Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Adding (a little) weight back in gear choices
Display Avatars Sort By:
Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Adding (a little) weight back in gear choices on 09/30/2012 08:27:11 MDT Print View

So what light gear did you experiment with only to go for heavier choices, and why?

For example, my lil' Ti mug goes with me most of the time now since I got it half a year ago or so even though it is the "heaviest" of my light mugs.

Ti mug = 37g
Beer can mug = 28g
Plastic mug = 25g

Taking a mug along with a pot is useful if you like to make a hot drink to go with your food, and if you go with someone else or a group, the mug acts as a small bowl too. When I go without a stove I still take a mug with me, in case I want to boil/warm up a small amount of water on a campfire. It also makes filling up Platypus and Sawyer squeeze bottles much easier at non-moving water sources like lakes, puddles, etc. Also nice to have to wash up to pour water on your body, especially washing hair/head. Finally, a mug is great for collecting wild foods like berries, small mushrooms, greens, etc. And I am sure there are other uses too I can't think of at the moment.

The beer can mug is too fragile and I've already crushed one in the past, plus I don't like (this could just be my own paranoia, have not looked into this in detail) using aluminum because of things I have read/heard about the metal being "bad for you." The plastic mug I can't use on a stove/fire obviously, and same thing goes for plastic about being unhealthy (again, not an expert, just skeptical). Ti of course is quite strong and also non-toxic. No mug at all and I don't get the multiple uses listed above, and to me most of the time the penalty of 37g is well worth it.

Another example is water bottles. I will on occasion bring Platypus bottles, but I usually will go for recycled rigid drink bottles.

1 liter Platy = 25g
750ml Evian bottle = 29g

So okay, the Platy is lighter and more volume... but hard to fill with water at times (unless you have mug ;) ), hard to fit in some backpack water bottle pockets, and annoying to drink from. And 4g is not that big a deal, even I dare say to SUL trips.

So where have you added a bit of weight back to your system?

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
an ounce on 09/30/2012 08:35:46 MDT Print View

i added maybe an ounce (or 2) to my hammock setup by getting rid of my whoopie slings and going back to the strap and biner setup. i just find the convenience of ease of it to be too good to not use.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: an ounce on 09/30/2012 10:46:18 MDT Print View

I pushed hard to get a base weight as low as possible... for me this was ultimately 4.2lbs. Then I asked, I am enjoying this, or is the weight savings hindering enjoying my trips I slowly added things back until I found what was the right balance for me... and ended up with a base weight of 8.5lbs for 3 season trips. I don't feel like I am deprived while keeping my load pretty light.

From the lowest weight items to what I am using now:

gossamer gear whisper 4oz -> gossamer gear gorilla 24oz. more comfortable, better volume for longer trips

foam torso pad / ballonbed 5oz -> NeoAir 14oz. Way more comfortable, warmer, more durable.

pocho/tarp 9oz -> driducks + hexamid 13oz. More room, bug free!, easier camp life, better rain protection when moving

dri ducks 5oz -> event jacket 11oz if I really expect rain for added durability, better breathability, and less water soaking in at the wrist.

bear can pot / stove system 3oz -> caldera cone + MLD 850ml mug/pot 4.5oz because it was more durable, easier to use, and worked better in nasty weather.

eQ headlamp <1oz -> zebralight h51 3oz much brighter light. useful for wayfinding, not just around camp

No camera or Pentax S4 Digital Camera 4oz -> Canon S90 -> Sony RX100 8z much better image quality

Micro Knife .4oz -> SOG Flash 1 Lockblade 1.2oz more useful

Added Thermarest Fleece/SilNylon Pillow/Stuff Sack 1.5oz . Much nicer to lay my head on sol-nylon stuff sack.

Added iPhone 4.8oz for GPS maps and entertainment on nights not sleeping.

Edited by verber on 09/30/2012 22:54:28 MDT.

wt on 09/30/2012 11:27:02 MDT Print View

Sleeping pad. 16 oz vs 2.5 . Much better nights sleep!!!

