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Gear input/shakedown


Mcaldwell
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I am doing 2 trips this next week, the first is in Western NC for 2 nights/3 days and am going with one other person (sharing tent). The weather is supposed to be 64/50 (20% rain) the first day and 65/56 (40% rain) the second day (I would say subtract ~5 degrees from the temps due to elevation). I am looking for input on the gear, especially the clothing because that is a weak point for me (i always end up taking too much). Or any other suggestions you have in contrast to the two trips. The first trip load out is pictured below:

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Pack: Gregory Contour 60 - Need the volume for the bear canister, and I love this pack 
Sleeping System: REI Halo 40+ sleeping bag, Therm-a-rest trail pro sleeping pad, SeaToSummit Aeros Pillow.
Shelter: REI Dash 2 tent
Water Carrying/Filtration: Katadyn Hiker Pro Filter, 2 1L Platypus soft bottles, 3L Camelback bladder
Cooking/food: Bearvault 450 (it is required for part of the trail where I am going) MSR Windburner w/coffee press, tripod mug, 4oz of coffee
Misc Items: GoPro & small accessories, First aid kit, "toiletry bag" (TP, baby wipes, gold bond, lighter, compass), Small eno lantern, BD storm headlamp, micro towel, Nitecore p12, Suunto Core, S&W M&P 40c w/sherpa blackhawk holster, CRKT M16 pocket knife, Gerber Junior Machete (for firewood, digging, etc)
Clothing: LaSportiva Helios, knee brace, buff, Prana stretch zion pants, TNF running shorts, Arcteryx Atom LT, OR Foray, 2 pair socks, 1 sock liner, wicking shirt, sahara shirt, exofficio boxers, hat

The pad is big and heavy, and I could switch it out for my Klymit Static V *(see next picture) but I was worried about warmth with an un-insulated pad and a 40+ degree bag. Thoughts?

I feel like I may have too many clothes, but I am not sure how to change this and still be prepared?

Second trip - 4 nights/5 days in Western NC (but higher elevation). I am going with 4 other people but we are all coming from different locations at different times, so I need my own shelter. Weather - highest temp is 61 and lowest temp is 41 (it is currently 32 and snowing there however) and there is about a 40% chance of rain the whole time. Weather in this area can fluctuate so I was trying to be prepared. Load out below:

IMG_1621.thumb.JPG.073651cad42d339cf4b1b

Pack: Gregory Savant 38 - I don't think I need my 60L pack, but may depending on what gear is chosen
Sleeping System: REI Radiant 19 sleeping bag (I may take a buddies Back Country Bed instead), Kllymit Static V sleeping pad, SeaToSummit Aeros Pillow.
Shelter: OR Helium Bivy, ENO Pro fly
Water Carrying/Filtration: Sawyer Mini, 2 1L Platypus soft bottles, 3L Camelback bladder
Cooking/food: Bear bag not pictured, Vargo Titanium Wood stove, GSI Halite minimalist, Jetboil Coffee Press, GSI Mug, 4oz of coffee
Misc Items: GoPro & small accessories, First aid kit, "toiletry bag" (TP, baby wipes, gold bond, lighter, compass), Small eno lantern, BD storm headlamp, micro towel, Nitecore p12, Suunto Core, S&W M&P 40c w/sherpa blackhawk holster, CRKT M16 pocket knife, Gerber Junior Machete (for firewood, digging, etc)
Clothing: LaSportiva Helios, knee brace, buff, light gloves, Prana stretch zion pants, TNF running shorts, Patagonia R1, Arcteryx Atom LT, IceBreaker Wool Base layer top, OR Foray, 3 pair socks, 1 sock liner, wicking shirt, sahara shirt, exofficio boxers, hat

I am still conflicted on my bag (I need a 30 degree bag) and pad (My sea to summit pad won't arrive in time) combo. 

I am also hesitant about the bivy/tarp combo, tarp is for cooking/keeping gear under - I worry that the bivy will be too warm, I may take my tent instead and carry a little extra weight. 

I know the stove is slower, but wood is credibly available and this combo is much lighter, I have a lightweight canister stove if people have good objections to a bio stove.

I know I have too much clothing, but I am not sure what to take/pair with - input?

I look forward to any comments/suggestions! 

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Outdoor Labs

A little suggestion not necessarily related to your backpacking gear, your holster.  That is one of the worst holsters being produced, especially for use around dirty/dusty environments.  The release mechanism can be easily clogged by debris, even snow, making it almost impossible to get the weapon out.  Many departments, training facilities, and Fed groups have banned their use.

How do you like the OR Foray?  I've been looking at one as a rain layer to add to my OR Helium, but it seems like it's a full on rain jacket versus the quick throw on jacket.

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I have to first support 'Hike Your Own Hike'; that being said (in no particular order)...

  • You could subtract a pair of undees; wear your rain pants while your washing & drying the only pair after the hiking part of the day.
  • You might want to consider subtracting the eno lantern, you could get something like the Montbell crushable lamp shade; virtually no weight, and is an awesome diffuser for your BD headlamp. In time for your next trip...
  • You could leave the coffee press home, and get some Starbucks VIA (lots of companies make then now). Saves lots of filtered water since there's no press cleanup &waste.
  • Looks like from the size of your 1st Aid Kit, get a trauma pad so you have something to control life threat bleeding.
  • Did I miss your cat-hole kit? I use a plastic GSI trowel, TP, and 2x ziplock storage bags.
  • That being said, do you need the machete? I've never had to use a swinging blade for sufficient firewood. Beyond the trowel, your pistol & pocketknife would cover the other functions.
  • Do you have some paracord 440, or something else for emergency rope?
  •  The clothing; it looks like you have the top-half of your body overpacked. Maybe subtract the button-up, or the Icebreaker? Perhaps you could drop another item by using your rain shell as an outer layer? 
  • Maybe a dry bag for the pistol? I presume you've got dry bags for your sleeping system, clothes, etc...

