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#118576 - 07/21/09 08:07 PM 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear
swammie Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 52
Loc: ca
I just completed a BSA 50 mile hike with a pack starting at 70 lbs. Oh my aching back. Here's my gear list with weights...can you all comment to help me shed some pounds?



lb oz
food 8 8
backpack 6
camera and bag 5
sleeping bag 4 15
water bladder 4 14
1-person tent 4 13
clothing 4 6
sleeping pad 2 13
3 water purifi 2 11
2 water bottles 2 8
jackets 2 3
bear canister 2 0
chair 1 15
emergency kit 3 5
cookset 1 9
personals 2 9
hiking poles 1 6
solar chg 1 4
100' rope 14
fishing rod/reel 14
new fuel 11
2 empty fuel 9
sunglasses 4
mug 4
total 54 195
grand total 66.2


Edited by swammie (07/21/09 08:47 PM)

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#118578 - 07/21/09 09:16 PM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: swammie]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
One word:

Ouch. cry LOL!!!!

Without the specifics of where you were/will be camping, the weather and how long you were out I'm hesitant to recommend specific cuts. For example your solar charger. Besides your camera(and I'm only assuming that) what was it charging? I don't see any other electronics. I'd say leave it at home but how much you needed it is not clear. And speaking of "need", your definition of that word may be entirely different than mine. Your chair weighs a ton but if you really enjoy it, you'll want to make cuts elsewhere. I'm not going to tell you to get rid of this or that without knowing you. Others may but I won't. Only you can make those calls.

So I'll make general comments.

First, decide if you really need a piece of gear at all.

Second, if you do need it, try to make it lighter or replace it with something lighter.

Start with your "big three" i.e. tent, pack and sleeping bag. Those three alone weigh more than lots of people's skin out weight.

Also....IMO the most important figure is your BASE WEIGHT i.e. your gear without water, food and fuel. That's the number to look at. Total weight depends on other factors and can vary with the trip. If you had only been out for two nights your pack would have weighed less. For trip to trip comparison purposes base weight is more accurate.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#118587 - 07/21/09 10:41 PM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: swammie]
MattnID Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 317
Loc: Idaho
Welp, like Trailrunner said, without knowing where you went it is kind of hard to pick and choose. I'll make some general recommendations though since I did a 48 mile hike last year with only 33 pounds of gear.

Your sleeping bad is kind of heavy IMO.

What kind of food did you bring The kind of food your bring I would think also dictates your cookset, so if you're able to find "lighter" food, you might be able to cut down on the cooking set. But more information would be needed.

3 Water purifiers? That might need some more detail because that seems like overkill.

Your extra clothing seemed like it might be a little heavy too. Basing this purely on assumptions here and my ownpreferences, I only bring one extra change of clothes and usually give my dirty clothes a good wash in a creek, lake or pond. If none are avaliable, I usually just wear my clothes a few days in a row if it is that long and then change halfway through or whatever. Of course if you're in a wet area, extra clothes might not be too bad of an idea.

Your tent is also kind of heavy, you could find a lighter one if you wanted.

I usually bring rope, but 100' is a lot and rope doesn't tend to be light. But again, your situation may have called for it.

I'd lose the chair, but that's a personal perference. If you really need something to sit on, you could probably go find something smaller and lighter. But again, the chair IMO is fairly unecessary.

Solar charger? Well I suppose some cameras have internal batteries that are rechargeable, so that might be a necessity.

I'm not sure what your "personals" are, so that'll need some details.

Fishing rod? Not gonna knock it, lol. If you've got the opportunity, the little bit of extra weight is probably welcome.

Also water bottles. I really don't have any idea what water bottles weigh, but I have to assume a Camelback or the same thing by another name is lighter, even if by ounces. But that's possibly more of a personal preference.

Anyway, that's my input at the moment. Hopefully it helped if but a little.
_________________________
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle

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#118597 - 07/22/09 12:24 AM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: swammie]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By swammie

lb oz
food 8 8
backpack 6
camera and bag 5
sleeping bag 4 15
1-person tent 4 13
clothing 4 6
sleeping pad 2 13
3 water purifi 2 11
2 water bottles 2 8
jackets 2 3
chair 1 15
emergency kit 3 5
cookset 1 9
personals 2 9
solar chg 1 4
100' rope 14


Here's your negotiables. Two lbs is heavy for water bottles - guessing that's with water? - but you also have a bladder so I'd cut back to one bottle, just to mix electrolytes or as a backup for the bladder. Cookset depends on cooking style; you can go way lighter by getting a titanium or hard anodized liter (or less) pot and just boil water to have hot bevvies and rehydrate meals. Stove can be simplified by using alcohol stove; five or six grams for the stove, a few more for a windscreen, and the canisters go away.

What's in a three pound emergency kit?

Ditch the chair - go with a sit pad, inflatable or foam, or use the sleeping pad.

Three water purification methods? Lightest would be chemicals; my usual is a filter and some micropur tablets for backup in case of mechanical failure.

