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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Gear List Comment's on Single Push Thru of CT on 10/08/2004 20:36:40 MDT Print View

Coup of GoLite recently finished a thru-hike of the Colorado Trail w/o resupply. Here was his gear list:

http://www.golite.com/team/athletes/coup/gearlist.asp

Base weight about 14-15 lbs. If he was able to cut this weight in half, does anyone think he could have improved his speed on the trail, or at least, his efficiency (thus decreasing caloric intake, thus reducing weight even more) or do you think this is a sheer brute force issue once you dial yourself in to the physical effort required to accomplish a goal like this?

Other key stats here:

- 470 miles
- 20 days
- 24 mi/day average
- 75k feet of elevation gain
- avg altitude 10k
- starting weight around 50 lbs w/food
Coup's starting trail weight was approximately

John S.
(jshann) - F
Coup's base weight on 10/13/2004 14:01:58 MDT Print View

In this case of no re-supply, I don't see that a 5 pound or so lighter base weight would have done much to improve his speed/efficiency, at least early in the hike, because of his overall heavy packweight. I think at one point he had gotten dehydrated, so those factors would have an effect too.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
lighter weight on 10/13/2004 16:48:28 MDT Print View

The food was a major portion of the weight early in the trip but became a lesser component later on. If he was running at all (doesn't sound like it from the daily distances) 5-7 pounds less could have allowed a bit more/more comfortable running and a faster time. (The ammount of food weight difference would be trivial--daily caloric intake is proportional to total mass carried--body weight included--NOT just pack weight. Assuming he was 150# the difference in food weight needed to carry the extra 7# would have been only 3% or 1-2#) Probably would have made a small difference, especially later in the trip.

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Packrafting gear on 11/02/2004 01:41:21 MST Print View

I'd like to make a comment on the packrafting gear list, although this particuar thread is about speed-hiking the colorado trail.

My background is varied, but throughout my various adventures I have strove to make every piece of gear do double duty or more.

In particular I would advocate the carrying of a foam PFD, not a blow up one. I would also leave the foam pad. The foam pad is wet from use in the boat and hard to dry if it's raining and you don't build fires. You can sleep on the PFD (cover it with rain gear if it's wet) and your pack.

In the 80's I carried no PFD and wrapped the foam pad up as a seat. The new Alpacka rafts have buit in seats so that's not necessary. In the last 5 years I've been teaching packrafting and realized that a PFD was necessary for my students. In the EcoChallenges I learned that sans sleeping bag the insulation of a PFD (not blow up) was really quite warm.

Bottom line is that the foam PFD can be more versatile than a normal foam pad and will not let you down if you get thrown from your raft and run into a sweeper.

In Alaska we have few trails, but big mountain ranges and rivers. We have the equivalent of classic trails but they are actually multisport routes. These multisport route require rethinking each piece of gear: for instance we made a 250 mile self-contained traverse of glaciers, rivers, tundra, and trail in 6 days 14 hours starting with 35 pound packs with xc skiis, packrafts, even shelter, bags, and a stove. The key was making each piece of gear do multi-duty: paddling with skiis, using ski poles to set up 'mid, sleeping on rafts instead f foam pads, and more.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Packrafting Gear List / PFD on 11/04/2004 21:16:16 MST Print View

Roman, good points on the PFD. I find that the TorsoLite pad, at 10 oz, and my inflatable, at 9 oz, is still lighter than many PFD's, although I've seen some foamies go down to 14 oz or so, but are less comfortable for sleeping. On one trip, I forgot my PFD and used some rope to tie the TorsoLite around my chest, under my armpits. I swam with it and it actually worked - it's not going to float me like a PFD, but it kept me higher in the water with less effort. It has caused me to rethink the PFD issue for mild water trips, and I've now sewn a 3-ounce harness for it to use it as a PFD.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Packrafting gear on 11/11/2004 13:49:49 MST Print View

Roman and Ryan,

Do either of you use any sort of padding for the floor of your packrafts? The alpacka site advocates an inflatable sleep pad for making the floor stiffer and more comfy. Ryan looks to now be using his torsolite as a PFD, as these guys do in the link below, instead of on the floor. I'm gonna get an alpacka raft soon I think.

http://www.aktrekking.com/gear.html

Edited by jshann on 11/11/2004 14:17:59 MST.

