Almost Over the Hill Hikers
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    #129511 - 02/25/10 06:03 PM Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    I'm almost 60. Sure I'm pretty fit and strong. But I'm not some 5'8" twig that fits a small or medium. At 6', 180lbs, 42" shoulders, I need a bag that accomodates a wider girth, such as a Hydrogen or Megalite. I also have come to the point that the Exped DownMat 7 is worth the extra ounces. I might be able to shift to the NeoAir and save a pound.

    Trouble is, with my current big three tending towards 8lbs and my base weight around 16lbs it is tough to downsize to that ULA Ohm from a 2lb plus pack that takes 35lbs such as my current Mountainsmith Ghost or even if I buy a ULA Circuit.

    For the non-buggy areas I'm considering, I can lose a pound with a tarp and groundsheet instead of a Tarptent Rainbow. I may also save some with a NeoAir to get me closer to 13 or 14lbs. However, the issue really is the extra 4-6l of water I may have to carry over some stretches of the Arizona Trail or Continental Divide Trail.

    Has anyone else confronted this issue?
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #129513 - 02/25/10 07:52 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    hikerduane Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2123
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    I work on it when new gear comes out or I replace stuff. I'm like you, I bought a NeoAir small last Spring, that offsets the Six Moon Designs Starlight pack that weights 5 oz. more than my old Golite Gust and saves more oz. with the loss of not using the Thermarest LE 3/4 length. Takes time and $$$.

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    #129517 - 02/25/10 08:05 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: hikerduane]
    300winmag Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/28/06
    Posts: 1342
    Loc: Nevada, USA
    I have a Megalite bag - regular length - and love it.

    But even at 66 I'm not ready to tarp it. That's why I use a TT Moment tent at 28 oz. W/ 2 stakes.

    And I use an old Thermarest Lite, regular B/C I demand 8 hours of sleeping comfort. At 16 oz. it's "barely" heavy but comfortable. Had a regular Neo-Air and did not like it for several reasons so I ret'd. it to REI.

    My pack weight (REI UL 60) W/ 6 days food and 2.5 L. of H2O is 28 lbs. Good enuf fer me.
    _________________________
    "There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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    #129519 - 02/25/10 08:10 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    Jimshaw Offline
    member

    Registered: 10/22/03
    Posts: 3938
    Loc: Bend, Oregon
    Wildthing
    as you say, water ain't light. Reality sets in when you do things requiring more weight, get used to it, suffer, or do something else. You have to have the hardware to accomplish your mission.
    Jim
    _________________________
    These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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    #129523 - 02/25/10 08:54 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    Glenn Offline
    member

    Registered: 03/08/06
    Posts: 2617
    Loc: Ohio
    The only way I can think of to deal with the water weight is to stock up on freeze-dried water. grin

    I agree with Jim: you have to take the right gear to handle the expected conditions and activities. I'd go a step further, though: don't take anything more than that gear. (I'm also 60, probably not in as good a shape as you, same weight and build, and also a big fan of the Megalite.)

    The first round of weight reduction (to make room for that 8 - 12 pounds of water you'll carry) is to get rid of anything that's not necessary. That little deck of miniature cards, that spare T-shirt, the just-in-case fleece, iPod, stuff sacks for your clothes and sleeping bags, spare headlamp, beverage mixes - and the teapot to boil the water and the mug to drink them from: leave those behind. Let your rain jacket double as your windbreaker, and your rain pants double as you long pants. I did all of that once, when every ounce counted. The stuff sacks were 4 ounces, the beverages were 12 ounces, and the spare pot/mug was another 8 ounces - total was a pound and a half, which almost equaled one of thos liters of water. Carrying 6 liters of water and food for 4 days, my total starting weight was only 28 pounds.

    So, once you know what your minimum gear requirements are, your next goal is to get the lightest versions of everything you need. (You might look at a Silshelter instead of a rectangular tarp, to get an easy pitch and some weather protection - it's only a pound.) At this point, lightening your pack also lightens your wallet, but it's worth it. Replace the fleece and synthetic jackets with 850-fill down, Nalgene bottles with Platypus (Platypii?), get a lighter water filter (or use chemicals), get titanium cookware (one pot, which you can do by minimizing your meal prep to freezer-bag cooking or freeze-dried entrees), and replace that Svea stove with a 3-oz. canister stove. Finally, make sure you're not carrying too much pack. There are packs available today that will carry 35 pound loads, but weigh only 3-4 pounds. I loved my old Dana Terraplane, but once I realized I would never again carry 30 pounds, I replaced it with a 3.5 pound pack that can handle 35 pounds (just in case I decide to do something crazy.)

    I've also been looking at that next weight-reduction step: it may involve a Six Moon Designs pack and tent, an alcohol stove and titanium pot, and some sort of lighter self-inflating pad. I figure I can still lose 4 pounds or so if I have to - but for my typical trips, in the Eastern US, I haven't needed to get quite that radical yet, and can still avoid a few luxuries.

    I'm getting ready to take a 4-day trip, and plan on taking winter clothing. There may be a spot where I need to carry 3 liters of water, but my load won't exceed 29 pounds, and will be closer to 25 most of the time.


