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crazy for thinking I can pack less than 20 lbs for 4 days?

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Re: crazy for thinking I can pack less than 20 lbs for 4 days?

Postby RichardCullip » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:35 pm

Here's how I do it and my focus on backpacking in the High Sierra is fly fishing.

The Sleep System (3 lbs 4 oz) - I dropped 10oz off of my sleep system by upgrading my quilt. I replaced my heavier Golite Ultralite 3-season Quilt (24 oz) for a sleek new Zpacks 30deg Quilt (14oz). This quilt was amazing. Very light weight and it kept me warm during the coldest nights (~33-34 degs) we faced. I was also happy to find out that my Gossamer Gear The One tent kept me dry when the rain fell. This was the first time I've had this tent out in the rain and it worked great. Also, I left the stuff sacks at home to trim an additional little bit of weight. Every ounce (or is it grams) counts.
  • Sleeping Bag - Zpacks 30deg Quilt (14oz)
  • Sleeping Pad - Exced Synmat UL 7(14oz)
  • Pillow - Montbell UL Comfort System Pillow (2 oz)
  • Shelter - Gossamer Gear The One (17 oz)
  • Ground Cloth/Stakes - Polycro ground cloth and Ti stakes (3oz)
  • Pee Bottle - Nalegene Softside Canteen 1L (2oz)

Cooking and Water (3 lbs 5oz) - this trip I went exclusively with a light weight alcohol stove. I only ended up heating water on two nights eating cold dinners the other two nights along with a cold breakfast and lunch each day. Only used 1.5oz of fuel in total. I've got my cookset (stove, fuel bottle and windscreen) entirely nested inside the small Ti pot. Very small and compact cook sytem that fits my needs perfectly. The heaviest item by far was my BareBoxer Contender 101. It's as small a bear canister that is still legal and I could cram everything but the first day's meals into it. Still allowed me to pack a bit too much food. I doubled up on my water treatment options and enjoyed both the gravity filter system while in camp and the quick flexible Steripen when refilling weater bottles while on the trail.
  • Stove - Fancee Feest Alcohol Stove (1oz)
  • Windscreen - custom Ti Cone (1oz)
  • Fuel bottle - Plastic Fliptop Bottle (0.75oz)
  • Pot - Evernew 900ml Ultralight Ti pot w/lid (3.75oz)
  • Pot Cozy - Cozy (1oz)
  • Matches - I small box waterproof matches (0.4oz)
  • Utensil - Sea to Summit Al Spork (0.25oz)
  • Measuring Cup - plastic 1cup (0.75oz)
  • Gravity Filter system - Sawyer Squeeze Filter w/Platypus bags (11.5oz)
  • Alternative Water Treatment - Steripen w/Platypus 1L (4oz)
  • Water Bottles - Gatorade 500ml bottles (2) (2.5oz)
  • Food Protection - BareBoxer Contender 101 (26oz)

Clothing Packed Away (1 lb 10oz) - notice that there are no spare clothes, except for an extra pair of thin coolmax socks. I can layer up or down to match the weather but I left the clean spare set of clothes back in the truck where it belongs. I was a bit chilly each morning but once I started hiking I warmed up quickly.
  • Rain Jacket - Outdoor Research Helium (7oz)
  • Down Jacket - Montbell EX Light Down jacket (6oz)
  • Wool Baselayer - Icebreaker BodyFit 200 (8oz)
  • Sleeping Socks - PossomDown Socks (2oz)
  • Warm Hat - PossumDown Beanie (1oz)
  • Warm Gloves - PossumDown gloves (1oz)
  • Spare Socks - Thinny thin Coolmax (1oz)

Essentials (16oz) - I've got this section pared down quite a bit except for the luxury of a GPS unit. I brought that to record each day's hike and it was cool to down load my daily tracks once I got back home.
  • Camera - Pentax Optio W60 (5oz)
  • Insect Repellant - Coleman 100 Max Spray Pen (1oz)
  • Towel - MSR ultralight Pack Towel (0.5oz)
  • Toilet Kit - Toothbrush/toothpaste/Pocket Tissues (2oz)
  • First Aid Kit - Adventure Medical Kit Ultralight 0.3 (1.25oz)
  • Knife - Single Edge Razor Blade (0.01oz)
  • Light - Photon X-Micro LED Light (0.3oz)
  • GPS - Garmin eTrex 20 (5oz)
  • Topo - Custom printed Topo map (0.1oz)
  • Compass - Brunton 7DNL (1oz)

