Thursday, June 27, 2013

What I'm Carrying for 3 Weeks

Here you have it, pretty much the gear I will have with me for 282 miles. A few more items will be included, notably maps, a little more first aid and toiletries, and probably a different stove and pot system, depending on how we decide to share, and of course FOOD, but this is basically it. 

Does this seem like a lot?

See all the stuff sacks? A true UL backpacker would recoil  in horror, as you can have a smaller and lighter pack by letting things roam free in your pack. Personally, though, I hate having to dump out a pack in the rain--and it's always raining when you have to do this--to find something. Much better to know that your green stuff sack has the blister items and that dry socks are in the orange bag. 

You can spend hours combing the internet looking at gear lists and become very insecure about your own kit, but in the end you have to carry it. After all, I survived the nineties with my seventy pound load. I trust my tent and my air mattress even though most UL backpackers have switched to the shelters which use trekking poles and sleep on Ridgerests. I carry a Kindle for nighttime reading even though most true lightweight hikers would not. Hike Your Own Hike, as they say.

It seems like forever since I have been out in the woods, so I'm heading out on Friday with Pack #2 to test how it carries the load. It's been raining for a week which could translate to snow in the high country. Speaking of which, the PCT is still covered in snow, but people continue to think it is a stroll:

It's important to find the balance between too much stuff and not enough. Here's to hoping I've found it.


  1. Ahhh! A picture but no list? How is an ULer supposed to critique without a list complete with weights down to the tenth of a gram!? ;)

  2. ha ha ha! List will follow soon! Alas, I have no small scale to obsessively way stuff on.

  3. I can't really related to the UL crowd. I know a 30-pound load is exponentially better than a 70-pound load, but there has to be a point of diminishing returns. No Kindle? Yeah, yeah, little things add up. Still, the intensity of focus on grams escapes me. Five extra pounds is really not going to slow anyone down all that much.

    Once while we were hiking a 5-day trip across Zion National Park, as a joke, my friend put a bunch of rocks in my pack. I didn't even notice until he admitted it at lunch. :P

    1. I'm finding it is more about cumulative wear and tear. as a 24 year old wilderness ranger, I charged up hills at a 4 mph pace with 70 lbs. I really don't think I could do that now not because I'm out of shape but my knees etc just will not like it. I will never be a true UL though. I like a real tent, a real air mattress, underwear and yes, a kindle.


Hello out there. If you liked this post, please leave a comment so I keep writing!