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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: 294
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: 6760
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: 1102
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 Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3183
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: 294
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: 294
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: 294
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: 294
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: 294
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: 294
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 Online   content
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 884
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: 1102
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: 294
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: 294
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: 294
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]
Happy Birthday Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2000
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: 294
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: 294
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.
_________________________
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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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#200773 - 04/17/18 12:41 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6760
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
As I mentioned in another thread, we Pacific Northwesterners (and also those in California and the Rocky Mountain states) have to put up with severe restrictions during fire season, which is much of the summer and early fall. No wood, no alcohol, no esbit/hexamine. Stoves must have an on-off switch and, in a number of jurisdictions, be UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved. In other words, it's either canister or the much heavier liquid gas or kerosene stove.

A lot of us need a warmer sleeping bag than you use; evidently our climatic conditions are more severe than yours. At higher altitudes here in the Pacific NW, and definitely in the Rockies, even summer nights can get below freezing. By late August, nights can get down into the low 20s F (such as -5C) in the NW and into the teens in the Rockies. By late September, temps here in the Cascades can get down to the mid-teens F (~ -9C). By that time, I'm wearing all the insulated clothing I own (with a vapor barrier under the insulated clothing) inside my WM Ultralite, sleeping on an Exped Downmat, and still feeling a bit chilly. For many of us, a good night's sleep is far more important than a few extra ounces of weight!

Of course the price of down has soared, and in the 13 years since I bought it, the price of my beloved WM Ultralite has increased 50%. However, I still think it's worth it. The draft collar feature alone has kept me warm on nights much colder than the bag's comfort rating.



Edited by OregonMouse (04/17/18 12:42 PM)
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#200774 - 04/17/18 01:36 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: OregonMouse]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
I agree the OM about sleeping bags. I think if you have a good sleeping bag that has worked well, in the location that you backpack, then stick with it. For me, the sleeping bag is my last line of defense agianst hypothermia. A little "more" than needed is OK. Those temperature ratings assume you are well fed and healthy. A few times I have been less than well fed or had some kind of bug. Being able to set up a good shelter, hop in a good sleeping bag and lay low until weather or illness passes is a good safety measure. Same as OM, I have NEVER regretted my over-done bag (5-degreeF rating).

I have said this before, but water can be heaviest item you carry. Simply reducing the need to carry as much water will save a lot, and it is not that expensive. Do you really need a water filter? Some really do; others can get by with chemical treatment tabs. When I carry a filter of any kind, I pump water at water encountered, and thus, carry little between. When I use purification tablets, I consider these as just a means to reduce the risk, not eliminate it. I carry 1 L water maximum, and drink raw water from sources if that turns out to be insufficient. Not advocating this, since I seem to have an iron stomach and never have gotten sick from this; others may not do as well. A little more consideration of water, how much you carry and how you purify it may be useful. Do you use a hydration bladder? How much does that weigh? Is taking a pack off to get a drink of water really that much of a chore? Do you really need bombproof water bottles rather than used bottled water bottles.

Food on longer trips can cumlatively add up to a lot of exta weight if you end up not eating it. 2 oz a day (a trail bar) on a 10 day trip adds up to 20 oz. You probably would have to pay several hundred dollars to reduce the weight of your sleeping bag to save this much - zero to simply evlauate if you really need that extra trail bar. Be especially careful of sugary drinks that add little nutritionally. I have totally given up on Gatoraid- instead use an electrolyte replacement packet.

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#200777 - 04/17/18 08:11 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
Alf Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/18
Posts: 53
Loc: London, UK.
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I agree the OM about sleeping bags. I think if you have a good sleeping bag that has worked well, in the location that you backpack, then stick with it. For me, the sleeping bag is my last line of defense agianst hypothermia. A little "more" than needed is OK. Those temperature ratings assume you are well fed and healthy. A few times I have been less than well fed or had some kind of bug. Being able to set up a good shelter, hop in a good sleeping bag and lay low until weather or illness passes is a good safety measure. Same as OM, I have NEVER regretted my over-done bag (5-degreeF rating).

