Jul 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm #1261711
Background: This is my first attempt to transition to UL. I'm heading out in 2 days, so I'd love comments in two forms: 1) what I could change in the last minute; 2) what I can address at a later date.
Destination: North Cascades, WA, see subject for loop
Time: 5 days
Distance: ~45 miles
Expected temperatures: 40-85F
Highest Elevation: about 7000 ft.
Time Span: Aug. 1-7
# of people: 2
Other: Expected snowfield traverse at Spider Gap. Will bring ice axe and make decision whether to carry it at the trailhead.
Tent, Tarptent Rainshadow 2, 58.6 oz
Sleeping bag, Golite Ultralite 3 season, 26 oz.
Sleeping Pad, Big Agnes Insulated Air Core, 19.5 oz.
Backpack, Summit 5000, 84 oz.
Subtotal: 188.1 oz = 11.76 lb
Boots, Lowa GTX Renegade, 47 oz
Socks, smartwool heavyweight, 4 oz
Pants, nylon convertable, 13.6 oz
underwear, 5.4 oz
Subtotal: 75.9 oz = 4.74 lb
Socks, smartwool heavyweight, 4 oz
long sleeve shirt, nylon, 7.3 oz
long underwear bottom, midweight, 9.5 oz
long underwear bottom, lightweight, 8.2 oz
fleece pullover, 16 oz
rain top, North Face Hurricane, 6.5 oz
rain pants, North Face Hurricane, 8.5 oz
fleece hat, 2 oz
fleece mittens, 2 oz
glove liners, 1.4 oz
baseball hat 2.6 oz
stuffsack for clothes, 4 oz
subtotal: 65.4 oz = 4.09 lbs
bear rope, 50', 2.3 oz
stuff sack for food, 2.2 oz
stove, will be carried by partner, 0 oz
water containers, 2, 3.4 oz total
cup for eating out of, 3.4 oz
water tablets, Potable Aqua, 4.3 oz
spoon & fork, 0.9 oz
pocket knife, 2.4 oz
Subtotal: 21.6 oz = 1.35 lbs
headlamp, black diamond, 7.2 oz
TP and disinfectant, 4.5 oz
4 trash compactor bags, 0.1 oz
Wallet, 3.8 oz
DEET and container, 2.6 oz
sunscreen and container, 2.8 oz
ice axe, (may leave in car), 18.6 oz
camera, 5.5 oz
toothbrush, 0.4 oz
toothpaste, 0.9 oz
dish/hand soap, 2 oz
lighter w/ duct tape, 1.3 oz
subtotal: 49.7 oz = 3.11 lbs
sunglasses plus case 3.5 oz
compass, 1 oz
whistle, 0.5 oz
first aid, moleskin/scissors/tape, bandages, 2.1 oz
watch, 2.2 oz
prescription medicine, 1.1 oz
subtotal: 6.9 oz = 0.43 lbs
Total non-food = 407.6 oz = 25.48 lbs
Food 5 nights, 6 days = ~13.19 lbs
water, 1-2 lbs
Total: ~40 lbs.Jul 29, 2010 at 9:59 pm #1633403
@joefishLocale: All Over California
Hi, and welcome!
Are you going conan? I don't see you wearing a shirt, but you're carrying one. Hmm.
How much of your sleeping bag weight is stuff sack? A bread bag works great, is free and weighs .4 oz.
Unless you have some kind of circulation problem, I can't see you needing TWO pairs of long underwear. At the temps you describe, I can't imagine bringing one, but hey. Pick one, move on.
Do you really need mittens and liners? I think you'll be ok with one at those temps.
Are you carrying the baseball cap or wearing it?
Is the 1 lb fleece your only option for something warm?
3.4 oz for a cup?? Get a sour cream container or something for less than an ounce, and free.
7.2 oz is lot for a headlamp. There are cheap ones that weight 2 ounces- try target.
TP and sani- repackage and reconsider, 4.5oz is way too much. I'll start the TP argument rolling with this link:
I personally don't bring either. Hand sanitizer is no subsitute for adequate handwashing. I bring .8 oz of TP in the first aid kit in case of… something that requires it.
Trash compactor bags generally weigh just over 2 oz. Do you have them in the anti-gravity sack? Just saying… besides, what do you need four for?
4 oz of wallet? For what? Stash it in the car. If you need your ID and a credit card for a resupply, just slip those into your first aid kit.
