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Feedback Requested on Gear List
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Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Feedback Requested on Gear List on 07/21/2006 13:29:28 MDT Print View

This gearlist has been a work in progress for quite some time. Obviously I've tried different gear throughout the years I've been backpacking but my attention to detail matured to the next level when I started pursuing backpacking from the ultralight point of view.

I put together a gear spreadsheet six months ago and have been tweaking it incessently since. I currently own the majority of the gear on this list but a handful of the items have yet to be purchased. Some of the weights I have listed are actual, some are manufacturer list.

The feedback I am looking for can be of any type. However, I am particularly looking for some suggestions of safely shedding more ounces (pounds?). The list is quite thorough and leaves little room for reduction of items but thoughts from others who are "outside of my box of thought" will be nice. I apologize for the tacky text list.

Gloves - polypropelene 1.80
Hat - Fleece 2.30
Hat - Mesh 2.60
Jacket - Montbell U.L. Thermawrap 10.20
Pants - Arc'Teryx Palisade Pant 10.00
Raingear - Marmot Precip (modified) 10.00
Shirt - Arc'Teryx Blaze Zip Long Sleeve 6.00
Shirt - Arc'Teryx Emissary Raglan Short Sleeve 7.00
Shoes - Montrail Vitesse 24.00
Socks - Merino wool (sleeping) 3.90
Socks - Lycra (walking) 1.00
Tights - Patagonia polypropelene 6.80
Underwear - polypropelene 4.00

Sub Total
89.60 oz.
5.60 lbs.

Bivy - Montbell UL Bivy 6.30
Groundsheet - 3'x8' Tyvek 5.10
Shelter - Equinox poncho/tarp 8.30
Sleeping Bag - Montbell Super Stretch Down Hugger 29.00
Sleeping Pad - closed-cell foam 6.50
Stakes (titanium) and p-cord 3.50

Sub Total
58.70 oz.
3.67 lbs.

Compass - Suunto M-2 1.2
Backpack - Granite Gear Virga (3200 cu. in.) 21.70
Headlamp - Petzl TikkaPlus 2.90
I.D. / cash / credit 1.00
Lighter / matches 1.00
Maps and guidbook pages 4.00
Toiletries / First Aid 2.50
Tool - Leatherman Micra 1.75
Towel 0.90
Stuff Sack (small) 0.70
Stuff Sack (medium) 0.80
Stuff Sack (large) 3.10

Sub Total
41.55 oz.
2.60 lbs.

Water storage - two liter Platypus and drinking tube 3.50
Filter - Katadyn Hiker 12.30
Pot - Anti Gravity Gear 3 cup aluminum, cozy and handle 6.00
Spoon - Snowpeak titanium spork 0.60
Stove - aluminum can alcohol 0.50
Water storage - (2) 1 liter Gatorade 2.00
Windscreen 1.30

Sub Total
26.20 oz.
1.64 lbs.

216.05 oz.
13.50 lbs.

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Feedback Requested on Gear List on 07/21/2006 13:37:44 MDT Print View

Raingear AND a poncho?? I'd suggest shedding the raingear and going with the poncho--or you could shed the bivy and get a bigger tarp. I think your Gatorade bottles are a little on the light side--I'd suggest platypus bladders instead, dropping the hyrdration tube as well. You shouldn't need more than 2 liters of capacity if you plan your routes well. You don't need a groundcloth as well as a bivy sack. Do you think you could divide up what is carried with what is worn? That would be of much assistance.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Feedback Requested on Gear List on 07/21/2006 15:58:57 MDT Print View

What time of year, and what location are you planning for? Are you committed to the water filter or is chemical treatment an option? You could save some weight there. What type of cooking do you do? You could save weight by not cooking or by using Esbit. My Light My Fire spork weighs 7 grams less then your spork :). I have some other ideas but I need my first question answered first.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
All weather with hot food on 07/22/2006 09:46:59 MDT Print View

Yes, after I had posted the list I realized I had left my raingear along with the poncho tarp. That was an oversight, for as of late I've been fighting within myself over the need for more rain protection or not.

