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SGT Rock
2004-08-25, 08:56
I posted this over at WhiteBlaze, but it appears that most folks there are more into talking hiking and politics lately than talking about gear. Since I get some gear heads here that occasionally like a challenge, I think I would post it again. Some of y'all may have read the section here at Hiking HQ called the $300 Challenge (http://hikinghq.net/300_challenge.html). Since this is sort of old, I figured it would be good to see what folks could come up with now.

The rules - you have $300 to spend on a pack. Temperatures expected should be about 40 degrees F and above - maybe good enough for an AT thru-hike starting in April. The goal is to build a complete pack with clothing, shelter, cookware, first aid, etc. You can assume that certain things may be already owned by a non-backpacker like a toothbrush, spoon, etc, but these weights must be included. The base pack weight (weight without food or water) should be less than 15 pounds.

SGT Rock
2004-08-25, 08:57
My entry, as it looks like I am the only one on right now:

Items listed as such: GEAR - ITEM - WEIGHT IN OUNCES - PRICE - LOCATION YOU FIND IT - NOTES IF ANY
1. backpack - Granite Gear Virga Ultralight Backpack - 22.0 - $51.96 - Sierra Trading Post
2. pack liner - 3 garbage bags - 3.0 - Freebie - under your kitchen sink
3. sleeping pad - cheap blue pad - 8.0 - $7.99 - Wal-Mart - Trim to needed size
4. sleeping bag - The North Face Long 40° Sleeping Bag - 38.0 - $47.96 - Sierra Trading Post
5. ground cloth - emergency space blanket - 2.0 - $3.99 - Wal-Mart - Trim to needed size
6. poncho/tarp - Ultralight sil-nylon poncho/tarp - 8.5 - $44.99 - Campmor
7. cord - Colored Mason Twine - 3.0 - $1.50 - Wal-Mart - Trim to needed size
8. Stakes - 6 Aluminum gutter nails - 3.0 - $5.00 - Lowe's
9. socks - nylon dress socks x 3 - 3.0 - $9.96 - Wal-Mart - these may be free if you already have them
10. shoes - Wear your old sneakers for now - 25.0 - Freebie - your closet
11. shorts - nylon swim trunks - 3.5 - $6.96 - Wal-Mart - these may be free if you already have them
12. t-shirt - Terramar® EC2® Short Sleeve Tee - 6.5 - $6.97 - Campmor
13. bandanna - cotton bandanna - 1.0 - $1.00 - a lot of places - these may be free if you already have them
14. long underwear - Dufold - 15.5 - $15.93 - Campmor
15. insulated jacker - Military Field Jacket Liners - 11.0 - $5.00 - Army Surplus Store - Warmer, lighter, and more compressible than fleece
16. insulated pants - Military Field Pants Liners - 9.3 - $5.00 - Army Surplus Store - Warmer, lighter, and more compressible than fleece
17. nylon pants - nylon athletic pants - 6.0 - $7.86 - Wal-Mart - you may want to rip out the liners on some models
18. scarf - fleece scarf - 1.5 - $4.00 - Wal-Mart - these may be free if you already have them
19. knit hat - wool cap - 2.0 - $6.50 - Wal-Mart - these may be free if you already have them
20. gloves - silkskins silk glove liners - 3.4 - $4.97 - Campmor - these may be free if you already have them
21. warm socks - Diadora Trekking Socks - 2.0 - $5.97 - Campmor - these may be free if you already have them
22. pot - Wal Mart Grease Pot - 4.0 - $6.00 - Wal-Mart - foil lid
23. stove - Soda Can Stove - 1.0 - Freebie - trash make it yourself
24. fuel bottle - Soda bottle - 1.0 - Freebie - trash make it yourself
25. lighter - Bic type lighter - 0.5 - $1.00 - Wal-Mart - get the 1/2 sized
26. spoon - kitchen spoon - 0.5 - Freebie - kitchen drawer
27. iodine - Coolands Drinking Water Tablets - 1.0 - $4.99 - Wal-Mart
28. water bottles - 2 1QT Gatorade bottles - 3.0 - Freebie - trash
29. toilet paper - 60 sheets - 1.0 - Freebie - bathroom
30. zip locks - 6-1 gallon zip lock type bags - 3.0 - $3.00 - Grocery store - these may be free if you already have them
31. pack towel - Lightload towel - 0.5 - $5.49 - Campmor
32. hand sanitizer - 1 ounce bottle alcohol base - 1.2 - $1.00 - Grocery store
33. tooth brush and paste - regular toothbrush & travel paste - 1.5 - $1.00 - Grocery store - cut down the toothbrush you already have
34. flashlight - LED light - 0.4 - $3.00 - Anti-Gravity Gear
35. Stuff Sacks - 10x20 Campmor stuff sack - 1.8 - $4.99 - Campmor - clothing bag
36. Food Bag - 12x22 Campmor stuff sack - 2.0 - $6.99 - Campmor
37. knife - Wenger Esquire Translucent Knife - 1.5 - $8.97 - Campmor
38. compass - Coghlans Four Function Whistle - 1.6 - $3.99 - Wal-Mart
39. Stove fuel - 12 ounce bottle of HEET - 9.8 - $1.50 - Wal-Mart - yellow bottle
40. first aid kit - make from spare parts - 4.5 - $4.50 - Grocery store - also parts you may already have
41. Cup - Gatorade container - 1.5 - Freebie - trash - make it yourself

