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Paul Vannoy
(paulv777) - F
$300 to invest New To Backpacking Light Here's my Traditional gear list on 08/05/2010 07:25:39 MDT Print View

rei new star pack 6-7 pounds
gigapower
Columbia titanium shell
stocking hat
silk top and bottoms
North Face Shorts
Tee shirt
Fleece jacket
Long Sleeve Shirt button up for bugs
Camelbak bladder with sawyer filter
Lexan Cup
Lexan spoon
Primus Aluminum Pot With Lid 1.5 liter And clamp handle
Stuff Sack for food
Total tent weight 6.5 pounds
Big Agnes lost ranger 3.5 pounds
Big Agnes Air Core pad 1.5
Small head lamp with extra AAA
1/4 roll TP
knife
Matches in waterproof container
Whistle
Space blanket
Mirror
First Aid kit about a pound
Compass
tooth brush travel size paste
allergy meds
soap
hand sanitizer
1 oz sunscreen
chap stick
sandals

Feel Free to comment on how to lighten this up but keep in mind that I only have 300 or so to invest right now.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: $300 to invest New To Backpacking Light Here's my Traditional gear list on 08/05/2010 08:01:03 MDT Print View

My biggest recommendation is to do smart investing and then eliminate some items.

With that said, you're going to lose the most weight with your bag, tent, bag, and pad (not necessarily in that order). With $300, you can replace any one of those, and maybe your pad as well, depending on your preferences. Personally, I'd replace the tent first if you like your pack. That also gives you a bit of money left over. How do you like foam mattresses to sleep on?

Then I would cut out:
T AND long sleeve AND silk top: you have at least one shirt too many here. Get rid of one (or preferably, two), depending on the trip.
Take less TP. Or use none at all, instead using some leaves.
What's your "waterproof container" for your matches? Might be better to just take a bic.
Space blanket. When's the last time you used this?
First aid kit – cut some of that weight out. What all is in your kit for it to be a pound?
Personally, I'd ditch the chap stick. Do you need it?
Sandals – how heavy are they?

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
get a scale on 08/05/2010 08:10:33 MDT Print View

Paul, to maximize the help you will get here, you should weigh your stuff. Also, you should group your gear in to systems. Last but not least, you need to tell us what the kit is for: season, location, activity. Right off the bat I'm going to recommend that you spend your $300 on the big 3 (pack, shelter, bag).

rei new star pack 6-7 pounds - get all other gear first so you know what bag you need. (used bag from gear swap $50-100)

gigapower - many UL options including alcohol, esbit and wood stoves, though for a canister this one is good

Columbia titanium shell - rain/wind shell?

stocking hat - is this knit, what material?

silk top and bottoms - what for?

North Face Shorts - are these synthetic, probly OK.

Tee shirt - what material?

Fleece jacket - get a puffy, more insulation per weight.

Long Sleeve Shirt button up for bugs - what material?

Camelbak bladder with sawyer filter - What capacity? look in to a lighter weigth water bag, platty or something.

Lexan Cup - what for?

Lexan spoon - generally good lightweight spoon, OK.

Primus Aluminum Pot With Lid 1.5 liter And clamp handle - are you actually cooking or doing boil-in-bag. If just boiling water consider a smaller 450-700ml pot (double as your mug). If cooking for 1 person get a 1L pot. Save your money for the big 3, look in to a beer can pot for now.

Stuff Sack for food - how big? what material?

Total tent weight 6.5 pounds - this has to go. Consider a tarp for the lightest option. (new or used silnyl tarp $60-200)

Big Agnes lost ranger 3.5 pounds - REI shows this as 2lb 12oz. Anyhow, you can do way better for a 3 season bag. This is where the bulk of your $300 will be spent. Watch gear swap for a good 1-2 lb down bag/quilt.

Big Agnes Air Core pad 1.5 - is that 1.5 lbs? That's really heavy for a pad. I don't use inflatable pads so I'm not much help here. Lightest/inexpensive options are CCF pads.

Small head lamp with extra AAA - what kind?

1/4 roll TP - for how many days? This would be overkill for a weekender.

knife - what kind?

Matches in waterproof container - get waterproof matches, ditch the container.

Whistle - what kind? What for?

Space blanket - what for?

Mirror - emergency signal mirror?

First Aid kit about a pound - holey smokes! what's in there?

Compass - what kind?

tooth brush travel size paste - look up tooth paste dots or use baking soda.

allergy meds - OK

soap - what kind? how much?

hand sanitizer - how much?

1 oz sunscreen - OK

chap stick - OK

sandals - what for?


