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7 Days in the Winds
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Mike Hensel
(mike220) - M

Locale: Northwest
7 Days in the Winds on 01/07/2011 20:22:31 MST Print View

7 Day Wind River trip August 2011

Clothing Worn
Function Packed Wt.
Hat w/ Brim -- 2.5
Hiking Shirt -- 10.0
Hiking Pants -- 12.5
Underwear -- 3.0
Hiking Socks -- 3.7
Sock Linners -- 1.5
Hiking Shoes - 32.0

Other Items Worn
Function Packed Wt.
Trekking Poles -- 14.2
Whistle -- 1.0
Delorme -- 11.0

Packed Clothing
Function Packed Wt.
Stuff Sack -- 0.3
Hiking Shirt Cap 2 -- 6.5
Patagonia Nanopuff -- 11.0
Long underware -- 8.0
Sock Hat -- 3.3
Underwear -- 3.0
Hiking Socks -- 3.7
Sock Linners -- 1.5
Camp Towel -- 1.8
Gloves -- 1.8

Sleep System
Function Packed Wt.
Shelter Hexamid -- 14.5
Sleeping Bag -- 34.0
Z-Lite -- 10.0
Neoair -- 19.0

Function Packed Wt.
SMD Starlite -- 31.0
Pack Cover -- 1.2
Stuff sack and line -- 2.0

Cooking and Water
Function Packed Wt.
Pot/spoon/cup -- 5.0
Fry Pan -- 6.0
Bushbuddy + Esbit -- 6.0
Water Bottles -- 3.6
Steri pen -- 4.0
Water Treatment -- 0.5

Other Items
Function Packed Wt.
Reading glasses -- 1.0
Maps -- 5.0
Light -- 3.0
Batteries -- 4.0
First Aid -- 5.0
Lighter -- 0.7
Firestarting -- 0.7
Compass -- 1.7
Knife -- 3.0
Hand Sanitizer -- 2.2
Patch Kit -- 0.8
Rain Jacket -- 7.0
Rain Pants -- 8.0
Sunglasses -- 1.5
Sunscreen -- 1.1
Head bug net -- 1.1
Insect Repelent -- 0.5
Tooth brush, paste etc -- 2.0
TP -- 3.0
Camera -- 7.0
Fishing Gear Total -- 18.0
Audio -- 2.2

Function Ounces(7 days)
Fuel Alcohol/Esbit -- 7
Food -- 168
Water carried -- 16

Weight Summary
Categories Ozs/ lbs.
Weight Worn -- 91.4/ 5.7
Base Weight -- 248.9 / 15.6
Consumables -- 191.0 / 11.9
Total weight -- 439.9 / 27.5
Full Skin Out -- 531.3 / 33.2

This what I have so far for my return trip to the Wind River Range in August.
Last years totaals were significantly higher. But I have changes a few of the larger items to lighter versions. I am sure there areas in the sundries that can be optimized.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

NOTE: Eddited to reflect changes as suggested so far. Thanks Mary and Mike

Edited by mike220 on 01/09/2011 10:14:38 MST.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
7 Days in the Winds on 01/07/2011 23:15:23 MST Print View

The list looks good; the Wind Range is a place I'd like to get to one day, too.

Some ideas:

1. Obviously, you can lose weight without the fishing gear, but I wouldn't worry about it, especially if fishing makes your trip better. Maybe you could find a lighter fry pan (no idea if that is possible) or a non-stick pot that can double as a fry pan. It is expensive, but you could also look at the folding Ti Grill here at the BPL store.

2. You list a 10 oz hiking shirt and a Cap 2. You don't list what kind of shirt you are wearing, but there must be some options to lose the hiking shirt. Even carrying two Cap 2 shirts would drop 4 oz.

3. Drop the ZLite and get a 3/16" or 3/8" Gossamer Gear Thinlite.

Mike Hensel
(mike220) - M

Locale: Northwest
Re on 01/08/2011 11:41:34 MST Print View

Thanks for the reply.
The hiking shirt is a Exoficio long sleeve, permitherin treated.
The lighter pad from GG is a good idea, most likely I will obtain that prior to my trip. I need the extra pad with the Air pad for the upper Winds area, it gets cold at night.
I may leave the Capilene 2 long sleeve shirt behind, I can most likely do w/o a spare shirt.
The fishing gear is pretty much a must in the Winds. You just cant pass up fly fishing those lakes. I could cut that back to about 12-13 oz if I didnt bring two fly rods. If you catch fish you gotta have a frying pan.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
feedback and insights on 01/08/2011 12:49:51 MST Print View

I have spent a LOT of time in the winds, and your overall weight is too high. You should easily come in at under 25 pounds of pack-weight.

