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finally made a gear list, scary.
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alan genser
(alan) - F

Locale: NE
finally made a gear list, scary. on 06/16/2014 05:44:58 MDT Print View

my gear:
her gear:

17.84lb pack!

this doesn't include bug spray/sunscreen/toothbursh/etc.

not a lot to trim down (this is for trips with my girlfriend). our next trip is a 3day/2night presidential traverse. (easy pace)

have a backcountry boiler ordered. so i can lose the jetboil when that comes in.

arc blasts will probably happen next season.

i've already trimmed down the straps on my flash, but the weight listed is stock. i'll probably see if i can get away with leaving the top lid at home.

carbon poles don't seem to be available for the new quarter dome 2 yet, (just the old t2, unless i'm mistaken about what fibraplex is offering, i haven't explicitly asked them, just the guy that can get easton carbon pole sets). i'm using vango ti shepard stakes. likely will leave the stuff sacks for the tent behind.

based off the list i've already decided to leave the thermal leggings behind. won't take a hat, as i've got hoodies. dunno about a thin pair of gloves, depends what the weather looks like.

could probably lose the bear can for this trip, but i've had critters (never bears) make a mess of my food before, and i like the (heavy) peace of mind. would consider an ursack/minor (thoughts on using both models together? or an ursack combined with one of the mesh steel sacks?) for later trips.

umbrellas are iffy at this point ,depends on the weather, thinking they might not be of much use above treeline, which the majority of the presidential traverse is. at the same time, this is my girlfriends second backpacking trip ever, and i'm showing her the ropes. so they have instructional value. would maybe consider cuben ponchos down the road, don't really love ponchos though.

camp shoes will likely get left behind if the weather looks good this trip.

stock weights listed for the driducks, but i'll be making rain kilts out of the pants, lose a couple ounces there.

will repackage our freeze dried meals. not taking too much as food is available at the huts and on top of mt washington. (just taking in camp meals, breakfast and dinner, plus some probars. will eat lunches at the huts (soup) and on mt washington.

was waffling between taking my old (2009) nanopuff which doesn't have the loft it used too, or a new arc'teryx caliber fleece i got on sale, both are nominally the same weight. so in true gear slut fashion, i ordered a under armour coldgear infrared werewolf hoody @9.5oz. i'll report back on how that performs.

her clothing & whatever she insists on bringing weights aren't included.

the pyrn windshell is on the heavy side, but i had it and getting something new wasn't in the cards at this point (even then will probably get something 'heavier' like the westcomb crest lt, love the pertex equilibrium fabric. also thinking of the black diamond alpine start, as i love schoeller fabrics). i did just reproof the pyrn (double treatment) so i expect it to perform well. i could leave the r1 vest (old pullover i cut the sleeves off of, and proofed with spray on dwr when i did the pyrn) behind, but i'd like to test the limits of the system (i had a paramo back in the day and it performs well. i've also had a wild things epic hoody and loved it. i'm a a big fan of a more breathable water-resistant + keep moving solution to wet weather)

of course the camp chairs don't have to come, but i we'll be spending a good amount of time in camp on this next trip.

looking for more ways to cut base weight down. everything obvious is a big purchase for later (packs/shelter/sleeping bags/sleeping pads).

a ti trowel could lose a couple ounces, but that won't happen for this trip (and the fiskars trowel was cheap! drill out/cut down the handle?)

i've a hh ultralight asym for eastern solo use, and will get a cuben fiber tarp for that eventually ( i haven't modified the suspension yet, to do), also thing about getting a warbonnet. an mld littlestar and soul bivy for western solo use is a likely thing to happen. probably a trailstar for trips with the girlfriend, especially if ron would make a two person soul bivy.

sheesh. thoughts/suggestions?

Edited by alan on 06/17/2014 20:44:55 MDT.

Richard Hogben
Bags on 06/17/2014 09:26:17 MDT Print View

I'm stuck between the ursack minor and metal link ratsack.

The ratsack is a little pointy and poky. The whole thing just feels sharp and I have to take extra precautions packing it around all this light fabric.

Not 100% trusting in the ursack minor from a psychological point of view. It just doesn't seem like the fabric would deter anything for very long. I guess thats why they are described as critter "resistant" and not critter proof.

In either bag I would line them with strong sealed plastic or loksaks if you have them.

Brendan Yeager
(byeager) - M

Locale: New England
Some thoughts on 06/17/2014 10:09:20 MDT Print View

I don't see a sleeping bag on your list.

