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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:53 pm 
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Also- I had a bunch of friends at ADZPCTKO this year...so jealous you got to go SZ! I hope you had a great time!

Read yesterday about the young hiker that died just starting out on the PCT- I still haven't heard how he died. So sad.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:27 am 
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My pack is the Osprey Volt 75 = 3.8lbs
My tent is Eureka Solitaire and it is 2lbs 9 ozs
And I cant recall the model of my sleeping bag, but its a bit under 4 lbs

So that puts me at around 10lbs, is that a lot? I hope not, the tent and pack are new so I will not be replacing them before the hike.

My pack parka is pretty light, but maybe thats the sort of stuff I need to cut out to slowly get my overall pack weight down?

Tell me more about the alcohol stoves, coke can stove

I could cut down to 2 shirts, a hiking one and a camp one, Im really sweaty though, how gross is that going to be?

My current camp jacket isnt the lightest thing, maybe I can get something lighter for the trail there too.

Also any recommendations for a pillow? My sleeping bag compression pack doubles as a pillow if you reverse it and stuff it with clothing, but I wont have enough clothing to make it viable.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:52 am 
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couroupita wrote:
I know someone who just started the pct last week! It would be funny if you crossed paths.

I made energy bars for my last trip, dried fruit, and fruit leather. Also made a potato soup mix--powdered soy milk, dehydrated potatoes, dried herbs, veggie broth powder, dried veggies, salt. It was really tasty. Dried refried beans are really good--is that what youre doing for breakfast?


Yeah, dried refried beans and rice is the breakfast plan

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:57 am 
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Tenacious LD, all great info...thanks

We're planning on averaging 15 miles a day, but the idea of no book bums me out...but I'll put it on the "possibly removed list"

Hiking farts are an added bonus!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:17 am 
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Adam Crisis wrote:
My pack is the Osprey Volt 75 = 3.8lbs
My tent is Eureka Solitaire and it is 2lbs 9 ozs
And I cant recall the model of my sleeping bag, but its a bit under 4 lbs

So that puts me at around 10lbs, is that a lot? I hope not, the tent and pack are new so I will not be replacing them before the hike.

Those are solid choices, but yes, a little on the heavy side.

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My pack parka is pretty light, but maybe thats the sort of stuff I need to cut out to slowly get my overall pack weight down?

I'm going back and forth about this. I used garbage bags this weekend, but I did buy a pack cover. My thermarest and zrest are outside my pack and it would be nice to keep them dry. Also, I don't love the idea of hiking with a wet pack. The pack cover on my daypack works great so I am leaning in that direction. I will still bring garbage bags though.

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Tell me more about the alcohol stoves, coke can stove


I will tell you that this topic is fraught with controversy. Alcohol stoves may or may not be banned this year. And so the conversation goes. Around and around.

You do need a fire permit for any stove, by the way. http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/

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I could cut down to 2 shirts, a hiking one and a camp one, Im really sweaty though, how gross is that going to be?

My current camp jacket isnt the lightest thing, maybe I can get something lighter for the trail there too.


Check Goodwill, sometimes you can find great light gear there, so they say.

I sleep cold so I will always have a baselayer shirt (icebreaker). If I were doing the desert I would add a long sleeved sun shirt (exofficio). Probably I would just have those two shirt along with my rain jacket (OR Helium) and my puff jacket (Patagonia nano puff).

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Also any recommendations for a pillow? My sleeping bag compression pack doubles as a pillow if you reverse it and stuff it with clothing, but I wont have enough clothing to make it viable.


I don't find a pillow is worth the weight, but I do stuff my nano puff and all extra clothes and stuff sacks into a stuff sack and it is reasonable when combined with the hood on my sleeping bag.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:22 am 
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Tenacious LD wrote:
Also- I had a bunch of friends at ADZPCTKO this year...so jealous you got to go SZ! I hope you had a great time!

Read yesterday about the young hiker that died just starting out on the PCT- I still haven't heard how he died. So sad.


Kickoff was such a blast, but definitely a bummer with the weather. Still, it was awesome to be there and we are already talking about going back next year and then backpacking to Laguna or Julian from there. (And then doing the JMT later in the summer.)

