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mattyg

Too much gear!

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I've been climbing for awhile. I feel like I usually have a pretty good grip on what I need and when. I was up on Rainier the other weekend and there were many other people up there with what appreared to be much smaller packs than me. What gives? What are some things that people bring on climbs that they really don't need. I'm looking to thin down the rack so to speak and am looking for suggestions.

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tell us what you bring. i think we can safely say canned food, air mattress pump, 5 pairs of underwear, blow-up dolly and #5 camalot can be left at home for Rainier.

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Well, I think if you're worried about weight, then I really think a good place to start is replacing the bottles with cans.

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For alpine climbing, replacing beer with liquor will notably reduce weight for the same level of drunk.

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If you've got anything that you don't use very frequently, then it can probably stay home.

 

If it's some sort of gear that you have for "just in case", figure how terrible it would be if you didn't have it when you needed it. Also, estimate the the probability that you'll need it. Multiply those two factors to get your expected misery factor. Leave stuff at home with relatively low expected misery values.

 

For example, if you only use that big heavy synth jacket when unexpected storms hit (low probability w.r.t. forecast) and all that will happen if you are caught without it, is you'll have one miserable cold night; then you should consider leaving the bulky item at home. On the other hand, if you are going to be three days from the car, then the probability of getting caught in a storm is bigger, AND you may have to endure multiple days of misery (or death), then maybe you oughta bring that jacket along.

 

Too many people have specific gear for every conceivable situation and fail to think about the probability of actually needing it.

 

Here's a thread that discussed this topic previously

Edited by chucK

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yellaf.gif i used to bring too much clothes. i've since bought better clothes so i can bring less but still be warm. i also used to bring more than one top and bottom base layer. figured i wanted clean clothes for each day. rolleyes.gifyellaf.gif

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Obviously for us to do a proper pack audit, we need to know what was in your pack. But anyway, here are some general considerations that haven't been mentioned already:

 

Try to share shit with your group members. Does EVERYONE in the group need their own sunscreen, knife, 1st aid kit, lipbalm, porno mag, copy of FOTH, compass, big camera, altimeter, etc, etc? Does everyone need their own 8oz block of chese, 16oz horsecock, bottle of Dom, etc? Probably not.

 

In the specific case of the dog routes on Rainier, there are so many freakin' people on those routes you can get away with leaving a lot of shit behind.

 

The best places to save weight/size are tent, sleeping bag, pot/stove, backpack, & sleeping pad. Compare your stuff to the cutting edge equip in terms of size and weight and make some changes.

 

Go to Jim Nelson's shop, give him your credit card, and you will be healed! HAILELUJIAH!!!

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I will second alpinfox's comments. The pack, sleeping bag, pad and stove are the best places to save weight.

 

Forget a tent. Use a bivy. When climbing Rainier, you are only getting a few hours of sleep. The big drawback to bivvies is long hours in the rain. Lets see... half of a 10 pound tent, or a 1.5 pound bivy... decisions, decisions...

 

A lot of climbers use an assload of stuffsacks and compression sacks. Foget about them. The few little things (sunscreen, glasses, mp3 player) that may get lost are easily stowed in the top pouch. Use pieces of shockcord to make big rubber bands to keep gloves and hats together.

 

Compression sacks suck. There, I've said it. They will get you sleeping bag or down jacket as small as is humanly possible, but you are left with a rock-hard ball that doesn't pack well. Instead, line you pack with a heavy duty plastic bag and jam your sleeping bag in the bottom without any stuffsack. Really jam it in there, filling all of the corners. As you pack other stuff on top, Push it down more. The sleeping bag takes up more volume than it would in a compression sack, but it fills in the nooks and crannies of your pack, leaving more usable space.

 

You don't need 3 nalgenes to carry 3 liters of water. I keep one Nalgene clipped to my pack to rehydrate and 2 Aquafina 1 liter bottles inside to refill. You can also check out the platypus bags and such, but I'm worried about them getting holed.

 

You really don't need a camp cup. Use your nalgene for cocoa/tea/cider, whatever. Sure, it will taste a little funny the next day, but who really cares when you are halfway up Rainier.

 

No crampon pouch - Tie the crampons together (points to points) and strap them on the outside of your pack like the Alpine Hardmen do.

 

My extra clothes are usually a pair of socks in the bottom of my sleeping bag. I wear a short sleeve shirt, carry a Marmot driclime, a down jacket, and a shell. I usually don't even bring shell pants unless I think it will be cold and windy.

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Some good tips so far. . .

 

Here - you can audit my pack list. Let's say this is baseline for a cattle route on a big mountain. The group gear (like stove, pickets, shovel. . .etc.) is obviously shared - I'm not carrying everything. I think I need a new smaller backpack. Any suggestions? Anyone ever ordered through McHale?

