What do you think of my gear?

1:17 a.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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I got a great deal on sales and swap meets and think I have everything covered now (although I've probably forgotten to add things to this list):

Osprey aether 70L

Osprey pack cover

Thermarest ?- got it at a swap meet for $20, green, rectangular and self-inflating.

Rei polar pod 30(?)F

Mountain smith compression sack for sleeping bag

Rei camp dome 2

Camp dome 2 footprint

MSR Whisperlite stove

MSR fuel bottle

MSR stowaway 1L pot

Sawyer 2L gravity filter

Osprey 3L reservoir

Nalgene 1L bottle (I drink A LOT of water)

Black diamond storm headlamp

OR dry bag- 5L

3:24 a.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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Just so you know...this is only my opinion...it is just what came to mind quickly...in the end what matters most is what you think and do!

A 70L pack is a serious pack...it is double the capacity I use in the winter...so I do not think you're going to have a problem with limited pack-space. The side-pockets are a little higher than I am used to...but as long as you can store your water-bottles in them it would work for me...the hip-belt pockets are a nice touch!

I have never used a pack-cover...my packs are mostly nylon...so the additional weight from water absorption is not a big concern for me (though the fabric on your pack looks like it might absorb more water?). As far as inside...I am not certain a pack-cover does much good...and a trash compactor and a few Ziploc bags keep everything dry in the worst of downpours without one.

If you got a self-inflating Thermarest for $20.00...I would say good deal...I love mine and I paid full-price:-)

I wouldn't use the compression sack on your sleeping bag...the synthetic fibers will not bounce back well if compressed tightly for long periods of time...just buy a trash-compactor bag and use it as a bag-liner in your pack...then shove your sleeping-bag in just enough to close the top of your pack...your bag will last a lot longer this way.

The vestibules of your tent do not go all the way to the ground...I would pitch your tent in areas with lots of cover in wet weather to prevent wind blown rain from blowing into the inner-tent.

I am not much for footprints...but it might be a good choice for your tent...as you can pitch the footprint like a tarp to create a larger vestibule for storage and cooking in heavy rain...as far as extra protection against wetness...a large number of folks think you're better off getting some sheets of plastic large enough to go up the sides of your tent and putting the plastic inside...I do not use either a foot-print or plastic...but there is merit in the plastic idea!

The stove is a little heavy for big-mile backpacking...but those stoves are as time-tested as any...and a stove of choice for all who intend to melt ice and snow for water.

That's a good volume cook-pot for soloing (perhaps an intimate duo as well?)...there are lighter pots out there...but there will be plenty of time to chase after cookware in the future (trust me!)

I use a (.02 Sawyer) gravity-filter mostly for canoeing and kayaking with larger groups...but for solo backpacking I find the $20.00 Sawyer Mini and a few small bottles of Aquamira just about perfect. Also...you should know that the filter you're using only filters bacteria and protozoa...I would recommend picking up some chemical treatment (ClO2) for when you come across questionable water-sources.

I have never been a fan of reservoirs (I do bring a Platypus on dry-trails to carry additional water)...but I would say that 3L is about right given how much you like water.

As long as the Nalgene fits in the side-pockets of your pack I would say they work...but if not...I would go look in the bottled-water section of your local grocery-store and buy two bottles of water that fit perfectly...the convenience of carrying water in your side-pockets is difficult to overstate. 

Everyone thinks they have the best headlamp (maybe we are all right?)...I say if it works...and is weather resistant...then you picked a winner!

I use dry-bags when paddling because the chance of submersion is more likely than on the trail. For backpacking I think they are a little over-kill (but I do not ford swollen rivers with a pack). As far as rain...I have walked confidently in downpours with not a worry that my trash-compactor bag and Ziploc bags will keep everything dry.

4:43 a.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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I know the pack is big but I also eat about 4000 cals/day when not hiking and I like to know I have more than enough food. I also like to hike with my dog so whatever she can't fit in her pack will go in mine.

I know the compression sack isn't good for the bag but I like to have it my possession in case I do pack for a trip that requires more bulk. Plus I had a gift card and it was on sale :)

I actually probably would have gotten a lighter stove but I got this one plus the fuel bottle (filled) for $10 at said swap meet so I'm not complaining.

