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  1. #1
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    My gear list - advice on lightening for my next trip?

    So I'm in the middle (well, nearer the end) of a two month trek across Israel (see my other thread) and I know a few things, one of which is that I can't wait to hike in a place where it's easier to find trees to hang from, and another is that I can and really want to lighten my pack.

    Anyway, I don't have a scale on hand, but I do have a list of my pack's contents and am hoping for helpful comments and advice from experience. This is a packing list for a 2 month trek, so it's fairly extensive compared to if I was out for 1 week or whatever.

    Pack: REI Mars 85 (6 lbs empty, and far bigger than I need. In the desert I think I came kind of close to filling it up with extra water and food, but no longer am coming anywhere close)

    So, in no order:
    Flashlight (turns into a mini lantern) (yeah, I need a headlamp...holding off on any new gear purchases till I'm home and have a job)
    Earplugs plus a few extras (they last a few weeks)
    Jacket (just some cotton one I got off Old Navy)
    Flannel shirt (I wear it and the jacket at night - it gets cold here)
    Long johns (will probably be left when I resume the trail, not needed anymore)
    Convertible Columbia hiking pants (on me)
    5 pairs of wool socks (I wear 2 at a time)
    2 pairs of cotton boxer shorts (1 on me)
    3 cotton t-shirts (1 on me, 1 saved for being clean)
    Warm hat (will leave behind, not needed anymore)
    Extra khaki pair of pants for night and clean
    Travel towel, quick drying fabric
    North Face Cat's Meow sleeping bag, 20F rating, weighs a little under 3 lbs and very bulky even when compressed...but warm...
    Folding plastic spork/knife
    Cowboy hat or light cloth scarf thing (keffiyah)
    Sunglasses and case
    several trash bags for various purposes or pack cover or poncho
    Stainless steel Arabic coffee pot for cooking
    Phone charger and cell phone, USB cord to charge MP3 player
    plastic bowl
    passport
    gum
    soap bar and container
    several contact lens cases
    contact solution
    extra contact lenses
    skin lotion (several ounce bottle)
    mini toothbrush
    stainless steel cup (will probably leave, I haven't used it)
    MSR Whisperlite Int'l multifuel stove, plus windscreen, lighter, instructions
    MSR 20 oz fuel bottle
    Source 2 liter water bladder with tube (like Camelbak)
    Israeli military can opener
    Pocket knife (I could just get a Swiss Army knife but I'm not sure what else I need on there besides blade and can opener)
    Altus Rift trekking poles
    Cowon mp3 player and earbuds
    stick of deodorant for "clean times"
    band aids
    bug spray w/o DEET
    several Israeli topographical hiking maps - 1-4 of a set of 20, right now
    half bar Octagon laundry soap
    dental floss
    Razor and extra blades
    small NIV Bible for reading material...awesome weight to reading material ratio
    2 plastic water bottles, 1.5 or 2 liters (that much water is needed here sometimes)
    Grand Trunk Ultralight Skeeter Beeter hammock w/ default suspension (crappy rope slings)
    Cheapo but decent tarp off ebay and some ropes to tie it
    4 overly heavy stakes
    foam mattress
    a roll of TP at all times
    Extra plastic bags
    Some hiking boots I got for 6 bucks at a secondhand store four years ago and found out are awesome (on me)
    sunscreen
    few pieces of paper to write a log on
    small bag with: itch cream, pepto bismol, neosporin, nail clipper, aspirin
    point and shoot camera

    So - what does everyone think? Is this the right place for this post? I hope so - thanks.

  2. #2
    Joey's Avatar
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    Too many clothes, especially cotton tshirts and underwear. The pants I wear are it, no extra. Same with the underwear. Rain pants can be worn while these items are being cleaned, no need for extra pairs. Seriously lighten your load here.

    Can opener? Canned food is heavy. Leave both behind.

    Laundry soap can be picked up in town, no need to carry.

    Deoderant, never considered carrying that before.

    I don't know what a hike through Isreal will entail, but unless you are spending most nights in a town, the above suggestions will really help out. Smelling clean on a hike is not a priority. Descent hygiene is good, but deoderant and laundry soap will never find a place in my pack.

    Just a few simple ways to consider lightening your load. Hope it helps. I sure wouldn't want to carry all what you have listed but, hey, hike your own hike!

    Hope it's enjoyable and you can posts pics and a trip report when completed!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    You're probably right about the can opener - the only canned thing we carry is tuna, which we get in cans that have a tab to open them. But I often like to get a can of some kind of vegetables or something in places where fresh produce isn't available. It weighs nearly nothing so I think it's always nice to have. And sometimes food just comes - once in the desert, a group of soldiers were sitting outside a base and gave us a box full of canned food they were getting ready to throw out!

