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Mark Seeley
(mseeley) - F

Locale: Arizona
Newbie Gear List on 11/12/2008 21:00:59 MST Print View

Guys, I'd appreciate any comments/critiques on my first UL gear list below. The list below is primarily for spring/fall backpacking in SW desert (AZ). What am I missing? Any glaring opportunities to drop a few ounces? One option is to get a lighter pack like a Jam2 (drops 2lbs), but with desert hiking, I sometimes have to carry a lot of extra water, so I'm thinking a lighter pack won't support the extra weight.

Thanks for all feedback!!

Item Brand/Model Weight (Oz)
TarpTent Squall 2 w/ poles 38.0
Groundsheet Tyvek 7.5
Sleeping Bag Marmot Hydrogen 25.0
Sleeping Pad BigAgnes Insulated AirCore 24.0
Backpack Osprey Aether 60 (2003) 56.0
Pot/Mugs/Bowls GSI Dualist 19.0
Utensil (1) GSI Foon 0.3
Stove Snowpeak Gigapower 3.5
Fuel Canister (small) Snowpeak 110 grams 7.0
Soap/sponge 2.0
Lighter Bic 0.5
Camp chair BigAgnes Cyclone 6.5
Headlamp (w/ batteries) Petzl Tikka Plus 2.8
Survival Kit Adventure Medical S.O.L 4.6
First Aid Kit Adventure Medical Ultralight 3.5
Water bladder Camelbak Omega 6.3

Clothes
Fleece Jacket Mountain Hardware Chill Factor 22.0
Extra Socks (smartwool light hikers) Smartwool Light Hiker 2.0
Base layer tops/bottoms Patagonia Capilene 11.2
Rain Jacket ArcTeryx Beta LT 20.0
Rain Pants Marmot Precip 9.0
Fleece Hat 2.0

Misc.
Firestarter/matches/flint 1.0
Pack Towel 0.2
Knife small Buck knife 1.0
Water Treatment Aqua Mira 1.1
3 extra AAA batteries 1.0
Toothbrush/Paste 1.0
Sun Block 3.0
Compass & Map 4.0

Total Ounces 285.0
Total Pounds 17.8

Edited by mseeley on 11/12/2008 21:17:02 MST.

cameron eibl
(cjeibl) - F

Locale: San Diego
Fleece, Rain Jacket and Pot on 11/12/2008 21:57:43 MST Print View

Some major weight could be cut by going to a lightweight insulated jacket like the BPL UL 60 pullover instead of a fleece. Also your pot is heavy, think about a titanium pot. You could also lighten up by choosing a lighter WPB jacket.

Edited by cjeibl on 11/12/2008 21:59:31 MST.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Chair on 11/12/2008 22:20:05 MST Print View

You could surely save 10 oz from the Dualist setup.

Have to have that chair?

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Newbie Gear list on 11/12/2008 22:27:21 MST Print View

Trim your ground sheet-
Cut your first-aid kit in half, think simple wound care and meds only.
The only things you need for a repair kit is duct tape, sewing needle and floss and put the duct tape on your trekking poles are water bottle. Get a smaller pot and use aluminum flashing for a lid. BPL sells some very small pots, you only need to boil water right? Goodluck with your gear. Think Less is More!!!!!!! Check out community gear list- I have 54 items.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
What! A Chair? on 11/12/2008 22:33:05 MST Print View

Mark,

The Jam 2 is fine for the desert. I went thru and made some comments.

A word of advise, you should never (EVER!) include a camp chair on a gear list on a lightweight web-site. You may never live it down.

Some of my suggestions involve buying new ear, but most of them just mean leaving stuff behind.

QUESTIONS:
==========
Are you SOLO camping, or will you have a partner?
And, how long of a trip?


TarpTent Squall - A tent in the desert when there are no bugs? Take a tarp!

