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GSMNP 7/09 gear list (first trip)
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Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
GSMNP 7/09 gear list (first trip) on 07/30/2009 08:57:20 MDT Print View

This likely won't show up well, but ought to be good enough. This was my first trip and I was going as lightweight as I'm able at this point (< 18 lbs base). I'm actually quite pleased by this since I know I was able to move much better than I expected because of going lighter. I think I should get down to about 12 lbs eventually. I plan to get a Neoair once they get proven out a bit more and come down in price some hopefully and there are some other changes I'm also planning, but I'm open to suggestions if you have any.

The cheap Walmart running shoes actually worked out quite well though I have nothing to compare them against draining wise, but they're lighter than some of the Salomon's people enjoy.

Item Pack Worn

GoLite Pinnacle L 34
Compactor trashbag 2.5
POE X-lite Thermo pad 26.5
Pad pump / pillow 5.5
SMD Lunar Duo w/ stakes & bag 47.5
REI Sub Kilo Men's Reg 29
Compression bag 2.3
Blue CCF sitpad 1.7

Starter Dristar undies 0 2.5
Ex Officio undies (sleep/spare) 2.8
Bridgedale lightweight crew socks (sleep) 2
Bridgedale lightweight crew socks 2
Injini performace crew socks 0 2.2
Darn Tough lowcut socks 1.2
Champion DuoDry long-sleeve shirt 0 6.6
Champion DuoDry Elevation short-sleeve shirt (sleep) 6
Generic polyester long pants 0 12.8
Generic nylon/polyester long pants (sleep) 11.4
Generic nylon/polyester jacket 12.9
Generic cotton boonie hat 0 6.2
Stearns poncho 8.1
Athletic Works Sammy running shoes 0 26.6

Super Cat 0.3
AL flashing windscreen 1.3
Matches / Mg & spark 2
AL Scout cookpot & lid 5.5
Iced tea spoon 0.9
Fossilz spoon and bowl 1.6
Padded envelope cozy 0.9
2 1L drink bottles 3
Bandanna 0.7
Dropper bottle of bleach 0.8
Frontier Pro filter 2.7
40' nylon rope w/ carabiner 4.6
Mouse guard 1
Dry sack 1.7

Camera & filter 14
Tripod 8
Trowel 2
First aid kit 5.8
Compass 0.8
Small pocket knife w/ scissors 0.8
Energizer headlamp 3
Trekking poles 0 21
Watch 0.8
Triptease line 1.4
Towel 2
Chapstick 0.4
Bug spray 1.1
Toothbrush & paste 0.8
Hand sanitizer 1.8
Medication 1.6
Pad/pillow repair kit 0.6
Maps 3.2
Carabiner to secure pack to bear cable 0.7
Bible 3.1
Ditty bag 0.5

TOTALS 17.18 4.87

Many thanks to those who share their experiences, knowledge and wisdom on this forum to help me and others go lighter and enjoy the outdoors more.

James Patsalides
( - MLife

Locale: New England
The Big Three on 07/30/2009 10:13:13 MDT Print View

I'd focus on the big three...
1) Shelter: have you considered using a tarp vs tent camping... you have a 3 lb tent, could easily become a 1 lb or even 1/2 lb two person tarp.
2) Sleeping pad/bag: very heavy gear here, agree with you ultimate concept of getting neoair, but there are cheaper alts like a 3/4 length foam pad (buy a cheap 3/4" from walmart and cut it down). Sleeping bag is also pretty heavy - consider a quilt instead?
3) Pack: pinnacle is good, but maybe see if you can downsize to a Jam/Jam2?

Then, start nit-picking!
1) ditch the compression bag - just stuff your stuff into the compactor trashbag.
2) no need for 4 pairs of socks, 1 for walking, 1 for sleeping.
3) replace the 6oz hat with a 2.5 oz or less one.
4) go for a sub-1oz first aid kit (search for recommended lightweight kits on the site).
5) ditch the energizer headlamp and get a single LED clip on - princeton tech makes a fabulous one at about 0.25oz.
6) ditch the trowel and the towel (and ditch the TP too - not listed so I'm "reaching" here!!!).