 

Clothing

 

Thermal bottoms

Thermal top

Quick dry shorts

Thermal windproof top

Trekking socks (2 pr)

Liner socks (1 pr)

Liner gloves

Insulating jacket (big puffy thing)

Waterproof jacket

Waterproof pants

Gaiters

Waterproof mitts or gloves

Warm hat

Lightweight hat + bandanna

Mountaineering boots

 

Gear

 

3500 -5000 in3 pack w/ plastic bag liner

Ice axe

Crampons

Harness

Helmet

Locking + non-locking biners

Prussics/tiblocs and misc. slings

Pickets

Ice screws

Rope

Wands

Headlamp (new batteries?)

3/4 L H20 Bottles

Insulated bottle holder

H20 Purifying tablets

Stove, pots, pot grabber, spoon, fuel bottle/pump, lighter

Knife

Glacier glasses

Small First-aid kit

Toiletries (TP, vitamins, Wet Ones wipes)

Duct tape

Sleeping bag

1/2 Thermarest

Tent (Tyvek ground pad)

Plastic grocery bags

Shovel

Camera + film

Earplugs

Map + Misc Topos

Compass

Altimeter Watch

Trekking Poles

 

fruit.gif

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Clothing

 

Thermal bottom (1 usually wearing, no extra)

Thermal top (1 usually wearing, no extra)

Quick dry shorts (1 usually wearing, no extra)

Thermal windproof top (don't bother if I got a puffy, will bring windshirt)

Trekking socks (2 pr) (1 usually wearing, no extra)

Liner socks (1 pr) (don't bother)

Liner gloves (don't bother)

Insulating jacket (big puffy thing)

Waterproof jacket (1)

Waterproof pants (1)

Gaiters (don't bother)

Waterproof mitts or gloves (2pr)

Warm hat (1 usually wearing, no extra)

Lightweight hat + bandanna (don't bother)

Mountaineering boots (leather, no double plastic boot)

 

Gear

 

3500 -5000 in3 pack w/ plastic bag liner (don't bother lining bag)

Ice axe (1)

Crampons (aluminum)

Harness

Helmet

Locking + non-locking biners (2 lockers, nuetrinos for non)

Prussics/tiblocs and misc. slings

Pickets (1-2 each person)

Ice screws (1-2 each person)

Rope (8mm)

Wands (don't bother, usually plenty in place)

Headlamp (new batteries, no extras)

3/4 L H20 Bottles (2, 1L bottles)

Insulated bottle holder (homemade jobby less bulky and work fine)

H20 Purifying tablets (don't bother)

Stove (1, group)

Pot (1 group)

Pot grabber (1 group)

Spoon (1)

Fuel bottle/pump (No extra fuel bottle, group)

Lighter (1)

Knife (1)

Glacier glasses (1)

Small First-aid kit (don't bother, use tape and whatever else if needed)

Toiletries (TP, don't bother with other crap)

Duct tape (wrapped on my lighter)

Sleeping bag (summer bag, sleep with clothes on)

1/2 Thermarest

Tent (Tyvek ground pad, don't bother with ground cloth)

Plastic grocery bags (don't bother)

Shovel (1 group)

Camera + film (no SLR, point and shoot roll in camera, now-a-day I use digital)

Earplugs (don't bother)

Map + Misc Topos (group, most of the time I don't bother)

Compass (group, most of the time I don't bother)

Altimeter Watch (don't bother or just one person)

Trekking Poles (don't bother)

 

This is what I choose to go with on Rainier. My pack is much lighter and more bearable. Granted going like this by the time you make it back to the car you are just dying to get out them smelly clothes you have been wearing all weekend.

 

Here is my list for Mt Kenya for 2 weeks:

 

2 poly tops

1 poly bottom

1 windproof fleece jacket

1 windshirt

1 gore-tex jacket

1 light running shorts

1 pair of pants

1 hat

1 pair of gloves

2 pair of thick socks

2 pair of thin sock

1 pair of leathers

1 pair of sneakers

 

harness

1/2 rack

1 8mm 55m rope (partner carrying the other)

4 screws

aluminum crampons

2 ice axes

spare pick

rock shoes

 

summer bag

bivy sack

ridgerest

1/2 tent

stove

1 pot

spoon

knife

guide printed off

glasses

contact solution

few meds (IB, tums, sleeping pills, oxycodone, anti-malarial)

tape

TP

digital camera

 

 

All of this fits into a 3200 cubic inch pack.

We'll have porters carry food up to base, since we can't get instant meals and we'll be eating just the produce that you get in the market.

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Gary, I was crunching the numbers with my super computer and I noticed that you have 2 lb 12 oz (44 oz) of food in the first sheet, but 42 oz food in the chart below. Can we assume that the reason for this major discrepancy is the plastic bags?

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all you need is the clothes you are wearing, a horsecock, a knife, and a liter of water. plus technical gear. don't sleep, and go home if it rains. then you dont need tent, stove, raingear or enough clothes to modestly cover ever Bunny in the mansion.

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Hmm Gary, I noticed that on the top of the page was wearing and under that was shorts and polypro. Hmm, I guess once Mountaineer always a Mountaineer. yellaf.gifyellaf.gifyellaf.gif

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I was never wearing shorts and polypro at the same time! The polypro long underwear was for sleeping in.

 

Ah, my bad -- black polypro briefs under the shorts. But that's probably TMI. :P

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DEFINITELY TMI!! hellno3d.gif

 

And as we say in sailboat races regarding some other boat's foibles... "You can point, and you can laugh. But you can't point AND laugh." yellaf.gif

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The rule of thumb is "add suffering to save weight."

 

I brought my Gore-Tex jacket on a 7-day Pickets trip with 5 days of rain. It was totally useless, since we mostly hung out in the tent when it rained. When we did hike in the rain, I got soaked anyway. F$!*$# Gore-Tex.

 

The only time I wear hardshell pants is on rainy winter boredom hikes and lift skiing in a snowstorm. But I am a wuss and just run and hide in the tent in bad weather.

 

Polypro underwear is an abomination. I disgust myself with my smell after wearing them for a single soccer game... I can't imagine a weekend climbing trip.

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Polypro underwear is an abomination. I disgust myself with my smell after wearing them for a single soccer game... I can't imagine a weekend climbing trip.

 

yelrotflmao.gif I wont even mention then how many pairs of these I brought for 3 weeks in Alaska. I'm surprised both of them weren't burned upon arrival in anchorage.

 

What ice axe are you using? You can save a full pound by getting a light (air tech racing, etc) axe compared to an REI mountain axe. Get it short too. I whole heartedly agree with the sleeping bag comments, sleep with all your clothes on and take a light bag. 2lbs max!

 

The biggest thing that seems to contribute to overpacking early on is a big pack. If you have a 6000cu pack, you will fill it. Once I started packing "lighter", I've never needed anymore than 3000cu for winter or summer up to 3-4 days. An added benefit is that your pack can weigh in the 3lb range. Just get one with a little suspension or stiff pad so that you save your back.

 

stoves: propane/butane doesn't work great at altitude w/ cold, but if you keep the canister warm it'll help. for big groups melting lots of water, I still like white gas. definitely buy a 2L titanium pot. fantastic piece of gear.

 

you can save several pounds by using thin dry ropes. go 8mm, but MAKE SURE that your prussiks are 5-6mm, or they won't freakin' work!

 

in general, be extremely picky about weight. you need to be in the mindset where each 1 oz. matters.

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Not sure how much YOU weigh, but keep in mind that if you can loose 10 lbs of body weight somehow, that's 10 lbs you won't have to carry. fruit.gif

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Not sure how much YOU weigh, but keep in mind that if you can loose 10 lbs of body weight somehow, that's 10 lbs you won't have to carry. fruit.gif

Are you calling him fat!?

When I am getting ready to climb something big I start running to get my lungs in shape. Run hills. If you are fat, start dieting seriously about 1 month before the climb. By seriously, I mean count calories and eat less than you burn. Make sure you are getting a well balanced diet though and plenty of protein. Fad diets will kill your stamina and decrease muscle mass.

Get a light pack. My 3000 cui pack weighs 2 lbs. Kelty made it. I don't remember what it's called. My moonstone synthetic bag weighs 1lb14oz. My gortex is small and lightweigh. No long tail or extraneous pockets. I love gortex (and it's similar copies). Can never figure out why some people don't. It cuts wind better than anything and I have been through hellatious storms of all kinds and stayed dry and comfortable. Keep it clean so it does not whick water through the pours.

No wool anything. Synthetics will cut the weight by at least half. 2/4 pad. Use your pack and rope under you. I have a whole set of gear that I use for lightweigh trips. Very thin nylon gloves (mnt hardwr). hardshell shirt & pants. Wind shirt for layering. Lightweight helmet by Petzl.

Thin webbing. no 1" stuff. No pocketknife unless it is tiny. Weight on the foot is worth four times that in the pack. Light boots are important.

Everything else has been covered.

Oh. No underwear. Useless for anything but getting soiled and your polypro is going to stink anyway.

Now go climb. rockband.gif

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Are you calling him fat!?

Absolutely not. wave.gif But I have climbed with people that are SO concerned about weight, yet I look down and see an extra 30 lbs. of shit hanging over their belt. WTF? wazzup.gif

 

I'm sure our friend here isn't in that kind of shape, but I was just pointing out that if you are really concerned about what you are hauling up the mountain, don't forget to think about yourself.

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