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Gear List The Gear List forum is the place to post your actual backpacking gear list, and to read what others have in their packs. Don't forget to specify weight.


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  #1  
Old 11-13-2008, 09:39 PM
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dragonrider dragonrider is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 42
My Gear List - Help Reducing Weight Requested

If anyone has any suggestions for paring this down a bit, please let me know.

I got back into backpacking this summer after about 10 years off. The stuff I was using was fairly old and heavy, and my philospohy in the past had been focused on being comfortable in camp as opposed to on the trail, and it had also been very very budget conscious. I'm hiking with guys now who follow a lighter weight philosophy and have newer gear than I do.

Here is the list I am carrying now:

Worn/Carried
Sun Hat --- 4 oz
Shirt, Synthetic --- 5 oz
Shorts, Synthetic --- 8 oz
Underwear, Synthetic --- 2 oz
Socks --- 3 oz
Boots --- 40 oz
Shades --- 2 oz
Watch --- 2 oz
Total Worn/Carried --- 66 oz = 4.125 Pounds


Packed

“Big 4”
Pack, Kelty Coyote 4750 --- 86 oz
Sleeping bag, REI Nod Pod +15 --- 52 oz
Pad, REI Lite Core 1.5 --- 27 oz
Tarp, Plastic 6x8 --- 14 oz
Total “Big 4” --- 179 oz = 11.1875 Pounds

Clothes
Clothes bag --- 3 oz
Pants, Gramichi Synthetic --- 8 oz
Underwear, Synthetic --- 2 oz
Socks, Smartwool --- 3 oz
Rain shell, North Face --- 16 oz
Rain pants, REI --- 9 oz
Fleece Top, REI Woodland 200 wt --- 13 oz
Thermal Shirt, REI Synthetic --- 9 oz
Thermal Pants, REI Synthetic --- 8 oz
Gloves, Columbia Fleece --- 2 oz
Beanie hat, Wigwam --- 3 oz
Total Clothes --- 76 oz = 4.75 Pounds

Kitchen
Stove, Aluminum Can Penny stove --- 2 oz
Fuel Bottle, Plastic for Everclear --- 1 oz
Cook pot, Large, 2-Liter Aluminum --- 17 oz
Windscreen, Aluminum Foil --- 2 oz
Lighter --- 1 oz
Matches --- 1 oz
Cup --- 4 oz
Bowl --- 2 oz
Spoon --- 0 oz
Sponge --- 0 oz
Food Bag --- 4 oz
Water Filtration, MSR --- 16 oz
Platypus, 2-liter --- 4 oz
Bottle, Nalgene 1-Liter --- 6 oz
Flask, 16-fl oz Plastic --- 2 oz
Total Kitchen --- 62 oz = 3.875 Pounds

Hygiene
Toiletry Kit --- 18 oz
First Aid Kit --- 5 oz
Towel --- 5 oz
Trowel --- 2 oz
TP --- 3 oz
Total Hygiene --- 33 oz = 2.0625 Pounds

Personal
Keys --- 1 oz
Wallet --- 3 oz
Glasses & Case --- 2 oz
Phone --- 5 oz
Knife --- 3 oz
Headlamp & batts --- 4 oz
Monocular --- 2 oz
Laser --- 3 oz
Magnifying glass --- 1 oz
Compass --- 2 oz
Camera --- 9 oz
Book --- 9 oz
Cord 50' --- 5 oz
Ziplocs, trash bags --- 2 oz
Total Personal --- 51 oz = 3.1875 Pounds

Total Base Weight --- 401 oz = 25.0625 Pounds


Consumables (2.5 days)

Food (24 oz/day) --- 60 oz
Booze (4 oz/person/day) --- 10 oz
Water (full platy to start each day) --- 66 oz
Fuel, Everclear (2 oz/day) --- 5 oz
Total Consumables --- 141 oz = 8.8125 Pounds


Total Packed --- 542 oz = 33.875 Pounds


Total Skin-Out --- 608 oz = 38 Pounds




This seems to be heavier than other people carry.

Believe it or not, I have already pared this down significantly since earlier this summer, while also adding a few new things for more questionable weather this fall. My next trip will be ligher than my last because I added the alcohol stove and got rid of a monster old Coleman --- haven't tried it out on a trip yet though. Generaly I have also been carrying more than this list too, becasue I do not have my own shelter, and I carry half of a 2-man REI half dome tent (about 2.5 - 3.0 pounds) so that I can have a spot in it if weather turns bad --- but I have never actually had to use that option.

