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#200466 - 03/21/18 03:15 AM Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I haven't been out for a few years, and I've been going through my gear, trying to find ways to reduce weight. The gear list below is typical of what I've carried in the past, exclusive of food, fuel, and water, depending on length of trip and other variables. Total weight is 22.6lb, so real pack weight for, say, 4 days would be in the 30-32lb. range. I'd like to reduce this. I tried an experimental lightweight trip a few years ago, using a homemade Ray-Way style frameless pack (15oz), with a total pack weight of 22lbs, including food & fuel for 2 days and a quart of water. I had fun, but have some reservations about doing a longer trip (more weight) with this type of pack.

This list is clothes-heavy, but I get cold easily, and dislike being cold. So, I just about always take a down jacket and long pants, as well as long underwear.

Most of my backpacking has been in Oregon and Washington, and I like the higher elevations, so summer nighttime temps below freezing are pretty common.

Anyway, any ideas are welcome
----------------------------------------------------
Foundations
Pack homemade 41.7
Rain cover homemade, silnylon 2.1
Trekking poles carried
Daypack homemade 7.7
Total 3.22lb.

Bedroom
Sleeping bag WM Ultralight 30.0
Stuff sack for bag Moonstone 1.8
Sleeping pad Thermarest Prolite 4 16.2
Pillow case homemade 0.4
Shelter Eureka Spitfire 1 56.2 incl. stakes, etc.
Total 6.54lb.

Kitchen
Stove w/o case Snow Peak Gigapower 3.7
Windscreen Snow Peak 1.9
Water bottle Stansport 3.1
Pot w/lid 1.3L titanium 5.8
Fuel varies
Bowl w/lid Ziploc 1.0
Bowl cozy homemade 0.6
Cup plastic 1.3
Spoon lexan 0.2
Sponge & soap 0.7
Food bag homemade 1.6
Hanging bag 0.00
Water filter Pur Hiker 12.1
Total 2.00lb.

Clothes
Shoes/boots Keen Targhee worn
Sandals/sneakers Tevas, New Balance, etc. 18.8
Undershorts Patagonia 1.7 sometimes carried
Long underwear bottoms REI MTS 4.3
Zip-T REI MTS 8.2
T-shirt Patagonia, etc. worn
Shorts homemade worn
Long pants Mountain Hardware, nylon 14.7
Socks Thorlo, 2pr 7.2 wear 3rd pair
Long-sleeved Shirt Nylon 8.7
Down jacket w/stuff sack Montbell Alpine Light 11.2
Fleece jacket homemade windpro 15.0
Rain jacket Marmot Precip Anorak 8.5
Rain pants Marmot Precip 7.7
Stocking cap OR windproof fleece 1.6
Gloves OR windproof fleece 2.6
Sun Hat Tilley worn
Wind shirt Marmot windshirt 4.6 sometimes carried
Belt homemade worn
Total 7.18lb.

Miscellaneous
Toothbrush & paste/powder 1.1
Towel PackTowl 13"x25" 1.9
First Aid Kit 6.4
Odds & Ends bag fire starter, etc. 5.6
ACE bandage 1.7
Sunblock 1.3
Insect repellent 1.4
Lip balm 0.3
Knife Gerber Gator Grip 2.2
Headlamp w/batteries Petzl Tikkina 2.9
Spare light micro light 0.2
Rope 1/8” nylon (~35ft) 1.5
Bandana 0.9
Trowel from Burgerville 2.0
Toilet paper 1.7
Lighter small Bic 0.4
Sunglasses Julbo 1.2
Compass 1.1
Whistle 0.1
Map typical 0.00
Total 2.12lb

Other
Camera w/case & batteries Canon A520 12.8
Tripod Ultrapod 4.1
Binoculars Tasco 10x25 10.5
Total 1.71lb.

Total 22.64lb.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200468 - 03/21/18 03:25 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 267
Loc: PNW
Reduce by taking less from your list, or reduce by buying lighter equipment?

