Jan 20, 2009 at 7:37 pm #1233402
Companion forum thread to:Jan 20, 2009 at 8:18 pm #1471685
After a 5 day 4 night backpacking trip I realize that my 35 – 40 lb backpack with all my creature comforts can be summed up in one phrase, "The enjoyment of backpacking is proportional to the weight of your backpack."Jan 20, 2009 at 8:59 pm #1471692
what is the "patented sit pad"?Jan 20, 2009 at 9:21 pm #1471696
no sit pad in gear list..hmmmJan 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm #1471703
@sdwhiteyLocale: Smoky Mountains
the gear list is his
the sit pad was his buddy'sJan 21, 2009 at 2:56 am #1471721
Busted. We all carry one. A long time ago (30+ years) my other buddy Danny cut up a blue pad and "patented" it. It's great for sitting on mossy logs, damp ground, snow and standing on while changing clothes. The pad weighs 1 oz on my scale.Jan 21, 2009 at 5:40 am #1471728
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
Great article — you captured one of the main reasons I (soon to be fifty) lightened my load. That feeling of gliding along the trail is addictive…Jan 21, 2009 at 5:57 am #1471729
I've found that a few pieces of Velcro can turn a sit pad into a freezer bag cozy. Not patented, though… ;)Jan 21, 2009 at 6:42 am #1471731
Steve, good article. Bill,great idea of making the sit pad multiuse. I do like my sit pad for those cold/wet stops.Jan 21, 2009 at 7:17 am #1471734
@sschloss1Locale: New England
Enjoyed the article. I'd just add that very few AT thru-hikers go UL. I've done half the trail. With an 18 lb. base weight (this was before I went UL), I had a lighter pack than nearly every thru-hiker I met. Base weights of 20-30 lbs are typical on the AT, even though the shelters and the frequent resupply options make UL very easy and even comfortable. It's too bad that more AT hikers don't go UL–I suspect heavy packs are a major reason why so many people who attempt thru-hikes don't make it.Jan 21, 2009 at 7:42 am #1471738
A UL pack weight doesn't have a major correlation with finishing the AT. The people that finish are the ones that want it. A heavy pack will knock out those who casually thought hiking the AT would be fun quicker than those who have UL packs. If you want to finish the trail a few extra pounds on your back is not going to stop someone.
Also looks can be deceiving. I was hiking in Maine this summer with my dad. One girl that we hiked with was carrying a vapor trail and all kinds of UL crap. My dad was carrying a Kelty Trekker monster external frame and his total pack weighed less that hers. We both went into the 100 mile wilderness with 29 lbs (w/food, wo/water) ready for 10 days. My dad with the Kelty and me with a Dana.Jan 21, 2009 at 8:39 am #1471746
Jolly Green GiantParticipant
Dang it. You beat me to the punch. One of us better jump on getting this idea to the market so we can earn our millions. I'd just like to say mine is thinner and manufactured with bigger butts in mind.Jan 21, 2009 at 9:40 am #1471756
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Pffffttt! If you were truly UL you'd use baby Velcro and put the other half on your pants rear. Then you'd have your sit pad ready to go :-D Just rip it off at dinner time.
lol….Jan 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm #1471793
Scott, it amazes me the things that AT hikers carry. Last summer I was hiking in Shenandoah with a ULA Circuit. Pack weight with 5 days of food and 2 liters of water was less than 25 lbs. A thru-hiker with a ULA Catalyst asked one of my hiking partners if I had every thing I needed. He was shocked to hear I was carrying even a tent.
Since that trip I attended WT1-RM and have gone to a ULA Conduit. I've cut my base weight to less than 10 lbs which would put me under 20 lbs. for the same trip.Jan 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm #1471797
Robert, three years ago I meet a number of those hikers who thought they could casually hike the AT. One I remember made the decision a week before departure. The last time I saw that hiker was somewhere before Tray Mountain.
My son and I are planning a thru hike in 2010. I am 56 and train daily to make sure I'm in the best condition I can be when the trip starts. I evaluate every hike I go on to lighten my pack and gear.
You are right that you have to want it, but a light pack sure makes it a whole lot easier!Jan 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm #1471815
Hiking the AT casually is fun as hell. Plenty of people finish the AT who started with a weeks notice. I have done 4 long hikes on the AT and never had more than two weeks serious though beforehand (its always in my head). Most of the folks that I enjoy hanging out with on the trail are the casual type(they usually end up being potheads). I had a buddy (this one was not a pothead) that I hiked with this summer who quit a engineering job with less than a month notice and started SOBO. He finished fine and is bumming around the country right now because he is going to hike the PCT later this year.
I have also seen plenty of people who have trained every day and carried the perfect gear and had their food planned down to a T who have failed.
You can't look at people who finish the trail and find any common ground between them except loving what they are doing and wanting to finish.Jan 22, 2009 at 10:34 am #1472029
Robert, I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Especially planning to a “T” part. There is no one thing that will guarantee successfully completing the AT. However instead of hijacking this thread let’s start another and invite both section hikers and thru-hikers to list things that made their hike successful.
