- Aug 5, 2019 at 7:54 pm #3604917GeorgeBPL Member
This is my first topic here, so I want to start by thanking you all in advance for your help.
I’m the Lead Advisor for my backpacking-oriented Venturing Crew’s 2020 trek. We do most of our backpacking in the Southern Appalachians, so it’s important to me that my gear be fit for both Philmont and our local conditions. This will be our first time in Philmont’s backcountry. While we don’t have an itinerary this far out, I expect we’ll probably request at least a “rugged” and very likely a “strenuous” itinerary. Some of the Venturers are interested in the Valle Vidal.
I’d like some advice on upgrading my big three for this trek, our shakedowns preceding it, and our general backpacking.
My current pack is a ULA Circuit. The pack, two shoulder strap pockets, and a pack cover weight 47.6 oz. I’m presently interested in either a Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60L or a Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400/55L model, either the Southwest or the new Junction, but I’m open to other suggestions, too. Have you all used either the Mariposa or the Southwest at Philmont? What else should I consider?
My current shelter is a Tarptent Bowfin 1P. I like Tarptent in general, but I’ve found the Bowfin’s PitchLoc strut support assemblies on each end to be a little more fussy than I expected. The tent, its arch pole, and a Tyvek groundsheet weigh 42.7 oz. I’m eyeing a Notch Li as a possible replacement. What else would you all suggest?
My sleeping bag is a Feathered Friends Flicker 20 Nano at 28.8 oz. It has served me well, but I would be willing to consider replacing it if the weight savings was substantial enough. Any ideas?
Thanks again for your time and help.Aug 5, 2019 at 8:26 pm #3604919TAG in AZBPL Member
You seem fairly dialed-in already. You aren’t likely to save a tremendous amount of weight over your current options.
Pack: you could get away with your Circuit if you are hiking with a fairly strong crew. But, I used a Windrider 3400 and it worked well for me. I even used it as a summit pack for Baldy and Tooth of Time.
Tent: Are you going to share, or sleep solo? This question gets asked on various forums every year, but I’ve never heard of an adult advisor having an issue at Philmont sleeping solo. Depending on your budget, you could consider a Plexmid or Aeon. I personally like DCF on longer trips, but that is a personal preference.
Sleeping: it really depends on how you sleep (hot/cold). I took a 30 degree down quilt and was fine. But, we never slept about 8000 feet. Without switching to a quilt, you aren’t really going to save much weight over your Flicker. But, for reference, my Palisade in Long Wide is only 22 ounces.Aug 5, 2019 at 8:47 pm #3604920tony gBPL Member
You might want to look at your other gear to save weight . Switching packs and tent will save you what? 18 -20 ounces? At what expense? $700.. unless its not much to you.Aug 5, 2019 at 8:52 pm #3604921GeorgeBPL Member
@tagiam, thanks for your reply. I like HMG’s packs for their waterproofness more than anything. Do you miss having load lifters on your Windrider? Has the mesh, especially on the side pockets, held up?
For the tent, it’s still TBD whether I’ll be sharing or solo, but, if I had to say today, I think it’s more likely I’ll be solo. I should also mention that, because I mostly hike in the Southern Appalachians, I generally prefer double-walled tents for condensation management purposes.Aug 5, 2019 at 9:31 pm #3604924Bob ShuffBPL Member
I spent much of 2017-18 prepping for our 2018 trek that was canceled. I’ve yet to make it Philmont myself, but will give you my feedback on the big-3 I had assembled.
I have the ULA Circuit and the HMG Windrider 2400, and was looking for something different for Philmont. The HMG waterproofness is important to me, but I still put my down in a DCF stuff sack as an extra precaution and because I find it keeps the Windrider from barrelling vs just stuffing in the quilt and clothes haphazardly into the pack. I pack my clothes loosely in an Exped Schnozzel, so those also have extra protection from moisture. If I was using the ULA Circuit I might take a lightweight pack cover, but I don’t think it’s needed with the HMG.
