Practical Backpacking™ Forums

Welcome to Practical Backpacking™ Forums (PBF).

You are currently viewing PBF as a guest which has limited access. By becoming a PBF member, you will have full access to view and participate in tens of thousands of informative discussions, to view links and attachments (photos), and will gain access to other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free! Click to Become a PBF Member! Be sure to also explore the Practical Backpacking Podcast.


Go Back   Practical Backpacking™ Forums > Practical Backpacking™ General Outdoors (Backpacking Related) > Bushcraft & Primitive Wilderness Skills
HOME FAQ PBF GUIDELINES BLOG PODCAST GALLERY STORE CALENDAR Mark Forums Read

Bushcraft & Primitive Wilderness Skills The Bushcraft & Primitive Wilderness Skills forum is for discussion (on-site content) that directly relates to ancient and/or primitive style bushcraft/wilderness skills (e.g. firecraft, foraging, natural material construction, modern/primitive tools, long-term wilderness survival,...).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-25-2011, 01:20 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
dragonrider dragonrider is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 42
Need Advice for Minimalist Kit

I have some friends I go backpacking with on a fairly regular basis. Generally, our style is a moderate level of comfort with approximately 30-pound packs for overnighters, including water and other consumables. But occasionally we do a “themed” trip, for instance we did one in which we set a pack weight limit of under 20 pounds (to try to stretch our skills), and we did one is which we brought an entire Mexican fiesta including a whole bag of charcoal, fixins for carne asada burritos, and margaritas (to try to stretch our bellies).

Now someone in the group has had the bright idea of doing a themed overnight or 2-night trip with minimalist type survival kits --- only what you can fit in your pockets and a fanny pack.

Does anyone have any advice for me on putting this kit together? Any advice on a strategy for this kind of trip?

Obviously, I am ditching the usual sleeping bag, pad, tent (I usually use a tarp), extra changes of clothes, water filter, and the stove I usually bring.

This will be a summer trip in California. The weather is likely to be warm, and it is not likely to rain. Often we backpack in areas where a fire and even wood gathering is prohibited, but for this trip I think we will try to find a location that allows fires.

Here is what I was planning on bringing so far.

Worn:
* Hat
* Wicking Tee
* LS synthetic hiking shirt with cargo pockets
* Convertible nylon hiking pants with cargo pockets
* Wicking underwear
* Merino socks
* Hiking shoes
* Shades


Carried in fanny pack and pockets:
* Knife --- Could use advice on this. For backpacking I usually carry a small multi-tool, but I want something larger for this trip.
* Fire kit --- Ferro-rod flint and steel. Cotton balls. Mini bic.
* Emergency blanket --- The kind that is a 5x7 tarp with silver on one side, not the supper thin film.
* Water container --- Was thinking of my 32-ounce plastic Nalgene, and possibly a collapsible platypus bottle. Would like to be able to store more than 1 quart at a time. May consider a metal bottle to allow it to be used for boiling, but would have to purchase. Any suggestions are welcome.
* Para cord, 50 feet.
* Compass and map.
* Light --- Either my usual headlamp, space permitting, or possibly a mini coin light.
* Duct tape.
* Sunscreen.
* Deet.
* Water purification tabs or drops.
* RI Fleece --- If I can fit it in or attach it to the fanny pack.
* Bandana.
* Mini first aid --- Probably just gauze pads.
* Whistle.
* Big heavy-duty garbage bag.
* Gallon Ziploc or two.
* Imusa cup --- This would be only if space permitted and I didn’t bring the metal bottle.
* Food --- If we go somewhere where fire is allowed, maybe a dehydrated meal. Otherwise I think I’ll stick with trail mix, jerky, energy bars, or other options that do not require cooking.

My main concern is whether I will be comfortable at might. I’m counting on the clothing for warmth in the absence of a sleeping bag. And I figure I can roll up in the emergency blanket. Anyone have any suggestions along those lines? Anyone ever slept in one of those things?

Also, any suggestions on a brand, model or style of fanny pack? I’m thinking one with a large compartment, outside pockets for the water bottle, and a method for attaching other items to the outside if they don’t fit inside. Since this is probably a one-off adventure, I’d prefer not to spend much.