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#200470 - 03/21/18 10:23 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: JustWalking]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1814
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Bill, I just posted a gear list for my upcoming northbound JMT hike on “Trail Journals” under “Pika’s 2018 JMT” hike. My base weight is 14 pounds including a 2 pound bear canister. At 80, I too, get cold easily but I stay warm to about 25 degrees with this kit. Good luck with the project!
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#200471 - 03/21/18 10:58 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
All your gear is light, if not all UL. But you have a lot of items.

Given the sleeping bag (if it is an indication of the temperatures you hike in) I think you have too many clothes. Particularly, if you are wearing shorts and carrying both long pants, long johns and rain pants. To me that is overdone. Just get some zip off pants. Trade the heavy fleece jacket for a 7-8 oz 200-wt fleece pullover.

Other big item are the camp shoes. Do you really need them?

Lots of unneeded under-one-ounce stuff. Bowl not needed - I just eat out of my cook pot. No soap and sponge to wash dishes (really should not be using soap anyway). I just use my fingers to wash out the pot. Does not have to be 100% germ-free. When you boil water for the next meal, it all gets sterilized anyway. Pack towel not needed. I dry off with my hiking shirt, because I then rinse it out anyway at the end of the day. 2 pounds is a little high for "misc" stuff. I know others will disagree, but ditch the trowel. I have never been unable to find a good rock or stick to dig with. I know a trowel is sometimes "required" but I just say I have one when I get my permit. Nobody ever checks. Never take extra batteries for anything. I rarely use a headlamp anyway since I hate hiking in the dark. I also hate cooking in the dark so simply plan earlier starts to avoid this. But, if saving these few ounces makes you miserable, then do not do it.

Camera, tripod and binoculars are obviously your focus of your backpacking, so I would not say delete or lighten these if they are essential for your purposes. That would be like telling a fisherman to ditch his gear!

My base-weight (like your list) with a 2 pound bear can is 20 pounds. I think my tent and sleeping pad are lighter. But my sleeping bag is heavier. I use a lighter camera and no tripod and do not take binoculars, but I do take fishing gear (11 oz). I definitely take less "misc" stuff and my cooking set up is lighter. I do not take a water filter - use the chlorine tablets instead. That will depend on your water sources- mine are pretty pure to begin with.

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#200474 - 03/21/18 12:22 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6764
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Compare your list to this one on the home page of this site:
27-lb, 7 day packing list.
This list includes all food and other consumables. The conditions (high Cascades) are identical to yours.

I used this gear list as a model when I had to lighten my load. Again, for identical conditions, and I get cold very easily.

I pretty much agree with wandering_daisy as to items you can leave at home. I also disagree about the shorts and T shirt. I have to wear long sleeves and long pants since I'm allergic to sunscreen, and I get along just fine. Also, one pair of shoes (worn) is sufficient--no need for a second pair. (That's over a pound saved right there!)

Why that heavy fleece jacket when you already have the down jacket? Another pound saved!


Edited by OregonMouse (03/21/18 12:26 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#200479 - 03/21/18 02:09 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1108
Loc: Madison, AL


Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
...I know others will disagree, but ditch the trowel. I have never been unable to find a good rock or stick to dig with. I know a trowel is sometimes "required" but I just say I have one when I get my permit. Nobody ever checks. ...



I agree with most of what WD said, but I will step up to disagree with this advice. I've seen too many poorly dug cat holes to consider a good rock or stick adequate. I've also come across a lot of ground where getting the requisite depth was difficult even with a sturdy trowel.

To your question, I agree with others that say you have too many clothes.

For shirts/jackets you have:
Zip-T REI MTS 8.2
T-shirt Patagonia, etc. worn
Long-sleeved Shirt Nylon 8.7
Down jacket w/stuff sack Montbell Alpine Light 11.2
Fleece jacket homemade windpro 15.0
Rain jacket Marmot Precip Anorak 8.5
Wind shirt Marmot windshirt 4.6 sometimes carried

You have seven things that cover the same part of your body. You need something for when your hot, something for when you are cold and something for when it is wet. You should be able to cut this list down to three or possibly four items.

You could do a similar exercise with pants/shorts.

