Give up the Ghost???

12:06 p.m. on August 22, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I just purchased a Mountainsmith Ghost with 3000 cu in. with the idea of going light (not used yet, can return it.) I can hardly fit anything inside it after my sleeping bag. For my down sleeping bag, I am using the large compression bag compressed down into the size of a large bowling ball. After my tent (Eureka EXO2) and my pad (3/4 camplite), where do I put my filter, whisperlite, and other essentials (yes, essentials) before I even get to the idea of minimum clothes and food (freeze dried)? It seems to defeat the purpose to simply tie all the bulky stuff to the outside. I can't mount the pad and tent to the outside sides without covering up my mesh water bottle pockets. Mounting to the outside back would only shift weight away from my body.

Random thought but wouldn't it be better to just get the larger Mountainsmith and get everything inside instead of hanging on the outside? I thought I had pared things down.

[Old Greybearded One, please don't yell at me to read the directions this time. I did go back to the MSR Whisperlite website and downloaded their instructions that only say to "turn the control valve off. The flame will take 1 to 2 minutes to die out." Another example, just got a new Eureka! tent. Both the instructions that come with it and their website on "tent storage" say to "loosely roll" the tent for storage. Nothing about "stuffing it." My point is that I am (and perhaps others) simply field-test ignorant, not an idiot.]

12:18 p.m. on August 22, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Quote:

I just purchased a Mountainsmith Ghost with 3000 cu in. with the idea of going light

Have you considered going at this from the other direction, by lightening up until your current pack is way too big, then getting a smaller pack that will carry your stuff?

I get 5-8 days of stuff and supplies for trips in the Colorado Rockies into a Kelty Moraine 3200 cubic inch pack with no problem. Only one item, a full-length black foamy sleeping pad, gets tied onto the outside. I also carry a shorty Ultralite Thermarest inside the pack.

Oops, two things tied on the outside,-- the other is a trowel.

1:29 p.m. on August 22, 2002 (EDT)
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Give up the Ghost??? -- naahh

To follow up a bit on Jim Fuller's comments, 3000 cu in should be plenty for a summer weekend, or even for several days. I sometimes go for a weekend with everything in my Lowe Alpine Attack 40 (2000 cu in). In winter, for a snowshoe or ski backpack, I fit everything in my Kelty Cloud 4500. Well, ok, when I am adult leader on the Scout trips, I end up with much more bulk, but that's because I have to carry an extra tent, extra sleeping bag, extra clothes, etc. But in your case, you are talking about personal trips.

Are you solo or with a partner with whom you can split the tent, cooking gear, and food? If you are with a partner, do you really both need water filters, both need stoves, need separate tents, and so on? In the case of your EXO2, you can at least have one person carry the poles and pegs and the other the rest of the tent.

It sounds to me like you have things that are on the rather bulky side. As an impecunious pensioner, I hesitate to suggest going out and buying replacement gear that is less bulky, but some comments nonetheless.

For summer, if your sleeping bag in a compression sack is still the size of a large bowling ball, it is way too large. You might consider, first, whether the bag is too warm for the conditions and a less bulky bag would serve as well (mummy bags are less bulky than rectangular for the warmth, down is more compressible, several modern synthetics - Primaloft being an example - are more compressible than older ones, etc, etc). My 3-season bag (a Marmot Primaloft bag)fits a medium compression sack compressed all the way down, as does my -40 FF down bag. I actually can get the 3-season (rated at 15 deg, and Marmot is fairly conservative) into a small compression sack (I use the ultralight Integral Designs compression sacks these days). So consider getting a less bulky sleeping bag, tailored to the temperature range expected.

Next thing is that 3/4 camplite pad. That is way heavy and bulky. Unless you really need all that extra padding and width (the camplites are 25 inches wide), consider one of the "lite" Thermarests - 20 inches wide, half the weight, or even a closed cell foam pad (WalMart's blue foam is a half pound). You say (rightly) that the foam is more bulky than the camplite. True, but you can put it on the outside of the pack with little unbalance. Did you try putting the pad and tent just under the pack lid or on top of the lid? It will not unbalance the pack there.

