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My 3-season gear list, advice on weight reduction.
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Mark Mendell
(mmendell) - M

Locale: Midwest
Re: sealskinz on 03/26/2009 08:04:38 MDT Print View

Don't bother with these, unless you're spending day after day hiking snow and slush.

Wet feet are fine. If you're moving, Inov8 shoes without Gore-Tex will dry quickly.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: sealskinz on 03/26/2009 08:46:42 MDT Print View

I agree. Mesh trail shoes work better. In cold and wet, they can be helpful. But they are thick, and your shoe size may need to be increased. They do add insulation to help keep the feet warm. Another option is VBL socks. With both of these options; they are not for everyone. Unfortunately, you have to spend the money to get them, and then experiment.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Waterproof feet on 03/26/2009 10:16:26 MDT Print View

Depends on your environment. Some years back I spent all summer in the Temagami, Ontario, area running canoe trips. Canvas and wood canoes, so you always stepped out into the water, both landing and embarking. Portages could be kind of swampy/wet at times, too.

There were two schools of thought -- waterproof vs dry quickly. Some folks preferred rubber boots -- usually full rubber, not just rubber-bottom. Others, including me, preferred drying quickly. I used my jungle boots, because they dried quickly and I did not have to deal with the issues of feet being hot and wet all day long.

To this day, unless it is pretty cold/wet out, I prefer the dry-quickly approach.


Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
advice... on 03/28/2009 15:13:48 MDT Print View

Your list is great. Those last few ounces are the hardest to get rid of. Some ideas below.

MLD Grace Solo Spectralite .60 Tarp + stakes & poles = 10.35 oz - - - - Can you ditch the pole? And use a stick? That's what I do. Or, do you have trekking poles?

Montbell Ex Light Down Jacket = 5.7 oz - - - - NICE!

ID eVent Thru Hiker Jacket = 11.9 oz - - - - - - Dri Ducks parka is 6.6 oz. The jacket is fine and cheap, just be careful with it, you'll be fine.

ID eVent Rain Pants = 10.5 oz Get a light weight pair of highly breathable nylon pants. If it rains, they'll get wet, but dry off quick. About 9 oz is normal. THe BPL THOROUGH FAiR pants are great.

Two 1Liter Aquafina bottles = 2.9 oz - - - - Go down to only one bottle, or ditch BOTH (yes!). You have the 2 liter platy, right. I go with JUST a 2 liter platy, and NOTHING else.

Firesteel = 1.8 oz - - - - - - A book of paper matches are fine, easy to store in a tiny plastic bag.

Buck Tempest Knife = 3.6 oz - - - - - - Oh C'mon - No way! I don't care NO WAY!

Wallet/Phone/Keys = ?? - - - - - - - What for? You won't need 'em. You'll be FINE without this stuff. THe phone probably won't work. Just hide this stuff in the car. Hide the keys outside the car somewhere - Easy!

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
Re: advice... on 03/28/2009 16:25:32 MDT Print View

Well, I think I will take everyone's advice on shoes and go with a non waterproof shoe that will dry quickly. How about the X-talon 212? This is the lightest one inov-8 makes and is only 14.96 oz for a pair. Oh and Mike, about the knife, I know, it is irrational for me to carry it being that heavy, but I just love the darn thing, I am slowly but surely working on parting with it, but it takes time, I have a special bond with my knife :P Good call on the personal items (wallet/phone/keys). I will probably just ditch those and carry my ID with me. Also, I will give Driducks a try but here's the thing... I do a LOT of bush whacking, and I've read terrible reviews on the durability of these things. However, being that they are so cheap, I may just buy a set and try it out.
As for the firesteel, I do have a mini firesteel now that weighs only .12 oz. I like the idea of firesteel more because with matches I always feel like I'm screwed if I run out for some reason. It takes a looong time to use up a stick of firesteel.
Thanks for more useful advice guys, I'm still improvising my list more and more each day, but I'm close to getting it to be 6 lbs, maybe even a little less! I think if I can get down to under 6 lbs I'll be satisfied (for now). 5 lbs is my ultimate goal. I can get it down to 5 lbs for a summer trip but I'd like to get it down to 5 lbs for the Colorado trip with much lower temps.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
more advice on 03/28/2009 19:16:02 MDT Print View

