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Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
Req'd To Spend $125 - Help Me Lighten Up on 02/22/2010 16:46:23 MST Print View

Well, due to an odd arrangement with a buddy, I am being compensated with $125 (including tax & shipping) in online purchases or gift cards. I'm hoping to take advantage of the situation by lightening up a bit.

At this point, I only have one thing in mind - a new pack. I've been eying the GoLite Peak, which would provide the comfort that I'm looking for *and* shave off 27 ounces.

That said, I'm open to other ideas too. Bring 'em on! (Trail runners are out, because they're already a planned purchase - don't rag on my boots :-) )

Here's my current list:
List 2-22

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Req'd To Spend $125 - Help Me Lighten Up on 02/22/2010 17:01:41 MST Print View

The items that stand out are your pack, poles, and filter.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Peak on 02/22/2010 17:46:51 MST Print View

You're right that your pack is good area to save a lot of weight. I would choose some other packs over the Peak though. For example the SMD Swift is much lighter (18oz) and it's $135.

http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/shop/shopexd.asp?id=62

Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
Re: Peak on 02/22/2010 21:57:38 MST Print View

Jeremy -

I'm not too concerned with the poles right now, as I'm focused on the weight on my back for the time being. Yes, the filter needs to go. I just need to slowly switch over to chemicals & a prefilter and be done with it. Not too much of a purchase there though - just a change of mindset.

Dan -

I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the Swift '10 reviews. It looks like quite an appealing pack. Maybe it would be too big to serve double duty as a daypack?

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Jarrod Handwerk
(PA_Hiker) - F

Locale: Orwigsburg PA
Pack on 02/24/2010 23:11:29 MST Print View

Can't go wrong with a ULA Conduit and there only $115

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Peak on 02/25/2010 06:14:15 MST Print View

And the old Swift still appears to be available for $75 in the closeout section. I don't know the difference between the old and new but the old is 2oz lighter. The compression straps would probably do a pretty good job of shrinking it to fit a daypack load, but I only have limited experience with the much larger Starlite.

Edited by jrmacd on 02/25/2010 06:25:19 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Peak on 02/25/2010 06:21:25 MST Print View

I have the new Swift. Here's a thread on it.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=29149

Edited by T.L. on 02/25/2010 06:22:17 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Re: Re: Peak on 02/25/2010 08:32:26 MST Print View

For that kind of money, the pack is the obvious choice. I agree with Dan and Jarrod though, I would look at the SMD Swift ’10 or the ULA Conduit.

Other advice for lighting your pack weight:

The tent isn’t the lightest in the world but obviously it would be expensive to replace, but you could always sell it and use that money for a new shelter. I would also not carry or use the 4.9oz footprint.

You could always get rid of the canister stove and get a Caldera Cone. It wouldn’t be lighter on longer trips, but on short trips you can save a lot of fuel weight.

I would probably lose the backup light.

That is a nice knife, but for backpacking you could go a little lighter with a Ultra light Gerber LST or Spyderco Ladybug which both weigh 0.6oz.

I would drop the handy scoop and use a shoe heel, tent stake, trekking pole, etc.

I would replace the Big Zip Platy bottle with a regular platty or wide mouth soft sided Nalgene bladder.

The filter is an obvious black sheep in your gear list. I used the Pur Hiker for years and really liked it, but went to Aquamira a few years ago and haven’t looked back. I repackage it in mini dropper bottles so it weighs 1.1oz. (BTW: I can’t believe my filter was over a pound!)

That seems like a lot of weight for a pack cover. My MLD pack cover weighs 2.6oz and I made a blaze orange cover that is only 2.8oz. Is there any reason why that is so heavy?

Why are you taking the extra batteries? Are you out long enough that you actually use them? LED lights go a long time on one set.

Overall, it looks like a nice list. Let us know what you decide to do with your $125 gift!

Zachary Crane
(zcrane) - F

Locale: Midwest, USA
So Far on 02/25/2010 11:42:39 MST Print View

Thanks for all the tidbits of advice, everyone. I have all but purchased the Swift '10 pack.

Bradford - Thank you for the additional advice. I agree with some of your points. If you don't mind, I'd like to reply.

Tent: I realize there are lighter options out there, but the Copper Spur has proven to be very versatile for me. Since I can't afford to have multiple tents, it seems like one of the better 'all-around' options. It will stay for now, but it will remain in the back of my mind as a possible upgrade in the future.

Footprint: I'm scared to death something will happen to the floor of my tent. I'd love for you to convince me otherwise, and then I'll drop the footprint. I realize this fear probably isn't justified, but I just need a little convincing.

Canister Stove: I have been eying a Ti-Tri from Titanium Goat. I love the versatility of it. If I were to get one, I'd also get a smaller pot size. However, it's too pricey at this point in time, for the amount of weight saved.

