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Getting Back Into Backpacking - My Gear List
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Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
Getting Back Into Backpacking - My Gear List on 10/17/2009 21:33:09 MDT Print View


Well, I was very into backpacking and camping as a child. I did the whole Cub Scout --> Boy Scout --> Eagle Scout thing and now I've developed a strong desire to get back out there. Below, I'm providing my gear list for compliments or criticism, but please keep in mind that I'm not going for a complete *Ultralight* setup, just a comfortable level of weight using high quality products. I already own a good chunk of the list.

Well... Here it goes.

Backpack, Gregory Palisade
Backup Firestarter, FireLite Mini Firestarting Kit
Compression Dry-Sack, Sea To Summit eVent Sizes XS (sleeping bag) and M (clothes)
Flashlight (backup), Fenix E01
Flashlight (primary), MagMini 3aa LED
Footprint, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 Footprint
Hand Shovel, Coleman Hand Shovel
Hat, Outdoor Research Radar Pocket Cap
Headlamp, Petzl Tactikka XP Adapt
Hiking Boots, Asolo TPS 520 GV
Hiking Pants / Shorts, Columbia Omni-Dry Silver Ridge II Convertible Pant
Hydration System, CamelBak Classic
Knife, Kershaw Roughneck
Lighter, Bic Mini Lighter (x2)
Parachute Cord, 50 ft
Saw, Sven Folding Saw - 15 inch
Shirt, Marmot Lightweight Crew - Long Sleeve
Sleeping Bag, MontBell U.L. Super Stretch Hugger #2
Sleeping Bag Liner, Sea To Summit 100% Premium Silk Sleeping Bag Liner - Hooded Mummy
Sleeping Pad, Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite
Socks, SmartWool Midweight Hiker Socks
Stove, Coleman Peak
Tent, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1
Tent Patch Kit, MSR Tent Field Repair Kit
Trekking Poles, Leki Super Makalu
Underwear, Under Armour Boxerjock
Water Bottle (primary), Klean Kanteen 40oz Wide-mouth
Water Filter, Pur Hiker Microfiltration System
Whistle, Ultimate Survival Jet Scream Whistle

With that list the pack weight comes out to be just barely over 20 lbs.

What do you guys think weight, quality, and preparedness-wise?

Thanks in advance!

Edited by zcrane on 10/18/2009 13:49:02 MDT.

Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Getting Back Into Backpacking - My Gear List on 10/17/2009 23:45:17 MDT Print View

Man oh prepared to have your gearlist completely revamped by everybody. It is incredibly heavy and most of the things weigh much more than they need to. I can safely say that as of now, it is more than doubled the weight of every member on here.

-The backpack has got to be changed. You do not need a 6lb backpack to carry 20lbs of gear.
-You do not need two flashlights and a headlamp. Just a headlamp is enough. Not to mention your headlamp should be very is 4x the weight of mine. If you really feel that your light source is insufficient at night, build a fire.
-Get a MontBell trowel or some other trowel instead of the shovel.
-For a light pack, hiking shoes may be better than hiking boots. Boots are not necessary since you won't be supporting a heavy backpack. You might be able to get some extra miles with shoes as well.
-Consider getting a platypus bladder instead of the camelbak. They perform the same with similar quality but much lighter.
-The Roughneck is definitely larger than necessary but some people will not leave their knives. Have you considered maybe a shorter or lighter one?
-You do not need 2 lighters when you already have a backup fire starter--the firesteel.
-Why do you need 50ft of paracord? 20 should be way more than necessary.
-You do not need a saw. It may be convenient but you will hardly use it. If you really want one, you could just get a knife with serrations. Some multi-tools have built-in saws but they weigh like 8oz.
-Get a better stove. You could have one with better quality and be lighter at the same time.
-Why do you have a stove but no cookware?
-A Klean Kanteen is probably a good camping bottle. This is backpackinglight. Use a gatorade bottle or a collapsible platypus/nalgene.
-Consider using water treatment drops or tablets.

