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Badlands gearlist, help wanted
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Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Badlands gearlist, help wanted on 09/19/2012 12:36:04 MDT Print View


Here is my clothing and shelter list for an upcoming bikepacking trip on the Maah Daah Hey trail in the North Dakota badlands in mid October.

Do you think I could save weight without giving up safety or much comfort? Do you think the clothing/shelter/sleep gear is adequate for the conditions, should I bring more? Will it be too hot in warm riding weather? Any tips for this area?
Note: I get cold easily when not moving.

High 55-80, record 90, low 35-50, record 25. Rain on 25% of the days.
Only 11 hrs of daylight.
High winds likely, very exposed. Dust storms possible.
If it rains you can't move on the trail, so we will either wait it out or bail on a gravel road.
Due to daylight and physical conditioning there will be a lot of time in camp.

(number is weight in g's/ounces)

Clothing worn on bike:
Divide glasses- glasses _ 32/1.1
Ridge bikegloves- hands _ 46/1.6
SpecRoubaix bibs L- bikehorts _ 218/7.7
Spec. Rime mtb - bikeshoes(pair) _ 996/35.1
I/O merino hoody - top base _ 228/8.0
SW Adrenaline wht- socks _ 42/1.5

Other clothing maybe worn on bike:
Dynamo wind pants- pants wind _ 82/2.9
Stoic Wraith jkt- hooded top wind _ 72/2.5
Dust mask - face wind - 6/0.2

Rain gear:
Versalite shell gloves- hands rain _ 20/0.7
O2 pants XL- pants rain _ 122/3.7
O2 hooded jacket XL- top rain _ 178/6.3
2 plastic bags - rain feet _ 16/0.6

Camp/sleep wear:
Smart Wool boxers- sleep undies _ 90/3.2
MHW Powerst gloves- hands warm _ 48/1.7
MB UL down pants- pants warm _ 198/7.0
Stoic Hadron Hoodie- top warm _ 242/8.5
Goosefeet down socks- feet warm _ 63/2.2
SW tall liner- spare socks _ 48/1.7

BPL? inflatable pillow- pillow _ 32/1.2
EnLightEq. RevX 40F+overstuff wideL- Quilt - 574/20.2
Neoair cut to 61"- pad _ 334/11.8

Shelter shared with my wife:
RutaLocura tent pole _ 150/5.3
7 Carbon 6"Stakes _ 42/1.5
4 Carbon 9" stakes _ 34/1.3
Golite Hex 3 Tipi shelter _ 772/27.2
Bearpaw Inner tent -groundsheet_565/20

Edit: switched baselayer, corrected weight on quilt.
Edit: swapped groundcloth for inner tent
Edit: swapped MB down + fleece beanie for Hadron, swapped thick wool socks for down socks, swapped 2nd pair of socks for tall ones to be able to cover the gap to pants.

Edited by Tjaard on 10/07/2012 08:16:29 MDT.

Andrew Zajac

Locale: South West
looks good to me! on 09/19/2012 14:48:09 MDT Print View

Judging from how the weather has been in South Dakota since this previous winter until now (much warmer and dryer than usual) I would say that you have prepared a great gear list. The biggest concern I have when going into the badlands in South Dakota is wind and water. I have experienced some extremely windy days there and water can be quite scarce even during normal climates. However, South Dakota is currently experiencing a severe drought, and I would assume that North Dakota would be as well. I would make sure to double check the status of any water sources you plan on using. I see you are from Minnesota so you may know what kind of drought I am talking about already, but I thought I would give my two cents.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
geargrams on 09/19/2012 17:17:57 MDT Print View

You should really use geargrams, its highly organizational and you can make brand new lists for different trips.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
I don't like gear grams so much. on 09/19/2012 19:05:13 MDT Print View

I just made my own MSWorks-database with my gear. It's highly organizational the way I want to organize it. I have fields for 'group packed' 'packed' and 'worn', that I enter the quantities in for a specific trip, then when you run the report it creates the packinglist with weights etc.

Where did you think this list came from? With the ounces? I am to lazy to calculate all the weight conversions as you asked, so I just made a field 'ounces' which does it for me. LOL

Edited by Tjaard on 09/19/2012 19:22:45 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
wind and water on 09/19/2012 19:16:35 MDT Print View

Thanks Andrew,

Yes we have it pretty dry here in MN as well. The drought doesn't affect the trail-water situation as much, as there are no good water sources even in a 'normal' year, so the best bet is pack all water for the day from the campsite spigot's. This does limit you to going before the USFS turns off the water.

In a previous post someone had mentioned the dust, due to the drought and the oil-boom.

The Hex is extremely wind resistant and fairly easy to set-up in high wind. As you mentioned it is very windy and there is little treecover to be had. The Hex is also big enough to stake it all the way to the ground to keep out wind/dust, and it has two high vents to reduce condensation in that case.

If it's forecast to be warmer than average I could swap the boxers and down pants for just a pair of merino longjohns, saving 124g/4.1oz.

If it's forecast to be slightly colder, I'll wrap my quilt around me in camp.

