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2014 Gear List
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L Lanian
(Lanian) - F

Locale: California, U.S.A.
2014 Gear List on 03/17/2014 21:22:54 MDT Print View

Hey y'all
Wondered what you guys think of my gear list
Where can I change/improve?
I'm always open to ideas- even radical ones.

I have weight in grams and lbs, and for comparison I have my 2013 gear weights next to the totals.
Let me know what you think!

Edit: For food, I just have a broad number there- I'm constantly changing my food menu, so the numbers change with that.

Edited by Lanian on 03/17/2014 21:33:41 MDT.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: 2014 Gear List on 03/17/2014 22:02:49 MDT Print View

Where are you hiking? What temps are you expecting (day and night and in camp)? What weather? How long between resupply? Max water and food load?

Most of your list is pretty good, but it ends up being around 12lbs.

Pack, Sleeping bag, Sleeping mat are probably where you can get the big easy gains, with a bit of thought and investment. You can carry a huge load with that Exos pack, its a bit overkill. Plenty of other packs out there that carry UL loads just fine that save a pound or more off that.

You could go a NeoAir Xlite, with a thinlite (Gossamer gear) pad or similar underneath to save weight but with about the same comfort and warmth.

You mention in your notes about lightening the sleeping bag so you already know that.

Things like signalling mirror...extremely rare to need something like that. I would just leave it off. These days if you need that kind of survival gear in a certain situation you are better off just carrying an epirb or Spot for those trips.

Moleskin journal is pretty heavy.

I'll let others chime in on the rest.

Good start though, and a lot of things that you have on there are pretty light for what they are, you are doing well.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: 2014 Gear List on 03/17/2014 22:56:56 MDT Print View

Not sure why to bother putting food and water on your gear list? Those two things are so dependent on length/location of trip. Having said that you have 8 days worth of food in your weight. Is that your normal trip length? Consider more frequent re-supply points if you are doing a through hike.

As previously mentioned, your pack and sleeping bag are the two easiest candidates but expensive to replace. You could probably shave close to 2.5 lbs from those two with something like a zPacks Arc Blast at 16oz and a 40 degree quilt at around 16oz.

I am assuming you are in Bear country with the Bearikade. Could go about 1 lb lighter with the Ursack including the aluminum liner.

Do you really need a knife like a SOG Seal? What are you going to do with it? Get a Swiss Army Classic @ 1.5oz to handle minor repairs and hygiene.

Edited by randalmartin on 03/17/2014 23:01:48 MDT.

L Lanian
(Lanian) - F

Locale: California, U.S.A.
Reply on 03/17/2014 23:43:49 MDT Print View

Thanks for the feedback!

where: typically Yosemite, Sequoia, King's Canyon
temps: varies drastically, and I can't really afford the spring/fall gear vs summer, so I have to pick my gear for a 3 seasons approach
resupply: typically 5 days. like I said- I like food! As far as the food goes, that varies on the trip, and actually carry about 10 pounds. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but I like a lot of fresh fruits/veggies that I'm willing to haul them in.
The more gear I cut down, the more food I can take!!!

A factor to consider with the backpack is the bear canister- am I able to go to smaller packs and still carry a bear canister? (For instance, the Exos 48/38?)

Yeah, I was considering the pad/bag area- going with a quilt in the bag, and then look at pads. I may be stuck with the heavier pad considering the odd way I sleep (my feet have to be comfortable for me to sleep well. So weird.)

Good point on the signal mirror- that'll save an ounce.

The luxuries department is actually the one area I won't compromise (ironically). I go backpacking to write- the music and decent sized journal are my essentials.
That said, if you know of a fair sized journal that is lighter, I'm all ears.

Food/water on list: mostly for my own information. I like to know what I'm carrying wet or dry.
And that's more or less 5-6 days. Once again, I like food.

Expense isn't really a factor on this- if I feel it is worthwhile, I'll save for it.

The 40 degree bag would be nice, but Yosemite nights can get pretty cold. I had a miserable night's sleep in a 30 degree bag layered up, which is why I switched to a 15. Still considering a 10/20 degree quilt though.

As for the bearikade- it's mandatory. Most of the places I go, the Ursacks aren't even allowed. I'd love to cut the weight, but it's a necessary evil. At least I have a seat/table?

The knife I actually don't carry in my pack- it's strapped to my leg. I don't really factor the weight into my pack weight, just like my trekking poles.

It's more for if I were to encounter a Grizzly; then I can give it a nice scar before shrieking pathetically as I'm devoured.

-Stuck with the bear can
-It gets cold
-Don't mess with my food. I like food.

Edited by Lanian on 03/17/2014 23:44:42 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: 2014 Gear List on 03/18/2014 00:45:14 MDT Print View

This thread is not starting out well.


to the OP. Good to see your last post with a little more information. But... what are you seeking from the community in regards to your gear? Are you looking for specific advice? Do you have gear that doesn't work well for you?