I think the weight is 3x heavier than necessary--without even sacrificing any comfort. You are definitely missing many things in your list. Where is your first aid kit? Look at the member's gear list section to get some ideas and work on your list again. I noticed that you carry several backups and many items that are unnecessary. I was like that at one point. The thing is, you have to rely more on knowledge than your gear. The latter is disastrous. Perhaps consider taking some outdoor survival course--they're great for backpackers of all levels

Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
In Response To Jeff on 10/18/2009 02:36:36 MDT Print View

Thanks for the speedy reply!

I figured your response would be the general reply haha. Keep in mind I'm not going for the 100% ultralight setup. I'd like to combine a combination of gear I already own along with new gear.

Now let me respond to your points -

The backpack - unfortunately, this isn't going to change right now. I've got the pack and it's still in great condition... one of the best pack designs IMO. It may overkill for this specific gear list, but keep in mind this is a general list. Add in more clothing then food/water for some lengthy fall/winter trips and the pack's abilities will be seen.

The flashlight - another something I'm not willing to change right now. I'm more than willing to pack that extra weight (the miniMag) in order to have the added peace of mind. I've been stuck in camp with a failed lighting system before... wont let it happen again.

Shovel - At a savings of 3.6 oz, is it *really* worth getting the trowel vs the shovel? I just can't imagine doing any sort of work with it other than personal business. I just feel the shovel is much more versatile. You may be able to sway me though.

Boots - I considered hiking shoes, but in the end opted for the boots for two main reasons. First, I love the added support around the ankle. I've got a larger frame (5 ft 11in, 200 lbs) and that support is priceless when on any sort of incline or technical ground. Secondly, the boots are more versatile, ie: I can use them in cooler weather as well.

Platypus Bladder vs. CamelBak - I'll look into this. I've got the CamelBak already, but I might be willing to give it up for something else. My heart isn't set on it.

Knife - I considered a smaller knife, but in the end, the comfort of having the Roughneck outweighed any weight benefits. It's really not that bad though, 5.2 oz for a full plain edge and partial serrated.

Lighters - at .4 oz, I think it's fine to have two ;-)

Parachute cord - I've changed this to 20 ft. Honestly, 50 ft was a completely arbitrary number. Thanks for the suggestion.

Saw - I want a saw of some sort. I've been in a number of situations that would have used much less time and energy if I had only had a saw. That said, I'm willing to shop around for a different model/style. Recommendations?

Stove - I'm willing to change stoves. What do you recommend for lightweight, top-notch quality, and superb performance? Keep in mind, this will be used in winter as well.

Cookware - haha! You're right, that's a bit goofy. Unfortunately, I compiled this list while away from my gear (still away) and ended up leaving out some things (you brought up the cookware and first aid kit). I added it, but cant remember the brand or weight.

Klean Kanteen - There are a couple things I like about this bottle. One, its brushed stainless so I can use it to boil water in a pinch. Two, it still fits my water filter. And three, the cap is very nicely suited for a clip or length of cord, to be attached to something. Plus, BPA free, right?

I updated my list in my profile to reflect a couple of your suggestions. It's definitely a work in progress, but I can't say that I think it's in terrible shape.

I'll take a look at other member's lists and see what I can come up with. In the meantime, I'm still looking for more comments, criticism, and suggestions.

Thanks for the response, Jeff!

Edited by zcrane on 10/18/2009 02:46:00 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: In Response To Jeff on 10/18/2009 02:55:01 MDT Print View

Hi Zachary

I can understand your reluctance to change many things at once. In fact, you probably should not do so. Rather, just change one thing at a time. As you find out that the lighter items still perform just as well you will gain confidence for more changes. While it may sometimes seem like ideology, it really is about enjoying the backcountry.


Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Getting Back Into Backpacking - My Gear List on 10/18/2009 03:16:36 MDT Print View

This in indeed a lightweight and ultralight focused backpacking website. What your gear is, is "traditional, heavy weight". Respectfully, you're probably in the wrong place. The comments you will get are that you're doing it all wrong. If you like the gear you have, and don't want to buy more, stick with it. And find a different place for advice.

Two starts... often has decent advice on traditional backpacking. Also, consider adding the rest of your gear to your list (choose light options!) and see if you're enjoying carrying all that weight.

Perhaps consider asking more specific questions on items that you are considering purchasing or replacing. If you're not willing to part with something, it's pointless to ask for advice on replacing it.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: In Response To Jeff on 10/18/2009 03:21:51 MDT Print View

To answer a specific question...

You want a stove for year round backpacking. Am I to assume that you will be winter camping with it? In the snow? With other people?

If so, I don't think that there is another logical choice than a white gas stove. The specific model isn't terribly important. I still think that the MSR Whisperlite International is perhaps the best stove for such a hiker. But it's also NOT a great solo, ultralight stove. And it's easy to have a white gas stove and a free alcohol stove at no additional cost.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
re: list on 10/18/2009 07:49:56 MDT Print View

Zachary, I'm afraid that if you want affirmation ("What a great list!) then you have indeed come to the wrong site. In truth, there is nothing wrong with your gear list. In fact, it looks a lot like my list when I first started, heavily influenced by my military experience (that is, lots of bombproof redundant gear.) I was very happy when I was able to get my 65 pound pack down below 50 for a weekend hike in fair weather.

Since you are the one who will be carrying everything, you are the *only* person who needs to be satisfied with your list. I'm sure you will end up tweaking your gear as you get back out in the woods, and the members here will be very glad to answer specific questions about gear and technique as you do so.

Good luck and happy trails.

Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
In Response To All on 10/18/2009 08:30:20 MDT Print View

First of all, thank you for the replies so far. I appreciate it.

I'm sorry if I seem reluctant to change my gear (the bag and boots, specifically). The fact is, I may be willing to swap some things out, but need to be given suggestions as to what to replace it with.

Roger - I agree that it would probably help to change a couple things at a time. Could anyone provide some (lets say 3) specific suggestions that, in your opinion, *need* to be changed. Remember, at this point the pack and boots are set in stone, sorry.

Jack H. - Do you really think my gear is considered traditional heavyweight? I'm not opposed to this thought, but quite honestly, I thought it was far from that. What would you change? Thank you for the stove suggestion. It looks like it may be worthwhile to buy two separate stoves, one for 3-season use and another for winter use. If I go that route, what model would you suggest for a solo, lightweight, 3-season backpacker?

Ken - Thanks for the message. It's good to hear that I'm not beyond help haha. Where did you start when transitioning to lightweight?

I was a little disappointed to see that no one has commented on the larger items that I have yet to acquire. What do you think of the tent and sleeping bag choice?

I also feel it's worthwhile to mention that list factors in excess clothing. For example, if I'm just going for a weekender, the pack will be 2.45 lbs lighter due to less pants, shirts, socks, and underwear. (1, 2, 1, 2, less. leaving 1, 1, 2, 2)

Ok, so that got a bit lengthy. To summarize, I'm interesting in what you think needs to be changed *now*, a solo, lightweight stove suggestion, comments regarding the sleeping bag and tent, and as always, my ears are open to more general criticism / comments.

I really do appreciate you guys taking the time to help. Again, sorry if I sound reluctant to change.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Getting Back Into Backpacking - My Gear List" on 10/18/2009 09:15:16 MDT Print View

>"Water Bottle (primary), Klean Kanteen 40oz Wide-mouth
Water Filter, Pur Hiker Microfiltration System"

First off, switch to Platypus Bottles. THey are the lightest and the best out there.