The tent - If it were the Sierra or Rockies, I would say consider just using a tarp for those rare times when you have to camp in the rain during the summer (the rain in both tends to come in the middle of the day's hike - come to think of it, in the Presidentials, I always got the heavy rains in mid-afternoon, too, and only once in 4 summers of almost-every-weekend had an overnight rain). Integral has a tarp that packs fist-size and weighs 7 ounces, with a double-width tarp that is still less than a pound. Black Diamond has a sil-coat version of the Megamid that sleeps 3 and stuffs to about 3-fists volume (you can use your adjustable hiking pole for the single pole needed). But something I have noted is that a lot of tents are more bulky than necessary. I recently got a Clip Flashlight to replace my ancient Sleeve Flashlight. The Clip is almost a pound heavier and about 20 percent more bulky. One thing that might help with your Eureka is to put the poles on the side of your pack, leaving the softer, more foldable tent fabric parts to put under the pack flap.

Did you pack your Whisperlite in the cook pot? And put your spoon inside your cup (your knife goes in your pocket, and you don't need a fork)? Do you really need a bowl and plate in addition to your cup and cookpot?

Are your "essentials" really and truly essential? Make a complete list (*really* complete, right down to the number of matches and iodine tablets) of absolutely everything you are taking with you, separated by "in pack", "wearing", etc. Then go through the list and mark each item as "use every trip", "never used, but required for emergency", "nice to have, but could have survived without", "never used on any trip", "used once in past 50 trips, but just to use it", and so on. For first aid items, I suggest reading Eric Weiss' little book A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine. You will learn that 90 percent of first aid items can be improvised with what you carry with you anyway. For example, your foam pad makes an excellent splint (Thermarests don't work as well).

Anyway, think about how to reduce the bulk, as Jim suggested.

On your other comments -

Quote:

[Old Greybearded One, please don't yell at me to read the directions this time.

**** I didn't yell at you. I used normal type, not ALL CAPS like someone else did recently on one of the Trailspace pages. Also, I do not assume anyone is an idiot (until they take it on themselves to prove it). Most people, including many who have been using gear and out in the woods for years, even decades, never got a chance to learn a lot of things. Gotta admit I didn't learn how to properly light my XGK until I had it for almost 10 years, and even then only after talking to an MSR tech rep, then afterward reading the directions. I'm still learning every time I go out, even after a lifetime of camping, climbing, and skiing, starting from when my parents took me out before I could walk. For example, I picked up some interesting tidbits from my discussions with reps at the Outdoor Retailer Show earlier this month that I should have known decades ago. Most people find something that works and assume that the recalcitrance of gear is "just the way it is". How many people do you know who assume that camping has to be uncomfortable and miserable? Yet many of us know that you can be more comfortable camping at 14,000 feet on Denali in a blizzard than staying in some "luxury" hotels that I have stayed at on business trips. ***

Quote:

I did go back to the MSR Whisperlite website and downloaded their instructions that only say to "turn the control valve off. The flame will take 1 to 2 minutes to die out."

**** Take my word for it, or call MSR and talk to their tech reps. Yes, turn the valve off. But when it gets to the yellow carbon flame, blow it out. It will reduce the amount of carboning of the waffle plates and the lacquer buildup in the generator section of the fuel tube (the part that loops up over the burner). ***

Quote:

Another example, just got a new Eureka! tent. Both the instructions that come with it and their website on "tent storage" say to "loosely roll" the tent for storage. Nothing about "stuffing it."

