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raj nag
(rajnag21) - F

Locale: Currently NY
Himalaya backpacking gearlist--finally complete somewhat, Feedback appreciated ! on 08/08/2008 14:38:34 MDT Print View

Hi All,
I have posted my questions and have received some great advice on BPL so far. Rod had advised me to post my gear list so it could be critiqued and excess or unnecessary items can be trimmed.

Here is the list.

(A) VBL RBH designs mitts and socks. Thinking about the jacket and pants. Will decide in a week's time.

(B)WM versalite and WM Puma
Not yet bought !
Have coleman canyon 32 for south india treks.

sleeping ba liners can be easily stitched in India. So that's that !

(C)have closed cell sleeping pad
ridgerest. Need warmlite DAM

(D)arcteryx bora 95 Himalayas
and ULA circuit south India

(E)asolo tps 520 GTX
Maybe la sportiva makalu's. Have heard good things about it from people who have climbed and trekked in the himalayas.
Link:
http://www.transhimalaya2007.com/

Bought smartwool and darn tough vermont socks 10 pairs
bought wigwam thermax 4 pairs and coolmax liners 3 pairs
Bought a pair of leech socks for monsoon trekking.

(f) A pair of crampons.
grivel g12--not yet bought.
Thinking about new matic versus new classic.
NC would fit both my boots where as NM would fit only the makalu as the asolo does not have a welt

(g) A pair of walking poles.
BD expedition trekking poles

(H) Insulating tops
WM meltdown is what I'm thinking of at this moment.Not yet bought.
Have OR mentor jacket and Arc theta bibs
fleece vest and jacket for south India,down vest and primaloft synthetic jacket and belay jacket OR chaos for Himalayas

I) PVC rain suit for really hard downpours in south india

(j) A Mitten shells with Liners.
not bought

(K) water treatment and A Hydration system
have msr miniworks ex and aquamira
platypus big zip SL 2 litre

(l) A Glacier glasses.
julbo dolgan glasses--category 4

(m) A pair of Gaiters.
OR crocodile gaiters or OR expedition crocs.
Not yet bought.

(n) Ice Axe BD raven ice axe or raven pro
I was advised to go for 55 cm length as my height is 5' 4". Can anyone comment on why I would not need an ice axe of length 80 cm ?
I read somewhere out here that in an incline more than 30 degrees it would would be impossible for a person of my height to use an 80 cm ice axe.

o) have power dry sekri zip top and 1 pair cap 2 and cap 3 ziptops and pants
Need cap1's.Not yet bought.
Do I need more?

p)have trekking pants and trekking synthetic long sleeve tshirts
MH pack pants 2
3 EMS techwicks,2 adidas synthetic shirts,2 MH super wicked tees

q) Have a eureka timberline tent that I can use for south India.
Thinking of hilleberg nallo 2GT as my mountaineering tent

r) need compass and whistle, first aid kit is cheap in INdia
Did get that sam soft splint which might not be available in India
Have a swiss knife with some features. Not very heavy.
Bought some nikwax spray dwr,down wash etc
Bought goretex and ripstop nylon repair kits.

s) msr xgk ek stove
Need fuel bottle 3 33 OZ's is what I' thinking. what do you guys think ?
Need to carry 15 days of fuel. Since I will be going in groups in the beginning I can pay a porter to carry rest of the fuel for me.
How much would I need ?
I did read somewhere that 250 ml/8.5 ounces per day per person is reasonable

t) Need 50 feet rope
50 feet EZC 2 Line rope

u) have lightweight and expedition weight polyproylene balaclava manzella from campmor.

v) have fleece/synthetic cap/hat
just regular non branded stuff

w) need gloves/mittens/glove liners

x) have seatosummit 35 litre and 20 litre drysacks to keep things dry
one is for himalayas and the other is for south india .

y) do I need compression sack to compress clothing and cleeping bag ????

z) Need a pair of synthetic insulating pants like mountain hardware compressor pants..
Thinking about buying a pair of schoeller dryskin pants.Not cheap !
bought some chemical hand and toe warmers.

