A Gear Confession
Dec 11, 2020 at 11:30 am #3688347Backpacking LightAdmin
@backpackinglightLocale: Rocky Mountains
Chances are, you’ve got something in your pack that could be lighter, but it works for you. Maggie Slepian shares her heaviest items. What are yours?Dec 11, 2020 at 1:51 pm #3688370Dave HeissBPL Member
@daveheissLocale: Pacific Northwest
What I use: Sweetwater water filter
The Sweetwater has never ever failed me, even that time a deer chewed up the suction tube (which managed to stay functional using tape for the rest of that trip). I still have a spare cartridge too, so I will probably keep using it until it or I die.Dec 11, 2020 at 7:34 pm #3688448Max & DadSpectator
I bring a kindle (6 oz) because I like to read and i also bring a deck of cards when my kids join.
Weight saving…less nightly cookies
I trust the first place all of us weight weenies should thoroughly investigate before cutting ounces from our packs is cutting ounces from our guts.Dec 11, 2020 at 8:28 pm #3688462
The real paradigm shift to ultralight is that my pack can be any weight I wan and that I have complete control. It’s a matter of acceptable compromises. It is an escape from the traditional “musts” of big boots, excessive durability, acceptable stove types and cooking techniques, etc. once you step out of that box, anything is possible.
It is an escape from dogma and I’m afraid not without creating its own. Past a basic curiosity, what I carry is none of anyone else’s business. It should be a spirit of sharing and celebration rather than judgement.
My point is that no confession is needed nor expected, in that “confession” implies you sinned. Guilt is pretty heavy!Dec 11, 2020 at 8:43 pm #3688466SIMULACRABPL Member
@simulacraLocale: Puget Sound
I’m a cold sleeper. Previously I had to bring extra clothing that would just be worn at night to supplement what my lightweight 40 degree down quilt was taking away. Then I went to a 5 degree down 1/2 zip bag adding 7.5 oz but lowered my overall base weight well beyond that. Different climates for different primatesDec 11, 2020 at 8:46 pm #3688467Brad PBPL Member
I switched from an Xlite large to an Ether Light XT Large (haven’t tried it yet) in hopes of getting better sleep instead of just a series of naps. It’s 6oz heavier, but if you’re not sleeping, what have you saved?
I envy those who can sleep on a torso length pad.Dec 12, 2020 at 6:42 am #3688496David HartleyBPL Member
@dhartleyLocale: Western NY
Dec 12, 2020 at 6:48 am #3688497
- A 19.4 oz Neo-Air All-Season (purchased for $60 off of gear swap) – after being cold on an sea-to-summit insulated ultralight any time the temps got close to 30F. No cold from below in the teens recently, and I like the material on top more than the Xtherms
- Crocs (mine weigh 14 oz) – I wish these were lighter, but every time I don’t bring them I regret it. I have tried lighter alternatives but always go back to the Crocs.
- A platypus full of Bourbon, Scotch, or Cognac – a few oz before dinner after a long day really hits the spot (weighs 0 oz – my brother usually carries it because I carry the cook gear, fuel canisters, and an emergency beacon)
X2 on the scotch. I could easily do without it, but…why? Other heavy junk would be a comfy sleeping pad, a pillow, and a lightweight mug for the scotch. I could go without a proper receptacle for the scotch, but…why?Dec 12, 2020 at 7:16 am #3688500Dec 12, 2020 at 8:06 am #3688506DanBPL Member
Past a basic curiosity, what I carry is none of anyone else’s business. It should be a spirit of sharing and celebration rather than judgement.
Agree 100%. In fact, I’m not even curious. Why would I care about someone’s personal decision to carry extra things?Dec 12, 2020 at 8:12 am #3688507
Reactor on a Brunton remote? Very posh. I like.
As an aside: I wasn’t seeing this as a judgement-fest…or even the opportunity for it. It’s more of an opportunity to see what people like to spend their extra ounces on; to see what’s important enough to carry despite the weight. That’s just basic community-building.
Now, to yet again see if I can find someone selling a long-discontinued remote canister adapter; that’s definitely worth an ounce or two, to me!Dec 12, 2020 at 8:40 am #3688510
I’m in the stable fast lane now, the reason for the Reactor :-)Dec 12, 2020 at 1:54 pm #3688567Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. I bring not one but two Exped Airpillow ULs size medium at 1.5 oz each. I also bring not one but two pads, a NeoAir supplmented by a torso length closed cell pad, the thickness of which varies depending on season and expected terrain.
