Apr 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm #1289252
I've been lurking around the site for a few months and have seen some pretty impressive lists and innovations. Very impressed. I thought it was finally time to say hello. I have recently returned from my 6th tour in the sandbox and hopefully get to stay for awhile. While i was away i did alot of window shopping, and some real shopping online for some outdoors gear, and started planning trips for when i came back. i have been able to get out a little bit since i got back, and i have had a blast being in the backcountry of ONP (talk about night and day environments). I grew up in WA and CA and got a chance to get stationed here in WA so i took it. I recently returned my Osprey Kestrel 48 to REI and picked up a Exped Torrent 30. I love the bag. I love the minimalist but functional aspect of it. I doubt it would hold, comfortably, my 35lb load i had on my last trip. however, that trip i was testing some gear new to me and was compensating for an inexperienced hiker i had with me. i am now trying to get my pack weight to below 20lbs. After throwing some things out i didnt use and replacing some things for others, i think i have done pretty well to hit my goal. I thought i would share with you all my list and see what you think. i know right off the bat where most of you will focus, and i am willing to hear different ideas. im fighting a stubborn streak right now, so, here is to practice!
I will be hiking in the The ONP mostly this year all the way through October hopefully, and i am planning a trip on the Wonderland Trail sometime this summer.
thanks for the help. i may have forgotten an item or two on the list, but i think the big stuff is there.Apr 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm #1872237
nothing?Apr 29, 2012 at 6:35 am #1872372
Daniel CoxBPL Member
@cohikerLocale: San Isabel NF
Welcome to BPL.
I'm surely not as qualified to comment as most on this site, but if you're desperate, I'll give it a stab.
How long are you planning on being out? Your food list suggests just an overnight, with only 3 MRE entrees and 6 jerky sticks.
Some of the clothing seems way too light based on my measured weights of similar stuff I own. I was also in the military and still have/use my 'ninja suit' baselayers. My kitchen scale says they weigh 5.7 for the top, and 4.95 for the bottoms. You list them as 2oz each. I'm sure The buff/ neck gaiter weighs more than 0.1 oz, I'd guess 3-4oz. I haven't weighed my old one but it feels about the same weight in-hand as my thin turtlefur balaclava.
Your clothing list suggests it's stuff in your pack, but you have boots on the list. I wouldn't carry a pair of shoes other than what's on your feet.
26oz for rain pants? DriDucks are much lighter. Living in CO I don't know much about rain gear, but those are heavy.
Sadly, your 110g fuel can actually weighs closer to 8.25oz, the can weighs more than the fuel in this size of canister.
I'd defer to someone living in the PNW, but I doubt that Bivy is needed under the tarp. I'm sure you've pitched a hundred hootches with your poncho, ditch the bivy, and pitch a good, low shelter.
You list the woobie, and presumably the down shirt as your sleeping insulation. A 30* sleeping bag with a pertex outer material is much lighter and warmer than woobie, and bivy and the material resists rain splash. Having spent many nights in the middle east with this same woobie/bivy combo, I wouldn't trust it to be warm below about 55-60*.
The NPA in your FAK is unnecessary. You don't list any pills, I'd take a few tums and a few tylenol at minimum.
I would add a few feet of duct tape to your repair list.
Ditch the 7oz knife. A $20 swiss army knife or leatherman multi-tool can weight as little as 1.5oz and will open anything you have. If you absolutely must take a large fixed-blade knife, a Mora 'classic' or 'Allaround'weighs 4oz and can be found on Amazon for like $15. They're fantastic knives.
Overall, its a good start, there's not alot of junk on there that isn't needed.Apr 29, 2012 at 10:47 am #1872424
Link .BPL Member
Steve Burgess has done the Wonderland trail 20 to 30 times,you should look at his site and videos
some trip reports he has posted at NW hikers
some more info you should look at from Mike Clelland(author and NOLs instructor)
Andrew SkurkaApr 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm #1872447
@daniel. Thanks for the comments. glad to hear from another service member too. I dont have a scale yet and alot of the clothing weights i had to get online, which i figured would be misleading. the boots are the ones i will me carrying. As far as duration of trips, i like to be out for about 3 nights. i dont eat alot, as i have a pretty small stomach and im trying to get rid of some weight i recently put on (about 7lbs). I did take the bivy and tarp on my last trip and used them both, i guess in reality i am trying to have a tarp there just in case. I will start looking into other knives, i just fear i wont find one sturdy enough to take the abuse. im glad i had the one i had last time, cuz it is very hard to find dry wood alot of the time in the ONP. i had hack away at some fallen trees to get to some dry-ish stuff. i'll check it out though. as for the NPA, im so used to throwing one in on non-responders. i guess that is why i threw it in their. as for pills, i forgot to add what i take. i generally take a few days worth of Mobic, Cipro, and Motrin800s. im in the process of getting me a Western Mountaineering 20* bag, in which case i think i will keep the bivy to keep the moisture off of it in mornings. Thanks for the advice, ill refer back to it and look at some alternatives.
ive seen mike's stuff on his page about the WT. very inspiring stuff. cant believe he is going to try it all in just 3 days (or was it 36hrs?) eitherway, crazy stuff. i guess i gotta check out some of these links, thanks for the help and time.Apr 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm #1872467
Welcome to BPL! And thanks for the job you've been doing lately! I for one appreciate you guys.