Any advice on any part of this topic would be helpful. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Sponsors
  #2  
Old 06-25-2011, 11:23 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
GGervin GGervin is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Forums Moderator
Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
Sleeping Gear: REI ThermoPod +0 mummy, MH 3D +40 mummy
Shelter: SD Superflash, GoLite Hut 1
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 436
I love your idea of packing trip "themes." An unusual and very interesting and creative approach. Your mexican theme made me hungry.

I'm tempted to suggest that the Margaritas could be considered survival gear, and that the tequila could be considered multi-use (medicinal purposes, etc.), but I won't!

Concerning other "beverages," however, I notice you are thinking of only 32oz of water. Different people have different hydration needs, but 32oz would never be enough to keep me hydrated (my hydration needs may be more than yours). I'd suggest a couple of platy bottles in addition to the nalgene, and keep them filled.

The other observation I'd make is that you're thinking of a multi-tool as a knife, and a separate fire kit. How important is the fire? There are a lot of different thoughts on survival knives, but I think if you want a fire - especially a "survival scenario" fire, a good knife for batoning would be best. (I tend to think of a batoning knife as part of the fire kit.) A multi-tool or a folder won't cut that. If it's middle of summer, you might not need a cold steel trail master or a ka-bar heavy bowie, but something with a fixed blade and long enough to baton the sides off fuel wood might be very welcome.

Great packing idea, and great thread topic. I hope you'll post a trip report when you finally go, and let us know what your gear choices were!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-26-2011, 11:59 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
dragonrider dragonrider is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 42
GGervin, thanks for the reply.

I agree that tequila is a survival necessity. I'll have to see how much room I have within the pockets and fanny pack limitations set by the group, or maybe I'll just ditch my food and bring tequila instead. You can survive a long time without food...

On the subject of hydration, I agree that a quart is too little. I'd like the ability to store at least 2 liters, if not more. But I'm not sure if I'll have a good way to carry more than a liter with the fanny pack and pockets limits. I will probably bring a platy bottle. If I have room in the pack, I'll fill the platy as well as the bottle. If not, I'll at least have the platy to fill up for water at camp. I'll have to think this through to see if I can carry more water.

I also agree that the multi-tool knife is not be adequate. When I go on a normal backpacking trip I carry only a small multi-tool, and that has always been fine. But I'm not processing wood with it or doing other heavy-duty tasks. What would you say is the minimum blade size for an appropriate knife? Any suggestions on some inexpensive options for an appropriate knife?
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Sponsors
  #4  
Old 06-26-2011, 06:42 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
richwads richwads is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Shelter: Tarp
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: California
Posts: 483
ContainsImages

A buddy and I just did something similar in early May. I described it in the backpacker's health and safety, survival kits thread (if I remember correctly). The theme was no fire, build primitive shelter, see how cold we get. Water was available. We each slept in a 2 oz space blanket "bag", in our clothes, equivalent to your clothes. The gear list is described there as well as how it went.

Basically, the kit we took would be what our survival kit that we take in our backpack would have in it if we carried it on a dayhike. Weather was about 65 high and 45 low. We got cold due to inactivity after eating our evening "meal" (which for me was trail mix for 24 hours) and crawled into our "bags" around 8 pm. I was fine until around midnight, and gradually my discomfort involved goose bumps and shivering, but we stayed below stage 1 hypothermia.

Our theory was that if our survival packs had too much in them, they wouldn't be packed as often on day hikes.

I later equipped a fanny pack similarly that I keep in my car, for impromptu day hikes with my wife, with a 2 person emergency blanket (5x8, 3 oz). I plan to do a similar hike/overnighter with that, rather than my backpacking survival kit. The daypack has slightly smaller/lighter versions of some of the gear, like the knife and the flashlight and the windbreaker.

A deviation from the above "what I would normally take on a day hike" rule was that I took 16 oz of trail mix - I doubt I would have more that 4 oz normally, and would have gotten hungry on the 600 calories over the 24 hour period. We're thinking of limiting our food on the next experiment.