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Packrafting gear on 11/12/2004 21:11:04 MST Print View

John,

There are three main uses of packrafts for me: wilderness trips, "sport boating", and adventure races. During adventure races I have no pad.

I use the same one Alpacka advocates, and tried it out when Sheri told me about it; but mostly I don't put it in the boat on wilderness trips anymore.

Two reasons: (1) It gets all muddy and wet and I have to clean (rarely) or dry (always) before sleeping, particularly if I'm using a down bag.

(2) I really do not notice that much of a difference with a pad in the bottom. The pad in the bottom pads the butt (also insulates the legs) and stiffens the boat. The first benefit is best addressed by missing rocks with good boating skills. The second benefit can also be addressed with proper boat packing.

By strapping the load across the top of the bow using the so-called "Charlie River Rig" (where you have two additional "grab loops", one one either side of the boat, near the upturn in the boat), it balances the boat and stiffens it -- multiuse of your load!

Pads are nice for beginners who still hit rocks, however, and I use a pad when I "sport boat" -- running Class IV and even Alaskan V's. These are runs where I both hit rocks and have no pack so the pad does stiffen the boat and I need the padding!

Toni McConnel
(cybercrone) - F
desert hiking shoes on 11/27/2004 10:27:38 MST Print View

I hike most often in the red rock desert of southeastern Utah. Ordinary hiking boots and shoes are way too hot in summer temps, and boots, especially, I find too clumsy for climbing cracked rock faces where footing can be treacherous. High tops help keep sand out of the shoes but I'm willing to sacrifice that for other assets, so I am quite interested in Carol Crooker's choice of Salomon Tech Amphibians for desert hiking. I looked them up and they are attractive for the mesh sections that must be much cooler than ordinary shoes and help keep feet drier too. I read good things about traction, important to me. However, my concern is that the mesh would work both ways, and there might be a problem with getting sand in the shoes, and having to stop often to dump it out. Does anyone use these shoes for desert hiking? What do you say about this, Carol, if you are listening?

peter recore
(ppeetteerr) - F
Baffin Tundra Boots on 11/27/2004 10:52:23 MST Print View

I just read the Winter Backpacking gear list with great interest. The list includes Baffin's Tundra boots, which at 48 oz come in a full 26 ounces lighter than the 'standard' pac boot, the sorel caribou. Has anyone actually used the Tundras? What, if anything, does one give up for those 26 ouces? As a winter virgin, I am loathe to go too light without some vote of confidence from an experienced winter hiker. Thanks!

-peter

Don Ladigin
(dladigin) - F - M
Baffin Tundras on 12/09/2004 17:05:58 MST Print View

Hi Peter.

I own Baffin Tundras, and like them. Mine seem to have a rather large footbox. Sorrels fit me more like a normal boot. I need to take up the extra space in the Tundras with extra footpads and socks. Having said that, Tundras are wonderfully warm. I have used them on snow survival classes and have probably been the most comfortable person in the entire group! I have also used them for snowshoeing, but mine do not allow me the precise snowshoe placement I experience with other boots, because of the rather sloppy fit. Still, they are hard to beat for welcome warmth.
Best, Don L.

Donald Johnston
(photonstove) - MLife
Baffin Tundra Boots on 12/10/2004 14:52:32 MST Print View

Baffin makes a lot of models of boots. The Tundras model as far as I can tell is no longer made. I don't have any info about the Tundra with which to suggest a model in the current line that might be compareable. I have a pair of Baffins Pinnacles also no longer made. I have never used any others and have only used these a little so I don't have much of value to say other than I like them.
This is probably the most useful website for choosing a model:
http://www.winterfootwear.com/
Start by Clicking the guide to selecting your winter boot then also click the Baffin techmology link. On the boot bages pay attention to the symbols which show temperature ratings. Also note the symbol for waterproof is present on some models and not on others. Waterproof may be of value at the expense of breathability if you expect to be in conditions where there may be liquid water, slush or wet snow. Also be aware that Boot liners can packout with use and become less warm. A warmer boot may be a heavier weight boot. As with all footwear there is the question of fit. For warmth you need to maintain good circulation to your feet. For maximum circulation you want a loose fit so do not look for something that feels snug or tight like an athletic shoe.

