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#153221 - 07/29/11 11:59 AM Fastpacking
jgerke Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 11
I'm really interested in getting into fastpacking someday. The last few years I have competed in ultra distance trail races and would like to combine that with backpacking to do some longer routes like the Highline Trail in the Wind Rivers. I'm thinking of getting a lightweight pack and a bivy sack. Carry food I don't have to cook. So basically just have a light pack, bivy sack, cloths, food and a water bottle. Am I on the right track? Sleeping gear is what I am most concerned with. Want something really light but also don't want to totally freeze. Don't mind being a little cold though. Water treatment is another issue. Not sure what to carry for treating water.

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#153237 - 07/29/11 03:31 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: jgerke]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Good question. What is fastpacking anyway. 20 miles per day? Although this question should probably go down below under another general topic heading...the long hike section.

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#153238 - 07/29/11 03:38 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: skcreidc]
jgerke Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 11
I don't think there is a set definition for fastpacking. My goal is to have a really light pack and mix running with brisk hiking. If I do the Highline Trail I would probably plan on 3 days 2 nights, or about 30 miles per day. My fitness is their I just need to figure out the gear.

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#153239 - 07/29/11 04:52 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: jgerke]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I once did 223 miles in 10 days with a pack that started out at 40 pounds and ended at 18 pounds. I carried most of my food. Was I fastpacking? I don't really know.

Your gear depends on how fast/far you want to go and how many creature comforts you are willing to part with. It's a pretty personal decision.

I believe in paring weight down only to the point where it inhibits my efficiency. For instance, going too light with your sleep system may make you cold at night, lose sleep, and cost you some miles the next day. I'd rather carry an extra pound or so and sleep comfortably, waking up refreshed to tackle some big miles. I want to be light but I don't want to be miserable. Racing is a different story. If I'm not miserable when I'm racing, I'm not going fast enough!!!

Whatever you decide to take along, always leave a safety net.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#153241 - 07/29/11 06:23 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: Trailrunner]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
This is in the direction of where I am heading. 200 mile trips in ten to twelve days; partly because I can and partly because my wife doesn't want be out longer than maybe 12 days. I told her about a month long adventure I had in mind and she was not happy grin. Then I thought iF I could do it in less than 2 weeks, we would both be happy.

That line of thought led me to purchase the Sixmoons design starlight pack with the single U shaped stay. So far I am liking it and I am continuing to make adjustments with my completely new backpacking system. I was able to comfortably carry 38 lbs starting weight with the pack setup.

I am very interested to see where this thread goes.

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#153260 - 07/31/11 02:13 AM Re: Fastpacking [Re: skcreidc]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
Got a question for ya regarding your sleeping situation before I can suggest anything really, what are the temperatures going to be around when you plan on going? Also what is your budget? Does it have to be UL?

Treating water do you mind chemicals? If not there are products like this, and similar. chemical treatment

There is a wide variety of filters out on the market. A lot of them have been discussed in recent threads, in depth by people who have a lot of experience with the filters. Me personally I always boil. I always either start a fire where prohibited or have my alcohol stove with me. I am also a bit more trusting of water sources - so far haven't had a problem smile

I have been thinking about buying one recently and have been looking at this Frontier Pro . Its lightweight and gravity fed and can attach to a platypus or water bottle.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#153283 - 07/31/11 09:14 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: jgerke]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
The only thing close to Fastpacking I have done, is when I am coming out after a weekend trip or the last morning of a week trip. I'll job on the downhill or flat ground to make time if I have a long drive home. When I did Whitney Portal to Portal on my 50th, I jogged coming out on the down hill.

Duane

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#153288 - 07/31/11 10:07 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: jgerke]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
I have met 3 guys in the Sierra Nevada Mountains who said they were doing 18 to 22 mpd. All of them had really light setups, but one actually showed me his sleeping setup. He had a really light one man single wall tent no floor(I don't remember what kind), tyvek ground cloth, a 3/4 length sleeping pad, and a sleeping bag that was essentially a shell, like half a peanut shell. He basically recognized that the down that you are laying on is has a much lower R value then the rest of the down bag. I think he said that his sleep system, tent, ground cloth and backpack was around 4 lbs. It seemed to work for him, but then he was dining on peanut butter and skittles on the trip we met him on. One of his pals was trying pound slabs of butter....obviously they are not cooking. I think I would go with peanut butter and nutella.

