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HElinTexas C
(Helintexas) - MLife
Please advise on 08/28/2012 00:35:27 MDT Print View

I am doing a 4 day/ 3 solo backpack in the Grand Cayon in the first week of October. I need to minimize my weight as much as possible. Please look at my list and advise

ULA circuit back pack...... 39 oz
Sierra designs. 15 degree spark.... 33 ozs
Big Agnes air core insulated pad. 16 oz
5x8 painter plastic for ground cover 5 oz?
Total -5 lbs

Oware small tarp with stakes & guy lines. 10 oz or. Marmot albinism bivy. 15 oz. or nothing??

Clothes in exclusion to what I am wearing. (long pants...mountain hardware ul pant, short sleeve Nordic trac synthetic shirt, socks....Seal,skin wide brimmed hat
Balaclava to sleep in
Long sleeve button up with uv protection 10 oz
3 pairs of socks....1.5 oz each....
Extra set of underwear... 5 oz
Lands end merino wool top and bottom... 10 oz
OR short gaiters 3 oz
Total 2 lbs

Shoes either asics trail runners or hi tec altitude 4 boot.... Can't decide yet.... Normally would choose trail runners. But concerned about rock strewn Hermit trail

2 liter platypus. 1 oz
1.5 liter water bottle 1 oz
1 liter Gatorade bottle 1 oz. or maybe 2 of them
Total - ..3 lbs

1.5 qt titanium kettle pot. 6 oz
Esbit stove and 6 tabs Plus ziplock bag to carry. 11 oz
Spork. 1.5 oz
Total - 1.3 lbs

Swiss knife 4 oz
Matches/ flint/ bic lighter. 5 oz total
Compass. 1.5 oz
Emergency blanket. 2 oz
Flashlight with spare battery
First aid kit. 4 strips of mole skin, blister bandaid, 10 bandaids, 5 alcohol wipes, extra thin sanitary napkins (4), adhesive tape small roll, 1.5 ft duct tape, 15 ibuprofen tabs, liquid bandaid, tube of Carmex, small package of Vaseline 16 oz at least
Total - 1.8 lbs

Pack towel 6 oz
Comb. 1.5 oz
Toothbrush and travel toothpaste. .? Oz
Deodorant. 1.5 oz
Small roll of Tp. 4 oz
wipes. 10 oz
Total. - 1.5 lbs

Luxury items

Thermorest pillow. 8 oz. ( I am a side sleeper who tried everything b4 this to sleep)
Kindle. 10 oz. ( must have )
Nikon d 40 and spare battery... 34 oz. ( I hike to see beautiful places and photograph them )( I strap,this to my shoulder harnesses)
IPhone. 5 oz

Grand total before water and food.... 15.25 lbs

Jacob Blumenfeld
(surfingdwedge) - F

Locale: Northern California
shaving weight on 08/28/2012 01:11:27 MDT Print View

I would bring the Oware tarp.

You can ditch these without sacrificing any comfort or safety:

Extra long sleeved sunshirt. -10oz (or use this as your day shirt and ditch the current one listed as worn)
Bring just one additional pair of socks for a total of 2. -3 oz
Ditch the extra undies. -5 oz
Nix the space blanket (You got your sleeping bag). -2 oz
Cut towel in half. -3oz

= immediate saving of 23 oz or 1 lb 7oz.

For the JMT my gf and I had one set of cloths for day, and one for night (and 1 extra pair of socks, my puffy jacket, rain shell, windpants). Never regretted it once. Switch socks everyday and wash when given the opportunity. Dry on outside of pack while hiking. Same with underwear, but I just wear mine dry. Get good underwear like exofficio.

I would thin out the first aid kit/repair. Mine weighed around 6 oz for 2 people on my recent 22 day JMT hike. Only used one bandaid, and some ibuprofen the entire trip. Things off the top to get rid of would be liquid bandaid, a few of the alc wipes and bandaids.

Just bring the lighter and the firesteel, or the lighter and the matches. Would be fine with just the lighter also. You could ditch the comb and just braid your hair to keep it managed for the trip.

I would take the shoes that are most comfortable for you. From what you listed I would personally opt for the asics.

Overall, Looks very good!

HElinTexas C
(Helintexas) - MLife
Weight off on 08/28/2012 02:01:50 MDT Print View

I am thinking about dumping the long sleeve shirt and the extra undies and extra socks.I do have a 5 oz raincoat/ jacket (marmot) in case i need the arm covering+ can be used incase it gets cold in conjunction with my wool top.