Specific gear differences:
1. I settled on a Mora 611 knife for the survival kit and a lockback folder for the fanny pack kit.
2. No cup
3. 32 oz Nalgen plus same size Platypus
4. No deet
5. No fleece
6. No garbage bag
7. different emergency blanket as described above
8. quart ziplock bag
9. no dehydrated meals - in a survival situation, cooking is a luxury that may not be possible
10. Comfort is also a luxury. Guaranteed comfort is in your regular backpack. Allow enough time to make yourself as comfy as possible. Insulation and padding from the ground is important as well as a windbreak between your emergency blanket and the elements - wind hitting the blanket will press it against your body and steal heat. the windbreak can be as little as a vertical rock or large tree trunk or pile of compacted brush. I like at least a lean-to.
11. I usually carry my water bottle in a water bag strapped to my pack - in this case it hung from my belt.
12. Don't worry about a pack. You will have so little it can go in a messenger bag or a large purse. The daypack in my car isn't very large, or it would be too bulky to want to take on most of my day hikes.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-26-2011, 06:49 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
AaronMB AaronMB is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Backpack: GL Jam2
Sleeping Gear: GL Ultra 20 Quilt
Shelter: MLD Gatewood Cape
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Central California
Posts: 25
Sounds like a great time!

Your list looks pretty good. It also sounds like you're pretty experienced; posts like these concern me sometimes, though, as all-too-often, folks have a fun idea and want to go for it, but don't yet have the good experience necessary to make a minimalist trip successful (and fun). So, I won't assume that you're totally experienced, but if you are, forgive me - it is better to be safe than sorry, as they say!

Can you tell us the kind of environment in which you'll be doing your hiking? How far out will you be? The nearest good water source?

For a one or two nighter, water and shelter (warmth/protection from elements) should probably be the two biggest concerns. As you contemplate how you'll carry your water, take into consideration the wait time for pills/drops; sometimes two containers is prudent, as one is ready to drink and the other has the water and chemicals doing their thing together over a few minutes or over a few hours. I agree that if you're going to boil water, you'll need something appropriate - a stainless water bottle does well and is obviously multi-use, as you can also carry water in it (as opposed to a cook pot). I have one that I've painted with high-heat BBQ paint, which supposedly makes it absorb heat better, but definitely makes the fire-soot easier to clean off (the pliers on the multi-tool make a great pot grabber). If you'll be hiking several miles, two containers, at least, will be necessary - as suggested, that way you can drink from one,

If you're doing the camping in the Sierras, I'm sure you're aware that the weather can and does change quickly. I can't count how many times I've went to bed with wonderfully clear skies only to wake up to have to quickly get under my tarp, or put the rain-fly over my tent. Plenty of minimalists use a small tarp and IMO, it would not take away from your themed trip; indeed, it might make it a smarter trip to take. Even some of the
most extreme minimalist travelers went prepared. Outdoor Product's 5x7' tarp is only $10, holds up rather well, and packs quite small. If you don't need it, cool, even better. 'But,' if it rains, you'll be cold, wet, even with a trash bag. As you also know, I'm sure, a lean-to setup would not only keep the rain off, but will also help bounce back some heat from a fire. This is something to really keep in mind if you're not going to pack any more clothes or carry that fleece. Convertible pants and a poly wicking shirt will provide little insulation, especially if you get wet or the wind picks up. If you're bent on leaving behind the tarp/sleeping bag, at least consider packing another layer for your top and bottom. Personally, I'd only trust an space/emergency blanket as a ground cloth, but if you're confident in the durability of that tarp/blanket thing you have, then good enough.

Most of this, of course, is assuming you'll be significantly above sea level, in the mountains (or on/near the coast at any level). If you'll only be in the hills at a few-thousand feet, your emergency blanket should be enough if the weather holds; a tea-light candle between your legs with your blanket wrapped around you will keep you warmer, just in case (but don't set yourself afire!).

A decently built small-medium sized fixed blade should do OK for camp chores and minor wood processing. My go to knife is an Esee Izula. It's light, small, but is tough as nails. I can do fairly delicate work with it and process wood; for bigger pieces of wood that I 'must' process, I make a wedge with the Izula, then use the wedge to baton.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-26-2011, 07:22 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
tonto tonto is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 470
It's In The Bag Man

Hey,
Here are some good options for light weight shelter.
Emergency Medical makes a line of very light weight "space blanket" products you should check out.
They aren't like the old mylar noise maker that ripped to shreds your dad used while grooving in the back country.
This new line of stuff is under the "heat sheet" moniker.
It' s made of a metalized polyethylene material that' s much more durable and less noisy than mylar.
Their emergency blanket that weighs 2.5 oz. is $4.
The survival blanket weighing 2.88 oz, about 20% larger, goes for $6.
There is also an emergency bivi sack that' s 3.8 oz at $16.

