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Pretty new to backpacking, but....
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Richard Henry
(xxxxxxx) - F
Pretty new to backpacking, but.... on 05/09/2006 04:16:04 MDT Print View

Please excuse my relative lack of experience/expertise here. I'm pretty new to backpacking, having begun my third year now. However, I've definitely found the joy/benefit of ultralight trekking.

I spent three days/two nights in the Hercules Glade Wilderness of Southwestern Missouri this past weekend, with my new Sixmoondesigns Essence backpack. I absolutely loved the pack and the total ultralight experience. The pack carried great against my back and at no time did it feel "heavy" or awkward (well, it did a little one morning when i cinched it up too tight, which I have a tendency to do, but that is all). I loosened it a bit and it was back to feeling great.

My pack out weight, including 2 1/2 days or food, water, rain gear and extra clothing (it was cool), camera, etc., was 18 pounds. Now i know that is not super, but for me it is a significant accomplishment. I am a hammock camper, so in addition to the 13 oz. backpack, I had 2 lbs. for Hennessey Ultralight Hammock, 1 lb. 4 oz. for JackrBetter No Sniveller quilt, 10 oz. for full length sleeping pad, and 10 oz. for homemade coffee stove/titanium pot/cup together.

I know I have some duplication in odds and ends, and am carrying too many incidentials. But I am learning. Isn't that part of the joy of it all? To me, it is.

I don't think I'll ever be an ultralight junkie, but a believer? You bet! Thanks for allowing me to get some tips from you all.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Pretty new to backpacking, but.... on 05/09/2006 21:32:10 MDT Print View

Glad you had a good trip. What is the HGW like? I'm not familiar with it. I always come back with a new idea or new lesson--what was your "take-away" from the trip? Any insights to share?

David White
(davidw) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Pretty new to backpacking, but.... on 05/09/2006 22:03:00 MDT Print View

Wow...what a small world. Unless I'm very mistaken, you and I chatted for a while somewhere between Upper and Lower Pilot Knob.

Hope you enjoyed Hercules. I've been there at least a half-dozen times and I've never seen Long Creek so full of water or so pretty.

I would have loved to see your setup as I've often wondered about the HH/JacksRBetter setup. I've never had a chance to actually see them.

Maybe we'll meet on the trail again!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pretty new to backpacking, but.... on 05/09/2006 22:16:48 MDT Print View

What's wrong with an all-up pack weight of 18 pounds? I think that is a very respectable UL load.

You don't have to go to a 3 pound base weight to enjoy the benefits of UL hiking. Some get a kick out of doing that and more power to 'em. It sounds to me like you understand the concepts very well and you have some very good, useable gear-- no need for any guilt feelings! Get out and enjoy.

Richard Henry
(xxxxxxx) - F
Re: Re: Pretty new to backpacking, but.... on 05/10/2006 05:53:09 MDT Print View

It is a small world, David. Indeed we did chat, in midst of the rain! Glad you made it back safe and sound. As you know, I stayed the next day, and camped down by the falls. The falls were super - my first time to see them. I didn't see a soul, except one guy who was photographing the falls. By the way, I don't use the JacksrBetter Quilt as an underquilt...rather, as a top quilt. It is said it works great as an undercover, but I do fine with a pad and the Speer pad extender.

Mark, HGW is a pretty neat place. It is sort of a blend between typical Ozark forest (eastern) and the western prairie/open areas. There are a lot of glades, some of which are huge. The views from the glades are pretty respectable. Typically down here the vistas are blocked by trees, which are everywhere, it seems. The glades do have some trees, primarly eastern cedar, smoketree, redbud and dogwood, but mostly offer open, rocky hiking, with views to the many other knobs and hilltops. I liked the blend of the two environments, as it gave diversity to the hike, particularly with Long Creek (and it falls)at the center of the many trails which "spur" from it. The glades had a lot of Missouri Primrose, Indian Paint Brush, and Daisies. Like you, I come away from every hike with something, and actually sometimes enjoy the lesser rated areas more (matter of expectations, I suppose).

Thanks for the comment on the weight, Dale. I feel pretty good about it. Plus, there are a couple of things I don't want to do without, in spite of the nominal weight they add!

Thank you all for the comments/posts!

Richard Henry
(xxxxxxx) - F
Re: Re: Pretty new to backpacking, but.... on 05/10/2006 06:03:34 MDT Print View

By the way, David....if ever you want to get out down this way, perhaps we might do a hike together. Maybe the Devil's Backbone, Ha Ha Tonka, Or Paddy Creek, as I mentioned? I'd have my hammock along, as I don't leave home without it!

rhenry011 (at)


nice. on 05/23/2006 23:20:21 MDT Print View

18 pounds loaded sounds good to me. to me, the whole point of going light where you can is to feel free to carry something else you like - a nice camera, a big book to read by the lake, a lil nipper full of scotch...

Richard Henry
(xxxxxxx) - F
Re: nice. on 05/24/2006 06:03:54 MDT Print View

I think I've come to agree with you. Going light does give the option of adding something you like, and which adds to your overall enjoyment. I'm looking into a camp chair now...I can sit on the hammock, but it isn't exactly portable. Thanks for the comment.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Camp chairs on 06/18/2006 20:01:35 MDT Print View

That is something I like about closed cell foam pads like the RidgeRest -- you can toss them down on river rocks or up against a tree and not worry about a puncture. Almost a chair.

An old trick with external frame packs -- prop the pack up with a couple sticks to use as a back rest. Someone needs to make a trekking pole set that will assemble into a back rest. You could strap two collapsed poles together and add a stick to form a tripod to do the same.

Elliot Lockwood
(elockwood) - F
Re: Re: Camp chairs on 06/18/2006 21:25:48 MDT Print View

Just a note on pack/chairs. I obtained on of Bruce's used LuxuryLite packs, and it came equipped with the 2oz built in seat. I probably never would have purchased this had I been given the option, but I am surely glad it's there now that I've used it. It's attached to the frame (however it is removable) in such a way that by leaning back against the pack, it provides variable tension. It's hard to describe, but it sure works well!

Richard Henry
(xxxxxxx) - F
Re: Re: Re: Camp chairs on 06/19/2006 06:18:08 MDT Print View

The LuxuryLite pack, with seat, does look comfy. Haven't seen one in person; only online. I ended up getting a Kifaru chair. Not it just in time for this past weekend. I looked at the Sling Light chairs, but couldn't figure out a decent way to attach it to my pack, especially since it weighs more than my pack. My Kifaru weighs 12 ounces (advertised at 10.5), but collapses to a very compact size. I slip it into a side pocket with lots of room to spare. So far I like it.

Carol Corbridge
(ccorbridge) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Camp Chairs on 06/19/2006 07:23:01 MDT Print View

I use a thermarest-lite-seat. a little over 3 oz. It's easy to deploy, useful for many situations.

Edited by ccorbridge on 06/19/2006 07:23:38 MDT.