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Thank you, insane unltralight people.
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Jonathan Whitney
(WalksOn2Wheels) - F
Thank you, insane unltralight people. on 03/23/2010 23:46:53 MDT Print View

A big thanks to the interwebs and all the crazy lightweight backpacking resources.

There are so many great ideas on here, so this being the gear list forum, I wanted to list what has been most helpful thus far.

1) ditched the aluminum pot/pan combo with canister stove for the Heineken pot/lid setup with a supercat stove. This setup with 16 oz. of fuel, a modded ziploc container (doubles as a measuring cup/eating bowl) and a foil windscreen weighs in at around a pound (without fuel, setup weighs 5 ounces). Our old setup was well over two pounds with a full canister. The particular pot/pan combo weighs a pound itself.

Once we hit the trail, I realized that all we ever did was boil water for freeze dried meals, oatmeal and cocoa. Why carry 1+ extra pounds?

2) I enjoyed my synthetic down pillow I scored at the REI garage sale on the cheap, but it weighs a little over a pound. Stash it in the car for sleepy passengers and use a shirt/jacket as a pillow if you really need it.

3) Tent. That roomy 3P tent sure is nice, but 7 pounds of tent when 3-4 pounds will do is just asking for it. I'm in the market for a new one now, but that should cut some poundage.

4) We plan on doing most of our camping in summer. Why lug 2 sleeping bags around when my 2 pound 35* bag (Lafuma Warm 'N Light XL) can be fully unzipped and used as a quilt? It's a square bag, not a mummy style, and it's an "XL', so probably about the size of a full size comforter. This way she can leave her 3.35 pound mummy bag at home (Mountain Hardwear Switch 35).

So with those 4 simple steps, we've already taken off roughly 9 pounds between us and we had already started at around a "trailhead" weight of 25# each including food on our last trip. And we way over packed on food. Once we sit down and REALLY plan out our food, we should be comfortably under 20 pounds each come this summer.

So I hope this helps any other newcomers and I welcome any other input on gear selection or simple, effective ways of cutting weight without spending big dollars.

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
The little things... on 03/24/2010 06:21:04 MDT Print View

The little things, as you're aware, can be just as important. Finding all those little uncounted or "just an ounce or two" items and then ditching the ones that are completely unnecessary can save several pounds. When it really comes down to it we need food water and shelter, the rest is superfluous.

A little light helps at night so you take a light but do you need that 65 lumen headlamp if you're not going to do any night hiking? Probably not so you take a PrincetonTec impulse at 7 grams or the equivalent, and it can take you anywhere you need to go at 2 o'clock in the morning (which is usually to the bathroom).

A pocketknife or fixed blade makes you feel like you can handle anything in the back country that may arise. But how far out are you, and how much knife do you practically need. Unless you're going to be practicing your bushcraft I'd say you can leave your fixed blade at home, and unless you brought a bottle of wine or plan on fixing a computer you can probably leave the pocketknife at home as well. Why not take a razorblade. It can cut cheese with the best of them.

A compass is a great place to save weight. Everyone tells you you NEED a compass. It is a great piece to have and everyone goes out and buys a 30 dollar compass that they can't use anyways ("One day I'll learn"). When they could go to the army surplus store and get the little button compass watch for $1 that does what most people understand is the only function of a compass. It tells you which direction is which. If you're following fairly well marked trail that is really all you need.

and the last one I'll rant on today is the first aid kit. You're not a surgeon, and if you are, you're not performing surgery in the woods, so quit it. Bring a couple of bandaids if you must. Some alcohol preps, some advil, some anti-diarrheal, and call it good. I've seen 6-8 oz first aid kits listed on here when 1-2 oz kits should do. And for the sake of all that is holy repackage the stuff in a ziploc and get rid of that god awful heavy first aid bag that it comes in. You can even put a little cross on the baggy if you like.

These are just a few that strike me every time I read a gear list. YMMV

Edited by debiant on 03/24/2010 06:21:40 MDT.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
fak on 03/24/2010 07:10:26 MDT Print View

haha, my first aid kit was over 17oz. I didn't even think twice about it until i got onto this forum. The only time i opened it was to see what was inside the day I bought it.

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Re: fak on 03/24/2010 17:28:24 MDT Print View

"haha, my first aid kit was over 17oz. I didn't even think twice about it until i got onto this forum. The only time i opened it was to see what was inside the day I bought it."

You mean you didn't need the scalpel?