Sleeping bag liners

05 Mar 2013 14:17 #56177 by Josh of the Bushveld
I'm curious to see how you guys keep your weight down.
How much does your Exped weigh?
I have a FA Ultra Lite (600g) and also a Klymit Inertia X-Frame Recon (275g, the mil-spec version).

To answer your question, I am worried about warmth (would like to try a winter 'berg hike at some point) but I'm also trying to balance against weight.

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05 Mar 2013 15:18 #56178 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Sleeping bag liners
The old question of how to save weight. There are lots of different theories, some are clever and work well, others can tend towards being dangerous...

A wise women once told me that if you are unsure as to whether or not you need to take something, you shouldn't take it. The only items you need to take even though they usually don't get used are things like painkillers or bandages in your first aid kit, space blankets and other emergency items. Basically, anything that would be life and death in an emergency always stays. Even on 10km day hikes.

Sometimes you can save weight through simple low tech solutions. E.g. I hike in long pants. Long pants are heavy, the it rains and they get wet and become even heavier. So, rather than taking waterproof outer pants I bought myself some First Ascent technical pants which dry really quickly, don't weigh much and somehow don't have holes in them despite the abuse they have taken. The easy low tech solution is just wear shorts when it rains, or outright hike in shorts.

Food is a big place to save weight. Stijn made an interesting point on gas stoves - why use one on an overnight hike in summer. Precooked food is nicer, weighs the same as uncooked food combined with a gas stove, but you don't have to put it back in your pack to carry it down afterward. Use foods that are higher in energy per 100g, e.g. Woolworths shortbread tastes amazing and has a higher energy concentration than most energy bars (it also costs roughly the same as a cheap tent :laugh: ). Nuts are also good, but don't take too many of these - I must have had over 500g of nuts left over after the Grand Traverse, and thats after giving lots of them to other people in the group, Basuthos etc.

Stay away from fresh fruit (other than maybe on the first hour of the hike). Dried fruit doesn't taste as nice, but has just as much energy, well, more per 100g.

Eat a big breakfast before you start a hike - I eat a full tin of chickpeas, high in energy and protein. Eggs and sausages also work really well. Take a chicken mayo sandwich or something similar to eat in the car park.

Also remember that there is nothing wrong with the "you carry a gas stove and I'll carry the pasta" approach. Certain items don't need to be carried by everyone.

Pack as much as possible into your pack, nothing goes on top, underneath or attached to the back (this also messes up your centre of gravity). Use a smaller pack so you don't have space for extra weight. I did the full Grand Traverse last year out of my 70 litre and had nothing attached to the outside of my pack.

Share a tent with someone else, carry half of the tent each. Make sure you get a light weight tent. My 2 man 360 Degree Cool Mountain weights 2.2kg and easily be squashed into my pack with everything else.

Don't worry about items that you can live without - you can't sleep in a down jacket anyway, if its too cold to sit around chatting, go to bed early and chat tomorrow morning, or move the discussion into a tent and sit in your sleeping bag. All you really need, even in the middle of winter, is the following:
- Sleeping Bag and mat
- Thermal inners
- 1 pair of pants and a shirt (that you are wearing at the start that is, not a change of clothes. If your clothes get wet you would need to hike in them anyway as wet clothes dry quickly when worn while hiking)
- A thermal fleece
- Some spare socks and underwear
- A light weight small towel
- A headlamp
- First aid kit
- Food
- Water
- Space blanket
- Some would argue a gas stove, but not necessarily
- Gloves
- a beanie/balaclava/buff
- A raincoat (never something to be left at home)

Also buy technical gear. A proper technical shirt can weight 200g or more less than a normal shirt. It will also dry faster, so if it gets wet you make a substantial weight saving. Don't underestimate the effect of cutting every 50g you can cut, it all adds up really quickly!

There is more you can do to cut weight, e.g. trekking poles move roughly 8kgs per pole off your legs onto your arms reducing fatigue in your legs. They also help on tricky bits of routes and add stability. They also help with river crossings. This is one that most people don't agree on, but I think they make a huge difference.

