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Topic: Newer to camping< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
liveanimals Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2013, 12:00 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello to everybody,

Me and the girlfriend are looking to get into a little bit more camping and light backpacking at the moment (3 day trips).  I have done some research and have some general ideas for the type of gear I should be looking for

A few questions though;

+  How much is too much as far as weight for our circumstances?

I'm looking at a Eureka Apex 2XT tent at the moment, as well as a few similar ones with a comparable price point.  It's got great reviews.  However it is between 5-6 pounds. It doesn't seem like much, but some say it is. I really don't know what makes the difference on consecutive 12 odd mile days in weight.

+  I have been able to find some good recommendations for backpacks, but what are some general community favorites for 100$ or less?

We've packed the food separately, so my weight would be Tent, Pack, and Bag for the most part. We hike around Smoky national park and anything moderately close so there's definitely wet conditions, which I hear the Apex is great in.

Really just trying to get some feedback on where to start for what I'm after. Also to have some light shed on the lightweight phenomenon and where to stand on that would be great,

Thanks, I appreciate your time.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2013, 12:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I always say buy some cheap stuff and start using it. Then you'll have a much better idea what you really want/need and you can replace pieces as you have the chance. Everybody is different and want different things.

You get lighter one piece of gear at a time after a heavy pack has been really painful on the trail. But again, you need to know what is important to you and that comes with experience.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2013, 1:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some REI's rent have rental gear.  Renting is a good way to check things out a little further.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2013, 1:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How much is too much really depends on the conditions/environment you're in. Lightweight for me in winter is pushing 30 lbs easily. In summer, 20 lbs is easily done. Getting "lightweight" depends on what you know you really need. I've simplified my cooking system, have combined my clothing and sleeping systems, and have several lightweight shelter options to choose from depending on conditions/environment I plan on hiking in. As stated above, getting out there and figuring out what works for you is where you should start before you start shaving pounds. I don't bring toilet paper. You may decide that is something important for you. In my environment, I can get away without it...although in winter, I sometimes breakdown and bring some. Snow makes ya' pucker...

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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2013, 2:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Very true, I suppose you do have to know for yourself.  I appreciate the input, that's was my initial reaction as well.  There's so much information out there it's easy to get side tracked.

Thanks again,
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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2013, 3:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

[quote=liveanimals,May 11 2013, 12:00 am][/quote]
TENT: 6 lbs is heavy for a two-person tent, but it will be divided between two people. If your funds are limited, I recommend the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3, 5 lbs 7 oz., around $130. Roomier and better ventilation than the Eureka.

WEIGHT: For a woman an appropriate weight might be 25-35 lbs, depending on her frame and her strength, with moderately light gear like the Zephyr 3.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2013, 7:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Try and get the BIG 3 ( tent, pack and sleeping system) down below 5 lbs each and you are doing pretty well. Also look at the other small items that can add up to extra weight. My wife and I are by no means Lt Wt. but we do try to keep things as light as possible. I usually have the tent, my clothes, pad, and sleeping bag and cookset. She has all of her gear plus food and headlamps, tp and trowel and some other small things. That way  her pack gets lighter by eating each meal. My pack is around 35-38 and her's is around 25-28 lbs. Also look at trying to keep your food weight down as much as possible. So think about freeze dried and dehydrated foods. Also if water is available a lot on the trail then you don't have to carry too much just refill more often. Otherwise just get out there and enjoy it. And welcome to the forums.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2013, 10:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As a *starting point*, I usually say aim for 20% of your body weight as the high water mark for total trailhead pack weight.  For guys, that's probably 30-40lb and, for women, probably 20-30lb.

I know it may seem like the bulk of the weight is your pack, sleep system and shelter but, in reality, you may be surprised how much all the other "stuff" weigh.  For instance, my 3-season pack+shelter+bag+pad weigh in at 6-7lb total but my base weight (all non-consumable gear) is 12lb.  Half of it are things like the kitchen/water, clothes and small personal things like first aid, knife, toiletries, camera, etc.

For a pack, your priority is going to have to start with fit and weight capacity.  But, right now, I'd definitely look at GoLite packs, especially the Quests.  Decently lightweight for a framed pack, good price plus currently 15% off.
http://www.golite.com/gear/packs


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PostIcon Posted on: May 12 2013, 8:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If your main area is the Smokies and the national forests around it, have you thought about hammocks? There're not for everyone but around here they are great.  Plenty of trees and you don't have to worry about the condensation at nights. If you need/want a tent be sure to get a double wall tent, with 2 people you will have condensation. Some tents are better than others though. The few times a year I use a tent I always leave the vestibules open on both sides to minimize the problem.

Consider your seasons too. If you don't plan to camp during winter (or highest elevations in spring/fall) you can get by with a much higher temp rated bag and save yourself a few pounds and $$ per bag. I use a 40+ bag for the majority of the year but have a +20 for those early spring or late fall trips. I don't do much in the winter.

For your pack, I'd suggest going to one of the outfitters in the area and letting them fit you. A properly fitted pack can make a huge difference in your enjoyment. You won't be able to get one in your $100 range though. You might get lucky and find something that has been returned or some type of clearance pack but it'd just be some good luck on your part. I'm not sure where "home" is but there's an REI in Asheville, River Sports Outfitters in Knoxville and NOC not far from Fontana. Depending on the luck of the draw for salespeople you could also get good advice at the NOC in Gatlinburg or Mast General in Knoxville. There's probably some more places in Asheville too but I'm not as familiar with it.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 13 2013, 8:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

A similar post ( http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....1164338 )is being vetted right now. Perhaps this can give you some inisight.
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