I think you have a pretty good looking gear list so far but there are a couple things you could probably leave out or lighten a bit without spending too much money. Here are some ideas that might save some weight.
1. Ground Cloth – Your ground cover is heavy. You could easily get something lighter like a plastic painters tarp. Thats cheap and light (probably about 7-8 oz if you use fairly sturdy plastic.
-Save 5 oz
2. Bivy – I'd ditch the military issue bivy. Its heavy and you don't need it if you're under that paratarp.
Another thing is if you get a down bag, water proof bivies and down sleeping bags don't go together well. A water proof bivy allows condensation to build up inside and it will eventually soak the down insulation. If you want a bivy for camping under a tarp you should get a water resistant (but not waterproof) bivy, I'd suggest and Equinox bivy, its simple, cheap (I think $60) and light (only 6.5 oz).
-Save 32 oz
3. Rain Pants – These are pretty heavy. I'd suggest something lighter (and I would not buy a $100 pair at REI your legs don't sweet enough to justifiy that).
-Save 10-16 oz
4. Packs – Putting 35 pounds into a frameless pack is generally not a good idea. A well designed and packed frameless pack can carry 30 pounds but that Torrent is probably better with 20 or less. I like the dry bag idea but I'd still keep my down bag in a seperate trash bag at the bottom. If any water gets into your pack you don't want it pooling at the bottom where your bag is.
5. Sleeping bag – What you have probably won't be comfortable lower than 40 degrees (if that) so probably your first purchase should be a warmer bag. If its going to be damp all the time perhaps a synthetic quilt would be worth considering. While you're looking at this don't throw your bivy out. It may be heavy but a bivy will add some warmth to a bog (epsecially somthing open like the Woobie).
All that should save you about 45 oz or so and leave you with about 8.8 pounds baseweight which is perfectly reasonable.
FYI if you want to buy something Golite has a big sale at the moment. That might be a good place to look for rain pants. They also have very reasonably priced sleeping bags and quilts.Apr 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm #1872470
Link .BPL Member
Luke, very good about the golite rain pants 7oz and $40 if you do a review
A John West(Borah Gear) standard bivy is 6.7 oz for $70Apr 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm #1872479
You can get a Golite coupon for 20% off if you review something. If you have nothing of Golites to review PM me and I'll post a review of a tarp I bought from them a while back and send you the coupon code.Apr 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm #1872551
great suggestions. ive had my non-military woobie for awhile and it is actually pretty warm. i want to try it out for the summer conditions. at the moment the only other bags i have before i go buy one are my mil issue ones and my 0* bag which is huge. i know most people dont think the Torrent to be a framed sack, even with the plastic insert, but it actually holds up pretty nicely. ive got it packed at the moment with everything but my pad and food. it is WAY lighter than my last trip with 35lbs. i need to go get me a scale i think. i really want to know for sure what my stuff weighs, and not trust the interwebs. my wife wants to go out to the Dungeness Spit this month for a day hike, which is very flat and about 10 miles. so hopefully that will give me a good base to gauge comfort and speed levels. i liked the idea of the ground tarp because it can also double as a "survival/rescue" blanket. i was thinking of looking into the polycryo sheets ive seen on here. i guess i should look into the better bivys too. i hadnt thought about the condensation part. my next couple overnighters im planning have some fording, so i may bring along my merrell trail gloves to use. i probably wont trade out my bag til im sure it is a bust. it's not out of the question, i just want to at least get my 100 bucks out of it first, i really like the concept especially being in the PNW) and worry freeness of it. thanks for the advice, keep it comin'!Apr 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm #1872569
I don't think a reflective space blanket will be any better than a sleeping bag or woobie. Here's the gimmic I see in space blankets. They REFLECT heat back but do nothing about all the heat your body loses from contact with the cold air.
