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3 season gear
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Adam G
(anonwums) - MLife
3 season gear on 09/16/2013 20:11:07 MDT Print View

Hi all,

I'm trying to get lighter for 3-seasons backpacking. Ideally, I'd like to settle down on gear that I could use for a thru-hike of the PCT in the (unfortunately not so near) future. Based on tips I've read here and other places, I've cut almost several pounds of my base weight and settled around 15-16 lbs. I'd like to cut a bit more, but I'm struggling with all the little things.

Here is what I have. Red items are ones I want to buy but haven't yet:Gear list


Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: 3 season gear on 09/16/2013 20:37:55 MDT Print View

skip the trowel and leather gloves.

holes can be dug with poles, stick, stakes. leather is heavy and doesn't dry well and doesn't like being wet. a pair of liner gloves would be lighter. even adding a pair of light DWR shell mitts would still be less.

a 20* quilt would be lighter and a LOT cheaper than a WM bag.. (website shows 800g not 425) EE RevX is like 23oz

Adam G
(anonwums) - MLife
Thanks on 09/16/2013 22:29:13 MDT Print View

You're right about the WM bag weight. I mis-copied the fill weight.

I have a couple of reservations about quilts. Firstly, I always sleep with my head covered. I do this even when I'm in a bed, and if for some reason I get uncovered, I can't sleep well. I'm not sure why. I know a lot of people advocate that you just put a hat on, but it doesn't work for me. I would need a neck on the quilt at the very least. Secondly, I tend to thrash around a bit, and when I've tried sleeping with a sleeping bag splayed open like a quilt, I inevitably throw an arm out and release all the heat and then get cold quickly. I guess I tend to cocoon up, which is why I think a mummy bag would work for me. If I could find a quilt that lashed the bottom part together so it was impossible for me to splay a hand out, it might work. Suggestions?

You're right about the gloves. I need a new glove system but haven't found one that I'm happy with. The leather ones are the best thing I've found so far. I bought some wool liners and they completely fell apart after about 8 hours of use. They also were not very warm for me. I'd ideally like a set of warm gloves that work until around 15F and then waterproof mittens or something other that.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Thanks on 09/16/2013 23:05:24 MDT Print View

my EE quilt wraps up pretty well. this spring i used it with the top snap closed up around my neck/shoulders and it kept the sides folded in quite nicely. (along with the bottom snaps and zipper that close it up to at least knee level)

as far as covering your head you can always throw your down puffy over your head. i do that when my hat isn't warm enough.

others use the included cords to tie the quilt down to their sleeping pad. i don't move much so i have skipped this. can see the tie loops along the edge.

or.... you can go with a sleeping bag for a slight weight penalty. 10 pts from Hufflepuff.

i have the Defeet merino gloves. they are made for cycling so they have silicon grippers on the palms. they worked fine for the couple snowshoe dayhikes i did this year. I had my big BD mercury mitts in case but never used them (serious overkill but so toasty)

Jeff Sims
(jeffreytsims) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal
EE Quilt on 09/16/2013 23:32:46 MDT Print View

One more convert here. I came from WM bags (megalite 3 season, KodiaK for winter) I sleep in the spin cycle and like to tuck my head when things get cold. I am 6 ft 5 and I use a 6ft 6 long normal width. Revolution 30 for 3 season and I just received a 10 Degree 6 ft 6 long and wide for winter. they are both 10D and the 30 weighs in at just under 16 oz.

I use the straps when it gets cold to hold the quilt around me and I am able to dive down when things get really cold and I am on my side, or my other side, and then the other side again. I found while on my JMT NOBO trip this year I ended up only using the straps 2 out of the 8 nights I was out. If you are really concerned with keeping it wrapped around you send Tim at EE an email, he is great with suggestions and may have another idea. I found him to be great to work with.

Bite the built on the weekender, you will own it for a long time and I love mine, easy to open even when your hands are cold and I can carry 6 days of food with out issue



Edited by jeffreytsims on 09/16/2013 23:34:53 MDT.