I'd like to be able to add a new shelter for myself. And I am also likely to need to add a bear cannister. It is highly recommended and maybe even required for some of the areas I want to go next year. And after adding the cannister and the new shelter, I want to change up the rest of the gear enough to maintain or lower the total weight.

Any advice would be helpful. I don't necessarily need to go ultralight, just lighter, and I still want to be budget conscious.


Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2008, 08:17 AM
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Trudy Trudy is offline
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Posts: 199
It is quite a complete list.

The best place to cut weight is in your Big Four. The Kelty pack is 7 lbs. 2 oz. You could save 5 lbs or more right there by going with something similar to a Jam2 or Granite Gear Vapor Trail. Both are reasonably priced, around $100.

The REI sleeping bag is quite heavy at 52 oz. A good 15 degree down bag could be pricey but would come in at about 32 oz. Even the well-regarded Campmor 20 degree down bag is lighter at 36 oz and $110.

18 oz. is kind of heavy for a toiletry kit. You need soap, sanitizer, maybe a razor?
17 oz. for a 2L aluminum pot. Maybe you are cooking for more than yourself - that is really big for one person. A decent pot can be had cheaply (i.e. WalMart grease pot) for about 5 oz.
You could save 8 oz. by leaving one pair of pants home. Rain pants plus the long underwear bottoms will be good enough for all but the harshest conditions.

Just my initial thoughts, I'm sure others will have more insight.
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  #3  
Old 11-14-2008, 08:38 AM
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Perkolady Perkolady is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 978
Hi dragonrider,

Many people cannot just go and buy all the latest, lightest gear out there...

I would suggest that as your budget allows, with each new purchase, shop around to see what the lightest, most practial options are out there that are affordable for you. Sure, it takes a while, but ounces quickly add up to pounds.

Also, you can take a close look at what you already have, and see if there is some way to make each thing lighter without compromising function. For example: removing straps you never use (or even shortening if possible), making your towel smaller, bringing only the minimum wallet items- things like this can really add up quickly to weight savings.

There are some things that could always be substitued for other things that are inexpensive and light too- things like an empty soft drink bottle for a flask, a mini lighter instead of full-size, a 1L Aquafina bottle instead of a Nalgene, making a windscreen out of an aluminum oven liner rather than using foil, or even something like using an inexpensive Fresnel type lens, or one of those magnifyers that come with those eyeglass repair kits (each super light!). These are just a few examples, but I'm sure you get the idea.

So, maybe start with the small stuff and see what you might be able to come up with for some weight savings in those areas in between good deals you might be able to score when they present themselves

Perkolady
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2008, 09:32 AM
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Trudy Trudy is offline
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Posts: 199
Should have said the Kelty pack is 5 lb. 4 oz.
Still big enough that it could be lightened considerably.
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2008, 12:56 PM
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dragonrider dragonrider is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trudy
It is quite a complete list.

The best place to cut weight is in your Big Four. The Kelty pack is 7 lbs. 2 oz. You could save 5 lbs or more right there by going with something similar to a Jam2 or Granite Gear Vapor Trail. Both are reasonably priced, around $100.

The REI sleeping bag is quite heavy at 52 oz. A good 15 degree down bag could be pricey but would come in at about 32 oz. Even the well-regarded Campmor 20 degree down bag is lighter at 36 oz and $110.

18 oz. is kind of heavy for a toiletry kit. You need soap, sanitizer, maybe a razor?
17 oz. for a 2L aluminum pot. Maybe you are cooking for more than yourself - that is really big for one person. A decent pot can be had cheaply (i.e. WalMart grease pot) for about 5 oz.
You could save 8 oz. by leaving one pair of pants home. Rain pants plus the long underwear bottoms will be good enough for all but the harshest conditions.

Just my initial thoughts, I'm sure others will have more insight.

Thanks, Trudy!

Unfortuately, the Kelty pack is a new purchase this summer, so it may have to do for awhile. As you noted in a later post, it is actually 5lb 4oz, but I still probably could have made a lighter choice. This pack replaced an old external frame of about the same weight. Even though it was not lighter, it was a HUGE improvement because of the much better suspension. Right now I feel like all my gear fits in this pack without a lot of room to spare, so I think I am going to have to focus on bringing down all the other weight and volume before I look for another pack. When the time comes, I'll take a look at the packs you suggested.

I agree that the bag is too heavy and is overkill for most of the year. I've always been more partial to synthetic bags than down, because I am concerned what would happen if my bag got wet. But I think I am going to look at more warm-weather bags in the +35 range for next season.

