New to Backpacking
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Brian Morgan
(bmor831) - F

Locale: Houston, TX
New to Backpacking on 12/19/2008 08:56:36 MST Print View

I've been scouring the internet reading and learning as much as possible as to how to drop weight off my pack. I'm going out this weekend for a couple nights then again in a couple weeks for about a week. I will be in Texas so it will be cool, but nothing unbearable. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Big 3 - Pack-Golite Jam2-21 oz
One Man Tent-51 oz(not sure
about going with a tarp just
yet, lots of mosquitoes
down here)
Sleeping Bag-38 oz (still
trying to find an affordable
quality sleep system)
Kitchen-alcohol stove - 1 oz
nalgene - 32 oz
lexan spoon - 1 oz
fuel bottle - 1 oz
cup - 6 oz
Clothing-Bandana - .5 oz
Camp Sandals - 5 oz
Thermal Shirt - 6.5 oz
GoreTEx Rain Jacket - 21 oz
Camp/Sleep Shorts - 5 oz
Skull Cap - 1.5 oz
Accessories-A&D Ointment - 4 oz (cant
find a small bottle and
not sure how yall
re-package your liquids)
Carabiners(2)- 1.5 oz
Compass&Mirror - 3 oz
First Aid Kit- 2 oz
Germ-x - 3 oz
Insect Repellant - 2 oz
Pocket Knife - 1.4 oz
LED Flashlight - 1 oz
Lip balm - .5 oz
Paperback - 12 oz
Nylon Rope - 3 oz
Potable Agua - .5 oz
Sewing Kit - 1 oz
Sunglasses - .5 oz
Sunscreen - 2 oz
Toothbrush - .5 oz
Toothpaste - 1 oz
Trash Bags - 2 oz
Valuables/ipod- 12 oz
Waterproof Matches - .5 oz
Food, Toilet Paper, Fuel, and the clothes I am wearing were not included.

Thanks for the help.

Brian Morgan
(bmor831) - F

Locale: Houston, TX
Base Weight on 12/19/2008 09:03:59 MST Print View

Forgot to mention.... 200.25 oz/12.51 lb (i think)

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
New on 12/19/2008 09:06:33 MST Print View

Replace the Nalgene with a Playtpus and save a lot of weight. Or use Dasani bottles. What do you consider "affordable" on a sleep system? And you could buy my Double Rainbow and save almost a pound on your tent (shameless huckstering).

Brian Morgan
(bmor831) - F

Locale: Houston, TX
Affordable Sleep System on 12/19/2008 09:22:07 MST Print View

I haven't been backpacking enough to know what's necessary. I see alot of expensive down bags. Not sure exactly what I would need. Don't mind the price, but don't want to spend more than necessary.

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: New to Backpacking on 12/19/2008 09:27:46 MST Print View

Hey Brian,

I've got a few questions. First, can you list the brand and model of your tent and sleeping bag? The solo tent is quite heavy, but I don't want to make any suggestions without knowing what you already have and are comfortable with. Same goes for the sleeping bag.

Second, I'm curious about your valuables and ipod. 12 oz is pretty heavy! If the book you are bringing is a novel, as opposed to a field guide or the like, perhaps you should choose between music and reading. Personally, if I'm out for a weekend I wouldn't bring any form of entertainment. Regardless, the book and your valuables totals close to 1.5 pounds! A lot of weight can be saved there!

Another easy way to lighten your load would be to replace the goretex rain jacket. The weight is one thing, but in a place like Texas Goretex is just not breathable enough. I would try to find a lighter rain jacket made of a better material. Dri-Ducks is a good option for a cheap replacement (the material isn't much better) but with some research you should be able to find a nice jacket that is MUCH lighter. Also, your cup is 6oz, which depending on the size, is pretty heavy also. How big is the cup and what is it made of?

These are the things that really stand out to me. Of course people will ask about why you are bringing 3 oz of hand purifier, 2 oz of first aid stuff, etc.. but you should bring what you are comfortable with and then take a good look at how much purifier you used over the weekend etc.. Oh, I would also bring a mini bic lighter instead of fireproof matches. This is a personal preference, but I've never had a lighter get too wet to work.

The platypus suggestion should also definitely be considered. It's an easy and cheap replacement. At the very least use something like a standard sized gatorade bottle.

There are other things depending on how serious you are, but I think these changes would be a great start!

Edit: Also, check out the community gear lists for ideas:

The gear lists

You can also search the forums using the advanced search function to find posts of people that are new to backpacking to see previous advice. Try using the terms "New to backpacking" or "gear list help" and see what comes up.

Welcome to the site!

Edited by arichardson6 on 12/19/2008 09:32:42 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Bag on 12/19/2008 10:06:58 MST Print View

Living in Texas, I don't think you'll really need an expensive down bag. I know I don't. But it would help to know what you have now.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
New to Backpacking on 12/19/2008 10:20:31 MST Print View

Hi Joe,

This site is a great place to get information. There are many folks with lots of experience and knowledge.

Here are a few links that might help:
Tents- no need to deal with bugs! There are many great ultralight shelters that offer this.
www.tarptent.com
www.gossamergear.com
www.sixmoondesigns.com

As far as a bag, down will be you lightest option (and most expensive). The drawback is that it loses its warmth when wet. In the Southwest this is rarely an issue- just make sure to pack it in a waterproof sack. Some good and reasonable down bags:
www.golite.com
www.montbell.com
more expensive:
www.featheredfriends.com
www.westernmountaineering.com

The best advice I could give is to purchase two things:
1) the book Lighten Up- this is my favorite resource for folks new to ultralight
2) consider signing up for this web site. I know, I do work here...but there is no better resource for reviews and articles that would meet your needs.