You probably could repackage your DEET – or just skip it and hike in longsleeves and get a headnet.
The knife is kinda heavy, but that's a personal thing. I bring a .5 oz mini swiss army knife and it meets all my needs. Many people bring a utility knife blade.
4oz for a stuffsack for your clothes??? Try a gallon freezer bag for < 1 oz.
Are those water tablets in the jar? They could go in a dime bag and shave most of that weight.
Long term considerations are really the big 3 – the rainshadow is a lot of tent. Even so, you could fit this setup in a GoLite Jam at a savings of almost 4 pounds. The sleeping bag is ok, but I love my WM highlite for 17oz with the stuff sack. The pad, too, could be less. If you can't live without the inflatable, there are NeoAirs on the gear swap here all the time. The ProLites are nice for self-inflating foam, and of course if you're really hard core there is closed cell foam. I have a ProLite size small for 11 oz that I picked up on clearance for $60.
There are lot of opportunities for ounce-shaving on this list. It really does add up.
Good luck!Jul 29, 2010 at 10:11 pm #1633404
Tad EnglundBPL Member
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
Derek, here is my shot at your list….
Edited- Joe hit all my points –Jul 29, 2010 at 10:59 pm #1633410
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
I don't know if you plan it in your trip, but if you can swing it, do make a stop at Image Lake. It's an iconic spot, having graced many a magazine spread over the years. There is camping nearby with a privy that has an epic view of Glacier Peak. (camping is banned on the lake).
It's easy to incorporate into your hike, if not already part of it.
DirkJul 30, 2010 at 8:04 am #1633452
Great idea, thanks. We are hoping to have a little extra time to do a side trip.Jul 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm #1633515
Joe has hit what I would hit. Just a personal note. I took a 9-day trip on that loop in 1987 (we took a 2-day side trip north of Image Lake to Canyon Lake) and carried 50 lbs. I'm ot too sure how I did that, even though I was 23 years younger. If I were going today for 9 days, I'd be carrying 25 lbs.
Get a couple of those mylar turkey roasting bags at the supermarket and ditch those heavy stuff sacks. If you're using a 2 mil trash compactor or contractor bag to line your pack (but why 4?) you don't even need those.
The one place I differ from Joe is that I would NEVER leave the wallet in the car! There are far too many trailhead breakins in the Pacific NW these days! Please don't leave anything in the car to reward those slimeballs! Instead, take out of your wallet the minimum items you need (drivers license, insurance card, 1 credit card and maybe a $5 and $20 bill) and put it in a ziplock sandwich bag in your pack; leave the rest at home.
Don't forget that you'll need the NW Forest Pass at the trailhead.Jul 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm #1633548
How much would 9 days of food weigh for you? We have about 11 lbs of food right now for 6 breakfasts and lunches and 5 dinners @ ~3000cal/day.Jul 30, 2010 at 2:54 pm #1633553
For some reason, I don't get very hungry on backpacking trips. I therefore take 1 to 1.25 lbs. of food a day and still have leftovers. The general rule of thumb for most people is 1.5 lbs. per person per day.
When I get hungry is after I get home, when I no longer need the calories!
My base weight (everything but fuel, food and water) for such a trip is 12.9 lbs. That's pretty heavy by BPL standards, but keeps my old bones comfortable and warm! I haven't yet gotten around to posting my list on BPL; I'm not too sure if I want to go through the traditional no-TP fight on this forum.
Enjoy your trip! I think you'd enjoy it a lot more if you'd lighten the load, but 2 days before is a bit late! Do keep track of items you don't use and repost your list in the fall so you can work on it over the winter.Jul 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm #1633554
Derek Schutt wrote: "How much would 9 days of food weigh for you? We have about 11 lbs of food right now for 6 breakfasts and lunches and 5 dinners @ ~3000cal/day."
This seems to vary enormously from individual to individual, even accounting for body weight. On shorter, less vigorous trips with my daughter, I eat about 16 calories per day per pound of body weight. On a recent longer, more vigorous trip (averaging a little under 20 miles a day for 12 days), I ate more like 19 cal/lb/day. Some people say they eat double this amount.
Are your figures of 11 lb and 3000 calories split between the two of you, or are they per person? The best comparison would be if you could give calories per day per lb of body weight.
As far as weight carried, 9 days of food for me would be roughly 10-15 lb of food.Jul 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm #1633556
Ben, the calories per pound of body weight might not be applicable for those of us who carry some of our "extra food" in that fashion! :-)Jul 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm #1633560
Re the weight, the following seem to me like the big items to think about changing:
-Boots. Try running shoes instead.
