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How many packs and shelters is too many?
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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
use on 05/29/2013 12:30:07 MDT Print View

use what you already have ... spend the money on going out

gear is USELESS unless you use it, and use it hard

dont buy anything else unless you NEED it ... or it wears out ... an go wear it out

its that simple ;)

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: use on 05/29/2013 13:34:50 MDT Print View

Not like I'm trying to make myself feel better, but I really do use my stuff quite a bit. From march until November I go on weekend jaunts 2-3 times a month, then take 1-2 big 10-day to 2-week trips a year. This year I'm doing the JMT, ideally the PCT next. So it's not like I don't use it...

I just feel bad that I want to try out these other things. I have been pretty good lately about selling off (or giving away) my older stuff...for example, my hexamid is going away now that the cuben duomid is on it's way.

In my house right now I have a hexamid. No other tent. It is actually already sold.
I have the gorilla and the circuit. One is big and heavy, one is small and light (for me, anyway).
I have a canister stove and 2 alcohol stoves (only because I haven't given the 12-10 away just yet since I bought the modified starlyte).
I have a single water filtration system and a few different sized water bags that go with it (sawyer squeeze with sawyer bottles and some evernew)
I have three cookpots now - 2 short/wide (one big, one small) and 1 tall/skinny to go with my canister
2 quilts. One summer, one shoulder
1 pad
One set of heavy trekking poles, but I just ordered some carbon ones from REI.

So I'm not awful least I don't think I am.

Am I??

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: use on 05/29/2013 13:50:58 MDT Print View

Thats not a lot of kit at all Jen.

(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: how many... on 05/29/2013 14:45:18 MDT Print View

You need no more than 6 shelters and 5 packs, and you need to try about 25 shelters and 15 packs until you find the ones you need.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: use on 05/29/2013 14:56:00 MDT Print View

Fftt! 'Tis nothing, not even warm. One pad is almost... sinful.

If you are using it, it meets the test. There MUST be something that I have that you need ;)

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: How many packs and shelters is too many? on 05/29/2013 16:54:45 MDT Print View

So you're all saying I *need* a few more shelters, packs, pads, quilts, pots and stoves?


eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: How many packs and shelters is too many? on 05/29/2013 18:39:22 MDT Print View

ignore em all ;)

what CANT you do with your current gear ...once you answer that question youll decide whether you NEED new stuff ... or do you just WANT it ...

or do you want to spend the money and time (virtual gear listing) on BPL rather than just going out and do it ...

go out today, wear your gear and go for a walk/hike

thats all there is to it folks =P

not enough on 05/29/2013 20:21:06 MDT Print View

You definitely need at least one frameless pack, and one sub-10oz cuben frameless SUL pack, some tarps and bivys, and a full set of heavy full on winter equipment with a Hilleburg tent.

Give it time, you will get there. Dont be impatient.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
have less, be more on 05/30/2013 02:37:27 MDT Print View

There's definitely benefits to specialized gear for each sport or trip type, but there's also a lot of satisfaction in using a simple, dialed in kit. Putting together an effective gear/clothing system can be a continual process of trial and error, but I've found that when I'm constantly trying out new gear (which I've done my share of) its harder to get to the sort of flow state that I'm looking for in the outdoors.

As someone prone to futzing around and losing track of things, streamlining my gear has made my outdoors experience simpler and more enjoyable. The more familiar I am with my systems, the more they just disappear into what I'm doing. I like to get out the door fast without thinking too much about which combinations of gear that I'll bring for that specific trip.

Its a good feeling to throw on a pack that feels comfortable and to know that it will still feel comfortable after another 20 miles. Likewise, its nice to have a shelter that you can throw up quickly in a storm and know that you'll stay dry and cozy overnight. Developing a relationship with your stuff--using it for various purposes, conditions and environments, is the best way to gain this sort of confidence in it.

No need to feel guilty if you end up buying an extra pack, but it might be worth putting the gorilla (a totally worthy pack) through its paces to figure out what you like and don't like in a pack of that size. Likewise with the duo--that looks to be a very versatile shelter. With wise site selection, that could be your 4 season-wonder-shelter. Or, better yet, buy a TT, a free standing mountaineering tent, three tarps of varying sizes, and sell the duo to me on the cheap :) Realistically, once you've tinkered around and found stuff that works well for you, two packs and two shelters should well cover the spectrum of 4 season backpacking.

