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Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)

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Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 17, 2009 12:05PM
I was given The Pacific Crest Trail Hiker's Handbook by Ray Jardine. I believe this person embraces most or all of the tenets in this book. I have read through most of the book and there are some good ideas and philosophies. Of course for me, at least some of the book does not apply since I will never try a 3000 mile hike. I will be mostly a weekend hiker with the occasional 5-10 mile a day week long trip. In this thread I hope to avoid controversy about extreme methods for long distance hiking. I am looking for discussion about the things in this book and maybe others, that work well with weekend hiking. What things work well and what is overkill?

For myself, before I read this book I just got a new, huge, 6lb backpack. So I will not be going ultra light anytime soon. I don't hike enough to strengthen my ankles and hike in running shoes. I enjoy campfires and will not always avoid using them. I am interested in what he has written about clothing. The weight adds up in a hurry and waterlogged clothes would be even worse. I am not familiar with all the fabrics described. He mentions a waterproof breathable parka with no insulation. To me a parka is a thick heavy coat. His description sounds like a rain jacket. Also his discussion about food interests me. I can imagine that having food other than prepackaged backpacker food would be a plus.

What works well for you?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/2009 12:14PM by traildad.
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 17, 2009 12:27PM
Traildad,

You will get lots of good stuff here.
First a few of questions so the advice can be tempered to fit your situation:

How oldish are you?
Will you usually have a tent mate or no?
Will you hike self-contained and solo or share gear with a hiking buddy?


The answers to these questions will substantially impact the gear suggestions.



Old Dude
Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 17, 2009 08:19PM
Quote
mrcondron
Traildad,

You will get lots of good stuff here.
First a few of questions so the advice can be tempered to fit your situation:

How oldish are you?
Will you usually have a tent mate or no?
Will you hike self-contained and solo or share gear with a hiking buddy?


The answers to these questions will substantially impact the gear suggestions.

OK, I also welcome answers that we can all learn from.

I am 50 and have been day hiking for a year or so and have been on one overnight trip from Tuolumne Meadows to Glen Aulin. Last month I also did a day hike from White Rock Lake to Paradise Lake and back via the PCT with my new pack to try it out. I had about 30lbs in it.

My wife can't do any serious distance so I will always sleep on my own.

My sister's boyfriend went on my overnight trip but I can't assume that he will be available for all my trips.
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 17, 2009 01:34PM
Quote
traildad
He mentions a waterproof breathable parka with no insulation. To me a parka is a thick heavy coat. His description sounds like a rain jacket.

By parka I think he just means a jacket with a hood. Something like this.
Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 17, 2009 08:21PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
traildad
He mentions a waterproof breathable parka with no insulation. To me a parka is a thick heavy coat. His description sounds like a rain jacket.

By parka I think he just means a jacket with a hood. Something like this.

Great. Links to some of the items is helpful so I can get a better understanding. Thanks
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 17, 2009 08:42PM
I've always liked The complete Walker for advice on gear. Might be a bit dated now, but it's still good reading.
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 17, 2009 08:45PM
I should also say that in the end it all comes down to what works for you. Use the books for ideas and then go out and see for yourself.
Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 17, 2009 09:20PM
Quote
eeek
I should also say that in the end it all comes down to what works for you. Use the books for ideas and then go out and see for yourself.
Absolutely. I hope to gain from others experience as well. Since the book is directed at thru hiking the PCT, I am looking to find out what gear people that are weekend hiking use, that is different, or the same. In other words, in your experience what things have you found in this or other books do, and don't, convert well to short distance backpacking.
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 17, 2009 10:36PM
Traildad,

