Backpacking gear

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by luckybalbowa, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Ray

    Ray Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    They do, given the proper insulation. I use a thermarest underneath my bag, inside the hammock on all of my trips. Otherwise, I think the bag rating is compromised by about 15 degrees.

    They are perfect without the thermarest for those "too hot to get comfortable" August nights.
     
  2. CovingtonFly

    CovingtonFly B.O.H.I.C.A. bend over here it comes again

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Covington, Wa
    I've slept in hammocks before. Probably the best nights sleep I ever got in the woods. Comfortable and warm.
     
  3. kingpuck

    kingpuck new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mountlake Terrace, Washington
    another great place to check if you know what you want is http://www.rei.com/outlet/ they have a lot of gently used gear that is in great shape for drastically reduced prices. Also the stuff on the outlet is only offered online. Just a thought. Happy searching.
     
  4. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    between the mountains and the sound
    Just throwing some random thoughts out.........

    Make sure your boots are comfortable, your pack fits (and can accommodate all the gear you choose to carry), and your sleeping system is good for the conditions you will encounter and your own sleeping style.

    I can't do hammocks, 'cuz I tend to roll around and sprawl when I sleep. I do like the Thermarest prolite (3/4 length with my empty pack under my feet/legs), but I've started using a 3/4 Ridgerest along with it, 'cuz the ground seems to keep gettin' harder and harder as I get
    older. I've shifted to using tarps if the weather forecast is good, or the bugs aren't bad, but I'll use a tent (Big Agnes Seedhouse SL) in the shoulder seasons.

    Get some work-outs (ie walking hard on hills w/ a pack) in before ya go bustin' into the full-on alpine, and start with some short trips to get your gear (and body) wired.

    On your first few trips, you'll probably carry too many clothes, too much food, and too much gear. Learn what you really need, and trim the weight on subsequent trips. A light pack is safer, will let you travel more miles, and is ultimately much more satisfying. Try to remember that for hundreds of thousands of years, we got by without all the doo-dads we think we need, and survived just fine, walkin' naked in the world. Just like the elk, bear, wolves, and other critters do today.

    Go minimal, and embrace discomfort. The worst thing you can do is to expect your going to be as comfortable in the woods as you are in front of your living room big-screen. It's different worlds. You can take a solar shower bag, and a full set of cookware, soap, shampoo, book, lantern and flashlight, tent, extra clothes, etc, but the weight's gonna hold you back, if it don't kill ya. It's all about what ya need.

    First aid? Best advice I ever got was in a WFR class I took 15 years ago. "A big bandana, 30 feet of duct tape, and a few ibuprofen." Add specific items as needed (epi-pen for sting allergies, personal medication, etc), but the trick is to be careful, and avoid needing a full-on SAM splint, cold compress, or multiple types of bandaids. Most "wilderness" first-aid rigs are total overkill, and useless weight.

    GPS? Unneccesary except for glacier travel, long wilderness river floats, extensive off-trail travel, or if you're a dumb ass when it comes to on-trail navigation, in which case, it probably won't help anyway. Save your money for a good sleeping bag and/or boots. Learn to use (and love) a map and compass.

    I like lightweight capilene base layers (yeah, Patagucci still makes 'em, and I really don't care if I reek after I've been tramping for a few days. Jesus, it's not like I'm expecting a job interview..) along with wool mid-layers, and cheap (ie non-goretex), light-weight rainshells for clothes. Hit your local thrift stores, and look for a pair of women's stretch-wool (90% wool/10% spandex or nylon) pants, or a loose-fitting pair of lightweight wool men's dress pants, and a cheap wool shirt. Wool is the ticket for sitting around a campfire, 'cuz sparks burn right through that synthetic stuff. A lot of high-end outdoor-gear companies (Ibex, Patagonia, Cloudveil) are bringing wool back into the line-up, and it's about time! (even if the high-end stuff is, umm, high-end) Wool is good stuff. My favorite backpacking shirt is an old Pendleton I bought for $2 about 20 years ago. I patched up the torn elbow, and the thing had instant trail cred, which it's lived up to, to this day.....

    I would (respectfully) disagree with previous posts about freeze-dried food. Some of it is actually pretty good, and that stuff is light. I especially like "Enertia" Mac/cheese, Spaghetti, and Goulash. Campmor sells it on-line, and here's the manu's site: http://trailfoods.com/

    Most of all, don't get caught up in "gear hype". It's nice to have all the info on the 'net and everything, and titanium french presses/800-fill-weight down bags make me drool, but ultimately, it's about gettin' out there. Throw some stuff in yer pack, and go do a couple of quick overnights. You'll figure it out, and anything you miss is unlikely to kill ya. Might even make ya stronger and/or wiser. Ya never know.........