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#153298 - 08/01/11 12:26 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: GDeadphans]
jgerke Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 11
Gdeadphans
I would guess night time temps could dip into the 40's during the summer where I would be going. I would like to have a pretty light setup. The sleeping pad I just bought a few days ago is 27oz which I have decided is too heavy. I am going to exchange it for something else. Thanks.

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#153303 - 08/01/11 01:47 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: jgerke]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
Two years ago it snowed twice in August in the Wind Rivers. If you are doing the Highline Trail, you need to be good to 30 degrees, even in August. If you go in September you need to be good to 20 degrees. I have always taken an 10-degree bag in the Wind Rivers and never regretted it (I am a cold sleeper). It is now thunder storm season- hard to say when it ends, but plan on one to three short duration but intense storms a day. Overall, there is about a 1 in 3 chance that you will get precipitated on in the Wind Rivers. That is not to say that you will get one day storm, two days clear- the weather comes in waves. Week long rainy streches are possible. Week long clear streches are possible.

The Sierra has less severe weather, thus is a better place to try out fast packing for the fist time.

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#153306 - 08/01/11 02:16 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: jgerke]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
You say 40 degree temperatures as a night time low.

Now you have some options. You can save on weight and bulk and get a top quilt...or get a bit heavier full mummy bag.

http://www.jacksrbetter.com/Rectangular%20Quilts.htm Sells excellent top quilts. The theory behind top quilts is when you lay on your sleeping bag you are squishing the insulation on the bottom thus rendering it useless. So when coupled with a sleeping pad it is optimal. There are plenty other companies out there that make quality Top quilts.

The Shenandoah listed on the page is only 15 ounces! Then theres the Hudson River rated 25 - 30 degrees weighing only 20 ounces. Pretty good.

Now there are tons of mummy bags out there. All with their own price range and quality and weight. Among the more expensive lightweight mummy bags exists the Marmot Plasma. rated at 30 degrees it weighs in at 1lb 6oz. http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___46678

IMO I would recommend one of the top quilts. You save on weight, and as long as you are pairing it with a sleeping pad that is rated for the temperatures encountered you will be just fine.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#153534 - 08/08/11 07:09 PM Re: Fastpacking [Re: jgerke]
Xtreme Hiker Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Arizona
Fast-packing is a minimalist approach to backpacking with special emphasis on weight savings to increase trekking speed over distance. And by "special emphasis" I mean, a pure dedication to that pursuit.

All Backpackers already give quite a bit of thought and planning to their carrying weight shedding as much unnecessary weight as possible. A fastpacker questions the term "unnecessary" over and over again leading to choices that often forgo the luxuries of dehydrated foods for alternatives that are simply packed full of calories (i.e. living off GU and nuts), who needs a stove when you can eat GU packets? Tents are often replaced with basic tarp shelters or no shelter at all, water purification is basic, often chemicals are packed and not filters... Fast-packing really boils it down to bare minimum equipment. When possible, fast-packers may choose to stash equipment/supplies in accessible places down the trail so they don't need to carry them while giving themselves an occasional luxury - like food not squeezed out a tube.

If your goal is to trek 25+ miles a day, getting that pack below 25 pounds becomes the biggest luxury you'll appreciate...
Another area you'll want to pay special attention to is not just what's in your pack - but what your wearing as everything adds weight. Swap out hiking boots for light-weight trail runners, wear layers of light clothing, reconsider all the tech gadgets you might be packing (GPS, Binochs, Cameras, Cell Phone, etc...) -- Always ask yourself if you could go without or afford to go smaller...

~Richard I.

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#153579 - 08/10/11 11:46 AM Re: Fastpacking [Re: GDeadphans]
jgerke Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 11
I really appreciate the input everyone. I just got back from the Wind Rivers a couple days ago. Had a great time but have a lot to learn about saving weight. GDeadphans - thanks for the links. I've been reading about the quilts and will be purchasing one before my next trip. The bag I have now weighs over 3 lbs. Before I left I took my 27oz pad back and bought a 3/4 length closed cell pad that weighs around 7ounces. Next trip I will have a quilt that weighs 2 lbs less than my bag. I would also like to try food that doesn't require cooking so I don't have a stove and fuel to carry.

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