Lets assume you will be hiking solo and totally self contained, during the summer, weekends only, some spring and fall hikes, ten miles a day max.
Shelter:
*Tent, one person, free standing, like the Eureka Backcountry 1 http://www.eurekatent.com/p-44-backcountry-1-tent.aspx
I've used this tent in sustained rain with high wind. No problems. Not too expensive yet very durable and roomy with good ventalation.
Single wall Eureka one man, http://www.eurekatent.com/p-47-zeus-1-classic-tent.aspx No rain fly needed, rain proof but not so good on ventilation. Useful in rainy season if you don't want to mess with the rainfly the Back country uses. Zeus is good for light snow and faster setup if it does start to rain. Youcan thrown your gear inside the tent before the poles are put in and your gear will stay dry during the setup time.
*Sleep Screen, http://www.nwbackpack.com/products/repel_single_sleep_screen.php I've used this system for many years during the mosquito season when I know it isn't going to rain.
After mosquito season I'll sometimes go with no tent or sleep screen if I'm positive it isn't going to rain.
*Tarp, Jardine talks about a tarp setup quite extensively in his book. I've done it and it can be a hassle. Very good ventilation, good rain protection, need a sleep screen during mosquito season.

I would stick with a one man tent until you are comfortable with the idea of going more exotic.

Pack:
3 bazillion choices. I've used the Gregory Shasta http://www.backcountry.com/outdoorgear/Gregory-Shasta-Backpack-5000-cu-in/GRE0009M.html which is very comfortable with heavy loads, ie. two week trip or winter camping. Pack is about 7LBS
Gregory Reality http://www.archronicles.com/Gregory-Reality-Backpack.asp is comfortable for weekend, three, four day hikes and weighs about 5LBS. I've used these two pack for about 15 years.


NOTE-> -> I recently got a Osprey Talon 44 http://www.usoutdoorstore.com/outlet/osprey-talon-44-daypack.html and have hiked with it twice. Comfortable enough to carry gear on a solo trip for 4 days or so. Very light pack and not too expensive. Very roomy.



Pads, Long Z Rest http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Therm-A-Rest-Z--Lite-Sleeping-Pad_10085797____?cm_mmc=CSE-_-GoogleBase-_-na-_-Therm-A-Rest-Z--Lite-Sleeping-Pad&ad_id=GoogleBase This pad is good for napping, sitting on while eating lunch, and good as an insulator to put under you air filled pad. http://www.rei.com/product/781093

Stove: Go with the Pocket Rocket http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___87758?CS_003=2477120&CS_010=87758WC Use the 8oz gas can which is good for two to three weekends of care free cooking.

Use hiking sticks. They provide balance and stability and allow for much more rapid down hill travel. Leki Makalu http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Leki-Super-Makalu-Cor-tec-Antishock-Trekking-Poles-%28Pair%29_10043452____?cm_mmc=CSE-_-GoogleBase-_-na-_-Leki-Super-Makalu-Cor-tec-Antishock-Trekking-Poles-%28Pair%29&ad_id=GoogleBase If you do get sticks get good ones.

Water bottles. I use two one liter Schweppe's tonic bottles. They are super light, durable, free, have a larger hole for easy drinking.

Look into a Marmot Precip jacket. Serves as a windbreaker and is waterproof and breathable. A perfect top layer. Weighs next to nothing.

You'll get much more advice soon.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2009 10:19AM by mrcondron.
Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 18, 2009 12:34AM
The sleep screen is interesting. I have never seen anything like that before.
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 18, 2009 09:40AM
traildad,

I would make 3 recommendations, one that contradicts one of Mike's.

1. Forget about packs that are heavy even before you put anything into them. I had a 5.5 pound Gregory Baltoro 70 pack and just replaced it with the REI Flash 65 to cut nearly half the empty pack's weight.

2. You do not need to carry that huge standard sized Model 812 Backpacker's Cache that the rangers rent out. Buy the half size Bareboxer food canister, especially if hiking alone.

3. Use a lightweight down sleeping bag if possible. A 40 degree bag will probably suffice for your summer hiking, even at 10,000'. I had a heavy 20 degree Thermolite bag and replaced it with a 40 degree down bag (Marmot Arete).

