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Please help me move from 1-season to 3-season
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Derek Schutt
(derek_fc) - F

Locale: Northern Colorado Front Range
Re: insights / feedback [Mike 2] on 03/17/2011 16:37:53 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great suggestions Mike. When you say replace the fleece pullover, are you thinking with another 300 weight fleece, or something else? Also, regarding a lighter, do you bring a backup of some sort?

Derek Schutt
(derek_fc) - F

Locale: Northern Colorado Front Range
Rainshadow 2 on 03/17/2011 16:48:00 MDT Print View

Regarding the rainshadow 2 weight, that is with an extra pole and a ground cloth. I don't carry hiking poles, and rather like the extra pole.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Some items are made from trash! on 03/17/2011 19:53:26 MDT Print View

A mini-bic weighs 0.4 oz, and a paper book of matches (in a tiny zip-lock) weighs 0.1 oz. So for 1/2 oz you have a tried and true lighter AND a back up.


A puffy insulation layer is lighter than a fleece jacket. A good synthetic "puffy" jackets is easy to find.


Also - The lightweight gear is, mostly, MUCH less expensive than "traditional" gear. Plus -There are very few items to buy.

Some items are made from trash! Make a cat-food stove, drink out of an old soda bottle, use a dairy queen spoon, use aluminum foil as a windscreen - all these items are essentially free.

Some are less than a dollar. Using a trash COMPACTOR bag instead of a pack cover is superior, and costs about 99 cents!

The ONLY expensive items are:
- sleeping bag (about $150)
- sleeping pad (about $50)
- backpack (about $80)
- tarp (about $80)
The prices above are the bargain version, if you can find 'em on sale. So, for under $380 (if you shop around a little) you can be totally set!

Curtis B.
(rutilate) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: insights / feedback on 03/17/2011 21:01:11 MDT Print View

Mike wrote:
>>stuff-sack, for food 2.2 ----- REPLACE with a LIGHTER ITEM. (approx 1 oz fine)

This depends on how long he's out, I expect. Mike how are you getting more than 2 day's food into a 1oz bag? My cuben bag is 12x20, 2.75oz for 5 days, and you add the OpSack in for a total of 4.3oz

Derek Schutt
(derek_fc) - F

Locale: Northern Colorado Front Range
Re: Some items are made from trash! on 03/18/2011 10:02:16 MDT Print View

Thanks Mike. If I look above, the #1 most recommended thing for me to get is a down jacket and down pants. What's your opinion on this? This seems like $300 easy, or do you see these on sale from time to time?

Regarding the mini-Bics, I've heard they loose their butane if the temp > 85F? Have you had any problems with this?

Jason McSpadden
(JBMcSr1) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
re; help to move from 1 to 3 season on 03/18/2011 10:19:04 MDT Print View


If you would like email me or give me a call and I might be able to help guide you a bit on some of these decisions--especially with the coming season. or 970-223-2102.


Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
reply on 03/18/2011 12:19:51 MDT Print View

There are a million lightweight down jackets (I have a few in my closet) and these are easy to find on sale. $100 seems about the ball-park for a good one that weighs little.

Here's the BPL puffy:

Here is a synthetic puffy jacket for sale for $60:

and her's an 11 oz jacket for $165

Here are $150 pants

I suspect if you searched, you could find something a little less expensive, or these same items on sale. But, spending more here will save you in the cost of a warmer sleeping bag. The down items last a LONG time (sometimes synthetics will loose their insulation after a few years and multiple washings)

And - Down is the absolute lightest and warmest per oz. A huge weight savings in the pack.


also - I have used MINI-bics exclusively for well over a decade. And I have NEVER had any issue a all. Summer, winter, high altitude, in the rain, etc. I just make sure I throw em out when I suspect their fuel is low after several outings.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Mini Bic Status on 03/18/2011 15:40:16 MDT Print View

"I just make sure I throw em out when I suspect their fuel is low after several outings."

In a dark room, shine your headlamp through the plastic body. You'll be able to see the fuel level when you gently shake it.

I am amazed at how long they last.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: 1 to 3 Season on 03/19/2011 10:17:02 MDT Print View

Dan said "Turning a 1 season gearlist into a 3 season gearlist doesn't have to be very hard or expensive.

To convert my gearlist into a '3 season' one, I swap out my thin down vest (MB Ex-Light) for a much warmer down jacket (MB Alpine Light) and I add some down pants (GooseFeet). There's no need for a different sleeping bag. The warmer down jacket and down pants are worn inside my 1 season sleeping bag and keep me toasty. I don't bother changing pads either. I've slept on snow on my 9oz torso length NeoAir and it's never been a problem in anything but true winter conditions. I also use the same shoes. If I'm really feeling like a wuss, I might add some wp/b or VBL socks (Rocky) to keep my feet a bit warmer.