Thats just my take on some of the benefits to a minimalist approach on a personal level (setting aside for now the very likely possibility that not buying all that extra stuff is probably better for the long term health of our species and the planet.) Sorry had to go there.

Edited by sgiachetti on 05/30/2013 03:11:22 MDT.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Dialed In on 05/30/2013 08:04:18 MDT Print View

I'm finally pretty happy with my pack and shelter options.

I've got a WPB bivy for light and fast overnight or weekend adventures when decent weather is expected or I'm planning on sleeping in a shelter.

I've got a 3P tent for trips with my wife and dogs

And I've got a 1P tent for everything else.

As for packs, I've got a 5L and a 12L running pack. I use the smallest one that fits my water/food/clothing needs.

I've got a MLD super burn for overnighters and other short warmer weather trips.

I've got a 50ish L McHale for anything more - or something requiring a bear canister.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Up to 5 shelters on 07/11/2013 16:41:59 MDT Print View

Just bought my 5th shelter today and thought of this thread.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: use on 07/11/2013 22:32:13 MDT Print View


I think you are fine atm, even by the silly formula. However, when you start feeling guilty and unfaithful to your old gear when you are "out on a date" with your new gear then you will know you are cracking!

Brian Mix
(Aggro) - MLife

Locale: Western slope, Sierra Nevada
extra gear on 07/11/2013 23:15:03 MDT Print View

I have a gear problem and I'm aware of it. My problem is nobody wants to buy my old gear because it's old and heavy. I guess. Part of my rationalization is I only use my high end backpacking gear when backpacking. I "save" it for when I really need it. Case in point: I'm packing up tonight to take my young kids camping for the weekend and the WM, BA fly creekS, snow peak etc stuff is all staying home for the heavier stuff relegated to car camping. I literally have 8 tents and all with a set purpose. Fly creek ul1 is my go to, the ul3 I hope to use one day when my kids come along etc. (oh! I just received a pm, maybe my lynx pass will sell!) The marmot thor 3p is too heavy for this crowd, etc...I know I have a problem, maybe there's help for me!!

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: extra gear on 07/11/2013 23:29:31 MDT Print View

If you are looking for an intervention from the folks here you are SOL!

Jeff Sims
(jeffreytsims) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal
How many?? on 07/11/2013 23:43:22 MDT Print View

Horribly I must admit that the answer seems to be N + 1 = perfection and N is the number of packs or shelters that I have at any given time.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
How many packs and shelters is too many? on 07/11/2013 23:53:42 MDT Print View

here we go again...
For packs I think most can stay within four or five.
In the last few years I have only used three, but I have more just in case.
Now, as for shelters , there is a minimum amount but I can't see why we should have an upper limit.
The minimum is of course six :four season shelters and one each for the in-between seasons (end of spring and the usualy wetter mid Autumn).
But of course because I prefer solo shelters and sometime I need doubles, it isn't all that easy to limit oneself to six or ten.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Ideal on 07/12/2013 05:32:21 MDT Print View

I'm more in Dave's camp but I would do the math a bit different.
Packs - 1 for normal use. I additional if doing heavy winter trips, climbing, pack rafting or hike in an area where canisters are needed.

Shelters - 1 shelter plus an additional if doing serious winter camping.

Additions - I you outfit to do trips with others such as kids. Add pack and possibly a different shelter for that case.

Everything else IMHO is excessive. I'm sure there are other scenario that could fall outside of these cases like trips with huge water carries or ten days worth of food. But even those could easily fall into he same category as a winter, heavy hauler.

If I count my pieces, I have 2 packs, one I use and my old Jam that my kids will use when they go out with me. I could also use that pack if I run out of space on a winter trip, which is unlikely. Shelters, not as good. I just completed making a new shelter plus I have a Cuben BPL Stealth Nano which I need to sell and a TT Squall which I saved for trip that I do with my kids.

From what I see on here there are three reasons for gear hoarding.
1) you still have older generation gear as you walk down the UL road.
2) you are afflicted with shiny toy syndrome. (Agree with Eric's take on this.)
3) you have fallen into the gram weenie trap of over optimizing for every possible scenario.... If the temperature is above 60 degrees then I can save .57 oz. by using a SuperOptanium 59.3 degree bag instead of my CubenCarbonTitanium 55 degree bag.