*** Yes, for storage, you should remove the tent from its stuff sack and *loosely* roll it, or you can stuff it loosely into a bag that is 3 or 4 times the size of the stuff sack (just like a sleeping bag should be stored). This allows it to breathe and gets away from sharp folds and bends. But the instruction sheet that came with the Eurekas we bought a few years back for the Scout troop said clearly "stuff, do not roll or fold" into the stuff sack for backpacking. If you are going to do a lot of backpacking, where you pack the tent every day for several weeks, you should make a point of airing and drying the tent once in a while during the trip, and stuff it instead of folding it. I haven't been Scoutmaster or dealt with the Troop's gear for quite a while, so I don't know what the newest one says. I hope it still advises airing and drying the tent.

3:28 p.m. on August 22, 2002 (EDT)
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Re: Give up the Ghost??? -- naahh

compression sack on the down bag? Aha - I just shove my bag into the pack - no wonder you can fit into such a tiny pack!
But I think compression sacks break the herls of the feathers and cause the bag to lose loft - I try to never stuff a down bag into a tiny sack if I can avoid it. Same as the tent sack - use a larger size so it fits easily like Bibler tent sacks. In the winter when we use sleds and have massive volume we carry the really expensive down bags stuffed into rather large stuff sacks though much smaller than the "storage" bags, in order to avoid losing loft from over compression. I carry a 5000 inch Kelty white phantom all year except when I have the MS sled, and my gear always "expands to fill the available space".
Jim

3:43 p.m. on August 22, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Give up the Ghost??? -- naahh

Quote:

To follow up a bit on Jim Fuller's comments, 3000 cu in should be plenty for a summer weekend, or even for several days. I sometimes go for a weekend with everything in my Lowe Alpine Attack 40 (2000 cu in). In winter, for a snowshoe or ski backpack, I fit everything in my Kelty Cloud 4500. Well, ok, when I am adult leader on the Scout trips, I end up with much more bulk, but that's because I have to carry an extra tent, extra sleeping bag, extra clothes, etc. But in your case, you are talking about personal trips.

Are you solo or with a partner with whom you can split the tent, cooking gear, and food? If you are with a partner, do you really both need water filters, both need stoves, need separate tents, and so on? In the case of your EXO2, you can at least have one person carry the poles and pegs and the other the rest of the tent.

With an 11 year son, whom I can split everything (large kid). Also, only 1 filter, 1 stove etc for both of us. Since he has his external frame Boy Scout packpack with sleeping bag tied on the outside, HE has plenty of room.

Quote:

It sounds to me like you have things that are on the rather bulky side. As an impecunious pensioner, I hesitate to suggest going out and buying replacement gear that is less bulky, but some comments nonetheless.

Maybe it is my ignorance but I was hoping to get away with going light without having to buy hightech (read, high price) stuff. I thought, maybe just maybe, it meant leaving some things out (ok, a lot of things out), instead of leaving things out AND replacing with all new stuff. Jeez, I thought I was doing pretty good with buying the Zeus EXO with only 3.8 lbs. and the Asolo Fusion 95 boots.

Quote:

For summer, if your sleeping bag in a compression sack is still the size of a large bowling ball, it is way too large. You might consider, first, whether the bag is too warm for the conditions and a less bulky bag would serve as well (mummy bags are less bulky than rectangular for the warmth, down is more compressible, several modern synthetics - Primaloft being an example - are more compressible than older ones, etc, etc). My 3-season bag (a Marmot Primaloft bag)fits a medium compression sack compressed all the way down, as does my -40 FF down bag. I actually can get the 3-season (rated at 15 deg, and Marmot is fairly conservative) into a small compression sack (I use the ultralight Integral Designs compression sacks these days). So consider getting a less bulky sleeping bag, tailored to the temperature range expected.


I think this is my main problem. I am still using my old down bag from 1972. Tapered rectangle still with plenty of fluff. OK, it can be too hot in the summer but I found a happy solution (or so I thought) by using a tent and unzipping the bag to convert it into a conforter. Then I sleep directly on the pad. So, cool me thinks. I can use the same set-up all year around. Unfortunately, its still big and bulky by the Ghost standards.

I will look at your suggestions. Any other alternatives for bags? I'm 6 foot and usually sleep hot. Camping 3 season in the Olympics and Cascades.