Alas - The DRI-DUX do preform poorly when bush whacking, I know from experience. Especailly the pants. But, colorado in the summer? You'll be fine. It doesn't rain much. And that fabric is super breathable, and I was sleeping in my parka, and I would NEVER have been able to do that with normal GorTex.

But - About your pole for the tarp. Just use a stick. Really, it's easy. I've gone two weeks with a team of 10, we had 5 tarps and NO poles! It was easy. Finding a nice stick is fun.

I'll remain silent on the porky knife.

Edited by mikeclelland on 03/28/2009 19:17:56 MDT.

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
Gear List Advice on 03/29/2009 19:30:50 MDT Print View

Hey Sid,

Here is a couple things that I saw...
-PACK cover for a compactor bag(if rain is in the forecast, if not leave them both home)
-ThermaRest Z-Lite for Nightlight Torso(around 7 oz savings, and half the price!)
-Snow Peak Canister stove for a alcohol stove(make one out of soda cans,or FireLite Titanium Esbit Wing Stove comes in @ 11 grams!
-MSR Titan Kettle for FireLite 550-SUL Titanium Cookpot(2.9 oz w/ lid) or the big brother Firelite 900
-ID Thruhiker for Marmot Mica(ultra-breathable,6.8 oz in M)
-ID Pants for Golite Reed Pants(5.5 oz, breathability in legs is not as important as torso)
-Knife for Derma Safe Folding Knife @ BPL(0.27 oz, unless you plan on widdling wood!)
-Zippo for Stormproof matches in a Ziplock Bag
-Solar Headlamp for Photon Freedom Micro LED Light
-Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots for breathable Trail Runners(lots of options from Innov8,Golite,Montrail)

-Will You Miss any of these...
-MLD bug bivy, or will a head net suffice
-Under Armour Mock and Under Armour Full T, you won't need both, pick one!
-Platypus 6 Liter Water Tank, that thing just sounds crazy, go with one 2 liter Platypus instead
-Bandana and Pack Towel, these are duplicate items, pick one!

Hope this helps you go Further& Lighter!

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
ditch it! on 04/01/2009 18:44:34 MDT Print View

C'mon - Ditch that BIG knife!

Dan Cunningham

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Re: ditch it! on 04/01/2009 19:07:05 MDT Print View

3.6 oz is a lot for a knife when you are going UL, but at your base pack weight, you can certainly afford something that you enjoy taking with that's less than 1/4 pound. I carry a 3" blade as well (but it's a Benchmade 530 that weighs 1/2 as much). So yes, there are certainly lighter options, including not taking it at all, but if you like it... who cares?

Rick Cheehy
(kilgoretrout2317) - F

Locale: Virginia
Re: ditch it! on 04/01/2009 19:08:48 MDT Print View

LOL Mike I'm still laughing. But how do you make a fire after the rain without a good knife to cut off wet bark etc? I'm sure there's something easy I'm not thinking of.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
DITCH THE PORKY KNIFE!!! on 04/09/2009 09:38:17 MDT Print View

Simply carry a 0.1 oz razor blade! You can cut bark with that.

shane sibert
(grinder) - F

Locale: P.N.W
knife on 04/09/2009 11:25:31 MDT Print View

The razor blade mentality is getting old around here and is rather absurd for many reasons. A razor blade is not a knife. Nothing beats a reasonable quality light weight folding knife with a pocket clip for hiking. It works substantially better then the ridiculous razor blade. Spyderco, Benchmade, Buck, Kershaw, Lone Wolf, CRK&T, and Gerber all make decent folding knives that are easy to maintain in the field, strong and well constructed, reasonably priced and have decent steels that actually holds an edge trough many hiking trips and daily use while resisting corrosion, offers secure grips for safety, can be quickly and easily accessed if clipped to a pocket with a one handed thumb opener, piece of mind knowing that you have a good tool in case of a emergency (survival situations) and many can weigh sub 3 oz.

