My gear selection for a weekend hike.

9:42 p.m. on September 27, 2018 (EDT)
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What’s up. Here is a video I did of an overview of my pack for a 3-4 day section/weekend hike. These are my essentials. Let me know what you think. Also, you see anything I should change?

11:40 p.m. on September 27, 2018 (EDT)
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Soloing or going as a group? I like lanterns for group trips...but when soloing a headlamp usually gets the job done.

I know you said you didn't know exactly where you're going...but do you have a general idea of where you intend to hike? Temp Range? Precipitation?...it is hard to comment without knowing these things. That said...are you bringing rain gear? Also...a woobie and hiking clothes is probably only good for warm to mild temps in a hammock...my guess is your kit is good down to the 40s if you're the hearty kind (assuming you wear all your extra clothes and put the sit pad under you). I would be freezing my bottom off with that clothing if the temp dropped below 50!

You mentioned that you like soft-bottles for the space saving...I am curious what you do with the space savings on trail...doesn't using the space inhibit your ability to use the bottles later?

I would sew some nylon or stick some duct-tape on one side of your sit-pad for extra durability since you went through the effort to trim it out.

You could save some weight by using a trash-compactor bag instead of all those dry-bags...you would be surprised by how much extra weight and volume they add!

6:08 a.m. on September 28, 2018 (EDT)
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We all have our preferences, and I would resort to many alternatives, probably as much out of practicality, respective of the different venues we both hike.  Eastern forests and balds are very different camping environs than western alpine mountains and deserts.  The message here, being equip for the venue you are visiting.  Thus I agree with Joseph: include more info about the environment and weather where you are intending to use your kit.  Other than that I have a few suggestions.

  • You should carry gorilla tape or equivalent in case those water bladders leak, should BOTH fail.  In fact carry the tape and you won't need a back up bladder - the tape is lighter in any case.
  • You mentioned a stuff bag containing a poncho that gets stashed at the bottom of your pack.  I assume the poncho is also your rain gear.  You might reconsider positioning it where it is readily accessible while on trail, should you need it en route.  Many people pack such that stuff they may need during the walk is easy to access (e.g. lunch, warm layers while at rest, water, water treatment, rain gear, map & compass, etc.)
  • You like to use a lot of bags to organize stuff.  Zip locks are a lot lighter, and given the number of bags you use may shave north of a pound off your kit.
  • Food.  The meals you describe do not provide sufficient caloric intake.  You can get by on such fare on a weekender, but multi-day trips will find you feeling more fatigued and the days progress as you body starves for calories.  No fun when chronically exhausted.

Ed

8:14 a.m. on September 28, 2018 (EDT)
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My suggestion...type up a gear list if you really want input rather than making folks watch a 16 minute video. You'll get much more input.

10:19 a.m. on September 28, 2018 (EDT)
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Good input and questions, thank you jrenow. 

I will be going solo.

I have found that the Luci lantern, while being very light weight, is great to hang under my tarp if I need extra light or need light that is not from my headlamp.

I have my trip narrowed down to 3 places, all of which are roughly within 45 miles of each other and the weather forecast right now, are lows around 55 and highs around 75. And I usually do not take rain gear, I don’t like it. It is usually more of a hassle than anything else and causes me to sweat more. I do carry a pack cover in the event of rain. There is a small chance of rain on the last night.

With the water bottles, I am referring to the space saving aspect of them when empty. Once I have drank all the water out of on bottle, I can roll it up and stick it anywhere in my pack until the next water source.

My stuff sacks and dry bags are fairly light weight, none of them weigh over 2.2 oz empty. I have tried the trash compactor bags and just didn’t like them.

 

10:32 a.m. on September 28, 2018 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

We all have our preferences, and I would resort to many alternatives, probably as much out of practicality, respective of the different venues we both hike.  Eastern forests and balds are very different camping environs than western alpine mountains and deserts.  The message here, being equip for the venue you are visiting.  Thus I agree with Joseph: include more info about the environment and weather where you are intending to use your kit.  Other than that I have a few suggestions.

