Almost Over the Hill Hikers
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    #122171 - 10/11/09 04:53 PM What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life?
    dbzillion Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 10/11/09
    Posts: 2
    Loc: Georgia, USA
    Rather than have a meltdown due to being the ONLY caregiver for two demented parents and one bipolar adult and one suicidal adult, I have decided to start backpacking again...primarily overnights just...just long enough to get a bit of peace and quiet.

    So...I've been reading here and love the idea of "lightpacking."

    I'm starting from scratch since the gear I have now is 30 years old.

    Anyone have any opinions about the Gregory Palisades backpack or the Eureka Solo Spitfire tent? I've found them both on Craigslist.

    Thanks.

    (female, 57 y/o, 5'6", a tad overweight but quite active)

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    #122190 - 10/12/09 12:43 AM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    aimless Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 02/05/03
    Posts: 2837
    Loc: Portland, OR
    Good luck.

    It sounds like you don't have a lot of $$$ to plow into this, and you might not have the time and space to mine the Make-It-Yourself forum for ways to make your own gear. Under the circumstances, trolling for bargains on Craigslist may be the nearest equivalent to nabbing stuff from a garage sale.

    The first easy, cheap way to cut down on weight and expense is to take just exactly the right amount of clothes you need to stay warm and dry, with no backup clothes or extra clean clothes. WHat you don't bring is the lightest (and cheapest) stuff in your pack. wink

    Workable clothes can be had for cheap. For example, you can get some fleece from Goodwill, if you don't have any. Other stuff, too.

    A second easy, cheap way is to make an alcohol stove and use it. There are at least a dozen DIY models you can make from such stuff as soda cans or cat food tins.

    P.S. Don't turn your nose up at your 30 year old gear, if it still works. If your old pack is comfortable but ratty, spend the money on other stuff first. Like a decent sleeping bag and sleeping pad.

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    #122200 - 10/12/09 07:17 AM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: aimless]
    Glenn Offline
    member

    Registered: 03/08/06
    Posts: 2617
    Loc: Ohio
    I don't know what your budget is, but you might also try the vendors at the Portal here. REI, Moosejaw, and BackcountryGear are all having some really good sales right now. Also, check REI's website, under the REI Outlet tab; there are usually good prices on decent quality gear (last year's models, overstocks, closeouts, etc.) Campmor also runs some good sales.

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    #122217 - 10/12/09 12:41 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    phat Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 06/24/07
    Posts: 4107
    Loc: Alberta, Canada
    Originally Posted By dbzillion
    Rather than have a meltdown due to being the ONLY caregiver for two demented parents and one bipolar adult and one suicidal adult, I have decided to start backpacking again...primarily overnights just...just long enough to get a bit of peace and quiet.

    So...I've been reading here and love the idea of "lightpacking."

    I'm starting from scratch since the gear I have now is 30 years old.

    Anyone have any opinions about the Gregory Palisades backpack or the Eureka Solo Spitfire tent? I've found them both on Craigslist.

    Thanks.

    (female, 57 y/o, 5'6", a tad overweight but quite active)


    Do *NOT* discount your thirty year old gear. Some of it may be quite servicable, and some newer stuff isn't better or lighter (some things *definately* are).

    One of the best places to start will be at the parent site, www.backpacking.net, look at the excellent "18 pound 3 day pack" and "27 pound 7 day pack" lists posted there. A number of us also post our gear list (look at my signature for links to mine).

    Take a careful look at your big three (shelter, sleeping, and pack) but change your pack last - even if it's old and big, as long as it is comfortable you are best lightening your load and finding something (a system) that works *for you* and keeps you comfortable, THEN find a backpack that fits your load well.

    You might want to post a list of your old gear here, I'm sure some of us will have some suggestions for you on what to replace right away, and what is worth keeping for a while while you focus on other things.

