Backpacking thread

Hollywood

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My recent biking trip with my brother made me realize that I would like to try backpacking because I think I would love it. I like hiking and I liked the minimalist camping. Just not the bike riding. So I am back to the gym and putting the treadmill on an incline and using the stair climber to build up those muscles.

Do we have any backpackers here?
 

BigRedRage

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I have only done it minimally, long trips require lots of off time but I love it as well and would prefer it over the biking. Pretty much everything is the same, you're just on foot.

Thermarest sleeping pads, Jetboil cooking systems and a good water filter are your best friends. There is also some sort of lightweight item that converts your thermarest sleeping bed into a chair with a backrest. A big deal for me as my back gets really sore especially with a 40lb backpack on my back.
 

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Make sure you get fitted for a backpack. How you carry the load is extremely important. You don't have to buy a pack at REI but definitely go there (or some other well-regarded outdoor outfitter) and get educated on the best fit for you. For instance, you should be carrying the load on your hips, not your shoulders.
 

BigRedRage

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on top of that I also recommend reading about distributing weight in your pack so that all the heavy stuff isnt in one spot.
 
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Hollywood

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I have only done it minimally, long trips require lots of off time but I love it as well and would prefer it over the biking. Pretty much everything is the same, you're just on foot.

Thermarest sleeping pads, Jetboil cooking systems and a good water filter are your best friends. There is also some sort of lightweight item that converts your thermarest sleeping bed into a chair with a backrest. A big deal for me as my back gets really sore especially with a 40lb backpack on my back.

I will be hammock camping so the thermarest pad won't be an issue. Still need to get the stove and cooking ware. I am planning on getting a Katadyn water filter but have been seeing a lot of good things about the Sawyer Mini.

Make sure you get fitted for a backpack. How you carry the load is extremely important. You don't have to buy a pack at REI but definitely go there (or some other well-regarded outdoor outfitter) and get educated on the best fit for you. For instance, you should be carrying the load on your hips, not your shoulders.

Thats the plan. First I am going to see if I can find a way to attach my sleeping bag to my Camelbak Francona to try out on an overnighter. Test the water on this backpacking thing. See if it is something I will want to keep doing before I drop a couple hundred more into it.
 

BigRedRage

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I will be hammock camping so the thermarest pad won't be an issue. Still need to get the stove and cooking ware. I am planning on getting a Katadyn water filter but have been seeing a lot of good things about the Sawyer Mini.



Thats the plan. First I am going to see if I can find a way to attach my sleeping bag to my Camelbak Francona to try out on an overnighter. Test the water on this backpacking thing. See if it is something I will want to keep doing before I drop a couple hundred more into it.
Thermarest in the hammock makes a really big difference in cold weather fyi.

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Do we have any backpackers here?

Guilty. I live in Oregon and have been trying to hike the PCT the past couple of summers. Its hard to find the time, but I have done a few stretches between the CA border and Crater Lake.

Great stuff on gear and hiking various trails on Youtube. I have watched more videos more than I have hiked lately it seems.
 

BigRedRage

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Good to know. I was thinking more of an under quilt though. My brother has a sleeping pad that he uses in his hammock and really likes.

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I would think the pad will be far less weight and somehow it really insulates you from the wind and etc.
 

BigRedRage

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I will check them out. A pad would also be more useful if I ended up sleeping on the ground.
the pads are amazing. I recommend you get a good one that is self inflating like a thermarest. Even if you do not continue to backpack, they work great in the bed of a pickup, on the ground, everywhere. The most important accessory to have if you ask me.

I went cheap on one and regretted it. Always go thermarest now. its worth it.
 
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Hollywood

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Guilty. I live in Oregon and have been trying to hike the PCT the past couple of summers. Its hard to find the time, but I have done a few stretches between the CA border and Crater Lake.

Great stuff on gear and hiking various trails on Youtube. I have watched more videos more than I have hiked lately it seems.
My (and my brothers) goal is to hike the Arizona Trail....but we would have to do it in sections. I kind of laugh at him as he thinks 15-20 miles a day is something we can start out doing right out of the gate. I am looking at a 10-15 mile overnighter. 5-7 miles out and 5-7 back for my first trip.
 

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My (and my brothers) goal is to hike the Arizona Trail....but we would have to do it in sections. I kind of laugh at him as he thinks 15-20 miles a day is something we can start out doing right out of the gate. I am looking at a 10-15 mile overnighter. 5-7 miles out and 5-7 back for my first trip.


That's awesome! I watched "Darwin on the Trail" on youtube hike the AZ trail, it looks like a great one. Are you going to start at the Mexico border, or do it piecemeal?

Last Summer, my oldest son and I started out with high hopes on a section of the PCT in Oregon. We did an 11 mile day on day 1 of a planned 3 day trip. Day 2 my son was done. We went back later in the Summer, but definitely have to build the stamina for it. We also figured out we were carrying way too much weight.
 

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My (and my brothers) goal is to hike the Arizona Trail....but we would have to do it in sections. I kind of laugh at him as he thinks 15-20 miles a day is something we can start out doing right out of the gate. I am looking at a 10-15 mile overnighter. 5-7 miles out and 5-7 back for my first trip.
I would say, being in okay shape, that 8 miles a day is reasonable to start with. I did 8 miles in a day the other weekend. I was pretty spent at the end.

if you dont have good boots yet, Bates makes amazing, lightweight boots.
 

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My (and my brothers) goal is to hike the Arizona Trail....but we would have to do it in sections. I kind of laugh at him as he thinks 15-20 miles a day is something we can start out doing right out of the gate. I am looking at a 10-15 mile overnighter. 5-7 miles out and 5-7 back for my first trip.


That is a great goal. I have hiked a few sections, nothing overnight. Hopefully they get the Superstition section reopened soon after the Woodbury Fire damaged the trail.

There is a good Facebook group: Arizona Hiking. Several have done the entire trail already that post on their, and plenty have done sections willing to share info.
 

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My recent biking trip with my brother made me realize that I would like to try backpacking because I think I would love it. I like hiking and I liked the minimalist camping. Just not the bike riding. So I am back to the gym and putting the treadmill on an incline and using the stair climber to build up those muscles.

Do we have any backpackers here?

Yes. I try to backpack when I can, but I find that the lack of water sources in Southern Nevada mean that I'm carrying a lot of weight on my back. And I just don't currently have the time to do a 6 hour drive someplace and then take 3-5 days backpacking (although, West Clear Creek is kinda close).

We can discuss gear all day long, but the bottom line is that you require far less than you think you need, and I recommend that you check out ultralight backpacking tips.

The gear can get expensive, but saving as much weight on your back as possible is worth it.

FWIW, here's my general gear list: Gregory Baltoro 65L; Half Dome 2 Plus (b/c I'm long - and it's heavy - and I've been seriously considering either changing to a tarp or a hammock), mummy bag, Air Rail pad (side sleeper, and I'd like to eventually just go to a quilt), JetBoil Flash (although I've been thinking about changing); water filter, water bottle (and a roll-up Platty bottle); FAK; hat; clothes (just don't change, other than maybe have a set of socks and a bag baselayer); headlamp; external battery; groom kit; rain shell (usually just a jacket - if I need pants, I seriously consider going out at all); trekking poles.

Best endurance builder - small day pack, load it 10-15 lbs, go dayhike.

My 2 cents. YMMV.
 

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One thing that I have found makes the end of the hike upbeat is to keep clean clothes (at least a shirt, different shoes/socks and a snack/drinks) in the car so when you get to your car you can unwind a bit.


Also - a lightweight pair of flip-flops or water shoes for when you are at your overnight stop to give your feet a breather.
 
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One thing that I have found makes the end of the hike upbeat is to keep clean clothes (at least a shirt, different shoes/socks and a snack/drinks) in the car so when you get to your car you can unwind a bit.


Also - a lightweight pair of flip-flops or water shoes for when you are at your overnight stop to give your feet a breather.

Good point. Trailhead clothes and lightweight camp shoes.
 
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Hollywood

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Yes. I try to backpack when I can, but I find that the lack of water sources in Southern Nevada mean that I'm carrying a lot of weight on my back. And I just don't currently have the time to do a 6 hour drive someplace and then take 3-5 days backpacking (although, West Clear Creek is kinda close).

We can discuss gear all day long, but the bottom line is that you require far less than you think you need, and I recommend that you check out ultralight backpacking tips.

The gear can get expensive, but saving as much weight on your back as possible is worth it.

FWIW, here's my general gear list: Gregory Baltoro 65L; Half Dome 2 Plus (b/c I'm long - and it's heavy - and I've been seriously considering either changing to a tarp or a hammock), mummy bag, Air Rail pad (side sleeper, and I'd like to eventually just go to a quilt), JetBoil Flash (although I've been thinking about changing); water filter, water bottle (and a roll-up Platty bottle); FAK; hat; clothes (just don't change, other than maybe have a set of socks and a bag baselayer); headlamp; external battery; groom kit; rain shell (usually just a jacket - if I need pants, I seriously consider going out at all); trekking poles.

Best endurance builder - small day pack, load it 10-15 lbs, go dayhike.

My 2 cents. YMMV.
Its funny that when I go camping I take WAY more then I need...because, well...I have a truck and all the room in the world. On the bikepacking trip I took almost nothing.

What is a FAK?
 
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Hollywood

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One thing that I have found makes the end of the hike upbeat is to keep clean clothes (at least a shirt, different shoes/socks and a snack/drinks) in the car so when you get to your car you can unwind a bit.


Also - a lightweight pair of flip-flops or water shoes for when you are at your overnight stop to give your feet a breather.
Trailhead clothes are a good idea. I already have camp shoes on my list.
 

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Its funny that when I go camping I take WAY more then I need...because, well...I have a truck and all the room in the world. On the bikepacking trip I took almost nothing.

What is a FAK?

First aid kit. A very basic one. Band aids, wipes, moleskin, chafe cream, Tylenol and Advil, and a few other minor things to help you get off the trail and back to civilization if need be.

Nothing is good! Nothing is light.
 
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