Here are a couple ideas to make up for the added weight of the bag:

If you are bringing a Driducks rainsuit you can lose the camp pants. You can wear your rain pants over the the long johns and you will be plenty warm. I would also lose the wind shell. Your Driducks will offer plenty of wind protection.

I don't think camp shoes are necessary if your hiking in trail runners.

You won't need a bear can in the Presidentials. I would, however, bring something to hang your food to keep the critters out (even with the Ursack).

Have a great time!

alan genser
(alan) - F

Locale: NE
re: some thoughts. on 06/17/2014 11:36:59 MDT Print View

My gear list for this trip was originally put together with rain in the forecast, but it's looking like it'll be clear now.

Probably won't take the umbrellas. Or camp shoes if it looks like it'll be dry. Not going to take the thermal bottoms (qty:0 on the gear list)

Sleeping bag is a nemo Tango duo slim, girlfriend is carrying that.

I've seen critters descend food hang lines in the smokies, with people waking up to soaked food all over the ground. So I'm on the fence about that. Granted those were cables, thicker and easier for the critters than a light line.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
How to drop six pounds and not notice it. on 06/17/2014 13:36:13 MDT Print View

Hey Alan!

I hope you and your girlfriend have a blast in the Presidentials!

These days I’m a Westerner, but as young men in our early twenties, my friends and I hiked all over the presidentials in the 1980’s.
Every summer we’d head out for a week or two long trip up there.
Back then, our gear wasn’t near as fancy as what we carry today! We wore cutoff jeans, cotton T shirts, and in the days before fleece I carried a wool sweater for warmth. My shelter was a G.I. poncho, which I used as a ground cloth / shelter.
I did have some then-state-of-the-art equipment though, an MSR Whisperlight stove, a brand new second generation gore-tex rain suit, and a Karrimore internal frame backpack.

You’ve got some great gear on your list.
You didn’t say when you were going on your trip, and all my trips in that area was in late July / early August, so if you’re headed out this coming weekend you’ll have to dress for the weather as you see fit.

But, for what it is worth, I think your list looks great but there are many things on it that I would simply leave at home.
My advice is to take out the following stuff –

Groundsheet – You actually don’t need this under your tent. That REI tent is quite stout. I used a ground cloth under my tent for twenty years, but finally gave it up and haven’t look back since.

Gaiters – Unless your kicking through snow why bother?
Windshell – No need, since you got rain gear that makes a great wind shell.
Long Sleeve Thermal Top – I don’t think you’ll need this, you have a long sleeve shirt, a fleece vest, your hoody, and the rain jacket. This should be sufficient to keep you warm to quite low temps.

Long Underwear Bottoms – You have long pants and rain pants. I’ve used my Dri Ducks as pajamas in cold weather and find they work great as such. You’ll certainly not need the long johns hiking, and I don’t think you’ll need them in camp. I’d only take them if you thought you’d need them to sleep in, and if the Dri Ducks are dry, try sleeping in them instead. Are you sharing sleeping arrangements with your girlfriend? My wife and I use a double sleep system and nothing is warmer than shared body heat!

Camp Shoes – No need for these!

Bear Canister – Really? You certainly should leave this at home. I’ve never once used one, even out west. Keep the food inside yer tent! This may not be common advice these days but all my long backpacking life I have simply kept my food with me as I’ve slept, usually under my head! I’ve never hung my food. Only once has this been a problem, when a very insistent porcupine in up-state N.Y. kept pestering me all night long as I slept open on the ground with no shelter, and my food under my head. Really, it isn’t the issue most folk make it out to be.

Camp Chair – Really? – This is another must leave at home item! Lots and lots of nifty rocks to sit on. You really will not need these.

Total up everything I’ve mentioned and you drop 6.14 pounds! Now your just about down to a 10 pound base weight and I really don’t think you’ll miss the junk you left at home and you will revel in the light weight!

Note that I left in the umbrella. I carry Dri Ducks and a GoLite umbrella as my standard rain gear all the time. The Presidentials are known for some bad weather, so I'd take these. Don't butcher your Dri Ducks into a kilt, leave it as pants.
Do carry a bit of tape to repair them as needed.

Have fun on the trail!

Edit -
A Presidential Traverse, a full one anyway, is about 23 miles. Doing this in three days will keep you busy!

