Dec 2, 2010 at 8:02 am #1266145
@gabe_joyesLocale: Lander, WY
We use this gear list generally anywhere in the Greater Yellowstone Region. We would generally use this summer backpacking, sometimes into shoulder seasons and temperatures about as low as the low 20's (maybe accidently lower). For Shoulder season we switch to WM Ultralite sleeping bags. Sometimes if things are really snowy, we will include OR Flex-tex gaiters, possibly with a gore-tex running shoe rather than a non-waterproof trail runner.
Thanks for your input.Dec 2, 2010 at 8:52 am #1670114
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Your base weights look pretty good.
Here's what I would advocated changing:
NIX – The GPS (is this truly needed?)
NIX – The TP (easily left behind)
NIX – The "digger" (use a tent stake)
MINIMIZE – the first aid kit, 10.7 oz is a lot.
NIX – the CROCs (10 oz is a LOT when you already have lightweight hikers) (save approx. 10 oz each)
NIX – The Shangri-La 2 and use a simple lightweight tarp (save approx. 10 oz)
NIX – the pack covers (these are NOT truly water proof) replace with a slightly lighter plastic trash compactor bag
NIX – the 37 oz pack and replace with something lighter. (You could easily save 16oz each)
NIX – The "squishy" bowls and cups. these come in at over half a pound! Two tiny titanium mugs should weigh under 4 oz total.
NIX – The hose on the water bottles.
NOTE – I don't see any soap? This is a much safer hygienic tool than hand-sanitizer. Nix the hand sanny, and replace with soap.Dec 2, 2010 at 10:25 am #1670144
You could use plastic Rubbermaid or Ziploc bowls without the lid. They're 0.7-0.9 oz each.
I'd be inclined to keep the SL2, but I carry an SL3 solo often! The SL series is nice when/if? you need full coverage.
I'd consider experimenting with a frameless pack like an MLD Burn. I took all removable straps and belts and frame off of my Gossamer Gear Gorilla (27 oz with everything), and it now weighs 15.7 oz. It was already comfortable, but I found that it's even more comfortable frameless with an inflatable pad as the only back support.Dec 2, 2010 at 2:51 pm #1670211
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I realize there are considerable individual differences, and I'm most definitely a cold sleeper, but with a 30* bag and a NeoAir I'd freeze in the Winds even with all my insulating clothing on inside the bag. I've regularly encountered temps well below 20* in the Rockies, particularly at and above timberline (which is where you are in most of the Winds). In 2009 they got plenty of snow (a foot in Titcomb Basin, per the rumor grapevine–possibly exaggerated) on Aug. 8 and 15, with clearing temps in the teens. If you are warm enough in such conditions with what you have, more power to you! A friend of mine, who was a NOLS instructor for several years and has recently written an off-trail guidebook to the Winds, always takes a 10* WM bag. I've been fine with my 20* Ultralight and an insulated air pad (POE) with a torso length piece of GG Nightlight.
I agree with MikeC! about ditching the Crocs. My camp shoes are Goose Feet down booties with silnylon overbooties (3.6 oz. total), and the main reason I have those (other than pure luxury) is that my trail runners tend to tear up the ground outside my tent door during my necessary multiple exits/entrances. I have tried Crocs in the past (in my boot days); not only were they heavy and bulky, but they were not stable enough on my feet for fording streams. I just ford in my trail runners, wring out the socks afterwards and walk them dry.
I rehydrate (mostly home-dehydrated) food in a freezer bag inside a cozy, and eat it out of the bag. For two persons this system would be quite feasible if you each have your own bag and cozy. This system saves a lot of dishwashing and saves the weight of those bowls. Or you could put 2 servings in the freezer bag and have only one bowl. I also drink out of my pot (toss in a tea bag after pouring off the hot water into the food bag). This last might not work so well for two, unless you happen to like exactly the same beverage! When I do use bowls (when taking my grandkids out), I use 3-cup Ziplock bowls with the rims cut off–0.6 oz. each. You could use smaller ones for cups.
As MikeC! also pointed out, pack covers will not keep your pack contents dry. There are a lot of dicey stream fords in the Winds (as you probably know, the USFS standard there is not to build a bridge unless the ford is unsafe for horses at low water), and the pack cover is useless if you slip and go in. Stuff sacks aren't waterproof, either. Either a pack liner or dry bags for your critical insulation would be a lot safer! If you want to use a pack cover anyway (I do because my pack is my pillow so I want a dry top surface), my ZPacks cuben pack cover is 1.0 oz.
