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Spring/Summer/Fall All-arounder in the southern Appalachians
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Paul Siegel

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Spring/Summer/Fall All-arounder in the southern Appalachians on 02/08/2010 10:52:38 MST Print View

Tarp(?) 0.0 Oware (trail) 20
Megamid 59.0
Tvyek or Groundsheet 3.0
62.0 Total Shelter Weight
23.0 New with tarp in place of megamid

Gregory 83.0 Gorilla (or other) 23
83.0 Pack Weight
23 New

Ridgerest 12.0
Sleeping bag 40.0 Quilt 23
52.0 Total Sleeping Weight
35.0 New

Mistral Pant's 14.0
Under Armous shirt 6.0
Patagonia 2 longsleeve 5.0
Precip WP/B Pants 10.0
MH WP/B Shell 14.0
PHD socks x 2 6.0 need to buy
Patagonia Fleece Vest 9.0
MH Chugach Insulated Shell 18.0
Carhartt Watch Cap 3.0
MH Balaclava 1.5
Rei liner gloves 1.5
Bomber Hat 6.0
Shell gloves 3.0 wet through very easily, replace
Boots 69.0 Trial Runners 20
91.0 Clothing Worn
42 Worn
61.0 Clothing Carried
162.0 Total Clothing Weight
108.0 Total

Pocket Rocket 3.0 4 oz. with case
Fuel Canister 12.0
Titan Teapot 4.5
Titanium Spork 0.5
Drinking Cup 4.0 Do I need this? Trapper Mug 1.3
24.0 Total Cooking weight.
21.3 New with Trapper mug in place of Mug

Water management
Potable Aqua 3.0 3 New
2 liter MSR bladder 3.5 Either/or with nagleen
Nalgene Canteen 2.5 3.5 New (doubled up)
9.0 Water management (less Water)
6.5 New weight (with 1 canteen and soft drink bottle)

Film Canister with daily meds 1.0
Atwater Carey UL Med Kit 9.0
10.0 Medical Weight

Knife 2.8 mora knife weighs same
Lighter 1.0
Headlamp 3.0
rite-in the rain pad, pen 2.8
Trowel 6.0 Do I really need this? Montbell? 2
15.5 Miscellanous Weight
11.5 New or 9.5 without trowel

26.1 Base Weight 15.4 New Base
19.1 Hiking Weight 12.4 Hiking

This is copied from my excel spreadsheet so it may be a little hard to understand. All numbers are in ounces, except the base weight and hiking weight which is in lbs. Hiking weight is everything not worn. Anything with new next to it is something I'm considering replacing. Which I've then added to get my projected totals. Weights I didn't know I guessed on the heavy side.

Main uses will be overnight to week long trips in GA or NC, potentially a thru-hike of the AT in the distant future.

The main areas I've decide to lower pack weight in are:
1)Adding a tarp for the megamid, I'm thinking of making it myself or getting one from Oware.
2)Pack. See my other threads, lord knows I don't have many.
3) Moving to a synthetic quilt. Either enLIGHTENed Gear or the new Golite synthetics.
4)Replacing my heavy boots with either Inov8 or Adizero trail runners
5) Maybe getting rid of the trowel.

Other things to consider: I don't have much to spend. Anything too expensive I will have to make.

Any and all advice is welcome.

Edited by PaulSiegel on 02/08/2010 19:04:55 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Spring/Summer/Fall All-arounder in the southern Appalachians on 02/08/2010 18:32:24 MST Print View

1) Isn't the Gossamer Gear Gorilla pack ~23oz rather than 37oz like you have listed?

2) Your clothing could use an overhaul. Look at lighter pants like the BPL Thorofare pants (4oz vs. 14oz). Your rain gear weighs about double the lightest stuff out there. Look for pants in the 4-6oz range and jackets around 6-7oz. Why do you have two shells listed? 6oz for a hat?

4) If you take the mug then leave the cup behind. You only need one thing to drink out of.

5) 9oz is an awful lot for a first aid kit. Mine weighs 1oz although it might be a bit too skimpy. You should be able to put a good kit together for ~3oz. Keep it in a ziplock bag instead of the heavy nylon bags these come in.

6) I never take a trowel. I just flip up a decent sized rock or use a stick to dig a hole. Trowels are always buried in your pack when an urgent moment hits anyways.

