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Topic: Can I get some opinions?, Gear: Pack, clothing, etc.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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cctroupe11 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 9:06 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey guys, I'm deploying to Afghanistan in a couple months, so while I'm overseas, I'm going to spend my hard earned money on gear that I can use for some good long me time when I return. Anyways, I was wondering if I could get some opinions.

A friend of mine has an Osprey 50 (large, so it's 53 liters). It fits great, I've had it loaded up and stuff, and I do like it, so I may get one myself. My question is: for weekend to week long trips, do you think a 50 is large enough? Note that I'm not an ultralight kind of guy, nor do I want to be. I'm 22 years old, in great shape, and I've carried 60+ lbs on my body and back since I joined the army, so a few creature comforts are okay with me whether they weigh a couple extra ounces or not.

Next: sleeping bag. I'm from Georgia. I do plan to do a little hiking in Colorado/Montana when I DO visit, but mainly I will be in GA. It's wet, and humid. And humid and wet. a lot. And it rarely gets near zero F. So...synthetic or down? Which packs smaller? I know synthetics dry faster and still insulate IF wet which would come in handy, but at the same time, I try to keep them out of weather regardless of the fabric and fill. Would down get ruined just from the humidity here?

Same questions as above with cotton vs. synthetic clothing.

Tent. I have no experience with tents other than the giant fabric house my family "camped" in when I was a kid and the crappy ones we get in the military. 2 person would be nice since my fiance may come along. Suggestions?

Also, if any of you have been around my area and have hiked the AT and it's approach near Dahlonega, what kind of cooking method is best for that area? Alcohol stove? Canister?

Thanks for the help.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 9:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We are all hoping for your safe return.

Consider a hammock.  Get a second for your fiance.  You can "take care of things" without a tent.  Use the hammock for sleeping.  

In hot humid weather you'll want synthetic clothing.  In dry hot weather, cotton is fine, and probably more comfortable.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 9:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For moderately bulky and medium-weight equipment I think 50L is the minimum for one week. You didn't specifiy which Osprey you were looking at. Ospreys have tall collars, which adds quite a bit more volume. Still, my recommendation would be for one size up, like the Osprey Aether 60.

For a tent for two people I recommend a 3 person, especially since you're strong enough to carry the weight of a 3P. You will find a 3P much more comfortable for two. A great beginner's tent that will spare your "hard-earned money" is the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3. It weighs just 5 lbs 7 oz and has great ventilation for your Georgia trips.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 10:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

TT- My bad! I thought I put the model. It's an Osprey Atmos 50. I agree that from the size of the pack, I would be cutting it close on a week long excursion because of extra clothing and food/water.  But for weekend trips, it would be ideal?

As for the tent...do you recommend a footprint as a necessary item for rocky/rooty terrain, or as an optional "precaution"?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 10:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, I use a 55L Osprey for weekend trips and find it just about right. My equipment is probably about the same volume as what you will be carrying. But 60L is a good all-purpose size. Ospreys are expensive so you might not want to spend money on two different sizes if one size will serve both your purposes. 60L is not overkill for a weekend, especially if you will be carrying anything for your girlfriend.

Make sure you understand the realistic weight capacities of the different Osprey series and take the load range with a grain of salt. Anyone have an opinion on the Atmos for a 40lb load?

I've always used a footprint. Tents are expensive, footprints are cheap.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 6:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you for your service to our country.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 12:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for your service.

I live in Ga, too.  I have a down bag for winter(20 to 40F) and synthetic for warmer.  I don't let either get wet.

Tent?  Spend what you want but test the WP before use.

Love my alcohol stove.  Silent but slow.  You have to try it.


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"Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again...They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave."
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 10:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

CC,
Hope you have a safe deployment. And thanks for your service!
After humping heavyweight Army gear, I'm sure you'll appreciate shedding over 30% of your pack weight with decent civilian backpacking gear.
Tent - look into a 2.5 or a 3-person tent. You'll appreciate the extra room - most backpacking tent dimensions are a bit optimistic. Kelty, REI, Sierra Designs (among others) make some pretty nice tents for the $ and weight. Look for one with vertical sidewalls & a lot of mesh for better ventilation. You can make a cheap, lightweight ground cloth out of a piece of Tyvek building barrier material.

Clothing - lightweight synthetic & merino layers/socks work pretty well for humid conditions. Synthetics will dry quicker, but merino stays funk-free much longer.

Sleeping bag - If you can keep your sleeping bag dry (a silnylon compression sack works well when it's in your pack), a down bag is usually more comfortable, more compressible and lighter than it's synthetic bretheren.

Cooking - for convenience, I love my Jetboil, but only if you plan on predominantly dehydrated meals. Canister stoves are quick & easy to use. Alcohol stoves are usually lighter, but a bit slower to cook.

Packs - fit is critical. You really should assemble all the gear you plan to carry before buying the pack. Load it up in the store & mess with the adjustments to ensure it'll work for you. Online buying is a bit of a crap shoot with a pack. What works for someone else may not work for you. That being said, I've been pretty impressed with Deuter packs for the weight & $.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 11:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

My opinions,
Pack- I think 50L is small for a week unless you are heading to UL. But great for a weekend unless you are carrying gear for two. Comfort is everything here. Buy from a place with a good return policy. (I went through like 7 packs before I found one I liked)

Bag- I prefer Down bags for being lighter/warmer/more compressible. Synthetics still suck if they are soaked. Don't believe the claim it's warm when wet. That's only true if it's hot outside. It's easy to store in a waterproof sack. I even use down bags on kayak trips. Down should be fine with the humidity, but you may want to hang it up when you get home to really dry it out. As far as temp rating go I think a 20*F should be fine for a wide range. You can always use it as a quilt to vent. In the hottest months when it's super humid and still above 70* at night, I have taken to just bringing a cotton sheet.

Clothing for 3 season- I like to bring a merino shirt and a synthetic one, for the reasons okmtr stated. Merino socks. Synthetic zip off pants, but some people hate the zipper by the knee. I use trailrunners instead of boots unless frostbite is a concern. Synthetic mid layer like powerstretch. Lightweight Rain shell.

Tent- I know you said you are not UL but this is really one of the easiest/cheapest places to save weight. If you can,, get in a few at an REI or wherever. Play with the features, put it up, take it down ect. My fist was an REI quaterdome T2. Awesome tent for the money (wait for sales)
I never use a ground cloth. Campsite selection is a worthwile skill. I'll refer you to this FAQ.... http://www.tarptent.com/faq.html

Cooking- Try them all!! Stoves are usually cheap, fun to play with and all have an area where they excel. You probably don't need a white gas stove first though, they shine in very cold weather. I think you should make an alchy stove tonight!
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