“Newbie” Gear List! Recommendations welcomed
Apr 12, 2021 at 7:02 am #3708647
Hello! I’m excited to be a new member to this community. As a kid I did a ton of camping and some backpacking, and while I continued to hike I had gotten away from backpacking for several years. I picked it up again in 2017 and in many ways it feels like I never missed a beat. That year I purchased all new gear before I really knew anything about the UL community. Fortunately, I ended up with a good bit of lightweight gear, but certainly not ultralight.
Here is the Google Docs link! (I built this before I knew about LighterPack, and haven’t gone through the trouble of transferring yet..,).
I don’t have any immediate needs to swap gear, especially with baby #2 coming within the next few weeks. I plan to take both my kids (baby and 3yo toddler) camping at the end of the summer, but it will probably be another 2 seasons before I really am out doing multiple overnights and hiking longer miles. That said, I would like to keep them in mind for bringing them along, including the need to carry most of their gear, sharing gear, etc.
Bonnie.Apr 12, 2021 at 7:23 am #3708648
Diapers, baby food or a small grinder, toys, more toys (and a few toys)…
Do not worry so much about the kids rolling around in the dirt, or eating a worm or two. They do that. You might want a larger tent to accommodate some sort of corralling solution. They won’t care much about a fire, so don’t plan on it. They make some rather elaborate child carriers, but, mostly, we just used a sling if the kid was having trouble walking. Keep the overall distances short. We found a nice spot about 3 miles off the road. Relatively unused most of the time, always room for us on one of the three campsites. The kids would hike part way, we would put them in the boat on a trail cart the rest of the way in…they often fell asleep. When they get older, we got them tiny packs of their own. We made a big deal of it. 45 years later they still don’t mind a 20lb pack, though they outgrew new toys for the pack. We got them a tent of their own when they were three and four…like as soon as we could. They didn’t even notice and never had mommy issues. We placed then right next door to us.Apr 12, 2021 at 7:26 am #3708649Kevin BabioneBPL Member
Welcome to BPL. Your list looks pretty good. A couple of suggestions:
- What is the 1/2 pound of “Ballworks”?
- I found I use my iPhone for all of my notes so I no longer carry a pad. I do carry a pen because all too often trail register pens are dead.
- If you hate your Sawyer mini by all means replace it before your next trip – IMO nothing is worse than dreading getting water at the end of a day of hiking
I have twins (now 14) and we’ve camped with them since they were a year old. It was easiest when they were in diapers…Our first trip with them after they were potty trained seems like a perpetual trip with one at a time to the bathroom (they never had to go at the same time).
Here’s a link to the BPL writeup I did after I took them on their first backpacking trip:
Good luck with baby #2…Apr 14, 2021 at 6:13 am #3708859
Thank you @jamesdmarco, will be helpful when I get the kids out! My husband is not a backpacker, so it will just be me carrying baby and all the stuff. When you had the baby in a sling, was that person also carrying a back? And when you say sling, just the over the shoulder style, or a soft sided carrier? This summer the baby will be about 3 mo when I plan to go, so definitely not walking!Apr 14, 2021 at 6:16 am #3708860
Twins, how fun @kbabione! Like I just told Kevin, my husband is not a backpacker (or camper for that matter) so it’ll just be me when I take the kids. Which I will do, but still planning to do trips by myself or with friends.
Yes, I am going to get a new filter ASAP, it’s high on my list. Do you have one you prefer?
The ballworks I had forgotten to remove, it’s off the list now! I tried the phone note thing and just not my style, the less than 2oz weight of a new notebook is completely worth it for me.
Love the article!Apr 14, 2021 at 6:24 am #3708861
I’m probably more of a “newbie” than you are, so take this with a grain of salt. Also, my kids are 13 and 16, and I never took them backpacking as infants/toddlers. You could drop several ounces, cheaply, by swapping out the Jetboil for a BRS3000 and leaving behind some of the stuff sacks. I usually use a hammock, so I bring two quilts and they go at the bottom of my pack, no stuff sacks. With the rest of my gear on top, it really does create quite a bit more room when I pack them this way. To keep smaller things organized, ziplock bags work great, for me. Easy to see what’s inside.
I started out with a multi tool, then downsized to a Swiss Army knife that was LIKE a multi tool, but quickly realized that I didn’t use any of the extra features it had. The 0.7oz Victorinox classic is what I use now, and I’ve never needed anything else.
I think the Sawyer Squeeze is a great idea. I usually carry drops, but having fresh, clean water NOW, as opposed to having to wait for the drops to work, is definitely worth the 3oz sometimes! I’ve never used the mini, but the squeeze is very fast.
Anyway, just a few ideas for you to kick around. Congrats on the new baby!Apr 14, 2021 at 7:17 am #3708864
Bonnie, My wife was using a largish beach towel for our second one. She was breast feeding so it was convenient. She also carried a 10 pound pack…mostly baby stuff.
