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Med kit & Ditty bag is part of my big 3! Help!
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Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Med kit & Ditty bag is part of my big 3! Help! on 04/13/2013 19:15:45 MDT Print View

I have tried and tried to lose weight but my ditty bag and med kit together are more than my bag or my tarp w/ stakes & and line.
I have lost weight everywhere but I need help.

Input please.

I have posted picks. Tonight I junked 3.75 oz and I'm still at 21 oz.Ditty bagMed kit

My summer base weight is running 9 lbs 5 oz.

Edited by Slammer on 04/14/2013 07:43:55 MDT.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Med kit & Ditty bag is part of my big 3! Help! on 04/13/2013 19:35:35 MDT Print View


Not as bad as you think, since it includes your light and knife. That's about 4oz+ right there.

A few recommendations but keep in mind I don't know how long you're in the woods so my advice may not apply on all items.

1) Ditch a few bandaids
2) Repackage the AquaMira into small bottles like the ones you are using for soap, etc
3) You have way too much thread - bring one "roll" only
4) Depending on what you use the space blanket for, leave it at home
5)If you pack fresh batteries before the trip, leave the spares at home
6) Perhaps you can cut the pack towel in half as well, depending on the size. I don't need a very big towel, ymmv

Doing just a few of these changes will save you several ounces, all will net you great savings.

Please report back!

Edited by funnymoney on 04/13/2013 19:37:08 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Quick observation on 04/13/2013 19:46:47 MDT Print View

I'm newish to UL but the things which jump out at me.. and I'm going to just speak from my personal experiences...

I've been in some very cold temperatures including spending weeks at a time in the field in Ft Drum winters and have never used a mylar blanket once. That's a safety item and opinions/YMMV on that item. Do you use a bivy? Could you use an Adventure Medical Kit bivy as a dual use item?

I can't remember the last time I used a bandaid in the woods. I'd cut their numbers in 1/2. Latex gloves are a personal choice and can be a multi use item.

Aqua Mira in smaller droppers maybe

How much hiking do you do at night? If not much, maybe a Photon?

I have the same Leatherman and I like it. If you are not using it to its full utility then maybe a razor blade?

10lbs is a great base weight to me so at that weight, I like for my items to function well. What is your motivation to go below that? Are you trying to hit the SUL mark?

Edit Todd and I responded at the same time so I double tap'd some of his points.
Yes that is a metric butt ton of thread!

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/13/2013 19:59:07 MDT.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Med kit & Ditty bag is part of my big 3! Help! on 04/13/2013 20:15:59 MDT Print View

+1 to already having a great base weight. Taking a careful eye to each and every thing in the first aid kit is good, as is looking through some threads here about what other people take. I like a lot of the posts, especially from Dean F,. in this one:

My thoughts:

I still throw a mylar bivy bag in my daypack, but no longer take one when I backpack b/c I already have multiple "insulation" layers (sleeping pad(s), sleeping quilt or bag, down/synthetic or fleece jacket, tarp, etc.). I will say it took me a little while to mentally make that jump.

You can buy vaseline (or other brand of petroleum jelly) in small 1oz tubes at most pharmacies (look for one for lip protection, just check the ingredients for one that is only petroleum). It doesn't take much for basic skin protection in chapped areas and for lips and as a fire starter.

Most folks here have their lights, fire-starter and knife separate from a FAK. It doesn't really matter b/c you still have to carry it (there's another recent thread about that going around!) and the final "pack" weight or "skin out" weight should be the same.

You probably don't need to carry the tube of seamgrip. Most inflatable pads come with sticky patches (thin and light) or you can buy them at a place like REI. There's always a little bit of duct tape.

I take a BIC lighter and maybe 10 matches in a small ziploc bag with a piece of the striker strip from a matchbox.

You could lose the diaper rash ointment b/c you already have soap and vaseline. Cleaning any chapped/raw areas with a little soap & water and using a little vaseline should work just as well.

Finally, once I was preparing a gear list for a trip. I was comparing mine to some gear lists that I liked but mine seemed heavier. It took me a while to realize that certain items were just listed differently than I had them (like trekking poles as "worn" weight instead of "essential gear", where I list them). Turns out my list was fine, though of course there's always room for refinement.

Edited by saparisor on 04/13/2013 22:12:46 MDT.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Thanks for ideas on 04/13/2013 20:23:21 MDT Print View

Will repackage AM
I carry extra band-aids since my kids are almost always with me. Could lose some though.
Since I've upgrade clothing I'll loose E-blanket and extra thread
I'll look for smaller Vaseline and good idea on seam grip since I have a very small tube of similar stuff in air mattress repair kit.

My base weight is probably a pound or two heavier depending on the carry,wear argument.

But thanks to some of these ideas I bet I can lose 1/3 to 1/2 a lbs.

I just never really thought about some of these tips.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Thanks for ideas on 04/13/2013 20:28:59 MDT Print View

"I carry extra band-aids since my kids are almost always with me."

Ah yes.. good call. I add things to my kit when I'm with my kids that I wouldn't necessarily carry when I'm solo. If I have a bad day in the woods then I'll take my just deserts like a man but I'm a worry wart when I'm out with the kiddos.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Med kit & Ditty bag is part of my big 3! Help! on 04/13/2013 20:41:31 MDT Print View

If your base weight is under 10 lbs, you're not doing badly at all! I have quite a different configuration--my headlamp is in "Navigation," my repair and med stuff are in "First Aid" and toilet articles are in "Other." As far as I can tell without getting out my calculator, we are fairly close in total weight of these items except that my "First Aid" includes a 5.4 oz. PLB, which means my other first aid stuff is that much less than yours.

It's hard for me to tell what all those items are in the photos. I therefore won't comment on "unidentified things." If that's some kind of tube of something inside the cardboard container near the top of the first picture, at least ditch the cardboard.

Thread has been mentioned. I don't take any! Presumably you floss your teeth? Per my dentist (and probably yours) that's far more important than brushing. Dental floss makes a very strong thread. Just be sure your needle has a big enough hole for it! You can rinse and reuse "used" floss until it shreds. The floss, BTW, doesn't register on my scale so is less than 0.1 oz.

It looks as though you have both seam sealer and something that might be superglue. One of those should be enough.

Decanting Aqua Mira into tiny bottles has been mentioned. It looks as though you're also taking water purification tablets, or are those tablets in the foil pack something else? Same chemical (chlorine dioxide), so no need for both.

Re the bandaids--I use a lot of them because I am prone to the dreaded infected hangnail. Even so, I don't use as many as you have, even for a 9-day trip.

Diaper rash ointment?

I assume that's a small size plastic jar of Vaseline in the top picture. You can get much smaller tubes of Vaseline; most drug stores have them alongside the lip balm/chapstick. Or you can get a tiny container and carry a small amount of Vaseline in that. Couldn't this substitute for the diaper rash ointment, or vice versa? Remember, with all this stuff, the rule is to take only enough for the trip.

Are those blue bags stuff sacks? Had you thought of plastic bags instead? Sandwich bags work fine. For tiny items, check your local craft store (usually the beads section) for various sizes of tiny bags. The tiniest ones are good for pills. I prefer to keep my pills separate and labeled in case someone else needs to administer them to me. That also lets me keep track of expiration dates. Plastic bags can substitute for latex gloves. How many times have you run across someone seriously bleeding? For situations that have a less than 5% chance of happening, I prefer to improvise. Wilderness First Aid classes are a big help there.

If you're backpacking you have a shelter and sleeping bag/quilt with you; you don't need the emergency blanket unless you do a lot of dayhiking on your backpack trips. Somebody had to remind me of that a few years ago!

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/13/2013 20:57:05 MDT.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Med kit & Ditty bag is part of my big 3! Help! on 04/14/2013 07:13:41 MDT Print View

watch videos 5 and 6 in particular here ,but all of them are worth watching.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Thanks for link on 04/14/2013 07:42:42 MDT Print View


I have been debating on whether or not to order Mike C's book.
I had no idea there were videos!
Thanks for the link and heads up.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Med kit & Ditty bag is part of my big 3! Help! on 04/14/2013 07:47:48 MDT Print View

What are the candies int the second picture? I am guessing they are cough drops of some kind which arent really needed

Soap and ?? In the second bottle. If it is shampoo thats not really neccessary on a hike as you can use soap or just not wash your hair for a week.

Moleskin I just use duct tape for everything but some people are allergic so check first before trying it.

What are the 2packs above the bandaids besides the burn relief?
What is the red thing beside the pills?

Towel do you have a bandana or othe multipe use item you can use instead?

Matches/firesteel do you also carry a mini bic elsewhere? Replacing the firesteel with a mini bic would save weight.

Batteries it looks like you have two sets of spares. Can you cut down to one

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Med kit & Ditty bag is part of my big 3! Help! on 04/14/2013 13:53:31 MDT Print View

I don't know if it will save weight, but will save room:

I put some Zinc Oxide (like your diaper rash stuff) and Sportslick in a contact lens case. Keeps them together instead of getting lost in my kit, and I carry a tiny bit which is always more than I have ever used on TWO trips, let alone one.

Also, like others said congratulations on your base weight! I have never SUL mark but love being sub10!

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Update & Thanks on 04/16/2013 06:48:31 MDT Print View

Thanks to all suggestions!

Worked on items last night (pictured in earlier post).
Still waiting on some 1/2 oz dropper bottles for AM but have lost 5.8 oz thanks to tips.
Still have that SAFE feeling so this was a huge help.

I expect to finish out at around 15 Oz once I repack AM & vaseline.

Feedback is helpful. But I think thats pretty good for bag that includes the following.
First Aid
Repair Kit
half comb & 1/2 toothbrush
headlamp & 1 set of spare batts
8" x 12" camp towel
Aqua Mira drops

Thanks again for tips!