Gear List
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Gear List on 03/03/2009 13:13:19 MST Print View

I'm new here. I wish I'd found this place sooner. Here's my gear list. I consider this my summer list. I camp in the central to northern Sierra Nevada and central to northern California coast. I apologize for my unorthodox method. I didn't want to retype the whole thing so I took screenshots and posted them as images. It's a pdf in my profile if this is too hard to read.

gear1gear2gear3gear4

My own comments:

- The camera, tripod, mug, and tea infuser are luxuries I'm willing to carry for shorter trips.
- I don't actually own the megalite yet. I'm deciding between that and the summerlite for my spring to fall bag. I tried out them both in the store and can't decide if the extra space in the mega is necessary.
- I don't have my hands on the TT Rainbow yet. I saw it on ebay 10 minutes before the auction ended and won it. It was an impulse bid. I hadn't planned on buyng a new tent. It replaces a BA Seedhouse SL2.
- I'd like to lose weight in my pack, but I think I spent the pack money on the tent. Unless my REI dividend is decent and I decide on Osprey Exos 46 over waiting to get a ULA Ohm or SMD Comet. (based on what I've read here)

Edited by jrmacd on 03/03/2009 13:18:16 MST.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Gear List on 03/03/2009 14:07:25 MST Print View

Your comments are dead on. The pack is the serious weight issue at this point. Given you like carrying the dslr and a few other luxuries I like your pack choices and wouldn't recommend something with no structure. I just received the ohm but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

A few smaller things. You could get a 1/2 lb by swapping the unbottle for a platypus system. The camelback mouth piece works on the platy tubing just fine.

Also have you considered an alcohol stove. Probably 1/4 lb there.

An option for the sleeping bag is to stuff it loosely in your trash bag at the bottom of your pack. Saves another 1/4 lb and paradoxically takes up less space in the pack.

Unless I'm hiking in temps near freezing I find I don't need rain pants. Shorts or if its colder like it was when I was out a couple weeks ago, shorts + base layer works well for me. That would be a 3/4 lb saving.

Repacking your lotion, bug juice, etc. in the small bpl bottles might save an oz or 2.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Gear List on 03/03/2009 15:03:00 MST Print View

Thanks for the comments, Nia.

I can't say how much reading this site has helped inform my thinking this last month. I loved the idea on the multi-use forum for using your water bladder as a pillow, which then allowed me to trim one more section off my z-lite.

I have a Platypus big zip 70 on my "to buy" list. The unbottle is exceptionally heavy and another thing bought before I started thinking light. The big zip seems nice because I could also leave behind the water bottle, which I bring because the Camelbak doesn't 'pour' easily for washing hands or filling a pot/mug. If I get a new pack with easy to access bottle holsters, I might go back to 25 oz water bottles. Though I'd lose my pillow.

- I've tried a cat can stove at home. It's okay, but my Snowpeak is narrow so I lose a lot of flame up the sides. It takes about 8 minutes to boil cold tap water in my windless, 65 degree apt. I'm looking for a better solution. So many designs out there.

- I like the idea of the ULA rain skirt a lot for "It probably won't rain, but I should bring rain gear just in case." Also on the "too buy" list. That plus the Zealot would be about 11 oz. Maybe a poncho would be better at that point if I'm spending the money? But you're right, if it's above 50 and the rain isn't supposed to be long-lasting, (so no hypothermia worries) I could probably just get a bit wet and dry out fairly quickly.

- I'll try packing the sleeping bag loose. Just keep it away from sharp stuff.

- The pack is an issue. Like I said, I blew my pack money on the tent. If I decide I have to have the Ohm, I'm stuck with the heavy pack for a few more months. (June, when I can pay it on the July bill w/my REI dividend) The thing I like about the SMD Comet is the option to go frameless if I get my weight to the point it's reasonable. I like the Osprey Exos because I've tried it on, and I can use my dividend right now. Choices, choices.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Gear List on 03/03/2009 15:21:55 MST Print View

Initial thoughts, looks pretty good-
-Zealot + Rain Wrap seems like a good combo
-Sil Dry sack for the bag (can use like compression)
-Wide stove burner (windpro), skinny pot; if you like the 700, check out a Litemax (canister) or a Caldera/Ti-Tri. Might consider an Evernew 900 for broader base & fuel efficiency. About 5 or 6 ounces total cookset then.
-If both bags felt comfortable, the SummerLite saves 5 ounces

Edited by 4quietwoods on 03/03/2009 15:22:42 MST.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Gear List on 03/03/2009 17:25:05 MST Print View

Thanks for the advice, Brad.

Shoot. I hadn't though about the Snowpeak in combo with the Windpro yet. The Snowpeak 700 is a new addition to my gear (Christmas present) so I haven't used them together yet. As I just got the Snowpeak, I'm not in the market for a new pot. I'll have to look at the other homemade alcohol stove designs online.

