Cyber Shakedown pl0x
Obligatory gear list time. Since deciding to set out on this long journey a few months ago, equipment decisions have been a slow deliberate process. I wanted to find that delicate balance between ultralight hammock with a tarp guy, and 70 pound pack glamper.
I know probably a third of this gear will change. Shipping stuff home, and acquiring things I never knew I needed is a natural part of this long hike. Going into every little specific thing is not something I wanted to do, but just go over the broad strokes.
Rule 1: Try to not get your purchases validated by an online audience. I am guilty of it myself by asking the forums about “How about this pack I bought?” and getting such constructive feedback as:
“Yea, that pack will work……if your gay.” and “Too heavy, and too expensive. I just carried all my gear in a garbage bag, and didn’t even need a pack cover.”
“Hike your own hike” as the saying goes, so I wanted to prioritize certain things and don’t mind carrying that weight.
My goal from the get-go was to get a weight of 30 lbs. I would like this to include food and water, but since those will vary so much, it might push me over my goal.
You should never be frugal on things that separate you from the ground. In terms of backpacking, that means your shoes and sleep system.
I never wanted to dread going to sleep at night, so trying these out were essential. REI is so damn cool about letting you try out the gear in store. Feeling the proportions of your tent and how your body fits in it will make you a happy camper(ha ha ha, yuck…)
I most certainly wanted a freestanding tent for the convenience of being able to pick it up and move it easily. I have seen some great lightweight tents that use your trekking poles and various stakes, but one wrong move or unusually strong gust, and you are caught in a tarp-like fishnet regretting your decision.
This tent accommodates my sleep style as well. #StomachSleepersUnite
Being so lightweight is what led me to this bag. Coming in at a little over a pound, and rated down to 29 degrees is what hopefully will keep my comfortable. I am fully expecting to roast like a turkey in those Virginia summers, but sleeping on top of it will be my go-to move.
This is the only pad that I tried, that did not feel like I was entrusting my first line of ground defense to a yoga mat. It is a little heavier that I would have thought, but laying my sleeping bag on top of this actually feels like there is a separation from the ground.
Now I know you all want a detailed description of my underwear and sock choices, but here is just a broad photo for you to decipher.
It shall all be packed in this waterproof compression sack, that can be tossed into my tent after I set it up. To my surprise, this is the heaviest item in my pack. 8.74 pounds is what my non-worn cloths add up to.
Good ol’ trusty JetBoil. Seems like the simplest way to boil water with all components packing within the unit itself.
Titanium cup and long spoon for you know….Cupping and Spooning foods.
Still experimenting with kinds of food I like and how to efficiently pack it into a dry bear bag. Muscle milk powder works great in oatmeal or just mixed in some water for dealing with morning hunger.
iPhone 5S: To post my writings here.
Anker battery bank: Will change my phone 6 full times, so most certainly worth it.
Dream List: My DSLR. The weight might be a deal breaker, but it will take exponentially better pictures than my iPhone. If National Geographic photographers can take their cameras into the most inhospitable regions on earth, I might be able to make this work.
I made a video that I decided not to post here because my plans changed. I thought this big red Outdoor Research kit would be too big, but all of my personal hygiene and water system fits perfectly inside. I wish to be that guy who can make do with a ziplock bag full of bandaids and ibuprofen, but at some point along this 5 month journey, I will need nail clippers and floss.
Knife of the boot variety
Paracord of the bear avoiding variety
AWOL Guidebook – pretty self-explanatory
Headlamp – This thing could light up the moon.
What all this goodness will be stuffed into. Mountain Hardwear is a company that I admire and respect. Have you tried on the Ghost Whisperer jacket? Boy, could I use one of those. Hint, Hint somebody who could make that happen.. But back to The South Col™ 70 OutDry Backpack,that claims to be waterproof in the main compartment which kept drawing me back to it. This holds all my gear perfectly without all the outside pockets and accessories. Lots of gear loops to take advantage of with carabiners and a removable top pocket that could be used as a fanny pack when businesses won’t allow your full pack.
Here is my lighter pack link, for a more detailed breakdown.
Some of the things with 0 weight are hard to calculate. No scale in my house and don’t really want to invest in one. Showing up at the post office asking them to weigh my boot knife doesn’t seem feasible either.
See you on the trail.
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