Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Backpacking for the girly girl
Display Avatars Sort By:
Hal Potts
(halpotts) - F

Locale: Middle Tennessee
Backpacking for the girly girl on 07/12/2011 22:25:59 MDT Print View

Kathleen, I just want to say that you rock and that you definitely get the "Good Attitude Award" for being willing to give it a go. Even if you try it and decide it's not for you, that's cool - you never know until you try!

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Going heavy on 07/12/2011 22:26:13 MDT Print View

Ike for the WIN.

Hell of a post, great Roman Dial quote.


Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
haven't read the whole thing on 07/13/2011 21:15:31 MDT Print View

I haven't read this whole thread, but I recently bought this tent and is great for when the girlfriend wants to accompany. It's heavy, just under 4 pounds, but it fits us and the dog.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Making some progress on 07/13/2011 21:34:54 MDT Print View

So last night Kathleen and I sat down and agreed that we'd like to try a relatively easy hike to a somewhat private spot and use a tent of sorts.

This gives us a little privacy on the trip to take it all in vs. sharing bunk beds in an AMC cabin with others perhaps (she does not see a real benefit to a privy/outhouse vs. going outside.).

We are now researching some non-cotton clothing for her as well as a synthetic sleeping bag (she is vegan) vs. a two-person down quilt (that I just ~might~ order on my own). Most likely that decision will not be made until after our trip.

Since she reacts very badly to bug bites (swelling), our trip will be in the fall when bugs die down. But it will be colder then so most likely we'll take my Marmot Atom (40F down bag) and my JRB Sierra Stealth quilt (40F) for me, and give her my Marmot Helium (15F) sleeping bag. Tonight I showed her the difference between quilts and sleeping bags. I think she'd be more comfy alone in a sleeping bag, but a two-person quilt might work (weight savings!):


In response to those that say "do whatever it takes to make her happy, you only have one shot," well as much as I'd like to carry an 8 lb tent for her comfort, it's not that easy. I was in a major motorcycle accident in 2007 that crippled the right side of my body. I'm lucky to have my right leg and right arm at this point. As a result of many reconstructive surgeries, I cannot physically carry a ton of weight. Sure, within reason I can go backpacking and carry a load, but some day I'll need a knee replacement (I'm 32 yrs old) and keeping my pack/body weight down is a big thing to preserve what I have. My knee and arm hurts every day of my life (motorcycles were not worth it folks), but I absolutely am focused on making Kathleen as comfy as I possibly can. The other part of going light is just pure fun when I can't be on the trail. The engineer/tinkerer in me just enjoys reading about, and coming up with innovative ways to go lighter.

Edited by bster13 on 07/13/2011 21:44:36 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Making some progress on 07/13/2011 21:45:46 MDT Print View

Bryce, Kifaru makes a 2 lb synthetic insulated sleeping bag rated for 20F. Interesting that a Vegan can't go with down, as I thought geese were not killed in acquiring the down. So they are? Anyway, about the Kifaru Slick bag.
Look for standard size slick, +20 F

Amazing, eh? They use Climashield. Here is their description:

Shell Material
The shell material used in all of the bags is a proprietary fabric called RhinoSkin™, which is an ultralightweight ripstop fabric that is only .9oz sq yd, and comes with a DWR coating. It is a little lighter than Pertex Quantum, yet was proven 2-3 times more puncture proof and tear resistant in testing. The bags will be Foliage Green on the outside, and Camo Green 483 on the inside.

The insulation used in the bags is Climashield Combat Insulation, which is the Berry Ammendment Compliant version of their XP insulation. It is a continuous filament fiber synthetic insulation that has all the properties we were looking for in an insulation. It is very compressable, very thermally efficient, and does not need to be quilted, laminated, or glued to the shell fabric. It also has excellent drape, allowing it to conform naturally around the body

If you get their compressing sack, it's another 2.5 oz.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Re: Making some progress on 07/13/2011 22:24:22 MDT Print View

I am not an authority, but I believe down is both harvested from live and slaightered birds as a byproduct (not for the faint of heart:

I did not come across that Kifaru bag in my search for sym bags, good research for the lightest option I've seen. But sadly it looks like their 20F bags is meant to fit individuals up to 6ft 1in and individuals with larger girth....Kathleen is thin and 5ft 6in, oh well.

