View Full Version : Help me reduce!

02-17-2003, 23:03
Im going to take a nice 20 day trek in the whites this spring w\ 1 resupply, and i need help getting my pack weight down. COuld you people out there recommend some things???

42 oz. ULA-P2- getting it soon...im ordering next month- very excited about this little piece of equipment
42 oz. Hennessy Hammock- Expedition
48 oz. sierea designs sleeping bag- got it as a closeout at
campmor. ANy suggestions here? Must be under $100- im on a very tight budget!
9 oz. Polyester Shirt + shorts- this is a change of clothes
9 oz. camelbak 2 liter, platypus 2 liter, iodine
15 oz. Campmor 200 wt. fleece zip- looking to make my own fleece pullover
7 oz. large+ med. exped drybags- go and get them:cheap and
11 oz. All those "extras"-TP,toothbrush, lighter, knife, 1st aid kit, spare lighter, bug spray, ect.
12 oz. Polypro top and bottom- got them for $14 at campmor
13 oz. Campmor rain coat- looking to get a golite umbrella+ nylon shell
7 oz. generic flipflops
7 oz. Cooking equipment- Soda stove and walmart grease pan
3 oz- princton tec aurora headlamp
3 oz- packtowl
3 oz- 25 feet of para cord
3 oz- gatorade mug and spoon
5 oz- generic camara
8 oz- quick dry pants- campmor brand
7 oz- fleece hat and mittens
6 oz- sunglasses+ case
4 oz- visor
9 oz- 2 pairs socks + liners

THis comes to a whopping total of: 273 oz, or 17.06 lbs.

...wait a min....i thought it was 21 lbs...i just checked through my list again....thats strange. Well, how about a 17 lb. base pack weight. That certanly sounds much better, and that means that my pack weight should never exceed 28-32 lbs.... A lighter sleeping bag, a homade fleece "vest", and a golite umbrella would\could shave off another 1.5 lbs...that would be reallll nice.

Do you think this is a decent list for 2 weeks in the whites, and do you think this is light enought for the use of running shoes. Be advised that i will be carrying a max. of 12 lbs of food and 3 lbs. of water. Can you find anything that i can reduce?


02-17-2003, 23:48
You are going to be in the Whites during Spring, which means there will still be cold weather and snow. 21lbs for those kind of conditions are perfectly acceptable and you don't want to skim on cold weather gear while hiking that area. If you really want to cut down weight then try to make two resupply points on the trip instead of just one.

What time of the year are you talking about exactly. If it is later march or April I don't think running shoes will be good for the snow. Some people here know the Whites better than I so they can probably offer you more sound advice.

02-17-2003, 23:57
Unless you are a big person go with the Safari Ultra Lite or smaller on the hammock. Its 1.6 lbs I believe. I used one and had no troubles.Lose the drybags,umbrella.packtowel,quickdry pants and visor. A good rule of thumb for food is 2 lbs a day. Thats a starting weight in food of 20 lbs for 10 days plus water. I wore boots ,but saw lots of trailrunners. The Whites are full of boulders and ground that has no dirt.I was glad I had the boots. When I left Glenncliff heading north my packweight was about 40 lbs. But I was use to it and it didnt hurt too bad. Put a mail drop on Mt Washington. People say they dont like you to do that but the mailman there told me that it was fine by him. Im glad I did it.Just dont get there on Sunday. I think you can maildrop at Pinkham Notch also. Good luck and have fun!! Virginian

SGT Rock
02-18-2003, 00:18
Cut the towel in half. There, that is about all I can see.

02-18-2003, 00:36
Virginian: I have tried the sufari ultralight- something just didnt seem right. Im quite content w\ my "ancient" explorer for the time being.

I probably shouldnt have included the visor in the pack weight- that stays on my head;)

The umbrella would replace my raincoat as my rain protection, and in the whites the weather is as crazy as sidshow bob from the simpsons.

The "quickdry" pants are my only pair of pants, and those should stay for the current climate conditions.

Speaking of climate, im going to be doing this hike mid april- so i dont think there should be too much snow. Im going to be starting at pinkham notch, starting in the carters working my way north. Ive got it planned for 1 mail drop, and the wayive got it set up it seems fine. My menu is 1.58 lbs per day- so that should not be a problem.

Sgt Rock: it already is:banana

02-18-2003, 02:10
If you are going to be in the Whites for 20 days in mid- or even late April, you should really look at the website www.mountwashington.org/weather.

Do you have enough stuff to be out in 25 deg F temperature with a wind of 40-50 mph? Because you are going to hit that routinely. And it gets windier than that. April 2002 had 8 days where the wind was 73+ mph and 3 days where it was 100+ mph. April 2001 had 11 days with 73+ and 2 days with 100+. Think about what kind of wind chill that represents. Normal snowfall for April is about 30 inches, although that probably all blows away.

I don't see a pad for the hammock.

I am not trying to be a scare monger here. I am an engineer and I look at data. And the data says it will be below freezing and blowing like a sonofagun.

