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Thread: Backpacking

  1. #1
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Backpacking

    Offshoot of the Pilgrimage thread, but specifically backpacking.

    I know we have some folks who do some backpacking type stuff. I'm just starting to dip my toe in. But I thought it'd be nice to have a place to chat about the ins and outs of it.

    Right now, I'm trying to buy up all the gear I need. I made a list and priced it off of REI because I knew that would give me a high estimate. Last night I bought about $150 worth of the stuff off my list for about $30 on amazon which had me pretty excited. It was all pretty basic stuff. A multitool, a compass, an emergency blanket and a fleece blanket. And a hikers first aid kit. I have a camping hammock already with a misquito net and a tarp. I got that for $100 off of ebay which had me really excited because all the sets I was finding online otherwise were at least twice that with several over $400/500.

    I'm not really planning on backpacking/camping in the cold weather. I hate being cold. But late spring/early fall and I'm game. And I'm not particularly in shape, so I'm starting slowly, but I figured this would be a hobby that would help with that. I hate exercising in the typical sense. I'd rather be doing something than standing in one place doing jumping jacks or following along to the T.V. So I'm working on that.

    Any advice? Stories to share? Etc.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
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    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
    -Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse

    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

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    Re: Backpacking

    Firat of all I wouldn't buy at REI except for basic stuff like water filter and maybe a stove. What is youre precise budget? I can give you my recomended list of gear.

  3. #3
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Backpacking

    I never buy a pre-made first aid kit....but then again, I used to be a medic in the military--my first aid kit looks surprisingly like what I'd have found there, sams splint and all.

    Water filter depends on where you are going and how long. An overnight or two somewhere with relatively clean water and you can boil what you need. We use lifestraw-type personal water filters for drinking, or carry our own water (depends on the environment).

    For a stove, unless it's car camping with my Coleman, I use a tech-ed up version of a hobo stove with a pot that the stove fits into, and all the cup/bowls, utensils and seasonings fit in the stove.

    Check out campmor, if you haven't already, they have tons of last year's stuff for cheaper. And remember, if it's a cheap off-brand, it's probably some terrible knock-off and you'll be lucky if it lasts one trip...or it could be some plucky upstart, so do your research first!
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  4. #4
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Backpacking

    We use a small gas canister stove, because we can get the canisters in both Europe and North America and it works more or less everywhere.

    Like Thal, we don't use pre-made first-aid kits. We pack our own based on prior experiences of what we've needed and emergency supplies (which we've thankfully never needed).

    Whatever you do, pack good socks. Every time I've needed to dig into our first aid kit, it was because I was wearing terrible socks (blisters!)

    Edit:

    I've always appreciated having good cookware wherever we went. Buy a set with a couple of pots and maybe a pan that pack into each other. Making good food at the end of a long day is so satisfying.

    Also, I'm not sure where or when you're planning on backpacking, but we often end up in places like Scotland, northern Germany or the rainier parts of the Pacific Northwest, where the weather can go from pleasantly warm to freezing and rainy (even in the summer). I've always found it best to pack a few lightweight layering pieces to stay warm at night or when it gets cool. I have a few merino wool sweaters and I usually bring a light scarf, hat and pair of gloves. I also ALWAYS have waterproof clothing with me, because nothing is more unpleasant than being damp in a place where you can't really get dry.
    Last edited by DanieMarie; 11 Jul 2016 at 02:19.

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    Re: Backpacking

    I wrote this:http://appalachiantrials.com/the-fiv...d-base-weight/ This is what I carry. Except the backpack and sleeping bag. I use a Zpacks Arcblast pack and an EE Revelation sleeping bag. The bag is 30 degree and 14 ounces. The backpack is 21 ounces.

    Granted this is a higher budget list it's a good idea of what you need. As per water filtration I use a Sawyer Squeeze. Its 3 ounces and screws to the top of a Smart Bottle. Everything else is subpar. I don't know anyone who doesb't use Sawyer.

    A cheap raincoat option could be a frog togg top from Wal Mart. Same weight for a small fraction of what Patagonia or other lightweight rain jackets cost.

