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#177306 - 05/23/13 02:23 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Heather-ak]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2031
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Which model NeoAir? There are NeoAirs, and then there are NeoAirs. The regular models are intended for summer use, and have minimal insulation.

In a nutshell:

X-Lite: lowest weights, R3.2
X-Therm: heavier than X-Lite, R5.7
All Season: slightly heavier than X-Therm, R4.9
Trekker: Heaviest of all, R2

The shape is also something to consider. The two X-series are severely tapered and rounded at the shoulder. I found it hard to use them without an arm or leg hanging off somewhere (not what you want when it's cold.) The All-Season and Trekker are rectangular, and I never had anything hanging off.

Since my days with the NeoAir, I've switched to the Q-Core series from Big Agnes. I never liked the BA Air Core or Insulated Air Core pads, but after nearly a year with the Q-Cores, I have to say I really like them. They're in the same weight and R-ratings ranges as the NeoAir All-Season, and I find them a bit more comfortable. They have a slightly raised edge that is very effective at keeping everything on the pad.

If I needed a higher R-rating than the Q-Core, the Exped Downmat 7 would be my choice. I borrowed one once in really cold weather with snow on the ground; it's a tad heavy, but well worth lugging around for the extra warmth.

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#177307 - 05/23/13 03:06 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: balzaccom]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Thank you for the offer, but my schedule is... flexible (well, other than my flight out!) How is the cabin coming along? I remember you posted when you bought it.

This is one of the few times in the year I'm completely alone. No worrying that I'm hiking too slow (I'm really out of shape this year!) or too fast - and if I want to take an hour to photograph something or stop and take a picture of every single flower I come across - I can, without feeling guilty. There is a sort of freedom that comes with hiking alone. I'm really looking forward to it!

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#177308 - 05/23/13 03:18 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Based on color X-lite (yellow) - but mine is squared off, not mummy shaped, so I'm not sure just looking at the pics from memory. Looking at camp-mor http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___40750

It has a 2.5 r-value. So yeah pretty low (I don't use this in the winter - I have a Wiggy's mat + my 1980's therm-a-rests.) It might be that I went with the lightest mat I could find, but it isn't the right one for me <sigh> - which is what I ran into with the backpacks (but at least I didn't buy the backpacks smile )

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#177351 - 05/27/13 01:08 AM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Heather-ak]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2110
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By Heather-ak
Thank you for the offer, but my schedule is... flexible (well, other than my flight out!) How is the cabin coming along? I remember you posted when you bought it.

This is one of the few times in the year I'm completely alone. No worrying that I'm hiking too slow (I'm really out of shape this year!) or too fast - and if I want to take an hour to photograph something or stop and take a picture of every single flower I come across - I can, without feeling guilty. There is a sort of freedom that comes with hiking alone. I'm really looking forward to it!


Cabin is in great shape now--we've been working on it for a year. And we were just up hiking there--snow was gone at 7,800 feet, except for very steep north faces.

But the stream crossings are wild right now. I think they are calling both Piute and Cherry Creeks "uncrossable" right now.

_________________________
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963

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#177355 - 05/27/13 08:49 AM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Heather-ak]
Robotmoose Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/13
Posts: 79
I definitely agree that bear canisters are a more practical go-to for this area than the bear bags. My reasons for this decision is experience from one time up there, we hung our bags, and another time we used the bear canisters.
Despite their weight, the canisters were the more convenient of the two because we didn't have to scout out hanging trees, or stumble out just before bed and after brushing our teeth to re-hang the bags, not to mention a few younger Scouts kept needing to get back into the bags long after we put them up (I recognize this won't be a problem you'd encounter on this trip)
When I backpack, I prefer to strike camp as quickly as possible, just walking out to the cans and stuffing them into our packs was a lot simpler than bringing the whole rig down.
Finally, they make a comfortable stool. Throw a fleece on top, and they're actually kind of nice.

Additionally, a small backup water supply kind of pays for itself. A few times in the sierras, once we got above the treeline water was a lot more scarce that we anticipated. If your map says you'll be pretty high up on a given leg of the day's hike, it might be worthwhile to stock up an extra liter or so of water on the off chance.


As a consideration, I'd like to advocate those heavy-duty contractor bags as pack liners in place of the compactor bags. They might weigh a gram or two more than most of the thinner bags, but that robustness is an asset worth considering.
I've long used one as a pack liner, paired with a reusable Zip-tie from an auto parts store. I like them because they're rugged and big, which makes them aptly suited to standard-issue backpacker multitasking, here are some of my favorite uses:

- An emergency poncho that can cover you and your pack without the pitfalls of typical rain ponchos (the open sides and gaping hole in the top)
- Weatherproofing for your bear bag that can shrug off poky branches or less-than-gentle falls to the ground.
- They can use used as a tourniquet, or to build a rugged splint with some sticks and duct tape.
- Wrapping for your gear while fording creeks and streams
- a "Gear bivy" for those times your pack has to live outside in the tent vestibule, or as extra waterproofing for taco camping.
_________________________
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
"The joy of living is his who has the heart to demand it."
- Theodore Roosevelt

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#177399 - 05/28/13 10:59 AM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Robotmoose]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
The bear cannister vs hanging choice is a good example of the typical trade-offs you have to consider when trying to go lighter. I totally agree bear cannisters are handy. You "pay" for the weight savings when hanging- cost is about 15 minutes to properly hang (and sometimes up to 30 minutes to find a campsite that will work)and the annoyance when once hung, you forgot to put something inside! The "cost" of the bear can is the extra weight. An additional "cost" of the bear can, for me, is the bulk. I actually have to use a heavier (bigger) pack when I take the bear can. Because I am small, and my packs are small, I have to put the bear can in vertically inside the pack. this takes up nearly all the room and makes balancing the pack weight very difficult. It also makes the pack "stiff" and uncomfortable unless the pack has a good rigid curve to the side next to your back (cannot carry the bear can in a frameless pack). If your pack is men's large, you can put the can in horizontally - a much better method. So not only does the can add the weight of the can, I also have extra weight of the pack, and the extra "feel" of heaviness due to not being able to get the weight close enough to my center of gravity. This is why I use my Ursack whenever it is legal. True, it is not 100% bear-proof, but it packs so much better and weighs 8 oz. There is always a trad-off. Each of us will choose what we are willing to gain or loose.

