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Topic: Shedding Some Bulk, trying to thin things down?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2012, 12:26 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm just recently getting into the backpacking scene and I'm having trouble stuffing everything into my pack and was looking for some tips on shedding some bulk.  (I'm not too worried about weight, just bulk)

Here's a list of what I'm lugging around in my Osprey Kestrel 38:

cheapo sleeping bag (which could be most of my problem, I'm not using a compression bag, will that help?)
HH Expedition
2L Osprey Bladder
Fleece top and bottom (I can loose in the warmer months)
cook kit (all fits in my grease pot)
Water Filter
First aid kit
Toiletries
Change of clothes
A Frisbee :)

After that, there's not much room at all for food?  I'm just doing 2 and 3 day outings right now.  I feel like I'm down to the minimum, but I thought I would seek advise from those with a bit more experience.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2012, 12:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Welcome!  I'm not a UL type, really, but as a parent who has been backpacking with kids since they were small, weight and bulk have been of great interest.  Yes, the cheap (presumably synthetic) sleeping bag is a big part of your problem.  Using the compression sack will help.  If you decide to really go in for BPing, you'll want to upgrade soon, too.  A few years ago I shifted from being cold at night to being hot, and got myself a 32-deg down bag that weighs well under two pounds and packs into a stuff sack the size of a liter soda bottle, only a lot shorter.  That made a big difference.

But even before that we shifted the kids to down bags, so that we could fit two bags in each adult pack (in fact, we'd stuff two in each stuff sack).  That might give you an idea of the size difference from what you have.

Fleece clothes are a little bulky, but I have used them for years.  Recently I got a down jacket (sweater) which is much less bulky and great in fairly dry places.

Check out the thread pinned at the top of the "gear" forum for a ton of great advice and ideas, too.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2012, 2:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the reply.  I've ordered a better bag and I found over the weekend that I don't need the fleece with me this time of the year.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2012, 2:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For 3 days lose the change of clothes.

All things "just in case" tend to be burdens rather than helps. After a trip, the cliche goes, put everything you didn't use into a pile (except for first aid) and leave it behind next time.

Beyond that maybe get a pack that's correct for what you need to carry?
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2012, 2:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Instead of the fleece, you can use thin layer as a sub to reduce weight n still have the benefit of insulation n overall space savings.

The down bag makes all the difference in the world, at least half the weight is gone. To reduce the bulk, the compression sack is a great way to make room for food n other luxuries.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2012, 5:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I didn't even think about ditching the fleece-type layer entirely, since most of my BPing is at the sort of elevations where you need it year-round.  Besides, if I didn't have my fleece/down jacket and pants, what would I use as a pillow? :)

Yeah, a change of clothes is over-rated.  At the end of the day I take off the hiking shirt/pants, clean up, and put on the light thermals I sleep in, adding layers as needed and as the evening cools.  I rinse the day's clothes, and hang them to dry.  SO, one set for hiking, one set for warmth/sleeping.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2012, 2:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would avoid a compression stuff sack if you get an expensive bag, they do damage the loft permanently....

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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2012, 3:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, I didn't get a down bag....I got a "better" bag :)  I ended up getting a Wiggy's bag after reading nothing but good things about them.

I'll ditch the change of clothes.

Is the Osprey not a good choice?


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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2012, 3:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"a Wiggy's bag after reading nothing but good things about them."

Clearly you didn't do a search on this site.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2012, 3:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

True....I'm still new to this backpacking thing.  Great, a bad bag and a bad pack.  I'm running out of money already and I haven't even got to take a good trip yet :)  Guess I'll have to make due for now.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2012, 5:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey my first "tent" was a $1.99 plastic "tube tent" and I not only survived but had great times*. To paraphrase a Lance Armstrong title (though admittedly bordering on blasphemy for the Gear Section...lol) It's NOT about the gear, it's about being out there.

