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Tear apart my list, please!
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Nick VanBurkleo
(EnvyBee) - F - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Tear apart my list, please! on 04/18/2012 11:31:53 MDT Print View

I'm going through a gear updating frenzy for the first time in more than a decade, and I'm trying to think smarter about what I need and don't need, and the right products to fit the bill. The list isn't 100% finished (which worries me about total current weight), and I'm still in buying mode so let me know what you would add, change, or eliminate altogether from this list.

I'd like to get the skin out weight (sans food) below 12 pounds, but realistically I'd be thrilled to get it below 15. This is a 3-season, multiday pack. The hammock is the most obvious item that can go, but it was a gift and I'd like to try and achieve my goal without ditching it.

-Packing- 59.7oz
REI Flash 62 - 50.5oz
Sleeping Bag Compression Sack - 2.9oz
S2S Pocket shower (Rain/Wet Gear Stuff Sack/hygiene) - 4.2oz
Sil Nylon Stuff Sack (Clothes)- 2.1oz

-Sleep system- 67.3oz
REI Kilo - 29.0oz
Closed Cell Foam pad 56" - 8.0oz
GoLite Poncho Tarp - 7.1oz
Grand Trunk Double parachute w/ rigging - 23.2oz
Two "S" hooks made from a clothes hangar + two stakes with guylines - 3.5oz

-Cooking & Water- 25.2oz
Backcountry Boiler - 9.7oz
8oz Plastic Mug - 0.8oz
LMF Spork - 0.4oz
1L Water Bottle - 1.5oz
Cammelback Bladder - 6.5oz
Chlorine Dioxide + Neutralizer in "crack" vials - 2.3oz
Trash Bag x 2 (one for bag liner, one for bear bag/trash) - 4.0oz

-Hygeine+Misc- 31.9oz
Toothbrush - .7oz
Baking Soda - 2oz
Bic - .8oz
LMF Mora - 3.3oz
Whistle/Compass/first aid container - 2.2oz
First aid Inside ^(5x cotton balls, 5x matches, 10x ibuprofen, 5x benadryl, 3x antiseptic wipes) - 1.7oz
Trekking Poles - 20.2oz total w/ 5ft Duct Tape wrapped on each
Map - Variable weight
Watch - 1oz

-Clothing Packed- 26.2oz
Revelcloud Jacket - 12.3oz
Polyester T-Shirt - 3.5oz
Polyester Long Underwear bottoms - 4.7oz
Buff - 1.4oz
Gloves - 4.3oz
Extra socks - ???

-Clothing Worn- 70.2oz
Polyester Cap - 2.3oz
Polyester Long Underwear top (hiking shirt) - 4.5oz
Nylon Convertible Pants - 12.5oz
Lined Underarmor Running Shorts (swim suit/underwear/shorts) - 3.8oz
Would love suggestions for shoe/sock combos. Retiring my faithful 12 year old clunky Itasca hiking boots and the old thick socks I wore with them. I'm guessing shoes and socks will add around 24oz so I'm including that in the weight.

--Skin-out sans food- 256.5oz (17lbs 8.5oz)
-Base Pack weight - 210.3 (13lbs 2.3oz)

Thanks in advance for the feedback!

Tyler H
(ctwnwood) - F

Locale: The Palouse
re: Tear apart my list, please! on 04/18/2012 12:06:02 MDT Print View

Nick, Not a bad start but there's definitely some extra stuff in here.

-Sleeping bag compression sack. Put all of your soft dry clothes in a trash compactor bag at 2.3oz
-S2S pocket shower. What is this?
-Silnylon stuffsack (clothes)
-Hammock. Sorry bro, that's a lot of weight for something you don't need at all
-Trash bags. Put food scraps in the ziplocks your brought them in, I bet you have enough packaging to deal with trash, maybe bring one ziplock to seal up garbage if necessary
- 5ft. of duct tape on poles. Poles are swinging weight so probably not the best place to put extra weight imo
-Convertible pants. Wear rain pants over shorts or just bring light pants.
-Waffle-stomper hiking boots. Find some old running shoes at the thrift store and kill them during your trip. Wear bike socks or similar lightweight merino

-REI Flash 62
-56" seems like way too much pad and will make it hard to pack burrito-style. Cut to torso length
-You could replace your camelbak bladder with a platypus 2+L at 1.3oz
-You might find some lighter, fleece gloves.

Other suggestions:
- You could buy or build a lighter backpack\
- Definitely bring extra warm socks. Sleep in the same clean pair of socks every night and put on the same pair of hiking socks every morning after rinsing them each night.
- You might need a puffy or fleece for colder temps. An investment to be sure.

Good work, keep it up!

Nick VanBurkleo
(EnvyBee) - F - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: re: Tear apart my list, please! on 04/23/2012 06:37:04 MDT Print View

Good tips, thanks! The S2S pocket shower is the dry bag Sea to summit makes that has a shower nozzle on the bottom of it. I'm ditching that idea completely since an extra bottle cap with a few holes in it would probably suffice. I'm sure if I desperately wanted a shower and didn't have a usable body of water, I could also modify something essential and snap it into the mouthpiece of a bladder hose.