Supportive pack. Over 15lbs I use Ohm, over 20 I use circuit

In last few hundred miles I havent even used a razor blade, so I dont know if I will ever need a heavier knife.

I dont find my ridged fosters fragile at all. Of course it goes on top in mesh pocket on pack, with no pressure on it from anything. I think its all in the pack volume and how you store it.

I put a foam coffee cup inside my fosters so i can have hot coffee. Weighs 0.1oz. Its what I drink out of everyday at office, why be different on trail.

Bear spray is one heavier wt Ive carried. Agonized over doing it too.
Warmer long john bottoms. A 2 extra ounces makes a big difference.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
yeah on 09/30/2012 11:36:19 MDT Print View

I am going that way also. I don't think I would mind an extra pound or two to save money, have extra durability, more comfort and ease of use.

Clint Wayman

Locale: East Tennessee, US
Letting it slide... on 09/30/2012 11:38:44 MDT Print View

As with most decisions, it doesn't seem to come down to a black and white answer; trade offs are trade offs.


Lumix LX3(9.35oz) vs. Camera phone(4.01oz)
---the quality of image heavily outweighs the... well... the added weight =)

Finnish Puuko(3.3oz w/ sheath) vs. razor blade (.1-.3oz)
---This choice is purely aesthetic--razor blades just don't look cool. I don't do bushcraft, or throw it at small game, but it is fun to toss around the campsite playing mumbley peg. This is by far the most shallow choice I've made concerning gear selection and is definitely not a mindset I take toward the rest.

Big Agnes IAC(24oz) vs. foam mat(7-1oz depending on source/thickness)
---A good night's sleep, again, outweighs the foam mat. I am, however, experimenting with a 2/3 airmat(8-10oz?) for summer/early fall setups.

Peak Season/Location - Early Spring-Late Fall/ Southern Appalachains
Base weight ~9-10Lbs
FSO +/-12Lbs

...puns intended...

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Headlamp on 09/30/2012 16:08:56 MDT Print View

I frequently find myself hiking before dawn or after dusk. Having a reliable headlamp for night time navigation is key.

I used to use a BD ion 1 oz headlamp. A few years ago, I was hiking off trail in the north woods and set up my tarp as light began to fade. I went to hang my bear bag and darkness fell faster than expected. Retracing my steps, I somehow went off on a tangent and missed my camp. I ended up wandering around in the dark for what seemed like an eternity before my grid search finally got me back to camp. During that episode, I had a lot of time to contemplate what it would be like to spend the night in 30 degree drizzle without any of my gear. I learned a few lessons that night, one of which being that I would not compromise on illumination (or personal survival kit) after that. I went back to my EOS headlamp really quickly.

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
A hammock on 09/30/2012 17:25:21 MDT Print View

Very interesting to read what others added back to their kits for safety or comfort reasons. I got down to a 9.5 lb base last year and have since settled on a 12-13 lb base that makes me quite content. The heaviest item I added was a Nano 7 hammock with a tulle bug sock (all in about 12 oz). I break every few hours from hiking and hang in the hammock for 15-20 minutes. My back and feat are thrilled with the decision. It's also my camp chair.

Nick G
(HermesUL) - F
A couple changes I made after the Long Trail on 09/30/2012 19:29:24 MDT Print View

No pad, 0 oz --> Klymit X-lite, 6.1 oz
No knife, 0 oz --> Leatherman Style, 0.8 oz

Changes I'm in the process of making:
Poncho-tarp--> poncho-tarp+bivy
Iodine tablets--> Sawyer Squeeze (mostly to save money)
No camera --> lightweight compact camera

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: A couple changes I made after the Long Trail on 10/01/2012 08:51:43 MDT Print View

After this weekend I will be bringing a far better stocked first aid kit :-)

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
heretical on 10/01/2012 10:28:54 MDT Print View

careful ... this kind of thread will get you burned at the BPL UL stake ;)

function over lightness ... if the gear doesnt do what you want, last as long as you want and cost what you want ... it doesnt matter how light it is

often thats the pack for many people