I have said this before, but water can be heaviest item you carry. Simply reducing the need to carry as much water will save a lot, and it is not that expensive. Do you really need a water filter? Some really do; others can get by with chemical treatment tabs. When I carry a filter of any kind, I pump water at water encountered, and thus, carry little between. When I use purification tablets, I consider these as just a means to reduce the risk, not eliminate it. I carry 1 L water maximum, and drink raw water from sources if that turns out to be insufficient. Not advocating this, since I seem to have an iron stomach and never have gotten sick from this; others may not do as well. A little more consideration of water, how much you carry and how you purify it may be useful. Do you use a hydration bladder? How much does that weigh? Is taking a pack off to get a drink of water really that much of a chore? Do you really need bombproof water bottles rather than used bottled water bottles.



I only discovered the Sawyer Mini water filter about a week ago. It is smaller and lighter than Bills old Sawyer Squeeze, yet it can still filter up to 100,000 gallons like the Squeeze. I only received it a couple of days ago so I haven't actually used it yet but I have seen several videos on how to use it on youtube. From what I have learnt from these videos is that whilst the Sawyer Mini will filter out virtually all harmful bacteria and protazoa, it won't remove toxic heavy metals, chemicals or improve the flavour of the water. Some have resorted to home brewing an inline activated charcoal filter, which deals with the latter issues. What I can't understand is why Sawyer themselves do not sell an optional activated charcoal filter for the mini??? I am sure it would sell like hotcakes if they did so they seriously missing a trick here. I have ended up buying several adapters that Sawyer sell and I am hoping they will help me make my own ACF when they arrive.

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#200778 - 04/17/18 09:34 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
Toxic heavy metals is not a usual problem for backpackers in the USA. Sawyer is a pretty simple low-cost system so the manufacturer may not be interested in after-filters. You would have to contact them and ask why.

Improving the "taste" of water is pretty subjective. I never have had the need. The Sawyer squeeze will filter the organics which often give the water a bad taste. It will not change the pH or take out metals. Snowmelt water can taste funny and flat.

I liked my Sawyer Squeeze but the washer on the screw cap fell out and went missing. It was only $25 and I got two years use from it. If I buy another I will try the mini.

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#200779 - 04/17/18 09:52 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
aimless Offline
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Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3183
Loc: Portland, OR
What I can't understand is why Sawyer themselves do not sell an optional activated charcoal filter for the mini???

I can't tell you for certain, but my guess would be that if Sawyer made any claims whatever about removing toxic heavy metals from contaminated water, they'd be open to liability for those claims, and that's not something they'd wish to embrace. If the only claim was that it made water "taste better", this is so subjective I'm not sure how persuasive it would be.

However, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you could pursue your idea and test your conviction about how lucrative the market would be.

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#200781 - 04/17/18 11:24 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 294
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Well, you're certainly right that the WM bags are expensive, and maybe too expensive. If I hadn't had a simultaneous attack of gear lust and a tax refund, I wouldn't have them. Still, the combination of lightness and warmth, not to mention superb customer service (they repaired my Ultralite for free, even though the damage was my fault) is hard to find cheap. The venerable old North Face Blue Kazoo is $289 and a half pound heavier.

I've never tried the Esbit stoves, being mostly put off by stories of bad smell and deposits on pots. I can certainly see advantages to them. Might run afoul of regulations in some places.
_________________________
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#200782 - 04/17/18 11:36 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 294
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Assuming I'm the "Bill" you're referring to, my old filter is a PUR (now Katahdin) hiker weighing 12oz. It has numerous advantages...it includes a carbon filter to remove bad-tasting stuff, both coarse and fine pre-screens, and the ability to collect water from difficult-to-reach places. Heavy, though. I recently bought the Sawyer mini and a CNOC Vecto water bag to use with it. The Sawyer Squeeze reportedly has a greater flow rate, and is still very light.

