Aug 28, 2013 at 11:33 am #1307054
Hi everyone, long time lurker/first time poster here. I finally decided to become a member and say hello! This forum has already provided a wealth of information, and I can't wait to learn more and hopefully meet and hike with some fellow BPL members.
My 3-season gear list is on my profile. I've been doing lots of research and replacing lots of gear over the past year or so, and I'm pretty happy with most of my choices. However, I'm still quite a ways from a true UL base weight, and I'd like to get there, but I can't spend too much more dough in the near future. Also, I really like my tarp (HMG Echo II) and don't want to buy a 1-person tarp since I often backpack with my wife. So, I'd greatly appreciate any advice on going lighter without replacing the tarp, and ideally without sacrificing any comfort (subjective, I know). Anything else is on the table. The two items highest on my list to replace are my sleeping bag (with a quilt) and my pack (with a lighter internal frame or possibly frameless pack).
Fire away with any suggestions/advice… :)Aug 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm #2019547
Ben CBPL Member
FAK-you can reduce it down to 2 ounces; what's in there?
bic-no reaon they shouldn't both be minis
Leave the bug shelter home whenever you can; it weighs as much as your tarp
Pillow-there are lighter commercial option you can try for $s
Consider an alcohol or esbit stove. They can be lighter and cheap.
Pot is a bit heavy. I bought a titanium bowl and like it fine.
MSR Hyperflow. Drops or tabs are lighter and won't require much $. I like the Sawyer squeeze for a bit more $.
Fleece-I would leave that at home unless its really cold.
Knife-you can easily go 4 ounces lighter
DEET- 4 ounces is a lot; leave at home when you can; carry less when you can. I rarely carry more than an ounce.
As to packs, I am not crazy about the Osprey packs but others are. If carrying a total weight of 20 pounds or less, I really like a frameless Zpacks Zero. I will use a frameless with a substantial belt (Zpacks Blast or SMD Swift) up to about 25 pounds total. I rarely carry more than that.
As to the bag, its not that heavy. But if you don't like it, look at Enlightened Equipment-great deal on a quilt. Zpacks and Hammock Gear have nice quilts too.Aug 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm #2019630
Thank you for the thoughtful recommendations, I really like most of them. A few notes:
-Bug shelter is definitely on the heavy side. I thought I'd enjoy having extra bug free space, but it hasn't worked out that way. I've figured out I really just want a bug free space to sleep in, so I'm looking at swapping the bug shelter out for a bug bivy to cut the weight in half at least. Or, as you said, only take it when needed.
-pot is titanium, but the lid is way too heavy (can double as fry pan, but I never use it for that). I think I could shave considerable weight just by making a new lid.
-DEET: I almost never use it anymore, after treating my clothes with permethrin. Good stuff. I might carry 1oz as backup.
-Stove: I've been fiddling with some MYOG alcohol stoves. They sure are light and cheap! Not sure I want to ditch the convenience of my trusty Giga Power though.
-Good call on ditching the fleece. I usually wind up wearing it or the nano puff… :) I do want to carry a lightweight long sleeve for sleeping in, but I can easily find one at half the weight of the fleece or less. Also thinking about a vest to sub for the nano puff.
-water filter: Got my eyes on the Squeeze mini when it comes out. I'm not a fan of chemical treatment.
-knife: Ah yes. Definitely could save weight here, but I really love this knife (lol). Benchmade NimCub II, 3.5" fixed blade @ 3.2oz without sheath. Keeps its edge better than anything I have ever come across, by a long shot. Extremely tough. Might be equally tough for me to part with it. I think I could make a lighter sheath though :)
-Pack: I like it but don't love it. I'm almost certain I could find a pack that is lighter, more comfortable, and transfers load better.
-Bag: I actually do like the bag a lot, but I mostly use it unzipped, as a quilt. Also, I find I'm a little warm at times, so I was thinking a 40deg quilt would be a nice substitute, and it'd be about 8oz lighter.