Quote:

Next thing is that 3/4 camplite pad. That is way heavy and bulky. Unless you really need all that extra padding and width (the camplites are 25 inches wide), consider one of the "lite" Thermarests - 20 inches wide, half the weight, or even a closed cell foam pad (WalMart's blue foam is a half pound). You say (rightly) that the foam is more bulky than the camplite. True, but you can put it on the outside of the pack with little unbalance. Did you try putting the pad and tent just under the pack lid or on top of the lid? It will not unbalance the pack there.

I misstated here. I have the "Backpacker" 3/4 thermarest. Also, the Ghost does not have a "pack lid". It stops with a zipper at the top without a lid or flap.

Quote:

The tent - If it were the Sierra or Rockies, I would say consider just using a tarp for those rare times when you have to camp in the rain during the summer (the rain in both tends to come in the middle of the day's hike - come to think of it, in the Presidentials, I always got the heavy rains in mid-afternoon, too, and only once in 4 summers of almost-every-weekend had an overnight rain). Integral has a tarp that packs fist-size and weighs 7 ounces, with a double-width tarp that is still less than a pound. Black Diamond has a sil-coat version of the Megamid that sleeps 3 and stuffs to about 3-fists volume (you can use your adjustable hiking pole for the single pole needed). But something I have noted is that a lot of tents are more bulky than necessary. I recently got a Clip Flashlight to replace my ancient Sleeve Flashlight. The Clip is almost a pound heavier and about 20 percent more bulky. One thing that might help with your Eureka is to put the poles on the side of your pack, leaving the softer, more foldable tent fabric parts to put under the pack flap.

All good suggestions. I'm hiking in the Washington Cascades where it can sometimes (and sometimes always) rains alot, often overnight. Also, I refuse to hike without a tent at any cost. (Personal problem I know. I once did a 50 miler out of Hetch-Hetchy and got eaten alive by misequtoes (sp). We were all miserable and there was absolutely no relief. Scout leaders refused to allow tents but made us all carry down bags (see above bag). We all either sweated all night in our bags or stuck our heads and arms out and got dozens of bites all night long.)

Quote:

Did you pack your Whisperlite in the cook pot? And put your spoon inside your cup (your knife goes in your pocket, and you don't need a fork)? Do you really need a bowl and plate in addition to your cup and cookpot?

yes and yes. No bowl nor plate.


Quote:

Are your "essentials" really and truly essential? Make a complete list (*really* complete, right down to the number of matches and iodine tablets) of absolutely everything you are taking with you, separated by "in pack", "wearing", etc. Then go through the list and mark each item as "use every trip", "never used, but required for emergency", "nice to have, but could have survived without", "never used on any trip", "used once in past 50 trips, but just to use it", and so on. For first aid items, I suggest reading Eric Weiss' little book A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine. You will learn that 90 percent of first aid items can be improvised with what you carry with you anyway. For example, your foam pad makes an excellent splint (Thermarests don't work as well).

ok, but I never even got this far because of the bulk of the bag.

Quote:

Anyway, think about how to reduce the bulk, as Jim suggested.

On your other comments -

Quote:

[Old Greybearded One, please don't yell at me to read the directions this time.

**** I didn't yell at you. I used normal type, not ALL CAPS like someone else did recently on one of the Trailspace pages. Also, I do not assume anyone is an idiot (until they take it on themselves to prove it). Most people, including many who have been using gear and out in the woods for years, even decades, never got a chance to learn a lot of things. Gotta admit I didn't learn how to properly light my XGK until I had it for almost 10 years, and even then only after talking to an MSR tech rep, then afterward reading the directions. I'm still learning every time I go out, even after a lifetime of camping, climbing, and skiing, starting from when my parents took me out before I could walk. For example, I picked up some interesting tidbits from my discussions with reps at the Outdoor Retailer Show earlier this month that I should have known decades ago. Most people find something that works and assume that the recalcitrance of gear is "just the way it is". How many people do you know who assume that camping has to be uncomfortable and miserable? Yet many of us know that you can be more comfortable camping at 14,000 feet on Denali in a blizzard than staying in some "luxury" hotels that I have stayed at on business trips. ***

Quote:

I did go back to the MSR Whisperlite website and downloaded their instructions that only say to "turn the control valve off. The flame will take 1 to 2 minutes to die out."