The other thing I noticed is you listed odds and ends, but then separately listed all of the things I would consider odds n ends. What's in there beside fire-starter, which I wouldn't bring unless you are depending on a fire.

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#200480 - 03/21/18 02:46 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: BZH]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
Not taking a trowel means you have to be super committed to spending the time to dig a proper cat hole. Perhaps this is "too much information", but you can dig the hole either before or after the fact, so not feel rushed. And then NEVER put in toilet paper- bag it and carry it out. A lot of people prefer to ease this task with a trowel.

With all your light and somewhat expensive gear, why the cheaper tent? There are better and lighter tents out there but they do cost more.

My goal is for my pack to be comfortable for my average day which is 5-6 hours of travel. So do you want to lighten the pack to do longer trips, walk more hours, or what? When you figure out why you want to lighten the pack it is easier to determine if the extra $$$ is worth the weight savings and what items are really needed. I could go lighter, but am fairly happy with what I now have. Perhaps in a few more years, getting older, I will be willing to shell out more money to go a pound lighter. We can get a bit too much obsessed with weight reduction. The best weight reduction is to reduce your belly fat and not carry that around.

Just noticed that you have a 15 oz frameless pack. For me the weight you are talking about would be too heavy for comfort.



Edited by wandering_daisy (03/21/18 02:47 PM)

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#200481 - 03/21/18 07:11 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: BZH]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3186
Loc: Portland, OR
My "trowel" is an REI Snow Stake. It's sturdy, very lightweight, cheap, and can do double duty as a tent stake, too. Being all metal, it's less likely to break than the plastic trowels I've seen sold for backpacking use. It's even bright orange, so it's easy to see lying on the ground.

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#200492 - 03/23/18 12:36 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Pika]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Thanks, Pika. I've printed out your list for reference. I have that same Montbell down jacket...I think it's the "down inner," right? Mine is 6.6oz including the stuff sack that came with it.
I've carried it instead of the heavier down jacket, but always had a fleece, too. In combination with the Marmot windshirt, it would be about the same weight as the Alpine light jacket, but more versatile and windproof. The Marmot windshirt, BTW, is seriously windproof. Super light material, extremely tightly woven. I wish I knew where to get some. It's a zip-front shirt, with no pockets, so I added patch pockets. I may add lycra binding around the bottom of both the windshirt and the Montbell down inner, making them more jacket-like.

Using your list, your warmest option would be zip-t, long-sleeved shirt, down inner, and windshirt. Will that keep you warm while inactive at after-sundown temps in the Sierras?

I have those shoes, too smile
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200493 - 03/23/18 01:14 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Thanks, I was hoping you'd chime in. You're right, clothes are a big part of the problem. Pika's list helped. The fleece pullover has possibilities, too. I have a P100 and P200 jacket, but they're 11 and 14oz, so no weight savings. 7-8oz seems pretty light, but maybe not for a pullover. Also, a pullover is easier to make.

I've never found zip-off pants that I liked. Usually too baggy, and when worn as shorts, are too long. I do have some REI Sahara pants (I think) that I'm going to revisit and see if I can alter them to be less baggy. I'm a blue jeans kind of guy, and the Mountain Hardware pants are very jeans-like, but nylon, and I'm fairly fond of them. But maybe time for a change.

I've usually carried camp shoes when wading was a possibility. I've tried "water shoes" but the soles are too thin. I would like to reduce weight enough to use trail runners at least sometimes, and forego the boots.

You may be right about the unneeded little stuff. Not too much weight saving to be had there, but worth a look. I like a hot drink sometimes, especially at breakfast, so I need a separate bowl. I do have a lighter pot, though, but haven't used because the bowl, cozy, stove and windscreen fit nicely into the larger pot. Time to revisit that, too.

Not to worry about the soap smile I carry a eyedrops bottle with a little campsuds and use a tiny drop if necessary, which it usually isn't. Some foods will leave a greasy residue, though.

