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Joe Cangelosi
(JoeFish) - F

Locale: All Over California
Newbie Gear List on 07/14/2009 00:15:18 MDT Print View

Hey, everybody.

I'm a lifelong car camper, day hiker and canoer. I recently decided that I wanted to leave the car behind and get into backpacking and, for a lot of reasons, that I should go light. However, since I'm new to this, I didn't want to spend a lot of money, so I went through a ton of gear that I've accumulated, and purchased one key item based on a lot of reading on this site and others: a GoLite Jam2.

I'll be doing 2 to 4 day trips in the Angeles Crest Forest in Southern California, and Parts of New York and New Jersey, all this summer. [Edit: multiple trips of 2-4 days each, not 2-4 trips of one day's duration.] For the East Coast part of the trip, I could plan on having another 2 lbs of rain gear.

So here's my gear list for my first backpacking trip ever, with a base pack weight under 14 lbs. I know I could lose 5 pounds with bag and pad alone, but I've spent all I'm going to spend for these trips. Please let me know if I forgot the rope stretcher or something important.

Thanks in advance for all your help and all the help I've gotten from this site already.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=thV74X8K2gZuIu0AANOTklw

Edited by JoeFish on 07/14/2009 10:04:21 MDT.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
footwear on 07/14/2009 09:26:08 MDT Print View

Pardon, if you have covered this, but I just get a google home page when I try to get your list.

Remember that your footwear can add weight. Consider low cut "trail runners" to replace boots. You can also use them around home as well as in the mountains.

Joe Cangelosi
(JoeFish) - F

Locale: All Over California
Fixed Link on 07/14/2009 10:03:15 MDT Print View

Thanks for letting me know, Frank.

Here's the new link, and I've edited it in the OP.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=thV74X8K2gZuIu0AANOTklw

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: Newbie Gear List on 07/14/2009 10:22:37 MDT Print View

Jersey in July/August is typically hot and humid. You can ditch the hoody, hat, gloves, and extra 2 lbs. of rain gear if you come that time of year. Night time lows usually don't drop below 60f and you won't need more than one of your shelter ponchos if it rains.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
nice list on 07/14/2009 10:52:33 MDT Print View

Seems like it's all there. It's impressive that you're jumping right from car camping to lightweight backpacking, and doing it so economically.

Have you tried your shelter setup yet, either on a car-camping trip or backyard? I'm interested in going to a tarp shelter, at least for some trips, and am curious about the first experience of others who have made the switch. Since I don't see trekking poles on your list, I assume you're stretching a ridgeline between trees?

I did a fast and cheap gear mod for my daughter's sleeping pad--$12 blue foam pad from Wal-Mart, the kind with a shallow egg crate pattern on one side, cut to the same outline as my small Thermarest Prolite, then weighted with books to fold flat. Weighs 7 oz. and she found it very comfortable. Pretty cheap way to cut another 2# from your base weight.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Newbie gear list on 07/14/2009 13:33:54 MDT Print View

My insights. Make sure you can fit all this stuff into the JAM 2. Keep in mind that this is a light weight forum.

= = = = = = = = = = = =

Solstice 20/40 Sleeping Bag / 50.56 – This is too much.

Slumberjack Pad / 44.40 – You are joking right? Aim for 10 oz max.

Go Lite Jam 2 - 26.00 - GOOD!

- - - - - - -NOTE: You probably won't be able to fit the traditional (heavy) sleeping bag and pad into the JAM2, it's designed for lightweight camping - - - - - - - -

First Aid Kit /Emergency 4.30 – Too much, you could trim this down.

Toothpaste / Hygiene 2.00 – Too much. You can use a tiny travel size and only take enough for a short trip.

TP / Hygiene / 0.01 – how did you get this number? The baggie weights a lot more than that...

Scrubby / Mess 0.10 (you'll be fine without a scrubby)

Trash bags (2) 3.40 - Two trash bags? For what? One is fine. Use ONE compactor bag.

