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CT 2012. First "long" distance hike.
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Nicholas Meadors

Locale: Teh Front Range
CT 2012. First "long" distance hike. on 03/17/2012 17:16:06 MDT Print View

So I'm coming pretty close to finalizing my gear list for this summer, and thought I'd post it on here to see if there's anything I forgot or any cheapish/obvious ways to cut a little more weight.

This will be my first backpacking trip of more than a week, and am mostly just looking to gain more insight into the process by hearing people's opinions on my choices/lack thereof.

Updated List as of 4/9:

Edited by nickoli on 04/09/2012 11:53:16 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Couple Ideas on 03/17/2012 17:50:58 MDT Print View

Looks pretty good overall. Couple ideas....

1. I don't see your cell phone. I'm assuming you'll want it at some point on the trip. I'd send the charger in a resupply box. Unless you use it a lot you should be able to just use it at resupplies, recharge it, and send the charger on to the next P.O.

2. I don't see a windshirt unless the driducks is going to do double duty.

3. In case the dryducks tears I'd bring some ducktape (and maybe have an extra set in a resupply somewhere).

4. You might want to night hike at some point so I'd make sure to bring an extra set of batteriers.

I have no experience with the Sawyer Squeeze. Aquamira worked well for me. If you use Aquiamira just do this. Swap out your 1 liter Platypus for a 1 liter Gatorade bottle. The stiff bottel and bigger opening is a lifesaver if you have to scoop water out of some tiny little puddle.

Nicholas Meadors

Locale: Teh Front Range
Re: Couple Ideas on 03/17/2012 18:33:10 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments!

1. I don't own/use a cell phone. So luckily that won't be a problem.

2. From what I read, the Driducks are fairly windproof? But i'd love to hear from someone who has actually worn them. I had been thinking my arms may get cold at some point with only my underarmour for protection, but I'm a pretty warm person if there's no wind.

3. Duct tape is definitely in the repair/sewing kit that I made. It's a life saver.

4. True that on the batteries, I'm probably bringing a heavy oldschool camera as well so I could use the extra batteries for either.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Driducks on 03/17/2012 19:01:20 MDT Print View

I haven't personally used driducks so I can't comment on their breathability. Since you're in Colorado you might be able to pick up a light wind shirt fairly cheap at a thrifts store. They are nice but you will survive just fine with the driducks, just don't let them get trashed and leave you without rain gear (if you plan on wearing them a lot I'd throw in a disposable poncho, 1oz and $1 at Wally World) that could get you through a rain or two if you catastrophically trash the driducks.
FYI have you been to Wilderness Exchange in Denver? Sometimes they have good deals there.

Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Re: Driducks on 03/17/2012 19:41:40 MDT Print View

List looks excellent man. The contrail and a 30 degree bag are a perfect fit for the trail. I did the CT last summer with a contrail and a WM summerlite, it was a great combo. Honestly you might be able to drop the leggings, I only used mine twice on the entire trail but that was because I didnt bring pants. Also +1 on night hiking. The segment from sargents mesa to spring creek pass (segment 17,18, and 19 i think) get pretty hot during the summer and are flat. It would be a great part of the trail to hike at night. When exactly will you be hiking the trail?

Also for your water purification i would suggest aqua mira drops, 1 set lasted me the whole hike.

Edited by butts0989 on 03/17/2012 19:43:12 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Water Drops on 03/17/2012 20:02:34 MDT Print View

Oh come to think of it...
I ran out of Aqua Mira near Lake City. If you use AQ I'd put some in a resupply. Or if you want to be cheap some Iodine tablets. You could probably drink a lot of the water unpurified but there are some places I would not want to to this (Sergents Mesa comes to mind, Cachotopa creek has a LOT of beaver dams etc.)
I have not used the Contrail. I was fine with a tarp but there were no bugs when I wnet in late summer. If you want to be cheap I'd get a simple 8X10 ft. tarp and a bivy (Equinox for $60). Add a $10 headnet and you're good to go.

Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Re: Water Drops on 03/17/2012 20:11:06 MDT Print View

Luke is right about the water drops, definitely have a backup, there are some places where having some sort of purification has to be used. Also Luke good idea on the tarp setup, there really arent any bugs in the late season.

Nicholas Meadors

Locale: Teh Front Range
Re: Water Drops on 03/17/2012 20:17:00 MDT Print View

I was also mulling over the possibility of doing a tarp/poncho like the golite or mld cuben, and one of the borah gear bivys because I'd also save weight/money by not having to purchase or use the driducks.

I mostly "chose" the sawyer because of it's cost efficiency. At 15 dollars a bottle, it'll only take 3-4 long distance trips to spend the same amount of money on tablets/drops as I could by buying the sawyer which supposedly has a lifetime guarantee on the filter. I'm not really worried about the quality of water out there, but unless it's snows/cools down sometime soon...there probably won't be much running water late in the summer.

Depending on the water situation, I might leave earlier rather than later (Mid june?). I don't really have any time constraints.

I've been pretty comfortable at 35F with just pants and no liners on, so I may just leave them out. Planning on doing a few "trial" trips when some more snow melts.

Edited by nickoli on 03/17/2012 20:18:47 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Water Drops on 03/17/2012 20:41:05 MDT Print View

I used a poncho tarp for a while. It won't keep you as dry as a rainsuit in rain and its smallish as a shelter, you really need a bivy underneath it so factor that in as a cost.
I'd personally go with a rainsuit and a separate shelter. If you want cheap and reasonably light I'd check out Etowah Outfitters. Their 6x10 tarp is $35 and 18 oz. and their 8x10 is $45 and 24 oz. You won't find anything cheaper. If you want lighter Etowah also has silnylon tarps starting at $70 and 9oz.
I'd pair one of these tarps with a Equinox bivy ($60 and 6.5 oz if I recall) and a headnet from REI ($10). You could have a system for as little as $105 or as much as $140 depending on whether you value weight or cost more).

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Water again on 03/17/2012 20:47:43 MDT Print View

Timing would be something to consider. There wasn't a lot of water this past year and this looks like it will be drier due to the snowpack. If you go late you may have a lot of dry creeks. On the other hand the thunderstorms seem to be less of an issue.
One warning on water. A couple sources in the Cachatopa are listed as "marginal" in the official guidebook. They mean it! One "creek" was a tiny trickly so small you could barely get water out of it. Another was just a couple of puddles, no flow at all. If this year is drier than last year those may not be there period.
Speaking of guides, I like the official databook because its more pessimistic about where water is. You're less likely to be lured into a dry area by false hope. That said I thought "Erik the Black's" guide was better in every other way. I'd get Eriks and make notes in it on what water sources are "reliable" for Erik but marginal in the official book.

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Can you drop? on 03/18/2012 02:57:19 MDT Print View

I have not hiked the CT

But the cheapest way to loose weight is to not bring things, I personally would drop:

Dri ducks pants, jacket for your torso, legs dont mind being wet so much, save ~4oz

Dr. Bronners soap, I just dont think its worth its weight, I clean my pot well enough by hand, brush my teeth with out paste and just use water and rubbing to clean my body. save 2.6oz

Do you need all 3 stuff sacks? the bigger one is for food right? I see you have a mesh bag for cookkit, what are the other two for? I found keeping my sleeping bag and extra clothes in a large clear plastic bag kept everything dry/easy to find/ less bags to pack each day. So the liner you have may be enough. save ~1oz

Knife- there are alot of knifes out there that weigh less. You could go extreme here and bring a razor blade, but I found Leatherman micra(about $30) to be great, mine weighs 53.3g/1.88oz I really like the scissors on them(i.e they work), I end up using them more then anything else, cutting your nails/mustache, duct-ape, threads etc. Plus it has tweezers that actually work for ticks/splinters. If you wear glasses, the tiny flat head it has works with eye glass screws and saved me on more then one occasion. the knife was adequate enough for the times I needed it. Only tool on there did I not actually use (the larger flat head) save 1.3-3oz

I also trimmed the draw cord from my dri ducks jacket, the string was really long if I remember. Trim any other tags and useless hanging-ons save~1-2oz

