Backup gear

Posted by: Glenn

Backup gear - 08/05/10 12:26 PM

In his post under Lite Gear Talk, Pika describes some lightweight backup sunglasses he takes along, and also why he takes them (because, at least once, his "real" sunglasses went sliding off the mountain and, since he has light-sensitive eyes, he doesn't want to risk snow blindness.)

That got me to thinking: as we all talk about strategies for lightening our load, we discuss multiple use gear. I think that implies an assumption that there will be no duplicate gear carried. However, I'm quite sure that, in fact, we all carry at least one piece of duplicate, "backup" gear.

I'd be interested to know what gear you carry a backup for, why you feel you can't risk being without that item, and perhaps what you considered taking backup for and decided you could make do without if necessary. Also, how much weight do you devote to such items? I don't consider a change of clothes or those longjohns you always carry for unpredictable weather to be backup gear.

For me, it's a spare lighter (or some matches, but not both), a spare hipbelt buckle, a spare LED light, some chlorine dioxide tablets, and a spare water filter element. Total weight is probably 4 or 5 ounces for the "stuff" and another 4 or 5 ounces for the windbreaker.

The lighter is so I don't have to eat cold freeze-dried food if I lose the lighter I keep in my cook kit (or forget to fill it before a trip.) It's also to light a fire, should one become necessary in an emergency situation.

The hipbelt buckle is purely peace of mind: I have this awful feeling that, someday, I'm going to step on my hipbelt and break the buckle. I've never done it; I'm almost paranoid about buckling it behind my back before I take the pack off, just so it won't lay flat on the ground, waiting to be stepped on. But, I often have Scouts with me, and as any Scouter can tell you, no mishap is beyond the ability of 12-year-old boys.

The spare LED is a Princeton Tec Pilot light that clips onto the webbing on my pack's shoulder straps. It's mostly so I have a light handy while hiking, and so I can see to change the batteries in my headlamp (for some reason, the batteries never die during the day.) However, it's also a backup in case I decide to calibrate my headlamp by dropping it on a rock, or in case I leave it laying on a log as I pack up to leave. I consider it essential to have a light if I should have to hike at night, or see to apply first aid or avoid getting burned while cooking in the dark.

The purfication tablets are there in case I have catastrophic water filter failure. You know: watching it float away down stream, dropping it (those pesky rocks again), having an indispensable plastic part break, etc.

The spare filter element may be temporary backup. I simply haven't used my Hyperflow enough yet to establish a confidence level; I've also seen one review on about the element threads disintegrating, and had a friend also have that happen to him. After I've worked my way through an element's life cycle of clogging, backflushing, and disassembly/reassembly, this piece of backup might disappear.

As I think about it, I suppose the scissors on my Swiss Army Knife might be considered backup for the scissors in my first aid kit. However, that's purely incidental. I carry the SAK because it has a screwdriver blade, which gets used to adjust the fit of the GG Nimbus Ozone packs the Scouts use. The scissors just kind of tag along. Maybe I'll pull the scissors out of the first aid kit...

That's mine. How about the rest of you?
Posted by: Canyonero

Re: Backup gear - 08/05/10 12:35 PM

Iodine tablets as backup for my filter.

Extra matches...a ziploc baggie full in my cook kit, and a waterproof container full with my survival kit.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Backup gear - 08/05/10 12:45 PM

Three backup items: the free "sunglasses" (more like a rolled up piece of exposed film) from the eye doctor, one of those little photon LED lights (around my neck on a cord along with my compass and whistle), matches as a backup for my lighter.

I have some chlorine dioxide tablets in my first aid/"essentials" kit, but now that I use only chlorine dioxide to treat my water, that's not so much backup but an item that goes with me on dayhikes (since the first aid/essentials bag goes with me either way).

One of the big sources of unnecessary extra pack weight is carrying changes of clothing. I take no backup clothing except socks, but since even when it's cold I don't hike in my base layer top and bottoms, they are available as a clean dry layer to wear inside my sleeping bag. When I wear them in camp they're under my other clothing, so they don't get dirty--and I make sure they stay dry!
Posted by: Haiwee

Re: Backup gear - 08/05/10 02:11 PM

I always carry what I call my "essentials kit." It has a couple of spare lighters, screws to repair my home-made external frame pack, some duct tape wrapped around a small pencil, a pocket compass, some iodine tablets, a small tarp, a needle and thread, some extra band-aids and gauze patches. So it's a combination repair kit and "extras" kit. I had to use the iodine once (on questionable water) when I inadvertently left my Aqua Mira bottles sitting in the sun and one of them exploded.
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Backup gear - 08/05/10 02:33 PM

I agree on clothing. With synthetic shorts and T-shirt, which dry really fast, I don't feel the need for a change of clothing until I get beyond 3 or 4 days. The closest I come to "backup" clothing is the windbreaker I always carry; it's only "backup" in the sense that my rain jacket could probably do duty as a windbreaker - but sometimes, when it's not-quite-cool but windy, the rain jacket is too hot but the windbreaker is just right. So, I don't consider it backup.

Beyond that windbreaker, I carry a change of socks and, if I'm going out more than 2 days, a spare set of boxer briefs. Over 4 days, I might add a second pair of socks and a spare T-shirt and shorts in hot, sweaty weather.
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Backup gear - 08/05/10 03:43 PM

I carry a spare set of sunglasses. It sounds like I carry the exact same "film canister" type that OM carries. I have backups for fire (matches, lighter, fero rod). Sometimes I carry an empty extra water container. I also carry prescription glasses to backup my contacts. I carry three cutting instruments (Mora, multitool, EMS shears). I carry an extra strap for my hammock tree huggers, and a little extra line for the suspension. This is in case the trees are a little wider or farther apart than expected, or if something breaks. I carry extra tie-out line for my tarp or for something unexpected. I guess my needle and thread is extra. I always carry chlorine dioxide tablets, are those extra?
Posted by: Wolfeye

Re: Backup gear - 08/05/10 08:17 PM

I don't carry much by way of backups: a sparklite with tinder in case my stove doesn't work, some iodine tablets as backup for my filter or to make a wound cleansing solution in a pinch, duct tape if something rips, 20' of cord for repairs or for lowering my pack when scrambling gets too tough. I used to carry some nonlubricated condoms as backup canteens, but felt silly about it seeing them in my bag after a few trips.

Arguably, the foam pad in my daypack could be used to sleep on. I carry "backup"-grade essentials (button compass, zipper light, etc.) for easy dayhikes where nice equipment feels like overkill.

Oh, I do carry backup prescription glasses. My eyes are probably legally blind by themselves. I picked up a pair of folding reader glasses & had some lenses installed. They pack away tiny.
Posted by: Paul

Re: Backup gear - 08/05/10 08:38 PM

Summer: backup lighter - one in the stove bag, one in the ditty bag. That's it - I do carry three pair of socks, but I don't consider that backup, since I wash a pair each day. I guess you could say one pair is backup - one to wear while the other dries and the third is backup in case the one doesn't dry that day.

multi-day ski trips: I carry a photon micro light as backup to my headlamp; a second pair of liner gloves (lost one once, and can't be without); and backup sunglasses - at 11 or 12K on the snow in early May, you gotta have shades!
Posted by: phat

Re: Backup gear - 08/05/10 10:13 PM

I don't carry a lot of "backup" preferring instead to take stuff that doesn't break smile

I carry two mini-bic lighters. one of those is definately a backup.

I do carry two sets of socks, but one is for sleeping, and one for hiking

I take CL02 solution, not a filter, so I don't really need a backup for that

When carrying a thermarest, I carry a small patch kit.

Beyond that, there's really not a lot of stuff that I carry that has much a chance of breaking - and if I were to break it in any real way, I'd be uncomfortable but not in any real danger.

Posted by: verber

Re: Backup gear - 08/06/10 01:50 AM

If backup is second items in case the primary fails, then the only backup items I carry are related to fire starting. I use a lighter, and have carry several wind resistant matches and either firesteel or a sparky. That's pretty much my pure "backup gear".

I carry duct tape for blisters and repairs, and a first aid kits. I carry more Katadyn water tablets than I need, and I plan my clothing to keep me comfortable in expected conditions, and safe is reasonable worse case so some people might say I carry more clothing and absolutely necessary.

Posted by: Pika

Re: Backup gear - 08/06/10 12:23 PM

I don't carry much in the way of backup gear but I do carry a few items that I have found to be quite useful in the past. These are:

1) backup sunglasses (noted in another post).

2) spare reading glasses. I have had a lens pop out of my normal glasses twice when bushwhacking. I was able to find the lens once and could not find it the second time. I don't really need glasses for distance vision but do need them for map and recreational reading.

3) A little key-chain LED light. Actually I use it about as much as I do my headlamp because it is easier for me to use at night. I have a knack for turning on my headlamp pointing the wrong way and have often blasted my night vision as a consequence; I don't have that problem with my Photon light.

4) My "when you absolutely, positively, must get a fire going" kit. For normal lighting chores, I carry Bic mini's, one in my pocket and one in my stove bag. I use the one in the stove bag to light the stove because it saves me having to stand up and get the other one out of my pocket. Yeah, I know, but it is only 0.4 oz. My "absolutely, positively" kit consists of a golf ball-sized wad of paraffin impregnated excelsior, a 1" cube of paraffin impregnated sawdust, two birthday candles and 6 storm matches with striker. All of this is vacuum sealed into a lumpy package about 1" x 1" x 2.5". It is designed for one-time use. I have needed it in the past and it served me well. I think I could get wet rocks burning with it.

5), I carry a small repair kit: thread, needle, duct tape and Thermarest repair kit.

Altogether, my backup stuff weighs about 4 oz. It comforts me to have it along.
Posted by: ChrisFol

Re: Backup gear - 08/07/10 02:11 AM

Great topic!

For three seasons, I must admit that my "back-up" gear is minimal:

-I always take one mini-bic, a small box of strike anywhere matches and stormproof matches. I could do without the SAMs, but for 0.2oz, I don't worry too much.

-I take both Chlorine Tablets and the Aquamira Pro Filter. The latter is for emergency and weighs only 2oz.

-Clothing extras: my biggest thing is gloves-- I take Smartwool liners, BD Fleece gloves and rain mitts on pretty much every trip in the high country. Cold hands and poor dexterity is not fun.

In winter-- I also bring additional socks that count as back-up.

Beyond that, I don't bring too many extras.

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Backup gear - 08/07/10 02:20 AM

I hadn't thought about the reading glasses. I bring the lightest pair I could find, a folding pair in a small metal case from shipping cost as much as the glasses! They are pretty fragile-looking, though. I will look for a small plastic magnifier for backup. While since my cataract surgery I can get along without regular glasses (although I do need them to drive), I sure can't read a map without something to help!

Posted by: ringtail

Re: Backup gear - 08/07/10 08:43 AM

I probably carry more backup gear than I should.

My repair kit (8.8 oz.)includes fire starting gear, book matches in my pocket and a baggy of book matches in my stove kit.

Wool liner glove in the tunnel pocket of my fleece hoodie, Possum Down gloves in my clothes bag, a pair of deli gloves in my clothes bag and a pair of medical gloves in the first aid kit. The deli gloves (.1 oz.) replace rain gloves or can be used in a glove sandwich.

Dri-Ducks jacket and poncho. Poncho is also hammock fly and Dri-Ducks jacket is for warmth and around camp.

Petzl e+Lite headlamp and Photon knock-off light on a lanyard around my neck. I seldom use the headlamp and even carry a spare set of batteries.

An extra set of underwear if more than two nights.

An extra pair of socks, sleeping fleece socks and produce bags for a vapor barrier kit.

TYVEK pants (2.2 oz.)for vapor barrier and rain pants.

Clorine dioxide tablets to back up AquaMira.

A buff in the tunnel pocket of the fleece hoodie, a Possum Down hat in my clothes bag, a bandana do-rag, and regular hiking hat.

Scissors on the mini-Buck 350 and sewing scissors.

Whistle on my lanyard and on the sternum strap of my pack.

A gallon water capacity, but this in not backup. I seldom carry more than 2 quarts, but the extra is camp water.

I can get rid of all my back-ups and hike with an 8 pound base weight, but my normal 12 pound base weight is more comfortable and provides options.

Posted by: Franco

Re: Backup gear - 08/07/10 08:23 PM

Good topic...
Starting with the sunglasses, watching the "on thin ice " TV series (race to the South Pole) I noticed that one of the guys had 3 different types os sunglasses/goggles, the other two had (at least) 2 each.
Snow blindness is not fun neither that unusual ...

I carry two Mini Bics except when using a light Kovea stove that has a reliable (so far) piezo ignition, then I have one.
No matches or magnesium sticks, but have some petroleum jelly impregnated cotton balls to start a fire if I need too.
Always have 3 pairs of socks. Two thick ones and a Coolmax type for bed. In camp if wet (or with wet shoes) I wear the thin socks with a bread bag (plastic bag) over them to keep them dry and clean.
(so I carry 4 plastic bread bags, 2 as a backup or for others)
Always have two short sleeve merino tops. One for day the other for camp. If the day one gets really wet and I have a cold start then I keep the night one on. (hoping to dry the other during the day or the next night)
I don't filter or purify unless the water looks "dodgy" to me (not a good system but that is what I do...) however I have Micropur tablets with me.
Here during summer/dry season I also carry a Pur Hiker pump because often the only water available is from ponds on otherwise dry river beds or some waterholes.
On longer walks I have my standard head lamp (or mini torch) and a Petzel E Lite (1 oz) .
Oh, yes , over 2 days I have a spare pair of underpants ( Ex Officio now, they dry very fast, even wearing them...)

Posted by: GDeadphans

Re: Backup gear - 08/07/10 10:18 PM

I carry a few extra pennies for my penny stove. Those things are easy to lose, especially when dark out!
Posted by: phat

Re: Backup gear - 08/08/10 11:34 AM

Originally Posted By GDeadphans
I carry a few extra pennies for my penny stove. Those things are easy to lose, especially when dark out!

I don't - but I have lost the penny - then I use a small pebble in place of the penny...

You can do the same and you have just saved the weight of three pennies smile
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Backup gear - 08/08/10 01:30 PM

For me this varies a bit with the trip plans, weather, and the people I'm going with.

Generally speaking I always bring 3 sources to start a fire, 3 sources of light, a headlamp, a small powerful LED flashlight, and a very small LED keychain light, a complete change of clothes packed to make double sure they stay dry, and a couple days worth of extra food. I carry a katadyne pump filter and my backup is to boil water in my pot.

But I consider the above to be essential in anyone's pack and, except for the extra food, I use all these things.

For me personally, I carry spare reading glasses, sunglasses, and batteries for my GPS and lighting, and some light cord or rope. I almost never use these, so they are truly "Backups".

If I am hiking with others that have little experience I will carry some extra first aid items, a light weight rain jacket, blaze orange marker tape, Emergen-C vitamins, bug repellant, and more if I feel the need. I almost always end up handing a lot of this stuff out too.

Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Backup gear - 08/08/10 03:04 PM

In the winter I've been known to carry 4 pairs of gloves - sleeping, xcskiing, goretex shells and heavy warm insulated goretex gloves. Often 4 BIC lighters cause I end up spreading them around and can't find one when I need it. A closed cell pad under my airmattress is definitely backup (or rather spare stuff thats not really probably needed but gets used.)

By your definition my entire first aid kit, photon light, spare batteries, etc, are backup because they never get used but are carried anyhow.

Posted by: OldScout

Re: Backup gear - 08/09/10 01:20 PM

Glen, I'll only add to those items that haven't been mentioned yet. I will always carry an extra contact lens case and bring an extra freezer bag meal, just in case.
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Backup gear - 08/10/10 03:49 PM

Originally Posted By Jimshaw
By your definition my entire first aid kit, photon light, spare batteries, etc, are backup because they never get used but are carried anyhow.

Yeah, that's mostly correct, by my definition. Here's the two dictionary definitions I would reference to support it:

1. a thing that supports or reinforces another. (ie. First Aid, and First Aid Kits)

2. a device, etc., kept in reserve to serve as a substitute, if needed. (ie. spare batteries) > Backup

The above items could also be defined as "Essential" items.

Certainly backup items can be essential, or not (as in the case of your foam sleeping pad).

Posted by: Glenn

Re: Backup gear - 08/10/10 04:41 PM

My original intent was to exclude things you carry for "normal" unexpected events - so I wasn't really thinking of first aid kits or 10-essentials as "backup" gear. It was intended more as "what are you worried about breaking so you carry two (or more)?"

However, I think the items you've all mentioned certainly add to the relevance of the discussion, since they can be creatively used to overcome the failure of some of the other items. (For example, iodine in a first aid kit to purify water.)
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Backup gear - 08/10/10 08:35 PM

Jim, the stuff I pointed out that I personally carry for "Backups", eye glasses, batteries, et. are carried in case I break or wear out what I expect to use. They are only in my pack for that case.

The things I pointed out that I carry when hiking with newbies are in my pack because experience has taught me that these items will be lacking in their packs. I don't carry them for me, they are "extra" and I never, ever, expect to use them myself.

I started doing this as a habit after offering my warm, dry clothes, my only Advil, or half of my last dinner, to others who did not have any, or enough, of whatever they needed. I got tired of that. A half dozen more Advil than I would want or need doesn't weigh much, nor does a garbage bag/rain poncho, or an extra freeze dried meal or two, etc.

In the past thirty-five years I have had to cut trips short because of other people's, allergies, diarrhea, fillings that fell out of a tooth, not having enough food, being wet and cold, even a broken shoelace cut a trip short once. I have never had a problem with any of those personally, but learned from them and I have pulled cures, treatments, and solutions, out of my pack for friends for almost all of those and other mishaps since.

When I'm hiking with newbies my pack is always tiny bit heavier than when I'm packing with my more experienced friends or alone. I don't really mind that. It helps us all stay more focused on having a good time, but I am indeed "Backing up" their gear when I carry that extra stuff. That's my intention and that's why I carry it. I use a separate stuff sack just for this SOPF (stuff other people forget wink

Listing SOPF may not have been the OP's intent, but I do consider it "Backup", even if it's not for my use, and I can't imagine that I'm alone in packing it. Not here.

Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 01:02 AM

Glenn said:
"My original intent was to exclude things you carry for "normal" unexpected events"

I agree with phat, carry good gear that won't fail, at least those items that matter. I cannot concieve of one of my old marmot or TNF goretex jackets ever failing, tearing or needing backup. I call this bomb proof basic gear, things you can bet your life on over and over and KNOW that when you need its service, it will be there.
To answer your original question, batteries and a closed cell pad are the only things that qualify for me unless you consider my compass... shocked Its NEVER used.
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 11:25 AM

How about things that we have carried on every single trip, but never used?

That includes a few things in our first aid kit, but we're HAPPY we haven't used those.

On this last trip, we never used the extra paracord I take--but I'll still take it next year. We ofter take more bug juice than we use...but we also never want to run out. We take head nets for bugs...they weight nothing and save your life when you need them!

The only other thing I have carried over the years that we rarely use are a pair of lightweight binoculars. But that's just fun.

Jim--you've NEVER used a compass? Do you ever go off-trail? I use mine regularly to sight off nearby landmarks for navigation...

Posted by: Glenn

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 01:54 PM

Bill, I think it fits right in with my original intent: it's backup gear people carry, they just don't know it because it's in your pack.

I tend to do the same, and toss in some extra stuff if I know I've got a rookie (or an incredibly disorganized veteran) backpacker with me. It's sometimes an extra plastic spoon, or a pair of socks, or a mug, or a sweater or down vest. Because, yes, I've had a guy come up to me at supper and say, "Umm, I don't know how to say this, but I guess I forgot my bowl and spoon, heh, heh..."

I find I do this more often with people who have their own gear. If they're relying on loaner gear, I've got more control: I know my spare pack has a poncho, a small first aid kit, eating and cooking utensils, and so forth already in it when I give it to them at the trailhead and watch/teach as they pack it up.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 02:04 PM

I didn't say I have never used a compass, I said I have carried one that never gets used, because I have a GPS sometimes, and because generally I am in mountain country where only a complete ditz could get lost. In fact I have studied celestial navigation etc etc for the purpose of navigation at sea, and I was a boy scout, and I actually know how to orient a compass and chart a route, however I find that I never need those skills, perhaps because I have them, but this is why I am so persistent in my feeling that a compass is just not worthy of being on the ten essential list. And of most people don't know how to use it or read a map so why carry them?

When I can if I take a newby camping I supply a pack and everything in it. I tell them to bring 3-5 items, their own pants, shirt underwear, and other than that I say "pick up that pack and lets go", then I KNOW they have what they will need.
Posted by: aimless

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 02:17 PM

Among the very few items I carry as backups, in case my primary equipment fails, are:

- an LED pinchlight, backing up my LED headlamp
- a spare bootlace
- stormproof matches
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 02:39 PM


It's scary that we think so much alike. Very scary. grin

I also keep a second complete set of gear to loan to someone new to backpacking; they only have to bring their clothes and toothbrush. I do make them take everything out and pack it themself, while I explain what the different items are and how to pack a pack.

I usually give it to them at the start of the trip - at the trailhead, or maybe the night before as long as it goes straight into my car. Learned that the night I sent it home with a guy who just couldn't resist looking at it one more time and practicing how to pack it. Said it felt a bit lighter the next morning. Maybe that was because he'd set the tent poles aside and forgot to put them back in before he left.

I find it removes my worries to have control of that part of the trip (accountants barely missed taking the anal-retentive championship from engineers), and it also removes some of the newcomer's trepidations because they have a certain comfort level in knowing that I think they have everything they need. (Silly newcomers! wink )
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 02:43 PM

At least you exercise SOME restraint: I used to take a PAIR of shoelaces! (Then I learned to check my laces before I left, after which I also found out that the paracord I already had will also work.)
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 02:51 PM

Glenn, Aimless,
Shoelaces? (a pair of them????) smile
I think I broke one when I was 19, but not since. Now check my gear before I leave. I believe a piece of my food hanging cord would suffice to get home.

One time I was on a design team and they were trying to figure out to make a machine self testing. I said "All of the self test circuits complicate the design, create potential failures, and anyway this stuff is all ruggedized. I suggest instead that we find a way to test something with a higher failure rate, like the on/off switch." The team agreed with me and we dropped it.
Posted by: ringtail

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 03:10 PM

Originally Posted By Glenn
accountants barely missed taking the anal-retentive championship from engineers

We could have won, if you and I were on the team. OM, however is pretty normal. grin

I took a guy that had NEVER backpacked on a 4 night trip into the Grand Canyon. I provided the complete kit except for clothes and hygiene. I told him I was more worried about him bringing something he did NOT NEED than not having something he needed. He did great.
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 04:05 PM

You saying my switch ain't necessarily on? grin

Some days, you may be more right than you think.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 04:24 PM

OM, however is pretty normal.

That's probably because I didn't start my accounting career until age 45 and have now been retired for over 20 years! I had plenty of more "broadening" experiences (both physically broadening, like several pregnancies, and mental, such as a degree in literature) beforehand, and have stayed away from accounting in the 20 years since!

I must admit, though, that I do have my gear list divided into "fixed" weight and "variable" weight instead of "base weight" and "consumables"!
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 04:55 PM

And do you compute the ratio of variable to fixed, weight?
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 05:44 PM

No, didn't bother with that! More concerned with getting the fixed (base) weight down so I can go out for more days without resupply!
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 07:01 PM

I tend to do the same, and toss in some extra stuff if I know I've got a rookie (or an incredibly disorganized veteran) backpacker with me.

Among the small things I started bringing is a little box of temporary dental filling in my first-aid kit. It made it in there about 20 years ago after someone I was with lost a filling and was in pretty bad pain as a result. I replace it every few years, and about 7-8 years ago I had it when this happened again.

I carry about 20-40 ft of "Trot Line" with me. I can use to hoist food, help tie off a tent, tarp or hammock, and replace a broken shoelace. It won't help you repel down a cliff face, but it has many uses and I almost never use it for myself.

I carry a big curved needle and heavy black thread. This I sometimes use as a deterrent to what I perceive might be upcoming stupid behavior. I pull it out and announce "Hey, if anyone gets a good cut or gash I have my needle and thread with me and I've always wanted to stitch someone up with it!"

So far I've only stitched up a few cheap day packs.

I carry a few "Imodium", aspirin, Advil, Tylenol, generic OTC allergy pills, and some antacids. I've only used the aspirin or Advil, and very seldom used those. I really bring them to give away to others and often do.

To be honest, pulling these little "Rabbits" out of my pack is kind of fun, the guy who lost the filling was amazed when I pulled that stuff out of my pack and so was I when it worked wink

Having something that someone needs or forgot also provides a good excuse to pester them with some of the lessons you've learned. Who doesn't enjoy that? smile
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 07:26 PM

Now I gotta find me a big curved needle. Who needs electronics for entertainment?!

I have to admit, it is fun to play "grizzled mountain guy" sometimes.
Posted by: aimless

Re: Backup gear - 08/11/10 08:41 PM


When you are out for a couple of weeks with no resupply and a bootlace breaks, it is not a fun situation. Not fatal, but well worth avoiding.

I can tell you this from experience. I don't know how it happened, but Vasque was sending out its brand new Breeze boots with some very inferior laces. I have owned two pair of Breeze and all four laces on them failed within 250 miles - an exasperating thing to have happen.

So yeah. I bring an extra bootlace. I think it weighs two grams. (looks pugnacious) You wanna make sumpin of it, buster?!
Posted by: Cdiggy

Re: Backup gear - 08/15/10 11:10 PM

Xtra Bic lighter and a pepsi-g stove to back up my pocket rocket. Seems isopro can be hard to come by sometimes and at 1/2 gram the pepsi-g is cheap insurance. Also clean dry socks and extra gloves in winter will always be in my pack. ClO2 backs up my filter and Stanley makes a really light tripod light that uses watch batteries which backs up my headlight. I think that's it.

BTW- has anybody seen the baseball cap w/built in light in brim? My buddy picked one up from Lowes. Forgot to ask how much he payed though it looked well made.