Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Lightweight Testimony: The Fun Goes Up When The Weight Goes Down
Display Avatars Sort By:
Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Lightweight Testimony: The Fun Goes Up When The Weight Goes Down on 02/17/2009 20:46:34 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lightweight Testimony: The Fun Goes Up When The Weight Goes Down

Michael Landman
(malndman) - F

Locale: Central NC, USA
nice piece... on 02/18/2009 11:44:46 MST Print View

So...


...what are your gear lists?

Mark Krenzien
(MKrenzien) - F - MLife
Monty's journey on 02/18/2009 12:51:15 MST Print View

I enjoyed Monty's concise overview of his lightweight journey. Lots of good information and insight.

But his story also points to some less than life affirming aspects of going ever lighter (an obsession I admit to). Implicit in every base-pack-reduction story is a lot of consuming--getting something newer lighter slicker before the micro-metrically heavier item is worn out. Yes I know our light gear is often less durable, but I've replaced a lot of perfectly good stuff just to go lighter. Sure I give it to Good Will or the Boys and Girls club. But how useful are many of these semi-fragile tech items to a Boy/Girl scout weekender?

Backpacking Light began as a forum to share information and has evolved into a boutique shop (of excellent gear) for the lightweight community. This is logical enough. We all need to make a living and doing so while sharing ones passion is certainly admirable. Most of us say we buy our lighter gear to raise the level of enjoyment and going light has definitely kept my aging joints in the game. But when does lighter become a consumption based obsession? Does a 6.5 lb. base pack really make that magenta sunset more spectacular than the 6.7 lb. pack you used before? In a world facing unprecedented social, economic, environment, and political challenges it's worth keeping a little perspective that our featherweight footprints still come with a carbon-based cloud of consumption.

Monty Tam
(montytam) - F

Locale: Next to the PCT
Warner Springs Monty Gear Lists on 02/18/2009 13:33:20 MST Print View

>...what are your gear lists?
Michael Landman asks

Hi Michael
Here's one in from the Gossamer Gear G-Force Contest 2005. http://www.gossamergear.com/gossamergear/images/gear_lists/Monty_Tam_4-23-05.doc

I always write my gear lists out pencil and paper on a template. I'm not real computer program literate. I have a cooler weather version of my 2007 sub 5 pound average of the PCT in Word if someone has a place to post it. (email me at montypct@gmail.com)

Otherwise on this posted message it looks like this:

Sub 5 lb. Thru-hike baseweight
Pacific crest Trail Thru-hike 2007
Warner Springs Monty (Monty Tam) montypct@gmail.com 760.612.5222
Thru-Hike Gear List Ounces
Pack Homemade (Combination 1.3, and 2.2 ripstop, silnylon) Padded shoulders and belt, trekking pole rack, and water bottle pocket. My design 3.9
Sleep and Shelter System
Sleeping bag Western Mountaineering Summerlite 19.2
Bivy Cover Equinox-Waterproof bottom 5.3
Sleeping Pad trimmed torso from Gossamer gear 2.5
Spin Tarp/Poncho (Monty’s design) 2.5
Stakes 8 titanium and Dacron Cord 2.0
Kitchen
Pot Foster’s Beer Can
Pop can material stove
Wind screen and lid foil 1.0

plastic spoon See misc
Small Bic lighter low on fuel (full 0.5 oz.) ..3
Extra lighter when mail lighter is not full See misc
Razor blade See misc

Water
.5 L water bottle .4
2.5 liter Platypus 1.2
Water treatment Bleach for 60-240 pints of water See misc
Clothing
Montbell down inner jacket XL 7.9
Long Sleeve shirt REI MTS Lightweight 7.2
Long Underwear Patagonia Capeline midweight 6.5
Sock liners or dress socks 1.0
Montbell wind jacket XL 3.0
Montbell wind pants L 2.0
Gloves Mountain Hardware Powerstretch 1.4
½ Bandana in pocket (one more ½ optional 10g/.3) 0.3
Balaklava Mountain Hardware Powerstretch 1.4
Gallon Ziplock 0.3
Other
Repair Kit- Needle, dental floss and ripstop material See misc
toothbrush See misc
Headlamp(own design) white LED-adjustable head mount(add 0.2 for Washington) .2
Tall kitchen trash bag (delicate-replace often) (add on for heavier type bag) 0.7
Spin cloth food bag (home made) carried only for bear bagging
MISC Spoon, earplugs, bleach dropper bottle, repair kit, toothbrush, waterproof matches, in a Ziploc 0.9
Total 4 lbs 7.1 ozs.
Actual total combined scale weight of displayed combination 4 lbs 11.2 ozs
Weight varied with gear changes for warmer weather, colder snow weather (last two sections), and water availability.

