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Working on my backpacking load

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Working on my backpacking load

Postby RayMac1963 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:41 pm

I know its not prepping, its not survival gear, it not anywhere near any of that, BUT! I'm gonna have fun killing myself :D

I've decided if (thats a big if) my son decides he wants to do the boy scouts Philmont high adventure mountain hike, and our troop is lucky enough to win a spot (thats a bigger if), i'll sponsor him and go with him. knowing i have a year plus to get ready, i just started working on my light weight hike gear. My first purchases have been a light weight down sleeping bag, a self supporting hiking 4 season tent, and a new backpack. I took a class at REI the weekend before last to start to understand the whole thru-hiker thing. And i been buying and reading backpacker magazine since the spring.

The pack got here today. Its a Gregory Baltoro 75, and it is fantastic! its everything the guys at REI made it out to be, and more.

The tent is a Snugpac Scorpion 3. I got the 3 man because it will be my son and i and gear. it got here 2 weeks ago.

The sleeping bag is a Klymit KSB down 20. I'm really happy with it. its light, amazingly warm, and has funny stretch baffles that make it hug you.

Being that I'm not a thru-hiker, and other then a few overnight trail hikes with out troop where we went 10 to 12 miles, i'v never done anything like this 12 day hike, let alone cover this kind of milage, i wonder if any of you have done some of this. Michigan is flat like a pancake, and nothing like the mountains in that part of New Mexico. What things should i being to do to get my 55 year old (by then) body and mind ready.
I can't help but think God is up there right now saying "its time to shake the ol' Etch-A-Sketch and restart humanity again".



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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby Permafrost » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:38 pm

Lots of Aleve and scotch in a plastic bottle for the evenings.

I used to do a lot of backpacking, mostly in week or two week long trips. Do everything you can to keep the weight down, you will be surprised by how quickly it adds up. Even taking nothing but Mountain House and essential gear you will be loaded heavy. Invest in a MSR water filter that can screw onto Nalgene bottles, and get one of those 3 gal collapsible cubes. Fill the cube at night when you make camp with water and pump/filter out as needed, dump whatever is left over on your campfire. If you decide to use a stove, I recommend the Wisperlite International. It runs off everything from white gas to unleaded to chainsaw mix, and might come in handy at a later date. If using a stove also do burn rate tests before you leave so you have a accurate idea of how much fuel you will need to pack with you. Invest in a good light weight headlamp and skip the flashlights & lanterns, you will still have enough light to play cribbage in the evenings. If possible try out different hand saws and hatchets before you leave, that way you can take what works best for you.

And leave the crossbow at home, it is to heavy for this kind of trip. If you are planning on getting fresh meat along the way get a light weight fishing set-up specifically designed for backpacking or get a lightweight pellet pistol.

No matter what you do you will probably regret taking 1/2 the stuff you brought by the third day, and then be happy you brought it by around the 7th day. You will be surprised by what your body can quickly become used to and how much you are physically capable of when you put your mind to it.
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby Blondie » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:10 pm

RayMac1963 wrote: I'm gonna have fun killing myself :D

What things should i being to do to get my 55 year old (by then) body and mind ready.


it's simple:

Pay up your life insurance, kiss your wife goodbye and tell her she can remarry with your blessing. After all, you lost your mind, first before you died.
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby RayMac1963 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:25 pm

Its all on the scout ranch. They have set trek with food resupply every 3 days and water at the designated camp sites. This IS a Boy Scouts of America program activity, even thought it is classified a "high adventure" thing, its planned for 16 to 18 year olds.
I can't help but think God is up there right now saying "its time to shake the ol' Etch-A-Sketch and restart humanity again".



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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby Permafrost » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:33 pm

I'd still take as much scotch and Aleve as you can carry. Besides the kids will probably steal 1/2 your booze.

