Jan 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm #1253693
This is what I carry on long hikes. I know it's not going to win any prizes for low weight, but with the exception of health and safety items, I use everything on it every trip in spring or fall.
I'm interested in hearing people's take on it.
By the way, I cook for two, so several of the kitchen items, pot, bear canister etc. are larger than a solo hiker would need.Jan 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm #1558575
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Since you use every item each trip, I'm not sure exactly what input you seek. Do you want lighter weight alternatives? Are you willing to give up some items (like shaving oil) to save weight?
Let us know.
PS: What is the keyboard for?Jan 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm #1558576
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
i don't bring my regular cell phone with me if i take a phone backpacking. i have a LG "brick" phone that i take because if it gets damaged, i don't care. Also it has a much better battery life, almost two weeks on stand-buy. it also weighs 2.3 oz. However this is only convenient if you have a sim card phone (ATT, T-mobile, etc)
Also, lithium batteries weigh 1/3 less than alkaline batteries, so that might shave a few ounces off your electronic gear. they also last longer for the most part.
REI still has a few fenix EO1 flashlights in their outlet store for cheap. they only weigh .75 of an ounce with a lithium battery. you can replace your 3.7 ounce headlamp with that.
Instead of a water filter, use a coffee filter to "pre-filter" and purification tablets or a steripen (either the adventurer or traveler model)
what's the keyboard for?
You knife could be a little lighter. there are a bunch of knifes available that weight an ounce or less.
You could probably reduce everything by a pound, maybe a little more by using these ideas.Jan 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm #1558577
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Quite a lot there which could be challenged.
> Mintyboost 0.5 oz.
> batteries 3 oz.
Alkalines? Switch to e2 lithiums.
Or rechargeables? Really needed – recharge the ones in use?
> Headlamp 3.7 oz.
Heavy – lighter exists
> Battery Charger, solar 4 oz.
OK for long trips
> Keyboard 6.6 oz.
> Watch/compass/barometer/thermometer 4.2 oz.
That is very heavy! There are so many lighter ones on the market – but there is a cost.
> Camera 5 oz.
> PDA phone 5.8 oz.
Seriously consider leaving it behind.
> Trekking Poles 6 oz.
Me, I think they are a just excess weight imposed on us by marketing.
> flip-flops 5 oz.
Leave them behind!
> Jacket 22 oz.
> Convertible Pants 18.1 oz.
> Hiking Shoe 32.6 oz.
> water filter 8 oz
Heavy. Switch to Steripen or maybe chlorine dioxide.
What I would suggest is that you have a good opportunity here to slowly but ruthlessly go through these and other items, upgrading one by one. Don't make big sweeping changes – take it slowly.
CheersJan 1, 2010 at 1:15 pm #1558586
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
What happens if fires aren't allowed?
>Misc. – 16 oz
Some of this duplicates other items — I think this could be greatly simplified. Plus, all the paper towels and wipes just generates trash that needs to be packed out.Jan 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm #1558598
Yes, I certainly don't mind hearing about lighter alternatives, or just plain alternatives, or how you do without (dual use maybe?).
The other questions:
The convertible pants. Can anyone name some lighter ones?
The flip flops. I need to dry and cool my feet whenever possible. Is there a lighter alternative?
Agreed. Shaving oil and razor, though virtually weightless,will go. I have a beard going now and it will keep my face warm and save time.
The batteries are rechargeable NMH's (hence the solar charger)Not usually needed until the three day mark. It would be nice to find a lightweight solar charger like the one I have that's made with lithium's in mind. That would definitely be lighter.
The MintyBoost converts battery voltage (about 3.9V) to 5V to charge my PDA, MP3 and Camera.
I journal into the PDA otherwise it's normally turned completely off except in the rare instances where I use the GPS in it.