I this on YouTube, about the HydroBlu Versa Flow filter. Maybe better than the Mini...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnjYKXn1nFo

Just as cheap and light. Not sure about availability in the UK.
_________________________
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#200783 - 04/18/18 04:57 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
Assuming I'm the "Bill" you're referring to, my old filter is a PUR (now Katahdin) hiker weighing 12oz. It has numerous advantages...it includes a carbon filter to remove bad-tasting stuff, both coarse and fine pre-screens, and the ability to collect water from difficult-to-reach places. Heavy, though. I recently bought the Sawyer mini and a CNOC Vecto water bag to use with it. The Sawyer Squeeze reportedly has a greater flow rate, and is still very light.

I this on YouTube, about the HydroBlu Versa Flow filter. Maybe better than the Mini...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnjYKXn1nFo

Just as cheap and light. Not sure about availability in the UK.


The HydraBlu Versa Flow looks virtually identical to the Sawyer Mini, just made with white plastic ends instead of black, and with a different brand name and info printed on the label, so I would guess that is it simply a cheap Chinese knock off copy of the Mini, perhaps even coming out of the same factory. The Chinese copy stuff all the time, even if it is illegal for them to do, as they simply ignore patents on things. Interestingly, I weighed my Sawyer Mini and it weighs 1.3oz...0.1oz lighter than the Versa flow, so I will stick with my Sawyer. Here is an interesting video showing an Activated Charcoal Filter hack for both the Sawyer Mini and the Squeeze. He has a second video showing how to make your own.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZizSOi7wmg
The problem with his hack, whilst quite cleverly though out, is that it involves PVC tubing, and Expoxy adhesive, which are both potentially toxic (that is why they don't use PVC in domestic water supply tubing, and why it's only used to carry waste water), and PVC can also give water a nasty "plasticy" taste too. Domestic water supply tubing is usually non toxic MDPE (Medium Density Polyethylene). This is why I am waiting for my Sawyer adapters to arrive before I attempt to make my own ACF, and I plan to use non toxic plastics instead.


Edited by Alf (04/18/18 05:05 AM)

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#200789 - 04/18/18 11:26 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
4evrplan Online   content
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Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 884
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Brita makes a charcoal filter that's widely available, at least here in the States. They claim it improves flavor. I don't know how effective it is at removing heavy metals, but you'd probably be able to find more detailed information on them online. The filters fit down inside a water bottle, which can be either their own special made bottle (heavy) or just a reused disposable water bottle with a pop-top cap/spout. The cap holds the charcoal filter in place and creates a tight seal when you screw it on.

I'm not lucky enough to be one of the majority that enjoy clean chemical free water on my local trails. The areas most accessible to me have a history of mining and ranching, so heavy metals and other pollutants are a potential concern unless I take a road trip. The best practice around here is to cache your water (easy to do since the trails are crisscrossed with county and forest roads).

ETA: A quick note about the Sawyer Mini. They clog really fast, sometimes after (or during) a single bottle/bag of water being filtered, depending on the quality of the water you're filtering. That's not that big of a deal, because they can be back-flushed pretty easily in the field. I found it to be a big hassle though, when I was using the included syringe. I discovered (saw it on Youtube) you can use one of those Smartwater flip-top spouts on the top of your clean water bottle to back-flush, and now I don't mind so much. I just give it a quick squirt every time I filter whether it really needs it or not.

EDIT: It turns out Brita ONLY claims the bottle filters with remove chlorine and particulates, not heavy metals. https://www.brita.com/why-brita/what-we-filter/


Edited by 4evrplan (04/18/18 11:47 AM)
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#200790 - 04/18/18 11:27 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1102
Loc: Madison, AL
I agree that activated carbon (ac) is underutilized in the backpacking community. I think the problems are as pointed out above, the effectivity of ac cannot be guaranteed because it wears out as you use it. They don't mind for the refrigerator pitchers because you are treating treated water. They don't want to say it will remove heavy metals if you could potentially be drinking water with dangerous amounts of heavy metals.