Yes, the water filter is one thing I want to change. I don't like the Halazone tablets (I guess they're still called that) so I need to find a lighter filter that I can live with. I'm still somewhat unconvinced that a filter is necessary if you're careful about water sources, but I usually use it.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200494 - 03/23/18 01:24 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I've been looking at that list, since it contains some similar gear to what I have. Just not as much of it:)

Since you are in Oregon and get cold easily, as do I, I'd be curious what warm clothing you carry.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200495 - 03/23/18 01:42 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: BZH]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I think the trowel stays. I used to have one of those flat plastic ones sold at REI and other outdoor stores. Lousy, but better than a stick. Then I found my current trowel at the Goodwill store. Apparently it was a promotional item, a garden trowel I guess, and says "Burgerville" on it. Very sturdy, made of glass-filled nylon I think, and the ultimate potty-hole digger. I mean, a guy needs a little luxury sometimes.

The clothes need attention, no doubt.

The little odds & ends bag is actually 2.3oz...the gear list was from an old spreadsheet. It contains a spark-type fire starter, a couple of safety pins, needle and thread, matchsafe, a little duct tape, a 6" piece of ripstop repair tape, and a short pencil and a couple of sheets of small notebook paper.

I never have a fire, but can't quite shake the idea that it's wise to have a few ways to start one if needed.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200496 - 03/23/18 02:04 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Well, I'm unlikely to pack out my TP. I burn the paper, douse with plenty of water, stir with stick to hasten decomposition (ewwww), fill hole, tamp down, act nonchalant, walk away.

Obviously, the burning part has to be done carefully, not where there's a fire hazard.

I bought the Eureka tent to replace an REI Sololite that finally bit the dust. A friend I've hiked with has one, likes it, and I've envied the side entrance. I'm also now living on less money, not that I ever had much, but now there's no tax refund that I can blow on gear. The Eureka is pretty good quality, just not the very lightest materials.

The frameless pack is a homemade slightly modified Ray-Way style pack. I've only used it on one trip, with a total pack weight of 22lbs. I'd say 25 would be maximum. Even at 22, my shoulders got sore. It was nice to walk without the hipbelt, though. This was my experimental "ultralight" trip. Well, sort of. I wore sneakers instead of boots, and used my homemade Ray-Way style tarp & net tent. It was fun, but I have some concerns about taking all the weight on my shoulders.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200497 - 03/23/18 02:08 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: aimless]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Good idea, but once you've experienced the luxury of the Burgerville trowel, you're spoiled forever. (see my response to BZH)
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200499 - 03/23/18 10:59 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 887
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
You're already carrying a rain jacket. Why not ditch the wind shirt and use the rain jacket instead?
_________________________
The journey is more important than the destination.

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#200500 - 03/23/18 11:02 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
I gather you are going into the Sierra. The temperatures can vary a lot, depending on time of year and elevation. So it is hard to say if anything would be "adequate" until you give more trip details. Your current clothing system is more like what I would wear in the Rockies, shoulder season.

In general, in mid-summer, it does not rain a lot and is pretty warm in the Sierra. Summer rains are convective storms that are short lived, although momentarliy severe. I simply set up my tent and wait out the worst. I no longer take rain pants. As long as I have something on my legs at night (lightest weight Smartwool long johns) I just dry the hiking pants when I can. The worst I have had to do is spend half a day drying things out or start out in the morning with damp pants. Surprisingly, I have been able to wash wool socks in the late afternoon, hang them on a tree branch, and they are dry by morning. Never could do this in the Rockies.

My light nylon hiking pants are roomy enough knee down, that I can simply roll them up if I feel the need for shorts. Personally I have never been a shorts-hiker. I am just to klutzy and do mostly off-trail, so just end up with scratched and bruised legs. In fact, I wear knee-high gaiters to protect my pants because of all my off-trail travel.

Yes, we all have our favorite items that we simply do not want to give up! Focus on those small items is hardly worth it unless you eliminate a lot, which then, can be almost a pound.

I use crocks for wading and they have worked for me for all my Sierra crossings, which are few in late season. Sierra streams are high at peak flow early season, but really go low late summer. Crocks are light weight, dry quickly, and have thick soles that actually are good at not slipping on wet rocks. My crocks weighg 10 oz total (my feet are small). Crocks regularly go on sale at Big 5. I got mine for $25. Crocks would be inadequate for seriously swift deep long crossings. In the Sierra there are foot bridges across most of the major streams that run high year-round.

