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  1. #11
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Wow! I really want to go to Yellowstone. Too bad it's such a long way from across the pond where i'm at.
    I will go some day, though. It's higher on my list than seeing even Rome or Constantinople (Istanbul).
    Being a Roman Empire freak, I think that communicates fairly well how badly I want to go hiking there :P
    Whoa, there's some serious outdoorsy love going on there! I <3 Roman Empire stuff too, but I haven't actually gone touristing to get my Imperial Roman fix.

    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post


    I've only been to Yellowstone once, and it was before the big fire in... what what is... '88 or so? We went in October, which if you're staying in a lodge anyway, is the time to go. No crowds... anywhere. But I don't know if I'd want to try camping then . A friend and I are contemplating doing something like that for our 40th birthdays this summer. Perhaps not Yellowstone, but perhaps .
    That sounds exciting! I hope you have fun no matter where you go!

    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Wow! Sounds like an awesome trip! I hope to do that sometime.

    I've done solo and family trips in the backcountry/wilderness mountain areas in the Appalachians, but have never been out west.

    I could talk about backpacking, gear, and nature in general for hours, but I'll spare you the "talkative INTP" shock.

    To summarize gear: less is more. But, don't skimp on the basic essentials, which is everything you need to:

    Stay warm (or cool in intense heat)
    Get enough water without getting sick on contaminated water
    Get enough sleep to enjoy your trip and not get hurt from fatigue
    Enough food that you have the energy to enjoy the hike rather than survive it
    Gear and skills to make it back

    If you really enjoy yourself, omit that last one.
    I want to get into talkative INTP shock! Let's hear about it!

    I need to get a backpack (I have pretty much everything else, although it wouldn't hurt to upgrade some of my stuff). I'm thinking 60, 65 L. Does that sound about right? Are there any features on backpacks that you really like or don't like, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScorpioINTP View Post
    There used to be a good hiking guide on here.

    http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/06...e-wyoming.html

    But looks like the site has changed since I last visited...but search around...it looks a bit more commercial now than it was, but I thought there were hike reviews.
    Thanks for the link! I'll have to do some digging on that site!

    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    I wanna go!
    You should!

  2. #12
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExAstrisSpes View Post
    I want to get into talkative INTP shock! Let's hear about it!

    I need to get a backpack (I have pretty much everything else, although it wouldn't hurt to upgrade some of my stuff). I'm thinking 60, 65 L. Does that sound about right? Are there any features on backpacks that you really like or don't like, and why?
    You'll hear more. Waiting to get a backpack last is a good idea. Good job!

    That size sounds about right, but it's best to take all of your gear with you and try to pack it in the store if possible. With that size pack though, if something won't fit, you're probably better off not bringing it. I assume you'll be carrying a bear canister? What's your sleeping bag like? Make sure the pack can carry the bear canister comfortably. Some sleeping bags can take up lots of room.

    I like to go as minimal and as light as possible gear-wise. For 3 season (non-winter), I use a 46 L (2800 ci) frameless pack without a hip belt or sternum strap. It's basically a nylon bag with shoulder straps and three outside mesh pockets. I use my inflatable sleeping pad folded up as a frame and back padding. Something like this only works for carrying total loads of 20 lbs or less. It also has all of the normal pack stuff (hip belt, sternum strap, frame, backpad) which I put back on for loads of 20-30 lbs.



    If you want, post your gear list here or send by PM, and I'll try to think of some suggestions. Others might have some good ones too.

  3. #13
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    Yes, I'll need a bear canister. I'll pretty much need one if I do any extensive backpacking in my area, anyway. I'm assuming I'll be with only one other person most of the time (or rather, only have to worry about me and one other person). We haven't figured out who is going to carry the bear canister yet.

    I have a mummy bag from ages ago; I'm not sure what it's rated but it was much too warm for me to use camping in Kernville last August. It will probably be OK for Yellowstone in June. I plan to get a silk liner to use for warm nights or for insulation on cold nights (not to mention protecting the bag). I also have a sleeping pad, but it's heavy and will probably upgrade to a Thermarest Prolite.

    I like the idea of having a separate sleeping bag compartment, although I'm not sure why. I've seen some bags which have a zippered divider so you don't have to commit to the separate compartment though.

    I have a one-person three-weather tent that looks similar to this one. I'm not sure how it compares to weight. Although, when I go backpacking I plan to share a 2-person tent, probably the REI Quarter Dome 2.

    I have one of those aluminum (or stainless steel - not sure) mess/cooking kits, as well as a backpacking stove and fuel canister.

    I pack light for a girl and would probably only bring 2-3 days worth of clothes (washing them as necessary). Obviously I have a "possibles" bag with a fire starter, first aid kit, whistle & mirror, etc.

    I also plan on bringing a camera and binoculars.

    That is a good point about bringing your gear to the store when trying on backpacks. I know REI will let you do that, although they also have sand bags they can load the packs with. Also in terms of the backpack, I plan on doing a lot of weekend-length trips with it as well, so it's not going to be a one-time-use kind of item. While I like the idea of bringing a smaller bag, I'm not sure it's something I can pull off with the bear canister.

  4. #14
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    The pack I described above is a Gossamer Gear Gorilla. It can carry a bear canister under the top strap, although I've never tried it.

