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UL Summer Weekends in yellowstone
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Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
UL Summer Weekends in Yellowstone on 04/12/2006 11:21:58 MDT Print View

I’m going to be working in Yellowstone from May until August. Obviously, I’ll be backpacking every chance I get. Being from Kentucky, I have little experience with camping in an environment like Yellowstone. This is a list I’ve worked up for these 2-3 day trips with nighttime temperatures down to 20F and daytime temperatures between 32 and 80F. If it’s an especially cold forecast, I’ll pack a Patagonia MicroPuff pullover (11oz) and pants (14oz), bringing my total baseweight to 7.8lbs and the temperatures I’ll be able to handle down into the teens. As always, critique from those with more experience in this environment on what will and won’t work, what is being left out, what could be lighter, etc., will be welcomed and greatly appreciated.

If anyone has 2-3 day trips in Yellowstone and the surrounding area that they’d highly recommend, I’d love to hear about them. Also, if anyone will be in the park this summer, let me know; maybe we could meet up.

Clothing Worn or Carried
08.5 Patagonia Midweight Zip T
04.0 Patagonia River Shorts (with liner)
03.4 Outdoor Research Nimbus Sombrero
03.0 Patagonia Capilene Mid-weight Socks
35.0 Merrell Pulse II*

Other Items Worn or Carried
23.4 PacerPoles**
01.4 Suunto Compass
00.3 ACR Mini Whistle on Spectra Lanyard
01.0 Printed Map (hipbelt pocket)
06.4 Canon S230 (hipbelt pocket)
03.0 Sunglasses
00.4 DEET (hipbelt pocket)
00.4 SPF 50 in mini bottle (hipbelt pocket)
00.1 SPF 30 chapstick (hipbelt pocket)
01.1 Aqua Mira (hipbelt pocket)
01.2 2 20oz water bottles (bungeed to straps)

18.8 ULA Conduit with Shock Cord on Straps (after strap trimming)***
01.3 Gossamer Gear Mylar Pack Liner (Medium)
02.0 Bear Bag System (40ft rope, food sack, micro carabiner, rock sack)

Sleeping and Shelter
11.0 Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape
02.0 Eight stakes
01.5 Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Sheet (Medium)
03.3 Homemade 55” x 108” bug shroud with hang loops
15.9 +25F Down Hooded Quilt/Bag Combo
03.7 Gossamer Gear NightLight Torso
02.0 Gossamer Gear ThinLight 1/8”

Food and Water
00.8 Platypus 1L water bottle
00.4 AntiGravityGear Pepsi Can Stove
01.1 AntiGravityGear Windscreen
00.5 Bic Mini-Lighter
00.4 8oz Water Bottle for Fuel
03.8 AntiGravityGear 3 Cup Cookpot w/ Lid
01.0 AntiGravityGear pot cozy
00.4 Gossamer Gear Lexan Spork
00.9 O.P. sack for food

Other Essentials
02.2 Outdoor Research Headnet
02.6 Petzl Tikka Plus
01.0 First-Aid kit
00.4 Dr. Bronner’s
00.1 GG Finger Brush
01.0 Small pack towel
00.5 TP
00.5 Sparklite w/ Tender
01.0 Paper and pen in aloksak
00.2 Alosak for essentials

Packed Clothing
07.0 Patagonia Midweight Capilene Bottoms
03.0 Patagonia Midweight Capilene Socks (extra)
05.0 Gossamer Gear Micropore Jacket
03.5 Montane Lightspeed Wind/Rain pants
01.9 Outdoor Research Omnigloves
02.9 Outdoor Research WindPro Balaclava
00.0 Raingear - Gatewood Cape
00.0 Insulated Hat – Hood on Quilt/Bag
00.0 Insulated Top – Quilt/Bag can be worn on torso

Total Worn or Carried
092.6oz or 5lbs 12.6oz (4.3% body weight)
Total Packed
103.6oz or 6lbs 7.6oz (4.8% body weight)
Total Skin-Out
196.2oz or 12lbs 4.2oz (9.1% body weight)
* They’re heavy, but they fit me, something that most shoes just don’t do.
** Pacerpoles are far from the lightest trekking poles out there. I’m going to try some Lighttreks, but I suspect that I’ll stick with these. Weight isn’t everything *gasp*.
*** Clearly, there are lighter packs out there. However, I feel that the added comfort, durability, extra features (hipbelt pockets, so heavenly), and 30lb hauling ability of this pack are worth the extra 14-16oz.

