Been using the same gear for 10 years.. and I need an intervention

7:17 p.m. on August 31, 2012 (EDT)
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I've been using the same gear FOREVER and have been carrying fewer items however I am totally plateauing in terms of weight. Anyone have any advice on this list:

I know the tent and sleeping bag definitely need to be adjusted... but beyond that, does anyone have any recommendations on what I should have / should not have?

7:21 p.m. on August 31, 2012 (EDT)
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It doesn't matter what other people think.  What do you think, since you are the one that will be carrying the equipment?

9:21 p.m. on August 31, 2012 (EDT)
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I have been using the same pack for 10 years, I keep it because it carries well. it boils down to what you are comfortable with, and reliability.

9:25 p.m. on August 31, 2012 (EDT)
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looks like you may want to redo your link. my browser choked on it.

12:06 a.m. on September 1, 2012 (EDT)
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My tent is ten yrs old and I have no plans to replace it, I thoight about buyin another just like it to use when this one dies. I have gone to a hammock in nice weather. You can save a couple of pounds that way. Im layin in my hammock on top of surry mtn right now. I just got an ems alpine 40 bag and saved another pound, I got it a thrift store for 8 bucks with a thermolite reactor liner in it. I couldnt get to your link either

1:17 a.m. on September 1, 2012 (EDT)
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I read your post on Backpacker earlier today, went to your sight, went to Ruby on Rails, pulled down the tools etc.

Very cool idea that you and your siblings and friends are building out, very useful.  I wish you all well in your efforts.

As for your request for suggestions regarding your gear list, I think you can certainly design your own quite competently.  You are not a rookie, that much is very clear.

Yep, very cool site, very useful applications.

Go get 'em, brother!  The more folks we can get into the boonies the stronger will become the wilderness ethic and its natural evolute, the environmental movement.

Good work.  I have emailed your stuff to friends and family and will continue to follow your development.





5:56 p.m. on September 1, 2012 (EDT)
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checked out your list on prepatrip, your ultralight list. you need a lighter stove and tent. the dragonfly is a good snowcamping stove, I have one, but for everyday trips its overkill. try a snowpeak gigapower, a bulletproof little stove. rei is not known for light tents, the camp dome is not light by any stretch. try a tarp for the summer. golite makes a good one. I didnt see a sleeping bag on your list, maybe I overlooked it. but there is probably where you could save some weight as well. I also notice you carry a mess kit. I don't, just my insulated mug and spoon. something else you could probably eliminate. all in all, I think you have things well in hand, trust your own judgement as to what to bring, youll do fine. 

10:12 a.m. on September 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Your two water bottles are way heavy at 12.4oz, I have a 1L nalgene with a heavy cap for my MSR filter to backflush, and that only weighs 4oz. Try carrying only one bottle, or maybe an alternative,  and if you need extra water for cooking and cleaning at camp, this baby is awesome.
Your stove system could be replaced for some lighter canister fuel stove, will be easier to setup, less bulky, etc... depends on where you hike though. You might even consider making an alcohol stove for those 2-3 night trips.
I don't know what kind of pajamas you carry, but maybe you need to look into upgrading that if you are using the same set for 10 years! =P
Your tent may need some upgrading, more than your sleeping bag depending on what you want, this one would be similar to yours at half the weight and bulk and if you use trekking poles this one is even better.  I'd say keep the sleeping bag for now, you would have to blow some serious money to get something lighter, and even then it wont be that much lighter compared to all the other smaller stuff you can replace and save weight.

I would ditch the rain pants and make a rain skirt out of trash bag, easier to put on, lighter, breathes way more and is less bulky.
Other things you might consider replacing is your water filter and the rope, but for realz man, start thinking about what YOU want to replace, do some googling for alternatives to that item, and you will find something that you like, perhaps ask online about what people think about a particular item that strikes your interest, and then make your decision, you've been backpacking long enough to know what works and what doesn't ;)

2:30 p.m. on September 2, 2012 (EDT)
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People may want you to get lighter on the gear. I personally like gear that lasts. I would read reviews on gear that breaks and get 4 1/2 to 5 star gear. I don't see the point in replacing anything that is working.

3:59 p.m. on September 2, 2012 (EDT)
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What makes you comfortable ?

Can you still, a little less comfortable, trip the same locals ?

Now there may become your new comfortable.

4:00 p.m. on September 2, 2012 (EDT)
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When something wears out and needs replacing, oh does it really need replacing ?  If so go lighter and smaller ?

6:07 p.m. on September 2, 2012 (EDT)
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where do you backpack, do you do winter trips as well?

11:35 a.m. on September 3, 2012 (EDT)
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You are the voice of the turtle.  I agree.  It is presumptuous for anyone to tell james what he "needs."  Even if he asks for the advice.

3:49 p.m. on September 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks so much for the great wishes Drake!  And I'm glad you were able to get to the link.

Even though I am not a novice, there are always things that I'm like "do I really need this" .. "is there something else out there", so any feedback is always a good reflection to have.


3:58 p.m. on September 3, 2012 (EDT)
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I love the rain skirt idea!  Do you have any good blog posts or articles about making one?  Those rain pants hardly ever come in handy and I am usually already soaked by the time I put them on.

Duely noted regarding the fuel canisters and water canisters, I can totally see easily changing those around

As for the tent, I've been packing without a tent lately because its so sunny here in California, but I dread being caught with my pants down when the storms comes.  I really like the 34 oz one:

Also, how do you post external links?  Trailspace keeps telling me that I can't?

4:39 p.m. on September 3, 2012 (EDT)
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a rain skirt? thats a good one. I just wear my rain jacket. as you say, it never really rains here in CA, just showers. they go so quick they're over before you get a chance to put your raingear on. my pants dry quick in the sun, so I don't worry about my bottom half getting wet. I like the tent too, although I am wonderring how it holds up in a good wind. with only one pole it would seem to be a recipe for floppiness imo. don't know how to post links, I never do!

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