Groundsheet Tyvek 7.5 - Nix the ground-sheet

Backpack Osprey Aether 60 (2003) 56.0 - Much lighter packs are available, get a JAM2

Pot/Mugs/Bowls GSI Dualist 19.0 - What? Way overkill. Use ONE mug!!!

Soap/sponge 2.0 - Nix the sponge

Camp chair BigAgnes Cyclone 6.5 - Oh good grief, do NOT get on a lightweight web site and let people know you take a CHAIR?!?

Headlamp (w/ batteries) Petzl Tikka Plus 2.8 - Get a lighter lamp, like the petzl e+lite.

Survival Kit Adventure Medical S.O.L 4.6 - cut this WAY down to what you really might need

Water bladder Camelbak Omega 6.3 - Use a pair of platypus 2 liter bottles

Fleece Jacket Mountain Hardware Chill Factor 22.0 - get a down coat, fleece is like the chair!

Rain Jacket ArcTeryx Beta LT 20.0 - Get a lighter jacket, the $19 DRI-DUCKS is perfect for the desert.

Pack Towel 0.2 - nix, just take a bandana

3 extra AAA batteries 1.0 - Nix 'em, just be careful not to use your headlamp on high, you'll be fine

Sun Block 3.0 - Too much, take less.

Compass & Map 4.0 - Hmmmm, this weight seems too high...

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Newbie Gear List on 11/12/2008 22:50:01 MST Print View

Pot, fleece jacket, rain jacket are the easy targets for losing a lot of weight. You could easily lose 30-40 ounces or more. A cheap option for rain jacket and rain pants is to get driducks... about 5.5oz each I think, so you'd save 18 ounces just there. You don't need rain gear very often in the desert anyway do you?

edit: Mike beat me to it with the driducks. Gotta disagree on the chair though. I've seen official BPL reviews of chairs on this site so I wouldn't say "don't even mention it on this site!". Some folks here take them as their 'luxury' item... obviously it doesn't fit with going UL, but it's 'only' 6oz.

Edited by ashleyb on 11/12/2008 22:56:39 MST.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Newbie Gear List on 11/13/2008 12:28:29 MST Print View

Some of the following has been touched on, but I'll try to be more explicit.

None of your pre-packaged kits is labeled "Mark's Arizona x-day, x-season kit".
1. list what you would put in you kits
2. open them and toss whatever is not on your list along with as much packaging as possible.
3. do these items need to be in discrete packs or can they be stuffed into your kitchen?

Cut down on fire.
1. pile everything that makes or could make fire (stove, magnesium, underwear, olive oil, etc.)
2. marvel at this pile
3. write out the situations that will require fire, how it will help, and what will happen if you cannot make fire.

Rain gear. When does it matter?
1. what will happen if you get wet during the day?
2. what will happen at night?
3. will it matter if your legs get wet?
4. how and when can you get dry?

This is an individual thing, but I am content without toothpaste, but without floss would soon suffer from infection.

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Desert on 11/13/2008 13:12:29 MST Print View

TarpTent Squall - A tent in the desert when there are no bugs? Take a tarp!

Scorpions and Rattlesnakes come to mind. :)

Edited by RomanLA on 11/13/2008 13:13:07 MST.

Mark Seeley
(mseeley) - F

Locale: Arizona
Great Input on 11/13/2008 13:12:32 MST Print View

Wow! Great feedback from all. Thanks for taking the time to post your replies. I figured I’d take a beating for the chair, but I do consider it my luxury item. When backpacking with NOLS (80lb pack!) for a month in the N. Cascades, I learned the importance of giving the back some rest at camp. Granted, with a MUCH lighter pack, I may find it unnecessary. Hey at least I didn’t include a bottle of wine decanted into a Nalgene bottle – which is another luxury item I’m prone toward!

The Driducks sounds like an easy and cheap way to drop about 15oz, so I’m all over that. I see your points on the Dualist, so I’ll look into lighter options. I plan to purchase a down jacket to replace the fleece over time, but it’s not in the 2008 budget…

Mike, to answer your questions for this most recent trip: 1) I will be solo, 2) it is a weekend trip (2 nights).

