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Author Topic: Pack weight...advice  (Read 12155 times)

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Alphagoose

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2015, 12:00:59 AM »

Okay I just weighed my pack and now I'm coming in at 37 pounds and that is not including water. So in total I'm looking at roughly 41 or 42 pounds. I trimmed 8 pounds. Not bad. Still think I can go even lower.
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KYhiker40

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2015, 06:01:44 AM »

Okay I just weighed my pack and now I'm coming in at 37 pounds and that is not including water. So in total I'm looking at roughly 41 or 42 pounds. I trimmed 8 pounds. Not bad. Still think I can go even lower.

I love it!  Now look at your gear and ask if you are carrying any gear that can double purpose and replace another piece of gear in your bag.  We've already discussed using a rain jacket as a wind breaker, but that is a good example.  Spare socks as mittens to sleep in is an easy one.  Did you include a lighter or matches in both your cook kit and fire kit?  Are you a repair kit?  I used to carry one on every trip then realized that my duct tape & a small tube of super glue was about all I needed.  Plus the super glue doubles to stop bleeding.

Are you carrying a bowl in your cook kit?  If so, eating directly out of FREEZER bags provides much easier clean up and you can add boiling water directly to a freezer bag for cooking/rehydrating foods. (Has to be freezer bags... not regular storage bags.)  This works great for cooking breakfast, then carrying the freezer bag all day in your gear pocket for your daily trash accumulation.

How about a guide book?  I can see where it would be tempting to carry a Sheltowee guide book.  If so, you can rip that book into sections and put each section in your resupply packages as you need them.  Burn the used pages or ship them back home.

We didn't discuss the sleep pad.  These can be crazy heavy as well.  If you don't have an ultralight sleep pad, that's an easy upgrade.  I picked up a Thermarest ultralight sleep pad for about $60(?) earlier this year.  Outstanding investment.  Super light, packs tiny, and the comfort level is ridiculous.  I don't use it a lot because I usually hammock camp, but when I do it's super comfy.

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KYhiker40

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2015, 06:13:02 AM »

I just saw this, for the price one heck of a deal.  Not sure of your desire to spend some cash to make this trip more enjoyable, but if you have a hundred burning a hole in your pocket, maybe take a look, save over 3 pounds.

https://www.campmor.com/c/mountainsmith-mountain-shelter-lt
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Alphagoose

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2015, 08:35:01 PM »

Who would've though that trimming my pack weight could be so fun. Well, kyhiker40...I have an aqua quest guide silnylon tarp that could double as a tent. I don't know if I am ready to take that leap. I contemplated my tarp with a hammock. That would be great, but I just dont know. I am apprehensive about taking that leap now that November is probably going to turn off cold. But as I had said before..I am not new to the outdoors...but I am new to the camping in the woods for a month n November. Maybe my worries aren't warranted. I have put my faith in the members on this site. So, if its something you all would advise...the tent will stay home. Just keep in mind that I have my dog going along with me. He is about 50 pounds, lean, and short haired. As far as a guide book, I am not taking it. I am however taking a map for half the trail...then will resupply with the other half when I need it. The freezer bag and boiling water...awesome. at least one cook pot is getting the cut. Well, I am getting ready to dump my pack and try to shed some more weight. I will post the weight. Thanks so much for all of the advice everyone. What's the verdict on the hammock vs tent.?
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Alphagoose

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2015, 08:37:04 PM »

And I have a thermorest  Sleep pad. Its very light.
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KYhiker40

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2015, 08:02:00 AM »

I ditched the tent a few years ago and it was a great decision.  I've hammock'd in some extreme thunderstorms with never a drop of water issues.  That being said, I think using a hammock is something that should be decided on a few shorter trips before making that leap on a thru hike such as this.  There were details that I worked out on how I like to hammock camp that took several trips to work out, probably a dozen nights total.  I wouldn't have wanted to be on an extended hike learning that process, without access to extra gear at home to make adjustments between trips.

That being said, I would have no concerns about the temperature when hammock camping in November.  I've hammock'd down to 7 deg F without any issues.  Picking the proper camp site and setting up a proper fire that provides heat throughout the night can actually make sleeping in a hammock downright toasty in cold weather.

