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Extreme Light Gear List... Try to make even lighter!
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Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Define "Consumables" for SUL on 06/27/2005 13:59:20 MDT Print View

I agree this question will work itself out. It all has to be carried.

I am working on the details to make a Tarp/Poncho out of the .40oz Cuben material when I get my next order from them. Since the Cuben material comes 48" wide my Tarp/Poncho will be 48" by 96" to keep the numbers simple. The true weight of the tarp/poncho should be at or under 2oz. Add guy lines and Ti stakes and the weight will come up another couple ounces. It might be worth the extra 1oz to just make a separate Poncho. I might even be able to work a separate Poncho into my sleep system.

Edited by bfornshell on 06/28/2005 05:58:01 MDT.

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Poncho Sleep system on 06/27/2005 15:06:24 MDT Print View

Bill, I remember the old military poncho's with liners worked real well as a sleep system. I used in the back of my truck a few times.
Not familiar with the Cuben material, could you make a liner for a Cuben poncho with the reflective mylar blanket?

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Great Kilt to Down Quilt - Poncho Sleep System on 06/27/2005 15:42:44 MDT Print View

Yes, I have left over from my years in the Army 3 Poncho Liners. I even have one that I had a zipper sewn into to make a sleeping bag of sorts out of it. I just weighed the one without the zipper. It is way to heavy at 19.38oz. They also aren't good much below 60 degrees (F) or so if I recall.

I will use Down in my "Poncho Liner-Kilt/Quilt". I will make it simular to my home-made DAM Sleeping System Top Cover with removeable baffles. If I am slick the Down baffles will do double duty in something like a "Great Kilt" opened up flat at night and turned into the Sleeping Quilt. I have had the plans for something like this for awhile. Wear it as a "Great Kilt" during the day and add the Down baffles at night and it turns into my Down Quilt. You might need to see this as it "morphs" from Kilt to Quilt and back to understand. Using Down and very light silk for my baffle material will keep the weight really low.

Edited by bfornshell on 06/28/2005 05:41:33 MDT.

Jordan Calicott
(ShortmanCal) - F

Locale: Arkansas!
Alan Shaver's "Fosters" Pot on 06/27/2005 16:19:00 MDT Print View

Can someone tell me about this Alan Shaver's "Fosters" Pot? I'am very interested. Also, where can I get one?

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Alan Shaver's "Fosters" Pot on 06/27/2005 17:23:44 MDT Print View

I don't know where or how Alan made his "Fosters Pot" but if you look at this link it shows how sort of.
Watch for 3 more links in the part showing the Beer Can Pots that will just say [Can-Pot adapter / Stand / Can-Pot Stoves].

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I am going to my local Wal Mart later and get a couple cans of Fosters if they have them. Hate to throw away the beer but I don't drink the stuff. I will wait till Alan replies with some "how to" information and then make one.

Edited by bfornshell on 06/27/2005 17:29:36 MDT.

Jordan Calicott
(ShortmanCal) - F

Locale: Arkansas!
Alan's Stove/Pot on 06/27/2005 18:33:54 MDT Print View

If I'am not able to attain a beer can, as I'am underage to drink alcohol, can I just use a coke can or something like that?

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Alan's "Fosters" Pot on 06/27/2005 19:14:12 MDT Print View

The advantage of this beer can is it can hold up to 24/25oz. of water. That means I should be able to boil 18/20oz of water at one time if I need that much. The soda cans only hold 12oz. so you might get 8oz or so of boiling water at one time. If you don't need a lot of water at one time the soda can might work fine. The link I listed does show how to make a cook pot from a soda can and a few other type cans that you should be able to find that don't come with beer in them.

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Now that I have 2 of the Fosters 25oz cans they seem to be a heavier aluminum than the soda cans. I am not for-sure on that and will not know for sure till I cut one open.

I am going back to that web site and re-read everything slowly then wait for Alan to answer back.

Edited by bfornshell on 06/27/2005 21:38:12 MDT.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Fosters Pot on 06/28/2005 02:33:59 MDT Print View

Thanks for the Zen Stoves can-pot site. That's a great reference! Dr.J made reference to using a Foster's can pot in his Mt Gannet in-a-day post on the "Now These Guys Went Light!" thread under the Mountaineering and Alpinism category. I briefly described my construction technique on the 6th post on page 2 of this thread. Not much to it. The only things I left out were that I used tin snips to remove the lid and folded the lip over to prevent cuts to the user. Perhaps using a can opener as described on the Zen Stoves site produces a neat enough edge that it doesn't need to be folded over. I'm also playing with roaster pans to produce a 3 liter pot suitable for snow melting on winter and spring trips in the Sierra Nevada.

