I got into backpacking a couple of years ago and while I have tried to steer towards lightweight, I have also shopped for value. Basically, if it was a bit heavier, but half the price, i was sold. Now I have some money to spend and want to see how much I weight I can cut for the money. I figure that I can get ~$5/oz of savings, but wanted to see what people thought. Another point is that I may not have the best gear, mainly in regards to clothing, so if I need to spend some money there with less than optimal weight loss, that is fine as well. A few notes:
Backpacking Style - 50% with brother who carries half of tent and either stove or med kit (drops pack weight by ~3lbs), 25% solo, 25% solo w/dog. I avoid winter camping and HOT summer hiking, but generally hike Mid March to Late November in Michigan, so it can be down to the low 30's at night and prefer to hike in the 50-75 range in the day.
Locations - Michigan primarily, but we are starting to venture out (7 nights in Great Smokey Mountains in early April for ~75 miles). Next year hoping to do Glacier. Overall, wetter environments with lots of mosquitos it seems.
- Just switched from Vasque Breeze to Inov-8 Roclite 295 for 19.2 wt savings($5.7/oz)
- Been looking at Zpacks Arcblast (can "technically" return Kestrel for ~$120 at REI)
- Tent is 2.5# with brother, but 5# otherwise. Looking for a new shelter is confusing with the prime thoughts being:
---Zpacks Hexamid - Expensive and worried dog (60# Labradoodle) will destroy netting
---SMD Skyscape Trekker - On the heavy side and not a lot of room for dog/daughter (6 yrs)
---MLD Duomid - Big, but would have to bring a bivy or net tent if mosquitos. Bivy is nice to seperate dirty dog from sleeping bag though
---MLD Grace Tarp SilNylon - Great price, but requires bivy and only fits one person
-I am a side sleeper, so not too interested in abandoning my pad
-I like my jetboil because I mainly bring freeze dried food and can boil water in a couple of minutes.
-My sleep system is a bit jacked. I normally only bring the quilt and liner, but if it is going to be cold, I can bring the sleeping bag as well and get down to the 20's.
Overall, I have ~$500 and want to get opinions on where I should spend it. Other than that, I never realized how much stuff I bring, so ideas are more than welcome.
Thanks for your help!!!