The new chlorine tablets are quite good. There is NO aftertaste at all. The downside is that it takes 3-4 hours to fully treat and get rid of any chlorine aftertaste. Most of the nasty bugs are killed in 30 minutes, but the chlorine does not break down until hours later. It requires a bit of planning. I am not a big water drinker while on the trail, so do not mind this.


I do not get too worked up about weight savings on things I will always wear. For me, it is the weight in the pack that hurts. I have even thougt of putting my water bottle on a hip holster, to get that weight off my back.

My observation is that most people carry too much water. If you have a system of purifying water in small streams you pass while hiking, you can carry very little. The Sawyer Squeeze filters are good for that. Although I like my Sawyer Squeeze, it did not last very long. Since it broke, I am back to chlorine tablets. The only time I will carry more than 1 liter of water, is if I know that I will have no access to water for the entire day.

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#200511 - 03/24/18 03:21 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1108
Loc: Madison, AL
Originally Posted By Bill Kennedy
...
Yes, the water filter is one thing I want to change. I don't like the Halazone tablets (I guess they're still called that) so I need to find a lighter filter that I can live with. I'm still somewhat unconvinced that a filter is necessary if you're careful about water sources, but I usually use it.

Check out a steripen. Some people are leary about depending on electronics thouGh I've seen more reports of filters failing than steripen failing (except 10 years ago when they first came out and had some bugs they worked out)

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#200516 - 03/25/18 04:13 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: 4evrplan]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Good point. Actually, I've rarely carried the windshirt except when dayhiking. It was on the spreadsheet that I generated the list from, and I didn't want to fiddle with the weight totals.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200517 - 03/25/18 04:24 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: BZH]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I may do that. The MSR Trailshot looks like a possibility, too.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200518 - 03/25/18 04:52 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I don't have any plans to visit the Sierras, although I'd love to go there again. I've only been there once. We spent nine days there in 1980 on the east side of Kings Canyon NP. In at Taboose pass, over Mather Pass, past Palisades lakes, cross-county to Amphitheater Lake, then Dumbell lake, through Lake Basin, over Cartridge Pass, and back out Taboose Pass. Big adventure.

Rain is always a possibility here in Oregon, and Washington, too, of course. I recall getting snowed on in August in the Wallowas. I've been glad I had the rain pants many times, especially when day-hiking. I have homemade ones which are a few ounces lighter than the Marmot ones in my gear list. Still, for years I used a nylon poncho and never got very wet.

I went to Big5 today, as there's one near me. Looked at Crocs, almost bought but decided to wait. It seems like the ones with the velcro strap would be best...the regular ones seem pretty loose. I'm surprised you didn't find them slippery. My podiatrist is a big fan of Crocs, and has even backpacked in them, but said the traction was poor.

I have some REI Sahara (I think) pants which are almost 6oz. lighter than the MH pants, but I've never liked them because they're baggy. Tonight, however, I altered them and now they fit better. Maybe I'll give them a try. I mean, if I'm carrying the long johns anyway...

Thanks again for the help, BTW
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200520 - 03/25/18 10:44 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2011
Loc: Southwest Ohio
If you’re considering the Trailshot, be sure to look at the Trailshot Gravity kit. It functions like the plain Trailshot on the trail, as a simple pump-and-go filter. However, it also has a “dirty water” container that can attach to the inlet side of the filter to turn it into a gravity system for group or in-camp use. (However, you cannot buy the regular Trailshot and then add the gravity kit later. You need to buy the full system up front.)

I tried the original Trailshot, and decided I prefer the MSR Autoflow gravity filter. However, my niece is happily using the Trailshot.