Sure maybe there are some limitations with certain equipment, that "tent" was borderline worthless in wind driven rain, but with some prudent weather forecast choices...

:)

* I recently realized how far I'd drifted from those days of simplicity and went out and got a floor less 'mid that is supported by trekking poles as a substitute for my ever increasingly sophisticated series of tent "homes": when all I really want out there is some shelter. That the thing weighs in at about 11 ozs. didn't hurt... :D
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PostIcon Posted on: May 02 2012, 12:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A 38 liter pack is pretty small unless you're already an lightweight hiker with appropriate gear. Then you could do a week in it easily.

Dump the hydro bag, and get two liter bottles of water from the grocery store. Refill them. Cheap and light!

There's a lot of things you can do to reduce your pack weight and bulk - get a copy of Mike Clellan's "Lightweight Backpacking Tips" (I think that's the title - I know "tips" is in there for sure), or go over to www.backpackinglight.com for a ton of ideas. I went from carrying a "light" 45-50 lbs to 24 lbs for a week long trip - much more fun!
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2012, 12:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can only second the notion of a down bag. I own a 20° synthetic, but borrow a down 0° from a fellow hiker. My bag is twice as heavy and three times as bulky with half the protection. You might be able to get away with a 5-15° down bag and wear suitable clothing for sleep in colder climes. I still like fleece. I have a jacket and pants. I also like synthetic base layers. Combined, with little more than heavy wool socks, gloves, fleece-lined wool hat, hiking pants and a windbreaker jacket, I've comfortably withstood temps down to 25° just standing around at night. Below that, you may need to address cold-weather gear.

+1 on ditching a change of clothes for a two-nighter, except, of course for socks and undies. Always one more pair of socks than nights you'll be out. So, for two nights, three pair.

For water bottles, I reuse Arizona bottles. They hold 20 ounces and are pretty bulletproof. They cost a dollar and you get a free drink with it! For an insulated cup, I cut one down and put it in a can koozie. Fits like a glove. Make sure you put a lighter to the cut to dull the edge, and clean the remaining adhesive. It also fits my candle lantern. I just remove the cut bottle from the koozie, put the lantern in and put the koozie back on upside down.

As for food - freezer bag cooking. Sarbar is our resident expert. She's got a great website with all kinds of tips and recipes.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2012, 2:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As for socks, you don't really need one pair per night, except in very wet places. I carry three: one to wear, one to have been rinsed and drying, and one clean and dry for sleeping in.  Same for undies.

If things are likely to be very wet, I take one more pair of socks, for a week-long trip--or not.  Dry socks are less vital since I a) switched to smart wool, and b) figured out the correct size so they don't get loose when wet or dirty.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2012, 3:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Depends.  In a surprising  number of conditions, a silnylon pack, UL sleeping quilt, and tarp type shelter could work bringing the "big 3" down to a little more than 3 lbs.  You may have to give up camp comfort though.  I've gone with an all-dyneema Gossamer Gear "Gorilla" (2012 model), WM 35*F bag, and tarp-tent from Henry Shires (all made in the USA btw).  A little heavier than the typical UL'er at 3 1/2 lbs but I got to carry water, avoid bugs, and be prepped for an unexpected drop in night time temps.  Even gets a little more heavy for winter and all its tools.

One the hot side of the spectrum, even water carry negates lighter gear while on the cold side, winter demands much more gear and camping stuff.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2012, 9:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(grampabarber @ May 02 2012, 12:58 am)
QUOTE
A 38 liter pack is pretty small unless you're already an lightweight hiker with appropriate gear. Then you could do a week in it easily.

Dump the hydro bag, and get two liter bottles of water from the grocery store. Refill them. Cheap and light!

There's a lot of things you can do to reduce your pack weight and bulk - get a copy of Mike Clellan's "Lightweight Backpacking Tips" (I think that's the title - I know "tips" is in there for sure), or go over to www.backpackinglight.com for a ton of ideas. I went from carrying a "light" 45-50 lbs to 24 lbs for a week long trip - much more fun!

