Friday, March 18, 2016

That will cost you... ultralight camping gear

So lately I've become nit picky about camping gear weight to the point of maybe being considered an "ultralight" wannabe.  But then there are things I'm not willing to forsake for the worry of carrying another 18 oz.  Like... I'd rather sleep on a blow up mat than a piece of cardboard so...I bought a blow up mat.  If the said mat is very light, it will cost you-dollars.  And so the game of packing backpacks begins (insert polka music).  What are you willing to give up comfort wise vs what are you willing to carry vs what are you willing to pay.  After several long practice hikes, I don't want to carry over 25 lbs, which is really really light but our guides carry the cooking gear (not actual food or our mess kits-like the gas/burner etc) so come now...we can do it right?  I've got all kinds of ideas for how to do this...which include burning in the sun w/o sunblock, smelling terrible, only bringing one set of clothes, not wearing contacts because who wants to see the canyon while hiking anyway... oh wait...that doesn't sound fun.  How am I going to do this?  Really people- how?

If anyone is a camper in real life and has any ideas, that would be amazing.  Our backpacks weigh almost 5 pounds...and while it's worth it (I think?) because they are really comfortable, I don't know how to pack light enough to not be nearly dead by the middle of the hike.  Maybe not dead, but writhing in pain on our somewhat comfortable blow up mats.  Consider our backpacks are 5 lbs, our minimum water per day is 6 lbs, tent provided is 3 lbs for half of it, and we have about 5 lbs of food to carry including snacks...that's 19 already.  So I've got 6 lbs to play with unless I want to be a pack mule.

Some ideas I've put into motion so far in my amateur attempt to lighten the load (you can thank me later...after I actually try these ideas in real life-ha)

1st up: Trader Joe's reusable paper towel... I could buy a camp towel but they weigh (gasp) half a pound!  No way-not with my precious 6 lbs on the line.  These weigh like...nothing.  They can be rung out and used even when wet to dry off (in my trials studies) and Luke and I could even share one since we are good friends and is patient I should say-maybe we'll pack two.

2nd up: These are little 2"x3" baggies!  wow!  a camper ultralight wannabe's dream!  I'm putting all my stuff in these babies. I think I can even bring sunscreen now if I play in right.  I'm going to figure out how many squirts it takes to use whatever solution I'm packing and only bring that x5 for our five days.  I actually thought of this one while surfing Amazon for small containers...but I'm sure other hikers have done the same...or it's a really bad idea for some reason.  I'll let you know if all the baggies break and mix all the solutions together in the gallon bag I'm stowing them in. :P

3rd: contact solution is no longer sterile if you change the packaging- but liquid is heavy and I don't need a whole mini bottle of solution.  I plan to bring the more expensive, but much smaller, lubricant drops instead.  I can't see anything wrong with this other than the expense or running out.
4th: I'm using gallon bags for all kins of stuff...compression bags-ziplock! wash basin-ziplock! bag to hold little bags of soap and lotion-ziplock! bath: ziplock! doing some laundry: you guessed it...ziplock!  I think you get the idea on that.  they are cheap, weigh nothing and can be used for multiple purposes.  It's my only hope for not smelling terrible before going to bed at night.
5th: I'm bringing a tiny bit of this's concentrated, it's smells like home, it could be dumped in the CO river because it's biodegradable.  I'm not the first hiker to do this based on the small bottles for sale at REI. :D

6th: This will cost you... Luke and I got this for our valentine's day gift...and Christmas...and birthdays and whatever other holiday comes up in the near future. I used our credit card bonus make myself feel better.  It's about as light and easy to carry as a combo gets.  because it's a double set up, you save a little weight since only one of us has to carry the sleep quilt and they other the mattress coupler. bonus is not rolling of a narrow sleep mat.  We will bring camp pillows too...yes they weigh, I can' sleep without a pillow... I'm not an ultralight camper okay.  I said I was a wannabe. ;)
I hope this post didn't bore you to death.  It's what we've been up to...that and our kids getting sick the last few days.  But who wants a blog post about that? :P haha
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emilykate said...

If we ever do a hiking trip like this I'll definitely be asking your advice! Our boys were sick this week too...bleh

Rebekah said...

Not boring at all!! Sounds so exciting!

smw said...

This sounds like a super fun challenge. :)

L, Ann and boys said...

you guys are way to sweet about my ramblings ;) ;) haha