Take out one jacket. Use layering strategies; I have been comfortable in shoulder seasons with midweight unders for sleeping, nylon pants and short sleeve for hiking, a fleece of weight appropriate to expected temps, a windshirt, and a down or eVent jacket. Hiking with the shirt and windshirt has been warm for me and a poncho comes out if it rains.

Tent can be lightened quite a lot as can the sleeping pad. If you can't be comfortable on a foam (lightest but bulky) a NeoAir will knock two pounds off your total weight and pack down to a handful. Tent can be a tarptent if you must have a structured shelter (18 oz to 2.5 lbs, thereabouts) or a light solo tent or bivy. Some people just use a tarp that doubles as a poncho. I personally use a hammock and tarp.

Camera can be replaced with a small digital and make a huge weight savings, unless you absolutely must have the setup you use.

Sleeping bag depends on budget and lowest expected temps, but here, you will find that it's possible to be warm and light, inexpensive and warm enough, but never warm and light and inexpensive. Down will be expensive, high quality down very expensive, but will compress smaller, weigh less, and be warmer than synthetics, not to mention have a longer life span if taken care of. For a very good sleeping bag, Western Mountaineering or Montbell; for an entry level compromise between budget constraints and quality, Campmor has some down bags for less than two hundred. Big Agnes has some good options in down and synthetic, and save weight by only insulating the top half of the bag; you slide a pad into the pocket for bottom insulation. You can cut the bag weight in half without huge expense.

Once you make all the decisions on gear, you can figure out a lighter backpack to carry it. Granite Gear packs run about 3 lbs and carry up to 40 lbs (Nimbus series). Osprey and Gregory also have some lighter packs; they may work for you as well. The lightest packs will be ULA or Gossamer Gear semi-framed packs, where the sleeping pad becomes part of the frame. Those tend to be for loads of 30 lbs or less.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#118607 - 07/22/09 09:06 AM chair [Re: swammie]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
You received some excellent tips.

For compact car camping, I am interested in that chair you have. How well did/does it perform?
Thanx,
-Barry

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#118610 - 07/22/09 10:26 AM Re: chair [Re: BarryP]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I thought for a minute that was a sling light chair, but the sling is almost a pound lighter...
http://www.slinglight.com/
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#118611 - 07/22/09 10:41 AM Re: chair [Re: lori]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho

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#118613 - 07/22/09 11:09 AM Re: chair [Re: BarryP]
swammie Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 52
Loc: ca
Crazy Creek Campchair...she's on sale for $20, quite the deal.

http://www.crazycreek.com/product/specials/66/

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#118640 - 07/22/09 11:53 PM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: swammie]
swammie Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 52
Loc: ca
Great great great info. I was too stupid to do this BEFORE I hauled it all so far...duhr! I'm working now to get it all pared down to reasonable weights.

One great point I figured out was to maybe get a smaller pack than 5500 cubic inches. A smaller pack will enforce the idea that I carry less.

But you know us scouts...be prepared. That explains my three water filters. Between the 9 of us I bet we had 8 filters.

Again, thanks all for the excellent input. I have another hike next year so I'm working on it already.



Doug


Attachments
DSC_2771.jpg



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#118696 - 07/24/09 03:48 PM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: swammie]
TomK Offline
member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 467
Loc: Virginia, USA
Doug:

After a difficult heavyweight trip is a great time to reassess and lighten up. The memory of which items were used and which ones weren't, what worked, what didn't, is still fresh, along with the bruises, strains, and whatnot smile It was after a trip of 50 miles with a 45-lb (I thought that was a lot!) pack that I got into lightweight backpacking.

I think the lightening up process is partly state of mind. As someone else said, "need" can be defined however you want. It looks like you've built up all that weight by both having too many things, and by having heavy versions of things that most would find necessary. Attack on both fronts at some point, but I started with the unnecessary/unused. Think ounces not pounds--get rid of the ounces and the pounds will happen.

One good exercise is to start with nothing and put together your gear, evaluating every single item--it all weighs something. Did you use it? Could you reuse something else for the same purpose? Is it just a backup? If it is a backup, how serious are the consequences of the original failing? Maybe a lesser backup will do. For example, your three water filters. They actually aren't all that likely to fail, but you do need a backup. So why not iodine drops or Aqua Mira drops? Much lighter, and not likely to be used anyway.

If you had a hole digging trowel, a tent stake will do fine, and you've already got it. The solar charger others have talked about. Be skeptical about each item.

Then you can look to lighten up what you've got. A sleeping bag that is over 4 lbs is a great target. Lighter/ less cookware should do. A 5-lb water bladder? 100 ft of rope? For most uses, parachute cord or equivalent will do and is lighter.

Be prepared is a great motto, but don't forget that over-carrying leaves you more susceptible to injury (IMHO) which defeats a lot of preparing.

Oh, and kudos for being able to carry that much!

Tom

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#118697 - 07/24/09 04:42 PM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: TomK]
swammie Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 52
Loc: ca
Again, a totally awesome point of view and great points you made. I'm doing all of that now. My son carried more than his weight too. We're both re-evaluating and will take all of this info to the troop. I'm heading up next year's hike and I'll focus on this aspect while others can plan the meals/route/dates.

