This is what went with me to the Butterfield Trail hike plus food, another liter of water, some light clothing, and a couple of partially spent 220g fuel canisters. I also carried my 40° Marmot bag the first day. Erika carried it the second.
- 10′ x 12′ rectangular polyethelyne tarp
- Teton Explorer 4000 backpack – 65 liter capacity
- Thin-bladed folding hand saw
- Lightweight aluminum alloy stakes
- Parachute cord; various weights
- GI Army Poncho Liner
- Ember 2 hammock underquilt by ENO
- 2-liter water bladder (fitted with quick release adapter for filling from filters
- Survivor Filter Pro pump water filter
- AeroPress and Blue Sail coffee only!
- Clothing bag; handkerchief and bush hat shown
- Tree-safe straps and Ticket to the Moon double hammock
- Nested stainless steel pots
- Stainless steel flask – Apple Pie Moonshine
- MSR Whisperlite Universal – Fuel canister not shown
- Food bag (empty)
- Bug spray
- Toiletries bag (w/ Dr. Bronner’s, missing biodegradable wipes)
- Collapsible bowl/food prep surface and stainless steel spoon
- Kitchen Cleaning supplies – Dr. Bronner’s and a scrubbie
- Map compass
- A couple of LED headlamps
- Waterproof box for phone
- 13W solar power panels
- 6700 mWh battery
Some things notably missing from here include clothing, 2 lbs of meals per day, the canisters for the additional water (a aluminum Klean Kanteen) and a couple of 1 liter collapsible water bags, map and trail guide.
First of all, that Teton backpack has tons of room. I can pack a lot of stuff in it. I can also pack a little too much in it. It was heavy and I didn’t have it fitting right when we went on the Butterfield trail this past weekend. Add an ill-fitting belt and the result was a nasty abrasion rash on my hips. I’ve since adjusted the fit of the pack and learned how to tighten all the straps correctly. It feels much better. Erika needs a bigger pack too. I’m considering the Teton scout 3400 for her with its 55L of volume.
For sleeping arrangements, the underquilt and the poncho liner were pretty comfy both nights. It was chilly on the second night where and when I wasn’t covered up. But, the polyester batting in the nylon quilt actually does pretty well. Some GI’s call it a “woobie”. I certainly won’t leave home without it.
I may want to replace the tarp I have with something lighter. But, I feel weird spending the kind of money people want for lightweight tarps at the size I need. I may splurge someday, but I can deal with the 2 lbs for now.
I definitely want to replace the pots. I think I can save at least a lb there. It all adds up, right? The stainless steel ones are heavy and klunky and I know I can lighten that up a little bit by using a titanium set like this one from TOAKS. It weighs 1/4 the weight of the ones we currently have.
I’ll be cooking on top of the Whisperlite Universal by MSR. I found one at a steal on eBay. The nice thing is that it’s able to burn either liquid or gas fuel depending on the fittings you put on. On our short jaunts, I’ll use canister gas, but I don’t want to lug all of that around on longer trips. In fact, if one 220g canister won’t do for a trip, I’ll use liquid fuel. I found an article saying I can boil 1.6 liters per oz of fuel with this stove. So, a small 11 oz bottle should be fine for 5 days. It’s sitting in my Amazon shopping cart. I need to figure where to pack that bottle in the backpack.
I simply can’t do without good coffee on the trail. So, a bag of Blue Sail’s Congo goes with us. Preparation is done by AeroPress for a nice cup.
Now, since we both carry our mobile phones, I decided we’ll need a way to keep them charged. So, I picked up a Poweradd 14W solar panel and a small battery to hold a couple charge-ups for us. I like this panel because I can clip it pretty snuggly to the outside of my backpack during the day. It has little loops sewn into its case all around it and a little fabric pouch that can hold a battery while it is charging. A few lightweight carabiners and off we go.
The Survivor Pro water filter will need to get its own review. Let’s just say that the first pre-filter became clogged immediately and I could hardly get any water through. Switched it out with the included replacement and I was pumping water fast! I’ve added a set of quick-release fittings so that I don’t have to take my bladder out of my backpack to fill it. I think this is going to work well.
I could go on and on about every little detail, but I won’t do that here. Each item probably needs its own article for review. If you’ve got a question or a suggestion about any of this gear, please let me know in the comments below!