I use the keyboard to type into the PDA. I have neither the talent nor the patience to use my thumbs. With the keyboard I can do about 30 wpm. I know a lot of people don't journal, but I get a lot out of the ones I read on-line. My journals also revive the experience of my hikes. I forget a lot.
The trekking poles may indeed be the result of marketing for agile souls, but I've become dependent on them for balance and to raise the sides of my tarp on warm nights.
What do I do when fires aren't allowed? I haven't encountered that issue yet. My stove is fully enclosed and seemingly very safe. It doesn't drop ashes or emit sparks. I've used it on picnic tables. One ranger told me I could use it like any other backpacking stove. Another one said no way. I guess if I head into a questionable area, I'll take a liquid or gas fueled stove.
Roger, you fingered a lot of other stuff as heavy. If you know of lighter equivalents, or where there's a good list that covers those items, I'd greatly appreciate hearing about it.Jan 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm #1558601
@mtn_nutLocale: Morrison, CO
The White Seirra pants in the REI outlet store weight a little under 14 oz a pair for a men's medium. i don't know if there are lighter ones out there, but i like them since they have a decent short inseam.Jan 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm #1558606
Columbia's Omni-Dry Titanium convertible pants are what I use. I believe Silver Ridge is the model name. They are 12 ounces for a medium and I love them! They dry super fast, are really comfortable, and are very durable.Jan 1, 2010 at 4:29 pm #1558632
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> The batteries are rechargeable NMH's (hence the solar charger)Not usually needed
> until the three day mark. It would be nice to find a lightweight solar charger
> like the one I have that's made with lithium's in mind. That would definitely be lighter.
> The MintyBoost converts battery voltage (about 3.9V) to 5V to charge my PDA, MP3
> and Camera.
> I journal into the PDA otherwise it's normally turned completely off except
> in the rare instances where I use the GPS in it.
> I use the keyboard to type into the PDA. I have neither the talent nor the
> patience to use my thumbs.
Ah so. Well, this is Backpacking Light. So …
You could switch to a camera which can take e2 lithium batteries, and to NOT carry spares. That should last you about 4+ weeks.
For the PDA stuff – switch to a small pencil and a 'Rite in the rain' flip pad. That's what I have used for months on end in Europe. I wrote it up each night.
For headlights I take my own MYOG headlight which uses one e2 battery. That lasts for maybe a year or more. It weighs a lot less too. Commercial stuff – try a Pak-Lite maybe.
Flip flops – if you change to UL footwear in a wider fitting you won't need to take your boots off in the evening. I often don't bother. If you do need to, just go bare foot carefully.
Clothing – most commercial stuff is heavier than needed because it is made for the street fashion market, not UL walking. I make my own out of Taslan/Supplex. I have never bothered with 'convertible' pants – uncomfortable and heavy.
You can find lots of other good advice scattered through the Forum pages too.
CheersJan 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm #1558650
Roger, the only thing that concerns me about the light is power. I've hiked at night in the fall when leaves obscured the trail. It would have been tough and likely impossible at times to find the next blaze without the deep hole that my EOS high beam punched in the dark.
That said, I've heard about lighter lamps that have equal or better beams and I'm looking into them.
Ted, Travis, Leanna thanks for the convertible tips.Jan 1, 2010 at 11:59 pm #1558709
Consider an iPhone. I used it for my journal and was satisfied with the touch screen key board. It also covered mp3. I combined it with an IMP5000 rechargeable lithium battery, weighing just over 4 oz. At 5000 mAh and 5V it was enough to recharge the iphone 3 times before needing a recharge. If you pass through towns to resupply you can recharge the battery.
The jacket will depend on the temps you encounter. But a light weight synthetic or down insulated jacket good for 3 season use is about 10 oz. Montbell has moderately priced and good quality stuff in this category.
If your feet are getting wet from condensation or just not drying out after stream crossings, than you don't have enough ventilation. Most here use some form of trail running shoe. I like new balance as they come in widths, but everyone's foot is different so try a few. Other popular brands are inov8, montrail, soloman.