I am thinking of purchasing pots, pans ,spoons ,forks from India. Stainless steel stuff is really cheap about 5-10 $ each at most
What do you guys think ?
Do i need the rei titaniums pots ,pants,BPL spork etc

Do I need synthetic or down booties ?

Do I need a windshirt ? Have cabelas windy pass jacket and pants.

I welcome any and all comments. Thanks in advance to everyone !

Edited by rajnag21 on 08/09/2008 08:13:51 MDT.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: Himalaya backpacking gearlist--finally complete somewhat, Feedback appreciated ! on 08/09/2008 10:47:36 MDT Print View

Hi,

>Have coleman canyon 32 for south india treks.
Where exactly do you plan to hike? A 32F bag will be too warm for most places even in winter. Most of the time in sahyadris all I need is a cotton sheet. YMMV ofcourse.
Instead you could carry your down jacket if you expect such temp.

>I) PVC rain suit for really hard downpours in south india
If it is monsoon I like to get wet. I dont know for sure if some parts of south India get winter rain. I probably would carry rain gear for that.

What about colder rain in himalayas? you will want some breathable raingear.

>stove
why not use a wood stove? you wouldnt need to carry fuel.

>What do you guys think ?
Do i need the rei titaniums pots ,pants,BPL spork etc

only you can answer that. It is not about need. Do you really want to shave a few ounces?

If you plan to get Ti pots get BPL SUL ones. They use a thinner Ti and are much lighter then anything else I know of.

raj nag
(rajnag21) - F

Locale: Currently NY
gear list comments on 08/09/2008 11:49:18 MDT Print View

Huzefa,
Here are my answers.
>]
_
Where exactly do you plan to hike? A 32F bag will be too warm for most places even in winter. Most of the time in sahyadris all I need is a cotton sheet. YMMV ofcourse.
Instead you could carry your down jacket if you expect such temp.

my answer:
It's a lightweight synthetic bag that's more like 50 F bag.Highest altitudes in western ghats are in karnataka and tamilnadu where i intend to do most of my hiking.
Please refer to the wiki for peak information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Ghats
It is not uncommon to see frost in elevations in mid winter out there.

Down jacket would be excessive.Down vest IMO is sufficient. Time will tell of course if I need more.

>I) PVC rain suit for really hard downpours in south india
If it is monsoon I like to get wet. I dont know for sure if some parts of south India get winter rain. I probably would carry rain gear for that.
What about colder rain in himalayas? you will want some breathable raingear.

my answer:
PVC rainsuit is cheap and I can use it when I'm stopped and it is raining hard. Also plan to do some fly fishing in the rivers in south and himalayas for trout and mahseer.Perfect lightweight waterproof gear when not moving much IMO. It is ok to get wet on a two day hike. Not acceptable for a week long hike ;)
If you look at my list I did mention that I have goretex pro shell and ski bibs. I also have a pair of surplus ecws goretex pants.

>stove
why not use a wood stove? you wouldnt need to carry fuel.
my answer:
Well...wood fires are severaly discourages in all wilderness areas in India.
Also Indian alpine areas have very little biomass.It is really meant for people living in that region.The only place s you can use the wod stove in India is in forest areas. As I've stated before, If you read any of the directives of state forest tourism department/s, you will notice they prohibit any wood fires.
So I believe my solution is the best one for Indian conditions. This topic has been talked about a lot on the Indiamike forum. As you're a member there, you can check those threads out.

>Do i need the rei titaniums pots ,pants,BPL spork etc
only you can answer that. It is not about need. Do you really want to shave a few ounces?
my answer:
I'm not sure what you mean by this comment. I plan to make sensible lightweight choices where ever I can. I also would err a little bit on the durable side because of the difficulty and time taken to source quality gear from India.

