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Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links
Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links


My equipment system changes every time I go hiking. Just like most of you, I learn something new to help reduce weight, make something work better, or find things that I really don't need in the first place. My goal as always is to make hiking and camping more enjoyable by remembering the following: 1) The more I carry, the more I enjoy camping. 2) The less I carry, the more I enjoy hiking.

Usually your gear is linked in a system. Many parts don't work correctly with a mismatched piece of gear:

Example 1: A large pot for family cooking wouldn't work well with a small one burner stove, and really isn't necessary for one person.

 Example2 : Your choice of sleeping pad is based on what type of bag your using, what your shelter is, and where you are going. If you plan on sleeping in warmer climates and on soft ground, then a quilt, 3/4 closed cell foam pad, and a tap will work fine. 

When working out your system, it sometimes helps to try multiple packing lists and see how much each weighs, and how the gear links together.

Example: I use a hammock, so I don't need a thick mattress - I need a reflector (5.1oz) and a foam pad (8oz) I don't need a tent because the hammock has a fly/tarp (27.0oz) and because I'm a cold sleeper I need a good bag like a down mummy or my down blanket (26.5oz). Total weight of shelter/sleeping system is 66.6oz. If I used a one man tent like a Kelty dart (40oz), I would need a ground cloth (6oz), a thicker pad (23oz), and the same sleeping bag or blanket (26.5oz). Total weight 95.5oz. By comparing the needs of each system it helps me decide how to go. Of course they each have their advantages and drawbacks besides weight. 

I try to include tested weights and pertinent facts that you can use in case you want to try some of the same gear, or to compare my gear to what you carry. Tested weights of my gear are only accurate down to about .1oz because of the scale I use.

Clothing Worn and Spare Clothing Have your clothing set up in a layering system, This allows you to leave stuff behind when your going into a specific weather area. Then you dress in layers. I divide my clothing into the following categories.
Rain Clothes
Spring/Fall Clothing
Winter Clothing
Stoves/Mess Gear Stoves, pots, mess gear, etc. This also includes food hanging, fuel bottles, water containers, water purification, and utensils.
Miscellaneous Gear Knives, first aid/repair kit, tape, clothing pins, zip locks, wallet, etc.
Luxury Items Items I don't need, but can be nice to have.
Hygiene Toothbrush, soap, toilet paper, towel, etc.
Navigation Gear Maps, compass, guide books, lights, etc
Tents/Shelter I have used a variety of shelters from bivies to tents, and everything in between. Currently I prefer using Tarp set ups and hammocks.
Backpacks Use the right size backpack for the type of hiking your doing can save you some weight. I prefer internal frames even after using both types. Lodestone Mountaineering backpacks are my favorite. Unfortunately they went out of business, so I don't what I'll do when mine wear out.
Sleeping Bags/Pads I have used everything from snowy ground, to the Cadillac of sleeping pads - the Thermarest. A good sleeping pad means a better night sleep and helps keep you warm based on how you sleep.