My feedback below:

Nano Pull over 11.0 ------- What is this? 11 oz is a lot.

Underwear 3.0 --------- NIX

Camp Towel 2.1 --------- NIX

Neoair 19.0 --------- NIX

Pack 31.0 ------------ WAY too much, find a lighter pack. 16 oz max.

Pack Cover 1.2 --------- NIX

Day Pack 4.0 --------- NIX

Ursack 4.0 --------- NIX --------------- Simply use string and hang your pack.

Cook Kit 5.0 - what does this mean?

Fry Pan 6.0 ------------- Find something lighter

Steri pen 4.0 --------- NIX ---------- Use aquamira repackaged

Light 3.0 ------------- Find a lighter headlamp (save over 2 oz)

Batteries 4.0 --------- batteries for what?

First Aid 5.0 ------------ Revise and save a fe ounces

Hand Sanitizer 2.2 --------------- Too much, Re-package

Rain Pants 8.0 --------- NIX

Tooth brush, paste etc 6.0 ------------ 6oz is too much

TP 6.0 --------- NIX

Fishing Gear Total 22.0 -------------- TOO MUCH, shave the weight to something MUCH lower.

Audio 2.2 --------- NIX

Fuel Alcohol/Esbit 7 1 -------------- NIX and just use the BUSH BUDDY

Food (Days oz/day) 7 24 ------------ Shave this way down if you are planning to fish.

Edited by mikeclelland on 01/08/2011 12:51:31 MST.

Mike Hensel
(mike220) - M

Locale: Northwest
RE 7 Days in the Winds on 01/08/2011 14:02:28 MST Print View

Thanks for the weight saving tips.

I am willing to carry the extra ounces for the fishing gear because that is one of the reasons I am going up there. Fishing gear could be a little lighter I suppose, but I dont have many extra items on the list. So I guess I am trying to justify the extra ounces for the extra fly rod.

Regarding the Neoair, I am an old guy and with out the air pad I dont think I will be making it for 7 days. I sure wish I could still get by with a light foam pad.

I may NIX some of the items you suggest, such as, the camp towel,ursack,daypack,and some of the food.

A question I have is , without the ursack what would you hang the food bag from, as you suggest. Last summer where I went in the Winds there wernt many trees after the first day?

Thanks for the suggestions, I may be able to shave off more weight.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
7 Days in the Winds on 01/08/2011 16:45:12 MST Print View

I just compared your list with my own, which is also for high up in the Winds. My base weight is 5 lbs. lighter than yours, even with a heavier tent (GG/Tarptent Squall Classic), and as a somewhat arthritic old lady who always has been a cold sleeper, I need plenty of creature comforts! Most of these items have been mentioned before, but here's my take.

10-oz. hiking shirt--that's awfully heavy, more than I have for a lightweight wicking baselayer top (Capilene 2) plus lightweight windshirt (Montbell UL). Use your lightweight baselayer top as your hiking shirt (spray it with permethrin which will last through several washings). Leave the 10-oz. behemoth at home. You want something next to your skin that wicks and also provides some insulation when layered under outer clothing.

Do you really need those extra heavy socks and liners? I find one pair of medium-weight merino wool socks (2.3 oz. per pair) to work just fine, even with my deformed and therefore blister-prone feet. They dry a lot faster than those heavy socks and liners, too.

I agree the Nanopuff is too heavy, and probably warmer than you need if you wear all your layers together around camp when it's cold (which you should be doing). I just switched from a Montbell UL Thermawrap to a Montbell Ex-Light Down, lighter and warmer. (Just be sure to keep it dry!)

Why extra underwear? Except for the spare pair of socks, the general principle is to take no more clothing than you would wear all at one time in the worst conditions you might encounter. Leave the extra underwear with a set of clean clothes in the car to change into when you get back to the trailhead. You can rinse out the underwear you're wearing and (if yours is quick drying--check out Ex-Officio) it will be dry in an hour, during which time you can go "commando" without hardship.

Dental hygiene: I use a folding travel toothbrush, 0.5 oz. Try baking soda instead of toothpaste--dentist recommended, multiple uses (deodorant, paste for itchy bug bites, antacid), no residue on ground or vegetation when you spit it out, far lighter than toothpaste. Since I have expensive bridgework to keep clean, I take "Glide" prethreaded floss--enough for a week, removed from its individual packages and put in a tiny plastic bag, doesn't even register 0.1 oz. on my scale. (It can also be used as sewing thread for repairs.) My total dental hygiene kit for a week is 1 oz.