Nothing beats a 24 lbs-38 liter pack for 5 days on the trail / even when everyone else is looking at you like your crazy, after a full year of doing shake downs & swapping gear, I've got it zoned in with the new Gregory 38 Savant pack,
Summer time I drop another 2 lbs with a different sleeping bag & food weight
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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2012, 5:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You might want to check out Ray Jardine's website and/or books.  Some consider him extreme, but I like a lot of his ideas though I don't implement them all myself.  

 For sleeping, i don't use a sleeping bag.  I bring modified blankets and gear.  For example, i taped some mylar onto my foam pad.  I have two thin, somewhat small, relavitively light alpaca throw blankets which i sewed the ends to make "foot boxes", a super lite high quality silk liner, and then some raw silk noile fabric i cut into a smaller blanket.   For hiking in all but the hottest weather, i wear a good quality Wool Kilt i bought at a thrift store.  At night, it doubles as a small extra blanket, lol if it's not too dirty or smelly.  

 As Ray explains on his site and in his books, a typical modern sleeping bag has a lot of issues.  One, the bottom of a sleeping bag is next to useless because once it's compressed it loses most of it's insulating properties.  So, dead weight for the fabric beneath you and then also because of the zipper system, which you don't really need.  Just sew a foot box in, and wrap the quilt, blanket, throw, or what not around you.  

It's your foam or air sleeping pad which is going to provide you the most insulation on the bottom.  With that said, I do like at least one layer of fabric on that since i'm sleeping on mylar and that's too hot right next to one's skin and doesn't breath.  

  Where i differ from Ray is using multiple lite layers of super warm fabrics rather than a sewn nylon--polyester type "down" fill combo like he does.  

 I figure i'm trapping in extra warmth with the multiple layers because with each layer, there is an extra "air space" created.   Plus, these fabrics are so, so much more breathable, long lasting, odor controlling, easier to wash and dry, etc than most modern sleeping bags.   Really, often times you only need to wash the silk liner and the blanket right above you with any regularity--the others can just air out on a line.  I just don't like the feel of fake fabrics either usually.  

 I also chose this rather than Ray's version because i prefer to use what i already have, or what is cheaper.  The silk fabric cost me like 15 dollars for 6 feet, it's fairly lite, but thicker than regular fabric, very breathable, and quite warm for it's weight.  (Some say that Silk fibers per weight almost rival Goose down in it's insulating properties and abilities).  

 If it's really cold, then i use my already warmer hiking clothes.  I bring a lite weight silk top and bottom just for sleeping (got a very discounted rate at Sierra Trading post), a pretty lite but super warm lambs wool-angora rabbit fur-nylon vest i got at a Thrift store, and if it's really cold i put on the super lite but super warm Alpaca turtle neck sweater, some silk glove liners, an alpaca chullo hat, a combo of super lite linen socks (well 88 % linen & 12 % polyester) with alpaca socks and/or boiled/felted wool slippers with just a gummed sole (very lite, but very warm).  

 A lot of the above stuff, i would carry anyways ;-)  That's one of the tricks to back packing lighter, use what you have in smarter or more resourceful ways.  

 For Water, i use a combo of Filter straw and a steri pen.  If you go for the more high end filter straws you don't need the steri pen in most cases.  In cold weather, it helps to carry the steri pen in your pocket or otherwise closer to your skin.  

 I don't like using plastic bottles because of the taste and the health issues involved.  I'm looking into a hard anodized aluminum bottle, but right now use a cheap stainless steel bottle, plus have a hydration pack made out of more durable plastic than most pre made beverages come in.  

  Personally, what i need to do, is go for a much lighter bag, sort of along the lines of what Ray recommends.  If you are packing much lighter, then you don't need a heavy duty back pack.  