    Edited by Glenn (02/25/10 09:10 PM)

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    #129535 - 02/26/10 12:06 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: Glenn]
    skinewmexico Offline
    member

    Registered: 09/23/08
    Posts: 81
    Love my Megalite and my Circuit. How about a POE Ether Thermo 6? A ton less than the Neoair, and maybe less weight than the Exped. I've replaced my Double Rainbow with a Moment (sometimes a Sublite), and that helps. As far as packs go, how about a Gossamer Gear Maripos or Gorilla?Great packs.

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    #129565 - 02/26/10 12:33 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    aimless Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 02/05/03
    Posts: 2862
    Loc: Portland, OR
    If your base weight is near 16 right now, you've picked most of the low-hanging fruit already. Pushing down to 12 lbs will mean a combination of spending a good chunk of money on the lightest, best gear and going purely Spartan when it comes to luxuries. I would say you're on the right track looking at a WM Megalite. It is pricey, but you're getting the best solution that exists, so it is worth some money.

    As Jimshaw indicated, you can't get around the weight of 6L of water. And critical gear is just that -- critical. There comes a point where removing items or cutting back weight can start to encroach on bad judgement or plain foolishness.

    You might get away with a lightly built pack that can't comfortably handle loads above 25 lbs -- if you decide that, for a time, you will just be very uncomfortable until you drink up some of the water. Just be sure the extra load won't overstress either you or the pack to the point where something gives way!

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    #129568 - 02/26/10 01:05 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    DJ2 Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/06/02
    Posts: 1347
    Loc: Seattle, WA
    Don't you mean 42" chest?

    I just measured around my 125 lb, 5' 2" wife's shoulders and it's about 44". Mine are another 10 inches or so and it's even wider around my body where my elbows stick out. I'm muscular, 5' 8" and weigh about 180 lbs.

    I too have problems with sleeping bags being too tight around the shoulders and elbows. Feathered Friends Swallow, for example, is too tight. I now have a Montbell stretch bag that runs about 2 lbs and is good to about 20 degrees F. I've been real happy with it.


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    #129600 - 02/26/10 07:27 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    OregonMouse Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6401
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    For sleeping bag girth, you need to measure your shoulder girth over your arms and while wearing all your insulating clothing (in case the night gets too cold for your sleeping bag).

    If you go to a tarp and groundsheet, you'll need a lightweight DWR (Durable Water Repellent) sleeping bag cover to keep rain splash off your sleeping bag. You might be able to skip the groundsheet since most of these covers (aka bivies, but not the kind used without a tarp) have a waterproof bottom. You will need a bug net of some sort in bug season; most of these lightweight bivies like those from Titanium Goat or Mountain Laurel Designs either have a net built in or you can get it put in for extra. If you're going to do the CDT, you'll meet LOTS of bugs! You may find that the weight savings of the above combo over a really lightweight solo tent (SMD Lunar Solo, Gossamer Gear The One, Tarptent Sublite, Contrail, Moment or single Rainbow) are not as much as you think. You might want to look at the most recent entry in lightweight solo "tents," the Z Packs Hexamid, too, which I find intriguing. It's more of a tarp plus bug net, but still fantastically light at 8 oz. plus stakes and ground sheet. Joe of ZPacks also has a link on that page to his Continental Divide Trail gear list which was absurdly small. (I suspect some of us are less tough than others!) Another possibility might be the Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape plus Serenity Net Tent, which together total about 1 lb., plus the Cape becomes your rain coat. This combo might be a bit too small for you, though.

    Have you looked at the Six Moon Designs Starlite pack? With the "optional" (mandatory, IMHO) aluminum stays, it weighs 30 ounces and will support up to 35 lbs. easily. I have carried 37 lbs. in it--my shoulders, back and hips were fine although my knees and feet were screaming! Most of the lighter packs won't support more than 20-25 lbs. I personally require load lifters (which the Starlite has) because my shoulders are very pressure sensitive.

    You might want to go over to Backpacking Light and look at the gear lists over there (unlike the articles, they're free, and so are the forum and reader reviews). Caveat--if you're going to get that base weight down to 10 lbs., you really have to cut everything back to the barest essentials. Practice using that minimalist gear a lot under adverse conditions before you commit to a long trip! IMHO, while you don't need spare changes of clothing (except socks), don't compromise on insulation! I presume you've read the articles on the home page of this site; another good source for specific gear items is Mark Verber's website. He keeps up with the latest developments in gear--don't know how he does it!

    Re the sleeping pad--the NeoAir may or may not work for you. Sleep styles are almost as individual as footwear! I returned mine to REI because it was not nearly as comfortable and a lot less warm than my POE Insulmat Max Thermo (older version of the Ether Thermo6). With the NeoAir, you need a CCF pad (3/8" to 1/2" is what I'd recommend) to supplement it in temperatures close to or below freezing (without one I got cold below 40*). The POE insulated air pad will take you down to the mid to low 20's. If it's going to be colder, one of those 1/8" Gossamer Gear Thinlight CCF pads would be sufficient supplement for the POE insulated air pad to the mid-teens. The weights (NeoAir plus thicker CCF pad, vs. the POE pad plus thinner CCF pad) will be close to the same. Either will be lighter than your DownMat. You'll have to try all three (preferably in cold temperatures) to see what works for you. Remember that you don't want to blow any air pad up all the way, lest it become brick-like--1/2 to 3/4 full is more like it. Your Mileage May Vary. Remember, though, that a good night's sleep is far, far more important than a few ounces difference in weight!

