November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Things Noone Else Packs?
Display Avatars Sort By:
(wentworth) - F
Things Noone Else Packs? on 08/26/2009 23:14:14 MDT Print View

Hi All,
I'm trying to get my baseweight down to a certain level, but have noticed that I pack things that I don't see on other lists. Like a compass, map and map case, carkey, I.D etc.

Do others not carry these items? The map and mapcase/ compass are essential for me, since a lot of my walking is thick offtrack nav.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Things Noone Else Packs on 08/26/2009 23:34:55 MDT Print View

I believe that most of us all pack maps and some form of a compass. However, map cases are truly optional depending on your situation. I print out my custom maps on rite-in-the-rain paper with a color laser printer. At $.10 / sheet, it's quite economical for a full waterproof paper. The advantage is that I don't mind drawing directly onto my map. If I mess up, I can reprint one when I get back.

Carkeys can be avoided with lockboxes on the vehicle. Some people use magnetic key boxes however I have found REI sells some that actually lock shut and have cable loops to secure on vehicles. Sure, you can still get the key with a pry bar, but you can get into the vehicle with said pry bar just as easily. Of course, some of us are lucky enough to have someone pick us up, thereby avoiding the woeful weight of carkeys :)

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
map/compass on 08/27/2009 08:10:03 MDT Print View

I don't see folks realistically going into the backcountry w/o a map/compass (even if they are toting a gps)- maybe on a VERY well beaten trail, but even then I'd feel naked w.o a map/compass

most usable small compasses (including a sighting mirror) only weigh in the 1 oz range (my Silva Ranger 27 weighs 0.9 oz), for most 3-4 day trips map(s) are under 2 oz (many good waterproofing products out there- Nikwax. Aquaseal, etc)

I pack A car key, but not keyS- just one to get into the vehicle- a few grams

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Things Noone Else Packs? on 08/27/2009 08:22:22 MDT Print View

I'd like to know where you get write-in-the-rain paper. And a ziploc makes a great map case. I can't imagine going out without a map and compass.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Things Noone Else Packs? on 08/27/2009 08:51:28 MDT Print View

I can't speak for others but I can tell you about my list. I have an entry for key/wallet (3oz) in my packing list since my car doesn't have keyless entry and I think having an id, insurance card, and a bit of money is useful in the case of an emergency.

I don't list mapcase because I don't use one. I print out custom maps on the national geographic adventure paper which is durable and waterproof.

In my packing list I have two categories: "Essentials on Person", and "Clothing Worn" which aren't included in my pack weight but are included in my skin out weight. Of the things you listed, My map and compass are on the "Essentials on Person" list because my compass is either mounted on my watch or in my pants pocket, and the map is typically in shirt pocket. Other things on my "on person list" include: Eyeglasses, Watch, knife, whistle, hand cleaner, blistex, and pocket camera... all of which are in my pocket or hanging on my body


Edited by verber on 08/27/2009 08:56:19 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gear List Cheatin' on 08/27/2009 08:54:23 MDT Print View

Ohhhh, I'll bet there's a lil' cheatin' goin' on with more than one gear list :) I'm sure there are books, MP3 players, a favorite fleece and other stuff that sneaks in on trailhead day.

Leaving out the essentials makes me crazy. Wandering around the back country without a map and compass is an instant Darwin Award nomination, IMHO. First aid "kits" that total a few band-aids and some duct tape make me shudder.

That doesn't mean you have to haul a lot of heavy stuff. You can take the essentials and still use your brains. I'm talking about a fist-sized bundle that weighs a few ounces. It is amazing what you can stuff into an Altoids tin.

Read a few accounts of people getting lost on a hike. Every summer you hear the same story over and over. I've found a number of common mistakes:

*They didn't leave an itinerary with family or friend.
*They didn't have a map and compass
*One person got isolated from the rest of the group and the person who knew the route.
*They kept wandering around rather than staying put.
*They didn't check the weather forecast before going into higher elevations in shoulder seasons.
*No extra clothing, water, food, emergency shelter, fire starting gear, first aid kit, flashlight, knife, or signaling devices.