You did ask, "Where can I change/improve?" Not sure what you think change or improve is. Often, when people post their gear list and ask for feedback, they are looking to reduce weight.


Based of recommendations/comments:

I am glad to see a list with food and water. Food and water take up volume and add weight. Those two items, volume and weight, are critical in selecting a pack. I don't know how anyone can recommend a pack if they don't know the total weight of everything and the volume.

Quilts aren't for everyone. I don't know how we could recommend a quilt or sleeping bag based on the OP's first post, where we didn't know what conditions are to be encountered. I did notice he lived in California, so trips in the Sierra was my first thought, which the OP later confirmed. I have 3 quilts and for some trips a sleeping bag is better. If I could only have one sleeping bag or quilt for 3 seasons in California it would be my WM Ultralight (20F rating), which is close to what the OP has.

When people have a bear canister, it might be required where they hike. That was my first thought. I don't know why we would recommend something else without enough information.

Regarding more frequent supply points. There is something to be said for trips of 7-10 days without re-supply. In the right location, you will see few if any other people -- solitude in the wilderness is high on my priority list and I am happy (more like thrilled) to carry a lot of food to avoid routing my trip to a supply point and civilization. But that is my motivation, might not be the same for others.


Lanian, your gear list looks acceptable unless you are looking for specific advice. Go backpacking a lot with it. Acquire more experience and skill and you will figure out what works well and what could be improved. This is the best way to learn -- superior to asking for input from others, unless you have a very specific question about a particular piece of gear, technique, etc.

Your base weight is under 13 lbs, which is not that heavy. Some very skilled and experience folks here on BPL, who I have great respect for, often hike with a base weight around 12 lbs. I normally hike a lot lighter, but that is me. What works for me may not work for you, so there is no need for me to critique your list or extend advice at this point in time.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Re: 2014 Gear List on 03/18/2014 01:50:05 MDT Print View

Yeah, I agree with Nick. Just go hiking, a lot. Your pack is plenty light enough for now. You'll slowly figure out what works and what doesn't or what you'd like to change, do it incrementally.

Doing short sub 24hour hikes that involve an overnight camp, are a great way to build up experience fast and test gear systems, without having to commit to a lot of organisation for a trip or expense or logistics, or take holidays or interupt family life, etc. John Abela is a recent advocate of this, and others have mentioned the idea many times in the past.

One thing to consider is, how much do you weigh? Not saying you are, but most modern Americans (and Aussies and me too!) can do with losing a few pounds off the mid section. Sorting out a healthy diet and exercise regime at home is far, far more important than making your current pack system lighter. Lose a few kg if you need to, and get a little bit fitter, even just a few %, and you'll fly and find all of your life much easier. This gets said a lot on forums, but (I'm guilty too) rarely listened to.

Have fun :-)

L Lanian
(Lanian) - F

Locale: California, U.S.A.
Because on 03/18/2014 13:50:08 MDT Print View

Honestly, I posted my list to bounce around ideas. I get a lot of ideas from people, hopefully I can give ideas back. There wasn't anything specific I was looking for, just maybe someone had an idea I hadn't thought of yet.

Considering I'm stuck with a bear can, I have to come to terms I'll never have a sub 5 lbs pack. That's alright- Under 10 is a goal of mine, but it's not straight numbers I'm concerned with- if I'm missing something in that list that I should bring, I'd gladly add the weight. If there are places I can cut, though, then I will.

L Lanian
(Lanian) - F

Locale: California, U.S.A.
Round 2 on 03/29/2014 01:32:17 MDT Print View

Okay, so... since I posted this, people had made suggestions, and I made a few changes.
I updated the list to show the new weights/items
If anyone has any ideas as to further reduce, I'd love to hear. I think my ultimate goal is to get my base pack weight under 10 lbs.

Once again: I'm required to have a bear canister, so it stays.

Let me know what you think, and where I can cut out weight.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Not much on 03/29/2014 11:21:52 MDT Print View

Arc Blast pack could save you some weight. That is the only real place I can see you have some real room to cut, everything else will be just small moves.

As listed an xlite can save a few ounces.

A simple cuben tarp over the shelter might save a few ounces but probably not much if you have to bring a net during mosquito season.

Some lighter and fairly cheap canister stoves out there. I run the fire maple 300T without problems. You might be able to cut an ounce or two with a lighter pot/stove combo or even more on short trips by switching to an alcohol or Esbit setup.

In terms of insulation, for real 3 season in the Sierras I'd be concerned about the lack of insulation in your system but I sleep cold. I would want more than a down vest if sleeping at elevation or after labor day.

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
phone on 03/29/2014 19:09:27 MDT Print View

This is pretty minor, but, can you put music on your phone and leave the iPod at home?