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Looking to go lighter still
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Mike Feldman

Locale: SE USA
Dont overthink this, go out and have fun on 09/26/2012 10:27:55 MDT Print View

Lot of great suggestions. My baseweight 3-4 years ago was about 15-20 pounds depending on the trip, now it's 6-12 pounds, depending on the trip. I have no motivation whatsoever getting any lower, for me a frameless pack w/up to 15-18 pounds is fine, and reasonably comfortable; w/a frame good to 25, to even 30, though I prefer mid 20s. I was comfortable w/my Zpacks Zero w/out a waste belt carrying up to 18 pounds w/food n water and bearcan on recent 9 day Sierra trip.. It is more comfortable at 10-15 pounds!

I have read all the posts, including your responses. Experiment, get out there. You can easily drop a couple lbs. or more on many at least 3 season weekend trips. If your premium is on comfort, there are tradeoffs. I wouldnt overthink this, have fun..

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Thanks on 09/26/2012 12:30:35 MDT Print View

Thanks to all for their input. Working on simplifying, but also now have a new puppy that's eating up a lot a time. Things have been simplified and lighten even further since last time. Will post some updates in the near future. Thanks again to all!


Joseph R
(Dianoda) - MLife

Locale: Chicago, IL
Re: Re: Re: Re: Missing items? on 09/28/2012 23:27:00 MDT Print View

Hi Ken,
Regarding places to go backpacking near Chicago: yep, there basically aren't any, but I can offer one exception from experience - the South Kettle Moraine State Forest section of the Ice Age Trail in WI.

It'd probably be about a 2 hour drive from Des Plaines (it took me about hour and a half from Lake Zurich), and it makes for a fun weekend trip. Just a few complications - it's a linear trail, so ideally you'd have someone you could shuttle with, and advance reservations are required for the backcountry sites (which are shelters, so you don't really even need a tent). Also, you technically aren't allowed to backcountry camp anywhere else, so it's near the shelters or nothing - if I remember correctly, you are limited to the 1/4 mile area surrounding the shelters.

I was out there in mid-April. Car-camped Friday night, parked one car at Highway 12 Saturday morning, then drove to trailhead and hiked from near Shelter 1 to Shelter 3 (about 19 miles), stayed overnight (and experienced one hell of a storm) and then hiked out to our car at Highway 12 (less than 5 miles from Shelter 3). As for the scenery, my expectations were low, but it was actually pretty nice.

Good luck with the gear list, I'd try to help, but I think everyone else has said what can be said already.


Edited by Dianoda on 09/28/2012 23:30:47 MDT.

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Missing items? on 10/10/2012 13:31:27 MDT Print View


Thanks for the tips on the Ice Age Trail. I'm headed down to Shawnee Nat. Forest the weekend of the 20th. Sounds like something you'd want to join in on? I plan on doing a lot more exploring this year, especially this area. You are allowed to primitive camp anywhere in Shawnee as long as you're 150ft off a trail.


Edited by f8less on 10/10/2012 13:34:16 MDT.

Michael Bachman
(rivrfox) - F

Locale: Western Slope, Colorado
Hi there, on 11/23/2012 18:19:34 MST Print View

Recommendations from a quick glance at this thread:

Try like a really neat format!

Start doing a bunch of shakedowns when conditions/weather is similar to your planned trip. Bring a small notebook or paper. Make notes of everything used, etc. Then make notes of what wasn't used. You can then start to factor what is and what isn't worth carrying.

Having my big three + ground pad at or under 5 lbs seems to work well for general 3 season bp'ing for myself. You can find a lot of things used if your patient in your search. Start putting a small amount of money away each paycheck for your gear or get a p/t job if you don't have one. The more I hike, the more I enjoy carrying less.

For my 3 season gear I have Mariposa plus, 30deg. quilt, ridgerest ground pad and Tarptent Squall. Although not SUL, this works well enough for me & includes shelter bug protection.

Crucial weight saving items: Tent, bag/quilt, backpack & ground pad. Gossamer Gears polycro liner is nice too. I've used it plent for cowboy camping as well.

Seems like you got some decent advice...

Enjoy your time outdoors amigo~

ps Funny story, had my pup in my tarptent b/c it twas a cool evening camping by Oh Be Joyful river in Crested Butte. Dawn approaches as well as a deer! My pup busted through my screen door in my squall to chase it down/away, whatever. :) So, what is my lesson learned? hah