*Background: I have only been on a couple backpacking trips, once with my wife for a night and once last year to hunt. We never stayed in camp after packing meat all night so I consider myself a newb still. One thing I know is my pack was WAY too heavy last year. Don't know the final weight but an educated guess after gear, food and water was 60 pounds. We camp two miles from the truck if we can access the road-from-hell but could be 4 miles if the road is wet. So far I am at 35.17 pounds before water and food.
The foods are from last year and NOT finalized yet. (hence my other thread about backpacking food ideas)
Otherwise, would love to get your opinions!
Some of the stuff on there isn't necessary but I weighed everything and made decisions based on use or weight.
I swear at one point last year I was ready to cut the extra couple inches off my boot laces to save a half gram of weight as we were heading back in from the cooler to get another load. I worked out a little differently this year so I feel those 70 pound pack-outs won't be as bad.
If you are only going out 3 days or so, you could drop the toiletries (leave at the truck to freshen up when you get back to it) other than the wet wipes, saline, and contacts. I know it sounds gross....but really.....do you need all that stuff for a couple days away. I don't. I can scrub my teef with a pine needle or stick until then.
Unless you need the trekking poles for shelter support, or physical issues, I'd leave them at the truck. You can always grab them to help on the 2nd pack out if needed.
10 oz's of tea???? Really? Plus powder drink mix 10 oz? I'd shuffle some of that weight to bring more trail mix or another MH meal or something more substantial. I'd swap 10 ozs of candy for another 10 oz of snickers myself.
Good list....Might add a pair of undies and socks as those take the worst of it and a fresh/dry pair is a sweet thing in the middle of a long hunt. EDIT you have the spare sox and undies......I'm a dork. Ignore me LOL
Otherwise.....think of anything you can come back to the truck to get if you absolutely need it and leave it there. Unless you are over 2-3 miles back....then it becomes an issue of whether it is better to have it because you are pretty darn sure you need it....like extra fuel for stove....or you are packing weight for "just in case". For me "just in case" stuff stays at the truck where I can get it "just in case" I need it.
I love my new trekking poles and really need them to take some weight off my hips. Not sure why but I still get bad pain in my hips with 40#. Sucks, but not enough to not go.
I am bringing one extra pair of socks and one extra pair of merino underwear, do you all really htink I need two extras?!
As far as tooth care, YES I am bringing that stuff! Brushing my teeth is like wiping after a sh!t. It's a must do.
If you really wanted to reduce wt, your tent and sleeping bag are crazy heavy. My combined tent and sleeping bag wt are 36 oz.
How long are you going for? A week? How far in? If you're 3 miles in, it's literally a couple hour walk round trip to the truck to resupply. You don't need all that gas and batteries. Why are you bringing extra underwear? 2 rolls of TP? Bring 1/2 a roll and start with 3/4 inch sticks that dont have any bark on them and do your last wipe with 3 squares and it'll last you weeks. Wet wipe? Dip your junk or a paper towel in a stream.
For first aid, all you really need are a few big bandaids and a 1/2 oz of antibiotic ointment and a few motrin. Anything worse and you have to leave anyways and maybe need a tourniquet which you should be able to drum up from your other hunting stuff. My first aid kit is a few bandaids, a couple packs of Bacitracin, and a skin stapler. Any medical condition beyond what those can handle require you leave the mountains anyways.
Coming from a non-hunting long-distance backpacking background, it astonishes me how much crap hunters put on their backs. My pack for my sheep hunt weighs 35 lbs and that's everything including food.
Every year, people do the PCT from Mexico to Canada and they do it with 25 lb packs with food resupplies along the way because it requires 20 mile hiking days everyday. You're not doing 20 miles a day, 7 days a week with 45 lbs on your back. Their frugality is borne of necessity. The less weight you carry, the farther you can go. It's nice to have all that stuff, but you don't need it.
Most of these duplicates, backups, and comfort items are not necessary.
Do a 7 mile hike with a 35, a 40, a 45, and a 50 lb pack and take note of how fast you can go and how you feel. Start with 35 and go up. Then set the weight of pack that you want to carry, and start taking things out that you want/need the least till you get to weight.
If you're only going a few miles and you're not going to relocate during your hunt and you're not going to keep your pack on your back while you hunt, then all of this is just academic because going in 3-4 miles with a heavy pack is no big deal, other than the fact that you lose two days getting it in and out. But that's usually not the best way to hunt elk since they can be anywhere and tend to bale and move miles when they do.
(sorry....starting to feel the rut here......brings out my sick sense of humor every year)
For each you have to decide what is a creature comfort worth the pain of packing in and out.
I went with a heavier hammock system this year over my 1 lb tent system from last year......but damn does that hammock make my day. Worth every ounce. Food.....not so much.....basic fuel and fork the rest. Too much time and hassle and I am sick of hauling it home uneaten. I run out....head to the truck and get more. Wet Wipes.....a must have for me. Gotta have a clean po po. Toothbrush and crap....fork it. Gritty teeth tells me I'm alive. LOL Extra socks and undies....sure......but I probably don't need a really warm hoodie or outer layer so long as I have a base layer, mid layer and rain layer....that will keep me warm and if it don't I have the space blanket.
If I were 6 miles back I would feel differently........
I see some room for improvement based on the posts though so will take another jab at it tomorrow evening.
Thanks for the feedback!
Those two items cut your bag/tent weight in 1/2. That's like 5 lbs right there. 6 lbs if you can go floorless.
I used a Nemo 2P tent last year that was mostly floorless except for a quarter floor at one end. Used trekking poles to hold it up. No bug problems but I did have a mouse decide to set up house in my sleeping bag one day......forker.....crapped all over the inside of the bag but didn't chew it up. He was evicted but not with as much prejudice as I intended. I used a silnylon tarp for a floor. I've never been able to keep a few bugs out of a tent...ever.