Thanks again for all of the advise and keep it coming!

Mark Seeley
(mseeley) - F

Locale: Arizona
Critters on 11/13/2008 13:14:21 MST Print View

"Scorpions and Rattlesnakes come to mind. :)"

Yeah, that is what was on my mind too...

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Newbie Gear List on 11/13/2008 19:26:27 MST Print View

Mark - So, you did a NOLS course in the PNW. I've worked loads of the NCM (North Cascade Mountaineering) courses. How was it? And yes, I know all about the huge packs.

If you've done a NOLS course you have a LOT of skills under your belt. But, alas - They certainly aren't lightweight skills. I (more than anyone) know what it means to have to shift my mind to a new paradigm. It's a cool new challenge. I like NOLS because they really try and teach (and role model) good judgment. That 30-day expedition ability to problem solve really helps with the lightweight challenges. You'll do great!


Are rattlesnakes and scorpions really a problem?

Is there any data saying that campers EVER get hassled by these critters at night?

I've sleep in the desert a lot and I've never used a tent.

Peace,
M!

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: "Newbie Gear List" on 11/13/2008 19:57:10 MST Print View

Okay, color me paranoid, but I (anyway) do worry about scorpions. I've found them under my sleeping bag twice when I didn't use a tent and under my tent twice. Maybe they wouldn't have joined me, but I'm paranoid enough to think that they might!

Mark Seeley
(mseeley) - F

Locale: Arizona
NOLS on 11/14/2008 17:13:12 MST Print View

Mike, the experience I had through NOLS was incredible! I only wish I had the time to take another course. Unfortunately with a busy job and family, a 30 day trip to the mountains ain't happening. So for the time being, I have to content myself with slipping away for a weekend every so often... Thanks again for the tips.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
NOLS gear list for LW course on 11/14/2008 17:26:32 MST Print View

The NOLS lightweight courses have a really nice gear list. It's well worth reviewing.

Here's the PDF link:

http://www.nols.edu/courses/pdf/rockymtn/lfb_lfb4_el.pdf

Mark Seeley
(mseeley) - F

Locale: Arizona
New Gear List - on 11/16/2008 15:09:06 MST Print View

OK, with the help of some great advice from BPL members (and spending a few extra dollars), I was able to shave 4.5lbs off my original gear list! And Mike will be happy to know that I did it without ditching the camp chair. ;) At some point I'll replace the fleece with a lighter down jacket to save another pound or so. Thanks for the help and input everyone!

Item Brand/Model Weight (Oz)
TarpTent Squall 2 w/ poles 38.0
Sleeping Bag Marmot Hydrogen 25.0
Sleeping Pad BigAgnes Insulated AirCore 24.0
Backpack Golite Jam2 35.0
Pot Snow Peak TI 700 ml 4.7
Utencil (1) GSI Foon 0.3
Stove Snowpeak Gigapower 3.5
Soap/sponge 2.0
Lighter Bic 0.5
Camp chair BigAgnes Cyclone 6.5
Headlamp (w/ batteries) Petzl Tikka Plus 2.8
Survival Kit 3.0
First Aid Kit 2.0
Water bladder Platypus 2L (2) 2.6
Clothes
Fleece Jacket Mountain Hardware Chill Factor 22.0
Extra Socks Smartwool Light Hiker 2.0
Base layer tops/bottoms Patagonia Capilene 11.2
Rain Jacket Driducks 6.0
Rain Pants Driducks 5.0
Fleece Hat 1.7
Misc.
Firestarter/matches/flint 1.0
Bandana 0.2
Knife small Buck knife 1.0
Water Treatment Aqua Mira 1.1
Toothbrush/Paste 1.0
Sun Block 2.0
Compass/Map 2.0

Total Ounces 206.1
Total Pounds 12.9

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Newbie Gear List on 11/16/2008 20:55:28 MST Print View

Mark,

If you wanna get your packweight down - Don't worry about the little stuff. Make an effort to deal with the few BIG things. Maybe you get 'em little by little over the years. The list looks great, and the only thing you need to worry about is the big ones.

