Feb 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm #1269863
Some of you might remember me from some older gear lists I posted and got a lot of helpful feedback from to bring my 3 season kit down from around 22-23lbs to 14.33lbs (see my profile to check it out).
But months have passed, a lot of playing around with my gear has been done, and now I have two different backpacks: one for spring/fall, and one for summer.
Due to being a broke student, I have done some DIY/MYOG, but was able to scrape together some dough for a few nice new pieces of gear.
This is for solo outings of 2-3 days (a weekend) here in southwest Sweden between late June-ish to early September-ish.
Weight in grams (sorry oz peeps!)
740 Synthetic, +6 C comfort rating
255 Homemade plastic tarp w/space blanket
428 Trimmed 2.5m x 2m plastic tarp, rope
318 crank flashlight (no batteries needed!), matches, lighter, garbage bag, space blanket, whistle, mini-multi tool
First aid kit
178 Gauze roll/pads, sewing kit, safety pins, band aids, butterfly strips, Tylenol, medical tape, alcohol pads, pen, paper, duct tape
129 Socks, boxers – spare boxers double as swimming trunks
137 Snow Peak Titanium 700
411 Ka-Bar, doubles as hatchet for fire wood
420 Hooks/case, rod, reel, stringer, extra line
130 Plastic spoon/fork/bowl, homemade beer can mug
25 Platypus 1 liter
243 Toothbrush/paste, towel, biodegradable soap, insect repellent, sponge
TOTAL BASE GEAR
4223, 9.29 lbs — HA! I can offical call myself an UL backpacker (even if only for 1 season)!
260 Ramen noodles, oatmeal, sesame seed bars, bouillon cube, tea, sugar, salt, pepper
133 Candy bar, mixed nuts
0 Waiting in the lakes/streams
TOTAL WEIGHT OF BACKPACK
All questions, comments, feedback, and nitpicking welcome.Feb 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm #1702710
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Survival kit – do you REALLY need all this? Could you halve the weight by leaving items out? Try a button cell torch, a wrapped lighter, and a garbage bag.
Ka-Bar knife – heavy! Many of us manage with a tiny knife (some just carry a scalpel blade) and breaking dead wood when we need a fire.
CheersFeb 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm #1702750
Thanks for the input, and from a staff member no less :)
My flashlight weighs 70g and requires no batteries. If I see an alternative that can top it, I will grab it, so long as it is cheap (mine cost about 7 bucks US).
The space blanket weighs 50g and saves me weight on extra clothing. It can get cool here at night even in the summer, so it comes in handy. It works better and is much lighter than an extra layer of clothing.
Thinking about getting rid of the matches, as it is just a back up for the lighter, but they only weigh 15g. I will think about it.
The Ka-Bar is heavy, yes. But lighter than my 600g axe I take in the spring/fall, and eliminates my SAK. So it is like a axe and knife in one. When the forest is damp due to rain, dew, etc.–it is harder (sometimes just about impossible) to start a fire. By splitting wood with a heavy knife by batoning I can get a fire going even if the wood is wet, and I do this frequently due to the climate here. Plus it is great for when I gut and dress fish. I guess you could contend that one could gut a fish with a razor blade, sure. Until I can work out a good alternative for killing all the birds with one stone that the Ka-Bar does, it stays. Got any suggestions?Feb 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm #1702754
@dirtbagclimberLocale: Pacific Northwest
It does seem like there is some redundancy here, personally I prefer to carry one thing that is reliable enough that I don't need a spare.
You have a shelter, a sleeping bag, and a pad, no need for a space blanket.
There are many lighter knives that will do all you need them to than that K-bar, even if you insist on splitting wood. I would imagine you could find a lighter alternative that would also work much better for cleaning fish, as well as probably make shavings better for fire-building.
What do you use the multi-tool for? Sometimes it is lighter to just carry exactly the tools you need.
I've never been to Sweden but here in the states we consider it appropriate Leave No Trace protocol to not use artificial toilet paper. There is an excellent article here on BPL discussing the natural alternatives.Feb 28, 2011 at 3:16 pm #1702759
Thanks for the input.
I elaborated on the space blanket some already, but will think about it. It seems like it lightens the load as far as clothing goes. Or do you know of any base layer clothing that is under or around 50g I could use for sleeping?
What knives would you suggest that can match the Ka-Bar as far as all it can do?
The mini-multi tool was the smallest set of plyers I could find. I honestly don't use the tiny saw and knife that is on it much, and I never use the screwdriver. But I do use the plyers often for pot/pot lid grabber, fish hook remover, and splinter remover. When I see a smaller pair I will grab em. To give you an idea of how small it is, folded up it fits inside the palm of my hand. I bought a pair of needle nose plyers and they were over 200g.
