Telltale signs your kit has evolved.
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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Telltale signs your kit has evolved. on 08/27/2010 15:02:38 MDT Print View

I've been very happy with my Exos 58 that I got more than a year ago. Its comfortable and light, and can hold all my gear.

Recently, I had been noticing that one of two things was happening. Either my pack was getting bigger, or my kit was getting smaller. I figured it was the latter of the two.

So, I decided it was time to look for a smaller pack. I opted for a Talon 44 which I got yesterday. I packed up my 3-season kit with two days worth of food and a bit of water. Everything fit very nicely, with just a bit of room left so I could do a week-long or winter trip.

Here's the point where I was certain I had done the right thing in getting a smaller pack: I opened up my Exos 58, and almost literally dropped my fully loaded Talon 44 right inside. With room to spare.

As soon as I can be certain that the Talon will be comfortable to hike long distances in, my Exos will be up on gear swap.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
i know the feeling on 08/27/2010 17:57:11 MDT Print View

i'm packing for a quick overnight 26 mile trip. my McHale Chasm is truly that, a chasm. small packs are uncomfortable for me, so i use the compression straps and pack vertically. it's so tempting to fill that extra space, isn't it.

i have decided to bring a book, not sure WHERE i'm going to put it. in this void over here, or that void over there. hahah :)

Edited by asciibaron on 08/27/2010 17:58:02 MDT.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Telltale signs your kit has evolved. on 08/28/2010 11:29:31 MDT Print View

For a 5 day/4 night trip, I'm going to be carrying 15lbs less in total pack weight (I didn't know what 'baseweight' was back then so this is food + gear) than I did on my first overnight getting back into backpacking 2 years ago. If you figure in skin out the difference probably jumps to 18 pounds due to trading boots for trail runners.

I'll feel like my kit has fully evolved when it only takes 30 minutes to pack for a trip because my gear closet is as UL as my gear kit.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Kit evolution? on 08/28/2010 15:30:25 MDT Print View

I know my kit has evolved when:

There are fewer items
Less weight
Less volume
Better performance
Greater safety
I'm thinking about it less
I'm enjoying the hike more
Lower cost (that is a dreaming wish)

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Evolving kit on 08/28/2010 17:00:59 MDT Print View

I've found my trips to be getting longer and my pack heavier as I want to carry what I need without resupply for two weeks or more. I just got back from an 18 day trip and decided to take a couple more books and alot more food than usual, like apples, an avocado, a loaf of bread, some eggs, etc.

The old saying, "The more experienced you become, the lighter your pack", doesn't really apply in all cases. I find the more time I spend outdoors, the more I want to bring out with me.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Telltale signs your kit has evolved. on 08/28/2010 17:04:24 MDT Print View

I had to get my base load to be pretty light so that I can carry it and also the 30-40 pounds worth of camera gear. We have to keep our priorities straight.

--B.G.--

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Kit on 08/28/2010 17:11:20 MDT Print View

Or my 40 lbs of food.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Kit on 08/28/2010 17:24:12 MDT Print View

Hmmm, 40 pounds of food for 18 days? That seems a touch on the heavy side.

For summer trips, I normally pack about 1.5-1.6 pounds of food per day, and then I return with leftovers. On a recent trip, I packed only 4.5 pounds of food for the first six days (before resupply), and there was still a pound or more of it left.

--B.G.--

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Evolving kit on 08/28/2010 18:03:33 MDT Print View

I like to eat, obviously. Fresh fruit, Tasty Bite meals(they are heavy), dates, raisins, walnuts, 3 lbs of cheese, etc etc. Walk. Collapse. Eat. Walk. Collapse . . . .etc.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Telltale signs your kit has evolved. on 08/28/2010 19:23:12 MDT Print View

"I opted for a Talon 44 which I got yesterday. "

Travis, what happened to the Swift dude?

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Evolving kit on 08/28/2010 21:50:38 MDT Print View

I want to hike with Walter! Add 2lbs of coffee and we're set.

Jeffrey Kuchera
(frankenfeet)

Locale: Great Lakes
RE Telltale signs your kit has evolved. on 08/28/2010 22:41:39 MDT Print View

I knew my kit had evolved when packing it up was no longer a chore.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: RE Telltale signs your kit has evolved. on 08/29/2010 00:00:19 MDT Print View

Many years ago when I carried a traditional load, I kept a 50-pound scale in the trunk of my car so that I could a last-minute weighing of my pack.

Now I still keep a scale in the trunk of my car, but it is a 25-pound scale.

--B.G.--

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Telltale signs your kit has evolved on 08/29/2010 11:20:21 MDT Print View

Jeffrey hit on it...I just realized I too no longer have to carefully pack my backpack so that everything will fit, or just barely fit, like I had to in the good old days.

Now I just sort of put things in according to a general plan, then ponder whether I should buy a smaller/lighter pack (but since I'm so cheap I never do it, so this is a regular occurrence).

Way back when I would regularly ponder whether I needed a larger/heavier pack.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
My SMD Swift on 08/29/2010 13:36:24 MDT Print View

Alex,
I still have the Swift, and I do like it for overnighters. However, when I start doing week-long outings, the framed packs are more comfortable for me.

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Doing Something Right on 08/29/2010 14:09:33 MDT Print View

I knew I was doing something right when I noticed my laptop, it's case, cord, and an external hard drive is heavier than gear and food I need to survive for a week.

Jason Knecht
(distortedaxis) - F

Locale: Earth
Telltale signs your kit has evolved on 08/29/2010 16:50:40 MDT Print View

Because your wallet is empty!

Actually in all seriousness, I too have noticed a change. I can hike faster, further, and longer than I used to when covering the same ground as I did in previous years.

Dan Montgomery
(theDanarchist) - F

Locale: Hampton Roads, VA
Telltale signs your kit has evolved on 08/29/2010 16:55:27 MDT Print View

After barely getting everything inside your new, lighter, smaller pack, you eventually move your sleeping bag and jacket to larger stuff sacks to help fill out the same pack.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Re: Telltale signs your kit has evolved. on 09/03/2010 12:03:01 MDT Print View

"I had to get my base load to be pretty light so that I can carry it and also the 30-40 pounds worth of camera gear. We have to keep our priorities straight."

I'm glad I'm not the only one... though I got my camera kit down to under 20 pounds by sticking almost entirely to a 4x5 instead of a bulky digital SLR ;)

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Telltale signs your kit has evolved. on 09/03/2010 12:07:05 MDT Print View

The weight and bulk of two DSLR bodies is insignificant compared to the weight and bulk of big lenses.

--B.G.--