Calling all backcountry / ultralight freaks..

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by JesseC, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Care to share your tips for successful ultralight backpacking with a fly rod? I've been reading and searching on the forum and haven't really been able to piece together a good plan.

    I just bought an insanely light sage click III. It's only 2.5oz. I figure I'm going to try and find some sort of plastic tube so I can ditch the aluminum.

    But - what else do you all include in a backcountry set-up? I'm heading to the alpine lake wilderness and figure this is probably what'll be in my pack

    *5 pc sage sp 3wt
    *Sage click III
    *1 box of flies (midges, wooleys, goddard, stimis, nice nymph assortment)
    *1 spool of 5x flouro
    *1 floatant
    *5 5x 9ft leaders
    *1 flytweight raft
    *2 ping pong paddles ;)
    *1 baby nail clipper

    feel free to poke holes in this list all you want. What am I missing? what's a better substitute?

    One big item I'm debating is waders. I figure the rafts will keep me out of the water, but I know it's going to be damn cold. The bummer is that they weigh just a ton.

    Whats in your pack?

  2. Jesse--
    instead of pppaddles, go to the Swim Shop and pick up a set of swimmers workout paddles... they are light plastic with a latex thong to hold on your hands...
  3. I'll bet a blowup doll would be lighter than a raft.

    You did say you wanted to hear from the freaks.:rofl:
  4. Damnit Dave that's a great idea!

    Jeff - you're a sick sick man. But, I already knew that ;)
  5. Looks good to me. Forgot the waders -- get wet if you need to and pack a good sleeping bag and flask of Scotch (or better yet, a beautiful female angler) to warm you up after your angling adventures. I tend to pack along both (the Scotch and the female angler).

    As for paddles, I found I really like webbed gloves instead of hand paddles. That way you don't have to drop your rod and grab a paddle -- you just stick your hand out and paddle as needed (not recommended for high wind days tho). I like these:
  6. Not terribly long ago I gave up my swim paddles as my shoulders couldn't take them anymore but that's a great idea. IRT flasks, Nalgene makes 'em. And if you need to pack a beer or two, there are plenty of great beers in Aluminum cans these days.
  7. Ditto on not bringing the waders! I also bring one smaller multi tool that has pliers/saw blade for whatever needs come up. We used to widdle paddles from the drift wood along the lake and had a "ceremonial burn" before we left.
  8. You did not say if it was a day trip or overnight or maybe I just missed it. Anyway, a nice light 1 man tent(four season)you can't scimp on the tent of sleeping bag and some food. Maybe MRE's from the local surplus or some backpacking food from an outdoor outfitter. I just bring couscous and raisons. I also bring my jetboil but a small backpacking one burner stove and a mess kit or light aluminum 1 quart pan.
  9. It's a 5 day trip. Pack will probably be 60lbs!
  10. Waders probably aren't neccessary if the streams will be small, but if you do want to bring some.. breathable waist-high waders, with walmart water shoes instead of boots are a pretty light option. ..somewhere in the 2 to 4 lbs range I would guess.
  11. Hey Jesse, I'm packing my own right now for a trip next weekend. Just tossed in a Mesh Mosquito head net that goes around the entire neck. I found this item to make or break a trip, especially for mtn. lakes.
  12. Jesse,

    As an almost ultra-light freak, here's a few suggestions. No rod tube. Rubber band rod sections together with the tip ends of sections banded against the butt section grip to maximize overall stiffness. Plastic tubes weight just as much as aluminum it seems. Whether the rod goes inside or outside the pack depends on the pack and if going off-trail bushwhacking.

    Make raft paddles like those with the Curtis raft: cut them out of foam board art stock, sealing all the edges. Stiff enough to paddle with, and nothing else is as light. No waders - too heavy. Keep your butt warm in the raft by using your thermarest mattress or other sleeping pad as insulation. And altho not approved, the thermarest is a defacto PFD should the raft deflate.

    I can barely see 5x, so I'd include 4x tippet. Mtn trout in lakes generally aren't that picky.

    A 4-season tent is rediculous for a summer backpacking trip. I'd take a one-season tent if there was one. Mine are 3-season, and I'd just use a tarp, but the tent offers escape from bugs when I'm trying to sleep.

    Freeze dried meals have gotten much better, and are the lightest alternative. The lightest stove is the alcohol beer can stove, but I haven't gained enough confidence to solely depend on one yet. I carry a jet boil or pocket rocket to heat water for cooking.

    For 5 days, you should be able to get your loaded pack down to 40 pounds from 60. What kind of pack are you carrying? I have an old North Face that is bomb proof, and it weighs over 6 pounds empty. Since I don't plan any bombing runs, I got a GoLite pack that weighs 32 oz. and will tote up to 30# total pack weight, which is plenty of gear for a few days.

    Google ultra-light backpacking. There are sites that specialize in this, and you'll find interesting ways to shed many pounds from your pack.

    Jim Wallace likes this.
  13. Buy the PCT hikers handbook by Ray Jardine and give it a read. I hiked a 500 miles section (Oregon) in running shoes with a pack that weighed 16lbs before food and water. I did have a hiking partner, so we split the shared items (tent, water filter, stove, etc...). I stitched a 1' strip of mosquito netting to the bottom of a floorless tent (mega-mid), then tucked it in and pinned it down. The water filter was a nylon bag with a bare filter tied to the bottom with a 5' plastic tube connected. You fill the bag, hang it from a tree, start a siphon, and start drinking. Weighed less than 8oz. Our stove was a little wood fired deal with a AA battery driven fan. It was hot as hell, required no fuel, and weighed less than a pound. Pretty easy to find dry pine cones & wood during the summer, even with some rain. It was 12+ years ago when I did this, so it's likely all old news.
  14. I never had problems catching trout without a raft. That is a luxury item that usually is not needed. I like the "Pocket Rocket". A lot lighter than my old gas hog Whisperlite and fuel. 6x in my book for those "clear" waters. 2 leaders is plenty. "Spork" spoon. Freeze dried food.
    Jim Wallace likes this.
  15. I just got back from a trip to Yellowstone. I built a rod tube with a flourescent lamp guard I picked up at Home Depot for $4 and some duct tape. Weighs almost nothing. More details here:

    Also, after quite a bit of research I went with the Thermarest Neoair sleeping pad. Reviews are all over the map but I had no problems and found it very comfortable. The regular size comes in at 14 oz. You do pay for that comfort but long term it was worth it to me.

    I'm not sure how you can carry a raft, paddles, waders, boots, etc. Not only weight but bulk. Try packing your backpack ahead of time and see how it's going to work out. I fished the Lamar River in warm weather wearing Tevas so didn't have to worry about all the extra wading and flotation gear. Good luck and have a great time!
  16. I just did six days in the Flathead, with a pack weight of 42 lbs. While not ultra light, it was not too bad. I have found it best to look at hte big things first for weight savings before you count grams. Lighter tent/shelter.....sleeping bag and pad. You can save a tone of weight right there. We packed a Nemo tent, I packed a Rab down bag(under 2lbs) and a Pacific Outdoors pad, tiny and light 1lb. I have found the pack is not the baest place for weight savings, unless you find one with the PERTFECT fit, you can suffer bad.
  17. Oh, yeah I forgot, if you NEED a paddle, look into the Werners, they make a carbon paddle that weighs 23oz, and can easily be cut down to a shorter length and made into a two piece for packing. Rig it with your rod to carry on the outside, then the paddle can act as protection for the rod.

    Also, check our great guys, very helpful.
  18. wow i never considered adding mosquito net to the bottom of a megamid. what a fucking awesome idea.
  19. Also, dont forget a few basic first aid supplies (ace bandage, a couple pain killers, etc).

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