Prefers life at 12 MPH.
However, if you're only going to be camping in 40F or so, you can get started with a pair of military surplus poncho liners. One of them can be used as a topquilt and the other as a no-sew PLUQ (Poncho Liner UnderQuilt). The whole mess should run you in the $60 to $80 range, be lighter than that 0F synthetic you have, and be less bulky overall to boot.
Now, this is not a permanent solution, but it works for most users down to 45 F or so, and can be supplemented for cheap with a sit pad and a fleece throw from WallyWorld (~$2). Those and decent sleeping clothes should net you another five to ten degrees. Add in a hot water bottle, and you could potentially get down to freezing or just below. It ain't pretty, but it's cheap and relatively light.
If you have a sewing machine (or know someone at college who does and owes you a favor), there's a sewn version of the same underquilt that, if you add a layer of cheap insulation like InsulBright (~$12 to ~$16 at WallyWorld or a big-box fabric store for the size you'll need), should be good down to freezing or so. Now, there you start running into the issue of the PLUQ weighing more--and especially taking up more space. So, that may not be something that you want to do.
As far as weather protection, if you're going to be hiking in 50F or above, I'm a big fan of the GI ponchos: they're nearly indestructible, cool in hot weather (compared to a rain jacket anyway), can be used as a ground sheet for when you get out of the hammock or an improvised Grizz Beak if the weather gets particularly bad, and replaces the need for a pack cover on anything below about 70 liters. Those will run you in the $20 to $30 range at the surplus store.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions! Oh, and welcome to the madness.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: knoxville, MD
sweet! yea i was looking into those grizz beaks.
heres a list of my clothing gear alot of this was issued to me so while not the lightest it keeps me warm?
just gonna list em, not sure what to pack so ima list everything i find. thanks! hah im used to stuffing everything into a few seabags and throwing it onto the 5ton. but thats a different kind of camping.
fleece skull cap coyote
polypro 1/4 zip cyote med-reg
polartec power stretch-FR with nomex top size med-reg
another one without the nomex fleece polartec med-reg
these three are flight set and are layered
goretex shell jacket MCPS with detachable hood
fleece jacket polartec wind pro-fr olive green med-reg
fleece vest polartec wind pro-fr olive green med reg
colombia titainium shell jacket.
goretex shell pants but kinda tight. they would be my pants.....not over pants but im cool with that?
polartec fleece leggings x2
columbia pants...mid weather khakis...idunno dont feel like pulling them out
bates steel toes.
could also use my marpat uniforms i guess?
but yea i dont think own any down.
thanks for your help!
I'm a Hammocker stuck in a tenter's body.....
Coming from the Corps myself, I can tell you that while Military Issue gear is incredibly rugged, and does it's intended job well, it is definitley NOT a substitute for "real" backpacking equipment.
I was forced to carry a 90+ pound ALICE/ MOLLE pack, canvas shelter half (with wooden poles), a 4 pound folding shovel, and assorted batteries, ammunition, clothing, etc. That kind of gear is made with a one-size-fits-all mentality. I didn't know any other way though, so when I started backpacking, I did the same thing.
Then I got a Kelty Pawnee pack.
I still have a MOLLE, because its a big-ol-beast and can carry a metric ton, but I rarely use it. It's just too heavy, and oversized for me know that most of my gear is commercially produced or DIY.
With that said, military issue gear has improved by leaps and bounds just in the short time since my discharge (2004). The fleece they issue? Top notch, and would be in my kit year round. The Goretex shells? They work great, but they're heavy, bulky and never fit me right. The pants are overkill for anything except winter or a hurricane.
The MARPAT cammies that I was issued get worn sometimes in dry weather, but ultimatley, when it gets wet, it stays wet (too much cotton content). I mostly hike in shorts or "warm-ups" (PT gear type stuff) now. They still issue the "woolie-pullie" sweater? If so, throw it in your pack for winter. Warmest sweater I've ever had.
I wear my gore-tex combat boots in winter, but in summer, I've moved on to waterproof mid-cuts.
Start with the stove. You already have your cookpot (Canteen cup), which is perfect for just about any stove, especially an alcohol or esbit stove. If you have the stand, you already have an esbit stove.
And as much as I hate to say it, drop the KABAR. I will cherish mine forever, just like my NCO sword, but it's way too oversized for your needs, unless you're hunting bears.
As a final thought, since it appears you're still active, do not use your uniforms or an expensive issue equipment unless you are prepared to replace them immediatley. The last thing you need is a junk-on-a-bunk inspection after losing one of your canteens on a backpacking trip.
The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!
~Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945
I am not a military person.
But, as far as a light weight jacket, I LOVE my Patagonia Nano Puff Hoodie.
It was worth every penny! You can catch a good deal on backpackinglight. com
if you watch it like a hawk.
White Box alcohol stove or a Venom stove that Dangerous makes. Light and highly dependable.
And PM me if you want a set of toggles.
In some mysterious way woods have never
seemed to me to be static things.
In physical terms, I move through them;
yet in metaphysical ones,
they seem to move through me. -
GA --> ME '12
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