I ended up with a Hanchor Marl using Xpac, which I ended up using in the Sierra, our crew’s replacement trek. Both the Hanchor and HMG packs have dual aluminum stays connected to the belt and shoulder straps which I think is better than ULA’s single stay and carbon/delrin hoop. Your mileage may vary depding on the load and your back. I use the Windrider 2400 more than the Hanchor for weekend trips, and don’t miss the load-lifters, but then my pack is smaller and lighter than what I would have had for Philmont. The size L torso fits me well – I think that’s also more critical on the Windrider. If I were to do it again, I would buy a Junction for the side pockets, and consider getting HMG to customize with a removeable belt (an option at that time for a cost). I like the ULA (and Hancor) belt and pockets better. I have not seen the new HMG hip belt pockets, supposedly an improvement.
For my tent, I had a Zpacks Solplex that weighs 15.4 oz. It did well in the Sierra, even with a few days of afternoon hailstorms. I like it better than a Sil Notch I have – it’s lighter and easier to setup for me. If you are spending on a new DCF, the Plexemid and Duplex would be on my short list.
For sleeping, I had and continue to use an Enlightened Equipment Revelation 30F quilt. I switched to quilts when I started hammock camping, and prefer it on the ground as well. This one is losing some of it’s warmth, but I just pull on my down puffy when needed. It would still be my choice at 18.6 oz, although I have an HG Burrow 20F with 2 extra ounces I would take if expecting multiple nights below the mid-30s. I might have to tuck in the quilt a few times on a cold night, but I find it more versatile over a wider temperature range. FWIW…I’ve been using my Thermarest NeoAir Xlite with either quilt and been warm down to the high 20s.Aug 9, 2019 at 4:35 pm #3605390Tim PBPL Member
I think you are pretty dialed in already. I would focus on the pots, tarp, med kit and cooking setup. I also think that you will be served well by looking at the other people’s gear and the crew gear.
We were a 2018 crew that got a slot in 2019. We were pretty warm except for one wet night at Copper Creek by Baldy. I had planned on being in a Tarptent Double Rainbow, but ended up in a Philmont tent due to youth protection guidelines.
Our sister crew had some very experienced backpackers carrying 50lbs. Their own gear was pretty light, but they took on gear from others and crew gear. They also took Philmont tents instead of their own tents. They had an 8-lb med kit and lots of fuel for the stoves. They were very prepared, but probably regret some of their choices.Aug 9, 2019 at 5:03 pm #3605397John OBPL Member
As others menioned, you are on the right azimuth. That said, I’m kinda reading that you are itching to get newer gear or just looking for justifying the want of a GG Mariposa, a Notch Li or whatever else.
Having just come off the trail (730-7H), I’d say your big-3 are fine so dial in everything else… Get the latest/greatest/lightest/dryest rain gear for the monsoon season and/or the comfyest, best fitting/supporting trail runner/shoe out there.
I was relatively light with a Zpacks Arc Haul (~25 oz), Duplex (~20.5 oz), EE Revelation (~23.6 oz) and a Short Nemo Switchback (~10.5 oz) coming to a ~4.98 lbs… perfectly fine for my 50 yo, 70″, 195# frame.
HIKE ON!!Aug 9, 2019 at 5:05 pm #3605398Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
I’d also consider an Arc Blast. I used one back in 2014 and it was fantastic. And since it’s waterproof, no need for a pack cover.
Also I used:
TT Rainshadow II (I paired up with another adult leader)
50d EE Enigma (yes – a 50 degree quilt.)
Obviously, I used a Neo-Rest + 1/8″ ccf pad underneath, but I was comfy the whole time. I wore a long sleeved silk top & bottoms as my sleep gear, and I could supplement with a Cap-4 hoody and a down vest if I needed to. I wore the Cap-4 for only one night.
May not work for everyone, but that system works very well for me for just about anywhere I go in the summer (generally speaking).
YISAug 10, 2019 at 10:02 pm #3605552Brad PBPL Member
See my gear review post. Arc Haul, Flicker YF 30 degree and Aeon for me.
As an adult, you can tent solo and while I just have 1 trek, there was never a problem with tent space. There were no great, flat spots in any campsite, but not a lack of space for a crew.
Volume of gear and food was a greater issue for our crew than weight. We started with 4 days of food and had to get creative for our crew of 9 to fit it all. The rest of the food pickups were 3 or fewer days and easier. Search this forum for ways to have compact volume. Also have extra ability to tightly strap gear on the outside.
There were no warm nights on our treik. Baldy Town was the coolest temp. There was rain or a threat of rain every afternoon/evening. We also had hail twice. The rains were 2 or fewer hours except our last night and they are cold rains. Being warm is important.
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