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View Full Version : 14 lbs and 25 Liters for an overnight trip to the smokies



STICK
08-08-2010, 21:54
So I am getting ready to head to the Smokies for an overnight trip. I have been trying to get my pack smaller and lighter, at least for day hikes and even simple overnight trips. I have managed to get everything I will need for this trip in a new 25 liter pack and it all ways 14 lbs. I am excited about this! Anyway, I have made a video and a list of all items inside the pack and it can be seen here:

http://stick13.wordpress.com/

So, what do ya think?

SGT Rock
08-08-2010, 21:57
Sounds good. Water is low up in the Smokies lately. I was up there last week and springs on the ridge are slow.

STICK
08-08-2010, 22:07
We are heading up Alum to LeConte and then back down the next day. I will only carry about 1 - 1.5 liters of water going up and then refill at LeConte to come back down the next day. Do you think that it will be a problem getting water at LeConte?

Also, I realize that this weight is some peoples normal weight, but for me I have been a heavy weight since I started a little over a year ago. (I went up the approach trail last September with 55 lbs!) So I am happy that I have gotten to this weight, even if it is just for an overnight trip!

Egads
08-08-2010, 22:16
Good job :banana

SGT Rock
08-08-2010, 22:21
We are heading up Alum to LeConte and then back down the next day. I will only carry about 1 - 1.5 liters of water going up and then refill at LeConte to come back down the next day. Do you think that it will be a problem getting water at LeConte?

Also, I realize that this weight is some peoples normal weight, but for me I have been a heavy weight since I started a little over a year ago. (I went up the approach trail last September with 55 lbs!) So I am happy that I have gotten to this weight, even if it is just for an overnight trip!

I've not been to Lacont but I imagine they have water because of the lodge.

Your doing good. getting lighter is an incremental thing. I hovered for quite a while around the weight you will be carrying. But I get better in spurts. I was just up on the AT at Spence Field a couple of times in July and my base was 6.4. Both trips were just overnights, but I left the trail head with less than 12 pounds counting food, water, fuel, and gear.

STICK
08-08-2010, 22:43
Wow, less than 12 lbs. That's pretty cool. I am happy with my near 14 lbs. just wearing the pack around home is amazing. I hope it is the same way on the trail.

I am thinking that I should be able to get water fairly easily at LeConte, but it is always good to know about! Thanks for the warning.

sidebackside
08-08-2010, 23:14
I've not been to Lacont but I imagine they have water because of the lodge.


SGT's right. I was up there just a couple days ago coming from the AT. Water is plentiful in front of the lodge office. Enjoy your trip brother!

STICK
08-08-2010, 23:15
Thanks sidebackside. How did our trip go?

TIDE-HSV
08-09-2010, 00:44
We are heading up Alum to LeConte and then back down the next day. I will only carry about 1 - 1.5 liters of water going up and then refill at LeConte to come back down the next day. Do you think that it will be a problem getting water at LeConte?

Also, I realize that this weight is some peoples normal weight, but for me I have been a heavy weight since I started a little over a year ago. (I went up the approach trail last September with 55 lbs!) So I am happy that I have gotten to this weight, even if it is just for an overnight trip!


The LeConte spring is remarkable. The only one I can think of to compare is the Moore Spring. The lodge uses a hydraulic ram to fill the water tank, and I've never heard of their running short on water...

pdakes
08-09-2010, 08:19
Sounds good. Water is low up in the Smokies lately. I was up there last week and springs on the ridge are slow.

Im doing a three night hike near Cades cove next week , do you have any idea how the water supply is there ?

SGT Rock
08-09-2010, 08:59
If you are going to be in the lower areas the creeks all have water but are a little low. Up near the ridges like where they link into Bote Mountain the springs are just muddy dirt.

sevensixtwo187
08-09-2010, 09:09
My son and I will be doing a three night trip between 13 & Spence Field over Labor Day weekend. I assume that water is in short supply all along the ridgeline? Of course the conditions may change by then.

SGT Rock
08-09-2010, 09:13
I hope they do change, but the rain outlook needs to include some long steady rains to recharge the springs and August is our driest month so the chance of that happening isn't good. I had been up on the ridge in early July and the water wasn't great. Two weeks later and after we had some good thunderstorms during the break, I went back up there and the water situation was worse than it was on my previous trip. I would probably haul about 2 liters if you are going to be away from creeks for very long.

The Solemates
08-09-2010, 09:47
my summer overnight trips to the smokies usually include a camelback backpack, about 1000 cubic inches. that's plenty for me. :)

PennyPincher
08-09-2010, 10:29
you mentioned on your blog that it is a heavily used trail. What will you do if you get there and there is no room in the shelter and you didn't bring your tarp/tent?