I also can't sleep without a 2.5" air pad, but there are lighter (and less expensive) alternatives than yours. First, see if you can get by with a shorter (3/4 length) pad plus your pack under your knees. Instead of the Z-Lite, get a 1/4" thick Thinlight pad from Gossamer Gear and cut it to torso length (shoulders to just below hips)--lighter and less bulky, and extra insulation only where you most need it. Check the weight of your NeoAir plus CCF foam against the weight of various insulated air pads. With the POE Peak Elite AC (successor to their Ether Elite, recently reviewed by BPL), which is supposed to hit the market at the end of this month, you may not even need the extra CCF insulation--it will have twice the "R" rating of the NeoAir, weigh less than the NeoAir and cost less than half as much. (You could sell your used NeoAir for enough to pay for it!) I've been using a POE insulated air pad for 6 years (except for a brief and very unsuccessful struggle with the NeoAir) and really love it. Try it on a frosty night in your back yard to see if this pad is comfy for you and if you can get by without the extra CCF pad. Or check with Bender of Kooka Bay to see what he can do for you that would be warmer and lighter than the NeoAir plus CCF pad.

Take a smaller, lighter towel or at least cut yours in half!

Try to cut back on fishing tackle. With the Winds being a fisherman's paradise, fishing tackle is, of course, a true essential unless you really hate fishing! Use dry flies (which of course can be fished wet) instead of heavy lures. I've switched to a Tenkara outfit (more fun, IMHO, as well as a lot lighter--no reel) and my total fishing tackle including the frying pan (5 oz.) and plenty of extra flies and tippet comes to 13 oz. Unless you like fish poached or steamed in your cooking pot, you do need the frying pan if you're at or above timberline (no fires or use of wood for fuel allowed above 10,400 ft. in the Winds, at least in the Bridger Wilderness), but look for a lighter one. Mine is part of a GSI Bugaboo solo set and is aluminum and non-stick. Non-stick titanium would be lighter yet, but is harder to cook with (you have to keep moving the pan constantly on the stove burner or fire to spread the heat and not have a hot spot in the middle).

In most cases, I would never, ever cut back on my food hoping to catch fish--IMHO, that's a good way not to catch any! The Winds, though, are an exception, unless you're going to be in a very popular area with high fishing pressure (I wouldn't plan on catching any at Island Lake or Titcomb Basin). Also, your food for 7 days should be 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners. Depending on how much fish you plan to eat, you could cut the dinners or breakfasts in half for part (not all) the meals you expect to eat fish. This will offset some of your fishing tackle weight.

Re cooking fuel, note the fire rules above. Where you're at lower elevations, use wood to save fuel carried, if you can find an existing fire ring. Thanks to the pine bark beetle, there's too much wood fuel at lower elevations (do be careful)!

I do take an Ursack because, thanks to arthritis and lack of skill, I can't throw at all--it's either an Ursack or a much heavier bear canister for me. Above timberline, most people hang from cliffs or one of those enormous boulders. Are you sure you weighed your Ursack correctly? Mine is 7.5 oz. The lighter version they make (Ursack Minor) is not bear resistant. Legally, in the Winds, you are supposed to hang (judging from the USFS diagrams, they don't care how as long as it's high enough) or use an approved canister. In other words, I'm illegal up there!

I would not nix rain pants up there because when it snows, as it inevitably will regardless of season, you're going to want dry legs! It partly depends on the exposure where you're going. Look for a lighter pair--yours weigh more than your jacket! Silnylon chaps or a silnylon kilt plus gaiters would be lightweight alternatives. My silnylon rain pants (men's large) weigh 3 oz. You really don't need breathable material for rain pants.

A pack cover will not keep your pack contents dry in heavy rain or if you slip and fall during one of the innumerable stream fords in the Winds. Stuff sacks aren't waterproof either (the closure isn't waterproof). Try a waterproof pack liner (2 mil plastic bag, use a "candy cane" closure to make it watertight), or use dry bags (with waterproof closure) for your sleeping bag and insulating clothing.

You mention an "e-lite"--if that's the 1-oz. Petzl e+lite, that's plenty enough for all your lighting needs! You can ditch the 3-oz. light listed farther down.

