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#107877 - 12/12/08 08:59 PM Help!! need to put a pack together
drtrider248x Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 4
Hi i am an avid hiker and outdoorsman. i do a good amount of hicking everyweek but have not ventured into any treks over a day. i would like to get into backpacking but do not know where to start putting a pack together. i would like to be able to have a pack that i could be self suficient for 4-6 days. any advise on what to put in it would be great even if it is the simplelist stupid thing please treat me as if i am stupid and tell me everything i will not take offense i just want to do everthing right so i am prepared.

thank you very much for your info

ps. any other advise on long backpacking trips would be greatly appriciated

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#107878 - 12/13/08 06:00 AM Re: Help!! need to put a pack together [Re: drtrider248x]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
What do you wear for clothing now for dayhikes? You don't need more clothing, but some clothing like heavy jackets is better for dayhikes than for long trips. Where do you hike now, and what time of year? You should start there maybe. Alot of people say not to start with a bivy and tarp. I disagree. I would first recommend keeping it very simple, only adding a few items at a time. The rest I think you would be really better off if you figured out things for yourself. This is basically what I use...

Pack:
Golite Jam2
Blue foam pad 72"x28"x3/8"
20F rated sleeping bag
Army Surplus Gortex Bivy Sack
Rain Poncho/Tarp, 3 nails, 3/16" lines 2',3',5'
Opinel #7 knife
Kelly Kettle, 2 bottles, Mug, Spoon, Lighter, Matches, Candles
Map, Compass, Watch, Cell Phone, Whistle, Thermometer, FirstAid/Repair Kit

Clothing:
Trail Runners - least water absorbing pair I can find
Socks, wool, 3 pair - 1 thin, 1 medium, 1 thick
Skin Layer Bottoms - wool, silk, or poly 4-8oz depending on season
100wt or 200wt Fleece Bottoms - 8-12oz, must be least water absorbing
Hiking Shorts - light brushed nylon, with cargo pockets, and breathable
Flannel Boxers - the flannel boxers can be your one item of cotton
Wind/Rain Pants - lightest nylon you can find under 6oz
Skin Layer Top - wool, silk, or poly 4-8oz depending on season
Light/Medium/Heavy Wool Sweater - loose hand knit, felt resistant, weight depends on season
Wind Jacket - lightest breathable nylon you can find, like 4oz
Rain Poncho/Tarp - see Pack list above
Wool mitts, Wool hat, Wool neck/face tube, Brimmed Hat, Sunglasses
Carry a homemade hiking staff, just for fun mostly

Thicker in winter. Some stuff can be left home in summer.
Everything should be sized to fit to wear loosely all at once when needed.
Keep your Light/Medium/Heavy Wool Sweater on at all times. All else varies.

The only expensive item I might have bought right away would have been a top quality 20F rated down bag. If I hadn't bought the stupid overweight back that I did, I could have afforded it. The Golite Jam2 is a very good pack. There are others in that range, between 1 and 2 pounds, and between 3000 and 4500ci.

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#107879 - 12/13/08 06:52 AM Re: Help!! need to put a pack together [Re: JAK]
drtrider248x Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 4
i do most of my hiking in western mass and southern nh. during the summer i generally wear compression gear with shorts or running pants. during the winter i wear compression base layers and carrhart mid and top layers. i admit i am prepared as far as gear and clothing goes. i am starting to plan a trip to do the southern new england portion of the apalacian trail in mid to late spring, and i have not decided which section yet but i would like to do another in early fall

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#107880 - 12/13/08 07:08 AM Re: Help!! need to put a pack together [Re: drtrider248x]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
i do most of my hiking in western mass and southern nh. during the summer i generally wear compression gear with shorts or running pants. during the winter i wear compression base layers and carrhart mid and top layers. i admit i am prepared as far as gear and clothing goes. i am starting to plan a trip to do the southern new england portion of the apalacian trail in mid to late spring, and i have not decided which section yet but i would like to do another in early fall
That sounds like some really good hiking plans.

I think the compression underwear shorts are a great idea if they work for you, but on top I would recommend trying to do most of your hiking in just a loose hand knit wool sweater, and only add the skin layer under it and the wind or rain layer over it when needed. I don't think the skin layers need be tight either, except perhaps in the crotch area for support and to reduce chafing. In summer my wool sweater and skin layer become one, just a single very light and not too tight merino sweater, and for shorts it might just be running shorts, though I really like the pockets of hiking shorts, and still carry a bottom skin layer for rain or evenings. Depends on where I'm hiking. I once had a fishermans jersey that was also not too hot for sunny summer weather, yet also very good in cold rain or out on the water. In general, layering is really more about removing layers than wearing them. If you hike mostly in just loose wool sweater and shorts, the other layers can be very packable. I think skin layers, like wind layers and rain layers, are best utlized by being kept in reserve. Same with legs. By keeping your legs bare you can keep a heavier sweater on. You only need even coverage when wearing all your layers when its cold. This is what I mean by saying layering is more about removing layers than wearing them.

