Oct 15, 2020 at 12:27 pm #3679854
Hello, new member and first time poster. I’m requesting some critical eyes for my list for an upcoming trip.
For context: it’s in central az, just south of of the rim during dec/jan. Approx 6000 elevation, with low temps likely in the 20s and perhaps down to the teens. I’m a hunter, so some the gear is of course geared for that pursuit.
A few notes: budget is a relevant consideration for me, and some of the things are just what I have available already. Though I would appreciate recommendations for future upgradesOct 15, 2020 at 8:07 pm #3679912
Good news: LOTS of places to save weight in that load out!
I’ve been on UL hunting trips and our packs were 1/3 that weight, including weapons.
Kitchen stuff is most of the way there. There are options 1/3 the weight of that Stanley pot, like titanium pots from Toaks around $30. Or a $5 aluminum cup.
Skip Nalgene water bottles, use Smartwater or Gatorade or Avian bottles at 1/4 the weight (and free from the recycling bins).
It’s not a “propane can”, but a “butane canister” (technically a butane-propane-mix canister, but we call them butane canisters). When we say “propane”, it’s usually in the context of those much heavier, green, Coleman propane cylinders – one pound of propane inside of one pound of steel.
That’s a LOT of clothes. Maybe needed if you could see temps in the teens and you’re stationary waiting for a shot, but fleece is never the most weight-efficient material – puffy layers are lighter. And those boots are really heavy. UL hunters are in trail runners, just like UL backpackers, making you lighter on your feet and reducing your exertion over the miles you hike.
Multitools are never the lightest option and are crappy screwdrivers, a crappy knife, crappy nail file, etc. For most backpacking tasks, a 25-gram Victorinox Classic is plenty and we’ve proven you can butcher and skin out a black bear with one. Because it’s such a sweet knife for dressing game, I also bring a 17-gram Victorinox “Little Vicky” paring knife. It’s always THE most popular knife when we’re quartering a bunch of caribou.
First aid kit looks very prepper. Take 6 or 10 or 20 inches of your favorite tape(s) and apply them to non-stick backing – don’t bring the whole roll. Single-serving tubes of super-glue is legit, IF you know what to seal up with it and what to leave open. Simply not shooting your companions lets you avoid the tourniquet, Israeli bandage, chest seals etc. “duct tape” isn’t as good for anything as Gorilla tape or, better yet, Tenacious Tape is. Usually, I just bring Leukotape, but the hunting and meat hauling add more justification for gear repair. I don’t see heavy thread and a glover’s needle – those let you sew repairs for your pants, pack, shoes, etc. Waxed cardboard or waxed paper is as good a fire starter as vaseline soaked cotton balls and a lot neater and multi-purpose (funnel, stove base, cutting board).
Your pillow and trekking poles are decent weights. The tent, bag, pad and pack could all be 1/2 the weight or less. I have a “rule of 400”:
Your pack, tent or sleeping bag’s price (in Yankee dollars) x its weight (in pounds) = 400. Lots of 4-pound-each options at Walmart for $100 each. The 2-pound alternatives are around $200 each. The 1-pound options are more like $400 or somewhat more. But your Big 3 is doable around 3 pounds total for some coin, 6 pounds total for moderate prices, or 12 pounds for not much at all. Since you’ve already got one of each, and they’re all on the heavy end, I’d suggest saving a bit longer for each replacement and going for the lighter end of the spectrum so as not to be replacing each one several times for incrementally lighter models. Consider a pyramid for a shelter – they’re great in the wind, very light for the area covered, shed snow and being floorless isn’t an issue in the fall when freezing nights have killed the bugs and an advantage come winter because you can dig out walkways, cooking and dining areas from the snow bank you’re camped on.
Some hunters feel that saving 10-20 pounds on gear won’t benefit them much compared to the hundreds of pounds of meat they’ll be hauling out. The thing is, you haul your camping gear EVERYWHERE with you but only haul meat one way, making a bee line to the truck. There have been trips where I’ll be really UL until something is shot, and while I may not be set up to haul a huge bunch of meat in my first load, on my next trip out, I’ll bring an empty heavy-weight-capable pack along for my meat sherpa duties. That doesn’t apply if you’re going for 2 or 3 bunnies or a fox, but if you harvest multiple deer, an elk, moose or good-sized bear, then you’ve got a lot of heavy miles you can optimize for, separately.
I understand a range finder for a rifle hunt, but for archery?