What with driving in the first day and driving out the last, you really only get one full day on the trail.
I don't think you'll not have time to lounge in camp all that much, and would better spend the time moving at a slow pace and taking many breaks during the day. Lots of rugged ups and downs, don't ya know.

This is where the light pack will really shine, and why you'll not be needing that chair and camp shoes.

Oh, I'd also probably pack another pair of dry socks, but that is just me!

Edited by Bawana on 06/17/2014 13:50:53 MDT.

alan genser
(alan) - F

Locale: NE
re: how to drop six pounds on 06/17/2014 22:20:15 MDT Print View

so i edited my original post to include her gear list and the revised weight of mine.

robert, thanks for the input.

at the very least, the groundsheet is going to be cut down more. we'll more than likely be setting the tent up on platforms anyways, so at least for this trip, i get that's it's probably unnecessary. it's not going to be my "forever shelter" anyways.

the gaiters are pretty light, similar to simblissity levagaiters. with low cut trail running shoes, i'd like to keep grit from getting into them. but i hear you.

not taking the smartwool bottoms. just left them on the list with "qty: 0" so i wouldn't have to re-enter them at a later date.

the bear canister is definitely on the chopping block for this trip.

ha, even my girlfriend held her new alite mayfly chair in her hand and said "this seems heavy, i don't know if it's worth it" (which is a total win, before our/her first backpacking trip she thought i was a little nuts about weight, now she gets it and has been asking how much items weigh (and jokingly said she hated me for doing that to her).

so everyone is telling me to just use the driducks as a windshell, and camp/sleepwear as well. this is weird to me. i'm listening, it just seems weird.

i know from experience i'll be good with one pair of hiking socks and one pair of camp socks for a trip of this length.

so even if just don't take the chair, canister, and camp shoes..i'm down to 12.88lbs..which is within the realm of reason for me.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
Sounds good! on 06/18/2014 14:04:36 MDT Print View

Sounds like you’re getting down to something quite reasonable.

Clothing is very subjective - What works well for one feller might not for the next, so really it is best to base it on your own experience, not what someone else tells ya!
I sure don't want you to suffer from cold / wet because you felt the need to drop an extra pound.

“so everyone is telling me to just use the driducks as a windshell, and camp/sleepwear as well. this is weird to me. i'm listening, it just seems weird.”

Yeah, back in the mid 1980's I finally was making enough coin to blow a pile on an expensive Gore-tex rain suit, ( I was in England at the time and I believe it cost me about 150 pounds! ) and I just about lived in that thing for a very long time. I still have the jacket and use it now and then, I keep it packed in my car.
It was made of fairly heavy nylon and unlined. It dried very fast, was quite durable, almost totally waterproof and it even breathed a little.

It became my standard garment for wind and / or wet. So the idea of using one garment for rain as well as for extra warmth and to block wind is old hat for me.

In fact, it was on one of those long mid 1980 White Mountain trips that I first tried wearing just shorts, and packed very light polypropylene long johns ( first generation, stank like heck and melted the first time I put it in a dryer! ) and my rain pants for leg protection. Those rain pants were heavily constructed enough that they worked fine for protection from brush and nettles and so forth.

I have mostly gone back to long pants pretty much for every trip, usually heavy BDU trousers. Hey, it works for me, that’s all I can say!

Now, the Dri Ducks are lightly built. So far I’m loving my set, but I doubt they will last much more than two or three years of careful use.
The good news is they are so very light. My size medium suit weighs about ten ounces.
Ya gotta take a little care using these as all-purpose garments, but I know they are plenty warm on a windy day.


This is a goofy photo of me in my Dri Ducks on a very blustery day out on a lake early last year. They were just what I needed to ward off a strong cold wind and the odd splash of cold water and occasional rain drop. Of course there are many types of this sorta thing on the market these days, and most are much more durable than the Dri Ducks.
I just like the dri Ducks because they are so light and cheap, and they are even soft enough to sleep in, but you may wake up hot and sweaty unless it is very cold.

Your Ladies list looks fine. All I can comment about it is to leave the chair at home. I think about all the ups and down you two will be hiking and man, I really don’t think it is worth lugging that thing. But then, to each their own! I have seen folk lug those things to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up again.

Only other thing I can mention is the trowel. My wife and I always carry one, but ours is a one ounce aluminum snow stake. Makes a fantastic trowel, is quite cheap, only an ounce, and it makes a great extra tent stake for when you lose one or the weather starts to blow!
We use a non-freestanding tent, so this is extra important to us!
But that saves only two ounces, might not be worth it.

snow stake

Who’s carrying the food?