Charles Darwin

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Things Noone Else Packs? on 08/27/2009 09:04:51 MDT Print View

Re maps: I HATE waterproof paper; it's really heavy and hard to fold. The worst maps I ever got were the Earthwalk Press maps for Wyoming's Wind Rivers. Even after using a scissors to cut them down to just the area I needed, they were too heavy and bulky. (They don't show enough detail, either, but that's another story.) A gallon ziplock bag to protect maps on normal paper works far better and weighs a fraction as much.

I supposed one could omit a compass from "pack weight" if carried around one's neck on a cord, which is where I carry mine, along with my whistle and one of those little photon lights. It's such an important item, though, that I don't want to do that. I carefully include anything hung on my body or carried in my pockets in my pack weight. It's gonna be on my feet and knees one way or the other! However, I have realized that a few things I wear all the time everywhere--my wristwatch, my glasses and my partial denture--are not anywhere on my list.

I've noticed that a lot of "ultralight" lists omit a camera, even on websites in which photos of the trip are prominently displayed! I once left my camera home to save weight on a 9-day trip in Washington's Glacier Peak Wilderness. That was over 20 years ago and I regret it to this day!

We have so many car breakins in Pacific NW trailhead parking lots that I refuse to leave anything (of value or not) or any clue to my identity in my car. People who leave valuables in their cars are rewarding the car clouters! I therefore have a 2.5 oz. packet consisting of ziplock snack bag, keys, drivers license, car registration, one credit card, one debit card, auto insurance card, a $20 and a $5 bill (the last in case of forgetting the NW Forest Pass required for parking) and a small piece of paper with emergency info that includes a photocopy of my health insurance card. It fits nicely into a little pocket at the top of my pack (made just for this purpose).

Edited by hikinggranny on 08/27/2009 09:17:12 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
keys on 08/27/2009 09:40:03 MDT Print View

I always bring my car key, ID, and a credit card with me. Ya just never know.

My first aid kit is a few band aids and some tape. Along with the info from several WFRs and recerts in my head.

I almost always bring a map, though sometimes it's a 1:100,000 scale photocopy. Sometimes a real compass is mandatory, sometimes it's not. There are some cases (JMT, for instance) when a compass is not needed (some might say a map isn't either). Other cases (lots of Grand Canyon routes) when a detailed map is obligatory, but a compass is not (as you're reading contour lines, not triangulating). Other times (Beartooth Plateau this past weekend) when a good map and a good compass (with mirror, etc) is something one does not leave home without.

But I'm not a big gear list geek, either.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Lucky Charms on 08/27/2009 09:45:01 MDT Print View

I carry a a few good luck charms. I'm superstitious. Never had anything bad happen yet. :)

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Agreed on 08/27/2009 12:42:24 MDT Print View

Agreed, these things should be on a gear list; they're on mine.

I'm in the ziplock-as-mapcase camp. Easier, cheaper, re-useable (for a while).

My gear list has a sort of generic trip weight for mapsheets plus s gallon ziplock to carry them in. One could guesstimate map weight based on days of trip, but apart from being a picky PITA, the type and number of sheets I carry per day (or per N-miles) can vary a lot with the trip.

In the "wallet" category there's a ziplock, sometimes even a simblissity wallet (nice to have something that looks like a wallet when you go into towns), drivers license, a paper copy of my health insurance card, credit card, and paper money --- about the same weight of this stuff on every trip so I consider it an invariant.

Prescription meds and any other pills (multi-vitamin, Omega 3, whatever) is also something one could do on a per-day basis but I ... don't, just assume something like a week's worth for any trip.

I hesitate to even mention t.p. here, but for those that carry it (and also separately for those that pack it out), there's arguably per-day variant weights there.

How detail-oriented you get on this stuff might depend somewhat on your overall base weight. For those in the traditional camp, this stuff is in the noise level. I'm in the lower half of "light", but almost never "ultralight", so it's somewhat significant but there's still a point of being too picky. For those at the more extreme light end of the spectrum it's a little more meaningful to talk about the weight of a couple more piece of paper or a second ziplock to carry the maps not carried in your pocket or whatever!

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: Things Noone Else Packs? on 08/27/2009 19:31:17 MDT Print View

A D, I've tried to capture everything in my list with as much detail as possible. Its posted under the community gear list. My list shows 5.70 lbs in the pack and 4.32 lbs worn or carried. This will include pretty much everything and will take me to about 20 degrees.

I list each item taken with me. My accounting rule is simple...if it generally travels in my pack its pack weight, if its worn or carried it is listed as worn/carried. This way I don't try to figure out if my watch is considered pack weight or worn weight. ... but it is all captured in one category or the other.

As far as the details I have things like 6 rx pills, car key, map, compass/thermometer, GPS unit, floss, cell phone, extra camera battery, etc... even listing a zip lock bag at 0.20 oz as a line item. I have taken ID before, but did not take ID on my last trip...figured people could look in my phone.

I shared my gear list with an outdoor yahoo group and a guy replied "this dude is hard core...he even weighs his underwear!"

Is everyone this anal? I sure hope not:)


Edited by jshortt on 08/27/2009 19:40:40 MDT.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: re: Things Noone Else Packs? on 08/27/2009 22:48:33 MDT Print View

>"this dude is hard core...he even weighs his underwear!"
> Is everyone this anal? I sure hope not:)

I'm particularly anal about weighing my clothes, not just because of the weight but because it's a pretty good guide as to how much water they will soak up and therefore how long they take to dry.

Re car key: you can stash them on/near your car. You don't need a car key anywhere other than where you left the car.

Re wallet/ID, unless you're resupplying, I don't see the need. Sure it might be awkward _if_ you had to take an alternate route out and couldn't get to your car, but that's just inconvenient, not life threatening. Probably biggest risk is that your car might get burgled, again you can stash them somewhere nearby. Keep a credit card number and some phone numbers on a bit of paper for less than a gram.

Re mapcase: ditto the comments about ziplock bag as a lighter alternative.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Mapcases? Non! on 08/27/2009 23:07:27 MDT Print View

Laminated maps, oui!

Metsker maps in Seattle (in the Pike Place Market ) has many of the Green Trails maps in laminated versions. Doubles as a "tablecloth" at meal time. You can write on them with a grease pencil and wipe it off later.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Mapcases? Non! on 08/27/2009 23:21:43 MDT Print View

Or you can go to a local printshop and they can either laminate your own prints or just do the prints as well and them give them a laminate.

I don't want to be burdened with a printer, so I take in a USB stick with map images to the local printers and get double sided A3 color prints with a thin laminate. Not that cheap though, and after awhile water can still penetrate the edges where they get folded.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
What I carry on 08/28/2009 09:07:00 MDT Print View

I carry:

Single Spare Key for my truck
Drivers License
Insurance Card
Credit Card
$100 Bill

The last four are wrapped with a rubber band.

I also carry either a map or map and compass depending on where I am going.

I do not have my key/ID on my gear list, but as soon as I get a scale and weigh them, I will add them.

(wentworth) - F
thanks on 08/28/2009 18:22:47 MDT Print View

Thanks all for the replies.
I use a map case because I'm constantly referring to the map whilst bushbashing, sometimes scrub reduces my speed to around 1km per hr, so I want to be able to check features on the map whenever I can.
I hang it round my neck, if there is a lighter map case available, I'll buy it.

I'm using a Black Wolf Aquamapper, with the extra bits chopped off, but it's still round 60g. I'm not sure a zip lock would hold up to bushbashing, and I don't know how I'd attach a lanyard to it.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
reality vs internet on 08/28/2009 21:59:53 MDT Print View

also, i'd venture to say that some of the lists, if not many, are just skeleton lists that people "type out" to say "i got my base weight to 9 lbs"

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: reality vs internet on 08/28/2009 22:12:04 MDT Print View

Perhaps in the other circles you frequent, but, I think, not so much here.

Edited by greg23 on 08/28/2009 22:13:31 MDT.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
perhaps on 08/28/2009 22:23:52 MDT Print View

i may be wrong. just my opinion

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: Things Noone Else Packs? on 08/29/2009 06:35:47 MDT Print View

Josh, I've not noticed the "skeleton" lists here on this site either... especially not the "many". I'd say I'm truly impressed at how accurate the gear lists appear to be. I've learned a lot from these lists and find them a true asset.

I'm curious how my list comes across to you.