Monday, December 19, 2011

Summer Base Weight Skin-out

I have been doing a lot of work on adjusting my gear list for this upcoming spring/summer. The reason for going over this list so early is to see what changes I want to make and to allow me time to budget for the purchase of new gear if needed. Looking at my current gear list my pack base weight (weight with out food, water, fuel, and other consumable items) for the summer should come in just above 15lbs.

Here is a Google Docs spreadsheet of all the equipment I plan on taking with me on my average weekend or week long trips.

I have some ideas to cut this weight down. First I'm thinking about replacing the Base Camp Filter with a Sawyer Squeeze system this should cut down my pack weight by a half pound. Next, I'm considering replacing my alcohol stove with esbit tabs to see if I can save some weight there. Another area that may or may not be a weight savings is to replace my rain gear, I'm not happy with how my FroggToggs have held up over the years and am thinking of trying out something a bit more durable. The idea I'm currently considering is a Packa, RainWrap, and Gaitors.

There are many options out there. The choices I have made are based on my personal wants/needs, economics, and hiking style. I am currently (and probably always will) be adjusting this gear to help minimize pack weight while maintaining safety, and comfort.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ponderings on Pack Weight

I've been itching to get out into the woods lately and when I catch the backpacking fever and don't have the ability to go backpacking it normally means I start thinking about my equipment choices. Today I updated my account with my current Warmer three season equipment list. I specifically compared my shelter weights. Looking at my tent and hammocks as complete systems including sleeping pads, underquilts, top quilts, and shelters themselves I came up with an interesting conclusion.

Tent Setup:
Tarptent Double Rainbow
1134 grams
Tyvek Footprint
169 grams
Burrow Summer Top Quilt Wide w/ 1oz Over Stuff Down
586 grams
Insulated Air Core Pad Mummy 20x78x2.5
723 grams
Vargo Ti V Stakes
78 grams
2690 grams
Hammock Setup:
Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock 1.1oz Double Layer         
621 grams
DIY 12'x11' Cat Cut Hex Tarp, Silnylon                 
486 grams
Burrow Summer Top Quilt Wide w/ 1oz Over Stuff Down    
586 grams
Zeppelin 20° w/ 2oz Over Stuff Down                    
770 grams
Vargo Ti V Stakes                                       
52 grams
2515 grams

As you can see the weight of the two systems are relatively comparable to one another. I think that this will drive me to bring the hammock along on more trips where I will not be staying with my girlfriend. On trips I’m staying with her I will not feel as bad about taking the whole tent and lightening up her pack some. Overall, this revelation while seemingly minute actually expelled some misconceptions I had about my hammock setup being heavier than the Tarptent. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

20° Zeppelin Underquilt

Alright, I know that I'm not good at updating my blog at all. I have decided I will try to do more updates in the future. I have been experimenting with some new equipment and am looking forward to some backpacking, group hangs, and scout camping in the future. I put together this video to show off my new under quilt. Underground Quilts and Gear at is a new company on the market. They have been making quilts for a short time. I have the honor of being the first to do a video about their quality and design. The quilt is really nice. So here it is: