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#151685 - 06/20/11 05:24 AM 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips?
shotokun16 Offline
member

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 26
Loc: California
I have zero experience in backpacking and i have no knowledge on hiking light or whatever. But i've recently picked up a backpacking/hiking bug which led me to buy a number of a things, such as:

Kelty Coyote 4750 (blue)
Kelty Coyote 4750
Kelty Mistral 20 degree sleeping bag Kelty Mistral 20 degree
REI Half Dome 4 tent (tent)
Katadyn Pro Hiker Filter filter
Level 2 first aid kit (Custom made) blackhawk medical roll bag!
K-Bar Becker Knife K-Bar Becker Knife
(Lights)Fenix LD20/ Petzel Tika plus 2 and Petzel Tika XP2
Basic Hiking shoes from Big 5
Jet Boil Flash (with a number of mountain house foods and a Maxpedition 12x5 water holder that fits perfectly)
GSI Dualist Cookset
Fire starter Fire starter
Bear Spray
(Looking for a good sleeping pad and
looking for pants (or convertible ones) and i already have a number of wicking material from my running gear. I can substitute my hiking layers with road cycling clothes too, such as: Craft craft, Giordana Giordana, and Arctic guard (thermal wicking material).

I've only hiked in Yosemite (e.g. upper falls 5-6hr round trip) and thinking to expand my backpacking,hiking, and camping skills to 2-3 day trips. What are some good tips to give to a first time multi-day backpacker?

Excited to be a member and outdoor enthusiast!

Background:
5'11 175lbs
Tennis athlete for 13-years
Hobbies: Snowboarding, trail running, half-marathons, road cycling, and poetry?



Edited by shotokun16 (06/20/11 08:19 AM)

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#151686 - 06/20/11 05:57 AM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Good beginning. Go out and get some experience in country that appeals to you. It's basically just putting one foot in front of the other until you reach your destination. Do plenty of day hikes, and begin with an easy overnight in good conditions. Extend your trips from there. You might even try camping out in your back yard first just to get a feel for your gear and how it works.

There is lots of info on this site on critical gear. Do pay attention to the "ten essentials." There are good reasons they are listed as such. What are you using for navigation? Specifically, I would be wary of any "basic hiking shoes from Big 5." You may want to get something better. The Becker is a stout knife; you may tire of hauling it around when something a good bit lighter, like a Mora, will do an equally good job.

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#151688 - 06/20/11 07:31 AM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I hope that you really mean wicking and not anti-wicking.

I suspect that as you are going out backpacking more you will be changing out some of your gear for lighter and more functional (for you, this is a matter of preference) items. Things like the GSI Dualist are overkill when you are just boiling water and hey, why are you using it when there's a pot on the Flash already? A lighter choice, for example, that would function perfectly well and cost a whole lot less would be a grease pot (with a foil lid if it didn't come with a lid). Swap the Jetboil for a 3 oz Snow Peak Giga or alcohol stove and you'll still be boiling water and carrying a pound less. You'll want to replace the four man tent with a solo or 2 person. If you continue to hike in California the bear spray isn't necessary. Pick one of the lights and a light backup (like a keychain LED).

If the four man tent is because you have one or more buddies going with you, consider what you will do if you for some reason are separated - it happens more often than one would think. I have run across people who are lost out there because a single person in the group took the job of navigating, and when they went down a different way the other person was "just gone" leaving the buddy wandering around without tent, water filter, or map.

Read the articles on the main website of this forum, read up at zenstoves.net, trailcooking.com (food can be cheaper and have more calories than store bought freeze dried), and keep going out there.

Set up the tent in the backyard and try everything out at home. Make your first outings single night trips. Make the miles short and test all the gear in easy reach of your vehicle. Knowing how the gear works for you and how to set up properly can reveal needs you don't know you have, and help you prepare. For example, I had someone on a three day outing become violently ill because he had never eaten mountain house before and it did not agree with him! He stayed at base camp while the rest of us went fishing.

And hey - don't go alone. Especially until you get the navigation gear and learn how to use it properly. There are a lot of hiking groups out there full of people who share your passion. Always always always leave a detailed plan with someone who knows when you are due back and will call if you do not come home. You never know when something will go wrong.
_________________________
"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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#151689 - 06/20/11 08:14 AM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: lori]
shotokun16 Offline
member

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 26
Loc: California
LOL @ anti wicking--changes were made.

