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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 03-13-2013, 09:19 PM
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rohare rohare is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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I'm too heavy, but can't think of anything else to cut

Hello everyone! I'm just getting back into backpacking after being away for 13 years because my wife made the mistake of discretely expressing an interest in the subject. She doesn't know what hit her . Anyways, the whole ultra-light concept is totally new to me and I've been researching with vigor. I've adopted many of these concepts into my planning and it's helping a lot, I've still got three huge weight problems. One is the location we've chosen and neither one of us wants to change it. We plan on being dropped off at Sonora pass and hiking south on the PCT until we can break off south-west and be picked up in the Yosemite valley (about 90 miles). Maybe we'll work in a climb of half-dome, I'm still trying to convince her on that one. Because of our chosen field of battle, there are no resupply points on the route, so we have to carry all our food for the whole trip. I'm calculating 1.5 pounds of food per person per day with an estimate of 12 days hiking (we're not ancient, but we're no spring chickens). If all goes as planned, one or two of those will be zero-days. That means we'll be carrying 18 lb. of food per person at the start of the trip. Are my time or weight estimates "out to lunch" or is this reasonably accurate?

Next is our backpacks. We have a ridiculously small shoe-string budget. The only way I could make this work was to buy used. And the cheapest used I could get my hands on and still feel confident that I wasn't buying something that would fall apart was military surplus. We got two marine corp main packs for $70 bucks (total, not each) that were in great condition, but they started out at 9 lb. each! With some judicious use of scissors and removing unnecessary accessories I've gotten them down to 7.8 lb each. I can't do much more about this, but it makes the necessity to cut weight elsewhere that much more important. On the bright side, they are really, really comfortable.

The final major problem is the bear cannisters. Because we are going to be in Yosemite they are required . The lightest one I could find that wouldn't annihilate my wallet and appeared to be big enough is the bear vault 500 at just over 2.5 lb. and I don't see a way to get away with only having one. Because our trip puts us in the Yosemite wilderness most of the time I think we'll both have to carry one each. My only hope is that on the Yosemite website they list an "approved backpack" called the "wise backpack". I couldn't figure out what this was but I'm hoping it's something like a small day-pack that doubles as an approved bear bag. Does anyone have any enlightenment for me on this?

Besides these three biggies, we're going really, really, light. Esbit stove, 1 small pot, no utensils except a spork each, even single led button lights instead of regular flashlights.

Anyways, if anyone has suggestions or answers to my questions I'd really appreciate the input. Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2013, 02:17 AM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
 
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i hear you on the shoe-string budget. there's ways and there are ways. shopping remainders, clearance, closeout.

what sort of sleeping gear are you packing? hammocks really are lighter once you start hammocking smart, compared to a tent. i myself am finally converting to full hammocking. it's an extremely popular and very comfortable thing to do. if one of you is handy with a sewing machine you can make underquilts and topquilts that will be warmer and more comfortable than sleeping bags for a lot less than most sleeping bags cost.

if you're going to ground, you could look into the quilt/pad technique. again, very light, very comfortable, and if you're handy with a sewing machine...

if you're dead set on sleeping bags i highly recommend the desert pine by ALPS. i've got one. they're solid, if a smidge bulky. perhaps a touch warm for your end of the world.


one way to really save on gear you don't have is REI membership - that is, it gives you a significant break on rental costs. for some items a 12 day trip will bring the cost up to matching the item NEW, but for others you might get lucky.

have you checked up on wood stove regulations? more effective than esbit(which is pretty effective but very limited), just as light. zero fuel weight, maximum fuel versatility.

bear bags like the ursack are probably your smart bet. some national parks have cans/sacks available for a tiny but nominal rental fee. Bear Can Fundamentals is a good thread to start with. look into bearikade. they rent canisters(as explained in the linked thread) for pretty cheap, and their cans are impressively designed.

what water treatment method are you using? there's ways and ways to cut down there. ClO2 tablets/drops, for one. provided your water source is clear, it'll kill everything. you can skimp on the pump-filter and carry a light(and very cheap) simple pump.