  • You should carry gorilla tape or equivalent in case those water bladders leak, should BOTH fail.  In fact carry the tape and you won't need a back up bladder - the tape is lighter in any case.
  • You mentioned a stuff bag containing a poncho that gets stashed at the bottom of your pack.  I assume the poncho is also your rain gear.  You might reconsider positioning it where it is readily accessible while on trail, should you need it en route.  Many people pack such that stuff they may need during the walk is easy to access (e.g. lunch, warm layers while at rest, water, water treatment, rain gear, map & compass, etc.)
  • You like to use a lot of bags to organize stuff.  Zip locks are a lot lighter, and given the number of bags you use may shave north of a pound off your kit.
  • Food.  The meals you describe do not provide sufficient caloric intake.  You can get by on such fare on a weekender, but multi-day trips will find you feeling more fatigued and the days progress as you body starves for calories.  No fun when chronically exhausted.

Ed

 

Thanks Ed,

 

So I already answered the weather question. But I will be in North Georgia.

I do have some duct tape rolled onto a section of drinking straw in my ditty bag. The benefit to the second dirty water bladder is that when I arrive at camp, I fill up all of my clean water bladders/bottles and fill the dirty water bladders with dirty water. This allows me to filter in the morning without having to go back to the water source.

The stuff sack that you are referring to is the Sea to Summit with my sleep system, it does not contain a poncho, it contains a poncho liner, what I use as part of my sleep system. I do not carry rain gear, I personally feel that it is wasted weight. When I wear a rain coat or poncho, I sweat more. I would rather hike in the rain. I do carry a pack cover to keep my pack dry tho.

My heaviest bag is 2.2 oz, yes, that is heavier than a zip lock back and I will definitely look into which dry bags I can swap over to zip lock bags, thanks. I have used them before and liked them, I honestly can’t remember why I quit using them.

The food I mentioned were just examples, it was by no means an exhaustive list of what I will be carrying. If I carry too much of anything, it is food.

 

10:59 a.m. on September 28, 2018 (EDT)
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FlipNC said:

My suggestion...type up a gear list if you really want input rather than making folks watch a 16 minute video. You'll get much more input.

Here is the basic nuts and bolts of what I will be carrying: 

Hammock (diy)
Tarp (diy) with tent stakes
Sleep system(mil poncho liner + SOL escape bivvy)
Cook kit(Ozark Trail 10 piece modified)
Sawyer Squeeze kit
Headlamp
Luci inflatable lantern
Dirty bag(small misc items)
TP
Platypus 1L x2
Clothes(1 pair of shorts, 1 extra t-shirt, 2 pair of socks, light weight thermals top and bottom)
Food(changes depending on distance and time out)

All organized in dry bags and/or stuff sacks.

11:34 a.m. on September 28, 2018 (EDT)
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Hi. thanks for posting. Your video is slow and rambling. Lay out your stuff and show it to us. Only newbies are going to watch something like this. 

Leave some stuff behind.  For warm temps you are fine. 

In August in the local mountains I would be bringing long johns and two jackets. 

2:49 p.m. on September 28, 2018 (EDT)
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Mr Griff....I have been accused of being cavalier when it comes to rain gear...but I think you might have me beat going into the mountains of Georgia with no dedicated rain gear with 70 degree highs. I have done a lot of paddling on the Ocoee (I know it is technically in TN but I have to go into GA for a minute to get there) and I have had blue lips sitting out storms with highs in the 90s (cloud cover and wind usually accompany storms). Hope you have a clear forecast...but if things get bad drape that tarp over you!

2oz multiplied by 4 is 1/2 lb...just saying.

What kind of small miscellaneous items do you keep in your "dirty bag"...just kidding...I know what you meant :-)

8:29 p.m. on September 28, 2018 (EDT)
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Growing up in GA for 10 yrs and spending almost every weekend in the mountains there I can see the draw of not carrying rain gear, I prefer not to sweat inside "breathable" jackets etc as well in warm temps. I would limit that to July and August with a good forecast, and still have good insulation for camp clothing. This time of year you can easily combine wet and cool to drop your body temp down...an unexpected 40 degree night with some wind especially if you are wet can feel well below freezing and lead to problems.

