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Summer in the Ozarks; Need help choosing a backpack.
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James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Summer in the Ozarks; Need help choosing a backpack. on 04/25/2011 00:32:38 MDT Print View

This is my first list so go easy on me. Usually 2-4 day trips. Any suggestions or advice on any gear options would be greatly appreciated. I especially need a lighter backpack. I have been using a GG Vapor Trail.

7x9 Zpacks tarp w/guylines and stakes-6.7oz.
Oware Hot Weather Bivysack-5.4oz.
Sea to Summit Reactor-9oz.
Thermarest Neoair (small)-9.6oz
Golite Poncho-7oz. (also used as shelter for dogs)

Evernew Ti Ultralight .6ml with cozy and Ti Esbit Wing Stove-5.4oz
Ti Spork-0.5oz
Food bag with 30' line, carabiner-3oz.

2 1 ltr water bottles-3.2oz

12' Yamame-3.6oz
11' Iwana-2.5oz
Lines, Flies-approximately 5-7oz.

HQ Bag:
This contains Compass w/mirror, Knife, First Aid Kit, Meds, Hygiene Kit, Bug dope, H2o Tx tabs, Repair Kit, Headlight, TP (sorry Mike, I haven't crossed that stream yet) and hand sanitizer, Fire Starter Kit, mini bic lighter.-12.5oz.
I need to add some sunblock.

Total: 4.7 lbs.

Clothing worn:
Swimsuit with liner
Polyester Tshirt
Chaco Sandals-waiting for arrival
Sun hat
Sun glasses with lanyard
I don't carry any clothing.

Trekking poles:
Black Diamond with rubber tips-17.5oz

Edited by Laien on 04/25/2011 01:17:58 MDT.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Summer in the Ozarks; Need help choosing a backpack. on 04/25/2011 11:20:11 MDT Print View

Maybe a (1) HMG Windrider, (2) ZPacks Dyneema X 20 or 26, or (3) a MLD Burn.

Btw, your list looks great at 5 lbs for the Ozarks.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Summer in the Ozarks; Need help choosing a backpack. on 04/25/2011 12:47:51 MDT Print View

"...go easy on me"

What's there to go easy on??? :) You can fit your small kit into a ziploc and call it a day!

Great list - I don't have much to add. Substantial essentials kit, too. The Zpacks or Burn would be my first recommendations too.

do you carry your dogs' food, extra water, etc? If so, an extra bottle/bladder would be all you need. How do you keep them away from snakes that time of year? My dog had a couple of close run-ins.

Edited by funnymoney on 04/25/2011 12:48:24 MDT.

James Ennis
(JimEnnis) - F

Locale: South
"Summer in the Ozarks; Need help choosing a backpack." on 04/25/2011 13:46:21 MDT Print View

Great UL list.
One thing that stands out is the lack of any bug protection. You really need some protection, even if its a head net, otherwise you will not get much sleep, with all the swatting of bugs.
Have you used the Sea to Summit bag? The reviews are not too encouraging as far as keeping you warm, even in warm nights.
As the summer heats up, you will really need to think about taking something more to carry water. Perhaps adding a 2-liter platypus bottle would be enough.
As far as packs go, when I'm carrying a sub-6 lb load, I use a ULA Amp. This gives me plenty of extra room and structure to carry extra water when needed. Unfortunately, it is no longer in production, but you may be able to find a good used one for sale on this site or ebay.
Enjoy the Ozarks this summer.

James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Summer backpack on 04/25/2011 16:40:39 MDT Print View

Thanks Steven. I have looked at the Zpacks and the MLD. I will check out the Windrider. It is a little heavier than I was thinking, but that is not always a bad thing with a pack. I'm new to the UL packing and the packs are the hardest thing for me to decide on. Besides my Vapor Trail is only 2lbs and is a comfortable pack. I don't like the lack of outside pockets though, but I was looking for a more substantial weight savings.

Thanks Todd. Yes, My dogs have their own packs and carry all of their food and water themselves. They each carry 2 1 ltr bottles, nylon frisbees for food bowls, and a couple of collapsible water bowls. Both of my dogs have been trained extensively and obey voice and whistle commands. They always walk behind me so if anyone is going to get bit hopefully it will be me, but it does concern me.

Thanks James. My bivy's top is full netting and there is bug dope in my HQ bag. I don't like a headnet unless absolutely necessary and believe it or not the flying bugs aren't as bad as you would think. Gotta watch out for the ticks and chiggers though. However, this is the first summer using this set up. I was carrying a 35-40lb pack last summer. I'm not sure how warm the Reactor will be, but the lows around here are not very low. In fact, they are hot and I usually sleep without any insulation at all.

I was looking at the GG Murmur. Does anyone know anything about this pack? I will take a closer look at the Burn and Windrider. I'm just not sure about the comfort and durability of the Zpacks.

Thanks again. This is the hardest decision I've had to make yet. By the way, this is just my summer set up. My 3 season and winter gear are a bit heavier. In the 8-12lb range. Not bad for an old dog though.

Edited by Laien on 04/26/2011 23:04:30 MDT.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Summer in the Ozarks; Need help choosing a backpack. on 04/25/2011 17:19:53 MDT Print View


I also have a Vapor Trail, and I'm going to keep it even though I haven't used it in a little while. My main pack now is an MLD Exodus but I think that is too big for 1-3 day trips, which is what I seem to have the most time to do these days. The MLD packs are great quality and I think I'll be getting a Burn or the Zpacks Dyneema sometime in my future.