I'm just realizing that I have no bug protection on the list. I'll probably cut and sew a larger than normal bug net for use in or out of the sleeping bag. I don't expect that to add more than an ounce.

I know pack comparisons run rampant here and that I could shave an easy lb by going with something like the Jam rather than the Flash 62, but I'm nervous about shedding the internal frame when I'm hiking lots of vertical distance. Your thoughts?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Tear apart my list, please! on 04/23/2012 08:54:56 MDT Print View

> I know pack comparisons run rampant here and that I could shave an easy lb by going with something like the Jam rather than the Flash 62, but I'm nervous about shedding the internal frame when I'm hiking lots of vertical distance.

Are you mountain climbing or something? If you want a Jam, NOW is the time with the huge sale they're doing until Wed apparently. Write a review for your tarp and get another 20% code emailed to you. The 70L will easily hold what you have here. I'd expect the 50L would also.

As for shoes, it's hard to recommend since everyone's feet are different. Make sure you size up at least 1/2 size than what you'd normally wear. There are lots of good brands. Personally, I use Inov-8 Roclite 315 and either Injinji toe socks or Darn Tough Vermont socks.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Pack etc. on 04/23/2012 10:04:08 MDT Print View

You could cut some odds and ends off the list to cut weight a bit.
The most significant savings would probably be
1. Lighter pack, if you have $80 I'd suggest buying a Golite Jam (50 liters probably) and try it out. They take returns if its in new condition so you could pack it up in your house. If you like it I'd keep both if you can afford it. Start by using the Jam on shorter trips and try to keep total pack weight under 15 until you figure out how to pack it comfortably for you.
2. Leave the hammuck behind on all but short luxerious trips.

The Jam weights about 31 oz so you save about 19oz there. Losing the hammuck saves you 23 oz so that 420z saved right there for relatively little. After that if you want to consider a sleeping quilt thats a possiblity but it may not save enough weight to be worth the cost right now.

On the shelter I'd suggest getting a bivy to go with the poncho tarp or getting a bigger tarp. A poncho tarp is really minimal and you might have rain blowing under it at times. A bivy with a bug net solves this problem and the bug issue. If you keep the poncho you could lose the raincoat for trips where its not super rainy. If it is rainy I'd take a raincoat and probably a bigger tarp than a poncho tarp.

Edited by Cameron on 04/23/2012 10:13:00 MDT.

Jamie Estep
(jestep) - F

Locale: ATX
Shoes on 04/23/2012 15:19:30 MDT Print View

Check out some of the Innov8 brand shoes. Most are very light, and they make some beefier trail shoes as well.

Nick VanBurkleo
(EnvyBee) - F - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Pack on 04/30/2012 14:12:17 MDT Print View I bought two Jams lol A 50 and a 70. Thanks to everyone for pointing out that sale, I can't believe that I didn't notice it on my own! At that price I can afford the frameless pack experiment. Twice, evidently.

The poncho tarp seemed to be a perfect fit when pitched over the hammock, and I really like that it is multi-use, but you raise a valid point about its size if I'm on the ground. I'm going to try to avoid the bivy route by adding some silnylon to the poncho tarp. Has anyone else here tried this, or would I be better off starting from scratch? I'll post that question in the MYOG section also.

Alright, so the hammock has been removed, and the pack has been changed. Thanks for the suggestions on the shoes and socks, I haven't made the decision on those yet.

Any other glaring oversights or necessary additions?

Brad Wrage
(wragen22) - F
flash 62 on 06/07/2012 09:35:10 MDT Print View

I'll buy your flash 62 ;-)

Pete Garcia
(pgjgarcia) - MLife

Locale: SE PA
Bivy on 06/07/2012 13:32:35 MDT Print View

I've got a bivy from Borah and it's amazing. They're made by a member from BPL, are a great price, and they're fantastic to work with. Also super light and high quality. I use one with an ID 5x8 tarp and haven't had any problems. Worth checkin out!

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Pack on 06/07/2012 17:06:07 MDT Print View

Why "Cammelback Bladder - 6.5oz" instead of additional 1L or 2L bottle at <2 oz?

That wouldn't produce as much weight savings as a "big" item does, like switching to a Jam (good choice, and also great deal) -- but ounces sure do add up.

Actually, your original base weight (less than 14 lbs?) before incorporating the various suggestions was pretty remarkable considering "heavy" and/or "extra" stuff it included.

if you're considering a light-weight long pants option to pair with shorts for wind and rain protection (rather than using pants with zip-off legs), GoLite's sale (it really has some good deals!) includes Tumalo pants (described as 7 or 8 oz) which are reduced to about $50 -- and that's before the additional 20% off with a coupon from wrting a review. Alternatively, GoLite Currant Mountain Paclite 2 pants are reduced from $180 to about $90, reduced further with 20% coupon from a review.