Ya, when we arrived on Thurs the first thing we learned was about the death. It was really weird. He was so close to Lake Morena. There are still no real details out there but my hunch is that he had a preexisting condition. So, that's the rumor I'm starting. It was very sobering to go out on the trail knowing that had just happened.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:46 pm 
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Adam, here's a link to popcan stoves. http://www.thesodacanstove.com/alcohol- ... build.html if you are interested. If you Google it or search backpacking sites you will find a number of instructions for making them. I've used one for over a decade without issue, and I backpack a lot. We used it exclusively on our PCT thru-hike. It takes a little bit longer to boil water than say, a Whisperlight, but it's so quiet and so light weight I really prefer it. We use HEET for fuel- you put it in your car for something or other. HEET has the added bonus of being cheap and available everywhere; we store that in a fuel bottle or well-labled old gatorade bottle. Our pot stand if made of aluminum flashing, which is used for roofing, I think. The whole kit is stored in our cook pot.

A hot meal can really make a difference and lift your spirits after a shitty day. Everyone is different, but I wouldn't enjoy backpacking without hot dinners. You can rehydrate food without boiling water though, if you give it enough time. We also did some rehydrating for lunch, but using cold water, more time, and the aforementioned tang container. Besides rehydrating salsa that way, one of my favorite cold lunch salads is as follows:

Quinoa + carrot shreds + pineapple cut into small pieces with pineapple juice + raisins. You could throw in small apple chunks, as well. Cook the quinoa, mix in everything else, then dehydrate on trays. To rehydrate, add cold water at breakfast and it should be ready by lunch. You can sub rice for the quinoa, or add nuts for more calories. It's a nice change from hummus or PB!

I would look for a lighter sleeping bag and pack when it's time to replace them; you could probably shave a pound off of each pretty easily. In the mean time, don't sweat it too much. I don't take a pillow, either- I used whatever I'm not wearing and kind of bunch it up in the head part of my mummy bag. As far as having extra shirts, make sure you are safe weather wise with polypro's or whatever synthetic long underwear you're bringing, but don't worry so much about an extra shirt for hygiene. You can always rinse (not wash) your shirt out at stream crossings when it's warm enough. I did this every day or every other day on the trail; I'd just put it back on wet-synthetic material dries pretty quickly. I also had two pairs of lightweight men's dress socks I did this with (not black ones, I promise) so I would always have a clean pair of socks. I also carried heavy socks to sleep in or if the weather turned.

I don't think Ray Jardine is the end-all light-weight backpacking god some have made him out to be, but that being said, I learned a lot from his books. He makes some great points and has good ideas, but sometimes he cracks me up. He goes on and on at one point about rinsing off with a bandanna and calls it a "Dundee shower", like he invented the sponge bath. OK. But if you haven't read either "Beyond Backpacking" or "The Pacific Crest Trail Hiker's Handbook", by him, they are worth checking out before your hike.

I think getting ready for long backpacking trips is fun in itself, but I'm weird that way. Have fun with it if you can!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Sz- I'm wondering if the hiker had a prior medical condition, too. It somehow makes me feel better thinking if he was going to die, at least he was out doing something he loved.

But if it was caused by dehydration or something preventable, that just makes me even sadder.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:55 pm 
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Granola bars are great for breakfast, too. No bowls to clean, etc and they digest easily.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:04 pm 
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Sz- that "bark" link was great! I've made fruit leathers and stuff, but this is a great idea. Thanks for posting!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:10 pm 
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Tenacious LD wrote:
Sz- that "bark" link was great! I've made fruit leathers and stuff, but this is a great idea. Thanks for posting!


Right? I can't wait to try it. I think it's going to save me.

I'd love to get my hands on Ray J's books, I thought they were out of print? I need to search some bookstores. I'm not interested in ultralight, but anywhere I can get rid of some ounces and not lose comfort I will do so.

I did cut my toothbrush in half, oh! I am using these tablets that turn into toothpaste!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UY ... UTF8&psc=1

I could probably lose the Zrest, what with the thermarest, but I really liked having it for breaks on trail during the day.