2 ponchos / Shelter 18.50 – What? Two ponchos? For a shelter? Have you set this up before?

Space Blanket 1.00 (nix)

Sashline 5.00 – get some lighter string. Thin little string from the hardware store is plenty strong, and MUCH lighter

Swiss Army Knife 3.70 (too much. Use a single edge razor at 0.1 oz)
Knife Tools 1.70 – another knife? One is plenty.

Flashlight and batteries 5.00 – Uggg! You are joking right? Too much.

Bandannas (2) 0.90 – one bandana is plenty.

Joe Cangelosi
(JoeFish) - F

Locale: All Over California
Great notes, thanks! on 07/14/2009 16:29:04 MDT Print View

Great points all. Thanks, guys.

@ Brad: Thanks for the tips.

@ Dan: Thanks for the encouragement. I've invested in a few expensive hobbies in the past only to abandon them after a year, thus the financial caution. No trekking poles, though I am starting to consider them. I've done the poncho setup between two trees many times. I got the idea from one of Tom Stienstra's books a while back. I've done it with rocks holding the corners, but also usually had the tent in the car, so out on my own, I thought I'd bring stakes.

@ Mike: The first thing on my list to replace is the sleeping bag. I'm a hot sleeper, so I've been leaning towards quilts.

I'm torn about the pad. My back is all messed up- one of the motives for going lightweight- so I'm afraid of a ridge-rest or blue pad as not being enough (anything else would be more expensive), but I agree it's heavy. I'm SURE it won't fit in the Jam, I had planned on strapping it to the axe loops.

The TP is in the first aid kit, thus its weight. The first aid kit was as-is, I'm sure I can go through it and shave it down.

I'll scratch the second bag. I guess it was just a C Y A.

The two-poncho setup as a shelter is VERY ghetto, I admit, but it works, and I've used it in the past. You snap the tarps together and roll the seam around the line that you tie between two trees. Stake out the corners and done. An ultralight tent is 3rd down on the list. (after new bag and pad). By the way, the ponchos probably weigh less. I realized that 18.5 figure was for a contrail tent I was looking at. Probably more like 12 oz, I will weigh them when I buy them and update the list.

Great catch on the rope. I actually have mason's line lying around, which I'm sure will be less than half the weight. Duh on the knife, thank you, and the flashlight was a flashlight I had lying around the house. I have a much lighter headlamp at work that I'll bring. Thanks for helping me notice the forest in between all these trees.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Two Ponchos on 07/14/2009 16:33:51 MDT Print View

You know what's less "Ghetto" and lighter than Two ponchos?

ONE Poncho!

The GoLite is great (and affordable).

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
poncho on 07/14/2009 16:53:50 MDT Print View

The weight of a solo tarp is okay. One poncho as tarp is pretty small. So using two is a good idea. That said, the Tarp is a small investment.

And - you can NIX any rain gear with a poncho.

The issues with the pad are very real. It's important to be comfortable. A 3/4 length lightweight pad is a good investment. The therma-rest pro lite 3 is excellent.

Edited by mikeclelland on 07/14/2009 18:01:02 MDT.

Joe Cangelosi
(JoeFish) - F

Locale: All Over California
Updated Gear List on 07/14/2009 23:14:59 MDT Print View

OK, edits have been made to the gear list, have the baseweight down to 11.16 lbs. Not bad considering I've never actually done this :-D

@ Nate: I tried that once, man. Not enough coverage for this bean pole.

@ Mike: Thanks for the good steer. I made most of the changes you mentioned, and I got a full size ridge rest for $20 on sale. Even if I don't love it, I often have guest campers, so it's not bad to have another around. You're right, three pounds for a sleeping pad is nuts. That takes me down to just over 11 pounds spending about $150, including water treatment. I feel good about the weight and the price. (Though I have to admit, I see a WM High Lite in my future...)