Next, dump the Pur filter. My reccomendation (and I love this stuff):


Andy Berner
(Berner9) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
"Getting Back Into Backpacking - My Gear List" on 10/18/2009 09:15:58 MDT Print View

Id say go out there with that gear list you have and do a short trip. Even an overnighter will work great.

Take note of what the conditions and mileage are. As you are walking think of all the stuff in your bag. Think to yourself what you are using at the time of hiking and again at camp. Also think about what you haven't used.

Take the list of things that you haven't used and see if you could get by with out them? You have 3 light sources on your list. I bet you will only use one of them If you even use it. Take note to that. Do this with everything.

You will learn that you don't need a lot of the stuff you bring. That will reduce the weight of your pack greatly. Look for items that can do multiple things where you could cut back even more.

If you like what you got and don't feel you need to lose more pack weight then your good to go and you didn't spend any money. If you like the less pack weight, then you can move to the next step of switching gear out and making your own stuff if you wanted(saves money).

Hope this helps some.

Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
In Response To Evan & Andy on 10/18/2009 10:05:23 MDT Print View

Evan - I've made the change from the CamelBak and Klean Kanteen to Platy Bottles & a Drink Tube Kit. I will consider the AquaMira drops as well. Is there a downside to using these vs. a filter?

Andy - Great suggestion. I think that is probably the only way to truly see what's going to work for me. However, there is still some gear that I have yet to acquire (see the list in my profile). I'd like to get some pointers as to those items before I buy them and then realize I either dont need them, or they weren't the right choices.

Updated list has been loaded on my profile.

Jeff Patrick
(callmeammo) - F

Locale: Sacramento
lightening up on 10/18/2009 12:24:12 MDT Print View

your worn weight is pretty high. For comparison, mine is only 4.

Second, the redundant items/luxury items you listed add up quick.

extra lighter .5
saw- 15
extra undies- 15
extra flashlights- 7
thats just a couple of things and it adds up to 41 oz or 3.5 pounds that you dont really need to carry. (your undies are heavy)

other than that your stuff sacks are pretty heavy
if you must have a boot, check out inov8 390 roclite- i think they are half the weight

you can probably trim up your zrest into a short- i saved 5 ounces this way. Or if you are willing to use just a torso pad 9 ounces.

if you want to get light you have to stop thinking in terms of pounds and start obsessing in terms of ounces.

im not really sure I understand what you leave at home. Do you really only bring 1 pair of socks but bring 2 shirts and 2 underwears? I'd much rather have an extra pair of socks.
Also, are you counting all your clothing items as worn weight even if you have to carry the extras on your back?

Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
In Response to Jeff on 10/18/2009 13:44:51 MDT Print View

Jeff - I think my worn weight seems (is) high because I am including my trekking poles (21 oz), along with my fairly heavy boots (58 oz). I've already stated that I'm not willing to give up the boots - this is weight that I will gladly take anywhere.

That said, I have removed one shirt and two pairs underwear from my pack list.

Only one item of each clothing category (shirt, pants...) is included for worn weight.

Updated gear list to reflect these changes has been posted to my profile.

Worn Weight = 8.56 lbs
Pack Weight = 18.48 lbs

Edited by zcrane on 10/18/2009 13:50:53 MDT.

Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: In Response To Evan & Andy on 10/18/2009 13:55:10 MDT Print View

What Jeff Patrick suggested is true and easy to do. The benefit of the tablet treatment or drops is that they weigh much less than the filter, obviously. I would also dare to say that they treat the water better. The only downside is that they take an hour or so for it to kill all the bacteria and 4 hours for the larger bacteria. You would have to plan ahead for your water and not let the water run low (don't drink all your water before refilling; refill as soon as one bottle gets empty).

Since no one is commenting on your items that you want to get, I'll try to do it briefly. Hopefully you see that I am using my time just to help you rather than trying to argue with you on the principles of lightweight backpacking.

-Go to the "Community" tab and look in the "Reader's Reviews" section. It is basically a user review of all the good gear out there.