Do you need sanitizer and wipes and antiseptic pads and alcohol wipes? Charcoal lighter? A few cotton balls and vasaline work nicely as fire starter and can be resupplied.
The 7.3 hydration bladder seems redundant and heavy. You already have lighter platy bottles. Gatorade bottles also work well.
The pot at 9.9 oz is quite heavy. Is it stainless? Should be able to get those down to 4 oz. The MSR titanium 1.5L is nice for 2.
The trowel's kind of heavy too. I use a titanium nail stake that weighs 0.4 oz and does double duty as a tent peg.
Should be able to knock 3 or 4 lbs off this list. The big expenditures would be the jacket and pot.Jan 2, 2010 at 6:45 am #1558726
The Jacket will go on the list to replace along with lighter pants.
Ten drops of charcoal lighter on a tiny roll of fiberglass affixed to the bottom of my stove reliably lights it off. An ounce in a dropper bottle lasts about 10 days. I haven't done the comparison, but I suspect that it's a wash between the charcoal lighter and the Vaseline weight wise and the lighter is very convenient.
The anticeptic wipes will go. One alcohol wipe will stay for first aid. The sanitary wipes are a problem. I don't like to stink and my wife won't let me boil a washcloth in the cooking pot.
I have the platy's and the bladder because I filter. The platy's collect the unfiltered water for two people. I guess you can subtract one. My wife should be carrying hers. I return to this over and over, but I'm just not comfortable with chlorine dioxide and the long treatment times.
Does the stake work well in heavily rooted soil? The trowel cuts the roots nicely. When I've tried to use a stick, it shreds the soil but the roots make clearing the hole difficult.
I've tried quite a few trail shoes. Check out this thread. My Asic's were among the more comfortable but the toe protection was abysmal and the soles weren't very durable. The Vasque Velocities lacked sufficient cushioning. I'll be trying some of the suggestions in the thread, but my final choice will be whatever eliminates the pain,dryness will be secondary.
I sincerely appreciate the time you and the others have taken to comment. There's no getting around the fact that I've put as much emphasis convenience and comfort as low
weight, but I'll likely be making the substitutions of equivalent lightweight gear and be looking long and hard at some of the other suggestions.Jan 2, 2010 at 7:04 am #1558728
– -K.T.- –Participant
I don't like to stink and my wife won't let me boil a washcloth in the cooking pot.
Dude you got work cut out for you… What's the problem, my wife insists on it. Not like you are not going to clean it before you eat out of it. Leave her home, that would save some weight;-}Jan 2, 2010 at 8:00 am #1558741
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
With the changes you're making and the advice given to you, you are well on your way! You're certain to enjoy your trips more.
Please report back!Feb 18, 2010 at 8:06 am #1575296
"Please report back."
Well, I've replaced my pants and jacket with lighter versions saving a full pound. I also bought a steripen adventurer which will save another 4 or 5 ounces. I'm seriously eyeing the bear canister. Hate the weight of it, but love the convenience.Feb 20, 2010 at 7:36 pm #1576550
What do you need 2.7 ozs. of nylon rope for? Is it for the hammock (understandable), or something else? Are there lighter alternatives for your purpose?Feb 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm #1576551
Why a 6 oz. waistpack? Couldn't pants pockets handle a few items, and your pack the rest?Feb 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm #1576553
I don't personally worry about it much, but when I do, a few drops of Betadine under the arms and possibly in the crotch, then rinsed with water, will last longer than deoderant ever thought of working.
It kills the bacteria that causes the stink, rather than masking the smell of the stink like deoderant does. Anyone else here ever try Betadine?Feb 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm #1576562
There was a thread a few weeks ago about someone using Betadine for water treatment. It was met with skepticism.Feb 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm #1576743
I read that thread with interest, because I had never heard Betadine mentioned on this site.
