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Getting Back to Backpacking

Backpacking and camping basics and other general trip planning discussion for the uninitiated. Use this forum to learn where to look for the information you need, and to ask questions, related to the beginner basics of backpacking and camping, including technique and best practices.
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby schmalz » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:46 pm

Sox - When you are shopping for gear, always be mindful of the weight. That tent and sleeping bag are pretty heavy. Obviously the super light stuff is probably more than you want to spend, but you should try to find a balance there that will keep your pack relatively light.



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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby SoxGolf00 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:51 pm

schmalz wrote:Sox - When you are shopping for gear, always be mindful of the weight. That tent and sleeping bag are pretty heavy. Obviously the super light stuff is probably more than you want to spend, but you should try to find a balance there that will keep your pack relatively light.


And this is why I post on this board. You are completely right. I have been mindful of the weight issues and didn't even look at that on the tent. ARGH!!!

Thanks!
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby Tom_H » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:46 pm

Sox,

For decades I have used synthetic bags. The new down bags are moisture resistant. If you fall in a river with the pack on, yes, there's a problem. The new material they put on the down makes it difficult to make it moist unless it really gets dunked. I plan to carry small plastic garbage bags and double bag my sleeping bag if I have to cross any substantial stream.

One person tents are only a couple of ounces lighter than the lightest 2 person tents. If you go solo with a 2 person tent, you have space inside for your gear. If someone goes with you, you can tent together and take a couple of 55 gal trash bags in which to store your gear outside, protected from rain.
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby Tom_H » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:07 pm

Sox,

If I were still young and strong, that tent and bag would not phase me. For those of us who are still active, but no longer spring chickens, weight is going to make a serious difference. If you want to enjoy your experience of returning to the mountains, cutting the weight down is going to be important. That tent is almost 6 lb. 10 oz. And I am a little bit skeptical on the specs of the bag. Yes, they are inexpensive, but it's because they are made of mediocre materials. Material that is really light, really strong, and really effective costs money. I truly want to be helpful to you, so I hope you will accept some candor on my part. Trying to get by with the least expensive things you can find could well lead you to have a miserable time just because your gear is too heavy. You may well have a horrible experience and give up altogether. Making the one time investment in real quality gear that will last and allows you to hike without great stress on your body could allow you to rediscover the passion of your youth, to begin hiking more and more, and to become physically strong and vibrant once again. If finances are a concern, you may be able to search for high quality items used. There are a number of sites where backpackers sell used gear and you may find better stuff than eBay.

I have to hit the sack for now and will be away from the internet all day tomorrow. I will do my best to post some specific suggestions for lighter gear Wed. night.
Last edited by Tom_H on Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby SoxGolf00 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:03 am

Thanks for the advice Tom. I'm still learning and open to all advice. I agree with you. I talked with my dad last night and he said that it is best to make a one time investment rather than spending money and finding out the gear is crap. Then having to spend more money to replace it.

There is an REI garage sale next weekend and if I am back from Laughlin, I will check it out.
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby Tom_H » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:33 pm

Here are some suggestions on tents.

The following Big Agnes tents @ REI are shown without the rainfly, but check other views to see it. Click on Specs for weight.

This 1 person tent is on sale and around 2 lb.:

http://www.rei.com/product/779612/big-a ... k-ul1-tent

This 2 person tent from REI weighs the same as the above tent. It's not on sale, but when REI has their 20% off sales, you'd save a lot:

http://www.rei.com/product/827911/big-a ... tinum-tent

This is another REI 2 person tent that weighs a bit more and is on sale:

http://www.rei.com/product/796087/big-a ... k-ul2-tent

Those Big Agnes' are traditional style. The following ZPacks tents are a bit more progressive in design, but even lighter. The top of each page shows the tarp only version, scroll further down for the tent version of each.

This 1 person tent comes in at about a pound:

http://zpacks.com/shelter/hexamid_plus.shtml

This 2 person version with all options is still under 20 oz.:

http://zpacks.com/shelter/hexamidtwin.shtml

The custom 8' x 10' rainfly I ordered from them is 6 oz. You may want to peruse their site for other possibilities.

I will make another post for sleeping bags.
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby Tom_H » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:53 pm

Here is my new bag, exactly 1 lb. and $300:

Western Mountaineering HighLite Sleeping Bag: 35 Degree Down

Here are some other lightweight down bags:

http://www.rei.com/product/846738/mount ... eeping-bag

http://www.rei.com/product/845486/the-n ... eeping-bag

http://www.rei.com/product/808962/marmo ... eeping-bag

Here are some synthetics to consider:

http://www.rei.com/product/860984/mount ... 2-closeout

http://www.rei.com/product/845984/marmo ... eeping-bag

http://www.backcountry.com/lafuma-activ ... tic-womens

http://www.shoplafuma.com/product/37040

This bag is out of stock here, but the specs show the weight:

http://www.backcountry.com/lafuma-extre ... -synthetic

Here is the same bag on sale (weight wasn't shown so I included link above). The price here is just over $50. The first Lafuma above is $75, but is the same weight as this one and 5 degrees warmer.

http://www.cleansnipe.com/cheap--sale/l ... thetic.htm

Here is the backpack a friend uses and that I have recently bought:

http://www.rei.com/product/780218/osprey-exos-58-pack

Hope this helps, but in the end, you have to buy what's right for you.
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby SoxGolf00 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:06 pm

Have you purchased from CleanSnipe.com before? I've never heard of them and their site is a little sketchy. Looks like they have some great deals.
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby Tom_H » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:41 pm

SoxGolf00 wrote:Have you purchased from CleanSnipe.com before? I've never heard of them and their site is a little sketchy. Looks like they have some great deals.


I have not purchased from CleanSnipe, but I have some Lafuma bags. They have worked well for us. Since that first Lafuma weighs the same as this one and is 5 degrees warmer, I would go with it rather than save $21. You said you sleep cold. You have to do what's right for you, but think about whether saving $21 is worth it if you find yourself colder than you want to be.

Edit: In looking at that CleanSnipe site, I started thinking it might be like DealFinder. I clicked on BUY to see if it would take me to a different store. It turned out that 7 "result" came up as alternative suggestions. It is a deal finding site and that bag is no longer available. The 35 degree bag at shoplafuma.com is also listed at a sale price, and might not last.
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby SoxGolf00 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:54 pm

Thanks for looking in to that. I'm going to wait on the bag for now since my trip isn't for a couple months. REI is having a gear sale this weekend and I'm going to check that out.

You are totally right with the "saving a couple bucks" comment. This is an investment on my gear, not just a one time trip. I'd rather have dependable gear then having to constantly replace it.

Thanks again.
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Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby camptramp » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:57 pm

My roots - raised in Pasadena, my dad & I hiked Eaton Canyon - & remember scrambling up Mt. Hollywood - although to me it was Mt. Griffiths (Griffiths Observatory) I remember we passed up a group of college kids! I guess my dad thought I passed the test - from there we began our treks in the High Sierra !!
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Re: Getting Back to Backpacking

Postby rlown » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:08 pm

Sox, you could just go with a Western Mountaineering bag and be done with it.

Pick something in the +20 degree range that fits your size/body type. You will not be disappointed over the long run after you get over the stickershock. I think I have 4 different bags for different purposes (one is a -20 bag)
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