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Ultralight Tip of the Week
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Travis Naibert
(outwest) - F
An added aquamira note on repackaging on 06/06/2011 17:02:49 MDT Print View

Great advice Mike C!

I would like to point out two points to those who have never repackaged aquamira before.
1) If you backpack a lot or are planning a thru-hike, you can buy AqMira in larger sizes, used for treating whole household water tanks. I think you get about 4 times the product for about twice the price of the normal hiker size.
2) If you repackage your aquamira drops in smaller droppers like many people do, you should get a teaspoon out and count how many drops it takes to fill the teaspoon with the original bottles and your repackaged bottles because some dropper bottles let out larger or smaller drops and you may have to adjust the directions. My dropper bottles take 8.4 drops per liter as per the directions and some recalculating. I still use 7 per liter, but it isn't really following the directions.

The tip of the week and the illustrations are quickly becoming one of my favorite BPL features.

Paul Bates
(pjbates3) - F

Locale: Southeast
Just bought my copy! on 06/08/2011 13:37:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great tips Mike! The cartoons are priceless.

robert mckay
(rahstin) - F

Locale: The Great Land
nap time bandana on 06/11/2011 17:03:59 MDT Print View

Yet another use for a bandana... Cover for eyes while napping!
On a recent thru hike of the Denali Highway. Funny how quickly the dreams arrive...

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: nap time tip on 06/11/2011 17:50:19 MDT Print View

Never taken a nap during a backpacking trip, but it does sound good. Rahstin's picture confirms it. I might give it a try next time.

I love you book. Every time I look through it I find a great tip. Your cartoons are perfect. Funny but very informative.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Nap! on 06/11/2011 20:06:46 MDT Print View

I may have rested in my tent before, but never a nap while on the trail. That's a great idea. I'll have to give it a try.

Finished my book this last and enjoyed it quite a bit. Thanks Mike!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Napping on 06/11/2011 21:21:21 MDT Print View

I love your tips, Mike, and many of them have come in very handy, but I find it really strange that people need to be tipped on taking a nap. It's the most natural thing in the world. All the animals do it. It's hard for me to believe that there are people here who've never even contemplated it.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Napping on 06/11/2011 21:58:23 MDT Print View

Mike -- your best tip ever. Nothing like a nap. Even President Truman knew the value of a nap.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: kNapping on 06/12/2011 10:41:03 MDT Print View

You know I just thought about this:

Is the tip suggesting we take a nap using our knapsack?

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/12/2011 13:04:49 MDT Print View

Better get some baggies on those feet if you want to keep the bears away! ! ! ! !

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
Nap... Thanks Mike on 06/13/2011 10:02:55 MDT Print View

Naps. Mike I love my trail naps. Even my kids roll their collective eyes as I does off and they toss rocks at me. I don't flinch when they hit. I just snore louder. It helps keep the bears at bay!!!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 06/14/2011 15:04:37 MDT Print View

I have to feed my dog (very sensitive stomach) a part of his daily ration at noon so he won't barf up his breakfast and dinner. As a result, I get to rest an hour while he digests his lunch. Even if I don't sleep, just relaxing with my shoes off leaves me as refreshed as though I had just started the day!

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
clelland on 06/15/2011 12:52:46 MDT Print View

As an owner of Mike's book I have to recommend it. I used to lug 25lb base weight around with a ton of "just in case" items, I'm now down to 7.6lb. Granted this took the motivation of an upcoming JMT and some expendable income. Honestly though the book itself would have shaved a good 10-12 pounds off.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Thanks Michael! on 06/15/2011 13:21:14 MDT Print View

Right on! I really love hearing this kind of stuff - and that was my goal when I wrote the book! Huge thanks!

Mike C!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Framesheets on 06/17/2011 05:54:59 MDT Print View

Good tip! Some packs are designed to handle a frame sheet externally to the pack. I think Gossamer Gear inovated this with a few others picking it up. Using a modified closed cell foam pad can net a good weight savingings this way. A full Nightlite pad can be cut into 10" sections, nesting the dimples, and taped together for a 50" pad/framesheet.