I am most likely going with the asics. I wore the boots yesterday for a short 5 mile hike. They are so much heavier than the asics. Plus I have been doing a lot of hiking (without any pack) with my vibrams to help strengthen my feet muscles that I notice the weight of the boots more.

I also can go with a 30 degree bag that is 6 oz lighter. But I do sleep cold and weather can be iffy in oct. but if I stay with the 15 degree bag I will cut the wool bottoms out.

Why do you recommend the tarp vs nothing?

First aid kit. When I go solo I tend to add a little to this department. In that 16 oz is also some anti bacterial gel and anti inch ointment and matches.

Good point about the flint. That is out as well. Go with matches/ bic. Space blanket And liquid bandaid too.

Thanks for the feedback, Jason!

Edited by Helintexas on 08/28/2012 02:04:00 MDT.

Jacob Blumenfeld
(surfingdwedge) - F

Locale: Northern California
tarp vs none on 08/28/2012 02:29:41 MDT Print View

I always bring a shelter even if the weather forecast is good. Weather can be unpredictable. In my opinion it is worth the extra safeguard, especially for 10oz. Freak storms happen. You could definitely get away without if the weather forecast is looking to be 100% good. I would probably stick with the 15 degree bag if you sleep cold especially with the air core since the R value is 1.0, and will probably feel cold below 40-45 degrees. If you go with the 30degree, definitely get a sleeping pad with a higher R-value. Figure a pad with r-2.5 can take you down to about freezing comfortably. For october, even with the 15 degree bag, I would look at replacing the air core for something a bit warmer, or supplementing it with a torso sized foam pad.

I understand the idea of having a beefed up first aid kit for solo travel. Still, I would get rid of some more of the extra stuff geared towards your typical cuts and scrapes, and maybe add something like quick clot. Any serious injuries like broken limbs or large wounds would be untreatable in the field anyways and would require immediate evac. Small cuts and scrapes don't really need treatment other than keeping them clean. The way I see it, have a kit that can treat 1-2 skinned knees and elbows, chaffing, blisters, and heavy bleeding. Maybe throw in some athletic tape for a sprained ankle. That is all that is necessary and practical in the field from my experience.

For clothes, I would just take the long sleeve and ditch the short sleeve day shirt. Can always roll up the sleeves, and I find longsleeve sun shirts like what you have to be just fine even in very hot weather.

Sounds like your feet will be just fine!

Edited by surfingdwedge on 08/28/2012 02:39:11 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
doubled up items on 08/28/2012 09:17:19 MDT Print View

Sounds like fun!

think you could save some weight without giving up comfort or safety.

Indeed, bring the tarp OR the space blanket. If you think it will be dry for sure, take the spaceblanket and use it as a tarp if you were wrong. If there is even a small chance of rain, bring the tarp. A 15F down bag will be useless when wet and super heavy too.

Shirts: you list:
short sleeve
Long sleeve button up
merino wool top

Take just the button shirt.
If that's not warm enough, wear the button and carry the merino for nights. Or better yet, if you have (or can buy cheaply, EG Stoic Hadron, MEC Lightdegree ) a down shirt, take that for evenings/camp instead at a similar weight and much more warmth. With a heavier down jkt you might be able to take the lighter sleeping bag.

On the other hand, do you have any shell? What are the conditions? Temp? Wind? Precip?

If you are bringing long underwear for nights, sleep in those and rinse out your synthetic undies in the evening, they will be dry(enough) by morning. Also, 5oz is EXTREMELY heavy for underpants, and you have 2 pairs, for a total of 10 oz.
I just weighed my 'Sonoma' synthetic boxers from JC Penney and they were 2.6oz for a size L. So, taking only one of those would save you ~7oz. I am sure there are lighter ones out there too.

Buff and balaclava serve similar purpose. Pick one. (Your sleeping bag has a hood right?

Bring 2 pairs of socks. If they are merino wool you can easily hike 2 days in one pair. Or, bring one ultralight pair to hike in, rinse at night and sleep in a warm merino pair.

Fire items are very heavy. You list 5oz. A Bic mini is 0.4 oz, my UST firesteel mini is 0.9 oz, so about 1.5 oz total would give you plenty of firestarting capability.