And I do like having something to dig catholes with; I got the idea somewhere to use a snow stake. It works great.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 11:34 am 
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I knew the PCT Hiker's Handbook was out of print, but I didn't realize Beyond Backpacking was also out of print. I just checked Amazon, and there are still lots of reasonably priced used copies of Beyond Backpacking, so there's that. I suppose most of the info is available on blogs and backpacking sites at this point. But even with some of Mr. Jardine's dubious ideas, either of these books are worth checking out.

And yes, I cut the handle off of my toothbrush too! It sounds ridiculous, but when you start weighing all the extras, the weight can really add up. So yep, I cut parts off my pack I won't use, trim maps, etc. But again, it's like a weird challenge to me- how much extraneous weight can I jettison? I can understand if others don't want to deal with that kind of minutia. But you'd be surprised at how the ounces turn into pounds. BTW, a kitchen scale is invaluable for giving you perspective.

That being said, I wouldn't consider myself ultra-light weight either. For instance, I'm not a big fan of tarp tents, although maybe that will change some day. And I've known hikers that cut so much weight they got into scary/unsafe situations due to the weather. It was an epiphany for me though when I realized that I the more weight I drop, the more comfortable and faster I will be able to hike. I hike with my husband, so that helps since there is certain gear we can share as partners to cut weight. We actually shared a sleeping bag that he made for our thru-hike to save weight. It worked for that trip, but we will never. do. that. again.

I'm very interested in what food you will be carrying, Sz. I'm always looking for new ideas to try out! What are some of your favorites?

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 11:35 am 
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How are those toothpaste tablets? They seem like a brilliant idea!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 8:40 pm 
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Sz and tenacious ld, my brother and his girlfriend went to adzpctko! All of the suggestions are good. Adam-your trifecta are a bit on the heavy side. My pack is 2.4 pounds (58L), my 40 degree bag (pregan) is around two pounds and my tent is 27 oz not including stakes or trekking pole, so about a total of 6 pounds. It gets a bit heavier when colder.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 2:41 pm 
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Tenacious LD wrote:
How are those toothpaste tablets? They seem like a brilliant idea!


They are really awesome.

I read where some people dehydrate toothpaste (can't use gel, has to be paste) doing little chocolate chip sized drops on waxed paper. Sounds good, but I use gel in my everyday life and I like the tablets so much that it's not worth the hassle. But it is intriguing!


I trim maps and cut weight where I can, but I'm not going to trim all the tags and stuff. Maybe I'll change my tune after I spend more time on the trail.

We have an array of sleeping bags that Mr. Sz was issued over the years, so buying a lightweight one really isn't an option (we have like, 7, including an old, awesome Cat's Meow that I used for snow camping. Heavy as hell but I was toasty warm.) (and it is synthetic!)

I'll post about my food as it goes on. I'm not able to focus on this as much as I'd like right now (silly jorb getting in the way) but I imagine I will start really geeking out over it once the semester is over.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 2:48 pm 
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Tenacious LD wrote:
For instance, I'm not a big fan of tarp tents, although maybe that will change some day.


Me neither. I like the idea of a hammock, though, but I'm not experienced enough to go there.

Quote:
And I've known hikers that cut so much weight they got into scary/unsafe situations due to the weather.


And this is the rub, isn't it? I want to be safe, I want to feel secure, and I want my gear to hold up. I went with an Osprey pack because I love my day pack so much. It's a Viva 65 and it is comparable to some of the UL packs out there; (I don't want a completely frameless pack.) I just got a new tent and I haven't even had the chance to set it up yet. So, I'll talk about that when I do! I think I love it though and it's in the 2lb neighborhood. I got a tyvek footprint for it which ups the weight a bit.

I did get these crazy camp and water shoes http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005F0 ... UTF8&psc=1 (Crocs seem unsafe for river crossing). I saw folks at Kickoff with them with the tongues cut out. I'm not going to do that!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 10:14 am 
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Adam, it sounds like you have a pretty good idea on what to take/what not to take. I would definitely take a book. Yeah, I might have been dead tired after a 20 mile day, but sometimes I was wired and that calmed me down. I read every night at home and I wasn't willing to give up that habit while hiking.

