Grand Canyon in two weeks - newbie backpacker
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Dennis Krikava
(Rufus1969) - F
Grand Canyon in two weeks - newbie backpacker on 04/01/2010 13:52:23 MDT Print View

Hi all! Just found this site and having a blast getting some ideas on lighter gear.

Last year I hiked the Grand Canyon, South Kaibab to Bright Angle Campground then back up through Indian Gardens. It was my first real backpacking experience. Doing it again in two weeks but carrying much less weight this time. :-)

I think my pack weighed in at around 45 lbs last year, and I took a lot of stuff that I never even used.

This year my pack is down to 25lbs, not including water. Most of this weight loss has been due to buying lighter gear and some of it due to making my own gear.

Some major changes from last year:

Trail runners instead of hiking boots. I read that the lighter shoes can make the hike much less stressful on your legs. Gonna test that theory this year.

Lighter clothing. Silk thermals, lighter upper insulation (merino wool sweater instead of heavy fleece. Be buying a better fleece later on but ran out of money so have to improvise). Lighter rain jacket, Marmot Oracle.

Cut down on food weight by putting all my dehydrated food into ziplocks saving about .8-1.0 oz. for each food bag. Total savings of almost half a pound.

Using a bamboo bowl with tupperware lid for both food and drinks. Bamboo is both lightweight and strong. Hope I'm not making a mistake here but I'll be with 10 other peeps so in the case of a total gear failure I will be able to borrow. Any other bamboo fans out there?

Also made a bamboo spoon that weighs the same as titanium and looks way cooler. :-) Long handled so I can eat my Mountain House out of the bag without making a mess of my hands. Course I did this before I decided to go with the bamboo bowl making the long handled spoon unnecessary but I still like the way it looks better than Ti.

Last piece I am struggling with is my Jetboil. At 15.6 oz. it's a monster to carry around, and that's not including the fuel. But I've gotten a lot of ideas on this site for much lighter camp stoves so I'll probably be trying some of the home made versions out on other overnight trips in Desolation Wilderness this summer.

Think that's enough for a first post. My subject line states "newbie backpacker" which is true so any and all advice is listened to and considered, and maybe even tried!

Thanks!

Rufus

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Grand Canyon in two weeks - newbie backpacker on 04/01/2010 14:00:08 MDT Print View

Rufus, it sounds like you are making good progress. The other good thing about the bamboo bowl is that if it does not work out for some reason, you can burn it up for fuel.
--B.G.--

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Grand Canyon in two weeks - newbie backpacker on 04/01/2010 14:11:58 MDT Print View

"Last piece I am struggling with is my Jetboil. At 15.6 oz. it's a monster to carry around, and that's not including the fuel. But I've gotten a lot of ideas on this site for much lighter camp stoves"

Check out -

Skurka's Fancy Feast Stove

Trail Design's Caldera Cones

Dennis Krikava
(Rufus1969) - F
A cat food can stove?!?? on 04/01/2010 14:51:43 MDT Print View

OMG!! A cat food can stove! I'm going to make one and take it with me I think, as a back up and to field test it. Thanks for the great idea, Greg!

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Large Groups and "Backup" on 04/01/2010 14:57:21 MDT Print View

" I'll be with 10 other peeps so in the case of a total gear failure I will be able to borrow."

I would only take the new stove you make. With 10 other people THEY can be your backup! That stove is as simple as it gets. Try it out beforehand, as with all new gear, and you will see you won't need a backup stove.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: A cat food can stove?!?? on 04/01/2010 15:29:56 MDT Print View

Dennis,
The only other thing to consider when using the Cat Can Stove is a windscreen. ALL alcohol stoves benefit greatly when a windscreen is used.

For this trip a piece of Heavy Duty aluminum foil, doubled, tall enough to reach 3/4 up your pot when on the stove, would suffice. Or something similar. Doesn't have to be elaborate. Just packable, and moldable for a pretty good fit around your pot.