So recently I have been drawn to ultralight backpacking. I have seen it here and there on the web and on youtube, and I have finally started to put a kit together. Using what I have on hand (which is a lot of stuff) I am weighing everything out, and trying to do everything on a budget. I love D.I.Y, and that is what draws me a lot to this wide spectrum of hiking and being outdoors.
I am new to the forum and look forward to learning all kinds of new D.I.Y info and projects. I have done a lot of research in to ultralight backpacking and I am drawn to the sport. I am wanting to set up a ultra light kit, and so far I just have a Walmart Outdoor gear Arrowhead 8.0 which is weighing in a little over a pound. I like the pack since it can take a water bladder, but there are a few things I don't like about the pack, but I know that everyone has to start out somewhere.
So, here is the gear list as follows. Keep in mind, I am just getting started and I kinda live in a part of the U.S. that only has Walmart and thrift stores that are the best place to buy anything for hiking/backpacking.
Outdoor gear Arrow Head 8.0 pack 2 20 ounce Poweraid bottles One Stanley stainless steel cup. I can not remember the name of the cup but it has a plastic lid that you can unscrew and drink from. I know that there are lighter options out there but just have not obtained them yet. Light my fire spork As far sleeping goes all I have right now is a fleece blanket I have the divider to a old tent as a tarp I have a over the head zip up poly type shirt for when it gets cold.
That what is in the bag as of now, and I am coming in around 5 pounds
I am going to purchase a water bladder this week from Walmart, but should I just have a base weight and then weigh the water? not sure on that?
I have a ton of polyester outdoor clothing, I collect that stuff whenever I see it at thrift stores.
As far as food goes, I just plan on taking simple stuff. I just plan on day hiking for now, so when I do go, I will only take the few things I need, the basics. I am not planning any over nighters as of now.
Anyhow, let me know how my list sounds so far and any changes I should make. I can't wait to learn from all of the experience on the sight. Thanks.
Now, to address a couple of your points, generally, until we learn more about you. (And welcome, by the way - got a little ahead of myself.)
The first, and some of us say best, way to get lighter is not to buy stuff, but to figure out what you don't need. For example, do you really need that cup? Does it double as your cookpot (depending on size, it could - you may need to add some pot lifters.) If it doesn't, and if you aren't addicted to hot beverages, just drink water when you're out and you don't need the cup (you've got the water bottles, right?) My kitchen is a 700ml (say, 3-cup) mug-shaped cook pot, a spoon, and a stove. I boil water, add it to a freeze-dried meal (or instant-cook meal I assemble at home in a freezer bag), let it rehydrate, and eat from the bag. If I decide I want tea (about half the time), I boil more water, add the tea bag, and drink from the mug-pot. (You said you only take simple food, so I'm thinking that a very simple kitchen will work well for you, too.)
Why do you want a water bladder? You already have two water bottles. If the country you plan to hike in is well-watered (several stream crossings, springs, or ponds, spaced out every 3-5 miles) you don't need a bladder. 40 ounces should take you from one crossing to another (depending on how hot the weather is); if you need to carry more, buy another bottle or two of Powerade. Instead of a bladder, use the money to get a Sawyer Squeeze or Mini filter, and just carry enough water to get from one source to the next; every liter/quart of water you don't have to carry keeps 2 pounds off your back. If water is scarce, you may be able to use those additional Powerade bottles (or plastic gallon milk jugs) to cache water, by car, at several points near your hiking route, and refill as you hike past them. (Carry out the empty bottles, or come back from them when you're done.)
I'm not a WalMart gear fan, but the WalMart pack you have (if large enough) may last long enough for you to make your own (didn't you post about that on the MYOG thread?)
Another way to hike with a lighter load might be to lose weight, if (like me) you could stand to do so. I was about 30 pounds overweight when I started backpacking; I lost those 30 pounds, and it had the same effect on my hiking comfort as taking 30 pounds out of my pack.
I'll stop for now; we can get more specific as we learn more about you.
So, I can not figure out how to edit my profile. I hit my name and it asks if I want to view my profile, but nothing about editing. I'm not super tech savvy, so any help to edit my profile will be great.....