Packing (1 lb 4oz) - I love my pack. It's small enough so I'm not tempted to bring along extra stuff but I still could fit every thing in it comfortably. I wouldn't want to stuff more than 20lbs in it since it's a frameless pack but i found it very comfortable with the light load I carried.
  • Backpack - ULA CDT frameless pack (17oz)
  • Pack Liner - Trash compactor bag (2oz)
  • Stuff Sack - for cooking set (0.5oz)

Fishing gear (1 lb)
  • Fly Rod - Winston Boron IIt 8ft 3wt (4oz)
  • Rod Case - Fluorescent Light Tube protector (2oz)
  • Fly Reel - Lamson Lightspeed 1 with Rio Gold WF3F line (4oz)
  • Chest pack - Trico Ultralight Fishing Pack with/flies & tools (6oz)

That's what I carried. It adds up to 11 lbs and 7oz base pack weight. Pretty darn light base weight considering I was carrying fly fishing gear and a bear cannister. I go pretty simple with my food budgeting 1.5lbs of fairly calorie dense food per day. For the five day trip that worked out to be 7 lbs 8oz of food. Add it up and it totals 18lbs and 15oz. Pretty sweet light load that allowed this old body to get up and over a high pass and into the high country hiking about 10 miles per day.
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Re: crazy for thinking I can pack less than 20 lbs for 4 days?

Postby Hobbes » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:20 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:There are people who do not need that "extra pound" of comfort to "enjoy" themselves in the back country.

I'm strictly a summertime, high Sierra hiker. I can get to Lone Pine and be on the trail in under 5 hours from my house. Since I tend to do quickie, longish, all day 3-4 day hikes, I don't have to carry a bunch of food. (Day 1 I cram down a bunch food at the car and carry a Subway with all the fixins'; last day I charge to get out and eat in town. So that just leaves the middle few days to carry.)

If a storm is forecast, I simply cancel and look to go another (long) weekend. I tend to stay above treeline, so that means, absent some kind of storm (which I generally miss), that it would be a rare event for the min low temp to go below 25 degrees.

Dawn or dusk, I can sit in the faint sun with my down vest. Once I'm moving, I don't need anything on to keep warm. So, I carry a (homemade) quilt designed to handle around 30 degrees. If it gets any colder, I throw on my vest or my other clothes.

There's one other factor that plays to your advantage if you're hanging in the high, eastern Sierra ridgeline: absent an actual physical injury, you can always hightail it out of there in under 3-4 hours.

For example, it's only 8 miles from NAP to the parking lot @ Horseshoe; it's only 10.5 miles from the top of Whitney to Portal. Kearsarge is only 4.5 miles from Onion (7 from the PCT); Shepherd is around 10 (15 or so from LSA), and so on.

Adding up these factors, my great epiphany was the realization that I only needed to get through 7-8 hours of darkness. In other words, I now think of my trips as long day hikes with the necessity of getting through around 7-8 hrs of the night. So what do I need? Not much, so I don't take much.

Also, ditto on getting out there with your kid(s) while you have a chance. What's cool is marking the point where they physically pass you. Here's a picture of me & my 14 yo last July after a quick 3 day backdoor entry from Horseshoe to Portal via Whitney. My (homemade) pack weighed 11 lbs with canister but no more food. On this trip, my son dropped the hammer on the last day from Guitar and kicked my butt. Since then, he's gained a few inches and more muscle (from track & surfing), so I will never be able to catch him from now on. That's cool, I've got plans for him to start carrying my pack. LOL

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Re: crazy for thinking I can pack less than 20 lbs for 4 days?

Postby Tom_H » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:10 pm

I've got plans for him to start carrying my pack. LOL

ROFL :lmao
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Re: crazy for thinking I can pack less than 20 lbs for 4 days?

Postby Rockchucker » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:23 pm

Hobbes, that is a wonderful picture. His smile can't get any bigger!
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Re: crazy for thinking I can pack less than 20 lbs for 4 days?

Postby toyotaguy » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:41 pm

Holy wow! You guys are awesome!! What I listed weights out at 10 lbs. I'm a little worried because it is my first light solo trip. It will be summer above Edison lake area (goodale pass)
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