I also think filter companies are trying to get high flow rates in a extremely light package. Additional filter steps detracts from both of those attributes. It would be very hard for a gravity filter to get a high enough flow rate and put it through a small carbon filter.

I disagree with WD that typical US backpackers wouldn't see benefits from ac. On the east coast and Midwest most open water is brown, leaf and cedar detritus, tea. It has a flavor that is definitely improved by ac. In the mountains in the west the water is typically great tasting snow melt, but the mountains have seen a lot of mining activity over the years. Heavy metals are mostly not at serious levels but they are there and long term exposure is not great for you.

As a solution, Camelback makes an inline ac filter. I have one one a bottle, but I can't seem to find them anymore. It looks like they still sell the inline attachment:

https://www.amazon.com/Camelbak-Unisex-Fresh-Reservoir-Filter/dp/B00554YH0A

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#200792 - 04/18/18 02:45 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: BZH]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 267
Loc: PNW
The Lifestraw Flex Lifestraw Flex is a filter for backcountry use that removes lead and heavy metals. Flow rate isn't great, probably about the same as a Sawyer, and the one I have seems to clog kinda easily (they do include a syringe for backflushing). Like the BeFree it isn't rated for as many gallons as the Sawyer (4000L or 1000 gallons per their site), but it is lightweight and can fit on water bottles and such.

http://www.lifestraw.com/products/lifestraw-flex/

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#200799 - 04/19/18 07:40 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
Alf Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/18
Posts: 53
Loc: London, UK.
Originally Posted By Alf
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.


Hi Bill, just wanted to update you on the Esbit Ti stove...It came today along with the fuel tablets...The brand name of the tablets is actually Strider, not Striker as I stated before. I have just tested the stove outside using one Strider tablet, my larger 1 litre Ti pot filled with 350ml of water (1 cup), with no lid, and I put the Docooler Ti heat shield around it. Then I lit the tablet, put the pot on top and set my stopwatch going...The water got pretty hot, hot enough for coffee or hot chocolate, and there was steam coming off, but it didn't get anywhere near to boiling...The Tablet burnt for about 12 minutes 17 seconds...Longer than I had imagined it would as it is smaller than an 14 gram Esbit tablet, and they are also supposed to burn for 12 minutes. Looks like I will probably have to use two together to get it to boil. Oh, and noticed no fishy smells at all when it was burning, so the reviews were right.

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#200809 - 04/19/18 11:08 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Alf]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
You need to start the test with the temperature water you typically use backacking. It is amazing how much difference it makes. To save fuel I fill and solar heat a 2L platypus as soon as I get into camp. A few hours of sunshine will really heat it up, especially if you put a black stuff sack behind it. Heating breakfast water, cold from the night, takes almost twice as long. I have never had enough nerve to take the platypus inside my sleeping bag to keep the water warm for AM coffee.

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#200811 - 04/20/18 06:06 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
Alf Offline
member

Registered: 04/15/18
Posts: 53
Loc: London, UK.
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
You need to start the test with the temperature water you typically use backacking. It is amazing how much difference it makes. To save fuel I fill and solar heat a 2L platypus as soon as I get into camp. A few hours of sunshine will really heat it up, especially if you put a black stuff sack behind it. Heating breakfast water, cold from the night, takes almost twice as long. I have never had enough nerve to take the platypus inside my sleeping bag to keep the water warm for AM coffee.


Not sure if a Platypus would be right for the job, but I saw one youtube video where someone filled their Nalgene bottle with hot (but not boiling) water and put it in the bottom of their sleeping bag at night to keep their feet warm...Apparently it works very well. Not sure how warm it would be in the morning though.

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#200814 - 04/21/18 09:25 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2087
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
You need to start the test with the temperature water you typically use backacking. It is amazing how much difference it makes. To save fuel I fill and solar heat a 2L platypus as soon as I get into camp. A few hours of sunshine will really heat it up, especially if you put a black stuff sack behind it. Heating breakfast water, cold from the night, takes almost twice as long. I have never had enough nerve to take the platypus inside my sleeping bag to keep the water warm for AM coffee.


