I've been playing around with lighterpack and getting a complete gear list together. It's strange because when weighing each individual piece it comes up with 17.33 pounds but when putting the full pack in a bathroom scale I get 16 pounds even. One of my scales is obviously off...just need to figure out which one! Haha. Anyways, those weights are everything minus food and water, I realize I have a long road ahead of me lightening things up and a couple of the items in there are absurdly heavy for what they are but I am a beginner backpacker so for a first time list I don't think I've done too bad. First overnighter will be next weekend at North Sylamour Creek up around Blanchard Springs Arkansas so wish me luck! I've added my list from lighterpack, can anyone put an eye on it and help suggest changes for things I've either forgotten or the best bang for the buck ways to get lighter?
I don't really understand the concepts of lists, as my packing for trips changes constantly to adapt to the trip I'm taking. Then again, I don't do 20+ mile days anymore or 10,000 foot elevation gains in a day. If every piece of your gear works for you and you've gone safely, then your at the right weight. I've not seen too many bathroom scales that are accurate at low weights, and putting packs on them is difficult. More of a rough estimate. I've never counted the clothes I'm wearing or whatever footwear I'm using as pack weight, so IMO, you are at a fairly low pack weight. Are you only going in good weather, so you don't need rain pants? I've gotten pretty cold when my legs and socks were soaked and it was 50 and windy.I'll assume the rain jacket is doing double duty as a wind jacket and for warmth. Do you really need your cell phone? For me, I'd change up a bit on eating 3 granola bars a day as snacks, as there's a lot of other choices of things to graze on that wouldn't perhaps, get monotonous. If you love them, it's your hike. Don't take anything I've said as criticism, I started when anything under 40 lbs. was light and still am of the opinion that physical fitness is of far more importance, as the heaviest items you have to carry is water and food, and sometimes that can be a considerable load. To me, you're starting with a very good, light pack for a first trip, I hope it goes great and everything works well!
No rain pants, to be honest I was tore on wether they were really needed or not...you have a valid point about the lower half getting cold though. Might run out and see about grabbing a set just in case. And yes, the rain jacket was going to pull double duty.
A few other suggestions: A pack towel, or some handi wipes. Great for drying off after a little clean-up and getting rid of condensation. I've also never brought spare glasses, never once needed them in a couple thousand days on the trail. If I'm going to be doing a lot of very steep, almost technical scrambling and climbing or bushwhacking through heavy brush I wear Croakies. Saves a few ounces. I've also found Buffs to be very useful, very multi-functional. They work as a beanie, a headband,(wet them and put on your head to cool off) an eyeglass cleaner, a neck warmer, a handkercief, you can use them as a loop to hang something, and on and on. If it is above 25, I just use the buff for a headband and save the weight of a beanie. When I don't need it, I just loop it on the strap of my trekking pole.
A pack towel is a great idea and I just happen to have a few micro fiber rags around here that would do just the trick!
Spare glasses is really a bad name I guess...I wear contacts and the glasses would be backup in case I had problems with the contacts. I do need to find a smaller case to store them in, the one I have is bulky. I suppose a spare set of contacts and a small mirror could work just as well and be much smaller/lighter if I can find a decent mirror so I can put them in if needed...ill think about this one.
Never heard of buffs, I'll check that out. Thanks!
http://www.buffwear.com/ways-to-wear Chris, one of the ways a Buff can be also used is as a splint/tourniquet/compress. Last year my wife ended up getting mild heat exhaustion in a really bad place (as in no help available for many miles, no way of getting any within a days walk. The shade of a boulder and repeated wettings of the buff and putting it over her head (evaporative cooling) worked wonders. Since they are a good sun block on your neck, I use them in the summer with a light visor as a lightweight sun protection system instead of a hat. I can't imagine not having the darn things now!
You know, it's funny. When we started backpacking years ago, we grabbed the oldest and silliest towel we had in the house---an old "Big Bird" beach towel we bought for our oldest daughter when she was about three. It's tiny (she was three!) and we sure didn't care if it got dirty, torn, ruined, or anything else.
Over the years, we've bought at least two special backpacking towels/cloths, and we've also tried any number of other things.
Nothing absorbs water and dries us better than Big Bird. And nothing dries quicker in the sun--to get used again.
Your personal/first aid kit seems a bit heavy. That is the same weight I have for a 14-day trip. I wrap my spare glasses in bubble wrap held in place with rubber bands. I save the last little bit of toothpaste in the travel size tubes and use these for 1-2 night trips. Same for sunscreen. I have a very small container and just put in enough for each trip. Often I will not even take a headlamp, particularly if there is to be a full moon. Never any spare batteries. No electronics at all except my small camera.
I would not take a poop trowel. For one or two nights, just use a rock to dig a hole.
I never take a cell phone- cannot always get reception anyway and I think it gives you a false sense of security, as well as being heavy.
The heavy duty utility wipe/towels weigh nothing. Find them in the cleaning supplies/brooms and sponges at Walmart. They are the tan ones, not the blue ones (which are the light duty ones).
I count all the weights of my gear for my "base weight", including clothing I wear and trekking poles. All has to be hauled up the hill so it all is relevant. I also consider "pack weight" The weight of stuff in your pack plus the pack itself, because backpacks have upper comfort limits. I have several packs and the weight will determine which pack I use.
On a 2-day trip, if the weather report shows solid good weather I do not take rain pants or long johns and usually drop one layer of insulation on top too. I do not trust weather reports for more than 3-4 days out.
Like others said, the stuff you take is really dependent on the area you hike and what works for you. After a while you will figure out what is not needed. A few times I have overdone the weight reduction, and subsequently added an item back on my list because going without really was not any fun. A few luxuries are OK. I am a very cold sleeper, so my 5-degree, nearly 2 lb 12 oz down bag always goes with me. I am not willing to spend about $300-400 just to buy a mid-summer bag to save weight.
The personal/FAK is definitely heavier than I thought it was going to turn out. The reason I went with the small travel size bottles was that I will be carrying these things for 2 people, I forgot to add that in the initial post. They will be for me and my son. Toothpaste is a partial travel size but the rest are full travel size options. I am looking at working on this.
Poop trowel will probably be left behind for now.
Cell phone will be a have to have item. The trail is a 1 way and about 2 hours from the house. The wife is dropping us off and picking us up when we finish the trail and I'll have to have some way to contact her. I wish I had a lighter option than this big ole Iphone 6plus though...lol
I'll look into the wipes. I found a microfiber towel here that weighs in just under 1 oz so I might make do with that for now.
Thank you for taking the time to make these suggestions, this is all being done with internet research and day trips. I don't have anyone local that hikes so I have noone to pick their brain in person here so to speak I really appreciate the advice from you seasoned hikers!
I think your list looks just about right with you carrying some gear for 2. The only area I can see where you could lighten up would be with the first aid kit and depending on the weather forecast the extra clothing you have listed. As far as the trowel goes you can use a decent stake or even possible your knife, if your willing to dig with it.
I'd replace a backpack with something definitely lighter. I think ~2LB is too much for such lightweight load. Gossamer Gear G4 comes to mind, but there are other good ultralight packs.
I'd leave a pillow at home. Roll of clothes under your head would work as nice.
Not sure why do you want a ground cloth if you're using the hammock.
I would leave 'backup glasses' in the car, not in my backpack (my eyesight used to be really bad, -12, before the Lasic, yet I was ok to walk without any glasses, driving would be another story).
Wet wipes @ 3.7oz? - are you taking the whole case with you?
Coppertone Sunscreen - I normally would go without it, but that's just me, if you insist on it - there could be lighter sunscreen packages better suited for backpacking (I used to have one which would double up as both sunscreen and chapstick, but I disposed it because it would give my face unhealthy white shade).
I'd drop Trekking Pole (or rather replace it with an umbrella and save on raingear and the sunscreen as mentioned above), but since you're wearing a hat you probably don't need no umbrella.
20' spare zingit and paracord - pick one of those, I guess....
1 oz measuring bottle - I know it's light but cannot you measure alcohol with anything else?
Beanie - I'd replace it with Wool Buff.
Spare underwear Duluth buck naked - do boyscouts change clothes in the woods?
Potable Aqua tablets for backup @ 2.3oz - how many are you carrying?
Spare bic - maybe book of matches would do the job of being in the spare?
North Face Venture Rain Jacket - never liked rain jackets. I'd rather bring an umbrella. Or a rain poncho (which could serve as an underquilt too in summer).
But overall, you're doing just great.
Edit: I did see a compass, but failed to see a map. I guess you forgot to include it into your packlist because it was on your table for figuring the route
Edit2: > Columbia LS polyester button up shirt > Old Navy fleece pullover
One of these could be down (and maybe even down vest, not jacket), another one - softshell wind/rain protection (maybe even your North Face Venture ). These 2 guys seems a bit too redundant and both are heavy.
Edit 3: I would consider adding a blade. Maybe "double edge shaving blade" @ 0.0-0.1oz, if you want to be ultralight, and keeping it in the medical kit.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I've refrained from doing gear list critiques for a few years but thought I'd take a look at this one. These are just random comparisons to my gear list. Mine is based on the 7-day, 27-lb. list on the home page of this site, left hand column. However, my base weight is a couple of pounds lighter, mostly due to lighter shelter and pack.
I am not a hammock person, so I won't critique your shelter/sleeping system in detail. I did note a few comparisons, though: Your top and bottom quilt together weigh exactly double the weight of my 20*F sleeping bag. Your tarp and bug net together--without the hammock--weigh more than my 2-person tent. You might consider looking for lighter versions of same (perhaps down quilts rather than synthetic?). Also, why a ground cloth with a hammock?
For toiletries/sundries, take just enough for the trip, in tiny bottles. Sunscreen and bug repellent should be decanted into tiny dropper bottles, not kept in their original containers. That also seems like a lot of wet wipes and hand sanitizer for a 3-day trip. That's what I take for 10 days. Again, use smaller containers and leave the rest in the car to clean up when you get back to the trailhead.
Navigation--get a better compass that can be used with the map (which is an essential but not listed). I use a Silva Starter compass--simple, lightweight, but allows for magnetic declination and has a straight edge. It has far more degree detail than the "button" compass on your whistle. If you don't know what I'm talking about, there are lots of books, classes, online info on simple map reading and navigation. Don't have your map on an electronic gadget--they tend to malfunction when most needed! At least have a good paper map and a halfway decent compass--and the skills to use them--as backup!
Headlamp--for that short a trip, start with fresh batteries so you don't need spares. If you have a headlamp with a regulator that can use lithium batteries, they last a lot longer.
Trekking pole--hopefully, for that weight, you have two of them? My pair weigh 14 oz.
My cooking kit weighs half as much. I suspect you may have a larger pot than you need for a solo trip? I don't take a cup but drink out of my pot. (Your Mileage May, of course, Vary.)
For a weekend trip, you don't need spare clothes (except a pair of socks)--leave spares in the car to change to for on the way home..
I use my base layer for sleeping (I normally won't wear it while hiking, so it stays relatively clean).
That fleece pullover is really heavy. Save up for a synthetic fill puffy jacket for half the weight. You can also find rain jackets for half the weight. I personally won't go out without rain pants, which will of course make up for the weight savings of a lighter rain jacket. I personally prefer a zip-front jacket to a pullover--it's easier to get on and off and if it's a bit too warm I can undo the zipper for ventilation.
Dinner for the last day? I treat myself to pizza and ice cream on the way home. If it's too far from the trailhead to the pizza parlor, then leave the Day 3 dinner in the car and cook it at the trailhead or at a rest area on the way home. For emergency "extra food," a few snack bars are fine (preferably something not too appetizing so you're not tempted to eat during the trip). It takes weeks to starve to death.
Those smart water bottles (which I also use) do weigh something.
Unless you have a rather expensive bathroom scale that weighs to the nearest 0.1 lb., they aren't that accurate. Also, bathroom scales aren't designed for weights much lighter than the human body. Weigh yourself with and without the pack and calculate the difference. Even then, it it will be an approximate number.
More on spreadsheet math vs. total pack weight on scale: I once spent an extra half day unpacking and rechecking off my gear list because the actual weight of my 10-day pack was 2 lbs. less than my spreadsheet total and I thought for sure I'd left out something important! After a half day of frustration, I found that the average weight I'd used for a day's food was overstated, probably because I deliberately chose lighter-weight meals for that long a trip. My total food for 10 days was therefore 2 lbs. less than what my spreadsheet showed! Even so, I ended up packing out leftover food.
If you're comparing with other gear lists, note that the clothing/shoes you wear and your trekking poles are not included in "base weight" (defined as everything but fuel, food and water). Of course the most important weight is the total you're carrying on your feet--defined as "skin-out weight."
Edited by OregonMouse (03/16/1605:06 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
For the Sylamore Creek Trail, a button compass is really enough. Declination is not a factor in Arkansas. The trail follows the creek the entire way so it would be really hard to get lost. It's a good spot for a first trip. It's very scenic, the trail is easy to follow, and there are likely to be people at the rec areas if you have any trouble. Also, we found a $100 bill along the side of the road at Gunner Pool campground a few years ago, but I wouldn't count on that.
I looked that hike up and it looks awesome. No navigation needed, except I'd fall off a bluff looking for fish! An absolute great place to smallmouth bass fish! I'd be hauling in all kinds of extra weight in fishing gear. I understood the groundcloth was actually just a place to stand getting out of the hammock; the weight given is for a small piece of Tyvek. I always carry a small amount of extra food, there's been times when trips ran a little long because of inclement weather or injury. You can go hungry, or sometimes you can give yourself a little boost to get out of a bad situation. Usually some bars, or jerky.
Not a hammock guy either so I wont't touch that one. Also I hesitate to make recommendations on clothing because I don't know the specifics of your trip and it also has a lot to do with your safety and what works for me may not for you. I will tell you, evaluate at the end of every trip and you will soon find out if you are packing too many layers or too many sets of socks, underwear ect. If you didn't use it throughout your trip its probably not necessary with the exception of some type of rain gear. The more options you have the better you can tailor your pack weight to the trip. There is an expression "stupid light" and you can imagine for yourself what that might be. My priorities are simply to stay dry and warm. With those I can do without almost any additional comforts. So I pack rain gear on a sunny day. I would rather leave 7oz of cook kit behind than my UL rain/wind jacket
A lot can be saved evaluating the little stuff so here's my 2 cents.
*If you can find a large nyloflume bag for your liner bag you can save 1.35 oz. *Leave the clothing sack at home *Leave the cook kit sack at home unless pot grime is a factor. We don't have an issue with gas or alky so the wife carries our kit with her bandana wrapped around it. *Put the FAK in smallest slide lock plastic bag you can. Slide lock baggies are lighter than stuff sacks. I use them instead of camera, gps, binocular cases. *Learn to go without a pillow. If your quilt is in a stuff sack use it with spare clothes for a pillow. *Soap is more versatile than hand sanitizer unless your planning to use it as a fire starter as well. After researching a little I found it was more effective on the kinds of bacteria we deal with, POOP You can fill a very tiny dropper bottle with something like campsuds that will last for a lot more than a couple days. You really only need a few drops to wash hands and it wont dry out your skin with all the alky in sanitizer. *Same goes for the deet bottle. Find tiny dropper bottles in a dollar store and empty them out. A little concentrated deet goes a long way. We have moved away from deet and now use clothing effectively when the bugs are bad. This works double duty for sun protection as well. Also a head net is nice when the bugs are bad. *Wet wipes can be dried out and rehydrated when needed. YMMV *If the paracord is for hanging food leave it home its unnecessarily heavy. Not familiar with zing it. I carry 50 ft of Zline slick with a DIY tiny stuff sack attached to put a stone in. Its all under an oz. 20 ft. might be short for some tough hangs. *Mini bic lighters are lighter, no pun intended. *My 1 oz alky measure is 2 grams. They are the disposables they give medicine in. *You can use a chobani yogurt container for a cup at 8 grams. *Your potty trowel is heavy. You can make your own at half that weight. https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/88820/ for a buck or two. I carry mine on all hikes and use it plenty. I don't like coming across shallow cat's hole cause someone didn't have the right tool. Digging thru stringy roots and hard soil can be a real PITA around here. YMMV
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
Zing-it is an arborist Dyneema throw line twine. It is available in 1.5 and 2.2mm diameters. It appears to be comparable to Z-Line slick. While Samson says that Zing-it is not spliceable, it is a hollow braid cord and can be spliced. I have made tieout cords from Zing-it and even whoopie slings. They work, but aren't significantly better than nylon cord. For a ridgeline or a throw line, Zing-it is fine, but it's overkill for most other uses. If you use it as a throw line and it snags, you won't be able to pull it in two to retrieve your bag.