Calling all backcountry / ultralight freaks..

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

  1. ugh, couscous and raisins is like my #1 most hated backcountry meal.. LOL.

    Pick up a copy of the NOLS cookery and learn to eat from bulk stock. Preplan your meals for a short trip or get creative on the trail for a longer trip. U will save money, and weight, but still eat like a king. The prepackaged mountain house meals are awesome as well, but expensive. I do not recommend MRE's.

    If your a coffee addict like me, its hard to beat starbucks via (columbian blend). This way you dont have to carry anything but ur stove and cup for coffee. Another thing you may consider (depending on ur confidence in angling these lakes) would be the fixings to eat a couple trout dinners.

    I like to fill my fry pan with some water, set some sticks in there, and steam the fish while picking out the bones as it falls apart. Then you have a GREAT chowder stock and very little waste of the fish.
  2. This tip is worth the price of admission. Thanks Steve
    I've wandered the HD canyons maybe 3 times looking for the right tube. This is it! Fits my 5 piece in it's sock perfectly. Old dog meets new trick.
  3. Not sure when your trip was scheduled Jesse. If it hasn't happened already here a few more tips.

    Yes, sitting in a raft can be damned cold, especially in a mountain lake and even if the air temp is warm. Use your sleeping pad as insulation and don't waste calories lugging along waders. Double the pad over to raise your ass up a bit and keep from sitting in the water that invariably collects in the floor of the raft. You might practice getting in and out of the raft before your trip to minimize getting wet, especially if the air temp is less than warm when you get to your ultimate destination. It's surprising how something that looks so easy can be so difficult when it comes down to doing it the first few times. Some neoprene socks can help keep your feet dry in the process.

    Some of the lightweight fanatics I know make their own raft paddles made from plastic milk or pop jugs. Use the spout end as the handles and cut off the main cylinder at an angle to form the 'blade'. You can loop some lightweight nylon cord through the pour spouts to keep 'em connected and from drifting off while you're preoccupied with fishing. They're nearly weightless, cheap and flexible.

    Finally, one of the huge drawbacks to fishing from a raft is that unlike a float tube, you can't use your feet to maintain position. Even a small gust of wind can blow you in circles down the lake if you're not anchored. A nylon mesh drawstring stuff sack filled with rocks and lashed to a length of nylon line makes a dandy anchor. Use a cheapo carabiner to clip to a D ring on the raft and a pair of half hitches to adjust the line length. No D rings? Attached the carabiner to your belt or belt loop. Better yet, use two anchors to keep from pirouetting on a single anchor line.

    Hope this helps,

  4. Shave your head.
    Carry nothing that can't serve at least two purposes. Salmo G pounded that into my head.
    I like the cut off jug for a paddle, or just one ping pong paddle, or a frisbee. Use it to bail out the bottom of the boat and to move it, and to eat off of it when your dinner is cooked. Otherwise, be crafty and find something (bark comes to mind) to use when you need a paddle or use your man hands.
    Your flytepacker has a fabric bottom. That sleeping pad folded will be golden and the neoair ones are a bit loud, but work well. An inflatable pillow would work if you are carrying one.

    Great question, great input, great links. Shave your head and stop eating cheeseburgers, that will fix the weight problem.
  5. Ha, Mumbles shaving the head is a great idea, I could shed at least 2 lbs! I just stopped by the local Home Depot and got the floro lighting tube to replace my pack tube. I know the tube is supposed to have a high crush resistance but I am a little anal about protecting my rod when I'm on the trail so I glued a small wood dowel inside for a little added protection.
  6. When my wife and I were backpaking in the 70s and 80s we usually did two to four days and she carried about thirty two pounds and I carried about 36 to 38. We had a REI tent that was too heavy at 6+lbsBut very comfortable and we used a primus or whisper light stove, the primus was propane. We rarely fished much but I hav a ultralite spin rod I could take. One little fly box of gear.thermarest pads black ice mummy bags. instantcoffee and spiced cider. One qt. pot and two watersacks for water. I'd have to find my old llists or go throungh my gear to verify anthing else, we usually camped in small groups or alone and needed only a spring for water. We also used Coleman Peak 1 exterior plastic frame packs. And freeze dried food except for lunches. We usually went over board with saftey o r first aid since we would have teenagers with us at times,
  7. As I just came out of Wyoming's Snowies, I would like to offer a suggestion: make a list of everything you wished you would have had and another list of everything you took that you did not need. These lists will help to streamline packing for your next trip.

    Also, don't forget the backcountry essentials: duct tape wrapped around a lighter, parachute cord, multi-tool, headlamp, compass, and ipod (so you can tune out your fishing partner's snoring).

