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Buffalo Skipper
06-22-2011, 11:54
I am well on the road to getting my gear down to a much lighter weight (I hesitate to use the UL classification). Right now my I am at a summer base weight of just under 14 lbs. I have almost all the gear I need, but I am now replacing heavier gear with lighter alternatives.

I am trying to decide how to prioritize my next few gear purchases, so let me bounce some ideas and figures off the collective.

Current--Pack/shelter/sleep:
ULA Circuit (new)
Hammock, Sil Nylon Tarp (new)
Underquilt (new)
REI fleece liner (15 oz)
-----------------------
total: 7.5 lbs (recent "new" replacements saved over 5 lbs)

Items I am looking at replacing:
-Sea to Summit Insect Shield Coolmax Mummy Liner (8.6 oz...wt savings of 6.4 oz)
-ULA sil nylon pack cover (2.4 oz...wt savings of 2 oz) I currently have a cheap, too large poly pack cover in poor shape.
-Varga titanium tent pegs (2.4 oz...wt savings of 2 oz) I currently use aluminum gutter spikes which bend easily and frequently.
-Ursack Minor Bag (2.7 oz...wt savings of 3.2oz) I am currently using a coffee can, and want to get a more flexible, critter resistant storage.

I also have a 10 oz Marmot Gortex rain jacket which may be better for winter than summer. I have made no decision on what else I might use instead of this. Overall, this is not an earthshattering weight savings, but it is over almost 14 oz (not counting the jacket). Of course I am also looking at a new headlamp (brighter) and some other small trivial items, but these are my real focus for the moment.

Any ideas on which I should prioritize and/or what I might consider to replace the rain jacket?

Snowleopard
06-22-2011, 12:55
...
-Sea to Summit Insect Shield Coolmax Mummy Liner (8.6 oz...wt savings of 6.4 oz)
-ULA sil nylon pack cover (2.4 oz...wt savings of 2 oz) I currently have a cheap, too large poly pack cover in poor shape.
-Varga titanium tent pegs (2.4 oz...wt savings of 2 oz) I currently use aluminum gutter spikes which bend easily and frequently.
...
Any ideas on which I should prioritize and/or what I might consider to replace the rain jacket?
Rain jacket: For on trail (not bushwhacking), DriDucks are cheap and light but a bit fragile; people have used them for a thru hike with a few duct tape patches.
Mummy liner? Do you need this at all?
Tent pegs: two people that have bargains on titanium stakes are:
http://www.lawsonequipment.com/
http://www.mydiygear.com/pages/projects/misc/ti-stakes.php
(http://www.lawsonequipment.com/)Outstanding service at both and both are active on BPL.

sbhikes
06-22-2011, 13:29
You have a lot of liners and coverers. What for? Plastic bags work great as pack covers or as pack liners. Rain gear works great to add a little warmth in your sleeping bag (as long as the rain gear isn't wet) and so does your warm jacket. I don't even know what an insect shield mummy liner is. Isn't your hammock providing a refuge from insects?

ScottP
06-22-2011, 13:35
Smart way of thinking about re-gearing: cost effectiveness of replacing items.


I don't understand the point of the ursack. Your food gets destroyed and you girdle the tree or branch it's tied to and probably kill it.


Don't need any form of pack cover--just keep your priority items (sleeping bag/clothes) in something that's reliably dry in your backpack.

O2 rainwear is a cheaper version of dri-ducks. I can't notice a difference. But raingear is mostly pointless in warm weather.

I'd probably forgoe the liner as well.

Upgrading to lighter tent stakes is pretty reasonable and cost effective.

Enjoy

Buffalo Skipper
06-22-2011, 13:40
Actually, the mummy liner IS the sleeping bag. If I need, the mummy liner can add 5-10 of warmth to my winter sleeping system. For the summer, I take it instead of a sleeping bag; under 9 oz for a sleeping cover is not bad. Mine is currently a smidge over 15 oz. "Insect Shield" is just the product name.

I currently have no waterproof liners in my pack. The pack cover I currently have is heavy and too big for my current pack. I am looking at picking up the one made for my pack. A couple of years ago, I ended up with a very wet pack (used garbage bag liner) when hiking in a good rain without a pack cover. Wet pack added quite a bit of weight and some gear ended up getting wet. I will not again make the mistake of hiking without a cover.

royalusa
06-22-2011, 14:13
A couple of years ago, I ended up with a very wet pack (used garbage bag liner) when hiking in a good rain without a pack cover. Wet pack added quite a bit of weight and some gear ended up getting wet. I will not again make the mistake of hiking without a cover.

I know you have probably already made up your mind on the pack cover, but I have to wonder if your old pack was not made out of different materials than the ULA packs. We hike with ULA packs and do not use rain covers as the material they are made of retains very little water when wet. They are not like our old fabric packs. We just use one trash compactor bag to hold our sleeping bag and clothes to protect them from the rain. Have hiked 1000+ miles in many many rains using this method with no issues. Just want to make sure you are making a decision based on similar fabrics across your old and new pack. Otherwise, you might want to reconsider. But either way, it's whatever you feel most comfortable with, of course. There is no right nor wrong as long as it works for you.

Have fun researching and shopping!

