Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear?
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James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 06:55:09 MDT Print View

Very little.

2 lights: one Impulse, one e+light. The e+light is clipped to my pack normally, used for hiking. The Impulse is used around camp, except for setting up.

3 pr socks: I have diabetes, soo, my feet are always cold. 1pr is for sleeping, only. 1pr is usually drying. One pair is on.

2 lighters: Both are used and de-adult proofed. I never take a new one. Sometimes the flints wear pretty fast, the valve sticks, I loose the roller,flint,spring when I de-adult proof them...even had a couple that just plain refused to light.

When required, the d@mnable bear ball. That 2pound piece of gear is ALWAYS redundent it seems. (I know out west not so much, but in the ADK's???)

On occasion, I bring a nalgene bottle, but recently I found mine had a leak near the top.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Redundancy on 08/14/2012 07:01:47 MDT Print View

Like David, I seem to forget my spoon.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Backups on 08/14/2012 08:01:56 MDT Print View

I carry a headlamp and photon, mini bic and firesteel, uv water treatment and filter straw. That's it for back up and I don't carry a knife and haven't for decades. I do have mini scissors in my first aid kit but can't remember the last time I used them.

I also haven't started a campfire on a backpacking trip since 1975. I had a stove fail once, but just finished the trip with cold food. Like an earlier poster mentioned, I can't think of any one piece of gear that I couldn't live without a back up. I would be uncomfortable but would most likely survive. My biggest fear would be losing my footwear but I don't carry a backup for those. Next would be my sleeping pad....that would be a real bummer.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
redundant on 08/14/2012 08:05:21 MDT Print View

Depending on where I’m heading and the length of hike: fire starter, secondary compass (smaller) & light

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Redundant Items on 08/14/2012 08:25:35 MDT Print View

I usually go out with the same group of guys so they're used to me nagging, but I want to know EVERYTHING that they're bringing along so that I can eliminate any redundant items in my pack.

Hiking solo? Here are my redundant items:
- Mini-Bic and stormproof matches (.3 ounce)
- Mini-biner on my bear bag plus an extra in my kit (.1 ounce)
- mUV water purifier plus 4 Katadyn Micropur tablets (.05 ounce)
- Guylines attached to my tarp plus an extra 15 feet in my kit (.1 ounce)
- Petzl e-Lite plus a Fenix LD01 for a bright spot (.8 ounce)

All told I think my redundant items add about 1.4 ounces to my overall pack weight for my solo kit.

By knowing everything in everyone's pack when on a group trip we're able to share the following:
- Knife/Leatherman Skeletool
- Stove (usually someone brings a JetBoil that's used by up to 6 of us)
- Bear Bag (or two if there are more than 3 of us)
- Water purification
- Water storage (i.e. Nalgene Canteen, Platypus 2L, etc.)
- First Aid & Blister Kit

Slo Hiker
(SloHiker) - F

Locale: NC Foothills
The Rule of 3 on 08/14/2012 08:43:41 MDT Print View

Navy SEALS have a mantra that states: "One is none - two is one", implying that critical functions that are gear dependent require contingency layers.

It certainly isn’t practical to carry back-ups to everything, but things like the ability to make fire can make or break a trip.

When necessary, I extend the rule to “Three is two; two is one; one is none.” i.e. matches, butane lighter & FireSteel.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 09:26:56 MDT Print View

Spare jet pack, grappling hooks, wing suit, lasers, mezcal, just the usual items.



I believe the only "Plan B" type item packed is an alternate fire source. I'll usually throw in a small box of cigar matches to go with my mini Bic.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
PNW on 08/14/2012 10:01:59 MDT Print View

You desert guys and your fairweather minimalism. Just kidding.

I live in the old PNWet, and I always carry a ziplock with an extra minibic and a weber fire cube. I know, not as flashy as a fire steel. Try to start a fire with a firesteel after 3 weeks of rain, or carry an extra oz?