Following your suggestion to concentrate on the Big Four, I'm going to look into a lighter, smaller ground sheet. The shelter is something I'll probably wait on until next season.

I'll take a closer look at the toiletry kit. There are probably some things I can repackage or reduce. I've got the liquid soap and sanitizer you mentioned. No razor. But there is also sunscreen, DEET, toothbrush, tooth paste, hair brush, small plastic mirror, deodorant, medicines, ziploc bag for the liquid containers, and mesh bag for the rest.

The 17-oz 2-liter pot is bigger than I need for myself, but like you said, we haved used it for more than 1 person. I also have a 1.5-liter I can use at 14 oz, and a 1-liter at 10 oz. The nice thing about the large one is that almost all the remaining kitchen stuff fits inside it so well. The other thing I like about these pots is that they are non-stick and the lids can be used as frying pans. I'll take a look at fitting everyting in the medium-sized pot instead, and maybe take a look at the WallMart grease pot if I can bear to give up my non-stick surface.

Good suggestion on leaving the extra pants and taking only the rain pants. I'll think about that. I don't take all of these clothes on every trip. In the summer I left behind some of the warmer clothing. This list is all of the stuff I would take for the widest variety of conditions I could encounter. I went on an overnighter about 2 weeks ago, and it got into the 30's, and this set of clothing worked very well. I was warm, and even if it had gotten colder, I am sure I would have been fine. I had on everything except for the rain gear and the extra changes of clothing.
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2008, 01:16 PM
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Wayback Wayback is offline
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Posts: 243
Dragonrider, You are off to a good start by making a list and knowing what your gear weighs (not what you think it weighs). My suggestions, FWIW:

Pack- Look for something with a frame that will hold your gear and fits you. (I would not recommend going frameless at this point, and maybe never.) There are several good packs that will handle a bear can in the 2 - 3 lb range, and quite a few just a little heavier. Save 2.5 to 3.5 lbs. Cost $150 to $225.

Sleeping bag- For summer packing you can probably get by with a quality bag rated at 30-35 degrees and layer up with extra clothing if it gets colder. Wt in 18 to 24 oz range. Cost $225 to $275. This is a hard area to cheaply cut weight. Nevertheless, there are relatively inexpensive bags that will work in this temp range at half weight of your current bag. Save > 2.5 lbs.

Sleep pad- I carry a full-size BA air-core pad, so I only save about 5 oz on what you carry. Comfort is important, but you may find a 3/4 length closed cell foam pad at 9 to 12 oz is plenty for you. Cost $15 - $25. You could save about a pound.

Cook pot- A 2 liter pot is overkill for one and probably more than your alky stove can handle. Other options include IMUSA mug at 2.8 oz w/ homemade lid, MSR titan kettle at 4.2 oz, and Campmor camp boiler at 6.4 oz. Capacity and cost for each: 24 oz & about $4, 29 oz & $50, 40 oz & $9.95. Save 10.6 to 14.2 oz.

Lighter and Matches: 2 mini Bic lighters weigh about 1 oz total and are super reliable and last for months of lights. Ditch the big lighter and matches. Save 1 oz.

Cup and bowl- Get a lighter bowl and use it as a mug too. Cost is $0 for old margarine tub or take out container. Tape a piece of bubble wrap around to insulate. Save 3 oz.

Nalgene 1 liter- Quart Gatorade bottle costs $1.25 including drink. Weighs 1.8 oz and is nearly indestructible. You can go even lighter, but will sacrifice some durability. Save 4.2 oz.

Flask 16 fl oz- Use soft drink bottle and save 1 oz.

MSR Filter- There are filters lighter than 16 oz. Leave the filter behind and take 40 MicroPur tablets at under 0.5 oz. Cost is about $16, but you get 10 gallons of water w/ no viruses (which filters do not stop), no bacteria, and no anything else, and save 15.5 oz.

Toiletries- A small tooth brush, paste, soap, Germ-x, sunscreen, bug dope, and powder for a week weighs less than 6 oz. You can cut 12 oz here. Cost is negligible.

Towel- Use a bandana or a small packtowel. A packtowel big enough for most anything will weigh about 1.5 oz. Cost $10. Save 3.5 oz.

Trowel- Use your hiking pole or a free stick or rock. Save 2 oz.

Wallet- A zip lock baggy w/ DL, CC, and some cash will be about 1 oz. Save 2 oz.

