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Knife? Fry Pan?
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Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Knife? Fry Pan? on 02/26/2013 07:22:04 MST Print View

I am pondering over what extra gear I want to take for catching, cleaning, cooking, and eating fish on my John Muir Trail trip this August.

Do you who fish while backpacking add much extra weight to support that pastime.

I don't want to impact my gear weight to drastically, but I do want to fish and like fried fish. In any case, on this trip I will be carrying more than my minimal base weight of 7.5 pounds, since I need to take a bear canister and want to catch and eat trout.

I am planning to take the following stuff to support the fishing:
* TFal Grilled cheese sandwich fry pan 6.2 ounces with a lighter home made handle
* 360 Fountainhead Tenkara Caddis Fly Rod 3.3 ounces
* Line, leaders, flies, etc. 1.0 ounce

I am also debating over taking a bigger knife than usual. Normally I'd carry a 0.6 ounce Gerber LST UL, but am considering taking a 3.5 ounce Mora. I figure that it would allow filleting larger fish.

Additionally I am probably taking some other extra stuff like a nicer but heavier camera. Also my Kindle with all my planning documents and the Wenk guidebook as well as some general reading material.

With all of that, my base weight looks like it might creep up to a bit over 13 pounds which sounds manageable to me. Total weight at the heaviest food amount is probably about 23 pounds. I could skip the fry pan and bigger knife and save a bit over 9 ounces, but I keep thinking that it might be worth it to carry that extra weight.

Thoughts or suggestions on any of that?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Knife? Fry Pan? on 02/26/2013 08:57:03 MST Print View

The Victorinox Little Vickie paring knife is an ounce and has some flex, making a small, light paring knife.

MSR makes a 7.25" non-stick frypan for the Blacklite pot set that is about 6oz. You will need grabber for it.

I have one of each. Send me a PM if you are interested.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Victorinox Little Vickie on 02/26/2013 09:47:01 MST Print View

The Victorinox Little Vickie looks like a good choice for the situation. The price looks good too so I went ahead and ordered one.

It looks like they no longer make the Black Lite Skillet.

I am happy with the cheapo T Fal square sandwich griddle at least after one trial run with it at home. It had a very heavy handle, but I made a lighter one to replace it.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Knife? Fry Pan? on 02/26/2013 10:23:23 MST Print View

Unless you are a much better fisher than me, I wouldn't expect to be filleting too many fish in the high Sierra's. All the fish I ever catch fit nicely in a small pan and would require a scalpel to fillet.

That being said I always have a small knife dedicated to fish prep. I'm not a big fan of fish guts in my peanut butter. The little Vickie looks like a great choice. I've been thinking about using my $0.95 Fry's knife this year:

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Knife? Fry Pan? on 02/26/2013 10:28:44 MST Print View

Zia Grill instead of a frypan?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Blacklite frypan on 02/26/2013 10:30:55 MST Print View

Check REI outlet for the Blacklite fry pan. $9.93 :)

BTW, the Little Vickie knife will be easy to clean too. Watch your pinkies--- they are razor sharp.

Edited by dwambaugh on 02/26/2013 10:35:16 MST.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Little vickie knife on 02/26/2013 11:50:46 MST Print View

Dale, I'm also a big fan of the Little Vickie knives. I found a nation-wide restaurant supply store that is headquartered right here in Boulder ( They sell the Little Vickies for $3.99 each, but they don't come with the plastic sheaths like the ones REI sells for $9. I've fashioned an even lighter sheath from 1" tubular webbing.

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 02/26/2013 11:53:07 MST.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Knife? Fry Pan? on 02/27/2013 03:22:03 MST Print View

Well, if you carry the Mora on your belt, it doesn't count as pack weight...

I always take a fixed blade with me, but your Gerber should be all you need for trout. I never fillet trout less than 5lbs, and I doubt you'll run into any of those. Gut them with your gerber, stuff belly with seasonings, butter, etc. wrap in foil, and cook. That's how I've been doing it since before I have memories. Just be careful of the bones. If you've never eaten trout, you don't need to worry about scales either.

You can have fires on the John Muir under 9,000ft, right? If that's the case, leave the pan at home, take some foil instead and throw that bad boy in the coals. Take 6oz of whiskey instead. Sip and enjoy around the fire while your trout cooks ;)

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Thanks on 02/27/2013 08:21:14 MST Print View

Thanks guys. I'll probably change my mind about some items on the gear list 10 times before the trip. Typically, for me, that means trimming more and more as the trip gets closer.

Edited by staehpj1 on 02/27/2013 16:08:50 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Little vickie knife sheath on 02/27/2013 10:21:28 MST Print View

I discovered the Victorinox serrated paring knives in a commercial fishing supply. They have big boxes full! Fisherman call them net knives and use them for doing repairs. Victorinox does make a Cordura belt sheath that costs and weighs three times what the knife itself does.

Victorinox paring knife sheath

The sheath on the Little Vickie really adds to the value. As sharp as the knife is, I don't want it loose in my pack. The sheath adds 0.25oz. I have considered making a really light Kydex sheath, but I wouldn't improve on the cost or weight. All in all, $10 is nothing in our gear world and the knife will last a long time with care.

David Hunter
Victorinox Little Vickie on 02/27/2013 20:22:53 MST Print View

Where can I find one with a sheath? REI and everybody else seems to be sold out.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Victorinox Little Vickie on 02/27/2013 20:50:47 MST Print View

REI shows them as available online. Item 836226.

There are some in gear swap paired with an MSR Blacklite frypan (wink, wink)

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
Knife? Fry Pan? on 03/23/2013 21:22:17 MDT Print View

Take a look at the Imusa fry pan, without the handle mine weighs 3.4 oz

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Weight of the handle? on 03/24/2013 07:48:42 MDT Print View

Any idea what the handle weighs?

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
Weight of the handle? on 03/24/2013 09:16:25 MDT Print View


I can't remember, it's been over a year since I did the modification, but I think the whole thing weighed around 6-7 oz with the handle.


Edited by jumpbackjack on 03/24/2013 09:18:12 MDT.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
weight on 03/25/2013 05:00:24 MDT Print View


Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Knife? Fry Pan? on 03/28/2013 08:12:08 MDT Print View


The Rapala Fish 'N' Filet(4") weighs 50g/1.625oz with leather sheath. Knife alone 29g/1oz. Replace sheath with one made from a little cardboard and foil at 6g/.25 oz for a total weight of about 35 grams or 1.25 oz. It has a comfortable wooden handle, nice flex and works great. Plus it just looks cool! I use it for panfish and trout. I use a larger model for steelhead.


Michael C
(chinookhead) - F - M
Re: Knife? Fry Pan? on 04/16/2013 16:22:41 MDT Print View

Jack, is that weight including the lid?