**** Take my word for it, or call MSR and talk to their tech reps. Yes, turn the valve off. But when it gets to the yellow carbon flame, blow it out. It will reduce the amount of carboning of the waffle plates and the lacquer buildup in the generator section of the fuel tube (the part that loops up over the burner). ***

I believe you and it makes sense to do it your way. My only point was that I did read the directions but seemed to get hammered (hammered is a bit strong, I know) for having the audacity to actually believe them.

Quote:

Quote:

Another example, just got a new Eureka! tent. Both the instructions that come with it and their website on "tent storage" say to "loosely roll" the tent for storage. Nothing about "stuffing it."

*** Yes, for storage, you should remove the tent from its stuff sack and *loosely* roll it, or you can stuff it loosely into a bag that is 3 or 4 times the size of the stuff sack (just like a sleeping bag should be stored). This allows it to breathe and gets away from sharp folds and bends. But the instruction sheet that came with the Eurekas we bought a few years back for the Scout troop said clearly "stuff, do not roll or fold" into the stuff sack for backpacking. If you are going to do a lot of backpacking, where you pack the tent every day for several weeks, you should make a point of airing and drying the tent once in a while during the trip, and stuff it instead of folding it. I haven't been Scoutmaster or dealt with the Troop's gear for quite a while, so I don't know what the newest one says. I hope it still advises airing and drying the tent.

As I have been telling my camping friends, I'm now storing my tents loosely in old burlap bags (from Scout three-legged races) instead of in the boxes they came in.

Hey, that's what this site is all about. Learn somthing new everyday. I might even consider keeping the Ghost instead of moving up to their 4200 cu in model.

Thanks for your feed back.

10:59 p.m. on August 22, 2002 (EDT)
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But, Jimmy boy ...

Ah dun seen yur packin'. You the luxo camper. (Warning for those who don't know - Mr. Shaw and I go back a few years, so we rag on each other all the time, all in good fun. We have fun together. Jim, we gotta get out for a weekend before the snow flies, and also after the snow flies. I got a good new place to go in the snow, except maybe one of the fires may have gotten at part of it).

Anyways. Jim includes his chair (sleeve for the pad, and yes, Barb and I have them, too, for the luxo trips), infrared scope (great for watching animals at night, including a certain big furry friend of Jim's that he met up around Duck Lake), and (as you know from one of Jim's posts of a few months back) heavy metal (protection from the big furry guy, or something like that). He eats well, too.

On the other hand, Jim makes room for the luxo stuff by having a lot of ultralight stuff, like his fractional ounce microlith flashlight.

Gotta disagree a little on the compression sack. I have been using them for a few years and haven't noticed any loss of loft in either my down or synth bags. I store the bags at home in the giant roomy sacks, and don't compress them when car camping or staying at Clair Tappaan. But the FF got compressed for something like 15 days of carrying on each of 3 trips to the Alaska Range (got re-fluffed for the roughly 30 days accumulation of sitting in tents during storms, though), plus treks in the Tetons, Cascades, Shasta (oops, that's the Cascades, too), and Sierra. I would guess it has spent close to a hundred days compressed over the past 5 years. The TNF synth (Bigfoot) has definitely lost loft, but that's an older generation of synth and is now almost 15 years old (doesn't get used much aside from Scout winter trips these days). The Marmot 15deg Primaloft seems to still have as much loft, especially just after a washing.

But, Jim, you are right that keeping a bag compressed does over time cause a loss of loft. I only disagree on the amount of loss and the time scale.