Snowleopard
06-22-2011, 14:29
"Insect Shield" is permethrin incorporated into the fabric for insect protection. As a stand alone sleeping bag it doesn't seem very warm. On the other hand, for Florida both the lack of warmth and insect protection makes sense to me.

Sun Blazed
06-23-2011, 00:53
Instead of using Sil-Nylon you could go with a cuban fiber rain cover:
http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/pack_cover.shtml

The rain gear you could buy the rain kilt from ULA, and just use a garbage bag as a poncho type deal.

Wags
06-23-2011, 14:10
i'd skip the sleeping bag liner as well. you'd be better off just taking a simple fleece jacket. it will provide probably the same degree of warmth and you can wear it around camp.

agreed with the trash compactor bag liner. that's what i do.

driducks jacket is a win. 7 ozs i think for $15? if you HATE it, oh well, it's $15. worth a try.

i also agree with snow leopard's link to the 2 ti stake guys. both pretty awesome.

what about this for your food bag?
http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/stuff_sacks.shtml
scroll all the way down until you see "blast food bag"

not smell proof or critter proof by any means, but it works for me in PA.

Buffalo Skipper
06-23-2011, 15:10
Thanks for the feedback. The Dryducks and O2 raingear are great ideas. I am not completely happy with the gortex raincoat in the summer as it is overkill. But it does serve double duty as a great outer layer during the winter.

I do like the price and weight on those titanium stakes. However, they are recomended for "firm to hard rocky soil"; much of my hiking is in soft sandy soil, so I may want to consider a slightly more substantial stake. Varga stakes look to be slightly larger diameter which will hold a little better in looser sand. I will need to study this more.

I am a little perplexed by the responses on the sleeping bag liner (or maybe I am being thick headed and just not understanding the point others are trying to make). I use a sleeping bag liner during the summer when it is just too warm to necessitate a 40 sleeping bag. I currently have an REI fleece sleeping bag liner, which is great to about 60 in my hammock. But it weighs about a pound. I am considering replacing this with a new sleeping bag liner which is made of Coolmax, a synthetic wicking material, which will save me about a half a pound. Some of you think this is a bad idea?

I understand that a trash compactor liner is good, but as I will have up to 1/4 of my gear in the exterior mesh pocket, I should leave this exposed to the elements? Or are you saying I can use another plastic liner for this gear? Seems to me that for less than 3 oz I am doing a pretty good job of keeping the wet off of this with the pack cover designed for my pack. Or maybe I need to consider changing the way I am thinking on this issue.

ScottP, I am not experienced with Ursack. Are you suggesting that this is not rodent resistant? All other feedback I have had on this says it is good. I use the PCT method of hanging, so I don't tie off to trees when I hang. I don't understand what you were trying to say on this. Sorry.

Keep the replies coming. Still looking for which you would replace/purchase first.

sbhikes
06-23-2011, 16:39
You can make a pack cover from a trash bag. Get a big black trash bag intended for gardening or commercial garbage cans. They are very strong. Cut two holes for the straps and you're good to go.

I've always thought pack covers were a affectation, sort of a fashion thing, since you always see them nearly falling off, plus the rain will run down your back and get the pack wet anyway.

I guess we don't understand the sleeping bag liner deal because you listed a quilt and so it seemed like you were adding liners to a quilt. If it was me, I'd just use a down quilt and if it was too hot, I'd push it aside until the night air cooled off.

Trailbender
06-23-2011, 16:58
I've always thought pack covers were a affectation, sort of a fashion thing, since you always see them nearly falling off, plus the rain will run down your back and get the pack wet anyway.



Not really, I have always found them to be quite practical, actually.

Buffalo Skipper
06-23-2011, 17:15
I guess we don't understand the sleeping bag liner deal because you listed a quilt and so it seemed like you were adding liners to a quilt. If it was me, I'd just use a down quilt and if it was too hot, I'd push it aside until the night air cooled off.

Sorry for the confusion on the quilt. An underquilt (UQ) is used with hammocks as an underneath insulating layer. Since hammocks are directly exposed to the air underneath, it sheds heat easily from underneath, which makes it very cool in warmer weather. However, anything below about 70 and some kind of bottom insulation is needed. My 11oz UQ will keep my backside warm down to about 45 (I have a down UQ for colder conditions). My UQ doubles as a mosquito barrier layer, as they can penetrate the threads on a single layer of fabric (especially as the hammock is stretched when occupied). But the UQ leaves your top exposed. Personally I sleep best when I have a light layer on top. Hence my reason to search out a light weight sleeping bag/mummy liner to use during the summer. If you are not familiar with hammocks, it sounds more complicated than it really is.

STICK
06-23-2011, 17:17
Hey, for new tent pegs, I highly suggest checking out Lawsons Ti stakes (http://mountainfitt694.corecommerce.com/All-Products/Ti-Hook-Titanium-Tent-Stake-p883.html). I have some of the Ti-Eye stakes and recently picked up a few more of the Shepard Hook stakes and cannot be happier. I will admit that it was hard for me to switch over from my huge Groundhogs to these tiny looking stakes, but I have become very happy with them. They look tiny but they work well. They are pretty strong as well (much harder to bend than I expected by looking at them). Plus, he sells them at a pretty good price. $1.75/ea.

royalusa
06-23-2011, 17:38
I will have up to 1/4 of my gear in the exterior mesh pocket

What gear do you have in your exterior mesh pockets that need protection from rain?