Topic

Packing Light with 95 Pounds: 40 Days Unsupported in Far East Russia


Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Packing Light with 95 Pounds: 40 Days Unsupported in Far East Russia

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 33 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3643793
    Backpacking Light
    Admin

    @backpackinglight

    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    This is a story about Tully Henke’s 40-day backpacking trip in the Far East (Russia) where he started with a pack that weighed 95 lb (43 kg).

    #3643839
    Adam Kilpatrick
    BPL Member

    @oysters

    Locale: South Australia

    Oh wow! I’d love to read a full trip report :-)

    #3643844
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Locale: California

    Tully,

    Thank you for briefly exploring another way to enjoy the outdoors with lightweight equipment. I hope you can provide a more detailed trip report. Forty days in the wild without resupply seems like a great idea to me.

    Many years ago I took a couple of nearly three-week-long whitewater raft trips through the Grand Canyon, floating with literally tons of gear and supplies down the river. Each time we pushed off I hoped that we remembered everything important, because there’s only one stop at Phantom Ranch that makes a 7-11 look like Walmart. The sweat and fears and pains and conflicts have almost vanished from my memories. Being disconnected from the “civilized” world for so long was a transforming experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

    Looks like your trip was wonderful, too.

    — Rex

    #3643851
    Franco Darioli
    Spectator

    @franco

    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    43 KG ?

    With a bit of training I could do 15m per day with that weight on my shoulders.

    #3643855
    Ivo Vanmontfort
    BPL Member

    @ivo

    #3643886
    Mike M
    BPL Member

    @mtwarden

    Locale: Montana

    very impressive!

    95 lbs is very heavy; ask anyone who backpack hunts (and is successful in harvesting an animal) and that’s with a frame designed for hauling heavy loads- I’m pretty sure the Clio wasn’t designed with that kind of weight in mind.

    40 days of food (and gear) is a lot of volume, would like to hear how you managed with a 75 liter pack

     

    #3643892
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    43 KG ?

    With a bit of training I could do 15m per day with that weight on my shoulders.

    I, too, could do 15 meters a day, but that would be pushing it.

    #3643900
    Mike M
    BPL Member

    @mtwarden

    Locale: Montana

    “43 KG ?

    With a bit of training I could do 15m per day with that weight on my shoulders.”

     

    Yeah, let me know how that goes for you :)

     

    I just looked up the Cilogear 75- from the manufacturer max weight of 40 lbs; hindsight being 20:20, should have opted for a Seek Outside framed pack (or similar)

    #3643908
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    Beautiful pictures….wish I was there! Amazing – 40 days unsupported!

    #3643913
    Jacob
    BPL Member

    @jakeyjohn1

    The Cilo Gear website says the 75L worksack has a beefed up suspension compared to all the other worksacks. Cilo claims you can carry a person with it, so 100lb seems like a reasonable low ball for the intended max weight to me. Cilo also say the max volume is 90L ‘fully expanded.’ So they could have had more than 75L to start. They also used a lot of the external latching features. From their blog’s gallery:

    Alpine style packs have a lot features for climbing and carrying ropes, and helmets, etc. I wonder if they prefer all the external latching options or if they would have enjoyed the features of a load hauling hunting pack more; ergonomic side and hip pockets, large kangaroo pocket, etc.

     

    #3643925
    Mike M
    BPL Member

    @mtwarden

    Locale: Montana

    if it’s not a well designed external frame with an equally well designed, very beefy hip belt, 95 lbs would suck tremendously

     

    from someone one who actually used one

    https://www.trailspace.com/gear/cilogear/75l-worksack/

     

     

     

     

    #3643941
    DirtNap
    BPL Member

    @dirtnap

    Locale: SLC

    What an amazing trek. Given the goals and clear aesthetic, I admire what these guys have done. Personally, if I was looking at longer than three weeks un-resupplied, I’d be looking at routes that allowed some subsistence eating. Fishing, hunting etc. But especially fishing. This route looks like it passes some really good water. Man can live on fish.

    #3644042
    Rodney
    Spectator

    @rodney-m

    Locale: Northeast Oregon

    An absolutely wonderful article. The author has put into words and actions what I have been trying to do for the past number of years. I retire at the end of 2021 when I will be 67 years old. The type and style of backpacking explained in this article is exactly what I am looking for. And now I have some words to help explain it. I can’t do 100 pounds anymore but I could still do 50 and spend 3 weeks in the wilderness unsupported. I know it will be painful and more than difficult. But in 1 week I would be down to 40 pounds and at the end of the second week, I’d be down to 30 pounds. This sounds like what I will be doing most when I retire. Walking 20+ miles a day just does not appeal to me as much anymore, at least not yet. Now I just need to find the places where I can hide out for 21 days without a lot of exposure to other people. I love the solitude of wilderness.

    Thanks for the wonderful and insightful article.

    #3644048
    Tipi Walter
    BPL Member

    @tipiwalter

    I’ve been pulling these kind of trips for the last 20 years—and usually get blasted here on BPL for carrying too much gear and too much weight—and yet now a handful of posters praise Tully Henke’s grand adventure with no resupply and a 95 lb pack.

    I just got back from a 24 day backpacking trip into the mountains of TN/NC and my pack weighed almost 100 lbs with winter gear and almost 60 lbs of food and fuel.