The razor blade is terrible for a primary knife in the woods for the following reasons.

1. The steel is crap and won’t hold an edge.
2. Grasping a razor blade is tuff to do any serious cutting, especially if your hands are cold or wet.
3. Easy to cut yourself if your hand slips on the blade
4. Rusts easily
5. Easy to drop and loose
6. Always have to remember to replace dull razor blades, because dull ones cut like crap.
7. Thin and fragile, no lateral strength for heavy cutting.
8. Terrible if you need to cut wood shavings or anything substantial for a survival scenario
9. No sheath,nothing of substantial build anyway.
10. Not easily accessed

I carry a scalpel blade in my first aid kit for blisters and slivers and such. That is the only thing that it would be used for, because that is what it is designed for.

Edited by grinder on 04/09/2009 11:38:37 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: knife on 04/09/2009 13:18:04 MDT Print View


Well, this is a "light" backpacking website, and the philosophy is to par ounces. I am not saying everything posted on BPL is gospel or that it works for every situation.

Like you, I would not carry a single razor blade. An option to address some of your concerns would be a Derma-safe razor:

Derma-safe razor

I have one, but no longer bring it on trips for some of the reasons you mention.

For years I have been carrying a Swiss Army Classic knife which weighs 0.7 ounces. Probably 90% of the time I use the scissors, not the blade. I also sometimes use the tweezers (although not the best tweezers I have ever used). I keep it on a red lanyard along with an emergency whistle and a Photon mini light. Pretty difficult to lose, and it is always at my finger tips.

I have never needed a larger knife. Would a larger knife be nice? Sure. So would a 3 lb mattress.

However, if you prefer a 3 oz knife, by all means take it. It doesn't make you less of a backpacker and the extra weight isn't going to overwhelm you.

Lastly, keep in mind a lot of people on BPL are passionate about certain pieces of equipment. Keep in mind that these are just personal preferences, not Gospel. And I will never go without toilet paper :)

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Knives on 04/09/2009 14:27:15 MDT Print View

As far as knives go, I like to take a small multi-tool. Why? I find I use the pliers quite often. Especially if I am fishing. The small knife usually is sufficient and the scissors get used more often than my knife blade does. I have one in my ditty bag that was some sort of company giveaway. Not as light as a single edged razor but it has proved to be useful in repairing packs, shoes, and other gear.

Rick Cheehy
(kilgoretrout2317) - F

Locale: Virginia
Re: Re: ditch it! on 04/09/2009 14:36:49 MDT Print View

My wife(who hasn't seen this thread) got me a Derma-safe razor for my birthday. So fate has spoken. I'm going for it. I left my trowel and tp home on our trip last tue and wed. I'm Down to around 13lbs depending on the season. I'm seeing the light.
Ps Shane I'm from your school of thought so if I cut myself I'll let you know so you can laugh at me.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 04/09/2009 14:42:00 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/17/2015 21:28:48 MDT.

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
suggestions on 04/10/2009 02:48:30 MDT Print View

Hi Sid,

Great list- well done.
I'd swap the Under Armor for Icebreaker Merino, 200 weight top and 150 weight bottoms- save some weight and smell better and be more comfortable.
I'd go for the ID Rain jacket over the Thru Hiker and save some weight.
I'd use Montane Featherlite pants instead of eVent- they dry real quick when wet and weigh 4oz.
If you really want eVent pants- try Rab Drillum at 7.9oz.
Take the knife if that's your thing!!!

have some great hikes and fine tune as you learn.