Letting go of old ideas
- I need to let go of some ideas about my comfort zone in order to improve my pack weight. Here are some of my statistics. Age 61. Height 5'10". Weight 205.
I exercise doing circuit training at least four times a week and do eight mile strenuous hikes or snowshoes twice a month. I manage to complete these hikes without a problem, although I am slow. I expect to lose five pounds before my JMT venture and I hope to drop another ten pounds on the trail.
In addition to being at least twenty five pounds overweight, my projected pack weight for the JMT is much too high (over 34 pounds excluding food and water), and I don't know how to cut down without investing in ultra-light items. I am willing to spend some money if it will make a significant difference. When I purchased much of my gear, I focused on quality rather than weight.
I have taken the liberty of posting the HEAVIEST items in my pack below, sorted by weight, with the hope I can get advice on reducing my load. If it is easier to read, I can sort the items by category. I also plan on posting to the Backpacking Light PDF gear forum, once I get my list down to a realistic level.
This list EXCLUDES clothing that I will be wearing, trekking poles and boots. It also EXCLUDES first aid, toiletries, emergency items, iPhone, camera, and other "essentials" which total another 8 pounds. I will work on that separately.
Any suggestions on what I should adjust, remove or replace are greatly appreciated.
Pack: Arc'terx Altra 75, 60/15 - 86oz
Bear Cannister: BearVault BV500 - 40.8oz
Tent with fly, pegs & poles: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 - 40oz
Sleeping bag: Feathered Friends Swallow 20°F Down - 31oz
Shoes (trail running): Vivobarefoot Breatho for camp and streams - 24oz
Jacket (down): Patagonia Fitz Roy - 20.9oz
Stove: Jetboil Flash includes mug - 16.5oz
Sleeping pad : Thermarest ProLite - 16oz
Solar Battery Charger: Powermonkey Extreme - 16oz
Jacket (waterproof): Marmot Aegis With hood - 15oz
Pants: Mountain Hardware Chockstone Heavy duty - 15oz
Top (base layer): Under Armor w/o collar, long sleeve - 10.75oz
Top (hiking): REI Sahara long sleeve & collar, nylon/Nylon blend - 10.25oz
Top (softshell) : North Face Polartec fleece - 10.25oz
Top (sleeping): REI Sahara long sleeve w/o collar - 8oz
Umbrella: GoLite Chrome Dome UPF50 - 8oz
Gas cannister: Jetboil Jetpower 100g - 6.8oz
Watter resevoir: Camelbak 3 liter - 6.75oz
Gloves (warm, waterproof): Kombi 8092 - 6.5oz
Underwear bottom (long): Smartwool Microweight for sleeping - 6.5oz
Bottle (for drinking): REI Nalgene water backup - 6.25oz
Bottle (pee): Nalgene Wide mouth - 6.25oz
Pillow: Feathered Friends down - 6.25oz
Sleeping bag liner: Sea to Summit TravelLiner silk - 6oz
Top (short sleeve) Brooks Running - 6oz
- I have hard to fit feet and am prone to blisters as well. I'm 5'4", 56 years old, and weight more than I want to say. I found a combination of different techniques seem to work for me. I got rid of the high top, water proof boots and now use a pair of LL Bean women's pathfinders http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/72464?feat=506710-GN3&page=women-s-pathfinder-hikers-low. They come in regular and wide - I get the wide, with NO waterproof linter. Then I use a light pair of 5 toed socks - they allow the toes more freedom and less friction. I also use tincture of benzoin on areas of my foot that are prone to blisters. This "toughens up" the skin. And I use Dirty Girl gaiters. Finally I soak my feet regularly at those wonderful cool mountain streams. You want to prevent a buildup of moisture (from sweat) and keep the foot as cool as possible.I've tried orthotics, both custom and off the shelf, but I found they just pushed the problem around.Good luck!
Denise J. Poyer