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: PNW on 08/14/2012 10:11:43 MDT Print View

"You desert guys and your fairweather minimalism."


You nailed it! :-)

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: The Rule of 3 on 08/14/2012 10:19:04 MDT Print View

Thank you James for reminding me about my socks.

I keep one pair of Wigwam wool sleeping socks stuffed down inside of my top quilt.

I also wear / carry 3 pair of shorty thin synthetic socks that I rotate. Wear one, carry two, dry one, wear one, carry one etc. I could probably reduce down to 2 pair and wear one, carry one, dry one, wear one and so forth.

But is the new 2 actually 3? I'm so confused! ;-)

Party on,

Newton

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 10:31:40 MDT Print View

C. Wisner mentioned that he could easily go without fire-starters or knives and considers sleeping bags/tents as critical gear.

I agree, I never use fire-starters during my trip but I take extras along because they are the back-up to my sleeping bag. I consider a wet sleeping one of the most serious threats to my safety while in the high country. I don't take an extra one, but I do take fire starting equipment. If I can make a fire I will be able to stay warm.

I carry a rain poncho (instead of a rain suit) to act as backup to my shelter. Where I hike, I don't consider water treatment as critical gear. The chance of getting sick is pretty low. I treat water to make sure I don't get sick, but if it failed I would just drink untreated water.

I don't consider a light as critical gear. The earth provides a good one every day. If my light fails I will just wait until morning.

And, even though it goes against everything my father taught me, I don't consider a knife critical gear. If I was going to spend a loooong time stranded in the wilderness, a knife would be a pretty important bushcrafting tool. In an emergency situation, I think I would be better off spending my time getting back to civilization than creating a Gilligan's Island (tm) radio/television.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 10:42:47 MDT Print View

I thought of one other thing I'm redundant about- waterproofing my clothes and sleeping bag. The clothes are in a dry bag, sealed. The sleeping bag is in it's compression sack, surrounded by a garbage bag, doubled, and sealed. These are both inside a waterproof pack liner. And my pack is water resistant.

I have a thing about keeping my critical items dry.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
No on 08/14/2012 11:51:56 MDT Print View

I rarely carry a knife or any sort of firestarter.

My "backup" (and oftentimes primary) water filtration is drinking straight from the source.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 12:04:32 MDT Print View

there seems to be a lot of obsession with fire starting and knives on this thread.
are we talking "Lord of the Flies" or Winter Survival ?

I don't consider starting a fire critical unless I'm in a cold weather survival situation. I generally only carry a dozen waterproof matches if I'm bringing a stove, and half the time I don't bring the stove.

As far as knives, my standard UL knife weighs 18g with a 1.5 inch blade. I consider it more a part of my first aid kit.

I consider a map critical gear for places I've never been before (but I don't carry a duplicate, I just don't lose the one I've got).
As for a compass, haven't carried one since 1996 and managed to get back home every time (but there are a few places I might want one).

Edited by asandh on 08/14/2012 13:15:39 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 13:07:45 MDT Print View

Tad wrote, "In the Cascades, east of Seattle if you get lost or run out of something, all you have to do is walk south and within 30 miles you will cross a major highway (north and south of that its 50 miles). So you are within at most a 2 day hike from a major food/supply source. Redundancy can really be cut in this area. Just keep walking south and drink some water- you'll be just fine."

IF you can walk and figure out which direction you are going. I wouldn't leave that kind of trek to any but the most experienced. In the mean time, everyone is out looking where you aren't.

My major solo survival scenarios are based on falling while crossing a stream and losing my pack, losing my gear due to theft or animal damage, or an injury that will stop me from walking. I want just enough stuff in my pockets to signal, make fire, navigate, and a basic light source.

Having some redundancy doesn't mean you can't seek good light alternatives. Think of it as the "Hiking Love Story" theme :)

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
RE Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 13:26:11 MDT Print View

"there seems to be a lot of obsession with fire starting and knives on this thread.
are we talking "Lord of the Flies" or Winter Survival ?"