If it's forecast to be much colder, I'll bring a heavier down jacket instead of the UL.

Edited by Tjaard on 09/20/2012 08:33:12 MDT.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
plain curiosity on 09/20/2012 01:34:45 MDT Print View

I am totally no help, other than adding if I were expecting dust storms I would want something other than a tipi and polycro for a shelter. Wind and dust can make for a miserable night.

I'm curious, why can't you "move on trail" when it rains? I have no experience bikepacking, or in the Badlands (altho that's an awesome name), so I'm wondering what could make moving impossible.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Badlands gearlist and such on 09/20/2012 08:19:09 MDT Print View

Your list looks great!
Check with the NOAA website and see what kind of weather will be rolling in. Be sure to use all of your tent stakes everytime you set up camp and never assume that the winds will stay calm overnight.
As mild as the temps have been, the water should still be turned on at the campsites. I have a call in to the Medora Ranger Station to confirm that, I'll check about any bans on fires too.
I hope that everything works out for your trip.

The eroding clays turn to absolute mush when wet... very easy to slip and get injured.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Re: plain curiosity on 09/20/2012 08:29:02 MDT Print View


RE: not moving on trail when it's wet:
The Roosevelt NP region(which is what we are traversing on the Maah Daah Hey) consists of a lot of Bentonite clay. While Bentonite has many useful industrial applications, it forms a sticky goo that sticks to feet and bike wheels like crazy and doesn't come off. So if the trail gets wet, your bike and feet will very quickly turn into giant globs of sticky mud, making it nearly impossible to even push a bike down the trail. If a road has enough gravel on it it is ok, otherwise that too would be out.

RE: ...expecting dust storms I would want something other than a tipi and polycro..:
AS far as plain wind, the Hex tipi is as about as good as it gets. There are few other tents that can handle the wind like that. As far as dust is concerned. I do worry about that, but I don't know what else to do. It is one reason I am planning to take the Hex instead of a tarp. The inner tent for it is mesh, so I don't think that will be of much help. I see a Tarptent scarp is available with a solid inner. But ouch, the weight is listed as 60oz! The Hillberg Njallo is even heavier! And I don't really want to buy an expensive tent I wouldn't use much for other trips.
If Roger Caffin wants to sell one of his winter tents, let me know!

Hmmm, just came up with an idea:
If I take a full fabric inner tent(non-mesh) that would make the whole set-up warmer, (as well as protect against dust storms). If it weighs 15 oz, but we leave our down pants behind because of the warmer sleeping environment, that would be almost a wash in weight. I might consider this a bit more.

Edited by Tjaard on 09/20/2012 13:22:29 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Water on 09/20/2012 08:36:24 MDT Print View

I went here a few years back and called the USFS and they said that they usually turn it of around the last week of October, but it depends on temp, so unless they get a sudden hard freeze, should be good.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Just heard from the rangers... on 09/20/2012 08:41:42 MDT Print View

The water will stay on for about another 30 days thanks to the warm temps. Open fires & campfires are banned right now but that could change if significant rain falls.
701-227-7800 is the Medora Ranger Station, be sure to call them for the latest update before you head out from home.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Thanks Steve! on 09/20/2012 08:52:12 MDT Print View

Thanks for your research on my behalf!

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Tent and warmth on 09/23/2012 09:20:59 MDT Print View

I ordered a non-mesh inner tent from Bearpaw Wilderness Designs. I am guessing(hoping) that it will be around 16 oz. This adds about 14 oz instead of the groundsheet.
I tried out my quilt the other night under just the Hex and was just comfortable at 40F, with all my clothes. The average low is 35, which I hope will be offset by the added warmth of a second person in a double wall tent. If it get's close to the record 25 I will be very cold though, not hypothermic, but uncomfortable! I was also a little worried that Andrew Skurka lists a heavier quilt and down jacket than I do for similar temps, and I am a cold person! If it get really cold, we could spoon and layer the two quilts on top of each other, slightly offset, to keep them tucked in.

I would like to have some more insulation, but I can't think of a way to add just a little bit of insulation and weight.
Bringing a second insulated garment is a waste of the double shell fabrics. For example, if I bring my lightest insulation layer, a Thermawrap vest, that adds 6.4 oz, most of which is in the shell, which hardly adds any warmth inside a sleeping bag in a tent, since I am already wearing a shelled garment and a windshell.
For that same 6oz, I could bring my mummy bag instead of a quilt. It has about 3 oz more down, and a great hood, but can't be used very easy when awake.
If it get really cold, we could spoon and layer the two quilts on top of each other, slightly offset, to keep them tucked in.
The next warmer garment I have is a MB alpine jacket(not the alpine light) very warm, but it weighs 18.5 oz, that's 11 oz more than my UL down jacket, and only 4 oz of that is down.
If it get really cold unexpectedly, we could spoon and layer the two quilts on top of each other, slightly offset, to keep them tucked in.

What I would like would be a jacket that adds about 3 oz more down, to the 2 oz in my UL jacket with only minimal 'dead' weight added, for a total weight of about 10.5 oz. Unfortunately the only jacket I see like that is the Uber -expensive Shaka plus...

