May 25, 2020 at 5:55 pm #3649181Nicholas RBPL Member
I have loved the outdoors my entire life, but only last year began to really lean in to hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, snowboard mountaineering.
Over this Memorial Day weekend full of great sales, I purchased much of the gear on the attached list, and have yet to test it out. Would love folks to review and pressure test my gear choices. I still have time to modify/return existing orders.
- With the attached gear list (PDF or Excel), I intend to recreate primarily spring, summer and fall, in the PNW, where I live.
- When possible, I would like as much of the attached 3 season gear to also apply to future mountaineering and winter camping objectives.
- I am 6’2″ tall.
My thinking re: my clothing system:
- Pants: OR Ferrosi (warmer trips) or Arcteryx Gamma LT (cooler trips).
- Jackets: Houdini (wind/precip), Nano Air Hoody (active insulation on cooler days), Ghost Whisperer (at camp and to sleep in), Beta AR jacket (storm layer for spring or fall – should I just stick with Houdini as my rain jacket in the summer in PNW??).
Thanks!May 25, 2020 at 6:16 pm #3649185bjcBPL Member
Can’t see your list but Houdini is not a rain jacket. Many use something like Lighterpack.com to create pack lists.May 25, 2020 at 9:56 pm #3649243Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
Alpine Houdini would be a good summer rainshell. But yeah as BJ said. The normal Houdini is a wind shell. Although as a pnw person myself, it would probably actually work cause it almost doesn’t rain here in the summer at all.
I run from stretch woven stuff such as ferrosi and gamma lt. Tried it out here. Hard shells are the way to go. Too consistant of rain here for soft shells. No o chance to dry and they become wet towels. I wear a gamma Mx for spring skiing but if it looks like precipitation I’m in a hard shell.May 26, 2020 at 3:03 pm #3649349David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Nicholas: The excel spreadsheet dowloaded for me (the most common way to communicate gear lists is to create it on LighterPack.com).
It’s a solid list, no obvious mistakes or omissions. Lots of small tweaks and oversights I usually point out, you’ve already addressed.
Your Big 3 are each 30-40% heavier than the lightest-in-class, but those would be $400-$600 each to upgrade.
Seems like kind of a lot of layers / weight for top clothing. Especially that 1-pound Goretex shell. Plus 2 pounds of shirt / puffy / hoody. 3 pounds of clothes for your top. There are combos that address warmth and rain protection for about half that. On your next few trips, see if you HAVE to use all of those and if not, start leaving one behind. And consider a much lighter rain shell in the future. One concept is: If you weren’t wearing ALL your clothes at some point, you brought too many clothes.
While I’ve used a Houdini as a pseudo-rain shell, it’s not really and I wouldn’t rely on it in the PNW.
I don’t see any shorts. Nor any long pants other than the Smartwool base layer. If you’re on trails, add the shorts and that can be enough. I did a lot of Sierra trips like that – shorts over long underwear in the cool of the morning and evening and shorts only in the heat of the day. If your’e bushwhacking at all, the wool long underwear will get shredded more than lightweight 100% nylon long pants.
I don’t see a phone, just a GoPro. A phone is a video camera (and emergency beacon, extra flashlight, compass, GPS, etc, etc). I’d bring a phone (usually turned off) and skip the battery pack and GoPro but will probably never convince anyone half my age of that.
My other thoughts are small items, but enough small items add up to another pound.
A BRS-3000T is 1/3 the weight of that Pocket Rocket and only $15.
I’ve often carried but never used a space blanket.
If you’re on trails, a compass is (IME) never needed. And your phone is a compass. So is any watch (if you know how). I’ll bring a button / watch-band compass to the Aleutian Islands because one side of a foggy grassy volcano looks just like the other side, but for an established trail, I only use a compass to teach other people how to use a compass.
You’ve got a mug AND pot. Maybe the mug is your luxury item, but a plastic cup could be half the weight – I find mine in Walmart, sometimes sold as children’s place settings for a $1.
