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Newbie list/ Summer /weekend MI
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Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
Newbie list/ Summer /weekend MI on 02/14/2010 14:26:24 MST Print View

I have asked many questions in these forums and gotten great answers. All my questions have been toward going on my first backpacking trip with my 8 year old son to South Manitou island, MI with some friends and there kids. We won't have to hike to far to our area to camp maybe a couple of miles but still being new I want to go as light as I can knowing I will be carrying some of my sons equipment. So here is the list of equipment I am planning to bring for a Mid July trip(temps 80's)We arrive on the island on a Friday mid day and stay till Sunday.There are 3 sources of water from pumps on the island so I don't need a water filter. I have included pics at the end so you can see most of the gear not all of it is pictured. I am thinking of getting a scale so I can pay better attention to the weight. I welcome all recommendations.

**Updated with weights**

Gear List
1. 2 person Outer Limits/Jack wolfskin tent with rainfly and footprint. 7.7#
2. 50 degree adult North face bag for my son ( he will carry) 2.2#
3.Foam pad for my son 9oz
4.Big Agnes clearview air mattress for me. 1#
5.EMS First Aid kit 12oz
6.MSR pack towel 1 small and 1 med. 2oz
7.tear aid repair tape 1oz
8.Digital camera 8oz
9.GPS 5.6oz
10.Fenix single AAA flashlight EO-1 with whistle 1.5oz
11.emergency whistle
12.Crocs 9oz
13.Pelican headlamp 3oz
14.Map .7oz
15.Sunglasses 1oz
16.Platypus 1 Liter soft bottle 1.2oz empty 2.2# full
17.T.P. .7oz
18.Wisp tooth brush's 1oz
19.Flint starter with dryer lint and cotton balls with Vaseline on them. 2.1oz
20.Bic Lighter .7oz
21.Waterproof matches in container .7oz
22.Swiss Army knife 2.5oz
23.Germ X hand sanitizer 2.0 oz 3oz
24.Lip Balm .2oz
25.Campsuds 2 oz bottle 2.5oz
26.Alcohol stove made from a cat can with windscreen and one single metal pan. In a nylon bag 9.4oz
27.Nylon food bag with 3 9x10 opsack food storage bags. Unknown amount of food yet. Suggestions? 3.3oz
28.Duct tape on hiking pole 1.5oz
29.General purpose rope for hanging food clothes line and staking down tent. 3oz
30.Hydration bladder cheapy highpoint 2L (thinking of getting a Platypus big zipper 3L). 4oz empty , 4.8# full
31. playing cards 2oz

21.14# before food and water

28.14# with water only

Equipment I need to buy yet.
1.Bug Spray
4.Raincoat/windbreaker (marmot precip)
5.Adult sleeping bag for me.(in another forum.) thinking Kelty lightyear 30 degree.
6. Clothes ( see list below)
7..BACKPACK either the Osprey Aether 70 or Gregory z65. Both recommended to me by my Local Supplier at Bill and Pauls Sporthaus. in Grand Rapids, Mi.
A lot of great advice here from experienced people.
I also tried an Osprey Jib on my son and he loves the fit and feel.
8. rain gear for my son.

Clothes list

1. 1x North Face hiking shorts
2. 1x Mountain hardware nonzipper pants
3. 2x smartwool socks
4. 1x swimsuit
5. 2x underarmor base layer shirts
6. 1x underarmor insulated top long sleeve
7. 1x Underarmor insluated bottom
8. 1x knitt hat turtle
9. 1x EMS hiking boots
10.1x Exofficio underwear
11.1x Exofficio long sleeve top
12.1x ball cap

5.9# total

My son is carrying:
1. his clothes( unknown yet)
2. sleep bag listed above north face
3. .5 liter palypus softbottle
4. led mini lantern
5. 2litter water bladder
6. whistle
7.Fenix E0-1 single AAA flashlight

14.42# with water

gear listclothes listjared packOuter limits tent

Edited by tritan on 02/19/2010 22:56:48 MST.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Newbie list/ Summer /weekend MI on 02/14/2010 14:59:39 MST Print View

Just a general recommendation: July in Michigan is still skeeter/fly season, so bring 100% DEET and consider a headnet and keep the long sleves- really they are only a problem inland, so once you get to the edge of the island, they should be fine.

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 02/14/2010 15:09:04 MST.

Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
recommendations for headnet? on 02/14/2010 15:37:17 MST Print View

forgot the headnet. Thanks. 100 percent Deet is on the list.

