Forum Index » GEAR » Where to cut weight next ?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Albert K.
(archer) - F

Locale: Northeastern U.S.
Where to cut weight next ? on 12/20/2007 06:51:24 MST Print View

I'm trying to drop my base weight, but I have a limited amount of money to spend ($250 over the next year, maybe $500 if I can off load some of my older, heavier gear).

Right now, my 3 season solo base weight is 14.5 lbs using the PCT bagging method and 16.6 lbs with a canister (required in the Adirondak High Peaks area).

The two most logical areas for me are:

1. Pack - I have a 66 oz, 65 liter pack. I like the large capacity, but not the weight (I've had the occasion to use the excess capacity to take gear from injured and slow buddies before). I also need something supportive (prior significant back injury and I need to be able to carry at least a week's worth of food). I occasionally bushwack, so a syl/nylon pack is out. I'm thinking about a ULA Catalyst (saves 20 oz., has a real frame, and large capacity), but I'm open to other suggestions.

2. Tent - I have a 3 lb solo double wall. I'm thinking about a Tarptent Contrail, but wonder about how much of the single wall condensation issues I'll really have here in the North East, especially if I pitch it in the bomber mode and ride out a storm. From everything I've read, it seems manageable, but still a negative. Tarp camping isn't something I'm all that willing to do anymore (I once camped with a guy who got a Brown Recluse bite doing that).

Overall, I'm leaning toward making the pack change first (I don't see any down sides), but would like opinions on that choice and the model.

Andrew Richard
(fairweather8588) - F

Locale: The Desert
pack and tent on 12/20/2007 09:04:54 MST Print View

Six Moon Designs STARLITE
wonderful carry with 30 lbs or less, room for canister at bottom.
I prefer the Rainbow over the poorly designed Contrail, thats just MHO. If not, the Lunar SOLOe is nice.
You could always hold out for the Gossamer "One" due out next year.
Where, Im curious, did the brown recluse bite occur? (they do NOT live outside the midwest, and it is a common mistake to think otherwise)

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Brown Recluse on 12/20/2007 09:50:29 MST Print View

The Brown Recluse actually goes all the way down to the Gulf Coast see distribution map http://spiders.ucr.edu/images/colorloxmap.gif

Albert K.
(archer) - F

Locale: Northeastern U.S.
Brown Recluse on 12/20/2007 10:31:22 MST Print View

Andrew, thanks for the addl. options. I'll take a hard look at them, especially the Starlite.

FYI - The bite took place at Ft. Benning, GA. While I'm no expert on spiders, I do think GA is in their range. That said we had no body to examine, so I can't be totally sure. I'm largely going by what the medics said, combined with the fact that the wound matched the photos I've seen of a BR bite (very nasty).

To be fair, the bite was the only real problem I've encountered while tarp camping, and I've spent at least a few hundred nights under one (or simply sleeping on a poncho). While it didn't deter me from my poncho/tarp routine at the time, I also had few realistic options and I had to carry a boat load of heavy stuff (weaponry and the like). Anyway, what ever it was, it left a serious impression on me.

Edited by archer on 12/20/2007 10:35:38 MST.

Andrew Richard
(fairweather8588) - F

Locale: The Desert
spider danger on 12/20/2007 12:00:00 MST Print View

sorry guys, I did not say WEST of the Midwest, which is what I meant. To further clarify, there are "cousins" of the Recluse such as the Loxoceles Arizonica which looks very similar, but has a lesser bite with most victims. (fortunatley) :)
at any rate, dont get bitten by one.

Dave Heiss
(DaveHeiss) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Some tent/pack suggestions for you on 12/20/2007 12:22:33 MST Print View

I have a Contrail on order, and did quite a bit of research before selecting it as the best option for me. Other candidates were the Lunar SoloE and the Wild Oasis from Six Moon Designs, but I’m 6’2” and those SMD models looked to be a bit short. I’ve noticed that the Contrail has far more fans than detractors, maybe a 90/10 ratio, so give it a good look.

I haven’t completely nailed down the search for a new, lighter pack. I use water bottles, which eliminates the SMD models from the running, so my attention has turned to the Mariposa Plus (good capacity, good reviews, and a partial frame good for loads up to 30 lbs or so) as well as the new OHM from ULA-Equipment. Unfortunately the OHM’s introduction has been delayed until later this year, so I’m still debating whether to pop for the Mariposa Plus or use my Granite Gear Precipice for another season.

