Sunday, October 28, 2007


So, here's what I have so far, most of it distinctly un-classy, un-fashionable, outdated, "undesirable," but, to me, serviceable. And much of it would have been considered ultralight high-tech just 10 or 15 years ago.

Backpack: Well, I had posted about my new 2.2-pound Granite Gear Vapor Ki ultra-light women's-specific pack, but.... I sent it back. Loaded with 30# of gear and carried around Western Maryland's hills for a few hours, I didn't find it as comfortable as my 6-pound Eddie Bauer pack that Steve got at Wal-Mart 3 years ago. Having learned a bit about packs while being fitted for the Granite Gear one at the outfitter, I made some changes to the EB pack and have gotten it down to 4.5 pounds. My next step is going to be replacing all the heavy nylon-webbing straps with grosgrain ribbon. That could shave off another half-pound. I may or may not get a new pack.

Trekking poles: You've read about my personalized ones. I love Polly's idea of marking measurements on one of them for water depth, snakes, or whatever. I'm pondering her trick of incorporating emergency supplies underneath the hand-grips. I was thinking of bike-handlebar tape for wrapping them. In any case, they're not $150 Lekki's, but at $12 for the poles and maybe $15 for tape ($5 if I use duct tape) they're good. And my very own.

Cooking: Stove made out of a Pepsi can: free. Pot -- a 29-oz. tomato can: free. Windscreen -- aluminum foil: essentially free. Pot lid: made from bottom of a disposable pie pan, with a soda-can pull-top wired on for a handle: free. Pot handle: dog-shedder tool, $5.98 when I bought it for the dog a couple years ago, free when I appropriated it for a handle. It weighs almost 4 oz. but I love it so much I'm keeping it anyway. Fuel -- denatured acohol, costs about $5 for a quart at Wal-Mart, one ounce boils a pint of water. Fuel container: cough-syrup bottle, won't be mistaken for a water bottle (as the often-used soda bottle can be), has graduations on the side for measuring, free for the asking at the Wal-Mart pharmacy counter. Lighter: Bic-Flick, $1; backup, wooden matches ($1 for 250, only take a few) or book matches (free.) For storage/carrying, everything but the fuel packs into the pot/can.

Clothing: I did spring for honest rain gear. Marmot Precip top ($99) and pants ($70), waterproof, windproof, breathable. They don't have to be saved for rain, can be used just as warm outer layer if needed. Shorts: my Race-Ready running shorts with built-in underwear and pockets. Cost $30 but I had them already. I also already have ($40) a pair of nylon zip-off convertable long/short hiking pants. Long-johns: My mid-weight running tights. Wicking T-shirt: Free (except for registration) from Vermont City Marathon. Wicking long-sleeved shirt: Free (except for registration) from P.T. Cruiser Triple Challenge at Tampa/Gasparilla Marathon 2005. Long-sleeved fleece top: Free, hand-me-down from a friend. Gloves: Already have, 2 prs./$1.50 at Wal-Mart a few years ago. Hats: My Ironman Florida finisher's hat; nothing I got at that race could be called "free" because I worked my g.d. ass off for it, plus the $450 registration fee. But I didn't buy it extra for hiking, anyway. I have a cold-weather knit hat already but may make a lighter, less-bulky one out of some fleece fabric I already have. Free.

Shelter: I sprung for one here, too. Urethane-coated ripstop nylon 8 X 10 tarp, not a tent, but it can be rigged into a tent using my hiking poles and/or a tree or two. I'm going for tarp vs. tent b/c of the many ways a tarp can be configured, vs. the only-way-this works for a tent. $36.

Tent stakes: Aluminum gutter spikes, 30 cents each from the hardware store. A dozen weigh 4 oz. A dozen titanium tent stakes.... well, not sure how much this would set me back, but definitely more than $4 for a dozen. More like $4 apiece, $48 for a dozen.

Ground cloth: a hunk of Tyvek scored from someone who was building a house on a road where I went biking. Ask and you shall receive. Free.

Sleeping bag: Currently a synthetic 40*F bag that Steve got several years ago for a biking trip. Free. Warm enough for colder temps if I wear all my clothes inside it. Or use the fleece liner I made for about $12 (a silk one costs over $50, as does a sil-nylon one.)

Sleeping pad: Sprung for one a friend was selling. ThermaRest ProLite Women's self-inflating, $50, would have cost $100 new.

So far I have spent: $288

If I had bought all the up-to-date equivalents, new:
Pack $160
Stove $100
Pot $50
Fuel $5 (same)
Rain Gear $170 (same)
Shorts: $30
Convertible pants $40 (same)
Long Johns: $40
Wicking T-shirt: $40
Wicking LS shirt: $60
Polartec Fleece top: $60
Hats: $50
Sil-nylon Tent: $350
Sil-nylon ground cloth: $70
Titanium stakes: $48
Down sleeping bag: $300 (I'm actually hoping the family will go together on this for Christmas)
Sleeping pad: $100
Bag liner: $50

Could have spent, on what I have so far: $1723

1 comment:

Steve said...

Sounds like you are on the right track with your gear. Lots of money can be spent, little needs to be. I'd be hesitant on the sleeping bag, sounds like I'd get cold. And I'm sure you learned a lot at the ALDHA meeting. I'm a member, didn't get there.
Lots of luck.