Headlamp and batteries- Go with a Petzel E-lite and a Photon microlite both at 1.3 oz and have plenty of light for a week's trip w/out carrying extra batteries. Costs $30 & $10. Save 2.7 oz.

Cord 50'- Pay <$5 to get 300' of braided masons cord. Take 50' and save 4.25 oz.

Clothes bag & food bag- Upgrade to silnylon bags at less than half the weight. About 1 oz to 1.5 oz each and $10 to $14 each. Save about 4.5 oz.

Laser- ?

Unfortunately, not all these recommendations are cheap. Nevertheless, without any appreciable cost in comfort, that's about a 10 pound savings for a start.
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2008, 10:03 PM
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Grannyhiker Grannyhiker is offline
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Backpack: SMD Comet
Sleeping Gear: WM Ultralight/KookaBay custom insulated air pad
Shelter: Tarptent/Gossamer Gear Squall Classic
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 418
I went through this process several years ago, getting my base weight down to 15 lbs. without sacrificing any comfort or safety. I'm now going through everything again, trying to knock off a few more pounds .

Some things really jump out from your list: boots, pack, sleeping bag, cooking pot and toilet articles; others are more subtle.

Boots: Most people these days hike in trail runners, for a savings of a pound or more per pair over your boots. The weight you lift up and down on your feet is far more tiring than comparable weight on your back! Some lightweight "mid" hiking shoes are available at around 30 oz. per pair, if you aren't quite ready to take the leap to low shoes. I've found, though, that I can't turn an ankle even on purpose in my trail runners--they are actually more supportive than my former heavy boots!

Pack: See if you can sell yours--you won't make back the new price but it will help you finance a lighter pack. I went from a 5-lb. Kelty external frame pack to a Six Moon Designs Comet (27 oz. including the optional stays which, IMHO, are necessary)--I've carried up to 36 lbs. in it. However, it's a good idea to wait to buy a new pack until you have most of your other gear finalized. You want your pack the right size to fit your gear, not the other way around. At least wait until you buy a shelter before replacing your pack. Then there's the butchery option, which I did on a pack for my grandson, age 7: How many ounces of unnecessary gewgaws can you remove from your pack and still keep it functional? Can you ditch the lid or some of the multiple pockets? Substitute lighter-weight straps?

Sleeping bag: Another place you could really cut both weight and bulk. Again, sell the old one (or, if it's still new, return it--even REI has much lighter bags, and they do have this awesome return policy). The North Face Cats Meow at 44 oz. (men's regular) is a lighter synthetic bag of comparable warmth, and there are other lighter synthetic bags around. For down, a Western Mountaineering bag (the Cadillac of bags and many $$$$) will run 27-29 oz. while the Campmor down bag recommended by many as a low-budget alternative is 38 oz. Note that while the really expensive bags (especially Western Mountaineering) are accurately rated, less expensive bags are invariably 5 to 10 degrees overrated--in other words, the 20* TNF, Kelty, REI or Campmor bag is more like a 30* bag. I'm a cold sleeper, so I get cold in a 20* bag such as TNF's Cat's Meow when it gets below 35*. I can, of course, extend it further by putting on extra clothing inside, especially my fleece cap. My Western Mountaineering bag, though, takes even always-cold me down to its advertised 20* rating. A few US manufacturers who sell in Europe will show the EU ratings, although you may have to go on their British websites to find out. There are no standards for sleeping bag temp ratings in the US, but the EU has them.

The big thing with any sleeping bag--down or synthetic--is be really conscientious about keeping it dry. Use a dry bag or sealed watertight plastic bag when it's in your pack--you can slip and fall while crossing a creek, as I did last summer. When unpacked, keep it under your shelter. If there's a "sunbreak" at mid-day, stop and air the bag out. If (and only if) the nights are below freezing, try a vapor barrier inside the bag so the moisture from your body doesn't freeze on the inside of the outer shell and then melt into the insulation. Pick your shelter site carefully, so that if there's really heavy rain you won't end up sleeping in a puddle. I can tell you from bitter(ly cold) experience (see the previous sentence!) that a soggy synthetic bag is not any warmer than a soggy down bag. Down takes up a lot less space--you don't need a steam roller to compact it down to the size of a football. Down also lasts longer (if taken care of)--synthetic insulation loses its loft much sooner after being compressed multiple times.

Pad: Consider an insulated air pad, lighter and a lot more comfortable than what you have. If you can be comfortable on a 3/4 pad (48"), my POE InsulMat Max Thermo (now called the Ether Thermo) is 16.9 oz. Or, for lighter weight but less comfort, go to closed-cell foam. Only you can decide.