I’ve also looked at the Granite Gear Vapor Trail (same suspension as my Precipice) and the Versalite 50 from Montbell. The Vapor Trail is quite roomy and I know it would be comfortable, but having no useable pockets knocked it down a notch. The Versalite 50 is a terrific pack, and is fairly lightweight at 2.5 lbs. But my current pack weighs only 3.5 lbs and it seems silly to spend the money for a one pound weight savings when for about the same amount I could save two pounds with either the Mariposa Plus or the OHM.

There are lots of good choices out there, so do your homework well.

Drew Davis
(drewnc2005) - F

Locale: Hillsborough, NC
Re: Some tent/pack suggestions for you on 12/20/2007 12:33:43 MST Print View

Why would the fact that you use water bottles knock SMD's packs out of the running? I have the older Essence and it fits a Nalgene bottle with ease. Just curious...

I also have a ULA Circuit which I love and has really turned out to be more pack than I need (especially in the summer). That said, I love the pockets on the Circuit and can recommend the Catalyst on that basis alone. However, I have not tried on a catalyst so cannot speak for the fit or how it rides on the trail. Others, I'm sure, can speak to this.

SMD or ULA - either one I think would be a good choice.

Edited by drewnc2005 on 12/20/2007 12:35:55 MST.

Dave Heiss
(DaveHeiss) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
SMD clarification on 12/20/2007 14:02:30 MST Print View

Drew - I should have mentioned that I was referring to the SMD Comet pack, which does not have water bottle pockets. Also, I admit that I'm not a big fan of packs with velcro, and the top closures on SMD packs utilize velcro. However, I know there are many SMD fans out there as proof that they make good products.

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
Re: Brown Recluse on 12/20/2007 14:50:01 MST Print View

If you are worried about spiders or critters you could always use a bivy sack w/ a WP bottom and a water-resistant/breathable top (made by MLD, BMW, or Ti Goat) in conjunction w/ a tarp. As a long as there is sufficient mesh in the hood, you could zip up the bivy at night to prevent spiders from entering.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Where to cut weight next ? on 12/20/2007 15:13:06 MST Print View

Al,

while I'm very happy w/SMD Starlite, I also use a ULA Amp for overnighters. Both are great packs.

HOWEVER!!!!!!! Don't buy the pack 1st! Until you know what will go in it, you can't own the RIGHT one, except by luck.

Wait and buy it last.

Todd

Albert K.
(archer) - F

Locale: Northeastern U.S.
Thanks on 12/21/2007 06:21:54 MST Print View

Gentlemen, thanks for your help. I've opted to go a whole new route right now. I'm going to start with a JRB No Sniveller and sleeves in place of my 20 degree bag and fleece jacket. The combo makes too much sense (quadruple use - sleeping cover, overbag to supplement the 20 degree bag when winter camping, vest, and jacket all for about 28 oz.). The overbag idea might be a stretch for the width of the quilt, but I can probably make it work.

The set up really appeals to me. It kind of brings me back to my Army days, where I just used a poncho liner. I was more than happy with the liner then, and I can't imagine the quilt will be any less comfortable.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Just be careful on 12/21/2007 20:12:45 MST Print View

Extra caution would be needed when wearing the JRB quilt as a jacket in rainy conditions. If it's your ONLY insulation, you REALLY don't want to get it wet. Just something to keep in mind.

Pam

Albert K.
(archer) - F

Locale: Northeastern U.S.
Quilt as Jacket on 12/22/2007 07:22:10 MST Print View

Good point. I should have mentioned that I would only wear it under a hard shell around camp. I don't have the quilt yet, but I'm thinking it should work that way (bottom is long, but I'm sure I can work out a way to keep it stuffed under the shell). That should keep it dry.

If it's cold enough to need insulation while hiking, I'd bring a 2nd insulating garment. The quilt would purely be my extra in-camp layer.

Really, my biggest concern is whether it will work in concert with a 20 degree bag and my other insulating items to keep me warm to 0 degrees or better. It should come in time for me to try it out on a Jan. camp out (maybe I'll get into the low teens). I'll try it in a doubled wall tent w/o the bag (just other insulating items I carry - 2 pads, xtra socks, gloves, wool hat, hat liner - a stretchy thing I got at EMS, and using the JRB sleeves as leg warmers), and put up a post on how it goes.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Quilt as Jacket on 12/22/2007 07:33:52 MST Print View

Al,

You will love the No Sniveller - I do.

I haven't used it in conjunction w/another bag, but it's versatility and warmth are great. Report back on how you like the sleeves!!!

Todd