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#200548 - 03/26/18 11:07 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I bought the Trailshot yesterday. I was put off by the price of the gravity kit, though. However, I returned the Trailshot today, as it left a chemical taste in the water, even after putting 6 liters through it. Tried backflushing, etc. but still no good. I gather from the reviews that others have had this problem, but certainly not everyone. I'm guessing that MSR uses some kind of solution to sanitize them during manufacture, and some get too much, or too strong a solution. Or maybe some people notice it and some don't. There are a few other things about it that I didn't care for as well. The inlet tube is too short and lacks a float on the end (both things I could fix myself), and the outlet is awkward for filling a bottle. I think it's different on the gravity version.

I may try the Sawyer mini. Filling the bag could be a pain, though. Apparently they let kids design these things (grumpy old guy attitude.)
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200747 - 04/16/18 05:58 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Alf Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/18
Posts: 53
Loc: London, UK.
Originally Posted By Bill Kennedy
I haven't been out for a few years, and I've been going through my gear, trying to find ways to reduce weight. The gear list below is typical of what I've carried in the past, exclusive of food, fuel, and water, depending on length of trip and other variables. Total weight is 22.6lb, so real pack weight for, say, 4 days would be in the 30-32lb. range. I'd like to reduce this. I tried an experimental lightweight trip a few years ago, using a homemade Ray-Way style frameless pack (15oz), with a total pack weight of 22lbs, including food & fuel for 2 days and a quart of water. I had fun, but have some reservations about doing a longer trip (more weight) with this type of pack.

This list is clothes-heavy, but I get cold easily, and dislike being cold. So, I just about always take a down jacket and long pants, as well as long underwear.

Most of my backpacking has been in Oregon and Washington, and I like the higher elevations, so summer nighttime temps below freezing are pretty common.

Anyway, any ideas are welcome
----------------------------------------------------
Foundations
Pack homemade 41.7
Rain cover homemade, silnylon 2.1
Trekking poles carried
Daypack homemade 7.7
Total 3.22lb.

Bedroom
Sleeping bag WM Ultralight 30.0
Stuff sack for bag Moonstone 1.8
Sleeping pad Thermarest Prolite 4 16.2
Pillow case homemade 0.4
Shelter Eureka Spitfire 1 56.2 incl. stakes, etc.
Total 6.54lb.

Kitchen
Stove w/o case Snow Peak Gigapower 3.7
Windscreen Snow Peak 1.9
Water bottle Stansport 3.1
Pot w/lid 1.3L titanium 5.8
Fuel varies
Bowl w/lid Ziploc 1.0
Bowl cozy homemade 0.6
Cup plastic 1.3
Spoon lexan 0.2
Sponge & soap 0.7
Food bag homemade 1.6
Hanging bag 0.00
Water filter Pur Hiker 12.1
Total 2.00lb.

Clothes
Shoes/boots Keen Targhee worn
Sandals/sneakers Tevas, New Balance, etc. 18.8
Undershorts Patagonia 1.7 sometimes carried
Long underwear bottoms REI MTS 4.3
Zip-T REI MTS 8.2
T-shirt Patagonia, etc. worn
Shorts homemade worn
Long pants Mountain Hardware, nylon 14.7
Socks Thorlo, 2pr 7.2 wear 3rd pair
Long-sleeved Shirt Nylon 8.7
Down jacket w/stuff sack Montbell Alpine Light 11.2
Fleece jacket homemade windpro 15.0
Rain jacket Marmot Precip Anorak 8.5
Rain pants Marmot Precip 7.7
Stocking cap OR windproof fleece 1.6
Gloves OR windproof fleece 2.6
Sun Hat Tilley worn
Wind shirt Marmot windshirt 4.6 sometimes carried
Belt homemade worn
Total 7.18lb.

Miscellaneous
Toothbrush & paste/powder 1.1
Towel PackTowl 13"x25" 1.9
First Aid Kit 6.4
Odds & Ends bag fire starter, etc. 5.6
ACE bandage 1.7
Sunblock 1.3
Insect repellent 1.4
Lip balm 0.3
Knife Gerber Gator Grip 2.2
Headlamp w/batteries Petzl Tikkina 2.9
Spare light micro light 0.2
Rope 1/8” nylon (~35ft) 1.5
Bandana 0.9
Trowel from Burgerville 2.0
Toilet paper 1.7
Lighter small Bic 0.4
Sunglasses Julbo 1.2
Compass 1.1
Whistle 0.1
Map typical 0.00
Total 2.12lb

Other
Camera w/case & batteries Canon A520 12.8
Tripod Ultrapod 4.1
Binoculars Tasco 10x25 10.5
Total 1.71lb.

