What's the Gear You're Ditching?
After my recent trip, I've decided to ditch some long-held, often beloved gear for lighter or easier options.
As much as I love my Platypus filter and bladder, it's simply too inconvenient and I will probably switch to a Sawyer Squeeze.
I'm also considering a new stove, as my Jetboil recently had the igniter break and, if I'm going to have to use a lighter anyway, I might as well use something that weighs less. But I'm still debating this one.
How about you? What gear are you ditching/replacing this year? I'd love to get ideas on different things I could swap!
Over the past couple of years, I've gone from straightforward backpacking trips to canyoneering / packrafting / packrafting combos, mostly in Grand Canyon. It definitely adds to the adventure, but also adds to the required packing list - rope, harness, descender, helmet, packraft, PFD, paddle, and more. In order to keep things light(er), I've shaved off other formerly-essential items.
* I used to bring both a closed-cell foam pad, and an inflatable. If I'm bringing rope, etc, tho, I stick with just one pad. Clearly the inflatable is more comfortable, but the closed-cell is nice to pull out and use on quick rest breaks, and is also very handy in the bottom of my packraft when the water temps are colder.
* One of the plusses of the desert - on a few recent two night trips, I haven't brought a tent or even a tarp. It did end up raining on one trip so we sheltered under our rafts for bit.
* I'm trying to figure out if I should pull the trigger on the new HMG 40 degree quilt. My current sleeping bag is definitely overkill for a lot of desert adventures, but I've also been burned before by sleeping bags that just didn't cut it, so I'm a little gun shy.
* I think moving from the jetboil to something lighter is a great plan.
* When I'm not using my Ultamid, I love how light the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z trekking poles are. The one downside is that they are not sturdy enough for use as a center pole with the Ultamid.
I hope that's helpful!1
@bugglife Those trips sound awesome! Sounds like you have a good plan going forward. I've always been wary of paring down sleeping bags as well, but now I bring a lighter bag and a liner in case it gets extra chilly. Less weight and easier to pack. Thanks for sharing!1
@bugglife and @petergierlach If you guys are planning on converting from JetBoil to a lighter stover alternative I highly recommend the MSR Pocket Rocket! I store it with my fuel in a Toaks pot and am good to go for a wicked packable/light cooking setup.
For cutting down on gear I've converted to hiking in Chacos so I don't have to carry camp shoes anymore, and I have started cutting my med-kits back to the bare necessities.2
Rain Jacket- A piece of gear I recently acquired is the Montbell Versalite Rain jacket to replace my Outdoor Research Helium II that has seen better days. Although pricey, I am happy with my purchase of the long coveted Versalite. My Helium got to the point of no return after using it on 3 thru hikes. Wetted out after less than an hour of rain. So far, the Versalite has performed in hail and torrential rain without wetting out. Plus it has pit zips and pockets, both of which the Helium lacked.
Sleeping pad- I actually upsized. Sleep is important, so I switched from the Women's NeoAir Thermarest Xlite to the Nemo Tensor Insulated Pad. It's larger in size and weighs 3 oz more, but I can't tell you how much better I sleep. The baffle design and rectangle shape prevent me from rolling off the pad, unlike the Xlite. Worth it.
Trekking poles- I used my Leki MicroVario Trekking poles to death. So much so that at some point one got stuck in between rocks and the second half actually disconnected from the top as I pulled it away. I was able to get it back together and use for another thru, but knew it was time to replace soon. I upgraded to the Gossamer Gear LT5 trekking poles and they are SO light. They are a joy to use, although they lack the rugged feel of the Leki's. If you're not hard on your equipment, GG LT5 are soo nice.
Fanny Pack- Cotopaxi Bataan fanny pack treated me well with its minimal design and capacity, but when I borrowed a friend's Red Paw fanny, I knew I wanted to upgrade. The Red Paw Flex fanny has an extra pocket on top that I use for quick access to an extra camera lens. I looooove this feature. The fanny pack is also waterproof, so I can pop the lens into the main compartment when it starts to rain. It's also a small business, which I love!3
Vargo Bot & Soto Windmaster to no cook setup (save 6 oz)
BD Alpine Carbon Cork to GG LT5 (save 6 oz)
Patagona Micropuff to Custom down anorak by Goosefeet gear (same weight for significantly more warmth)
Women's Xlite to Uberlite (save 4 oz)
Sawyer Squeeze + CNOC + Smartwater to Lifestraw Peak Series 1L + Platty collapsable bottles (save 2 oz)
Drugstore flip flops to no camp shoes (save 4 oz)3
Ditched larger Granite Gear pack for a Hyperlite Junction 2400!
Jetboil to a MSR pocket rocket & Vargo Bot
Osprey 2L water bladder to smart water bottles
Ditched thermarest pillow0
@tina Can you share more (maybe a photo?) about the Goosefeet gear anorak?
@ptmcgehee Congrats on the new pack! What are you using for pillow instead?1
any garment NOT providing deep, good seal-able pocket: slacks, shirts, jackets gets dumped.
FYI: womens garments are the WORST for pocket depth, security: sexist. Same male garments have amble pockets.0
I have to buy guys pants.1
@tina ooh, nice! I love the off-color shoulders. It reminds me a bit of my puffer that I had mended by Rugged Thread. (I had a bit of a run in with a hot stove!) They're a little pricey, but they do excellent work!1
@ptmcgehee all good. I was just in the same boat.
I have the HMG pillow and like it, but don't love it, which is why I asked. My main issue is that I often don't have any extra clothes to stuff into a sack because I'm wearing all of them to sleep. That said, if you're already using a stuff sack and like it, the HMG pillow sack might be a great choice for you.1