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Brush Okie
10-01-2017, 18:57
Any tips on lightning the load for hikes or backpacking trips? What do you use? Not necessarily for military use but general outdoors. I have my set up but thought it would be a good thread for general knowledge for everyone. I have enough outdoor gear to support an army for 6 mos already.

My usual set up is a light hammock and tarp if trees are available. More comfortable than the ground. I had a Hennessy Hammock but and liked it but decided to go even lighter and more compact with a basic hammock and tarp a few years ago.

If no hammock then I have a Black Diamond mega light tee pee tent I bought years ago. A bit expensive but very light weight

http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/tents-and-bivys/mega-light-tent-BD8005070000ALL1.html

Golf1echo
10-02-2017, 09:56
Don Ladigin's book " lighten Up" is basic but a good start to explaining the equipment concepts of light weight gear...which is as much about mindsets and skills as it is equipment.
- One of the tips is to document what you do take and then edit that gear by what you actually use.

- Weigh every piece of gear and pick the pieces that weigh less. Done as a group you will see discrepancies of weight with the same items, ie. knives... one may weigh several ounces more than another, the practice will build awareness. "Ounces make pounds".

- Find the essence ie. Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, bivy sack, tent VS half sleeping pad, insulated liner , small shell...probably about a 10lb weight savings.

Often as we evolve we seek more from the experience and the process, that four room tent and Coleman stove might be nice but is it really part of why we go into the back country?

Mountain Laurel Designs is a company I have often gotten inspiration from and has good examples of light weight gear: https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/

6 Moon Designs is another: https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/

Today many soldiers are keenly aware of the concepts and are the driving force beehing our lighter weight pieces. ie. 26oz sleep system as one example.

Edit: One of the items that speaks to the differences are the ultralight alcohol stoves the thru hikers use. Pictured is just one of many iterations created by the weight minded. They will carry a small bottle ( ie. 10 day supply of alcohol) of alcohol and refill it along the trail...

doctom54
10-02-2017, 12:31
Well I just hiked the John Muir Trail with three 28 year olds. At 63 I was paying attention to weight. It was a total of about 230 miles, all but the first day above 8000 ft. We left 17 August and finished 7 September.
This is a link to my packing list. I'll be happy to discuss any details. Make sure your pack, sleeping system, tent (or tarp) and stove are as light as possible. Then don't take anything you don't absolutely need. With 10 days of food I was slightly over 50 lbs.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1--RaRFnfE86lZ9NLOj_w9VNNfY-DbuyX_Ain9H_fA5A/edit#gid=1511784257

G2squared
12-05-2017, 00:37
My backpacking partners are both Marines and use tarps in the maintains of the Pacific NW around the PCT. I've never been able to give up the excess weight of my 4 season tent due to my "be prepared" mindset from the Boy Scouts. And one recent year, as we often go late SEP early OCT, we ended up getting 12" of snow one night... their tarps did hold up, but showed damage from the excess weight of the snow. My tent was warmish and cozy. Sierra Designs makes EXCELLENT gear. And it can be setup with just the fly and footprint for a lightweight config.
In my youth, I couldn't afford decent lightweight gear, but now I can afford high quality gear, but don't trust anything that feels flimsy. I know in my educated mind that Titanium is TOUGH! but it feels flimsy... so the battle between what is needed, what you perceive to be true and what you can deal with might be an emotional one as well.
I was met in the back country by a friend who was "trail running" with his dog, a Malamute(sp?) small horse?. He came from the "long way" 12 miles to us. Does 50 mile runs for fun. (wtf? people do that). His pack was see through. I could see everything he had in it! He said he could stay overnight or two if needed, though he wouldn't be comfortable, he would live through it even in winter mountain conditions. It was about the size of a gallon water jug.

IMHO, the biggest weight savers will be in shelter and sleeping gear. It's tough to shed weight beyond what has been mentioned on a lot of the other needed gear. I've heard about cutting the handle off of a toothbrush(maybe pick a twig off the nearest tree and just have toothpaste), but if you're in that realm of cutting weight to find the perfect solution for your needs, please share.


G2

Dusty
12-07-2017, 10:28
Rubber GI poncho, ammo, 2 knives, socks, canteen with cup, halazone tabs, heat tabs, matches, LRRP chili con carne (etc.), silva compass, map, commo, Texas Pete.
Went all over the world with that for years.