The biggest thing is to get a scale. A $15-20 digital kitchen scale will do fine.

I don't think you are fessing up to everything in your pack. You have a long sleeve shirt and a 15 degree bag but no long pants. How about socks? What are you hiking in, boots, hat, shirt, pants?

You have to consider everything you are carying.

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: get a scale on 08/05/2010 11:13:00 MDT Print View

+1 on this

You really need to invest in a scale before spending any money on new equipment. Make a list of everything you currently carry or wear, then weigh it all, and record the weights.

The least expensive way to lighten your load is to leave stuff at home.

Also, you can sell unneeded gear on eBay...

Paul Vannoy
(paulv777) - F
Fessing up on 08/05/2010 17:40:03 MDT Print View

"I don't think you are fessing up to everything in your pack. You have a long sleeve shirt and a 15 degree bag but no long pants. How about socks? What are you hiking in, boots, hat, shirt, pants?"

First off I really appreciate the help, I learned to backpack in my youth in the Boy Scouts where the emphasis was on being prepared for everything not being lightweight.

The long sleeve shirt was a cotton casual shirt Columbia brand.
The long pants I was wearing they are Mountain Hardware canyon pants just bought this season to replace jeans.

I had one extra pair of socks

wore light trail Columbia trail shoes look like trail runners. and a ball cap.

I know I have stuff I don't need like the signal mirror, space blanket, overkill first aid kit.

Whats a reasonably priced sleeping bag?

Paul Vannoy
(paulv777) - F
More questions answered on 08/05/2010 17:53:44 MDT Print View

gigapower - many UL options including alcohol, esbit and wood stoves, though for a canister this one is good

JUST BOUGHT THE GIGAPOWER TO REPLACE MY WHISPERLITE

Columbia titanium shell - rain/wind shell? YES QUITE LIGHT

stocking hat - is this knit, what material? SIX DOLLAR CARHARTT KNIT HAT

silk top and bottoms - what for? SLEEPING IN

North Face Shorts - are these synthetic, probly OK. YES

Tee shirt - what material? CHEAP POLYSTER WICKING

Fleece jacket - get a puffy, more insulation per weight. GOOD IDEA

Long Sleeve Shirt button up for bugs - what material?
COTTON COLUMBIA CASUAL SHIRT

Camelbak bladder with sawyer filter - What capacity? look in to a lighter weigth water bag, platty or something. ITS A 100OZ OUT OF MY MULE

Lexan Cup - what for? INSTANT COFFEE

Lexan spoon - generally good lightweight spoon, OK.

Primus Aluminum Pot With Lid 1.5 liter And clamp handle - are you actually cooking or doing boil-in-bag. If just boiling water consider a smaller 450-700ml pot (double as your mug). If cooking for 1 person get a 1L pot. Save your money for the big 3, look in to a beer can pot for now.

YES I KNOW ITS OVERKILL I'M TRYING TO DO ALL FBC

Stuff Sack for food - how big? what material? MED SIZE ABOUT THE SIZE OF A CANTALOUPE THICKER SYNTHETIC OF SOME SORT

Total tent weight 6.5 pounds - this has to go. Consider a tarp for the lightest option. (new or used silnyl tarp $60-200) i KNOW ITS OLD AND HEAVY GOT TO STICK TO MORE OF A TENT THAN A TARP TO KEEP MY WIFE HAPPY. THINKING ABOUT A RAINSHADOW.

Big Agnes lost ranger 3.5 pounds - REI shows this as 2lb 12oz. Anyhow, you can do way better for a 3 season bag. This is where the bulk of your $300 will be spent. Watch gear swap for a good 1-2 lb down bag/quilt. GEEZ JUST BOUGHT THIS BAG LAST YEAR I CAN ALWAYS USE FOR CAR CAMPING.

Big Agnes Air Core pad 1.5 - is that 1.5 lbs? That's really heavy for a pad. I don't use inflatable pads so I'm not much help here. Lightest/inexpensive options are CCF pads. REI SAYS ITS 24 OZ

Small head lamp with extra AAA - what kind? BLACK DIAMOND NOT SURE WHICH ONE

1/4 roll TP - for how many days? This would be overkill for a weekender. AGREED

knife - what kind? KERSHAW SPEED SAFE

Matches in waterproof container - get waterproof matches, ditch the container. OK