And a couple of questions:
1) Is the 40' nylon rope w/biner really necessary?
2) can you reduce the amount of bug spray, sany and use a little dropper bottle?

Hope these ideas help!!! Good luck on your lightweight journey...

Peace, James.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
GSMNP 7/09 gear list (first trip) on 07/30/2009 11:17:05 MDT Print View


Should save a few pounds but would cost more $

Get a....

Neoair reg at 14oz. Add a GG pad in winter at 2oz
Subsil tent or tarp and bug tent
Ditch the Compression bag
Ditch the Blue CCF sitpad

AL flashing windscreen - This could be lighter.
AL Scout cookpot & lid - This could be lighter, a 24oz Heineken pot is 1 oz.

Iced tea spoon - titanium spoon .5 I think
Fossilz spoon and bowl - cook in a bag

Maybe Skip the rope and use triptease depending - 40' nylon rope

Camera & filter - lighter camera
First aid kit - could be a little lighter
Trekking poles - lighter and carbon fiber

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: The Big Three on 07/30/2009 12:32:20 MDT Print View

As for big 3, I don't expect any change there anytime soon except to the neoair eventually as I know my current is very heavy (but it was only $50, too). As a side sleeper, I need the 2.5" padding! We have LOTS of bugs where I camp and I don't want a bivy so tarptent it is. It's a 2-person so my son can join me when he goes - otherwise I get to enjoy spreading out all my stuff. :) I actually need the space of the Pinnacle to carry some of my son's stuff perhaps or for Scout trips where I may need to carry some troop stuff. While the Pinnacle can go pretty darn small as I downsize or for a 1-2 nighter, the Jam2 could not go as big as I needed.

1. I tried packing without the compression bag and just didn't like it. Maybe I need more practice but the pack just didn't feel good with the bag just sitting "loose" on the bottom. I found the bag sitting vertical in the middle with pad on one side and my clothes stuff sack and pillow on the other worked best. I can get a lighter stuff sack though at some point.
2. Agreed. I had 2 extra pairs to test them.
3. Agreed. I at least want a nylon one eventually.
4. I won't go that low but I can cut some out. It was just a generic kit I got for donating lots of blood. I actually needed some moleskin or bigger bandaids than what came with it. I would like the ability to help myself or someone else with a serious sprain so I kept the little cold pack it had.
5. I like my headlamp. :) Was only $14, too. Actually prefer the $12 one I got for my son (simpler switch w/ 2 settings) but it's white LED is a spot rather than a wide beam.
6. No TP used! :) Trowel stays - in fact, may look for a heavier duty plastic one of similar weight. Trying to dig holes in the Smokies with a tool meant for such was challenging enough - can't imagine trying to just use a stick, snow stake, etc. Will definitely cut down the towel - it's huge - or just stick with handi-wipes to wipe up condensation, etc.

Rope was not needed there since they have bear cables at all campsites AFAIK, but I took it just in case. It was the lightest rope I happened to have handy though I could have used the triptease I believe for pack/bag hanging (not sure if it's small diameter would cut into limbs or not) as I think it's rated to like 180 lbs. I had also taken the rope in case I needed to help pull myself up a hill after climbing down to get some pix. I'm not sure the Triptease would have worked for that, but I also decided not to go down a slope so steep.

Bug spray was smallest spray container I've seen, 3/4" dia x 5". Doesn't go a long way. Shockingly, I used none in the Smokies (I know skeeters can bite through my long sleeves and pants but they didn't for whatever reason). Sanitizer was (2) 1/2 oz bottles. Since my longest loop was only 3 days, I could have gotten by with just 1 I suppose on this trip.

Thanks for the feedback!

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Heineken pot questions on 07/30/2009 12:44:57 MDT Print View

> 24oz Heineken pot is 1 oz.

Hadn't thought of going this direction. I know I wanted something a bit taller and smaller diameter to make measuring water easier, but I was leaning more toward a mug/pot in the 600-700 ml range since they have handles to make pouring easy. Do you use a bandanna to grab the pot for pouring?