This gear list is being prepared as an overall use list but with a specfic focus on my summer 2007 go at the Pacific Northwest Trail. The trail involves much high country travel with constant possibility of rain/snow and many waterless sections.

The water filter will be coming along with me. Much of the water on that trail needs no filtering whatsoever but when it does I simply don't want to drink chemically treated water. I am looking into some MYOG gravity filter options which are considerably lighter.

I also still haven't settled on my tarp/bivy/groundcloth solution as of yet either. With a bivy sack, yes I could lose the groundsheet. With a larger tarp, yes I could lose the bivy. I'm in the field testing these options as we speak. I'm also considering a tarp/tent option with bug netting (as I live in N. Minnesota).

I prefer to look at gear weight as a whole (FSO) so I'm not sure what practicality there is in a listing of worn and carried items (please enlighten me). However since requested, while hiking I wear from the ground up the shoes, lycra socks, pants, sometimes underwear and t shirt.

I like the constant availability of a drinking tube so that will be staying in but replacing the Gatorade bottles with Platypus bags is a sure bet. Compressibl, light and lifetime guarantee - can't go wrong.

With cooking I have no experience with a solid-fuel stove but will be trying it out in the near future. I like my beer can stoves but liquid fuel is bulky, awkward and the stove can tip easily. Esbit can be sent through the mail with my resupply boxes, seems to have good burn times/temps and is more compact (and lighter?) than alcohol and it's required carrying flask.

How sturdy is the Light My Fire Spork? Will the little knife really cut through a piece of salami as they say? having a spoon/fork/knife option could be a real treat in the making-you-feel-at-home dept.

Andrew Hedges
(alhedges) - F
disposable poncho on 07/22/2006 15:11:40 MDT Print View

If you get rid of your rain gear (which I recommend), you might consider carrying one of those very small disposable ponchos that you can find at target for 79 cents. The reason being that you might want to have some raingear to move around camp in after you've set up your regular poncho as a tarp.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
A good point on 07/22/2006 17:26:44 MDT Print View

That is a good point, Andrew. I sure many ultralighters would scoff at a piece of gear used so little but when the time came it would be oh so nice to have.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Feedback Requested on Gear List on 07/24/2006 13:38:16 MDT Print View

Sam, my experience is in the Colorado Rockies, I have not yet had the pleasure of hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

In the clothing section you could use a lighter windshirt. My Houdini weighs 3.9 oz and is hooded, which I really like. I think your Thermawrap jacket will be enough to make up for the loss of insulation in the Precip. I just started experimenting with the Smartwool Shadow's Hoody. The jury is still out, but so far so good. It's a long sleeve merino wool top with a hood, and thumb hole sleeves, and a zipper. It could replace your short and long sleeve tops, your gloves and possibly your fleece hat. The temperature range on my last outing was from 37 to 78 degrees F, and it performed very well. There is a risk in relying on one garment to do so much, however. You might lose over an once in socks. I use 2 pair of Smartwool ultralight cycling socks. They weigh 1.4 oz. I haven't needed heavier socks to sleep in.

Like Andrew, I use one of those cheap disposable rain ponchos. I used it as my only rain gear on a week long trek last season, when it rained every day. It worked amazingly well. I don't do a lot of bush whacking so your mileage may vary.

I had one Light My Fire (LMF) spork break, but I think it was a manufacturing defect. To be honest, I have pretty much ignored the knife. I have a real knife when I want to cut something. What drew me to it was the dedicated spoon and fork. I have a titanium spork and I like it, but I like the LMF spork better, and I can really feel the 7 gram difference in weight, he he :).

There may be a couple of ounces to be lost in your pot. Are you eating out of your pot or just boiling water? Are you using lithium batteries in your headlamp? Photon lights are an even lighter weight alternative, but your headlamp puts out a lot of light. You've probably thought of this this but, do you have something waterproof to pack your sleeping bag in? Stuff sacks usually leak. I break out the toiletries and first aid on my list otherwise they become easy for me to ignore. I think you are carrying far less than I am. That may not be bad. Weight can also be dropped from your pack and sleeping bag, but you've got some great gear there, and you've obviously thought about it.

