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Re: [AT-L] Help me pack for my first longish solo trip



Jim  -
Congratulations - The Susquehannock is a really nice trail  and if
you're lucky you might even catch the beginning of leaf season.
About your pack weight - a couple suggestions, although you're
the one who has to make the decisions -

>Hi all,
>
>I'm going on my first longish solo trip at the end of this month.  I'll be
>hiking the Susquehannock Trail, an 85 mile loop trail in northern
>Pensylvania (maybe I'll run into Jim Owen!).  Anyway, in a fit of anal
>retentiveness I weighed EVERYTHING I might even consider bringing and put it
>all in a spreadsheet.  I then picked out a subset of the items and let the
>spreadsheet add things up for me.  The answer, of course, was: "too much".
>My total weight (including walking stick, clothes on my back, etc.) was 64
>lbs, and my pack weight was 62 lbs.  I'd really like to get my pack weight
>down to 55 lbs, but I don't see any way to get there!
>
>Here is the data:
>
>        Selected Pounds  Ounces Clothing
>   6       y               6    Suspenders
>   13      y               13   3 pair Thorlo Trecking socks
>   6       y               6    3 pair liner socks
>   12      y               12   midweight long underwear top
>   9       y               9    midweight long underwear bottom
>   7                            lightweight long underwear top
>   6                            lightweight long underwear bottom
>   10                           wind pants
>   9                            supplex pants
>   2                            belt
>   23      y       1       7    rain parka
>   14      y               14   rain pants
>   1       y               1    two bandannas
>   2                            liner gloves
>   3       y               3    fleece gloves (windbloc)
>   2       y               2    neck gaiter
>   1       y               1    light weight balaclava
>   3       y               3    midweight fleece balaclava
>   1                            fleece headband
>   5                            OR "hat for all seasons" + pile liner
>   5                            short gainters (OR)
>   10      y               10   long gaiters (OR Crocodiles)
>   26      y       1       10   Tevas + fleece socks
>   16      y       1       0    midweight fleece pullover
>   14                           midweight fleece bottom
>   15                           synthetic fill vest
>                   9       1    Subtotal

OK - please don't take this personally - it's not meant that way.
I'm gonna try to put most of my comments in question form -

1.  Why 3 pair of socks/liners?
2.  Why both wind pants and rain pants?  If you ditch the rain pants,
you can also get rid of the suspenders.
3.  Why 2 balaclavas, a hat and a neck gaiter?  I'd take the hat and
a midweight balaclava.
4. Why both long and short gaiters?

For fall - and sometimes even in winter - we hike in lightweight
thermals and shorts and try to keep everything else dry for camp.

>        Selected Pounds  Ounces Shelter/Bedding
>   80      y       5       0    Tent (stakes, poles, rope, etc.)
>   26      y       1       10   3/4 length thermarest
>   57      y       3       9    down 20 degree bag, stuff sack, plastic bag
>                   10      3    Subtotal
>
>        Selected Pounds  Ounces 10 Essentials
>   4       y               4    Maps, guide book
>   2       y               2    Compass
>   72      y       4       8    two water bottles (32 oz, filled)
>   16      y       1       0    headlamp & pen light
>   2       y               2    single blade knife & kleenex
>   1       y               1    whistle, "dog tag", little knife
>   25      y       1       9    first aid kit
>                   7       10   Subtotal

Why both a headlite and penlite?
Why 2 knives?
I've carried a compass on a lot of PA trails - and it's never gotten
out of the pack.

>        Selected Pounds  Ounces Hygiene
>   2       y               2    Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
>   2       y               2    soap
>   3       y               3    baby wipes
>   2       y               2    wash & dry things
>   2       y               2    foot powder
>   1       y               1    kleenex & "cat crap" anti-fog stuff
>   8       y               8    toilet paper & trowel
>                   1       4    Subtotal

We carry toothpaste and toothbrush, TP and a trowel.  Everything else
waits till we get to someplace with hot water (that we don't have to
carry fuel for).  But we bathe every night (cold water) - if we don't
it increases the odds of chafing  - and other dread maladies.
>
>        Selected Pounds  Ounces Repair & Emergency
>   1       y               1    Matches
>   2       y               2    Spare bags (garbage, ziplock)
>   0       y               0    spare spoon
>   2       y               2    fire kit (fire sticks, candle, matches)
>   6       y               6    spare batteries
>   1       y               1    iodine tablets
>   1       y               1    match safe (includes needles & thread)
>   1       y               1    cable ties, rubber bands, paper clips,
>safety pins
>   3       y               3    50' parachute cord
>   2       y               2    pole splices, screwdriver, pliers
>   3       y               3    thermarest kit, ripstop tape, stove kit
>   6       y               6    flares & smoke
>  0.5      y               1    surveyors tape
>                   1       13   Subtotal

Why all the spares?  Of that list, we carry the iodine tablets,
parachute cord, a spare stove jet and stove tool.  We use a
lighter instead of matches (we each carry at least one) and I
carry a few waterproof matches although we've never used them.

>        Selected Pounds  Ounces Miscellaneous
>   5       y               5    Sunglasses & spare glasses (3 pr)
>   5       y               5    Contact lens stuff
>   6       y               6    pack rain cover
>   10      y               10   thermarest chair kit
>   5       y               5    ensolite sitpad
>   1       y               1    pencil & notepad
>   4       y               4    writing paper & pen
>   8       y               8    binoculars & case
>   8       y               8    camera
>   2       y               2    film & spare battery for camera
>   3       y               3    spare stuff sack
>   7       y               7    lip balm/sunscreen/bug stuff
>   3       y               3    bear bag rope
>   2       y               2    carabiner
>   13      y               13   water filter
>   4       y               4    LED light (instead of candle lantern)
>   9                            Candle lantern, spare candle & reflector
>                   5       6    Subtotal

Why both the chair kit and the ensolite pad?  We've carried a
pad sometimes but consider the chair kit to be extra weight.
But if you carry the chair kit and leave the ensolite at home,
you still save 5 oz.

If you put a new battery in the camera before you leave, you won't
need the spare battery.

We use the parachute cord to hang our food - although
I can't remember the last time we hung food in PA.

Anything that says "spare" is probably extra weight.

We rarely - except for snow trips - carry a candle lantern.  For us,
darkness is sleep time or we start a fire (and that's VERY rare).

At that time of year we'd leave the bug stuff at home too - but then
we haven't carried any of that all summer either.

>                 Pounds  Ounces Food & Pack
>  320      y       20      0    10 days worth
>  112      y       7       0    Pack
>                   27      0    Subtotal

Suggestion - if you're starting at Denton, leave a food package with someone
(possibly at the store) at Cross Forks and possibly another at the ranger
station at Ole Bull State Park.  I haven't done it this way for this trail,
but I'm sure a couple calls and maybe a couple dollars would find you a
place to stash a food package for a few days.  Why carry that much food
if there are intermediate resupply locations?

>        Selected Pounds  Ounces Stuff being worn or carried
>   5       y               5    coolmax T-shirt
>   6       y               6    shorts
>   1       y               1    watch
>   6       y               6    wide brimmed hat
>   14      y               14   hiking staff
>                   2       0    Subtotal
>
>                   62      5    Total pack weight
>                   64      5    Total load

Have a good time, Jim - and let us know how it goes.

This may be my last message for a while - we're moving the computers
and don't have IP addresses for the new location yet - y'all have a good day.

Walk softly,
Jim