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#165800 - 05/10/12 02:43 PM Packing lists?
Cranman Offline

Registered: 01/21/12
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NC
So two weekends ago I took my 3 kids, along with a friend and his two kids, on a overnight BP trip. We hiked in about 1.5 miles to some primitive sites and spent the night.

My pack was around 22-lbs but my friends was pushing 45! He's a admitted obsessive type and had every concievable item, whereas I pack light and probably forgot a few things, although nothing critical, just things like a waterproof jacket inc ase of rain. By the way the weather called for chances of rain but we lucked out, but my friend asked me what I would have done had it rained- I did have a emergency poncho!

Anyways, not to ramble on, but I suspect that I need to review a typical packing list to see what things a person would normally take on lets say a 3 day trip with only access to untreated water, in the springtime.

BTW I did search this site for "packing list" and for some reason did not find anything useful. I must have been searching wrong?

Last thing- I know from the last few trips I have taken I want to pack light with a minimilast approach, if that makes a difference on any reccomended packing lists. My only big concession to being as "light" as I could I guess is that I will use a tent, I just don't think I will be comfortable with a tarp mostly due to bugs. I do have a very nice light tent though!

Thanks for any help!

#165803 - 05/10/12 03:18 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: Cranman]
GrumpyGord Offline

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 878
Loc: Michigan
Look at the site links on the left. Click on and there are check lists and sample packs.

#165807 - 05/10/12 04:15 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: GrumpyGord]
Gershon Offline

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
It really helps to break things up into systems and address each system one at a time.

1. Sleeping
Sleeping bag
Pad (if used)
Clothes to sleep in (if used)

2. Shelter

3. Clothes
inner layer (long johns if needed)
synthetic shirt
Rain jacket (also outer layer for windbreak)

4. Cooking
Pot (I include it here as it's part of my stove)
priming fluid (unique to white gas stove)
Spoon (spork)
butter knife (for peanut butter)

5. Footwear
Socks that match shoes
Extra socks

6. Cleaning
2 small towels (mine are about 4 x 4)
(1 for body, one for dishes)
Large plastic coffee can

7. Water

8. Food (Each day in a gallon Ziploc)

9. Navigation

10. Safety
First aid kit
Duct tape
Scissors (I don't carry a knife. Many do.)
Pen (for recording info at funny trail intersections)

11. Bear hanging
35' line

I pack anything I don't want to get wet in plastic bags and don't use a pack cover.

Pack organization: I use an external frame pack, so mine is different than others.

Bottom: Sleeping bag tied on
Bottom pocket: Clothes minus fleece
Top pocket: Cooking gear, Food, Coffee can, 1 bottle water, fleece
Outside pockets: Top - water
bottom - coffee, SPOT
back - water filter and today's food.
Tent - on top under flap.

In the end, your list will be one that suits your needs.

#165811 - 05/10/12 06:03 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: Cranman]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
For such a short backpack, just about anything works. If he wanted to carry 70 pounds and have tons of creature comforts, I find that totally justifiable given the distance. Once you get into longer trips (such as 10 miles in a day or multiple days) then you need to minimize the stuff you bring. Different strokes for different folks; different gear for different goals. Also, different environments require different items. I do not think there is a valid generic "list" that applies to everywhere and all seasons.

#165812 - 05/10/12 08:37 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: Gershon]
Cranman Offline

Registered: 01/21/12
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NC
Thanks Gershon, and others for the comments.

I had most of the items on your list Gershon, but I did forget a few items like a dish rag and maybe a few extra clothes items in case of a surprise downpour...

I will definetly look at the lists on, I knew there had to be lists out there, I was just looking in the wrong spots.

I agree about packing what you want to, and if someone wants to pack 50lbs and carry alot of "comfort" items, more power to them. One thing I think I will want is a chair of some kind. I did bring a small square of sleeping pad material to sit on, which was certianly better than sitting on dirt and weighed hardly anything, but I coveted my friends camp chair on that trip smile

Oh yeah, what's a SPOT?

#165823 - 05/11/12 11:20 AM Re: Packing lists? [Re: Cranman]
Gershon Offline

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
A SPOT is a satellite transmitter that allows you to signal for emergency help. I consider it essential gear.

#165846 - 05/12/12 05:45 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: Cranman]
Glenn Offline

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I had a love-hate affair with my chair. It's weight I'd prefer not to carry, the pad has to be put in it (minor fiddle factor) - but every time I'd leave it behind, I find I really missed it. I mostly carry it nowadays.

