Went to Harriman State Park this past long wknd for 2.5 days with BPL member Steve McAllister and three other friends.
I'll let Steve comment on his gear list and base weight, but he was initially packing for two and then slimmed down to gear for one.
Here is my gear list for 25-30 miles, temps 60-85F, and 3 days, 2 nights of backpacking in the NE. I clocked in at 6.15 lbs w/out my luxuries, and 6.82 w/ (my heavish camera):
We initially started out with Steve's wife, two of our friends, Steve and myself in Suffern, NY to head North on the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail to loop around to Lake Sebago. Steve's wife decided to make the trip an overnighter and the four of us finished up with somewhere between 25-30 miles under out belts in 2.5 days. A good weekend's work for Steve and I with all our ailments. :p
Here is my pack, an original GG Mariposa that is too large for me as I approach SUL base weight for my long weekend trips in 3-season mode:
On the other end of the spectrum was our friend with a 55-60 lb pack:
Our other friend had a 50 lb pack.
So there you have it. Two guys w/ UL packs and two without.
I'll keep my trip report to gear and thoughts that came to me while on the trail. You can find all trip pictures here:
Pack weight....obviously there are benefits to carrying less weight on a trip. Can hike faster, longer, etc., but what I didn't realize was that with less "stuff" I was ready more quickly in the morning than some others and it really simplified my packing to keep things organized.
This was the first time I was using my BearPaw Winderness Designs Cub Den 1.5 in .51 CF. I had recently setup the shelter in my backyard, in the rain, right after receiving the shelter (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=47924). What I didn't realize was, I was using the venetian blind cord while soaked and thickened by rain through the Lineloc 3s on the shelter.....well they slip quite a bit when dry so I bypassed them. This is alright, I planned on saving the weight in the end anyway, but I could of used some more practice. I did better pitching the shelter the 2nd night while weaking up to a nasty thunder and lightening storm and strong, gusty winds. The shelter did well.... reason being? I pitched the shelter with the main support pole outside the shelter. This increased interior room and let me get the pitch tighter. The downside being I lost the strap of the GG LT4S as an interior place to let socks dry out. I didn't get wet and it was great to pack up my things and don my rain gear under the shelter being protected from the rain and then break down the shelter, throw it in my mesh pocket and be on my way.
Steve did the same with his monk tarp!
This actually allowed us to leave a few hours earlier that our tenting friends who didn't want their tents or gear to get wet while packing up in the rain and hike in the cooler morning air.
Steve's SteriPEN was pretty cool. I used Micropur tablets but was in danger of running out. So we all used his SteriPEN in the end. It was instant and worked well. Made me wonder if the heavier SteriPEN was actually less total weight vs. my tablets as he didn't have to carry water for 30 minutes to drink it. I'll have to think about it some more:
Bugs and sun protection in mostly covered forest with some exposed areas. I did great with sun protection. I had a baseball cap and bandanna. The bandanna was probably one of my most important pieces of gear. Tucked under my cap, it kept the sun off my neck and ears, plus I could soak it for washing my face and cooling down the rest of my body. It also served to sop up blood from a cut on my palm and kept the little gnats off 3/4s of my face/neck region. Great multi-use piece of gear. For bug protection I failed miserably. I went with long sleeve pants which did great to protect me, but I went with short sleeved shirts thinking I would stay away from bugs so long a I was moving...boy was I wrong. Next time I'll have a long sleeve shirt like Steve's RailRiders ecomesh.
GG LT4S trekking poles. Steve used to have the 1st gen TiGoat poles, but passed them on to his wife because I think he snapped one or two sections. He was commenting how mine seemed beefier. They work as advertised. They did not slip on me and could support my full 195 self. I did pay attention to then getting stuck into snags, but that's normal for me.
I did not wear the hip belt on my GG Mariposa the entire wknd to see if I would notice. I did not at this weight. As I walked, I thought about a CF Zpacks Blast 26 and how I would customize it. The mesh is nice on the GG to dry out gear, but it really doesn't expose all that much fabric to dry when it's all scrunched up in there. Might as well go with the lighter CF back pocket w/ grommets for drainage. Also, for water storage....as my base weight goes down, water placement becomes more important as it represents a larger % of my total pack weight. It kinda sucks to have a water pouch on either side of the GG mariposa. As you drink one water bottle, your pack shifts to one side because you're not wearing a hip belt. I'll have to think about the Zpacks design.
My DriDucks Jacket worked great. I didn't bother to bring the pants as I thought they'd be too hot and I've also read about them tearing easily. Instead I brought MLD chaps. In the end I only wore the DriDucks jacket. It was better to hike in slightly wet pants than hot/dry pants with chaps on at these temps. The DriDucks breathed and I was only slightly damp after hiking. It would of been fine as a windshirt too.
Steve had a nice idea for multi use gear by using his Polycro ground sheet as a skirt to protect his pants somewhat. Here he is after he took it off:
Other than that I'll leave you with some pics I thought came out nice. If anyone has any Qs about the area, let Steve or I know! Many thanks to Steve for organizing things!