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Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Suggested GEAR LIST ETIQUETTE on 04/03/2010 19:37:43 MDT Print View

~ Suggested ~

Some people enjoy doing crossword puzzles, I enjoy looking at the GEAR LISTS on the BPL forum.

Reviewing and commenting is really fun. I feel strongly that posting and sharing a gear-list is an invaluable tool to help *any* backpacker become more fully aware of his equipment. (beginner to expert, it doesn't matter)

I will add that sometimes it's tricky to play the role of consultant. In order to give truly helpful advice, it is essential to have a few fundamental data points. Please, if you post a list on the GEAR LIST forum, be sure to include these basic details.

A - Initial information:

1 ) Are you SOLO camping, or part of a TEAM?

2 ) WHERE will you be camping?

3 ) What type of WEATHER do you expect?

4 ) How LONG is your proposed trip?

An overnight in Arizona in August with a partner is substantially different that a 3 week solo traverse of the Mackenzie mountains in Canada's Yukon Territories in June. (one doesn't require a head lamp!)

B - Please, we are all gear nerds here (especially me) so having all the exact weights of everything is super helpful.

C - Separate out the CONSUMABLES from the BASE weight. Food, water and stove fuel should be an independent number.

D - If you don't have a scale, get one!

Unless the person who started the thread was courteous enough to include this basic info, any follow-up poster will have to ask these simple questions.

Edited by mikeclelland on 04/03/2010 19:39:38 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
doh on 04/04/2010 09:29:44 MDT Print View

All very reasonable rules/guidelines.

I've been quite guilty of not bothering to weigh all my stuff in the past, and I resolve to shape up henceforth!

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Suggested GEAR LIST ETIQUETTE on 04/04/2010 18:06:15 MDT Print View

All great suggestions Mike C!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Suggested GEAR LIST ETIQUETTE on 04/21/2010 22:07:12 MDT Print View

"An overnight in Arizona in August with a partner is substantially different that a 3 week solo traverse of the Mackenzie mountains in Canada's Yukon Territories in June. (one doesn't require a head lamp!)"

Why does one not require a head lamp?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Suggested GEAR LIST ETIQUETTE on 04/21/2010 22:12:04 MDT Print View

The sun doesn't really set like it does down here that time of year. I don't know the scientific specifics behind it, but I've heard night can be quite like normal daylight hours.

Edited by T.L. on 04/21/2010 22:13:31 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Why does one not require a head lamp? on 04/21/2010 22:13:56 MDT Print View


I live in the Southeast but I'd guess it's because of perpetual daylight, being that far North during that time of year.

Party On ! 2010


Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
No headlamp on 04/21/2010 22:20:00 MDT Print View

Yes - of course. Would have to offset the weight of a headlamp with something dark to cover the eyes - would be tough to sleep!

Mike McHenry
(mtmche2) - F
Sunlight on 04/21/2010 22:30:13 MDT Print View

Yeah, I am currently in Fairbanks, AK and the light up here now, as someone who grew up in the lower 48 in pretty crazy. Its light out around 5:00 and it isn't really going away until about 10:00. The summers are pretty much all daylight.

I would think it would be nice for the 8-5 worker as you could take off from work Friday afternoon and get 10 miles in and set up camp in the light at 11.

All good suggestions by the way for the gear list. I am still working on getting my own scale. Up until now I have just been piggybacking my weights from the same item on other people's gear lists. I just haven't sprung on a scale yet because it doesn't come with me in my pack.

Edited by mtmche2 on 04/21/2010 22:31:14 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
scale & eyelids on 04/22/2010 08:01:02 MDT Print View

Mike - You simply MUST get a scale! They are easy to find at an office supply store. It will change everything. THat is the most important peice of gear in the lightweight hikers arsenal.


Also - No need to take something to cover your eyes in the northern latitudes, we all come equipt with eyelids!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Eyelids on 04/22/2010 08:20:28 MDT Print View

Maybe, but I can't sleep in my bedroom with the light on.