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

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05 Mar 2013 16:50 #56179 by plouw
Replied by plouw on topic Sleeping bag liners
Good list Ghaznavid, but leave the gas stove? :thumbsdown: Nothing to lift the spirit like a cup of hot coffee after a long day's hike. (ok, maybe whiskey)

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05 Mar 2013 17:09 #56180 by Captain
Replied by Captain on topic Sleeping bag liners
@ joshlewis: Not sure how much it weighs, I haven't weighed it yet (probably a few grams). It's very light though. The type of ripstop nylon I've used is normally used in the manufacture of parachute canopies - so it's really light, strong and highly compressible. Fully rolled up, it's the size of a toilet roll cardboard. I normally leave it packed inside my sleeping bag and it adds no bulk to the sleeping bag, so getting the sleeping bag into it's stuff sack is not a problem.

The idea of using 2 sleeping bags simultaneously is one that I've heard of before but I believe the Ice Breaker should handle the worst of South African conditions. Although I do not own 1 so I can't really comment on it.

As for weight saving tips, I have a few that have worked for me but again this is dependent on the time year, the region I'm hiking in and the type of accommodation i.e. cave, hut, tent or even a combination of all 3. I've gotten my average pack weight for a typical 3 day hike sleeping in caves down to 7.5kgs and if using a tent then that goes up around 11kgs. Longer hikes will obviously result in a heavier pack weight.

I only take what I need and have lightened my pack weight by reducing the weight of my backpack and by purchasing/making/using the lightest items I can source.

My gear list includes:

Backpack
Waterproof breathable jacket & pants
Spare Clothing, gloves & socks
Backpack liners for clothes & sleeping bag
Sleeping bag
Hiking mattress
Basic Medical Kit
Basic Survival Kit
1L Water bottle
5 litre bag with tap
Hiking stove & fuel
Lighter
Cookset
Mug, bowl, knife, multi-tool, Spork
Dish soap, sponge & drying cloth
Food Rations & snacks
LED head-lamp/small LED torch
Trowel & bog roll
Toiletries (toothbrush etc)
Small plastic bags for dirty clothes & rubbish
Map & compass
Hat
Beanie & Buff
Sunglasses
Paracord (20m)
Trekking poles

All in all, I try to use different gear for different applications. A typical 5 day trip though weighs in the region of 17kgs.

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05 Mar 2013 21:22 #56183 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Sleeping bag liners

plouw wrote: Good list Ghaznavid, but leave the gas stove? :thumbsdown: Nothing to lift the spirit like a cup of hot coffee after a long day's hike. (ok, maybe whiskey)


It really depends on the individual. I use a gas stove for 3 things - 2 minute noodles, soup and oats. I don't find any of those to be as uplifting as a good chicken burger, but maybe that's just me B)

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

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06 Mar 2013 09:53 #56184 by Josh of the Bushveld
Thanks for the tips guys.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) I already follow all those guidelines.
All my clothes are technical and of the highest quality I can afford (all FA or Cape Storm).

The only item which may be of lower quality is my tent - 360 Degrees Trek II.

Food-wise, I've done a lot of reading and experimenting. I use very lightweight food that needs a minimum of cooking, eg couscous, bulgur and pasta which can be soaked in boiled water (not cooked). I soak oats overnight for breakfast (need gas to heat up only). I compare all foods for calorific value (using the calories/100g as a measure), but also preferring unprocessed foods where possible (to decrease glycaemic load). Generally, I've found that the weight due to food in my pack is very low. Also, because the food doesn't require much cooking, I don't carry much gas (I use a CampingGaz system).

I also always do things like not taking a change of (hiking) clothes, sharing tents and cooking utensils/food.

On the Ship's Prow trip in October, I was one of the few hikers that had no items on the outside of my pack, besides my camp/water shoes, but I still had one of the heaviest packs on the trip.

I've just bought a Deuter 65+10 ACT Lite, which weights 1.8kg, as opposed to the ~3kg that most 75l packs cost.

