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#148885 - 04/04/11 05:48 PM Old Habits...
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
A good friend of mine went backpacking last weekend with me. We've been on a lot of trips together and, God love him, he'd pack a kitchen sink if I didn't restrain him.

On this trip though, he went as light as he could allow himself and he did pretty good. He left his stove at home and agreed to use the Cat Stove I'd made. He carried a lot less clothes, did a lot better on food even though he still brought way too much, and he left countless things at home that I've seen him haul before.

As for me, I carried about 27 pounds going in, and that's the lightest I've gone so far. I'll weigh the food and fuel I didn't use and adjust again, but for what we're dealing with here, that's not too bad.

As for my buddy, I've been try to share lessons I've learned here with him since I've joined the forums and he's finally getting it. He had a ton of fun and didn't wear himself out lugging a ton of stuff. This time I mentioned, several times, that I was "Going Light" and wouldn't be helping to carry anything, and that may have helped prod him a bit too wink

While we were there I shared a "Mountain House" freeze dried dinner with him and he was pretty stunned by how much he liked it. I tried giving him a couple dinners for the trip but he would take them. He said he would next time and said he'd keep a few in his car and boat, with a Cat Stove, to boot. He did bring oatmeal and dried fruit for breakfast though. I've seen him carry a skillet, bacon, eggs, and potatoes for breakfast before, so this was a huge improvement.

On the way out, for the first time, he was telling me how he'd be going over what he brought and trimming off some weight for our next trip. And he mentioned that he was surprised that he wasn't sore.

This was one of our toughest bushwhacks ever, the only difference is that he's learning how to backpack lighter. He probably dropped ten or twelve pounds off his pack weight from our last trip, and he could probably do half or more of that again with just a bit more thought, and I think he probably will too. He's starting to get it.

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#148892 - 04/04/11 10:16 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: billstephenson]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Way to go, Bill! People always find it amazing when I show up with a pack that weighs 10 or 15 pounds less than theirs, and worry that I won't be warm, comfortable, or well-fed. Then, when they see that I am, the lights start coming on - especially when they see that I'm not really carrying "magic" ultralight stuff, but mostly similar gear, from the same makers, that they are, just not nearly as much of it.

I remember a buddy, back when I was using bivy sacks a lot (before the 2 - 3 pound solo tents we have now.) He used to say, "But don't you miss having a space to sort out your gear?" Then he answered his own question: "Oh, I guess you really don't have anything to sort."

Great trip report!

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#149202 - 04/13/11 09:58 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: billstephenson]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Bill said, "He did bring oatmeal and dried fruit for breakfast though. I've seen him carry a skillet, bacon, eggs, and potatoes for breakfast before, so this was a huge improvement."

I fail to see how oatmeal and dried fruit is any improvement over bacon and eggs... confused

I'll bet I could bring my titanium skillet and have bacon and eggs (I might let you taste them) and hashbrowns and cook a steak for dinner and still have a lighter pack than yours. Oh and I'd bring a real stove to cook that stuff on and drink a pot of coffee per day. Do you have to eat the cat food beore you can use the stove???
Jim smile
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#149214 - 04/13/11 11:55 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
No, Jim, you feed the cat food to your cat. Or the neighbor's cat. Or a friend's cat. Or the local cougar.
lol


Edited by OregonMouse (04/13/11 11:57 PM)
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#149223 - 04/14/11 04:41 AM Re: Old Habits... [Re: Jimshaw]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Originally Posted By Jimshaw

I fail to see how oatmeal and dried fruit is any improvement over bacon and eggs... confused


Well, a whole lot less cholesterol, for one thing......

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#149224 - 04/14/11 08:20 AM Re: Old Habits... [Re: billstephenson]
Paulo Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 158
Loc: Normally Pacific Northwest
Good idea Bill about saying no to carrying other people's gear. I've been on a couple group hikes where the expectation was sharing the load. They insisted on distributing the gear amongst those who weren't carrying 30% of their weight. I was fairly light to start with, but after getting dumped with a whole ton of canned food it would have been better to stuff bulky clothes in my pack and claim inability.

The next year we made an agreement to organize food in small groups. That was a lot easier as I wasn't carrying for lazy packers and I got to get rid of heavy tin cans. It was a good thing as two other people brought 60 and 75 lb packs full of pie irons, charcoal brickets, etc.
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#149230 - 04/14/11 01:00 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: Jimshaw]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By JimShaw
I'll bet I could bring my titanium skillet and have bacon and eggs (I might let you taste them) and hashbrowns and cook a steak for dinner and still have a lighter pack than yours. Oh and I'd bring a real stove to cook that stuff on and drink a pot of coffee per day. Do you have to eat the cat food beore you can use the stove???



Ok, now you're making me mad mad I love bacon and eggs!

I also love fresh ground coffee frown

So... This coming Fall, I vow I will take a 3-Night "Solo" trip and bring more stuff (including bacon and eggs and a skillet), and do more miles (than I normally do), and not even carry my pack...

I will take the "Ultimate"Lightweight Trip"!

I've worked pretty hard at obtaining, creating, and assembling, all the necessary gear for this initial test trip, and now I finally have it. I won't be carrying a thing out there and I'll even be bringing some BEER...

For lightweight backcountry outings you'd have to figure out a way to float to be lighter than I will!

I have, of course, a complete spare set-up. You're welcome to join me if you want laugh


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#149238 - 04/14/11 06:03 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: billstephenson]
Whiskeyguy Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Northern California, USA
I have some trouble cutting weight. My "big 3" come to 13.5 lbs and I can't afford to cut those down right now. My total pack weight is around 40-45 lbs for a three night trip... and I'd like to get that down to 30-35 lbs (that would be featherlight for me) but it seems almost impossible, taking into my desired comfort level.

Big 3 = 13.5, additional equipment = 9.75, so 23.25 without food/water/clothes... and that's pretty much set in stone for me.

I carry 48 oz in my water bladder (I drink a lot), so that's another 4 lbs.

Then 6 lbs for food, 6 lbs for clothes (trying to cut both).

I guess some of us are just destined to carry a little more weight :-).

Edit: I am almost always the "team leader" and have the best equipment, so I usually carry the stove, first aid kit, etc.


Edited by Whiskeyguy (04/14/11 06:04 PM)

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#149243 - 04/14/11 09:07 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: Whiskeyguy]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Ah, there is your problem whiskeyguy. If you are team leader, you need to delegate. grin

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#149249 - 04/14/11 10:23 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: skcreidc]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By skcreidc
Ah, there is your problem whiskeyguy. If you are team leader, you need to delegate. grin


That's true. If you're leading a hike you should feel fine about telling someone they'll be carrying something for the team.

I just weighed my Big 3. It comes in at 12 lbs on the nose. That's not too bad and it includes my blue foam sleeping pad and a full size bubble foil warmer pad.

The Camp Coleman Outlet store was selling my same pack, a "Peak 1" for $50.00 last December. (I paid closer to $70 or $80 probably eight or ten years ago for mine).

3-4 years ago I got my 32 sleeping bag, a Coleman exponent Canyon" for $40.00 there too.

The Wal-Mart blue foam pad was $6-7 bucks. The bubble foil was given to me for free by my neighbor, but wouldn't cost more than $10 if you had to buy it.

I use a $39.00 Byer hammock and an 8'x12' visqueen tarp. The tarp, and all my rigging for it and the hammock I use, cost around $30.00

So, added all up, I have around $200 in all that. Not bad for a 12 lbs base weight. But I won't be carrying that on my next trip...

On the "Ultimate" trip I mentioned I'll be taking next Fall, my little burro, Lewis, will be carrying all my gear. He weighs in at about 350-400 lbs laugh
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#149251 - 04/14/11 10:34 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: billstephenson]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Won't Clark get lonely? (I love the names of those two!)

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#149269 - 04/15/11 12:54 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: skcreidc]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Yes, Clark will get lonely. I'll try working up a new rigging to keep him closer behind Lewis here soon. He's a bit of a slacker on the trail when it's only me leading the both of them. He likes to stop and eat the roses, so to speak, and when were bushwhacking he likes to choose his own path which tangles his lead line and stops our train completely. He's fine if he has someone leading him though.

If the new rigging keeps him in line better than I'll have him carry some grain and hay pellets and maybe some other stuff. Clark hasn't worn a real pack saddle yet. He's really sensitive about his back. I can literally make his rear legs buckle just by slightly pressing on the rear end of his back. He reacts more like he's being tickled than being in pain, but he doesn't like it. So I've only put a lightweight saddle bag that I've rigged with a harness on him. He likes that just fine, but gets a little shook up when try to put the pack saddle on him.

Lewis loves that pack saddle and is great on and off the trail. I'm pretty excited about finally getting him out on a real trip.

But they are a bit too "Buddy Bound" right now and I have to work with them on that too.

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#149272 - 04/15/11 04:53 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: billstephenson]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
Maybe rig up a small snack pouch to stick out behind Lewis kinda like the carrot on a stick routine wink

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#149274 - 04/15/11 05:26 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: james__12345]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By james__12345
Maybe rig up a small snack pouch to stick out behind Lewis kinda like the carrot on a stick routine wink


If the price of gas keeps going up I might have to fire up my welder and hack a couple bicycles I have lying around into a cart for those donkeys to pull.

Since the donks are so short, and don't go very fast, I'll have to make a lowrider...
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"You want to go where?"



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#149276 - 04/15/11 07:00 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: skcreidc]
Whiskeyguy Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 103
Loc: Northern California, USA
Originally Posted By skcreidc
Ah, there is your problem whiskeyguy. If you are team leader, you need to delegate. grin


You're absolutely right... for whatever reason I am very possessive with my gear. Also, I got lost in the woods at my ranch as a kid, and ever since then I have a (often unreasonable) need to have everything necessary to survive on me.

Plus I'm a big guy (6'2, 220-230 lbs) and work in the timber industry, so I'm more capable of handling a decent amount of weight than some people.


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#149289 - 04/15/11 11:51 PM Re: Old Habits... [Re: billstephenson]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By billstephenson
If the price of gas keeps going up I might have to fire up my welder and hack a couple bicycles I have lying around into a cart for those donkeys to pull.

Since the donks are so short, and don't go very fast, I'll have to make a lowrider...


My uncle did that to make himself a cart to pull deer out on when he was hunting deep in a no atv area. Worked out pretty well for him :P

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