I dropped a couple of warmth items for northern California.

terry a thompson
(terry588) - MLife

Locale: West
Re: Warner Springs Monty Gear Lists on 02/18/2009 16:39:15 MST Print View

Monty,
thanks for the gear list, it gives me something to shoot for. Mine is getting lower but is still a work in progress. As i reduce the weight i need to live with the reductions i have made so that i am comfortable with them and then start the process all over again.
see you at the ADZPCTKO in april!!

terry

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Monty's journey on 02/18/2009 18:20:37 MST Print View

Mark, I wanted to respond to your comment:
>But how useful are many of these semi-fragile tech items to a Boy/Girl scout weekender? <
I find this an excellent way to get these kids started off on the right foot- If they have an opportunity to use some truly UL gear, they will want more.
If you are not using something are are going to give it away, you might as well put it to use where it might do some real good- if the kid wrecks it you are none the wiser, but the Karma will be there for you.
Just a thought.

BTW, I'm a scoutmaster and will take anything anyone wants to give away- for the scouts of course.

Carsten Jost
(Carsten010) - M
Good job on 02/19/2009 05:12:04 MST Print View

Hey Monty,

it´s Sauerkraut!

Cool to read about your gear choices here.

Michael Landman
(malndman) - F

Locale: Central NC, USA
Re: Warner Springs Monty Gear Lists on 02/19/2009 08:17:57 MST Print View

Interesting...

"Long Sleeve shirt REI MTS Lightweight 7.2
Long Underwear Patagonia Capeline midweight 6.5"

I use midweight tops and lightweight bottoms. I find that my legs stay warmer than my upper body. Also, I find this helps maintain my core temperature.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Warner Springs Monty Gear Lists on 02/19/2009 08:35:52 MST Print View

Interesting...

"Long Sleeve shirt REI MTS Lightweight 7.2
Long Underwear Patagonia Capeline midweight 6.5"

I use midweight tops and lightweight bottoms. I find that my legs stay warmer than my upper body. Also, I find this helps maintain my core temperature.


Yes, each individual has a different physiology. Monty's start of the PCT in Southern Cal presents some real challenges. The start is in the desert and this early in the season you can get some really nasty weather in the San Jacintos and San Bernardinos. I would have taken the same two items... and light weight top and mid bottom. Sometimes I use two light of each item for more versatility (wear two light weights when it gets really cold). Often in colder weather I hike in a midweight top and running shorts. If it gets too cold, I wear my midweight under the running shorts. Now I have eliminated a pair of pants in favor of some multi-use items. Add the ultralight wind shells, it is pretty effective.

Given that 99.99% of use will never do 2600+ mile trip with a sub 5 base weight, his gear list is perfect. Covers the basics, and more importantly it obviously works for him.

Monty Tam
(montytam) - F

Locale: Next to the PCT
A little more on the gear on 02/20/2009 14:29:18 MST Print View

I didn't catch that "lightweight" shirt on the gear list.
That was actually the lighter of three midweights I had in my posession at the time. The wording is not accurate.
That was replaced by one that weight about an ounce more shortly into the hike.

There were other replacements too.
The bivy was replaced with a Titanium Goat Bivy (custom) at about 5.3 ounces.
I started with a Western Mountaineering Hilite (16 oz) but replaced it when the zipper broke. The Hilite was sufficient for 1300 PCT miles in 2005. The extra down of the Summerlite was cozy though.

For northern California I dropped the jacket, wind pants and the long underware. Baseweight was right about 4 lbs.
I picked all that back up just over the Oregon border.

The last two sections up north we were hit with early storms. (Skykomish to Manning) I switched to a tarp and raincoat. (Spinntwin and Driduck Jacket) I also used a trash bag rainskirt for the last 35 miles. I exceeded 5 pounds for that small stretch only, but still easily maintained the under-5-pound-average I set out to do for the entire trail.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Lightweight Testimony: The Fun Goes Up When The Weight Goes Down on 02/21/2009 15:11:52 MST Print View

Monty, Great read and fantastic accomplishments. One is inspired by such light weight accomplishments.

Thanks for adding the gear list. I have a question...how many drops of bleach do you use to treat a liter of water? This is the first time I've seen bleach used instead of the commercial Chlorine treatments. Are you aware of any disadvantages to using bleach (health, taste, etc)? The advantage I see are cheap, readily available, doesnt require mixing, etc.

Thanks, Jamie

David Long
(longwalker)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Bivy on 02/25/2009 12:07:34 MST Print View

Monty, how did your experience with bivy + down bag work out? Condensation problems? Did you always sleep in the bivy, or only in rain?
I am considering a down bag/quilt + bivy setup myself.

Monty Tam
(montytam) - F

Locale: Next to the PCT
Bleach as water sanitizer on 02/26/2009 11:22:41 MST Print View

One drop per pint of water. Wait 20 minutes.
I learned about it from reading about AT hiker ultralight techniques. I later found it on clorox.com and a forest service site.

Monty Tam
(montytam) - F

Locale: Next to the PCT
Experience with bivy cover on 02/26/2009 11:34:35 MST Print View

I used the bivy every night in 2007. The waterproof bottom was also my ground cloth when I camped. On occasion, but not often there was condensation. When condensation was occuring, conditions were usually warm enough to unzip the bivy.
If I was drying out my bag and bivy at lunch time, those with tents were drying out their gear too.