PACK WEIGHT = 179.4 oz or 11.2 pounds

CARRIED WEIGHT (CLOTHING AND STUFF IN POCKETS) = 31.9 oz or 2.5 pounds

TOTALS = 218.5 oz or 13.7 pounds From Skin Out (FSO)

TOTAL PRICE = $299.93

PACK WEIGHT WITH 5 DAYS FOOD AND 2 QTS WATER = 25.2 pounds

Food weight assumes 2 pounds food per day.

I was very close on price, but very under on weight. The prices these items are available change from time to time, but it does show it is possible to build a packing list that will work if you shop around. It wouldn't be the most comfortable in the world, I would probably want a better shelter myself. This also didn't include things I consider essential like maps, journal, pen and camera. Those are personal choices that people must make.

JPW
2004-08-25, 13:17
OK, your on! But I have to warn you I'am a packrat and can put together a pack with things I already have. So I'll put one together from recycled/yard sale items. To start: a Boy Scout Yuca pack, canvas, from yard sale $5, not yet weighed. cup, 8 oz can from Del Monte peas with a pull top lid, 1.5oz ( .4 oz less than my titanium cup weighed on the same postal scale!). The unique rim design on the salvaged can will strain the grounds from boiled coffee. Also the handleless design lets you wrap your fingers around it on a cold morning without a handle getting in the way, a great feature when you are wearing bulky gloves ( maby I can sell it on Ebay for $50).

The rest will have to wait a few days to get together and weigh.

SGT Rock
2004-08-25, 13:54
Trash, yard sale (as long as it is legit - honor system) are all acceptable as are the salvation army and owners selling used gear.

skysappr
2004-09-03, 19:11
Top
What happened to the old thread for the challenge?

Also
A house in Tenn, are you PCSing to Campbell?

Skysappr
FT Irwin

SGT Rock
2004-09-06, 23:11
As far as I know, the old original thread on TheBackpacker.com died. The server over there was set to delete inactive threads after so many months, so I asked on the forum to get permission to save that one which is now the page here $300 Challenge under hiking techniques.

I am moving to Knoxville, TN for an AC/RC assignment.

Hog On Ice
2004-09-07, 09:08
As far as I know, the old original thread on TheBackpacker.com died. The server over there was set to delete inactive threads after so many months, so I asked on the forum to get permission to save that one which is now the page here $300 Challenge under hiking techniques.

I am moving to Knoxville, TN for an AC/RC assignment.