Of course your base weights are already below mine, so take the above (except for waterproofing your gear) as nit-picking unless you really want to reduce your pack weight further!
IMHO, the Winds are close to the most beautiful place on earth, and I wish you the best of trips! I hope to get back there next summer!Dec 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm #1670277
I've hiked the Winds a few times, most of my hiking is in very similar terrain (Montana)
list looks pretty darn good, just a few comments
I think you'll be fine in your Summerlites- especially w/ your additional clothing available- you might find the limit of the Neo Air however- about 32 for me and I sleep warm, the addition of a GG thinlight pad (2 oz) might be good insurance- use it to sit on in camp
tank tops might be a little optimistic- we wear long sleeve light base layers (Cap 1 or Merino 1) during the day- plenty cool enough in the heat (and warmer when cool) and provides some sun protection
also consider heavier base bottoms- I use R1's, my wife Paty tights- warmer and bug proof- these could easily replace the softshell pants and the cap 2 bottoms both
I'd strongly agree w/ the comments on the pack cover- a liner is a better (more waterproof) option
if you don't want to go the tarp route, you could shed some weight w/ one of the many two person mids available- they weigh in closer to a lb
MikeDec 3, 2010 at 8:10 am #1670434
@gabe_joyesLocale: Lander, WY
Thanks everyone for the valuable feedback.
Mike Clelland: What do you keep in your first-aid kit? I have certainly tried to keep mine minimal, but after many WFA courses more and more stuff keeps creeping into it.
Andy: Gret bowl suggestions, thanks. I have thought about a lighter pack many times as well, but I just can't get over how darn comfortable my Osprey Talon 44 is. I've worn some pretty painful packs before, and it seems like a crime to replace one that works so well. I think I will try slicing off a bunch of straps that I never use.
Mary: You are right Winds can get darn cold anytime of year. I have no doubt that it has snowed a foot of snow in Titcomb basin every month of the year. We live in the foothills of the range, and the gear list I posted we used just about every weekend of this past summer in the Winds and it proved warm enough for us. I really like your suggestion for replacing the Crocs with some lightweight booties. That would also be a great way to bolster the warmth of out sleeping bags as well. Thanks for the "bowl" suggestions and pack liner suggestions as well. We keep our sleeping bags in dry-bags, but other wise pack covers have served us well. I understand the risks of getting my whole pack soaked, so far the system has worked just fine for the past few years.
Mike Moore: Iagree, MT and WY are pretty similar. I used to lead trips in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, one of my favorite places. I've thought about some warmer base layers bottoms as well, the tights and R1 sound like a good idea. Tank tops work well most of the summer for us since it gets pretty darn hot in the summer, especially when the sun is out. T-shirt would save on some sunscreen, but hey, we got work on our tans sometime. What are some of the mid's you mentioned that are closer to a pound, like a MLD mid? To be honest, I picked the Golite SL2 because I had a Golite prodeal so I got it for about $80. Might not have been my first choice, but it sure made sense in terms of $$$.Dec 3, 2010 at 8:46 am #1670446
$80- yeah that's a pretty good deal :)
MLD, Oware and Bearpaw all offer pretty light mids- many of the mids are suitable for four season use as well- so you can get pretty good bang for the buck that way
I hear you on the pack thing- I had an Exos and nary a complaint, carried great and still relatively lightweight. I'm getting my base trimmed down pretty decently so am looking for a lighter replacement this Spring- contenders are ULA Ohm and the new (yet to be released) Osprey Hornet, both shave right at a pound-hopefully not at the expense of comfortDec 3, 2010 at 11:28 am #1670492
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
If you have your sleeping bag and insulating clothing in dry bags, you don't need a pack liner ( my other vulnerable stuff like food and bandages is in ziplocks anyway). The weight of the pack liner is about equal to the combined weight of a 13 L and a 7L dry bag (Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil). I switched to the Granite Gear Cuben dry bags this year–the two dry bags are half the weight of a pack liner!
Check out the Goose Feet–they are awesome! (No connection here except as a very satisfied customer.)
Just a warning about slicing off pack straps–check the length while wearing the pack over all your winter clothing! If you don't mind doing a little butchery, you probably can eliminate about a pound.
That "tan" will equal skin cancer later in life, even with sunscreen, especially at high altitudes. Believe me, you don't want to spend your retirement years having chunks cut out of your skin! I grew up in Laramie and did a lot of suntanning, especially when in college on the dormitory roof until we found out about the guys with telescopes on the top floor of the engineering building.
I really envy you living so close to the Winds, but not this time of year! I've been checking the weather at Pinedale Online….
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