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Critique Is Appreciated
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Sokchoeun San
(R0cksteady) - F

Locale: New England
Critique Is Appreciated on 04/19/2012 01:13:39 MDT Print View

I've been backpacking primarily in the White Mountains in New Hampshire for the past two years. I started with a base weight of 20lb using traditional, albeit, heavier gear. I've started the process of lightening my gear, but I want to reach that sub-10 mark.

Gear list is in my profile. This is for 3-season, though winter is something I would be interested in the future.

Missing in my list are:

Sleep clothes: Duofold LW bottoms and Cap 1 LS- weight is TBD.
Worn clothes: ExOfficio boxer brief, Nike gym shorts, Champion Tech SS- weight is TBD.
Footwear: New Balance MT10 or VFF TrekSport or TNF Hedgehog Trail Runners.

Feedback is much appreciated.

Arlyn Janssen
re: Critique Is Appreciated on 04/19/2012 03:04:54 MDT Print View

I won't critique. You've done well to cut your packweight in half. I think you'll find a BPL membership to be a worthy investment, though, at this stage. The articles are fantastic and I feel a lot more prepared and on top of my gear even though I'm also new to the UL thing.

Here's a few thoughts:
1) Pot lid. I use aluminum foil and it works almost as well as my old lid.
2) Therm-A-Rest All-Season. You'll probably find that you don't need it all the time (unless you find the comfort as necessary as the warmth). Could certainly shave 1/2 lb. there, though, for most 3-season applications. A CCF pad would be significantly lighter, warm enough for 3-season use and make the sleeping pad repair kit unnecessary.
3) UL Pillow. Do you wear your Thermawrap to bed? It'd make a nice pillow in a small stuff sack. I carry a small jute wide-mesh net bag that doesn't even register on my .01 oz. scale. It almost literally weighs nothing. It has no other application than to keep my puffy in a ball under my head at night.
4) Shelter. I just shaved 2+ lbs. off my pack by purchasing a 6X9 cuben fiber Zpacks tarp and a Katabatic bivy off the Gear Swap forum (for about 60% of retail). I haven't received them yet, but I'm "converted", at least in theory, for 3-season use. My total shelter weight is going to be somewhere in the 12 oz. range.
5) Water. Some will say to ditch the filter and use drops, but I'm attached to my Sawyer Squeeze, too. Drops are lighter, but more expensive over the long haul. I just don't like chemicals in my water.
6) Bear bag rope. 3.6 oz. seems like a lot for bear bag rope. The 1.75mm Z-Line Slick Dyneema Cord is .9 oz. for 50 ft. Something to think about.
7) Headlamp. Could checkout the Zebralight H51. 1/2 the weight as your Petzl with 200 lumens possible.
8) Knife. I only carry a Swiss Army Knife Classic, which is 0.75 oz. The same was true even when I was going heavy. I could cut this further by using a razor blade, but I like my SAK, it's in my pocket whether I'm backpacking or not.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Critique Is Appreciated on 04/19/2012 09:33:20 MDT Print View

You could chip away at this list and get it a hair below 10#. Your alcohol fuel, for example, is a consumble so doesn't "count" in BW. Light and knife could be much lighter, as the poster above suggested. My Petzl e+lite is 1 oz, plenty of knife choices <1 oz, etc. Also noticed you have three different pairs of gloves, and your kitchen setup seems to have a number of small (although light) components. Ultimately, you might find that fiddly and want to minimize (bandana for pot grabber, self-priming stove, etc).

But I'm not sure the difference between 10.5# and 10# is noticeable, except psychologically. To realize significant weight savings off your current list (which is very nice, BTW), you'll need to change to another sleep and shelter system (quilt, tarp). I use a MYOG shaped tarp (no bivy needed) at 9.7 oz w/ guys, still sub 1# once groundsheet and stakes are included.

At that point, you may find a lighter pack will serve as well. And 7.5# BW definitely feels different than 10.5#.

Edited by DavidDrake on 04/19/2012 09:34:42 MDT.

Sokchoeun San
(R0cksteady) - F

Locale: New England
Thanks For The Responses on 04/20/2012 12:13:47 MDT Print View

Thanks for the responses Arlyn and David.

It has taken me a bit to cut the weight in half without spending too much. My philosophy is "if something comes in, something has to go out" and I've done well in that regards... I think.

- The NeoAir is a luxury I want/need, depending on how you look at it. I've used a RidgeRest, full and 3/4, but found myself waking up a lot due to discomfort and in the morning with some hip pain. I tested a Big Agnes Clearview and I slept much better. However, the inflatable had leak that I could not find. I've only tested the NeoAir at home, but no leaks just some "crinkling" noises when I move.

- I will defintely look into the suggestion for the headlamp. I like the Myo XP light output, but not the weight. I've used an e+lite but I prefer things to be brighter.

- The TarpTent Rainbow is something I can use car camping with my girlfriend and I figured this would be a good shelter for both of us and myself when I'm solo. I know I can save weight here, but I want to get some more use out of this.

- Aluminum foil is a great idea for a lid. My stove primer is just foil I place under the stove to pressure the jets faster anyways. So, it looks like there's minus a couple of ounces.

- The pillow is quite comfortable as I've used it for traveling extensively. But, will try the Thermawrap in it's stuff sack and see how that goes.

In terms of reaching sub-10, i think that's more a psychological want than physical. Certainly a difference of a pound or two won't have a significant impact on my body or I may not notice the significance of it... But, the lighter the better. I'll do some more tweaking further this season.

Thanks again!