    My Big Four (#4 is my sleeping pad--the above mentioned POE insulated air pad) add up to 5.9 lbs. Of course, I'm smaller than you, which definitely makes a difference for sleeping bag and clothing! On the other hand, I have to have a larger tent (Gossamer Gear Squall Classic, total with stakes 27.3 oz.) to provide a comfortable bug-free space for both me and my 80-lb. dog. Even with that tent weight and a 30 oz. pack, add 7 oz. for a long POE Ether Thermo 6 pad (vs. my short) and 5 oz. more for a long and wider WM Alpenlite bag (vs. my short skinny Ultralite, both 20* bags) and you're still only 12 oz. more for your Big 4 than for mine. If you can use a Gatewood Cape or The One or Hexamid, you'll save significantly over my tent weight and probably make your 12-lb. base weight.

    Please let us know how you fare!

    EDIT: I mentioned the Tarptent Sublite; I really should have specified the Tarptent Sublite Sil. The Sublite is made of Tyvek which is suitable only for places where it doesn't rain much.


    Edited by OregonMouse (02/27/10 10:15 PM)
    _________________________
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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    #129616 - 02/26/10 10:25 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
    hikerduane Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2123
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    OregonMouse, not much to say after that.:) Good points. In our group, Frank has used the Gateway Cape and even for him, it is very minimalist. If my NeoAir breaks, I'm leaning towards the Ether that everyone brings up. I would have gotten that if the NeoAir hadn't come out.

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    #129629 - 02/26/10 11:36 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    wandering_daisy Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/06
    Posts: 2752
    Loc: California
    You may be focusing too much on getting down to 12 pounds. You will get stronger as you hike along on a long trip. That extra pound may not seem so much. And the amount of water you will need will partially depend on weather. If it is cool, you will need less water. Is it possible to time the trip so that the dry sections will conincide with cool weather? How about the old trick of hiking in the early AM, nap mid-day, and hike in the cooler evenings? Or plan the dry sections when there is a full moon and travel at night? You do need adequate water but there may be strategies that will reduce your water needs. Water truely is your heaviest item.

    I agree with others, that skip the luxuries and any extras - be minimalist and get the lightest stuff available. It has been my experience that it is also good to be flexible and not over-worry. On long trips, after a week or two the comfort of the sleeping pad is not that important to me- the more important factor is its insulating warmth. Humans are very adaptable. Once you feel really at home on the trail, you may think differently about what you need.

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    #129650 - 02/27/10 11:52 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    DJ2 Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/06/02
    Posts: 1347
    Loc: Seattle, WA
    "2lb plus pack"

    If you are willing to make your own pack you could get down to a l lb pack and save a pound.

    I've made several frame packs ranging from about 10 ounces to a little over a pound. They have 3500 cubic inches of volume or more, strap on capability, padded waist belts, etc. I've shown a few in the Make Your Own section of this forum.

    I'm currently making one for a friend of mine who is 67 and trying to cut his weight just as you are. He'll be switching from an ULA pack if we can get this new one to meet his needs.

    Making your own pack takes time and a lot of trial and error to make things fit and work right. It is one area, however, where a pound or more can be saved, even for ounce misers like you, me and others here.

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    #129707 - 02/28/10 01:19 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    Thanks everyone for your comments, especially OregonMouse and Glenn who desribed some great techniques and alternatives. I especially appreciate the support from the "experienced" types who have been over hill and down dale for more decades.

    Glenn, I've gone through a similar change as you did and dropped my weight to 24-29lbs depending on food and water carried. So I've done some of the work, sewed my own pack and tarptent and such. My pack didn't haul as well as I hoped but I am still using the 44" height double tarptent with sewn in floor I sewed 5 years ago.

    My current big 4 are:

    Mountainsmith Ghost 41oz
    Exped DownMat 29oz
    Hydrogen Long 24oz
    Double Tarptent 32oz

    Total 7lbs 14oz

    Pretty difficult to lower those weights with my 42" chest and 180lbs (even after slimming down from a thruhhike the best I got to was 175lbs). I might be able to get to 7lbs with extra $$$ and I will check out other pad and pack options such as the POE Eather 6 and Starlite.

    I do agree that going through all the other gear and really considering everything carefully is the way to go. I have to slim my first aid kit, my other extras, and perhaps drop a few things. I"ve already got a pretty good stove, the Coleman F1, but I could drop a pot and simplify a few other things too. Got the water thing down to a few 1l jugs and a 4l cantene that weighs 4oz that I use with Pristine.

    I will take a truncated gear list on a few training hikes to see how it shakes down this spring. I'll report back on the changes...and I usually annodate my updated gear list with "lessons learned" to look back upon.

    Thanks again for all your suggestions and your positive attitude to change!


    Edited by wildthing (03/01/10 09:37 AM)
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #129725 - 02/28/10 07:37 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    OregonMouse Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6401
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    I didn't realize that the Ghost is that light! If your current pack is 36 oz., you are not going to save enough by switching to the SMD Starlite--$200 to save 6 oz. ($33/oz.!) is probably not worthwhile. Your Ghost is probably more valuable, considering that lots of folks are still trying to find one! Ditto the 30 oz. tent unless you switch to the pricey Gossamer Gear The One or equally pricey Z Packs Hexamid or (which may or may not be less pricey) a tarp/bivy combo that is no more than a pound. You can save some weight from the Downmat in warmer weather (the Downmat is so much warmer that I'd stick with it in below-freezing weather), but again the price per ounce savings of a replacement--especially the NeoAir--may be unrealistic. Certainly your sleeping bag is as light as it can get unless you go to a quilt or a less warm bag! (Again, the price per ounce savings are probably not worth it.) Your Big 3 or 4 (considering that you, like me, need a comfortable sleeping mat!) are very much within reason.

