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some input on my current gear list please
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Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
some input on my current gear list please on 12/13/2009 13:05:28 MST Print View

i've been slowly getting some new gear to added to my old stuff so that i can do a 1-2 250 mile backpacking trips next summer, along with shorter weekend trips that when i have the time. im trying to go as light as possible for my base weight without spending too much. im just looking for some constructive criticism.

Golite pinnacle pack
North face Canyonlands tent
old style Kelty +45 degree bag reg
Thermarest short neoair pad
Thermarest pillow stuff sack
Snowpeak Litemax stove w/ esbit backup
Montbell cooker #1 set
Garmin Geko 201
Cheap small blue tarp
Fenix E01 flashlight
Leatherman wave multi-tool
Poncho for rain gear
homemade toiletries and first-aid kits
iodine tablets for water purification

what i think i really need to look for next is a good deal on a jacket that's waterproof and warm enough for cool mornings. the only jacket i have right now that would be considered for my trip is my rei antifreeze down jacket, which is only water resistant and a bit overkill for warmth when hiking through Colorado during the summer.

mark vasko
(vaskma) - F

Locale: Central Ohio
input on gear changes on 12/13/2009 14:07:14 MST Print View

I like your pack. However, it is a winter pack. It is made to carry light bulky gear. If you overload it with lots of food, to limit your food drops, it will fail unless structural modified. Use a smaller pack with more food drops or a backpack made to carry over 30 pounds. I would forget your tent and poncho and replace them with a SMD Gatewood Cape and a WR wind shirt. For insulation I would use a down inner shirt or down vest. Your short Neoair pad is fine. You do not need two stoves. Just use the Esbit stove. The blue tarp should be replaced with a sheet of tyvek.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: some input on my current gear list please on 12/13/2009 14:20:26 MST Print View

> Golite pinnacle pack
> North face Canyonlands tent
> old style Kelty +45 degree bag reg
All pretty heavy, but how about trying them for a while anyhow? Then look at lighter alternatives.

> Thermarest pillow stuff sack
Excess. Delete.

> Snowpeak Litemax stove w/ esbit backup
Skip the Esbit backup!

> Montbell cooker #1 set
Prune down to one pot and a cup

> Garmin Geko 201
Learn to navigate with map and compass.

> Cheap small blue tarp
Use??? Delete.

> Fenix E01 flashlight
Heavy. Try a PakLite or similar.

> Leatherman wave multi-tool
Not needed. Delete.

> Poncho for rain gear
> homemade toiletries and first-aid kits
> iodine tablets for water purification
OK. There are variations, but these are fine.

The hard part is realising that much of what the 'outdoors industry' wants to sell you is either irrelevant or useless, but it does have weight.


Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
thanks for the insight so far on 12/13/2009 14:44:42 MST Print View

i love my tent and pack, so im going to stick with them for now. my tent only weighs around 3 lbs, which is know isn't the lightest, but its still pretty light for a 25 sq. ft. tent. And the pack is 2lbs, so i don't know what i could get thats lighter. im trying to keep the full pack weight with food at 30lbs

I thought the stuff sack pillow was a great idea since it weighs basically the same as the original stuff sack, but its got fleece in it so that its softer to sleep on.

I already know how to navigate with a map and compass, but i do alot of "off trail" hikes, so having a GPS is peace of mind if i get lost and i want to find my way back to a familiar point.

Is a 1oz LED flashlight really considered that heavy?

Oh, i also really want a new bag since my kelty is too short for me now (im 6'2"). im thinking about the Golite Adrinaline 40 degree long bag since they are selling them for 40% off on their website...

Edited by Mtn_nut on 12/13/2009 14:46:27 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: some input on my current gear list please on 12/13/2009 14:56:31 MST Print View

If you are on a tight budget, I will assume that your pack, tent, and sleeping bag must stay the same for now.

Your pack isn’t bad, but it has a lot of volume so resist the temptation to fill it up.

Your tent isn’t all that light, but reasonable for a double wall solo tent.

That Kelty will probably be fine for summer use. Any idea what it weighs? Is it down or synthetic?

My first recommendation would be to buy a scale and make a spreadsheet of all of your gear. You should list everything that goes in your pack no matter how small or insignificant. You would be surprised how much weight can be saved in the “little things”.

I would replace that Stuff Sack/Pillow with a lighter weight stuff sack. I am assuming that you are using this for your sleeping bag, so with the large volume of your pack, I would get a large stuff sack. That way you can compress it smaller when you pack is full of food, but as your food bag gets smaller, your sleeping bag will expand to take up more space. Campmor sells an Equinox 8x18 Sil stuff sack for an affordable price that is less than an ounce.

