Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Lighter and (in my opinion) better


Display Avatars Sort By:
Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/23/2012 10:41:55 MDT Print View

So we talk a lot about giving up this or that in order to save weight. What are some stories, items that are lighter but clearly better (for you at least)?

I have two examples..

Quilts over Sleeping bags...I hate getting zipped in and out, especially at night when you have to get up to pee. Quilt solves that. Lighter and (in my opinion) better.

Big knives. My first trip out I brought a 3" fixed blade knife, sharp as a razor. I parked at the trail head, went to open a pack of batteries like a manly man with my razor sharp dagger... promptly sliced my thumb open. Not bad enough to need stitches but pretty good. That was fun to nurse for the next two days. So a big, sharp knife can be an asset but it can also get you in trouble. Tomorrow when I go I will carry a tiny key chain Leatherman knife, much less dangerous to myself. Lighter and (in my opinion) better.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/23/2012 11:08:13 MDT Print View

Water treatment -- combining chemicals with a simple filter results in a lighter package than a fancy filter alone -- and much quicker treatment time than using chemicals alone. My combo set up is chlorine droplets + AquaMira Frontier Pro filter -- weighing less than 3 oz.

Another is actually an absence rather than a presence: by eliminating different stuff sacks for sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothing, food, etc. -- one can save weight, save time, and pack more efficiently, space wise!

Edit: I use one small silnylon stuff sack to house the tiny misc. stuff.

Edited by ben2world on 03/24/2012 13:17:42 MDT.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/24/2012 09:43:38 MDT Print View

Sorry Ty Ty, but I have to disagree with your conclusion about knives.
The lack of knife handling skills is the problem, not the large knife. You can still cut yourself up just as bad with a little knife.
Of course I'm not trying to purport everyone carry a large knife, because it wouldn't benefit everyone. But, taking a smaller knife is not going to make up for not knowing how to use one without injuring yourself.

P.S. This isn't a personal attack on you, I just don't want people walking around with a false sense of security.


Lighter but better: NeoAir! For me anyway, I used to carry a 15oz. z-lite. Now I can have a mattress that is almost half the weight, more comfortable to sleep on, and packs smaller.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Lighter cheaper better water bottle on 03/24/2012 12:23:09 MDT Print View

I prefer an Aquafina 1-liter bottle compared to an old-style Nalgene.

Lighter.

Cheaper (free in the recycle bin).

Better in that the I spill less through the smaller opening (I drink from it as I hike.)

I really liked the older Aquafina bottles with the slightly larger lid a full inch in diameter, but haven't seen those in years.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Lighter better free bowl on 03/24/2012 12:27:24 MDT Print View

I tip I got off of BPL: make a bowl from the bottom 3 inches of a one-gallon or half-gallon HDPE plastic milk carton.

Lighter than any other option.

Find the right style and they nest great (I now do that on family trips).

Or find one that fits just inside or outside your pot.

Free (at home or recycle center).

Sending them to through the dishwasher removes all milk residue. And spiffs them up after a trip.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/24/2012 13:10:23 MDT Print View

Off the top of my head:

1. Titanium spoon. This is a no-brainer. Strong as steel, light as aluminum, and not that crazy expensive either. I understand if someone won't/can't buy a full titanium stove set, but come on, just the spoon pretty much all backpackers can do.

2. Recycled water bottles. Cheap (free), works just as good as fancy, heavy water bottles.

3. Cuben/silinylon stuff sacks. Again, maybe not everyone can have a cuben tarp/tent, but stuff sacks nearly anyone can have. Water resistant, tough, do the same job as heavier fabric stuff sacks. While some people have less stuff sacks than others, I have yet to see anyone not use any, so might as well go with the better ones.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/24/2012 15:23:53 MDT Print View

> Titanium spoon. This is a no-brainer.
Except that the GSI plastic spoons are lighter, and last extremely well.

Cheers

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/24/2012 15:33:09 MDT Print View

Also, those plastic spoons come in different colors. I have a nice bright orange one, and I haven't lost it yet. I can't say the same thing about dull gray spoons.