 For food, i'm a bit of a health nut anyways, and so i bring things like whole grain brown rice crackers, nutritional yeast, spirulina-green mix combo, home made energy bars with sprouted, lightly cooked, and dehydrated amaranth grain with lightly cooked, ground almond, ground up dried dates and figs.  

 I grind the amaranth grain into flour, mix it with the almond meal, and super blend the dried dates and figs with cheap vodka, mix it all together, adding a little more vodka if needed to wetten all to just a spreadable paste, then lightly cook that in my convenction toaster oven, then later dehydrate it further in my dehydrator.  

 Then i put the bars in the fridge, warm up some extra virgin coconut oil till liquid, add a drop or two of rosemary essential oil, with a dose of concentrated natural vitamin E, then dip the cold bars into the melted coconut oil, then sprinkle on some good quality salt like "Real salt" or the like.   The coconut oil with Vitamin E and rosemary, surrounds the bars and creates an air barrier and the oil is very well preserved by the rosemary and Vitamin E.    Coconut oil is also somewhat unique among oils in that it destroys Candida yeast in the body and burns more like a carb than a fat--especially when you are active.   This bar is extremely nutritional, energy packed, and for the amount of energy and nutrition provided--fairly lite.  

 People ask me, why the vodka?   A few reasons.  It kills any stray bacteria, mold, fungi, etc. in the foods, preserves the food while it's lightly cooking and dehydrating, and alcohol evaporates much faster than water, so i get faster drying times than if i was to use straight water.  If you do it right, very little alcohol will remain in the food (this usually means, flipping it over during both cooking and dehydrating) If i'm making a lot, for a major trip, like the week long one coming up next month, then it cuts down prep time noticeably.  

I also bring litely toasted and dehydrated Chia seeds.  Orangic Sourdough Whole wheat bread dehydrated,   dehydrated Orangic whole grain brown rice pasta, dehydrated Organic lentils, goat milk powder, dehydrated Romano cheese, and other things like this.   I also dehydrate certain veggies like zuccini, summer squash and the like.  I break down and buy a lot of pre made but cheap parsley flakes.    One can make quite a nice tasting, nutritional, and filling soup using organic Brown Rice pasta, lentils, romano cheese, nutritional yeast, parsley flakes, some dried veggies, a little salt and some italian seasoning.    If you're adventurous, add a little spirulina at the end for extra nutrition.

 P.S., i also try to eat foods that nature provides as well.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 09 2012, 1:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Earlier i wrote,
QUOTE
The silk fabric cost me like 15 dollars for 6 feet, it's fairly lite, but thicker than regular fabric, very breathable, and quite warm for it's weight.


 The above needs a correction.  The Silk Noil fabric i had ordered was not that expensive, it was only 4.59 per yard at 45 inches wide (and 35 mm thick)-hence 6 feet only cost me about 9.20 not including shipping (don't remember how much that cost, but remember it was reasonable).  

  I guess i was mixing up the Linen fabric i had also bought around that time, which was about 7 or so dollars a yard.  Speaking of which.. earlier i wrote,
QUOTE
"For hiking in all but the hottest weather, i wear a good quality Wool Kilt i bought at a thrift store.  At night, it doubles as a small extra blanket, lol if it's not too dirty or smelly."  


 Tis very rare indeed, because out of that Linen fabric i bought, i made a couple of homemade, easy to make Linen skirt like "boxers" to wear underneath.  This stuff is so incredibly breathable, quick drying, odor controlling, very lite weight, and comfortable.  It could be a little softer from the get go, but Linen gets softer and softer with washing and wear.  

 Pretty easy to make.  Just cut out two equal pieces of skirt like shapes (after measuring your waist etc), sew the freyed sides, sew the two ends of separate pieces together, put an elastic band and sew that in, and voila quick, easy to make and cheap "super" wicking/quick drying, durable, VERY breathable, cooling, odor controlling underwear that surpasses most every other kind out there.  