SGT Rock
08-09-2010, 10:45
You must have reservations to stay there. He probably already has that covered so he has a spot.

sevensixtwo187
08-09-2010, 12:44
I hope they do change, but the rain outlook needs to include some long steady rains to recharge the springs and August is our driest month so the chance of that happening isn't good. I had been up on the ridge in early July and the water wasn't great. Two weeks later and after we had some good thunderstorms during the break, I went back up there and the water situation was worse than it was on my previous trip. I would probably haul about 2 liters if you are going to be away from creeks for very long.

Sounds like very good advice. I havent been in the Smokies since June. There was plenty of water then! I will try and top off as we go up Gregory Ridge .....

STICK
08-09-2010, 13:08
Yep, reservations are secured!

STICK
08-09-2010, 19:31
I believe that we will be doing a day hike up to the Chimney Tops the day we hike back down from LeConte. I have not been up there, but heard that it was very cool. I have heard that closer to the top there is some pretty steep hiking. Anyone have any advice about this hike?

earlyriser26
08-09-2010, 20:07
Yep, reservations are secured!
I still think you should take a shelter of some type. Yes you have a reservation and you likely won't need one. But, emergency shelters are for emergencies and by definition you don't see them coming. I have been to shelters that are full even though I have had a reservation. What happens if you are injured and can't get to the shelter? If you had some decent rain gear (which you don't) that might work in a pinch. a tarp won't weigh much. But then again I always take a wool hat with me even in Summer (I did not expect snow on the big K in August either, but again, it was an emergency).:-?

STICK
08-09-2010, 20:42
I understand what you are saying. However, I do have a poncho that will work to keep me dry if needed (in case of emergencies). No it is not a heavy-duty poncho, however it is a 100% waterproof barrier that will cover me if needed. Also, I will be with 4 other guys, so if I am injured my chances of "rescue" is good, not to mention the other people that will be all over this trail. And if the shelter is full I can still use the poncho and a small groundsheet on the ground inside the shelter and still stay dry. However, this shelter is often visited by rangers so the people with shelters are usually the only ones there. Since this trail is not on the AT (actually 5 miles from the AT) I don't (or shouldn't) have to worry about thru-hikers either.

I am not saying it would be a bad idea to take a shelter, in any way. However, I believe that the odds of me using one are very slim, especially with my other "provisions."

Just saying...

earlyriser26
08-09-2010, 21:09
I am sure you will be fine. The other people with you gives you a margin of safety.

STICK
08-09-2010, 21:41
I guess I could have posted the gear i have inside the pack... Well here is the gear:

REI 25 Liter Trail Pack 25 oz
GoLite RS 1+ Season Quilt 27.1 oz
Jag Bag Fine Silk Liner 3.6 oz
NeoAir (Large) 13.8 oz
Exped Air Pillow 3.2 oz
1 Gallon Ziploc for Garbage 0.4 oz
Backcountry 700 ml Ti Pot (Lid & SS) 4.3 oz
Gram Weenie Pro Alcohol Stove 0.7 oz
Windscreen & Heat Shield 1 oz
REI Long Handle Ti Spoon 0.5 oz
Light My Fire Scout Fire Steel 1 oz
~ 6 oz HEET in 2 fuel bottles 6.7 oz
REI Plastic Mug 1.8 oz
Small Towel (wrap stove in) 0.2 oz
100 oz Camelbak w/ ~ 40 oz H2O 45 oz
32 oz Nalgene Wide-Mouth Cantene (empty) 2.2 oz
Aqua Mira Drops 3.2 oz
First-Aid Kit (Homemade) w/ Extra Batteries, rope, etc… 6.1 oz
Vivitar Digital Camera 4 oz
Carabiner 0.8 oz
Blue Foam Pad (sit pad & pack structure) 1.4 oz
Trekking Poles** 19.5 oz
Princeton Tec Fuel Headlamp 2.3 oz
Gerber Paraframe Knife** 2.6 oz
OR 15 L Dry Sack (for sleeping bag/clothes) 2.6 oz
Map (in Ziploc) 3.6 oz
MSR Medium Nano Packtowel 1.3 oz
Small Toothbrush 0.6 oz
Travel Size Toothpaste 0.9 oz
Wet Wipes 1.8 oz
Ziploc w ID, etc… 1 oz
Cell Phone 5.8 oz
Watch** 1.3 oz
Under Armour Sleeping Shorts (carried) 6.7 oz
1 Pr SmartWool Hiking Socks (worn) 2.9 oz
1 Pr SmartWool Hiking Socks (carried) 2.9 oz
1 Pr Under Armour Boxer Briefs (worn) 2.8 oz
Columbia Convertible Hiking Pants (worn) 12.6 oz
Outdoor Research Dune Shirt (worn) 6.2 oz
Patagonia R1 Flash Pullover (carried) 12.8 oz
Cheap Poncho (Rain/Pack Cover) 1.5 oz
LOWA Renegade GTX Mid Boots 50.2 oz
Food 24 oz


Carried (Including Pack) 219.8 oz / 13.74 lbs
** / Worn (Including Trekking Poles) 98.1 oz / 6.13 lbs
Total (Carried + Worn) 317.9 oz / 19.87 lbs


And of course the video can be seen here:


http://stick13.wordpress.com/

TIDE-HSV
08-09-2010, 23:13
My son and I will be doing a three night trip between 13 & Spence Field over Labor Day weekend. I assume that water is in short supply all along the ridgeline? Of course the conditions may change by then.