Jordan--I'm sure you won't have trouble finding an alcohol-aged adult who would be happy to purchase a can of Foster's for you and consume the contents in the name of furthering man's quest for lightenment.

Dr. J's article on Super Ultralight Sub 5lb. linked on BPL's home page defines base weight as excluding consumables ie. gear counts; water, food, fuel, ointments and T.P. don't (see paragraph 6 of article). This makes sense to me. I know how many grams of food, fuel, soap, T.P., toothpowder etc. I use each day. Base wt. + daily consumable wt. x # of days + starting water = total starting pack wt. Headlamp and batteries are gear to me; even though batteries are consumed (although with batteries lasting a full season in our LED lamps this becomes a non-issue).

I look forward to reading the results of Bill's field tests on his Cuben tarp and poncho. Perhaps when you are wrapped up tightly inside your quilt made of this fabric you can talk of sleeping warm inside your "Cuben Cigar".

I love the kilt/quilt idea. For further inspiration watch the opening scene of the magnificent film "Rob Roy" in which Liam Neeson and his clan wrap cloaks around their torsos held in place by a large broach during the day. At night they unpin the cloak and bundle up in it. Come to think of it, Hobbits on grand journeys far from the shire carry multi-use cloaks also.

I did see a recent reference on this thread to "a reflective layer" being incorporated into a garment. This idea is promoted by manufacturers trying to sell us products (including no less than Western Mountaineering) and is oft repeated by consumers. Reflective films keeping humans warm is a myth. At low temperatures conduction is the primary mode of heat transmission and reflection is not even on the map. At medium temperatures convection comes into play. At high temperatures it's all about radiation and conduction is of virtually no consequence. If you want to keep a 2000 degree tungsten filament from losing heat, reflect the radiation. If you want to keep a 98 degree human body warm, insulate it against conductive heat loss. Reflection is a waste of weight and money at human temperatures. When I get back to my files I'll post the formula for heat transmission for those who would like to see the mathematical foundation for this statement.

Cheers, Al

Edited by Al_T.Tude on 06/28/2005 02:46:41 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Fosters Pot & space blankets on 06/28/2005 03:50:49 MDT Print View


Thanks for all of your informative posts. Also, thanks for mentioning (and correcting me) on what Dr. J considers "consumables".

I read all of the new posts, but eagerly look for those from you, Bill (the guy's ingenious!!), Richard , Jacob, Glenn, F.R. (haven't seen anything from F.R. recently - i like his "tell it like it is", or even "tell it like it isn't" approach - even when i disagree with him) & also a few others whose names happen to escape me at the moment (my "old-timers" actin' up).

Glad you said the "Cuben Cigar". Frankly, I didn't have the nerve. I think a couple of my recent posts exhausted my allotment of bad jokes for this month..

I'd very much like to read your notes on heat xfr. When you get a chance, please post them.

It was around 1968 that I had the great displeasure of trying a space blanket. It was all I happened to have with me, & so had to make do with it. The daytime temps were normal for that time of year in CT & I only had on a short-sleeve shirt, jeans, cotton socks (yes..the "death fabric" as another poster a while back termed it - wool was too expensive), & canvas sneakers - was warm enough during the day. No other shelter (no rain was in the forecast). We were traveling light (this was b/f i had the money to buy all of that not-so-great fancy, expensive, & heavy gear fr/brand name mfr's.). It was a cold night for early June (prob. in the 40's near/after midnight) & no wind. Surely, this new fangled space blanket would keep me warm just like advertised - that thing was supposed to be a veritable toaster of radiant heat!! NO WAY. I slept very little that night even though surrounded on three sides by natural shelter & insulated underneath by a makeshift bed of leaves on top of small hemlock boughs ("boughs" - seemed like a good idea at the time). Don't know what the temps were. Maybe a cold front moved in. Don't know. Actually, shivered quite a bit. Didn't sleep much - maybe 3-4 hrs all night with most of that coming when I first fell asleep b/f it got too cold. I think I only slept on & off after first waking up b/c I was exhausted from a full day of strenuous hiking in the hills. Should have practiced some firecraft, but didn't want to be noticed. Don't ask!!

