Author Topic: Ultra Light Backpacking  (Read 15349 times)

jbeegoode

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2016, 01:59:37 AM »
I got a deal on my dream, a Ghost Whisperer down jacket. I've fallen in love with it. Weighing feather weight at around 8 oz. it is coupled with a long sleeve T-shirt for my top parts. This dropped another 3/4 of a pound off of the pack weight. I have an overnight rig that weighs 5 1/4 pounds, now, plus food and water comfortable to 30F and up.

We did backpacking recently splitting the weight with more luxury. A pound in UL makes such a big difference in comfort.
Jbee 
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jbeegoode

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2016, 03:14:56 AM »
I'm continuing a part of the discussion from Ash Creek I: Trip Report Thread here.

I'm honing my super-ultralight options, this week. It can change with seasons. I'll finish putting the cushioning into the straps of the 3 oz. bag tonight. The weather is pretty warm, now. I was going to do a WNHD at 3500 to 4000 ft., until the forecast set us at over 110F. I might not even need the quilt at night, most places. I have been sleeping with a window wide open naked with no sheets the last couple of weeks, just fine. The evenings here have been high 60Fís to low 70Fís. The mountains can be 50F to 70F at the low.

My ghost whisperer and a long T-shirt might be enough for a bivy with no quilt in summertime. Iím working out what I might wear below the waist. It will require more experimentation. So far Iím thinking long silk underwear and a layer of thermal underwear and a pair of wool socks. Does anyone have experience with fleece pants? Iím concerned about moister mostly. They say that they wick, but how would that interplay with a water tight bivy?

 I need to play with the bivy more, but I havenít done solo endeavors very often, the last year or more. Looking for a place to bed down in Ash Creek, I kept thinking how nice it would be to just place down a bivy and crawl in, instead of looking for a good tent pitch site. On the other hand, having DF beside me and the larger net view is worth extra weight and difficulties, which will be explained in Ash Creek Part II.

Good planning around weather conditions is a big factor with this super-ultralight rigging. The Ghost whisperer knocked off a lot of weight. I got a titanium cook mug, which knocks off 8 oz. and Iíd be eating a warm meal, instead of just carrying food and rehydrating refried beans and hummus, with fresh foods. Iím working out a creative DYI SUL cover for the bivy in case of rain storm. Monsoon season is coming upon us pretty soon. I may convert a backpack cover with a drawstring, adding  some coat hanger wire, plastic tubing and ducktape (total 3 to 4 ounces) for support off of my face . There is the old pancho conversion into a small emergency-like tent. Iíll let you know. Any ideas out there?
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

eyesup

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2016, 05:07:31 PM »
When I've gone backpacking I've seen sites for this. I Googled "DIY ultra-lightbackpacking" and you get a good amount of home grown gear projects.

There will be some ideas for what you are looking for.

Duane

jbeegoode

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2016, 08:35:35 PM »
I've been there, searched, imagined and dreamed, hours on end. The most useful has been the illustrated sheets showing various ways to set up a tarp. I incorporated some of this with existing manufactured items, into the design of my net tent/tarp system. Many of these require trees, good soil, etc. to set up a good structure. The bivy just lays down on any reasonably flat surface, no stakes, no construction, other than stuffing the bivy to make it comfortable. It weighs less than a pound, will keep me dry, and the critters at bay.

With the mesh opening at my face, I'm fine, until it rains. Monsoon torrents are coming and they can pop up out of nowhere, so I need to cover the mesh opening...and with something more than a plastic bag, gotta breathe. :D So, I need the same features, minimal staking, quick, up to a storm.

I'm leaning toward a strong lightweight plastic and Gorilla duct tape arrangement as this is 2 to 4 ounces. I'd probably throw dirt and/or rocks along the edges for an aerodynamic seal and as a ridge to keep water draining/sheeting through my campsite from going under. To further this wind/pelting rain resistance, it doesn't have to be very tall at the peak. A monsoon usually passes in 20 minutes to a couple of hours. I can hunker down and listen/watch lightening for that long, or sleep through the night prepared for any storm that might happen along. It doesn't have to be very large, just cover my face area, the bivy and a plastic groundsheet shelters the rest of the body from rain.

Then, All Trail is coming out with the good 'ol Golite equipment again. They now have the drawstring backpack cover available for my Golite Jam 50 (2.5 oz.). As I was looking at a picture and realized that it might work like a huge hairnet, tucking under the bivy and over the top. It would need some support that wouldn't fall apart from my movements in the bivy. Perhaps a cross bars?
Jbee
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 08:45:41 PM by jbeegoode »
Barefoot all over, all over.

jbeegoode

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2017, 05:25:17 AM »
I just published a trip report on the website, which includes my SUL, Super Ultralight rigging at 5 to 6 pounds. I went up to Romero Pass with a friend of ours. It shows how the SUL pack works, with Pics.