--B.G.--

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/24/2012 16:25:51 MDT Print View

Try the Sea-to-Summit Alphalight Cutlery. They're lighter than any of my titanium spoons and much cheaper.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Re: Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/25/2012 01:04:27 MDT Print View

"Except that the GSI plastic spoons are lighter, and last extremely well."

Point well taken. I have a plastic spoon (from Max Burger) that I use on occasion, mostly for SUL trips. But if I had to pick one or the other, I don't mind the 15g weight penalty of titanium. Won't melt, won't break, has a long handle for eating out of bags and pots and such. You're not going to get any better as far as lasting extremely well, too.

Bob also has a good point about colors. Haven't lost my Ti spoon yet, though. I was in a pickle last weekend, however, when I got drunk with some friends and lost my camo baseball cap. Lucky for me, wind had blown it into one of my friend's tarps, so it's all good. My plastic spoon (free from a burger joint) is neon orange, for the record, so I doubt I will lose that. It might melt on me one day, though ;)

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/25/2012 01:08:11 MDT Print View

"Try the Sea-to-Summit Alphalight Cutlery. They're lighter than any of my titanium spoons and much cheaper."

Wow, you got me there. Had I known about the long handle spoon by STS, I probably would have picked that over my Ti spoon. Nice catch. Then again, it's only 8g lighter, so not that big a deal. Plus if I really want to save on weight, I can just use my plastic spoon.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/25/2012 11:36:03 MDT Print View

High Caloric Value food / Freezer Bag cooking.

This is one of the big weight saving measures for me. Getting to that 125 calories per ounce range saves a huge amount of pack weight from 75 to 100 calories per ounce. this reduces your food weight by 20% So you save a 1/2 pound per day on a 4000 calorie diet.

Combined with freezer bag cooking you reduce your cook set size down to a single small pot and reduce fuel useage as you are only boiling and not simmering. And you just back out the dirty freezer bag and don't have to do dishes.

With a little creativity there is no loss in the quality of your food that you are eating.

The other one is the lightweight framed packs in the two pound range. For 30lbs weights you don't really notice any different from the 4 or 6 pound packs.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
spoons and such on 03/25/2012 13:46:10 MDT Print View

i picked the STS long handled spoon because of it's light weight and even lighter price. the long handle is a must for freeze dried meals.

my favorite weight savings piece of gear is my knowledge. food, shelter, and a wee dram to drink are i need for a 36-72 hour jaunt in the wood. maps, compass, fire starter, serious first aid supplies, communication devices, and even a stove aren't needed. for a weekend trip, i have omitted many things i once thought were required, the biggest leap of faith was a stove for hot food.

the bulk of my dinners are freezer bag or freeze dried meals so i typically am just heating water, but if i don't need to heat water, i can save the weight of the stove, fuel, and the pot!

another big leap for me was not carrying 2 liters of water. when i reviewed my trips i noticed i passed many springs yet i was lugging 2 liters with me. now i carry 1 liter and try to plan it so that liter is gone about the time i hit a good water source. i still carry the second liter container so i have plenty of water in camp, but on the trail, 1 liter is usually plenty.

Edited by asciibaron on 03/25/2012 13:47:34 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: spoons and such on 03/25/2012 15:25:23 MDT Print View

> i still carry the second liter container so i have plenty of water in camp, but on
> the trail, 1 liter is usually plenty.
Yup, an empty PET soda bottle weighs MUCH less than almost anything else.

