Thursday, November 11, 2010

Breaking the 7 pound barrier!

Gear lists are an essential tool in lightening your load. They are not necessarily sexy or fun to use like the actual gear, but I can honestly say that my backpack would not be anywhere close the weight I have it down to if I didn't use something to compare and contrast every piece of equipment I bring.

In April of this year, I did a 112 mile hike on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) from the Mexican border north to Warner Springs, CA. At the time I was ecstatic with my 8.2lb base weight all packed inside my home made backpack. But since I am not capable of leaving well enough alone, I always look for ways to improve. This has led me to a 20% reduction in weight, and what I consider an overall better back country kit!

Yes 6 1/2 lbs sounds very minimal I agree, and there was a time not so long ago when I didn't believe I could get there without sacrificing safety and/or comfort. What I have found is that over time I have been able to refine my skills, reduce my pack weight, and upgrade my overall backpacking experience.


Then
Now

0.30
0.33
Pack
1.16
0.94
Shelter
2.34
1.33
Sleeping
1.53
1.94
Clothing (packed)
1.28
0.43
Cooking & Water Storage
0.80
0.74
Essentials & Stuff
0.78
0.84
Electronics
8.19
6.55
Base Pack Weight


Pack: I made a new, much more durable pack from 1.5 oz per sq yard cuben fiber, which has a little more capacity and weighs just a few tenths of an ounce more.

Shelter: Went to a tent that does everything better and actually weighs less.

Sleeping: This is the area where I saved the most weight - going to a new lighter weight quilt.

Clothing (packed): I added some weight here because I decided I like having an extra shirt to wear when I'm in towns. Plus now I can wear the clean shirt while my other is drying.

Cooking & Water Storage: Same basic cooking system (Caldera Cone), but I changed to a Heineken pot vs a larger titanium pot and saved a significant amount of weight.

Essentials & Stuff: Not much changed here in terms of weight, I added a few items and also went with smaller quantities on some items. When you get back from a trip and a container is still half full, you know you can probably bring less next time.

Electronics: I upgraded my camera and added just a little weight.

When determining what gear you will and will not include in your pack, don't sacrifice comfort or safety - learn from your experiences and know your limitations. I'm never done refining my kit because I know I can still improve on it. For me, it's all about planning before the trip so my back country experience doesn't have to be about gear, etc. 

Below is my current gear list, and I have also included it as a tab at the top of the site. I will post updates to the Gear List tab as my kit evolves.


3 Season Backpacking Gear (Sierra's) - John Roan
11/10/2010
.
0.33
Pack



0.94
Shelter



1.33
Sleeping


1.94
Clothing (packed)


0.43
Cooking & Water Storage


0.74
Essentials & Stuff


0.84
Electronics


6.55
Base Pack Weight


4.95
Consumables (Food & Fuel - 3 days)
1.65
Water (average carried)


13.14
Total Pack Weight


3.81
Equipment (worn or carried)


16.96
Total Skin Out Weight


.
Seasonal Items
0.48
Fly Fishing (seasonal)
1.64
Bare Boxer Contender 101 bear canister (bear country)
0.48
Golite Chrome Dome Umbrella (desert sections)
0.03
Deet Bug Juice (.25 liq oz - peak season only)
0.03
Simblissity UL Mosquito Headnet (peak season only)
.
Qty
Lbs
Oz
Description

0.33
5.25
Pack



1
0.29
4.60
MYOG 3035 C.I. Cuben backpack
1
0.02
0.35
MYOG 1/2" sternum strap
2
0.02
0.15
MYOG 30 C.I. shoulder pouches

0.94
14.96
Shelter



1
0.66
10.60
ZPacks Hexamid Twin Tent w/stuff sack & guy lines (seam sealed)
1
0.01
0.20
Cords & clips (3) to attach rain jacket as storm door
1
0.13
2.00
MLD 55 x 84 UL Ground Cloth
6
0.08
0.21
Lazr Titanium Tent Stakes
2
0.05
0.40
Vargo 6.25" Ascent Ti Snow Stakes
1
0.01
0.10
ZPacks 3 x 10 cuben tent stake sack

1.33
21.20
Sleeping



1
0.19
3.00
Gossamer Gear Thinlight pad 21 x 41
1
1.14
18.20
Katabatic Gear Palisade 30 degree 6'6" quilt

1.94
31.05
Clothing (packed)



1
0.58
9.30
Montbell U.L. Down Inner Parka, Rust / Men's XL
1
0.42
6.70
Marmot Essence Rain Jacket - men's xl
1
0.16
2.55
Montbell U.L. Wind Pants
1
0.46
7.35
Champion Long Sleeve Running T-Shirt (men's xl)
1
0.08
1.20
Wigwam Ironman Triathlon socks-ankle length (men's xl)
1
0.11
1.75
PossumDown Socks (men's xl)
1
0.10
1.55
Smartwool Glove Liners (lg)
1
0.04
0.65
Zpacks 11 x 4.5 x 26H custom cuben stuff sack  (seam taped)

0.43
6.95
Cooking & Water Storage

1
0.06
0.95
Trail Designs Keg-H Caldera Ti-Tri cone
1
0.08
1.20
Heineken pot & lid
1
0.01
0.10
Ti gram weenie for Esbit
1
0.03
0.45
Trail Designs beer bands
1
0.01
0.15
ZPacks cuben Small Stuff Sack 5 x 3 1/2 x 6 tall (seam sealed)
1
0.11
1.70
Gatorade Water Bottle 1.0L
1
0.03
0.40
Sea to Summit T6 hard anodized long spoon
1
0.07
1.15
FBC Minimalist Cozy
1
0.05
0.85
ZPacks Lg Blast Food Bag