Good luck with choosing. By the way, where are heading in the Ozarks? I grew up in FSM.

James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Ozark summer on 04/25/2011 18:03:39 MDT Print View

I have lived all over the state. Spent some time in Heber, Searcy, LR, and Fayettenam. Ah, the good old days. Right now I'm living in Jboro because of my job. I hate it here, but I'm in the hills nearly every weekend. I don't do much backpacking after June though. I may hike out to some nice swimming holes I know, but July, August and September are just about unbearable. We head up into Missouri to float/fish Jack's Fork, Eleven Pt, Current and the Spring during those months. That spring water in the summer is a Godsend. I will probably be doing a lot of kayaking for the next few weeks. It's been raining like crazy over here finally.

Edited by Laien on 04/26/2011 12:06:41 MDT.

James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
MLD Burn on 04/26/2011 20:31:47 MDT Print View

I decided to go with the Burn. A fellow member just happened to have a new one he was looking to unload so there won't be much of a wait. Thanks again for the suggestion.

Ginger Allman
(gindavall) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Re: Summer in the Ozarks; Need help choosing a backpack. on 04/26/2011 23:33:06 MDT Print View

I would also take something for warmth. I's usually beastly hot here in the Ozarks. But there is the odd night here and there where the breeze picks up and there can be a chill. Especially when camped at the top of a bluff. Or after a line of storms goes through. I've seen it get down to the low 50's in July and August. I've got the Reactor bag (it's more a liner) and it has no ability to stop wind. A light breeze and you've lost all your warmth. I'd add a light fleece or some other such layer. Just in case. But then I hate being cold.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Summer in the Ozarks; Need help choosing a backpack. on 04/27/2011 00:23:46 MDT Print View

"But then I hate being cold."

The cold will kill off the chiggers.


Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Moderators on 04/27/2011 07:44:18 MDT Print View

Looks like Roger has some work today in the forums.

James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Keeping warm in the summer. on 04/27/2011 08:49:42 MDT Print View

I understand your concern; however, it very rarely gets into the 50s during the summer. I watch the weather forecasts before I go out and if I thought it was going to get that cool I would carry a light fleece and my Golite one season quilt or I could wrap up in my poncho. I've spent much colder nights in the Army wrapped in just a poncho. As I mentioned I haven't used the reactor as my sleeping bag yet, but I sleep hot. I rarely sleep along a bluff especially if I suspect bad weather. I would seek out a more sheltered locale closer to water. I like to swim and fish.

Who's Roger?

Ginger Allman
(gindavall) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Re: Keeping warm in the summer. on 04/27/2011 09:27:56 MDT Print View

No concern, I was just mentioning something that I would add to your gear list. Like you, I watch the forecast before I go out. I think this lifestyle leads to a bit of being a weather junkie, in fact.

Last summer (which was beastly hot) we didn't have AC at the house and so we spent dozens of nights camping all over the Ozarks so we could sit our butts in the creeks. Jack's Fork was a particular favorite...we love the little Blue Springs campsite near Mountain View, in fact. Like you, we never really needed much in the way of warmth. But there were the odd time here and there that I pulled on my fleece. I remember one night at the top of Pines Overlook at Red Bluff on the Huzzah that I got quite chilled even though it had been in the high 90's during the day. Convective cooling leads to an updraft...surprised me how cold it got by midnight.

You're from here, so you know the environs and know what your limits are. I was just noting something I , personally, would add..from my experience.

(The note about Roger...there was spam on here earlier...looks like he's already taken care of it.)

James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
YIKES! on 04/27/2011 12:29:56 MDT Print View

No AC? That would be miserable. I really don't know how people did it before air conditioning. I suppose they didn't know any better.

I like Jack's Fork and Blue Hole too. There are lots of nice little swimming holes in the Ozarks. We're fortunate to be so near all the spring fed rivers located in SE Missouri. We go up there quite often in the summer. Most of the rivers in Arkansas dry up.

James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Ticks and chiggers on 04/27/2011 12:35:05 MDT Print View

"The cold will kill off the chiggers."

Little as those buggers are, they can drive one stark raving mad. I think the cold affects the chiggers more than the ticks. This past winter the ticks were out all year. I bet they are horrible this summer. I have recently started using Cedercide for my bug dope and it works pretty well. I was concerned about the detrimental affects of DEET on my health.

Ginger Allman
(gindavall) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Re: Ticks and chiggers on 04/27/2011 13:33:52 MDT Print View

Yes. Chiggers disappear pretty quickly once it gets cold. And honestly I seldom get them in the summer unless I am trudging through grassy areas.

I noticed the same thing about the ticks this past winter. I saw them while backpacking in both December and February. In fact, in February I got bitten by both a tick AND a mosquito! I couldn't believe my eyes.

It's been really bad for ticks so far this year, too. I'm having to get everyone to strip the minute they hit the door or I find them in the house. I even picked one up in the car the other day....the husband had been out in the woods the day before.

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
ticks in the Ozarks on 04/27/2011 18:34:59 MDT Print View

+1 on terrible ticks already this year, I was out for a long dayhike 2 weekends ago, and in the course of an afternoon, picked off 10+ ticks, both the big ones and the tiny deer ticks, and also had 2 big ones embedded under my shirt...less than 8 hrs in the woods.

I also had one latch on to my ankle, despite having covered my legs and arms in 100% DEET.

Needless to say, all of my hiking clothes got a nice dousing of permethrin the following day, be ready for BAD ticks in the Midwest this year.