7) The Megamid is awfully heavy at 59oz (or is this a guess?). If you add a tarp you are at 79oz for your shelter (almost 5 lbs) and you don't even have full bug protection. If you like mids, I would look at the MLD DuoMid (16oz, $205 in silnylon) and it's matching inner nest (14oz, $165).

Personally, I would go for the Six Moon Designs Vamp tent. It's essentially a double wall tent but you can pitch just the fly or just the inner net tent seperately. Total weight is 27oz plus stakes and a ground sheet. With the Vamp you get plenty of space, you don't have a trekking pole in the middle of your shelter and you get full bug and rain protection for half the weight of the megamid.

Edited by dandydan on 02/08/2010 18:32:55 MST.

Paul Siegel

Locale: Southern Appalachians
some corrections on 02/08/2010 18:59:51 MST Print View

1) The weight was for the rei flash the heaviest pack I was considering. If the gorilla weights 23 all the better.
2)I will look at lighter pants. The thorofare pant's are nice if a bit pricey. Plus I wear shorts quite a bit so that may be a null point. The MH chugach is an insulting shell as opposed to a hard shell.
4) That was supposed to be an either or for the mug versus the trapper cup. But you don't disagree you need something to drink out of beyond the Titan.
5)I'm a WFR and always feel more comfortable with more rather than less. 9 was as low as I felt comfortable.
6) Again it was an either/or for the tarp or megamid. I like the price and flexibility of a flat tarp.

Edited by PaulSiegel on 02/09/2010 07:08:29 MST.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Thorofare Pants on 02/08/2010 23:48:14 MST Print View

Hem some Thorofare pants into a pair of shorts and you'd be looking at ~2.5oz :)

I've been wanting to take a WFR course. It seems like really valuable learning.

Edited by dandydan on 02/08/2010 23:49:00 MST.

Paul Siegel

Locale: Southern Appalachians
wfr on 02/09/2010 07:14:28 MST Print View

Well there's always the ray-way spandex shorts at 1.5 oz. But, I may be too modest for that.

As to the WFR, I would totally recommend it. I took mine out where I went to school in Tacoma, Wa. with these folks It was a great course and I think everyone who ventures beyond paved trails should have some medical training. But I also think there should be hiking licenses so that may just be me.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Spring/Summer/Fall All-arounder in the southern Appalachians on 02/09/2010 10:48:31 MST Print View


If you don’t mind making your own, the tarp kit from Quest Outfitters is similar in dimensions to the MLD Grace Duo and GG SilTwinn and is only $55. It weighs 12.65oz when complete. You could also make a copy of the Six Moon Designs Meteor Bivy (plans on the website) for around $40. This would get you a really nice all southeast weather setup for $100 that should weigh in around 20oz before stakes.


I have both the GG Mariposa Plus and the GG Gorilla and they are great packs. If you need a new pack and are on a tight budget, it seems the Golite Jam and Granite Gear Vapor Trail packs can be found at steep discounts.


The Ridgerest should be good for three season camping in the Southern Appalachians and you can always layer another pad with it in the winter.

As far as sleeping bags go there is no cheap alternative, but if you have the sewing ability to do it, the Thru Hiker Quilt is a fantastic deal. You can make a quilt with 12oz of down for $130(1.1 ripstop) to $150(0.9 Momentum) that should weigh around 21oz.


I don’t have any experience with Softshells so I can’t tell you how well the Mistral pants would work here, but I tend to think they would be too hot most of the time. I hike in shorts in the summer and supplex nylon pants the rest of the year. I find that while hiking, my legs are fine even in the coldest temps you can expect here.

I am assuming that you are wearing one shirt during the day and using the other at camp and to sleep in. While some don’t agree with that philosophy, that is exactly what I do.

You can save a lot of weight with your rain gear and do it reasonably cheap. For rain jackets you could go for a Marmot Essence on sale if you can still find one in the size you need (my M weighs 6.4oz) or go with a Golite Virga (8oz on sale at Golite for $56). You could also go with a DriDucks Jacket. They are only $15 and mine weighs 5.1oz. You hear things about the durability, and while it is true they are not bomber, I used mine for a year of on trail hiking (800 miles) and it still is serviceable.

For rain pants, you could either use the Dri Ducks Pants (less durable) or if you happen to be an XL, Golite has the Reed pants still on sale (5.5oz).

