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Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
food packaging on 04/27/2011 16:39:31 MDT Print View

Patricia,

"Pack volume is also an issue ... even if my stuff only weighs 15lbs can't use a 50L pack because you need a lot of volume for food. The food is very bulky (and there seems to be a LOT of excess packaging)"

Patricia, is extra packing also a requirement? please excuse my irony, but there is something to be learned from this statement: trim and discard all the extra packaging! not only you are saving extra weight, precious space, but also you are keeping yourself sane and organized trying to manage all that garbage and all that extra stuff in your pack. Take all the food from it's packaging, and put into ziplock bags. Label bags and plan your meals: Day 1, breakfast. Day 5: dinner and so on.

This approach has several benefits. That way, not only you would bring enough food, but also wouldn't bring more food than you need. Also, if you have any leftovers, you can easily repackage. You also have extra zip locks as you go through your meals, for trash purposes. Your trash is kept zipped up.

I have no idea why you think you need 50plus liter bag, 45 should be plenty!

I would suggest look at Osprey Hornet 46.

again, this trip wouldn't be the only one you take...think long term.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: food packaging on 04/27/2011 16:47:22 MDT Print View

""Pack volume is also an issue ... even if my stuff only weighs 15lbs can't use a 50L pack because you need a lot of volume for food. The food is very bulky (and there seems to be a LOT of excess packaging)"

Repackaging, as Elena suggests is one very good way to reduce food volume. Another is to crush or grind up foods like nuts, chips, or crackers, or select powdered foods like soups, hot chocolate, milk, etc. They will take up considerably less volume. Crushed nuts, chips, etc can be eaten directly out of their baggie with a spoon.

Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
clothing system on 04/27/2011 16:55:26 MDT Print View

Patricia,

you have excess clothing that you can eliminate, while keeping the requirement of dedicated sleeping clothing.

Think of what you would use when you hike. I can bet, you would not hike in your thermals! You would hike in shorts, maximum, shorts and rain pants, that are usually a hardshell or softshell long pants.

Now all your need is ONE extra set of thermal underwear, long johns, etc. You don't need 2 sets! they would serve as BOTH your sleeping cloth, and any extra , in case you get cold in camp. So you don't need 2 thermal bottoms, eliminate one.

Just to give you an idea , what an optimal clothing system should look like:

Bottom:

1. Hiking shorts/pants
2. Long hiking/rain pants (softshell or hardshell)
3. Sleeping/extra warmth thermal midlayer

Top:
1. Hiking shirt - short sleeve (sometimes i bring 2 of these if the trip is longer, so i can get a fresh change)
2. Long sleeve shirt (this one is usually a lightweight merino wool piece since it doesn't get stinky after long use without wash. Also Patagonia capeline 1 or 2 works well)
3. Thermal midlayer (EITHER fleece - least preferred because of weight to warmth ratio- OR primaloft synthetic OR down sweater)
4. Rain shell


See , you wouldn't be hiking in everything, so at any time, you would have a dedicated set for sleeping. And if you need extra warmth, you can use any of your items in combination, i don't think anyone would slap your hand if you use your sleeping cloth to get warm in a dire situation!!!

You are welcome to take a look at my gear list (at my profile) to get an idea of what i'm talking about.

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
This ain't your ordinary solo backpacking trip on 04/27/2011 19:51:52 MDT Print View

From what I've read, part of the problem with Phil-food is that there's an abundance of packaging. Part of the problem is that the food itself is pretty bulky (pouches or cans of meat). Unfortunately, you don't get to pick your menu. It's all pre-set a year in advance (all crews eat the same stuff). You get a a food drop at 3 - 5 day intervals.

Many crews do repackage their food as soon as they get it, but as for crushing it... A lot of it isn't stuff you'd want to eat after crushing. Further, this is a "crew"-based trek. You cook and eat as a crew, and "doing your own thing" is discouraged. She may not have the option to crush her portion if she wanted to. Also, there's no saying that she will carry her own food. She may end up packing a single meal for twelve people.

So I understand her volume concerns... I'm looking at a 62 liter pack for a personal (target) base weight of about 14 pounds.

As for clothes, I agree that two sets of thermals is overkill. You do need dedicated sleep clothes, but if you need to wear the thermals as sleep clothes and occasionally as a base layer on the coldest days, I doubt they'd fault you. Just be careful with food prep when wearing those particular clothes. Any food spills and those thermals can't be slept in until they're cleaned.