I've listed your items in the order of weight, heavy to light.

The first four items below are the BIG ONES, and these are what you need to solve.


TarpTent Squall 2 w/ poles 38.0 (lighter options are available)

Sleeping Bag Marmot Hydrogen 25.0 (a good LW bag!)
Sleeping Pad BigAgnes Insulated AirCore 24.0 (lighter options are available)

Fleece Jacket Mountain Hardware Chill Factor 22.0 (lighter options are available)





The Golite Jam2 Backpack is ONLY 21 ounces, NOT 35 ounces, you saved a whole pound!


Base layer tops/bottoms Patagonia Capilene 11.2


Camp chair BigAgnes Cyclone 6.5
Rain Jacket Driducks 6.0 (*)

Rain Pants Driducks 5.0 (*)

Pot Snow Peak TI 700 ml 4.7

Stove Snowpeak Gigapower 3.5


Water bladder Platypus 2L (2) 2.6 (RIght on for you!)

All other items on the list are LESS than 2.6 ounces.




(*) Just so you know, these are sorta fragile. Don't try to hike off trail thru thorns. I have a set that's held up firn, I make an effort to be careful.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Newbie Gear list on 11/16/2008 21:36:25 MST Print View

Mike is dead-on when he talks about the big 3 items. Work on those 3 items and you could save another 2-lbs. But I feel the little things still add up.

You have sunscreen at 2oz. There is 1oz Dermatone sunscreen and others on the market at 1oz.
If you are going out for a weekend- Don't bring soap and a sponge. Wash your self at home and save another 2oz. Use your bandana as a sponge.
Big question what is in your survival kit that you are not already bringing?? Save another 3oz. But I understand that everybody has there own comfort level. The more time you spend in the backcountry you will come away with knowledge to Refine, Reduce and ACCEPT & ADDAPT. Good luck with your gear!!!!

Edited by Creachen on 11/16/2008 22:11:55 MST.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Newbie Gear list on 11/17/2008 03:37:25 MST Print View

"Big question what is in your survival kit that you are not already bringing?" well stated Jay

Mark
Excellent! Looks like you've minimized balance and musculo-skeletal issues. Next steps deal with performance and aesthetics.

Johann Burkard
(johannb) - F

Locale: Uhm... Europe?
Re: Newbie Gear List on 11/17/2008 04:10:01 MST Print View

Another idea: If you don't use trekking poles, try a Fenix L0D LED flashlight (I think the newest incarnation is called LD01), it's only 26 g/0.9 oz and still plenty of light.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Newbie Gear List - Critters on 11/21/2008 13:12:31 MST Print View

Mike Clelland on 11/13 you asked
'Is there any data saying that campers EVER get hassled by these critters at night?

I've sleep in the desert a lot and I've never used a tent.'

Well, just so happens I recently spent 5 days at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and guess what? --- mice everywhere, eating everything not in a rat sack or in an enclosed space. 2nd night out they chewed a hole in my bite valve, almost through the line itself in several spots, and into a Platy. After that everything went into the tent, including my foam handled trekking poles, pack, and shoes.

Three others on the trail had similar experiences while sleeping on a tarp at a different site. Major gear damage. A ratsack saved the food.

Maybe snakes and scorpions aren't an issue, but protecting your gear in a tent or in a bivy makes sense to me.

And 20-some years ago, while on the Grand, I stepped on something nasty and had a numb leg for two days. The thought of rolling over on whatever it was still prompts me to sleep enclosed.

So, in my case, I'm still 'packing my fears'. Maybe I'll get over it some day....but until then I'll sleep better under netting.