Pete Hoffman

02-18-2003, 08:18
Brian - Pete's right. VT and NH are having an absolutely brutal winter. Cold, cold, cold. Unless the weather pattern breaks soon, you'll see LOTS of snow still remaining in the Whites in mid-April. Plus, you stand a good chance of running into a major snowstorm in April. It's very common for hikers who don't live in the area or have not hiked the Whites before to seriously underestimate the severity of the weather they can encounter. Don't make that mistake. You mentioned leaving your rain jacket for an umbrella. Big Mistake!! You need a full set of good rain gear that can protect you.

02-18-2003, 09:58

I would take the rain jacket and leave the umbrella. It will double for the wind, and will be more effective against any rain you might run into above treeline, the wind will be whipping and an umbrella will be useless.

Also, just an FYI, we got about 19 more inches of snow last night, with more on the way. It has been an incredible winter in terms of cold and snow cover, so don't discount that there will still be plenty of snow by Mid to late April. Don't plan on this being a "spring" hike, plan on it being a "late-winter" hike and you'll be all set in terms of gear. If the winter we have had is any indication, we aren't giong to have a spring at all!:D

Good luck! Enjoy the Whites :)

02-18-2003, 10:04
General advice is to stay out of the high elevations until Memorial Day. The reason being is that the trails are muddy and easily damaged as the frost comes out of the ground. They need time to dry up and harden up. So, suggest that you either delay your trip, or hike elsewhere in lower elevations.

02-18-2003, 10:29
Late fall, Winter & Early Spring are no times to scrimp above treeline. I'd bring a hooded down jacket and pants if you plan to hit the whites in april. Balaclava a must. You'll want instep cramp-ons, and possibly an ice axe if there is still alot of snow/ice. Polarized sunglasses very important. Make sure you have the skills to self-arrest.

I plan to have a hooded down jacket on my late summer/early fall thru-hike of the Long-Trail this year, and the green mountains are almost anthills compared to the whites, due to the weather patterns centralized over their exposed faces.

Think of it this way, "What would you bring to the Arctic in april"?

I'd wait until july/august and still bring the down jacket...

02-19-2003, 13:45
I second most of what the other people wrote. I guess the one thing I would cut from your list is your change of clothes. Why would you change your clothes? During my long hikes I tend to hike in a polyester shirt and kilt. Once I get into camp I throw on my long underwear, and hang my hiking clothes ona tree. I hardly ever get cold when walking, it has to be below 40. Once it gets below 40, I throw on a shell and pull up my gaiters.

Depends on your comfort level obviously. I would carry

Long underwear mid weight top and bottom
polyester shirt (guayavera)
Probably a fleece or down parka in the Whites in April
Shell - cheap maybe not even breathable - only to wear if cold
capilene hat, lightweight gloves

04-01-2003, 10:59

Don't know if you are still going and exactly when. However, this morning on Mt. Washington the weather report is blowing snow and freezing fog. The temperature is -9 deg F. The wind is 69 mph gusting to 80 mph. The resulting wind chill is -44 deg F. Do the Boy Scout thing and be prepared. And forget the umbrella. Happy trails.

Pete Hoffman

04-01-2003, 14:05
Middle of April this year in the Whites you are going to see DEEP snow (probably more than 3-4 feet at high elevations). People have reported postholing with snowshoes on during the recent warm spells. Cold spells will mean ICE on the trail, so crampons will be a necessity. Warm spells will mean wet slush and postholing, and RAGING streams which may be uncrossable. Expect temperatures between 10 and 60F.

04-01-2003, 15:20
I would like to say once again that Jardine's umbrella idea is dangerous in many situations, including cold weather in the White's.

Rain gear is much warmer, protects you from rain much better, from wind 10 times better, and can be worn as clothing when you're doing laundry. (Multi-use, so important in lowering pack weight.)

An umbrella may provide more ventilation, but that's not something you'll need when it's 35 deg, raining, and the wind is screaming.

If the umbrella fad hasn't already killed someone, it most certainly will.

04-01-2003, 15:45
seems interesting that while everyone likes to blast ray's advocation of an umbrella very few make mention of the waterproof/breathable jacket and trousers he talks about sewing and always carrying in reserve for extreme conditions. don't beleive me? just read the book.

Blue Jay
04-01-2003, 16:24
Hey, wait a minute, you can use an umbrella as clothing when in a laundramat, you just have to spin it. that hypnotizes the locals.

04-01-2003, 22:42
THanks for the info:

No, im not going until very late may- so the weather should be a little more situated. I know that whites are crazy, but they are a LITTLE better.

I dropped the unbrella and am going with my red ledge thunderlight parka. Great jacket, only $50 at campmor. ANd i feel so lucky being able to GO TO campmor and try stuff on....i love living near paramus NJ.

The change of clothes is a personal barrier of saftey and contentment that i have. Ill be gone for only 16 days- and it only weighs 8 oz...ill keep that change of clothes.

pdhoffman: 1st off- i am a scout 2nd- scouts are lightweight hikers( more like the military, prob. for insurance reasons:p) 3rd: i will be north of mt washington, so i will be missing that "fun" place. And mt wash has the most severe weather compared to anywhere within 700 miles. I haev been in the whites listening to my weather radio- my 3 oz gem- and while it was clear and breezy where i was- there were 69 mph winds and heavy snow. Go figure