How do you pack this to keep it from getting squished on the top edge?

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: GSMNP 7/09 gear list (first trip) on 07/30/2009 12:54:11 MDT Print View

You've got a lot of great ideas, good start on the list. We all have personal preferences in gear; personally, I wouldn't worry about losing much more shelter weight. Some of us don't like sleeping under tarps! That said-

Change for lighter:
-Sleeping pad
-Sleeping bag--shoot for ~>20 oz 32*F bag
-Rope for Spectra--save a quarter pound
-First aid seems a little beefy--learn to improvise!

Pad pump/pillow
-1 pair underwear (unless over 10 day trips, then maybe)
-2 or 3 pair of socks... seriously, 5 pair total?! an extra 1/2 pound!
-Fozzils bowl and spoon... eat out of your pot, & already have a spoon


Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Re: Re: Heineken pot questions on 07/30/2009 13:00:32 MDT Print View

Its a fairly tough can. I top cut mine and leave the rim and that makes it stronger. If you want a lid, you need another can and side cut it.

If you leave the rim, you can use a pot lifter which is nice. If you want to save an ounce you can put a wire bail loop on it.

Best to use a glove/hoop or a pot lifter.


Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: GSMNP 7/09 gear list (first trip) on 07/30/2009 13:19:58 MDT Print View

Pad will get changed eventually as I said. Bag I'll keep for a while as I got a great deal and I'm not willing to spend the money on a bag that light to be honest. The pillow is my luxury item if you will (along with the pad) plus it allows me to fill up the pad without any moisture concerns aside from natural humidity. As for undies, I went commando except when I was in a shelter so only 1 pair for sure if even those. Only had 4 pairs of socks - as I said, 2 were just for testing out really. I had the Fozzilz spoon because it helped me estimate water quantities a bit better so it won't be needed if I get a taller, skinnier pot (see above). The bowl was simply just in case and to make packing my food bag easier - tortillas and my freezer bags were on one side of it and my trash bag was on the other. I ate out of the freezer bags or the ones from Packit Gourmet.

Thanks for the comments!

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Heineken pot questions on 07/30/2009 13:28:05 MDT Print View

I have a kmart grease pot I'm pretty happy with--hold about 3 c., weighs 2.3 oz w/o lid, 3 oz with a flashing lid and would be lighter with foil. Painted it with stove paint which seemed to make it more efficient, and the wider, shorter pot works well with my penny stove, and also w/ super cat. I have a Heineken pot as well--also painted black--seems to work best with a V8 can "half-penny." Haven't tried it with super cat.

I like having a separate cup/bowl (the Heineken pot is a pain to clean oatmeal or cocoa out of)--mine is GSI blue plastic, 1.5 c. with measuring marks and 1.7 oz. Fits over the top of the Heineken pot perfectly (which holds spork, windscreen, stove, lighter, etc), makes a neat package, and protects the rim. Pot plus mug is about same weight as snow peak 600 w/o lid, but obviously not as tough (or $30).

Obviously, none of this is SUL, but it *is* cheap, weighs less than what was on your original list, and still gives you a separate pot, plus cup/bowl, if that's what you want. I use aquamira drops rather than a pump, and the cup makes filling a platypus really easy, especially from shallow sources.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: Heineken pot questions on 07/30/2009 13:39:35 MDT Print View

Saw a grease pot at Walmart but seemed pretty big from what I recall and didn't like the big handle sticking out (pain to pack?). I need just over 2 cups max capacity.

Since I eat from bags, I don't need a second bowl though maybe when it's cold, I'd like to drink something other than hot water. I guess I'll find out. Soup from a bag worked OK so maybe I could have a "drink bag". :)

May try a Heine pot with my Supercat.

Thank you for the ideas.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Re: Re: Heineken pot questions on 07/30/2009 14:04:57 MDT Print View

The kmart grease pot is somewhat different from what walmart has. Made by stanco, also carried by true value hardware stores. No handle on the pot itself--just a simple cylinder 5.5" dia. by 3" high. Google stanco grease pot for an image.

