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Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
My updated gear list on 10/10/2010 19:11:24 MDT Print View

Hey everyone,
if you get a chance, I'd love for you to look at our gear list. Everything is now purchased and we're just coming into good weather and are super keen to try it out!
Originally we had a dragonfly and msr cookpots and mugs but I have decided to take the plunge and go for an alcohol setup, cutting our weight by 30oz. We have not yet purchased it but I have a thread in the g spot section.
I'm not so keen on trusting a bic lighter so the mini firesteel was what I chose, still very light.
Also, we only have 1 sleeping bag each so far but a much lighter summer option is in the cards for the future. Something like a WM summerlite etc.
We camp a lot but backpacking is new to us so clothing will probably be a work in progress. My wife is a very cold person when idle.
We're down to 14lb for me and 11lb for my wife so far. I know the packs are a heavy option. We tried lighter packs but being thin people, we found the extra padding around the hip belt a massive plus. We've purchased them now so they are not up for debate. Sorry haha. I know a lot of you will cringe at their weight.

Thanks very much :)

Benen

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: My updated gear list on 10/10/2010 21:16:27 MDT Print View

I really like the mini firesteel. I trust it far more than I do a mini Bic which can fail if it gets greasy/oily, wet, too cold and/or too high altitude. With that said, I haven't been able to light my alcohol stove directly with my firesteel. The sparks just don't light the alcohol. I normally use my Mini Bic and have the fire steel as a back up. I use tindertabs or some other tinder to light the alcohol.

Wow those packs are heavy. Are you sure they're not up for debate? Your wife's pack (4.8 lbs) is nearly half of her 11 lbs baseweight.

Why are you using two 0.9L pots instead of 1 larger pot? Cooking would be faster, light, simpler and more efficient with a single 1.3-1.9L pot.

Have you tried a NeoAir small? I find my comfort with a NeoAir small to be virtually the same as with a NeoAir regular when I put my packs back pad and other clothes under my feet. 9oz vs. 14oz is a big difference.

Edited by dandydan on 10/10/2010 21:16:59 MDT.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
packs and neo-air on 10/10/2010 21:55:43 MDT Print View

Like I said, unfortunately we have already purchased them. I did go for a 4 hour hike last weekend with a decent weight in my pack and found it very comfortable. I would have liked a 2lb pack but after trying some on, my wife found them too uncomfortable. I found them OK, but the heavier pack was much better, at least for the winter load. A lighter, smaller pack is definitely on the cards for our summer travels though. Something like an Osprey Exos or a ULA pack.

When deciding to go with a short or regular pad we tried getting comfortable with legs off of a pad that we already had and both quickly decided not to risk compromising our sleep with a smaller pad.

I've been quite successful lighting alcohol with my regular firesteel, I have not tried the smaller one yet but didn't expect it to be an issue. Will definitely have to try that out before hand!

Thanks very much for your reply :)

Benen

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
My updated gear list on 10/11/2010 00:41:45 MDT Print View

If your wife tends to be cold when backpacking you might want to swap out the windproof fleece for a light weight down jacket and a light weight fleece top (100 wt fleece sweater).

This combination will provide greater warmth and versatility. I carry this combo and in a mens XL the combo is lighter than your wife's fleece but my fleece/down combo will be warmer.

I use this combination all the time because I like the versatility of two complimentary pieces... I hike in the light fleece top when it's cold and add the down jacket (MB down inner jacket) when in camp. I can sleep in either or both if the temp drops.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Layering on 10/11/2010 01:13:46 MDT Print View

I was actually looking at light weight down jackets today. That's a great idea. Thanks. My wife already has a very light fleece but her down jacket is a MH sub zero sl so no good for backpacking at around 2pm! Maybe a MH Nitrous or something? I would like to get the same for myself.

Edited by benen on 10/11/2010 01:49:30 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Insulation on 10/11/2010 13:29:44 MDT Print View

I currently use a light down jacket (Montbell UL Down Inner, 8.5oz) and a down vest (First Ascent Downlight, 7.5oz) as my insulation in cold weather, but I've been thinking that it might be better to have the longer sleeved layer be synthetic or fleece since it's easier to get wet.