 It's great to wear especially under kilts or skirts (though i am a male & very straight, i wear a used, 100% Hemp Patagonia women's skirt for hot weather hiking cause i don't care what people think), but if you wear shorts or pants, all you have to do is to leave two slits on the bottom for it to go over the fabric barrier inside.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 10 2012, 10:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the great information.  I've been able to shed quite a bit of bulk by getting a better bag.  That wiggys bag packs down nice and I don't have to worry about it getting wet :)  I also ditched the extra cloths.  I just recently was turned onto the smartwool socks...I had no idea socks could make such a difference on my hiking experience.  I guess the right tools make a big difference.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2012, 12:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

FYI, you shouldn't get any bag wet. Doesn't matter what it is made of, it will be very uncomfortable and very heavy to carry.

There is very little difference (in reality) between the warmth of a wet synthetic and a wet down bag. Wet is bad. Keep it dry.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 11 2012, 9:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ May 11 2012, 12:48 am)
QUOTE
FYI, you shouldn't get any bag wet. Doesn't matter what it is made of, it will be very uncomfortable and very heavy to carry.

There is very little difference (in reality) between the warmth of a wet synthetic and a wet down bag. Wet is bad. Keep it dry.

Thank you.  I didn't plan on soaking it down before I climbed in for bed time, but sometimes things happen.  I will surely do my best to stay dry though.  :)

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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2012, 3:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Mwil3 @ May 11 2012, 6:09 am)
QUOTE

(AlmostThere @ May 11 2012, 12:48 am)
QUOTE
FYI, you shouldn't get any bag wet. Doesn't matter what it is made of, it will be very uncomfortable and very heavy to carry.

There is very little difference (in reality) between the warmth of a wet synthetic and a wet down bag. Wet is bad. Keep it dry.

Thank you.  I didn't plan on soaking it down before I climbed in for bed time, but sometimes things happen.  I will surely do my best to stay dry though.  :)

Actually the heads up isn't that far fetched as some will skimp on water protection for their bag (leaving the waterproof stuff sack or sleeping bag liner behind for instance to save some ounces) based on synthetics being "better" than down when wet even in the face of looming rain on the route.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 16 2012, 1:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's simple. Line your backpack with a high-quality black garbage bag. Tie it with a twist-tie when it rains or when you ford a deep stream.

It's like the Number One Axiom of Backpacking:

First of all, keep all your sh*t dry...
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PostIcon Posted on: May 16 2012, 1:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For a weekend type trip leave a "change of anything" or a "backup of anything" at home (except socks and something to light a fire with).  Then load up and get out there.

But do bring a small notepad.  Write 5 things in it.  1-everything you notice about your gear that worked.  2-everything about your gear that did not.  3-every piece of gear you used and why.  4-every piece of gear your brought but did not use.  5-anything that comes to mind about your hike...places, people, smells, views, etc.

Use the first 4 to refine your gear list (will mostly be things you brought and did not need), how to more effectively/efficiently pack/organize what you brought and need, and research/plan you next purchase.  Use the 5th as a way to reflect and remember how awesone it is to be out in God's creation.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 19 2012, 10:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ May 15 2012, 3:44 pm)
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(Mwil3 @ May 11 2012, 6:09 am)
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(AlmostThere @ May 11 2012, 12:48 am)
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FYI, you shouldn't get any bag wet. Doesn't matter what it is made of, it will be very uncomfortable and very heavy to carry.

There is very little difference (in reality) between the warmth of a wet synthetic and a wet down bag. Wet is bad. Keep it dry.

Thank you.  I didn't plan on soaking it down before I climbed in for bed time, but sometimes things happen.  I will surely do my best to stay dry though.  :)

Actually the heads up isn't that far fetched as some will skimp on water protection for their bag (leaving the waterproof stuff sack or sleeping bag liner behind for instance to save some ounces) based on synthetics being "better" than down when wet even in the face of looming rain on the route.

"That stream crossing is a piece of cake!"

"wow, that was a lot deeper than I expected.... huh, why is my pack so heavy?"