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Adam's gear list on 09/17/2013 09:36:37 MDT Print View


I'll add my thoughts:

If you want a 66" long pad, replace your 4-season NeoAir with the 3-season Women's Neoair. 340 grams vs 500 grams. If you want full comfort, with the weight saved carry a 25-50 gram piece of GossamerGear 1/8" thinsulite pad, which you can use under your butt when you're sitting on uncomfortable rocks. If you want to optimize for saving weight, get a short NeoAir instead of the 66" NeoAir, and put the GG pad under your feet.

Replace the Granite Gear compression sack with a cuben stuff sack. Super easy to make your own, material from ~20 grams vs 115 grams.

Replace the Gravity filter with Aqua Mira. ~80 grams vs 230 grams, and you don't have to spend time hunkered down next to a stream.

Replace the Platy 3L hoser system with a soda bottle. ~50 grams vs 115 grams

Socks? That's very personal, but I've been wearing 42 gram Darn Tough Merino Quarter Mesh socks for a decade now, in all weather down to about 30 degrees, and I haven't had a blister in at least a decade. If you haven't yet tried the switch to a single thin sock instead of traditional heavy sock + liner you might want to give it a try. I carry 2 spare pairs, for 84 grams, compared to your 185 grams for one spare set.

Crocs Classic? Do you need spare shoes at all? I only carry spare shoes for hikes where I know my feet will be wet all day (i.e. Scotland or Wales). If you want spare shoes, the Crocs Cleo model or the Vivobarefoot Ultra Pure weight ~200 grams (depends on size) instead of your 290 grams, and both of those models are more compact. The Vivobarefoot Ultra Pure also stay on your feet if you wear them across rivers, unlike the Crocs.

Leather Gloves? Hard for me to imagine how long it takes to dry them when they get wet. But sounds like you've used leather gloves and have found a solution to that problem. Personally, I'm very happy with the weight, durability, and warmth of the OR Flurry Mitts. 55 grams vs 155 grams. And for really wet destinations add a waterproof overmitt like the MLD mitts or the TerraNova Extremities TuffBags.

Petzl eLite weighs 1 oz and is more than enough for summer hiking when the days are long. The Fenix LD01 flashlight weighs one oz and is bright as heck if you want a bright flashlight instead.

75 grams of Vaseline soaked cotton balls? We carry some Body Glide in a little pill container. 8 grams vs 75 grams.

85 grams Leukotape? Wrap a foot or two of it around your chapstick or pencil.

Agree with others - drop the trowel and use a rock or stick or heel of your shoe.

I'm a quilt person. But that's a personal thing and it sounds like you've already ruled it out.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Adam's gear list on 09/17/2013 10:50:17 MDT Print View

The good news is that you have a lot of time to play around with your set up!

I'm another quilt convert, and I also pull it up over my head. I actually like the quilt better because I CAN pull it up over my head without being forced to breathe into the hood all the time. I am an athletic sleeper, as they say, and can comfortably take my quilt into the upper teens without trouble.

I've also dispensed with compression and stuff sacks. What's the point? Your bag will be compressed in the bottom such a way to fill up your pack and not leave all sorts of empty spaces...and you don't carry the extra weight of a sack. To me it's pointless weight...I'm already walking around with a big bag on my back, why fill it will little bags?

I'd also experiment with thinner socks. You'd be surprised how much happier your feet are in thinner weight socks. Haven't gotten any blisters since I switched out of heavy boots and equally heavy socks.

I'd also find something other than crocs. Those things weigh close to a pound!!! And for what? Just unlace your shoes and walk around camp. Nice.....

I agree with ditching the 3L platy hose system for a plastic water bottle or two. Smartwater bottles are great, as are vitamin water ones.

Is there a reason for the leather gloves? There are some very nice lighter weight ones out there...are they for warmth? Dryness? Depending on what you are looking for you can find something way lighter and more packable.

And why so much firestarter? Usually you can make do with tinder for the starter, the Vaseline soaked cotton should only be an emergency back up, not the only way you start your fire. actually has a great video on their website about how to start a 1-match fire. Works every time for me, unless I am in a pouring rain.

Same with the leukotape. Just spin a few feet onto a trekking pole, or something. No need to bring that much.

Adam G
(anonwums) - MLife
Re: suggestions on 09/17/2013 10:55:39 MDT Print View

I should probably replace the stuff sack. It is pretty heavy for what it does, and I'll probably need a smaller one once I replace my current sleeping bag.