Whistle - what kind? What for? SAFTEY i GUESS ITS A PLASTIC ONE NOTHING FANCY

Space blanket - what for? YES NOT NEEDED

Mirror - emergency signal mirror? YES

First Aid kit about a pound - holey smokes! what's in there?
iT'S ONE OF THOSE COMMERCIAL ONES GOT THE BOOK AND ALL. i WILL MAKE UP MY OWN
Compass - what kind? BRUNTON SMALL NO MIRROR

tooth brush travel size paste - look up tooth paste dots or use baking soda. OK

allergy meds - OK

soap - what kind? how much? LIQUID CAMPERS SOAP

hand sanitizer - how much? ABOUT AN OUNCE

1 oz sunscreen - OK

chap stick - OK

sandals - what for? FOR SWIMMING IN LAKES I WAS AT BUT THEY ARE CHACOS AND ARE QUITE HEAVY DON'T THINK i WILL BRING THEM NEXT TIME


The biggest thing is to get a scale. A $15-20 digital kitchen scale will do fine. TOTALLY

I don't think you are fessing up to everything in your pack. You have a long sleeve shirt and a 15 degree bag but no long pants. How about socks? What are you hiking in, boots, hat, shirt, pants? i HAD WOOL SOCKS ON AND AN EXTRA PAIR, M.H. CANYON PANTS ON, COTTON BALL CAP ON HEAD, TRAIL RUNNING TYPE SHOES.

You have to consider everything you are carying.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: More questions answered on 08/05/2010 18:30:02 MDT Print View

Too many types of clothing in your pack. You have a 15 degree sleeping bag, but also shorts/tee and sandals. If it's cold, you won't need those warm weather clothes. Going to sleep in your hiking clothes will shave a lot of unneeded ounces and save time. If all that clothing is because you want to be clean, then you're missing the weight of a few sets of underwear.

A single warmth layer will shave ounces.

Drop the signal mirror.

If going 100% cookless is an option, you can save a few pounds.

As for the tent, I'd dump the entire $300 into a light 2-person tent like the Lightheart Duo. That'll save you 3 1/2 pounds right there.

There's more weight to save by replacing your pack, but I'd wait until you finish swapping out some of the other stuff first.

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
Lighten on 08/06/2010 08:54:32 MDT Print View

stocking hat - is this knit, what material? SIX DOLLAR CARHARTT KNIT HAT

DF: Get a fleece hat.

silk top and bottoms - what for? SLEEPING IN

DF: ditch the jammies

Long Sleeve Shirt button up for bugs - what material?
COTTON COLUMBIA CASUAL SHIRT

DF: cotton is generally considered to be a poor material for backpacking. It's heavy, absorbs humidity and when wet may never dry out depending on weather conditions.

Camelbak bladder with sawyer filter - What capacity? look in to a lighter weigth water bag, platty or something. ITS A 100OZ OUT OF MY MULE

DF: That's nearly a gallon. Thats huge, are you camping in the desert? Better to get 2 or 3 1L containers. Lightweight ones like PET bottle or platty will work.

Lexan Cup - what for? INSTANT COFFEE

DF: if you get a smaller cook pot you can use it as a mug.


Stuff Sack for food - how big? what material? MED SIZE ABOUT THE SIZE OF A CANTALOUPE THICKER SYNTHETIC OF SOME SORT

DF: Stuff sacy weight can sneak up on you. There are a lot of uber light stuff sack options. I guess the test will be to weigh the one you have. Anymore, I try to avoid stuff sacks all together.


Big Agnes lost ranger 3.5 pounds - REI shows this as 2lb 12oz. Anyhow, you can do way better for a 3 season bag. This is where the bulk of your $300 will be spent. Watch gear swap for a good 1-2 lb down bag/quilt. GEEZ JUST BOUGHT THIS BAG LAST YEAR I CAN ALWAYS USE FOR CAR CAMPING.

DF: That is a very chubby bag for 3 season backpacking. I have 30 degree synthetic bags that weigh less than 3 lbs. You don't have to get a $350 down bag to lighten up. An $80 40-50 degree synthetic will knock pounds off your load. Word of advice, I wish I had purchased good gear from the start. It would have saved me hundreds of dollars in the long run. When I started down your path I purchased many sub-par items to save a few dollars only to turn around and get decent gear less than a year later.

A good down bag will last a very long time. This can be the most expensive piece of gear in your kit but it may also be the longest lived piece of gear. Best to start off with a really good one. I got mine used on Gear Swap for a really good price.

Big Agnes Air Core pad 1.5 - is that 1.5 lbs? That's really heavy for a pad. I don't use inflatable pads so I'm not much help here. Lightest/inexpensive options are CCF pads. REI SAYS ITS 24 OZ

DF: still way to heavy in my opinion.