Thanks again to all.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Gear List on 07/15/2009 09:39:18 MDT Print View

You should label sleeping bag and pad as SLEEPING and NOT shelter.

============

First Aid Kit - 4.30 – Too much for a short trip, you can easily get this lower.

Toothpaste - 2.00 – get this down to 1 oz

TP - Hygiene -0.01 – Nix the TP

Notebook and pen - Incidental 3.00 – Get this down to 2 oz

Salt, Pepper - 1.50 – Really, for a short trip? Too much.

Scrubby - 0.10 – NIX completely. You'll be fine without.

Open Country 12 oz pot - 5.20 – Hmmmm, thats a lot for a small pot.

Trash bags - 1.70 (the COMPACTOR bag weighs 2.1 oz, and is superior to a simple trash bag.

Go Lite Jam 2 – 26.00 – Can you fit everything inside? That sleeping bag is gunna be porky.

Solstice 20/40 Sleeping Bag - 50.56 (Wow, that's still a LOT for summer)

Ridge Rest Full Length Pad - 14.00 (Now, cut it in half, and it's down to 7 oz)

2 ponchos Shelter - 13.00

Space Blanket 1.00 – NIX completely. You'll be fine without.

Stakes Shelter 7.60 – Thats a lot. How many? What kind?

Swiss Army Knife - 3.70 – What? You had two knives before, and you are choosing the HEAVY one? No way. Take the smaller knife. This is an esential thing about lightweight camping, simply take the lightest item available. (or, take nothing, getting the weight to zero, like the space blanket and scrubby)

Flashlight and batteries - 3.10 – Uggg. There are a million lightweight headlamps. This is TOO heavy.

Bandannas (2) -0.90 – Still two? Only one is needed.

Hoody 20.50 – Wow, that's WAY too much.


=============

I'm still not sure how to interoperate your clothes. How much? What is worn while hiking.You should weigh each item and give a better description. Why are the T-shirts in a baggie???

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
re: "Newbie Gear List" on 07/15/2009 11:42:42 MDT Print View

I love how passionate Mike gets with these gear lists!!!

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
gear list (passion?) on 07/15/2009 12:21:32 MDT Print View

Passion?

Nope, I'm from New York City. Just stating my opinions.

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
re: gear list (passion?) on 07/15/2009 13:32:38 MDT Print View

ok

But in my mind I imagine you jumping up and down and wagging your finger when you type stuff like, "TOO HEAVY and you DON'T NEED that..."

Just saying... :-)

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Gear list (passion?) on 07/15/2009 15:35:51 MDT Print View

I am wagging my finger.

I am NOT jumping up and down.

Joe Cangelosi
(JoeFish) - F

Locale: All Over California
Gear List 3.0 on 07/16/2009 00:01:23 MDT Print View

Mike,

Have you been talking to my Dad? You sound just like him...

List has been updated and changes are highlited in RED. New base weight: 10.85 lbs.

>First Aid Kit - 4.30 – Too much for a short trip, you can >easily get this lower.

OK, the bag itself weighed a ton, so it became a baggie. I will pore over what's in it soon, but I'm going to guess at 2.5oz, keeping in mind I have to travel with a lot of aspirin and advil.


>TP - Hygiene -0.01 – Nix the TP

I'm going to bring it and plan on not using it. I read your treatise on the scrape and rinse method :-)


>Notebook and pen - Incidental 3.00 – Get this down to 2 oz
That was a guess, shouldn't be a problem.

>Salt, Pepper - 1.50 – Really, for a short trip? Too much.
No way. Food is my only vice.

>Open Country 12 oz pot - 5.20 – Hmmmm, thats a lot for a small pot.

You know what, I can lose the handle and the handle-bearings easily. I can't do it right now, but I bet it will shave 2 oz.


>Trash bags - 1.70 (the COMPACTOR bag weighs 2.1 oz, and is superior to a simple trash bag.

I will look for them. I believe you.


>Go Lite Jam 2 – 26.00 – Can you fit everything inside? That sleeping bag is gunna be porky.