[By the way, I get no kick back for promoting their products]

They all come in Look At Me blaze orange so, it's not stealth camp friendly
but it does show black after dark.
Then your buddies can stumble over you in camp if they didn't bring their flashlights.
The good news is if your buddy's nightly prat fall does any damage to your sleeping gear it's easily patched with duct tape.

EM also makes the Thermal Bivi Sack that weighs a mere 6.5 oz.
It' s construction is more robust with a rip stop polyethylene material.
The bag is still very light weight and can be used repeatedly.
It packs into a small sil nylon stuff sack that takes up little space.

To help control condensation the bag has features the less expensive bag doesn' t. It has a screened foot vent, a slit up the side that closes with velcro fasteners and a slightly fuzzy texture on the inside that soaks up some moisture.
At $33 it' s high end for a cheap (read frugal) guy like me.
More info on these products can be found on the PB Podcast with Adventure Medical Kits #39.

I have the older version of the Thermal Bivi Sack that weighs about 1/3 more then the newer version and cost $25 eight years ago.
Over those eight years I've used the bivi many times every spring and fall as a compact, ultra light alternative to a heavier and bulkier sleeking bag.
When using the bag I wear a set of light long underwear, nylon hike pants, wool socks, wool shirt and fleece beanie comfortably in weather down to 40*.
Once, in April on the AT near mount Rogers, VA, the thermometer bottomed at 15*.
I was wearing the same clothing plus fleece pants and a fleece jacket.
It was the longest, chilliest night I ever spent in the woods and in the wee hours I woke to find frost on the bag.
A repeat of that night I never hope to see but I "survived" to boast about it.

It's vitally important when using these products to ABSOLUTELY NOT wrap yourself up tightly and cacoon in them.
You MUST "wear" them quite loose to get adequate venting or wake up with your clothing extremely damp.
Even with good venting there might be some surface moisture on your clothes when waking.
Body heat will dry surface dampness from synthetic clothing in about 20 minutes or less after getting out of the bag.

Here' s a tip for using a blanket type set up.
Your feet will stay much warmer sleeping in your shoes.
Be sure to change into dry socks or dry them by the fire before hitting the sack (so to speak).
If my shoes are clean I'll even wear them inside the bivi sack.

As far as the knife goes.
I' ve made plenty of fires under all kinds of conditions with nothing more than a standard " boy scout" type swiss army knife.
Check out my post (#18) under "Building a fire in cold, wet, weather without pre-made starters" to see how it's done.
Consider using a standard nylon poncho it does double duty as a shelter and rain gear.
For chord I use braided mason line.
Make sure you get the BRAIDED line as the twisted line unravels easily (unless you want thinner pieces of line).
It's incredibly strong, light weight, inexpensive and 50' takes up little space in your pocket or pack.
You can pick up 500' for about $8 at your nearest big box home improvement store.
Also, consider taking some sort of light jacket or sweater.
By my rules it's not cheating if it' s tied around your waist and not actually in your pack.
After all, it's still on your person...yah catch my drift.
Reply With Quote
Please Consider PBF Sponsors
Aquaponics 4 You
  #7  
Old 06-26-2011, 09:36 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
GGervin GGervin is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Forums Moderator
Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
Sleeping Gear: REI ThermoPod +0 mummy, MH 3D +40 mummy
Shelter: SD Superflash, GoLite Hut 1
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonrider
...I'm not sure if I'll have a good way to carry more than a liter with the fanny pack and pockets limits.
I used to use a (discontinued) Dana Design Gallatin fanny pack for dayhiking. All the space inside the pack was taken up by photo gear and hiking essentials. No room for water inside at all, and no built-in bottle pockets. The Gallatin uses a shoulder strap as well as a waist belt. I strapped on 2 O.R. 32oz bottle pockets, one hanging from each side of where the shoulder strap connected to the pack. I dehydrate very easily so this was still not enough for me. I wound up sewing a couple of 2" nylon webbing loops onto the outside of the Gallatin. That allowed me to mount an additional O.R. bottle pocket on each side, for a total of four 32oz nalgene bottles. You might consider a similar mod with the fanny pack you buy. (The Gallatin actually has horizontal frame stays, so it handles unusual amounts of weight. It carried extremely well even with a total weight of 20lbs or so. You may not get or need so beefy a fanny pack, so your ultimate limiting factor in water carrying may well be how much weight it can handle and still work well.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonrider
What would you say is the minimum blade size for an appropriate knife? Any suggestions on some inexpensive options for an appropriate knife?
See the "batoning knife" thread and the "bushcraft knife" thread in this forum. I think the real issue for blade size is going to be the diameter of logs you will find for splitting.