3mm cordage is better than 550 paracord, but 2mm is enough for any guy line, clothes line, bear hang, etc. And 50 feet of it is a lot. I go further and use 130-pound-test braided Dacron halibut fishing line (25 feet = 6 grams, whereas you’re at 100 grams) and while it’s strong enough, it’s too thin for a bear hang.
Those Stormtracker gloves are a lot of ounces and dollars. Polypro liner gloves are around a 1/3 the weight (and price). In a pinch, remember you can use extra socks as gloves. Speaking of which, I don’t see (optional) sleep socks listed.
Again, it’s a solid set up with lots of good choices and no obvious problems. A few trips and a rigorous “whatever didn’t I use, I’m not taking again” mindset plus continual reassessment of how much of each consumable and you could drop a pound or so for no cost.May 26, 2020 at 4:20 pm #3649364Nicholas RBPL Member
Thank you so much for the detailed and thoughtful review and response.
I admit I am torn in regards to my top clothing. I have struggled to find the minimum necessary pieces to meet my needs and save weight in the pack.
One note is that I do tend to run quite hot.
Below, I’ll outline each piece and their intended use. Then perhaps you could recommend any specific changes.
Patagonia Sun Stretch Hoody. 5.6 oz. My base and only layer for warmer conditions.
Patagonia Nano Air Hoody. Breathable mid layer for hiking in colder weather. Unfortunately, I overheat in this very quickly in all but the very coldest conditions, and I regret not getting the nano air light, which is now discontinued. I am thinking a Patagonia R1 may be a better option that allows maximum breathability for most cool conditions.
Patagonia Houdini. Wind Shirt and light protection against rain. If light precip or wind picks up, throw this on over my base layer. I’ve found my gamma lt pants with their DWR coating to handle a decent amount of rain without wetting out. Was hoping the Houdini may do the same.
Arcteryx Beta AR. Heavy rain/wind jacket. I got this last year with mountaineering objectives in mind. It is likely overkill for the vast majority of 3 season backpacking pursuits. Maybe an OR Helium jacket would be a lighter weight solution to rain protection?
Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer Hooded. Down insulation for sleeping, using as a pillow, hanging out around camp.
Alternatives options compared to current 45.8 Oz situation:
A) Replace Houdini with OR Helium, and leave the Beta AR at home. Saves 13.3 Oz.
B) Forego Houdini. Keep Beta AR. Saves 3.7 Oz.
- Sun stretch shirt, Nano air hoody, Beta AR, Ghost Whisperer.
C) Replace Nano air hoody with R1, replace Houdini with OR Helium, Leave Beta AR at home. Saves 12.8 Oz.
- Sun stretch shirt, R1, Helium, Ghost Whisperer
I’ll consider your comments on non-clothing items as well. Extremely helpful!May 26, 2020 at 5:26 pm #3649397David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I’m thinking option A, above. Or do B in the interim and test out the Beta AR hard shell if you already have it with your other items. Then pull the trigger on the Helium II when you want to save that additional weight.
I also tend to get hot when I’m hiking and will sometimes just wear a wicking top in the rain rather than experience a sauna inside of a hard shell. That only works while I keep moving, but I’d rather be a bit cool than way too warm.May 26, 2020 at 5:40 pm #3649400K CBPL Member
@kalebcLocale: South West
You will probably want to make 2-3 different gear lists based on different seasons or for expected weather, one for warmer weather, one for shoulder seasons and one for cold weather. They should be quite different and may be about 5 pound different comparatively without you buying any more gear, simply just bring different stuff and leave behind what you won’t need.
Also, PNW is pretty vague, you could be talking coastal Washington, Redwoods, Eastern Oregon which are very different vs. North Cascades, foothills of Mt. Rainier etc. as you probably already know.
You could make one list and try to get as light as you can (comfortably), and from there have a reserve list of extra stuff to swap out when the temps will be cold or there will be a good chance of rain.
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