We do the same thing, but put the Platypus bottle inside a black nylon stuff bag. In direct sunlight, it's amazing how hot the water can get---and how much fuel you save.
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#200825 - 04/22/18 07:55 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 366
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
It was fun to look at your list and compare. A lot of it is personal opinion: how much will I carry for the sake of convenience or comfort?
I used to carry much more when I was young. I'm down to about a base weight of 17 pounds now.

Big three;
I use an REI 9x9 tarp that weighs 24 ounces and love it. I had a tent much like yours and sold it on E-bay to a very happy younger person.
I also have a 2 pound tarp tent made by Mountain Hardware that I like, but for summer the Tarp is nicer because I have the views, more room, and it is lighter.

My sleep bag is 32 ounces (27degree bag) you are better than me there.
You pack is about the same as my Flash 50, a bit lighter in fact.

You could probably get by with a lighter cook pot. I think I have a few that weigh 3.5 oz with an aluminum foil lid.

I happily live in an area where we can freely drink the water without danger, and have for many years without incident. Gland I don't have to carry a water filter. When traveling out of state I share the wt. of the water filter with several other people.

Clothing is personal, looks well thought out to me.
I would never carry a tripod. Can't you just increase your shutter speed or set the camera on a log or something?

Unless birding I don't take my best (heavy) binoculars. My cheaper 8x21 binoculers weigh 8.4 w/o case.

oh, almost forgot. I use an esbit homemade stove nowadays and the windscreen/pot holder only weighs an ounce or so. I completely understand taking a canister stove and did for many years and still use my MSR Windpro in winter or at high altitudes, but usually split the weight with a friend, as we did last week.


Edited by Jim M (04/22/18 07:58 PM)
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Jim M

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#200830 - 04/23/18 04:13 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Jim M]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 294
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I can get it down to around 20lbs. without much trouble. I don't necessarily take everything on that list, like the daypack, sandals, and 3rd pair of socks. Also, the list was generated from an old spreadsheet and some of the weights aren't correct for my current gear. For instance, the rain pants I have now weigh half as much (homemade) and the fleece is 13.5oz (also homemade).

I made a Ray-Way style tarp-and-net-tent that works well, and is a bit lighter than the Eureka at 3lbs even, and just 1.5lbs without the net tent. I discovered the hard way that it's difficult for one person to set up in the wind...there was one moment when I wasn't sure I could get it set up at all. I finally pitched it very low and crawled under it. Maybe one of these days I'll get ambitious and make a one-person version.

The cook pot is one that I've typically taken for two people, and it's convenient because my bowl and stove fit nicely inside it. You're right, though, I could save a few ounces there.

The tripod is a small mini-tripod that will also strap to a tree or whatever's handy. Mostly so I can get in the picture too. The binoculars are just for fun. I got the 10x ones a long time ago when I found that the original 8x ones I had were a little weak for the mountain goats. When they eventually got moisture inside, I replaced them with the 10x.

I haven't tried the Esbit. I have the mini-Trangia alcohol kit, but it's not really any lighter unless you leave part of it behind. And it's a pain to use.

I think what I maybe need is a change of approach or something. Using a frameless pack and the gear I have, I can theoretically get my base weight down to 13lb, but it's pretty spartan. The best I've done in reality is 22lb total including food and fuel for two days and a quart of water.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200838 - 04/23/18 12:47 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 366
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
22 pounds ain't bad. I'm an old guy and in the olden days we carried 50 pound packs while climbing, and I even remember 55 Lbs. when I was backpacking with the family. They used to say 1/5 th (20%) body weight was comfortable goal. 22 Lbs. would be 1/9 th (11%) of my body weight. About half!
So in the end it depends on several variables. If you are young and strong, or if you are not going far or gaining a lot of elevation why not take a few extra comfort items?

