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Customer goes Sub 7 pounds Pack Weight



Glen –

I still like the pack! Do you? I am amazed that I am getting down to around 6.8 lbs for a week long sierra trek! This is before food and water. I keep looking at your posted gear list and keep challenging myself. I may be at about the best I can get. The big remaining difference is added backup clothes (extra shirt and underwear). I have material to make silnylon rain chaps to offset Dri Ducks pants. I just don’t have any experience with chaps and wondering if I can make it work. Also, I am using the Spinshelter which is a bit heavier than your tarp. Instead of a bear canister, I am thinking of using an Ursack (we require in Scouts a bear system). Do you like these? I am looking at lightening up our water filters. Do you like the Sawyer system that you sell on GG? Good for Scouts too? Finally, I am amazed how long it takes people to embrace the ultralight way. After showing my pack the other night and its lighter weight, I may finally be getting a few more converts. My assistant trek leader continues to buy GG, and maybe a couple more. It really seems like it takes time. Anyway, I hope you and your family are well. I so appreciate all of your assistance in getting my weights down.


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7 Responses to Customer goes Sub 7 pounds Pack Weight

  1. Jim Siverts October 5, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    We met someone with an Ursack on the JMT and while the bear did not succeed in getting it off the tree or inside of it, the contents were reduced to a near fine powder by the time the bear got done with it. Unless you enjoy several days of a nice tasty mush of cereal,gorp,macncheese,ramen,toothpaste,jerky,m&m stew as your meal choice, I’d stick with a hard canister.

  2. Brian H October 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Here’s a tip 4u John: ditch the water filters! trade em for Aqua Mira.

    A half hour of research online will show you what the majority of high sierra veterans have long concluded: it is poor Hygiene, not water, that poses the giardia threat. I first learned this on a JMT hike in ’91 when I quizzed every back country ranger and found that not one of them treated the water. 2 facts: giardia’s presence is such that if you drank 50 gallons/day you could never find a high enough concentration in the water. And, you are FAR more likely to contract giardia from a hospital or a daycare center in the US than high elevation wilderness.
    Bottom Line: feces = giardia, not high sierra backcountry water.
    Bottom Line2: alcohol hand cleaner is more valuable than a water filter in the high sierra, w/ a major weight savings bonus.
    Bottom Line3: laziness around hygiene is the culprit, exacerbated by the lack of sinks w/ running warm water/soap/handtowel; in the absence of those, proper hygiene is a much Higher responsibility.

    (From the common sense Dept: at low elevation, at warm/stagnant water, or along pack train highways, take precautions)

    one reference: ultrunr dot com/giardia dot html

    About the author:
    Bob Rockwell is an active mountaineer who made his first trip into the Sierra Nevada in 1952 to climb Mt. Whitney, and he repeats this climb several times annually. He has a bachelor’s degree in Physics from UC-Berkeley, and a PhD in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (Biomechanics) from Stanford. In the course of making over a thousand ascents of hundreds of individual Sierra Nevada mountains, he has never filtered or otherwise treated the water and he has never contracted symptoms of giardiasis. Retired since 1990, he is now able to fully indulge in his favorite pastime and spends more time there, never treating the water, than ever before.

    Kudos John on lightening your pack, and especially modeling that to your scouts. In mentoring, I also value modeling good common sense, critical thinking skills, doing your ‘homework’, having the patience to examine fear-based thinking to find the underlying myths, etc. Keep up the good work.

  3. Barrie October 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    I live in Canberra, Australia, and rarely treat the water. When I do, I use Betadine, a brand name iodine antiseptic which is part of my first aid kit.It comes in a 15 ml container. The label says it contains 10% povidone-iodine w/v. Equivalent to 1% w/v available iodine. One puts in 8 drops to a litre of water and one allows it to sit for 20 minutes before drinking. A hiking pharmacist told me about this and many of us use betadine. Otherwise I boil the water for 1 minute.

  4. Barrie October 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Interesting comment about bear barrels. I did a number of canoe trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota, and a ranger there said she had seen bear barrels which a bear had simply hugged until it was crushed. After going to a lecture by someone who had been canoeing in the BWCAW for many years we followed his advice – we split our food into a number of tightly sealed but standard plastic boxes for food storage in fridges and scattered them in the bush around our camps. We never had any problems.

  5. Evan Ravitz October 7, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Brian H is right! The false fear-mongering about Giardia is not just in the Sierra Nevada, but everywhere. Before consumer-priced filters became available in the ’80s almost nobody treated water in the high Rockies. I’ve drunk water from thousands of streams, creeks and some rivers for 43 yrs and never got sick. But, after traveling in Latin America, I carry the “final solution” to Giardia, Amoebic Dysentery and common worms. It’s cheap, lasts forever, and weighs 1 oz.

  6. Tim October 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    One AT thru hike, a JMT, and many miles of sections – chlorox – unscented. 1 drop/l and 20 minuted detention time. If the water is turbid, its cold, or if your instinct suggest, then up the dose to 2 drops/l or wait longer. I used a 15ml bottle that held rewetting solution for contacts to haul the stuff. NO GASTROENTERITIS EVER in the backwoods…I wash my hands a lot and never let anyone stick their hands in my bag of gorp.

  7. Rick Bauer November 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Glad to see you with the Scouts. They learn UL BP faster than their Dads. Where were you in the pic? Looks a little like the Wind River Range in WY, where our troop loves to go.
    Keep pushing on the UL. In 2004, I got off the Philmont scale (fully loaded) at 45 lbs. By 2007, 35 Lbs. I got serious in 2010 and got off the scale at 25 lbs. Last year, I hit 15 lbs!! (No lie). The boys were nice and only gave me 6 lbs of crew gear. We now have many Mariposas and Gorillas in the troop. (Ask for the Scout discount.)
    I fully agree with the “cleanliness” posters above. In our troop, we haven’t used filters for years. For Scout safety, we insist on Micropur tabs (as does Philmont and Northern Tier).
    For Bears, our troop uses a mix of hang bags, cannisters, and Ur saks – depending on the terrain and the risk. For 15 of us on 11 days in Wind River Range, we take 3 cannisters and 2 hang bags (more often cliff-hung than tree-hung).
    Yours In Scouting

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