Hope this helps.

Don J

Ellen Zaslaw
(ezaslaw) - F
Baffin Tundras on 12/10/2004 21:17:11 MST Print View

I have Baffin Elevations, which are the women's equivalent of the Pinnacles. They're represented as insulating adequately down to something like -45°F; I believe the Tundras, heavier, are aimed at something like -90°. I haven't been out in them below -15°. By adding supportive inserts and flat insulating insoles, Shock Doctors, and by wearing a double layer of socks (wool plus fleece), I achieved a comfortable, stable fit that works extremely well with snowshoes. (Curiously, Baffins that seem too short no longer are when arch supports in effect shorten the feet.) The setup I described is warm enough as long as I'm moving; it begins to be uncomfortable standing around on snow at length, even at moderate temperatures, say in the 20s. The boots are breathable enough that my feet stay quite dry--even though moisture accumulates somewhat in the outer socks (whether I have wool or fleece outside) and the boot liner. I did find as the season wore on that the DWR on the shell fabric became less effective--an issue only in wet, slushy snow. An application of Revivex should help. My Baffins wouldn't be my first choice as hiking boots in the absence of snow, simply because they're bigger, clumsier, and heavier than necessary for this purpose. But it is perfectly possible to hike comfortably in them, as I've done when meeting mixed conditions and carrying snowshoes over dry land. I should add that my husband has a pair of Pinnacles, and his experience has been exactly like my own. We're both inordinately fond of these boots.

peter recore
(ppeetteerr) - F
Tundras on 12/12/2004 18:21:26 MST Print View

I ended up getting Sorel Caribous, because I couldn't confirm the fact that the Tundra were actually only 48oz. (Also, Baffin doesn't seem to make them anyomre!) None of Baffin's other double layer boots seems to be anywhere near that light, so for now I must give up and accept the fact that double layer boots will be over 4 pounds a pair.

-peter

John S.
(jshann) - F
14 oz PFD? on 01/03/2005 23:26:18 MST Print View

Ryan, what company has the lighter weight PFD's?

Ronnie Cusmano
(ronnie1107) - F

Locale: Northeast
PACK BOOTS IN GENERAL on 01/04/2005 15:58:27 MST Print View

Ah, yes...my favorite topic of discussion. (disgust-ion)

I need a heavy dose of reality here.

Since last winter I have been searching for the perfect pack boot.

The primary requirement for me is to have a removable boot liner that I can stick in my bag and sleep with to keep it toasty warm for those sub-zero mornings. Unfortunately I have had the displeasure of sticking my toasty warm sleep-bag, fleece-socked toes into a cold or freezing boot. OUCH ! I have tried sleeping with my bugabootoos in my bag with me let's just say it's do-able but I am not a big fan of that.

My secondary concern is stable footing for Snowshoeing and Crampon use.

So, I have tried, Baffin Tegami's, My foot rode up in the back so much that my socks ended up bunched up in the toe box and well below my ankles, no matter how tight I kept the straps (which always seemed to work loose).

The I tried the Baffin Couliors, never wore them on the trail, they are way big and clunky and even though they had a snug fit, they were way too uncomfortable (they are 17 inches tall) and I could see my self arguing with them all day if I wore them snow-shoeing.

Wait, it gets better. I then looked at the Sorel Caribou, it fit better than the others but the sole was so flexible and soft, I could feel a dime through them. If there were to be long stretches at lower altitudes on trails with little or no snow where snowshoeing is not desirable, I would feel every pebble through these soles. My feet would be trashed in an hour or two. So, they went back too.

I even tried WIGGY"S Pack Boots. They are by far the lightest weight of them all and very very comfortable and probably the warmest, but way too roomy. I usually wear a size 10, Wiggy's size 8 was still too roomy and lacked the snugness to make them practicle for snowshoeing or crampon use.

I have considered plastic boots and have tried Koflach (not a Pack Boot. They felt great. They feel the best for and are made for crampons and snowshoe use. They are perfect for that but also extremely heavy. (I think I'll keep them around for deep-winter use).