Why judge? Differences in location, weather, etc. dictate different needs. If nothing else, I want a hot meal at night and want to be able to light my stove. But I live in Alaska. In my area, the summers are often wet and cool (dropping into the high 40's/low 50's at night) which is prime hypothermia weather, and I can be days away from the nearest road and completely out of contact (cell phones don't work in most of Alaska). I want the option of having a fire if I need it. It's actually easier to stay warm and dry in winter than in summer up here. And I can't think of a single outing I've ever been on where my knife hasn't come out at least once. Knives are indispensable to me. Your experience may be different, and that's fine. Everyone should pack based on their own needs and not someone else's.

Edited by EagleRiverDee on 08/14/2012 13:27:13 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: RE Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 13:31:21 MDT Print View

Dena - I'll give you both items for being in Alaska.
when I lived there, long ago, roaring fires and big knives were great.
but for most of us down in the lower 48, not so much.

p.s.
the HYOH phrase is quickest way to shut down "real" discussion.
disagreement sparks discussion wish sparks ideas.
HYOH just brings in a lot of yes men.

Edited by asandh on 08/14/2012 13:39:39 MDT.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 14:03:22 MDT Print View

"p.s.
the HYOH phrase is quickest way to shut down "real" discussion.
disagreement sparks discussion wish sparks ideas.
HYOH just brings in a lot of yes men."

I'm not sure who that was directed at, because I didn't use "HYOH" in my response although I suppose the tone is similar. I find it interesting that you see it as a way of shutting down discussion, because I see it just the opposite- I see HYOH and the philosophy behind the phrase as a way of saying that you respect that another person may have different needs, motives, environment, weather, higher or lower tolerance to risk etc. and also that your way isn't the only way of doing things. I don't think it discourages discussion, I think it encourages it, but encourages it in a respectful manner by keeping people open minded and not prone to judgment or snarky remarks. I find these discussions fascinating, personally, and it gives me a lot of insight into how different hiking can be across the US. A place like the AT, for example, where re-supply points are common but you can hike thousands of miles non-stop...that's amazing to me. I think this thread itself is fascinating because you can see a broad spectrum of risk tolerance and even priorities in this thread. It's great learning material.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: RE Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 14:06:12 MDT Print View

Dena, this statement intrigue's me >And I can't think of a single outing I've ever been on where my knife hasn't come out at least once.<

For myself, I can't think of a time when my knife does come out (I do use the scissors often, but never the blade).

I do fish in remote Alaska every year and use a knife for the fishing tasks but for everything else its back to the scissors.

What do you do different than me? Of course you don't know my hiking situation but you can help me understand the value of a knife.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Do you carry redundant backups of critical gear? on 08/14/2012 14:45:08 MDT Print View

Tad-

I would have to say part of it is that I don't go to the lengths to cut weight that many people do, so I don't have my moleskin pre-cut, or my cordage pre-cut, or my duct tape pre-cut. I know that some people pre-cut everything at home so they won't need a knife in the field, and I think it's a cool idea but not one I'm ready to embrace for now. I also leave my dried foods in their original packaging as I find I like the stiffer side walls of the freeze dried packaging over using a zip loc, stuff like that, so I use my knife to cut down the packaging as I eat so that I keep my hand clean. Stuff like that. I also use my knife to light fires as most of my knives have firesteels and I use the back of the blade to strike the steel for my fire or to light my stove. I also like knowing I can improvise a tent stake, a spoon (or chopsticks, haha) out of wood if needed if I were to break or lose an item I needed.

I appreciate the question and would love to ask you in return what you do that makes it that you don't require a knife? For example, how do you prep your items so that you know you have things right and won't need a knife? This is the biggest reason I'm here is to learn, and I've changed a LOT in the past year based on UL practices.