Dana Sherry
(dsherry) - M

Locale: Southwest
weight reduction on 02/14/2010 15:49:37 MST Print View

weigh everything- that first aid kit weights 6-8 oz I bet. dont take the case, use a ziplock instead, and take only a band aid or two, some duct tape, superglue (wound closure)take the weight down to an ounce or two. Don't take the crocs- go barefoot if playing in water, (it's all sand) save about a #. Don't take the gps-unless you are going off-trail, you will never need it. Everything is so well marked you'd have to work hard to get lost. take a compass instead. several more ounces saved. No Gregory packs- you are shopping a mainstream gear store and they typically don't share how to reduce packweight cuz then they have to deal with returns when you jam a 9# mountaineering tent into a GOlite pack. Look at Golite, Gossamer Gear, etc for packs and don't consider anything over 2#. Those mainstream packs feel all cool in the store but are designed to carry 50#- even if you carry gear for your son, you should not exceed 40#. Just some starting thoughts. I have taken 8 yo. on hikes, and my 3yo, and we never exceed 40#. Weigh what you have, be shocked, then ask"is there a lighter way to do this". You will drop 10# just doing that.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: recommendations for headnet? on 02/14/2010 15:57:18 MST Print View

The lightest headnet you can get is probably this one when it's actually in stock. I bought this one, which weighs 3 times the Simblisity at .92oz.

Edited by jrmacd on 02/14/2010 16:06:14 MST.

Henry Blake
(Dragon) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Insulated Top and Bottom on 02/14/2010 16:30:41 MST Print View

Why would you ever need either of these when you expect weather in the 80's? You have long pants and a long sleeve shirt. I wouldn't bring this "underwear" unless I expected some potential 50's weather (non Minnesotans maybe low 60's).

Henry Blake
(Dragon) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Raingear on 02/14/2010 16:36:57 MST Print View

I think I would get my son a $1 emergency poncho (with the idea that it would be highly unlikely it would rain) and for yourself, get a $15-20 set of Frogg Toggs or Driducks (leave the pants home). In the middle of the summer heat, I personally just plan on getting wet and air drying. The rain won't be too cold, right?

Edited by Dragon on 02/14/2010 17:00:11 MST.

Henry Blake
(Dragon) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Packs on 02/14/2010 16:41:25 MST Print View

Between now and July when you leave, there will be plenty of very good but inexpensive packs for sale on the "Gear Swap" forum. Someone will have a great youth or woman's pack for your boy. How old, and how tall is he?

Maybe better yet, see if anyone you know has some packs or a lighter tent you can borrow for this July trip. Then you can focus more money on 1-2 great (read durable,lightweight) gear replacements. Then maybe preparing for the next trip you could replace another item, until you've lightened up to your satisfaction.

For as few miles as you're going on this trip, I wouldn't worry much about frame/no frame and all the other things that have been discussed as you were asking questions about packs in an earlier thread. Focus on borrowing on this first trip. If you can't find a lender you know, ask me (us). I'll help you if asked, after you've exhausted your other resources (ie. your family and friends).

I've saved a lot of money, and gotten better gear by buying used gear on this site's "Gear Swap" forum.

Edited by Dragon on 02/14/2010 17:19:08 MST.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Insulated Top and Bottom on 02/14/2010 17:20:19 MST Print View

"Why would you ever need either of these when you expect weather in the 80's? You have long pants and a long sleeve shirt. I wouldn't bring this "underwear" unless I expected some potential 50's weather (non Minnesotans maybe low 60's)."

I'll assume you have never camped in mi, wi or mn. But standard nighttime low temps for this area is mid 50s which in reality could mean even 40s on a bad night. I would never be caught without a longsleeve upper and lower base layer. In addition, you can wear them in the daytime to help keep bugs/sunburn at bay. Takes up very little room/weight.

I do think that 4 shirts total (2 short sleeve base layer, 1 long sleeve and 1 long sleeve base layer) is total overkill for 2 days.

I also would ditch:
The large pack towel (share)
Repair tape (what's the duct tape for then?)
1 of the three lights total (headlamp, flashlight, lantern)
Hand sanitizer or soap
Reduce the med kit by half or more. Only take out what you will need and put it in an opsack so it is really waterproof instead of original case.
3 pairs of bottoms? Get rid of the shorts or swimsuit or combine all three with 1 pair of zipper pants. There is no way that you will wear all of these.

Hope you have an amazing time! Getting kids into camping is one of the best gifts you could ever give.


Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
wow , thanks for the replies on 02/14/2010 18:46:48 MST Print View

Wow, first of all thanks for the advice and replies so quickly. I spent this afternoon weighting things. I have this so far.

clothes 5 lbs 9oz

gear with clothes 21.14 lbs

I put water in my water bladder and platypus bottle and jumped to 28.14 lbs

As far as the insulated base layer top and bottom it will depend on the weather. Last year MI was cool all summer we had temps in the 40's at night and car camping the first week of August we brought a heater in the tent. If I can cut them out I will but I will have to see the lows for that week first.

CAMPSUDS(2.5oz): I was thinking for cleaning up after the day. I guess I don't really need it do I.

MEDKIT (12 oz): It can be brought down in size.Is it good to have the medkit in a ziplock or in your food sack due to smells?

RAIN PONCHO: For my son that sounds great for a buck. Where do you get those? Can I get one for a few bucks more that will hold up better then the super thin plastic ones?