    I suspect that going after other items than the Big 3 or 4--the lightest possible, avoiding duplication (except socks), multiple use gear if at all possible--may be a better way to go. If you don't already have a computer spreadsheet with every item weighed, set one up (it's also a useful pre-trip checklist!). After every trip, remove items you didn't use (except for obvious items like rain gear after a trip of all sunny days). Do you repackage items like sunscreen and bug dope into tiny bottles so you take just enough for the trip? That can be a significant weight saving over taking partially full--or full--larger containers. Replacing fleece (warm but heavy and bulky) with a puffy jacket like the Montbell Thermawrap (watch for sales) can help, too.

    Posting your entire gear list with weights would undoubtedly give us some more ideas for weight savings. Be sure to include items worn or carried (not in your pack) as well. My biggest weight savings in the past 2 years have been in reducing the weight of my footwear and trekking poles, which are not part of pack weight but are still part of the total burden on my feet and knees!


    Edited by OregonMouse (02/28/10 07:53 PM)
    _________________________
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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    #129759 - 03/01/10 10:09 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    OregonMouse I do have a workbook I obsess over some. As I mentioned, I usually update it after every hike...just to add "lessons learned". I also change my food choices. With a 3 day food carry I was around 23-24lbs for my Okanagan thruhike. Including a litre of water...which left me high and dry at one campsite!

    Unfortunately, I just changed computers and have to make a few "adjustments" like updating to Windows 7 before I bother to load Office again. Oops, just weighed this 2003 Ghost, it somehow got heavier at 41oz! So my big 4 is a bit heavier at more like a solid 8lbs (7lbs 14oz). There may be some benefit in considering other packs like the Starlite at 30oz. Or even the Ohm at 23oz! Then I'd have to leave something out.

    http://jason-parks.com/public/UltraLight/Gear/Ghost.html

    I haven't repackaged the small 90% deet I've had since 2003 but that would save an ounce or two. Everything else, I've had a go at, except my binoculars and camera. The binos I usually carry round my neck (I'm a birder) and the camera in a attachable strap case so I've got a pretty good setup.

    I still think a smaller pack, for the $200 will get me working at carrying less. I read a review of the Ohm where the person sent it back as it was not quite big enough for their load. The only problem is that these packs typically ahave a 2000 ci main bag and then include all the mesh pockets. I think the Ohm has up to 2500ci with the extension collar. With a small tent, that could be carried in the mesh pocket. I think that was the benefit of the Ghost as it fit everything in the main bag at 2600ci and the two side pockets make up the remainder of the 3100ci. I'm going to troll around for a few other examples of packs with 2500ci + in their main compartment that come it around 30oz.


    Edited by wildthing (03/01/10 11:04 AM)
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #129763 - 03/01/10 10:27 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    DJ2 Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/06/02
    Posts: 1347
    Loc: Seattle, WA
    Looks like the difference in weight between your big four and mine would almost get you to your overall weight goal. My big four run like this: Pack = 1 lb; tent = 2 lb; sleep bag = 2 lb; sleep pad = 8 ounces. Total = about 5.5 lbs.

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    #129767 - 03/01/10 10:36 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    DJ2 Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/06/02
    Posts: 1347
    Loc: Seattle, WA
    If you go to my (dj2) 12/12/09 post in the Make Your Own section of this forum you will see a home made pack that could carry all your gear and weighs less than 10 ounces.

    Post is titled 9.5 ounce External Frame Backpack.


    Edited by DJ2 (03/01/10 10:47 AM)

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    #129814 - 03/01/10 08:58 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    Jimshaw Offline
    member

    Registered: 10/22/03
    Posts: 3938
    Loc: Bend, Oregon
    Wildthing
    This tent weighs 16 ounces with cordage and stakes. It requires hiking poles or sticks to hold it up.

    it has net at the bottom for ventilation and a full floor.
    Regards first aid and the "misc" stuff. My "first aid, utensils, lighters, and all misc stuff is in a zip lock and weighs 11 ounces. Including everything but toilet paper and sunglasses, camera and GPS. They add one pound together.
    Jim
    _________________________
    These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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    #130058 - 03/04/10 12:39 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: Jimshaw]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    Jimshaw, your tent looks a lot like mine! It is much like a tarptent for 2 except I had to raise the height to sit up in and I have added in a floor too for 2lbs. I take it yours is a single. You've cut down considerably on the first aid etc. as my miscellaneous probably weighs 2lbs. Something to consider and to pare down again.

    dj2, I too have sewn a pack that weighs 1lb some that will carry up to 40lbs but it is not very comfortable at that weight. you're probably a lot lighter than me too and can use lighter gear.


    Edited by wildthing (03/04/10 12:41 PM)
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #134047 - 05/21/10 03:13 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    OregonMouse I have done the math and it looks like the best I can do is a 6.5lb base weight:

    ULA Circuit 38oz
    Tarptent Sublite Sil 21oz
    Marmot Hydrogen Long 24oz
    Ether Thermo 6 21oz
    Total Big 4 6lbs 8oz

    As you predicted, much of the remaining weight in my pack is extras which gets my base weight up to 16lbs or so. I think I can lower my expectations to a lighter pack but couldn't carry the necessary water for the Arizona trail with that setup. Upon looking at the Sublite Sil in detail, I think it will be fine for either the raincoast here in British Columbia or the desert in Arizona at altitude. Won't be cool, but will hold water!

