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Mark Jennings
(bigjenz) - F
Just getting started on 01/15/2005 07:53:22 MST Print View

I am just getting started in lightweight backpacking. what would be the best thing to replace first? Keep in mind the only thing I have lightweight is a sleeping bag (1.5lbs.)Thanks.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Getting starting going light-weight on 01/15/2005 09:11:18 MST Print View

I would suggest the first thing to go light-weight is not changing an item, but doing a good inventory and seeing if you are bringing things that you don't need. I know I used to bring extra clothing that I never needed to use, more fuel and food than I ever eat, etc. While doing this ask yourself if there are items you currently own than are lighter than what you are taking. For example I switched for a heavy "camping" knife to the tiny swiss army knife I carry day-to-day and saved almost 1/2 a pound.

Once you have done this I would start looking at what equipment to change. Since you have a light weight bag (which would have been my first choice) I would look at lightening your shelter. If you are mostly backpacking in warm weather below treeline I would give a Hennessy Hammock a try. For three-season conditions would suggest one of Henry's Tarptents is a great way to get started. There are lighter shelters, but the tarptents are really easy to use. If you are likey to face harsh conditions I would suggest the Integral Designs MK1lite eVENT if you have the money, or a Hilleberg Akto (solo) Nallo-2 (two people).

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
just getting started on 01/15/2005 09:50:16 MST Print View

I agree with Mark. Go through your gear first and see what you actually use and not use. I too brought way too much stuff into the backcountry. You know the, in case of emergency, etc. This would bring me to a weight of 60lbs for a weeklong hike, and to be honest I was not enjoying myself. After you have gone through your gear, weigh everything. Get a digital scale and find out how much everything weighs. Start replacing items with lighter more compact models. General rule of thumb is to work on the big three (sleeping bag, tent, and pack) since it sounds like you have a light sleeping bag, look at shelters. Do you want a tarp and bivy combo? That can weigh as little as 15-18 oz. If that's not for you, then Henry Shires Tarptent. I own the Virga and love it. Waited out a Sierra snow storm (not thunder storm, but snow storm)and survived. This weighs in at 25oz. Backpacks can range in weight from 16oz. (frameless) to 2-3lbs. There really is no need to be carrying a 7lbs pack when you will be having a baseload of 10-15lbs (this is without food and water, beacause these are not constant weights and will flucuate during the course of a trip). I own a ULA P2 and it is one of the best packs I have ever own. Granite Gear makes great packs that have frames that will handle a little more. Check out Gossamer Gear and Go Lite, two other manufacturers that have lightweight gear. Good quality stuff. But remember it is not the gear that makes you a safe and efficient trekker, it is your knowledge. Good luck and enjoy the mountains.

Edited by kennyhel77 on 01/15/2005 13:19:54 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
getting started on 01/15/2005 09:59:23 MST Print View

try this site, www.chrisibbeson.com he has a gear weight calculator that you can download. It's great for displaying all your gear and the weights. this way you can compare your stuff as well as customize your list for trips.

Mark Jennings
(bigjenz) - F
Thanks!! on 01/16/2005 06:15:39 MST Print View

Thanks for your help. I will take a good look at my gear and get a weight on everything and post it on the gear list in a few days and go from there. Thanks again.
Mark

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
thanks on 01/16/2005 11:10:32 MST Print View

When you have your list let me know if you need any advice about gear and what to choose.