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  1. #21
    Senior Member cmseeley's Avatar
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    Great article!

    I am definitely guilty of the heavy pack! Thanks for the tips Rob. I know I almost always carry way too much water and food, as well as extra clothes. I will definitely use your checklist idea.
    Chris (Chipper)

    It seems like a good time to get lost in the woods for a few days! --www.chipperoutdoors.com-- or ---facebook---

  2. #22
    Senior Member mayhemkb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidvicious View Post
    water is often a constant variable for me. everyone else too, i wager....

    i hike with Dewey [my scottie]. if i plan on camping on tops, then water has to be considered before hand, of course. pack it in, or, go down later. this all depends on source location. unless i'm dead sure i can short-hike after setting up, i pack it in.

    AND, dewey loves water........

    sv-
    Yeah we have 2 dogs that come with us and one is a drinker. They carry some of their stuff. I have a nice low base weight (8-10 lbs. depending on conditions) but, water and food are what kill me.

  3. #23
    Senior Member southernfire97's Avatar
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    I do this in the medical dept. I guess being a paramedic causes me to think about what all could happen. I need to cut my FAK down by at least half.

  4. #24
    New Member scoutmaster405's Avatar
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    Great Job.

  5. #25
    Member Dog Listener's Avatar
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    Lighten food

    Quote Originally Posted by jadekayak View Post
    I just discoverd instant mash by magi.tastes really great,comes in 3 varieties and get 3 meals out of small pack.
    Also dehydrated mixed veg pack but getting hard to find in supermarkets now.
    We also have a local manufacturer call back country foods who do about 15 different camping meals.
    I get 3 serves from the double pack and I love to eat.
    They cost around $14 a double though.
    I also take oats in ziplock bag with dried fruit in it.
    Just have to learn how to dehydrate meats so I still have that for full homemade meals

  6. #26
    Member Dog Listener's Avatar
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    I have found if I precook things like oatmeal, rice, pasta and dehydrate them, they are far lighter to carry. I make separate meals like dehydrated oatmeal with cinnamon, sweetener of choice, dehydrated bananas or apples, in a baggie then vacuum seal for space. For dinner my favorite is precooked and dehydrated wild rice, sausage, beans and kale with spices of choice. I make a crock pot full, spread it on dehydrator trays in serving portions and ziplock then vacuum seal for space saving. Precooking your carbs really can save weight.

  7. #27
    aka 'Extra' MikekiM's Avatar
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    How I Lightened My Load - For Free

    Great discussion

    I use the three pile method post trip. Pile one, things I used at least twice, or are otherwise essential (first aid kit, TP). Like two, items that I used only once. Pile three.. You get the idea. Things I didn't use at all, but aren't essential.. Those would be in pile one.

    Pile three.. These come off my list, no discussion. (I use Lighterpack.com).

    Pile one, these likely come with me next trip but I do take a minute to identify whether there is a lighter alternative. I don't use my Leatherman Squirt every trip but I know I need some kind of cutting implement. Over time I have gone from the full size Leatherman to the smaller, lighter Squirt as an example. More often it's a simple neck knife because, well, I like neck knives.

    Pile two is where the real fun is. Items I used, but sparingly. Here's where most of the opportunity exists. First step is determine whether they are single purpose items. My stove, spoon and tooth brush are a good examples. I have yet to find a second purpose for a spoon and refuse to try to identify a second use for my toothbrush.

    All the single purpose items (not many left in my kit at this point) go in a sub-pile and I focus on whether I can combine any of them, or replace them with a more, multi use item.

    If not, I look for a lighter, leaner, smaller version or look to modify what I am using. I replaced my 1.9 oz Snow Peak LiteMax stove with a smaller, version (can't remember the name). I could reduce that more but I'm not a fan of alcohol stoves. Spoon is now a Ti long handle.. I don't think I can improve on that other than to shorten it. Water filter is a gravity feed, slow but it's the lightest I can find. Tooth brush has gone through iterations.. Wisp works well as does a cut down, bamboo handles version.

    It's an evolution that has my overnight base weight down to under twenty pounds.

    Now if someone could create freeze dried water I'd be golden! Just add water and... Never mind.


    Sent from East of Montauk
    Last edited by MikekiM; 06-26-2016 at 08:13.
    * The difficulty of finding any given trail marker is directly proportional to the importance of the consequences of failing to find it.

    * I can lift all the weight I want at the gym. Walking shouldn't be a workout. ~ Just Bill


  8. #28
    New Member
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    Perfect article for me to read this morning. I had just taken a ton of stuff that I realized I've never actually used and threw it into my storage tote. I'm now down to a surprisingly small pile of gear, with some significant luxury items (Sven saw, Jetboil, ground chair, etc) still in the mix. I'm pumped to see what it actually weighs out once I pack it all up. I was at 17lbs base weight before which included my Glock but not the ground chair. Still may pack that glock though...

  9. #29
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    Good read...thanks for sharing. I've got my "base weight" down to just over 10 pounds (not including food or fishing equipment, of course). At this point, cutting ounces is getting expen$ive. I've used Excel to track weights, but recently discovered www.lighterpack.com and it's pretty handy.

    Here's an idea for those of you who mentioned heavy food loads: look at the nutrition labels for things you take...divide the number of calories in a serving by the number of ounces to get the caloric density. Try not to take anything that's less than 100 calories per ounce. Figure out how many calories you need based on activity level and only take that much. On my last trip, my food load was only 28 ounces per day (including packaging) using this method and I was never hungry or short on energy.

  10. #30
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    As others have mentioned, putting the ideas presented in this article to practice really can have some significant results when it comes to weight shaving.

    I've cut down (maybe simplified is a better word) quite a bit of my gear over this past year. For example, I always used to use this little lantern that I'd hang on a little loop at my tent ceiling, or more recently, my hammock ridgeline... but, now I just hang my head lamp and it does the same thing. It does leave me without a secondary dedicated light source, but, I have a cell phone which can generate some light for immediate area things, bic lighter and a ferrocerium rod during every trip which could be used to fashion candles or torches, so there are lighting options abound if the head lamp failed or was lost. I do take one set of extra batteries for the head lamp.

    This is obviously just one tiny example but it goes to show how dual/tri/quad-purposing items can seriously shave weight.

    If you are conscious of what items are more breakable and where in your pack you keep them while hiking or where you store them around camp, you can really minimize accidents or other mishaps that might screw up your gear.

    I don't take a pillow, I just pile up all of my extra clothing, empty stuff sacks, anything else soft, in a stuff sack and call it a pillow. A stuff sack full of leaves works too.

    I carve my own tent stakes out of sticks. Takes very little time at all to do with a Fallkniven F1 fixed blade. They "stick" better than any store-bought ones for me because I make them around 12" long and 1/2-1" diameter.

    If I'm in an area with plenty of (or at least a moderate amount of) water, I let my Sawyer Squeeze water filter do its job and pack in less water. If something goes wrong with the Sawyer, I still would have my titanium cook set that I could boil water in. I carry a 3L bladder but rarely have to fill it all the way.

    There's plenty of other things like this... just look at your little items and see what you can "combine" together if that makes sense.

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