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  1. #1
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    Cutting Pack Weight

    I started this thread in hopes to generate conversation about cutting pack weight. I've come up with a few ideas I'll share here and hope to hear some ideas I've not thought of. Thanks for the responses!

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    My pack weight cutting techniques are as follows:
    - Keep a detailed journal of the items in your pack on every trip. Make note of the conditions of the trip and inventory what items you use and what items remained unused in your pack. Eliminate the things you don't use.
    - Leave the nalgene at home and use a disposable plastic water bottle
    - Take one knife/tool
    - Use chemical treatment or go with the lightest filter you can find
    - Examine your pack. I sold my NorthFace, and found a Gregory of the same volume with 2.5 lbs savings
    - Skip the ground cloth for your tent. I've rarely come across a situation when I needed it.
    - Measure your fuel before and after your trip. Keep track of your burn time in the field. Use this as an estimation for future fuel needs
    - 5' of duct tape around your water bottle is more than you'll ever need
    - Knock the survival kit down to a survival blanket, blister control, advil and a gauze pad or two
    - Closely examine your clothing requirements. A lot of hunting clothing out there is very nice and very heavy. See if there are alternatives.
    - Weigh everything and put it in a spreadsheet. You'd be surprised just how quickly little things add up!

    I know these are pretty standard, but I've cut my basic pack (no food) to right at 30 lbs including the pack. This set of gear is good from May - Oct in the Colorado high country. Outside of those months, my gear changes.

  3. #3
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    I bought a book on ultralight backpacking thinking the same thing. It talks about cutting straps off a fist width past past what you use and burning the ends to keep them from unraveling. The author says you can cut 1/2 pound off the base weight of many packs by cutting off extra material that doesn't fit your use. I will be interested in reading how this plays out, I am making a list of what I have and what I need to purchase and adding up weight as I go so I can take a hard look at what I really need.

    Also if you are hunting with two people, what items do you need to only pack 1 of instead of both carrying the extra weight.

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    I've never tried cutting parts off my pack, I like have long straps in case of big loads. I have found that making some adjustments to the things in your bag make a big difference in weight. I'll make a PDF of my gear list and upload as a picture to this thread tomorrow at work. I would also love some feedback on things.
    People in SUV's and suburbs will kill more game animals than a man with a bow, ever could.

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    I'm a little gunshy about chopping up my new Eberlestock also, I need the length on the compression straps for big loads. Also the other straps need some adjustment for different clothing layers. The book had some neat ideas, but alot of them don't apply to a hunter whose needs are different.

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    I'm not a big proponent of strap cutting either. I did make a jump to a down insulating layer. This move saved me about 2 pounds over my old fleece. It also packs up into a space the size of a nalgene bottle.
    Another great move was the tossing of my old Thermarest and the purchase of a Thermarest NeoAir. This thing is super! About 14 oz and it inflates to about 2" thick. I sleep like I'm at home when I'm on this thing. My old Thermarest was just under 2 lbs.
    To the list below, I also wear my camo, which I don't count in my weight totals.
    Here's my gear list:
    Item Weight (lbs)
    Gregory pack 3.9
    Black Diamond Mirage Tent 4.75
    tripod 0.7
    Andy's Sleep Bag 2.8
    Spotting Scope 2.2
    Rain Jacket 2.15
    Rain pants 2.05
    NeoAir 0.8
    Down jacket 1.2
    MSR Hyperflow 0.6
    Jetboil 0.95
    Long underwear top and bottom 0.95
    Binoculars 0.8
    Leatherman 0.65
    Journal 0.6
    Elk Calls 0.6
    Rangefinder 0.55
    Small Jetboil fuel 0.4
    Water bottle 0.1
    Camera 0.35
    Cell phone 0.2
    wool hat 0.2
    Compass 0.15
    Headlamp 0.15
    Black Fleece Gloves 0.15
    Sunscreen, tooth paste, brush 0.15
    Toilet paper 0.1
    2 trash bags 0.1
    Map 0.05
    Platypus 0.05
    totals 28.4
    Last edited by abrowland; 03-10-2011 at 09:19 PM.

  7. #7
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    I started raising packgoats. took three on A high country mule deer hunt last year. It was awsome. want to have a string of about 10.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by abrowland View Post
    I'm not a big proponent of strap cutting either. I did make a jump to a down insulating layer. This move saved me about 2 pounds over my old fleece. It also packs up into a space the size of a nalgene bottle.
    Another great move was the tossing of my old Thermarest and the purchase of a Thermarest NeoAir. This thing is super! About 14 oz and it inflates to about 2" thick. I sleep like I'm at home when I'm on this thing. My old Thermarest was just under 2 lbs.
    To the list below, I also wear my camo, which I don't count in my weight totals.
    Here's my gear list:
    Item Weight (lbs)
    Gregory pack 3.9
    Black Diamond Mirage Tent 4.75
    tripod 0.7
    Andy's Sleep Bag 2.8
    Spotting Scope 2.2
    Rain Jacket 2.15
    Rain pants 2.05
    NeoAir 0.8
    Down jacket 1.2
    MSR Hyperflow 0.6
    Jetboil 0.95
    Long underwear top and bottom 0.95
    Binoculars 0.8
    Leatherman 0.65
    Journal 0.6
    Elk Calls 0.6
    Rangefinder 0.55
    Small Jetboil fuel 0.4
    Water bottle 0.1
    Camera 0.35
    Cell phone 0.2
    wool hat 0.2
    Compass 0.15
    Headlamp 0.15
    Black Fleece Gloves 0.15
    Sunscreen, tooth paste, brush 0.15
    Toilet paper 0.1
    2 trash bags 0.1
    Map 0.05
    Platypus 0.05
    totals 28.4
    Just curious, what raingear, leatherman, and tripod are you using? I carry a Leatherman Wave every day working, but hadn't really considered using it for quartering or boning game. Also that tripod is lighter than mine. Thanks

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    I have a set of lightweight RealTree raingear - and as I write this the numbers above might be from my old gear, which was heavier. I'll reweigh my stuff and post the weight. I too carry a leatherman wave. I switched my spotting scope to a Nikon ED50 - very lightweight, with great optics (not a Swarovski 80mm, but still pretty good). I pair that scope with a very lightweight Nikon tripod. It is not real tall, and a bit wiggly, but well worth the weight savings.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by abrowland View Post
    I have a set of lightweight RealTree raingear - and as I write this the numbers above might be from my old gear, which was heavier. I'll reweigh my stuff and post the weight. I too carry a leatherman wave. I switched my spotting scope to a Nikon ED50 - very lightweight, with great optics (not a Swarovski 80mm, but still pretty good). I pair that scope with a very lightweight Nikon tripod. It is not real tall, and a bit wiggly, but well worth the weight savings.
    I have looked at that scope also. I'm debating now between buying that scope and using my current tripod, rifle bipod, and binocs. Or option two going to just my bogpod tripod with the switcheroo head that allows the rifle rest or ball and socket optics mount and 15x56 Vortex kaibab binoculars. I'm sure I'd miss my 10x binocs and having the 30x zoom of the spotting scope, but I've read every review I can find on the big binocs, and for a long day of glassing the difference in eyestrain from a spotter is huge.

 

 

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