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My 1st gear list, looking for input


Reflex
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Hello friends,

New at buying good and moderately light gear. Was looking for your thoughts, and advise on my current list which is what I have bought so far, very much a beginners work in progress. Im a little burned out from all the buying stuff because I had nothing. Want to get out soon for some trips and stop shopping. Nothing epic, weekends, 1-2 week trips, not even sure where, nothing uber cold for now since I dont have that gear. I live in Georgia but I hope to go to the southwest, California, and abroad and Georgia too.

My current base weight is at 21 lbs which is too much of course. Looking for ideas to trim it down.

Let me know what you think. I have comments and questions need to some items.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bQYPfvUrxjSLeRT12nsxOFbntvhFXDFmzwQedtCKUSM/edit?usp=sharing

Thank you.

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Few comments on your spreadsheet: 

  • Did you weigh this stuff out yourself? Sometimes manufacturers can be pretty liberal with their weights.
  • You don't need a seat, swiss army knife or a day pack. These are all luxury items.
  • Personally, I have never used a mirror and probably wont since I don't carry one. 
  • Why do you need trash compactor bags and a pack cover?
  • I may have missed it, but you will want extra batteries for your headlamp.
  • Don't use your sponge to clean your tent AND your pot. If you use it for food items only use it for food items. Also, just cut a scotch brite or something similar in half, thirds, or quarters instead of packing an entire sponge.
  • I only carry rain pants if I know it will be raining A LOT. Otherwise, my quick drying hiking pants work fine in light rain.
  • For washing cloths, just squirt a little bit of camp soap into a one gallon zip lock with some water and shake your cloths around in there. Also, I'd only take the bronners or the camp soap, but not both. 
  • You'll want to add some tinder/fire starters of some kind. I just use cotton makeup removers with some Vaseline smeared on them and carry a plastic bag of those.
  • I like to have a wrist watch, personally.
  • Might consider some lip balm or chap stick

21 lbs is pretty good for just starting out! I'm just under 18 and honestly don't see that getting too much lighter. Two weeks with a food drop in the middle is the longest I see myself being out in the coming years, though. So I should be able to keep the total weight under 30 lbs. 

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Do keep in mind that I don't think there is any "correct" gear list. It should be what ever helps you enjoy the trail !

I think the suggestions above were great.

With that in mind I do offer a couple thoughts of my own preferrences: 

I think you'll find the 17 oz. fleece jacket is not needed. It would be too warm for hiking in. Your Icebreaker Merino 200 is already a nice warm layer. Put on your down jacket on over that, then your Ventura jacket, your sitting bod will be good down to freezing temps.

Your Coleman propane stove at 6.6 oz., your might consider the BRS Ultralight Stove, currently available from Amazon for $14 and it weighs a mere 0.9 oz.

The most important thing is to get out and use your gear, then come home and with an open mind ask yourself for each item, "Did this help my experience, or bog me down?" Your gear will evolve for you over time with your experiences and how much $ you desire to put into it. It's all good !

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Drip... great post.  Couldn't agree more.  We get so hung up on weight sometimes that we forget why we hike... which is to relax and enjoy nature.  I admit that I am obsessed about weight, but I also don't hesitate to carry an extra pound if it is a real luxury that will help me enjoy the hike.  The key is "an extra pound", not "10 extra pounds!" 

Your pack fit and your personal fitness level will impact your comfort just as much as saving a couple of pounds.  A few years ago a 20 pound pack felt heavy to me.  Now, with a better pack and being in much better shape, a 20 pound pack is nothing to carry on 15-20 mile days.  

So, take your gear out in the field.  See what you like and what you don't.  I guarantee you'll be messing with your gear list for many years to come anyhow, so no reason to obsess.  Just enjoy the process.

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Thanks all. Im at 19.91, I think I can get to 19 before making decisions on tent and pack

Yes, bought a little food scale, works well

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I used a food scale for years, then finally broke down and spent the big bucks ($7.99) on a digital hanging scale.  Now I can hang my backpack from the scale after its loaded, ensures I keep myself honest about last minute items and makes it easy to measure before water/fuel/food and adding the same.  I still use the scale to make decisions, but having the confirmation of looking at the pack hanging from the scale telling me how much weight i'm about to carry... it just registers home more effectively for me.

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Drip's post is a good one but my best advice would be to pair up on a few trips with some experienced people.  And the more varied the group, the better.  When just buying stuff and then using it, you may get a hint as to how useful it is but you really don't have anything to compare it with.  You can get that comparison when going with others.  Without spending any more money.

On the knives, you only need one.  And as with all backpack equipment, it should serve multiple purposes.  I'm pretty fond of Leatherman's PS4 Squirt.  About the only thing it doesn't have is a can opener but don't know anyone that packs cans.

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It is ironic that the people like through hikers that spend all summer and spring and fall out there carry around 20 pounds. The people that are out for a long weekend often carry 45-50 pounds because they are afraid they might forget something.  Experience allows people to bring less.

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My best advice is to keep it simple.  Think about where you are going, what you will likely need and then revise the list downward.  Just because someone else says you should have something doesn't mean to have to, it depends on your situation.  There are a LOT of internet "Experts" out there that will waste your time.

I suggest starting with a few overnight or weekend trips, find out what works and add/discard as needed.  From there, lengthen your trips and modify equipment accordingly.

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I have backpacked enough to know I will not need a lot. Thats the whole point of the experience! :)

I know my list will keep getting lighter.

Edited by Reflex
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