As far as water supply, I use a UV. The Steripen works really well. Instant water, mostly.Apr 14, 2021 at 7:53 am #3708865Kevin BabioneBPL Member
Yeah – I use UV as well. I like the instant (90 seconds) gratification and drinking water at stream temperature when it’s hot outside instead of letting it warm up for 30 minutes while the drops do their thing. UV also allows me to “tank up” at water sources by drinking and re-filling before I leave the spot.
I drink a lot of water in a 10-15 mile day – typically 5-6 liters before I get to camp for the evening. The convenience of UV makes that easy.Apr 14, 2021 at 8:50 am #3708867
UV has always sounded appealing to me, but knowing me, I’d probably break it. Then there’s batteries to worry about. Upfront cost is what’s kept me from trying it. $30 for a Sawyer or $15 for drops is more in my price range. All methods have their downsides. Unfortunately.Apr 14, 2021 at 10:00 am #3708873
Yeah, the initial outlay (I paid $69) is a bit steep. But, I have been using one since 2013 or so. That is about 8 years. I had a bit of a problem with the bulb, but I was told to wash it with alky. Worked fine ever since. So, even at today’s price of 109 divided by 8 years is $13.63 per year. Batteries are another story. I use about $50/yr. Just remember to flip them between uses. I get about 18 days on a new set of batteries. But, I have zero problems, it functions as a light, and it works as near instantly/hassle free as can be. It fits into my Gatoraid bottles perfectly, either .5L or 1L. And it is ~3.75oz including batteries. I got sick trying to rush drops. DO NOT use them in <30 minutes! I broke two water bladders for the Squeeze and had to bail early. I have tried other methods and was a huge fan of the drops…till I got sick.Apr 14, 2021 at 2:14 pm #3708910
I’ll have to file that info for the future. I do plan on trying one out someday, after I get the rest of my kit “straightened out.”Apr 14, 2021 at 10:48 pm #3708967
I really like the “sawyer squeeze” also. It really puts out some water.
My cousin picked up some giardia using a steri-pen, so I haven’t tried them yet, but they look really cool! When getting h2o from lake try to only get very surface h2o= free uv sterilization (still filter or treat)
Ziplock garbage bag? I always pack my garbage into empty food bags.
Backpack- I really don’t like the way ospreys move weight farther away from the back. This just increases torque force = more ” apparent weight” My SO and I really like our Flash 55s from REI – check their used gear section.
Spoon- I ditched my expensive titanium spoon for an easy to eat with large dinner spoon. 0.2 oz. more weight, but so much more joy when shoveling food!
Deet- I spent two weeks in Amazon jungle on a medical campaign, and consensus of team there was that lemon eucalyptus was best (of deet, picardin, and lemon eucalyptus). Mosquitos were truly INTENSE!
No carabiner. Loop on end of paracord. feed loop through bearbag, then pull paracord through loop (like a herniation), then put stick in herniated loop and pull cord tight.
I replaced all of my liners, stuff sacks, and sleeping bags sacks with turkey and chicken oven roasting bags. I trim off the 1/2 of excess on seam end, and reinforce the seam with a strip of packaging tape folded over. = Ultra light, cheap, and see through-no hunting!
bagliner- I don’t need a bag liner because all of my stuff is in oven bags.
kula = 0.56 oz. 8 paper towels = 0.6 oz. In moist soil set used towel on ground, and push into the earth with a stick, or burn, You can get them to disappear with a little force. or just use your hand and rinse w/ h2o
tent looks like your increasing in weight with the midx2p?
trowel- “the duece” knock off – UST trowel = 0.9 oz. ($9.00) – tape the edges, to make easier to use.
4 h20 bottles and only one actually fits sawyer? Or are the others sawyer compatible? A taped oven bag in a plastic grocery bag weighs 0.2 oz. and holds almost 2 gallons of h2o, great for transporting h2o to campsite. Use a turkey bag, and you can get a better elephant snout than mine with the chicken bag.Apr 15, 2021 at 10:49 am #3709009
Wow thank you everyone!
I haven’t looked into a Steripen yet, definitely sparked my interest. The squeeze systems take time which is fine when I’m solo, but with the kids I could see benefit in the more instant gratification.
Amber, what pot do you use with the BSR stove?