As for the pot, I'm the only one in my circle of friends that has stuff to cook so unless I'm doing a solo trip there will be at least 3 people using it.

I used this equipment for a 4 day trip in the smokies and it worked out pretty well- we got caught in storms and had to ford rivers so the pack cover and dry bag might not have done anything but it definitely gave me peace of mind.

I'll have to try the trash bag liner trick but wouldn't the pack get heavier from soaking up the rain?

5:06 a.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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Actually... I guess I should use the compression sack for my tent and clothes instead. I can be pretty dense sometimes.

8:45 a.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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I suppose it all seems fine to me... much of figuring out what works for you is just trial and error....

If youre looking for things to throw money away at I keep a list of my current gear on my profile if you need inspiration!

seriously though??? 4000 cals/day?!!!! I barely break 2000 and I'm not a small guy lol

11:32 a.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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4000 cal/day when not hiking???? WOW!!! Unless you are stating gram-cal and not kilo-cal (kcal is the usual unit for food). On expeditions where we are gaining 1000-2000 meters/day of climb plus 5 km horizontal with full expedition packs (or hauling sleds as in my avatar) in at altitudes or 3000-7000 meters cold conditions (again, as in Antarctica where my avatar photo was taken), we typically burn 4000-6000 kcal/day. The loads are much heavier than what you have in your gear list (includes a months worth of food plus fuel and climbing gear including ropes, crampons, ice tools, etc.

On typical weekend backpacks or even a week-long backpack in the Rockies, Sierra, Appalachians, 2000-3000 kcal/day is more like it. According to training books, average for most males is 1500-2000/day, 10-20 kcal per pound of body weight (most males in the typical semi-sedentary desk jobs, that is).

I dunno, though. With a name like "Thorvald", I picture a strapping big Viking (like the Norwegian god Thor). So maybe 4000 kcal is right {8=>D.

1:03 p.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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I mean the usual American usage of "calorie." This is actually cut down a bit from a few years ago in high school. We had to do some calorie count stuff for health class and my average was about 7000cal/day.

1:12 p.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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Every body runs differently. If I'm biking/hiking all day I need to pump a lot of fuel in or bad things happen. (I'll be posting a cautionary trip report on just that subject in a few weeks when I get back from the west coast.) 3-4k is generally what it takes for me if I'm putting in a 12 hour day.

One thing I'll mention about your gear list Thorvald is to watch where you stash that Storm headlamp. I have had it turn on in my pack more than a few times.  Luckily it is so bright I notice it through the pack so I haven't been stuck with no battery...yet.

4:00 p.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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Thorvald...trash compactor and trash bags are not the same...trash compactor bags (available where trash bags are) are made of a heavier plastic than trash bags...I am not sure a regular trash bag would work as well. Unfortunately...trash compactor bags come on a lifetime supply sized roll...but they are great to give away to friends on the trail.

You got a great stove for 10.00! I wouldn't worry about spending a lot on a new stove unless you are looking to expand your cooking techniques on the trail such as baking and frying. If you're looking for a lighter stove you can always spend .50 on a can of cat-food and punch a bunch of holes in it for a lightweight cat-stove (see 1,000,000 youtube videos for further instructions).

Whoa!...it will take you and the other a long-time to cook enough food for everyone in a 1L pot...particularly if you're consuming several 1000 calories yourself. I would suggest everyone that wants to cook go out and make a cat-food stove and purchase an aluminum Stanco Grease Pot (5.00-6.00). I do not like to suggest others go out and buy things (the environment pays the hardest price for our consumption habits)...but for 5.50 a person you will all be very thankful.

If the dry-bag makes you feel better...or you think you need it...take it...I was just trying to suggest a different perspective...something to try if you're looking to simplify and drop a few ounces.

Yes...packs do absorb water in the rain...but this is a negligible amount for folks carrying over 25-30lbs. I carry between 15-20lbs...and I am not particularly concerned with the water my (mostly nylon) pack absorbs...since my pack only stay wet while it is raining.

6:26 p.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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My 2 cents--Take this stuff out on a couple of shake downs. Keep what you like. Ditch what you don't.


My style of hiking and the gear I carry look nothing like they did 7 years ago. In fact, the guy who introduced me to backpacking would probably be shocked at what I carry these days.

