Aug 30, 2013 at 10:24 am #1307127
Jeff La FrenierreSpectator
Hey BPLighters …
My wife and I are transitioning to a lighter, more minimalist approach than has heretofore been our style. This has largely been precipitated by my wife's increasing problems with arthritic knees, though our new awareness of recent advances in materials has also been a motivation. We haven't paid too much attention to new gear since we've been happy with our previous kit assembled over the past 5-10 years, but having spent hours poring over this website we now feel much more enlightened (pun semi-intended) about ways that we can ease her pain while actually going longer and farther into the backcountry. In the past, we've always been weekend-warrior types doing only 2-3 day trips and have generally carried 40 lbs (me) and 30 lbs (her) for even these short trips. We've restocked and now sport the following base gear lists for our standard 2-3 day trips. We'd love your collective opinions about our efforts.
These lists (hers and mine) are generally valid for summer/autumn trips in the Rockies, and would obviously be adapted for conditions in warmer climates and/or longer trips. Our intention is not to be true ultra-lighters, and we are comfortable with a bit of added weight in exchange for greater comfort – and even a luxury or two. The goal's been to get her weight below 20 lbs, and mine to 25-30 lbs. We've managed that, but wonder what else we might do to improve. Note that she now carries the tent, and I carry all food/cooking materials. Also note that she has thyroid issues which cause her to chill easily. Our next two purchases will be to replace her sleeping bag and my heavy dead-bird rain pants (Montbell Rain Trekker?).
Thanks!Aug 30, 2013 at 11:17 am #2020181
Ben CBPL Member
By improve, I assume you mean lighter. Here are my thoughts:
1.Both your gloves seem heavy for summer/autumn. liners should usually do.
2.Both of you can go a lot lighter on rain jackets. There are several 7-8 oz options. These mostly sit in your pack. I would go light. Dri Ducks are a good option.
3.Rain pants. Again, these mostly sit in your pack. Go light. I think mine are 6-7 oz. I rarely take them since I got a rain skirt. The skirt is much ligher and more comfortable in most conditions.
4.Consider trail running shoes. You'll be amazed how good it feels to have light feet. I have put my boots in the back of the closet for years now and have been much happier.
5.Tevas are a pretty heavy stream crossing/camp shoe. She might consider hiking in Tevas alone. A lot of long distance hikers do this well.
6. Those mugs are heavy. Many cheap light options here. I use the packaging cup for Easy Mac.
7.My wife and I prefer to cook in one pot and share. No separate bowls to carry or clean up.
8. A trash compactor bag will work well in place of the event bags
9.Consider an alcohol or esbit stove at some point. It can save some weight, especially on 2-3 day trips.
10. Check out Enlightened Equipment quilts for her online.
11. Leave the trowel at home for flowers. Dig with a rock at poop site. You won't miss it.
You may have lots of reasons you may "need" all of the things you have. I really don't think you do. If you want them and don't mind the extra weight, keep 'em.
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