Small head lamp with extra AAA - what kind? BLACK DIAMOND NOT SURE WHICH ONE

DF: This is probly OK. Though there are some 1oz or lighter flashlight options.

knife - what kind? KERSHAW SPEED SAFE

DF: Many ULers don't carry a knife. I do, I have a Gerber LST at .55oz. Think about your knife and what you need it for. If you are not splitting wood, cleaning fish or gutting a deer you don't need a big knife. Something to cut food, cord, and widdle can be prety small. Some people carry a utility blade wraped in a cardboard sheith for a knife.

Matches in waterproof container - get waterproof matches, ditch the container. OK

DF: Make sure you have 2 fire sources. Many, including myself use mini Bics.

Whistle - what kind? What for? SAFTEY i GUESS ITS A PLASTIC ONE NOTHING FANCY

DF: I don't carry one


Mirror - emergency signal mirror? YES

DF: ditch the mirror


soap - what kind? how much? LIQUID CAMPERS SOAP

DF: a little of this goes a long way. Repackage it. I can make 1/8 floz last a week or more.

Edited by magillagorilla on 08/06/2010 08:55:20 MDT.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: Swiss Alps / Southern Appalachians
Re: Re: $300 to invest New To Backpacking Light Here's my Traditional gear list on 08/06/2010 10:53:30 MDT Print View

I would definitely agree with what most have said here.

If I were in your shoes, I would first get a small scale, weigh everything and put it on a spreadsheet (I used Andrew Skurka's template posted on his website and modified it from there).

I would then keep an eye out on gear swap and look to spend my $300 on a lightweight 2 person tent and a cheap 3 season bag/quilt. For example, I just sold a Tarptent Squall 2 on gear swap for $150. There are often summer or 3 season bags that weigh less than 2 lbs that come up for sale for $150 or less. Using lightweight techniques you can often stretch a good summer bag down to freezing.

These two investments plus eliminating a lot the gear you'll find aren't needed to enjoy backpacking and you'll cut down on your weight by many pounds.

After you have a tent and sleeping bag/quilt and eliminated unnecessary gear from your kit, I'd sell my old gear here on gear swap or on ebay and use the funds for a pack that fits your gear better. You can often find great transitional pack (something like Granite Gear Vapor Trail) for $75 or less on sale or used here on Gear Swap.

Good luck! Its a very fun process but I warn you - it can get pretty addicting :)

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: Swiss Alps / Southern Appalachians
Re: Re: Re: $300 to invest New To Backpacking Light Here's my Traditional gear list on 08/06/2010 11:00:20 MDT Print View

I also thought this might be pretty interesting since you said you have $300 to invest...

http://hikinghq.net/300_challenge.html

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
investing? on 08/06/2010 12:21:50 MDT Print View

The first 19 dollars should be spent on a digital scale.

( ! )

* *
(Trooper) - F
Re: More questions answered on 08/06/2010 18:45:37 MDT Print View

Paul,

I sense some frustration on your part. I might be reading too much into the posts, but "JUST BOUGHT THE GIGAPOWER TO REPLACE MY WHISPERLITE" in all capital letters is the basis of my opinion. Spending money and being told there is lighter is frustrating. Perhaps I'm projecting my early frustrations with BPL on you...

Remember that you don't have to shed all the weight at once, as it can become prohibitively expensive. You also don't have to carry the lightest pack either. I still use a canister stove because of the convenience, even though it isn't the lightest option. There is a balance between lightweight, expense, and your comfort. Some folks on this site have extremely light packs, but I like a few more comfort items. Without food or water, my pack is about 18 pounds (5 pounds is empty pack) for a week long autumn trip. Not the lightest, but I'm comfortable. I even carry a mug just for my instant coffee and evening whisky.

Get a scale and make a spreadsheet. You'll see what becomes important to you and what is just too heavy. The Scouts taught us to load up our packs, but failed to remind us that the more we know the less we need to carry. But, it is easier to take a Bic with me than find flint and tinder in the wild...

Edited by Trooper on 08/06/2010 18:47:19 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: investing? on 08/06/2010 18:54:42 MDT Print View

I think Mike! is going to explode;)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
$300 to invest New To Backpacking Light Here's my Traditional gear list" on 08/06/2010 21:12:56 MDT Print View

I think MikeC is correct: the scale comes first! Here are some hints based on my experience lightening up 5-6 years ago:

Don't buy anything until you've done the following!

First get that digital postage scale.

