Trip Start Jul 15, 2009
71Trip End Jun 01, 2010
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Where I stayed
under the stars
What follows is a basic description of our gear choice and discussion of what we may or may not do differently in the future.
Our packweights at the end of the trail: Not including any food or water in our packs we were each carrying about 22 lbs including all our gear and the weight of the pack itself. does not include food and water. we would generally carry less than one liter of water and each day of food weighed a little less than two lbs. so if we had 3 days of food in the pack it would add six pounds to the total packweight.
Our weight was fairly consistent each carrying certain shared items to balance the weight.
packs: Granite Gear Vapor Trail and Vapor Ki
We both carried this great pack that weighs less than two lbs has good padding on the hip belt and plenty big enough to carry all our stuff
sleeping bags: North Face Cat's Meow, synthetic 20 degree bag
We like this bag because it works even when damp. Down is lighter but useless if wet. Probably the least lightweight item that we carry. a good comfy sleeping bag.
Sleeping bag liner: Montbell synthetic bag liner. We purchased additional liners in Mammoth Lakes after starting the trip. We were a little concerned about temperatures and wanted to be certain we would be comfortable sleeping out without a tent. there isn't anything better than waking up in the middle of the night to the Milky Way Galaxy staring right back at you.
Sleeping pad: Therma rest Ridgerest 3/4 lenght. we used our empty backpacks as the last quarter. These do the job of insulating you from the ground but are not the softest bed in the world. But they do not get punctured, do not hold water and easily store on our packs. This is the best ground insulation I have found and if you find it hard to sleep on, all you need do is hike more miles in the day to make you a little more tired
Tent: floorless tarptent with installed mosquito netting using two trekking poles for set up.
Ive been using this tent for the last ten years in the backcountry. I've never found a reason to carry more than this 25 oz set up. It is safe, compact, easy to dry after a rain. and just as easy to
Cooking set up: includes pepsi can stove, denatured alcohol, 1.3 L pot, 1 L pot (both titanium) lexan spoons, aluminum wind screen. we used tent stakes pounded into the ground as the pot stand.
Bear Canister: Garcia black cylinder
heaviest of bear canisters and difficult to stuff with food. I suggest buying a lighter canister or renting one. This canister works is cheaply rented at the National Park. The cannister is 3 lbs. so it adds substantially to a 20 lbs packweight. We won't be carrying these in Vermont and our packweights will be under 20 lbs where they should be. The end weight should be about 16 lbs for each of us plus food and water.
Water storage: Platypus 1 L water bags. two each. great waterbotles especially worked with our skinny backpack pockets.
Clothing: sun hat, stocking cap, sunglasses, thermal top, long sleeved sun protective shirt, t-shirt, thermal shirt, fleece jacket, rain jacket, rain pants, hiking pants, underwear, bandana, 2 pair socks, gloves, New Balance 812 trail running shoes
favorite clothing choices: Mountain Hardware pants, OR rain jacket, smartwool socks, sierra designs rainpants
least favorite: everything was pretty good, no complaints
Tools: tiny headlamp, kelty cord, smallest 2 inch swiss army knife, whistle
First aid kit: Many standard items including Ibuprofen, compede blister care, duct tape, medical tape, sun screen, bug repellent, gauze, after bite, nail clippers, and other small items.
Water Treatment: Purr Hiker water filter, aqua mira water treatment (back up)
The Purr Hiker has been in my pack for over ten years. it is efficient and worth the weight, never had problems always good tasting clean water. company was sold but you can still get the filter cartridges from katadyn.
Camera Pentax Optio 60. great point and shoot waterproof camera, light compact and 5x zoom. seems to work great. We also carried three batteries for the longer section of the trip. could have brought four since I took lots of video.
Monocular: 7x, great addition to Mark's gear. Had fun able to look at things long distance as well as watch birds and small mammals within closer ranges
we also included a few luxury items including a book each and journal. I find I don't write a lot on the trail, for whatever reason. It works. I thnk it just get caught up enjoying and living in the moment and don't focus as much on recording any info.
That is a limited list of our gear, gives you the basics. The most important thing is to be safe and have the tools that we need. Next we tried to find lightweight solutions to these items. for instance we didn't need a six inch knife blade, a two inch was perfect. We didn't need an eight pound mountaineering tent, a pound and a half tarp was perfect and had plenty of ventilation.
I am planning to build a more efficient stove in the near future. This will help with saving weight by reducing the amount of fuel needed for cooking.
That is the gear entry. If you have questions about lightening your backpacking load feel free to contact us and we can help you wear trail running shoes on the trail instead of intense hiking boots that weigh a couple pounds each.
Peace and Health,