I double checked the insulation used on your woobie. Assuming its the Woobie model (not the Doobie) it should have 2 oz. per squar yard insulation. I have a quilt with similar insulation and I took it to about 35 degrees once. By itself the quilt is good to maybe 50 degrees. What I did was I used it inside a bivy, that kept out drafts of cold air. I also wore a hat, a wool sweater, and a down vest with about 1 inch. of loft. I was okay but I would not have gone any colder.
Simce the woobie is more like a blanket the limiting factor right now is not the insulation but sealing the warm air in. My 15 degree quilt was cold at 40 when it wasn't sealed around me adequately.
The more I think about it the more I think your first purchase should be a cheap bivy. A fancier bivy would have either a built in bug net or at least a mummy style shape so you can cinch it up around a bug net overy your haad.
If you want a really light, really cheap bivy just to make your woobie warmer here is an idea. Buy some non water proof nylon from a place like Thru-hiker.com or wilderness fabrics. Fold it over and sew one side most of the way up. If you really don't want to sew just duck tape the side! You can wrap slide your woobie into that and it will help seal in the warm air and keep out drafts of cold air.
These are ideas to improve but what you have right now should get you through the summer just fine. I don't see anything you HAVE to change until it gets to cold to use your woobie. As you try things out you can tweak things to suit your own preferences.Apr 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm #1872619
Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Get a different knife. The tops harpoon is a really weird knife. Being able to start a fire in wet conditions is extremely important imo.
You should get a folding saw (4-6) oz and a mora (3 oz). Stick tang knives are much lighter. If you convex the edge of the mora a bit, it should handle any batoning you need to do to get kindling, if you are careful and don't intentionally hammer in through nasty knots.
A note about space blankets, they are highly underrated because they are used wrong. They are not that great for using as a blanket. They work best to reflect heat from a fire. Used as a tarp with a long log fire in front of you or as a reflector on the other side of the fire, the difference is very significant.
In fact, they have saved me from some long, cold nights in the low 20s/teens camping in grassy areas that didn't have a lot of fuel. I had to keep the fire low to conserve the fuel all night. Helps you make the most out of the heat.
Obviously most of the people on this site don't camp like that at all, but just giving you the info.Apr 30, 2012 at 8:17 am #1872677
Ben CBPL Member
I would leave the boots at home to gather dust and wear a pair of light, meshy trail runners. You can easily take 16 oz off your feet.
GEN III ECWCS: Level I: I don't know what this is. Is it a synthetic knit base layer? Is so, that sounds good.
I would go with shorts and much lighter pants, if necessary.
Consider making cheap alcohol stove. Light and fuel is readily available.
MRE's? I would assume you wouldn't want to touch another of those. 24 oz each sounds heavy unless it is a whole day's food.
I would not carry that heavy bivy or heavy ground cover. If your tarp is good size, you will be fine with a 2 oz window seal(polycryo) sheet. That's 2.5 pounds saved!
That's a really heavy knife. 1 oz should do for a cheap knife.
I bet you'll want more than just that jungle blanket to keep you warm unless you are a warm sleeper.
You need toothpaste, soap, toiletries, deet, sunscreen, tp?
A water bottle of some sort would be really good to have. :)Apr 30, 2012 at 9:49 am #1872707
Ben, thanks for the advice. i knew i forgot to add some stuff, and those last few things were it. I generally carry a Nalgene 1L, however i know most people recommend a gatorade bottle. i may move that direction once i pick up a Sawyer filter. i need the wide mouth to be able to agitate the water with my steripen. im currently on lookout for small portions of the bugdope and sunscreen. i carry wetwipes, both for "bathing" certain areas, and for wiping. im intending to go pick up a small toothbrush and some small tubes of toothpaste.
Boots: the merrells i wear i kinda need. they are the only boot i have found ever i dont have to put my orthotics into. my feet, knees, and lower back have taken a pounding over the years and having the right arch support is esential for me. i do have some trail gloves, but they really did a number on my knees when i used them. i keep them around for river shoes though.
the GEN 3 stuff listed is a military term. it is a silkweight thermal, not sure what it is made of, the tags i can see dont say. but they do work fabulously.
i havent looked, yet, into the alk stoves yet. i hear the fuel can get pricey, but again, i havent looked. good idea.
MREs: lol, ya, they arent my favorite thing in the world. but im able to get cases of them for free, which is hard to beat. and when it says 24oz, that is for 3 entrees total. they each weigh 8oz. i dont eat much, so one of those can fill me up pretty good, i may bring one side with me depending on the main meal.
where do i get the polycryo? would a painters sheet be just as good? is that the same thing?
the knife is heavy, last night i remembered i have a CRKT N.E.C.K. which is significantly lighter and holds an edge very well. im going to dig that out today and make it my main knife. it is the lightest one i have at the moment.