Oh yeah, Jim's comment on "gear expanding to fill the space" is absolutely right on. I see this all the time with people in the backcountry, and even on expeditions. Now in Mr. Shaw's case, ya needs the space for all the luxo stuff.

11:48 p.m. on August 22, 2002 (EDT)
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And furthermore ...

(Paul, you should know that I am a Senior Member of the Ancient and Honorable Order of Dirtbag Curmudgeons, hence required to make lots of cynical, sarcastic, supercilious, and condescending comments to support my bigotted views of gear. Which you will realize means that you should never take what I say very seriously)

...

Quote:

With an 11 year son, whom I can split everything (large kid). Also, only 1 filter, 1 stove etc for both of us. Since he has his external frame Boy Scout packpack with sleeping bag tied on the outside, HE has plenty of room.

*** Hey, if he is already that old, he should be carrying most of the weight. That's what sons are for. Remember, it is a son's duty to give his pa a hard time, and a father's duty to harass his son. Ummmhh, before someone decides I am advocating something illegal, it should all be done in good humor (your comment sounds like you understand this already). But, do be careful and sensitive. He is just entering the age where he is starting to become independent (something to be much encouraged), but not yet a teenage rebel. As a former Scoutmaster, I saw (and see when I still go on the Troop's trips) parents getting way wrong-size packs and other gear and overloading the poor kid. I am sure you know the basic rule of keeping a boy (or girl)'s pack less than 20 percent of their body weight when they are younger than 15 or so, then 25 percent up to 17 or 18 years old. Keep it light, so they have fun and good memories. Paul's comments indicate he knows this already, but other parents reading this might not fully realize it. ***


...

Quote:

Maybe it is my ignorance but I was hoping to get away with going light without having to buy hightech (read, high price) stuff. I thought, maybe just maybe, it meant leaving some things out (ok, a lot of things out), instead of leaving things out AND replacing with all new stuff. Jeez, I thought I was doing pretty good with buying the Zeus EXO with only 3.8 lbs. and the Asolo Fusion 95 boots.

*** Well, yeah, the EXO is a nice light fairly compact tent (but aren't you a real tall guy, if I remember a previous post? That EXO2 could be real crowded with a 6++ footer). No, you do not have to buy hightech, highcost items. You clearly need to be indoctrinated, er, umm, learn about the RayWay. Jardine not only talks about lightweight, but also about how to do it cheaply. Mostly it is leaving stuff out. Jardine's book is Beyond Backpacking. And no, I do not advocate his more extreme measures. But you can get some good ideas if you pick and choose.

*** You say you sleep warm, and this is 3-season Cascades. Cascades, huh? Well, you jolly well better have a tent. And about the tiny winged disease vectors (I say tiny, because I saw them B52-sized things that pass for "mosquitos" up in Alaska), in certain seasons in the Sierra, Canadian Rockies, Presidentials, and many (most) other parts of North America (and the rest of the world), screening and DEET are absolutely required. But you can get a reasonable synth mummy bag that compresses pretty small for under $100 on sale from reputable brands. So it isn't all that costly. And the WalMart/Target blue foam is $5. You already have pretty much all the high tech gear you need already. ***

...

Quote:

I misstated here. I have the "Backpacker" 3/4 thermarest. Also, the Ghost does not have a "pack lid". It stops with a zipper at the top without a lid or flap.

*** The foam pads are still a lot lighter than that Thermarest. No pack lid? How about daisy loops? You could probably rig something to put the tent body and pad over the top of the pack.

*** You were worried about getting at your mesh water bottle pockets. I use a water bottle holder that velcros onto the pack's waist belt or, more often, a Camelbak. The Camelback is a plain old Classic or Snowbowl (depending on season) that I wear under the pack, rather than putting the bladder inside the pack. It might seem like it would be an extra lump on your back, but I find it is actually quite comfortable, if I fill the pack carefully ***


...