    There are a few lightweight tent options. REI carries Big Agnes Fly Creek which has a two person model thats two pounds.

    If I had to absolutely shop at REI though I would pick up an Osprey Exos 48 pack, a Big Agness Fly Creek UL2 tent, Sawyer Squeeze filtration, a Microrocket stove, a 12 ounce Thermarest Neoair sleeping pad, a pair of Darn Tough socks. Personally I don't even carry a First Aid kit but that is preference. Also I would order an Enlightened Equipment sleeping bag. Youll have a 14 ounce bag for less the cost of a 3 pound REI bag.

    The truth is you don't need a lot. The only extra clothes I carry is a pair of socks. My baseweight in my vurrent set up is about 6 pounds.

    Also, if you want to use an alcohol stove you can knovk a pound off that list.
    Last edited by ThePaganMafia; 11 Jul 2016 at 04:50.

  6. #6
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Backpacking

    I don't have an actual budget. I'm planning to ask for basics for Christmas and birthday in the next year with the goal to be able to hike next summer. I know that my bag and boots are the two places that I'm not going to skimp on. Otherwise, I've been buying off amazon and eBay. It's just so much cheaper, even for name brands. I've been keeping an eye on geartrade as well.

    I decided to get an actual first aid kit because I dont really know what I'm going to end up needing yet. I do have a few modifications in mind already, but I'm basically planning on tweaking as necessary and with experience.

    I'm basically planning on doing a lot of day hikes and a couple overnights for the next few years, and nothing in crazy weather. To get used to it all. So between the emergency and fleece blankets I've got, I'll be fine temp wise for sleeping. And I'm hiking in the midwest, no more than a couple hours from home for now.

    I'm thinking about trying to do a week long hike in about five years to check out the AT and another a few years after that to get a feel for the PCT. That'll help me decide which one I want to do the whole trip on. And in about 15 years that should be a possibility. But until I'm about to do the week on the AT, I'm not going to worry about cold weather gear. I just won't need it for what I'm planning here.

    And I don't need a tent. I have my tent hammock. I couldnt tell you how much it weighs, but it is very light. I'm not super worried about the weight. I'll work on that as necessary. But I'm not planning to be a weight nazi.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
    -Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse

    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

  7. #7
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Backpacking

    The river to river trail, cross southern Illinois is relatively close to you, Shahaku. It's been a while, but I've hiked it in weekend sections and once thru.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  8. #8
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Backpacking

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahaku View Post
    And I don't need a tent. I have my tent hammock. I couldnt tell you how much it weighs, but it is very light. I'm not super worried about the weight. I'll work on that as necessary. But I'm not planning to be a weight nazi.
    If you're mostly doing short overnights, you don't really need to be. It's those long-haul trips where you need lots of supplies that you have to start getting diligent about overall weight.

  9. #9
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Backpacking

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    If you're mostly doing short overnights, you don't really need to be. It's those long-haul trips where you need lots of supplies that you have to start getting diligent about overall weight.
    Anything less than a week or two, especially there are places where you can resupply and where you don't have to carry your water, you don't need to worry about weight (as long as what you plan to carry is reasonable)*. Its really when you have to pack food for multiple people for an extended period of time (particularly if those people can't carry much--aka kids).

    *Unless you are looking for speed or something
    Last edited by thalassa; 12 Jul 2016 at 03:04.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  10. #10
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    Re: Backpacking

    I started back packing in the late 50's and often packed into wilderness areas so my list would be different than most. In the wilderness areas you have to pack everything out - you leave no trace that you were there. Our first aid kit consisted of two triangular bandages, two rolls of gauze, tape, antibacterial ointment, aspirin, powdered alum (blood clotting agent), some small curved needles with heavy cotton thread, a small plastic bottle of bleach to purify water (before we learned about the powdered kind), some mole-skin, and a couple of ACE bandages. You are going to need about a gallon of water a day, depending on humidity, temperature, and altitude so plan on using water that is boiled or sun purified for most of your water.

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