Then set up a spreadsheet. Use the BPL gear lists as a model to organize it by system, and subtotal the weights for each system.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/gearchecklists.html

Weigh every individual item, no matter how small, on your scale and list it with weight on your spreadsheet. Don't trust manufacturers' weights which are usually understated. This list isn't just for weighing; eventually it will become your pre-trip checklist.

Identify the items where you could save the most weight, but don't buy anything yet.

Identify items you won't use. Do this after every trip--there are limits to this, though--don't leave the rain jacket home just because it didn't rain on your last trip!

Compare your gear list to others on BPL for ideas.

Research what's available. Mark Verber's website, http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/gear/index.html is a good place to start. He keeps it up-to-date and in addition to the latest high-tech he includes low budget options. Backpackgearlist.org is a good site for reviews. So, of course, is this site.

Publish your list (most spreadsheet programs will let you save as .pdf, which is what you can post here) on your profile in BPL and reference it in a post on Gear List. You will of course get a comment from MikeC about toilet paper, but that's your decision to make!

Only then start making purchase decisions. We've all made some stupid decisions on gear at some point, and you undoubtedly will, too. If you've bought used, those will be cheaper. Fortunately, you can almost always sell the items that turned out to be a horrible idea. Do try things out during the period in which you can return them. As soon as you get a shelter, set it up in the back yard, put your pad and sleeping bag inside, lie down and sit up, crawl in and out, and make sure it's what you want. Spend a couple of nights on the floor with a new sleeping pad to be sure it's comfortable for you (remember that many "established" sites are as hard as your floor!). Load up the new backpack with all your gear, adjust it and take a "hike" around the house or (if it's a clear day) around the neighborhood, making sure you keep the pack clean.

Don't be in a hurry; you can always use your old gear. Wait for sales, 20% off coupons, and such. Comparison shop at local stores and on the internet. Keep watching those used gear ads. Check thrift stores and military surplus stores.

Take your scale everywhere you gear-shop and weigh everything. Don't always get the lightest item, though; make sure it is comfortable for YOU. One of my biggest mistakes was convincing myself that the NeoAir was comfortable enough for me because I was fixated on the weight savings. That led to some very uncomfortable--and shivering--nights on the trail. Fortunately I had bought it from REI so was able to return it.

Sometimes some creative "surgery" on your existing gear will do the job--it's free!

Making your own gear is also an option. You'll find tons of suggestions in the MYOG section. To avoid having to make several iterations, first make the item out of really cheap cloth and practice sewing on scraps of the materials you'll be using before you actually tackle a complicated project.

Wait until you have most or all of your lighter gear before replacing your pack. A heavy pack is one possible candidate for creative "surgery," which can often remove a couple of pounds. You want your lighter pack to fit your new gear, not your old (it probably won't support the weight or hold the bulk of your old heavy stuff), and you want to be sure the replacement pack will support comfortably your lighter gear plus the equivalent in weight and bulk of a week's food.

IMHO, it's worth saving up for a really good and warm sleeping bag. A full-length zipper will let you ventilate or use the bag as a quilt on warm nights.

EDIT, later: Re the Gigapower canister stove: I would not call this purchase one of the poor decisions I mentioned above. Over a week, the weight of stove plus fuel comes out about equal for alcohol vs. canister stove, as demonstrated in an article on thruhiker.com (alcohol stoves use a bit more fuel). Since you're accustomed to a white gas stove, you'll feel more comfortable with the canister stove. I haven't made the switch from canister to alcohol, either! If I do, I'll use alchohol for short trips and the canister for longer trips. By the way, if you ever plan to do winter camping, hang on to that white gas stove and fuel bottles, because for well-below-freezing temperatures and melting snow for water, the white gas stove is far superior. You can use isobutane cartridges down to about 20* if you warm them up 15-20 min. under your jacket (a shivery business on a frosty morning) and use a windscreen, but otherwise the propane burns off and the butane stays liquid when it's below freezing. So while the white gas stove is too heavy for summer trips, it's great for winter!

Edited by hikinggranny on 08/07/2010 00:46:24 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
$300 to invest New To Backpacking Light Here's my Traditional gear list on 08/06/2010 22:07:30 MDT Print View

A S
If you look again at Paul's post it should be obvious that he was not shouting (capital letters) he was just trying to get his reply to stand apart from the previous comments.
(Not saying that there was no element of frustration at all, I don't know.Having bought one item only to find that there is a "better" one is not exactly joyful)

A better way of doing it would be to use italics ( i inbetween <> at the start and /i inbetween <> at the end) or bold (same with the letter b)
Franco

Edited by Franco on 08/06/2010 22:31:14 MDT.