My "thru-hiking" pack (I ended up only doing 500 miles of the AT), when fully loaded w/6ish days of food and 1 day of water (1.5-2L), was 30-35 pounds. It is about 1/3 of my body weight and after the first 3 days, I was used to it. I did as lightweight as possible for the essentials (pack = 1.5lb, hammock = ~1lb, sleeping bag = 3lbs), but I carried a book, phone, ipod, didn't cut my toothbrush handle, and usually carried too much food and water.

I used a Vargo titanium alcohol stove. I could have made a stove, but I saw this in the store two days before I left and decided to use it instead of a JetBoil and I'm glad I did! I kept my coca-cola bottle of fuel in a ziplock bag... some bottles leak.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 6:11 am 
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Pi., I'm about the same as you and the others. I cut weight where I can but I'm not going to quibble over tags/etc. I really really love my tarptent however, which is awesome.

I have a six moon designs lunar solo and I've been in heavy rainstorms with it and it's been fine as long as I'm careful about not touching the silnylon but I think that kind of happens with double wall tents too. At least it somewhat did with our two person northface, not as badly. One huge selling point for the lunar solo for me was that I can have the entire side open, so on hot nights it was much less stuffy than a doublewalled tent. I usually had a book when thru-hiking because even if we were doing 18-20 mile days, we'd do them early and get into camp around 3-4 or so usually.

For getting the main gear down in weight, it's not really worth it until you're hiking a LOT or your old stuff is breaking down at which point you replace with lighter. I don't really reduce by cutting tags off/etc, but I do think about what I'm using, how I'm using it and making sure it's essential for either survival or my wellbeing.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 10:47 am 
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lillianp wrote:
I have a six moon designs lunar solo and I've been in heavy rainstorms with it and it's been fine as long as I'm careful about not touching the silnylon but I think that kind of happens with double wall tents too.


That tent looks awesome! I just bought a big agnes 1person from a friend for cheap for my camping trip this summer (motorcycling, not hiking, but weight still matters). If I hadn't got such a good deal on it then I'd definitely be getting the same as you. If I do the PCT (it is under discussion with a friend as a possibility in a few years), I'll look at the six moons designs or similar!


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Re: Book, in real life I always and only read on my phone's Kindle app, so I always have books with me. I also read before bed and wouldn't be able to give that up.

I have a heavy battery that would re-charge my phone several times, but I don't think it will be worth the weight. On the other hand, the Kindle app uses very little juice and works in airplane mode, and at night I turn the brightness way down. Eventually I'd like a solar charger but since I'm doing short trips, I'm going to wait it out.

Also: Happy dance! The birthday fairy brought me a Garmin Oregon 600. Wheeeeeee!!! Now I have to figure out how to use it.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 1:42 pm 
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Pi. wrote:
I just bought a big agnes 1person from a friend for cheap for my camping trip this summer (motorcycling, not hiking, but weight still matters).


Is it the seedhouse? I love that tent. I borrowed my friend's and it was great. It's awesome you got a good deal. BA really stands behind their products which is great because they are kind of fragile.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 5:41 pm 
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The one bad part about the lunar solo is the giant footprint it has over the actual footprint (ie the silnylon stretches out way past the netting/base of the tent)

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:10 pm 
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Just read this entire thread - you people are amazing! I've never been camping, let alone backpacking, but my husband used to do it quite a bit before we met. Anyway, I've agreed to try a 3 day (2 night) trip this summer (in Algonquin for folks familiar with Ontario) and I'm really excited! I've been reading everything I can trying to figure out what I need. The one thing I'm struggling with is what to wear on my feet. Apparently the trail we are going on has steep climbs and lots of things like roots and small streams. Some people say boots. Some people say trailrunners, but I have no idea! Advice?

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 2:41 pm 
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Boots! (I always say that). Trailrunners could be fine. Distance and terrain are things to know before making a decision.

Whatever you do wear, be sure that you have worn the footwear a lot prior to going on the trail. Hitting the trail with new footwear will almost definitely result in blisters.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 3:51 pm 
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I vote boots because of ankle support. I also recommend getting fitted, if you can, or at least try them on at different angles (vs on a flat surface). I bought my boots at rei and they helped me figure out that I'd always bought a size too small. You should be able to go down a slope and not touch against the toe of your boots.

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