Hike your own hike.There is no one way to do it right (okay, there ARE lots of ways to do it wrong, but I think you are off to a decent start).

8:45 p.m. on November 6, 2014 (EST)
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Joseph, thank you for clearing that up- it could have been bad.

I think I might start experimenting with the compactor bags and lighter stove once I get more experience (and money) to start looking into UL backpacking, but for now I'm satisfied with the great deal I got.

The cooking doesn't really bother me but the fact that I only have a 2L filter slows it down a bit so I just make who ever I'm cooking for be my water boy.

I figured gear would change over time but after my trip in the smokies and another after that- I'm pretty satisfied with all or it so far. Again, I'll start to experiment when I get the money/opportunity.

1:48 p.m. on November 8, 2014 (EST)
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Welcome to Trailspace Thorvald!

As has already been stated - if you ask people for their opinions on backpacking gear you will get a lot of answers, many of them differing. It is not so much a right way / wrong way type of thing as much as it just personal preferences based on individual needs plus their experience in different climates, topographies, & conditions.

Having said that, getting advise on gear from other people with different needs, backpacking styles, & experiences, is invaluable from the perspective of giving you (us) a wide range of ideas for doing things differently as we are ready to experiment & try new things.

Trailspace has been a HUGE help to me in this regard!

 As also already mentioned I would say to do a couple "shake down" trips close to your vehicle / home and see how your gear works out for you.

I would also say you can have a lot of fun backpacking with the gear you have on hand even if some of it is not the gear you wish you had. I did this for years and wouldn't trade a single night of it for anything.

As long as you don't bite off more than you are ready to chew, and your gear keeps you safe, warm, dry, hydrated, & fed - you will be fine.

Mike G.

8:29 p.m. on November 8, 2014 (EST)
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Thorvald- this is almost the exact same gear I started with, substitute the wisperlite for the simmerlite! I've switched packs from the aether but most else has remained the same and is still serviceable.

Mike said it best, get out there, use it and you'll find what you like and don't like. Hanging around here too much and you'll start getting gear envy and that's a costly slope, hahaha.

Let us know how the first trip goes.

9:52 p.m. on November 10, 2014 (EST)
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I use a 65L pack in the winter, I carry extra clothing, crampons, 30' of rope on some hikes, sleeping pad, first aid, 2 bottles of fluid with bottle insulation and various small items, lunch and munchy stuff the weight comes out to 28-30lbs. I took an AMC winter class and they recommend using the trash compactor bags. I have the same stove and love it, a repair kit would be a good idea. I have down sleeping bags, I use Outdoor Research waterproof compression sacks. I keep the bags on hangers when not in use so to keep the loft. bladder tubes will freeze in the winter, even the insulated ones. We were told in class don't use them. I had an insulated from before the class that I tested later on and it froze 3/4's of the way up in 20 degrees. Check your tent for pin holes and seams for dry cracks and/or damage.

3:53 a.m. on November 11, 2014 (EST)
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Thorvald first a welcome to the forum from over the pond. Then to the question of equipment. It all depends on where you want to hike, and when. What is ok in Texas is insufficient in northern Alaska. I have skimmed through the text, but I did not find any reference to when and where. But I missed to see any navigation equipment and also a snow showel. In my area these are essential. Here http://www2.turistforeningen.no/files/DNT/publikasjoner/Sikkerhetsbrosjye_A5_VINTER_ENG_TY.pdf is the DNT (Norwegian tourist org.) and their rules for walking in the mountains called mountain code. You also find a gearlist. The climate in the norwegian mountains is comparable to northern Alaska I think. If you manage this, you should have little difficulties in the lower fifties IMHO.

1:54 p.m. on November 14, 2014 (EST)
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Hey Thorvald! Plenty of sound advice already here, only a couple of things that aren't specifically mentioned. Perhaps a camp cup, if you drink hot drinks? I've been using a nesting combo of an old MSR pot/lid, my '80's Peak 1 steel cup, and an alcohol stove (home-made supercat) nested with a bandana. 

1st Aid kit- I just didn't see it mentioned. If you find yourself getting more into this, a personal locator beacon (PLB) is worth its weight. 

Looks like you're already well on your way, just don't be too hard on that water boy, or you're going to be in short supply of backpacking buddies, like so many of us!

-Sláinte

October 15, 2019
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