I would either drop the esibit stove or the Lite Max. You don’t need two stoves.

Do you actually plan on using a frying pan on your trips? If not just take the pot part of your combo, or buy a small solo cook pot. Antigravity Gear sells a nice solo pot for something like $12. You might even pick up a Caldera Cone to use as a stove from them too and drop both the esibit and canister stove.

I am not going to say not to take the GPS, as it probably depends on where you are going. If it is on maintained trails, it is probably not necessary, but you might be going somewhere that it would be helpful.

What are you carrying this tarp for? If it is a cheap blue tarp it is probably heavy as heck so I recommend you drop it.

I prefer a headlamp over a flashlight but that is a personal preference. You wouldn’t save any weight going to a cheap light headlamp like the Black Diamond Gizmo. You could save some weight by going to a Photon Freedom or other similar light.

I would replace the heavy leatherman with a light knife like the Spyderco Ladybug or smallest 0.6oz Swiss Army Knife.

Ponchos are light rain gear for the summer, but realize that they are terrible in the wind. I don’t know what kind of weather you will be hiking in, but keep that in mind. If you are using something like the Gatewood Cape or Golite Poncho Tarp, you could also use this as your shelter.

You ask about a waterproof jacket as well. If you are going to take a waterproof jacket then what are you planning to do with your Poncho. You shouldn’t need both.

I don’t think you want a waterproof and warm jacket. You want a seprate waterproof shell and insulating layer. REI currently has the Marmot Essence on sale. It weighs 6.4oz for a Medium. DriDucks (5.1oz) jackets have also worked well for me for on trail use and they are cheap, but you have to be careful with them and they are cut huge so buy at least one size smaller than normal.

As for an insulating layer, Fleece is always good on a budget but isn’t real light or compressible. Polartec brand fleece is better than the cheap stuff and Campmor, LLBean, and Cabelas all sell cheap Polartec jackets that should be in the 15oz range. If you want something lighter check out the Mont-Bell UL Down Inner Jacket or the Patagonia Nano Puff.

I hate to see people use iodine as water treatment as I know it can cause health problems. I recommend Aquamira repackaged in mini dropper bottles, but some long distance hikers use bleech.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
thanks on 12/14/2009 05:03:59 MST Print View

Thanks for some of that insight.

The kelty is the original style of the lightyear, is 650 fill down, and weighs in at about a pound and a half, so it’s not very heavy or bulky. however as I said, I’m very tempted to get a golite adrenaline 40 degree long bag since they're doing 40% off in their store right now...

As for the tarp, I use it when I set up camp so I have a clean place to use for whatever I need, or as a rain shelter for cooking under if the weather turns nasty. It’s about as small as they make them (6x8 if I remember correctly) and only weighs a few ounces. However I bet there are lighter materials that would work for what I would use it for like the tyvek that was mentioned.

The waterproof jacket would replace the poncho because of the wind problem you mentioned and most jackets are more durable than my cheap poncho.

I would really like a steripen to use as my water purification, but I have never heard of any problems with using iodine. I even asked my doctor specifically since I have a shellfish (iodine) allergy, and he said by the time I drank the water, most of the iodine was used up so it wouldn't cause an allergic reaction. Also, I use vitamin C to neutralize the iodine's taste and color, which I also thought neutralized any of the iodine's effects, but that was just a guess.

mark vasko
(vaskma) - F

Locale: Central Ohio
more gear input on 12/14/2009 08:52:23 MST Print View

I would not recommend speeding your money on a new sleeping bag. I have the sleeping bag you have. It is good enough for summer use now. Speed your money on something that whould make a big difference. The SMD Gatewood Cape is only $115 now with their 15% off sale. You would reduce your pack weight by 3 pounds, have a shelter that can take some wind, and provide rain protection for your upper body. This is a no-brainer. It sounds like you are new to lightweight backpacking. Your sleeping bag choice will likely change to something else. You do not want to invest a lot of money in a new bag now.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: thanks on 12/14/2009 09:20:12 MST Print View

I agree with Mark. I wouldn’t buy a new bag now. Your current bag isn’t that heavy, and later on you will probably want a more versatile bag than a 40* bag as that is a summer bag only. Also, even if you want a new bag, I would stay away from the Adrenaline as you would be very unhappy with a 40* and only a short center zip. A full zip (like on the Venture Series) is much more versatile and essential for venting in summer.