I learned the hard way that every ounce you can save will make your trip more pleasurable. Can not overemphasize that point. I'm not a minimalist by any means. Still enjoy my comforts but it requires lots of scrutiny in managing weight.

Jim
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 18, 2009 10:20AM
See edited post.



Old Dude
Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 22, 2009 09:59PM
Quote
tomdisco
traildad,

2. You do not need to carry that huge standard sized Model 812 Backpacker's Cache that the rangers rent out. Buy the half size Bareboxer food canister, especially if hiking alone.

Jim
How many days food supply can you fit in one?
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 22, 2009 10:09PM
Four easily.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 22, 2009 10:59PM
Quote
traildad
Quote
tomdisco
traildad,

2. You do not need to carry that huge standard sized Model 812 Backpacker's Cache that the rangers rent out. Buy the half size Bareboxer food canister, especially if hiking alone.

Jim
How many days food supply can you fit in one?



Personally, I don't think that the weight savings of the Bearboxer (or the Bear Vault 450) is worth it considering the price differential and the storage volume lost vs. a full size canister. You're saving the weight of less than 0.5 liter of water and it's not like the additional volume is "lost" to your pack since you can just stuff other items besides food in there.

[Bear in mind (pun intended) that my opinion is one from a person that once packed 35 pounds of quartz out of a National Forest area.]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2009 11:04PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 22, 2009 11:47PM
Was the 35lbs on purpose or did one of your buddies stick some rocks in your pack?
The Bearboxer allows a smaller pack to be used for trips of four days or less. The total weight savings starts to get up into 5-10 lbs at least.
2.5lb pack Osprey Talon 44
1.5lb bear can with 2-3lbs food
2lb 800 Power fill 25 degree bag
1.5lb Pocket Rocket burner and canister
4lbs water
Ultra light bivy and shelter
1lb water filter
some night clothes, precip clothes, and toilet gear



Old Dude
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 23, 2009 12:57AM
Quote
mrcondron
Was the 35lbs on purpose or did one of your buddies stick some rocks in your pack?


I was hiking solo. Fortunately, was only about 8-10 miles from the trailhead and mostly downhill.
Who wouldn’t notice? (Rhetorical question… some of us know the answer.)


Quote
mrcondron
The Bearboxer allows a smaller pack to be used for trips of four days or less. The total weight savings starts to get up into 5-10 lbs at least.

Sounds like a gross overestimation. Also, see comment above re. non-food storage in canister.
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 23, 2009 01:29AM
This stuff adds up to just over 7lbs. Add a bear can, filter, food, mics, clothes, stove and fuel canister, water and it comes in at around twenty pounds with complete protection for 3.5 seasons. Good for winter if a large drop is not expected. It's a bit pricey but it helps me in my dotage.
Shelter: 11oz 8'x5' http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=35&products_id=76&osCsid=1f3f3ca2463323c1090a139bcfe53462

Bivy Large: 7oz. http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=30&osCsid=1f3f3ca2463323c1090a139bcfe53462

Bag: Long 1lb 15oz http://www.backcountry.com/outdoorgear/MontBell-UL-Super-Stretch-Hugger-2-Sleeping-Bag-25-Degree-Down/MTB0010M.html?CMP_ID=PD_GOO001&CP=Google&CMP=KNC-Google&mv_pc=r101&gcid=S2000x136&keyword=&s_kwcid=TC|5485|montbell%20super%20stretch%20hugger%202||S|b|3818211074

Pack: 2lb 10oz http://www.rei.com/product/748230

Pad: 11oz http://cascadedesigns.com/Therm-A-Rest/Mattresses/Fast-And-Light/ProLite/product

Z Pad: 14oz http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/fast-and-light/z-lite/product



Old Dude
Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 22, 2009 10:29AM
I have an older Gregory Palisades pack. Yeah, it's super heavy but I love the fit and the heavy-duty padding. I also like the sleeping bag compartment and the removable top compartment (turns into a fanny pack.) I try to make up for the weight with the rest of my gear.