You don't need the day pack; just scrunch the compression straps way down on your Starlite, load up what you need and take off! You can lighten the Starlite a bit by trimming excess straps (be sure to try on for length over all your thickest insulating clothing first).

If you don't want to or, like me, can't ditch TP (medical reasons in my case), consider paper towel sections instead. They are tougher and far more absorbent than TP. Three 6" x 11" sections per day (more than enough) weigh 0.4 oz, or about 3 oz. for a week--half the weight of the TP on your list. Just be sure to pack it out!

By getting tiny dropper bottles and repackaging, you can get by with less sunscreen, bug dope, sanitizer, soap and other such items. They are available at BPL, Gossamer Gear or US Plastics (where you can get semi-transparent ones so you can see how much is inside!).

What are the extra batteries for, and why do you need them? By starting with fresh batteries in everything, you should last the trip. (I do take an extra set of camera batteries, but by using the "power saving" feature (shutting off the LCD screen and using the viewfinder), I can go a week or more on a single fresh set, even when (as often) I get carried away with photography!

Your cooking pot seems heavy; my solo pot is 2 oz. and my spoon is 0.3 oz. I drink tea out of my pot so don't need a cup.

As I did, so can you, too, cut another 5 lbs. without sacrificing comfort or safety! With 5 lbs. less, you very possibly could switch to a lighter pack (as MikeC suggests) for even more savings!

Edited by hikinggranny on 01/08/2011 17:11:50 MST.

Mike Hensel
(mike220) - M

Locale: Northwest
Re: 7 days in Winds on 01/09/2011 10:21:59 MST Print View

Let me address some of the items: (totals in OP reflect these changes).

The Exofficio insect shield Shirt LS 10oz-this is worn not in pack weight.

Fishing gear, reweighed =17.5oz, this isn't changing.
Frying pan 8"- 6oz, that's about as light as they get, it has no handle as it is.

Z-Lite, I will get a Gossamer Gear pad , approx 5oz, that's 5oz saved (Good Suggestion, thanks).
Patagonia Nanopuff is the only outer insulation layer I am taking. Down jacket is slightly warmer and about the same weight. May get that but weight won't change.

Inflatable air pad is going. I will look into a lighter alternative.

Day pack, off the list, that's 4oz saved.

Ursack, yes it is the minor version, I will replace it with a lighter stuff sack and hang it as you have suggested. 3 oz saved

Hand sanitizer, I have a 0.5 oz container for shorter trips, but for a week I thought this was adequate last year. Sunscreen, bug lotion, these I already repackaged. Batteries, reduced to one set of spares for GPS and light. 2oz saved.

For the water treatment, I find that I have to carry more while waiting for the treatment to work (32-48oz) Adding up to more weight carried during the day. If I can drink then carry just one liter (by filtering) it works best. This allows me to stop and drink as nessesary. The Steri pen and Gatoraid containers (8oz)is a new option, normally I have a Katadyne Hiker and two Platty one liters (18oz)

Cook kit I use Packlite meals which generally are cooked and eaten out of the pot. The meals usually require a slightly larger pot to cook in. But my total for pot, lid, spoon and cup are 5.0 oz.

The cup, which is just a plastic 12oz cream cheese container weighs 0.5oz. This is there so I can drink tea while I am cooking dinner. Also works for coffee while making oatmeal, etc. Keeps liquids warmer than the Ti pots too. And all that for 0.5 oz. Maybe I'll check out the yogurt containers, they seem to have a thinner wall, but I may be sacrificing some insulating ability.

I appreciate all of the suggestions, I look at my list more critically every time. Last year I did this same trip (well same general area) and had significantly more weight.


Andrew Wolff

Locale: Chattanooga
7 days in the winds on 01/09/2011 20:04:08 MST Print View

Mike looks like you've been getting good advice so far. I did the Winds this last September and don't think you'll have too much trouble hanging your food, where there are no trees there will certainly be plenty of big rocks and cliff hanging works well. BTW what is your planned route? Hope I can go back soon.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
OP saks on 01/10/2011 10:14:07 MST Print View

An option for NOT hanging your gear above tree line would be to get a couple of XXL OP SAKS (odor proof plastic bags) from this site. Size one to fit your fry pan and cook kit.

If you are frying fish, this could easily attract bears.

And - Good grief, do NOT take an extra backpack, one is fine.

Mike Hensel
(mike220) - M

Locale: Northwest
7 days in the Winds on 01/10/2011 17:48:38 MST Print View

Good grief, did I not take the two ounce day pack off the list.:)