Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Tear it to shreads
Display Avatars Sort By:
Sam Ridge

Locale: North Carolina
Tear it to shreads on 09/01/2011 02:38:21 MDT Print View

Hello everyone I'm pretty new to BPL and ultralight backing as well. I have been planning an AT thru for almost a year now. My last trip was a 2 day 2 nighter in the Smokies on the AT and I think my pack weight was at 18 or something... in the summer.

I have some obvious weak points right now (rope, off the top of my head, etc). I plan to work these out before the 16th of this month because that is when I am leaving for my longest journey yet. 115 miles on the AT from Marion, Va to Kincora Hostel. This will be a good sized jump for me. I've been preparing a lot.

I'll take opinions, criticisms, rants, advice, and whatever else you can give me; however minor or major. Without further ado...Here is my list and thank you for looking.

Edited by samridge817 on 09/01/2011 02:45:18 MDT.

Pilate de Guerre
(deGuerre) - F

Locale: SE, USA
Re: Tear it to shreads on 09/01/2011 07:59:58 MDT Print View

Heya Sam,

Welcome to BPL.

I've tried to offer frugal advice.

Pot holder: Do something to avoid carrying that pot holder. Maybe drill a couple small holes near the top of the pot and use some bailing to lift, while using a sock from the bottom to tip to pour. Or wrap some fiberglass wick around it so you can pick it up that way. Just do something lighter so you're not carry so much single-use weight. Should save you almost the full 43.43g.

Cooking pot: Your aluminum pot could be traded for a "Type II" Foster's can. The gist is to open it from the bottom so the flat top can be used with your stove. A savings of 2.5oz. You may lose some fuel efficiency if this switch is to a narrower pot but the weight savings might make sense on shorter trips or sections with less time between resupply.

Stakes: There are lighter options for tent stakes like Lawson's stakes. Switching to his will save you 25g. There may be lighter that are functional (don't be fooled by the terra nova 1g or 2g stakes that look nice on a gear list).

Wind shirt: I don't think I saw a wind shirt on your list unless the R2 does that job well. It looks like you have the R2 listed as worn weight. If you're really going to wear it all the time, bring a down vest or something for evening/morning. Also, wear a base layer without a zipper as the zipper won't do much good in regulation with the R2 always over it.

Line: Replace that 3mm rope with some sort of spectra line such as from Z-Packs or Lawson. 2.4oz. savings right there with the lighter line from ZPacks. Were you using the 3mm rope listed for guy lines? I ask because you don't have guy lines listed anywhere.

Light: The headlamp gets heavy when considering the AA batteries. The Photon lights are fairly cheap and very light. Downside is they're not terribly bright, but at that weight and price you can attach two of them to your fleece hat with velcro or other means.

Thread: Replace the nylon thread with floss and you have a dual+ use item. You're probably not going to need to sew and flossing is good for your health. I think waxed floss has the advantage of being water proof. Make sure the floss can fit through the eye of your needle.

Water portage: SmartWater or similar bottles are much lighter and have a better shape for packing than the PowerAde bottles you have listed.

Ground sheet: The Tyvek groundsheet is listed as 4.63g when that is probably ounces. Ditch the Tyvek and pick up a window shrink kit and use the plastic from that. Should save you 2.5oz or so.

To add: With the weight you saved you should consider using a bivy for use with the poncho tarp. You really don't want that down bag getting wet in a rainstorm especially considering you are cutting it close on the amount of insulation you're bringing. There are inexpensive options here from making your own simple Tyvek emergency envelope type bivy to sewing one out of silnylon on the bottom and some DWR nylon on top.

Another thing you may want to add is some sort of visor to keep the bug net off your face. If you're only using it while you sleep, you can rig a line coming down from your tarp to the net.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Tear it to shreads on 09/01/2011 08:38:24 MDT Print View


maps (depends on how good they are in guide)
pealess whistle
1 extra pair wool socks
air mattress patches?
large trash bag to wear as raingear when poncho is shelter

Sam Ridge

Locale: North Carolina
Great Stuff on 09/03/2011 20:21:11 MDT Print View

Thanks both of you for lending a helping hand. In response to Pilate, there were a couple items I left out including guylines. They 3mm rope is outta here! I'm using kite string for them... and for my bear rope :) (bold move). I don't think I'm actually going to be wearing the R2 except for in the morning either... I'm trying to remember other things I wanted to address but o well. Pilate, I'm also trying to go no trekking poles. Can't decide but I think deep down I wana ditch em back to REI. I am adding/removing "most" of the changes recommended. All that info was great again. Both of yall.

Sam Ridge

Locale: North Carolina
Woho! on 09/03/2011 20:31:14 MDT Print View

I think this thread saved me approx 16 oz woho!

Ryan Houser
(rjhouser) - F
wow on 09/06/2011 21:54:47 MDT Print View

Sam Ridge is the man