But it occurred to me while thinking about your thread today that you should be careful about where you plan to go for fire building. A lot of land low enough for legal campfires will be dry enough to have a fire ban in effect throughout the summer. A ticket could put a real damper on the outing.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-26-2011, 10:50 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
dragonrider dragonrider is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by richwads
A buddy and I just did something similar in early May. I described it in the backpacker's health and safety, survival kits thread (if I remember correctly). The theme was no fire, build primitive shelter, see how cold we get. Water was available. We each slept in a 2 oz space blanket "bag", in our clothes, equivalent to your clothes. The gear list is described there as well as how it went.

Basically, the kit we took would be what our survival kit that we take in our backpack would have in it if we carried it on a dayhike.

Richwads, thanks for the reply.

I was not present for the details when my buddies started planning this thing, but my understanding is that the idea is the same as your trip --- spend a night outside using only what would be in your survival kit for a dayhike. Most experienced hikers carry some variation of the "10 essentials," but what would it be like to actually have to rely on only that kit? My understanding is this trip is basically a way to test out the kit under controlled conditions.

Of course, I'm already trying to "game" the test a bit. First, I'm upgrading the emergency blanket --- I usually only carry the 2-ounce mylar kind, but for this I'm upgrading to the heavier tarp. I'm planning on carrying a larger knife than my usual multi-tool. I'm trying to figure out how to carry more water than I usually have for a dayhike. And there are a few other things that I've thought about bringing that are more than I usually carry on a dayhike.

I'll have to get details about the ground rules from my friends, but at this point, all I have heard is that your entire kit is supposed to fit in your pockets and a fanny pack. Today at a surplus store, I saw an Army fanny pack that was pretty large, and it would be possible to add 2 1-quart canteens to the belt and have a truly luxurious "survival kit." It even has a couple of compression straps, so I could sling a good amount of stuff outside the pack. I'll have to find out if that would be a gross violation of the spirit of the trip.

Thanks again for posting. It's good to know that other people who have perfectly good backpacking gear occasionally decide to intentionally leave it all behind and go for what is sure to be an uncomfortable night in the woods. I'll be able to explain to my wife that it is not just me and my friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronMB
Sounds like a great time!

Your list looks pretty good. It also sounds like you're pretty experienced; posts like these concern me sometimes, though, as all-too-often, folks have a fun idea and want to go for it, but don't yet have the good experience necessary to make a minimalist trip successful (and fun). So, I won't assume that you're totally experienced, but if you are, forgive me - it is better to be safe than sorry, as they say!

Ha ha! Yes, I've seen posts like this that have concerned me too! I would say that I and the other guys are experienced backpackers, and we are fully capable and comfortable using our normal backpacking gear. This is a different kind of trip though, because the gear is not the same, and we are not necessarily experienced bushcrafters or survivalists. But I'm confident we won't do anything grossly stupid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronMB
Can you tell us the kind of environment in which you'll be doing your hiking? How far out will you be? The nearest good water source?

I don't think the location is settled yet. We always plan our trips to have decent water sources. I doubt we will plan to hike very far, just a few miles. The main point is to test the minimalist kit, not hike a long ways. Whenever I take a new backpacker out, I always plan on an easy bail-out option in case it is not going well, and I think we'll try to do the same for this trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronMB
For a one or two nighter, water and shelter (warmth/protection from elements) should probably be the two biggest concerns. As you contemplate how you'll carry your water, take into consideration the wait time for pills/drops; sometimes two containers is prudent, as one is ready to drink and the other has the water and chemicals doing their thing together over a few minutes or over a few hours. I agree that if you're going to boil water, you'll need something appropriate - a stainless water bottle does well and is obviously multi-use, as you can also carry water in it (as opposed to a cook pot). I have one that I've painted with high-heat BBQ paint, which supposedly makes it absorb heat better, but definitely makes the fire-soot easier to clean off (the pliers on the multi-tool make a great pot grabber). If you'll be hiking several miles, two containers, at least, will be necessary - as suggested, that way you can drink from one,