    It ain't the gear (or lack thereof) that's gonna hold ya back. It's yer own head, and where it's at.

    Get on it, and remember to have fun.
     
  5. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,086
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    509
    ok i know this thread is old but i came across it while searching about dragonfly nymphs and i feel obligated to post.

    I just picked up a hennesy ultralite backpacker and aside from desert camping i think my tent may be forever retired. its seriously that good.
     
  6. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,086
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    509
    also, I will be wearing la sportiva footwear until they day i die or they go out of buisness. best boots i have ever owned. My current pair is 5 years and I wear them for everything from work to backpacking to urban exploring. its keens and lasportivas all the way for me.
     
  7. Randall Dee

    Randall Dee Castaway

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Cascadia
    Home Page:
    Try a Blackbird hammock by Warbonnet.
     
  8. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,086
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    509
    i looked at them but i dont trust zippers. i have had endless zippers go bad on me. the HH still lets me lay flat.
     
  9. Reel

    Reel New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA
    I love my smartwool expedition socks with the Fox River silver (anti-bacterial) liners. On an 11 day trip we got no blisters. We would change the liners every 2 days and oversock about every 3, maybe 4. They really lost their cushion by then. I think the anti-bacterial agent made this possible as many die hards are adamant about clean socks daily. Carrying that many socks for that many days... even if we washed them would have been taking up way too much space. The expedition works summer and winter.
     
  10. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Messages:
    4,141
    Likes Received:
    656
    Location:
    Near the Fjord
    Forget the GPS. You don't need it unless you might go "off trail". A total waste and I have hiked for years! Extra weight is any backpackers downfall. The challenge is to "go light" and not be miserable. Plastic knife, fork, and spoon (unbreakable type), small light cheap plastic cereal type bowl, plastic drinking cup--forget the tin crap. Lighten up!
     
  11. 2506

    2506 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    "GPS? Unneccesary except for glacier travel, long wilderness river floats, extensive off-trail travel, or if you're a dumb ass when it comes to on-trail navigation, in which case, it probably won't help anyway. Save your money for a good sleeping bag and/or boots. Learn to use (and love) a map and compass."

    Couldn't agree more. A good compass is well worth having. And going to the map store is alot like going to a fly shop, I always go there looking for one or two things and end up walking out with about six or seven items. Good times.
     
  12. Allison

    Allison Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'll try to rattle off my favorite gear off the top of my head. I'm a gear snob, so don't expect any of this stuff to be cheap.

    Bag=Feathered Friends wns 15 degree down (no syn for me ever)
    Jacket=Montbell Thermawrap
    Tent=MSR Hubba Hubba
    Water cleaner=Aqua Mira drops
    Boots=various
    camp shoes=Crocs
    Underwear=Patagonia briefs (yes better than the regular ones, guys get the silky boxers)
    socks=Bridgedales, exclusively. Better fit means zero blisters, wool/syn blend, many models have a left and a right sock
    sleeping pad=no name I got as a sample from somewhere
    Stove=MSR Pocket Rocket and yes it simmers
    GPS=don't need one, I know how to read a map
    Cookpot=evernew ti
    coffee cup=Snow Peak ti with folding handles
    bowl=old cool whip container
    water bottle=old Gatorade bottle, 1 oz. vs 4 oz for a Nalgene
    hydration=Nalgene, the best ones out there
    poles= Black Diamond Elliptical
    pack=Osprey Aura 50 unless I'm stocking and then the Aether comes out
    raft=Curtis
    t-shirt=plastic
    white ball cap and a warm hat

    I'm probably forgetting a few things. I dehydrate most of my food myself. Pack weight is always under 25#. Carrying a lot of weight on my back is against my religion.
     
  13. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,086
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    509
    sleeping pad=no name I got as a sample from somewhere. I know its not mission critical, but thermarests are the shit.
     
  14. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,086
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    509
  15. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    17,943
    Likes Received:
    2,249
    Location:
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Allison's list is off the charts. I don't have all of the exact items, but have many similar ones and enjoy every last one of them. I'm not an ultralight dweeb that cuts the labels, logos and tags out of everything. I don't buy the things with all the holes drilled in them. I don't always use the ultralight alloys. I have on occasion even carried an 8# air mattress in my pack so me and the misses can awake well rested. Normally a camping pad or even cheaper, thermo bubble wrap from a hardware store (like they use to insulate garage doors and such) works like a charm. And I'm still cooking with a ten to fifteen year old campingaz cook head that snaps onto the blue gas mix canisters. Not super light, but super reliable. As for packs, nothing super high end except my black diamonds with built in avalungs for winter recreation, but all effective and a pack in every size from a day trip in the summer to full length trips in the middle of the snow cycle.