I'm confident. Worst case scenario, I double-bag the sleeping bag and hang it outside.

>Space Blanket 1.00 – NIX completely. You'll be fine without.

I gotta tell you I'm hesitant to do without a ground cloth, especially if I trim down the sleeping pad. Thoughts on this?

>Stakes Shelter 7.60 – Thats a lot. How many? What kind?

Four. They are some basic aluminum spikes that were the lightest ones in my kit.

>Swiss Army Knife - 3.70 – What? You had two knives before, and you are choosing the HEAVY one? No way. Take the smaller knife. This is an esential thing about lightweight camping, simply take the lightest item available. (or, take nothing, getting the weight to zero, like the space blanket and scrubby)

I guess I was looking for more functionality with the swiss army knife, but I don't have anything with me to fix...


>Flashlight and batteries - 3.10 – Uggg. There are a million lightweight headlamps. This is TOO heavy.

I feel you on this, but I own it. I'm really done with spending for this trip.


>Hoody 20.50 – Wow, that's WAY too much.

I know it's crazy, since I own a MILLION fleeces, but somehow they all got packed when I moved, and I won't see them until September. This is the lightest thing I've got that's actually warm.

=============

As for clothes, the baggie note was when there was an extra tee-shirt (for dry clothes), it's gone. I tried to detail the clothes more, what I wear is in the second column (worn weight).


I like when you jump up and down, it makes my trip easier :-)

Thanks!

Edited by JoeFish on 07/16/2009 00:03:40 MDT.

John L Collins
(WVCubDad) - MLife

Locale: Not too far off the Tuscarora Trail
Sleeping pads on 07/18/2009 16:22:11 MDT Print View

I just switched from a ThermaRest UL full length pad to a Big Agnes AirCore 72" mummy pad and had some really great nights on it. Best I've had in a long time. I really enjoyed the 2.5" of comfort under my bulk.

At the same time I bought my son a 48" rectangle BA AirCore and he will not give that up at all! Little does he realize that when I've made my full metamorphis from overloaded surplus toting grunt/Scout leader to lightweight stud he's going to be missing a pad! 8^)

Stick with what works best for your back and lighten up in other areas.

John

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Ridgerest on 07/19/2009 14:37:15 MDT Print View

Are you sure you'll be able to sleep okay on a Ridgerest? A thin hard pad like this isn't for everyone. You might want to try it at home first. When I bring my Ridgerest I normally have a terrible sleep the first night and then after that I can sleep on it because I'm so tired. Something like the NeoAir is about the same weight but a lot thicker.

I understand you don't want to spend more cash, but something like the Kelvin Summer Pad from MEC (Mec.ca) is only $40 and if you can return the ridgerest you'll hardly be out cash. The Kelvin Summer pad is 19oz instead of 14oz, but it's also over 3" thick and delivers an amazing sleep.

Edited by dandydan on 07/19/2009 14:41:33 MDT.

Joe Cangelosi
(JoeFish) - F

Locale: All Over California
Sleeping Pads on 07/19/2009 17:50:22 MDT Print View

I'm not entirely sure about the ridgerest, and I couldn't fit the slumberjack into my luggage, so I need to buy something, like it or not. I never actually pulled the trigger on buying the ridge rest, so that's no concern. Based on this thread, I have these options to check out:

Mec Kelvin Summer Pad
T-A-R Neo Air
Prolite 3
Big Agnes Aircore

What's available at the local sporting goods stores will limit me more than anything. I'll let you know what I can find tomorrow.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
sleepin' pads on 07/19/2009 22:08:06 MDT Print View

1. Mec Kelvin Summer Pad
2. T-A-R Neo Air
3. Prolite 3
4. Big Agnes Aircore

and - I would add:

5. The TorsoLite from BPL
6. The MontBel Ultra lite torso sized
7. Therm-a-rest PRO-LITE XS (8 oz!)