Sunday, July 03, 2011

Travelling Light

Just for fun during this long weekend, I decided to see if I could put together a super-lightweight overnighter gear list. For Fall through Spring, I have a decent set of gear, but I was wondering just how light I could go for Summer. As an added challenge, I wanted to try to fit the whole kit into a smallish day-hike backpack I bought at Wally World - the Outdoor Products Skyline 8.

By the way, I really like that pack, even if it's just a little too small for my gear setup. Big features for a stunningly reasonable price.

As I was saying, how light could I get it? I do have a specific trip in mind, something like that overnighter to the Chopawamsic backcountry area I did a while back. You may remember, I drove straight there from work and hiked in. Camped and then hiked out before lunch the next day. Short and sweet.

If you were planning for an all-day hike, then you can go lighter because you walk until dinner, then go to sleep. Not much need for comfort or luxuries. This is a little different, in that there's more camping and not so much hiking, although weight matters because you do have to backpack in to the campsites.

The old adage says that you pack for your fears. Some people are afraid of the dark, so they carry two or more flashlights (just in case) and multiple methods of making a fire (lighter, matches, another lighter, etc).

As you get more experience in the great outdoors, you learn what you need to feel safe and secure, but more importantly, what you *don't* need to still feel comfortable.

I managed to get my gear weight down to 16 pounds, not including water. That does include my tent, sleeping pad and flannel blanket, rain gear, food, and even a couple of goodies like a pillow and camp chair. I'm pretty happy about that, but like I said, it'll have to go into my regular backpack, because the Skyline is just a wee bit small to hold everything. Dang.

While I was playing, Liz asked me if I wanted to go out tonight and camp. Did I want to? Hell yeah! Was I going to? No way, Jose. Much too hot and humid, and right now I'm listening to mucho thunder as a line of strong storms moves through to clobber us.

I do have a couple few weekend trips planned over the next several months though, and I'm sure y'all are dreading my trip reports.


sheri said...

Every now and then I get a serious urge to just head out on the highway and camp somewhere with pine trees and quiet, but I have no idea where to go that isn't full of the very people I want to get away from or so remote as to be dangerous. Also, I'd want to take the dog. Also, I have no camping equipment of any kind. Also, I don't want to drive very far or be anywhere that's hot and humid. Other than that, I'm very flexible.