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2017/06/09/romero-pools-testing-sul-gear/

Didn't know to post this here or as a Trip Report.
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

nuduke

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2017, 11:43:53 PM »

JBee
Despite the discourse on technique, this was a very lyrical report for you.  In describing your journeys, you often forget to write how you feel about the landscape.  So this passage comes as an unusual and illuminating surprise
Quote
Now, bare all over, I relished this place. I find a spot on the smooth bedrock to sit and soak my feet. As they dangle in the water, I watch them among the ripples, tadpoles, water insects, tiny fish and the rather idealic surroundings.The water is very comfortable and the air just right, as I explore each pool, each direction and each subtle nuance in this creation. There are nearby hanging gardens, algae formations, currents in eroding granite, and the formations from centuries before. The skies are beautifully turquoise, and the rising rugged mountainsides green and distinctive. I watch the cloudís shade, as it moves across the landscape of this amazing valley. The cloud shadows are creating spotlighting and revealing contours in the shapes of the mountains.
 
The affection for the locale and the sense of wonder is palpable in that bit of writing.  I had to smile though at your rather British understatement.  We Brits are terrible at demeaning our own emotions and belittling our experiences.  For instance if a brit gets caught in a terrorist attack with horrendous bomb, extensive injuries and mass panic s/he would tend to say if interviewed "Oh yes, the bomb was quite loud, wasn't it."  Interviewer:  Were you frightened?" Brit: "Oh yes, one felt it was a bit disturbing for everyone around."
So when you say
Quote
rather idealic surroundings
I want to shout back "JBee, wake up! It was astoundingly, wonderfully, longingly, heart rendingly idyllic surroundings!"
On the matter of SUL gear, it was impressive that you had everything to survive a 2 day excursion in so little.  My small hiking pack is about the same size as your backpack but I only go a mile or two and an hour or two with it! :)  The other surprising thing was how much clothing you need in case its cold.  What's the range of temperature day high to night low?
Love ya, man
John


jbeegoode

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2017, 02:30:21 AM »
Oh crop, I misspelled idyllic! I'd better fix that one. Anyway, it was more like perfect there for me, no fireworks, just peace wonder with the world. Probably too tired to get excited, more comforted.

DF and I went back. I wrote a more lyrical string of anecdotes and will publish that soon. I thought that I had delivered a more matter of fact, play by play report than usual, so I was surprised when you pointed that out.

In the days, when it is hot down here in the desert, 100F plus, at 9000ft., it creeps up to 70F to 80F in the summer, depending on elevation, side of the mountain, what new front is blowing in. This drops dramatically at night...usually. Typically there is a 30F to 40F daily change from high to low. Just before sunrise mid-thirties, but more usual, mid-forties or fifties. It is difficult to use an average up there, a cool breeze, cold wind, funnel of micro-climate blowing cold air down the shaft of a canyon, humidity can change everything. It is a layering thing.

When I can't be completely nude, I like to pull on a long sleeve T over and then there is the fire thing. If it gets colder, I have the jacket and bivy. When colder still, I would take the quilt. This is a more austere rig. Usually, DF and I share the load, have a nice net tent over us. Naked, our bodies keep each other warm and if it gets warmer I just place a leg out and let a little Breeze in.

A dual purpose down jacket at 8 oz. is preferred to a 1 lb. 4oz. quilt that may be too warm. The 30F degree quilt inside of the bivy is toasty. It can be worn outside, but the jacket was made for that and takes up much less space. The jacket folds up into its own pocket, not even the size of an NFL football. If I'm just into an overnight, a rest, alone, more walking, then this SUL is appropriate with more perishable food. With that bivy, all  do is lay it out and I have a place to sleep, no stakes, no tent set up, very little area needed, level less of an issue, 3 minutes, just about like laying down on the ground at the spur of the moment. If I want to hike in and spend a day or two and with DF, then we are on a camping retreat and we prefer great celebratory food to share, comfort for two, lighter food to carry, campfires, side trips from camp more truly naked, etc. And we often have to be ready for changes in the weather That calls for the UL setup. I suppose that the SUL is more "naked" in some other ways, more exposed.
Jbee
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 02:35:49 AM by jbeegoode »
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eyesup

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2017, 05:26:12 PM »
Quote from: John
The affection for the locale and the sense of wonder is palpable in that bit of writing.

I can relate to that. I suppose that it is part of wandering in the desert. We were on a road trip and had stopped at Ward Ovens to poke around. It was about 5-6 miles off the highway and in a typical desert setting. While wandering around the site I kept hearing something unusual. Flowing water!

Exploring, we found a running stream just north of the ovens. There was a small green oasis there complete with all the expected life associated with a water environment. I see things like that all over. Life makes it's own way.

Middle of the desert, flowing water! This is the kind of thing that causes me to stop in wonder. It was just unexpected.