I agree on the two-container strategy. If it seems like 1-liter would be enough to get from the trailhead to the camp site, I might just "camel up" before hitting the trail, bring one full container, and bring a second platy bottle rolled up in the pack. Then I'll have a 2-liter capacity at the camp. If l liter will not be enough for the trail, then I'll need to cary 2-liters from the trailhead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronMB
If you're doing the camping in the Sierras, I'm sure you're aware that the weather can and does change quickly. I can't count how many times I've went to bed with wonderfully clear skies only to wake up to have to quickly get under my tarp, or put the rain-fly over my tent. Plenty of minimalists use a small tarp and IMO, it would not take away from your themed trip; indeed, it might make it a smarter trip to take. Even some of the
most extreme minimalist travelers went prepared. Outdoor Product's 5x7' tarp is only $10, holds up rather well, and packs quite small. If you don't need it, cool, even better. 'But,' if it rains, you'll be cold, wet, even with a trash bag. As you also know, I'm sure, a lean-to setup would not only keep the rain off, but will also help bounce back some heat from a fire. This is something to really keep in mind if you're not going to pack any more clothes or carry that fleece. Convertible pants and a poly wicking shirt will provide little insulation, especially if you get wet or the wind picks up. If you're bent on leaving behind the tarp/sleeping bag, at least consider packing another layer for your top and bottom. Personally, I'd only trust an space/emergency blanket as a ground cloth, but if you're confident in the durability of that tarp/blanket thing you have, then good enough.

Most of this, of course, is assuming you'll be significantly above sea level, in the mountains (or on/near the coast at any level). If you'll only be in the hills at a few-thousand feet, your emergency blanket should be enough if the weather holds; a tea-light candle between your legs with your blanket wrapped around you will keep you warmer, just in case (but don't set yourself afire!).

The location is not settled yet, but I'm thinking it probably will not be a Sierra trip this time around. Outside of the Sierra, weather reports in CA are pretty reliable, and summers tend to be dry and warm. If it looks at all dodgy, we might postpone the minimalist experiment. Or if we do go for it and precipitation is possible, I do have a tarp that I could add in. I'm definitely bringing the fleece --- I will find a way to carry that within the rules of the trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronMB
A decently built small-medium sized fixed blade should do OK for camp chores and minor wood processing. My go to knife is an Esee Izula. It's light, small, but is tough as nails. I can do fairly delicate work with it and process wood; for bigger pieces of wood that I 'must' process, I make a wedge with the Izula, then use the wedge to baton.

I got an inexpensive Mora today. Don't actually know the model. I think it will be fine for this trip, but if I were getting into this kind of camping on a routine basis, I'd want something beefier.

Last edited by dragonrider : 06-26-2011 at 11:35 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-27-2011, 12:05 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
dragonrider dragonrider is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonto
Hey,
Here are some good options for light weight shelter.
Emergency Medical makes a line of very light weight "space blanket" products you should check out.
They aren't like the old mylar noise maker that ripped to shreds your dad used while grooving in the back country.
This new line of stuff is under the "heat sheet" moniker.
It' s made of a metalized polyethylene material that' s much more durable and less noisy than mylar.
Their emergency blanket that weighs 2.5 oz. is $4.
The survival blanket weighing 2.88 oz, about 20% larger, goes for $6.
There is also an emergency bivi sack that' s 3.8 oz at $16.

[By the way, I get no kick back for promoting their products]


I've seen the new "heat sheet" styles in the stores, but I've never seen one out of its packaging. Is it really more durable? I'm hoping they are. I went for the metalized tarp because I thought the old style space blanets were far too flimsy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonto
EM also makes the Thermal Bivi Sack that weighs a mere 6.5 oz.
It' s construction is more robust with a rip stop polyethylene material.
The bag is still very light weight and can be used repeatedly.
It packs into a small sil nylon stuff sack that takes up little space.

To help control condensation the bag has features the less expensive bag doesn' t. It has a screened foot vent, a slit up the side that closes with velcro fasteners and a slightly fuzzy texture on the inside that soaks up some moisture.
At $33 it' s high end for a cheap (read frugal) guy like me.
More info on these products can be found on the PB Podcast with Adventure Medical Kits #39.

I have the older version of the Thermal Bivi Sack that weighs about 1/3 more then the newer version and cost $25 eight years ago.
Over those eight years I've used the bivi many times every spring and fall as a compact, ultra light alternative to a heavier and bulkier sleeking bag.
When using the bag I wear a set of light long underwear, nylon hike pants, wool socks, wool shirt and fleece beanie comfortably in weather down to 40*.
Once, in April on the AT near mount Rogers, VA, the thermometer bottomed at 15*.
I was wearing the same clothing plus fleece pants and a fleece jacket.
It was the longest, chilliest night I ever spent in the woods and in the wee hours I woke to find frost on the bag.
A repeat of that night I never hope to see but I "survived" to boast about it.

