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Help me reduce pack weight

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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby longri » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:27 am

Hobbes wrote:[The logic is simple: you don't need a hip belt if your weight is really low. By eliminating the hip belt, you're literally forced to take only the barest essential(s).

Kind of like using a small plate to lose weight. Or setting the clock ten minutes ahead. If you have a need to fool yourself in this way it can be a useful psychological tactic. But it only works because you already know what you can get away with and approximately what sized pack is required for that.

Otherwise, the "logic" would suggest that by choosing a fanny pack that you could go even lighter.

I prefer to do it the other way around: figure out what I need and then choose the appropriate pack.



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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby Brien » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:18 pm

Water is the biggest killer for me. I tend to carry way more than is necessary. I'm always afraid I'll run out or won't be able to find any. But that would be the place you could achieve the greatest weight savings.
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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby limpingcrab » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:23 pm

After knee surgery I experimented with going ultra-light and realized I really like feeling good at the end of the day, even if it means sacrificing camp comfort. Those things that you don't need, but are kinda nice to have, add up quickly.

I did a couple experiments to see what I really need on trips, but I'm sort of a masochist/type II fun kinda person so it's not for everyone. I went on a one night, then a two night trip and brought nothing but a space blanket and a knife (and a fishing pole for 2 nights). Sleeping on branches under a space blanket was better than I thought and I now use very light sleeping bags with a cheap space blanket overtop. You'll realize you really don't NEED hardly anything, then work your way up deciding what weight is worth the comfort. Last summer I did the Rae Lakes loop with a fanny pack and had a great time. Thinking surviving, not backpacking, is a good way to start. Then add to your list as desired.

I kind of cheat though because I have this list that I've used so much it's almost committed to memory. This and a fishing pole brings down the weight :)

Edible Plants.docx
Edible plants in the Sierra
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The biggest gains in weight, that I think are unnecessary, are carrying any water at all, camp shoes, too much clothing, too much food, a filter, a bear can, and a tent. I've trained my stomach to handle chugging an entire liter at once so I don't carry water (with some obvious exceptions). It hurts for 5 minutes and then saves tons of effort.
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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby longri » Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:08 pm

A pre-trip enema is another way to shave a few pounds off of the total load, so to speak.
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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby limpingcrab » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:58 pm

Yikes, I reread my last post and I sound like a crazy person.

Maybe just go through your pack separating everything into "need" and "want" piles, instead of sleeping on the ground as an experiment. Then see how much weight you can shave.
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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby sheperd80 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:53 pm

limpingcrab wrote:Yikes, I reread my last post and I sound like a crazy person.

Maybe just go through your pack separating everything into "need" and "want" piles, instead of sleeping on the ground as an experiment. Then see how much weight you can shave.

When i was young, my dad would take me on overnight trips like that. He was comfortable just sleeping under a tree in a flannel jacket with his feet up on his pack. We'd bring a small day pack with little more than fishing gear and snacks (dry salami, cheese and lemon drops).

Nowadays i like to have a versatile system but I dont need much, and i think its because of those trips. I think it could be a valuable experience for anyone to just head out for a night and conquer that fear of not having every possible need covered.

Safely of course... mid summer, near civilization.



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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby rlown » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:52 pm

limpingcrab wrote:Yikes, I reread my last post and I sound like a crazy person.

Maybe just go through your pack separating everything into "need" and "want" piles, instead of sleeping on the ground as an experiment. Then see how much weight you can shave.



I like the "need" and "want" piles. And the sharing if with someone else. And, you might be crazy. :) Sleeping on the ground isn't fun.

You do learn a lot in those situations; Like don't. But air mattresses do go flat.

Cutting the bows for a bed isn't really great, but works. I've done it a couple times but only where it was necessary.
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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:15 am

limpingcrab- for an overnight sleep is not even a "need". Just think how far you could go and what little you would need if you kept walking for 24 hours. :wink:
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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby sambieni » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:10 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:Depending on your route, carrying a full bottle of water may be overkill. With a filter, you can pump/squeeze at every rest stop. I have rarely had to carry more than half a quart of water. I usually pass plenty of streams. I have a 3 oz. Sawyer squeeze.
.


How do you find the Sawyer Squeeze? Been reading tons of mixed reviews on it from poor water flow and others, but lots folks who like it.
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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:11 pm

I bought my Sawyer Squeeze at Walmart, for about $25. There is a smaller and lighter "Squeeze" made, but the Walmart near me only carries the larger size.

I went lighter (am still looking at new gear to be even lighter) one small step at a time. I moved here from backpacking in the northern Rockies and I was way over-geared at first. Minimizing clothing is still psychologically difficult for me; being able to survive sub-zero temperatures was so ingrained in me! On the other hand, I am really OK with minimizing food and water, probably because I have been trained in 4-day, 50 mile survival treks with no food at all. I place value on "psychological" aspects of reducing weight and each person has his own security blanket that is really hard to let go of. In time, with more experience in the Sierra, you will become more comfortable with deleting items. Even if you can afford to "cold turkey" to all new UL gear, I would not do that.
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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby limpingcrab » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:33 pm

limpingcrab- for an overnight sleep is not even a "need". Just think how far you could go and what little you would need if you kept walking for 24 hours. :wink:


Funny you say that because I'm thinking about trying it this summer. The furthest I ever went in a day was 46 miles in exactly 15 hours. I probably couldn't keep that pace for 24 hours though. I've always wondered if I could do the HST in under 24 hours. I would definitely have to go ultralight!

As far as filters go, many people don't use them anymore. Not that you want to catch a bug, but if you do there's a relatively new cheap medicine that's one dose and done. No more 7 days of Flagyl mysery. No filter and a light bottle, like an empty gatorade bottle, seems to be becoming more common and saves some weight. The lightest filter option are the drops, but you have to wait for them to work so it's annoying on the go.
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Re: Help me reduce pack weight

Postby sambieni » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:40 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:I bought my Sawyer Squeeze at Walmart, for about $25. There is a smaller and lighter "Squeeze" made, but the Walmart near me only carries the larger size.

I went lighter (am still looking at new gear to be even lighter) one small step at a time. I moved here from backpacking in the northern Rockies and I was way over-geared at first. Minimizing clothing is still psychologically difficult for me; being able to survive sub-zero temperatures was so ingrained in me! On the other hand, I am really OK with minimizing food and water, probably because I have been trained in 4-day, 50 mile survival treks with no food at all. I place value on "psychological" aspects of reducing weight and each person has his own security blanket that is really hard to let go of. In time, with more experience in the Sierra, you will become more comfortable with deleting items. Even if you can afford to "cold turkey" to all new UL gear, I would not do that.


Thank you for the advice. I am definitely not going UL and no plans to until I get a few years of trips under my belt. Mostly looking at being a light weight traditionalist taking only what I feel I need and nothing more - ie no second clothing options - just 1 layer of each type, etc, etc. I will say this - I started looking at my gear with about 25 - 27 pound base-weight and now have it around 18 - 19 pounds before food/bear can/water. Next summer will be the year to upgrade my pack and sleeping back to drop another 1-3 pounds. If I can get near 15 pounds baseweight can shift to trail runners/shoes and will feel really good.

But really just asking about how you actually like the product itself and how it works? I am considering the Squeeze instead of using a new Katadyn pump. I hear mixed things - even from UL hikers.
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