Daniel, I’ve never heard of using the oven turkey bags before, super interesting. Can you tell me more about the lemon eucalyptus?! Tent if I go with the mid2x I can forgo the stakes, so in total I save 1lb. Last trip I went on was super limited on water, so I brought more bottles than normal, though I still am looking to change that system all together.Apr 15, 2021 at 11:14 am #3709011
I don’t actually HAVE the BRS stove – I spent $50 on a Pocket Rocket before I’d heard about them. But if I had a do over, I’d get the BRS. They look pretty similar, but the BRS is lighter and a lot cheaper. Like you, my husband isn’t a backpacker, so I’m always solo. On the bright side, I can get away with a smaller pot, so I’ve been rocking a Toaks 550. Once I tried using it with a Fancee Feast alcohol stove (zelph’s design), I quit using a canister for most trips. I’d definitely keep convenience in mind though, if I were bringing small children with me. In that case, I’d bring the canister stove and a larger pot.Apr 15, 2021 at 5:43 pm #3709043
Well, I believe the BRS is a huge waste. A waste of money, a waste of fuel and a waste of materials. I purchased one, then waited several months for a replacement when it leaked as I was screwing it on and off. Guess what, the replacement does the same damn thing. While it is running, it is only mediocre at about 16-18g/L (34F water to 210F) in lab setup. It always seems to waste about 2gm per use. 1) Ground down the brass pressure foot on the stove, or, find the right size “O” ring for the valve/cannister junction. (It shipped with the wrong size.) An FMS300 uses an upper “O” ring to prevent this leakage.(I burn something less than 5gm per burn for around 2 cups in the field.) In two weeks with the BRS, the leakage is about 1/8 of an 8ounce canister and caused me to run out of fuel at the end of this time. I never ran out with the FMS-300/Caffin V1 on the same schedule.Apr 15, 2021 at 5:52 pm #3709044
On our amazon trip we had all three options. Most of us brought at least two of the three.
The head coordinator, who has led the expeditions regularly for decades recommended the lemon eucalyptus. By the end of the first week, we all agreed with her. Opinion formulated by experience, and odor. To actually repel the mosquitos we had to be quite saturated, and the Lemon smelled and felt better.
“Oil of lemon eucalyptus products have should not be used on children under the age of three due to a lack of testing for this age group.”
“Note: Oil of lemon eucalyptus and lemon eucalyptus oil are not the same product. Natural lemon eucalyptus oil has not been tested or approved as an effective repellent.”Apr 15, 2021 at 5:56 pm #3709045Apr 15, 2021 at 8:49 pm #3709064
Maybe my money was well spent then. 😂Apr 15, 2021 at 8:52 pm #3709065
For what it’s worth, I’ve never had problems with my Pocket Rocket, except in below freezing temps. And I’ve heard mention a time or two that there’s ways around that also.Apr 16, 2021 at 10:17 am #3709092Apr 16, 2021 at 12:06 pm #3709103Michael BBPL Member
Consider a small battery bank and maybe consider replacing your headlamp with one that has a usb rechargeable battery. It may help when you have kids that want to either play a game on your phone, or you want to take pics of your family (happens a lot for me and my 3 yo), or want to access maps/trail info on your phone. Piece of mind to have a full battery for stuff like that.
Regarding the water filtration, I use a standard Sawyer Squeeze, but I highly suggest setting it up as a gravity system with a larger bladder (CNOC or something similar) than 2L. The larger bladder will allow you to size down or eliminate your extra bottle (really not that big a deal) if you want. I typically take my largest Sawyer bladder (yes they work for me, have for years), or I take my Nathan branded 3L water bladder when I want a gravity system (makes for good clean camp shower or “faucet” for cleanup after dinner), then I have 1L and a .75L smart water bottles for drinking on the trail. I use the small bottle to add flavoring/electrolyte/gatorade stuff to keep me interesting in drinking water, and it helps me to have the different sizes to keep clean bottles clean and flavor bottles flavored. More like a muscle memory type of deal to help keep me organized. Hope you have fun with your kiddos on trail soon enough. My wife and I just had our second in January, so we are in a similar situation. My wife is more of a car camper than a backpacker (likes running water toilets, so lame :) ) but we still want to have outdoor fun with our kids as they get older.Apr 16, 2021 at 3:33 pm #3709174
I definitely need a new battery bank- do you have one you recommend @mikebergy? I’ve also been considering the gravity system, I like the sound of your set up. Thanks!Apr 16, 2021 at 5:34 pm #3709190
I’m not Mike, but I’m personally using a 10,000mAh Anker something or other. It’s 6.4oz. Works great for me, but I’m always looking to drop weight, so I’ll be all ears for responses too.Apr 16, 2021 at 6:03 pm #3709194Michael BBPL Member
I use RavPower, a 15k mah model, I think around 10oz. I picked it up since it seemed to have a better power density (mah/weight) for only a few extra oz over the 10k banks I looked at, with a similar volume to the 10k banks and I picked it up for a similar price to the 10k banks. The 20k banks were too big IMO. I already have a 5k bank that works well too if I am only going to be out by myself for a couple days, but I would think the extra juice would give me piece of mind with my boys in tow. As for headlamps, I use a BD Iota, and my son loves using it.
RAVPower Portable Charger 15000mAh PD3.0 Power Bank QC 3.0, 18W High-Speed Ultra Compact USB C Battery Pack Tri-Input and Tri-Output Compatible iPhone 8/11/12/XS/XR/XS, iPad, Samsung Galaxy and More https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082X6L813/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_8SVBBXHNP6SD1N8P7DF3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
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