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Beginner Gear List -- Long
I'm just reentering the backpacking world after a 35 or 40 year absence. The following gear list is a start on a 3-season list to cover 5 days in moderate climates - say nights in the 30s.
In the list, the sections noted as ‘planned’ show where my thinking is currently focused. The stuff shown as ‘own it’ I’m pretty comfortable with. As you can see from the list I like my comfort but I am working at leaving my insecurities at home rather than on my back.
I have started getting back into shape with cycling and day hikes. I have also started testing my feeling about cooking and food prep by preparing meals with listed equipment – including cleanup etc – three or four times a week. I am getting closer to alcohol for shorter trips, which will cut my kitchen weight in half.
Please feel free to comment on my approach, the categories in my list, the items in my list, etc.
Thanks in advance.
All weights are ounces with totals showing pounds/ounces.
Total Base Weight 235.9 oz 14-11.9 lbs-oz
Total Pack Weight 460.6 oz 28-12.6 lbs-oz
Big 4 - Planned
ULA Circuit 37.6
Pack Cover 2.5
Tarptent Moment 40.9
Ground Cloth Tyvek 6.3
MontBell UL SS#5 40° 16.0
Bag Protect Turkey Bag 0.5
Sleeping Pad Exped Synmat UL7 M 16.0
Total Big 4 119.9 7-7.9 lbs-oz
Basics - Own it
Headlamp Petzl Tikka2 2.4
Camera Cheap Digital in ziplock 5.2
H2O Filter Platy Gravity 10.8
2x 32oz Gatorade Bottle 3.5
Towel MSR Medium 1.6
Therm-a-Rest Z-seat 2.8
Stuff Sack 0.6
Trash Bags 1gal zip + (4) 1 qt zip 1.3
Glasses Case Plastic Tube 0.5
Glasses Spares 0.9
Toothcare Brush 0.7
Total Basics 30.2 1-14.2 lbs-oz
Survival & Repair - Own it
Line 50' PMI 2mm Braided 1.1
Spare Compass REI Keyring Compass 0.3
Signal Mirror 2"x3" Polycarbonate w/case 1.0
Whistle SOLAS Plastic 0.2
Tape Duct Tape 0.7
Firestarter MiniBic 0.4
Firestarter Locally made firesteel 1.1
Firestarter Cotton in Petro Jell 0.4
Shelter SOL Emergency Blanket 2.8
Water Pur Katadyn MicroPur 0.2
Water Carry Platy Plus 1.3
Light Photon 0.2
First Aid 4.9
Fishing Kit 1.4
Sewing Kit 0.6
Repairs Kit 1.1
Cook, etc 10x10 HEAVY Foil 0.8
Container 2 liter Dry Sack 0.7
Total Survival & Repairs 20.0 1-4.0 lbs-oz
Kitchen - Own it
Stove Brunton Talon 3.7
Canister Base MSR 1.2
Pots Brunton IB 1.2L/Lid/Bag 5.7
Cup Campbells Soup-at-hand 1.2
Bowl Ziploc Twist-n-Loc 2c 0.9
Lighter Bic 0.7
Folding Ti Fork/Spoon 1.2
Scrubby Pad & Towel 0.6
Total Kitchen 15.3 0-15.3 lbs-oz
Clothing - packed - planned
Boxerbriefs Coolmax 3.7
Beanie OR Windpro 1.9
Gloves Marmot Evolution 2.0
Basetop Montbell LW Merino Top 5.3
Basebottom Montbell LW Merino Bottom 5.3
Socks Coolmax Lt Hikers 3.8
Camp/Water Shoes Vivobarefoot Ultra 5.8
Wind Jacket Montbell Dynamo 5.3
Poncho ID Sil 9.7
Head net 1.2
Montbell UL Thermawrap Vest 5.5
Total Clothing Packed 50.4 3-2.4 lbs-oz
Food 32 oz per day (4-1/2 days) 144.0
Fuel 100 gr canister 7.1
H2O Purification Katadyn Micropur 0.8
Dr Bronners 0.5
Wet Wipes 1.1
Sanitizer Purell 1.1
Chapstick SPF30 0.5
Deet Wipes 0.7
Sunscreen Basic 0.5
TP Small Flattened Roll 1.6
Tooth Paste 0.5
Water 64 fl oz 65.3
Total Consummables 224.7 14-0.7 lbs-oz
Carried & Worn - Own most
Compass Silva Type-17 1.6
Benchmade Mini Griptilian 2.5
RiteintheRain+Pencil 1/2 size 1.8
Boxerbriefs Coolmax 3.7
Hat Tilley LTM6 3.9
Socks Coolmax Lt Hikers 4.0
Gaiters ID eVent Shortie 2.5
Boots Keen Gypsum 39.7
Shirt Railriders Equator HT 10.1
Pants Railriders Weatherpants 13.1
Total Carried & Worn 84.6 5-4.6 lbs-oz
Nice list. A few thoughts . . .
* 3 bandanas AND MSR towel?
* Carrying enough Micropur for 5 days, plus a 10+ oz. filter?
* 2 Bic lighters AND a firestarter? 2 Bics will see you through most anything.
* 3 lbs for solo shelter is on the heavy side.
* Spoon is needed, fork is only nice to have.
* Why emergency blanket? You have a ground cloth, a sleeping bag, a poncho, and a (deflated) pad that all do much the same thing.
* Only 1 spare pair sox? I would carry at least 2 spare pairs. 1 to wear, 1 to dry, and 1 clean, dry to sleep in. Carry lighter gloves and justify an extra pair of sox as mittens.
* Why a bowl? Eat from the pot. Your mother will never know.
* You are carrying a 40 degree sleeping bag and planning on 30ish degree nights. The only spare clothing you are taking is 1 set of lw long underwear and an insulated vest. If that gets wet, then you have nothing to wear in the bag to boost the warmth. Probably need to carry more dry clothing, or a warmer bag, or both.
* Will you really need both gaiters and boots?
* Will 2 qts (64 oz) get you from one water source to the next with a cushion in case of bad/no water at next source, delays, emergencies, or unexpectedly heavy water consumptions?
* Don't know what you have in the FAK, so some of the things I don't see may be in it.
Hope you enjoy putting your list into practice.
Thanks for the comments...
I noticed the bandana thing after posting. One, maybe two and a smaller towel. Yes both. For some reason, I don't like the feel of a skinny cotton bandana to dry me.
Actually, I'm carrying the filter plus the micropur. I prefer filters to get the chunks out. I'm not completely sold on the gravity works yet as I'd like to have a carbon element for taste.
bics are easy and generally very reliable. firesteel is 100%.
3lb solo shelter is free standing Moment, would more likely go 7 oz less to non-freestanding. I'm definitely a tent guy. Moment seems close to what I'm looking for.
Spoon and fork... yeah I've gone back and forth 10 times on that. I notice that in my 'tests', most times I don't have to clean the fork.... bad sign for something to carry.
Emergency blanket is in emergency bag -- see below.
I'll probably keep the gloves and add to socks.
Bowl is much easier to clean. I'm quickly reaching the point of pot just boiling water.
40 degree bag. I'm a very warm sleeper. I've slept in a fleece bag on an old 3/4 thermarest down to low thirties in shorts.
Gaiters keep chunks out of boots and help keep socks cleaner.
Water will vary by where I'm hiking. 2 qts was a baseline.
FAK is basic stop the bleeding, control the pain, slow the infection, stop the itch.
My emergency/repairs kit is in a 2 liter dry bag that is slung over my shoulder every time I step away from my campsite. If I get separated from my campsite gear, it provides FAK, fire, shelter, navigation, signaling and ability to get food and water. The little fishing kit includes a few snares and a small hand fishing setup.
Again, thanks for the comments and questions. That is exactly what I need to think through my justifications and rationalizations.
We've had the first hints of more tolerable temperatures and it's getting me really wanting to get outdoors.
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Birds of a feather. I took it up again 8 years ago after a 20 year hiatus, but I used to live in a pack on trail as a youth.
I wouldn't be in a hurry. Take time on shorter trips to shake-down. Ultra light is great, but it's not a religion.......I sort of keyed on your statement that you're a tent guy...there is a lot of difference in comfort between ultra-light and lightweight. I like my tent also, and since I make one do for solo trips as well as with sig other - I don't mind carrying my 4 pound 2 man tent for solo trips. It's roomy and comfortable. Your set up sounds great to me - a little redundancy as previous post mentioned, but I think you'll find there are some things you want light and others not so much.
I have a 40 deg Marmot bag for 3 seasons. In summer I often leave it at home and use a silk liner only. I have two weights of bag liner - the heavier will take the bag easily to 20 degrees for me. I sleep hot.
