Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list
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Stuart Armstrong
(strong806) - F

Locale: Near the AT
Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/01/2008 21:04:28 MDT Print View

It is in my profile.

Like many, my last significant backpacking experience was lugging 45-55 pounds. I'm pretty pleased with the reductions thus far.

I am mainly looking for practical suggestions or something I have overlooked, or inexpensive ideas to save weight.

I ultimately want to get to UL and will be switching to a quilt, and a lighter pack. I'll probably even go alcohol stove and tarp/bivy eventually.

tyia

A. B.
(tomswifty)
WHARRGARBL on 10/01/2008 21:41:29 MDT Print View

You say 3-season but you've got a lot of clothing and a 0º bag. I know bags are expensive, a 0º is all I have as well. I would ditch some of the clothing.

I would also ditch the emergency blanket.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Critique my first 3 season gear list on 10/01/2008 22:04:19 MDT Print View

Your maps are too heavy-trim them. There are much smaller cumpasses out there and smaller headlamps, maybe use your space blanket as a ground cloth in a pinch. You got every thing you need just KEEP REFINEING and always look for lighter and lighter gear. ULTRALITE SICKNESS. Try Esbitts tabs with a Hieneken pot. Very SUL-goodluck!!!!!

Scott White
(sdwhitey) - F

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/01/2008 23:00:41 MDT Print View

Like it's been said. Your almost there. If you replace the the 0* bag and the REI pack you should be right at the 10 lb base weight you are going for.

With a 0* bag I would leave the capilene 1 bottoms at home. Maybe the thermawrap as well. I think the impulse hoody and golite balaclava serve the same function. I would leave the balaclava at home when I take the hoody. In warmer weather I would ditch the hoody and wear a lighter L/S baselayer if you have one.

You could make a foil lid for your pot.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
"Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list" on 10/02/2008 06:26:28 MDT Print View

The TT Contrail is a great little shelter but one could lower the shelter weight by over half with a MLD Grace Solo spinntex or spectralite tarp and a bug bivy or Soul bivy with bug netting. Other tarp/bivy combos would likely save an equal amount when compared to the Contrail. A tarp and bivy shelter system may not suit everyone's needs but for me it was the best change I've made to date and has the greatest potential for saving/lowering weight IMHO.

I would agree with Jay on the 0* bag, for three season use a lighter 30* bag or quilt (Marmot Hydrogen, at 1.05, or similar) should serve you well in most conditions and cut a 1.0 or more from your total. Even a warmer 20* WM Ultralite will save significant weight when compared to your current 0* bag. A bivy would add warmth to the bag rating and wearing clothing if cooler conditions are encountered will see you through.

*** Stuart, All MLD tarps come with sewn on linelocs (tensioners) at all guyout points making knot tying a non issue. Having said that it would likely take me awhile to set up my tarp using only one arm even with linelocs.

*** Stuart, I would think you only carry/use one hiking pole but MLD offers carbon tarp poles that are light, strong and work well in place of hiking poles for use in setting up.

Edited by thomdarrah on 10/02/2008 09:54:14 MDT.

Stuart Armstrong
(strong806) - F

Locale: Near the AT
Re:Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/02/2008 06:45:22 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions guys.

I'm ditching the capilene bottoms and space blanket for a savings of 8.4 ounces.

I'm starting out with a enclosed shelter due to cost, but I also only have the use of one arm and can only tie fairly crude knots. I think once I got a tarp pre-set with adjusters like the Contrail, it would be fine. I would also need a tree since I only carry one pole. The idea of just bivying in fair weather is very appealing.

Tonight I'm going to cut my map and cut back on TP, hopefully shaving 3 or 4 ounces.

I think I can refine the clothing/sleep system once If figure out if I'm a warm/cold sleeper. I just recall being very cold even in the 0* bag, but that may have changed. I went down to 60* with only a bed sheet, long sleeve top, and pants a few weeks ago.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/02/2008 06:50:30 MDT Print View

I go along with the comments already made about the clothing, pack, and bag. For 3 season I go with a 30F to 35F bag and carry very little in the way of extra clothing. When temperatures are marginal I add an MLD Soul side zip bivy.

Thom made an excellent suggestion on the MLD Grace Solo tarp in Spectra. I have one and augment it in bug season, or extremely inclement weather, with the MLD Soul side zip bivy. Having said that, I used a Contrail extensively prior to making the full time switch. I believe that the Contrail is the best full featured shelter on the market. It takes a "Leap of Faith" jumping from a full shelter to a tarp and each hiker will make that decision only when he/she feels confident about it.

Stuart... in response to you're last post. The Grace Solo tarp is almost as easy to set up as the Contrail. It always takes me 60 to 70 seconds with the Contrail, and the Grace is comparable. They set up in almost the identical way and could certainly be done one handed. I sometimes take a little extra time with the Grace since I'm a little fanatical about getting it's tension perfect. It does take two poles, though. I use the TiGoat AGP's at 6.4 oz per pair, and they work perfectly with the tarp (or the Contrail).