    The shirts...I definitely want to invest in synthetic stuff as I hate wearing cotton, so I'll probably reduce it to a synthetic shirt, maybe a t shirt and a down jacket or something. What kinds of "rain pants" might I get - just a waterproof pair? I should get some; I always want an extra pair of any piece of clothing.

    For soap I think I'm going Dr Bronner's next time around.

    Do synthetic pairs of underwear also exist?

    I think my biggest places for weight savings are less clothes (ditching the cotton jacket and shirt for one down jacket will help also), the sleeping bag (switching to a down quilt will save a pound and a half), the pack itself (could cut off like 3-4 pounds!) and getting glasses to save the weight of contact solution, plus the aggravation of cleaning fingertips to touch contact lenses. Maybe the deodorant is a waste too...but at the beginning of this hike, I had a pair of Chacos which I sent home, swim trunks which I deemed unneccessary, and an SLR camera which stopped working, giving me some involuntary weight savings!

    Anywhere I might look at other people's loadout lists for ideas?

  4. #4
    Joey's Avatar
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    There are very breathable and quick drying underwear. I find them in Walmart, Kohls, Sears, etc.....

    For rain wear.... you can spend a little or a lot, and get tough pants, or really light weight. I carry dry ducks, as the top/bottom combo is only $20 and is extremely light. They aren't the toughest piece of gear, but can be patched with duck tape easily enough. You'd be hard pressed to find anything lighter as a rain suit.

    http://www.froggtoggs.com/#outerwear...acking/DD1232/

  5. #5
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    I'm inclined to get some light waterproof pants to double as my extra pair, and use a trash bag as a poncho if it's going to rain....

    Anyway, I can do the rest of this trip for sure; the pack's not too heavy for me. But I know I want to cut down so I'll be looking at ways. Glad to hear any other tips!

  6. #6
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Here is one of my pack loads.....keep in mind that my loads vary from trip to trip.
    Shug

    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
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  7. #7
    Senior Member brushybill's Avatar
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    i would get rid of all the cotton, it's very heavy and no good when wet, you could also shave off 3 lbs with another pack, like a ula catalyst /go lite / gossamer gear, also a diy alchohol stove would shave wieght with almost no cost, and fuel is eisier to get when you travel, i don't know what your base wieght is, but i usually have a 20 lb pack plus food and water no matter how long i am out, there are folks here who can get down to half that wieght
    good luck

  8. #8
    mountaingoat's Avatar
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    How often will you be in town?

    If you go through towns on a regular basis, then you could take a lot less with you. If you are on the trail two weeks at a time, then it'd be ok to bring more. What stands out to me are a lot of containers and bags: extra trash bags, extra plastic bags, several containers of lotion.......
    If you used Bronner's, it would work for you and your laundry, and some even use it for their teeth.
    The towel could go, since you have a lot of clothing.

    hmm, I wish I had quoted your list so I could look at it again before I am done posting.


    I don't wear contacts or lenses,so I am just taking a leap here, but would it not be a safer bet to wear glasses on this trip? My friends with contacts go through quite a bit of cleaning and maintaining them, which might be difficult on the trail.
    Last edited by mountaingoat; 04-16-2011 at 12:35. Reason: added the bit about contact vs lenses

  9. #9
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    alot of what i see in your list is extra weight... you need to really sit down and think out what you can live without ..
    like a steel coffee pot ... that there is alot of weight
    your cotton cloths.. switch them out to synth
    get a good headlamp and you will shave off weight of the flashlight
    can opener?...... can food weighting next to nothing ? .. a 7oz can of corn is 8.2oz with the can.. thats alot of weight for a side dish... look into harmony house foods ...there freeze dried and you can pack a weeks worth of side dishes for the same weight as the one can of one side... something to think about

    also put all your gear in 3 piles one of the gear you use....one of the gear you use sometimes.. and one of the gear you never use...
    take the pile you use + your fisrt aid kit and pout it aside... then take the next pile of stuff you use sometimes.. and pick out what you really don't need and put it in the pile of gear you never use... take the pile you never use and get rid of it.. i bet you ,you will shave off 8lbs just by doing that

    here is my gear list

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  10. #10
    New Member sunstrike's Avatar
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    also with the canned food you will have to carry that can till you find a garbage can which takes up pack space find the tuna in the foil packets they pack down to nothing in your garbage bag

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