Golf1echo
12-07-2017, 21:41
Two good posts together, MOO. Dusty's gear is based on experience and skill sets he has developed over many years and in many places. He knows what environments he can function in... Even if his gear gets lost or damaged. I think the runner mentioned is operating to a similar degree.

Tarps. Well built and designed ponchos(Shells) can work very well depending on how they are deployed...in snow even a handkerchief has been known as gear...12" of snow is great insulation if you can be dry , insulated and fed...the handkerchief comes in handy for keeping the snow from tickling your face so you can sleep.

In practical terms you should have the right clothes for the environment your in so you supplement when your static... To what degree depends on your comfort and skill levels.

Rubber ponchos are cult classics any more, even rarer is one that doesn't stink.

Camp Hale, else where

G2squared
12-07-2017, 23:03
Two good posts together, MOO. Dusty's gear is based on experience and skill sets he has developed over many years and in many places. He knows what environments he can function in... Even if his gear gets lost or damaged. I think the runner mentioned is operating to a similar degree.

Tarps. Well built and designed ponchos(Shells) can work very well depending on how they are deployed...in snow even a handkerchief has been known as gear...12" of snow is great insulation if you can be dry , insulated and fed...the handkerchief comes in handy for keeping the snow from tickling your face so you can sleep.

In practical terms you should have the right clothes for the environment your in so you supplement when your static... To what degree depends on your comfort and skill levels.

Rubber ponchos are cult classics any more, even rarer is one that doesn't stink.

Camp Hale, else where

lol. When I was younger I would deal with discomfort just to do it. Now I deal with it only when I have to, but I know I can and have a few more life lessons in my tool box to help my fieldcraft make me more comfortable.

And I HATE the smell of old rubber ponchos!! I'd rather replace it every trip than have to wrap that stink around me!!!

G2

The pics are 1 before the heavy stuff and the next morning.

Brush Okie
12-07-2017, 23:17
lol. When I was younger I would deal with discomfort just to do it. Now I deal with it only when I have to, but I know I can and have a few more life lessons in my tool box to help my fieldcraft make me more comfortable.

And I HATE the smell of old rubber ponchos!! I'd rather replace it every trip than have to wrap that stink around me!!!

G2

The pics are 1 before the heavy stuff and the next morning.

Yip, if you are ruffing it in the outdoors you are doing it wrong

doctom54
12-08-2017, 06:39
When in Group I learned to use a rubber poncho effectively for shelter and spent many night under one.

I now use a SilNylon tarp by Paria that weighs 20 oz with pegs and line.
https://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-SilTarp-Ultralight-Waterproof-Backpacking/dp/B01E6454HO/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1512736947&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=silnylon+tarp&psc=1

It was an excellent shelter for 22 days on the John Muir Trail (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir_Trail)

Here is the typical set up

34490

Here is a view from the inside at 13,200 ft with it sleeting & snowing. I'm dry and warm.

34489

Golf1echo
12-08-2017, 08:04
No one is advocating for being uncomfortable, maybe some unconventional thinking. I admit when I read that a WWII 10th mountain division trooper wouldn't be caught with out a handkerchief I was puzzled until sleeping in falling snow, the nice thing about being outside and in weather is to enjoy it not snorkel down in your respiration, also why we make smaller tarps like 5'X6'.

Rather than think in terms of tents and sleeping bags I think about the 5 mechanisms of heat loss: conduction, convection, Radiation, respiration, and perspiration. We make pieces that allow you to build the protection you need and want this enables a lighter weight approach.

I have a GI Rubber poncho that doesn't smell, bug juice is usually what ruins them or not caring for them.

Doc that tarp probably fits in your pocket and I see the structure sewn in, good stuff. Nice thing is it can be rigged in many different ways...a simple ridge cord will add a lot of strength in snow and even poles can be used in different ways.

Shelter below that is open with egress on all sides, then closes up when heavy snow hits ( 1st and last). My best sleep of the year is always in snow...nothing like it. I like what the 10th Div. guys were building during D series maneuvers around Camp Hale, many were mountaineers from Europe, the shelter blocked convection allowed solar gain and for camp chores to be done in comfort then they went on maneuvers at night.

7624U
12-08-2017, 15:11
half the weight 3x the price and you can see though it. If you want to go full retard on light tarps.

https://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/ultralight-backpacking-shelters-tents/tarps.html