I don't like ponchos. I carry a nice parka style wind/rain shell that serves as rain protection 3 seasons, but also as a great outer shell for winter camping.
I also eschew rain pants; I end up sweating more in them than the rain gets me wet. Unless the temp dips below 65, I enjoy hiking wet anyway (make it 70+).
I hear you also on the security thing. Also luxury for me. I think these things are worked out over time - on trail - as you see what supports your needs/goals. I carry a stove I've had for a while now and won't replace it for a lighter one just because it's become my partner - friend on trail.
You didn't mention trekking poles; I love 'em.
I always wear gaitors, the high ones. Here in VA in summer I contend with lots of weeds and thorns, they protect me. They protect my boots and socks from mud. They let me wear shorts but get the (removable) protection when I need it.
I have an Osprey 60 L Aether; that was my concession to lighten up. I have difficulty with my lower back sometimes, yet with a good frame and fantastic hip belt that Osprey features, it's like a medicinal belt - I can walk all day. With a UL pack, I don't have the support I need over miles. I gave it a short try on a weekend and verified.
My average solo load is around 35 pounds; my system works well for me - pure backpack or fishing backpack, I have capacity I need. I'm into winter backpacking and snowshoing also, and this pack has what I need to accommodate extra clothing.
Only other comment I have is on 2 qt water. I carry a 3L bladder, and with a partner usually need every bit of it on a summer day in fairly moderate forest. I carry an empty spare 4L bladder that I sometime4s fill once in camp for washing and cooking/cleaning, so I don't have to make trips to the stream or raid my walking water.
I think the fun is striking out and discovering how you need to outfit. There's no end to the toys we can accumulate, and although I have a list on a spreadsheet and checklist I use before each trip, my closets are full of experiments - gear - that didn't make the final cut. Don't be in a hurry to buy too much stuff right off - make sure safety (injury, warmth, dry) is taken care of, then experiment a little. Stuff that works for you will begin to feel like an indispensable pal on the trail. I guess you could say it's a Zen thing.
Thanks for the thread; good topic, gives me a chance to dribble on a bit - I like this forum.....
djtrekker, thanks for the comments.
I have recently tried trekking poles and am sold. I was really surprised to see just how much my knees liked them. I picked up a pair of Black Diamond Trail Shocks. I like the lever lock over the twist lock of others. Somewhat ambivalent about the shock control. I definitely prefer it to some I tried which were noisy and springy feeling. These seem more like vibration control.
I have picked up a tent to try since the original post - a NEMO Meta 1P - on a good sale. It's got a nice quality feel to it and has the balance of qualities I'm looking for -- at least for now. Not terribly heavy, plenty of room for one with nice seated height, a great vestibule, easy setup. Really didn't need it yet but didn't want to pass on the deal.
Since I started using the trekking poles, I'm moving away from a poncho although I like their ventilation. I'm sure I'll go through a couple of options before settling in on something that works. I've got an old PU coated ripstop jacket with a mesh liner that isn't bad if you like a mobile sauna.
I've been thinking about trying some Railriders Eco-Mesh pants for warmer weather. I can't do shorts very well for a couple of reasons. I seem to attract bugs at my lower legs at a phenomenal rate and don't like the idea of chemical skin treatment. Also I've found that I'm better than average at finding stuff to walk through that gives me a rash. Anyway, pants it is.
I'll get a couple more items nailed down in the next month since I'll be doing some longer day hikes in east-central Kentucky over the Thanksgiving week with my son.
The various bits and pieces I'm accumulating and experimenting with are at the less expensive end, but I can already see the need to organize the extra stuff I'll undoubtedly acquire. Fortunately I've practiced this by acquiring cycling stuff while building my perfect bike. Did I mention I have a tremendously patient wife?
Jim, the BMAFG
You'll modify that list as time goes on. Looks like a great start and your thoughts are on track.
Check out the cooking section of the forum. You can eat like a king with a little fore thought and planning. Things like steak for dinner and eggs and muffins for breakfast.
I too have some luxury items I carry. The heaviest is a military e-tool. It weighs almost 5 pounds. Uses: camp fire, drive tent stakes, pull tent stakes, chop small branches, and dig cat holes. Oddly enough I have dug holes 6 feet deep and big enough for 3 men to sleep with that etool. The best use though is I fold it into a 90 after digging that cat hole and use it as a seat. I put one check on it and sit to take care of business. By the third day, those with a little garden shovel will offer you money to borrow your stool.
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