Thanks for translating your video into text for us old guys who aren't in to YouTube as much! :)

8:46 p.m. on September 29, 2018 (EDT)
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Packing for a weekend trip should be easy.  Some people make spreadsheets and videos and weigh everything.  My approach is to grab some stuff, go to the grocery store and go.  It gets easier after the first 10 years. 

6:37 a.m. on October 3, 2018 (EDT)
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Packing for a weekend hike does get routine, but even so I still keep a list to check quickly as I throw stuff in the night before then raid the pantry and stop by the store on the way to the trailhead.  The list keeps me from having one of those trip reports you see occasionally where even a really experienced hiker forgot his/her spoon, tent stakes, or some small item. 

9:26 a.m. on October 3, 2018 (EDT)
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Just like I joke about the hidden typo in reviews, we have one around here about the forgotten item. Theory is there is one on every trip and once you figure out what it is you can relax because you know you have everything else.

For the section hike I did last week it was my pocket comb. Realized it in the shuttle and knew I'd pass a gas station on day 3 so didn't worry any more :)

My mental check list is just to be sure I have the basic systems: Shelter/sleep, cook, water, food, clothes, bonus insulation/rain gear bag depending on season. If I have the bag for the system I know I have what I need inside.

Speaking of which...scoot is loaded, gotta go!

10:13 a.m. on October 3, 2018 (EDT)
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I also use an actual checklist. The more common problem I have with a mental checklist isn't that I completely forget about an item but that I'll think of it and think to myself, "yeah, I'll grab that right after I grab X and Y and Z", and then I forget to actually grab it, and my mind relaxes about it because I did actually "remember" it in the first place. I remembered the item but I didn't remember to actually grab it. So I need a list not only to help me remember what gear to take but to actually check it off as it gets into my pack.

10:31 a.m. on October 3, 2018 (EDT)
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Forgetting a spoon means you get to make some chopsticks or carve a spoon. 

Forgetting tent stakes means you get to make some. 

forgetting matches or a lighter means you get to figure out how to make a spark to light your stove. 

Forgetting things is an oppotunity to practice some thinking on the fly. 

12:01 p.m. on October 4, 2018 (EDT)
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LoneStranger said:

Just like I joke about the hidden typo in reviews, we have one around here about the forgotten item. Theory is there is one on every trip and once you figure out what it is you can relax because you know you have everything else.

 Very much applies to me. I always seem to forget something, no matter the length of the trip. Like PPine said it forces you to make do.

4:52 p.m. on October 4, 2018 (EDT)
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I don't disagree...you always have to be ready to improvise and I doubt any of us don't have a story about forgetting somwthing. I'm just saying some of us that have decades of backpacking behind us (and hopefully decades more ahead!) still use a checklist. I'm heading out tomorrow and haven't even thought about packing, but in about 15 min tonight I'll print my list run through it and be packed with piece of mind that I have everything except groceries I'll grab on the way. I don't mind forgetting something and adapting but prefer not to. To each their own.

11:26 a.m. on October 5, 2018 (EDT)
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I went on an elk hunting trip and realized I forgot to bring a pancake turner.  Fortunately I had an axe and made one in 45 seconds.  It worked so well I took it home and used it.

On another elk hunting trip in Idaho we were short one chair.  My friend, a wood guy,  walked into a willow thicket and came back with a bunch of willow stems.  He fashioned a very comfortable chair in about 20 minutes with some tie wire.  We all took turns sitting in it, and wished we had a chair like that. At the end of the trip, my friend tied the chair on the roof of his truck.  He used it on his deck for about 4 years before it fell apart.

On a deer hunting trip to Colorado we ended up at 10,000 feet. The only tent poles we could find for the wall tent, were some gnarly gambel oak branches.  The tent required a 14 foot ridge pole.  We spliced together two pieces and had a center pole in the tent.  My Dad got up to go outside to take a leak.  When he got up he used the pole for balance and dislodged the ridge pole which fell on my brother.  He was lying on his back drinking a beer.  The pole landed on his beer and smashed it flat.  It was the night his life was saved by Budweiser.

