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Newbie gear list
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Jacob Pewitt
Newbie gear list on 06/25/2014 10:39:08 MDT Print View

Howdy folks! I've done a fair bit of kayak camping over the years, but I am brand new to backpacking. I did a 4 day trip in Colorado last month with rented gear, and now I am hooked. Most of my old kayak camping gear had to be thrown out due to corrosion, so I am basically starting from scratch. I also will be using a hammock instead of a tent.

Most of my trips will be in or near Florida during the summer, fall and winter.

I'd be very appreciative of any feedback you might provide, especially about stuff I might be missing. The biggest area I know I can improve on is my pack, but I want to do a few trips with this REI bag (which I got quite cheaply) so I can decide what attributes/layout I am looking for in a big before I replace it with something lighter.

I also know I could save some weight by switching to an alcohol stove, but I'm just not at a point where I am willing to fiddle with that just yet.

I am also undecided on what my clothes will be while hiking, though I know I will be using either Merrell Trail Gloves 2 or Vibram Spyridon MR.

Thanks a bunch!

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Newbie gear list on 07/04/2014 11:12:41 MDT Print View

Hi Jacob,

Looks pretty good so far--here's a few thoughts:

It looks like you're using quite a few stuff sacks. My preference is for one large (and waterproof) pack liner, into which goes down bag, puffy insulation, sleep clothes, etc--basically, anything that has to stay dry. In the past, I've used a trash compactor bag (2.2 oz); now I use the Schnozzel pump bag for my air mat, which weighs the same and has a dry bag closure. Apart from that, I use one stuff sack for my shelter, which becomes the bear bag for hanging food when I make camp.

Advantage of doing this is a bit of weight savings, but more important, packing is simpler and packed items fill out the pack better, compressing and expanding as I go through consumables.

Regarding your pack: when you're ready to replace it, you might consider if you really need that much volume. I manage just fine with around 30L for trips up to four or five days.

If a poncho for rain gear is your thing, I've heard the Golite works pretty well. There are WPB jackets that are lighter.

I like carrying a pair of light gloves no matter what temps I expect--they're a good multi-use item. But I don't hike in Florida.

Some of your listed weights seem a bit low. E.g., unless you cut it way down, a heavy trash bag (compactor or contractor weight) will be a couple ounces, rather than one. And 0.1 oz isn't much map--about 1/2 a sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper, on my scale. If you hike in familiar areas with clear trails, you might don't need more than that. If I actually have to navigate, I'd prefer a USGS 1:24,000 quad (~1.2 oz). Bonus with the USGS map is the back side is blank, for trip notes, journal, etc. Of course, printing your own maps is an option.

Finally, I've backpacked the last couple years in Trail Gloves and like them, but find I want a bit more cushion for rough trails and long days. I've been trying out a pair of Ascend Gloves--still zero drop, but 6mm of cushion instead of 2mm. Better rock protection in the mid foot. Similar-looking tread, but the Ascend Glove feels significantly more aggressive and grippy, esp. on rock. Downside is it tends to pick up bits of gravel. And neither shoe is great on wet, slick surfaces. Footwear choice is obviously highly personal, but I think I'll be switching to the Ascend Glove for hikes over 12-15 miles per day.

Edited by DavidDrake on 07/05/2014 09:41:42 MDT.

b willi jones
(mrjones) - F

Locale: NZ,,, best place in the world !?
Re: Newbie gear list on 07/05/2014 04:40:18 MDT Print View

yep, not a bad list. seems to cover most things.
not that im an expert, but i agree, may be a stuff sack or two too many... it is nice to be organised though.
and i dont have a poncho tarp but just a poncho... and it never comes along,,, i prefer a full zip jacket.
i like the feel of the ol' NB mt10? i think thats what they are. anyhow, im down to my last pair. ive done a couple of 30-40km days over semi rough terrain in them and dont really want to try anything else, they are my favorite. i also play volleyball in them and general all day shoes when im not at work. in saying that, i am looking for a pair of something a bit warmer, its winter over here and sometimes a little insulation underneath can be nice. probably depends on what you get used too.
p.s as with the poncho tarp, the kindle wouldnt be coming with me either.


Edited by mrjones on 07/05/2014 05:41:54 MDT.