Now that you have the two Jams, you could write reviews for each of them to get two more coupons!

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Ideas on 06/08/2012 06:30:56 MDT Print View

I'd ditch the Poncho tarp and bivy and pickup a set of DriDucks and a 8x10 silnylon tarp.

Poncho is jack of all trades, but master at none. Not sure of your exact location, but in the NE with a Poncho u can't see your feet while u hike, a big problem getting over the bumpy trails here. It also blows around a lot and water gets in the arm slits. Also, what happens when u get into camp and have to setup the tarp while still wearing the poncho? U either get soaked or add at least wind shirt (weight) to your pack weight and hope u can setup before wetting through that.

The poncho has poor coverage. I'm 5-9 and it was pure luck I didn't get wet when I used it.

Grab a larger tarp and ditch the bivy. That way u don't feel constrained in the bivy and no possibility of condensation issues. The 8 x 10 will be big enough to keep side spray off you and vs. the bivy give you a lot more living space (what happens if it is the storm of the century during the morning and u decide to wait it out in your shelter?)

No stuff sacks needed. Just a large trash compactor bag as mentioned before. Let the stuff expand inside, or cram it in there if need be, it'll take the shape of the inside of your pack.

If u really want to hammock, pick up a grand trunk nano.

Make sure you are really comfy with the backcountry boiler...not fun (for me) with wet/damp fuel. Alcohol stove would be lighter and cheaper.
Pickup a Fosters can as a pot and just boil water in it for freezer bag cooking. This way you ditch the Mug as well. Here's an idea:

LMF Spork, ditch it and grab a long handed spoon from Carvel or ice cream shop.

Ditch the 1l bottle and camel back for two generic 1L soda bottles or water bottles from supermarket. (you can get varying sizes)

if any critter gets at your trash bag/bear bag you're toast. I'd grab a silnylon stuff sack....I often times use the stuff (not compression) stuff sacks that come with sleeping bags I've had over the years since I don't use them for the bags themselves.

Ditch the LMF Mora, grab a Stanley Mitey Knife

Ditch the convertable pants (as mentioned elsewhere) and just hike in a long sleeve poly shirt and pants. I wear long sleeves 365 days a year so I don't need to bring bug protection (works better anyway as I sweet off the bug dope and I don't like the chemicals).

Shoes = sneakers with decent tread as mentioned elsewhere. Socks = 2 pairs of ankle socks as mentioned.

Here is a summer list of mine from last year for ideas:


Jeffrey Carman
(Jeffruns) - F

Locale: PDX metro
Lighter, cheaper, more fun! on 06/12/2012 04:51:06 MDT Print View

Two ways to lighten your load that have not bee mentioned:
First take your REI sleeping bag and backpack back to REI or sell them and use the money to invest in a nice down quilt (from Jacks R better or Z-Packs) or sleeping bag (from Western Mountaineering or Feathered Friends) or you could find other maybe better options by pouring through various forums here on BPL to find one that suits your needs. Feathered Friends is a good option because they will customize your sleeping bag in various ways (fair warning even with the return money it's going to cost you a fair amount).
The second way is to either buy or make an alcohol burning stove with a fosters can pot. This will most likely weigh less than 70 grams in total (around 2 ounces) a significant weight savings for you.
In fact if you want a started set send me maybe like $15 bucks for postage and time and I'll send you a complete set:
Fosters pot 25
UL windscreen 17.4
Cross Spokes 5.5
Bull Stove 6.9
Fuel Bottle 11.2
Medicine Cup 1.5
Weights will vary by a tenth of a gram or so but I've got a lot of extra makings for this stuff just sitting around.
my paypal email is

John Roorbach
(highcrags) - F

Locale: So. Oregon Coast
"Tear apart my list, please!" on 07/08/2012 16:53:19 MDT Print View

I like the fact everyone knows about the go lite jams. Great investment. They have a great new tent too with guy outs on the sides. If you don't use the nest its really light but in bug country you'll want it. Try trail running shoes and as suggested alcohol stoves, but count in the filled fuel bottle weight. MontBell carries really nice raingear, a bit spendy but unbeatable and for me this is preferable to a poncho. Size up for synthetic base- and mid-layering if you wear them in wet climates or at altitude. Some folks just take a great bag and keep moving enough during the day that a lot of base and mid-layers are unnecessary. As far as a bivy goes, I always set one up with with an 8x10 ID siltarp. The tarp provides the space that doesn't exist in the bivy for changing, stoves, etc. Western Mountaineering does make an excellent variety of bags, but so does Montbell and GoLite. Everyone has offered wonderful suggestions and in the last analysis you'll find out what's best for you by doing it. Enjoy it! Think high crags and blue sky!

Edited by highcrags on 07/08/2012 17:00:15 MDT.