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2011 no-compromise 3+ season gear list for the PNW?
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Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
2011 no-compromise 3+ season gear list for the PNW? on 01/28/2011 15:07:31 MST Print View

This is my 2011 3+ season gear list for the Pacific Northwest as a Google Doc, that includes crazy things like a Jetboil, a water filter, and lots of insulation:

2011 gear list

I have a Trailstar there as a solo shelter in the hopes to convince my hiking buddies to carry less weight on our typical three-day trips and introduce them to tarp camping. The sleeping bag is fairly heavy (28º EN-rated 750 fill bag) and I'd like to switch to a quilt for use with the bivy.

Does anyone have reasonably inexpensive suggestions to cut weight?

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
RE: 2011 no-compromise 3+ season gear list for the PNW?" on 01/28/2011 15:39:23 MST Print View

I think your list looks good but if you really wanted to cut some weight you could switch to a lighter pack (MLD Burn at about 10-11 oz.) and switch out your water filter for a Steripen Opti (3-4 oz.). But then again, the smaller backpack might make fitting everything a tad bit more difficult. I've used the Steripen for years without any malfunction or issue, though I've read that some on BPL have had different experiences.

Jeffrey McConnell
filter and stove on 01/28/2011 16:29:18 MST Print View

Switching out the filter and stove are probably the easiest ways to save some weight. Looks like a good list.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
PNW on 01/28/2011 18:10:23 MST Print View

agreed- good list :)

is the granite gear air waterproof? I'd want in lieu of it if it isn't

I think you could trim your sunscreen, soap and bug dope down w/ further re-packaging, I'm using very small droppers and mine for a week trip weigh 0.4, 0.3 and 0.2 respectively

do you hike at night? if not a e-lite (or similar) headlamp would shave a few oz

compass and map(s)? first aid kit, repair kit?

if your thinking about a quilt, you might consider turning your Halo into one- I had my Atom (similar rating and weight as the Halo) converted into a quilt by Tim Marshall and it went from 24 oz to 17 oz, I think it's actually warmer now as well as no down was eliminated, but now resides on top

the Ohm by all accounts is a great pack, would be hard to let that go (albeit the Burn is a dandy as well :)- if it has enough volume for your needs)

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
heatsheets on 01/28/2011 18:21:50 MST Print View

i dont think youll need the groundsheets with the bivy

looks good

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: heatsheets on 01/28/2011 19:04:35 MST Print View

I'd agree, I have the same bivy and it's pretty waterproof on the bottom :)

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 2011 no-compromise 3+ season gear list for the PNW? on 01/29/2011 02:45:24 MST Print View

For insight into what you should have. Read what PCT thru hikers take with them through the High Sierras in May/June. This is equivalent to what you will need in the PNW for fall and spring.

What you described in your gear list is a minimalist summer list for hiking.

Edited by footeab on 01/29/2011 03:26:12 MST.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 2011 no-compromise 3+ season gear list for the PNW? on 01/29/2011 03:06:43 MST Print View

Erm, is that list supposed to be good for 3+ seasons? Seems a decent summer hiking kit minimalist though. Though its not even good for summer as the parka is mighty light IMO unless you are restricting yourself to low elevations only. There have been many a night in the summer out here in the PNW that I have been very glad for my Down 1lb jacket along with my Montbell micropuff jacket with hood. The parka won't breath all that well compared to fleece and a windshell or even the micropuff or equivalent and will build up sweat. I know, says breathable. They aren't and never have been. Its why everyone gets a windshirt. Put over fleece baselayer as it turns wind and lets one vent far better than any softshell. If you want a no-compromise 3 season kit...

What are you counting as worn? Am I blind and am missing something obvious? Like a slap upside my head?

I have hiked in the ol' PNW, backpacked, mountainclimbed, and have never carried a water filter. I can count only a few times that I have ever even boiled water let alone used iodine drops or equivelent. You can always find water in the PNW with some forethought. Though Oregon this can be difficult along with Idaho. You can get an inline gravity fed water filter like ULA sells, weighing far less. The cascades or Olympics or coast range? Water is everywhere, just don't take it from below where people typically move/camp, and don't take water from lakes. IE if a trail switchbacks through the creeklet above, don't take water from there. Only take water from well above the trail in case things like dogs/horses/humans did their thing on the uphill side of the trail.

As for early fall, into October, seems "ok" for your list, late fall? Not a chance, let alone spring or winter. Ok, late spring you are probably pushing it as you will be on snow, but it is possible, though VERY cold. I wouldn't but its your life.

I don't mean to rain on your parade, but there is no way I would allow someone outfitted so minimally as you are to go hiking on snow with me with temps in the single digits for say a 3 day trek in late october early november or even April. Its a good start, but I see several pieces missing. Now if we knew weather ahead of time and said we would just get out of dodge if the weather turns, then maybe with that list. But this means you are pretty much a fair weather ONLY hiker. Oh, wait that is me generally as I am a local and get to look at the weather and decide if I want to go. Though, sometimes I get cabin fever and just GO!