A combo of a light 100wt fleece or light synthetic jacket (Montbell Thermawrap, Patagonia Nanopuff) combined with a toasty down vest would keep you warm and at a lower risk of trouble.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
temps on 10/11/2010 13:33:07 MDT Print View

what is your expected temp range and rainfall?

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
weather on 10/12/2010 00:40:46 MDT Print View

We are from South Australia, the climate ranges from about 25f to 113f on the extreme end of cold nights and hot days (never together obviously, and the weather is generally quite dry but we do encounter heavy rain in winter.
We are very keen to head to Tasmania to do some extended trips and the weather there is quite a bit cooler and wetter. Our down jackets would be essential. Not sure about footwear Leather boots vs shoes in that climate. We have never used anything but light shoes in South Australia.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
down on 10/12/2010 12:34:27 MDT Print View

for those temps any decent down jacket with a hood will be fine ...

Andy Duncan
(bluewater) - M

Locale: SoCal
My updated gear list on 10/15/2010 03:19:51 MDT Print View

I really like the layout of your list and the weight percentages for each of you (56% for you and 44% for Sibby). I get a little OCD with the gear list thing so I can appreciate your detail. Your 14 lb and 11 lb summer base weights are great, especially considering the weight of the packs and shelter. Candy & I just did a 3 day Sierra trip and our base weights were similar (11 lbs & 7 lbs, I carried the 'heavy' stuff).

I realize you already mentioned that the backpacks are not really up for debate. I have used Osprey packs and started this past summer with an Osprey Argon 85. It was amazingly comfortable with 45 lbs for my training hikes, but it weighed 6.2 lbs empty. Although I was really impressed with the hipbelt padding and suspension I ended up returning it as my base weight decreased.

The hipbelt on my Osprey pack was actually custom molded to my waist after being heated in an oven at REI. I thought it was the pinnacle of comfort.

After all that I have been amazed at how much more comfortable ultralight packs can be. My wife and I have been using Gossamer Gear packs. Candy has a Murmur (8 oz w/ hipbelt) and I use a Miniposa (14 oz) or a Gorilla (24 oz w/ internal frame). We returned Candy's Osprey Exos 46 as the Murmur was sooo much more comfortable. This is just my experience so I thought I would put it out there. . . if you ever consider a change.

Have you considered possibly using a lighter shelter? The Big Sky Evo 2P/2D/2V weighs only 48 oz. It's a 2 person double wall tent with 2 doors and 2 vestibules. The Gossamer Gear Squal Classic is a 2 person tent and weighs only 24 ozs. The Zpacks Hexamid Twin Tent is a 2 person tarp tent and weighs 10.5 ozs. A large Gossamer Gear polycro groundsheet weighs about 2.5 ozs and may be a good option instead of the 8.8 oz tent footprint. These options could save between 27.25 ozs to 65.25 ozs depending on which one you consider.

The other thing that has helped us save considerable weight is repackaging our misc items in small 1/4 oz nalgene bottles or dropper bottles. 1.4 oz of sunscreen, 1.76 oz for soap, 1.59 oz for toothpaste all adds up. I realize this may seem minor, but by repackaging and just bringing what you need for each trip you could save 3.5 ozs.

We started using Aqua Mira repackaged in small dropper bottles (1 oz total) and now leave the water filter and extra platypus bottle at home. This would save over 6 ozs on your current list.

Put all this together and you've chopped almost 5 pounds off your base weight. It really adds up quickly.

Check out this funny BPL article called Every Ounce Counts: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/testimony_every_ounce_counts.html

I hope this is helpful. Have fun in Tasmania.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Thanks Andrew on 10/15/2010 22:53:20 MDT Print View

Thanks heaps for your post Andrew! You've given me some good ideas to reduce out weight. We haven't even used the tent yet so I definitely can't justify buying something else just yet. The footprint could definitely be replaced in the future though as it was only cheap. I'll see what I can come up with!