So I was looking for a more reasoned answer. But thanks for your comments and keep them coming ! :)

Edited by rajnag21 on 08/09/2008 11:51:35 MDT.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: gear list comments on 08/09/2008 12:42:26 MDT Print View

Hi Raj,

My opinion is that titanium for small (<1L) pots doesn't really buy you much and I prefer aluminum for the cost savings. Stainless will be fairly heavy, so I wouldn't recommend it.

The downside of aluminum vs. Ti is a slight decrease in durability for the weight. But this really only means that it can be dented. Still a dented pot will boil water without a problem. The biggest weight difference between aluminum and ti is usually in the lid. This can be overcome by replacing the lid with a piece of aluminum foil.

So I would suggest finding the cheapest pot in the market and it will probably also be the lightest.

I do love my titanium spork. It just is so fun to say thw words and is a good conversation piece. But a good quality plastic spoon is about the same weight or lighter. Having a spork shipped from the US to India seems pretty silly.

That's my opinion for what it's worth.

raj nag
(rajnag21) - F

Locale: Currently NY
gear list comments-aluminum usage not safe ? on 08/09/2008 13:10:55 MDT Print View

Nia,
Thanks for your comments. I'm not in India yet.I have a ways to go for that. I'm not too sure I would like to use aluminum for my cooking vessels. There's some circumstantial scientific evidence connecting high concentrations of aluminum to alzheimer's.
Of course it's hard to prove these things as it would have to be done in isolation and that's not possible in our modern world with our dependence on so many metals.
I think steel is fairly benign. Not sure where titanium stands in all this.

Edited by rajnag21 on 08/09/2008 13:15:09 MDT.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: gear list comments on 08/09/2008 22:30:13 MDT Print View

>It's a lightweight synthetic bag that's more like 50 F bag. Highest altitudes in western ghats are in karnataka and tamilnadu where Ii intend to do most of my hiking.

That explains. 50F should be fine.

>Well...wood fires are severaly discourages in all wilderness areas in India.
Also Indian alpine areas have very little biomass.It is really meant for people living in that region.

I think I found the Indiamike thread you are referring to.

I dont buy that argument. It isnt like you have to cut down a tree to boil some water. All you need is some deadwood or fallen twigs /branches. Actually a gassifier wood stove burns very cleanly and efficiently.

Actual cooking takes a long time and is a different scenario. Get a food dehydrator.

>As I've stated before, If you read any of the directives of state forest tourism department/s, you will notice they prohibit any wood fires.

Actually I havent. Where did you read these directives? I understand that in some national parks burning wood may be explicitly prohibited but otherwise I dont consider it ethically wrong.

This is just my opinion.

>I'm not sure what you mean by this comment.

The primary reason most people here use titanium pots is to shave ounces. Steel pots will be very heavy compared to ti. The downside of Ti is that it is very expensive. Many campers in India carry these heavy steel pots and are happy with it. So when you ask if you 'need' Ti pots, I think only you can answer that. If you dont mind the expense, I say get them.

Lightest Ti pots: BPL SUL ones. Then use a thinner Ti and are lighter then anything I know of.

Hopefully more experienced members will chime in.

raj nag
(rajnag21) - F

Locale: Currently NY
Himalaya gearlist comments on 08/09/2008 23:48:48 MDT Print View

Huzefa,
Here are some links:
http://www.corbettnationalpark.in/page_visit_ctr.htm
This one says they may have firewood to burn in camp areas but you will have to book. Methinks this will be a hassle that can be avoided.
http://www.karnatakawildernesstourism.org/Trekking_opp_in/Gen_guidelines.htm

It would be great if you try out some of things you were talking about like a wood stove in some national parks and report back your findings.

About the pots and pans, I wanted some advice from people who have used heavier stuff and then gone light. It would be nice to hear their views on this subject.