Knife: I will order the Gerber and try it out. I'm a big fan of knives with clips so that I can keep it secured in various places - my upper pocket and pack strap come to mind. However, I'm not opposed to giving it a shot.

Scoop: I've been told a few times to drop it. I'm just not sold on the idea. I run into a lot of clay soil and the scoop makes things a lot easier. Maybe I'll carry it, but try a few trips without using it and see how things go.

Big Zip Platy: I really like hydration systems, but I suppose I could move to the normal Platy system, which would save a couple ounces.

Filter: Congrats! You have successfully got me to mentally give up the filter and order some AquaMira. Many have tried - you have succeeded. What is your bottle setup for treating your water? I could use my hydration system to treat the water and then move some of it over to a smaller platy after enough time has gone by. Sound reasonable?

Pack Cover: There is a decent amount of shock cord on the cover, which adds to its weight. However, it also makes it a more usable item. My primary reason for the cover isn't to keep the bag waterproof, but rather to make myself more visible (I hike in heavily hunted areas). So, the cover will just about always be on. The cord allows me to hang things to dry or keep small items easily accessible.

Extra Batteries & Backup Light: I'm willing to give one of these up. Since they are almost the same weight, I think I'll give up the backup light. That way, I keep the more powerful and usable headlamp with added backup [batteries]. Thoughts?

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: So Far on 02/25/2010 12:08:12 MST Print View

Tent:

The Copper Spur was my dream tent before I discovered tarp tent and tarps, so I can't argue with that.

Footprint: I'm scared to death something will happen to the floor of my tent. I'd love for you to convince me otherwise, and then I'll drop the footprint. I realize this fear probably isn't justified, but I just need a little convincing.

I know where you're coming from on this, as I also spent $45 on a footprint for my old BA SL2. However, I've come to believe that tent footprint are what Roger Caffin would call a 'triumph of marketing.'

For one, if you're careful in looking over your site, what's going to damage your floor?

In the event that a less than ideal site is necessary, and you do put a hole in it? Duct tape will field patch it, and when you get home some silnet and a silnyon patch and it's fixed. It should be just as waterproof as before, and it's not like you're planning on setting up in .5" of standing water, right?

Pack Cover: There is a decent amount of shock cord on the cover, which adds to its weight. However, it also makes it a more usable item. My primary reason for the cover isn't to keep the bag waterproof, but rather to make myself more visible (I hike in heavily hunted areas). So, the cover will just about always be on. The cord allows me to hang things to dry or keep small items easily accessible.

I guess not get shot is a good reason to carry a piece of gear.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: So Far on 02/25/2010 15:24:27 MST Print View

Tent: I wouldn’t worry too much about the tent at this time. I used a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 and was very happy with it before going to a Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter – Alpinlite Bug Tent 1.25 combo last year. Big Agnes makes good tents.

Footprint: I had over 140 nights in my Seedhouse SL1 and never used a footprint. There were a few times that I was worried that I would get a puncture in the floor, but after all of that use, the floor still looks like new. If you really think you need a footprint, look into using Gossamer Gear Polycryo or Tyvek.

Canister Stove: I understand about the Tri-Ti, as they are quite pricy. I tried several alcohol set ups a few years ago and went back to my Snow Peak Gigapower, but someone finally convinced me to try the Caldera Cone and I haven’t used the canister stove since. It’s just something to look into down the road someday.

Knife: If you like a knife with a clip, there are probably some lightweight options that have one. One nice thing about the Gerber is that it is made in the USA and the Spyderco is made in Japan.

Scoop: That is a good idea when you are wondering how going without something will go, take it and try not using it to see how it goes. I can see where in some soil types you could have problems. I hike where there is normally a lot of soft, wet soil and forest duff that is very easy to dig in.

Big Zip Platy: It could be a personal thing, because I am not a huge fan of hydration systems, and have always been leery of the zip on those models. You just have to evaluate if the additional usefulness of the zip outweighs the additional weight. This will probably have something to do with the water sources that you normally hike around, (rivers, creeks, springs (pipe?)) etc.

Filter: I have hiked about a thousand miles since giving up my filter and there were only one or two times that I wished I had it. Of course it has a lot to do with where you get your water from, but I have always felt comfortable with Aquamira. There are other choices too, some people love the steripen (tried it - it wasn’t for me), miox (tried it – really wasn’t for me) so you might look and see what works best for you. I have been happy with the drops and I know that is what Ryan Jordan uses and he is an expert in Backcountry Water Treatment (his PHD is in Biofilm Engineering).