I'm also thinking about swapping out the large wide synmat for the regular size one. At 5'10" and 170lb I think I can squeeze onto it. :)
Thanks again for the advice! Really helps gets the gears turnin'
Edit: By going with all of Ben's above suggestions except new pack and quilt, I would save around 40oz! Nice.Aug 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm #2020199
Jeff HowellBPL Member
Depending on how long your trip is, I wouldn't carry an extra pair of boxer briefs. The fleece makes sense if it might be cold/rainy, otherwise ditch it for a light synthetic long-sleeve shirt. I wear a 1.5 oz. visor instead of a hat. Your ditty bag seems heavy – there are a lot of lighter options out there, like cuben fiber ones that weight 0.1 oz. Unless your night-hiking, you can carry a small flashlight instead of a headlamp. My Fenix weighs 0.7 with batteries. And I can clip it to my visor if I need my hands. Ben was right…that's a lot of DEET and a heavy knife.
Just some ideas. You know what's best for your hiking style.Aug 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm #2020218
Ben CBPL Member
I will typically just carry a head net if I expect bugs. They can't bite thru your sleeping bag unless you are using it as a quilt because of the heat.Aug 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm #2020238
I'm really trying to talk myself into going without bug netting, or with just a headnet. I do like the fact that a UL bug bivy removes the need for a groundcloth, so a slight weight trade-off there. When I hike in winter I don't take any bug shelter, but I'm a wuss in the other 3 seasons when it comes to bugs :)
Definitely too much bug juice, especially with the treated clothing, which has been working really well. I'll probably be leaving it behind most of the time. My wife seems to attract most of the skeeters in camp, so I have that going for me, hehehe.
FWIW my ditty bag includes toothbrush & toothpaste (mini one), handi wipes, spork, pad repair kit, and TP. I could definitely refine the contents a little better (just take enough for the trip).
Jeff, you make a great point re style. With going UL I'm kind of re-inventing my style of hiking/camping, so investigating how others "hike their own hike" and finding which styles I relate to has been very helpful. Unfortuntately I haven't been hiking this summer as much as I'd have liked to, which is exactly what I need to do to really get my gear list dialed in. Work, marriage, and now a move/home sale have taken priority this year. Once the move/sale is finished, I will have *a lot* more opportunity to get out and go hiking. Very stoked.Aug 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm #2020313
Jeff HowellBPL Member
That's funny. I also am dealing with a home sale, which is proving much more stressful than my marriage or kids. Hah!
I always thought the "3-season" thing was kind of a misnomer. I live in the Ozarks, where it was 102 degrees today. In a couple weeks, I'll be hiking in Mt. Rainier NP. What I plan to take on that trip is much different from what I'd take if I was hiking here at home. For example, here I'd have to load up on DEET and bring a serious bug net to deter mosquitoes, flies, and ticks (hate ticks!). In WA, I'm just bringing 0.5oz. of DEET and a bivy with a mesh face panel I can suspend from my tarp. I'm counting on bug season being about over up there. Because of things like this, my 3-season list always changes from hike to hike. For every overnight hike, I complete a route assessment where I do a little research into the area and the trail to determine what I can expect, from weather to insects to vegetation to water availability to isolation to footing and trail conditions. From these results, I determine what I'll need for the hike. Doing this keeps me from bringing things I don't need and allows me to be more prepared for the hike. I'd be happy to share one with you if you'd like to see what the heck I'm babbling about.
I think it's funny that the only common thing in our ditty sacks is a spork. I don't carry any of that other stuff. I'm comfortable letting my teeth go for a week (but no longer) and not using TP in favor of natural items. But that's not everyone's bag, and that's fine. I keep a small knife in there, along with my flashlight, anti-blister cream, anti-chafing cream, FAK, firestarter, soap, aqua mira (sometimes) and a pen (sometimes).Aug 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm #2020318
Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
When I lived in Europe my 3 season list was mostly the same but since moving to the US it changes a lot depending on location.