I will look into the natural alternatives to TP. A few others have suggested to nix the TP in the past, I just keep forgetting to look into it. Just one of those things I always have on me, even when I go to school to blow my nose and when public restrooms are out of TP.Mar 1, 2011 at 10:58 am #1703065
@dirtbagclimberLocale: Pacific Northwest
Since you are a member of the Bushcraft Forum I will assume you have read all of the debates about knives for fire starting until you are sick of the subject. I'll spare you my opinion.
The venerable K-bar had a heavy leather handle, a heavy steel pommel intended for use as a hammer, a steel guard designed for fighting, and a bunch of extra steel in the blade that made it strong enough to pry with. It's edge bevel was not to bad, but it's blunt point wasn't good for much, and it tends to be clumsy for any sort of precise job. A knife with a lighter plastic handle of some sort, and a narrower blade (the blade can be a bit thinner to if it's make of the right sort of steel) lacking a metal pommel and guard will be lighter and can cut everything the K-bar will. Some of them will take a lot of beating on.
I was thinking of things such as a Cold Steel Master Hunter, which has a shorter blade, but is strong enough to beat on and weighs less than 7 oz. The Case Lightweight hunter series comes to mind, although maybe not as tough, they have a well-proven blade design intended primarily for cutting rather than splitting though. A Gerber Gator fixed blade would probably be fine. A Kershaw hunter might also work. The SOG Aura Camping Knife looks like it would make a fairly direct replacement, and is probably under 7oz if you leave the sharpener at home. The SOG NW Ranger would be a good choice if you can make due with a shorter blade.
Part of the weight equation for a fixed blade is the sheath. A lot of factory sheaths are quite heavy. Possibly this is an area in which homebrew can make some real advances.
A beefy lockback can be used for these purposes, and doesn't really need a sheath. The venerable Buck 112 was great. If the current version is as indestructible as the old one than it would be a 4.5oz solution. I have seen the old brass-and-wood version used to open cans via putting them point down and pounding them through the top of the can with a stick, and they survived all sorts of wood-spliting chores. Usually these knives were retired because they had been sharpened so much that the edge geometry was gone.
I realised when you asked that the knives I was thinking of are mostly old and not in production, or were handmade to begin with. I like knives with a thinnish blade, long edge bevel, and a decent point. I used to carry around a CRKT Stiff KISS, which was a very light fixed blade with a full tang and whatever sort of handle you wanted to put on it. It was tough, sharp, and had a useful point. I tend to think a 3-4'' blade has been ideal for my own use in fire building, but I realize that sometimes a bigger knife is helpful, as you can pound it through bigger wood. I think something like the above mentioned Stiff KISS knife only larger with a multi-use cord wrapped handle might be ideal. I don't suppose such a thing is made, although one could probably make one out of bare blade easily enough.
I see your point about the weight of pliers, nobody really tries to make them light. If you want to chase grams think about taking your multi-tool apart and removing the tools that you don't need, or even taking the little plier-head out and fabricating handles for it. If you come up with a good solution do post pictures in the MYOG forum.Mar 1, 2011 at 11:57 am #1703085
@mphilipMar 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm #1703092
Falkniven F1Mar 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm #1703097
Mike MBPL Member
your toiletries weigh almost 9 oz, repackage everything in mini drop bottles (Dr Bronners soap is very concentrated and goes a long way)- mine weighs in at a little over an ounce and a half and that lasts 4 days (it includes a toothbrush, tooth powder, Dr B soap, MSR Nano towel and TP- not ready to let go of the TP quite yet :))
knife- Dave beat me to it, but the Fallkniven F1 weighs in at svelte (for such a stout knife) at 150 gramsMar 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm #1703358
Thanks again to everyone for the continued good feedback. Very cool.
You guys will be be happy to hear about a recent change.
One piece of gear I was saving up for was a new, lighter, summertime bag. Last summer I was using my 3 season bag and many nights I would wake up too hot and either sleep with it open or sleep on top of it. So I finally saved up the dough for a new bag and yesterday went to go and pick it up, and then I saw that they had an even lighter summer bag.
I was planning on buying the Haglöfs Lim 100 (740g), but then I saw how compact and light the Haglöfs Lim 50 was and had to go for it. At 460g (!) this is the lightest synthetic bag I have ever seen. The obvious sacrifice is that it is not as warm as the 100 (from a comfort temp of 6 C to 13 C), but if it gets cooler there are options. In addition to my space blanket, which I will admit is a "just in case" item with a 50g penalty, I also have a cotton sleeping bag liner. I repacked my new sleeping bag with the liner inside of it and plus the stuff sack it all weighs 820g. So I can check the weather, and if it is very warm, go for just the bag. If it is cooler, bring the liner too. Without the liner, my new bag brings the base weight down to 3963g or 8.72lbs, with it it would be 4303g or 9.47lbs.
What are y'alls' thoughts on using a liner?