Socks will probably be replaced once I figure out footwear. I'm leaning heavily to lightweight boots or trail runners, but the boots work for me so far.

I use the crocs as camp shoes and more importantly for crossing rivers. Seems like the Vivobarefoot Ultra Pure might be a good alternative for crossing rivers if they are durable enough to handle a thru hike. I like the Crocs because they have a closed toe to protect me from rocks hitting me when crossing rivers.

Leather gloves always stay dry for me if I tuck them underneath my jacket and pull the wrist closure straps. I'm not happy with using them, but like I said, my attempts to find replacement gloves were failures so far. I bought some Smartwool gloves, which were not only cold but also fell apart on the first day of my trip. I think I should revisit a glove system with an overmitt for water proofing.

I can't replace my headlamp. Firstly, it's awesome and super bright and can be used for night hiking. On every trip I've been on, all my camping partners have been jealous with their lights that aren't super useable outside. I used it to summit Mt. Whitney in the dark. Secondly, it's a gift from my girlfriend.

With regard to the trowel, you're actually required to carry a trowel on parts of the PCT including the San Bernadino National Forest.

I haven't ruled out a quilt, I'm just a little wary of dropping the cash for a quilt if I'll be quite cold or uncomfortable in it.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Adam's gear list on 09/17/2013 11:19:42 MDT Print View

"Replace the Gravity filter with Aqua Mira. ~80 grams vs 230 grams, and you don't have to spend time hunkered down next to a stream."

no but you do have to wait around for the chemicals to work.. up to 30mins. Sawyer squeeze for the win :) no resupply needed for the whole PCT.. min or 2 per liter filtering vs waiting for chemicals. can also take the "dirty" bags away from a source if it is buggy or something.

agree with Jen on stuff sack.. compactor bag for sleeping ____ and extra clothes, twist it up and pack everything else on top.

1 lighter and a small book of paper matches. can always pick up a new lighter at resupply spots when it runs low.

i'd keep the leukotape on something inside your pack.. it can get pretty goopy when wet. wrap around a bic pen and chop off the ends so you just have a small barrel.

i have generic crocs i use on longer trips for camp shoes.. for thru hiking i think getting out of your trail shoes is such a nice feeling.

Edited by JakeDatc on 09/17/2013 11:21:09 MDT.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
3 Season Gear on 09/17/2013 11:45:45 MDT Print View

I think Amy and Jennifer have nailed the most obvious:

Sleeping bag. I have WM bags too but on the JMT I like my 40ยบ Montbell SS. I also will going to a quilt soon but cannot comment as of yet.

Crocs: they are the worst as they are sooooo slippery. If you just want camp shoes there are lighter options. Good way to go into the drink for sure. Just cross in your shoes. Don't use Gore Tex shoes as they don't let water out. Trail runners dry easily, so, just hike on through and keep on going.

Water treatment: Pumps slow you down. Water is super clear in the mountains. Use Aqua Mira or Steripen, or Sawyer squeeze. Pumps really are a drag.

3L of water is a lot. Take 2, 1L bottles, I prefer a wide mouth soda bottle and a Platypus collapsable.

Stuff sacks: Packing your sleeping bag, even shelter, loose in your pack makes it more comfortable on your back, since there are no lumpy stuffed bags against your back. Use a plastic liner in your backpack to keep wet from dry.

Sleep pad: many comfortable lighter options.

Bearikade: The expedition is overkill. Use the Weekender (misnomer) and re-pack all your foods. 6 days easy. 7 possible.

Socks: personal but seem to be a bit heavy. I use Merino REI. I don't use liners but a lot of people need them and may use them for sleep.

Rain gear: the Rain pants and jacket are heavy. I'm a believer in Dri-Ducks. If you are hiking he PCT you can mail a new set to yourself a few times and still spend a lot less and save a lot of weight.

Leukotape: I can't tell you how many people's feet I've saved with the stuff. It goes a loooooong way. Just wrap it around your lighter or chapstick. Send another one to one of your resupply locations.

If you need a trowel to be legal, just pick up a stick and carry it in that area. "hey, where's your trowel?", "uh, right here" (show your digging stick).

For real savings go to a tarp since you will be sleeping under the stars most of the time anyway.