I just weighed my packtowel: 1.2 oz. You don't need a full size towel, that's the idea of packtowel, you can use a small piece, wring it out and reuse it.

Edited by Tjaard on 08/28/2012 09:20:00 MDT.

HElinTexas C
(Helintexas) - MLife
Tips on 08/28/2012 09:44:28 MDT Print View

Some of my weights for clothing are pure guesses. As are the weights for fire stuff. I figured I would be better guessing high than underestimating.

The second pair of undies is 1 bra/panties. . Weight? Very light
The merino wool top/bottom will double as sleepwear and second layer if cold. Weight ? Very light
Pack towel is Msr ultra light @ 1.8 oz

The long sleeve shirt is probably 10 oz. so I will dump that.

Tarp I will carry as insurance. And yet, I can use it as a shade lean to if it gets too hot with no shade

I will go back thru the first aid bag and see where items can be trimmed. Realized I don't have I need to make a smaller size plus I left off my prescription sunglasses.

Yes, bag has hood. So balaclava is out and keep buff. I will use this day and night.

Again thanks for the tips. It is nice to have someone scrutinizing my choices and making me think back thru them.

Btw...the insulated air core has a high r value. It is good down to 15-25 degrees.

Edited by Helintexas on 08/28/2012 10:00:54 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Yep, get a postal scale on 08/28/2012 12:31:10 MDT Print View

"Some of my weights for clothing are pure guesses. As are the weights for fire stuff. I figured I would be better guessing high than underestimating.&quot

Aha, that explains it. I thought that those figures seemed very high. So yeah the best advice is to get a scale and put everything on it. You might find some interesting facts!

"The second pair of undies is 1 bra/panties. . Weight? Very light"

Aha, I was thinking this was for a male hiker, as I didn't see a bra listed and the weight for womens panties is much lower than for mens boxers.

Random light looking panties out of my wife's drawer: 0.8 oz. Random non-underwire bra: 1.6 oz.

So, yes, the story for womens underwear is different. Bringing an extra pair of panties is easy, they weigh almost nothing. Bras are a bit more, but still not bad. Only annoyance is the thicker sportsbras or some with the foam cups are slow to dry.

"Yes, bag has hood. So balaclava is out and keep buff. I will use this day and night."

Always good if you can use one item for multiple things.

I didn't see any shell garment. If you leave the button shirt at home you have no rain or wind protection, and unless you treat the merino with Permethrine, no bug protection. If it get's cool in the canyon and the wind picks up( which is almost a certainty in a river canyon) in the evening, you would be quite chilly. A 2.5oz windshirt would make that system a LOT warmer, as well as provide bug protection. If there is a chance of rain then a rainjacket migfht be in order, starting at ~5oz.

Edited by Tjaard on 08/28/2012 12:34:39 MDT.

HElinTexas C
(Helintexas) - MLife
Postal scale on 08/28/2012 14:35:48 MDT Print View

Yes,I am thinking that might be in order.

I do have a marmot rain jacket that works great ... I used it earlier this summer in Yellowstone with my merino wool top as a mid layer. It is quite light and works great.

Thanks...btw for the weights you gave.

I cut about 40% of Weight out of my ditty bag. I combined first aid and personal items into small rollup stuff sack. It now has pack towel, various bandaids-2 sizes + blister ones, mole skin, pill container(1oz that can hold small baggies of Vaseline, sunscreen, and ibuprofen tabs), knife, wet wipes, small roll of adhesive tape, spare matches, small bottle of anti bacterial hand sanitizer, 1 oz dental emergency pack, 1 oz brush, small travel brush, small travel toothpaste, travel deodorant. Estimated weight at 1.5 lbs.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

just a thought on 08/28/2012 17:58:36 MDT Print View

If you actually think the temps may be near 15-20* just be aware that I have heard a number of reports that the BA Insulated Air Core is NOT as warm as stated down to 15* (I think that there may even be some threads here on BPL about it). Enjoy the trip !

HElinTexas C
(Helintexas) - MLife
Re just a thought. on 08/28/2012 19:27:13 MDT Print View

It is not supposed to be anywhere near 15 degrees in the canyon. More like in the 50's and 60's.

I have used the air core down to freezing and slightly has been great.

I am a side sleeper and it is wonderful for that.

I am going to take my La Fuma 30 degree bag instead of the SD. I do know it doesn't keep me warm down to 30 deg....but should be fine for the canyon and it is 6 oz lighter.