What a cool forum this is!



Doug


Attachments
chair.jpg



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#118701 - 07/24/09 07:06 PM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: swammie]
TomK Offline
member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 467
Loc: Virginia, USA
Good deal, Doug. I think you'll really be helping the troop with your new perspective!

Nice picture.

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#118734 - 07/25/09 08:50 PM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: swammie]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Doug,
I've helped prepare two crews for Philmont and one for Northern Tier and I am somewhat 'ruthless' when it comes to eliminating gear (both personal and crew). We always have a couple of shake down hikes and a final shake down meeting in which duplicate gear is eliminated. It's always amazing to me when first time crew members think they need to bring. Returning crew members weed stuff out pretty quick. On my last trek, my skin out weight (less food and water) was 25lbs. For some here that is still too heavy but it put me in my comfort zone. I'm working to get that down to around 20lbs.

A lot of the crew gear you select will depend on the size of the crew. I pack differently for 6 people vs 12 and I don't just mean twice as much gear. For example, for a 12 person crew we take 2 stoves and 2 cook pots (1 6qt and 1 4qt). For a 6 person crew, we would still take 2 stoves but I would take 1 4qt and 1 2qt pot. We utilize the turkey bag cooking method.

First aid kit was mentioned and I'm pretty sure the kit you took was for the crew. If not, that is about what our crew first aid kit weighs. Maybe just 1 lb. If you get all your crew trained in Wilderness 1st Aid you can lighten the kit because you are trained in how to improvise. Just a thought you might consider. Also, pack plenty of duct tape as it helps with holding on 'band-aids' and moleskin.

Here's a link to a Venture crew that has done multiple trips to Philmont and has a pretty good crew gear list and personal list. With what you learn from this forum you can really cut down your weight and increase the enjoyment.
http://crew445.org/philmont/2008/index.htm
(they have other trips on their website so look around).

Tango
ASM
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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#118809 - 07/27/09 09:43 PM Re: chair [Re: lori]
MountainMinstrel Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/06
Posts: 104
Originally Posted By lori
I thought for a minute that was a sling light chair, but the sling is almost a pound lighter...
http://www.slinglight.com/


$70 a pound. If you must have a chair (I must) it is a good deal.
_________________________
Just an old newbe

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#118820 - 07/28/09 11:04 AM Re: chair [Re: MountainMinstrel]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I need a chair too. That's why I sleep in a hammock - that and I don't sleep at all on the ground. Not sleeping a wink on a week long backpacking trip seems dangerous to me.

We take what we need to make the old body function. grin
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#118821 - 07/28/09 11:34 AM Re: chair [Re: lori]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
I have a sling chair that I normally take with on the long hike. It has always seemed a real comfort to me to be able to sit down and relax for the last meal of the day. Mine doesn't look quite as nice as this one, however mine does weigh in at around 25 oz. To me it is well worth the weight and a comfort to have...sabre11004... awesome awesome
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#118826 - 07/28/09 12:51 PM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: swammie]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
You've gotten some really good advice already, but (as a former Scoutmaster) I'd like to add one thing to the perspective.

It looks to me like you may have been carrying a lot of crew gear and "just in case" stuff. In particular: 4 pounds of water bladders, 3 water purifiers (2.5 pounds total), 3 pounds of emergency kit, and 100' of rope.

I always took the point of view that I took enough gear for myself, and the Scouts carried the crew gear. This did several things: it made them responsible for it (and they seemed to take better care of it as a result), it made them work together a bit better (since they had to figure out how to divvy it up, and keep track of who had what), and it made the problem of "Where's the (critical item)?" their problem, not mine (as in "Scoutmaster forgot the (critical item.") To me, the value of that responsibility lesson, which is central to what we're trying to teach them as Scouts, was very important.

Yes, I always felt sad about some of the loads they carried as a result; they were heavy. But the boys quickly figured out the difference between necessity and luxury; not only did the amount of personal gear they carried decrease, but they also discovered that they didn't really need as much group gear as they thought. They figured out how to make things serve multiple functions, or how to modify things to make them lighter. They also learned to share tents, instead of each person wanting a 2-man tent. (This developed a "buddy" system that also carried over onto the trail - everyone looked after his buddy and his buddy's gear, with the result that there were no lone stragglers getting lost, and no gear getting lost or left beside the trail at a rest stop.) It only took a couple of trips before everyone was carrying a lighter load, even with the extra crew gear.

I realize each troop operates differently, so I'm not criticizing; I'm merely offering one more thought.

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#118833 - 07/28/09 02:58 PM Re: 50 mile hike with a 70 lb pack: critique my gear [Re: Glenn]
swammie Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 52
Loc: ca
All of your thoughts are right on....and are in the spirit of our scout training. It's funny how when responsibility gets placed on one's shoulders the response usually is to take it on and succeed. I appreciate your words and I'll take them to heart with the planning of our next high adventure!

Doug

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