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Lightening My Pack with REI Dividend + Gift Card

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Lightening My Pack with REI Dividend + Gift Card

Postby krudler » Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:19 pm

I was lucky enough to get a $100 REI Gift Card for Christmas from the in-laws (cool, but still not worth it.. :D ), and then of course the dividend should be coming soon. I am wanting to try to further lower my base pack weight and so I am considering options on some gear - I already have a Gregory Z-Pack and SnowPeak Titanium Solo Cookset so I am focused mostly on the sleeping bag and shelter options.

Sleeping Bag
Currently: Kelty Light Year 25 (down) = 2 lb 3 oz

Thinking about either a Marmot Atom (down, 40 deg, 1 lb) or a Marmot Pounder (syn, 40 degree, 1 lb). This seems like a reasonable weight reduction (a full 1 lb 3 oz), plus the Atom would pack smaller and take up less space. My main concern with this approach is that the bags are only rated to 40 degrees - although I sleep warm and would probably take the Kelty for early/late season trips, and I could always wear warmer clothes to bed to alleviate any cold problems. Plus I already have down booties! (luxury item!) The other thing is the Atom is still somewhat pricey, at about $250. The pounder somewhat less but still about $159. The upside for the Pounder is that being synthetic I would think it more resistant to rain/moisture (see Shelter, below)...however it does pack slightly larger (7x14 as opposed to 6x12).

Shelter
Currently: REI Roadster (1 person, about 3 lb 3 oz) or just a GoLite silnylon tarp (not sure about the weight, but lets assume its about a pound with the titanium stakes and stuff).

This is a harder call. I love the Roadster, but aside from extra weight the thing that is sometimes a pain is needing to stake it out well (it is not freestanding). The tarp is better staked too, but at least I can tie it off on rocks or something if that is not an option. I do like sleeping under the tarp but I worry that if I'm on my 2-week solo trip this year and I get caught up on the Silver Divide in one of those legendary t-storms that I might be getting a little wetter than I would like. For this reason I have considered some kind of even lighter tent (which I haven't seen one I like that would justify the $$, and then I would still have the staking problem), or a bivy. The bivy sack I was thinking about is the Black Diamond Lightsabre. At $189 its kind of pricey but its only 1 lb 4 oz and would seem to fit the bill for what I am looking for. Between the $100 and the dividend I could probably cover the $189.

Does any one have any experience with any of these products? Or any other ideas? I'm certainly open to suggestion. :)
"Krusty, you know Bette Midler?"
"Yeah we own a racehorse together - the Krudler!"



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Postby hikerduane » Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:04 pm

You could get a WM Caribou bag for around $250, 1.5 lbs, 35 degree, down, very water resistant material. I have one in the long and it has been down to the upper 20's. Not that comfy in the 20's, but you can get by. I want to pick up a Megalite which is a little warmer and sell my Caribou long maybe. The first time I used it, I had no shelter and got rained on some that night and had water puddled up on my bag when I got up in the morning. I was going super light on my motorcycle for an overnighter. I thought the Caribou would be like other WM bags and have a conservative rating of 10 degrees or so but for me it isn't. It is about right on for its rating.
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Postby Shawn » Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:05 pm

Last year I tossed my 3 season tent for a standard bivy. After reading a lot of reviews, I ended up buying it from REI. I know a lot of people don't like bivys, but for me this thing is a great way to save weight during summer months in the Sierra.I carry a small tarp as a ground cloth and would use it as a rain shelter if I ever get caught in a downpour.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:13 pm

I used a bivy (2 lb) when I started going solo. I lightened my packweight in 2000, and was able to carry a full size tent (2 lb 13 oz), which keeps me around 28-30 lbs solo (incl a chair and bear canister)
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby copeg » Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:53 am

Given what you said, might I recommend a tarp/bivy combo. The bivy would add a little warmth to your bag, and keep you better assured of staying more dry up high in a storm (if you thought of doing this, I'd recommend a bare bones bivy and perhaps a poncho/tarp combo). I hiked with this combo last year and liked it. I can't comment much on your bag selection, but I gotta confirm hikerduanes comment on the WM - they make extrordinary bags (at a higher price of course :unibrow: ) I prefer down over synthetic (packs better, longer lifetime, etc...) but this is a personal preference.
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Postby hikerduane » Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:06 pm

With all the $$$ I threw at new bping gear a couple years ago, I still can't get my weight down to the mid 30's for a week long trip or less. An overnighter is in the mid 20's. My Tarptent is less than 1 1/2 lbs., Gust pack 20 oz. I think, bag 1 1/2 lbs.. The First Need and MSR Intn'l and fuel, Exped DAM pad over 2 lbs. add up. I may leave the filter at home, the stove has been replaced with a lighter one. Just glad I don't have all the camera gear SSS Dave and others have.
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Postby vaughnm » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:37 pm

I've used a GoLite tarp for the last 4 years. Did the JMT in 2003 and got hailed and rained on for 11 of the 16 days. My down bag never got wet, so I wouldn't hesitate to go with a tarp. Though they are a pain to set up in the rain and wind.
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