-Sleeping pad. Try one of these: http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/pad_matrix.html
-Tent. You can lose a ton of weight by switching to a tarp, or a lighter weight tent.
-Pack. Switch to an UL pack.Jul 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm #1633562
"Joe has hit what I would hit."
"Just a personal note. I took a 9-day trip on that loop in 1987 (we took a 2-day side trip north of Image Lake to Canyon Lake)"
A big +1! If you have the time, Canyon Lake is well worth the effort. It's an easy hike from Image Lake and much less impacted by human use. There are good campsites at the outlet. If you do go there, follow the boot track from the northwest end of the lake about 1/2 mile west to a side track up to Totem Pass for a panoramic view of the Ptarmigan Traverse route. From that vantage point you will have awesome views of both Dome Peak immediately to your north and Glacier Peak off to the south. It's one of those gems that don't show up in guide books. Do be prepared for bugs.
Have a great hike!Jul 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm #1633564
"Tent. You can lose a ton of weight by switching to a tarp, or a lighter weight tent."
Good general recommendation. However, it has been pretty wet up here this spring, and the bugs are probably going to be ferocious. I'd opt for a tent in the interests of preserving my sanity in this particular case.Jul 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm #1633569
Just a note on Canyon Lake. The trail does not go where any of the maps say it is. It is extremely full of PUDs (Pointless Ups and Downs). It could contour the basin as the maps show, but it doesn't! It's very beautiful and wild, though.
If you can't take the time to go there, at least climb Miner's Ridge behind Image Lake to get the view northward (if you can manage to turn around from the view of Glacier Peak)!
I hope you'll give us a trip report!Jul 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm #1633580
"Just a note on Canyon Lake. The trail does not go where any of the maps say it is. It is extremely full of PUDs (Pointless Ups and Downs). It could contour the basin as the maps show, but it doesn't! It's very beautiful and wild, though."
When were you last through there? I exited via Canyon Lake coming off the Bath Lakes High Route in 2005 and the trail is pretty much where the latest Green Trails map indicated it to be. It's a pretty straight forward affair from there to Image Lake.Jul 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm #1633583
Thanks everyone for your friendly comments. I'm going to try and summarize what I think I'll do.
Things that don't cost much $ and I'll do now.
1) get rid of extra trash compactor bags.
2) put clothes in trash compactor bag and nix heavy stuff sack
3) take iodine pills out of bottle and put into ziplock bag
4) get rid of mittens
5) maybe get rid of extra long sleeve nylon top
Things that cost $, that I'd like to do
1) trail runners
2) smaller pack.
3) sil-nylon stuff sacks
4) smaller head lamp and knife
5) lighter weight equivalent to 300-wt fleece that is 16 oz.
Things I'm not sure I'll do, just because I have finite $
new tent. this one is a compromise between solo and family (can hold my 2 kids) needs.
sleeping pad. I sleep on my side and tend to bruise my hips. I chose the insulated Big Agnes air core because the NeoAir is a little pricy for me right now.
But I'll have to keep an eye on the gearswap.
I hope to better evaluate what I need clothing wise after this trip. Last August backpacking trip I was on saw 15F lows and 12" of snow (up in Canadian Rockies), so I'm a little conservative in what I bring these days. But of course the North Cascades are in a little mellower climate zone.
Also I need to evaluate if I want to bring the tyvec ground pad i have for my tent.Jul 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm #1633584
I weight about 180. So 3000 calories is 16.7 cal/lb.
This is pretty close to what I eat in a normal day (although I have pretty active normal days).Jul 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm #1633587
"I weight about 180. So 3000 calories is 16.7 cal/lb. This is pretty close to what I eat in a normal day (although I have pretty active normal days)."
This is basically the same as what I eat on trips that are as leisurely as the one you're planning, so I'd guess you're in the right ballpark. The best thing would be to keep careful records of what you eat, so you know accurately what your own body needs.
Re UL packs, it's not so much that they're smaller (although they do tend to be somewhat lower in volume than non-UL packs) as that they do away with a lot of the heavy hardware, such as suspension system and frame, that non-UL packs have. This works well when you're going UL, since the frame and fancy suspension are only really useful when you have a lot of weight inside the pack. The UL pack I've been happy with is a Gossamer Gear G4, which is sold online.
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