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My gear list grows


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My fabulous REI Flash pack arrived and it feel really good. At least it does empty. Its very lightweight. I'm impressed.

I missed out on a deal at backcountry.com on a nice bag because I waited too long (a day). The new sleeping bag REI Radiant 0+ should be coming on Wednesday. It's a 650 fill and weighs under 3 pounds. It's about the max fill I can afford and I refuse to be cold. I was a bit surprised to read in blog reviews that one still needs a hat, socks, warm underlayer in the bags. Kinda what is the point of a warm bag then?

Once my bag arrives, I then have my eye on the Kelty Salida 2 person/3 season tent that was the Editors Choice 2011 in Backpackers magazine. 3lb 12 oz. REI of course. Love the fact that if the gear goes awry, or isn't at all what I thought it would be, I'm not stuck.

The last three , no, make it four items would be water treatment (steripen or pump, or drops/tablets..choices choices), sleeping pad, cooker and maybe bear canister in case there aren't good trees to sling a bag over.

Safe to say, I have been obsessing over my first overnighter and dream about it every night. or could it really be nightmares? HA

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I also really like REI, but we have a local store that can almost match the prices so I usually by smaller stuff there. But i always buy boots at REI because of the return policy. big sale starts this friday.

I like the steri pen(s) but still carry tablets because of weight and easy use. I don't mind the taste.

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Glad that you like your pack so far! I would say load it up and give it a whirl for a while...

I talked some about a sleeping bag on another thread...but as far as one wearing hats, socks and a warm under layer, I don't think that this is abnormal. A warm hat is your best friend while on the trail in the winter, as well, a good pair of clean, dry socks can make a world of difference (especially after hiking all day long with cold and/or wet feet!). As far as the underlayers...

(Assuming normal conditions)

Some like to sleep naked in their sleeping bag, some like to wear simply a thin top and bottom base layer and some like to wear all the clothes that they carry to sleep in.

The theory with a sleeping bag is that your body is the furnace, and the sleeping bag is the insulation (much like in a house). In order for the sleeping bag to keep you warm, it needs to trap that heat. Some believe that by wearing multiple layers of clothing inside a sleeping bag will not allow the heat from your body to get into the sleeping bag because it is getting trapped in the clothing layers. This leaves the sleeping bag to absorb the colder air outside, which in turn makes one feel colder. On the flip side, some say that the sleeping bag is just another layer to their clothing system and that since warm air is trapped in the layers between the clothing and the sleeping bag this keeps them warmer. (These people also usually opt for a bag that is not rated as warm and make up the difference with their clothing layers.)

I can't tell you one way is better than the other, but I can tell you that the only way to find out is by seeing what works for you...

For me, I like to wear a top and bottom base layer, a good pair of warm socks and a hat. It works for me. (But one day I want to try sleeping in less than this to see how it does...)

As for the tent, Kelty makes fine tents in my opinion. My first tent was the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 tent and it is a great tent. But, it is also a heavy tent... Of course I have replaced it (although I still have it) though for this very reason...

As far as water treatment...I love using chemicals. I love the tabets for the simplicity and of course the light weight, but they are the most expensive treatment method. I also enjoy the Aqua Mira drops and once I get to do my thru hike, this will be my choice of water treatment. The drops cost less and are easier to come by than the tablets along the trail (from my understanding).

But, if you want a filter, I would suggest the Sawyer Squeeze system. It is the lightest filter on the market, it is versatile and it is fast. This will get everything except viruses (although viruses are not an issue in the States). You can use this as an inline filter if you like to use a bladder. It can be used as a gravity filter which is great for camp use, and it can be used with the squeeze bags while on the go. (I would recommend bringing a cut down soda bottle to scoop water if you have to collect water from lots of standing water...but for running streams, the bags are easy enough to fill.)

Lots of people like the Steripen, but I don't simply because I do not like the fact that I need to rely on an energy source for it to work. Batteries die and bulbs blow. So, if you carry a Steripen (or even a filter for that matter) I recommend carrying a chemical back-up anyway. (This makes it obvious that for a lighter pack, just leave the filter or steripen behind since you are carrying chemicals anyway...)

Sleeping pad...the main thing this is used for is to keep your back side warm. A sleeping bag does not do this. When you lay back on the bottom of the sleeping bag, the insulation is compressed and becomes worthless in terms of insulating you from the environment. Comfort is secondary. For a woman in temps below freezing, I would recommend a pad with an R-value of 5. OTOH, I also like to use a regular NeoAir and then to layer a 1/8" Thinlight pad on top of my Neo when temps drop...

Cooker... I love kitchen systems...I love to watch water boil... But, this all depends on your decision as to how you want to prepare your meals on the trail...Will you freezer bag cook, or cook in the pot?

As far as bear canisters, I would check with the area you will be hiking in. Some places require them, some don't. Make sure that you get one that will work with your pack though...

Anyway, hope this helps some... :)

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