And have a great trip! Your current load is a very good weight- especially for a new backpacker! Most of us started with loads in the 30-50 pound range so you're off to a great start! After getting out a few times, you'll start to get a clearer idea of what you want to change or what you don't need.

Have a great time!
Doug

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Droppers on 12/19/2008 12:49:17 MST Print View

Hey Brian...welcome to the site. I use the BPL droppers sold on this site to repackage my stuff. I also like to use the crafting ziploc bags for stuff like my first aid kit. They're much lighter than the typical bags. This site cut my backpack weight nearly in half in a month. You can check out my gear in the community lists too. Good luck!

Michael Gardner
(ekim765) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: New to Backpacking on 12/19/2008 15:08:43 MST Print View

Also for some light gear keep an eye on the gear swap forums on this site. You can find some pretty sweet deals sometimes.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: New to Backpacking on 12/19/2008 15:55:47 MST Print View

Brian, good start here are some comments about your list (keep an open mind):

>nalgene - 32 oz< Use an old Gatorade bottle 1.8 oz. No need for the heavy Nalgene

>cup - 6 oz< My Ti cup weighs 2.1 oz, if you don't want to spend that much take a plastic cup from the kitchen at about 3 oz and use a beer can for a pot 0.6 oz

>Camp Sandals - 5 oz< No need for these if you are hiking in LW trail runners

>GoreTEx Rain Jacket - 21 oz< Read other posts about lighter options

>Camp/Sleep Shorts - 5 oz< why?

>Accessories-A&D Ointment - 4 oz< use a small film canister 0.2 oz if you don't want to spend the money for a dropper bottle, and only put in a small amount!

>Carabiners(2)- 1.5 oz< NO NEED, unless you are climbing and you will need a lot more then this.

>Germ-x - 3 oz< repackage

>Insect Repellant - 2 oz< repackage

>Pocket Knife - 1.4 oz< A small Swiss Army Knife (SAK) with scissors is 0.7 (in 3 years I've only used the scissors.

>Nylon Rope - 3 oz< get lighter "rope"

>Sewing Kit - 1 oz< a needle and dental floss will help here

>Sunscreen - 2 oz< repackage

>Toothpaste - 1 oz< a small amount of baking soda in a film canister is a lot less weight

>Trash Bags - 2 oz< do you need more then one?

>Valuables/ipod- 12 oz< Why?

>Food, Toilet Paper, Fuel, and the clothes I am wearing were not included. <
TP needs to be in the above, if you really need it. Some on this site think it is a total "waste". I tend to agree.

Edited by bestbuilder on 12/19/2008 15:57:40 MST.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
New to backpackin' on 12/19/2008 17:18:38 MST Print View

Yes - TAD is right on!

Revise your list and re-post it. Take TAD seriously, he's on it!

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: New to Backpacking on 12/19/2008 18:24:41 MST Print View

>>Thermal Shirt - 6.5 oz - May not be warm enough

No idea where in Texas you are going backpacking, but it can get cold, especially in December and January. Check the forecast before leaving. I've never regretted bringing a puffy vest or jacket in the winter in the Hill Country...

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: New to Backpacking on 12/20/2008 15:42:01 MST Print View

Try a tarp/bivy or headnet combo, it seems to be the lightest way to get insect protection

try jacks r better stealth or no sniveler (Or exped wallcreeper) for Texas, not too expensive, and all you need for insulation, just don't wear it around town. For a pad you could use Gossamer Gear pads or BPL torsolite and your backpack.

What is your cooking pot? Look into heiniken cans until you find something you like.

You could also drop the toilet paper, camp sandals (Many would disagree)

It looks like you have a light first aid kit which is ok, just make sure you know how to make a splint, and what you plan to do in dire emergencies.

Brian Morgan
(bmor831) - F

Locale: Houston, TX
Updated Gear List on 12/24/2008 07:47:34 MST Print View

After reading all of yall's comments and making a weekend trip I have made quite a few changes. Please keep the suggestions coming.

Pack-GoLite Jam2 21 oz
Shelter- REi 1/4 Dome T1 Tent 44.5 oz after removing excess stakes, etc
Bag-WM Caribou 20 oz
Kitchen-alcohol stove 1 oz
1L Platypus- .9 oz
.5L Platypus- .8 oz
Lexan spoon- 1 oz
Fuel bottle- 1 oz
Titanium cup- 2.8 oz
Waterproof Matches- .5 oz
Clothing-Dri Ducks Raingear 12 oz
Thermal Shirt- 6.5 oz
Toiletry Kit-A&D Ointment .5 oz
Hand Sanitizer- .5 oz
Lip Balm- .5 oz
Toilet Paper- .5 oz
Toothbrush- .5 oz
Toothpaste- .5 oz
Survival Kit- Compass&Mirror 3 oz
Carabiner .75 oz
First Aid Kit 1 oz
Insect Repellant 2 oz
LED Flashlight 1 oz
Mini Bic Lighter .5 oz
Nylon Rope 1 oz
Potable Aqua .5 oz
Sewing Kit 1 oz
Sunscreen .5 oz
Accessories-Bandana .5 oz
iPod- 2 oz
Knife- 1.4 oz
Sunglasses- .5 oz
Trash Bag- 1 oz

3-Season Base weight-8.29 lbs Thanks for all the help.