[...ok... (the statue of limitations on trespassing has long since run out)... We were on Regional Water Company property practicing, what we called "Indian Camping", which, except for the hemlock boughs, might nowadays be called LNT. Great land (no hiking passes were issued back then by the RWA) with deep forest, great berry patches (too early in June for berries), rock cliffs, small caves, lots of wildlife, & one very rocky ledge with lots of loose flat rock where snakes, including some timber rattlers, would come out and sun themselves. We were teenagers & could out run the Rangers - most of the time! We never used fire & other than an occasional dip in the lake, never polluted the water. Scout's Honor. How's that for rationalization. Worked for us. My conscience would nevert let me get away with it now though. Well...what the RWA couldn't do (i.e., stop us), "Uncle Sam" eventually did.]

Now back to our regularly scheduled post:

My three friends had wool blankets. They slept fine. Come to think of it now, who ever saw an Indian with a space blanket?!! Should have known they must have had a good reason for not usin' 'em!!!. For my part, have never bothered with a space blanket since.

I guess in space such reflective surfaces are actually used the other way around, i.e. to keep radiant energy from the sun from heating things up. At least so I've been told by an engineer from a sister division who makes the space suits for NASA. With no atmosphere, things can get really hot up/out there.

The space blanket certainly did nothing for me that night.

Edited by pj on 06/28/2005 06:50:58 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Define "Consumables" for SUL on 06/28/2005 22:00:40 MDT Print View

I'll stay out of this one..hehe

Edited by jshann on 06/28/2005 22:10:55 MDT.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Props, Physics and Poops on 06/29/2005 04:47:47 MDT Print View

Thanks for expressing appreciation for my posts-BAYB! (Back At Ya, Buddy). My learning curve has increased exponentially over the last few weeks from all the information, ideas and opinions that I've read and conversations that I've been a part of. Thanks to all!

Re. the last paragraph of my last post: I'm sure formulas for heat transmision can be found in any basic physics reference publication. The following is what I was told by a physicist working at Los Alamos National Labs while I was living in Santa Fe.

Heat energy is proportional to Large Constant X Temperature Squared (this refers to conduction) + Medium Constant X Temperature Cubed (this refers to convection) + Small Constant X Temperature to the Fourth Power (this refers to radiation).

From examining this formula one can see that for low (human) temperatures, the large constant makes conductive heat loss the most influential mode of heat transmission. While the smaller constants of convection and radiation resign them to being of minimal influence. Their larger exponents are not able to express their influence at these small temperature values. The higher the temperature, the less influential the constant becomes as the power of the exponent takes over. So that as we reach high temperatures (far beyond that of the human body) with the temperature to the 4th power expressing the influence of radiation, the large constant headstart given to conduction cannot compete. And this is why reflective films are of virtually no value in keeping human bodies warm and why insulation is. P.S. Please don't tell this to Western Mountaineering. It will only upset them.

Re. your comment on space capsules: Because they operate in a vacuum where conductive heat loss is impossible (there is no matter in a vacuum to conduct heat to) the only way to impose an effect on heat transmission is to reflect radiation -with gold foil, which can be as thin as 4 atoms thick, being an excellent tool with which to accomplish this. Additionally, since there is no atmosphere to absorb radiation in space and so many sources of radiation; radiation reflective films take on an even greater importance.

This can all be summed up by the eternal question: If there's no sound in space...why does a vacuum make so much noise?

It is interesting to note that the manned space program is a sister science of our passion (albeit better funded). You think 40 miles/day unsupported is a daunting goal? Try escaping the pull of gravity. No really; try it! The Apollo Program's LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) was constructed so obsessively light in order to be able to escape the Moon's pull with minimal thrust that the astronauts could severely dent the wall of the capsule by simply punching it with their fists. Forget an overnighter without a tent. That's exposed!

Your prohibited watershed camping story reminded me of my own 15 years ago above Vancouver B.C.'s Grouse Mountain Ski Area. My Canuck girlfriend and I hiked to the knife edge ridge defining the city's watershed boundary to climb on an obviously named formation known as The Camel. We pitched our Chouinard pyramid tent using only rock pro and climbed as sightseeing helicopters buzzed us. I'm not sure of the legality of our encampment, but we maintained the ethics of our aerie settlement by peeing with impunity but making sure to hang our backsides over the edge into the adjoining watershed to *BEEP* and smear.

