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Bash my gear (constructively please)
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Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Bash my gear (constructively please) on 08/13/2007 21:11:49 MDT Print View

This is my current pack (doesn't include food/water or anything worn and my trekking poles). This also doesn't include camera gear (about 5 lbs worth currently). I basically want to cut more weight to offset the camera gear. This weight is 10-15 lbs under what I carried no less than 1 year ago. I've been looking at quilts and tarps but here in GA I'd be afraid to go without a floor and bug netting so maybe a tarptent or a RayWay setup would work?

Check my profile for the gearlist.

Thanks in advance. - Chris

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Bash my gear (constructively please) on 08/13/2007 21:36:45 MDT Print View

I'm just glancing back and forth at the gearlist and posting so my thoughts may not be entirely coherent but here we go anyway.
Ditch that big, heavy tent and go with something like a Tarptent or one of the offerings from Six Moon Designs. You can save at least 2 lbs if not more and also save a lot of space in your pack. If you don't think you'll be comfortable under a tarp then don't try it just yet. I'm sure you'll be quite happy with a tarptent.
If you don't fry that often on your trips, ditch the frypan/lid and use some aluminum foil instead. It will save you a few ounces.
Another way to save a few oz is to replace that Nalgene with a Gatorade bottle. They're all I carry anymore.
As for quilts, I made my own a few months back and don't know why it took me so long to switch. My quilt weighs in at about 18 oz and I slept down to about 30* with it and all my clothing. Jacks R Better offer a whole array of quilts and you should be able to find something that will suit your temperature range and needs.
Speaking of temperatures, what range are you looking at? I see you have a sleeping bag and a thermal sheet but no insulating clothing. Seems a bit odd that you carry an extra half pound to boost the range of your 32* bag but don't have anything to keep you warm while you're out and about in camp. A little clarification in that area would be helpful.
Wood saw? Unless you're doing trail work do you really need it?
I'm still using a Marmot Precip as well, but there are definitely lighter, more breathable options out there if you have the budget.
Also, could you expand on your hygiene, misc, and others? Maybe that's where your insulating clothing is hiding!
Finally, after all that weight and space savings you could get a lighter pack that carries just as well from ULA, Gossamer Gear, or Six Moon Designs.
That's it for now, I'm tired and its getting late. Buenas Noches.


Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Bash my gear (constructively please) on 08/13/2007 21:42:34 MDT Print View

All right I will start the constructive bashing (rather like a hammer i'nit?)

Big agnes pad
the prolite 4, 3/4 length may be worth checking out, or rather any 3/4 length inflatable, because you can use the cushy padding on the bag for your feet, and probably when you factor in the fact that you may not even use all of the pad's length if you sleep on your side, for example, a torso pad like the bozeman mountainworks Torsolite could be worth your time, and its almost half the weight and more insulating.

Drop the footprint if your not really camping on something that will pierce the floor. What most folks around here do, instead of the tent, is the tarp + water resistant bivy with bug netting. In terms of logic, this turns a tent into a high space, highly usable "vestibule", for cooking, hanging out, and doing stuff when its really pouring and the bugs are hiding, and has a small bug proof area, and the waterproof floor eliminates the need for a footprint. Good examples of these bivys are from bozeman mountain works, mountain laurel designs, equinox, and a few others, but most of them are pretty similar. If your really cheap, you can make one, like I am planning to, and get a real quality product for cheap, and I think alot of them are ridiculously overpriced. Thruhiker has some good momentum .9 fabric, spinn nylon, and mesh for it, and I know of an awesome design at

Why do you have all these drysacks AND a pack cover?

Cut some of the misc. stuff. TP and trowel are pretty non negotiable for many, but if you look around there are people who learn without. Mike Clelland wrote a hilarious article in techniques about TP substitutes, and sticks, stakes, poles, and trekking poles could sub out the trowel. Hygene wise, often the best set up, is tiny (2-6 fl oz) droppers for alcohol gel and Dr Bronner's, which should cover the needs of hand wash, toothpaste, shampoo, emergency gear washing and so on. Rethink your compass and first aid kit, but thats probably the place where you should not bargain ounces for.

Sub out one of your cutting tools, or do you even need one? I think my next set up will be tiny swisscard scissors and tweezers, and no knife or saw at all.

Water Carrying and treatment wise, take a look at aqua mira, or the bota of boulder outback filter, but the Steripen idea is probably the most bomber and tasty, while aqua mira has a taste and filters dont kill viruses. Drop one of your bottles, I see most people apart from when trekking in desert, carry only 1.5-3 liters, and use smart refilling at water areas, and water adds up weight really quickly.

Buying alot of stuff is expensive, but making your own gear is probably the cheapest way to going really light and still having a heavy wallet. home made tarp, bivy, quilt (these can weigh as little as 12 ounces for a 40* bag!), a pepsi can stove, and a heiniken can pot, along with your clothes and pad, would probably weigh in at around 4-6 lbs, and then you can carry a lighter backpack, or even make your own from many templates available online. Otherwise its $200 for a pack, 200 for a quilt, another 200 for a bivy... and so on.