    A butt heavy pack is the only way to stay out for 3 or 4 weeks, esp in the winter.

    Daily mileage suffers with such weight—and a 6 mile day is adequate—with 10 mile days possible.  I’d like to see Franco pull consistent 15 mile days with a 95 lb pack.

     

    #3644054
    Tipi Walter
    BPL Member

    @tipiwalter

    Three Points in the Article—

    Pain
    Patience
    Constant Exposure

    Everybody knows about the PAIN of humping a 95 lb pack.  And the process of getting it on and off your back is subjective and will be learned over time.  (Sit down method (my method) —or stand up and swing method etc).  A corollary to Pain is careful boot placement to prevent falling—and a supreme concentration on the ground in front of you.

    PATIENCE and moving slowly is part of the equation—slow uphills, slow downhills.  What’s the hurry anyway?  Patience really rears its ugly head when passing thru terrible blowdowns—scoot unders, climb overs etc.

    CONSTANT EXPOSURE deals more with the length of time of an uninterrupted trip and not so much about pack weight.  Day 1 could be 60F, Day 4 could be in a 60 hour rainstorm at 35F, Day 12 at -10F in high winds etc.  What this means is you need a shelter and a bag that can handle 70mph winds or no winds, spindrift blizzards or nothing, -10F or 70F, clear days or 150 hour rainstorms.  Remember, you’re out for the duration.  The right tool for the job must cover a multitude of jobs.

    #3644080
    Franco Darioli
    Spectator

    @franco

    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    from Mike
    “43 KG ?

    With a bit of training I could do 15m per day with that weight on my shoulders.”

    Yeah, let me know how that goes for you :)

    look at the comment above yours. Brad got the joke.

    #3644143
    SIMULACRA
    BPL Member

    @simulacra

    Locale: Puget Sound

    Amazing looking scenery from their blog! super jealous

    #3644147
    Mike M
    BPL Member

    @mtwarden

    Locale: Montana

    m= meters  m=not miles, got it :)

    #3644176
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Locale: California

    “Constant exposure”

    Several days into one of those Grand Canyon raft trips, I worried about what looked like an approaching storm. So I asked the head guide what the weather would be like tomorrow. His answer was short and classic:

    ”Why does it matter?”

    Took me a little while to realize he was absolutely right. When you really don’t have any choice, you deal with whatever comes along.

    Valuable lesson.

    — Rex

    #3644180
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Seeing 95 pounds made me think about the viability of catching fish on the way – they were in the middle of nowhere, right?  My experience in those areas is that you get a fish on the first cast into each hole.  Manfred & Sons had a similar experience in the Brooks Range.  Normally I’m advising against the hunter-gatherer approach because in most places it’s harder, less successful and more time-consuming than you think.

    But to save 20-25 pounds?  Each?  That’s worth a lot.  Pack the cooking oil and grains and catch all your protein.  And it looked like the nights were cold enough that you could make a big dinner and re-warm it for breakfast and even chill it in the snow before packing your fish-based lunch.  Being able to use one big fish over multiple meals helps solve one problem of the north woods – you keep catching fish that are bigger than you want.

    With a pack of only 50 pounds, much less 95, I’d run out of omph long, long before I ran out of daylight.   i.e. spending an hour, unburdened, to procure and prepare one big fish would be a wonderful break from schlepping those loads.

    #3644203
    Adam Kilpatrick
    BPL Member

    @oysters

    Locale: South Australia

    I was thinking the same thing David, in particular what the laws/logistics of hunting as a foreign visitor in remote Russia would be like? Can you hve a rifle as a foreigner on a visa? Do you need a permit/license, etc? Can you import the rifle and ammunition, fly in with it, or do you have to aquire it there?

    #3644449
    Franco Darioli
    Spectator

    @franco

    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    David
    Normally I’m advising against the hunter-gatherer approach because in most places it’s harder, less successful and more time-consuming than you think.

    But to save 20-25 pounds? Each? That’s worth a lot. Pack the cooking oil and grains and catch all your protein.”

    If the area was known and a reliable source of fish for that season was a certain thing, maybe , however they were walking off trail in a location they had not been before. What is the chance that every second day or so you have a river nearby with fish in it that bite without spending too much time doing that ?

    I don’t know but it does not sound like a good idea to me.

    Would be good to get Tully’s perspective on this.

    #3644476
    Mike M
    BPL Member

    @mtwarden

    Locale: Montana

    ^  yeah you’d have to some very detailed and accurate beta to ditch a bunch of food to count on harvesting to replace it.

    my wife and I often backpack into a small chain of lakes that we can almost always count on catching small cutthroat for supper, but I always have a backup supper just in case

    #3644529
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Admittedly, not all water holds fish, and if it’s glacial run-off, it can be too silty for fish at all or for them to see your lure.

    But we almost always plan our day’s travel to camp near water and avoid hauling a few liters of water.  I’d accept some constraints on the length of each day’s hike or stops during the day to save tens of pounds.

    #3644827
    Andrea C
    BPL Member

    @andreagattonero

    Thank you for sharing this article, is always good to hear a different opinion and approach to things. Thumbs up!

    But I’m a curious by the choice of stove, the reason why was not chosen a system that would allow the use of wood as primary source, and meths/Esbit as backup when weather won’t allow to light a fire or foraging for wood. Surely, a gas stove is brilliant when you are craving for some hot food :-)

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 33 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Loading...