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#197611 - 02/07/17 01:17 PM Thank you
Steadman Offline

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Virginia
Thank you to all of the moderators and the experienced folks on this page who have been helping me out since 2009!

I'm going out on a 2 night backpacking trip with my son's troop here in lovely Bahrain this weekend and my pack weight, all in, is 30lbs. It would be 28lbs, but I'm carrying 3L of water in my pack because of the desert environment. I figure I could lose a pound from my tent if I were carrying a smaller TarpTent, another half pound to a pound if I changed out my sleeping pad, and 4-8 ounces when I replace my filter. The new TarpTent is in my future because I'll have more kids joining me on the trail this summer.

For those tracking, I started out with a 50+lb pack when I started out as a new member of the site. I found the site because it was the only place that had intelligent advice about how to take my kids out on the trail with me. My questions (you can go back and look at them) were often elementary as this experienced car camper learned new things about backpacking.

Listen to the good advice; the reason it is repetitive is because the questions and answers stay the same year in and year out and the general answers stay the same:
1) Get out with the gear you have, and then figure out the gear you want. Experience is a great teacher.
2) Make a list of your gear and figure out what you DON'T NEED. The lightest gear is the stuff that stayed at home or in the car.
3) Weigh what you have to figure out what your pack weight is and what you can get lighter weight replacements for.
4) Focus weight reduction efforts on the "big three" - the most bang for your buck is here.
5) Buy used and on sale; there is little need to pay full price.

Finally, participate in the forum. Engage in conversation. Struggle with the concepts. And value and respect the good people who spend their time maintaining this site and each other.

Thanks again!!

Currently in Manama, Bahrain

#197639 - 02/09/17 06:15 AM Re: Thank you [Re: Steadman]
balzaccom Offline

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1800
Loc: Napa, CA
We want photos and a trip report!

check out our website and blog:

#197696 - 02/16/17 01:08 PM Re: Thank you [Re: balzaccom]
Steadman Offline

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 513
Loc: Virginia
I just deleted all my pictures cry

Couple things:

1) The nail stakes that come with the TarpTent didn't work in soft sand. I had to improvise sand stakes from firewood (brought in on a truck) to set up tent on night one. I wish I had pictures of this, because it was amusing to see. On night two, sand was firm enough for nail stakes.

2) TarpTent's Rainshadow 2 did alright ONCE IT WAS UP in 25 knot winds. Anything more than that and I ran into problems. We tore down camp in 30+knot winds on day two and I was afraid of shredding the tent. Getting it up in 25 knot winds was a two person job. Sites were exposed in all directions; no windbreak. I stayed dry in the rainstorm when I trimmed the tent right, despite 20knot winds (wind speeds are estimates based on experience). Will likely talk to TarpTent about choices for next Tent I buy from them.

3) Water was THE issue. Hike was truck supported to move water and equipment (two foot long 1x2 sand stakes are not lightweight). Scouts did not understand the "gallon (+) per person per day" metric and consistently bring too little water. Filtering water wasn't an option; fresh water did not exist.

4) Walk was 13 miles across open terrain (no trail). Could have been shorter if the SPL had made a different decision to go around a housing development. Great learning experience for all concerned. For reference purposes, started 1/4 mi east of Peninsula Farm's facility near Isa Air Base and the Tree of Life and ended at Al Jazair Public Beach.



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