Edited by milesbarger on 04/15/2006 09:04:44 MDT.

William Wright
Re: UL Summer Weekends in Yellowstone on 04/12/2006 20:32:16 MDT Print View


Looks like a great list. Your base weight is less than half of mine.

I've only gotten into the backcountry in Yellowstone twice via canoe--across Lewis Lake, up Lewis River, into Shoshone Lake. There's not a lot of soft ground because of the altitude constrains both the growing season (thus the production of vegetation) and the weathering of soil (unless you're in Hayden Valley or few other broad stream valleys, you won't find much soil that anyone -- ignoring the climate -- would consider tilling).

With hard ground and my advanced age, I need a thicker sleeping pad. Also, I cringe whenever I use those 0.25-oz Ti stakes in such ground -- talk about hand ache, and stomping or hammering them with a rock tends to bend them. Someone here recently offered a brilliant solution -- carry one of those 0.5-oz Ti nail stakes to pre-drill holes for the lighter, flimsier stakes. I don't know if it will be any easier to insert by hand, but it looks to be far more amenable to hammering with a rock.

It's something close to a mortal sin to visit Yellowstone without fly fishing gear.

Have fun and let us know how your kit works.


Edited by FarStar on 04/12/2006 20:32:56 MDT.

Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
Thanks! on 04/12/2006 22:51:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments!

I'm a youngin' (21), so hard ground isn't so much of a problem for me. Then again, I am a side sleeper, have no natural padding, and have never dealt with ground as hard as Yellowstone's, so I'll make sure to keep your comment in mind when packing. I have a BigAgnes Insulated AirCore 72" mummy inflatable pad that I usually leave home because of the weight, but I'll be sure to put it in the car in case that ground is just too *BEEP* hard and I need to switch it into my kit.

As for driving the stakes, this is something that I hadn't thought of, and I'm very glad that you mentioned it. Two of the stakes I'll be bringing are 6" aluminum nails (Easton brand) -- do you think those would work pretty well for pre-drilling?

I've never fly fished and don't have any gear, but your comment has gotten me thinking about how fun it would be to give it a try. My girlfriend's Dad is an avid fly fisherman, so maybe he can give me some lessons and extra gear he has laying around before I drive up to Gardiner.

William Wright
Re: Thanks! on 04/12/2006 23:36:03 MDT Print View


I reckoned you were a young buck.

I would assume that an Al nail would work just as well as a Ti nail. I haven't laid my hands on either one and tried it yet, but the last time I pitched my tarp last fall I found myself (sacriligiously) pondering whether it would be worthwhile to start carrying a tent stake mallet. The fellow who recommended the Ti nail made it sound like it works well. I sure hope it does.

If your girlfriend is a keeper, it wouldn't hurt to bond with her dad. If he's a typical fly fisherman, he understands that God invented the art. There's no better way to bond than through a shared spiritual experience. Warning--if you get into it, fly fishing could intrude upon your backpacking plans. But, you can always combine the two activities.


Edited by FarStar on 04/12/2006 23:37:18 MDT.

Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
Yes She Is; Changes on 04/15/2006 09:10:15 MDT Print View

She is definitely a keeper (we'll have been together 4 years in just a few weeks), and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with her dad learning a new art. Thanks for the encouragement.
I made a few changes to the list.

I added an Outdoor Research Headnet at 2.2oz. I won't bring it on every trip, but when the bugs are full force, I think I'll be very glad to have it.

I also changed out the Tyvek jacket for a Gossamer Gear Micropore jacket for a 1.5oz increase. It's more reliably waterproof and has a hood, so it'll be a potentially warmer windshirt, and I'll be able to count on it if I need to get out in the rain once my Gatewood is already set up.