    It will cost me to buy tent, pad and pack anew, $500!!
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #134066 - 05/22/10 01:12 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    OregonMouse Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6401
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    Looks like your Big 4 are under control--now work on the rest! Can't advise more without a complete list. As it is, your base is only about 2 lbs. more than mine. That's another liter of water, though! The more you can reduce base weight, the more water you can carry!
    _________________________
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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    #134072 - 05/22/10 02:37 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
    ChrisFol Offline
    member

    Registered: 07/23/09
    Posts: 387
    Loc: Denver, Colordo
    Originally Posted By OregonMouse
    Looks like your Big 4 are under control--now work on the rest! Can't advise more without a complete list. As it is, your base is only about 2 lbs. more than mine. That's another liter of water, though! The more you can reduce base weight, the more water you can carry!


    As OM said, if you are happy with your big 4, then great. The biggest difference will be all of those additional extras that you lugging around.

    Feel free to post your complete gear list and we will help trim it down as much as possible.


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    #134074 - 05/22/10 02:46 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    ChrisFol Offline
    member

    Registered: 07/23/09
    Posts: 387
    Loc: Denver, Colordo
    Originally Posted By wildthing
    OregonMouse I have done the math and it looks like the best I can do is a 6.5lb base weight:

    ULA Circuit 38oz
    Tarptent Sublite Sil 21oz
    Marmot Hydrogen Long 24oz
    Ether Thermo 6 21oz
    Total Big 4 6lbs 8oz

    As you predicted, much of the remaining weight in my pack is extras which gets my base weight up to 16lbs or so. I think I can lower my expectations to a lighter pack but couldn't carry the necessary water for the Arizona trail with that setup. Upon looking at the Sublite Sil in detail, I think it will be fine for either the raincoast here in British Columbia or the desert in Arizona at altitude. Won't be cool, but will hold water!

    It will cost me to buy tent, pad and pack anew, $500!!


    $500 dollars? Crazy!

    -Tent: Sublight $180. 8x10 Tarp from Campmor $80.
    -Pack: Gossamer Gorrila G4 ($125)
    -Pad: There are lots of options for less than $100.

    Maximum cost $400. Cheapest-- around $250 for all three.


    I have never done the AZT, but I have completed the CDT-- and never did I carry close to 4-6L of water.

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    #134097 - 05/22/10 04:37 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: ChrisFol]
    sabre11004 Offline
    member

    Registered: 05/05/07
    Posts: 513
    Loc: Tennessee
    6 liters of water is around 12 lbs. by it self...sabre11004... lame lame lame
    _________________________
    The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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    #134098 - 05/22/10 04:39 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: Jimshaw]
    sabre11004 Offline
    member

    Registered: 05/05/07
    Posts: 513
    Loc: Tennessee
    That's a nice tent if you want to stay stationary all night long to the point that you can't move when inside....You wouldn't catch me in a tent that size. I would be claustrophobic. I do like a little room to move around in and maybe even some room (a little) for my gear...sabre11004... lame lame lame
    _________________________
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    #134114 - 05/22/10 10:09 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: sabre11004]
    wandering_daisy Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/06
    Posts: 2752
    Loc: California
    I have been inside a Sublight Sil. I thought it was quite spacious - particulary compared to my Micro-Zoid.

    I interpreted the post to mean he was trying to get his "base weight in his pack" to 12 pounds, not counting water because he had to carry a lot (fixed amount)of water.

    I think there is too much emphasis on the starting base weight, including water. When desert hiking you often have to overload with water for the first few days and just put up with it. The water weight rapidly is reduced as you go along.

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    #134324 - 05/27/10 02:34 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: DJ2]
    sabre11004 Offline
    member

    Registered: 05/05/07
    Posts: 513
    Loc: Tennessee
    I'd be interested in the tent you have at a total weight of two (2) pounds. I would like to maybe look into getting something that light if it were to fit my needs...sabre11004... goodjob
    _________________________
    The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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    #134341 - 05/27/10 04:20 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: sabre11004]
    OregonMouse Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6401
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    There are lots of 2-person tents around that weigh close to 2 lbs., and plenty of solo tents at about a pound and a half. Here are some:
    Tarptent
    Six Moon Designs (Check out the new Vamp and Haven with net inner tents
    Gossamer Gear
    Mountain Laurel Designs (floorless pyramids)
    Z Packs (probably the lightest weight tents currently available)




    _________________________
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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    #134593 - 06/02/10 07:26 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: ChrisFol]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    Chris, really depends on use. You can get away with a tarp at most spots in the summer but it might be a bit dicey in spring going through some of the mountains on the Arizona Trail.

    I can sew up a tarp that is quite sufficient, but wouldn't end up using it as much around here. I might manage it for the desert section of the Arizona Trail except for the snakes and scorpion. How do you find it in Colorado?

    The coastal hikes here don't strictly require a tent in the summer but we've been getting a bit of rain this year and the North Coast Trail can get windy, foggy, and damp.