    _________________________
    Any fool can be uncomfortable...
    My 3 season gear list
    Winter list.
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    #122229 - 10/12/09 02:36 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    GrumpyGord Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/05/02
    Posts: 846
    Loc: Michigan
    If you have been backpacking in the past you may be able to use things that a new backpacker would not be able to use. One thing which comes to mind is being able to sleep under a tarp instead of in a tent.

    Another thing to remember is that you can escape only a few miles from the parking lot. It is not necessary in many areas to walk 20 miles to get away from it all. You probably can handle a heavier load for just a couple of miles.

    I am a firm believer in using what you have and do NOT get bogged down in gear. You can even wear your cotton jeans if you are sure you are not going to have wet weather and you can bail out easily.

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    #122278 - 10/12/09 10:52 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: GrumpyGord]
    dbzillion Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 10/11/09
    Posts: 2
    Loc: Georgia, USA
    Thanks everyone for the good and sensible advice.

    I'll try to use what I can of what I have, and I DO agree that I'll stay close to the trail head until I am comfortable again.

    Shoot---at this point, I think a State Campground might feel like "getting away" to me. Well....maybe not. lol.

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    #122303 - 10/13/09 05:06 AM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    ringtail Offline
    member

    Registered: 08/22/02
    Posts: 2296
    Loc: Colorado Rockies
    Originally Posted By dbzillion
    Shoot---at this point, I think a State Campground might feel like "getting away" to me. Well....maybe not. lol.


    You just need to get out of cell phone coverage. I find that when I turn it off the coverage is not good. crazy
    _________________________
    "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
    Yogi Berra

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    #122306 - 10/13/09 08:53 AM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    Glenn Offline
    member

    Registered: 03/08/06
    Posts: 2617
    Loc: Ohio
    Don't underestimate state parks. I frequently use them when time is limited or weather is iffy. One big advantage is that they're close: if I'm leaving on Saturday morning and need to be home by noon Sunday, going to a state park that's half an hour away maximizes my time on the trail and eliminates the "gotta make miles" mentality from my driving. It's also cheap (minimal travel expense) and doesn't take any elaborate advanced planning.

    I frequently use a local state park in the winter, for a couple of reasons. First, all the summer crowds are gone and I've got the place to myself. I usually circumnavigate the lake (a mixture of trail and off-trail hiking, which keeps my compass skills somewhat current) - about 12 miles of rolling terrain. The beach that is wall to wall people in July is wall to wall Canada geese in January, and I've seen 8 or 10 deer fairly close that would have been spooked off by summer hikers. Yes, crossing roads and picnic areas can be a little un-wilderness-like - but since they're vacant, it still feels an awful lot like backpacking.

    Second, it lets me "play" with gear. I have to camp in the public campground. (Well, I'm supposed to; however, one ranger - I was his Scoutmaster - takes a somewhat generous interpretation of the rules if someone is using low-impact technique.) Since there's no one else in that campground and the bathrooms are locked, I might as well be camped in the middle of nowhere. I usually am, in fact, camped by the car, but I pretend like it's not there - unless the gear I'm testing fails, then I go get the alternate from the car. (For example, if I'm trying to see how warm my sleeping quilt is and find out the answer is "not warm enough," I can go pull my full-out winter sleeping bag from the car.)

    Third, it lets me bail in the case of unexpected bad weather. If it starts sleeting, I can simply go home. That avoids issues of hypothermia potential, tent failures, etc. - all the kind of things that you won't want to deal with when you're just getting started (or maybe even ever, when your goal is to get away and relax for a day or two.)

    You can accomplish something similar at state parks during busy seasons by getting a camp on the fringe of the campground, and hiking the less-frequented trails. Some state parks (like one I frequent) even have a backpackers' camp that's located a couple of miles away from everything and accessible only by trail.

    Using state parks for an overnight may not be "backpacking" in the purist sense, but I contend that if you get out of your car, put on your pack, and live out of that pack until it's time to get back in the car until it's time to go home, it qualifies. And, in a broader sense, if it gets you away and gives you the recharging you need, it definitely qualifies.