clothing is another small area to shave weight in, though you have to be careful. but i'm a big advocate of poncho over full rain gear. it's lighter and simpler, and your poncho can double as a shelter, saving you a ton of weight there. if you go with military style ponchos, if you buy the new type you save a bundle of weight(they're incredibly light) and you can double them up and have a proper tent. convertible pants are a common item, giving you effectively two garments for the weight cost of one. consider wearing base-layers as your day to day garments. don't skimp on underwear and socks but don't load up. lightweight layers do an amazing job of temperature control with little weight penalty.

your food budget, to me, is VERY optimistic. if you run into delays you're looking at a lean day or two. not life-threatening but not fun. i personally take my time budget and add a day and a half in summer, double in winter when food planning.
look into high calorie low weight stuff as much as you can. if you can hit 100cal/oz you're in great shape(and will run about 2400 calories a day). things like moose goo(and my slightly higher-calorie riff on it with cocoa added - moose poo) are high-energy, reasonably nutritious, and decently tasty but may pale on you. if you need bulky with calories, look to soup. carry all the dry lightweight parts with you, add water, bam big meal. add rice to really punch it up.

your mileage doesn't sound too bad. eight miles a day is pretty doable.

you'd be surprised to hear that your weight penalty in the packs isn't THAT bad. my own pack could do 12 days with careful planning(though that's about the limit) and it weighs somewhere close to five pounds. mind you, two pounds and some is a lot, but not TERRIBLE.

good luck, i'm looking forward to hearing the budget planning process, and seeing the results
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2013, 11:40 AM
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GWyble GWyble is offline
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Backpack: Mariposa Plus / REI Flash 65
Sleeping Gear: Eureka Silver City / Lafuma WnL 600
Shelter: Tarptent Squall 2 / Appy Trails Mark V
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: St Charles, MO
Posts: 209
rohare,

It is good that your wife shares your interest. A 12 day trip is pretty ambitious. If you and your wife have been on several multiday trips it is probably manageable but if this is your maiden voyage I might suggest you take some shorter trips. This will give you valuable experience and possibly avoid having your wife only go on one backpacking trip in her life or you guys having to bail out a day or two into the trip.

I notice the BV500 is "sized" for 7 days. Is this going to be sufficient?

Glenn
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  #4  
Old 03-14-2013, 05:50 PM
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rohare rohare is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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To dsuursoo: Thanks much, you've got some good data there. On the stove, I did suggest going with wood, but my wife was uncomfortable with the idea of not having our fuel with us. She's probably right about that too because much of our route is above the tree-line. On the Ursack, I'd buy one right now except Yosemite has de-listed it as an approved bear container. I'm holding off on buying anything until next season (we're planning on going next June or July) to see if they put it back on the list. If so, that solves my whole bear container problem because they are significantly lighter and cheaper. For water treatment we are planning on trying UV like the steri-pen with a single bottle of aqua-mira as backup in case of failure. Both together are lighter than any pump. We are planning on using the convertible pants and poncho's as you suggest. And thank you very much for your food suggestions.

To GWyble: I agree completely. Our plan is to do this next summer so we have time for conditioning trips. We've already done one. As for the bear can capacity, I think we're all right. Only about 2/3 of the trip will be in a location requiring them and we plan on having one each.That should just barely do it.
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2013, 06:57 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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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
You have a really interesting trip planned. If I recall the maps correctly, I think that's going through some pretty isolated country. I think you'll see a lot of things most people don't get to.

I've personally found I go through 1 to 1.5lbs of food per day. Some of your hike will be pretty aggressive I think, so a few extra calories will come in handy. I'd bet 1.5lbs per day is a good estimate.

Personally, I think the BV 500 is your only bet, for price and volume. I suspect I could get 2 weeks of food into my Garcia, and I think the Garcia's a little smaller than the BV 500. I think your only chance of packing food is to use one BV 500 and be very careful and inventive in how to pack the can. I've put up a couple of posts on what I do to absolutely maximize can packing, and I'm sure others would have ideas, too.

I do personally think you can get away with one BV 500, and I'd encourage you to get it as soon as possible, and then really set in to learning to pack it and practice ahead. I think you can do it. (No pun intended...)
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:23 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Senior Member
Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
on wood/esbit stove, might i recommend:

esbit-stove.jpg

made by esbit themselves. runs on tabs and can burn wood if you've got it. comes with a designed pot, low weight. it also saves on your windscreen(as it's its own windscreen).

not too expensive either.
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