Hope you will continue your comments there.
The thread is under General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion;Looking for Help on How to Succeed on the ATJan 22, 2009 at 11:50 am #1472045
Who on earth needs a sit pad if you already have a sleeping pad. I can understand if you would'nt want to damage your inflatable pad, but for closed-cell foam users???
You REALLY don't have an excuse to bring a sit pad if you are using a torso pad!!!
-EvanJan 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm #1472067
.Jan 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm #1472069
I'm gonna have to disagree with you here, Evan. First, if you use your pad as a virtual frame it would be a pain in the ass to have to take it out to sit on at rest breaks and then have to fit it back in your pack. Second, even if you don't use your pad a virtual frame, it is much easier to pull out a small, conveniently packed sit pad than to dig out your sleeping pad. Also, your normal sleeping pad can be supplemented w/ your sit pad to increase the warmth and comfort of your sleep system.
EDIT: sry to repeat many of Dave T's points…i posted this before i saw his postJan 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm #1472082
Great article evidenced by pictures with many smiles! I am just turning 58 and begun the light/ultralight pairing down of gear from years of mountaineering. The one noticeable piece of gear I would miss is at least one or two insulating layers. In Wyoming a long sleeved hoody and one of the 12oz polyester filled parkas go a long way to keeping me cozy on cool nights and mornings. How do you get along without either?Jan 22, 2009 at 2:31 pm #1472106
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I have worn as many as 5 light and thin layers to keep me warm in the winter time and often three for my three season backpacking.
For me, this is typical layering system that I have available for three season:
1. Light weight thermals, long sleeve top and bottom 8-9 oz approx. combined weight
2. Light insultating layer; Montbell Thermawrap jacket 8.5 oz (This replaced my fleece jacket which was heavier and bulkier and provided about the same warmth).
3. REI Convertable Pants
4. Light Weight Rain Jacket & Pants (10 oz each, REI Jacket & Pants)
*Note: there much lighter options for rain gear than what I have. Currently, I am using 2.0 oz MLD rain chaps & a 9.5 oz poncho tarp for rain gear.
5. Wind Shirt with hood 3.5 oz, which I sometimes put under my Thermawrap Jacket for additional warmth
6. Light Fleece REI Hat 2.0 oz
7. Light Gloves 2.0 oz
8. Windproof/Waterproof Mountain Laurel Designs eVent Rain Mitts 1.0 per pair
9. Sun Hat 3.0 oz?? Sunday Afternoon Brand…add a little warmth and keeps the rain off my glasses.
If I expect it to be cold, I will bring thin glove liners and a light balacalva.
Having many light layers allows me to regulate my temperature in a wide range of temps.
As you can see, I do have at least three layers available to me at any given time.
Obviously, your clothing kit will be adjusted based on the conditions that you may be facing….swapping to maybe a mid-weight thermal vs. light weight….maybe you need a light weight, high 850 down fill jacket to stay warm.
I think that it is safe to say that light weight backers are not trying to go with fewer layers, but finding superior materials that offer a high ratio of warmth to weight.
Hope that this helps….I am sure that there are many other more knowledgable people who can chime in to add to this.
-TonyJan 22, 2009 at 7:34 pm #1472193
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Evan, I carry a sit pad due to that I don't want my sleeping pad getting nasty and as well…it is buried in my pack. I have to have padding when I sit down on the ground or on a tree as well…..
I also use my sit pad as a pillow and if I need a stepping pad to get out of my tent at night.
Very multipurpose! :-)Jan 23, 2009 at 10:43 am #1472345
>>Who on earth needs a sit pad if you already have a sleeping pad. I can understand if you would'nt want to damage your inflatable pad, but for closed-cell foam users???
>>You REALLY don't have an excuse to bring a sit pad if you are using a torso pad!!!
I do use my torso pad to sit on or lay down for a power nap at lunch breaks and it is easy to access due to it being the "frame" on my Gossamer Gear Mariposa.
But, since I had my food bag out anyway, and my ziplock freezer bag cozy was in there anyway – I decided to open it up and sit on it one day. It was very convenient and warm.
By the way, my base pack weight is under 10 pounds and my full skin out weight is just above 20 pounds, so it's not like I'm taking a bunch of "extras".
I even let friends borrow it who don't have a closed cell or easy access to their pads. Sitting on a trash bag is cold and unpredictable on even the slightest incline!Jan 25, 2009 at 2:16 pm #1472832
"also, if it's only 1 oz, perhaps that really doesn't matter much"
EEK! Heresy! You do know you are on BPL, the home of the biggest gram weenies on earth don't you?
Seriously though I agree with many of the others that a sit pad in addition to another pad can be a worthwhile addition.
Every ounce matters, some are just important enough to bring anyway.
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