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First Gear List
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Richard Baxter
(MountainCavalry) - F

Locale: South-Eastern US
First Gear List on 01/29/2011 07:39:13 MST Print View

This is the gear list I've put together for some upcoming backpacking trips I'm planning. I recently began researching lightweight backpacking and took the advice of these forums to make a spreadsheet. I mostly find myself hiking in the Smokey Mountains but would eventually like to transition the gear list for a thru-hike of the Appalachian trail. I have one other shelter currently: the golite Shangri-la 2 with the nest. Any input appreciated.

Packing List 2011 (post-deployment) Weight Oz
ItemDescription Carried Worn
BackpackGG Miniposa 14.1
ShelterHH Ultralite Backpacker A sym31.0 
Waterproof Bagx2 GG Pack Liner2.4 
Sleeping BagMarmot Neverwinter31.0 
Tent StakesMSR Ground hogs (4)2.9 
EssentialsTotal lbs 4.20.9
Rain/Wind JacketMarmot Aegis Jacket14.4 
Base shirtTerramar Merino Crew 5.4
Base pantsArcteryx Rampart Pants* 10.1
Underpants  4.0
Hiking socksSW Merino Wool Med Cushion 4.6
Spare socksSW Merino Wool Med Cushion 4.6 
Hiking BootsAltama 8" EXOSpeed Boot 18.4
ClothingTotal lbs 1.22.7
Stove SystemMSR Reactor (1.7 liter pot)14.3 
FuelMSR IsoPro 0.4 
Matches / LighterBIC Reg lighter1.0 
Food storage bag(GG pack liner)0.0 
UtensilsPolycarbonate Resin spoon/fork1.1 
Drinking Mug(Reactor Pot)0.0 
Water BladderDeuter Streamer 2l Bladder3.9 
Water FilterKatadyn Hiker Pro11.0 
Cooking / WaterTotal lbs 2.00.0
FlashlightLED Headlamp2.4 
Tooth brush / pastetoob1.2 
Line (bagging/guylines)Spectra Line (50 ft.)1.2 
TP / Gen Hygeine4 baby wipes per day (zip-lock)2.0  
SanitizerPurell hand sanitizer (30ml)1.0 
Shelter / Trekking polesGG LT4 Adjustable poles*6.0 
Knife / multi-toolLeatherman Micra 1.8
Whistle(On pack sternum strap)0.0 
Compass / ThermometorHigh Gear Trail Pilot Compass 1.5
First Aid Kitmeds, minor wound care, and case3.1 
WatchCasio Mudman  1.6
Map / PermitIn zip-lock 1.0
Camera / Belt CaseSony Cybershot DSC-TX1 6.0
MiscellaneousTotal lbs 1.00.7
TotalOver all weight:

* gear to be purchased

All of these weights were taken off the internet since I can't get my hands on my gear until I return from Afghanistan.

Edited by MountainCavalry on 01/29/2011 08:00:55 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 01/29/2011 08:10:17 MST Print View

Thanks for being over in Afganistan

You're missing an insulated jacket or vest - down or polyester.

You'll be cold if it gets below 40F or so.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
feedback - insights on 01/29/2011 12:04:44 MST Print View

Question: are you solo hiking?

Shelter HH Ultralite Backpacker A sym 31.0 --- wow, that's heavy. Switch to a simple tarp at about 9 oz.

Tent Stakes MSR Ground hogs (4) 2.9 ----- this is heavy for four stakes, lighter options are available.

Rain/Wind Jacket Marmot Aegis Jacket 14.4 ----- Switch to a (super inexpensive) DRI-DUCKS at about 6 oz.

Stove System MSR Reactor (1.7 liter pot) 14.3 ----- Wow, thats a lot. Change to a simple alcohol stove and a solo-cup, and save a bunch of ounces.

Water Filter Katadyn Hiker Pro 11.0 --------- revise to AquaMira drops (repackaged) at under 2 oz.

Flashlight LED Headlamp 2.4 ------ Revise to a smaller lamp, the Petzle e+lite is under 1 oz

Tooth brush / paste toob 1.2 ------------ Get the smallest size, and save a little!

TP / Gen Hygiene 4 baby wipes per day (zip-lock) 2.0 ------------ easily nixed completely!

Sanitizer-Purell hand sanitizer (30ml) 1.0 --------- Make sure to take a small bottle of soap. (under 1 oz) more reliable sanitation that alcohol hand sanitizer.

Knife / multi-tool Leatherman Micra 1.8 --------- revise to a single edge razor blade at 0.1 oz!