Actually, with bugs not being an issue in November, you could just tarp it.
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Alphagoose

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2015, 09:02:44 AM »

Thanks kyhiker40. That's a big step...for me to leave my tent behind, and pack a tarp only. A lot for me to consider. But I tried my pack on without the tent strapped to it, and it made a huge difference. What about rain? Wouldn't the ground eventually become saturated if its raining all around my tarp? I know location and tarp hanging technique would play a big role...but even in prime conditions it seems like the dry ground under me would act like a sponge and dampen rather quickly.
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KYhiker40

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2015, 01:24:03 PM »

Let me first say that I'm not comfortable recommending that someone with very little tarp experience go on a month long hike with only a tarp.  There are certainly techniques to be learned to keep dry in wet conditions.  But, you are experienced in the outdoors and seem to be willing to do what is necessary to learn, so for the sake of discussion I wanted to at least bring it up.

I mention the tarp as an option to accompany the hammock.  If you get out the hammock camping and decide for whatever reason it isn't your favorite, then you have the tarp as a fall back option.  I sometimes will sleep a couple nights in a hammock and then a 3rd night on the ground under a tarp, for various reasons.

As far as rain and ground saturation.  It really isn't an issue.  You'd probably carry a footprint for your tent, which becomes a ground cloth when you just use a tarp.  The only real difference is the bug netting that is included in the fabric of a tent.  Granted you don't have tent poles, but learning to pitch a tarp isn't difficult.  You could learn a few techniques with just a couple hours practice in the back yard.  There is a huge community of thru hikers who only use a tarp.  So long as you don't set your tarp up in an area that is prone to water run off, you are fine.

I was thinking you could use the hammock in wet weather to get off the ground and camp comfort, then on dry cold nights set up the tarp near a long fire.  I figure you'll probably be carrying a sleep pad either way, so regardless of if you put the sleep pad on the tent floor, inside the hammock, or on the ground, that weight is the same.

Bottom line, if you enjoy tarp only camping, you can send the hammock back home at a resupply point.  If tarp only isn't your thing, then you can hammock/tarp.

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KYhiker40

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2015, 01:30:05 PM »

For what its worth, here is my tarp:
http://www.shop.backpackingadventuregear.com/Special-8x10-Silnylon-Tarp-Autumn-Special-8x10-tarp.htm

At 14oz, that's about as light weight of a shelter as you will get.  Plus, the entire tarp just stuffs into a tiny attached stuff sack, which makes camp break down extremely quick.  It's about the size of your fist and the stuff sack is plenty big enough to include paracord for a ridge line & tie outs.  It's a little pricey, but I think the price is worth the ease of use.
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Alphagoose

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2015, 02:03:57 PM »

I haven't even started hiking and I am excited about the idea of tarp/hammock camping. Apprehensive-nervous-anxious...you bet. But the thought of leaving my tent behind is somewhat of a scary proposition. But man, it's exciting. If you asked me a week ago if I would go without a tent I would've laughed. I am giving it very serious consideration. My biggest concern was my dog. I just don't want him wet and cold all night. I have a footprint made me house wrap. Tyvek. It isn't fully waterproof though. There are two types ad tyvek that I am aware of, and mine is like I tightly woven yard tarp. I can work that out though. It's a lot to think about and a short time to make up my mind. I just am gonna have to look for a better footprint. I don't want to spend $150 bucks on a full roll of house wrap just for 40 square feet. Thanks everyone. Thanks kyhiker40. I am gonna look around for something to use for a footprint and at hammocks.  That will be my deciding factor.
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KYhiker40

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2015, 07:15:32 PM »

I'd highly recommend the Eno Double Nest hammock.  For the price you won't beat the comfort.  You definetely want a Double Nest and not a single nest, as you will want the space to stretch out.  I'm only 5'10 and the single was a bit tight and sometimes gave me leg cramps.  Don't get to caught up on the suspension system debates.  Just get the straps that Eno offers and you'll be fine.

For a ground sheet, no reason to go crazy.  I've used a piece of painters plastic cut to an 6x8 size for a couple years now and it is still kicking.   I cut it to 6x8 so it would double as an emergency backup tarp if needed.  I think I paid a couple dollars for the original plastic sheet.

As far as the dog, in my experience the dog will probably curl up next to you at night.  When I take my dog I just tie it off to a stake so I don't have to worry about it running off.  My dog sleeps in my hammock, but yours will be to big.  You should probably carry a spare piece of closed cell foam pad.  I'd suggest cutting one that is 3x3, just big enough for the dog and small enough to use as a sit pad around camp if the ground/stumps are wet.