Add 2nd set of thin gloves(forget if you had this on your list), as your super light gloves shown won't do for more than a little while, certainly not days, better ground protection, IE NOT a ridgerest that captures condensation in its "ridges" and then proceeds to soak your BBAG, get closed cell foam flat sheet sold at say Promountain sports etc, gaitors!, VB socks, insulating piece like the one you have listed times 2. 1 to wear 1 to put on for bed or trade out for camp. Do you have a windshirt in there? Layers, layers, layers... late fall early spring seems I am always taking layers off and on to stay cool, but not too cold either. Do you have true waterproof pack cover and waterproof bags in there for your clothes instead of what most folks have, trash bags. Trash bags the thick black type are good for a packliner though. Is this what you were using the 16L bag for? Thin trash bags for little garbage buckets are porous I have found and rip very very easily.

And a 40 degree sleeping bag even wearing your parka inside won't be sufficient for summer when it turns nasty out. Generally in summer its fine, but you don't plan for generally average 70 degree or higher days. Even with ALL of your listed clothes on said bag will be good down to at best 20 degrees. I have hiked in plenty of fall days or early spring where max temp was around 20-30 degrees max. Get a 20 degree bag OR, conversely VB socks with down booties and a down coat. This would get your setup down to around late Fallish/Early spring temps. Though definetely still NOT 3+ seasons. Not sure about your shelter and snow... Pans? It WILL snow in the Spring and FALL. In fact a large percentage of our snowpack arrives in the SPRING. Generally not in the fall so much though. Though getting a food dump or more is not uncommon in the fall.

Edited by footeab on 01/29/2011 03:27:23 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
3 seasons on 01/29/2011 05:46:01 MST Print View

id be fine with most of that list for 3 seasons at low elevations for backpacking ...

note that that is a 28F en-rated sleeping bag for men ...

just dont get yr down wet ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 01/29/2011 05:47:26 MST.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 3 seasons on 01/29/2011 06:14:29 MST Print View

Ok call me dumb, but how the heck does one obtain a 28F rating. That right there tells me whoever makes said bag is pulling some turds out of their nether regions to sell to the public. Most people can't even agree on 5 degrees difference let alone single digits. I got the 40 degree number off of the spread sheet where it says 40F bag 26oz. So, which is it? Maybe an old gear list? Grabbed the old one?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
rei on 01/29/2011 06:27:33 MST Print View

its on REI webs site ... they en-rate all their bags ... its a 37F for women, 28F for men ..

en ratings are considered quite accurate and conservative

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 01/29/2011 07:53:49 MST Print View

I go out all year in Oregon and Washington.

I have a sleeping bag that's 40 or 50 F, and a vest that has 2 layers of 3 ounce Climashield, and an eVent jacket - similar to your list.

I'm good to 20F but I'll be a little chilly.

You might want to add something for your legs/feet - insulated booties or pants.

Each person is different - go out in 32F weather and see if you get cold and adjust appropriatly.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Alpine Light Parka on 01/29/2011 08:42:40 MST Print View

I'd consider the Alpine Light parka to be very sufficient for most three season use (probably overkill in summer unless your on the cold blooded end of the scale), if you add the "+" to three seasons- simply adding an additional light insulation layer to it should do the trick

I agree, the bag could get a little dicey as well at the ends (and definitely the "+" ), for a truly 3+ bag you're probably looking at a 15-20 degree bag

Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
Gearlist on 01/29/2011 08:49:40 MST Print View

Thanks for everyone's insights. This is definitely a fair weather or low elevation base for this time of year, and doesn't include worn clothes which could vary from a wool t-shirt in the summer to an R1 and shell pants toward the ends of the year. I do have gaiters, crampons, and an ice axe, but I carry them very infrequently and didn't include them in the list because those trips are very infrequent. With the addition of those three, I've climbed Mt. Adams in October over two days with this sleeping bag and a nano puff.

@Evan: What do you use as a pre-filter for your Steripen? Just a bandana? Would one last for a week after filtering 5 liters a day?

@Jeff: Can you really get a cook kit under 8.5oz that functions even remotely as reliably as a Jetboil? I agree the old ones are heavy, but the Sol Ti is 8.5oz. I am honestly very curious.

@Mike: It's not 100% waterproof, no. I should probably switch that to a dry sack. I've been lucky so far not to fall in water or have my backpack soak through, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. I carry a compass, it just wasn't on the list, thanks! You look to be a man of some color; I am not. I am a pasty white irish human that needs to slather on the sunscreen. There is Colin Ferrel Irish and then there is Conan O'Brien Irish, and I am the latter unfortunately.

@Eric: I was thinking of replacing the groundcloth with a Cloudkilt. I mostly want a dry, dirt-free place to set things outside of my pack in case I want it through the night, like an extra layer. Thanks!