Thanks again for your comments.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: gear list comments-aluminum usage not safe ? on 08/10/2008 13:58:07 MDT Print View

I think aluminum has largely been cleared of any implication with Alzheimer's. I recall this from reports in the press I read some time ago about some studies that were done so take my first sentence for what it's worth. The exposure to aluminum would be very low for me given the relatively small amount of cooking I do in it and I'm usually just boiling water. Titanium is used in artificial joints partly because it is so inert. My sister's hip is titanium. So I would worry less about titanium than aluminum or even stainless steel. Having said that, I think Nia's advice on aluminum pots is great. I happen to prefer titanium pots because I really like titanium. I made my own titanium potty trowel. I use aluminum and even stainless steel pots but now favor my FireLite SUL-1100 Titanium Cookpot. It is one of my most prized pieces of gear. Given the light weight and functionality of aluminum and titanium I could recommend either for a cook pot. Aluminum conducts heat a little better. Titanium is very durable. Their weights are very similar.

raj nag
(rajnag21) - F

Locale: Currently NY
gearlist cooking set on 08/10/2008 15:28:47 MDT Print View

Eric,
That was a nice summary of your experiences with pots made of different metals. While I don't plan to cook any gourmet meals, Indian cuisine has a certain amount of work involved. Indian retailers have very minimal east asian or western food ingredients. Noodles and maybe some generic pasta is cutting edge in India as far as I know. :)

I will dehydrate my veggies and use beans(pulses) and rice for the most part.Unless I get really good with my soon to be purchased daiwa mini system or an unlucky goat wanders by any of the alpine trails. grin.

With that said , I think titanium is a good choice.

I have two choices in mind for cooking sets. Reason for a set is that I would be going in groups.
http://www.antigravitygear.com/proddetail.php?prod=ECA405&cat=99
or
http://www.rei.com/product/764178
I have read somewhere on bpl forums that rei ti ware = evernew. but the non stick coating color seems to be black for the REI ones where as the picture for the evernew ones do not show any color.Not sure of any durability difference.
I am thinking of purchasing a single wall ti cup, sierra bowl and the msr ti knife and fork set. I don't want to eat from my pots because I want to preserve it's non stick coating.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: gearlist cooking set : Titanium vs. Aluminum on 08/11/2008 12:09:13 MDT Print View

This my interest you:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/13180/index.html?skip_to_post=96794#96794

raj nag
(rajnag21) - F

Locale: Currently NY
huzefa - gear list on 08/11/2008 17:53:45 MDT Print View

Huzefa,
Outstanding ! I thought I had gone through the entire gspot list of topics. Just shows this forum's depth of knowledge. What I like about the Ti cook set system is the lids double as
frying pans.And everything stacks up perfectly. They have handles too !
Decision time looms ....

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: gearlist cooking set on 08/12/2008 07:49:58 MDT Print View

>I have two choices in mind for cooking sets. Reason for a set is that I would be going in groups.

Do you plan to carry cookware for your whole group? I dont see why you have to. What will you do if the group size is more then four?

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: Re: gearlist cooking set on 08/12/2008 08:12:17 MDT Print View

AntiGravityGear 2 Qt. Aluminum Non-Stick Cook Pot
http://www.antigravitygear.com/proddetail.php?prod=MK2QNS

Its worth a look. 1.9L, 165gm (5.9 oz) w/ lid - much lighter then Ti pots of same volume. Best part is that it costs just $13!

raj nag
(rajnag21) - F

Locale: Currently NY
al cook pot on 08/12/2008 09:00:56 MDT Print View

Huzefa,
I plant o go with alteast two friends. One guide would be present or in national parks, one forest guide would be part of the group.
So that makes it 4 !
If more than that, they are on their own. Here are some links.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/prod/cook-cuisinier-eng.php
http://www.eartheasy.com/article_healthy_cookware.htm

They clearly say that cooking for long periods and cooking acidic food will cause more aluminum to leach into the food being cooked than the usual amount.

South Indian food uses a lot of tomato,lime and tamarind. They are very acidic. Also hgher altitude cooking involves cooking for longer periods of time because of lower boiling point. So I want to stick to titanium as it is inert and nothing will enter the food from the pot.