This is exciting. 
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Alphagoose

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2015, 10:16:24 PM »

That is exactly the type of hammock I just picked up. An Eno double nest hammock. I seen the displays but haven't even opened mine up yet. I assumed it came with straps. I'll have to check. Will paracord work?  My dog is decent sized, but I have a feeling he will try to sleep in the hammock with me. If not I have a sun shield thing for a car...it's very light and is made of reflective Mylar. Kinda like a solar blanket. I am 5'11", so I should be fine. Don't know if I will weigh pack tonight and repost...I an exhausted. I got in at around 9.30 tonight. Anyway...will post weight probably tomorrow. Thanks again.
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KYhiker40

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2015, 10:54:57 AM »

I doubt the hammock came with straps.  Mine didn't.  I've used paracord, but it tends to stretch.  If you do use paracord, take 2 pieces of cord and thread them around each other.  Then add a few figure 8 loops into the cord every foot or so, which will create attachment points for the hammock and help to reduce stretching.

That solar blanket will tend to accumulate a lot of moisture from condensation.  It will work, but I wouldn't use it in the hammock, despite internet claims.  Been there.  Done that.  Woke up with a wet sleeping bag.  A closed cell foam pad from Walmart costs just a few dollars and won't accumulate condensation.  Cut it down to size.



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r.grider

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2016, 02:07:54 AM »

Tent ,sleeping bag, and a pad should be around 5#, you need better gear. My pack for 5 days or so is around 30#. I read once all the successfull thru hikers of the AT kept pack weights under 30#, so its what I strived for. If you ever considered carrying a 2 # camp axe, then you def need to read up on ultra-lite back packing. You will learn to shave ounces, anything like a camp axe or big knife is tottally out of the question. A multitool will take care of all needs, one can of fuel is plenty, if you use that up, eat cold food, it wont kill you. All food needs to be dehydrated, and carry only enough water to get to the next source(carry purifier) I only took the clothes I wore, plus change of socks,underclothes. If you get wet, you just keep walking to stay warm, then keep a dry change of underclothes to sleep in.
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thedayhascome

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Re: Pack weight...advice
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2016, 12:02:39 PM »

I happened to catch this post, and couldn't help but to comment from reading and summarizing all of the statements above since this is something that I struggled with about 7 years ago. I battled with a pack that was probably 30+lbs while hiking the Knobstone Trail and it obliterated my knees. That very moment, I made a commitment to myself that I would never haul heavy, unnecessary gear again.

Since then, I've changed my mindset to truly take only the necessities and have worked to either purchase or make my own lighter gear. This approach certainly isn't for everyone, but I don't feel burdened down with gear that I simply was not using. It does require an investment in both time and money to slowly whittle away at your overall base pack weight.

As for shelter, sleep and first-aid - those are the three big things where there is a fine line that any one person can walk, and it certainly takes experience and refining your gear over time. All the while taking in the type of terrain, as well as understanding your own physical and mental fitness.

I have found sites like https://lighterpack.com extremely helpful in weighing and reducing individual pieces of gear. This is the critical step one must take to truly start weighing and judging each piece of gear. You can't simply weigh your entire pack, because you lose perspective of each item. Does your tent weigh 4lbs.? Can you afford a new, lighter one? Probably not. Possibly invest in a lightweight tarp? Are you comfortable with a tarp or are bugs severe in the area that you are hiking. Are you happy with the performance of the tent and accept that, then look elsewhere to find ways to cut weight? These are all questions you must ask yourself with every item. It's monotonous and OCD, but it truly is the only way to severely drop extra weight.

The main problem that I have with the hiking/camping industry is that not only is most every piece of gear expensive, it's also heavy and bulky when it simply does not have to be that way. DIY and MYOG (Make Your Own Gear) often solve both of these problems and connect you with your kit and what you have in your backpack in a new way. Tents, Sleeping Bags and Sleeping mats are always the biggest offenders and claim some of the heaviest weights and volume in a pack. Starting there and investing in durable, lightweight gear is my recommendation to anyone trying to drop their base weight.

So, now that that's out of the way, you can get to a very lightweight 3-season setup. I have done it and I have never been more comfortable with being outdoors and being connected with my surroundings. The feeling of carrying only a 12lb pack w/ food and water for a 3-day trip is awesome.

Happy to provide more details if anyone is interested.

Cheers and happy trails.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 12:04:25 PM by thedayhascome »
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6.5lbs base weight | https://lighterpack.com/r/86ugs2
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