I very much appreciated the feedback on the knife. I checked out the Fällkniven F1 and did drool a bit. It looks like it very well could do most of the jobs that my Ka-Bar can do… but at 1500 SEK (around 235 USD) I will have to stick to my Ka-Bar for the time being. I wonder if battoning with the F1 will be alright. If I were to buy it, I would be afraid to beat it, especially with the price tag!
Thanks for the tips on the clean kit, Mike. It is something I mess with all the time, actually. I recently cut my camp towel in half, for example. The heaviest item is the liquid biodegradable soap. It is very good soap, and I have it in a tiny little plastic hotel bottle. How do you carry Dr. Bronners, and is it liquid?Mar 2, 2011 at 6:52 am #1703399
Mike MBPL Member
hmmm- the F1 can be had here for half that price??????
batoning isn't a problem- the Swedish military put it (and many other knives) through a battery of brutal tests, the F1 came out on top is now official issue as their pilot's survival knife :)
yes Dr. Bronner's is a concentrated castile liquid soap, I use these little dropper bottles- the bottle and soap are only a couple of tenths of an ounce and like I said easily last 4 dyasMar 2, 2011 at 8:04 am #1703413
Not sure why the price is so different over here. I looked up the price from my Naturkompaniet (camping specialty chain here in Sweden) catalog and it says 1499 SEK. Maybe next time I am in the USA I will try and pick one up if they are so much cheaper over there.
Until then, I will keep my eyes open for a tough fixed blade that can stand battoning and that I can afford.
I took your suggestion and I switched soap bottles to an even smaller little plastic hotel bottle (this time shampoo, the body wash bottle was slightly bigger). Now my kit is down to 208g, not too bad. What adds extra weight is that I store my insect repellant in the sandwich baggie that I have my soap in. Without the bug rub, the kit would be 148g.
Thanks again for the feedback! :)
EDIT: forgot to add new total, 3928g / 8.64lbsMar 2, 2011 at 8:39 am #1703426
You can find the F1 for around $100 on Ebay. $145 retail CDN up here so I think you can find better. If you were interested, I could ship you one from Canada or put you the direction of a retailer up in Canada.Mar 2, 2011 at 9:23 am #1703438
Cesar, good to see you here again brother.
I'll make you a knife that'll outperform the Ka-Bar and weigh less. I've recently started bladesmithing.
Here's some pics of my first piece, forged from scratch:
I've got a custom piece by Kenon Rain in 1/8" 1095 that's 13" OAL with a spectra wrapped handle that only weighs 7.5oz, and the tang isn't even skeletonized. It's thin, but very tall so it's extremely tough, and handles like a machete.
Send me a pm and we'll discuss what would work well for your needs. Don't worry, just cover the shipping cost, I'll be good practice for me. ;)Mar 2, 2011 at 9:39 am #1703445
spelt with a tBPL Member
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
Very nice, Javan!Mar 2, 2011 at 10:15 am #1703457
Very kind of you to offer to help out! I have to respectfully decline, as at the moment I am tapped out after blowing my dough on the new sleeping bag. But thanks, seriously. Maybe in the future. Need anything from Sweden? :)
Good to see you too, homie! Where you been hiding out? I guess next to an anvil? Very cool. A very, very nice offer from you! I will PM you about it. Thank you.
The knife looks nice, btw.Mar 2, 2011 at 11:00 am #1703483
Why not a simple Mora #1 or #2? You could even carry a second as a backup at that weight and price.Mar 2, 2011 at 11:23 am #1703493
Already thought about that, but thanks anyhow. On a BC site I am on, I have read that Moras are not so good to batton with. In addition to the blade getting damaged, also read reports of the handle getting messed up too from simple battoning.
Don't get me wrong, I like Moras and they have their place. But not for splitting wood and trimming poles for improvised shelters, which is the main use of my Ka-Bar when I chose to leave my axe at home. When bring my axe, I bring either my Mora or SAK.Mar 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm #1703554
I don't have any durability problems with batoning a Mora to split firewood, but I don't use it to crosscut any wood larger than thumb-diameter fuel for a wood stove. When I do build shelters, I trim by breaking or sawing then breaking. A small folding or retractable saw seems like the tool of choice for trimming poles. I have a 6" Gerber (Fiskars) retractable which is around 2-3 oz.Apr 24, 2011 at 12:24 am #1728663
Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
The Kabar is good, but I think that, weight wize, you would be better suited with a very small hatchet. More chopping power for the weight in my experience. If you had to build a shelter or get some serious emergency firewood, chopping all day with a ka bar would be kinda sucky. Also makes easier work of bows that you are going to shove under your ground cloth, in my experience. And then maybe a short, stick tang knife (wood is lighter than steel) for the finer work. Carving knives have generous handles with a lot of leverage and shorter blades-but just big enough for anything you need. If you prefer the ka bar though, then you should stick with that.
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