Edited by Quoddy on 10/02/2008 07:03:07 MDT.

twig .
(bretthartwig) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/02/2008 07:31:29 MDT Print View

Sounds like a pretty solid list. I use a Contrail, full length POE ether thermo mattress, Nunatak Arc bag, Cocoon hoody and caldera cone as my main items. These all fit in a Gossamer Gear murmur, you would definitely get a good ounce for dollar return out of a new pack. Stripping back the number of items you carry will make packing easier and your pack lighter. A fair indication of packing well is being set up at camp and not having much left in your pack, ie. wearing all of your warm clothing, using all of your cookware and shelter setup.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/09/2008 18:36:51 MDT Print View

Stuart, Your list looks pretty good...sounds like big steps already. I'm with most everyone else...if you can aford it, swap out the bag. Try to make a 30 degree bag work. I'm a cold sleeper and my marmot hydrogen is fine in the low 20's under a tarp in a bivy. Another option might be to look at a golite ultra quilt. I used this quilt for the first time last week in Oregon 3 sisters wilderness area. The nights got only to 45 and I roasted. The ultra is around $200 and is rated to 20 degrees and weighs only 19 ounces.

If it were my money I would first look to swap out the pack. A golite Jam2 should easily hold your stuff and weighs around 21 ounces. You can pick one up for $80. It is still a sturdy pack unlike a silnylon pack.

I would suggest dropping the cap bottoms as you said you were going to do. I would NEVER drop the thermal wrap jacket. It is 9 ounces of pure safety and if the temp drops it is your camp insulation. Lower sleeping bag weight and sleep in the thermal wrap too if temps get cold. Make sure to keep the balaclava or at least take a 1 ounce fleece cap.

I would look for a lighter light, ion head lamp is 1 ounce. Consider dropping the fire starter. If I need fire I bundle light tinder together and spray on an ounce of alcohol...poof instant fire. It works no matter the rain. Oops you are using a canister stove...umm...take a trick birthday candle and a lighter. I would consider a lighter compass too, but that depends on your trails. I'm ok with knowing North with a button compass (though I must admit having the Garmen hanging from my neck makes it easier too).

Of course the next step is the tarp thing, but that is personal so I would keep the tent for now.

Jamie

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/09/2008 20:06:10 MDT Print View

Stuart,

You mentioned the challenge of knot tying with one hand. You may already know about these but may be of interest to you. I love these little devils myself! They are readily available through REI, Backcountry, Cabelas etc.


http://www.niteize.com/productdetail.php?category_id=29&product_id=136

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: "Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list" on 10/09/2008 21:06:33 MDT Print View

"The TT Contrail is a great little shelter but one could lower the shelter weight by over half with a MLD Grace Solo spinntex or spectralite tarp and a bug bivy or Soul bivy with bug netting."

The Contrail compares a little more favorably than that with almost the lightest tarp + bivy combination. Assuming no trekking poles in use:

Contrail w/ pole: 24.5 + 1.8 = 26.3oz

MLD Grace Solo cuben w/poles & stakes, Soul bivy: 5.8 + 2 + 2.6 + 6.9 = 17.3oz

So that's 9oz, or 1/3, and most tarps are a bit heavier.

(That said, I think I'm going to switch from the Contrail to that combo myself, soon. I'm eager to try the tarp lifestyle.)

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
"Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list" on 10/09/2008 21:26:22 MDT Print View

Eric,
The last I knew the Contrail also required stakes for a proper setup.

Thom

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/09/2008 21:55:11 MDT Print View

Stuart,
You mention the challenge of knots. When it's cold, or I'm brain dead, I'M challenged with knots....

Take a look at the LineLocks, on the Mountain Laurel Designs site. They can be installed at any tie-out point. Tighten or loosen with one hand.

LineLock

Then tie fixed loops on the stake-end of each line.

Drop the loop over a stake, or secure it to the stake with a Prussic, then at the LineLock, pull to tighten.

If dealing with pole in a grommet, use a LineLock on the far end with an attached loop to drop over the stake.

Oh yea. Zippers. I sew a piece of webbing to the seam at the bottom of the zipper to kneel on so I can operate zippers with one hand. Keeps the floor from lifting.

Keep looking and asking. There are answers.

Edited by greg23 on 10/10/2008 06:52:24 MDT.

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: "Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list" on 10/09/2008 22:23:35 MDT Print View

"The last I knew the Contrail also required stakes for a proper setup."

That's true, but the weight I gave includes them. (I broke out the pole wt. since some folks carry trekking poles, and because that's how it's broken out by the manufacturer on their site.)

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/09/2008 22:35:07 MDT Print View

BTW, Stuart, I know Jay already kind of mentioned this, but that Tyvek footprint really is a bit heavy, and bulky too. Think of the floor of your Contrail as a ground sheet. Besides, if it gets wrecked, you're planning to switch to a tarp anyway :)

Second best, use a GG Polycryo at 1.5oz, $3.

Stuart Armstrong
(strong806) - F

Locale: Near the AT
Re: Critique my first 3 season (L) gear list on 10/11/2008 21:26:46 MDT Print View

Thank you all for the responses. I have no idea why line locs did not occur to me as I was tightening them with ease on my Contrail. Duh!

I just finished a trip with the gear list and I need go lighter! I'll be less excited about eating away food weight.

Edited by strong806 on 10/11/2008 21:34:10 MDT.