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Getting in backpacking, starting to look at gear
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Matt Vandenberg
(checksix) - F
Getting into backpacking, starting to look at gear on 12/13/2007 17:24:23 MST Print View

I've decided to update my gear for backpacking and have been doing some research. This is what Ive come up with so far:

Tent- MSR Hubba Hubba
Pack- Gregory z-55
Bag: WM summerlite

Thats what ive come up with so far, if you guys have any other gear or recommendations or anything, please tell me.

Edited by checksix on 12/13/2007 17:30:46 MST.

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: Getting into backpacking, starting to look at gear on 12/13/2007 17:52:09 MST Print View

Hello Matt! Welcome to BPL!

It's great that you are updating your gear, but what is your goal? Are you trying to lighten up the load? Besides the WM bag, the gear isn't exactly lightweight. How much weight do you plan on carrying? How much stuff will you bring?

Where will you be backpacking? How long do you plan on going out for? Will you be by yourself or with others? Are you planning on hiking for 3 seasons? The gear you picked out is certainly quality gear, but obviously a summerlite isn't going to cut it right now if you're hiking in the White Mountains.

Maybe you don't need a pack that can handle as much weight as the Gregory. Let everyone know more about your goals and habits and the like and then people will be able to help you.

See you around!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Getting into backpacking, starting to look at gear on 12/13/2007 18:25:23 MST Print View

Welcome to the forum!

Regarding the Hubba Hubba (HH) -- do you plan to share your tent or is this meant for luxury solo?

Regarding the bag -- what temp range do you plan to hike in?

Giving us some background (hiking seasons, locations, solo or dual, etc.) will help us with our feedback.

Edited by ben2world on 12/13/2007 18:26:43 MST.

Matt Vandenberg
(checksix) - F
Re: Re: Getting into backpacking, starting to look at gear on 12/13/2007 18:46:46 MST Print View

ill be going out just for weekend trips mostly, 3-4days. I am trying to get a light load. Ill be going with friends 3-4 of them. Ill be hiking for 3 seasons, and want gear that'll do for all 3. thanks for the replies.

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: Getting into backpacking, starting to look at gear on 12/13/2007 18:54:46 MST Print View

You can't get go wrong with a WM bag. Just make sure you get the one for the temps you will be hiking in.

For the tent, I would check out They have a model that will fit 3.

For a pack, I would check out the bags. Alternatively, you could go with a GoLite Jam2

Of course, you need to read every article, post and review on BPL to make the most informed decision. Even then, you'll change your mind in 6 months ;-)

Edited by fperkins on 12/13/2007 19:05:23 MST.

Matt Vandenberg
(checksix) - F
tent on 12/13/2007 19:00:13 MST Print View

yea, i was looking at the squall 2, it looks pretty good. The tent is also just for 2, my friend has a tent too.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
"Getting in backpacking, starting to look at gear" on 12/13/2007 19:27:40 MST Print View

Welcome. You have come to the right place. I joined less than a year ago and have learned a lot. I read a lot before I joined this group about going light. So I felt I knew a lot. Nope. Luckily I have 4 kids I can pass the gear that doesn't work for me!!!

I agree with the above person about the GoLite packs. You can't go wrong with a Jam II or a Pinnacle. No question. The Pinnacle is the larger cousin. Though neither have a rigid frame. Read the posts on all of the packs, especially the articles. You may find you will save a lot of money also. Packs like you have chosen are heavy and unnecessary.

Look at the Lafuma line of sleeping bags. Again, more cost effective and very light. I think they are ahead of many of the major manufacturers with some of their light weight gear.

As far as tents go... Either go with a Tarp Tent or single wall like listed above, or try a tarp and Bivy combo. I am using a USMC Gortex bivy because I got it cheap. This is a new thing for me. I have been tarp camping the last year and love it. I have had more beautiful mornings and enjoyed the quiet wild life and even a large hawk flying through the sight where I could here the wings flapping. A fun way to wake up. I will eventually replace that 2 pound bivy with something much lighter, but for now I am loving it. You can buy them on-line for $60.00 if you are careful. As far as a tarp goes read this sight. The Grandma Gatewood Cape is a pretty nice set up and doubles as your rain gear and shelter.

Have fun!!!

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
If you want to save extra weight on 12/13/2007 21:39:25 MST Print View

and expand the range of comfortable temperature, consider a quilt instead of the WM sleeping bag. I have a WM Ultralite I like, but I love my Nunatak Quilt.

Tarptents are awesome. I really like the design of the Double Rainbow. It's protective like a tent, available with a liner to help with condensation, yet light and can be set up to catch breezes. (Although I am considering using a tarp next summer.)