0.74
11.85
Essentials & Stuff



1
0.02
0.30
Mini compass
1
0.06
1.00
TP in snack size ziploc
1
0.02
0.35
Hand Sanitizer (.25 liq oz)
1
0.04
0.60
Bear Bag system (40' 1.25mm Z-Line, cuben rock sack, carabiner)
1
0.02
0.35
Sun screen (.2 liq oz)
2
0.03
0.25
Bandana 10 x 10 (cut into 1/4)
1
0.01
0.20
Comb
1
0.02
0.35
Anti Persperant in lip balm container
1
0.01
0.10
Toothbrush - shortened handle
1
0.01
0.10
Fischer Space Pen - (refill only - full pen = .65)
1
0.01
0.10
Mr. Pumice (small pc) pumice stone
1
0.02
0.35
Body Glide in lip balm container
1
0.01
0.10
Leukotape P Sports Tape 15" rolled on straw
1
0.01
0.15
Duct Tape 2" x 9" rolled on straw
1
0.05
0.80
Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide drops (.20 liq oz parts A & B)
1
0.03
0.40
Mint Soap (.20 liq oz)
1
0.03
0.40
Mini Bic Lighter
1
0.01
0.20
Spark-Lite sparker
1
0.01
0.10
1.25mm Z-Line cord (12')
1
0.01
0.20
6 pepto tabs in micro Ziploc
1
0.02
0.30
Advil, Advil PM, (3) benedryl in micro Ziploc
1
0.03
0.40
Emergency Supplies: thread,(2) CR2016 flashlight batteries, (1) CR2032 watch battery, Sewing needle, Spark-Lite Tinder-Quik Firestarting Tinder Tabs (8) in mini ziplock
1
0.04
0.65
First-Aid Supplies: (2) Benzoin Tincture, mole skin, triple antibiotic ointment, tweezers, water proof paper in mini ziplock
1
0.01
0.15
MYOG cuben stuff sack 8 x 7 1/2 (seam taped)
1
0.09
1.50
Trail Map in gallon Ziploc
1
0.04
0.60
Victorinox Pocket Knife/File/Scissors
1
0.02
0.30
Photon X-Light Micro on mini shockcord
1
0.03
0.50
ID, Credit Card, Cash
1
0.05
0.80
Pro-Tec Patellar Tendon Strap

0.84
13.47
Electronics



1
0.45
7.15
Canon S95 camera w/Franiec Custom Grip
1
0.00
0.07
4 x 8 MYOG waterproof cuben stuff sack
1
0.05
0.80
Canon S95 spare battery
2
0.01
0.05
SD memory card in micro ziplock
1
0.03
0.40
Stick-pic camera mount
1
0.26
4.15
Blackberry Curve (w/Seidio extended life battery = +.10)
1
0.05
0.80
Blackberry Curve Spare battery

4.95
79.15
Consumables (Food & Fuel - 3 days)
6
0.19
0.50
Esbit fuel cubes

4.76
Food (see Nutrition Planning)

1.65
26.44
Water (average carried)


0.75
1.65
35.25
Liter of Water (33.8 Liquid Ounces)

3.81
61.00
Equipment (worn or carried)

1
1.87
29.85
Mizuno Wave Cabrakan (men's 13)
1
0.08
1.20
Wigwam Ironman Triathlon socks-ankle length (men's xl)
1
0.46
7.40
Columbia Sportswear Crux Shirt (men's xl)
1
0.30
4.80
Champion Running Shorts (men's xl)
1
0.23
3.75
Ex Officio boxers (men's xxl)
1
0.21
3.30
Tilley Endurables Airflow hat
1
0.49
7.80
BPL Stix 130cm Fixed Length Trekking Poles (pair)
1
0.07
1.05
Hoven Highway Sunglasses w/MYOG flat cord
1
0.12
1.85
Tech 4-0 Watch/Pedometer/Altimeter/Thermometer

0.48
7.65
Fly Fishing (seasonal)



1
0.18
2.95
Tenkara USA 12ft Iwana 6:4 rod
1
0.00
0.05
Traditional Tenkara line 10ft 6in
1
0.02
0.25
Standard spool for Traditional Tenkara line
1
0.04
0.65
Tenkara line holder
1
0.02
0.30
Spool 5x tippet
1
0.07
1.15
Forceps & Nipper
1
0.08
1.20
Baladeo 34g knife
1
0.00
0.05
Tip Grip
1
0.04
0.65
Morell foam fly box - small (w/fly's)
1
0.01
0.20
Fishing license in mini ziplock
1
0.01
0.20
MYOG stuff sack w/long cord for lanyard, 10 1/2 x 7







  

4 comments:

  1. Wow, that is impressive. I am far from that and I am not sure that I will ever get there... I dunno, I will see. Very nice list. I do appreciate the time you took to write this up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ stick13
    It's really all a matter of what your priorities are. If you really want your pack weight to be as low as possible, you will find a way to make it happen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very interesting - never seen the Hexamid before but Zpacks is not that well known a company in the UK - we're purchasing more from Tarptent, Gossamer Gear and MLD. It's a very good list indeed and enlightening. Will keep an eye on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maz, Zpacks is a great little company...very innovative ideas. I plan to do a review on the 10.6oz Hexamid Twin tent soon.

    ReplyDelete