Looks pretty good, your weight looks nice and manageable! Much better than you'd see in my pack, my med kit itself weighs over 3.5lbs... 

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@SPAC3MAN thanks for the input! I'm picky about my coffee, I am not a fan of the Via's. Normally I do a lightweight pour over. Good suggestion on using multiple clothing items for multiple things. My first aid kit has the bare minimums and could probably use some upgrades. What things do you recommend always having? And same goes for the cat hole kit. I usually use the machete for the digging. I a happy with my weight. Thanks for the reply!

@Outdoor Labs I have heard similar things with the holsters. I have an uncle mikes holster i use to carry but this one is much more comfortable and fits on my pack hipbelt better. Although I don't like how high it carries. Good food for thought. I love the Foray. It is a full on rain jacket but has awesome ventilation with the pit zips and goes over a back hipbelt nicely. Still figuring out the layering and how much is practical to stay dry on a backpacking trip. I do like the jacket though! I've been eyeing a helium too! 

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Once again, these are a few ideas that might be worth considering. Take a look at your medications to make sure they're not expired. 

I'd definitely recommend that trauma pad. They are lightweight, and almost all bleeding has been proven to be controllable in the field. 

Roll of bandage tape. 1"x10 yards. It takes about a roll of tape for a legitimate ankle tape job... Your buddy will actually be able to walk on that ankle after a nasty roll. 

2nd Skin Burn dressing is incredible to use. Hot water injuries are one of the most common medical evals in the backcountry. They cost like $2.

Nitrile gloves; they weigh nothing.

CPR mask (if you're CPR certified); Body substance isolation is a pretty big deal, especially if you need to give rescue breathing.

An epi-pen is the mother of all tools, your'e going to need an rX so you can get one. Probably not a big deal if you and your mates don't have bad allergic reactions to stinging insects. 

These would probably be the medications to consider...

Acetaminophen (500 mg) for pain

OR

 Ibuprofen (200 mg) for pain

Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg) for allergies

Diamode (Loperamide HCL 2mg) for diarrhea

Aspirin (325 mg) cardiac treatment

Have fun out there, and be safe!

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You're so organized. Military or you're of the Felix Unger lineage?  Want to clean out my gear closet to look like that? :D

Ditch the TrailPro pad. Take the Klymit Static V for both trips although it would be nice if you had the INSULATED Klymit Static V w/ 4.4 R value rather than the lesser 1.2 R value uninsulated version.   Even if you do the REI Halo 40* on both trips consider inside the enclosed REI Dash w/ 2 p in it you'll get about 10* more warmth which sounds like you're in the sweet spot.  On the second trip the Klymit Static V and REI Halo 40* could work with the OR Helium bivy too since the bivy will add about 6-10* to the sleep/shelter system.  Combining sleeping in some of those clothes with taking whatever you have left over, dry empty pack, maps, jackets, etc, placing them also under you should be OK. Choose your Bivy site wisely. If the weather is clear and you're not using the ENO Pro fly overhead don't let it go to waste. Use that also under you. Watch for condensation in those conditions. DO protect your down loft of your sleeping bag especially if you go with the REI Halo 40* on both trips.  For the second trip if snow or rain is likely you may want the tent balancing out the extra wt of the tent by leaving off the OR Helium Bivy and heavier Trailpro pad. If doing that bivy on the second trip and rain is likely don't just use your tarp for cooking or storing gear under. Use it over you also for coverage from the elements while in your bivy so you don't have to zip yourself up all the way in the bivy as an absolute in the event of rain or snow!

For your apparel looks like you have yourself covered. Keep those extremities warm and preferably dry in 50 wet weather. Consider taking along some chemical heat packs(Toasty Toes, Grabber, etc)  for your hands and feet.

I too never got the idea of a large Rambo sized knife on a short outing. You already have a gun. It's not a bushcraft, Dual Survival, or military training  event.  

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@Dogwood None of the above, architect, so a mild case of OCD runs in my blood. My gear closets/drawers stay nice and clean! 

Good input on the sleeping arrangement. I am yet to be sold on bivy/tarp but keep trying to make myself sold on it, however it is a hard task when there are many tents that offer more livability at a similar to lighter weight...

My hesitation with the Klymit pad is that I hate it. I ordered a Sea To Summit UltraLight Insulated Mat that is more comfortable, lighter, and warmer...if it gets here in time. 

The machete...I always lay it out, toss it to the side, and it always ends up back in my back. I am not sure why, but the ease of splitting wood etc is nice, I have always carried one. Old habits die hard. Maybe I can force myself to leave it at home this trip :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

That is a fairly trad gear list. Leave out some of the extra stuff that you "might need."  Bring only what you will need.

When it comes to clothing, only bring what you can wear all at once, plus some extra socks for a trip of less than one week.  

Some people seem to obsessive about equipment.  I don't make lists, or take pictures, talk about it a lot. I just get some stuff together and go. What if you leave something out ?  People always ask this question.  Over the years I have left lots of things out and gotten by just fine.

Edited by ppine
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