I've been eating from bags too, but here in the NW, it can get pretty chilly when the sun goes down, even in summer and a hot drink is nice. I think people who use a Heineken pot as a mug usually add something insulating to the rim (rubber band or bracelet) to prevent lip burn, but I've never tried it.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Kit with 2 extra cup/containers on 07/30/2009 14:09:41 MDT Print View

Go to the bottom here...

Everything except the stand, plastic cup and the fuel bottle goes in the pot.

Weighs 4.8oz as shown

Heineken Pot 24 OZ with lid and hoop
12 oz heineken can, cut down for tea, rolled edge
Plastic soup cup cut down, for when a bag wont work
alcohol stove
Titanium Spork
1/2 microfiber DW cloth

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: GSMNP 7/09 gear list (first trip) on 07/30/2009 14:53:39 MDT Print View

Hey, Michael-
Sorry, had a bit of a cross post earlier. Had to do some other stuff while I was typing the inital response. Since there were four pair of socks listed in the pack, I assumed you were also wearing a pair. My bad. Luxury item, ok.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Heineken pot questions on 07/30/2009 19:04:09 MDT Print View

It seems the Stanco pot wouldn't gain me much other than an ounce or so. The Scout pot is about 5.5" dia and 2.5" tall. It uses steel for it's handle (likely why it weighs so much) but I don't need a glove, bandanna, etc to pour out the water either, which I'd think is required for the Stanco.

I'll look at some of the beer can designs and see if I can come up with a clever handle system for whatever one I choose for now.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
GSMNP 7/09 gear list (first trip) on 07/30/2009 19:06:57 MDT Print View

You can drill out a cheapo pot lifter and get it down to 1 oz. That would put you at 2oz for the pot and lifter and its a whole lot easier to lift the pot, pour etc.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Heineken pot questions on 07/30/2009 19:53:03 MDT Print View

Sounds like a little modification to the scout pot could be just the thing. Also, Troy Ammons' Heineken pot with silicone-coated locking bail handle (the link he posted above) looks pretty slick. I don't mind using a bandanna with my pots, but a very light, very functional MYOG pot lifter would be nice. Hmm...

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Heineken pot questions on 08/26/2009 11:17:40 MDT Print View

> Its a fairly tough can. I top cut mine and leave the rim and that makes it stronger. If you want a lid, you need another can and side cut it.

Just tried my first attempt at the Heineken pot. Bought a side-cut opener at Walmart. Didn't work all that well on the can IMO. Maybe I need more practice. It was much easier on a tuna can.

May try to top-cut next time like Troy did but neither of my two top-cut openers would do the job IMO.

Many seem to wrap their pots in fiberglass wick to insulate it so they can pick it up. Is the fiberglass just for flame resistance or does it really insulate? I tried just normal twine and it seemed to work well enough for boiling water. I wouldn't want to hold it for a minute but there's no reason for that either. I was going to cover the twine with radiator hose tape.

Edited by topshot on 08/26/2009 11:18:26 MDT.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Side cutters on 08/26/2009 11:37:56 MDT Print View

Some side cutters will cut through the top too. No good so you just have to watch it. I have one of the battery powered one and its nice for everyday use, but it will cut through both layers.

There is a top cut can open that will cut the inside out well, but I have not tried one.

I took the rivit out of a cheap one so it would cut deeper, but its a PIA.

Wrapping the pot makes sense, but I have not found anything I like enough yet and it just adds weight.

Link that might help...

Edited by tammons on 08/26/2009 11:41:03 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Side cutters for Heineken pot on 08/26/2009 12:23:57 MDT Print View

I had seen that other poster mention the Walmart side-cutter scored the lid up good. It looks EXACTLY like the Good Cook ones in this series of pics.

As for pot wrap, I thought of trying to put on a layer of the door/window expandable foam, which could be cut or maybe sanded even and then wrapped in the hose tape. While it will burn if held to a constant flame, it shouldn't melt like normal foams.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Wick on 08/26/2009 12:26:14 MDT Print View

The fiberglass wick is probably your best option.