Those Caldera combos look great. I wish I'd seen them 4 months ago.

I'm back and forth between the weight savings of the Summerlite, and the extra space of the Megalite. I do move around some in my sleep, and while the Summerlite was okay, the Megalite was better. Worth 5 ounces? Not sure yet.

Thanks again.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
wm bags. on 03/03/2009 17:34:28 MST Print View

you can't go wrong with WM bags! depending on the temperature you need to go down to, you could also consider the WM Caribou MF - it's a wider cut bag with a bit more durable outer fabric that is rate 35 and is super light.

i do lots of backpacking in the Sierra too, and i find all my needs met by two WM bags - a Alpinlite (20) and Caribou MF (35). both are full zip and thus pretty flexible - you can unzip and vent them on a warmer night, or (heaven forbid) use it as a "quilt" too. :)

they are expensive (if you didn't get one with the backcountry sale/raid over the last couple of days), but very worth it.

i initially tried a thinner cut bag (check the spec list on the WM web page) and thought it might be okay, but was very happy i returned it for the Alpinlite. i like a little room to move. your gear list is looking good!

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Gear List on 03/03/2009 18:37:45 MST Print View

One more thought on the water system. I carry a nalgene soft sided canteen and a normal (not zip) platypus. I use the canteen to scoop water for into the platy, a second water bottle, and for hot drinks at night (the screw top keeps things warm and the wide mouth makes it easy to add hot chocolate, instant coffee etc.)

My experience with the zip platy was that they were a pain in the butt to close. They've since improved the design to make it easier to close and heavier. I haven't felt the need to try it though.

BTW the unbottle was one of the last things I bought before I started weighing my gear. I was shocked when I finally did weigh it.

The water filter is another good place for weight savings. Lot's of different choices but < 4oz for water treatment is easily doable. I use a mUV at 2 1/2 oz.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gear List on 03/03/2009 18:40:40 MST Print View

You should be able to pick up a Caldera for ~$30-35... pretty cheap compared to a lot of gear. It's not too late!

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: wm bags. on 03/04/2009 11:03:39 MST Print View

I had my eye on the Caribou as well having the wide cut of the megalight and low weight of the summerlite. The only difference being the mega is 30*, the summerlite 32* and the Caribou 35*. I'm not sure that 3 or 5 degrees will make a huge difference. I have my heavy (54 oz) Marmot Sawtooth 15* bag, if it's going to be really cold so I may start leaning toward the Caribou. Full zip is important to me, as I think I sleep hot, and the unzipped 'quilt' option is essential. The caribou also has the advantage of being much cheaper than the megalite. I was comfortable in the narrower summerlite in the store, even flopping around a bit, but how will that translate to 8 hrs on bumpy ground in the wilderness, when I might be moving around to find the sweet spot. I don't find the extra space for gear to be as essential when it's above freezing in the summer, as I can deal with putting on cold stuff and drying stuff out is more important when it's getting wet in the snow.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gear List on 03/04/2009 11:08:49 MST Print View

I had only looked at the Caldera's available on BPL. Until I googled them, I didn't realize that they came made for a variety of pots. They look great, and they're definitely on my interest list. I'd still have the problem that I really like having my mug for tea, and having the water heating up as I finish dinner, which I couldn't do on the Caldera made for the Snowpeak 700. Maybe I can fiddle with a cat canstove just for that purpose. But that Caldera would knock about 11 oz off my pack weight, if I'm calculating correctly. That's an weight to investment ratio. Thanks for the recommendation.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Gear List on 03/04/2009 11:19:24 MST Print View

Nia, I like your hydration system. After thinking about it, I'll probably go with the Non-zip Platy 70oz, It's cheaper, and it weighs less. I read a review on REI suggesting the zip sl was actually 5.5 oz rather than the spec'd 4oz. And the continue to use my recycled 25oz water bottle as well. And with the zip, I'd have to take it out of my backpack to use it as I wanted, which would be a pain.

A new filter is probably on the backburner, as I can save 8oz for cheaper with the new reservoirs. And I can justify the new Platypus, as my girlfriend *needs* her own reservoir when we dayhike together. Really, since I almost always camp near lakes or flowing water, I could use Aqua Mira, but there's still a mental block about not actually filtering the water, i.e. getting the floating stuff out.

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gear List on 03/04/2009 13:27:12 MST Print View

>I'd still have the problem that I really like having my mug for tea, and having the water heating up as I finish dinner, which I couldn't do on the Caldera made for the Snowpeak 700.

I think this problem is addressed either through the Caldera Caddy or various freezerbag solutions....or I didn't understand the issue. Feel free to send mail to rand AT traildesigns DOT com and I can talk you through it.

Rand :-)