-The CopperSpur is very expensive and not very lightweight. FWIW, my 2-person tent weighs about that. Reference the Readers Review section for better options. Henry Shires at sells some of the best made and lightest tents available. Most of the members on here use them since they are very good deals. As long as you clean the area of rocks, twigs, and pointy objects, you won't need a footprint. The floor of the tent is very strong.

-You could get a lighter and better stuff sack. Perhaps you could look around or someone could chime in on this.

-For cookware--we need to know what you are planning to eat. Are you just planning to boil water to rehydrate meals like Mountain House? If so, a 2-cup pot is all you need. Some good ones include the FireLite550 (sold on this website), any Snow Peak, and once again, look in the readers review section.

-For a stove, you have to decide between alcohol stove or canister. Alcohol stoves weigh much less and is much cheaper but take longer to cook. Canister stoves are also on the readers review section. The MSR Pocket Rocket is a cheap one since it just went on clearance sale almost everywhere for $30. The Snow Peak Giga GST-100 is a good one as well...better than the Pocket Rocket. I would assume that their new model, the LiteMax GST-120 is good too.

-For your saw, you could carry a Pocket Saw. They are fast and weighs less than an ounce:
Or if you are only cutting twigs and stuff:

-You don't need a tent field repair kit. Your tent should come with a sleeve for repairing poles. You should always carry a small amount of duct tape as well. Repackage it by wrapping a small amount of it around something.

Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
In Response to Jeff A on 10/18/2009 14:28:52 MDT Print View

Thank you for the response, Jeff A. I appreciate you commenting on the items that I still need.

I was looking at the TarpTents this morning and I'm investigating them further. They appear to be a great alternative to traditional name-brand tents.

Regarding cookware - Yes, I will primarily be boiling water. I believe I have a nice Snow Peak pot that will work nicely.

I will have to do some research as to the stove.

The pocket saw's are interesting. I will also look in that option.

Good note on the tent repair kit. I will keep that in mind as well.

Thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate your (and everyone else's) time. Looks like I'll be spending some more time reading reviews!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Pack on 10/18/2009 15:36:25 MDT Print View

I know it's already been discussed, but that 6 lbs pack has got to go. Since it's in good shape, you can probably sell it and buy a lighter pack without spending any additional money.

When I got into this, I sold my North Face Catalyst 75 pack (7 lbs) for $150 and bought a GoLite Jam for $70 which weighs ~1.5lbs. That's 5.5lbs saved and an additional $80 in my pocket for more gear :)

You might like something like the 3500 cu in (57L) ULA Ohm which retails for $130, has an internal frame and weighs 24oz (1.5 lbs). You'd save 4.5 lbs and I doubt you'd wind up spending much to get it if you sell the Gregory.

Jack G
(NomadJack) - F

Locale: Midwest
Getting Back Into Backpacking - My Gear List on 10/18/2009 18:33:08 MDT Print View

Agree with Dan. There is a medium Jam for sale (new) in the gear swap for $75. That is a great deal. I would grab it. Wear the boots on a long weekend trip and then maybe you will reconsider. 58 oz. is more than many of the members big 4 here. A pair of trail runners would easily cut that in half.

Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Getting Back Into Backpacking - My Gear List on 10/18/2009 18:41:12 MDT Print View

Here are some specialized shops that most of us buy from (usually tents):

Gossamer Gear
Mountain Laurel Designs
ULA Equipment
Six Moon Designs

...I think I'm missing some

Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
Re: Re: Getting Back Into Backpacking - My Gear List on 10/18/2009 18:48:17 MDT Print View

Thanks Jeff -

If I were to get a Tarptent, 2 person, which would you say is the most versatile for rain, wind, and snow? I'm starting to lean that way, as long as the quality is top notch.

Henry Blake
(Dragon) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Saw on 10/18/2009 18:55:53 MDT Print View

This Buck Folding Tree Saw is a 4.3 oz. saw that I have thought about getting.