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Cross Country Gear

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Cross Country Gear

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:17 am

With all the drama associated with this thread on inexperience I suppose posting a gear list is in order. This year I made many changes to my gear. Losing as much as 11 pounds of gear although I have gained other items I wouldn't normally have.

So here is the list:

Zamberlan Vioz GT Boots
ULA Circuit Pack
REI Minimalist Bivy Long
Generic hard foam pad (unknown brand)
Western Mountaineering Versalite Sleeping Bag
Bearikade Expedition Bear Barrel
Trekking Poles (undecided)
Ice Axe (undecided)

3 Marmot Lightweight Crew LS shirts
2 Marmot Essence Pants
3 Merrell Ideal Socks
2 under wear (undecided)
Marmot Alpinist Rain Jacket
Mont-Bell Light down jacket (unknown model)
Vibram Five Finger shoes (for water)
MSR Pack Towl (medium)
Marmot Windstopper Gloves
REI Trail Running Gaiters
Sea To Summit Head Net
Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap

Gerber Infinity Flashlight
Generic Bic Lighter
Pack Mirror
Gerber Paraframe Knife
REI Ti Ware Pot 1.3 Liter
Snowpeak LiteMax Stove
Snow Peak Titanium Spork
Small Precision Scissors

Ugly Stick Fishing Pole (3 stage, 5 foot)
Abu Garcia Cardinal 301i Reel
Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal Small
All Weather Pen
Gear Repair Kit (custom)
Julbo Dulgan Sunglasses
Seattle Sports Jumbo Camp Sink 6 gallons

Canon G12 Camera
1 Extra NB-7 Battery
NB-7 Charger
3 16 gig SDHC Memory Cards
8 AA Sanyo Eneloop Rechargable Batteries
2 USB AA Chargers
Garmin Oregon 550T GPS Unit 24K scale maps
Brunton Restore Solar Charger
SanDisk Sansa Clip MP3 Player 8gig

As long as that list of gear is it still comes in around 19 pounds (approximate).

Notes on changes are:

Lost 7 pounds of camera gear
11 ounces of pants weight
Lighter shirts
nearly a pound of pack weight (Catalyst vs Circuit)
3 ounce lighter flashlight
Taking 1.3 liter pot instead of 1.9 liter.
Notepad is much smaller and lighter then my full size journal last year
MUCH less weight in AA batteries

Gains are:
7 ounces heavier using a bivy then my Hexamid tent
having to carry an ice axe for probably the first month
Camera battery charger
2 usb chargers 1.6 ounces each
USB wall plug adapter
8.7 ounce solar charger
2 ounce MP3 player

I'm undecided on my ice axe because the one I have I bought at random in 2008 when I wanted to climb New Army Pass early season. I had never used an ice axe or crampons before and every store I went to was out of them but I found them in Lonepine, both being Stubai and on the heavier side. As a result my ice axe is around 1.5 pounds or more so I may shop around for something lighter.

Trekking poles I have a mixed set as I have lost one of each pair. Might bring them or buy new ones.

I have other room for cutting weight but will not do so yet. My Marmot Alpinist Jacket for example was extreme over kill when I bought it. 500 bucks and it weighs around 22 ounces so I could cut allot of weight there but the advantage is it's a really warm shell and can get you through extreme weather.
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby sirlight » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:34 pm

Seems like a reasonable gear list to me. I do have a couple questions and comments though.

No warm hat and sun hat?

What are you using as your first aid kit?

Are you planning on bringing a compass and paper maps in case your GPS fails you?

Bring another fire starter in addition to your bic lighter.

Is any of this gear new, or have you used it all in the field before? I would not want to bring along any new gear on an expedition of the magnitude you have planned.

Decide on your ice axe soon and try it out in the field if possible.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:55 pm

I would not call being concerned for a fellow backpacker drama, especially when
you write "I had never used an ice axe or crampons before".
Go up some where and practice self arresting, and climbing techniques with a
friend who is experienced.
Trying to use an ice axe or crampons with out any knowledge on how to use them
correctly can be very dangerous, reading it from a book is not the same, it is something
that needs to be practiced so it becomes second nature.
You do not have a lot of time to act when sliding down a steep ridge at 40-50 miles
an hour towards some rocks or cliffs.
Check out some Black Diamond trekking poles with the FlickLock system, I have
to say they are the best I have used, and I have been through quite a few.
Also I would get a lighter shell from maybe Patagonia, and add another insulation layer
(not down) or exchange one of your long sleeve shirts for a heavier (expedition
weight) base layer that could be used for insulation with your down jacket and
shell if you get really cold or run into some bad weather.
Also a nice warm hat is worth it's weight in gold.
What about some rope?
Camp suds, dental care products, first aid kit, compass, maps (waterproof baggie), TP?
Have you used your pad on snow yet, is it warm enough?
Back up fire starter, like cotton balls dunked in vasoline in a old film canister
is a great fire starter.
What are you going to wear when you have been hiking through snow all day, your in
camp, and your boots have wetted through?
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:50 pm

No warm hat and sun hat?


My mistake, added it to the list:

Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap

What are you using as your first aid kit?


I almost made a note about that but decided not to. Generally in the Sierra I bring no first aid kit. The last two years I brought some mole skin and a few band-aids and never used them. It's unlikely I will bring anything at all this year. I don't take any sorts of pills either. I do have a sewing kit for gear that could be used to sew up a nasty cut if I got one. Disinfectant would be helpful but yet again I probably wont take any.

Are you planning on bringing a compass and paper maps in case your GPS fails you?


Another one I thought I should have added to the list. I wont bring a compass but I will have paper maps of all of the areas I am visiting.

Bring another fire starter in addition to your bic lighter.


I do have a flint striker but i'm not sure I will bring it. I will probably bring a spare lighter though.

Is any of this gear new, or have you used it all in the field before? I would not want to bring along any new gear on an expedition of the magnitude you have planned.


Half and half really. The new gear is:

Pack
Boots
Bivy
ice axe (probably)
shirts
pants
socks
flashlight
pot
gear repair kit
All electronics other then the GPS.

Of course everything that is new will not be untested though. I have already used the bivy for 3 days, broken in the boots and will have tested the electronics. Clothing typically has to be new each year because after more then 2 months in the mountains they don't survive.

Decide on your ice axe soon and try it out in the field if possible


I'm considering getting a Black Diamond Raven Pro. Fairly cheap, functional and on the "sort of" ok side with weight at 14 ounces. I considered a C.A.M.P. USA Corsa which is half the weight of the Raven Pro but I am a big guy and i'm not sure how functional it would be in a self arrest on steep slopes. I'll keep looking around though.

As for the ice axe and crampon use I did have to laugh in 2008 when I bought them and just went climbing up New Army Pass with them. I was alone also. But in the end I succeeded and have used them a few times since. I don't have any experienced friends in any aspect of wilderness activities so that leaves me to learn on my own.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:58 pm

Check out some Black Diamond trekking poles with the FlickLock system


I think the next pair I go with will be that type. I am tired of the twist lock style and that is how I broke one of my last pair because I over tightened it.

What about some rope?


I do bring 30 feet of small rope for a clothing line. I should have added that to the list.

Camp suds, dental care products, first aid kit, compass, maps (waterproof baggie), TP?


Soap, dental care and TP are in consumable categories so I did not add it to the list because I was considering base weight. I do bring some empty zip lock bags for trash and I store my maps and electronics in them.

Have you used your pad on snow yet, is it warm enough?


I'm not 100% sure if I have or not but I think I have and it's ok for that.

Back up fire starter, like cotton balls dunked in vasoline in a old film canister
is a great fire starter.


I suppose this sort of backup is good for an emergency in case I need a fire to survive.

What are you going to wear when you have been hiking through snow all day, your in
camp, and your boots have wetted through?


Either nothing, my wet boots or my five finger shoes. Hopefully when it comes to snow I will be able to keep my boots dry since I have full goretex, gaiters and waterproof pants.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby sirlight » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:16 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:Generally in the Sierra I bring no first aid kit.
Going without a first aid kit should never even be considered.

I kept asking myself why I was bringing the damn thing for 4 years worth of backpacking when I never used it. It seemed like a waste to carry that extra weight for nothing. All I ever had was “scratches”, nothing that a bandage or two could not solve. All it took was a slip on some rocks a couple years ago to convince me otherwise. A broken branch can take quite a chunk out of your flesh.

Emergency gear is just that, for emergencies. It’s the things that you hope you never need. When the circumstances are right, that gear can save your bacon. Trust me, bring the first aid kit with you. It does not need to be anything too fancy, but you at least need to be able to patch up a sizable gash. We are talking about a few ounces here. Accidents DO happen. I can certainly attest to that as I sit here with a bag of ice on my swollen ankle.

When you finish the hike and never use one bit of this “extra” gear you brought, you will hardly have noticed the extra pack weight. Your list has a "gear" repair kit, why not a "you" repair kit?
RoguePhotonic wrote:I wont bring a compass but I will have paper maps of all of the areas I am visiting.
It's possible to find your way with only maps, but a compass makes it much easier.
RoguePhotonic wrote:I will probably bring a spare lighter though.
Keep in mind that lighters don't work well when wet or very cold. Being wet and cold is when you might need a fire the most.
RoguePhotonic wrote: I don't have any experienced friends in any aspect of wilderness activities so that leaves me to learn on my own.
Take a class then. Places like REI have basic mountaineering classes. Perhaps someone here on HST that is experienced might offer to teach you???
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby sparky » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:27 pm

My first aid kit consists of duct tape, gauze, alcohol pads, and ibuprofin. It's too light to not take.

+1 on spare lighter.

I would rather have a better pad, but that's just me.

I also prefer bug free zones.
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:11 pm

Your list has a "gear" repair kit, why not a "you" repair kit?


Lol true. I used many items in the gear repair kit last year. I did see a very basic first aid kit today that was very light weight. I might go with that.

It's possible to find your way with only maps, but a compass makes it much easier


I don't think a compass would do much for me in the Sierra. I know the areas so well that I never have a question of which way is North or South. In general I think I could find my way through my entire hike with no GPS or maps.

Take a class then. Places like REI have basic mountaineering classes.


I'd probably do that when I get into something more skilled like technical climbing.

I would rather have a better pad, but that's just me.

I also prefer bug free zones.


Years ago I started sleeping on the floor at home so I would be comfortable sleeping any where and it worked just fine. I wouldn't bring a pad at all if I didn't need insulation.

I like bug free zones also but I don't let the winged demons keep me from enjoying all these places. Sure is nice though when they go away and I can just sleep out under the stars.
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Re: Cross Country Gear

Postby Flux » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:18 am

Crampons & ice axe.

....and I would think heavy about a SPOT and some other emergency / survival gear. Certainly things like a firesteel and first aid stuff should be a big consideration. Aside from blisters, think about a laceration and how you could care for it. The stuff weighs nothing, but could save you from retreating or worse.

As soon as you leave trail alone, you are in a very different world. I certainly wish you all the best and am quite envious of your endeavor. You are soloing across some serious terrain with a heavy pack, it really does not take much. A bit of lost focus.

The snow tools?? well yeah, others have suggested them and familiarizing yourself with the techniques. It's pretty much a given you will be crossing snow fields that could be frozen at certain times of the day and many of those Cols will be snow top to bottom on both sides well into the summer.
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Re: Cross Country Gear

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:57 pm

I can add to the list:

REI Day Pack First-Aid Kit
Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe 70cm

I'll probably remove some items from the first aid kit that I wont need like the scissors since the ones I typically bring are far more surgical then the ones in the kit. I may remove the few medications it comes with after some research on what they do. I haven't taken so much as an Aspirin in 15 years so it's unlikely I would ever need them.

As for the other gear suggestions I certainly am not going to add the weight of crampons. If things get very steep and hard snow I will cut foot steps. It's like John Muir said that the passes can be crossed at any time of the year if you just have an axe to cut foot steps.

I think a SPOT would be nice for those at home to track my progress but i'm not willing to spend the money. The same goes for a beacon, they are too expensive.

Blisters I have done good with the last two years and didn't get any.

many of those Cols will be snow top to bottom on both sides well into the summer.


Nothing like the express way down! :)
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Re: Cross Country Route

Postby whrdafamI? » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:09 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:
Your list has a "gear" repair kit, why not a "you" repair kit?


Lol true. I used many items in the gear repair kit last year. I did see a very basic first aid kit today that was very light weight. I might go with that.

It's possible to find your way with only maps, but a compass makes it much easier


I don't think a compass would do much for me in the Sierra. I know the areas so well that I never have a question of which way is North or South. In general I think I could find my way through my entire hike with no GPS or maps.

Take a class then. Places like REI have basic mountaineering classes.


I'd probably do that when I get into something more skilled like technical climbing.

I would rather have a better pad, but that's just me.

I also prefer bug free zones.


Years ago I started sleeping on the floor at home so I would be comfortable sleeping any where and it worked just fine. I wouldn't bring a pad at all if I didn't need insulation.

I like bug free zones also but I don't let the winged demons keep me from enjoying all these places. Sure is nice though when they go away and I can just sleep out under the stars.



Yeah, the Ranger in the "Last Season" really knew the Sierra's too. Anyone who would venture out like this with out a First Aid kit is playing Russian Roulette. Sooner or later your going to need it. Might not even be for you.
Better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it!

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Re: Cross Country Gear

Postby sirlight » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:06 am

RoguePhotonic wrote:I can add to the list: REI Day Pack First-Aid Kit
This kit is a good start and I am glad you decided to bring one.

Though I am no expert and will not even attempt to suggest what a good first aid kit should contain, I will suggest a few things anyway. I agree that the pills that are in most of these kits are not of much use. The pills that I bring on my trips are a anti-diarrhoeal and a broad spectrum antibiotic. Believe it or not a bad case of diarrhea be very dangerous in the backcountry. Same goes for infections. You need a prescription for antibiotics, but they are very cheap.

Another good thing to add some butterfly closures. This can be used to close small to medium lacerations without resorting to using your sewing kit. They work great, but they did not stick to my hairy legs. If you are an ape man like I am, you might want to bring along a razor blade to shave the area near your wound before using the closures. I would tack on a few more gauze pads too.
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