    I don't know what part of Georgia you're in, but from what I've seen of northern Georgia (my daughter and her family live near Kennesaw Mountain), there are some really nice parks there. Go enjoy them.


    Edited by Glenn (10/13/09 09:01 AM)

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    #127322 - 01/25/10 03:53 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My L [Re: Glenn]
    JPete Offline
    member

    Registered: 05/28/09
    Posts: 304
    Loc: Eastern Ontario
    Don't be afraid of older gear, dbzillion. When I started my first thru hike of the AT at age 60, everything I had with me or on me was at least twenty years old (couple things were fifty). The youngsters wanted to give me the trail name of "Antique Road Show." They assured me this was a reference to my gear, not my age (yeah, sure). The laugh was that they also marveled at how light my pack was (and that I made it all the way while many of them did not). Some of that gear made it all the way on my second thru hike ten years later, and is still in my pack.

    I applaud the work you are doing and also encourage the healthy way you propose to deal with the inevitable stress. Incidentally, I second Glenn's comment on state parks. I have actually used a fairly remote corner of a city conservation area because I can walk there from my home (and because it is very lightly patrolled by a ranger who was once a student of mine). Best, jcp

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    #127413 - 01/26/10 01:13 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My L [Re: JPete]
    oldranger Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/07
    Posts: 1735
    Loc: California (southern)
    A lot of my stuff is twenty years old as well. Even my new stuff, on careful review, is on the order of a decade or so in age. I do replace equipment when something better comes along, but often the "improvements" are just marketing gimmicks.

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    #127456 - 01/27/10 08:13 AM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My L [Re: JPete]
    Bobc Offline
    member

    Registered: 11/07/09
    Posts: 26
    Loc: SC
    I think the important thing is to go. Just a overnighter is a release, check out this vid: talks about just going. Gear is secondary, mostly gearhead speak/speak. But going is the thing
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHH8wsBWxTA&feature=related
    Note the hiking pole(s) are a item for us older folks, they seem to work after you get used to them.

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    #128427 - 02/08/10 06:02 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    kyyote Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 01/16/10
    Posts: 6
    Loc: Maine
    I can relate....so, here's what I did. ( female, 5'2") Made up a system that took 2 yrs. of hiking to trim down. Have all my stuff that will need to go in a new pack when that day comes. (current pack is a Eureka! Getaway 3500 cu.in.)Currently using a hammock w/pad, under quilt in cooler weather w/bug net, removable, seperate from hammock. Use a 1 person ALPS mountaineering Mystique tent( $89 at Overstock.com, $2.95 shipping) when trees are not available on chosen hikes. I use a Thermarest ridgerest short w/tent setup. Don't carry anymore clothes/layers than you will wear at any one time/all at once for the coldest temps/weather you'll expect.
    Granted my pack is an older model is 3#'s but tough cordova pack cloth.

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    #130601 - 03/12/10 02:53 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My L [Re: JPete]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    Originally Posted By JPete
    Don't be afraid of older gear, dbzillion. When I started my first thru hike of the AT at age 60, everything I had with me or on me was at least twenty years old (couple things were fifty). The youngsters wanted to give me the trail name of "Antique Road Show."


    I laughed with a full belly laugh when I read this JPete!! Those youngsters were getting an education, that they didn't think up everything in the world and anything that was beyond their experience coudn't be good! Keep that "Antique Road Show" marching on, long after they've gone home or quit!
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #132041 - 04/13/10 09:20 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    mockturtle Offline
    member

    Registered: 06/06/07
    Posts: 251
    Loc: WA
    First of all, I empathize with you! I am caregiver to my husband who has Lewy Body Dementia [Parkinson's Disease Dementia]. It's so stressful, as you well know. I only have two four-hour mornings 'off' per week via a paid agency caregiver. I'm happy to have that and can only dream of backpacking & kayaking again!