Im really bored right now, explaining why I've spent so much time on this, but I hope this helps rather than overwhelms you, thats basicly the ultralight+comfort idea in a nutshell.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
How light do you want to go? on 08/13/2007 22:24:08 MDT Print View

Nice gear, but I agree-- the weight is in the pack and tent. 12oz for a ground cloth is more than many carry for a whole shelter. It is nice to see someone carry some effective cutting tools for a change. Do you have a sleeping pad or did I miss it? Didn't see a flashlight or headlamp listed either. Do you carry any insulation layer(s)? Nalgene's are heavy, but I guess they work better with the Steripen. Your kitchen is a little heavy-- that pot is a stone. Maps? Signal gear? Sunglasses?

That last entry is where the Devil is in the details. 54 oz?

A shirt should be 10oz or less
Socks about 3oz
Compass 2 or 3oz
My fat first aid kit is 6oz, most UL kits are much less.
A plastic latrine trowel is 2oz and hiking TP is 1oz per roll-- lets say 4oz total for a few days.
My hygeine kit is under 6oz with pack towel.

That's all about 32 and I'm a packrat. You have another 22oz listed --- precccccious, what's in it's pocketsess...hmmmmmm?

If you want to get the weight down, weigh it ALL and include it ALL. Then throw half of it out :)

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Bash my gear (constructively please) on 08/13/2007 22:48:16 MDT Print View

Ultimately I think you will be able to switch to a lighter pack, but that's the last thing I would change. Get everything else down first.

Unless you are on a long through hike and are using the warm-up sheet to reduce the frequency you need to clear you bag, I would leave the warm-up sheet behind. It's not a good warmth/weight item.

Replace the Marmot Nyx 2P. Six Moon Designs and Tarptent make some excellent shelters which will drop at least 2 lbs. Personally I use a A16 bug bivy + a ultralight tarp so I only have to set up the protection I need.

Skip the footprint. It doesn't offer that much protection. Bring a bit of tape to repair any holes you might get.

For solo I would use the .9L pot... but the 1.3L would work fine. I would skip the frying pan lid unless you are going to do some frying.

I would skip the Orikaso Solo unless you can't eat right out of the pot. Eating out the pot saves weight and reduces how much you need to clean up.

Minimally switch from the naglene to a gatoraid bottle.

Personally I like the size and weight of aqua mira, but the steripen is a reasonable option

I would drop the saw and go with a lighter knife unless there is some compelling need for wood work.

The preclip is not that breathable nor light. If you have the money I would consider propore (like driducks), Montbell Peak, or ID eVENT jackets which are lighter and more breathable.

Your misc / etc is 3lbs. I would recommend making a complete list.. a lot can often been trimmed. For example, I use my heel and a stake rather than a shovel.


Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
At a glance... on 08/14/2007 02:41:00 MDT Print View

I had a quick look at your list. This is what I can see so far:
Pack - Golite Jam II etc saves 2.4lb
Silk liner sheet saves 0.29lb
Six moons Europa05 and pegs saves 2.1lb
Total saved = 4.79lb (Approx).

Wood saw???
Nalgene bottle???
Look at your misc weight and try to reduce the 3.375lb

Some of the name brands of items don’t really let me know what the item is (sorry).
If I knew what all the items were and how your ‘gear system’ worked I might be able to find a bit more here and there, but essentially what i've listed would offset your 5lb camera gear. Hope this helps.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: on 08/14/2007 04:07:28 MDT Print View

I was going off memory last night and using MFR weights but I'm going to try and find an oz scale on my way home from work today and weigh everything. I'll post an updated list and explanations then but thanks for the feedback so far.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
You're on your way... on 08/14/2007 07:47:39 MDT Print View

The scale was a good purchase for me. Heed the above advice, within what's comfortable for you (I mean deliberately, but safely, make yourself a little uncomfortable at first and you'll quickly discover what you need and don't need). Also, the advice about buying a new pack LAST is particularly pertinent: Once you have the other items picked, you can best determine the volume needed - from there it's just finding a pack that is comfortable & durable & cheap enough!

Mark W Heninger
(heninger) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
re: Bash my Gear on 08/14/2007 08:15:20 MDT Print View

I'd agree with most posting so far. I'd cut:

1. Pack - 59 oz is *alot* of pack considering you can get a good, durable pack for 16-20 oz.

2. Unless you are heading into the arctic, you're over-insulated in your bag area.

3. Consider a smaller sleeping pad - closed cell? Torso? at least a 3/4 length Max-Thermo

4. Tent - consider a poncho tarp and ditch the precip too. They really work and really cut down alot of weight.

5. Ti pots with tinfoil lid can be had at around to 3-5 oz.

6. Nalgene - 6 oz of empty bottle? Cut the top off a soda bottle for steri-pen use?

7. Plastic sheet instead of footprint - 1.2 oz instead of 12

8. Hygiene - as stated elsewhere

In total, I think you can get way down from the 20 you listed. I think following the above will take out 190 oz (just under 12 lbs).