Duane

jbeegoode

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2017, 06:09:19 PM »
A spot in the desert called Ward Ovens! Must have stopped in winter!

Maybe that name is to keep peopel from showing up to the spring oasis and messing it up.
Jbee
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eyesup

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2017, 09:05:02 PM »
Actually it was in late summer. The site is above 7000 ft. south of Ely, NV.
Charcoal was used in the mining industry in the 19th and early 20th century.
Weíve been to these two sites that are very well preserved, mainly because they werenít used for very long.

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park

We also have visited the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns.
They are up in the mountians in the Panamint Range on the western edge of Death Valley also at about 7000 ft.

Click on the .kmz links below

Most of these were built over very short time spans and just as quickly abandoned. The mining business did a hell of a lot of damage to the landscape. Yeah, it created a lot of wealth, but do your reading and you will see what the overall cost was and is continuing to be.

If you visit these old mining and smelting sites, one thing we love to do, you can see many in disrepair, but they are easily identified if you know what you are looking at. One thing that is fascinating about them is the complete abandonment after the deposits play out. They tend to be located near the deposits and therefore not of any lasting value for commerce. Once abandoned, they remain so, and are of historical value only.

Google Ďcharcoal ovensí or Ďcharcoal kilnsí and you will see many examples.

Duane

Rebus

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2017, 06:50:46 AM »
We opted not to go ultralight, but instead to go ultraequipped, yet walk with no more than a small hydration pack.  This way we can trek to faraway places for days and camp comfortably.  Been doing it for about 14 years now.

See http://www.rattlesnakeridgeranch.com/llama_trek.htm

jbeegoode

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2017, 07:45:24 AM »
Llama packing! I've never considered it. They were very feisty and rude in the Andes. I've considered goats. They are good on water and carry a good load, stick together, friendly, don't eat too much, but they require lots of time and training. How much water do llamas use, how often? What is a typical load weight? Must you leash them or herd them. Do they spook easily. They were skittish in the Andes.

 I was thinking of doing the Arizona Trail in a few years, with goats carrying water, but still ultra light.
Jbee
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John P

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2017, 05:16:07 PM »
I know where to find the ruins of an old charcoal kiln, down in a deep valley where nobody goes:



Rebus

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #43 on: July 07, 2017, 04:00:55 AM »
Llama packing! I've never considered it. They were very feisty and rude in the Andes. I've considered goats. They are good on water and carry a good load, stick together, friendly, don't eat too much, but they require lots of time and training. How much water do llamas use, how often? What is a typical load weight? Must you leash them or herd them. Do they spook easily. They were skittish in the Andes.

Llamas can carry up to about 90 lbs -- it's not recommended to go more -- but I typically pack at about 75 lbs.  It of course varies widely between lean, athletic, in shape llamas vs. a small, fat, couch potato llamas.  I've had llamas that will hike all day with 90lbs with lots of elevation change and were certified accordingly but I don't like pushing the limit for two reasons.  One is you want to make sure they are having a good time.  If they aren't having a good time nobody will and they won't be inclined to go again.  Second, should something go awry such as an injury or illness and you have to offload a llama, you want enough reserve capacity to be able to redistribute the load.  If more gear is needed just bring another llama (I have 20, though not all are suitable for packing).  Mine generally have great dispositions and we are tight hiking buddies, enjoying each others company and shared adventure.

Done right, they love getting away from the boring ranch once in a while.  I start up my van and they're at the gate eager to jump on board.  My main packers follow me and once in camp they hang out, explore nearby and sample the local cuisine, but most people in the US keep llamas on lead at all times and tie them out in camp.  It depends on the sort of "herd" relationship you cultivate, which yes, takes time.  Llamas are extremely intelligent and if they learn they can trust you as a competent leader they will stick with you.  If they sense you are a nincompoop they won't hesitate to take the lead as the brains of the operation.

Llamas eat less than goats.  Pound for pound they can actually subsist on 1/3 the intake required of a goat.  Llamas are pseudoruminants with both a rumen and acid based digestive system.  They digest the spent rumen flora (recycling it instead of pooping it out like cattle do) and digest forage so well that no viable weed seeds can survive the trip.  That makes them wilderness friendly.  They aren't camels but the water requirements are light.  They have padded feet so have less impact than a person, and are very sure footed.  I've at times taken them places where I had considerable difficulty traversing and I'm a slender, fit person.

If you are interested in learning a bit more about what it's like to interact with llamas, you can share my initial "ah-ha" moment when I was learning about them myself at http://www.rattlesnakeridgeranch.com/the_matriarch.htm
There's much more than meets the eye...
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 04:55:07 AM by Rebus »

nuduke

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Re: Ultra Light Backpacking
« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2017, 06:48:16 PM »

Where are the Andes?
John