In Michigan I have a different list for when I am In the Rockies or back in Scotland/Ireland.Sep 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm #2021354
Interesting thoughts about the "3-season" misnomer. While I'm sure my exact gear list will change at least a little every single trip, I want as much of a one-list-for-all-trips gear list as possible (without going TOO far in that direction). I have found that my gear lists don't vary much from one location to the next, unless there is significantly different weather. I really like the minimalism of having just one kit, or just a few small variations of one kit. Understandably this is not possible without some weight penalty.
I've already made a few modifications to my gear list (will update my profile list asap):
-started removing superfluous items from FAK and ditty bag. Should be able to lose at least a few oz here, depending on the trip.
-switched from synmat UL7 LW to neoair Xlite long. I've now had two brand new synmats spring extremely small leaks on me. I was always gentle with them. I could never find the leaks. Now I just can't bring myself to trust Exped inflatables. My first impression of the neoair is that it is slightly less comfy, but I think I can still get a plenty good sleep on it. I'm finding that a good pillow is more important for me to sleep well. Almost 5oz saved here. I'm debating trimming the neoair to about 60" length to end up with a 3/4 length, wide pad at 12oz. Why aren't there more short wide sleeping pads???
-ditched the fleece and found a capilene 2 half zip long sleeve that I think will be much more versatile. 6oz saved here.
-I'm looking at other bug netting solutions. I do want full bug protection when sleeping, but I don't need a 'but tent.' Borah's bug bivy looks very close to what I'm looking for. I'm also determined to go sans-bug netting to try to get over my phobia of it. So weight savings will be 7-13oz here, depending. :)
Jeff, you said it: selling the house has proven far more stressful than…well, just about anything I've ever done before! ;)Sep 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm #2022746
For comparison to you, here is a gear list for a 120 mile trip Im taking in first week of Oct, not quite 3 season, a little light on the bag for temps below 35, although I have used this (uncomfortably) down to 28. I will be wearing a long sleeve synthetic top with this. My base weight will be just under 6 lbs. My key/id, cellphone, and camera are in my pockets. My compass is on my watch band. I also keep a ziplock with 1-2 oz of toilet paper in a pants cargo pocket. Actually, my map is usually in my pocket too, but I included it in the pack wt here.
This is for the southern appalachians, I expect rain and temps down to high 30s.
Im taking my Ohm because I will carry 6.5 days food, and I dont like no-frame above 15lbs. The extra oz are worth it to have load lifters to pull the pack into back the first 2-3 days.
I offer this here, because this is ALL I need to be safe and comfortable. In colder wetter conditions I might substitute a heavier bag, also bring a fleece and gloves, and replace the montbell exlite with my BPL cocoon hoody, and bring rainmitts and rainpants instead of skirt. Also full lenght xlite and more CCF for under it. Even with a heavier pack, it still wont exceed 9.5 lbs for 3season.
0.06 oz #11 xacto blade/balsa wood "sheath"
0.05 oz earplugs
0.1 oz spare contact lens
0.68 oz Olite i3S EOS with AAA energizer ultimate Li battery
0.27 oz spare energizer ultimate Li battery
0.18 oz miscellanous items ziplock
5.98 oz L driducks jacket, hood string replaced with 1/16" elastic
1.98 oz Zpacks medium rainskirt
5.9 oz Montbell L exlight down jacket
3.26 oz Under Armour Base 1.0 synthetic tights
0.94 oz Zpacks fleece beanie
1.2 oz Asics synthetic running socks
13.2 oz Hexamid twin
2.0 oz polycryo groundsheet
1.75 oz stakes and stuffsack
0.05 oz rubber band
15.95 oz 40 degree quilt
7.53 oz Xlite small
1.0 oz CCF
0.05 oz inflatable repair patches
0.95 oz home made pillow
21 oz trimmed ULA Ohm 1.0 with hoop stay
0.9 oz Nylofume pack liner, trimmed length
0.95 oz Zpacks blast food bag and small carabiner
0.95 oz 45' 1.75mm spectra and cuben rocksack
1.48 oz FAK
0.3 oz toothbrush/baking soda
0.4 oz 2x10ml , 1x3ml aqua mira containers
0.15 oz 10ml soap container
1.5 oz Map
1.05 oz Zelph flat bottom 2 cup pot
0.04 oz rubber band to hold lid on
0.09 oz tealight cup/metal piece
0.24 oz wire mesh pot stand
0.48 oz aluminum flashing wind screen
0.4 oz mini bic
0.1 oz book paper matches
0.22 oz 4.2 oz babyfood container for alcohol
0.05 oz foam cup in pot
1.57 oz 2x "eco" water bottle
0.25 oz Bamboo long handle spoonSep 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm #2022858
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
My ideas are as follows
Try a short Prolite pad, saves 10 oz.
