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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Need to reduce bulk

    My current pack is a Gossamer Gear G4. This weekend I was expecting temps in the low 40s, so I put in a Walmart blue pad and the black intermediate bag from a surplus MSS sleep system. That setup kept me reasonably warm, but it took up almost all the room in my pack. I have wanted to get a down top and bottom quilt to relieve some of the space issues, but that seems to be about a $400-$500 outlay.

    It rarely gets colder than 20 degrees here so I can make do with 3 seasons, but I also have to deal with summers where one can be dripping with sweat when you get into the hammock but still wake up in the night with cold butt syndrome. An underquilt which can be moved to the side seems ok (I actually own two poncho liners, so maybe this is my summer option), but getting a summer weight under quilt is also pretty pricey.

    What is the best course of action for me here?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  2. #2

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    The Walmart down 32F bags are great. I got four when they were $35. They pack really small. Not sure they are tru 32 bags but you could use two as a top quilt.

  3. #3
    cwford's Avatar
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    For TX summer i usually use a insultex uq if the temps < 70 and a simple fleece blanket as a tq. This will easily get me in the low 60s. For nighttime temps > 70 I leave the uq at home. You could easily do the same with your poncho liners

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by redrob View Post
    What is the best course of action for me here?
    A bigger pack?
    Carrying the pad on the outside of the pack?

    Little-known facts that today's lightweight & low volume pack enthusiasts seem to ignore:
    Human physiology hasn't changed a lot since 1970-you still need insulation, even when it's just cool (40F). The colder it gets the more insulation you need.
    Those backpackers of olden days weren't 'silly' to carry the packs they did!

  5. #5
    The Stove Daddy HomeMadeHiker's Avatar
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    One piece at a time, I'd try a tq first or convert (it's really easy) a synth bag or down if the price is right. I have a solid 20f synth bag that packs plenty small. Then save up for the UQ.
    Or like stated above grab a bigger pack. I barely fill a 50l in the summer and stuff a 65l silly in the winter.
    Last edited by HomeMadeHiker; 02-04-2014 at 21:49.
    Directionally challenged...comicly so.

  6. #6
    silentorpheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VictoriaGuy View Post
    A bigger pack?
    Carrying the pad on the outside of the pack?

    Little-known facts that today's lightweight & low volume pack enthusiasts seem to ignore:
    Human physiology hasn't changed a lot since 1970-you still need insulation, even when it's just cool (40F). The colder it gets the more insulation you need.
    Those backpackers of olden days weren't 'silly' to carry the packs they did!
    Though VictoriaGuy is not at all shy about expressing his at least partial disdain for those that choose to try and lighten their packs/loads ( ) in this case he is spot on. You will be much better served in the long run to choose your gear, and find a pack that it fits into, rather than the reverse.

    Lighter gear costs more money, but tends to take up less room. Non-lightweight gear works just fine, and can cost less, but tends to take up more space. Unfortunately there's not too much you can do to get around that.

    You can put lighter, smaller gear in a bigger pack, but it's tough to do the opposite.

  7. #7
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Actually, I bought my GoLite Jam 50L pack and then upgraded my gear so it would fit in that pack. Did it cost a lot? Yeah, but I went from 45-60 lbs. of gear to 18-25 for a 2-3 day hike.
    Propaganda is a time-honored, socially-acceptable method of sharing your religion with the world, and we Pastafarians are happy to be part of this noble tradition.

  8. #8
    silentorpheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    Actually, I bought my GoLite Jam 50L pack and then upgraded my gear so it would fit in that pack. Did it cost a lot? Yeah, but I went from 45-60 lbs. of gear to 18-25 for a 2-3 day hike.
    I will amend my statement to reflect that you can do it this way, if you consign yourself to spending a decent chunk of money in a short period of time.

    But if, like the OP, you're rolling with a CCF pad and a USGI MSS (both of which are fully functional and will keep you plenty warm) but trying to find a way to make them fit into a frameless ultralight pack, your options are limited.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by silentorpheus View Post
    Though VictoriaGuy is not at all shy about expressing his at least partial disdain for those that choose to try and lighten their packs/loads ( )

    Hey! I resent that allegation. I am just as lazy as anybody! I just like to stay warm and dry with a full tummy, that's all!
    I even have a titanium pot and a titanium stove burner and several pieces of my gear have UL printed on them! Doesn't that count? Err, well, they are thick downmats, but still..
    I'm sorry for my sometimes bad manners .....

  10. #10
    ShellHammock's Avatar
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    Invest in bottom insulation first!

    Packable options are UQs and Insulated Hammocks.

    A three season set up is in the 20 range. that 20 insulation below you keeps most people toasty warm around 25-30 (with adequate top insulation too of course) but that same three season bottom insulation will also keep you warm and toasty when it's 65-70 except this time, use less insulation on top!

    Just like at home in your bed, sometimes you just need a thin sheet! If you are good to go from below (mattress / underquilt), you are in for a warm night. The same applies in the backyard or the backcountry.

    Further reduction in bulk would be making the move from a sleeping bag to a TQ
    Last edited by ShellHammock; 02-05-2014 at 00:42.
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