And yes, I did post about building my own pack and hope to some time soon, until then, I will use this pack which is pretty light weight for now.
I wanted a water bladder because when I went hiking a few days ago, I took a different pack with me (I have a lot of Walmart packs) and did not have a bladder and I was getting thirsty as I walked, and wanted to drink while I was walking. When I do hike it will be mostly in local state parks. I have a good sized one about 20mins away from me. With plenty of trails to last me most of the summer. I do plan on hiking in the spring, summer and fall, but I also like to have a all around kit if possible to have options for overnighters and longer hikes. Most of my hikes I will pack my water in with me as I go. I guess I could fill from water ways in the local park areas, but not really sure how they would feel about that. So that is why I planned on a water bladder.
Welcome! I laughed to myself reading your post as many people, including myself, have gone backwards from heavy and specifically purchased items, to light and cheap alternatives like visqueen ground cloths, sports drink bottles instead of canteens and nalgene, cat can stoves, etc... That cup could really work well as a pot. Double points earned for multi-purpose items! I can't imagine anyone worrying about someone filtering from a water source, is there some reason you say that?
I am thinking about later using a IMUSA grease pot cup or a main stays grease pot. I want to be able to hike out, stop and cook a meal at some time and hike back. Nothing too fancy. I should be able to do that around here in the local state parks. As far as filtering, I just am not sure how they would feel about it. I feel like I live in a odd part of the state. Around here, people fish and camp. but it's more gamping, glorious camping or car camping. You are not 10 feet from a outlet and a clean water source and a restroom. I mean, we have primitive places to go in some of the state parks, but again, you are just 10 feet from you car and most carry there water. It's not like the AT where there is no one in sight for miles. I don't know, I could be wrong. And there are only trails that are in the local state parks or local camping areas. So if you want to stick to a trail, then the places to go are the state parks. Now, as far as filtering....if the water is polluted with man made chemicals, is the water still safe to drink after filtering and boiling? May be a dumb question, but I always wondered about that, I can see filtering out nasty bugs and what not, but what about chemicals?
That's a good reason; I didn't want you buying one because They said you needed it. ("They" told me a lot of stuff when I was starting out, that I later learned was bogus.)
You mentioned not knowing how the parks felt about you taking water from the stream. My own experience is they don't mind (but will issue a CYA warning about not doing it) - they will get serious about minding if there are known contaminants that can't be filtered out. For example, in rural Ohio, there are certain times of year when agricultural runoff can raise chemical levels; there are also parts of southeast Ohio where coal mining operations have permanently (or at least for my lifetime) polluted some streams with toxins in mine tailing runoff. So, check with the local park authorities. (It's a good way to break the ice with a ranger, who might then share all sorts of information with you.)
Central Indiana puts you not-too-far from the REI in Indianapolis - it will be a good place to pick up small parts like buckles and other pack fittings, and the light stretchy cord you can use in place of nylon compression straps when you make your own pack, or draw strings and barrel locks when you start making stuff sacks. It's in the Castleton shopping area. (I'm around Dayton, Ohio.)
There are two factors to consider when deciding whether to filter. One, of course, is the type and level of toxin that may be in the water source. The other is the amount of exposure: if you're going to be drinking one quart of water every couple of weeks that might have some farm chemicals at low to normal levels, you're probably OK. Drink it for a solid week, a gallon a day, and that's a different exposure risk. I've taken water from the streams in numerous state parks in southwest Ohio, south central Indiana, and west central Indiana for 35 years, on weekend trips, with no ill effects.
One good example of knowing the source of water is Shades state park, near Crawfordsville. There are numerous streams that arise from springs at the beginning of a ravine and flow down into Sugar Creek. I have no qualms about filtering from those streams; I know the source is relatively safe. However, I wouldn't filter from Sugar Creek because, just a few miles upstream in Crawfordsville, there's an electric generating station that pulls water from the creek and dumps it back in. The park will even warn you about Sugar Creek (and it's why they have a potable water faucet in the remote backpack campground.)
You are speaking my language. That is my area. And yes, sugar creek is very sketchy to say the least on how clean it is as far as man made toxins in the water. That is why a water bladder and hiking in my own water is the best answer for me.
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