On the rare occasions that you encounter heavy snow on a 3 season trip, I'd say you could likely just knock it off your shelter a few times per night to avoid shelter damage.

Lots of weight could be saved off your gearlist, but I won't go into that."

I have to agree, a 20 degree bag (or quilt) w/ the addition of a light down jacket/pants should easily get you into full 3 season use, if you have cold feet add down booties; a wool or fleece hat/gloves should already be part of your "summer" kit

I add a GG 3/16" pad to my neoair and am fine into the mid teens

not familiar w/ your shelter, but most of the small mids on the market are fine for snow, many are fine for full winter use- most are pretty light

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Re: Re: Mini Bic Status: New mini Bic Clic on 03/19/2011 10:23:47 MDT Print View

I have always had to use the larger Bic lighter because the of the new child proof flint ring wheel you push down was to hard to light on the mini Bic because of my arthritis in my hand.

I found a new electronic ignite mini one push button "Bic Clic" mini lighter it awesome little lighter no more flint wheel,Same size as the old mini but easier to light and no more thumb pain.I don't have a scale but I think it about the same weight.


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: Mini Bic Status: New mini Bic Clic on 03/19/2011 10:28:10 MDT Print View

Interesting. Wonder if the BIC's little push button ignite can be grafted onto a canister stove -- or even an alky? That would make a cool toy. :)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Mini Bic Status: New mini Bic Clic on 03/19/2011 11:07:31 MDT Print View

I have used the Cricket piezoelectric lighters, which are a little thinner and longer than the Bic Mini--- I don't recall the weight. They do seem to light more consistently on the first try and the longer shell is easier to handle. I carry redundant fire starters, so wet performance isn't a priority. A lighter is my daily workhorse, not my emergency gear.

Terry, if the flint wheel cover is in the way on the Bic, you can just pry it out with a small screwdriver.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
(mini-bic) remove the childproof thingy. on 03/19/2011 11:22:04 MDT Print View

The childproof thing is easily removed. Don't be lazy, get rid of it. I wrote a book, due out in early May, with LOTS of instructional cartoons!


Edited by mikeclelland on 03/19/2011 12:46:35 MDT.

Sky Horne

Locale: Vagabonding..
Re: (mini-bic) remove the childproof thingy. on 03/19/2011 12:21:27 MDT Print View

OMG, why hadn't i done this until now?! you just saved me soo much trouble.

Rob Wolfenden
(wolverine) - F

Locale: North East
rain pants on 03/19/2011 14:04:49 MDT Print View

It depends on how much insulation you're getting from them. If there's even a slight chance of snow and they're not only keeping you dry but adding insulation as well then I would recommend taking them. But if they're not adding much insulation other than keeping you dry then you can bring something like DriDucks. They're cheap and weight a little less (6oz). Just be sure to order a size smaller they come extra big for some reason. And avoind bushwacking extensively as they're pretty thin and tear easily (duct tape works great to repair). But I would leave the rain pants out and bring them situationaly if expecting heavy snow IMO. You can leave the pants on from the convertibles if they will keep you warm enough in snow during your hike assuming it comes unexpectedly. And then unzip the legs off, change into the long johns and leave the shorts on over the lj's at camp while the legs dry.

Eric Swab

Locale: Rockies
Please help me move from 1-season to 3-season on 03/20/2011 21:04:31 MDT Print View


Always up for a beer, it would be great if Jason could join us too. As for your list, clothing is tough to figure out here. I have been experimenting with different layers all winter on day hikes and nightly dog walks, just to figure out what keeps me warm while moving and stopped in various weather.

I think if you swap out your fleece for a wool hoodie or Patagonia R1 Hoodie and add a light down jacket (preferably with hood) and a lightweight wind shirt you would be fine for most conditions. The hoodies will keep your head warm when using the quilt and work better on the trail than stopping to put your hat on.

Just varying your baselayer, (heavy or Light) has a lot to do with warmth as well. Then just experiment with rain gear etc. as time goes on you will learn what you do not need. I am still trying to figure it out myself, I have only lived here a year and just found this site a few months ago, it has been really helpful, especially the technique articles.

As for dropping major weight, your backpack will be the big bang for the buck, just buy something a little on the big (but light) side so you have room when the kids come along (65L?). I do not know how warm the Big Agnes pad is but a Thermarest prolite is warm and comfy, a short is 11 ounces. You probably bought the rainshadow for when kids come along, which is fine, there is always a compromise.

Allen Butts had his Colorado Trail gear list on here not to long ago.

Anytime you want to head out for a quick over-nighter let me know, i just went out last night.


Eric Swab

Locale: Rockies
Please help me move from 1-season to 3-season on 03/20/2011 21:11:03 MDT Print View

As for the stove, I really like the GSI minimalist, there are lighter options but it is a nice "system" with the cozy and drink lid. I made a cat can stove and windscreen that both fit inside.