Scott Lehr
(lehrscott4) - F

Locale: Louisville - KY
Scale on 04/22/2010 09:32:09 MDT Print View

Do what i do, swap the postage scale from work on Friday evening and return it Monday before anyone needs it.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
norway on 04/22/2010 13:52:15 MDT Print View

24 hrs day light sounds exotic and difficult to get to.. except in Europe. We went to arctic Norway last year (they even have a university there = cheap and easy to get there compared to Alaska / Canada -- but it doesn't really feel much wilder than NJ / NY part of the AT) and backpacked for a couple of weeks.

24 hrs sunlight makes a big difference.. everything is easier. Hike when you want, set up camp when you want.. and sleeping with the light on is much easier than you would think after a long hike.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
24 hour daylight! on 04/23/2010 09:15:14 MDT Print View

I head to alaska every summer - I dearly LOVE the 24 hour daylight!

The headlamp stays at home! (too bad I still have to take the rain gear)

John Addleman
(Jaddleman) - F

Locale: Boulder
Should? on 04/26/2010 23:48:53 MDT Print View

I wonder if one shouldn't count weight of food ziplocs in baseweight. Maybe some do, but I haven't seen it. 6 freezer bags can't weigh nothing.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
6 freezer bags can't weigh nothing on 04/27/2010 07:51:20 MDT Print View

Actually they're about 1/4 ounce each for quart size. In a bit of overzealous repackaging I had 4 per day plus a gallon-size one to put the day's rations into. It added up to more than 1/2 pound for a weeklong trip.

I revised the system and used only one quart bag per day plus a couple of very light veggie bags to cut most of the 1/2 pound.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Suggested GEAR LIST ETIQUETTE" on 04/27/2010 08:01:21 MDT Print View

Zip Locks should definitely. Everything on you, in your pack, in your hands, on your head, on your feet, should be weighed. It's fair to you and to all of us in feeding our gear list fanaticism and envy!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Suggested GEAR LIST ETIQUETTE on 04/27/2010 12:49:21 MDT Print View

The ziplock bags my food resides in are included in the weight of the food. They do vary with the length of trip and other variables (like how many different dishes in a meal). I do take an extra bag or two and include those in base weight. I keep a few baseweight items in sandwich or plastic bags and include the weight of the bag (too small to register on my scale) with the item.

Definitely anything that is in your pockets (I include it with pack weight) or on your body (items worn) needs to be included. It is, after all, part of the weight that's on your feet. While checking my list before posting this, I did find a few things I left out--my glasses, my wrist watch and my denture. :-)

And what's with these sub-5-lb. gear lists that do not include a camera, but the ensuing trip report includes pictures of the trip?

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/27/2010 12:52:21 MDT.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Scale on 04/27/2010 13:20:06 MDT Print View

Scale on 04/22/2010 09:32:09 MDT
Do what i do, swap the postage scale from work on Friday evening and return it Monday before anyone needs it.

I used to do this too. Then I switched jobs and had to break down and buy my own.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Postoffice on 05/01/2010 10:41:04 MDT Print View

When I was living in Colorado there wasn't home delivery of mail and everyone had a post office box. The Post Office was open 24hrs and had a digital scale in the foyer. I thought many times of taking gear in to weigh during the late evening hours when no one else would see. I'm not sure of it's accuracy but it was fairly big so you wouldn't have to worry about balancing large or bulky items.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Just Buy One on 05/01/2010 12:07:11 MDT Print View

There are countless digital scales on Ebay. Just type in "digital scales" and you'll see pages of them. They are very inexpensive -- although be careful reading all the terms -- some sellers charge a high "shipping cost".

Mine is a no-name brand and it's been reliable for six years and counting. It weighs in 0.1oz increments up to 30lbs. Anything heavier than that (e.g. my backpack all packed up and ready to go) -- I use my digital bathroom scale.