???


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PostIcon Posted on: May 19 2012, 3:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ May 19 2012, 7:08 am)
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(High_Sierra_Fan @ May 15 2012, 3:44 pm)
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(Mwil3 @ May 11 2012, 6:09 am)
QUOTE

(AlmostThere @ May 11 2012, 12:48 am)
QUOTE
FYI, you shouldn't get any bag wet. Doesn't matter what it is made of, it will be very uncomfortable and very heavy to carry.

There is very little difference (in reality) between the warmth of a wet synthetic and a wet down bag. Wet is bad. Keep it dry.

Thank you.  I didn't plan on soaking it down before I climbed in for bed time, but sometimes things happen.  I will surely do my best to stay dry though.  :)

Actually the heads up isn't that far fetched as some will skimp on water protection for their bag (leaving the waterproof stuff sack or sleeping bag liner behind for instance to save some ounces) based on synthetics being "better" than down when wet even in the face of looming rain on the route.

"That stream crossing is a piece of cake!"

"wow, that was a lot deeper than I expected.... huh, why is my pack so heavy?"

???

"Those prett green rocks were {}%^**^#} slippery! Hey somebody fish my pack off the stream bottom ok?"
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PostIcon Posted on: May 19 2012, 11:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

But Wiggy's are magic and you don't feel all the water soaking the bag.

Don't believe the hype that synthetics are fine when wet. They aren't. And since you said you wanted to shed bulk, Wiggy's insulation is very bulky. It does not compress well.

When I was younger I bought into the same stuff you are. I had all synthetic bags. In 2003 I bought my first down bag and had a major epiphany from it. I switched everything to down for all conditions and locales. (I hike in temps from -30 to 120 F)

But welcome to the forum and to backpacking. It is my favorite pastime and was even when I used bags I swear were filled with sawdust. ;-)

Enjoy the trail.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 21 2012, 3:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some of the comments are cracking me up (although I know they are true.)  "Those green rocks are slippery" had me rolling.

Lots of great advise.  Thanks.  I did an overnight this weekend and learned a lot from just that one night out.  Water is important, but heavy :)  I went ahead and ordered a filter when I got home yesterday.  (msr miniworks ex) I had one of those emergency straws that I thought could work as a gravity filter, but that was wishful thinking.  Already I've found some things that I didn't need and what needed to be a little easier to get to.

I'm really loving the Wiggy's.  I'm not sure why the bad rap here?  It compresses down to about the size of a football and does a great job keeping me warm.  I guess I need to try out some "good stuff" so I can see what I'm missing. (or maybe it's better that I don't :)  The wife is already on me about spending too much on this hobby)  Anyway, thanks again for all the great advise and I'm excited to spend more time out and learn.  We've got a 3 day planned for this weekend, so that should be a great opportunity to learn a bit more about my needs on the trail.  Thanks.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 22 2012, 9:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you have occasion to talk to Wiggy himself I'm sure you will figure it all out toot sweet.  :D And there is quite a lot of historical data in the past threads in the gear forum to illuminate you if you would rather not put yourself through it.

Ray, at least you had backpacking gear. I started out with Kmart specials.... Should have learned how to build a survival shelter with a trash bag and pine boughs, would have been warmer!


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PostIcon Posted on: May 22 2012, 1:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Mwil3 @ May 21 2012, 3:16 pm)
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I'm really loving the Wiggy's.

That's all that matters.

If I'm trying to minimize bulk, I've found that breaking up my items is more efficient. Stuff two socks in this void, stuff the jacket between those two compression sacks, etc. It creates other challenges, but it minimizes bulk.

Check the weather before ditching extra clothes. Wearing your one set of soaking wet clothes the following day is miserable... trust me. Then again, I hike in a humid/wet environment where things get wet and stay wet. {I actually laughed at how some people said they just hang their clothes overnight to dry. Here, they just absorb even more moisture from the air :D }


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