    Hope your trip was great.
    Jim Wallace likes this.
  8. Under 30 lbs is fairly easy to do if you don’t pack a gun or a heavy camera. This is a list of what I wear on me: Simms Rivershed boot with Streamtread sole and cleats, Simms Liner sock, non-taped neoprene sock, Underarmour underwear (any moisture wicking underwear will do), lightweight pants that dry fast and weigh almost nothing (not cotton), moisture wicking long sleeve shirt with good sized pockets for fly boxes etc, hat, pistol with shoulder holster to scare away angry bears, cougars, and snakes with two legs (friends can be substituted for pistol as there is power in numbers), and a dslr camera with short and long lens. This is a list of what I pack: Go-lite Odyssey back pack that holds 90 liters (I don’t fill it up), rain-fly off my Hennessey Hammock tent, 2.5 inch sleeping pad (non-insulated), piece of Tyvek house wrap to put under sleeping pad, lightweight sleeping bag my wife bought for me off internet (no-name), 220g bottle of Coleman butane/propane mix, Coleman Peak 1 screw on burner (small, lightweight and cheap), lighter, small pan with flimsy handle to boil water and eat out of (will barely hold 16 oz of fluid), spoon, small can of mosquito repellant, toilet paper, 16 oz water bottle with screw on lid, water bladder for while I am hiking in or out with about a quart of water, extra clothes (one spare set of socks, underwear, one extra shirt, and pair of lightweight shorts for around camp, if it’s cold around camp wear your sleeping bag), REI flashpack for hiking during the day, holding fishing gear, and carrying lunch etc., fishing gear (6 weight fly rod, 2x-4x tippet, one extra leader, extra lighter for emergency, pocket knife, strike indicator of choice, one or two fly boxes, ibuprofen, fishing license, polarized sunglasses, stream thermometer, small sharpening stone for hooks or knife, nippers, split shot, floatant, and forceps), headlamp, Delorme PN60-W GPS with SPOT, Steripen Adventurer UV light for purifying water, extra batteries (for GPS, camera, and Steripen), and seam taped waterproof neoprene sock for wearing wet wading boots around camp and hiking out. With all this luxury (pistol, camera, GPS, and magazine) I can keep my pack weight under 35 lbs including food for a few days. More days equals more food weight.
    Jim Wallace and Ron McNeal like this.
  9. Any of you guys tried a Tenkara rod?
  10. I bought a Tenkara Hane rod off "Backpacking Light" a couple of years ago. It is a sin that I havent used it yet. It is 9' 10" and packs into a 17" package. Weighs almost nothing. It is very well made and would work great in my back country travels if I had any. It sits in a corner of my man cave with the rest of my ultralight gear waiting fore motivation to strike.
  11. Bring the tube. If you lose your footing and go down, you'll be glad you brought it. For a great loop hike in the Olympics, check out the 7 Lakes Basin. Lots of Brookies.
  12. I made my rod tube from a plastic tube used in the middle of a roll of plotter paper. It's light and free .I had to cut the length down (I think it was about 36 inches originally) and glued a cap in the end. I slotted the side so I don't need to remove the reel and wrap Velcro below the reel to keep it together. So far it's survived several years including multi day backpacking trips.Weight is a few ounces.
  13. Build a lightweight rod holder from the tube put of a roll of plotter paper. It is free and weighs only a couple of ounces. I've been using mine for several years now including multi-day back packing. I just cut it to length, glued a plug in one end and cut a slot so the reel can remain attached. I hold it together with a piece of Velcro below the reel seat.
  14. Sorry I lost my first post.
  15. Id like to hear more about this alcohol beer can stove you speak of?

    A buddy of mine in Mount Vernon makes some very nice stoves. He gave me one that I've used a few times, and it works great.
  17. Cool post....I used to be a backpacker before I ruined my ankle in '98. I used to not carry a tent just a blue tarp and duck taped wedding mesh from the fabric store to it if I got myself into a bug infested area otherwise bug juice is a must have on the list. I always carried a rod tube just because it doesn't limit you from the bushwacking to get away from the camping areas of others. I hope you have a great time, some of my fondest fishing memories are from trips to lakes that noone goes too, the only tracks on the lake shore were animal. I always packed my float tube as my heavy item, I took old laminated nylon waders on those trips because you already have your layers so you're insulated enough just have to keep dry....although I liked the suggestion of taking a lady flyfisher along for after fishing warmups too. Good on ya
  18. Think Tenkara (everything you need for about 8 oz.) rod, fly line, 5X leader/tipet, floatent, weights, fly box and flys... and no reel.
    Instead of waders and raft, I'd carry more food. LOL
  19. IMO a fly rod just isn't the tool for the job. Sure, you can find a few places to cast on high alpine lakes, but you'll never really fish them effectively with a fly rod unless you have a float device with you, and then plan on adding 6 - 8 pounds to your pack, which negates "ultralight".

    I have a few select lakes that I pack into with said gear, but for 80% of my backcountry travel I take an ultralight spinning rod. My complete equipment kit (pack, sleeping bag, air mattress, seat, tent, stove, fuel, water purifier, FA kit and clothes weighs well under 15 pounds. Adding the weight of waders, float tube, fins, etc just seems unrealistic. I also have a lightweight raft and short, breakdown carbon fiber kayak paddle, but that solution has its issues too.

    If you want to carry the full Monte plan on a pack of min 75 liters - and that will not be a lightweight pack.

    Good luck!
    Roper likes this.

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