Lightweight down sleeping bag. I have a 45-degree Sierra Designs Wicked Light bag. I'm not into winter camping and this bag takes me down into the 40's comfortably. 800-fill down, 23 oz, size of a football. No hood, half-zipper only but with a foot-vent and super roomy. I can't sleep in those super-slim mummy bags. Bought it for about $100 at Sierra Trading Post -- one of my best gear purchases yet.

Inflatable pad. I use a Big Agnes Air Core pad. Full size, 2.5 inches thick, 22 oz. Takes maybe 3 minutes to inflate. I've had it for 2 years, maybe 3, and no problem with leaks or tears. I'm a side-sleeper and really appreciate the thickness.

Basic backpacking stove and 1-litre pot. I have a Primus one and a Brunton one. Both are your basic ones that screw onto an isobutane canister. Maybe 4-5 oz and inexpensive, $25 on sale at REI. I take both if there are 4 of us hiking. I have a 1+ litre titanium pot with a lid and also a 1+ litre GSI "kettle". I take one or the other; both only if I'm taking 2 stoves. That and a titanium mug and spork are all I take for cooking.

Water. I admit I like nalgene bottles. Heavy, I know, but they're indestructible and I've never had to worry about leaks and such. I also have a couple of basic flexible plastic water reservoirs that weigh pretty much nothing. I take them in case I need to carry extra water at some point. I originally bought then to sneak liquor onto a cruise... they can carry wine and such, too...

Food. I use Mountain House freeze dried meals for dinner -- the 2-serving size, I think, only serves one. The lasagne with meatsauce is my favorite, chili mac isn't bad either. For lunches, I love sardines -- heavy but worth it! I have my favorite trail mix. I usually don't like gradnola bars, clif bars and the like. Last hike I took Starbucks instant coffee -- they were ok. Best find were the powdered Ocean Spray juice mixes. Single serving packets of cran-peach w/ 100% vitamin C, great for breakfast.

Hiking poles. I have a pair of your basic REI poles with the shock absorbers (appreciated on those Grand Canyon downhills.) I'm going to ask Santa for one of those fancy super-lightweight sized-for-women-folds-up-tiny ones this year. smiling smiley That said, I think the most important part are the grips -- make sure they fit and are comfortable. Avoid the cheap hard-plastic ones.

Tent. I'm going to have to go to Santa for a new one of these this year too... I have a Eureka Zeus, 2-man, single-wall, about 4 lb. I also have a Sierra Designs Anu 3. Kids use it when we car camp but backpackable if hiking with 3. It's pretty heavy, almost 7 lb. In the Grand Canyon, we carry a Kelty tarp. 12'x12', 2-1/2 lb with all the necessary lines attached, but use it only if it rains.

Clothing. Mostly synthetics, "quick dry" fabrics, they're lighter. I try to only take one change of clothes for 4-5 days. Zip-off convertible pants. One fleece. Patagonia rain jacket. Love Smartwool hiking socks. Asolo hiking boots if I'm carrying a full pack, Merrell trail shoes otherwise. Always carry "camp shoes", usually my Tevas.

The rest are small things -- headlamp, basic swiss army knife, obligatory "toilet bag" with plastic shovel, toilet paper, etc., small notebook f/trail notes, journal, etc., topo map, compass, reading book, deck of cards, point-and-shoot digital camera, first aid kit, camp towel and toothbrush. IBUPROFIN.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2009 10:32AM by TigerFan.
avatar Re: Your approach to backpacking. (Ray Jardine)
October 22, 2009 10:56PM
TD,

layers layer layers for clothing -- this comes from someone whose hands turn blue under 70F!

In Summer, I carry lt wt thermals, fleece jacket and Precip rain shell to compliment the standard hiking pants & T-shir/shirt combo.

In late Fall/Early Spring, I add fleece pants, heavier fleece jacket, hat w/earflaps, gloves, spare socks,Precip rain pants -- this combo has kept me warm down into the midddle 20'sF.

B
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