“it only weighs a few ounces” are the worst words you can say when trying to lighten your load. If you really count ounces, the pounds take care of themselves. If this is a cheap blue poly tarp it probably weighs a pound. If you feel you absolutely really need the tarp look at a silnylon tarp. Campmor sells some that are reasonable.

Marks Gatewood Cape suggestion is a good one. Buy that and a SMD Serenity Shelter and you get a double wall tent and rain gear for well under a pound and a half. As for rain jackets, I still think your best options are either DriDucks or the Marmot Essence. For Rain Pants the Golite Reeds are a good choice if you can still find any, but I like the ULA Rain Wrap in the summer and you could even make one with a trash bag on a tight budget. I am assuming that you do most of your hiking in the Rocky Mountains since that is where you live and was under the impression that it doesn’t rain there much, at least not like the 100” of rain per year we get where I hike.

Your Doctor would know better than I would about the Iodine.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: thanks on 12/14/2009 11:16:46 MST Print View

Au contraire... there IS a problem with using iodine...

It turns out that iodine water purification probably doesn't have much activity against one specific pathogen: cryptosporidium. Admittedly crypto isn't common, but it's the BAD one. The chlorine dioxide chemical treatments are better- and the Aquamira tablets are light and about as mindless as it gets. Another option is to combine the iodine with a very coarse filter, like a Frontier Pro.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
again, thanks for the input on 12/14/2009 11:51:07 MST Print View

I was under the impression iodine can be effective against cryptosporidium if the water temperature isn't too cold and if its treated long enough. i always wait an hour before adding vitamin C and keep my water bottles in the sun as much as possible while the iodine is working for that reason exactly.

i went and got a scale today.

pack - 30.75 oz.
Tent - 43.18 oz (fly-footprint pitch weight)
sleeping bag - 27.9 oz
flashlight w/ battery - .75 oz
pad with repair kit - 10 oz
pillow stuff sack - 2.7 oz.(only .3 oz heaver than original, and much more comfortable to sleep with IMO)
pot, lid, spork, plate, &bowl (fozzils plate/bowl, lightmyfire plastic spork) - 8.7 oz
GPS w/ batteries - 2.9 oz.
Tarp - 9.4 oz
stove with mini bic lighter (no fuel)- 2.4 oz.
leatherman wave - 8.5 oz.
iodine tablets - 2 oz.
poncho - 1.8 oz.

which puts me at just under 10lbs without including food or clothing.

Again, the real reason why i want a new bag is not specifically for something lighter since mine is already pretty light, but for one that fits me better since i bought it when i was shorter 6-7 years ago. I've used it on trips the last two summers, and everytime i use it, i wake up cold if it drops below 50 because i can't cinch it up around my shoulders and keep the air in. i also ripped a small hole in the footbox because its too small (big feet).

I just figured if I'm going to replace it, i want to get something just as light, if not lighter. However, you have a good point about the center-zip too. thanks for pointing that out, as a side-zip wold be much more comfortable. i have a 10degree synthetic bag that i use in early spring and late fall (its heaver at just under 3 lbs), so i don't really need anything warmer than a 40 for my summer trips.

Edited by Mtn_nut on 12/14/2009 12:37:35 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: again, thanks for the input on 12/14/2009 12:41:12 MST Print View

Great! Next you should create a spreadsheet with all of the gear that you will take with you. Take special note of everything you will carry as obviously your list doesn’t seem to be everything you would have in your pack. Here is a link to the 2005 Backpacking Light Gear Spreadsheet entries. Any of them would work fine, but I use the one submitted by Meir Gottleib that is located near the bottom.

Otherwise my suggestions stay the same:

Replace the sleeping bag stuff sack with the Equinox Ultralite 8x18 Silnylon stiffsack (I use my Silnylon stuffsack as a pillow all the time, it works great) Cost $11.99 Weight 0.9oz Weight Savings 1.8oz

Sell the Mont-Bell Cookset, buy an Antigravity Gear 3 cup cookpot and pot lifter (or bet a Ti pot of the gearswap). Drop the plate and bowl and eat out of your pot. I had a fold up plate and bowl when I started backpacking too; it is one of those “It seemed like a good idea at the time” things. They were completely unnecessary. Cost You make money once you have sold your other cookset Weight: 5oz Weight Savings 3.35oz