    The mummy bag sounds good, and the Prolite would be great. A trash compactor liner bag is more waterproof than a stuff sack because it can be sealed completely by twisting. I have a torso-length Prolite, and I put my pack under my legs/feet for padding. I also have a torso-length Thermarest Ridgerest (foam pad roll). It's just as comfortable for me, but is bulky and usually has to be on the outside getting scraped up by branches. I slide less on it. I do enjoy the simplicity of it. I usually can't decide which one to take.

    Both of those tents seem fairly nice. You might consider just an 8x10 silnylon tarp, but that takes some "art" to pitch, and even I don't usually enjoy that after a full day of hiking. If you're up high enough or in the open with breezes, bugs aren't likely to be an issue. Many seem to like the Tarptent Double Rainbow if you're shopping for a new 2 person tent.

    You really only need the big mess kit pot. I mostly just rehydrate food in a freezer bag to avoid even washing the pot. A 2 cup Ziploc bowl makes a great lightweight drinking mug.

    One option is to not bring any extra clothes except for an extra pair of socks. Just washing the other pair in plain water is usually good enough.

    Just some thoughts on ways to make things simpler and carry less.

  5. #15
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    I've never set up a tarp to sleep under. I'm not "ultralight" by any means at this point!

    Do you usually just get the freeze dried meals? Or do you bring/make your own meals? I found an awesome recipe for a curry chicken pita wrap that looks delicious. Not sure about ranch dressing though.

    Do you wear boots or are you more of the trail running shoes type? I've heard interesting perspectives from both camps.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention. The Yellowstone information page mentioned ticks in the spring/early summer. Is that something I really need to worry about? Is DEET the best kind of bug spray out there for that?

  6. #16
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExAstrisSpes View Post
    You should!
    Screw it, I think I am.

  7. #17
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    I do a little of both for meals. The freeze dried stuff is expensive and not as healthy (salt/lower quality ingredients) or tasty, but it's easy to plan, pack, and prepare it. I take other very simple stuff like tuna and salmon pouches, quick-cooking rice, pita bread, Idahoan potato mix, instant oatmeal, peanut butter, jerky, and nuts. Salmon on crackers or a sweet & spicy tuna packet emptied into a pita are great nearly-fresh options. That curry chicken pita wrap does sound good, except maybe with chipotle ranch dressing or something like that.

    I have a pair of heavy Salomon GoreTex leather boots which I never wear. They're too hot in summer, not warm enough for winter, and they're clumsy all of the time. I wear trail runners or hiking shoes (slightly beefed up trail runners). I also just started using a pair of Rocky GoreTex socks for winter, and will probably use them when the temps are below 50 or 60F anytime my feet will get wet. They're great because they can make any footwear waterproof, and if they leak, it's easier to find and repair the leak than with GoreTex inside the shoe. I would like to use FiveFingers, but don't quite like the separate toes idea. Some have broken toes on rocks that way. I read that many shoe manufacturers are coming out with more minimalist footwear this year--like FiveFingers, except without the toes.

    You know your ankles best though. I don't think I've ever had a sprain I couldn't just walk off, but I'm also good at falling down to prevent a sprain. There are light and breathable boots out there too.

    When it's above 60F, I generally just wear thin nylon dress socks or polyester hiking socks. Injinji toe socks are great for preventing blisters between toes.

    I worry about ticks quite a bit. Lyme disease is more prevalent in my area than yours though, and there are other tick-borne diseases. Lyme disease, and probably most others, aren't transmitted if the tick is removed within in 24 hrs or so. Do a thorough body check at the end of the day--a small unbreakable acrylic mirror can be helpful for this. (Nothing fancy: just pull out the tick with tweezers, trying to get the mouth.) The best defense is to treat your clothing with permethrin insecticide before the trip. It must be dry, and cannot be applied to skin. Repel Permanone is widely available, but a big spray bottle of Sawyer brand is probably the best deal. It works agains other bugs too of course, and it's nice to not have to apply as much repellent. DEET and other repellents are only slightly effective. If you can wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, that's best, but not always practical in warmer weather. I've been using picaridin instead of the more toxic DEET, but I'm not sure how effective it is against ticks.

    Consider taking bear spray since you'll be in grizzly country, but many go there without it and never have any problems.

  8. #18
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Aw man now I wanna go too...!
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  9. #19
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    I assume tick bites are pretty noticeable?

    Gromit, you should just do it!

  10. #20
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExAstrisSpes View Post
    I assume tick bites are pretty noticeable?
    Sometimes. They're often easier to feel than see, but then visual id is needed to determine that it's not just another skin bump of some type. Once they've fed for a while though, they're really obvious.

    Another thought: Much of the approach to reducing pack weight comes from small inexpensive changes. One example is using a 1 liter Platypus bottle which weighs 0.9 oz, or a plastic soda, water, or Gatorade bottle with a similar low weight, instead of a Nalgene which weighs 6-8 oz. Another is repackaging things like repellent or sunscreen into small dropper bottles with just enough for the trip instead of bringing the entire bottle. It can be fun to see how much weight you can cut. Start by weighing everything on a digital postal or food scale, and make a spreadsheet of the items and weights. Despite what it seems, it's not about gadgety, compulsive fiddling about details. It actually translates to more fun and less soreness on the trail.

    There's obviously a balance though. If you're only hiking a few miles, and the highlight of the trip is cooking awesome meals, relaxing in a remote, comfortable base camp, or enjoying a bottle of wine every evening, then cutting out those items would make the trip less fun. On the other hand, cutting weight on other gear could allow more of the luxuries to be packed.

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