Watch Casio Mudman 1.6 ---- easily nixed for a watch free experience!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: feedback - insights on 01/29/2011 13:00:19 MST Print View

Ditto re. swapping out the MSR stove and pot for an alcohol stove setup -- if your "cooking" is limited to boiling water. Also, if all you need at any one time is up to 2 cups of water (say for rehydrating meals) -- then take a look at the 550ml size titanium pot/mug.

Water Treatment - AquaMira drops are light and all -- but I dislike them for three reasons (YMMV):

1. They are expensive for repeated use.

2. They require long treatment time (esp. cold water) -- which most people ignore and thus likely a sense of false security (many hikers don't treat their water at all and they don't get sick -- but you never know and it is no fun to get sick on the trail). NOTE that A.M. drops Mike recommended above is only for treating bacteria -- NOT protozoa like crypto or giardia. AquaMira sells more-concentrated (and more expensive) tablets for treating protozoa.

3. The residual chlorine-like "swimming pool" taste.

One option is to combine chemicals (to kill the tiny stuff) and simple filter (to block the bigger stuff). Relying only on chemicals means long wait time, and relying only on filters means heavier, more intricate designs. So...

1. Treat your water with unscented household bleach (5 drops per liter or quart) and wait 30 minutes -- regardless of water temp. You can buy a whole gallon of bleach for about $1 in some "dollar" stores. You are relying on bleach to treat ONLY bacteria and viruses (if present).

2. Drink water through AquaMira Frontier Pro filter to block out bigger baddies like protozoa (which are harder for chemicals alone to kill). The filter will also clarify water and improve its taste. The carbon core eliminates all traces of chlorine. This filter weighs just 2 ounces.

Finally, I would recommend either a second BIC lighter -- or matches -- as backup.

Edited by ben2world on 01/29/2011 13:13:44 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
BIC lighter on 01/29/2011 13:32:00 MST Print View

I've used the old style lighter with built in flint and steel - but if it gets wet it doesn't work until you dry it off - and there's friction against your thumb which is uncomfortable

I prefer similar lighters with piezo electric ignition - works better when wet, although if it gets real wet it probably won't work either, but if it's in your pocket or pack it's dry enough, just don't leave it out in the rain

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
First Gear List on 01/29/2011 13:37:24 MST Print View


I'll add my thanks for your service.

I think +12.5 lbs is great, and making a gear list is definitely the first step in going lighter. Here's what pops out to me:

Hammock: if you are a hammock person, then I wouldn't worry about the hammock weight. Just keep in mind that you can go lighter with a tarp and bug net system, and maybe practice with that system sometime (maybe borrow gear or start with the cheapest flat tarp you can find).

Marmot Aegis: consider buying a DriDucks jacket (as mentioned above) and a good windshirt (like a Patagonia Houdini or equivalent). This combo is lighter and probably more useful than the single Aegis. Keep the Aegis though for cooler-weather/rainy trips.

+1 on the Arc"Teryx Ramparts. I have a pair and really like them.

Merino shirt: I don't know if I would choose merino for summer on the east coast, at least for a base layer. Some here will disagree with that. I would keep it for cooler temps.

Your socks are too heavy and I don't think you need the 8" tall boots, unless you have some pretty weak ankles. Try some merino running socks and trail runners.

Stove: if you aren't comfortable going with a alcohol stove, then pick up a MSR Superfly or a Snowpeak canister stove and a lighter pot (.9L or less for solo use). Just make sure the diameter of the pot matches well with whatever stove you go with.

Deuter Bladder: this seems fairly heavy for a bladder. Pick up a 3L Platypus for camp and take 2 1L water/soda bottles.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
First Gear List on 01/29/2011 13:53:35 MST Print View

My thanks for your service, too.

I would say to leave it. A jacket or down sweater would be my only addition. The AT is a long trail. As you go you will find yourself sending back what is not working. And picking up those items that will work better. With a weeks worth of food, you are around 25-26#. Most carry more than that. You have the basics, soo, I will not say anything about your choices.

Rob Vandiver

Locale: So Cal
guru on 01/29/2011 19:38:30 MST Print View

"Watch Casio Mudman 1.6 ---- easily nixed for a watch free experience!"

**Head explodes**

Funny how little things like this will probably do so much for my outdoors experience, but I would never have thought of them on my own.

Still not quite to the "wiping my butt with a pinecone" stage though. But, darn it, I have caught myself considering the merits.

Andy F
(AndyF) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: First Gear List on 01/29/2011 20:31:43 MST Print View

I don't see a sleeping pad or underquilt listed.

+1 on the Groundhog stakes. A big stake with plenty of holding power is often needed in variable forest soils.