Thanks for prompting a fond scatalogical memory, Al

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Props, Physics and Poops on 06/29/2005 09:19:21 MDT Print View


thanks for the reply & the formula. good explanation. readily understandable.

take care,

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Extreme Light Gear List, lighter by almost 1.5oz's on 07/06/2005 17:34:04 MDT Print View

I have been triming things and checking weight before and after. On my scale I weigh the Platpus 1L that I have as 0.93oz for one or 1.86 for 2. The current list has 1.6oz for 2 Platypus 1L bottles. There are 2 possible caps for this bottle (soft bottle), one is the pull cap at 0.16oz vs the non-pull cap at 0.09oz. If I was carrying two of these 1 L bottles I would use one pull cap and one non pull cap and save 0.07oz for a two bottle weight total of 1.79oz not the 1.6oz as stated.

Can someone check this so we can all use the correct weight.

I have finished modifing 2 of my - 1200ml Feeding Tube Water Bags for my SUL gear list. The weight of one is 0.35oz and I am using 2 metal clips to close the top. I rolled the top a couple of times and attached the clips. They work fine but now think I will get the top opening heat sealed closed. I can fill the water bag through the bottom outlet and save 0.48oz. I have a wooden plug in the bottom to close the bottom outlet. The weight of one 1200ml water bag will be 0.40oz each after I get them heat sealed.

Adding these water bags to the list and removing the Platypus bottles will drop one ounce from the total weight.

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Next I will make a Cook Pot out of a Sterno can. The Sterno Can Cook Pot will weigh 0.40oz and hold 12fl oz. It is wider than the Fosters can so it should boil water faster using an Ebsits tablet. This change will drop another 0.45oz.

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I am going to remake the list using my home made gear, done or planned, and see what I end up with.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Extreme Light Gear List, lighter by almost 1.5oz's on 07/06/2005 17:46:55 MDT Print View

clever ideas, Bill. i really like the cook-pot.

are those bags robust enough for a thru-hike?

will the metal clips cause any long term abrasion?

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Sterno Cook Pot on 07/06/2005 17:57:54 MDT Print View


Do you think that any remaining remnants from the Sterno will be of concern using the can as a Cook Pot?

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Extreme Light Gear List, lighter by almost 1.5oz's on 07/06/2005 18:23:25 MDT Print View

Paul: Thanks. I just keep thinking how much water do I need for a meal.

The gear list started out as something for a SUL "overnighter" For that these water bags should be fine. They might even work for a longer hike such as an AT Thru-Hike. I might start with the water bags and if they are to much trouble switch over to the Platypus 1L bottles. I am going to replace the metal clips by heat sealing the top opening of the bags closed.

Richard: I will steel wool the inside of the Sterno can to remove what ever they use in there. Then wash it a couple of times. That should work.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
cleaning sterno can-pot on 07/13/2005 09:42:56 MDT Print View

bill, you could also burn the remaining sterno out, then as some food-grade alcohol (aka everclear) and light again. that should get pretty much all of the organics out easier than tried to "wash" it. or, I guess I should say it should make washing it easier.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sterno Can Cook Pot on 07/13/2005 10:29:39 MDT Print View

I scooped out the sterno and then let what was left burn away. Then I sanded the inside - bottom and sides. Then I cleaned it with comet and dish soap using a scrub pad. Boiled water has no taste so I have given the cook pot a GO.

Edited by bfornshell on 07/13/2005 11:57:24 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Extreme Light Gear List... Try to make even lighter! on 09/27/2005 19:18:00 MDT Print View

Hey Bill,

I sure have learned a lot from this thread. First of all nice input.
I just ordered all the supplies and material to make a few balloon beds.

First, would it work if you just capped the ends with material and made the shell with a few horizontal and diaganal strips sewn together to hold the balloons if each strip is sewn with a compartment for each balloon?

Also, I am looking at putting a Gossamer Gear thin-lite pad on top of it for both insulation and comfort.
I would be willing to bet you have some around and would like to know your opion on each factor.

Edited by awsorensen on 10/10/2005 20:00:48 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Consumables on 09/27/2005 20:14:31 MDT Print View


If you want to count bug dope and sunscreen etc. as consumable... that's fine... but the weight of it's container has to be in the base weight since that part of it's weight will be a constant.

One question... how do you manage to count batteries as consumable?!?! They weigh the same new as they do dead and used up... and you have to carry them out.

One thing this made me think of actually was the weight of all our packaging. Ever weight your trash bag after a trip?! It can be half a pound... easy. Solution? Make all your own food and package it all in paper :) So if we weigh our food bag for a three day trip and it's 5 pounds "consumable"... it's probably more like 4.5 pounds consumable and ,5 pounds base weight :) But I'm not about to start worrying about what buckets my weight gets put in... not to THAT degree.

Edited by davidlewis on 09/27/2005 20:18:49 MDT.