Tarp--this much weight for just a ground sheet? Consider a piece of plastic painter's drop cloth, 1-2 mil., for 1-2 oz. Or a piece of Tyvek for about 4-5 oz. For $65 and the same weight as your plastic tarp, you could get an Equinox 8'x10' silicon-coated nylon tarp from Campmor, add poles (if you don't use trekking poles), stakes and guylines, and there's your palatial shelter, for maybe 1 1/4 lbs. Get a yard of wedding veil material for a bug net in season.

Clothes bag: 3 oz. seems awfully heavy. Try plastic bags or a lighter bag. A Sea to Summit UltraSil 6L Dry Bag will keep your clothes dry at 1.1 oz.

Pants: Eliminate altogether or get convertible pants with zip-off legs. If you're going to be in a buggy area or will be at high altitude (where the sun will overpower any sunscreen!), then you do need long pants. In that case, leave the shorts at home if you don't want to buy convertibles.

Rain shell--16 oz. is a bit heavy, IMHO. Later on, you may want to look for something lighter. Unless you go to something like Dri-Ducks (which are much lighter, cheaper and very breathable, but need replacing every year and are not for brush-bashing), you probably won't save more than 4 oz., but keep it in mind for later.

Cook pot: K Mart's grease pot, with the grease strainer removed, is about $5, holds a little over 1 liter and weighs 4 ounces. Consider simplified cooking. I rehydrate dried food in freezer bags (Freezer Bag Cooking) and eat out of those. My pot is used only for boiling water or for tea, which I drink out of the pot. No dishes to wash! Certainly the bowl is unnecessary even if you cook in the pot, because you can eat out of the pot. Note that alcohol stoves aren't for fancy cooking, because most of them don't simmer. If you're going to do gourmet camp cooking, you probably want a canister stove that allows you to adjust the flame really low.

Filter--The ULA Amigo Pro gravity filter weighs only 7.5 oz. and requires no pumping. Or use chlorine dioxide tablets (same stuff your city uses). The tablets aren't quite as weight-saving as they sound. The water has to sit for a couple of hours after treating to get all the giardia/crypto cysts, so you may have to carry more water at a time. In other words, don't run out of water before you start treating more.

Bottle--ditch the Nalgene; a Platypus 1L bottle is 1 oz. An empty 1L soda pop bottle is cheaper and still much lighter than the Nalgene.

Trowel--from the weight, you seem to have one of those plastic potty trowels. I can tell you from experience that they are completely useless if the ground is dry! I have an ancient 1-oz. tent stake of thick aluminum which does a far better job. Or your heel and a sharp stick if the ground isn't too hard.

Toiletries--are you carrying your stuff in the original containers? Get some tiny plastic bottles (REI has bins of 1 oz. bottles) and carry just enough of each item for the trip. Be sure everything is unscented so you'll attract fewer bears or bugs, although even unscented toiletries still attract bears and must be hung or go in your bear canister at night (reason for reducing bulk as well as weight). If you must have deodorant, cut a tiny piece off the end of a deodorant stick and put in a small plastic bag ("snack" bag size). Baking soda (highly recommended by dentists) is much lighter than toothpaste, deodorizes, or can be made into a paste to soothe itching bug bites. Do you really need that hair brush? (Ask yourself that question for everything!) A small pocket comb with a coarse end and a fine end should be more than sufficient. I never take soap but use hand sanitizer for hands and plain water elsewhere. Towel: I use Handi-Wipes from the supermarket. A packet usually lasts summer. Two of them are as absorbent as a small pack towel, dry in 30 minutes or less and weighs 0.3 oz. each.

Wallet--put just the most necessary items in a plastic sandwich bag and leave the wallet at home. About 1 ounce, not including keys. However, don't leave anything of value (or that would be a clue to your identity) in your car parked at the trailhead. I'd rather pack a little more than reward a trailhead car clouter!

Knife--lots of good knives for, say, 1.5 oz. or even less. Some folks just take a single edge razor blade.

Booze--Is it really worth the extra weight? I find that I get plenty "high" just being out in the wilderness! I also want to be able to function fully should an emergency happen an hour or two after bedtime. But that's me--Your Mileage May Vary!

Book--I know it's supposed to be sacrilege, but I take a razor blade to the book and take just the portion I will be reading during the trip. In my case, the subject of the butchery is a pocket-sized Bible (slow reading), and with a sandwich bag to keep a couple of sections dry that's 1 oz.