GSI Dualist was bought for heavy duty cooking (e.g. chili, meat, rice, pasta, etc.). I will only boil water in the Jetboil stove and bring that for solo trips.

For some weird and sick reason i wanna hike w/a backpack that contains +/- 40lbs of gear to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls and get a permit for tenting in that area. I was amazed in how some of the hikers were carrying 50lb external packs up there (Judging by my novice observation).

As for navigation, I have a compass and a Garmin Forerunner 305.

Thanks for the tips i'll keep researching and get my navigation skills down.

Any recommendations for a good value 2person tent that weighs around 3-4lbs?


Edited by shotokun16 (06/20/11 08:22 AM)

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#151690 - 06/20/11 09:17 AM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1730
Loc: Napa, CA
I agree with the previous posters here. Get out and use that stuff, and you will find what works and doesn't work. Right now you have spent more on backpacking eqipment than my wife and I did to hike 350 miles in the Sierra....

So advice? Stop buying, start using. And you will find that the 40 pound pack up Yosemite Falls will become a 30 pound pack, or lighter. And you can then hike more than a few miles without feeling like you are paying for your sins.

_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#151697 - 06/20/11 12:12 PM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: balzaccom]
shotokun16 Offline
member

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 26
Loc: California
Agree

Most of the recent stuff i bought were from REI used Gear sale.
The Kelty Coyote backpack was $79.97 (campmor) (No tax)
Kelty sleeping bag: $44(tax not computed+no tax)
Tent $129 (tax not computed+REI used gear)
Water filter $59 (no tax)
Fenix Ld20 light: $53 (no tax)
Jetboil $69.99 (Tax not computed+Memorial sale)
Knife: $53 (No tax+free shipping)
Also got a compression bag: $36.95 (tax not computed)
Grand Total: $524.91 frown


Opps--I also forgot to include First aid kit with the basic essentials came to $100
$624.91 CRAP!


Edited by shotokun16 (06/20/11 12:18 PM)

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#151702 - 06/20/11 02:08 PM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Have you read the articles on the home page of this site? They are listed in the left-hand column. Pay special attention to the gear lists.

I'd recommend reading these before spending any more $$.

BTW, check your closet and local thrift stores before spending a lot of money on clothing. As long as it isn't cotton, I suspect a lot of what you already have will work.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#151704 - 06/20/11 02:43 PM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: OregonMouse]
shotokun16 Offline
member

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 26
Loc: California
Cool--thanks!

Eating Mountain House Eggs and Bacon (1-serving)for lunch and reading the philosophy section. By the way I highly recommend the eggs and bacon (13g protein)! yum! it really does taste like bacon and eggs smile

Anyways, thanks for the info and ill start reading all those articles. thanks


Edited by shotokun16 (06/20/11 02:43 PM)

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#151710 - 06/20/11 06:26 PM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By shotokun16
LOL @ anti wicking--changes were made.

GSI Dualist was bought for heavy duty cooking (e.g. chili, meat, rice, pasta, etc.). I will only boil water in the Jetboil stove and bring that for solo trips.


I have to say that I am bereft when people bring a ton of food on trips - I can't understand that. I go out to spend time doing things other than cooking. Give me just-add-water any time - fast, effortless, and no cleanup. And it packs down small enough that a lot of meals fit in a bear can. You will minimize the bear can size (and the amount of fuel you haul) by diminishing bulky food items. The kitchen is one of the easiest places to shed weight, just by altering a few things.

I dehydrate chili and pre-cook pasta then dehydrate it to make instant meals - anything can be made beforehand and dehydrated, with fairly good results. The chili comes back really well.

Quote:
For some weird and sick reason i wanna hike w/a backpack that contains +/- 40lbs of gear to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls and get a permit for tenting in that area. I was amazed in how some of the hikers were carrying 50lb external packs up there (Judging by my novice observation).


Not weird at all. Do an easy overnight elsewhere, prep yourself with day hikes for conditioning, do some food planning, then plan yourself the 3-4 day trip from one end of the north rim to the other, hitting Eagle Peak, El Capitan, the top of the falls, and North Dome. Ranger can help you with good spots near water for that route. If you're willing to haul some water you can dry camp in some good spots with views.

You'll want to know very specifically where camping is disallowed in that area. Along the rim is mostly day use only.

Quote:

Any recommendations for a good value 2person tent that weighs around 3-4lbs?


Look at tarptents and you will get much lighter than that for the room. They are perfect for the Sierra.

I found a Sierra Designs Lightning XT 1 for @ 150 on sale - it's about 3 lbs. SD makes decent tents for the budget minded.
_________________________
"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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#151807 - 06/23/11 03:02 AM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: lori]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Kind of after the fact, but I would leave the K-Bar at home and take a Swiss Army Knife-a small one. Reminds me of when I was scuba diving. My first knife was a huge Scubapro knife about the size of a Bowie knife. My next one was about 1/4 the size and much more useful. Same for my compass and watch.

As Lori said, learn navigation using a map and compass. You can learn from websites, books or classes. A GPS with a dead battery is worse than useless. A compass and map need nothing but know how.

Get a copy of The Complete Walker by Colin Fletcher. The latest edition is No. 4, I think. It is a good introduction to camping and hiking.

Most importantly, don't feel bad about buying stuff you realize you don't need or want. Everyone does it. See that parka I'm wearing? Someone paid about $500 it and it wasn't me. wink


Edited by TomD (06/23/11 03:07 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#151842 - 06/24/11 07:52 AM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
Paulo Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 158
Loc: Normally Pacific Northwest
way to go. I'd add a compass to that set, but try to stick to well marked trails to start. You should have lots of fun out there.

All the best!
P.S. Don't forget the TP!
_________________________
Without a doubt, the hardest thing of all in a survival situation is to cook without the benefit of seasonings and flavourings. - Ray Mears

http://theoutdooradventure.net

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#151844 - 06/24/11 10:23 AM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: balzaccom]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Originally Posted By balzaccom
So advice? Stop buying, start using. And you will find that the 40 pound pack up Yosemite Falls will become a 30 pound pack, or lighter. And you can then hike more than a few miles without feeling like you are paying for your sins.



Nothing to add, I just wanted to give everyone a second opportunity to read some very good advice.
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#151853 - 06/24/11 03:01 PM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: TomD]
shotokun16 Offline
member

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 26
Loc: California
Originally Posted By TomD

Get a copy of The Complete Walker by Colin Fletcher. The latest edition is No. 4, I think. It is a good introduction to camping and hiking.


Thanks, using my 40% coupon and heading to borders! Are there any books that you guys read on a regular (or refresher) basis that regards to medical, wilderness, navigation, etc.?


Edited by shotokun16 (06/24/11 03:05 PM)

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#151861 - 06/24/11 06:12 PM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, by the Seattle Mountaineers. I think the seventh edition is the most recent. An excellent read.


Edited by oldranger (06/24/11 11:06 PM)
Edit Reason: give the complete title

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#151865 - 06/24/11 10:21 PM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Yes, I do have a book I re-read to refresh.

Colin Fletcher's Complete Walker IV.

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#152019 - 06/28/11 12:34 PM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
OldScout Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/03
Posts: 501
Loc: Puget Sound, Washington
The Complete Walker IV may also be available at your local friendly library. I know its at my library.

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#152302 - 07/05/11 04:48 PM Re: 1st time Backpacker, 1st post, tips? [Re: shotokun16]
Tracy from CA Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By shotokun16
Cool--thanks!

Eating Mountain House Eggs and Bacon (1-serving)for lunch and reading the philosophy section. By the way I highly recommend the eggs and bacon (13g protein)! yum! it really does taste like bacon and eggs smile

Anyways, thanks for the info and ill start reading all those articles. thanks


haha =) if you like the MH eggs & bacon just WAIT till you try the MH breakfast scramble - YUM YUM YUMMY - we visited taco bell prior to our camping trip and grabbed lots of extra seasoning packets, and we of course bought our little tortillas. We were happy campers indeed!

You may want to rethink any ideas of "heavy duty" cooking while backpacking, because my experience is that clean-up is a P.I.T.A. Those MH meals are SO easy and SO yummy and there are so many options, you don't need to seriously cook anymore to eat well on the trail.

PACK LIGHT! You will ultimately enjoy it more.

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