#165859 - 05/13/12 12:45 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Samoset Offline

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
For such a short backpack, just about anything works. If he wanted to carry 70 pounds and have tons of creature comforts, I find that totally justifiable given the distance. Once you get into longer trips (such as 10 miles in a day or multiple days) then you need to minimize the stuff you bring. Different strokes for different folks; different gear for different goals. Also, different environments require different items. I do not think there is a valid generic "list" that applies to everywhere and all seasons.

^Well Put! ! I Second this!^

my problem with lists is it all looks so good on paper.
not so much in practice or when its on my back!

I am kind of a minimalist though!
Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

#165862 - 05/13/12 02:39 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: Cranman]
lori Offline

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Cranman

Anyways, not to ramble on, but I suspect that I need to review a typical packing list to see what things a person would normally take on lets say a 3 day trip with only access to untreated water, in the springtime.

Some more food for thought: taking kids means being a sherpa. You'll have to expect that the younger the kid, the more you carry of stuff related to said kid. Kids shouldn't be weighed down with much - a jacket, snacks, water, and maybe their own sleeping pad. When they are teenagers they can carry all their own gear if it's light enough not to exceed a third of their body weight.

I carry 20 - 30 pounds for a three day trip. The variables fall under the categories of leisure gear or SAR gear - on a SAR trip where high angle technical climbing or cold miserable weather is to be expected, the list changes. On a leisure trip of insufficient hiking distance is expected, I frequently add wine, fishing gear, a book....

My base weight includes 3-5 lbs for sleeping gear and shelter. I have used a tarp (I don't fear bugs at all, in mosquito season I take a headnet and a pyramid torso net to keep them off. Have not had issues with critters under a tarp, your location may differ and provide other results... I will take (depending on length, destination and purpose of trip) a hammock and tarp, pads, double wall solo tent, tarptent, or just a tarp.

My kitchen kit will typically weigh less than 15 oz, depending on type of cooking (usually boil and add water food), and on whether I will share (my largest pot and stove setup weighs 24 oz but sharing gear load helps offset it). My solo setups can weigh as little as 10 oz. This includes something to eat out of, eat with, and cook with, plus a lighter.

My packs all weigh about 3 lbs empty but I am going to cut that weight in half for leisure backpacking with the acquisition of a ULA pack.

My rain gear varies - on trips no longer than 3 days where I expect fair weather I'm carrying an emergency poncho. On long (5+ day) trips I carry rain jacket or rain poncho (nylon). Sometimes I take an umbrella that doubles as sun protection on hot trips. For SAR I take rain pants and rain jacket. On very cold backpacking trips, I take the jacket and pants as well. I will probably get Dry Ducks for trail hikes in the alpine.

I take bear canisters most of the time. They vary from 1.5 lbs to 2.5 lbs empty depending on size. Otherwise I take Zing It line and a water resistant bag to hang food.

I take Platypus bladders and a 16 oz Nalgene for coffee/protein shakes and trail tea. For SAR the 32 oz Nalgene goes in with the bladders. I've taken water bottles but find that they leak and crack too easily while I am working through rugged terrain. Hydration bladders always go in the pack, and have never let me down despite being jammed in behind bear canisters.

My first aid kit is heavier than many at 12 oz, but I hike with groups and SAR requires extra things. My emergency kit includes a small container of floss, which has mended holes in pants, a needle in a tiny plastic tube, homemade parrafin fire starters made with drier lint, silicone and nylon patches for gear (my NeoAir and several shelters are made of nylon), roll of duct tape for gear repair, roll of leukotape for foot care, and some Micropur tabs as backup for the filter.

I added neoprene waterproof socks for some trips. They keep my socks dry even when submerged over the tops of the waterproof socks, and for early season snowmelt fed raging streams where I am feeling around for footing, I'd rather be wearing my hiking shoes.

I don't take chairs, 2nd pots, or lots of clothing. My layering scheme is flexible and depends on long range weather forecasting combined with experiences I've had. I could survive 0 degrees with my 3 season gear and am comfortable to 15F with it.

Your pack weight should be driven by what you do, where you are doing it, and how much you can feasibly carry without suffering for carrying it. Some people are willing to suffer or go to a great deal of trouble planning resupplies/caches, to carry 10 lbs over three day (or longer) trips. I don't believe that kind of extreme is necessary.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

#165868 - 05/13/12 08:12 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: lori]
Cranman Offline

Registered: 01/21/12
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NC
Wow great breakdown Lori- that helps to see how you evaluate the needs in each area and how to meet them based on the trip planned....thanks

#165870 - 05/13/12 08:55 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: lori]
balzaccom Offline

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1800
Loc: Napa, CA
Wonderful info, Lori. OUr packing looks a lot like yours. Our is a bit lighter in First Aid department, as you suspected...but the rest is pretty similar. It's on our website if anyone is interested...