Phone--depends on where you live. I never take my cell phone because where I hike in the Rockies and Cascades there is no reception--it's dead weight.

Laser????

Headlamp--Instead of extra batteries, I load a fresh set of lithiums into my headlamp (make sure your headlamp can take them) just before the trip and take one of those tiny photon lights as backup. The photon light, whistle and compass are on a cord around my neck at all times--1.3 oz. total. I'm going to try one of those Petzl e+Lites next summer.

Apparently omitted: map, compass, lightweight whistle. These are considered safety essentials. You can get a quite adequate Silva Starter 1-2-3 compass for under $10. Learn how to use it and a topographic map.

General: You have done this, so I'm only mentioning it for others who want to lighten up. Make up a computer spreadsheet with everything you take and the weights. If your scale weighs only to the nearest ounce, you may want to consider looking in your local office supply store for a good postage scale that weighs to the nearest 0.1 ounce. I take my scale with me when I go gear shopping--REI hates me, but I won't buy something I can't weigh first. The spreadsheet will not only let you see instantly the effect on the total of adding, subtracting or changing items, but, just as important, gives you a checklist to print out for each trip. After each trip, go through and mark the items you didn't use or of which you had lots left over.

Budget: Watch for sales (a lot going on now, trying to stimulate business) and do a lot of comparison shopping. Don't try to get everything all at once or at one store. Don't let the sales persons in standard retail outdoor stores (like REI) and articles in some periodicals (like Backpacker Magazine) sell you "bomber" gear that weighs and often costs way too much (that's what they make their money on, at the expense of your back, knees, feet and bank account). Use the internet. Don't be afraid to shop on the net--just make sure the sites are secure before entering personal info (and close your browser afterward) and use your credit card, not a debit card (far more protection in case of problems). A number of outfitters that sell on the internet (BackcountryGear, Backcountry (no relation), Altrec and many others) give you free shipping if you order over a certain dollar amount ($50 for these three). Do be prepared to pay return shipping charges--better than getting something you don't want. Check the return policy on each firm's website very carefully. You can find lots of closeout items (may be a horrible color, but so what) on the outlets of the last two listed above, REI Outlet, Campmor and Sierra Trading Post. Much of the best and most innovative lightweight gear is sold by "cottage manufacturers" only on the internet. A few of these to check out are Tarptent, Six Moon Designs, Gossamer Gear, ULA-Equipment, Mountain Laurel Designs, Titanium Goat, AntiGravity Gear--you'll find others if you read through the posts on this site . You can get a lot of information by going through their online catalogs and comparing items, and some sites have quite a bit of other useful info. While neither weight nor price nor quality is everything alone, learn to juggle the three to get what you want within your budget while keeping it light. A really good lightweight sleeping bag (such as Western Mountaineering) will be by far the most expensive item you will ever get, and you'll probably want to save up for an eventual purchase--it's worth every penny and, if well cared-for, should last a lifetime.

Googling "Lightweight Backpacking" will pick up many excellent sites (including, of course, this one) that will give you information on lightening your load, sources for lightweight gear, etc. A lot will have gear lists, and some have low-budget options. Note, however, that the some of the "super-duper ultra light" lists are based on hiking 15 hours per day, staying in the sleeping bag for warmth when stopped, being a lot more uncomfortable than I'd want to be and, IMHO, considerable prayer. There is a lot to be learned, though, from seeing how they make one item have multiple uses and eliminate any redundancy in gear items.

The back yard (yours or a friend's) should be your testing ground. Try out every new piece of gear there (keep it clean until you decide whether or not to keep it), and practice with the new gear (especially setting up a new shelter) before you take it out on a trip.

Best wishes for a lighter pack and (as a result) happier trails!
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2008, 11:38 PM
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dragonrider dragonrider is offline
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Perkolady,

Thanks for your suggestions!

Because some of the larger items that some of the members have suggested are a bit out of reach pricewise for awhile, I'm going to take a look at some of the inexpensive substitutes for smaller items you suggested:
  • Trading the flask for an empty soda bottle --- easy.
  • Mini lighter instead of full-size --- cheap.
  • And a cheapo magnifier from an eyeglass repair kit (I think I already have this somewhere).
The Nalgene bottle is actually required for the older water filter that I have, unless there is some other kind of adapter I can get to pump the clean water into a platypus. I haven't looked into that. When I bought it years ago, I was told it is designed to screw onto the top of a Nalgene, and that is how I have always used it. I would like to ditch the Nalgene bottle. Other that when I am filtering water, about the only time I use it is when I am going to mix some kind of flavoring into the water, and then the wide mouth is handy. Often it is just in the pack empty taking up space and making weight.

