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Trying to go sub-20, advice appreciated
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Zack Townsend
(rainman) - F
Trying to go sub-20, advice appreciated on 04/11/2012 17:54:05 MDT Print View

Doc finally convinced me I needed to lighten my load after another knee injury during a business trip last month. I've had recurring injuries since I was a kid, and it just isn't gonna take my current pack much longer before I start doing real damage.

Looked at my last few trips, stripped out everything I didn't actually use, and looked at cutting the weight for the rest. Some of the major stuff is gear I already use (clothing, shelter, etc), but I'll definitely be grabbing a lighter pack and cutting down on the tools/kitchen gear.

Mostly two- and three-day hikes in Florida, with the weather ranging from hot and humid to HOT and HUMID.

I've cut it down from my current weight of 35 pounds to about 19 pounds fully loaded (consumables, clothing, and base weight). Is there anything I'm missing here, or anything I should consider to cut it further? My new pack of choice is a 35L one, and I *think* that will be about the right size for everything.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Trying to go sub-20, advice appreciated on 04/11/2012 17:58:06 MDT Print View

I always suggest taking a look at the community gear lists listed to your right as a good starting point to see what is possible.

Sub 20 around here for your climate will be easy.

You are already there since you have your food weight included.

Edited by kthompson on 04/11/2012 18:00:07 MDT.

Nathan Stuart

Locale: Hunter Valley - Australia
Few easy tips on 04/11/2012 18:23:33 MDT Print View

I'm only browsing your list but here's a few.

-Lighter knife, 6oz is a lot of knife. Find something in the 1-2oz range.
Some of the fixed blade victornox kitchen knives are great. Just make a small cardboard sheath. about 20grams all up for a decent, sharp 4" fixed bladed knife. Sharp too and you can get smooth or serrated bladed.

-Do you need to take deoderant ?? Could take 3oz straight off there. (As an Aussie we know about hot humid weather). If you stink bad try a light merino shirt in place of the REI as ther don't get the pong. I can highly recommend the RAB Meco 120 for hot weather. Best change I made from a MH Canyon shirt. Love it.

-You could take lighter cord. 1.25mm z line works just as well as paracord for me and is very light.

-Do you actually use 4oz of suncream and 4oz of bug spray in 2-3 days. I have found that I can shave a little weight but cutting back and this stuff to a lesser amount. next trip take note of how much you actually use per day. You might be supprised.

-You could always get a WBBB hammock and cuben tarp.... lets not start the WB vs Hennessy thing though eh.....

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Few easy tips on 04/11/2012 19:39:30 MDT Print View

+1 lighter knife
And a leatherman???

Wheres your sleeping bag/quilt?

8oz belt!?! Holey moley!

20oz shirt? That's a big ass shirt. Seriously... 20oz should be mid layer, and shell.

EDIT- 20oz Shirt in Florida?????

Edited by WoodenWizard on 04/11/2012 19:40:31 MDT.

sub 20 on 04/11/2012 20:06:31 MDT Print View

All you need is a swimsuit, flip-flops, and bug spray in FL right?.

Edited by livingontheroad on 04/11/2012 20:07:27 MDT.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Trying to go sub-20, advice appreciated on 04/11/2012 20:26:22 MDT Print View

A Mora #1 classic knife with plastic sheath (nearly 4" fixed blade) is around 2.9 oz and $13. This could replace both knives.

Esbit Ti Wing stove is about 0.5 oz.

As a potential lighter replacement for your magnesium firestarter, consider a firesteel like the Light My Fire scout model or a mini Bic, both at about 0.5 oz.

Keep everything in your pack dry by using a trash compactor bag as a liner.

Edited by AndyF on 04/11/2012 20:26:55 MDT.

Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
Some ideas on 04/11/2012 21:53:30 MDT Print View

Hi Zack,

I think it's easier if you don't include consumables (food and water) in your base weight because that's one thing that won't change much (if it all) with everyones suggestions. So anyways, here arey ideas.

1. Consider taking everything off your pack that you're not going to use. Water bladder sleeve? Extra length on the straps? Is your pack lid detachable?

2. What kind of water bottles are you using? Try using old Gatorade or Smart Water bottles. Cheap and super light.

3. Have you tried Aquamira for your water purification? It's really light (maybe an ounce for a 2-3 day trip) and relatively tasteless. Not like the iodine pills at all. Plus, you don't have to worry about possibly breaking your electronic steripen and not being able to drink clean water.