With a little modification, closed cell pads can be made into a box in a pack's body. A piece of duct tape will tape it back together, once you have the pieces cut to fit in your pack.
Example: 12", 7", 12", 7", 11" will give a 49" length pad. In a pack, this will give two layers of 1/2" foam back, a 1/2" piece of foam along each side and a piece across the front. This is more rigid (by a good 50%) than a simple inflatable framesheet and less weight by a couple ounces. It really holds the pack body stiff for up to two weeks of food (22lb) and your base gear (around 10lb.) Fuel makes up the 35lb maximum.

I have found that the NeoAir series do not lend themselves all that well to frame support, though. A more standard Thermorest works better, generally. None of the true inflateables really do a good jod with support(Pacific Outdoors, Inertia, X-Frame, etc.) I never tried the DAM's though.

Will Webster
Re: Framesheets on 06/17/2011 06:24:48 MDT Print View

"With a little modification, closed cell pads can be made into a box in a pack's body"

That's what I've been doing with my Z-lite. It's cut down to torso length (6 sections) and I put it in the pack like this:
/\_ _/\ then fill the channel with my gear.

My current pack is an REI Flash 50 with the framesheet removed (I know - too heavy; I'm holding out for the rest of the SOTM to be released). With the Z-lite "frame" all the weight is on my hips, but it does pull away from my back some.

Colin Parkinson

Locale: Ontario Canada
Cloud Packing on 06/17/2011 21:00:47 MDT Print View

I did the cloud packing thingy on my last back packing trip, it worked great knocked at least ten minutes of my morning packing ritual.

And best of all no fighting to get the last bit of the sleeping bag into the too small stuff sack.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
semi-cloud? on 06/17/2011 22:17:44 MDT Print View

I do a sort of semi-cloud when packing my sleeping bag. I have a GG cuben dry bag with eVent larger than actually needed for the sleeping bag. Once closed, the eVent lets air in or out, depending on the pressure of the down trying to expand vs the pressure of other stuff on top. The bag is less confined than in a regular stuff sack, but still safe from any water entering the pack. It also conforms very nicely to the pack's shape, as it does in the cloud packing method.

James Winstead

Locale: CA
Also Semi-Cloud on 06/17/2011 22:40:48 MDT Print View

I am also of the semi-cloud variety. I loosely stuff my sleeping bag in the bottom inside my compactor bag liner. I leave the liner open at the top like a chimney/snorkel to evacuate the air as I pack on top of it. Then most everything else is piled on top within some sort of bag. Who cares if my mess kit gets wet! It's really only in a bag to keep soot/esbit gunk off everything else. Insulation layers and rain gear is loose on the very top. Then last thing I twist the snorkel around a few times and stuff it back along the side of the pack. No sweat.

And let me be +1,728 or whatever on how great this book is. So simple. It really sends the message that UL isn't some odd special technique or something that only hardcore adventure racers do. Carrying less is fun, easy, can be cheap and is really just a mentality. Bravo

nick beaudoin
(nick_beaudoin) - MLife

Locale: Palmy
ANother semi cloud on 06/18/2011 16:43:27 MDT Print View

I find the best compromise between stuff sack and cloud method is using a large cuben drybag. I can stuff quilt big or small taking as or as little room as trip dictates. It also affords me a bit of peace of mind having it in a drybag.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
reply to folks on 06/18/2011 16:53:03 MDT Print View

I agree with the comments above. No need to create a bowling ball using a "traditional" compression stuff sack. And, using an easily stuffed lager sized stuff sack is a great option.

It the book I advocate using the BIVY-SACK as a non-waterproof way to stuff the sleeping bag (in full cloud mode) in the bottom of your pack and INSIDE a white plastic trash COMPACTOR bag.

The bivy sack adds a slight bit of water protection, but the primary waterproofing is the COMPACTOR bag.

Mike C!