You can save ounces also by choosing lighter and sacraficing sturdiness. The heavier plastic bag for a liner will last longer, so is more cost effective. I, however, rather take the lighter plastic bag and just buy a new one for each trip.

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#177465 - 05/29/13 07:11 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: wandering_daisy]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
yeah,I opted to borrow the Ursack, for weight reasons. I'll see how it goes. I ended up heavier than I wanted - couldn't find a couple of items in their ultra lite versions. Looks like some hot weather is heading that a way too frown

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#177468 - 05/29/13 08:04 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Heather-ak]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Good luck - I sleep more soundly with a canister. An Ursack would leave me awake all night on the jump, waiting for that first tearing sound... all the stories from rangers who had to use bolt cutters to take the properly-tied ropes off the tree after the bear is done tearing open the bag from the bottom destroyed any chance I had of owning one for Sierra use.

That, and the backpacking store owner who refused to sell it to me after I told him where I was going....
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#177470 - 05/29/13 09:10 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: lori]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
I do not worry at night. I stick in my ear plugs, and sleep. If a bear gets my food, so be it. I have never had a Ursack failure. I have never had a hanging bag failure. I even put out a half full tuna can in Yosemite, above Little Yosemite Valley, and no bear even touched it. Years ago I stuck breakfast food inside a dirty sock. A bear chewed up my toothpaste but left the sock alone. And if it does happen, I have done two 4-day 50-mile survival walk-outs and know I can walk out without food. If I am on a longer trip, where I can really fill the bear can, I usually take the bear can. But for a 2-3 day trip, unless absolutely required, I take the Ursack. I have found the best way to avoid bears is to avoid established campsites along trails.

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#177471 - 05/29/13 09:32 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: wandering_daisy]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
A guy hung a trash sack over his tent, six feet off the ground, in the campsite next door - nothing touched it. But a mere 500 feet away the bear dragged away an empty pack and tore it up.

I don't play the odds regardless of where I camp... but I'm like that in most respects simply because I have too many onlookers who (whether I like it or not) tend to look at me as an example, simply because I organize a lot of trips for others. So any thing I do multiplies, and the more you spin a roulette wheel, the more likely the odds play out... I'm like that on internet forums too. Not really interested in encouraging anyone to increase risks that do exist.

ETA: Here is White 90.



His picture is posted at Lake Eleanor, just inside the park boundary and south of Emigrant Wilderness.

He may be the bear that ended one of my group members' first backpacking trip, and likely his backpacking career, since he dragged away his entire pack and ripped up everything searching for food. The gentleman stopped on the first day out to take a pee break, put down his pack, stepped away from it for a moment, and turned back to see the backside of the bear as it raced away from him carrying his loaded backpack into the forest.

Every random encounter tells me consistency and vigilance is important....
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#177478 - 05/30/13 01:45 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Heather-ak]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Sorry, I havenít read everyoneís post so I apologize if I duplicate. And Iím sorry if I hit a sentimental item.
1. Camera. There are small, light (5oz) digital cameras (23.74 Ė 5 = 18.74)
2. GPS (5oz). Use small GPS with good map (12.38 Ė 5 = 7.38)
3. Cup. Go with plastic (0.5oz). (3.84-0.5 = 3.34)
4. Pot. Get the Kmart grease kettle. Itís nice (9.63 Ė 3.5 = 6.13)
5. First Aid. Yep. Cut in half (9.1 / 2 = 4.55)
6. I admire your stove and fuel choice. Itís hard to get lighter than a 0.4oz stove. And the fuel is easy to carry.
Total saved = 40.14oz = 2.5lbs
Hopefully your pad has a decent R value.

Good luck on the trip!
-Barry
-The Rockies were made for Tevas

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#177614 - 06/05/13 07:47 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: lori]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
I'm back - will do a trip report after I go through my pics.

I used everything in my kit - and was VERY glad for my warm sleeping bag. Used the Ursack - saw no bear sign or bears. Desk Ranger didn't seem the least bit concerned about bears when I asked, though she warned me more about rattlesnakes and scorpions and tarantulas... Only saw two snakes, neither rattlers and two deer.

(Ended up out to Deer lake and down to wood lake - and btw wood lake to the first major river crossing (think it is buck) is not really passable - I made it, but need to send the search and rescue an "I'm an idiot" donation (they did NOT have to rescue me - but I prob. should have turned around))

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#177636 - 06/06/13 11:48 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Heather-ak]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2110
Loc: Napa, CA
Sounds like a good story.

Want to tell it?
_________________________
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963

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#177686 - 06/09/13 11:52 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Heather-ak]
dcm579 Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/08/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Sacramento Valley
Looking forward to the story, will be doing this trip 2nd week of Sept. weather permitting

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#177715 - 06/10/13 06:00 PM Re: Trip contents for Emigrant Wilderness [Re: Heather-ak]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2932
Loc: NorCal
Good to hear of your successful trip, complete with unexpected challenges (the best kind). Might be headed that way in another week, so will be watching for your report!

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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