When my wife and I backpack, I carry the stove, fuel, tent, first aid / repair kit, my clothing, and all our food. My base weight is about 10-1/2 pounds.. On our last three night trip my pack totaled 26 pounds at the start with three quarts water.

My wife carries all the bedding for both of us, her clothing, the tent stake / trowel, and she just prefers a much heavier backpack than I do, so her base weight is about 16 pounds. With two quarts water she’s right at twenty pounds.

So her base weight is actually heavier than mine, but I try to carry most of the water to keep her weight down. The last day of the trip when all the food is gone I might steel some of her stuff to even our loads a bit. Kinda an odd way to do it but it works for us!

alan genser
(alan) - F

Locale: NE
re: sounds good. on 06/18/2014 14:34:44 MDT Print View

i'll be carrying the food/fuel/sundries (for the most part).

i decided i won't take the fleece vest either. as it's intended use was as part of a 'pile & pertex'/paramo type system...but if it's that wet (which isn't in the forecast) it's wet enough to just put on the driducks.

i was considering not bringing the trowel, as there are bathrooms/composting toilets at the campsites, huts, and the mt washington summit.

i think a lot of my hesitation to using the driducks for more activities is that i'm from the southeast (NC) and down there in the summer, you pretty much want to avoid ever having to put on rainwear, unless it's really, really bad.

the whole "could get down to the 40's" in june thing really has me thrown off. combined with i *know* how NC weather works, in my gut. whereas i haven't got northeast weather patterns figured out yet, coupled with going to a notoriously unpredictable locale. (though i have spent time in the surrounding area over the last several years, for work and with friends, just not at elevation)

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
June in the Whites on 06/18/2014 16:49:53 MDT Print View

I've never been up there in June either! Always July / August.
Uh, I'd be worried about the black flies if I were you!

Perhaps some others here can chime in about the weather?

I'd throw the fleece vest in the car and make the decision when you get there. I often do that and make last minute adjustments based upon the conditions at the trail head / how robust I feel at the time, etc...
The Whites can be nasty at elevation.

I think the vest is light enough that you'll not notice it if it spends the trip in your backpack, and it can really made a difference if the whole trip turns out to be soggy 40 degree weather. And it makes a good pillow. :)

I have a cheapo fleece vest I got from Bi-mart that often goes along with me. I love the thing. That and a Uniqlo ultralight down parka are my standard insulating layers.

I like packing light, but I also like to be toasty warm. I do tend to carry a bit more insulation than what I see on others gear lists. I'd certainly take a warm hat on the trip your going on, but that's just me as I'm mostly bald, and my wife and I use a double quilt, no hood for the head.

Last February I was comfortable at 7,000 feet on the rim of the Grand Canyon in a light synthetic long sleeved T ( also from Uniqlo ) and light synthetic long sleeved button down shirt, despite snow in the shadows and a strong, cold wind. Most everyone else was in warm parkas and the like.
Coming from a much colder climate at the time, I was well acclimated to cold temps.

But right now it is 65 degrees in my shop, and working out there today I'm heavier dressed than that, with a light wool mackinaw on. My temp tolerance seems to change season to season.

Oh, I'd certainly take a trowel. Your lady will appreciate it, as gals use toilet paper just to pee, and there is never a pit toilet around...

I was just suggesting a lighter and multi-use alternative.

I'm sure your going to have a great trip, and I wish it was me going! It has been decades since I've stomped those trails.

alan genser
(alan) - F

Locale: NE
insulation on 06/18/2014 17:22:31 MDT Print View

ah..but i've got a great (i hope) insulating layer, the Under Armour ColdGear Infrared WereWolf Jacket (what a mouthful) just came in the mail today.

Really nice looking piece. lighter than my nanopuff or other fleece pieces. primaloft chest and "windproof" fleece arms (and a hoodie) between that and the ibex indie hoodie, i think i'll be good for insulation and cold weather head gear. (i too am a fan of having plenty of night time insulation, especially since i'll let myself just get soaked during the day and value being warm at rest). also, i seem to always find sleeping bags too warm or too cold, so i like to have some pieces i can adjust my sleeping insulation with. I'll report back how well the ua werewolf jacket worked out.

the nemo tango duo is a double quilt with a hood attachment, so we'll be good there.

those uniqlo pieces have a great price if nothing else! how much does it weigh?