And I want to second your comments about hiking with kids. IT's just like any other kind of travel with kids. If the kids aren't happy, nobody is going to be happy. So yeah, you have to carry a lot of stuff!

And sometimes, in extremis, you have to carry the kid!

Edited by balzaccom (05/13/12 08:56 PM)

check out our website and blog:

#165874 - 05/14/12 12:08 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: balzaccom]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
My rule of thumb with kids is that once they regularly zip past you and engage in toe-tapping waits, it is time to give them a bit more to carry. By the time they are about 12 years old, they can carry their full share. But keep in mind that their growing bones cannot safely carry huge percentages of their body weight - nor should they ever have to. It is good to teach kids what they NEED vs. what they want. An early teen should be able to carry thier basic NEEDS. PS- electronic gagetry for their entertainment is NOT a need!

Another rule of thumb is let them walk their age- 2 miles for a 2-year old (aware that they have no compulsion to walk steadily in a straight line and are more interested in looking at plants and rocks along the way). You end up carrying them part the way, not because they cannot do it, but you simply need to get there in a reasonalbe time. Children walk well when they do this regularly at home. Bribes work well - it always took a dozen cookies to entice my 2-year-old to walk the 2 miles.

#165897 - 05/15/12 12:32 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: Gershon]
tybee Offline

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 19
Loc: coastal georgia
perhaps the SPOT response is better where you roam but i have a little tale about SPOT and emergency response or rather the lack of emergency response:

a friend of mine does the "Everglades Challenge" annually. it's a small boat race from Tampa Bay to Key Largo. one of the required pieces of equipment for each boat is a SPOT.

the race usually takes between 4 and 10 days to complete.

last year, a couple of days into the race, my friend realized that his spot emergency button had accidently been pressed and it was sending out a distress call and apparently had been in emergency mode for hours.

he didn't know quite who to call to call off the search he was sure was going on for him.
his little hand held VHF wasn't raising anyone so he called me on his phone when he got within range of a cell tower - some 8 hours or so after he discovered the SPOT being in emergency mode.

i called the local coast guard station here in Georgia to tell them it was no emergency and they asked "what is a SPOT"? i explained its use and where my friend was. they said "never heard of it" and gave me the number to the Miami coast guard station.

Miami also asked "what is a SPOT?". i again explained.
they said it was news to them and they had not recieved any distress calls from the Tampa - Key Largo area over the past 24 hours and had no reports from any other CG station concerning an emergency distress report.

i called my friend back and said: "carry on, they're not out searching for you and apparently they never were."

so be advised but as usual, ymmv.

Edited by tybee (05/15/12 12:33 PM)

#166282 - 05/29/12 09:16 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: tybee]
sandia Offline

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 68
I try not to forget stuff. But I try to keep stuff to a minimum.

I like having one of those tiny German FM/AM/Shortwave radios. I've had two, but they seem rather fragile and over-priced. I've had wonderful evenings listing to all kinds of interesting and frequently ridiculous stuff. My current radio is busted again.

Mostly, for me, I think first aide is bunk.

Either you are going to need major medical attention and a the usual salves and such will be useless, or your ailments are going to be trivial.

I do try to remember nail clippers. If blisters are worry, I try to hike in sandals when on good trails.

Most memorably forgotten items are headlight, and lighters. Through good fortune and patience, these oversights proved mere inconvenience.

#166294 - 05/30/12 07:55 AM Re: Packing lists? [Re: sandia]
oldranger Offline

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I think I must respectfully disagree with your position on first aid, although you do have a point - most owwies are trivial andsometimes injuries are so massive that the victim will require much more than simple first aid measures - but I have seen plenty of instances where routine first aid kept the victim going so that they arrived alive in the hospital, and thus survived.

You are talking about traumatic injuries, but there is the entire category of weather induced stress - hypo and hyperthermia - where standard first aid, especially if the situation is recognized and treatment is applied early - will prove to be extremely effective. It isn't so much the gear, it is the knowledge that counts.

#166308 - 05/30/12 03:13 PM Re: Packing lists? [Re: oldranger]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6562
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I definitely agree with Old Ranger. The main thrust of wilderness first aid classes (unlike the "call 911" classes from the Red Cross which, admittedly, are of little use in a wilderness situation) is to teach you how to stabilize serious injuries until rescue can arrive, which could be several days, improvising with common materials at hand. The equipment between your ears is by far the most important part of your first aid kit!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey


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