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Thread: gear help

  1. #1
    New Member tattoo's Avatar
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    gear help

    I'm not sure if this is where this should go.

    Ive never been a lightweight camper. I have always used things like leather stuff sacks, full size axe and saw, etc..... I still plan on camping heavy from time to time, but I would like to learn to go lighter weight. Not to the point of counting every gram.
    Today I made a alcohol stove out of some sodi cans. Its far lighter than my MSR Pocket Rocket. I got a three minute boil with two cups of water. Perfect for my morning coffee. I have also switched to titanium cook pot.
    I plan on switching to whoopie slings on my blackbird. Making some lighter stuff sacks , and even switching to a ula pack , etc......
    Without going overboard can yall give me some ideas on lightening up?
    Any Help is appreciated.
    Thanks
    Ryan.....

  2. #2
    Senior Member backpackingZombie's Avatar
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    If you lighten up your major things you should be fine.

    Choose your creature comforts that you don't care to lighten up (for me that's my jet boil and my pack) and then drop weight on other things (sleeping bag, clothing, suspension, ...)
    When it seems like the night will last forever
    And there's nothing left to do but count the years
    When the strings of my heart start to sever
    And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears
    I will walk alone by the black muddy river
    And dream me a dream of my own
    -Jerry

  3. #3
    Senior Member JalapeņoBen's Avatar
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    Honestly the best thing you can do is get a kitchen scale and also weigh your full pack every time you take a trip. You will be surprised what some things weigh, and you will start thinking about what you need and what you really don't. Then you can look for ways to alter things so that they are lighter, or suitable replacements. For instance: Your rain jacket could weigh 1.5 pounds and you think WOW, that's insane. You don't have to guy buy a cuben fiber rain jacket that weighs 4 ounces... but maybe a breathable paclite goretex jacket that weighs 10ounces is a suitable replacement.


    ULA packs are not only lightweight, I find they are incredibly comfortable, and made very well. It's not the kind of pack you can drag across rocks and gravel, but it will hold up well.

    Doing things like whoopie slings is a great way to lighten your load and make it easier to put up. I went from having everything in a stuff sack to phasing out stuff sacks as much as possible. I keep my quilts in a garbage bag in the bottom of my pack which keeps them dry... then I have a dry sack for my clothes, a stuff sack for my ditty bag (a small one) and a stuff sack for my tarp, and my food bag. Those are my only stuff sacks and they're cuben fiber (except the tarp so it can breathe and dry). My first aid kit is in a quart size ziploc. It's all about what you're comfortable with. Sorry I'm rambling now... but get a kitchen or postal scale. Just make sure you still have FUN out in the wild.


    Happy Hangin'
    Ben
    Pass the Apple Pie

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I would advise you to do exactly what you are doing. You're doing great with your choices so far too! Your pack is going to feel crazy light when you do what you've listed. Just let that sit in for a little while. When the weight gets on your nerves again, start picking away at it. I've lost more than 20lbs out of my pack over my brief 4+ year run at this hiking thing. It's gone up and down as I tried different things, but once you get motivated to take the weight out, it comes pretty natural and easier than you'd think.

    Just take it one day and 30,000 pennies at a time.
    Trust nobody!

  5. #5
    Senior Member JalapeņoBen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    I would advise you to do exactly what you are doing. You're doing great with your choices so far too! Your pack is going to feel crazy light when you do what you've listed. Just let that sit in for a little while. When the weight gets on your nerves again, start picking away at it. I've lost more than 20lbs out of my pack over my brief 4+ year run at this hiking thing. It's gone up and down as I tried different things, but once you get motivated to take the weight out, it comes pretty natural and easier than you'd think.

    Just take it one day and 30,000 pennies at a time.
    Good advice.
    Pass the Apple Pie

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hooch's Avatar
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    Not that I'd know anything about this sort of thing, but. . . . .if you're going to lighten up, the pack itself pack should be the last change you make. If you get a light pack and have all the same gear, you have a light pack full of heavy stuff. Makes no sense, right? Lighten up all your gear first, then look at the pack. By then you'll know how small of a pack you can get away with and what weight load you'll have to carry in it. This way, you'll be able to make a better decision in regard to which pack is right for you and the load you've got to carry in it.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  7. #7
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    As I've started hiking some, I've looked over my traditional bike and car camping choices and revised some of them.

    The three largest offenders as far as pack weight go (for me) are usually the pack itself, the sleeping system (hammock, tarp, insulation), and food & water.

    Now, the easiest way to drop weight for me was to weigh all of my items and think about what I actually used and what I didn't when I was out. In this manner, I went from a 40-pound pack including everything at the beginning of my (supposed-to-be-)four day trip in Ocala to a 24-pound pack at the beginning of my two-day trip over last weekend. If I'd've been going for a four-day trip, that would've come out around twenty-eight pounds. That's a savings of about twelve pounds, just from cutting unnecessary things from my pack.

    Start with weighing what you have and thinking about what you use, what you want as a luxury, and what you don't use (never include your emergency repair kit or first aid kit in this last category; they're there to be used, regardless of whether you did last time). Then start looking at alternatives. The JetBoil versus alchy stove thing is a very good example.

    The easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet in Excel, Open Office, or Google Docs and input all of your gear in ounces (or grams, if you have a scale that accurate and precise). Then start looking at what you can cut while still enjoying your trip. Start looking around at other options. Many of the options out there, especially if you're willing to put time in lieu of money into them, are extremely cheap and easy.

    I'm very much about doing this on a budget, so if you have any specific questions, I'll be glad to answer with what's worked for me so far. Heck, if you need help setting up the spreadsheet, let me know!

    I hope things go well for you.

  8. #8
    New Member tattoo's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your advise, and help. I now have a better idea of what to do now. Im going to pick up a scale. Ive carried a pack as heavy as 50 pounds for an overnighter in cold weather 32 F Ive already got that down by about 10 pounds. Ive started with my cook kit. alcohol stove and titanium pot have lightened me up quite a bit.
    Thanks again
    Ryan.....

  9. #9
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Tatoo,

    Some great responses. I've learned a lot from people on this forum.

    I put together my gear lists in video format so you can take a look on my website:

    http://watermonkey.net/gear-lists/

    Hope this helps,

    Raul
    "If you give a monkey a gun and he shoots someone, you dont blame the monkey"

    The end of the world is not coming in December, it is happening now in my living room. - TFC Rick

    http://watermonkey.net/

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  10. #10
    Senior Member dukedante's Avatar
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    You've probably already been to http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...ght/index.html There are gear lists on there, so once you've weighed what you have, you can compare it to lighter options and see where to best spend your money to save weight. Usually the biggest weight savings are found in the sleeping bag, shelter and pack- although I just saved over a pound by not using my cannister stove and switching to an alcohol stove, just like you.
    This site also has some good very basic info: http://www.lightweightbackpacking101.com/

    I also think that becoming familiar with your current gear, how you use it and why you use it is important. Maybe you are carrying 2 things to do 2 different things when one of them could do both and you could leave the other at home. e.g.- you wear a jacket at camp but don't sleep in it, and you carry a pillow. Use the jacket as a pillow and leave the pillow at home, or sleep in the jacket and leave extra clothes behind.
    As Alton Brown on Food Network likes to say "Never buy a uni-tool"

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