    Secondly, I would try a few overnighters with the gear you have. That should give you a good indication of what gear is deficient and what stands the test of time. I have a pretty new ultralight two person tent [just right for one!] and made the mistake of buying the footprint, which is heavier than the plastic sheeting I had cut to fit and worked perfectly well. Being kind of a 'gearhead', I am apt to buy more/fancier equipment than I really need. Hope you enjoy your outings! I will enjoy them vicariously, so please keep us up to date.. --Pat

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    #132571 - 04/23/10 08:12 AM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: mockturtle]
    ecgreen Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 03/24/10
    Posts: 5
    Loc: NY
    I have been using a solo Eureka tent for years and I love it. For the price, those tents are really lightweight.

    Sean

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    #134797 - 06/07/10 07:28 AM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    scoutrufus Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 06/07/10
    Posts: 3
    Loc: Missouri
    Dont forget Freecycle Community, Goodwill, and thrift shops, especially on a military base.

    My pack is an ALYCE, from when I morphed from a sergeant to a lieutenant in 1983; I still carry two quart canteens, with the 'crucibal' canteen cup for cooking, I have accumulated two 2-quart canteens for use; Coffee can natural fuel stove that also works as a windscreen for the alcohol fuel stove; oatmeal and sugar for breakfast without milk; jerky, dried foods, bullion for soups and stews; ramon noodles for snacks and meals; rye/whole wheat bread (John Muir hiked with dried bread for food, dried did not mildew, I use whole grain because it has some nutrition rather than just a white bread something to keep from having to wash a plate).

    =The Thrifty Danged Scot

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    #134798 - 06/07/10 07:31 AM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    scoutrufus Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 06/07/10
    Posts: 3
    Loc: Missouri
    You might also check yahoo groups like: BackpackGearSwap@yahoogroups.com

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    #134806 - 06/07/10 12:23 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    bmwrider Offline
    member

    Registered: 07/31/08
    Posts: 94
    Loc: Michigan, just N of detroit
    If its only overnight its easy to go light, less food less weight, get some used gear (not a used pack though it must fit)
    there is a tent for sale for $70 or $80 on this site te user name is mublez or something like that. you can wash a sleeping bag so used isn't so bad then when you come across sales upgrade from there.

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    #144602 - 01/08/11 02:21 PM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    MaryPhyl Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/13/02
    Posts: 37
    Loc: Arizona
    Originally Posted By dbzillion
    Thanks everyone for the good and sensible advice.

    I'll try to use what I can of what I have, and I DO agree that I'll stay close to the trail head until I am comfortable again.

    Shoot---at this point, I think a State Campground might feel like "getting away" to me. Well....maybe not. lol.


    I only take care of one demented lady so even going to buy groceries for half an hour feels like getting out.
    _________________________
    Shikekeh hozhoogo naasha.
    I walk in beauty.

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    #144615 - 01/09/11 03:54 AM Re: What Equipment Do I Need To Run Away From My Life? [Re: dbzillion]
    TomD Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 10/30/03
    Posts: 4963
    Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
    The Gregory is an expedition size heavy backpack. It is not what you want for a weekend or even longer because of its size and weight. Depending on the frame size, it may not fit you. If I was you, I'd look for a lightweight pack in the 3000 cubic inch range. The Palisade is more than half again that big.

    I would look for one of Granite Gear's packs designed for women.
    www.granitegear.com

    ps. Most of my gear is pretty old. My sleeping bag is about 25 years old, hasn't had that much use and I'd be hard pressed to find a better bag at any price. Lightweight gear tends to be pricey, but not always the case. For example, you can make yourself an alcohol stove for basically nothing-there are plenty of designs around and videos on YouTube on how to make one. Some of the designs don't require more than knowing how to use a pair of scissors, a can opener and how to follow simple directions.


    Edited by TomD (01/09/11 03:57 AM)
    _________________________
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