I am interested in seeing this bivy thing in action sometime. Its one of those things they never want you to unroll at the store, because it doesn't go back into its packaging as well as it came out. At 33 bucks, I'm a bit reluctant to buy it on spec. It's good to know you've had it 8 years and it is holding up.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tonto
It's vitally important when using these products to ABSOLUTELY NOT wrap yourself up tightly and cacoon in them.
You MUST "wear" them quite loose to get adequate venting or wake up with your clothing extremely damp.
Even with good venting there might be some surface moisture on your clothes when waking.
Body heat will dry surface dampness from synthetic clothing in about 20 minutes or less after getting out of the bag.

Here' s a tip for using a blanket type set up.
Your feet will stay much warmer sleeping in your shoes.
Be sure to change into dry socks or dry them by the fire before hitting the sack (so to speak).
If my shoes are clean I'll even wear them inside the bivi sack.

I've heard that same report about basting in your own juices inside the oven bag. My plan was to wrap up in the blanket/tarp and vent it frequently. It also has grommets, so I would be able to loosely lace it into a kind of bag pretty easily --- but I'd have to bear in mind the need to vent it.

Good tip on wearing the shoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonto
As far as the knife goes.
I' ve made plenty of fires under all kinds of conditions with nothing more than a standard " boy scout" type swiss army knife.
Check out my post (#18) under "Building a fire in cold, wet, weather without pre-made starters" to see how it's done.

I'll check the post out. I usually have luck with the ferro rod (but not necessarily in cold, wet, weather...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonto
Consider using a standard nylon poncho it does double duty as a shelter and rain gear.
I'll take a look at a poncho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonto
For chord I use braided mason line.
Make sure you get the BRAIDED line as the twisted line unravels easily (unless you want thinner pieces of line).
It's incredibly strong, light weight, inexpensive and 50' takes up little space in your pocket or pack.
You can pick up 500' for about $8 at your nearest big box home improvement store.
I've got that para cord already, but if space becomes an issue, I'll look into the braided mason's line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonto
Also, consider taking some sort of light jacket or sweater.
By my rules it's not cheating if it' s tied around your waist and not actually in your pack.
After all, it's still on your person...yah catch my drift.
I'm definitely bringing at least the fleece. One way or another, wether inside the pack, lashed on, or using the tied-around-the-waist loophole...

Thanks for all the info, Tonto.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-27-2011, 06:51 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
SSDD SSDD is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: No Limits
Sleeping Gear: No Limits
Shelter: No Limits
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Boise ID
Posts: 456
Sounds like a fun challenge

Like what was asked already: Where in Cali are you planning this as it makes a big difference at the coast, the sierras, central valley, high or low desert and how often you will have water sources ???

I would take two platys both 2L and before you go take a 3 foot section of 2-3mm cord or para cord or even 1/4" flat cord and tie the two ends and attach it to the finger hole on the platy so you can carry them over your shoulder or around your neck.

I have used a survival blanket, they will help a ton but you tend to get clammy so don't wrap your self up like a burrito

Now if you can have a fire I would rather use a lean to tarp to hold the heat of the fire in so you will not need the mylar blanket, now this means being able to wake up every 0:30 to 1:00 to make sure the fire does not go out and keep some wood where you can reach it to keep the fire going.



Be Safe and have fun
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Oregon trail advice? Estragon The Trailhead - General Backpacking Discussion 4 05-10-2009 06:09 AM
Newbie Needs Advice with Pungo Classic (Wilderness Systems) bdarnold Paddling 12 03-06-2009 06:24 PM
Heading to Ouachita and looking for advice gimmesumdirt The Trailhead - General Backpacking Discussion 5 05-11-2008 07:20 PM
Shelter advice for Sierra High Route gregj Shelters 5 07-03-2007 06:58 PM
Footwear advice for sierra high route gregj General Gear Discussion 0 06-12-2007 06:31 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:48 PM.

Backpacking Forums


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.5.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2006-2017 Practical Backpacking™
Practical Backpacking is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacker is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacking Podcast is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™
Practical Backpacking Magazine is a trademark of Absolutely Prepared™