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#107881 - 12/13/08 07:20 AM Re: Help!! need to put a pack together [Re: JAK]
northernbcr Offline
member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 125
Loc: bc/yukon border area
you could probally get some good info from the archive section ,i am sure that i have read stuff about your question before

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#107882 - 12/13/08 07:30 AM Re: Help!! need to put a pack together [Re: JAK]
drtrider248x Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 4
i dont really like the compression layers they feel very constricting when i start to breath harder but as far as temperatyre controll they are great. is there something that works as well but with out the constrictive qualitys? and as far as a pack what should i put in it?

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#107883 - 12/13/08 07:51 AM Re: Help!! need to put a pack together [Re: drtrider248x]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
i dont really like the compression layers they feel very constricting when i start to breath harder but as far as temperature controll they are great. is there something that works as well but with out the constrictive qualitys? and as far as a pack what should i put in it?
Well like I said, I think layering is more about removing layers than wearing them. When you are breathing hard you don't really need anything under a loose wool sweater and shorts. I think the idea of wicking layers being needed to carry sweat away is overstated. When I do add my skin layers it is usually when I am stopped or sleeping or moving slowly in colder conditions. Then I think its real role is to just fill the air space between your skin and main layer as loosely and lightly. So they should fit, but they don't need to be tight. A little elastic action can keep them on you, but it doesn't need to compress. Skin layers shouldn't be stretched on. They should just fit, and stay on.

What to put in pack? Well, with my sweater trick alot less clothing.
Perhaps you are asking how to pack it. This is how I pack my Jam2...

1. Blue foam pad in like a tube.
2. Sleeping bag and gortex bivy down at the bottom.
3. Food bag goes in next, in the middle, except what I might take for tea.
4. Extra clothing and other kit up higher or in the back pouch or in pockets.
5. Water bottles and mugs and stove and tea making stuff in water bottle holders.

I have a light transparent rentaangular plastic ziploc box that fits the top of my pack forcing my blue foam pad into a nice rectangle up there. That is where I keep small items that aren't in regular use. My Kelly Kettle doesn't really fit anywhere on my Jam2 all that well, not yet anyway. I'm working on that. I might change the back pouch into a stretch mesh pouch for it and for drying clothing, or I might develop a hobo stove that works nearly as well.

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#107884 - 12/13/08 11:08 AM Re: Help!! need to put a pack together [Re: JAK]
drtrider248x Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 4
thanks thats great stuff.. im actually getting ready to head to eastern mountain sports to try on some packs and see what they have

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#107885 - 12/13/08 01:52 PM Re: Help!! need to put a pack together [Re: drtrider248x]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6742
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Go to the home page of this website. There are many excellent articles listed in the left column. Some of the brands are a bit out of date (for instance, Mountainsmith no longer makes light packs), but the general information is still valid. In addition to providing excellent information on a complete gear list, the "27-lb. 7-day gear list" enabled me to cut my total pack weight for an 8-day trip by 20 lbs. without sacrificing any comfort or safety.

You'll find lots of answers to your questions by searching on this forum. When you search, be sure to change the time parameters from the default time of one week! Be sure to check the "How to Search" thread which is a "sticky" at the top of the General Discussion forum.

Try not to let the standard outdoor stores like EMS and REI sell you bombproof heavy stuff (which is where they make their money). You really don't need a 6-lb. pack, 7-lb. tent or 5-lb. sleeping bag. However, you don't want to go to really ultralight stuff either, at least not until you've had lots more backpacking experience. The lists on the home page here are a good happy medium, with a base weight (everything except food, fuel and water) of about 15 lbs., give or take 2-3 lbs.

It's a good idea to buy your pack after you have acquired your other gear, and take that other gear (plus the equivalent in weight/volume of a week's food supply) to the store with you. Too big a pack, and you'll have trouble adjusting the load and be tempted to put more stuff in than you need. A too big pack will probably also be heavier than you need. Too small a pack, and you'll have to tie stuff on the outside, throwing the load out of balance and exposing your stuff to getting caught on brush, rocks, etc. But do go in and try on lots of different packs, even those bomber heavy ones, with a full load, so you learn how a well-fitted pack feels and how to adjust it. That way, if you have to order a pack off the Internet as most of us have done, you'll be able to tell if it's the pack for you while you can still send it back.

Check out the Beginner's section, too. Of course you have acquired plenty of skills from your extensive dayhiking, but since the Beginner's section is geared to beginning backpackers, many of whom have dayhiking experience, you should be able to find much useful info.

I strongly recommend starting with overnights in the back yard (yours or a borrowed one)--the safest way to become familiar with your new gear, especially in inclement weather. Your first wilderness campsite, in the dark and pouring rain, is not a great place to be trying to consult tent-pitching instructions by headlamp! Then take a few overnight trips, not too far from your car (just in case a midnight bailout is needed), before going out longer trips. Pick inclement weather for some of these short trips. It's really hard to force yourself to start out in it (it certainly is for me!), but that's how you learn to cope with those conditions safely.

Oh, and the compression layers? I think they would tend to restrict circulation, which you don't want. I like my clothing loose. You do need to be able to be able to get a base layer on under your shirt and pants, and insulating layer(s) under your rain gear. I'm a fan of thin, light layers. I wear the same clothing year around (although I don't backpack in winter), but use more insulating layers in colder weather. Your Mileage May Vary (common saying around here).

Welcome to the world of backpacking, and may you love it as much as I (and the rest of the folks on this forum) do!


Edited by OregonMouse (12/13/08 02:11 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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