Edited by heninger on 08/14/2007 08:16:25 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Updated on 08/14/2007 14:34:03 MDT Print View

I bought a digital scale on my way home from work today and have measured everything in real weights and broke out all the miscellaneous stuff I couldn't remember last night.

I'm very open to replacing anything (even everything if need be) with some caveats.

Shelter - I'm pretty sure a bivy is out, I even have a hard time in small 1-man tents. I could probably do a tarp but it'd need bug netting, gnats and mosquitos are horrible here in GA (floor would be nice). Whatever it is needs to be breathable too for 3-season use.

Bag and pad - pretty open here. I could do a quilt I think with no problems and maybe a shorter pad (inflatable would still be nice).

Pack - open but it needs to be comfortable. The GG I have now is very comfortable and fits very well but the Osprey it replaced was none of those.

I think everything else is fair game with no stipulations. Cost is pretty open too so don't be afriad to suggest something people might normally balk at because it's a little rich.

You can get the updated list from my profile.

Edited by simplespirit on 08/14/2007 14:34:34 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Adam on 08/14/2007 16:52:27 MDT Print View

Temps could vary widely. As an example it was triple digits here in GA this past weekend but I was up in western NC and it got down to high 50s over night Fri/Sat. I wasn't really sure what to expect which is why I took both the bag and liner. I wound up sleeping in the bag Fri night and liner Sat night because it was quite a bit warmer. I guess temps could range anywhere from the teens to mid 80s depending on when and where I go.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
Re: Updated on 08/14/2007 18:32:20 MDT Print View

Man I use a tarp in Georiga all the time I have no problems with the bugs. Deet is your friend.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Tarp in GA on 08/14/2007 19:06:10 MDT Print View

What about crawling critters? Spiders, snakes, etc?

I'm pretty open about most of this, I'm just still a little weary of certain things.

Edited by simplespirit on 08/14/2007 19:10:10 MDT.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Tarp in GA on 08/14/2007 20:24:05 MDT Print View

Yea I've always thought thats the falling point with most tarps, but the bivy idea most people adhere to seems to add alot of protection and comfort for very little weight

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Tarp in GA on 08/14/2007 22:35:42 MDT Print View

I made the transition from the Marmot Nyx 2P to the Tarptent Contrail. No lookin' back, baby, it's all good and surprisingly, well, tent-like. That, switching from canister stoves to alcohol, and moving from an Osprey Atmos 50 to a Gossamer Gear Miniposa made the biggest dent in all my gear weights. Can't recommend a tarptent enough - either by Tarptent, AntiGravity Gear, or Six Moon Designs - for current tent users. I found that learning to pitch them was the only adjustment, and it happened for me with one test pitch and one in-field pitch. Definitely the way to go should one have bug concerns that non-sewn-in bug netting won't cure.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
Re: Re: Tarp in GA on 08/15/2007 05:29:04 MDT Print View

"What about crawling critters? Spiders, snakes, etc?

I'm pretty open about most of this, I'm just still a little weary of certain things."

Well thats just something I choose not to worry about. I mean I sit on the ground all the time (breaks, lunch, campfire etc) so I figure, whats the difference.
What part of GA do you live in mabye we can go on an overnighter this fall and you can see my kit and decide for yourself.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Tarp in GA on 08/15/2007 07:23:09 MDT Print View

I'm in Gwinnett County.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Tarp in GA on 08/15/2007 07:23:09 MDT Print View


Edited by simplespirit on 08/15/2007 07:24:24 MDT.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Tarp in GA on 08/15/2007 08:28:08 MDT Print View

I dont live down south, you might have different 'critters" down there New England I have been tarping for years and my only enemie is the mosquito!
Theres nothing in nature dumb enough to just crawl right up to some strange creature (us). Yes, mabey once in a blue moon something like a stray ant or spider "might" crawl on to your bag or you but not to attack. just ignore them or gently brush them off- problem solved.
In the hot humid summer I always just hung some mosquito netting under the tarp and layed on a ground cloth. When it gets cool the use of a vapor bivy keeps you warm, protects you from the wind and critters.
A tarp tent is great too. The biggest difference (to me) is that like any tent you need more space and level ground to set it up- compared to a tarp which can go almost anywhere.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Tarps on 08/15/2007 09:07:33 MDT Print View

I've been poking around and I'm thinking I can go with a tarp and use something like the MLD bug bivy for bug protection and then drop maybe that as I grow more used to the tarp. Cheaper than buying a TarpTent now and then deciding I want to switch to a tarp down the road. Thoughts?

Edited by simplespirit on 08/15/2007 09:09:05 MDT.