Keep in mind, the sizing of these boots vary wildly, I can not assume because I am a size 10, that the size 10 I am trying out will come anywhere near close to fitting. i.e When I tried the Wiggys Pack Boot size 10, I could have stuck my cat in there with my foot and she would have been very happy and comfortable indeed!!!

I also live in Brooklyn. When I go into stores here and say PACK BOOT, I get jaw dropping blank stares back. So all of the boots I have been trying have been through mail order. Everyone at the post-office knows the name of my goldfish!

SO, on and on I go , trying to find the elusive perfect pack boot.

As it appears to me, I think a Pack Boot by definition is supposed to be somewhat floppy and unstable for snowshoeing and crampon use.

I am about to give up.

But first, I think I'll check out the BaffinThunder and/or Cambrian.

By the way, The Sorel Caribou laces up through these metal d-rings...don't pull too hard, the will deform and fall out.

I welcome all comments and suggestions, especially those that assess the state of my sanity (or lack there-of).

Regards to All.

Edited by ronnie1107 on 01/04/2005 16:02:47 MST.

Nancy Fister
(nafister) - F
Stove Question for Carol on 01/16/2005 11:08:38 MST Print View

I've got a Vienna can and a tomato juice can.
At what height did you cut off the juice can?
And did you cut the bottom out of the vienna can or just put some vents in it?
Sounds like a neat idea - just trying to picture it.
Nancy

Hayes Holland
(halvdan) - F
Winter hiking boots/systems on 01/26/2005 12:34:10 MST Print View

I was skimming the Baffin tundra bots comments and thought maybe I should post a light,versatile winter boot system that I am testing out here in Minnesota. I bought a pair of Kamik 3-ply,wool boot liners and added them to a pair of NEOS mid-calf length boots (size 11 matched with size L). People here probably know the value of Kamik liners and the usefulness of NEOS models. It gives me a waterproof, insulated boots that will accept snowshoes and can be modified for a variety of temperatures, climates and activities. 1) kamik liners, NEOS and NEOS padded inserts for walking around drifting city streets. 2) Down boots, Liners, & NEOS for -20 deg weather on the North Shore Trail. 3)Any shoe or boot & NEOS for a variety of temps and activites.
It's like a colder weather system you would use for your body (ie. nts wool, windshell, & synth-insul UL jacket etc.) but for your feet!

Hayes Holland
(halvdan) - F
Winter hiking boots/systems on 01/26/2005 12:52:09 MST Print View

I was skimming the Baffin tundra bots comments and thought maybe I should post a light,versatile winter boot system that I am testing out here in Minnesota. I bought a pair of Kamik 3-ply,wool boot liners and added them to a pair of NEOS mid-calf length boots (size 11 matched with size L). People here probably know the value of Kamik liners and the usefulness of NEOS models. It gives me a waterproof, insulated boots that will accept snowshoes and can be modified for a variety of temperatures, climates and activities. 1) kamik liners, NEOS and NEOS padded inserts for walking around drifting city streets. 2) Down boots, Liners, & NEOS for -20 deg weather on the North Shore Trail. 3)Any shoe or boot & NEOS for a variety of temps and activites.
It's like a colder weather system you would use for your body (ie. nts wool, windshell, & synth-insul UL jacket etc.) but for your feet!

Karen Allanson
(karen) - F
Lightweight winter boots on 03/15/2005 14:56:51 MST Print View

Try Columbia Bugaboo 2 boots -- they fit like a traditional shoe or boot, rather than the wallowing feeling you get in Sorel's. Very comfortable for long hikes in snowshoes. They're insulated and warm enough for winter snow camping in the Sierra range.

Hershell Fannin
(hankfannin) - F
Sponges on 06/07/2005 21:27:54 MDT Print View

One of the handiest multipurpose items I've found lately is a common kitchen cleaning sponge. They weigh less than an oz. and have many uses. The obvious ones are cleaning pots, much better than sand or just a cloth, and for bathing. They hold much more water than a bandana or cloth, are easier to clean and can be stowed anywhere. Other uses are soaking with water and placing under your hat. Emergency uses include being able to soak up very small amounts of water, even dew and condensation, and holding that water until you can squeeze it into a container or mouth. I carry 2. One to use with soap, (bathing & cleaning)the other for clean or emergency use.