I believe it's usually used medically for cleaning skin prior to cutting and operating.Feb 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm #1577350
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
You already have received a lot of feedback. But since I am sitting in front of my computer with some "writer's block" for a project I am working on, thought I would go through your list.
Even though you might use every item, I always look at things from the vantage point of: are they really necessary.
So here goes…
I would dump
– Minty Boost
– Solar charger
– PDA Phone
I have never needed any of these. But I am sure lots of folks are going to consider them necessities.
– Nylon rope: in a pinch, I use my tent cords. Oops… you have no tent or other shelter? If the hammock provides rain shelter, use the cords from it in emergencies.
I rarely hike at night, or hike at night when there is a bright moon, so I can get by with a Photon.
Trowel, other implements available along the trail. Except in some areas they are required and sometimes checked by rangers.
Some duplication here:
– Merino top
– Safari shirt
I can normally get by with just one, two at the most.
Flip flops not needed with some nice breathable trail runners.
Okay, I see you changed the jacket.
Gloves @ 5.1 oz. I can get by down below freezing with light SmartWool liners and eVent mitts.
Hiking shoe – already covered by others.
Emergency Ponco: You already have a jacket. Plus these don't work well as emergency shelters.
Orange vest: what purpose? If it is hunting season, I hike somewhere else :)
Pee bottle: for spring & fall hiking? not needed, go outside. If is necessitated because of the hammock, then I see the hammock as inconveniet :)
Beacon: for spring and fall? No. Maybe if you might get swept away by an avalanche. Of course I will open up a debate with that statement :)
Hand warmers: for spring and fall. No. You already have gloves.
Bear spray: Maybe in grizzly country. Not needed for black bears, IMO.
Paper towels in kitchen? No.
Hydration Bladder: You already have a couple platys.
Water filter: I have never understood this. Chemicals have done me well for 40 years.
Bear cannister: only if required by regulation. Otherwise it is stealth camping, bag hanging or Ursack for me.
Knife: I have been using a Classic for decades.
– Advil works fine for me. Only need one kind of this medicine.
– Anti-histamine? Never took any hiking or even use it at home. Maybe if one has alergies of some sort.
– Sting eze: never took any. Bee stings and others go away in a day or two.
– Deordorant: you got to be kidding. Especially in bear country.
– q-tips? Never even thought about bringing these. Can't see any purpose… but I could be wrong. Only time I use them is to clean the track ball on my computer.
– Safety pins: don't even own any.
– Razor: No.
– Comb: No.
– Shaving oil: No.
– Paper towels: you already have some TP.
– UL Saw? Um… with the wood stove and other stuff, there are lighter alternatives. Plus I hate dealing with the black on pots from wood fires.
– Mini Pliers: No.
– Back up light? Have you ever needed it?
– Carabiners: For what?
– 3 oz of stuff sacks? How many do you have and for what? You have a water proof liner. A couple cuben sacks for minor organization weigh about 1/2 oz.
– Pack: 32 oz: There are probably lighter alternatives, depending on the capacity you need.
– Hammock: No use trying to change the mind of a hammock devotee :) but really, that is a lot of weight.
Sleeping bag: 31 oz for spring and fall. Probably lighter options. My 32F Nunatak weighs 15.8 oz, and handles most of my spring and fall camping.
End of List.
Well, that was fun.
– NickMar 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm #1587155
Why a 6 oz. waistpack? Couldn't pants pockets handle a few items, and your pack the rest?
Bladder when you have a Platty?
I put some light items in the pockets, but anything heavy and they start chafing my legs. Now the new convertible trousers I just bought are made of a smoother material, so I might be able to put more heavy items like a camera in the pockets.
I use the rope (line might be a better term) to hang my bear bag.
I haul dirty water with the Platty. The bladder only sees water that's been purified.
I like my electronics. My philosophy is: It's about going light, not going without. That's just me. I love the MP3, especially when somebody's snoring.
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