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Dead Weight Items

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Dead Weight Items

Postby maverick » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:39 pm

What item/items have you packed for years/decades that you have never had to
use and never make it out of your pack? Any items that come along for sentimental
reasons or maybe just habits from earlier years (Boy/Girl Scouts)?
How long has you been carrying this/these item/items, why did you start carrying
it?
Mine would be my compass, it has never been out of my pack while out on a trip.
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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby bluefish » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:43 pm

I always seem to have some heavy lock-back knife. I 've a few that have great sentimental value that were gifts from either my father, brother and a close friend that have all passed. I have a small very sharp, light folder that is always in my cookset. The big blade just takes a ride. Though none of them ever backpacked with me, I fervently wished they would or could have.


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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby RichardCullip » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:16 pm

Since I started backpacking again a few years ago, after an almost 30 year hiatus, I've got my gear trimmed down to the lightest and barest of essentials. So far, I've packed a remarkably small knife (very small Swiss Army type) but have yet to use it. Maybe on one of my trips in 2013, I'll finally have to cut something with a knife. If not, it will start staying home. Everything else in my pack has been used.
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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby maverick » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:45 pm

Yeah, my knife also doesn't get much usage, it has only come out maybe 2-3 times in the
past 15 years. That is one of the items that I have been carrying since my Boy Scouting
years.
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: Dead Weight Items

Postby 87TT » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:08 pm

I have always packed a pistol while hiking and backpacking. I don't want this to turn into a discussion on why I do but I do. I did pare it down six years ago to a 12 oz. S&W 357.
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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby gary c. » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:44 pm

I've got a small bag of items that I carry but never use. Like Maverick there is a compass that has never been used, a small length of paracoard, a bottle of iodine tabs, and probably a couple of other things I can't think of off hand. For a couple of years I carried a spare buckle for my waist belt until I bought a new pack with a removable lid/fannypack with an interchangable buckle. I could probably include my first aid kit except for that time I needed the imodium. After having the imodium there when I needed it that first aid kit would hve been worth carrying if it weighed 5lbs.

As for a knife, I don't know how you guys function without useing one. Actally I don't use mine that much but I wouldn't think of being without one. It's just a standard 3 blade Buck pocket knife but I carry it 7 days a week. I have carried a pocket knife since seventh grade, it's just part of me.
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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby Tollermom » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:33 am

Little binoculars. Can't really see far in them...I wonder why I even carry them.
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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby sparky » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:24 am

I used to carry heavy stuff, wool insulation, spare wool blanket, heavy stoves and cooksets, canned goods, books, i even carried a lantern on a few trips back in the day.

I dont believe in gun control, but carrying a .357 or any gun in the sierra is just strange

The times I brought a guitar were awesome!!
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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:29 am

I recently took some advice that I believe I read here and emptied out the contents of my pack and took out anything I didn't use on the previous trip. Previous to that, it was a pair of army surplus wool pants that I always carried with me, yet never needed.

The only exception now is a deck of cards. Years ago we had some epic rummy games up on the granite, but the last few trips we never break out the cards. I think I may have schooled my hiking partners one too many times.
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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby rlown » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:53 pm

absolutely nothing. Most of what I carry extra is clothing. That's fine with me because I might have needed it, and they double as my pillow. I carry zip ties, but they weigh nothing and I might use them, like if a friend's boot delaminates. The knife is obligatory. Haven't carried a compass for years; It's almost obvious which way is which in the Sierra. If i need it during a white-out hike, I should have already hunkered down.
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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby markskor » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:18 pm

Carry a small fire-starter spark stick under my cook pot (stuff bag) for 15 years and never needed to "spark" a fire as Bic lighters always work. Still - lightweight and possibly life-saving.

Carried long pants (makes a nice pillow) but until this year (early season South Yosemite snowstorm) when hiking with Mike, never put them on.

Speaking of hiking with "dead weight items"...and Mike...nope, too easy.
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Re: Dead Weight Items

Postby LMBSGV » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:22 pm

I always carry a spare pair of eyeglasses since I’m so nearsighted (20-200+ in each eye). I would be in rather dire straits if mine broke. I think I could manage to follow a trail without glasses, but off-trail travel would probably result in a serious accident. I’ve never had to use the spare though one time I thought I might when one of the lenses popped out as I was hiking. Immediately I stopped, got down on my knees and found the lens by the side of the trail. I used the tweezers on the Swiss Army knife to retighten the screw on the glasses frame so the lens wouldn’t pop out again.

I also carry a 50 foot or so length of rope/chord in case I need it for lowering my pack on a cliff or some other use like cutting off a short piece for tying something. I haven’t had to use it for years. The last time was at Sky Camp in Point Reyes with my wife and son. A horrific storm hit in the middle of the night. The gale force winds pulled out the stakes on the side lines of the tent fly so the fly was flapping like crazy in the wind and the rain was getting in under it. For one side, I tied the line to a bush. For the other side, I got out the chord and tied the line to the picnic table 15 feet away. We stayed dry, slept through the night, and awoke to a beautiful sunny morning.

While I never carry a deck of cards solo, my wife and I always bring one so we can play cards, look at the view, and drink Wild Turkey - its been our late afternoon ritual for 40 years.

I do notice some people staring at my pack because of the Gitzo tripod laying on top and obviously wondering about the extra weight. There's no way I would consider not bringing it.
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