Per our earlier exchanges, you will have the creek at the bottom of Gregory Ridge and Moore Spring should still be decent. It would be a good idea to really camel and load up there...

macrylinda
08-09-2010, 23:47
I've not been to Lacont but I imagine they have water because of the lodge.

Your doing good. getting lighter is an incremental thing. I hovered for quite a while around the weight you will be carrying. But I get better in spurts. I was just up on the AT at Spence Field a couple of times in July and my base was 6.4. Both trips were just overnights, but I left the trail head with less than 12 pounds counting food, water, fuel, and gear.
Wow, less than 12 lbs. That's pretty cool. I am happy with my near 14 lbs. just wearing the pack around home is amazing. I hope it is the same way on the trail.

I am thinking that I should be able to get water fairly easily at LeConte, but it is always good to know about! Thanks for the warning.

grayfox
08-10-2010, 01:00
Stick, you are a responsible adult and I respect your decision to not carry a shelter on this trip--and I am sure you will be just fine.

Ok, however..... I just have an issue with all throwaway plastic things and those ponchos in particular. IMO they are garbage just about as soon as they are unwraped. If it was me, and it isn't I know, I would use a regular sil ponch instead of the plastic one.

Here's the reason. You have no redundency in weather protection options. If you use the poncho and it gets holes in it, which is likely to be the case befor you even have it on, you will not be able to use any of your insulation layers or your sleeping gear until the sun shines again. You will not be able to use it as a tarp shelter because the material is too fragile to take enough tension to keep even the lightest rain off you and your gear.

Those plastic ponchos are, IMO, worthless and you would be better off if you fashion your piece of tyvek into a poncho--at least it would be more durable and could be used as a tarp shelter.

Just sayin' Have fun.

My dad used to tell me, "If you are in a bad situation, look to the land to protect you." and it has lots of times when I didn't have the right gear with me.

pdakes
08-10-2010, 05:17
If you are going to be in the lower areas the creeks all have water but are a little low. Up near the ridges like where they link into Bote Mountain the springs are just muddy dirt.

Cool, thanks a lot my good man.

earlyriser26
08-10-2010, 06:51
Stick, you are a responsible adult and I respect your decision to not carry a shelter on this trip--and I am sure you will be just fine.

Ok, however..... I just have an issue with all throwaway plastic things and those ponchos in particular. IMO they are garbage just about as soon as they are unwraped. If it was me, and it isn't I know, I would use a regular sil ponch instead of the plastic one.

Here's the reason. You have no redundency in weather protection options. If you use the poncho and it gets holes in it, which is likely to be the case befor you even have it on, you will not be able to use any of your insulation layers or your sleeping gear until the sun shines again. You will not be able to use it as a tarp shelter because the material is too fragile to take enough tension to keep even the lightest rain off you and your gear.

Those plastic ponchos are, IMO, worthless and you would be better off if you fashion your piece of tyvek into a poncho--at least it would be more durable and could be used as a tarp shelter.

Just sayin' Have fun.

My dad used to tell me, "If you are in a bad situation, look to the land to protect you." and it has lots of times when I didn't have the right gear with me.
Second this. Those cheap super thin ponchos are worse than nothing. I would take a large trash bag before i would bring one. I do admire people that can get by with these ultra lite equipment set ups. I went "lite" about 7 years ago when I trimmed my gear weight from 35 lbs to 25 lbs. This was a pain free savings with no sacrafice at all. Below 25lbs I feel that I am trading off comfort and safety for weight. P.S. I liked the video.

STICK
08-10-2010, 22:10
Ok, so I went and picked up some of the 2 mil painters drop cloth. I have a piece cut that is about 6.5' x 3' which weighs 2.8 oz and a piece which is about 5.5' x 6.5' and weighs 6 oz. I am not sure yet which piece I will carry though. The smaller piece is enticing with its tiny size and its light-weight, however the larger piece can serve as an emergency shelter if needed.

flemdawg1
08-12-2010, 14:54
Ok, so I went and picked up some of the 2 mil painters drop cloth. I have a piece cut that is about 6.5' x 3' which weighs 2.8 oz and a piece which is about 5.5' x 6.5' and weighs 6 oz. I am not sure yet which piece I will carry though. The smaller piece is enticing with its tiny size and its light-weight, however the larger piece can serve as an emergency shelter if needed.

You still have the same problem, lack of a real shelter or raingear. If you really want a poncho/tarp combo, than the POS you're about to carry, here's one thats very reasonably priced.
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___20275

flemdawg1
08-12-2010, 15:02
Nevermind, what you have will serve you OK for an overnight.