You definitely DO need long pants. Some of the program events require them for participation (horseback riding, climbing, and a couple others). I plan on taking a single pair of convertible pants.

So I've jumped in a couple times without ever actually answering the original questions. I love panel loaders. After comparing (on paper) the SMD Traveler, ULA Camino, a couple McHale panel loaders, a GoLite Lite-Speed, and a couple other packs, I'm heavily leaning toward the SMD Traveler. It's light (25 ounces or 31 ounces with the optional stays), big (62 liters - huge by comparison to some), carries 30+ pound loads very well (I hope to never test that), relatively affordable, and comes from a cottage manufacturer with a very good reputation.

http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/packs.html

Happy Trails,
Ken

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
Tent on 04/27/2011 20:08:08 MDT Print View

Also, if you're wanting to shave half a pound off your tent, consider the new Skyscape Trekker, also from Six Moon Designs. At 24 ounces (27 if you need poles), it comes in 7 - 10 ounces lighter than your current setup.

http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tents.html

If I do end up with the Traveler, I plan on making a floating top-lid that doubles as a lumbar pack (mounted on the removable pocketed hip belt). Another 3 ounces, 500 cubic inches of additional storage, and something for that day trip up Baldy Mountain.

By the way, I don't have any affiliation with Six Moon Designs... I don't even own a single one of their products yet. I've just been very impressed with what I've seen on their website, what I've read on this forum, and the personal interactions I've had with the owner (Ron Moak). Ron says the Traveler will be getting a new hoop stay next month (vs two linear stays it has now). Good for another ounce lighter and a more rigid structure letting the load lifter work better.

Happy Trails,
Ken

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Base/sleeping layer on 04/28/2011 15:08:19 MDT Print View

I want to endorse what Elena said above about your base layer. There is no need whatsoever to take two separate base layers. I use my base layer for sleeping (basically pajamas), but also wear it under my hiking clothes on cold mornings and evenings. The hiking clothes plus my insulating jacket (and maybe rain jacket and pants) keep the base layer from getting dirty or picking up food smells (which I understand is Philmont's reason for separate sleeping clothes). I never hike in my base layer, so it doesn't get sweaty.

I also endorse the suggestions for several shorter "shakedown" trips first. You don't want that long and difficult trip to be your first one! You need to test your gear thoroughly so you know how to use it, practice packing and unpacking, pitching and striking your tent, keeping dry in the rain, and lots of other skills. It's best to start learning these skills somewhere like a state park or national forest campground, or even your back yard, where you can bail out to your car if things go bad. Then try a trip that's just a few miles from the trailhead. Be sure to plan a few of these "shakedowns" in inclement weather.

Those new SMD tents mentioned above won't be available until at least July, so keep that in mind if you decide to order one.

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/28/2011 15:22:01 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: This ain't your ordinary solo backpacking trip on 04/28/2011 16:47:20 MDT Print View

"but as for crushing it... A lot of it isn't stuff you'd want to eat after crushing. Further, this is a "crew"-based trek. You cook and eat as a crew, and "doing your own thing" is discouraged. She may not have the option to crush her portion if she wanted to."

Oop. I wasn't aware this is Philmont specific. My bad and I retract my suggestion.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: One more thing... on 04/28/2011 19:20:50 MDT Print View

Patricia, please take this with a grain of salt. Philmont is NOT the end all be all.........Pleae keep in mind that they have a different agenda when it comes to gear. Again, have a wonderful trip! We will want to see photos and a written summary of what worked for you and what did not.

SPAM
(chrisgayle885)
Re: Ultralight backpack recommendations on 06/26/2012 23:59:18 MDT Print View

There are many online stores which offer you good light weight backpacks. I use Eagle Creek 65L backpack which I purchased from MonsterBags online store. My gear is 4lbs and dimension are 13" x 23" x 10" extremely light weighted. It has interior and exterior compression straps which make carrying comfortable, hip belt range range: 32-38 in / 81-97 cm. Also it can carry sleeping, clothing, tent comfortably. Do check out their store for detailed features of the backpack.

Edited by chrisgayle885 on 06/27/2012 00:54:44 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Ultralight backpack recommendations on 06/27/2012 00:30:11 MDT Print View

"Do check out their store for detailed features of the backpack."

5.3 pounds is lightweight???

--B.G.--

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Ultralight backpack recommendations on 06/27/2012 01:12:37 MDT Print View

thread is over a year old...