At that weight, the tarp must actually be Silnylon so there isn’t much weight saving to be had there, but I would drop it, as it is completely unnecessary. Cost: $0 Weight Savings: 9.4oz

Replace the wave with a Gerber Ultralight LST. (I also like the Spyderco Ladybug and Smallest Swiss Army Knife and both weigh the same but cost more) A multitool is heavy and unneeded. In over 600 miles of backpacking last year, I used my knife only a handful of times, mostly to cut tape. Cost $10 Weight 0.6oz Weight Savings 7.9oz

So for $22 you have just been able to save 22.45oz. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Re: again, thanks for the input on 12/14/2009 14:35:01 MST Print View

well, i can see the point in getting a smaller knife. ive been wanting a victorinox bantam knife for backpacking, and its only 1.1 oz and includes a can/bottle opener too, which i use quite a bit.

i'll ditch the tarp too, so that takes off a pound between those two items and the knife is only $13.

Thanks for the insight. i really appreciate it.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Re: again, thanks for the input on 12/30/2009 16:49:22 MST Print View

so ive done a few changes. first, i got myself a vixtorinox bantam pocket knife. it has a decent can opener for trips that i may take canned food items and a nice 2" blade. it weighs 1.1 oz.

I also got some better backpacking cloths. REI had a one-day sale on white seirra, so i got two pairs of their convertable pants, which weigh 26 oz total for the two pairs. i figure that i won't really need more than two pairs of pants for any trip im planning on taking. they also have a decent short inseam, so they are comfortable too.

Next, I changed up my sleeping bag setup to an adrinaline 40 long bag (which weighs 22.5 oz) and a cocoon mummy liner (weighing 4oz after cutting off the hood string). together they don't shave much weight, but its a much more versatile sleep setup for any temp above 30 degrees. if i go camping where it'll be above 60, i can just take the liner to sleep in.

I also got myself a steripen traveler (same as the adventurer except the color). i got this mostly because i hate having to wait an hour for iodine to work fully. I think this will actually save me some weight because i will only need to carry one water bottle as long as water sources are plentiful. however I'll still always keep a bottle of iodine tablets with me encase it breaks.

I also jumped for a set of Inov-8 390 GTX boots since they were a very good deal. they should be about 1.5 lbs less than my current backpacking boots. i haven't calculated them into my weight totals since i won't be carrying them on my back, but they should help quite a bit.

As my gear is right now, im at 11.5 lbs for everything i need for a two week trip, minus food. the only thing i still want to get is a bear canister of some sort, so i think im going to wait till an ursack shows up for a good deal.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: again, thanks for the input on 12/30/2009 16:59:31 MST Print View

If you want a ursack, there are two for sale now on the gear swap forums, but be advised they are not approved for all areas. That's about all I can tell you on that as I am not bear canister savvy as we don't need them anywhere I hike.

Also about your pants. There is no need to take an extra pair of pants on a trip. Just wear the same pair every day, you are going to stink anyways!

Edited by Mocs123 on 01/25/2010 11:51:54 MST.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Re: again, thanks for the input on 12/30/2009 17:27:14 MST Print View

I'm not planning on traveling to the unapproved areas, so that's fine. however, rocky mountain NP recently started to require bear canisters, but they do not require specific approvals, so a ursack will work for me. If RMNP starts getting picky, I'll just get a bearvault.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
RE: some input on my current gear list please on 01/17/2010 18:18:35 MST Print View

Alright, I've added a few other things. i also made a PDF if anyone wants to look at it.

The boots will also weigh a little more when i add the superfeet orange insoles that are on their way. i found that the boots will fit my feet perfect if i leave the original insole in there, and also add the superfeet orange insole. i have long, low-volume feet.

I think i can keep it all under 13 lbs including everything but food, and the only things left to add are some silk-weight long underwear and some synthetic boxers (i'm thinking two pairs of exofficio's should suffice for two weeks). i also need to build a lightweight first aid kit and some way to attach my GPS to my shoulder strap, but those can happen later.

Is there anything else that people think i may want to add because i think i'm set. Really the only thing i may change before the summer is trying to find a 2 person Tarptent or maybe a Montbell Crescent 2 tent. Whatever I'm getting, it needs to be big enough to fit two six-foot tall guys and two packs and bug-proof.
i would really like it to be a double wall with mesh so that on nice nights i can keep the rainfly off and sleep under the stars.

Edited by Mtn_nut on 01/18/2010 22:44:52 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: RE: some input on my current gear list please on 01/25/2010 12:06:03 MST Print View

Other than perhaps getting a lighter tent the only thing that jumps out at me is the fact that you are taking 2 pairs of convertible pants. I can see taking two shirts or an extra pair of underwear on longer trips but two pairs of pants?

