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X-country: Going low bulk (sometimes at the cost of low weight)?
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Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
X-country: Going low bulk (sometimes at the cost of low weight)? on 07/26/2012 14:27:14 MDT Print View

What are some of your tricks for going low-bulk?

Bulk was never a huge concern for me, but that has changed now that I'm preparing for a challenging (for me) x-country trip. (Roper route in the Sierras - many Class 2 and some Class 3 passes).

The goal is to create a low center of gravity and a small form factor (low bulk).

How do you weigh the decision to ditch a light item that is too bulky in favor of a more compact item that weighs a bit more?

My first question is whether to bring my 14.4-oz. thermal inflatable mattress; or my 10-oz. Zlite Sol.

INFLATABLE: Packed up, is less than half the size of the Zlite. It fits inside my bag. If I bring it, everything will fit inside my bag (creating the low form factor I desire). Also, I can place it closer against my back (better center of gravity). I believe it is slightly warmer than my Z-lite, too; could be useful for a cold sleeper bedding down at 11-12k. The 14.4 oz. includes the puncture-repair kit.

Z-LITE: Is 4.4 oz. lighter, might become an additional ounce lighter if I cut the corners off it, never gets punctures, and is a nice camp chair. But it would have to be attached to the back of the pack, increasing my form factor.

What else do you do differently for a x-country trip? I'm bringing a SPOT 2, plus cell phone with GPS capabilities just for this trip. Hate the extra weight and don't feel I need the technology, but it's for peace of mind of people back home.

- Elizabeth

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Perfect x-country pack on 07/26/2012 15:02:50 MDT Print View

When I did the high route I wish I would have had a much smaller setup and my MLD Burn. I think the Burn and similar packs of the same dimension are the perfect x-country packs. Why? They have a very narrow width which gives you an unobstructed range of motion. But you need low gear volume to get it into the Burn so it's back to your question.