Edit: better description of Warmer jacket

Edited by Tjaard on 10/02/2012 14:08:49 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Ghost on 09/23/2012 09:50:50 MDT Print View

Checkout the mountain hardware ghost whisperer. 2.7 oz of down and it weighs 7 oz.

Also how are you setting up your tent, trekking poles?

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Poor writing skills on 09/23/2012 21:39:34 MDT Print View

The Ghost whisperer is a great looking jacket, but pretty similar to my current MB UL Down (2 oz down), I meant I wanted a jacket that had about 3 extra ounces of down, but only weighed about 5 ounces more for total weight.
After all:
If the UL jacket weighs 7 oz total with 2 oz of fill, that means the shell weighs 5 oz.
So a hooded jacket with 5 oz fill would be:
5 oz down + 5 oz shell + 1 oz for the hood including fill, Total: 11 oz. Add an elastic bottom hem(lacking on the UL down jacket) and a few % more fabric to allow the extra down to loft and you still are at 12 oz.

The MB Mirage fits the bill, but it is so much more expensive than the UL Parka, in part because it goes to 900 FP down.

No, not taking trekking poles. Since this is a bike trip they'd be dead weight. I have the stock Easton pole, but it is heavy so I got a RL Carbon pole (see list under shelter). Here in MN I don't take any pole for it most of the time, just hang it from a branch or a cord between two trees. That's not an option in ND ;-)

Edited for poor writing ;-)

Edited by Tjaard on 09/24/2012 09:09:28 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
weather on 09/24/2012 19:52:50 MDT Print View

can't overly trust long range forecasts, but our (Eastern Montana- pretty darn close to the clime you'll see) mid October is currently calling for highs in the 60's and lows in the mid 30's- that certainly can change in a hurry

moisture in October is not unusual, and typically it comes as cold rain or wet snow- as I'm sure you're aware that can be pretty dicey (as in dangerous), I'd err a little on the safe side when it comes to wet and cold conditions- add a little wind and...............

our clay soils are affectionately (OK that's a lie, nobody likes the stuff!) called gumbo, which is a shame because I really like eating gumbo :)

have fun, it's a beautiful place

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
I don't even trust the short range forecasts that much ;-) on 09/24/2012 19:55:30 MDT Print View

The good news is, this is only a 4 day trip, so I can check the forecast before we leave and adjust accordingly, and have reasonable accuracy.

Edited by Tjaard on 09/24/2012 19:56:47 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: I don't even trust the short range forecasts that much ;-) on 09/24/2012 20:03:56 MDT Print View

^ true enough! :)

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: I don't even trust the short range forecasts that much ;-) on 09/29/2012 00:29:15 MDT Print View

For jackets weight in around 12oz with 5oz of high fp down there are a few less expensive options out there. Currently the Golite bitterroot (I think the MB Mirage is a response to the bitterroot) is only $240 and seems available in all sizes/colors. If you have "the clymb" account the Brooks Range Alpini Anorak Hoody can be had in size S and XL for $130. Supposedly 13oz with 7.5 of down (but it's warmth is a bit lower than the Bitterroot based on RNisely's posts).

Not sure what size you are, or your budget, but may be worth looking into if you want an intermediate warmth piece (you could always go the supplemental vest route. Not as efficient but more versatile...especially if you look at synthetics).

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Intermediate warmth jackets on 10/02/2012 14:21:19 MDT Print View


My point was, I have a nice lightweight down jacket, I would like something similar, but with more fill:

If the Hadron weighs 8.3 oz, 2.3 of which is fill, the shell and trim must weigh 5 oz.

So if someone made a jacket with 5 oz of fill, plus 5 oz for shell and trim, the total weight would be 10 oz.

The only jacket I see that fits this spec is the Skaha.
The Bitterroot is getting a fair bit heavier, @13.8 oz, with 5.3 fill, meaning, the shell and trim weighs 8.5 oz. That's 35% heavier than the shell on my thin jacket.
The Alpini does fit the formula with a 5 oz shell and then down added, that might be an interesting option. What test by R Nisley did you mean? I looked, but couldn't find it.

As far as my options with my current gear goes, yep I could add my Thermawrap vest, but I fear that will add barely any warmth for it's 6.5 oz weight, Switching to my mummy bag(also 6 oz extra weight) is probably the more effective option for that weight?

Edited by Tjaard on 10/02/2012 20:32:58 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
starting to look at long range forecast on 10/07/2012 08:24:17 MDT Print View

The forecast for next weekend is listing lows of 35-40, highs of 55-68, so a bit cooler than average but perfect biking weather.
Almost no chance of rain.

I got my Bearpaw inner the other day. Full fabric will help add some warmth, keep dust out and most importantly, it's half the weight of my golite inner that my wife would have required us to bring to "keep snakes from snuggling up to us at night".

If the forecast stays on the dry side, I might consider ditching the rain pants, but given the low temps and wind, I am wary of that.

Time to start packing it all up and see how to fit it on the bike.