LIGHTS: Fenix (1.5oz) Led lantern(7.3oz) Pelican headlamp(3.0oz) 1.1 lbs total . I could get away with just the fenix I guess but my son will carry the lantern he wanted for the trip my fenix was a backup light and the headlamp was for cooking etc. Do most of you use one light or have a backup? What do you use?

My sons gear that he will carry.

sleeping bag 2.2 lbs
pad 9.3oz
led lantern 7.3 oz
whistle with flashlight fenix 3.2oz
playpus drinking bottle full 1.1#
water bladder full 4.8# full

clothes 4.2#

total weight 14.42#

He weights 50lbs so they suggested not to go over 15# for his size. I am debating about the bladder vs .5 liter bottle.With having a water source nearby I am wondering if the .5 liter is enough especially if its hot you just don't know in MI.

Edited by tritan on 02/14/2010 19:00:31 MST.

Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Raingear on 02/14/2010 19:13:07 MST Print View

You just don't know what MI will do. I will have to play this one by ear. We hope its warm Mi was really cool this past summer and 50 with a cold rain happend in mid summer.

Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Insulated Top and Bottom on 02/14/2010 19:14:50 MST Print View

My wife on our first night out snagged her wedding ring on the clear air core mattress and we didn't have anything to repair it.The rip tape was recommended by the store instead of duct tape for the long haul.They stated Duct tape won't hold up.

Edited by tritan on 02/14/2010 19:15:29 MST.

Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: weight reduction on 02/14/2010 19:17:34 MST Print View

I am confused on the packs. My past posts most people steered me to a traditional pack to get started with carrying family weight on top of my own. I didn't know of any UL packs that can hold the 40-60# comfortably.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Re: weight reduction on 02/14/2010 19:56:34 MST Print View

"It can be brought down in size.Is it good to have the medkit in a ziplock or in your food sack due to smells?"

Not due to smells, but I often canoe camp and if the med kit gets wet at all, much inside is going to be non-functional. Mainly i like to use the opsac because I know it is waterproof where as most of the ones that the kits ship with are not fully waterproof.

As far as the lights, I would let your son take along whatever he likes because lights are fun and reassuring, but for you, just bring a headlamp and if it dies, bandana your sons fenix to the side of your head, you have plenty of backup (you did have 2 fenix lights on the list)

Duct tape will hold fine for a week or two for a quick repair of a mattress, then do the permanent patch when you get home. Repair tape will be much cleaner and survive the long haul, but duct tape will do the job.

Shawn Peyton
(alifeoutdoors) - F - MLife

Locale: Iron River, WI
lights on 02/14/2010 20:06:39 MST Print View

I take two lights with me, my spot headlamp and my uco mini candle lantern. 3.2 oz w/candle and definitely would get scolded by the UL guru's. I like the ambiance of the natural light hanging around my shelter area. Takes tea lights which costs a couple of ounces for a handful. Ok so I'm pushing it. Really though one light is plenty. I can understand stand your son wanting to take a cool little lantern. You could cut down a little on teh weight of that with a Black Diamond Orbit. Pretty bright little light and only 4oz with batteries.

Henry Blake
(Dragon) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Pack on 02/15/2010 12:31:24 MST Print View

Would a pack like this $97.50 GoLite Lite-Speed (35% off) work for you?

Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
wow on 02/16/2010 16:44:55 MST Print View

I don't see how I would get all my gear in that pack along with my tent. I will have to deal with that tent for now and hope to lighten it up in a year. I have to focus on getting the pack and a sleeping bag for now.golite

Matt DeWitt
(tritan) - F

Locale: Midwest
six moon traveler on 02/16/2010 19:30:29 MST Print View

I just found the traveler by six moon designs with my base weight under 30 minus food I wonder how this pack would hold up?travler

Edited by tritan on 02/16/2010 19:32:22 MST.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Newbie list/ Summer /weekend MI on 02/16/2010 19:51:39 MST Print View

I have the discontinued Six Moon Designs Comet, a smaller version of the Starlite. I've had mine 5 years and it's holding up fine. I had to send it back after the first summer because some of the stitching started to unravel, but SMD repaired it at no charge. No problems since!

I would, however, definitely get the "optional" (mandatory, IMHO) aluminum stays, for more effective weight transfer to the hip belt. The load lifters work much better with the stays in, too.

I have carried 36-37 lbs. in it--my shoulders, back and hips were fine, although my knees and feet were screaming!

Edited by hikinggranny on 02/16/2010 19:53:00 MST.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: six moon traveler on 02/16/2010 20:27:37 MST Print View

I've carried 25lbs comfortably with mine. If it was a tightly packed load it would probably be fine. 30# seems to be where the difference begins to be noticeable of framed v frameless.

IMO get the optional stays and use them at this weight- after you eat your food it can get floppy due to small compression straps.

Thats what happened to me, anyway.

I think that this pack was too big of volume for what I needed.

I loved it, the functionality, pad pocket, top pocket- everything...

I was carrying about 25# with full food load, though. So at 30+ you should be ok for volume. For comfort I think at that weight any pack would do better w/ a frame.