As for a tent, I can't think of any backpacking tent big enough that I would want to share it with another guy. In that case, 2-1 person tents is the best two person tent, but that is just my opinion.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE: "some input on my current gear list please" on 01/25/2010 13:34:13 MST Print View

Quickly glanced over the PDF. Here are my thoughts...

Missing items? (some of these have been discussed in thread):
-hat (sun protection)
-midlayer for warmth (depends upon what temps you are expecting...with the Patagonia R1 hoody you could loose the beanie)
-DEET (or other bug dope)
-map/compass (would you be ok is GPS dies? perhaps so...)
-backup firestarter (sparker or another mini bic lighter)
-minimal first aid it (think only cuts, scrapes, blisters, headache - not field surgery)
-no toilet paper? (good on you)

Nixing the following saves 1.5 pounds:
-2 of the 4 pairs of socks (saves 4.4oz)
-extra shirt (saves 4.7oz)
-extra pant (saves 13oz)
-plate or bowel (saves 2oz?)

-what are you putting in the three OP 12x20 sacks?

-if you can afford it, switch to a lighter tarptent...

Edited by brianjbarnes on 01/25/2010 13:36:34 MST.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Re: on 01/29/2010 01:14:29 MST Print View

I guess i can drop the second pair of pants. im just thinking that they will start to stink pretty bad after a week of backpacking 20+ miles a day.

i bit the bullet and got myself a tarptent cloudburst 2. hopefully its as good as it sounds. getting it for $160 helped...

I also got myself a adventure medical kits ultralight .3 kit, and added a few things for a really nice first aid kit that weighs just under 4 ounces.

I wear prescription glasses and they have clip-ons, so i don't worry about sun glasses.

I don't wear "sun hats" or bug spray. i don't worry much about bugs during the day where i hike, and i really don't like wearing anything other than a beanie.

Oh, and there is TP in my toiletries kit. i just forgot to type it in.

For a midlayer, im interested in the eddie bauer cloud layer fleece with their sale. i tried one on today and it fits me very well. im also thinking a set of smartwool microweight might work as both a midlayer and a sleeping base layer and skip the rei silk long undies.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
some input - please on 02/03/2010 18:20:53 MST Print View


You have a scale, that is THE most important item you can possibly have!

I went thru the list and saw a lot of un-needed items.

If you leave something behind, the weight goes down to ZERO!

Keep posting!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NIX - Montbell handy scoop. You can get by digging a hole with a stick. (1.3)

NIX - Lightload towel (.5 oz)

NIX - Bantam knife, replace with a single edge razor-blade (saving 1 oz)

Antiperspirant? Is that a joke? NIX it! 5.3 ounces is a LOT for toiletries. No more than 3 oz, (saving 1.3 oz)

NIX the toilet paper.

NIX - SnowPeak Litemax - An alcohol stove is lighter AND less expensive. A cat-food can is about .5 oz, and a mini-bic is .5 oz. (savings of 1.4 oz)

ALSO - The vessel to cary alcohol fuel is MUCH lighter than the canister for butane.

GoLite PINCLE PACK - 30.75 oz. Whew! this is a place where you could easily save a lot. You can take a scissor to it and easily nix 8 ounces or more. (save 8 oz)

NIX - Silk bag liner (4.0 oz)

Pillow stuff sack (2.5 oz)

Rain cover - replace with plastic COMPACTOR bag (2.2 oz) as a back-pack liner (saving 1.5 oz)

NIX the steri-pen - I have used IODINE tablets a lot. The health effects are debatable. They are light and fool-proof. The water in RMNP is very good! (saving approx. 2.5 oz)

8.7 oz for a combo of pot-pan-plate-bowl- spork? THat is too high. You could easily delete something or use a lighter option. You can come up with something UNDER 4 ounces, (saving 4.7 oz)

NIX the GPS unit! Off trail map reading is EASY in a big mountain environment like RMNP!

You wrote TWO pair of underwear? Is that a joke? One pair, no extra will last you two-weeks just fine. Just jump in a lake every now and again - you'll do great!

- - - - - - - -

Ted - Go to my profile page and look at my 3-season gear list. It has the set up I would use in RMNP for a similar trip. Too bad about the bear requirements, that adds a lot.

Edited by mikeclelland on 02/03/2010 18:23:10 MST.