Things that may have overlooked: blaze orange outerwear of some sort? A second mini-Bic (it’s only 11 grams). I don’t see a skinning knife. I’d MUCH rather use a $6, 17-gram Little Vicky than any multitool to butcher an animal. You’ve got extra batteries for the headlamp and your phone has a (mediocre) flashlight function, but one redundant thing I’ll bring is a $10, 10-gram NiteCore Tube rechargeable flashlight. It’s low setting is great for reading at night (goes for 50 hours) and I find it (barely) enough for me to hike on an established trail so I get a lot of comfort knowing I could finish the trip with it. ID, hunting license and tags. Bone saw? (or you can get inside each joint and cut the tendons). Tarps to dress and stage meat on and keep it covered between trips out? For keeping the eagles off (Alaska is kind of eagle-infested), I’ve like that 5’x7′, $11 sil-nylon Outdoor Product tarp Walmart carries. But just to keep meat off the grass and dirt, poly-cyro clear sheeting sold as window-sealing kits (also at Walmart) is really light and more durable than you’d think at first glance.Oct 16, 2020 at 12:47 pm #3679983
Thanks for the feedback, David. Based off my gear list you can tell I’m a car camper that’s used to bringing the kitchen sink 🤣.
I’ll drop the nalgene bottle and look to upgrade to a toaks pot.
Noted for the butane canister.
Those boots are a relic of many years ago thinking I needed big leather boots to survive outdoors. I was thinking of downsizing to something like a soloman x ultra 3 mid, since I can get them for a nice price. Do you think a mid style should would be appropriate or do you mean a lower cut when you say a trailrunner?
As far as the clothing I might replace the fleece jacket with a lighter mid layer, do you have any suggestions?
I’ll look into replacing the multitool with the options you listed.
I’ll bring some better tape and drop the excessive trauma supplies and add a needle and thread for repairs.
That’s a good tip for the waxed cardboard I’ll give it a try
In the future I’d like to try one of those EE quilts to save weight and I’m very interested in a pyramid style tent. I think I might be able to remove the bug net from my stratospire 2 and replace it with a ground sheet to save some weight in the mean time. The pack will definitely take some time to save up for.
I’m a novice hunter so I just assumed I’d need a rangefinder
I’ll take a look at the nitecore
I originally planned to use the multitool as a do it all since it has a saw
I’ll also take a look at adding a tarp for meat
You’ve given me some good considerations for adjusting my gear, thank youOct 16, 2020 at 2:59 pm #3680000
I go with low-cut trail runners and then add Dirty Girl gaiters if I need to keep pebbles or snow out. Then I pick socks according the weather and conditions – wool/nylon blends for most Fall trips, but neoprene socks if I’m crossing streams all day long. The Salomon Ultras are a good place to start but before you take them outside, while you can still return them (ideally in the REI store):
1) wear them around for hundreds of yards on the flat and feel for any spot that rubs you even a tiny bit.
2) check for heel slip. 1/8″ is okay but over 1/4″ of heel rise with each step will give you a friction blister there. Try a smaller shoe size, or a thicker sock, or lace it tighter, or try a totally different shoe.
3) GET ON A RAMP (all real shoe stores should have them) and try to jam your foot forward in the shoe. Your toes should not touch at all. If they do, you need a longer shoe or a different model.
Try different brands. Often if one model fits you, other models from the same maker will, too (Merrell’s fit me well); and if one doesn’t their other models likely won’t either.Oct 16, 2020 at 3:23 pm #3680002
I’ve only been on rifle hunts and it can be very helpful to range an animal to account for bullet drop (although if you zero for 100 or 150 yards, you can often shoot with no vertical offset from 0 to 200 yards). The bowhunter I know who got all the local Alaskan critters (moose, sheep, mountain goat and bear) with a bow, took his shots at 7 to 10 yards (which requires some incredible stalking skills) even though, in a practice session, he could hit a grapefruit at 40 yards. I’d think you’d need to make any adjustments by eye and from memory since at that close distance, you don’t want to put down your bow, pick up your rangefinder, then pick up your bow again.
I think the ideal use of a range finder is when you’re NOT hunting to fine tune your own sense of distance. Look at that sign, tree, dog, propane tank, whatever and guess how far away it is. Then range it. Keep doing that until you’re reliably within 10-20%. Then get prone and learn to do it through the bushes and tall grass.Oct 17, 2020 at 9:16 am #3680071
Those are great fitment tips for shoes, I’ll try on a few brands at my local REI and use that as a guide.
I’ll have to keep practicing with my bow to see if I can get somewhere I’m comfortable enough with distances to leave the rangefinder at homeOct 21, 2020 at 10:51 am #3680494
Update: I removed the inner from the tent and am gonna pitch it tarp only w/ a ground cloth that could double as a tarp for meat.
Replaced my heavy fleece jacket with a jacket half the weight
I tried on some shoes at REI and replaced my boots with some much lighter Altra’s
Replacing my pot with a smaller titanium toaks
I’m gonna leave my nalgene on the list for now to try heating water up in it at night and putting it in my sleeping bag, but can remove that for later trips to save weight.
Replacing my paracord with some lighter dyneema cord
Removed the heavy multi tool and switched to the two victorinox items you suggested
Haven’t cut down the medkit yet
Overall approx savings of 7 pounds
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.