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#177141 - 05/17/13 08:44 PM 14 pounds of "olde" gear
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
There's an idea that all old gear is heavy and new expensive modern gear is light. While there are certainly lots of nice new offerings to save weight - I just bought a steripen - it only weighs 6 ounces (half) of my PUR hiker filter - which I see is now a Katadyne, however this is only a 6 ounce savings and is for use in specific areas (mountains).

I bought a new Snow Peak gigapower stove today at REI just because I haven't purchased a new stove for 15 years. smile It doesn't save me any weight - well maybe an ounce.

So I just packed my 6,500 Kelty inch spectra pack with an old WM Iriqois sleeping bag 27 ounces, a Warmlight down filled airmattress from 1988 - 27 ounces. My tarp weighs 12 ounces and I carry a foam pillow, a down jacket, gloves, balaclava, rain gear, long underwear, a 1iter titanium pan and a ti cup from 1998? Add the regular first aid, bug juice, flashlights, etc etc and the pack weighs a total of 14 pounds less food and water. I would be comfortable down to about 40 degrees and be able to move during a storm.

As I said, most of my gear is from 1988 to 1991 when I had a large gear budget. I've had a SD Flashmagic tent for 20 years that weighs 3 pounds 4 ounces with stakes poles and stuff sacks, SO EVEN WITH A 20 YEAR OLD TENT THE PACK WOULD WEIGH 16 POUNDS. Its what you carry, not when it was made, that matters. Carry fewer items and it will all weigh less.

So anyway the paradyme has changed. We used to take everything we needed to live for a month in our backpacks, and many tents, stoves, cookits, and other gear ITEMS were not designed primarily for weight. My old RUBBERIZED CANVAS airmattress (when I was a boyscout) had a built in footpump, and weighed maybe 3.5 pounds, ok may 5 pounds, and my sleeping bag was an old rectangular flannel model with cotton fill, backpacks were rucksacks with no waistbands, however by the late 80s there was a lot of high quality light weight camping gear, thanks to people like Kelty and Stevenson.

You don't neccesarily need to buy new gear to go lighter, just leave most of your old gear at home.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#177142 - 05/17/13 09:05 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Jimshaw]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 656
Loc: Upstate NY
Your last line is the one I try to pass along to others who are trying to lighten their load. So many are of the belief that they must buy new, expensive gear to go lighter when the reality is more in line with just bring less stuff.
_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

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#177143 - 05/17/13 09:50 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: DTape]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Not just bring less stuff, but bring the right stuff. I agree, light is more about technique; you can't substitute light gear for skill and experience. Learning to bring the minimum amount of the RIGHT gear is what saves the most weight. I went from a 40 pound pack to a 25 pound pack just by refining technique and simplifying my needs; I threw money only at the last 5 (but I really am having fun with those latest and greatest lightweight toys!).

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#177148 - 05/17/13 10:29 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: DTape]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
So true! My cutback of my 1980's total pack weight (from 50 lbs. to my current 25 lbs., fully loaded with food and water for a 9-day trip) was about 10 lbs. in lighter big 3 (I replaced a 5 lb. tent, 5 lb. sleeping bag, 5 lb. pack with a 2 lb. tent, 1 1/2 lb. sleeping bag, 2 lb. pack). The only really expensive item was the sleeping bag (replaced generic big box store synthetic bag with a much warmer and lighter and, of course, pricier Western Mountaineering bag). The tent was $180 on sale and the pack was $110 on closeout. The sleeping bag was $325, but IMHO it was well worth it.

The rest of the weight savings was mostly leaving stuff behind that I didn't really need, such as several changes of clothing, 2 pots instead of one, too many "toilet articles" (translate various lotions, which on the trail attract bugs, not the opposite sex!) OK, I replaced some smaller things such as replacing Nalgene with Platypus, but that was about 3 lbs. and not that many $. I could have done the same thing a lot cheaper by buying Gatorade, throwing out the drink (which I detest) and using the bottles for water.

Actually, the "revolution" started back in the 1950's with Holubar (I remember visiting them in the basement of their home in Boulder), Gerry (my babies rode around in one of the earliest Gerry Carriers) and the ubiquitous Frostline kits. The History of Gear Project.



Edited by OregonMouse (05/17/13 10:50 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#177361 - 05/27/13 12:02 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: OregonMouse]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Most of my gear is still from the 80's or 80's style. This weekend, my son and I went out for a weekend. We had a total of 40 pounds including food and water. I could have drilled holes in my toilet paper and taken less fuel to save another pound. smile



_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#177365 - 05/27/13 02:05 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Jimshaw]
Average_Joe Offline
member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 23
You guys with 25lbs for a week long trip amaze me. How do you get it that light?

I've never been really athletic, but am one of those "mules" - slow and steady and I don't really notice the weight. Of course at 51, I'm slowing down a bit, so I am interested in lightening up.

A problem for me is that I am an organization freak. Everything must be in its own bag or pouch. While the bags and pouches add some weight, it's not that much.

The biggy is water. I go through an easy 8 litres per day myself just hiking. Meals for the family I can do on about 3 litres per meal (including cleanup and a hot beverage). Even at a conservative 2 litres per day per person drinking water for the rest of the family, that's 25 litres per day, or nearly 40lbs of water, of which I'll carry approximately 30lbs.

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#177369 - 05/27/13 02:45 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Average_Joe]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Two quick questions:
1) How far apart are the water sources, typically?
b) Do you carry a filter (or some other form of purification)?

Depending on the answer to these questions, you may not need to carry nearly as much water. In fact, you may be able to get by with 1 liter per person - at a time.

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#177372 - 05/27/13 04:05 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Average_Joe]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Take a look at the articles on the home page of this site in the left hand column, particularly the 27 pound, 7 day gear list. It's not that difficult!

Why do you carry so much water? Do you backpack in the desert? I backpack in the mountains where there are normally frequent water sources and rarely carry more than a half liter at a time. The exception is if I'm traversing a long high ridge, especially during a dry spell, and may travel all day between water sources. In that case, I will carry 2 liters to get me through the day. I of course drink at least two more liters morning and evening in camp. "Cameling up" at water sources helps!

Reducing the number of stuff sacks is a good way to cut weight. That "it's not that much" becomes significant when added up. Consider using zipered sandwich or snack bags for organizing small items; they weigh far less and you can see what's inside. For even smaller zippered plastic bags, try the beads section of your local crafts store.

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

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#177375 - 05/27/13 04:54 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Average_Joe]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1736
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I do much of my backpacking in the desert SW and seldom carry more than four liters unless I have a long dry stretch ahead of me. An important skill in desert hiking is knowing how to find water.

Sometimes it is as simple as looking at a map, other times it is part art and part science and on occasion it can resemble witchcraft. Choosing the right time of year is another element of good judgement. Still, in the desert, and in the mountains and forests as well, planning your trip around water supplies is an important part of safe hiking.

Sure, some of the water sources one will encounter can be moderately disgusting: I have taken water from a spring in which a cow had recently done a dump and I have taken water from a tank in which a bloated dead coyote was floating. But, in my opinion drinking dilute manure or dissolved coyote is measurably better than going dry or humping 30+ pounds of water plus food and gear for any distance. And, cow plop and coyote juice provide valuable vitamins and minerals. smile

BTW, water weighs 2.2 pounds per liter so your 25 liters is 55 pounds-ouch!!
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#177382 - 05/27/13 09:03 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Jimshaw]
Average_Joe Offline
member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 23
Most of my hiking is done in Virginia. Most of the time I will pass water at some point, whether river, lake or pond. Quite often I find myself camping a couple of miles from a water source. Secluded campsites are my preference. I'd much rather have a midnight conversation with a black bear than worry about the drunks 1,000 feet away at the more popular spots.


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#177383 - 05/27/13 09:17 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Average_Joe]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I often do the same thing, camping a mile or more from water. However, during the day I carry only 1 liter between water sources, and "camel up" at each source. Then, at the last stop of the day, I pick up enough water to get to camp and make it to first water the next morning. For me, that's 3 liters: one and a half for overnight, half for breakfast, and a liter to go from last water to camp and camp to first water. So, instead of carrying all the water I need for the entire weekend (which is how I interpreted your first post), I carry one liter until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon, three liters (4 extra pounds) for a couple of hours, then back to one liter.

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#177385 - 05/27/13 10:05 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Average_Joe Offline
member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 23
I suppose I could try that Glenn. Gorge myself on water at the trailhead, and again at each water source. Even plan to cook lunch at one of the water sources.

A problem for me is that (even back in my military days) I am a heavy sweater. I must drink a lot more water than many folks. Probably 3 litres on hand with no more than 4 hours to go to the next water source may get me by.

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#177387 - 05/28/13 12:35 AM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Average_Joe]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
What you may really need is a dilute electrolyte solution in your water. I've always drunk lots of water which always seemed to go in one end and out the other without satisfying my thirst. When I started using an electrolyte solution, things changed dramatically--I didn't need as much water and I didn't get so thirsty. I didn't have to hide behind a tree so often, either. blush

There are lots of commercial solutions out there for athletes (try to pick one with less sugar than Gatorade) or you can google how to make your own hydration salts (useful in cases of diarrhea or vomiting, too) and add a little flavoring. Might be worth a try!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#177397 - 05/28/13 10:20 AM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Jimshaw]
Robotmoose Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/13
Posts: 79
Ever feel that some of the newfangled gear really doesn't offer the same exchange of advantages as some of the older gear?

Things have certainly gotten somewhat lighter in some areas, and technologies have outright revolutionized other types of gear, but at the expense of gear that is sometimes too overspecialized or designed for a niche environment.
_________________________
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
"The joy of living is his who has the heart to demand it."
- Theodore Roosevelt

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#177400 - 05/28/13 11:09 AM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Average_Joe]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Southwest Ohio
"Gorge" may be a bit drastic - I'll usually arrive at a water source with a couple of drinks left, and polish them off. Then I filter a bottle, and drink my fill from that (maybe a half liter), then refill the bottle and head out again. That routine is based on sources about 2 hours apart.

I don't cook lunch, but cooking at a source would seem reasonable (or just haul a bit extra from the mid-morning source.)

If you're drinking substantial amounts of water, you might consider carrying along some Gatorade mix, for the electrolyte replacement.

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#177404 - 05/28/13 11:52 AM Re: carrying excess water [Re: Average_Joe]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 242
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By Average_Joe
Quite often I find myself camping a couple of miles from a water source.
Then schedule your meals to be at the source. Should have plenty in VA.

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#177408 - 05/28/13 01:06 PM Re: carrying excess water [Re: topshot]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Most of my gear is new. I am just not as old as Jim, and was born long after Jim bought his gear.

Also, for water...I live in a desert environment and can plan ahead enough to only have to carry a liter at a time. If I need to, I can carry 4 liters. The biggest weight saving I ever made was realizing that I only need a liter of water on me. In the desert there aren't that many sources, so every time we pass one, we drink what is left on us, fill up another bottle, drink that, then fill another and leave.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#177409 - 05/28/13 01:27 PM Re: carrying excess water [Re: finallyME]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I have neck issues, so trying to see if a lighter pack weight under 25 lbs. for a week will help. Base weight is around 8 lbs. now after a buying binge this Spring. Not much old gear carried forward except me. My old Sears bag is used for car camping, my too small capacity pack was given away 9 years ago, SD tent is used for car camping also.
Duane

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#177411 - 05/28/13 01:49 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
Everybody's body is unique and we differ in our ability to do this. PCT Thru hikers often speak of "cameling up"--guzzling as much water as they can handle in the morning and at rest stops, especially in the Mojave and in NoCal-SoOre where distances between reliable water are huge. Certainly, anybody who's made it from Mexico to the Oregon border has their system fine-tuned and are probably processing water very efficiently. The dry air helps, too (I hate hiking drenched in sweat that won't evaporate).

Back when I ran I was able to run distances in heat with only an occasional drinking fountain sip or two during--I prefered not having water sloshing in my stomach while pounding the miles. Nowadays folks seem to pound gallons on the go (you kids, get offa my lawn). Even when cycling I don't drink all that much, although in the heat there's nothing that dehydrates me faster (icewater in insulated bottles has helped me keep up).

Backpacking is different than those sports for some reason, and I drink on the go and seldom stop for replenishment, unless it's a long day. That's the Sierra and in stark contrast to the Cascades and Olympics where we'd just scoop and drink on the go (with the ironic Sierra cup). Boy, do I miss not lugging pounds of water.

Cheers,

Rick
_________________________
--Rick

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#177419 - 05/28/13 03:56 PM Re: carrying excess water [Re: topshot]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Southwest Ohio
What if he's not old like me, and doesn't want to eat at 4:00 in the afternoon? smile

I frequently plan to make a "dry" camp on purpose; how far it is from last water varies, but it's usually far enough that it's way too early to stop for a meal. That's why I carry water for the last 2 or 3 hours of the day.

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#177440 - 05/29/13 07:31 AM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Average_Joe]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By Average_Joe
I suppose I could try that Glenn. Gorge myself on water at the trailhead, and again at each water source. Even plan to cook lunch at one of the water sources.

A problem for me is that (even back in my military days) I am a heavy sweater. I must drink a lot more water than many folks. Probably 3 litres on hand with no more than 4 hours to go to the next water source may get me by.


Hike slower, conserve sweat.
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#177453 - 05/29/13 12:51 PM Re: 14 pounds of "olde" gear [Re: Gershon]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By Gershon

Hike slower, conserve sweat.

Personally, if I hiked any slower I'd be going backwards.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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