Jim
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#200840 - 04/23/18 02:07 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Jim M]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 294
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Young and strong? Well, I'm only 70 and could probably fight my way out of a wet paper bag if necessary:)
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Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200841 - 04/23/18 02:37 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3183
Loc: Portland, OR
Maybe all the young and strong backpackers who can carry 55 lbs without whimpering through the final 3 miles to camp are not flocking to a lightweight backpacking site to discuss how to save another 6 oz. laugh

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#200842 - 04/23/18 06:33 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: aimless]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
The young and strong I see on the trails DO carry tiny packs. If you were to buy new gear today, most of it would be lighter than what you could buy 10 years ago. And the young I see do not seem to worry about money- some pretty high-tech stuff they have! Rather than carrying gear to "be prepared" (the old boy-scout method), they do without, ever-optomistic! It's like the clothes they hike in, one down jacket and a UL rain jacket. That's it! Being young and strong, they assume they will easily survive, anything regardless. I think a lot of them get their gear lists from the thru-route journals.

I regret to say this, but I think our forum does not attract the "young and strong" and we are over-represented by the "old and wise". I think we need to figure out how to attract these younger folks, or we will wither away.

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#200843 - 04/23/18 07:31 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3183
Loc: Portland, OR
Oh well, I was already planning on withering away eventually anyway. grin

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#200845 - 04/24/18 01:53 AM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: aimless]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 267
Loc: PNW
"I regret to say this, but I think our forum does not attract the "young and strong" and we are over-represented by the "old and wise". I think we need to figure out how to attract these younger folks, or we will wither away."

As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for. While BPL has plenty of fogies, they have a good number of the young and strong there. And it's quite a different vibe there than here. Not saying better or worse, but definitely different.

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#200847 - 04/24/18 03:13 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: JustWalking]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
It is not a matter of "vibe". It is a matter of relevance and survival. But I do not run the show, so guess it does not matter. Just my observation that other forums are a lot more active, both in posts and actual trips taken and reported. We "fogies" (myself included) perhaps should bite our tongue and be a bit less disapproving of some of the newer trends.

Then again, Face Book,Twitter and blog chatter may be the preferred method of communication for the younger generation of backpackers.

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#200848 - 04/24/18 05:19 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 267
Loc: PNW
"It is not a matter of "vibe". It is a matter of relevance and survival."


I partially disagree. There are certain things people like about this site and its forums, that's why they're here and not elsewhere. It's true that without attracting new members this site will eventually die out. Plenty of sites do. But on the other hand, bringing in new members can change what it is that some people like about this site, and perhaps drive them elsewhere, which causes you to lose institutional knowledge that also contributes to a healthy site. No easy answers, of course.

"Then again, Face Book,Twitter and blog chatter may be the preferred method of communication for the younger generation of backpackers."

I certainly think there's truth in that, and also that there are so many blogs and such that "membership" in any one of them is minimal, another sign of the times.

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#200849 - 04/24/18 09:24 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: wandering_daisy]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 294
Loc: Portland, Oregon
What I've always liked about this board (I first registered in '03 as "billk") is that everyone, regardless of age, is civil and seems genuinely interested in backpacking and helping others who are also interested. We don't all agree on everything, but that's good...we get fresh perspectives that way. I hope this board continues for that reason, and because it's fun. I wish we could all go backpacking together smile

There's certainly not as much activity now as before, and that's too bad. Maybe because there are more backpacking forums out there now. I just Googled "backpacking forum" (actually, I DuckDuckGo'ed it) and saw some I've never seen before, as well as ones that have been around a while.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#200854 - 04/25/18 01:15 PM Re: Trying To (you guessed it) Reduce Weight [Re: Bill Kennedy]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1102
Loc: Madison, AL
I definitely like the people on this board better. Discourse seems much more civil. I thought when BPL went to pay model new people would flock here. DIY projects on BPL are more extreme and I find that more interesting to my engineering background, but I don't think that is unrelated to the type of discourse they have unfortunately.

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