    As for a sleeping pad, I've long passed using a regular Thermorest and the foam pads just don't do it anymore! Lightness and luxury cost, but good quality wins out in the long haul.
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #138155 - 08/30/10 12:58 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    skinewmexico Offline
    member

    Registered: 09/23/08
    Posts: 81
    How about swapping your sleeping bag for for a quilt? Maybe someething by Jacks 'R Better?

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    #138218 - 08/31/10 06:55 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
    Kent W Offline
    member

    Registered: 10/15/09
    Posts: 607
    Loc: IL.
    Mouse awsome reply! Cant put a price on sleep. I have avoided the neoair and have a full length prolight. When temps dipped in the smokies to below 12 degrees I could feel when my feet slipped off the pad. The cold penitrated. If my prolight punctures I still have a bit of pad and insulation. I now have a G4 that I made from akit, 2 pound down bag from rei, aluminum grease kettle from wally world. water filter, sil tent I made, pack cover first aidkit a 2.3 oz colomon extreame canister stove that works and simmers awsome. Base weight at 12 pounds flat les water. I may have forgot a few items too such as head lamp.

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    #139234 - 09/23/10 04:11 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    OregonMouse I have landed on a new pad! Here's what it is looking like now:

    Mountainsmith Ghost 40oz
    Tarptent with floor 35oz
    Marmot Hydrogen Long 24oz
    Ether Thermo Elite 15oz
    Total Big 4 7lbs 2oz

    I turned up a POE Thermo Elite after repeated tries to get a 6, no one had them. Pretty good pad, and 15oz weight!
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #143036 - 12/08/10 08:43 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: DJ2]
    stonemark Offline
    member

    Registered: 12/07/10
    Posts: 82
    Loc: China
    Originally Posted By DJ2
    Don't you mean 42" chest?

    I just measured around my 125 lb, 5' 2" wife's shoulders and it's about 44". Mine are another 10 inches or so and it's even wider around my body where my elbows stick out. I'm muscular, 5' 8" and weigh about 180 lbs.

    I too have problems with sleeping bags being too tight around the shoulders and elbows. Feathered Friends Swallow, for example, is too tight. I now have a Montbell stretch bag that runs about 2 lbs and is good to about 20 degrees F. I've been real happy with it.

    ---that's true, agree with you~
    _________________________
    adventure in China~my site

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    #143102 - 12/09/10 05:21 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: sabre11004]
    DJ2 Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/06/02
    Posts: 1347
    Loc: Seattle, WA
    Sorry I'm so slow to respond to your post. I somehow overlooked it.

    My two pound tent is home made. Pictures and info are in the Make Your Own Section of this website (not in forum) and it is titled Two Pound Bivy Tent.

    But I agree with the other posters. Two pound 1 and 2 person tents are now available and the trend seems to be downward weight wise. Very exciting.

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    #144120 - 12/29/10 03:03 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    DRG Offline
    member

    Registered: 10/30/06
    Posts: 15
    Loc: Oklahoma
    There are a couple of things to bring your pack weight down. Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 at 2 lb 7 oz including ground sheet. Your sleeping can be 16 oz (see Nunatakusa.com for details). I am 64 years old and carry 14 pounds on my back (including food) and 5 pounds on my chest including water (see Ribzwear.com for chest pack). If I would eliminate a couple of items, I would be at the 12 lb area. Best of luck.

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    #144143 - 12/30/10 05:45 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: DRG]
    BrianLe Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/26/07
    Posts: 1146
    Loc: Washington State, King County
    I'm coming late to this party (thread), but some random comments ...

    Quote:
    "I am 64 years old and carry 14 pounds on my back (including food) and 5 pounds on my chest including water (see Ribzwear.com for chest pack). If I would eliminate a couple of items, I would be at the 12 lb area."

    FWIW, I think that for most people the distinction between pack weight and chest pack weight isn't meaningful, but would all lump together as weight carried. Since you're including food and water in that, however --- who knows what it means --- too many unknown variables (# days of food, pounds of food that you eat per day, amount of water typically carried ...). The nice thing about talking in terms of base weight (or skin-out) is that if people are careful about what they're measuring, it's a more apples-to-apples comparison. Heck, after a month on trail I eat more than double what I do on a shorter trip, so even "days of food" can vary not only between individuals but even for the same individual. Best IMO to separate out the consumables.

    One thing I suggest to anyone that has derived what their base weight is supposed to be (via spreadsheet or other list) is to pack up your pack with everything but food + water + fuel and stand on the bathroom scale with and without pack --- hopefully to verify, else to point out omissions from the list/spreadsheet. Ideal time to do this is minutes before leaving on a multi-day backpacking trip, so that every little thing gets counted. Most gear lists I've read through don't look complete to me, leaving off various things.

    One thing that confused me a bit about this thread has been lots of discussion about base weight without talking much about the particular place and season of the trip. For me, at least, it's not too meaningful to talk about base weight without establishing how cold or hot it can get, and how much if any (and what types of) snow walking is involved, plus perhaps other factors such as typical amount of rainfall anticipated, bugs, wind, etc. The experience/background of the hiker factors in here too somewhat; Andrew Skurka goes lighter than I do in part because he's hiked so many miles in varies conditions that he can more safely cut things to a lower minimum.

