Doing a fast Grand Traverse

24 Jun 2014 14:56 - 24 Jun 2014 14:57 #61148 by Sabine
Replied by Sabine on topic Doing a fast Grand Traverse
Hi Grandeur,
that will be quite an achievement, doing the GT in 5-6 days. You have only spoken about your sleeping bag, maybe there are other items that can be cut or reduced/swopped? eg. backpack, sharing tent and gas...

Would you like to post a breakdown of your gear plus food, etc with relevant weights? Then I can see where you could save some weight.

Sleeping bag is vital to be warm, not sure how you do in the cold, but I wouldn't skimp there!
Last edit: 24 Jun 2014 14:57 by Sabine.

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24 Jun 2014 15:17 #61149 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Doing a fast Grand Traverse
May I ask why you are taking a sleeping bag and a down jacket and a fleece? I suggest taking the rain gear and the fleece (this is what you will WALK in) and then the warmest sleeping bag you are willing to carry. Leave down jackets and fleece at home on the logic that you are either moving or can get into a sleeping bag.

I would pack in a GPS as well in case of mist.

I would also take out the 3l water bladder which is really heavy and carry a smaller bottle. Bottle is easier to fill and weighs less. Also, because it is smaller, you will not fall into trap of overfilling the bladder and lugging 3l of water up a hill when you do not need to. For the one or 2 short sections where you want more water, put a bit into the wine bag.

Also, consider bivvy bags instead of a tent, epsecially if you can pace yourself to be near a cave for most nights

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24 Jun 2014 15:23 #61150 by Grandeur
Mods - perhaps this needs to be merged with the ultralight forum post?

Thanks Sabine - Ultimate of the ultralight :thumbsup: . My backpack bag shopping was covered in a different post a couple of weeks back.

Yes we do realise what we have got ourselves into and we do know that we need to average over 35km/day in order to finish in time.
This ultralight thing has kind of got me hooked so I would be glad to pick up any tips from you. I am used to taking a +-28kg backpack on a 5 day photography trip so this will feel like a run :P

My detailed gear list is a few posts before as an attachment but it is basically (I have weighed everything on a digital scale accurate to within 1g):

Osprey Kestel 48L - 1580g
FA Ice Breaker - 1654g
Inflatable mattress - 400g
3L water bladder - 337g
Beanie and gloves - 231g
Dry layer for a night (socks, thermal pants, thermal top) - 452g
Waterproof jacket and pants - 803g (evenly split: 401 top and 402 pants)
Poncho - 103g
Fleece top and light down jacket - 460g
Jetboil stove - 480g
Full gas - 200g
Bowl and spork - 89g
1st Aid, toiletries and towel - 344g
BD Headlamp - 92g
Sunblock - 100g
Penknife, space blanket, plastic bags - 178g
Satellite phone - 375g
iPhone - 127g
Small camera - 400g

Then food is where I need to experiment a bit before I go but it will probably be a high fat content diet averaging at about 750-800g per day. Yes I know this is on the low side but I'm confident I can get it to work.

No tent - caves only.
Sharing gas stoves is the idea.
GPS (someone else is taking theirs)

We will be hiking in trail shoes / trail running shoes and not hiking boots.

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24 Jun 2014 15:30 #61151 by Grandeur
Not bad suggestions Andrew
I will take them into account.

We will be taking a GPS - this is as important as a sleeping bag I guess!

Water bottle vs bladder - I have normally used water bottles and find them a pain. My last trip I used the bladder and it was such a pleasure but point taken and if I need to trim some more weight off then I will drop the bladder for a couple small bottles.

We aren't taking any tents / bivvy's and will be aiming for caves exclusively. I know this is a risky strategy but we will be watching the weather carefully in the weeks and days building up to the planned GT.

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24 Jun 2014 16:01 #61152 by Sabine
Replied by Sabine on topic Doing a fast Grand Traverse
PC crashed and I have to start all over again!! grrr

I have an ULA Ohm 50l backpack weighing ......600g!! you're welcome to check it out and even use it. it does however, not have a frame. Pm me soon as I leave for France on Thursday to hike the HRP. (with a different pack though) Live in Johburg.

Water bladder too heavy... try water bottles or if you have to have a bladder, look for lighter ones, and maybe 2l.

Waterproof jacket and pants - 800g - way too heavy! I used a K-way simple rain jacket for my recent GT weighing about 250g and was perfect. Rain pants, look at First Ascent dry lite pants, weigh 225g

If you have rain gear, why are you taking a poncho as well?

my 2c worth....

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24 Jun 2014 16:08 #61153 by Smurfatefrog

Grandeur wrote: Then food is where I need to experiment a bit before I go but it will probably be a high fat content diet averaging at about 750-800g per day. Yes I know this is on the low side but I'm confident I can get it to work.

Are you saying its low for a high fat diet?

I'd usually get under 500g a day like this:
Oats so easy 57
Peanuts & Raisins 50
Coffee 19

Provitas x 6 24
Chocolate 60
Peanuts & Raisins 50

Tuna 91
Soup 23
Rehidrat 17
Noodles / Pasta 100


Rain pants, I have a pair of K-Way at just under 250g

Maybe also look to share stuff like sunscreen, first aid items and a knife

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24 Jun 2014 16:17 #61154 by ghaznavid
I usually only take waterproof pants if I am expecting wet long grass along the way. I just use quick drying pants from Mr Price costing a grand total of R200. When I did a GT I didn't take any waterproof pants - and even with spending 2 days in the snow, I didn't regret it.

Re food - check out Woolworths bars by the exit of the shops. About R10 for a 55g bar, and some of them are really nice. Most average around 2000kJ per 100g.

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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24 Jun 2014 16:19 #61155 by Grandeur

Sabine wrote: PC crashed and I have to start all over again!! grrr....

Shhhhhhh - PC crashing and month end shouldn't be so close to each other :ohmy:

Thanks for the kind offer. I will do some research and let you know if I need it. Thanks again!

I was hoping to find a lighter pair of rain pants. In fact I have a note next to that item on my Excel list to look for a lighter pair. I will try source the FA ones you mentioned.

Rain gear and poncho - lets call that a fuzzy brain from having flu. Scratch poncho from the list. Good point.

Thanks again.

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24 Jun 2014 16:27 #61156 by Grandeur

Smurfatefrog wrote:

Grandeur wrote: Then food is where I need to experiment a bit before I go but it will probably be a high fat content diet averaging at about 750-800g per day. Yes I know this is on the low side but I'm confident I can get it to work.

Are you saying its low for a high fat diet?

No I'm saying it is low considering we need to get about 5000 - 6000 calories a day as we will be covering over 35km per day.

I haven't done the calculations on your sample menu but I am guessing it is falling way below the calorie requirements of a long hike like a GT.
Most websites seem to be suggesting an average of 1 kilo of food per day. eg www.backpackingnorth.com/ultralight-makeover-pay-attention-to-the-menu/

@Ghaz - yes I intend to have a few of those bars to snack on throughout the day.

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24 Jun 2014 16:31 #61157 by JonWells
I'm sure you could shave off 200g by opting for a foam mat rather than an inflatable.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Grandeur

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