When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

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Harlen
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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by Harlen » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:09 pm

Rayfound (of the sore toe) says:
...my typical 22-27lbs (including food/water/fishing) is perfectly comfortable for me...
I say: why not 20-25 lbs and carry no water? Drink at the creeks- they're everywhere!
I've seen over-laden friends carrying a full quart on each hip in Twenty Lakes Basin!

bobby49 writes:
Once decades ago I fell on a trail, and the trail was filthy from mule debris. I needed the drinking water to cleanse the wound.
I see your point about the water to cleanse wounds; I might say that it's better not to fall, and since you limit your falls to 1 every few decades, you can perhaps chance hiking without water. I reckon if I ever fall down I will use some of my medicinal brandy* to clean the wounds and calm my mind.

*and brandy weighs a lot less than drinking water :nod:








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commonloon
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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by commonloon » Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:49 am

3 or 4 lb? ;-) I've been called a Weight-weenie so with that disclaimer here is how I like to think about it. I always put safety 1st, but I try to be as lite as possible and still fulfill the objectives I have for a particular hike. For example, for me, an early spring climb (w/ ice ax and crampons and mountaineering boots) or a late fall hike with expected temps down the teens I might be at 13+ lb, but an 1 or 2 night summer with good weather (no monsoon) I might be at 5+ lb. If I'm going out fishing with my son then I might carry a more comfortable kit including luxury items. If I need to travel more miles then less kit.

What does safety really mean? Mostly being prepared for weather. Carrying an appropriate sleep system that goes down to the expected temps, having rain gear sufficient for the expected amount of rain (monsoon T-storms generally dissipate in the evening, contrasted with real rain that doesn't -- where you may want extra clothes, different shelter), or lots of snow (carrying things like waterproof socks, thicker gloves, mid-layer, etc.).

The exercise of going lighter can really help zero in on what is important to you. I generally do a little post-mortem analysis after a hike and see what I used and didn't use, what was really important or made my hiking experience better. I have a heavy coffee cup that I often bring because I like it so much... it's a luxury item as far as weight for sure, but it just starts my day better.

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rlown
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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by rlown » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:46 pm

Would be really be cool to see starting pack weights in TRs. I generally come back with too much food..

I tend to pack what I think I'll need for a 6-10 day trip and it almost always comes out at 45-50lbs.
I don't jump right into the tent when it gets cold, so maybe I carry more.

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kpeter
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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by kpeter » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:33 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:36 pm
My Sawyer mini weighs 2.8 oz. I just dip the collapsible bag in the stream, screw on the filter, and suck on it for my trail water. It takes about 2-3 minutes more than if I were to drink from carried water. As for adding an energy drink, yes I would have to carry my cup outside my pack, and mix the drink. A bit tedious. Just pointing out that carrying less water IS one way to reduce pack weight.
WD, you've mentioned the Sawyer mini repeatedly and because I value your advice, I am buying it to give it a try. It certainly is a LOT cheaper and lighter than my gravity filter. I have a couple of questions about it.

1) Will the mini thread onto other bottles and bags other than the bags that Sawyer sells? Or are you limited to the Sawyer bags because of the threading?

2) Sucking through the attached straw sounds fine, but when filtering larger amounts of water, does the mini work like a squeeze--that is you squeeze the bag to force the water through more quickly? Or will it filter based on gravity alone?

3) This is a more general question, but could help me decide whether I would want to replace my Platypus gravity filter or not. Do you filter water you are going to cook with, or do you assume that a brief boil at elevation is enough treatment?

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:24 pm

The Sawyer mini is not meant to be a filter for large volumes of water. The bag that comes with it is hard to fill. I usually take water from the stream with my regular 1 L bottle and then pour it into the mini bag. I do not think the bag threads are compatible with other bags. You can squeeze instead of suck, but the flow is quite slow. OK for water at rest breaks, probably too slow for camp water. I use chlorine tablets to treat large amounts of water when in camp. The mini just gives me a bit of water to drink while the other water is being treated (4 hours). But the mini is cheap and light weight - about $25, 3-4 oz. It comes with a syringe to back-flush. In comparison the last 30 chlorine treatment tablets I bought were $15.

Sawyer also makes a regular size "squeeze". I think it is about $50. I had one but it wore out. Squeezing puts a lot of pressure on the bag, so both the mini and the regular do not last as long as other filters. I do not consider the mini a "do-all" filter that helps me avoid carrying a full liter of water on the trail.

You may want to also look into the "Life-straw".

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windknot
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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by windknot » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:14 pm

Pretty sure the regular Sawyer Squeeze is only about $30. I've read that a lot of folks who try the Mini end up switching to the regular Sawyer Squeeze due to the increased filtration speed being worth the weight penalty. I've been using a Sawyer Squeeze for the past 5 years and though, as WD notes, the included bags don't last long, replacement bags only cost $10 for a 3-pack of 1-liter bags. The filter itself is supposed to be one of the longest-lasting filters on the market (i.e. without having to replace a filter or cartridge).

And @kpeter, funny you should mention potentially replacing your gravity filter. I just purchased a CNOC Vecto bag as a replacement/alternate for the Sawyer bags since I got tired of the aforementioned short shelf life. When I started looking for alternatives, all of the reviews pointed to the Vecto. These CNOC bags were designed to fit the Sawyer filters (both regular and mini, I believe) and can be hung from a tree or rock so as to act as a gravity filter (Sawyer sells some accessories/tubing to more easily use the Squeeze as a true gravity filter). It's more expensive than the default Sawyer bags, but CNOC has stellar reviews and users all say that the Vecto lasts a long time and is much easier to use, both as a squeeze bag and as a gravity reservoir.

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kpeter
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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by kpeter » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:34 pm

WD, WIndknot, very helpful information. Thank you!

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Harlen
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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by Harlen » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:54 pm

kdemtchouk wrote:
I tend to be a slightly OCD person and find myself ruminating about ways to eke-out an extra 1lb of weight savings,...
kdemtchouk, you've gotten some good, serious advice above, so I think I can add some more of my questionable tips: You mentioned taking flip-flops, why not fillet the soles of them to make them 1/3 the former thickness? Now that you're carrying 8oz. of brandy instead of a liter of water, this filleting trick should lose you that critical pound you are after. :nod: Good luck.

p.s. May be a moot point; we just had our Wilderness Permit canceled!

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TurboHike
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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by TurboHike » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:08 am

kpeter wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:33 am

1) Will the mini thread onto other bottles and bags other than the bags that Sawyer sells?
I use a Sawyer Mini with a 2L Evernew water bag.

http://evernew-global.com/products/wate ... index.html

The Evernew is my "dirty" water bag, I use a Smart water bottle for drinking.

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Re: When Should I Stop Trying to Reduce Base Weight?

Post by rayfound » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:08 am

kdemtchouk wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:18 am
My questions is this: at what point does it make sense to stop trying to cut weight because there is no practical difference to your backpacking experience?
Ignoring budget and the fun of the "gear hobby" here:

It is when the marginal comfort/safety/enjoyment turns negative. With each piece of gear the question is essentially "Will the weight savings add more comfort/trip enjoyment in motion for me than the tradeoff they require.

Some are no brainers: A lighter sleeping bag with the same warmth and comfort is pretty much always a benefit (aside from, potentially, wet climates), whilst a shorter/thinner/uninisulated sleeping pad may be not a good balance.

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