12:31 p.m. on October 5, 2018 (EDT)
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  It was the night his life was saved by Budweiser.

That's a sentence that I have never heard before!

7:48 a.m. on October 8, 2018 (EDT)
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Brian Blanton said:

LoneStranger said:

Just like I joke about the hidden typo in reviews, we have one around here about the forgotten item. Theory is there is one on every trip and once you figure out what it is you can relax because you know you have everything else.

 Very much applies to me. I always seem to forget something, no matter the length of the trip. Like PPine said it forces you to make do.

 I knew I was setting myself up for trouble when I posted that. Meant to stuff an air mattress in my pack in case I had to sleep in a shelter, but forgot it. First two nights were in spots that providing absolutely no place to hang my hammock. Both were in the clouds, first one 38°f and the second was 33°f when I got up at dawn. Really missed that mattress heh.

8:18 a.m. on October 8, 2018 (EDT)
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It happens to everyone...ive forgotten minor items even with a quick run through my checklist. My memory is pretty bad...i can't say I'll grab that in a minute while packing then do something else or I am likely to forget with other distractions.

3:35 p.m. on October 8, 2018 (EDT)
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Telling one on Gonzan here, but he once forgot his sleeping pad on a winter trip that had single digit F overnight temps. Yeah he was up well before the sun the next day, lol

12:40 a.m. on October 9, 2018 (EDT)
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Over the years I have forgotten:

My sleeping bag - twice - with one of the trips to Joshua Tree (National Monument back then) in January, enduring below freezing temps.

Rain gear.  This lapse, and not compensating, lead to me becoming hypothermic as a Boy Scout, to the degree that I stumbled about, unable to respond intelligently to questions by peers.  Long story, regarding bad leadership and botched logistics, resulting in our ride home failing to find the trailhead. 

Left my pack waist belt/lumbar pad back home (failed to complete a maintenance project).  I improvised a setup using rope, blue foam mat and a fleece shirt - it actually was comfortable, too.

Cooking pots.  Purchased a cheapo set in the town near the trailhead.

All sorts of minor items (e.g. toothpaste, tent stakes, sunglasses, etc)

Coffee - how does one EVER forget that?!

And then there are the items that I unintentionally abandoned while packing up camp, among them: a sil tarp ground cloth, a Cammenga compass...

I still forget items, regardless I use an extensive list, but that is what old age does to you.

Ed

9:57 a.m. on October 9, 2018 (EDT)
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Patrick and I were talking about the unintentional items left at camp this weekend.  I tend to circle around a bit looking for any randomly placed items, although occasionally forget but that usually ends up with me a couple hundred yards down the trail realizing and going back for one last look.

I can see forgetting a sleeping bag but coffee?

8:29 a.m. on October 21, 2018 (EDT)
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I've been working on lightening my pack weight the last couple of years, and it had an unexpected benefit. The less stuff you carry, fewer chances of leaving things at camp. Probably just jinxed myself.

2:08 p.m. on October 21, 2018 (EDT)
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I need to be more organized with the lists. I’ve forgotten my tent poles...twice now. I often do The same as JR and get distracted grabbing something else, and forget to come back. The flys and tent poles are stored at seperate places in my basement. That’s probably my first mistake! Hahaha. Like has been said, you make due, but rolling yourself in a tent fly is not nearly as comfortable so I’d prefer to remember everything! 

10:29 a.m. on November 14, 2018 (EST)
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I was on a week long pack trip with a commercial outfitter in the Sierras some years back.  The first morning around the campfire, people looked kind of stunned and not very happy.  Cookie forgot coffee.  Pack outfits run on coffee.  People are up in the middle of the night checking on their stock.  They get up at first light. 

We sent a kid back to the pack station for a bunch of coffee.  It was about 14 miles each way, but he had a good horse and made it easily in one day.  Harmony was restored. 

A week later, riding back to the pack station people had tacked signs on the trees like "Forget something?" and  "Life is better with coffee."  It was funny at the time. 

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