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Gear left at home
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Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Gear left at home on 09/23/2011 12:22:22 MDT Print View

A big part of reducing pack weight is leaving things at home that experience or preparation allows you to overcome. Things like water shoes for example(my apologies if you take water shoes).

What are some you hardcore SUL'ers leaving at home to reduce weight even further? It's one of the things I've been looking at this summer and it's gone OK. It has really depended on the weather forecast and how long the trip is though.

Below are a few things I've been leaving at home this year. What else are you SUL'ers leaving at home?

Bivy - instead take a head net
Stove, fuel, cup - cookless action
Stuff sacks - only take a dry bag for quilt, also use for pillow.
Rain gear


Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Gear left at home on 09/23/2011 13:50:14 MDT Print View

If you don't want to go totally raingear-less, take a jacket and leave the pants at home. Just deal with your lightweight shorts being wet, hopefully they dry quickly. This is only a good idea if it's warm out though.

john chong
(johnch) - F
re: gear left at home on 09/23/2011 22:06:24 MDT Print View

No stuffsacks.
No headnet (depending on the location)
No extra clothing

I think you should ask, what DO you take?

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: re: gear left at home on 09/30/2011 17:09:07 MDT Print View

I like to take a warm, but light, enough jacket so I don't have to bring any extra layers. It also compliments the sleeping bag so that can be lighter as well.

A 7 ounce top and 6 ounce bottom will not worm you up nearly as much a a 13 ounce down jacket will.

As long as the jacket and bag are warm enough, you can save huge on leaving clothing at home.

I also almost never take any 1st aid equipment or a knife. I have never been in any situation that either would have any use. There is honestly enough crap that you have that you can use to stop bleeding or make a splint.
I guess if I was in the desert with nothing around, I would have a 1st aid kit.

Most of my gear is long pants and long sleeve that I wear, a long sleeve shirt if wearing the short sleeve is a must, a jacket, sleeping bag and usually just an 1/8" pad.
I always find soft ground to sleep on and a 3" pad is sooo overrated.
All of this not even trying and the pack usually weight in at less than 4 pounds. The rest of the little things can add up too though.

Edited by awsorensen on 09/30/2011 17:10:11 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: re: gear left at home on 09/30/2011 17:34:49 MDT Print View

Aaron, what is the worst trail accident or injury or predicament that you have experienced, and how did you manage it?


Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
B.S. on the B.G. on 10/02/2011 03:24:34 MDT Print View

Thats a xxxx comment B.G. Aaron was simply giving his backpacking/camping experience as we all are. Instead of asking him passive aggresive questions, be direct and say what you are trying to ask.

Please watch the language. Minors read this.
Roger Caffin
Online Community Monitor
Backpacking Light

Edited by rcaffin on 10/02/2011 18:54:14 MDT.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: re: gear left at home on 10/02/2011 08:55:01 MDT Print View


Agree on the first aid kit, I never take one either. Anything small like a scrape I just live with, I don't need a band aid. Anything larger than a scrape and I would cannibalize a shirt sleeve or something. No first aid kit will help with a broken bone or greater that I've ever seen.


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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: B.S. on the B.G. on 10/02/2011 13:24:02 MDT Print View

There is no aggression in my question. None at all. It seems like Aaron is very experienced, and he has probably developed good methods for either avoiding bad situations completely, or else methods for dealing with them. Most of my friends who are trail runners have had some bad experience, and they have good stories of how they dealt with bad luck.

Chase, I will accept your apology now.


Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: re: gear left at home on 10/02/2011 23:39:05 MDT Print View

The worst I've had was being woke up by a bear sniffing the back of my head.

I mean, you break and arm or a leg or get a bad cut, you will use clothing and sticks to, (or hiking poles) to make a splint, or clothing to stop the bleeding.

I have done most of the JMT without a sleeping bag as well as the entire TRT without one.
There are enough people on most trails that if you are really going to get into some serious trouble, then you are going to need the help from someone anyway. You'll never be alone on the side of the trail until someone comes looking for and finds you. When you're moving good and eating enough calories your body keeps you warm enough to want to be in shorts and a short sleeve shirt all the way down to about 35 degrees. So you just get some sleep before and after the sun goes down or up and there is no need for a sleeping bag.
I actually made an 18 ounce bag to use now, but this is only so I can take about 18 ounces less clothing. Just a long sleeve shirt and a wind breaker. If it's cool enough to wear a long sleeve shirt then I can just bring a wind breaker. I used to bring warm bottoms and a warmer jacket with the shirt and wind breaker.

You read many trip reports where people are pushing good milage and they will say next time they won't bring a bag.

So why do you really need to take everything you have in a bathroom that just sits there and you may use some of it twice a year? That's about how often I really need to use a knife other food preparation.

I just bring what I have to have, not what I may or think I need.

Edited by awsorensen on 10/02/2011 23:41:04 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: gear left at home on 10/03/2011 13:45:00 MDT Print View

"The worst I've had was being woke up by a bear sniffing the back of my head."

That's not bad at all.

I could imagine falling into a cold stream and getting my gear soaked.


John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Left at home on 10/03/2011 14:01:05 MDT Print View

I haven't used my first aid kit for anything other than to help someone else. I think it is a combination of luck, preparation, experience, and skill. As a result it is pretty minimal and unobtrusive. I have always felt the best thing to take is serious pain relief and a general antobiotic like amoxicilan (sp).

I have always subscribed to the notion that "if you didn't bring it or forgot it, you don't need it". Until I fail to return from a trip because of not bringing something, I will support this notion.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Left at home on 10/03/2011 21:14:11 MDT Print View

Well if the bag is in a waterproof bag then all i'm getting wet is the wind shell.

Getting woke up by a bear scared the crap out of me a lot more then getting some gear wet.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Left at home on 10/03/2011 21:21:31 MDT Print View

"Getting woke up by a bear scared the crap out of me a lot more then getting some gear wet."

Seems like that's a really good way to have wet gear (at least one's pants)!

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Left at home on 10/08/2011 15:24:30 MDT Print View

In 40 years of backpacking, these are the first aid items I have used:
adhesive tape

So these are all I take. And on a short rip of one or two nights I might leave all of it at home. Is it possible I could need more? sure, it's possible. Is it likely? I don't think so. Am I just lucky? Absolutely not. I am careful as all get out.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Leaving things on 10/10/2011 17:06:05 MDT Print View

Leaving things on purpose is a great way to extend one's experience in lightweight backpacking. Some of us just feel more comfortable with some of our stuff. When you start making lists you see real quickly where things add up. Just take them off your list (like clothes) and try it out.

Leaving things by accident is even better. I know I left clothing and other items I just had to have but had no problem without them.

I used to take camp shoes. Not anymore. My trail runners are fine. Even wet.

We used to take a shelter for each one of us on our long trips. Now, we just take a tarp that a few of us can get under if we have some precipitation. I slept out all the time in the Sierras when I was a kid. Why not now? You certainly can get up and get going much faster if you don't have to deal with a tarp or tent.

If you want to extend your comfort zone by going lighter take a short trip and just leave stuff you feel you absolutely have to take along. You will find you will do fine without


BTW: I saw absolutely no malice in Bob's question. It was just a question. I too have only used Leukotape, a bandaid or two, and bunch of ibuprofin/acteto., etc. but I still take some sort of small first aid stuff.