@Brian: I don't have the worn items listed as generally I stay out for a maximum of a week and what I wear stays on me. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the Montbell Alpine Light Parka is thermo-neutral to right around 30º, discounting additional layers. I also run fairly warm. With that said, I should be plenty toasty. I'll find out next weekend when I go camping on Mt Hood.Water purification is a risk you appear willing to take, and I'm not. I'm definitely going to look into the Steripen though! It's a 28º bag and with the parka should easily take me to 20º as again, I do run warm.

As an aside, you seem to have taken great offense to the idea that I'd hike in three seasons with this set up. Thank you for taking the time to write down all the suggestions you have, but I will say you may send a mixed message. On one hand, you suggest you need two puffies in summer just to stay warm, and while that may be true in Glacier Peak Wilderness, it's certainly not in the areas around Portland I hike like the Sisters Wilderness or anywhere in the Gifford Pinchot. On the other hand, suggesting to people not to purify their water because you personally have had no ill consequences (yet) is dangerous. I know plenty of people who've come down with giardia following your advice, not to mention the other bacteria or harmful particulate you may be swallowing.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Irish on 01/29/2011 08:58:52 MST Print View

<-- definitely black Irish for me :) so yes, probably less sunscreen

you're fine (more than fine IMO) w/ the Alpine Light parka- I use a Exlight in the "summer" w/ temps very often falling below freezing (Montana), shoulder season it's replaced w/ the Alpine Light (winter they often both go)

do monitor what you have left in the way of sunscreen, bug dope, soap, etc when you get back- by doing this my amounts have gone down considerably- Dr B's is very concentrated and a little goes a long way, my DEET is full on stuff- so same thing

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"2011 no-compromise 3+ season gear list for the PNW?" on 01/29/2011 09:03:43 MST Print View

Can you really get a cook kit under 8.5oz that functions even remotely as reliably as a Jetboil? I agree the old ones are heavy, but the Sol Ti is 8.5oz. I am honestly very curious.

Traildesigns Ti-Tri Caldera setup w/ a solo+ sized pot.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
insights & feedback on 01/29/2011 11:50:49 MST Print View

insights & feedback

Adventure Medical Heatsheets 2 (groundcloth) --------- NIX --------- 2.8

MLD Trailstar + stakes 23 (a simple solo-tarp will weigh in at about 9 oz, and some options are MUCH lighter)

Granite Gear Air Bag 16L --------- NIX --------- 1

First Aid Kit & Tooth Brush 5 (wow, this is a lot)

Plastic bottle --------- NIX --------- 1

ULA Ohm L/L 28 (this is a lot, get a lighter pack or snip off any extranous stuff)

Petzl Tikka XP 2 LED Headlamp 2.7 (lighter options avialable,like the Petzl e+lite)

Carabiner for bear rope 1.1 --------- NIX --------- tie a knot, or find something lighter

Ultrapod 1.9 --------- NIX ---------

Stickpic 0.4 (what is this?)

Bic lighter 0.8 --------- NIX --------- the mini bick is 0.4 oz

Sunscreen (small bottle) 2 (revise with smaller bottle, under one oz is easy)

Bug spray 1.3 (revise with smaller bottle, or NIX completely depending on season and location)

iPhone 4 5 --------- NIX ---------

Granite Gear Air Zippsack (ditty bag) 1.4 --------- NIX ---------

Bronner's 1 (revise with smaller bottle, under one oz is easy)

Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter 14.35 --------- NIX! --------- Good grief, is this a joke? Ditch it and replace with repackaged aqua mira drops at under 2 oz. You are in the cascades, the cleanest water in the lower 48!

Jetboil Flash Sol Ti 8.5 --------- NIX --------- Replace with an alcohol stove for significant weight savings.

Jetboil Jetset Utensil Kit (fork + spatula) --------- Spatula? NIX this.

REI MultiTowel Lite Medium 2.3 --------- NIX ---------

SPARE CLOTHING should be revised to CARRIED clothing (you shouldn't have "spare" anything)

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
reliable light-weight cook set up on 01/29/2011 11:52:52 MST Print View

On the subject of a reliable light-weight cook set up.

Andy Skurka just circumnavigated the state of alaska using an old cat food can, some aluminum foil and a titanium cup. It can be done.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Cooking setup on 01/29/2011 14:25:17 MST Print View

My snowpeak gst-100 with 600 ml Ti mug, bic mini-lighter and MYOG windscreen weighs 7 oz. Windscreen is flashing rather than foil, so could be lighter. Stove + mug is less than half the price of what the Jetboil Sol Ti lists for (is it available yet?). Any of my MYOG alcohol stoves are much, much lighter and virtually free.

Eric Swab

Locale: Rockies
2011 no-compromise 3+ season gear list for the PNW on 01/29/2011 20:20:42 MST Print View


I will agree with the others that a small alcohol stove works just fine and with no moving parts it is fail proof. The other benefit is not having the canister weight and wondering when it will run out. With alcohol you only need to bring what you need. Make a cat can stove and try it out. You may need to try a couple of different hole patterns depending on your pot style.

I prefer Aqua Mira for treatment, fussing with the filter is a pain, plus is will save you almost a pound.