    Base weight for me varies from low teens up to mid-20's (and I'm talking true base weight), very much depending on the particular trip. I started the AT in February this year with about a 17 pound base weight, dropped to about 14.5 pounds once out of the snow. I'll likely have on the order of 22 pounds of base weight starting on my next significant trip this coming year (never carried bear spray before, for example ...). Going through areas that require a bear cannister adds over 2 pounds for that item alone, and has the potential to change which pack a person takes on the trip.

    Given that this stuff can vary a whole lot by the particular trip, what would be more meaningful to me would be something along the line of (for example) "X pound base weight goal for a summer trip where no snow is anticipated, estimated low temps around 40F, some rain expected". Or perhaps "Y pound base weight goal for a Springtime trip that includes significant time walking on mostly old snow, where an ice axe and at least minimal crampons are carried, low temps estimated in the upper teens".

    I'm at a bit of a loss of what to say to a more generic "12 pound base weight goal", short of making assumptions that might well be incorrect. For example, I live in the NorthWest, and it's easy for us to forget that there are places one can hike where it rarely rains (!).

    Maybe I'm just too much of an engineer at heart. :-)
    _________________________
    Brian Lewis
    http://postholer.com/brianle

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    #144156 - 12/30/10 05:04 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: BrianLe]
    OregonMouse Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6401
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    Bryan is right! Do the bathroom scales vs. spreadsheet comparison for the base weight only! There was the time I did the total pack weight on bathroom scales bit (just before going out the door for a 2-day drive to Wyoming) and came out almost two pounds less than my spreadsheet. I therefore spent a couple of frantic hours unpacking and checking every item off against my list again to see what I had forgotten! It turned out that my total food weight (for 9 days) was 2 lbs. less than what I had estimated as 9 days (really 8 1/2 days) times the average. Even then, the food portions turned out to be more than I could eat, so I packed out a lot of excess garbage! I learned from that experience (which resulted in not getting to my destination until 11 pm) to do the spreadsheet/bathroom scale comparison with the base weight and to plug the "food" part of the spreadsheet with the actual total food weight.

    It doesn't matter whether an item is being carried on your back or on your chest or in your pockets, it's still all on your knees and feet! In fact, I'd suggest a measurement of "skin-out base weight" which would be everything in your pack or on your body except for food, water, fuel. My big weight reductions the past few years have been in the "items worn and carried" category which is not part of "base pack weight."

    I appear to have achieved my personal goal of 12 lbs. base pack weight, although I won't know for positive until I've reweighed everything, made a couple of purchases and done a few "shakedown trips ". One writer suggested that to achieve this base weight, you allow 6 lbs. for your "big 4" and 6 lbs. for everything else (remember this is base weight, which does not include food, water or fuel). It seems to have worked out well for me. My "trip model" is mostly above timberline in Wyoming's Wind Rivers, so it includes plenty of warm clothing and rain gear, a warm sleeping bag and (essential for this old lady) a nice cushiony sleeping pad. It's a bit more than I need for summer in my local area (Cascades), where I have the choice of lighter weight clothing layers.

    The above base weight includes my camera (missing from most lightweight lists, even those which include photos of the trip laugh ) but does not include fishing gear (plus frying pan and extra fuel just in case I catch one) or a bear canister (which I generally use for only one trip a year, with my son#3 and the grandkids).

    I agree with Brian that a lot of published gear lists seem to be missing stuff. A lot of that is in the "small item" category. It may be that the little items are just lumped together. Personally, I prefer a detailed itemized list. It's amazing how much weight saving can be achieved with these small items--a half-ounce here and a quarter ounce there do eventually add up to a pound!


    Edited by OregonMouse (12/30/10 05:08 PM)
    _________________________
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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    #157566 - 11/16/11 05:38 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    6lb Base Weight Achieved!
    Oregon Mouse, I credit you and the the other posters in this topic for getting me where I am today...way down the trail! Here's my new list, just received my new backpack last week:

    Six Moon Designs Swift Pack (18oz)
    Tarptent (homemade double) (32oz)
    Marmot Hydrogen Long Bag (24 oz)
    POE Elite Sleeping Pad (15oz)
    Total Base Weight 5 1/2 lbs

    Now if I can score the Hennesy Hyperlite Asym Classic Hammock at 25oz, I can get er down to 5lbs!!! Need to cough $250 to do that. I'm really happy with the little Swift, tried it with 20 lbs and it was pretty good. But it carries very well with my base weight and 7 days of food which with water should be 18+ lbs!!
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #157588 - 11/16/11 09:22 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    Kent W Offline
    member

    Registered: 10/15/09
    Posts: 607
    Loc: IL.
    I have a Hennesey Hyperlight asym zip. Very happy with it, Snake skins add a bit. You no linger need a comfortable pad just insulation. Good luck.

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    #158893 - 12/18/11 10:34 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: BrianLe]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    BrianLe, I couldn't agree more about geography and conditions affecting your base weight. As I'm your neighbor to the north here in British Columbia, we share a fair amount of northwest style conditions. My base weight is always going to be a little meatier than someone from California's as I'm factoring in raingear and warmer weather clothing.

    What I have found is that one jacket, the Marmot Windshirt, has been pretty much all I needed for most of the conditions I run across outside of a lot of time at higher elevations. Due to snow and cold at the passes, I also take a down vest and it can be a little cool sometimes, but doable.

    Your mileage may vary, but a 6lb big 4 and a 12lb base weight gets me to roughly the right place of comfort and carrying ability of the current pack.

    Kent, I have more research to do with hammocks...first I need to find someone local to let me try and set theirs up!