For trips longer than one night, to wake up after the good night’s sleep, I bring Peets Major Dickasons coffee ground for French press and the MSR Mugmate coffee filter, < 1 oz without lid.Dec 12, 2020 at 1:54 pm #3688568Yun SwansonBPL Member
Thank you so much Maggie! It’s so easy to fall into a rabbit hole of lightweight. Remember the online shopping days comparing weight of tents and sleeping quilts ended up buying something light but not really comfortable. Thank you to be you and share with/guide us!Dec 12, 2020 at 3:16 pm #3688580Andrew MarshallModerator
@andrewsmarshallLocale: Tahoe basin by way of the southern Appalachians
Yeah for sure this is all about community-building, not shaming. I’m the one who used the word “confession” in the article title (I’m the managing editor round here) because it’s short and snappy! I think it’s way more fun to know what people’s luxury items are than it is to know which tent model they own – that’s why I asked Maggie to write this piece. :-)Dec 12, 2020 at 3:35 pm #3688586David HartleyBPL Member
@dhartleyLocale: Western NY
Two thumbs up on the Peet’s Major Dickasons coffee – that’s our home brew. We usually suffer with Via on the trail though.
Adding to the gear confessions – we bring a HUGE shelter for 2 if significant rain is in the forecast – a Big Agnes Yahmonite 5 Pyramid (a re-labeled Go-Lite Shangri-La 5 – also bought off of gear swap). The tent body weighs 32 oz and we combine it with an MLD supermid bathtub floor which, with stakes, which also totals 32 oz – a good two-way split for a HUGE shelter. You can’t beat a big shelter in the rain. We call it the “Tent Mahol”.Dec 12, 2020 at 3:49 pm #3688587
The Klymit extra large x pillow is my choice. The shape and size works and the fabric has the right amount of stretch, making it feel more like a regular pillow. So many air pillows are hard and slip away.Dec 12, 2020 at 7:48 pm #3688622AK GranolaBPL Member
None of the things she mentions seem outrageous to me. I’m still reconsidering my ultralight tent and thinking about small freestanding ones, just for the ease of setup. My only goal with reducing pack weight has been to get light enough to enjoy the trek, rather than suffer through it, not to compete with anyone for the best or lightest. I don’t really get the gear competition thing. I think most BPLers don’t either; they’re just exploring options. There are always a few who take it all personally, too bad for them.
It is interesting how our choices come with religious language – “confession.” Even though I wasn’t brought up in a religion, I’m part of the culture, the language, and the baggage comes along for the ride, lightweight or no.
I really, really like having a collapsible bucket for a longer trek. It just makes life so much easier. Sometimes I take it, sometimes I don’t. But when I do, I really like having it!Dec 12, 2020 at 8:01 pm #3688625jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
I think it’s understood that “confession” is being used in an ironic, analogical way. I don’t think shaming was ever intended. I think we’re being invited to share our luxury items. The Church doesn’t shame people for bringing an umbrella on a backpacking trip.
My luxury item is boots. Real boots. Well, Keen high tops. I get a lot of grief for this–on BPL, not in my Church. My feet stay dry and blister free, and my foot anatomy is such that I need the support.Dec 12, 2020 at 8:03 pm #3688627humorlessBPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
I like my skottle. Ain’t leaving it behind. Cook real meals on it.Dec 12, 2020 at 8:21 pm #3688635
X2 on some legit boots, as well. I use trail runners on light trails when I’m dayhiking, but once I have a few pounds on my back I swap over to some old-school Tyrolean boots and I never feel bad about doing it. My feet and ankles need the support, and they feel so good. An unintended 2020 bonus is that people look at all-leather boots with outright scorn, anymore, so now even my footwear is an incentive for other to keep themselves pleasantly and socially distant! Ha! Who needs a mask when you have a Goodyear welt!!
On another note, another total luxury item would be a paperback book. I’ve also been known to carry a small saw for collecting deadwood and rendering it into campfire-shaped pieces. There’s little that cannot be improved by a good fire, a good book, and a good nip of scotch… especially when you’re a good distance from the rest of civilization.Dec 13, 2020 at 10:35 am #3688727Tjaard BreeuwerBPL Member
@tjaardLocale: Minnesota, USA
What Dale said! No sinning.
A lighter pack is nicer than a heavier pack, all else being equal.
Of course, all else is most decidedly NOT equal.
The only objective measure of ‘the right gear’ is whether it allows you to achieve your objectives in the best possible way. Oftentimes that means (slightly) heavier gear. Very often it even means ‘suboptimallly functioning gear’ , since continuously optimizing gear for every situation is too expensive, and not morally responsible. (I need to tell myself this more often)Dec 13, 2020 at 10:57 am #3688734Ben KilbourneBPL Member
I always have a book, sometimes two, and a journal, which I assume is less cool than the absence thereof.Dec 13, 2020 at 11:23 am #3688738
Kindle time. A Paperwhite with backlight has to be a tent reader’s dream.
With journals, use the same philosophy as other consumables: take only what you need for the trip. Moleskine, Rite in the Rain and others make thin soft cover journals, often sold in small sets.Dec 13, 2020 at 11:32 am #3688740
A Paperwhite with backlight has to be a tent reader’s dream.
Unless you just happen to like heavy, archaic, fragile sheets of paper. ;)
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