4. No sleeping bag or quilt?

5. Two knives? There are good knives out there (single blade) that weigh less than an ounce.

6. 12oz of food per day doesn't seem like enough but you're obviously more in tune with your eating habits. However for a 2.5 day trip you might not have to bring 6 esbit tabs. Maybe cook once a day and only bring 3?

7. Maybe half as much sunscreen and deet? You can spray your clothes with permathrin before you go out plus you're prob wearing long pants and long sleeves for added bite and sun protection.

8. You don't need deoderant, everybody else smells bad and nobody cares. Same with the wipes.

9. Carabiners??

Good luck and keep an open mind! It's surprising and enlightening to realize how little you need to be safe and comfortable.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Trying to go sub-20, advice appreciated on 04/12/2012 08:43:04 MDT Print View

Edited by annapurna on 04/12/2012 09:58:09 MDT.

gunther kirsch
(goonch92) - F

Locale: Northern California
good stuff on 04/12/2012 09:15:18 MDT Print View

ditch the deoderant

you need one caribeaner at most if at all

ditch toilet paper

ditch belt, just bring comfotable sport or swim shorts

some of the emergency gear is a little excesive for a 3 day trip, you have two signaling devices and two fire starter, just pick one each.

and in the future id work on getting a litter pack and shelter, my shelter is 19 oz all together. my pack is about 32.

where your sleep system?? thats at least another 2-3 pounds if not 4

Zack Townsend
(rainman) - F
Re: Some ideas on 04/12/2012 09:27:16 MDT Print View


Thanks for the suggestions.

1) I'll have to see once the new pack comes in, but I've seen on other boards that I could probably strip a decent amount of weight off of that particular model.

2) That's what I've been using, two 16-oz Gatorade bottles.

3) Haven't tried them yet, but I definitely will. The pills are part of my emergency stuff, luckily it has been about a year since I last broke a Steripen on the trail and had to use them.

4) Usually don't need one with the conditions down here. On a chilly night I pack in some lightweight thermals to wear under my clothes.

5) Knives are one thing I always carry two of. A fixed-blade on my belt and a Leatherman multitool in my pack. I've broken several lightweight knives, so I tend to stick with a heavier, full-tang model.

6) Yeah, this is one I found over time. With freeze-dried/dehydrated food, I usually consume about 3/4 pound (dry weight) a day (breakfast, dinner, and stuff like jerky/trail mix to snack on during the day). For the esbit tabs, I usually only need 4, but I always carry one or two extra just in case.

7) I could definitely cut this down. Usually I've just tossed the bottles in my pack, but I could portion them out into smaller containers and cut a couple ounces.

8) Deodorant is mostly for me, eventually I get tired of smelling myself. Mandatory if the SO is on the trip. Smelling like a dead animal marinating in a burlap sack cuts down on certain evening activities :)

9) Yeah, I use a few small ones to hang stuff with (around the camp, off my pack, etc).

Zack Townsend
(rainman) - F
Re: Re: Few easy tips on 04/12/2012 09:31:35 MDT Print View


Yeah, that shirt weight doesn't sound right. I've never weighed it myself, that's just a listed weight I saw online. Seems too high to me, I may have to actually weigh mine. Same for the belt, I just pulled a number out of the air for it.

I don't carry a sleeping bag or a quilt down here. On trips north into the Smokies/Blue Ridge areas, I bring a light quilt, but those are maybe 1/2x a year.

Zack Townsend
(rainman) - F
Re: Few easy tips on 04/12/2012 09:34:46 MDT Print View


Thanks for the suggestions.

I'll pick up some z-line for the next trip and try it out.

Definitely don't use that much sunscreen/spray, that's just the full weight of the containers. I could break them down and portion them out into smaller amounts before the trip.

I'm sticking clear of the hammock debates :)

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Re: Trying to go sub-20, advice appreciated on 04/12/2012 16:08:17 MDT Print View

Don't ever trust advertized weights. They're usually overestimates by as much as a few ounces for some things. Sometimes shipping weight is listed (so what UPS weighs), sometimes weights include packaging (here are shoes... and their box/paper-inserts!).

You can nab a small scale like this, . Big scales aren't as helpful because of the lack of extra significant figured, and also because they're usually not as precise. If you're wondering "how the heck can I measure a jacket with that thing?" you can just put a pint glass on the scale, zero it, then shove the jacket into it and re-weigh.

Without exact weights we're trying to be helpful, but realistically spitballing.