Edited by bster13 on 07/13/2011 22:47:48 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Re: Re: Making some progress on 07/13/2011 22:38:18 MDT Print View

Bryce, another option is Tim Marshall (a BPLer)'s Synthetic ultralight quilt bags (Climashield and Cuben Fiber):

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Re: Re: Re: Making some progress on 07/13/2011 22:46:38 MDT Print View

All syn quilts/bags would be a possibility, but I'd have to learn more about "the vapor barrier effect" he tags his temperature rating with. I know I'm personally not comfy with VBL stuff, not sure if Kathleen would be for a first quilt/bag as well. It would be significantly lighter than other syn bags out there w/ same temp range, but very expensive, and it's 80-90% of the cost of a JRB 2-person quilt. We'll see how we do with our current gear for this first trip and go from there.

Tiana G.
(intheend) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Making some progress on 07/13/2011 23:18:31 MDT Print View

Bryce: You're actually spot on as to why we don't use down filling! I'm a vegan and looking for a synthetic sleeping bag also, I've come across a Mountain Hardwear UltraLamina 32 that weighs 1 lb 15 oz. Not ideal but it's an option.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
MH Bag on 07/13/2011 23:33:25 MDT Print View

I looked at that bag, but find it weird that their regular women's bag inside length is 6 feet tall. Last time I checked Kathleen wasn't short, I don't understand why their regular bag is so freaking tall.

BUT...what is weird is that the length seemed to be only slightly too long on my JRB quilt and Marmot Atom for her, and those are sized for people who are 5-10 and 6-0 respectively...I don't get it. Even so, there is too much girth in these two men's items for her, too much space to heat up.

Another option I keep reading about is The North Face Cat's Meow:

It has name brand insulation, but the regular length is speced for someone 5-6. That is Kathleen's height, but she'd be maxing out. I don't trust that she'd fit length wise especially after she puts on some booties or a thick hat.

Kathleen L
(kathleenl) - F
As I am reading page 5 of posts on this thread on 07/13/2011 23:35:22 MDT Print View

I realize I've done a bad thing. As really great and welcoming and helpful as everyone has been on BPL, and as much as I've learned in a few short days, I've given Bryce yet another reason (like he needed one) to spend time on this website. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

It's 1:34 a.m. Hun, come to bed.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Be right there.... on 07/13/2011 23:37:53 MDT Print View

BRT dear, just have ~one~ more review to read. ;)

Laural Bourque

Locale: PNW
on the cheap on 07/13/2011 23:50:06 MDT Print View

The P-Mate has increased my joy of hiking/backpacking/camping/road tripping SO MUCH.

If it's warm enough, just unzip your sleeping bag (I can't connect to geargrams right now, so I don't know if you have a bag or quilt) and cuddle!

Finally, if you need a tent, just rent the quarterdome 2 from REI for a weekend.

Tiana G.
(intheend) - F
Re: MH Bag on 07/14/2011 00:05:22 MDT Print View

The bag length is pretty awful but it just seems like there aren't that many great synthetic options.

I saw the Cat's Meow and nixed it my list since it says "silken lining." The hunt continues!

Rakesh Malik

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: MH Bag on 07/14/2011 00:18:31 MDT Print View

"seems like there aren't that many great synthetic options."

Mountain Laurel Designs has a sweet synthetic quilt and I'm sure Ron would be happy to customize it for your needs. I use it for most of my camping now :)

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
VBL on 07/14/2011 06:40:48 MDT Print View

I have a cuben/climashield quilt, got it off Gear Swap and rigged it as an UQ for my hammock. As an UQ, it's great. When I tried using it as a TQ, though, it was definitely sweaty. It might have just been too warm for that particular quilt. I would get some more feedback about the enLightened synthetic quilts to see if one would work for Kathleen. They definitely meet your warm enough/light enough criteria.

Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
Backpacking for the girly girl on 07/14/2011 08:31:03 MDT Print View


+1 to Ike's great post. I like to go light as much as possible on my trips but occasionally a certain location or trail/hiking partner or group calls for a different approach. A solid double-wall tent is only going to add a couple of pounds (gasp!) at most, so just plan the trip accordingly. As others have said, find a cool trail that is perhaps a bit shorter than your usual but with killer scenery. That way the extra weight doesn't really matter as much. Occasionally I'll take trips with folks that prefer a heavier style and it can be fun to do a different kind of trip. A lot of times these trips turn into base camp, then explore type trips. This can be a refreshing change of pace to my usual lightweight, cover as much ground as possible type trips. That would be my recommendation - make a whole new kind of wilderness experience out of it that appeals to both of you. This is not to say that Kathleen can't handle an all day, high-mileage type of trip - but if it comes to taking some heavier/more luxurious gear, just modify the itinerary to accommodate. Either way, I hope you all get out and have an awesome time.

I don't how much your Coleman weighs in at, but you may want to check out this deal for a Kelty Grand Mesa 2. Yeah, it's heavy, but it's a nice double-wall tent and, at $70, an absolute steal. My brother uses one regularly on his trips and I've heard nothing but good reviews. Could be a good option. All the best to both of you.

Edited by powell1nj on 07/14/2011 08:42:16 MDT.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Backpacking for the girly girl on 07/14/2011 09:56:41 MDT Print View

Thanks for the response Nate, I realize this thread has quickly become many pages (which is a good thing, a lot of advice here), but please read the bottom of this post:

A heavy Coleman tent isn't going to happen. Yes accommodations will be made to best suit both of us after a trail run or two with borrowed gear, but a double wall is hard to swallow. thx.

Tim F
(kneebyter) - MLife

Locale: the depths of Hiking Hell (Iowa)
Tent for girly-girl on 07/14/2011 10:44:59 MDT Print View

You guys are great! As one whose SO will not even car camp (her idea of roughing it is a hotel without room service) I think it is great that you are making an effort to join Bryce.

As far as the tent goes, I don' t think it's necessary to take a double wall tent at all. The TT Double Rainbow and SMD Lunar Duo would both be great choices. You are small enough that it would be easy to avoid touching the end wall or top fabric if it had any condensation. They both have full mesh sidewalls, so no worry about condensation there, or bugs. You might have to wipe the roof once or twice during the night, but Bryce, being a ULer, is probably well versed in dealing with that. If the weather is nice you can have the vestibules tied up for great views. They both have full bathtub floors, and you get shelter that meets your criteria for less than 1.5 pounds per person.

No matter which way you decide to go, have fun!

Edited by kneebyter on 07/14/2011 11:57:02 MDT.

Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
cool clothing on 07/14/2011 11:28:35 MDT Print View

Here are some ideas for clothing that look good and perform well:

Montbell Thermawrap UL parka (runs small, an awesome lightweight insulation layer)

Icebreaker bodyfit zips (needs at least one wash before 1st wear, look at sierra trading post for good deals. sheep stay alive. you sweat = no stink! but smells like a sheep when wet)
Nike Dri-fit half zip (extremely soft, light, comfy, comes in various colors and flattering fit)

Mountain Hardwear Powerstretch Zip T
Marmot Power Stretch Half Zip (polartec is an excellent lightweight insulator for added warmth to your current setup)

As far as pants, it's hard to advise since the fit is important - those have to be tried on. Softshells from Patagonia, Columbia, Rei etc.

Patagonia Capeline tights are always with me for added warmth and dry sleeping.

Smartwool socks are a must. the above mentioned site has good deals on it.

Also, the UL mosquito net that is sold in BPL store is great - you may want to get it, just in case!