Thread over on TheBackpacker.com : $300 Challenge (http://www.thebackpacker.com/trailtalk/thread.php?id=6354&q=nav&age=-1)

To the best of my knowledge old threads are still there - just hard to find. I don't think that they are deleted after x months of inactivity.

SGT Rock
2004-09-07, 14:45
Matt The Webmaster told me they delete after s many months after he changed the lay-out a few years back. I can't remember the number of days or months, anyway - good to see the thread still exists.

skysappr
2004-09-10, 01:40
As far as I know, the old original thread on TheBackpacker.com died. The server over there was set to delete inactive threads after so many months, so I asked on the forum to get permission to save that one which is now the page here $300 Challenge under hiking techniques.

I am moving to Knoxville, TN for an AC/RC assignment.

I can't imagine how you must feel for the AC/RC position but the Idea of being in Tennesee that close to the AT has to be a good feeling. Enjoy

SGT Rock
2004-09-10, 02:01
AC/RC sounds like pounding my head with a hammer. The Smokies are the draw to this assignment. That, and I have been thinking of retiring to this area sometime in the next 5 years. I look forward to setting down some roots and getting an after retirement path set.

JAK
2004-09-24, 14:35
Here are my personal changes to Sgt Rocks list, better suited, I believe, to our cold/damp Maritime climate and the miserable lifestyle to which I have fondly grown accustomed.

3. sleeping pad - cheap blue pad - 8.0 - $7.99
3x. sleeping pad - cheap blue pad - 10.0 - $11.98
Slightly larger and left untrimmed

5. ground cloth - emergency space blanket - 2.0 - $3.99 -
5x. deleted

7. cord - Colored Mason Twine - 3.0 - $1.50 - Wal-Mart -
7x. cord - 2x3'x3/16" prestretch - 1.0 - $1.50 WestMarine
Very short as I typically tie two corners to tree branch

8. Stakes - 6 Aluminum gutter nails - 3.0 - $5.00 - Lowe's
8x. Stakes - 2 Aluminum gutter nails - 1.0 - $1.75 - Lowe's
Only 2 as I typically only stake two corners as lean-to

9. socks - nylon dress socks x 3 - 3.0 - $9.96 Wal-Mart
9x socks - nylon dress socks x 2 - 1.0 - $3.32 Wal-Mart
21. warm socks - Diadora Trekking Socks - 2.0 - $5.97
21x socks - wool/acrylic sock x 1 - 1.5 - $5.00 WalMart
21x socks - 80%wool dress sock x 1 - 2.0 $10.00 Sears
Need more wool socks up here than nylon.
Wool/acrylic are good for sleeping and OK for hiking.
You can still find 80% Wool Socks if you keep looking.

11. shorts - nylon swim trunks - 3.5 - $6.96 - Wal-Mart -
11x shorts - plaid flannel boxers - 2.0 oz - $5.00 Wal-Mart
Thin enough to dry quickly. Lonely enough to use as shorts.

23. stove - Soda Can Stove - 1.0 - Freebie
23x Kelly Kettle - 20.0oz $ 57.50 - Lee Valley Tools
Need to drink lots of hot beverages and hope to save money on fuel and trips to Tim Hortons.

27. iodine - Coolands Tablets - 1.0 - $4.99 - Wal-Mart
27x. Alta Mira Water Purification - 2.0 - $4.99 Wal-Mart
Now available at Walmart. ~12 month expiration date.

Everything else looks pretty good. I think I end up about $50 over and maybe 5oz overweight because of the Kelly Kettle, but I don't need a pot or fuel and I might pay for Kettle on first trip if I can drink that much coffee :)

Also have to throw in an old wool sweater and maybe an old pair of Stanfield Itchy Wool Underwear, complete with trap door in back. I'll call the sweater free because everyone up here seems to have an old wool sweater knit by an old girlfriend. Also, should be able to get the Long Johns pretty cheap second hand in not too bad a shape. The woolens will put me a a good 3 or 4 pounds overweight to start with, and another 1 or 2 once I work up a sweat and the fog rolls in, but at least I'll be warm. :)