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Western NC Summer List
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Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
Western NC Summer List on 07/14/2011 16:00:48 MDT Print View


Thought I'd post my list for summer trips in the mountains of western NC. Think Shining Rock, Joyce Kilmer, Wilson Creek, Linville Gorge, etc. This is for trips that are either solo or with folks where we're not sharing any gear. I know there are some heavyweights in there that stand out (i.e. Prolite 4 pad), but this is the list I've arrived at after years of tweaking. I'm pretty satisfied with it but I thought I'd post it to get different perspectives, just in case. Probably won't budge on the pad by the way, I know it's heavy but it's just oh so comfy... :)

Anyway, thanks for checking it out.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Western NC Summer List on 07/14/2011 16:26:35 MDT Print View

There are definitely some things you could change if you wanted to shed a few pounds.* But if not, it looks like a great ~10 lbs. base weight.

*(If you wanted to shed weight, grab a 40 degree quilt like a JRB Stealth or Nunatak Arc Edge, a Neoair small to give you all the padded comfort with a fraction of the weight, and switch to a mini cuben tarp and net bivy for your shelter. I guarantee you'd have the same joy on your trips with almost 3 lbs. off your total weight.)

Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
re: on 07/14/2011 16:53:01 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions Evan. A summer quilt is definitely something I'd like to switch to and likely will. I've been thinking about doing a MYOG quilt but I don't know if it will happen this summer. The Neo-Air is something I haven't tried...maybe sometime in the future when I have a bill to drop on gear. I've tried the tarp and bivy/net tent thing and I find I really do prefer (what is for me, at least) the simplicity of the Contrail. I appreciate the feedback.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Western NC Summer List on 07/14/2011 17:23:15 MDT Print View

A few thoughts-

Are the pants really that heavy? That seems crazy.

The first things on my list to replace would be the bag, pad, and poles.

The rest looks ok.

While you can definitely go lighter, my experience is you won't notice much difference going below 10 lbs. I've been down to sub 10 skin out and it didn't feel any lighter than 12-15.

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Western NC on 07/14/2011 17:59:02 MDT Print View

Shining Rock and parts of Joyce Kilmer can get walloped in high summer winds, and some of the worst winds I experience are in the summer at around 5,000 feet in the open balds of NC and Virginia. So, I'm not sure your Tarptent can handle the usual freak windstorm/thunderings that come to the high ground on occasion.

The reason I bring this up is because I was on Wilburn Ridge at Mt Rogers in VA a couple weeks ago and got caught in a fierce South Col-type windstorm which tested my four season MSR Fury tent, and I only brought 15 pegs so I had to whittle out four extra and use all the guyout points. And don't listen to guys who say to adjust your route so you won't have to rely on a shelter not made for severe weather---as in finding a "more protective spot." The freedom of a certain piece of gear is that it will work in all conditions, in this case, either a calm summer night or a hellish afternoon tent-whipping thunderstorm.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Western NC Summer List on 07/14/2011 18:47:28 MDT Print View

That’s a pretty nice list, however there are a few things that jump out at me. First off that is a heavy bag and pad for Summer in the SE. I know there are cold nights from time to time at high elevations even in summer, but most nights are 50-60*F even at 5000K feet so you could get by with a lighter bag and pad.

I know you like the comfort of the Prolite 4, but I have gone back to CC Foam after using inflatable for a few years and found them comfortable enough. If you need a light inflatable look at the new Neoair type offerings as well as the POE and Exped competitors.

Though they aren’t part of your base weight the pants and poles are pretty heavy too, but more durable than UL alternatives. For places you are not in briers (probably not some of the places you mention) why don’t you wear shorts instead?

You could cut some weight with your knife, 1.4oz isn’t heavy overall, but twice the knife you need.

The only other thing that sticks out to me is the blue drybag (drop), the headlamp, which could be lighter, the trowel (drop), the smoking kit, and the second bandana (drop).

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
feedback / insights on 07/15/2011 11:55:27 MDT Print View

- Replace the tarp-tent with a true tarp. Save OVER A POUND!

- Get a lighter sleeping pad! Save OVER A POUND! Replace with a torso length inflatable pad (approx. 9 oz), and then a cut foamy under your legs. (approx. 3 oz)

- Take the scissor to the Gorilla and trim some weight off, or get a lighter backpack.

- switch over to an alcohol stove set up for weight savings compared to the metal fuel canister and the jet boil accessories.

- Cut the tyvec rain pants into a much more versatile RAIN SKITRT.

- NIX the ULTIMAX sox and hike only in liners (superior blister prevention) - Or, are the 2.3 ounce socks for sleeping?

- NIX the trowel and dig with a stick.

- Why 3 liters of water capacity? Nix the smaller (heavier) 1 liter water bottle. The 2 liter platy is fine.

- Nix the phone.

- Hide the key at your vehicle, reducing it's weight to zero.

- One bandana is plenty, and trim it down to a smaller size.

- Smoking kit? What is this???

- Get a lighter headlamp. The petzl e+lite is under an ounce with the strap removed.

- What are the two stuff sacks for? Why are they "dry bags" ? If you have a trash compactor bag, everything on the interior of your backpack should be considered 100% waterproof. Lighter options are available for these stuff sacks.

- NIX the knife and replace with a 0.1 oz single edge razor blade in a home-made cardboard sheath.

Ray Dunham
(Raymond) - F

Locale: SE US
Gear on 07/16/2011 17:09:30 MDT Print View

The pants are way too heavy for me - go with running shorts.
Loose some weight with the pocket knife.
Go with a lighter sleeping pad.
Go with and alcohol stove.