I realize gear choices are very personal. You have obviously spent a lot of time and come up with a great list. There are are number of items where you are lighter than I am. I have learned from your list. I have no experience in the Pacific Northwest, so take my suggestions with a huge grain of salt. You may have also noticed, that I am biased toward wool.

Edited by ericnoble on 07/24/2006 13:42:07 MDT.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Bushwhacking on 07/27/2006 21:58:23 MDT Print View

Eric, thanks for the thorough going-over of the list. Your comments are insightful and pertain specifically. The post made so far are precisely what I was hoping to receive through the forums.

Below is a re-hash of your message in which I commented on some of the things. I didn't touch on everything but for the sake of discussion here are some of my thoughts.

The trail I'm particularly focusing this list for is the Pacific Northwest Trail ( http://pnt. org ). There are at least a dozen sections of the trail that are literal bushwhacks and due to this I have to keep some of my outer gear rugged.

I've had my Marmot Precip for a few years and it was off my packing list for some time but it is back on now due to concerns of mine that a poncho wouldn't cut it for a rainy bushwhack. For this reason I will probably be switching the poncho/tarp out for a more dedicated shelter tarp (no need for the hood).

My clothing choices need to be honed and refined. I doubt I'll replace both my long sleeve and short sleeve for a single shirt because I simply like to hike in a t-shirt. That is the kind of bold move (when done with safety in mind) that shaves off pounds.

I need to look into lithium batteries. I'm not sure what variety i have in there now. There are a number of lighter headlamp options that I will be looking into.

Waterproofing. I forgot to put that solution on my list. I've always used garbage bags for a sleeping bag sack and whole pack waterproofer. I've researched trash compactor bags and would like to try that.

My toiletries/first aid list weight is totally fabricated. I havne't weighed it so it's probably heavier. This is my 8 day kit.

2 non-adhesive
8 3x3 / 2x2
72" duct tape
8" x 2" moleskin
8 ibuprofen
8 vitamins
2 antihistamine
1 needle
mod. toothbrush
Dr. Bronners

Jeffrey Kuchera

Locale: Great Lakes
Well done. on 07/28/2006 00:44:13 MDT Print View

Your list reads well.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Bushwhacking on 07/28/2006 08:41:49 MDT Print View

I am glad you posted your list. I need to do the same. I am happy to critique a list from time to time, it makes me re-examine my own list. Like I said before, you've got a great list and have obviously spent some time thinking about it. I went to your web site and enjoyed your trip report. You have some experience backing up your list.

I carry the Adventure Medical Kit Ultralight .5 (90g). My toiletries are the same as yours with the addition of floss (5g), alcohol hand sanitizer (40g), sunblock (35g), and a Montbell trowel (40g). I've substituted an ounce of soap for an ounce of hand sanitizer because it does double duty as a fuel/fire starter, and uses less water than soap.

Thanks for posting your list and for the trip report. Can't wait to hear about your Pacific Northwest Trail trip.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Toiletries on 07/30/2006 19:59:18 MDT Print View

Thank you, Jeffrey. It has been the item of many hours of thought and research.

Eric, I am looking at simply re-creating the adventure medical kit from items I already have around. Sunblock is one thing I certainly have to add to my list as well. I use it when Im outside but I havent been weighing it.

You should take the time to put together an spreadsheet of your gear. It makes it easy to add and subtract weights and items. If you dont' know where to start, download one of the ones from the BPL gearlist contest. There are some excellent examples.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Toiletries on 07/30/2006 23:10:51 MDT Print View

The spreadsheet is great advice. I've been doing it for a while now. I was referring to posting my list on the gear list forum as you have done. I've had a hard time getting below 10 lbs. Some fresh eyes would probably help. I will follow your good example soon.