The stitchig gives me pause and the made in china is a letdown. Since I mostly do trail runs with my pack on quick overnighters I am going to wait and see if my golite poncho can stand up to what I want from it. It's super lightweight, and even though it takes some time to setup I will be wearing a pretty water resistant wind layer underneath. With a modified a frame I think I can handle most conditions and for the few I can't well then I failed to pick a good spot to pitch!! Thanks for the info on the head bug net. Up here in the Rockies they don't bother me to much but around some less windy places here and Utah they would probably be buzzing around me like that all night!Feb 26, 2014 at 8:53 am #2077312
@glenn64Locale: Snowhere, MN
I feel I need to retract a bit of my comments on the stitching. I looked it over again, and areas around the hood and zipper are double stitched, some areas better than others. So my comment about it being single stitched throughout is clearly false. I'm going back to edit my comments to better reflect that.
It does little to change my overall impression however, it still feels weakly constructed to me, and it still has a made-in-china tag. Other reviews have stated how it's a fine choice for moderate weather, but not the best choice for anything severe. Although I've yet to get it out in the real world yet, that seems like a pretty accurate assessment.
Some things are clearly made superior and easy to recommend, others are pure junk and easy to give a big thumbs down to. For me, in my novice opinion, the Gatewood is somewhere in the middle. I'm still excited to use it, but was a little let down in my initial expectations. For my mild weekend use, I think it will be just fine. I guess I'd just gotten spoiled with other, more "bombproof" items, which I wouldn't categorize the Gatewood as.
I can't afford to try every option out there, but for this genre of gear, it seems like the Gatewood is the best thing going for now. I just wish it was made more locally and with more pride in the workmanship.Feb 27, 2014 at 2:31 am #2077622
You have done a really good job. I have almost the exact same setup and it has lasted me for years. Worst case scenario you will learn that you don't like the small shelter and have to add a polycro side wall or something.
Don't waste your money since this is obviously your goal. It is a very well rounded setup you have dollar for dollar and I would just focus on purchasing one "upgrade" per trip from now on, in a way to strive for improvement.
What works for one person won't work for another for any number of reasons and I completely understand and respect your gear choices.
I started out with a gear list VERY similar to yours and have added a firebox nano, steripen freedom, my phone (invaluable tool), a SPOT GPS system, and a HH hammock/shelter (big investment think about your next shelter carefully). I've added/changed quite a few other things but I still carry my golite poncho.
On my next trip I will be carrying my vaporizer (i quit smoking) which is a 2600mah backup battery for my USB flashlight and USB water purifier, as well as my phone. It also means no more cigarettes yay! I also decided to go against my 1 item per trip rule this time and am adding a flamestower which can charge ALL the batteries I now carry in my devices over the fire for only 7 ounces (take the legs off and use sticks).
My setup is somewhere around 12lbs base weight or so now which as far as I can tell hasn't really gone up any since my original 8.5lbs or so I started with. However, I can stay out indefinitely now and not carry a single extra battery or fuel bottles etc. Every single thing I have that weighs heavy can fold flat against my back except my aluminum pot and I love the compactness of my gear. The weight difference is negligable when you reduce the bulk of it going from 8lbs to 12. Something else to consider.
My friend carries 60lbs of gear and is very out of shape. If you put your mind to it you can do anything so stick with what you have for now and strive for improvements based on YOUR experiences.
I learned a long time ago to take gear suggestions with a grain of salt around here. Most the guys that tell you what gear to buy are just justifying what they themselves purchased for way too much money to people like me and you. Time in the woods is what it is all about and your skill set is the most valuable tool you carry, not a $5000 backpack/gear setup.
I enjoy hiking with my friend because he enjoys time outdoors. I don't care what he carries or how he does it at a whopping 60lbs base weight. He enjoys himself and focuses on the outdoors more than 99% of people around here anyway. THAT is what I've learned from HEAVY packers, they are actually enjoying the experience in the woods more than the guy worried about his $1000 cuben gear.
I'll never forget when my buddy lit his pack on fire by accident one night with a little too much silly around the fire. Funny enough, he didn't even care because his gear is covered by redic manufacturer warranties and sure enough almost every item got replaced for free. That is when I realized my obsession was ruining my experience because had that happened to me I wouldn't have even been talking the rest of the trip, let alone shrug it off in a few minutes like he did.
Kind of ironic really as most people go lightweight to try and enjoy the outdoors more, not less, but then they get infested with gear bugs and obsessive…. need I go on lol.
I'm actually thinking about adding a frame pack to my arsenal too. Not a ultralight one either. The more I get into the woods the less I really want to deal with flimsy gear and soar shoulders or stuffing my pack JUST RIGHT like Goldi Locks. I've found through personal experience that my obsession over shaving a pound off my back in frame weight/comfort and durability is only detracting from my experience in the outdoors, not increasing it like most here are suggesting it does.
I've learned a lot from both heavy packers and light packers. I find myself as a middle ground kind of guy. I wish you luck in finding your balance too.Feb 27, 2014 at 5:09 am #2077631
"Nick – Are you saying the Gatewood Cape does not provide enough coverage as a tarp? Or that set-up and take down will get you wet? Seems like enough coverage to me, but yeah, in set-up you will get wet, but can get less wet in the take down. What has your experience with the Gatewood and/or Wild Oasis been like? "
No, I said they are excellent shelters.
Shelters that double as rain gear present some challenges.Feb 27, 2014 at 5:13 am #2077632
Buying expensive gear that works is not a waste of money, but an investment. Buying cheap gear that works is an investment.
Buying expensive or cheap gear that doesn't or doesn't last is a waste of money.Feb 28, 2014 at 6:00 am #2077966
So so true. However, a lot of people don't realize once they get a hole in a $1,000 tent how much it can distract them from the experience of that trip. It looks so good on paper until your neighbor's dog rips a hole through it or a flying ember melts half of it away in an instant.
Might I suggest you add hot meals to your trips? College students already eat bad enough as it is. I couldn't imagine trying to enjoy my experience in the wilderness w/out hot meals. The firebox nano is what I added, but there is a larger firebox 5" too which can double as a mini bbq grill for kabobs, meat, or your catch of the day. I've even seen guys cook mini pizzas on them.
I like the stoves that fold flat over the stoves that take up pack volume. They are not the lightest thing you carry (made of hardened carbon steel if you want them to last as an investment). Folding them flat against your back reduces the weight a lot more than simply being stuck with a cylinder like the bushbuddy and packing it full of stuff to reduce the volume less efficiently than a folding design.Mar 1, 2014 at 11:41 am #2078386
Thanks troy for the insights. I recently noticed that I was concerned more about my gear than being outdoors and as a result will probably troll around here less haha. But one last gear comment. I always find the stove thing to be more of a hassle, plus just eating a jar of peanut butter and a bag of MnMs is just too dang convenient. My intestines are made of titanium… not steel to save on weight haha. I do carry an esbit system when no liquid water will be available though. BUDGET ULERS UNITE!
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