You suggested making a windscreen out of an aluminum oven liner rather than using foil. Will that actually weigh less? I think I would actually prefer the more rigid aluminum I think you are talking about, but will it really weight less? I'll check into that.

Thanks again!

Wayback,

Thanks for such a detailed response!

For now I am going to put off any changes to the pack until I get all the rest of gear sorted out. The new pack will be the icing on the cake after I prove I can reduce to the point of comfortably fitting and carrying the load in a lighter, smaller pack.

Sleeping bag --- I'll look into a +35 bag next season. Right now I don't want to bite off that kind of expenditure, and anything I do in the next few month will probably warrant using the warmer bag anyway.

Sleep pad --- The pad is new and a big improvement over the older one I had. For now I'll keep that and look into something else later.

Cook pot --- I agree that there is something that can be done about this. The 2-liter is more than I need for myself, but with 3 or 4 guys we used my larger pot more often than the other guys' smaller ones because it was nice to boil water for everyone at one time. The other thing I like is that my entire kitchen kit fits inside it, so it keeps everything contained. And it is big enough that I can wash other things in it. It just weighs a lot. At the least, I am going to see if I can fit my kit inside one of the smaller pots I have, and after that maybe I'll look into some of your other suggestions. It seems like I could cut a lot of ounces without much expense there. Thanks for the suggestions.

Lighter and Matches --- I will get the mini bics. Good suggestion.

Cup and bowl --- At the least, I will get a lighter cup, and probably take your suggestion for one cup/mug to do double duty.

Nalgene 1 liter --- like I mentioned to Perkolady, it's part of my water filtration set up. If I can get an adapter to send water to my platypus, or if I get a different water purification system, I'll ditch the Nalgene.

Flask 16 fl oz --- I'll take your suggestion to use a soft drink bottle.

MSR Filter --- I'll look into some other options on this. I do carry the tablets as a back up, so maybe I'll just use those. Or look into a lighter filter and one that doesn't require the Nalgene.

Toiletries --- I'll see if I can repackage my stuff down to your 6 ounces. I know I am carrying more than I need for my trips.

Towel --- I need to reweigh the one I have, because I am pretty sure the number I have here is wrong --- probably aready have the 1.5 ounce towel you mentioned. It's pretty small.

Trowel --- But I love my "Shovel of Joy!" Ha ha! I'll see what I can do.

Wallet --- I can easliy trim this down and put it in a ziploc. Good suggestion.

Headlamp and batteries --- I like my headlamp, but I also do carry the micro light backup, so I guess I can leave my extra batteries at home. Good point.

Cord 50' --- I like my cord, but if I can save a quarter pound, I'll look into the mason's cord. I've never heard that term, so I'm not immediately sure what mason's cord is. How strong is it?

Clothes bag & food bag --- I'll check into the silnylon bags. If I have to carry a cannister, I'll ditch the food bag (but have the weight of the cannister instead).

Laser --- Ha ha! I knew I would get comments about this! It is an astronomy laser that makes a bright green, pencil-thin line out to infinity. I use it to point out astronomical objects to my amazed campmates. It's 3 ounces of AWESOME, so I think I NEED it.

Thanks for doing all this work, especially the estimated weight savings for each suggestion! Like you said, they are not all inexpensive ideas, but even if I can't get the whole 10-pound savings right away, you gave me some great ideas for a start.

-------

Grannyhiker, thanks for your detailed suggestions!

Boots --- I actually made the switch to lighter hiking shoes some time ago, but unfortunately my latest pair did not serve me well on the trail. They are great for just wearing around or when I am just out on an easy light dayhike, which I do pretty often, but on a backpacking trip with more demanding terrain and weight, my toes were jamming on the downhills. It's just a bad fit, but until I wear them out and get a better fitting pair, I am going back to the boots for the backpacking trips, unfortunately.

Pack --- I am waiting on this until I get all the rest of the gear finalized, as you suggested. Then I'll try to sell my old one lightly used, along with a few other things I'll be upgrading. Then I'll look at all the brands and models people have been suggesting.

Sleeping bag --- As I mentioned to the others, I'm holding off for now and looking at lighter bags for warmer weather next season. Thanks for your thoughts on brands and models.

Pad --- I'll probably keep this one for a bit.