Your insulation layers are a bit heavy, but on a tight budget, I would probably leave them as they are for now. In the future you might look into the Mont-Bell UL Down Inner Jacket/Vest. They would cut your insulation weight by more than half.
For headwear, the Balaclava looks good, and even the Watch Cap might be OK, but that seems a little heavy. What is the Bomber Hat? What hat do you hike in during cooler weather? I know it is kind of an odd ball place to find stuff like this but I like the Thermacheck 100 stuff from Lands End. The Watch Cap weighs 0.85oz, the Balaclava 1.15oz and the Gloves 1oz.

For your hands I would take more than one pair of liner gloves. I generally take one for hiking and one for camp in cooler weather. If you are looking for an alternative to the relatively expensive MLD eVent rain mitts (they are great BTW), you could either make your own or get some silnylon (non-breathable) ones from $28.


You could always make your own alcohol stove to save some weight with your stove. This is particularly useful on shorter trips so you don’t have to lug around the heavy canister. Everything else looks good except I would drop the drinking cup.

Water Management:

I would repackage your water treatment into smaller containers as that is probably enough water treatment for six months of trips. I am trying to figure out how much water you will be carrying but you shouldn’t ever need to carry more than 2 liters of water hiking here. I know some like bladders, but I prefer 2 Gatorade bottles.


I know you said that is the least you feel comfortable with, but you might still be able to take the weight down some. I know my kit is probably a little thin but here is what I carry:

8 Advil in a button ziplock
2 Benadryl in a button ziplock
2 Immodium in a button ziplock
1 Safety Pin
1 Alcohol Prep Pad
1 Single use Neosporin
1 Single use Super Glue
1 Vial Tincture of Benzion
3 feet of Leukotape P wrapped around a drinking straw
1 3*5 ziplock to carry it all

This kit weighs 0.7oz


You could go to a lighter knife like the Gerber LST (1.2oz) or the Spyderco Ladybug (0.6oz)

A mini bic is only 0.4oz

I would ditch the trowel and use a shoe heel, stick, trekking pole, etc.

You might also get some ideas from my gearlist as I do all of my hiking in the Southern Appalachians.

Southeast Spring&Fall Gear list

If you are on facebook, there are a group of us southeastern BPL’s on there that do trips. Check us out, we would love to have you along:

Southern Appalachian Backpacking Light

Paul Siegel

Locale: Southern Appalachians
spring/summer/fall all-arounder on 02/09/2010 12:30:09 MST Print View

Any reason why you didn't recommend a flat tarp? It might be easier to sew on my own and relatively versatile.

I'm going to send gossamer gear an email soon asking when they'll have a Gorilla pack in stock. I'll keep an eye out for the Jam or Vapor trail. It will certainly be a change, but doable.

Sleeping: quilt. I keep coming back to this. Maybe once I have a few other projects under my hat, I can tackle that.

I've done shorts into mid-winter but I wanted to represent the worst case scenario. I will probably be in shorts. As long as it's not freezing. Still casting around for some relatively cheap supplex pants.
The bomber hat is this A bit overkill but very warm. I had a Smartwool hat somewhere, that I might have to buy again. Depending on the weather I'm usualy in a ball cap or bareheaded. I produce a lot of heat when moving.

Water management:
So basically switch to Aquamira, rebottle and go with soda bottles. Seems pretty doable.

Where do you get your Leukotape?

I will consider the knife change.

Thanks for the insights. I joined the facebook group. Hopefully i'll join you fellas on a few moderate trips soon.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: spring/summer/fall all-arounder on 02/09/2010 17:48:07 MST Print View


No particular reason why I didn’t recommend a flat tarp. Flat tarps don’t pitch in an A Frame as well but do lend themselves to a lot more creative pitching options. I have a cat cut tarp and pitch A-Frame style with a but tent underneath so the Quest cat cut kit was what came to mind. There is nothing wrong with a flat tarp and it probably would be easier to sew.


I don’t know a cheap source of supplex pants. They seem to be a hard item to find at cheap discounts. REI normally runs their Sierra Convertibles on sale once a year for $30-35 dollars. Campmor sells some Nylon convertibles for $25.

Water Management:

I am not necessarily suggesting the change to Aquamira. If you like Potable Aqua and that works for you there is no reason to change, but just that you probably could repackage the tablets into small containers for shorter trips. There is no reason to carry around enough water for 50 liters on every trip. I do like Aquamira and it is easy to repackage in mini dropper bottles, but its not like there aren’t other good water treatment options out there.


I get my Leukotape from Zombie Runner. The site is really for ultra marathoners but has the best selection of foot care products that I have found on the web.