We had our final shakedown this weekend. We learned some things that are simply not going to work, swapped some things out, prepped the food, and have final pack weights. It is very exciting after all these months of prepping. In less than 2 weeks we will be hiking instead of practicing!
Things I found didn’t work and so swapped out:
1. The Therma-a-rest SOLite was just too thin. After 2 hours on the ground my hips were “hot” and starting to ache. So I swapped out the 10 oz closed foam pad for a 14 oz Therma-a-rest Trail Scout (self-inflating). Much better on these old hips. I had purchased the Trail Scout hoping to return it (does that sound silly?), I really hoped the free SOLite would be enough.
2. In order to compensate for the additional 4oz for the sleeping pad, I chose to leave behind the bigger cookpot. I can boil water just as easily in my Stainless Steel (SS, hereafter).
3. I may yet break down and make a bean bag pillow. My clothes bag did not make me happy. If I can do this for 3-4 oz, I will definitely take it. I’m thinking I could make the case out of my very worn Doctor Who shirt.
4. I really like my pack organized. I tried just putting it all in there and pulling out what I needed, but this sent me into panic mode. So now all my things are in bags and those bags are color coordinated. Black = sleeping system. Blue = kitchen + food. Red = personal stuff
So my base pack is now:
1. Pack: Gregory Jade 34, small = 2 lb 14 oz
2. Sleeping bag: Ozark mummy, 50 *, black bag #1 = 2 lb, 2 oz
3. Therma-a-rest Trail Scout, small, Black Bag #2 (although in the picture it isn’t rolled up and put in the bag) = 14 oz
4. KItchen *Blue Bags: SS cup, insulated cup, spoon, pot lifter, sawyer mini, lighter, stove, bandana, cup lid and nylon bag = 1 lb 5 oz
5. Kitchen *Blue Bags: dehydrated lasagna, instant potatoes w/dehydrated chicken, trail mix, snack bars, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate. = 3 lb 8 oz
3. Kitchen *not in blue bag: fuel = 1 lb
4. Clothing, Red bag #1: sleep clothes, 2nd day trail underwear and socks, puffy jacket = 2 lb
5. Personal Kit, Red bag #2: first aid, toiletries, bug net, bandana, wet ones, “survival stuff,” iPhone, charger, and cables = 1 lb, 14 oz
Base Pack Weight = 11 lbs, 1 oz
Base + Food & Fuel: 15 lb, 9 oz
Base+Food, Fuel, 1 d water =17 lb, 13 oz
Kelly will be using the Therma-a-rest SOLite for his sleeping pad. He thought he would do without one, but changed his mind. This pad is much lighter than what he already had. He is also considering carrying the bigger cookpot.
HIs backpack weighs 5 lbs, sleeping bag is 2 lb, 8 oz, sleeping pad is 10 oz, his kitchen set is 8 oz (unless he totes along the 7 oz cook pot), his food bag is 6 lb, tent+tarp+poles+stakes is 5 lbs, his personal kit hasn’t been weighed yet. He is taking no electronics. I think his total pack (which includes a gallon of water) weighs 30 pounds. He isn’t as detail oriented as I am so we haven’t micro-managed his pack. He may yet, but I wouldn’t count on it.
My idea of weighing the pack is to get the food scale, a bowl, paper and pen. Weigh each item individually, place in their “kit bag,” and weigh collectively. Kelly’s idea is to put it all in his pack and climb on the bathroom scale. I know some of the weights because I’ve been weighing his base gear so we can keep it as low as possible.
I have planned out our water cache sites. I just need to buy the jugs of water, duct tape them around the lid, and drop them off. The plan is to pick the water up each evening for the next day. Camp shortly after picking them up, re-hydrate our dinners, refill the water bottles, and save enough for breakfast. The empty jugs will be packed out and will weigh less than the food consumed each day. So weight wise it is a wash.