Cheers

Christopher Heine
(heine19)

Locale: Colorado
Re on 03/25/2012 17:05:46 MDT Print View

Lighter but not better: thermarest ridgerest pad. I tried to use one of these instead of my neoair and felt like I was sleeping on bare ground. I'm a side sleeper so the extra padding makes a big difference.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Re on 03/25/2012 18:12:21 MDT Print View

"Lighter but not better: thermarest ridgerest pad. I tried to use one of these instead of my neoair and felt like I was sleeping on bare ground. I'm a side sleeper so the extra padding makes a big difference."

been there, suffered with that...

the most comfortable pad i could find after much trial was an REI LiteCore 1.5 self inflating pad. it weighs a massive 26.35 oz, but i'll lug that sucker into the wood if it means i get a good night's sleep. if i'm not rested, the trail could be the most amazing trail ever, i wouldn't notice, i'd be so grumpy and fatigued from the restless night i could easily be confused with a zombie. no one likes hiking with zombie Steve.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: Lighter and (in my opinion) better on 03/26/2012 08:58:33 MDT Print View

"Sorry Ty Ty, but I have to disagree with your conclusion about knives.
The lack of knife handling skills is the problem, not the large knife. You can still cut yourself up just as bad with a little knife.
Of course I'm not trying to purport everyone carry a large knife, because it wouldn't benefit everyone. But, taking a smaller knife is not going to make up for not knowing how to use one without injuring yourself.

P.S. This isn't a personal attack on you, I just don't want people walking around with a false sense of security."

Nick - oh I agree, my knife handling skills in that particular instance were plain stupid. I was excited to get going, running late, distracted, and at the last minute decided to change batteries 'real quick' before I got going. All added up to doing something stupid.

However, it is a fact that a 3.5" carbon steel, razor sharp fixed blade knife can cause a lot more damage in a whoopsie incident than a 3/4" Letehrman style keychain knife. So then what else did I use that knife for the rest of that trip? Cutting spam and stirring ramen noodles. Same for the trip after that, and the one after that. After about three trips in a row I thought to myself..why am I carrying this knife? Hence the switch to a keychain knife.

A couple years ago I went elk hunting in Colorado and shot a bull elk with a guide. As I pulled out my two fixed blade knives (one for backup I guess?) and fold out saw my guide (born and raised on a ranch in Colorado) pulled out his 2" fold out Old Man? (the little bone handle deals old timers will use to pick the dirt out from under their finger nails) pocket knife and a wet stone, spit on it, sharpened his knife and got through the two rear quarters before I finished one front shoulder.

That was my point with the knives. I really don't think there is a reason in the world to carry a big knife. If you can quarter an elk with a 2" folding pocket knife what can you gain by carrying a 3"+ fixed blade knife besides a greater risk of having a more serious injury if you ever have a whoopsie? And everyone in the world has whoopsies. My uncle who was a surgeon cut himself quartering an elk bad enough to need field stitches. My father who grew up working in packing houses processing cattle all day every day has cut himself in the field with a knife and once pretty good with a bone saw. Anyone can get tired and lazy, distracted for a split second, slip, whatever. The larger the knife, the larger the result of the whoopsie.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Sorry... on 03/26/2012 15:22:08 MDT Print View

This is kind of a crappy thread, sorry. What is better to me might not be better to someone else and vice versa. I thought about it because I read a thread on WhiteBlaze.net that was basically 'What all have you given up on to go lighter' and I was thinking...really nothing. Most of what I have done to go lighter has been lighter and better. That was the original intent of the thread, didn't think it through. Oh well.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Spoons on 03/26/2012 22:41:04 MDT Print View

<- Not a fan of plastic spoons.

After breaking two (eating hard-ish foods in cold weather) and melting one, I'm much happier with Ti for an extra 3 grams.

You could argue this is a 'skill' thing. For me, I like to fry the occasional fish in the backcountry in my fry pan lid, and it's hard to flip those with a plastic spoon without leaving colorful skid marks on your pan.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Lighter AND Better on 03/29/2012 10:01:23 MDT Print View

Okay, +1 on the hard-ano spoons, and we can add "less expensive", too. I love that Sea to Summit long-handled.

Also:

Light My Fire Spork -- light, boilable, no burny the fingers, okay to scrape non-stick pans with it and the spoon part doesn't leak like a toothed-cup spork.

Brunton/Silva Trooper/RangerLF sighting compass -- tiny, light, works great and you can pin it to your strap or shirt for navigation on the move.

Cosmic Down 20, short -- yes, compared to other items a Scout might carry, but lighter, warmer, smaller, more comfortable. Love this item.