I know it is expensive but I am not comfortable using aluminum.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
hard anodized? on 08/12/2008 10:16:25 MDT Print View

After reading your two links, I see hard anodized pot wouldnt be a problem.

check this out:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___82091

I believe this is the same pot as the antigravitygear, albeit a HA type. It a really good deal!

Edited by huzefa on 08/12/2008 10:22:17 MDT.

raj nag
(rajnag21) - F

Locale: Currently NY
hardcoat anodized on 08/12/2008 12:23:45 MDT Print View

Huzefa,
It seems that it's the same as HA. I'm sold on this HA aluminum pot set. I love the handle on this one. I was not looking forward to the rubberized handle on the titanium pots. Too easy to damage it.
Thank you Huzefa ! :)
Thinking of getting these to finish up:
bowl/plate
http://www.antigravitygear.com/proddetail.php?prod=EBY155&cat=99
mug
http://www.antigravitygear.com/proddetail.php?prod=EBY155&cat=99
fork and spoon set:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___65126

Comments or criticism are welcome !

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: gearlist cooking set on 08/12/2008 12:52:55 MDT Print View

Hi Raj,

I've always been a little skeptical of the alu-alzheimer's link. However I don't use deoderant that contains aluminum.

Doesn't really matter though. If you prefer titanium and can afford it there is no reason why aluminum is better for you.

I recommend against the non-stick. I had an older evernew non-stick frying pan. My food stuck on the first try. It was impossible to clean with out heavy abrasives which damage the coating. I returned the pan to REI.

The best way to reduce weight is to eliminate unneeded items. Do you really need 2 frying pans and 2 pots for 4 people? It depends on how you cook. If you are rehydrating prepared meals as you suggest above, you could probably get a way with one large pot for all of you.

Consider what you will cook and see how much can be done in serial using the same pot rather than requiring an additional one.

I would consider 14 oz in pots for the REI set as heavy by light weight standards even for 4 people.

As an example, for solo I use a 2.5 oz HA aluminum pot for boiling water, cooking gravies, etc. and a .5 oz stainless steel mesh screen for cooking fish and reheating tortillas/chapatis and a .5 oz silicone muffin cup for baking and as a pot holder.

Of course the most important thing is figuring out what works for you. And that takes trial and error.

Edited by nschmald on 08/12/2008 12:54:31 MDT.

raj nag
(rajnag21) - F

Locale: Currently NY
gearlist cooking set -nia's comments on 08/12/2008 14:02:50 MDT Print View

Nia,
I absolutely agree with you. I wish I had spare cash lying around to be able to afford titanium stuff.
The HA alum set that huzefa talked about in the campmor link is 11 oz and I don't have to carry both the pots at all times.
Just one will do for most 2-3 ppl treks.
I think frypan is really not needed. I can more than make do the with two pot combo.
I want to get a single wall mug and bowl with a spoon/fork combo to complete this portion of gear.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Cooking Pots on 08/13/2008 04:54:40 MDT Print View

Raj,

Those pots look fantastic, especially for the cooking you're doing.

A couple of points:

I wouldn't try to cook in a titanium pot. They're really thin to save weight, and don't conduct heat very well. This is fine to boil water, but a pain to try to fry or even boil rice etc with. Food will burn quickly and stick to the pan, whether it's non-stick or not.

Uncoated aluminium is not an option for the cooking you are talking about. Forget about Alzheimers, you'll starve to death first. There's nothing like the taste of a tomato based sauce cooked in an uncoated aluminium pot (as opposed to just reheated, which isn't TOO bad). The only thing that could taste worse, is adding lime to it!!

HA aluminium is your friend. Heat dispersion benefits of aluminium, with the inert surface of ti.

I'm inclined to think that they are being a bit optimistic on the weight, but I wouldn't worry too much. I think your best options are HA aluminium followed stainless or Trangia Duosal, followed by nonstick aluminium. Find the best compromise of cost and weight in these.

Rod

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Nia, which pot? on 08/13/2008 04:58:30 MDT Print View

Nia, which pot are you using? What size and cost is it? I love the idea of the silicone muffin pan as a pot holder!!

Rod