Tarp ---I'll look into getting some tyvek. I am also very intersted in the silicon-coated nylon tarp, trekking poles, stakes and guylines shelter.

Clothes bag --- I'm looking into the silnylon sacks.

Pants --- I think I am going for the convertibles. I really prefer shorts when sun and bugs are not a problem, but I don't think I want my rain pants to be my only pants.

Rain shell --- I got a really great deal on this on clearance, so I think I'll keep it for awhile. Wasn't my first choice but a LOT lighter than the heavy GoreTex I had had for years, and a great price.

Cook pot --- I am going to look into your suggestions and those of the others on this. For now, the alcohol stove is an experiment. Once I get settled on a style of cooking I am happy with, I'm going to rethink the WHOLE kitchen so that things will nest well and be as light as possible.

Filter and Nalgene --- for now these two go together. Thanks for some ideas to consider on this.

Trowel --- Yeah, this is probably redundant.

Toiletries --- I'm going to see how much I can reduce by repackaging.

Wallet --- I will try the baggie trick.

Knife --- This is a Swiss army style, so it has a lot of handy tools on it that I like to bring.

Booze --- Ha ha! I was wondering if I would get any comments. My mileage does vary, but I still require at least SOME fuel.

Book --- Oooooooooo! Trouble! Cutting up books is sacrilege, and cutting up BIBLES is a double-whammy super sacrilege! I might not use the razor blade, but I'll look for some "light" reading.

Phone --- The main reason I pack this is that I like to have it in the car for the trip, but I don't want to LEAVE it in the car. I agree, it is mostly useless dead weight on the trail.

Laser --- Ha ha! It's an astronomny laser for pointing out stars! Absolutely essential toy!

Headlamp --- I am ditching the extra batteries. I already have a mini LED lamp for backup.

Apparently omitted: map, compass, lightweight whistle --- actually I carry all of this too.

You mentioned a spreadsheet. I actually made a GREAT Excel spreadsheet with items and weights. It lists multiple items for each category. For example, under packs it lists my old external frame pack, my new internal frame pack, my wife's pack, and packs I have had suggested to me to consider buying. Then there are a series of columns for doing comparisons. Each camparison has a column to indicate if a particular item is being taken on the trip or not. That way I can see how much weight I'll carry if I bring my winter gear as opposed to summer gear. Or I can see how much my load will be affected if I spend $500 on a new pack and sleeping bag. Or I can compare what two people will carry on the same trip together. It's kind of fun. When I total up the stuff then actually assemble the pack and weigh it, it comes out pretty close, but always off by some. So now I wish I had done like you suggested and weighed everything out to 1/10 ounces instead of rounding.

Thanks again for your help!

Last edited by dragonrider : 11-15-2008 at 01:26 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #9  
Old 11-15-2008, 11:23 AM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
eay eay is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonrider
Nalgene 1 liter --- like I mentioned to Perkolady, it's part of my water filtration set up. If I can get an adapter to send water to my platypus, or if I get a different water purification system, I'll ditch the Nalgene.
Consider a Nalgene canteen - lighter than the bottle and folds up smaller when not filled. I think it's the same lid as a Nalgene bottle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonrider
Wallet --- I will try the baggie trick.


I do this, works well. I even found 'snack size' ziplocks that are just the right heights for a debit card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonrider
I actually made a GREAT Excel spreadsheet with items and weights.


My spreadsheet is my favorite hiking accessory!
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  #10  
Old 11-15-2008, 05:18 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
Perkolady Perkolady is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Valued Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 978
Hi dragonrider,
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonrider

The Nalgene bottle is actually required for the older water filter that I have, unless there is some other kind of adapter I can get to pump the clean water into a platypus. I haven't looked into that. When I bought it years ago, I was told it is designed to screw onto the top of a Nalgene, and that is how I have always used it.


Even if this were something where you HAD to use the Nalgene, you could maybe have a look at the Nalgene collapsable bottles...

Which filter is it? I'd really like to know- there may be some way around this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonrider
You suggested making a windscreen out of an aluminum oven liner rather than using foil. Will that actually weigh less? I think I would actually prefer the more rigid aluminum I think you are talking about, but will it really weight less?

After reading your reply, I went and checked...
For my 2L aluminum pot set up, my oven liner windscreen weighs 1/2 oz.
For my smaller kits, the weight is even less. If you end up going with a little bit smaller pot as suggested, your windscreen would also be smaller.

These are very easy to store in your kit too, btw. I usually just keep them inside my pot, where they don't get mangled.

Perkolady
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