Maybe I carry too much water, I use a 3l Nalgene bladder, and usually start the day with it full. (I do tend to drink a lot though, and I don't drink often enough if I have to dig a bottle out of my pack.)

Anyway, what I struggle with is I follow all these guidelines, but still seem to have a heavy pack!

I'm looking at my packing list now, and trying to reduce or find alternatives, eg
- for swimming, instead of carrying a separate swimming costume, just swim in my Falke hiking briefs
- Instead of carrying both a big, heavy Gore-tex rainjacket and a separate pack cover, carrying a poncho (which could also double as an emergency shelter) and a very small, lightweight cycling rain/wind jacket

I've also started weighing everything compulsively, so I can compare items, but also 'predict' how heavy my pack should be, based on what I'm packing. You can see my spreadsheet here (feel free to use it if you'd like).

@Captain, I'm very impressed that you can get a 3-day, cave hike pack down to 7.5kgs, but I'm also pleased and relieved to hear that typically your 5-day pack weighs 17kg.

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06 Mar 2013 10:40 #56185 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Sleeping bag liners
I also do the 3 litres of water thing - especially after running out of water on Organ Pipes Pass and Thlanyako Pass on the same 3 day hike. Hydration bladders move weight closer to you, thus improving your centre of gravity.

I don't recommend poncho's over raincoats - I have come across 2 different people who use them and they didn't work well for either of them. You need a good pack splashcover - a wet pack weighs more than a splashcover anyway. But maybe look at getting a lighter raincoat. Mine is about 500g, is breathable and works just fine - its the K-Way middle range jacket.

Next time you pack for a hike, do this: pack your bag, move everything you didn't pack away from your bag and empty your bag out. Then go through what you had packed and see how much you can leave behind.

On a 3 dayer with a tent and 3 litres of water I average around 15-18kg. On the grand traverse my pack hit 20kg at the first resupply on day 3 (with 6 days food and 3 litres of water). At the end it was about 12kg, partially because I ran out of water somewhere near Sentinel Cave.

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

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06 Mar 2013 10:49 #56186 by Josh of the Bushveld
I've used an X-Country Mountain jacket (bought for Kilimanjaro). Just weighed it, its 800g. (Surprisingly, it insulates better than expected, despite having no fleece or other insulation).

I've got a Deuter rain cover for my pack.
I wouldn't use a poncho on trails with potentially severe weather, eg in the berg, but for shorter summer trails I think I might prefer it. (The poncho covers the pack as well, not sure if it was clear).
I'll have a look at the K-Way jacket. (I have some CUM vouchers that need spending). (Out of interest, what's your opinion of K-Way technical clothes? I've traditionally stayed away from their clothes and gone for FA/Cape Storm, just worried about quality and fitness for purpose.)

I'm so glad to hear how heavy your pack usually is! :)

I'll follow your packing procedure next time.

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06 Mar 2013 11:13 #56187 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Sleeping bag liners
Oh - you're using a combo raincoat and fleece. That explains the weight! Just leave the fleece part at home.

The problem with a poncho is that they are too lose, so they move around on you, exposing bits of your pack to the rain (as well as not covering you properly). Summer is when you need a raincoat the most!

Summary of K-Way gear that I use or have used:
- Their technical shirts are really good. I have tried a First Ascent technical shirt and definitely prefer my K-Way
- Their thermal inners are really good
- They make good trekking poles
- They make great backpacks
- Their raincoats work well
- Their 3 layer gloves are amazing
- They make good sleeping bags, but they are often too heavy

- My K-Way Treklite III tent was terrible, but their replacement, the Nerolite, seems to be pretty good
- Their technical pants are horrific (although the do dry faster than the FA ones), really uncomfortable and your backpack ensures that they fall down all the time
- Their socks tend to wear out very quickly, but are good while they last

On the GT my pack was the lightest, I think the heaviest at the resuply hit 26kg!

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

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06 Mar 2013 11:25 #56188 by Josh of the Bushveld
I think you may have misread, my jacket has no fleece, or any other insulation.

I'm interested to hear your opinion of K-Way, I'll reconsider mine.

Do you know off-hand which model K-Way jacket you have?

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