Yes, i do want something warmer than my woobie, but right now my options are slim. im about to purchase a WM 20* bag though. so for the moment, all i have is the bivy/woobie combo, or one of my heavy bags from the military.
guess i got some reading up to do. thanksApr 30, 2012 at 10:09 am #1872712
Ben CBPL Member
There are lots of options between the heavy boots and your trail gloves. I was skeptical dropping my boots too-dislocated both ankles-but the move to light trail runners in one of the best changes I have made.
I would go with the Sawyer instead of the Steripen too. The steripen just seems to fail too often.
Alcohol fuel is MUCH cheaper than other options. And a stove is VERY easy to make(got a hole-punch, can of cat food, and aluminum foil?).
I think you can get by with a very light pocket knife. Think about what you are going to cut. Cheese and bagel?
Polycryo can be purchased at Gossamer Gear and probably other cottage gear makers. Someone was selling it here on Gear Swap recently. Its sold in hardware shops as window sealing. If its not sold there, you can buy it online as window seal or window shrink film.
You can go to your local Hobby Lobby or equivalent and buy small 1 oz dropper bottles for bugdope, sunscreen, soap, etc. Its an cheap/easy way to cut weight.Apr 30, 2012 at 10:29 am #1872725
If I remember right you have Merrell Chamelions which are low cut trail shoes not actual boots, am I right? I used several pairs of those with good results. They were comfortable and pretty durable.
If your knees and back are hurt here are somde ideas. I don't have chronic knee problems but I twisted a knee once just before a trip and then reinjured it while hiking. I got a pair of trekking poles and that helped a LOT.
I'm assuming you wore body armor some of the time and that might have built up the muscles in your shoulers a bit. You might be able to carry more in a frameless pack than the average guy. On the other hand if your back has taken a beating you may not want to do that. Its really a matter of whats comfortable for you. If a frameless pack causes you problems you should seriously consider a light internal frame pack. I hiked most of the Colorado Trail with a back that wasn't really fully recovered from an injury. A good internal frame pack and a relatively light load kept it from being a problem.Apr 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm #1872801
I agree about the Sawyer and Steripen. i hear all the time about others breaking their steripens, i dont know how that happens in normal conditions, the best i can think is the water is either too cold or too hot (shattering the bulb), or they are just rough with it. i dont know.
I need to look up a good "how to" for the Alk Stove, any suggestions?
Last time i was out in the ONP i was constantly using my knife to dig into large fallen trees, finding dry wood became very tough without doing so. it took us 2 hours to get one even decent enough going. i abused the heck outta my TOPS knife, from using it like a prybar, a hatchet, and even a hammer at one point. i think next time im gonna bring a few esbit squares.
next time i run into town i will check out the polycryo and bottles. thanks for that tip.
Yes, the Merrell Chameleons are low cut. the biggest feature to them i see is they provide the perfect arch FOR ME. if i go to another shoe or boot, i will more than likely have to wear my orthotics (which im still breaking in). i would really like to avoid that. i think footwear is just going to be one of those things i may not have as many options for.
as for my knee pain, it all starts at the feet. when the arches fall you lose alignment, knees bow inward, and puts strain on your lower back. i take Mobic every night while hiking to subside the pain i may have and it helps my body recoop.
I did wear armor and packs quite a bit, in the SOF community this is something which is hard to avoid. albeit, i am able to wear my own armor and choose the gear i wear, unlike the unlucky regular army guys. my shoulders are quite used to 60+ lb loads and wobbly equipment. having to lug around extra bricks of batteries and ammo and commo gear and chow really adds up. so for me it isnt as much about the weight that hurts my lower body, its the alignment starting at the feet that does me in.
i guess once i get my new sleeping bag, and bug net for my face, i will be able to shed the woobie and bivy and be quite comfy this year til late fall/winter.Apr 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm #1872805
Well like I said there is nothing wrong with the Merrells. If they work keep them! Factors like whether or not a shoe is waterproof and how much it weights are secondary to how comfortably it fits.
One thing that really makes waterproof shoes more comfortable to me is a pair of good fuzzy smartwool socks. They help wick the sweet away from your feet very nicely.
Hopefully caring less makes you feel better on the trail.Apr 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm #1872807
Daniel CoxBPL Member
@cohikerLocale: San Isabel NFApr 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm #1872834
i definitely agree about the sock part. i generally only wear wool socks on any kind of distanced walk/hike/patrol. i also load them up with foot powder, which works wonders. im pretty stoked to try my new setup out after these next couple of tweeks i do. my next one is out into the Enchanted Valley of ONP. then im thinkin of the Duckabush River Trail, then cutting down the North Fork of the Skokomish.
thanks for the link on the stove info! imma give it a look.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.