Skip pillow and use your rain gear inside a stuff sack instead, saves about 4 oz
Leave the Cap. 3 bottoms at home unless its really cold, saves 6.6 oz
Unless its below freezing or you're lounging around camp a lot I think the Nanopuff is enough by itself. However in rainy weather I would keep the fleece, saves 11 oz most of the time.
I'd add a windshirt to the list. My guess is with that you'll need the fleece less often. Also driducks aren't super tough so you only want to us that for rain, not windy days.
Bug bivy instead of nest, saves about 5 oz.
All that would save you around 2 pounds with only one small comfort sacrifice (the pad).
I would wait on a new pack till everything else is decided. Its a pretty light pack and you could take the top pocket off if you wanted to save weight. Once you have everything else dialed in you can decide how big your pack needs to be and if you want a frame or not.Sep 8, 2013 at 6:32 am #2022913
use lighter sleeping pad
get rid of schnozzle, use nylofume for pack liner
None, or lighter pillow
No sit pad
lighter cook pot for solo
use AM, ditch filter. Get rid of 3L platy, use only 1L water bottles.
dont need extra underwear
get lighter beanie
consider ex light down jacket or vest
FAK should be 1.5-2 oz
lighter cord. 1.75 spectra is 0.9 oz
only need 1 oz bug dope for a week, treat clothing and depend on it first
cut a stick of chapstick in half, 0.3 oz
dont need packtowel
get much lighter knife
unless night hiking, you can get by with a much lighter light. Idea is to sleep at night afterall.
get silkweight bottoms instead of cap 3.
unless desert hiking, need some wind/rain bottoms for legs in spring/fallSep 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm #2023769
Luke and MB, thank you for your feedback. I really love how your suggestions (and others') really get me thinking critically about my gear in ways I hadn't before. I really appreciate all the perspectives. Just a few thoughts re the last comments:
-I like to have at least 3 liters of water carrying capacity, and I prefer a bladder system for drinking. I only fill the 3L full right before I arrive at camp, or if I know I have a *long* distance between sources. I've found I drink more consistently and stay better hydrated with a bladder system vs bottles. I do take a smaller soft-sided bottle to mix powdered drinks in. I've tried other water systems and have come back to this one, cuz it just works well for me.
-I could definitely find some lighter long johns. I do think a heavier pair is more versatile though. I've found I don't mind my legs getting wet in the rain, so don't need any rain protection on bottom. I could always turn the trash bag into a rain skirt. Also, I can switch into the long johns at the day's end. This is one merit of a heavier bottom base layer IMO, in case you have to wear them without anything over.
-My schedule being as it is, I do hike a lot at night. Also, I really enjoy spending an extra few minutes outside during my "midnight calling" to watch the stars, appreciate the serenity of nighttime, look for nocturnal creatures, etc. It has become somewhat of a camping habit of mine. So I think the headlamp is worth it, but I'm open to lighter (hehe) options. It's nice to have the warmer long johns for this reason too.
Thanks again to everyone for the feedback and advice!Oct 14, 2013 at 6:32 am #2033923
Jon LeibowitzBPL Member
Not everyone will agree with this, but I'd rather leave ALL of the Deet at home and just wear long sleeves and pants combined with lightweight gloves and a bug net when it gets real bad. You can save a few ounces in your pack and not poison yourself! Win/win!
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