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Eric Swab
(ericswab) - M

Locale: Rockies
Bob Marshall Wilderness Open - Memorial Day 2012 on 12/29/2011 10:18:26 MST Print View

I know it is a ways away but I want to plan ahead and be able to get a couple of gear items before things get really busy for the gear makers and to be able to test things out in a variety of conditions.

I have looked at Dave C's list from his Bob traverse last year, and his Alaska list, along with others who hike in the area, am interested in feedback from those who are familiar with the area and who have done these types of "adventure" events. Expecting wet conditions, river crossings, historically it rains over 50% of the time, temp ranges from 20 to 80 F, sunrise is 5:00am, sunset is 10:00pm, expect to be either moving or napping, will not have a packraft. Have not got the route planned out quite yet, safe completion, not winning, is the goal.

Successful completion will depend much more upon route finding, fitness level, determination, and food planning, than final ounces.

The list is pretty close to a regular lightweight list, I think for my first one of these type of events taking a quilt is a good idea, the warmth and safety margin are worth it, sleeping next to a fire is an option, but it takes time to get one going and keep it going. Full rain gear is a must too.

Two areas of input I am looking for are shelter and insulating layer.

Shelter - I currently use a Golite SL2 which I like, so I need a different (lighter) shelter.
First thought is bivy and poncho tarp, the bivy would allow me to sleep about anywhere without messing with setting up a shelter, and a poncho or small flat tarp is cheap, light, and can be set up different ways. I could use the bivy sack other times of the year too to give my quilt some more warmth, and I suppose the poncho tarp could live in a day pack as a "just in case" item. A small cat tarp would be a little larger, and set-up easier.
Second thought is Solo Trailstar, should be able to use it without a bivy and get better weather protection than from the poncho tarp, seems to set up fast, and has a small footprint, but can only be set up one way. May use it sometimes for other trips, resale value is good if I didn't like it.

Why are shelters always "analysis paralysis"?

Insulation - Down puffy, if always moving, in wet cold conditions I really think a light fleece and a warm hat would be better, I know down is much warmer for the weight, but would I use it? If it is really cold I could wrap the quilt around myself, build a fire, or just move faster.

Route ideas or any other information greatly appreciated as well.

The list is in the profile, thanks for your help and Happy New Year!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Bob Open list on 12/29/2011 11:22:28 MST Print View

I love to see planning! Some thoughts in no particular order:

-Snow baskets for your poles will most likely be a good idea.
-An altimeter is handy but far from necessary (unless your route is rather unorthodox). Ditto GPS.
-You will almost certainly not need a headnet.
-Crampons will be a tough call, will obviously depend on route and conditions. They certainly could be rather important, especially given the weak crampon on the Northern Lights. Often a snowshoe like an MSR will let you get away without crampons.
-I'd recommend a synthetic insulating coat of some kind. Fleece is really good in spring conditions.
-Sleep systems depend on your boldness. It should be pretty easy in most areas to find thick trees for shelter, which lets you get away with a small tarp. A tarp provides rain and wind shelter for napping around the fire sans quilt.

Eric Swab
(ericswab) - M

Locale: Rockies
"Bob Marshall Wilderness Open - Memorial Day 2012 on 12/29/2011 21:37:51 MST Print View

Thanks for your insight Dave,
-I will leave the baskets on the poles.
-The altimeter watch could be a "want", don't really want a GPS though.
-Will drop head net which I use mostly as a stuff sack.
-I will try out a friends MSR snowshoes and try to find a balance of weight and functionality, can move faster in crampons than snow shoes, you are right the Northern Lights do not give much side traction.
-I find fleece more useful, wear it for work all winter, down is either too warm or I worry about ruining it.
-Not bold enough to go without a quilt, maybe in 2013.

Will be working on food planning and conditioning.

I also noticed the total weight was wrong due to a sum mistake, should be 12.3, I tried to change it in the profile but it still shows up as the old one.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Bob Marshall Wilderness Open - Memorial Day 2012 on 12/29/2011 22:52:55 MST Print View

Altimeter/watch
Maybe a small thing but it is part of my "comfort" kit. (my Opinel knife is another...)
I have had a Casio Pathfinder for over 10 years and am very happy with it.
The altimeter works well enough and gives me some idea as I go along about my progress.
The alarm is loud enough for me and the thermometer is pretty good too.
It is solar powered so I can switch it on at night as many times as I like...
Franco