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Getting in backpacking, starting to look at gear on 12/13/2007 23:38:28 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 04/24/2015 00:18:44 MDT.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Tarp Tent on 12/14/2007 08:20:04 MST Print View

I would highly recommend the Gossamer Gear Spin Cloth Squall Classic Tarp Tent, unless your planning on doing snow or high mountaineering.

I have the Squall Classic and have ridden out thunderstorms, hail storms, and even some snow with NO problems.

These days I use mainly a poncho tarp and bivy, but when I go two person the Squall is my go to tent.

You'll be hard pressed to find anything lighter either, at least with full bug protection and a bathtub floor.

Matt Vandenberg
(checksix) - F
thanks on 12/14/2007 14:51:46 MST Print View

thanks guys, i think im going to go with the squall classic for my tent, im checking out the golite packs and there looking pretty good.

bobby c
(bobbycartwright) - F

Locale: i don't need no stinkin badges!
pack consideration on 12/14/2007 18:36:19 MST Print View

hey matt, i hope you have fun getting out! reading the forums will give you a ton of good info, and keep in mind that your backpacking style will constantly evolve and be swayed by new techniques that you learn and by all the great new gear the keeps coming out. i use a golite pinnacle about half the year, which works very well for all seasons here in the southeast. it holds everything well and has plenty of room. a friend has a jam2 pack and has trouble fitting everything on a 4+ day trip comfortably and he's pretty trim with his bag contents (except food which is probably the issue). the pinnacle is a bit more flexible than the jam2 and is worth the extra bucks to get 33% more space. but there are a few things i'd like to do to my pinnacle, like some more outer pockets and loops and a few structural issues, but most of that stuff has been well covered in the reviews. everyone else has listed some really good bags too and you should check out what you think will be right for you. just make sure it looks like it will be comfortable with well padded shoulder pads and a decent hip belt. i had to sew some foam into my hipbelt on the pinnacle, so be prepared to modify your gear to get it just right. you've definetly come to the right place, so listen the oldtimers and you'll be great.

Jeff Boone
(jnboone) - MLife
tents/backpacks on 12/15/2007 07:02:10 MST Print View

I have the Hubba Hubba and love it, but I use it basically for a one person luxury tent on non-backpacking trips with my son's scout troop. Great tent, but you can go lighter with a little more study. I've become quite fond of my HH Hyperlite hammock set up, but that's a different discussion.

When you say you are redoing your and that these three things are "what you've come up with so far", do you mean you plan to revisit other gear items you carry? If so I strongly suggest you postpone the backpack purchase until you are through with everything else. I have spent the last year going through everything I carry, and I'm very very grateful someone here gave me that advice. Otherwise you can end up with a pack with too much volume or is designed to carry too much weight.

If your goal is to get as light as you can, given a certain level of comfort, while spending a certain level of cash, you cannot afford to end up regretting many purchases - certainly not significant ones. This site has helped me tremendously to make wise decisions, find some great deals along the way, and to rethink what I really need to carry. All my gear is purchased (I know you can't ever really be through, that would take some of the fun out of things!), and when Santa brings my ULA Conduit I'll be just under a nine pound base weight even though I'm carrying a relatively heavy (by UL standards)two quilt hammock set up, but that's part of my "given level of comfort". Hope this helps.

aaron eshelman
(djaaronreed) - MLife

Locale: Central Rockies
Hold off on the Backpack! on 12/15/2007 12:59:05 MST Print View

I too recommend holding off on the Backpack until EVERYTHING else is purchased! You might buy 4 pound backpack that is designed to hold 50 lbs of gear, but your final gear, food and water weight may be 20/30 lbs or less... or the exact opposite.

Also, gear volume is something to consider too. I have a 10 lb base weight, but the volume of my gear is farely large. I cannot fit everything for a weekend into a 20 litre pack, unless I compress everything past an acceptable limit. So I take a 35 liter pack for weekends. This works for me for volume, but my total pack weight is still below 15 lbs.

So, buy all of the gear in your budget. Weigh it. Then put it all together in a big sack (pillowcases, trashbag, etc) and then take it to a gear outfitter to actually fit it into a pack. Then choose the pack that is in your budget and feels good on your shoulders and consience!

Kyle Hetzer
(Ghost93) - F

Locale: Western MD
Pack Choice on 12/15/2007 16:44:00 MST Print View

AS for pack Choice, If its been mentioned, but I havent seen it, Look into ULA. I had a Circut and loved it (I gave it too my dad so I could get SMD Comet...but anyway) ULA's Catylst and Circut are good packs for those with higher base weights than 10 lbs (Like me). Brian also makes his packs out of Dyneema, which is why I switched over from Granite Gear. Good Luck and happy trails.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Getting into backpacking, starting to look at gear on 12/15/2007 17:14:28 MST Print View

I've put a lot of work into my gear list with links, weights, costs, etc. added. I have it posted on my profile which is here: