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#102928 - 09/10/08 10:05 PM Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue?
BasketballOSU Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 8
I'm just a college student not willing to spend much money on backpacking gear, but I still enjoy it.

Here is the problem:

1. I like hitting the trail really light
2. I don't have the money to buy really fancy, expensive ultralight products.

A couple times I have hit the trail in fairly primitive fashion, stuffing a sleeping bag into my school backpack (about 1400 cubic inches) along with a knife, water, some food, first-aid, flashlight and a couple other basic necessities.

Needless to say, it weighed next to nothing and I could hardly even feel it on my back. No tent, no sleeping bag, no tarp, no stove or cookware or nothing.

I could use this for a night or two, and have slept in some rough conditions (a cave with a ground consisting of jagged rocks, to get out of the storm) also another example is sleeping on cliff (again on the rocks) overlooking a valley, just because it had a great view. Got about 4 or 5 hours of sleep at each of them.

Anyway, long story short, I am definitely a minimalist, but I want to sleep a little bit better at night and have a little bit better gear without really making my pack heavy or bulky.

I have a (real) Kelty 3100 cubic inch pack now.

So, looking for advice. I am more of a 3-season hiker, just so that I don't have to buy fancy winter gear.

-I definitely don't want to carry a tent, I love sleeping out. I guess this means I would need a tarp for when weather comes huh?
-The last couple times I have slept on the rocks because of the circumstances and not slept real well. I would kind of like to have a sleeping pad, but wouldn't want to carry around a super bulky one that I would have to lash on the outside of my pack or something. I could get by with just selecting better spots with softer ground/grass to sleep on, right?
-What about fancy clothing? Is it worth it to buy some of that stuff?
-Lastly, the sleeping bag I have right now is pretty bulky and heavy, but since I don't carry around much other stuff, it still fits fine, so it should be ok right? It's a Kelty Clear Creek 20.

Summary: Need advice on tarps, sleeping bags, possible sleeping pads, and fancy clothing. Want to go light, but especially cheap.

THANKS in advance for the help!!!

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#102929 - 09/11/08 04:50 AM Re: Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue? [Re: BasketballOSU]
jaiden Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 123
Quote:
I'm just a college student not willing to spend much money on backpacking gear, but I still enjoy it.

Here is the problem:

1. I like hitting the trail really light
2. I don't have the money to buy really fancy, expensive ultralight products.

A couple times I have hit the trail in fairly primitive fashion, stuffing a sleeping bag into my school backpack (about 1400 cubic inches) along with a knife, water, some food, first-aid, flashlight and a couple other basic necessities.

Needless to say, it weighed next to nothing and I could hardly even feel it on my back. No tent, no sleeping bag, no tarp, no stove or cookware or nothing.

I could use this for a night or two, and have slept in some rough conditions (a cave with a ground consisting of jagged rocks, to get out of the storm) also another example is sleeping on cliff (again on the rocks) overlooking a valley, just because it had a great view. Got about 4 or 5 hours of sleep at each of them.

Anyway, long story short, I am definitely a minimalist, but I want to sleep a little bit better at night and have a little bit better gear without really making my pack heavy or bulky.

I have a (real) Kelty 3100 cubic inch pack now.

So, looking for advice. I am more of a 3-season hiker, just so that I don't have to buy fancy winter gear.

-I definitely don't want to carry a tent, I love sleeping out. I guess this means I would need a tarp for when weather comes huh?
-The last couple times I have slept on the rocks because of the circumstances and not slept real well. I would kind of like to have a sleeping pad, but wouldn't want to carry around a super bulky one that I would have to lash on the outside of my pack or something. I could get by with just selecting better spots with softer ground/grass to sleep on, right?
-What about fancy clothing? Is it worth it to buy some of that stuff?
-Lastly, the sleeping bag I have right now is pretty bulky and heavy, but since I don't carry around much other stuff, it still fits fine, so it should be ok right? It's a Kelty Clear Creek 20.

Summary: Need advice on tarps, sleeping bags, possible sleeping pads, and fancy clothing. Want to go light, but especially cheap.

THANKS in advance for the help!!!


There are a million answers to this... Equinox (check campmor.com) and jacksrbetter.com make light tarps, among lots of other companies. Big Agnes makes a line of light and relatively cheap inflatable pads, or you can go to walmart and get a closed cell foam pad for $8 or something. you can cut it down, or roll it up to make a tube in your pack into which you pack everything else. I got an insulmat pad for $16 once. You don't need "Fancy" clothing, but you do need to get rid of any cotton. I wear nylon underwear from Target ($7) Smartwool socks (though any non-cotton sock will work), I've gotten wind jackets/pants from walmart for $20 or so (think track suit) and fleece from old navy. You probably already own a lot of this stuff. If you're going with a tarp, you'll want something on the ground like a polycryo ground cloth from gossamer gear ($6?) under your pad

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#102930 - 09/11/08 05:54 AM Re: Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue? [Re: BasketballOSU]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I sent a private mail about getting you some gear - let me know if you didn't get it.

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#102931 - 09/11/08 07:18 AM Re: Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue? [Re: BasketballOSU]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Verber hasnít posted here a while but he has a good page for ultralight on the cheap:
http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/gear/cheap.html

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#102932 - 09/11/08 07:27 AM Re: Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue? [Re: BasketballOSU]
Spock Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
It's easy to go light and cheap at the same time and don't let anyone tell you different:
Shelter: 4 mil plastic 8x10, $2, wt., maybe 8 oz. for tarp.... Use a 3X8 for groundsheet - or use 3 mil for the gs.
Line (for shelter and other things): mason's line, maybe $4 for 500 feet..wt. 1/4 oz for 50 feet.
cooking: grease pot - under $10 wt.5oz.... alcohol stove from pop can, free, 1/4 oz to 1 oz., depending..... fuel, denatured alcohol, $4/quart.........fuel bottle, small disposable water bottle, free, 0.7 oz..... Spoon, disposable fast food spoon........Cup, Ziploc 1-cup semi rigid container - $4 for 3, wt. 0.4 oz.

water bottles: plastic pop bottles, free, 1 oz. max

sleeping bag: any reasonably light, all nylon covered synthetic bag from discount store. Best bet: semi rectantular bag cut down without the zippers to make a quilt -- $25-30, wt after modification under 2 pounds (a good target weight) Sometimes you can find very light quilts or comforters for home use that will make good backpacking quilts. I had one once that weighed 1.5 lb.when tapered.

sleeping pad: cheap blue foam from discound store or foam/foil windshield sun screen.

backpack: large day pack or book bag - used. These usually run around 2 lbs. and will hold everything except maybe the pad. Add lash points.

GoodWill, Sally and other such stores are good places to lurk for gear.

Get the idea?

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#102933 - 09/11/08 07:48 AM Re: Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue? [Re: BarryP]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Yes the Verber site is a great place to do some research. Spend some time with it and make your own gear. You shouldn't have to be uncomfortable in the wilderness. Also, you might consider building a DIY hammock that will keep you off the ground. cost about $10.00. Anyone have a link for this guy?
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#102934 - 09/11/08 08:47 PM Re: Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue? [Re: BasketballOSU]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Let's see. your pack need not be big - i do fine witha about 1800 CI with my blue foam sleeping pad on the outside. YMMV - you may find you still do ok with a small pack if you keep it small.

Sleeping: A blue foam pad from wallmart or a discount store should be cheap and very light
and from your description of what you are doing work fine for you. If *I* can sleep on the ground on one (Hey, I'm a princess) I'm sure you can do fine. Alternatively, get off the
ground trying something like risk's test hammock for about $10:

http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm

if you try the hammock, remember your bottom will be cold unless you do something like put a blue foam pad inside it, etc.

Tarp: if you're realy cheap, poly, or a small blue one. If you can find an old school pup tent in a thrift store the nylon fly makes a dandy tarp - just spray it with some waterproofer - most of us use siliconized nylon - you should be able to get a fancy light one like many of us
use for 40 to 60 dollars at campmor or rei.

Clothing: I like my functional stuff. but I'd spend my money on good shoes. Thrift stores on
the other hand are *WONDERFUL* for hiking clothes. just avoid cotton. you can get cashemere or merino wool sweaters that are light and warm and awesome. nylon track pants work very well, and dry quickly. fleece is easy to find there. nylon dress socks work
great as liner socks. You can outfit yourself pretty good in the average thrift store. It's often hard to find the likes of long underwear that isn't cotton, but if you want something
to make you warmer that's light and cheap, depending on your size I'll give you a hint - it's
cheap, disposable, and a lot like thin poly long johns - a pair of womens nylons with the feet cut off. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

If you're currently no cook - well, you're fine - if you want to go as far as hot drinks or
the like - to a search here going back more than a week, and find a few of the beer can
pot projects - you can make a very nice pot from a large beer can, and a stove from
another couple, or a tealight holder.

Check out the "make your own gear" section of the main part of this site. many ideas
there.

Have fun!
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#102935 - 09/11/08 10:56 PM Re: Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue? [Re: phat]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6799
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Check thrift stores and military surplus stores in your area.

Check discount stores like KMart, Wallyworld, Target, etc.--the athletic dept. will often have great buys in inexpensive synthetic clothing. Also check out places like Campmor--you can find excellent deals there. Campmor's 20* down sleeping bag, although more of a 30* bag, is as light as you can get for the money. It won't last as long as a higher-quality down bag, but if well cared-for, it will last until you get out in the working world, pay off at least part of your student loans and can afford a high-quality down bag.

Look for used stuff, on ebay and on this and other forums.

Check the outlets (REI, backcountry.com, altrec.com, etc.).

Watch for sales, too. Even the Really Expensive Items at REI may be affordable when they have the 20% off member coupons.

In addition to the Verber site other folks have recommended, where there are links to several inexpensive gear lists, there's a "Mark Henley's Ultracheap" gear list on the Gossamer Gear website. Read them all; they'll give you lots of ideas.

You need a sleeping pad not just for comfort but for insulation from the cold ground. You can go to the expensive stores (like REI) and try out the different varieties; then decide what you want. You can probably get along with a simple closed-cell foam pad for now. For something a little more comfortable, look at Gossamer Gear's Nightlight torso length pad.. Even with shipping, it's cheaper than and probably more durable than the Thermarest Z-Rest.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#102936 - 09/12/08 05:30 AM Re: Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue? [Re: BasketballOSU]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Sgt. Rock has a 15 pound base weight for less than $300 challenge. Might be a good place to start.

http://hikinghq.net/300_challenge.html
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#102937 - 09/18/08 12:54 PM Re: Any tips for if weight and PRICE are an issue? [Re: ringtail]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
You can get a wool blanket on Ebay for about $20. They keep you warm even if they are wet. I just bought one for emergencies if the power or heat goes out at my house.

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