Like I said earlier, I don't like hydration systems so I use 2 one liter bottles, generally Gatorade bottles, to drink from. I just mix the Aquamira in the cap, dump it in, shake, and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Pack Cover: I know the feeling about wanting to stay visible. There have been a few times where I didn’t have any orange on and was concerned for my safety. I really liked my MLD pack cover, so I made one just like it out of blaze orange silnylon (my fist sewing project). Mine is a little heavier because I couldn’t source shock cord as thin as the stuff MLD used. I wasn’t implying you shouldn’t take the pack cover, just that it seemed a little heavier than most.

Extra Batteries and Backup Light: I think I would keep the headlamp as well. I just find them so much more usefull than a flashlight because they are hands free. Your headlamp probably has a small LED battery indicator on it. I would just check that before you go and as long is it is green, I would think you would be good to go.

Edited by Mocs123 on 02/25/2010 15:26:23 MST.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
"Help Lighten Up" on 02/25/2010 16:01:36 MST Print View

Re the following suggestion by Brad:

"Knife: If you like a knife with a clip, there are probably some lightweight options that have one. One nice thing about the Gerber is that it is made in the USA and the Spyderco is made in Japan."

Although a few tenths of an ounce heavier than the Gerber LST (.5oz), the Swiss Army Classic (.7oz) has a very small metal ring that can be attached via Niteize S-Biner #1 (.11oz) onto my lanyard (.2oz), along with an ACR whistle (.2oz), Mini-Firesteel Kit w/tinder in 35mm case (.86oz), a Suunto Gem Micro Compass (.25oz), and a Photon Freedom Micro LED MaxWhite w/clip (.3oz).

Total weight of the above lanyard "kit" is 2.62 ounces, and all of it is safely in one place where I'll have to work real hard to lose it -- around my neck.

In addition to its blade, the Swiss Classic knife has scissors, small screw driver, toothpick, and tweezers.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Trash Bag Pack Cover? on 02/25/2010 17:11:01 MST Print View

Bradford,

Would you advise against using a large trash bag as a pack cover? It would weigh about 1.5oz. You would have to put it over the pack and make slits for the pack straps to come through. I guess it would not be very sturdy though.

Larry

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
trash bags on 02/25/2010 17:34:42 MST Print View

I find large trash bags to be on the heavy side, like 3-4 ounces. Where can I get a big one that is one ounce or less? It might end up being flimsy like a grocery store produce bag.
--B.G.--

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
1.5 oz on a postal scale on 02/25/2010 17:41:03 MST Print View

Bob,

I weighed the trash bag I am going to use at 1.5oz on a postal scale. While it is not heavy duty, it is not as thin as a grocery bag. I have a bonified pack cover at home that weighs almost 6 oz but I want to try the trash bag approach. I have used the trash bag to cover the pack at night before but I have never actually carried the pack with the trash bag on it so I do worry about it's durability for that application.

I'll have to experiment.

Larry

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Trash Bag Pack Cover? on 02/25/2010 20:04:21 MST Print View

I have seen AT thru hikers using the trash bag pack cover before. It should work fine.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Trash Bag Pack Cover? on 02/25/2010 20:06:14 MST Print View

While the trash bag is free, you may want to check out Zpacks--if you want to pay. Joe offers silnylon and cuben pack covers. 0.85oz for a small cuben, and 2.6 for a large silnylon, and everything in between.

Edited by T.L. on 02/25/2010 20:08:09 MST.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
trash bags on 02/25/2010 20:51:58 MST Print View

I would think that a trash bag would work better INSIDE the pack, as a pack liner. I just bought a box of thick 3mil contractor bags at Home Depot, but haven't had a chance to use them, yet. They seem much more sturdy than most other bags I've handled- most normal kitchen bags are less than 1mil.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
trash bags on 02/25/2010 21:11:17 MST Print View

Some backpacks are made of fabric that is not waterproof and sometimes not very water repellant. If you hike during a rainstorm, the rain will soak the fabric and temporarily increase its weight. I don't want to know where that water will get into down bags and things. Other backpacks are very waterproof, so a pack cover of any type is kind of superfluous and redundant.

I'm looking for something to cover a sleeping bag like a rainproof sack the size of a trash bag that doesn't weigh as much. One ounce would be good.

If you find yourself sitting in an airport gate area for long, a custodian will come by to remove the bagged trash from a very large trash bin. That trash bag is extremely thin and appears to be lightweight. That's what I need.
--B.G.--

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Glad Force Flex on 02/25/2010 21:45:31 MST Print View

I am thinking of using a Glad Force Flex 33 gallon, 1.05 mil bag. I just re-weighted it and it weighs 1/5 oz AND it fits perfectly over my Vapor Trail. I will have to experiment to see if cutting slits for the shoulder straps will cause it to fall apart though. The cuben fiber or SIL nylon idea may be a better long term solution.