That is 9.9 to 10.6oz saved, over half a pound right there, with no real drop in performance or ability right there. (For my purposes yours may be different)

And keep in mind though what ever you end up carrying your body will get used to it, it is not like you are carrying a 25lb base weight here. I think the list is great and you are at the tweaking stage. Bring what will make the experience. Weather that is less weight on your back or a little more to make it more comftorable/enjoyable.

oh and +1 Aquamira

Is a bear canister needed on the CT? I have no idea.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Bear Canister needed on CT? on 03/18/2012 09:04:47 MDT Print View

Hard sided bear canister is not required on the CT. I would recommend Ursack with an Opsak inside of that.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
CT on 03/18/2012 09:41:15 MDT Print View

I haven't done the CT (yet) but I read Pmags guide to the CT and thought you might find it helpful:

Dri-ducks are pretty breathable for rain gear but I'd still prefer a real wind shirt for anytime it's not raining. I don't hike in DDs unless I have to. In Denver, you can get them at Big 5 sporting goods. Lots of them around town. I cut the rain pants down and made a rain skirt. 1.85 oz. Saves some weight and only your lower legs get wet.

Is that a trash bag or a trash compactor bag? Hopefully the latter although I have 2.25 oz for the weight of the ones I use.

The list says 0g consumables but you do list soap so I wanted to make sure you put sunblock on your final list. I gave a couple of guys from out of town a lift to start the CT and when we got to the TH, they realized they forgot to bring sunblock! Luckily, somebody finishing a section hike came in to the parking lot and gave them some.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: CT on 03/18/2012 16:42:16 MDT Print View

Looks solid - I agree with the above suggestions. Except, I have to respectfully disagree that you need an Ursack or Opsacks - simply overkill.

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
vest only? on 03/29/2012 21:18:42 MDT Print View

Is a vest all you need? I would think a lightweight jacket would be important to have. It gets pretty cold at night.

Edited by jleeb on 03/29/2012 22:35:00 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: vest only? on 03/30/2012 00:41:13 MDT Print View

Use all your clothing as a system. A vest with windshirt and fleece equals a jacket. Versus do deliver more warmth for the weight.

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
Re: Re: vest only? on 03/30/2012 07:58:32 MDT Print View

According to the gear list though, he is only bringing a UA baselayer and some SS shirts + the vest. I don't see a warm fleece on the list.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: vest only? on 03/30/2012 08:37:53 MDT Print View

I use jacket, synthetic insulated vest, long sleeved base layer - down to 20 F around camp but that's pushing it, pretty comfortable at 30 F which may be a good summer minimum temperature

Nicholas Meadors

Locale: Teh Front Range
Re: Re: Re: vest only? on 03/30/2012 09:00:29 MDT Print View

Yeah I'm gonna be trying that set up out more in the following weeks. I was out last weekend and it got a little chilly in the wind at camp, but the vest/windshirt/base layer seemed to work alright. Plus I figure I can use my quilt to wrap around me during extended cold camp sessions.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: CT 2012. First "long" distance hike. on 04/02/2012 19:28:37 MDT Print View

I would not take the vest. I took my Montbell thermawrap vest last summer and never wore it, except in Breck at night because I had it.

Also, no need for long thermals. Just rain/wind pants will do. I used the Montbell stretch wind pants that were just under 3 ounces. You can sleep in your rain pants on cold nights. I had a Katabatic Gear 30F down quilt, which was fine warmth wise, and I sleep very cold. However, if I had it to do over again, I would prefer a synthetic quilt because of how wet the trail is. Expect a lot of rain showers and hail storms.

You will need top rain gear frequently, so not sure about the driducks for sustained performance. My Montane rain jacket weighed about 6 ounces, so my rain gear total was less than 10 ounces. Of course, my stuff is all size small.

+1 for both the leatherman micra multi-tool and an empty Gatorade bottle in place of the spare Platypus. It's easier to scoop from low streams, plus mix flavored drink mixes in like Emergency-C, etc.

I still use the 2 part iodine tablets and found them to be fine and readily available in resupply towns.