Quote:

I believe you and it makes sense to do it your way. My only point was that I did read the directions but seemed to get hammered (hammered is a bit strong, I know) for having the audacity to actually believe them.

**** Just remember (1) my disclaimer at the top and (2) the Internet is a very poor way to communicate. You can't see the tongue in cheek or hear the tone of voice, so a comment dripping with sarcasm ("*everybody* reads the instructions, don't they?") lose a lot on the screen. Maybe I should have said "You actually had the audacity to believe the instructions? Well, there's your problem right there." Of course, you might have taken that seriously, rather than as a joke. Anyway, the MSR and other tech reps have lamented to me a number of times that no one ever seems to read the user instructions, so sometimes they just omit them or dumb them down to something very short. I have called tech reps with a question about why something seems to work in a strange way or why something was designed the way it was and gotten the response that I am the only person who has ever brought that up. Some companies (the electronic widget folks, particularly) seem to assume that people only buy their widgets to have another toy, not to really use. But the top companies (OGBO 5-star rated companies) are serious and their tech reps will talk with you. They even talk with the folks who ask the equivalent of the old computer joke "It says 'push any key', but my keyboard does not have a key marked 'any'". I had one of those persons in my land nav class last weekend. As I told Ed G in another post, "sigh"

*** Keep on experimenting, and keep posting here with your questions and comments. You really provided some good input to the guy asking about the EXO a few days back. That's what sites like this and mtncommunity.com are all about.

6:50 a.m. on August 23, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Warren Stevens

All the suggestions above are good. here are a few more:

The sleeping bag does seem to be the heart of the problem, my winter bag is smaller than a bowling ball.The Campmor semi rectangular Down 45

6:08 p.m. on August 23, 2002 (EDT)
67 reviewer rep
757 forum posts

Quote:

All the suggestions above are good. here are a few more:


Quote:

For my smaller pack I have to switch to a more compact cook kit. How large is your cook set?

Good call. I have seen that a 100 gram fuel bottle one third full is all that I need for a light solo weekend. Add a 3-4 ounce burner/stove and a 4 ounce Titanium pan and your complete cook set weighs under a pound with a light cup and spoon.

Quote:

The Whisperlight may actually pack better outside the cookset, soft items will conform to the odd shape.


I hate whisperlites - they're too heavy for the amount of padding. Try a Warmlite down filled air mattress - its more like a heated water bed he he he. And their advertising is fun too... (;;;->)

I think the biggest problem with packing light is wanting to bring all your new gear. When you can finally let go and leave most of it at home is when you find the true freedom of the hills. When I finally got my 5th gortex jacket it bacame obvious - I can't take all of them, and its OK.

Another thing - often we have a six trip supply of things in our packs like bandaids, sun lotion, salt and pepper etc. Cut these supplies down to one trips worth and see pounds flutter away. Do you really need that repair kit and heavy plier-knife thing, or the tent pole reinforcer sleeve?
Jim S (:->) YMMV

1:27 p.m. on August 27, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Jason

Just wanted to add my two cents. I just finished thruhiking the AT using the Ghost for the last 900 miles. I have no complaints of the pack other than the fiberglass rods poking through (twice, but I was able to fix them quickly in the field). Very comfortable and very light (25lbs--food and water).

However, you can't pack a conventional load in it. If you want to "go-lite", it must be everything, not just the pack itself. Maybe the cheaper of the two options would be to buy a larger pack. I wouldn't attempt to carry 35 lbs in the Ghost....its just not designed for it.

I used a Marmot Helium down bag that compresses to a very small size and weighs only 2lbs. It is difficult to pack a tent as well, I used the Hennessy Hammock instead, which packs small as well.

Instead of a filter I used a small visine bottle of bleach. No Whisperlite gas stove, but rather Esbit fuel tabs.

You see, you have to really change what it is you are carrying if you're going to use this pack successfully. I was able to pack all of my gear inside the pack and that includes the cold weather gear for the Whites and the extra food for the 100 mile wilderness.


Hope this helps.

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