    Edited by wildthing (12/18/11 10:36 AM)
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #158894 - 12/18/11 10:54 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    lori Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/22/08
    Posts: 2801
    Have you ever actually hiked in California? It's not sunshine and palm trees everywhere, y'know. It's actually below freezing at night most of the places you can backpack, and right now it's freezing in the central valley, which means it's probably subzero up in the high country. Our SAR packs are on standby because it hasn't really dumped the annual snowpack yet and we are guessing that folks are going to get themselves stuck out there any day, pushing their luck with three season stuff. The snowshoes, snow pants, snow probes and shovels are sitting by the door, the extra layers in the pack, and the snow cat is fueled and ready to deploy. Any time now the call will come at 2 am and we'll be running cold water over the windshields to get the ice off 'em to head up the hill, chain up, and grind off toward the command post. (There was ice on my car yesterday. Not much, but more than people think Californians should have.)

    Over on the coast, it's not foggy so much as it is frosty and cold. By February they will have snow down to 3,000 feet - at most an inch or two, and quickly melted. But it'll probably freak out tourists.

    Florida, now, there's a place winter never really goes...
    _________________________
    "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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    #159460 - 01/02/12 11:05 AM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: lori]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    "Have you ever actually hiked in California?" True, I haven't. I've listened to lots of lightweight backpackers from CA talk about their 5lb baseweights! You're right Lori, I should have said "3-season" California as the mountains do get nice and chilly in the winter and where you get elevation it will be snowy.

    Right now it is 3C here in Victoria, or about 38F (across the water from Seattle)and it is damp and cold. In the mountains I can see from my house, there is snow.

    I also noticed that Arizona gets some nice winter up at the north rim of the Canyon so only Florida is immune.

    One day I do want to tour the Sierras with my new gear. Depending on the month, I do believe I'd take my down vest there too! However, I'm much too old and wise to bother with winter camping anymore, let it be spring before I get on the trail!!
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #159476 - 01/02/12 03:43 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    PerryMK Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/18/02
    Posts: 1156
    Loc: Florida panhandle
    Originally Posted By wildthing
    I also noticed that Arizona gets some nice winter up at the north rim of the Canyon so only Florida is immune.

    Hey, it was all the way down to 46F (8C) when I went out for a short hike this morning and it probably won't get past 70F (21C) all day. It's forecast to get even cooler in a day or two. Don't tell me we don't get winter!


    (just joking of course)

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    #159567 - 01/03/12 08:16 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: PerryMK]
    wandering_daisy Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/06
    Posts: 2752
    Loc: California
    I have had plenty of sub-freezing nights in the high Sierra in August. If you plan on camping high (say 11,000 feet) you need to be prepared for temperaturs into the mid-20's (F). There have been seasons where I got rained on only one night. There have been other seasons where I got rained on several days in a row on several different trips. What I have found is that in the Sierra, you almost always have sunshine after a rain, so you can dry out. Rain storms can be intense and severe, but you will not likely get a week of solid rain and drizzle. I sleep cold and have never regretted having a 10-15 degreeF sleeping bag. However, I do not see a need for tent, other than the luxury of it. I have done many 10+ day trips with my bivy sack.

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    #159597 - 01/04/12 01:36 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
    OregonMouse Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6401
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    With a warm enough pad, I can take my 20*F Western Mountaineering Ultralight down to 10*F. That's wearing my non-breathable rain jacket and pants over my base layer as a vapor barrier, and all my insulating clothing on top of the vapor barrier.

    I don't think I'd like to sleep out in a bivy, though, unless I also had a tarp. More important, I need a bug-free shelter for my dog!



    Edited by OregonMouse (01/04/12 01:37 PM)
    _________________________
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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    #161820 - 02/07/12 12:09 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: hikerduane]
    ConnieD Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 09/24/09
    Posts: 7
    Loc: Montana
    I have been looking at Hyperlight Mountain Gear HMG Ice Pack for weight carried (eg. water) or HMG Porter (for fluffy gear). There is a discussion about his proprietary cuben here

    I have recently purchased an Oware AsymTarp 1 and I am thinking I will purchase a Ti-Goat Raven Omni to pack to less volume than my OR Bug Bivy, to make more room for food for more nights out.

    I like sleeping quilts. The design and performance just gets better.
    _________________________
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    #163021 - 02/29/12 02:05 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: ConnieD]
    Kent W Offline
    member

    Registered: 10/15/09
    Posts: 607
    Loc: IL.
    I was on Mountainsmith website last week they are making the Ghost again! I think it is a bit heavy but it is available.

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    #163175 - 03/02/12 10:10 PM Re: Dropping to 12lb Pack Weight [Re: wildthing]
    Jim M Offline
    member

    Registered: 11/23/03
    Posts: 267
    Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
    I think this begs the question, "how much additional weight is really significant." My guess is that 68% of backpackers (all ages and conditioning) carry a base weight of between 19.5 and 47.5 pounds. At 16 pounds you are still probably in the 1 or 2% of the lightest. On week summer trips I share a 2 pound tarp-tent (Squall)with a friend. I have a 800 gram (Lafuma) sleeping bag and sleep on a 14 ounce ridge-rest mat. Colin Fletcher says pare the weight down unmercifully, but if you need it, take it. I currently have my base weight down to 13 pounds. (age 71, 179lbs 5-9)
    _________________________
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