I'd stay with the filter or get a Steripen. The most likely pathogens (protozoa) aren't killed easily by chemicals, and the filter is very effective for those. It's also nice not having to carry extra water while waiting for chemical treatments to affect protozoa.

Edited by AndyF on 01/29/2011 20:32:13 MST.

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE: "First Gear List" on 01/29/2011 20:53:10 MST Print View

"Watch Casio Mudman 1.6 ---- easily nixed for a watch free experience!"

That's very funny, Rob. I have never been able to live without some sort of a time piece (watch, cell phone or otherwise) since my stint in the military 25 years ago. But, hey, Richard, if you can do it, knock yourself out.

***+1 on "head explodes"*** LOL

I'll second Benjamin Tang's advice on water treatment. I LOVE my Frontier Pro. The convenience is unbeatable. I have very little patience when when I'm dehydrated. I'll admit that I combine treatment with the filter, but sometimes I just fill that platy, screw on my Frontier Pro and go.

Edited by socalpacker on 01/29/2011 20:55:41 MST.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
**Head Explodes** on 01/29/2011 20:57:38 MST Print View


So, the mere thought of leaving the watch behind makes you all wiggy?

When I go into the mountains, and I do it a LOT, I will liberate myself from the watch, my wallet, money, credit card, cel phone, MP3 player, altimeter - etc - etc - etc.

This is purely philosophical, cuz the 1.6 ounces doesn't really mean much to me.

I so dearly LOVE walking into the mountains an leaving THIS world behind (albeit temporarily) and abandoning my self to THAT world. It is a renewal experience for my very soul, and I depend on it.


Put it another way:

I'm fine without a watch.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: First Gear List on 01/29/2011 21:06:30 MST Print View

Good start, and keep your watch and baby wipes :)

I was thinking how light 12.7 pounds is compared to a basic combat pack. You'll be dancing down the trail. Stay safe!

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Military ultralight on 01/29/2011 21:15:49 MST Print View

Yeah, just about anything you take will probably still feel ultralight to you! Up on Baldy once I came across a couple at the summit. He was carrying his 6 year old daughter on his back facing backwards on a custom carrier he made from a toddler's carseat!! ***HEAD EXPLODES*** Turns out he was stationed in the mountains of Afghanistan for the past 3 years. Wow.

+1 for lighter shelter. Thanks for your service.


Richard Baxter
(MountainCavalry) - F

Locale: South-Eastern US
Great Input on 01/29/2011 21:58:09 MST Print View

Question: are you solo hiking?

On most of my trips I'll have my brother out with me or friends who decided to come along who don't really have much in the way of camping gear.

Change to a simple alcohol stove

I have seen this recommendation a lot around the forum, I'll have to experiment with these. Any good resources on these kinds of stoves?

1. Treat your water with unscented household bleach
2. Drink water through AquaMira Frontier Pro filter

This seems like a good system and very lightweight. Just found a youtube video on the frontier pro filter, definitely a versatile type of filter for a small weight.

I so dearly LOVE walking into the mountains an leaving THIS world behind (albeit temporarily) and abandoning my self to THAT world.

+1 The closer I get to coming home the more I'm itching to take off into the back country.

I really appreciate the advice so far, it has me considering things I wouldn't have otherwise. Thanks for the support, this seems like a great community.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Alky Stoves on 01/29/2011 22:18:23 MST Print View


For more info. on alky stoves, click here.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Alky Stoves on 01/30/2011 00:47:46 MST Print View

For my unsolicited advice, I can only recommend the only alcohol stove I've ever used.

I use a Super Gram Weenie stove from here:

The Super Gram Weenie is not in regular production; you have to ask for it specially. Basically, its the same as the regular Gram Weenie, but is a bit taller which allows for a bit more alcohol. These stoves are designed for small pots. I use mine with a Snow Peak 450 Titanium mug.

For me, this is just enough volume. I get just enough hot water for my instant coffee and instant oatmeal in the morning (sometimes I have to add a small amount of cool water to the coffee or oatmeal to fill it up, but that doesn't detract from having a hot breakfast or coffee). It's also enough for my dehydrated meal at night which usually comprises of Yakisoba noodles.

It won't cook enough water to have extravagant meals. But I can eat on ONE ounce of fuel per day, with a no-cook lunch. You may personally want/need more food, but I've been happy with this.

I have modded this stove by JB Welding a soup can lid to the bottom for stability, and using a MYOG silicone lid which doubles as a pot holder. As of right now, I do not plan on changing my setup and am completely happy with it. George from End2End was great to deal with!

I've no affiliation with End2End, just a happy customer.

Edit: there are SO many alky stoves out there, and many function virtually identically from what I know. Good luck!

Edited by T.L. on 01/30/2011 00:49:10 MST.