Total 22.64lb.


You can save lots of weight Bill but as you suspected, you will probably have to pay out some money to do it. I've done a few calculations for you and you could have saved at least 3.5 lbs (about 1.5kg) just by buying a lighter sleeping bag, lighter sleeping pad, a lighter shelter/tent, a lighter stove, a lighter windshield, using a smartwater bottle instead, using a lighter pot and a lighter water filter and only using one pair of shoes (your walking boots). Your shelter is certainly one area where you can save significant weight.
You could get one that weighs half as much, if you are prepared to pay for it. You didn't say how much capacity your homemade backpack has...You could probably get a backpack weighing half as much for not too much cost. If you had done a bit more research and chosen a bit more wisely on the kit you already have you could have saved yourself a lot of money though...For instance, your WM Ultralight (minus 7 degree) sleeping bag costs £430 here in the UK but my Vango Venom 200 (minus 9 degree) sleeping bag, which is 150 grams lighter, only costs around £120...£310 cheaper!!! Swap out your sleeping pad for a standard Klymit Inertia X-Frame and you can save 7.7oz and it only costs about half as much. The X-frame is much quicker to inflate too, taking only about 4-5 breaths, so you can get ready for bed quicker.


Edited by Alf (04/16/18 06:00 AM)

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#200757 - 04/17/18 01:01 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 295
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Thanks, Alf, I appreciate your suggestions.

The Vango venom 200, BTW, is rated at +5C ("suggested minimum usage"). That's 41F on this side of the pond. The -9 degree rating is the "extreme" rating, that is, it would keep you alive at that temperature, but that's about it. It's not comparable to either the Western Mountaineering Ultralight or Summerlight. I have both those bags (30oz and 20oz) and have never wished I'd "chosen more wisely." They were quite a bit cheaper when I bought them years ago, and of course cheaper in the US, but still expensive. I hike mostly in the Oregon and Washington Cascades, and I get cold fairly easily, so the Ultralight is usually the one I take.

I looked at the Klymit Inertia X-Frame online. Interesting idea, but looks uncomfortable for a side sleeper. The Thermarest Prolite4, BTW takes zero breaths.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200760 - 04/17/18 06:22 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Alf Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/18
Posts: 53
Loc: London, UK.
Fair enough Bill. But I still don't think the WM ultralight is worth £310 more...Imagine how much ultralight kit you can buy with that! laugh BTW, I have just discovered the lightest folding Titanium cooking stove in the world! It's called The Esbit ST11.5-Ti, which as the name suggests, weighs just 11.5 grams (0.4oz)! That's less than half the weight of my BRS-3000T! It takes smokeless solid fuel (Hexmine) tablets/cubes, which are very compact and still work well at high altitudes (unlike some gas canister stoves). The rectangular Esbit tablets perfectly match the shape of the tablet holder on the stove but I found they are not that cheap, so I opted for some cheaper ones made by Strider instead...The Strider ones do not crumble so easily or smell like fish, as the Esbit ones apparently do (according to reviews I have read). And being circular rather than rectangular they are easier to store...One reviewer said they could fit 9 of them in an empty, airtight Berocca tube. 24 tablets weigh less than a small gas canister, so it will help to reduce the volume and pack weight of my cooking kit as well.
Apparently 2 tablets can boil 500ml of water in about 7 minutes, so its not very fast, but I'm hoping the gentler heat should help to reduce the usual problem of hotspots when trying to cook food in Titanium pots with powerful stoves like the BRS, and if it does, then that is a big problem solved. The Esbit stove cost me £13.80 ($19.75)on ebay and 48 Strider tablets cost me £7.36 ($10.53), both with free postage. I noticed that the Esbit tablets are cheaper on your side of the pond so you can probably find better deals on both over there.


Edited by Alf (04/17/18 06:26 AM)

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