Just my thoughts. There are some savings that won't cost you any comforts. You should be able to get that list down to 12 lbs. real easy. Just go out and try some of the suggestions to see if they work for you.


peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: 3 season gear on 09/17/2013 13:16:29 MDT Print View

keep the tape. because if you save about not-that-many grams of it by carrying only a small amount, you will probably have enough for yourself, and about not anything left for anybody else. and thusly, when you inevitably find a blister victem on the trail, you will have the knowledge, but not the tools, to help them out.
so, some extra grams of tape may be a good thing.

one may increase the adhesion of leukeo tape by applying tincture of benzion prior to taping.
benzoin is best caried in a 1oz nalgene stuffed with open cell foam rolled very very tighly.

Adam G
(anonwums) - MLife
Quilts on 09/18/2013 14:04:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions. I still have a long way to go to drop my weight.

You guys have been convinced that I should give a quilt a try. I'm happy with my current sleeping bag, as it's warm, but the weight is not ideal. I am fairly certain that a WM bag will be lighter and keep me warm, although a lot of the weight saved will be due to the decreased weight of my pocketbook.

I'm certainly open to quilts, and the RevX seems like a really good deal *if* it keeps me warm. I would ideally like to try a quilt out before I take the plunge. Does anyone know where I could rent/borrow a quilt in SoCal? Thanks.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
RevX on 09/18/2013 14:21:59 MDT Print View

I bought the RevX 20* as my first quilt. I found it very warm the few times I was able to use it. Temps are not just starting to get low enough to bring it out. Looking forward to it. They are very nicely constructed. I don't think you will be disappointed with it.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Bearikade Option on 09/22/2013 15:00:06 MDT Print View

I agree that the Expedition is probably overkill, but have you thought about ordering a custom size? Wild Ideas has a chart on their website showing all the possible sizes that they can make, and they do not charge extra for those sizes (it's basically priced according to the amount of materials used). That's a GREAT feature, and one that I am planning to use when I purchase mine in a few months.

And +1 on the camp shoes, but not Crocs, if possible. I'm probably going to get the Vivobarefoot ones (check for cheaper prices on these), because I'm tired of slipping out of my Crocs if my feet get wet.

Adam G
(anonwums) - MLife
Bearikade on 09/23/2013 08:10:26 MDT Print View

I chose the Bearikade Expedition mostly because I also go hiking in bear country with a partner, and it seems ideal for two people. Hopefully, my hiking partner can do the PCT with me as well, so some of this gear would be shared (we'd end up with the SMD Lunar Duo as a tent if I like the solo Trekker). Ideally, I'd have a smaller Bearikade for when I go solo, but that's a bit out of my budget right now (actually, most of this new gear is out of my budget right now).

With regard to the RevX quilt, the more I read and think about it, the more I'm convince that it's the way to go. I'm 5'6". The quilt is 72 inches long, so it seems that it's 6 inches longer than I am. I think it may be able to cover my head based on some rough measurements I did in my sleeping bag splayed open like a quilt. Any experience with the narrow version? I'm a fairly narrow person. I'm somewhere in between a men's small and medium shirt, usually medium European or slim fit. Should I go for the regular or narrow quilt?

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Bearikade on 09/23/2013 11:36:54 MDT Print View

i'm only an inch or so taller and a skinny person too.. i went with the short length and normal width. i'm a side sleeper so it helps keep the edges tucked in.

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: 3 season gear on 10/06/2013 06:00:34 MDT Print View

I think everything has been covered pretty well. I switched from light hiking boots, liners, and mid weight merino socks to inov8 trail runners and dry and socks and couldn't be happier. Much lighter, simpler, and my feet do better (more breath ability). The biggest reason for the switch was because my feet would get wet and stay that way all day. Now, I can walk through a stream and my feet a dry in 15-30 minutes. Going this route eliminates the crocs. If you want camp shoes, get some cheap, light flip flops or make some sandals out of blue walmart foam pad (I used the piece that I cut away to make a torso length pad.

Other than that, go quilt. If you are 6' or less get a EE wide and long. This will give you plenty of material to tuck into. I flip from side to side all night and have no issues. Another option for head/neck are the zpacks (or many other manufacturers down hoods. I personally just use a balaclava and fleece hat, but everyone is different.