On a completely different topic, how much are you going to be into this trip for? Just curious because I have all this wilderness around me and I'm always looking for a way to make a buck & stay in the woods. I had never thought of established camp sites on a trail system for backpacking. Sounds nice, with picnic tables & wells & such. I'm sure BSA is taking care of the liability insurance so that cost would not be figured in, but I'm curious if a guy could make a buck doing trips like this.
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby RayMac1963 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:56 pm

I wish. If we could sit around the campfire with scotch one weekend a month, there would be twice as many Scout Masters.
I can't help but think God is up there right now saying "its time to shake the ol' Etch-A-Sketch and restart humanity again".



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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby Permafrost » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:02 pm

RayMac1963 wrote:I wish. If we could sit around the campfire with scotch one weekend a month, there would be twice as many Scout Masters.

That's exactly what the adults did when I was in scouts. It was not a problem as long as nobody got to tipsy. The adults smoked cigars and drank scotch after about 9 or 10 at night, they had a separate fire from the kids. Every once in a while someone would take some of their dads booze and sneak it over to the kids camp fire.
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby ajax727 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:34 am

So it is a 1/2 hike Ray so can handle it at 55 .
Take care of your feet good boots that fit and feel good .
A walking stick or staff lots of uses you can use it to clear the rattlers out of the way or kill a meal .
Load the backpack up with all you want to have on hand everything you can think you might need , put it on and walk for a few miles and see if you can handle the load . If it is just too heavy take out all the junk and keep only what you need .
Be sure to have room for a several bottles of linament .
To see things as they are not as they want you to see them .. With the stroke of a pen all you rights and freedom can end ...
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby DR1VENbyKNOWLEDGE » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:52 am

Break your boots in well in advance...Don't skimp out on the cost. Go big.....If your scouting once a month the cost is WELL justified. .Goes without saying really but thought I'd mention it.....You have 12 months before so if you want to make it a breeze start walking a couple times a week gradually increasing distances. make sure to do adventure hikes on your monthly trips with your son for any altitude acclimations.
Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy.
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If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe.
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby terrapin » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:31 am

Ray,
A lot of Philmont is pretty flat. But, that's probably not the area you will see much of.
Much of it is mountains. You need to consider the elevation. The air is thin.
If you are not in really good shape, the altitude can kick your butt.
In preparation, I recommend strenuous hikes, with a full pack.
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby Cast Iron » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:51 am

You will like the Sungpak tent. I have several of their products (Rocket Pak, sleeping bag, Bivi-tent). Very good stuff.

I highly recommend REI summer weight wool hiking socks. Sounds odd, but they breath very well, prevent blisters, and even if you have worn them for several days they do not smell as bad as cotton does.
I wear them here on the farm during the summer. I walk a lot.

Synthetic underware. Really. These: https://www.rei.com/product/891827/exof ... riefs-mens
I wore them in Afghanistan, I still wear them here around the farm.

Asolo boots are worth the cost.

As for prepping, work up to the hike. Wear the gear (boots, socks, pack) you will have out there, but for the first few hikes, do not load the pack all the way up. Add a little more weight with each hike, and make the hike a little longer. A month prior to the actual trip, be up to the full weight and do the expected longest day hike and if you can, add a few miles.

A friend recently did a thru-hike of the AT. In the beginning he thought ten miles a day was going to kill him. By the end, ten was a walk, twenty was the norm, and he even did a few twenty eights. His pack was about forty pounds.
Beware of the guy with only one Cast Iron pan . . . he likely knows how to use it.
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby rickdun » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:37 am

I won't comment on any gear as previous posts pretty well cover just about everything. Weight, keep the packs as light as possible without having to go without. Practice, practice and then practice somemore and that means with all your gear (weight).

My hats off to ya Ray, for an old man.
"EVERY DAY'S A HOLIDAY AND EVERY MEAL'S A FEAST, SEMPRI FI DO OR DIE"
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby RayMac1963 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:02 pm

Cast, i have one pair of those. they are amazing. I keep they are in my stuff sack. I need more but the price...WOW. They are on my add to list. The REI guys recommended the Gregory. They sized me and everything. its amazing. I had a full load in it this morning and it was great.
I can't help but think God is up there right now saying "its time to shake the ol' Etch-A-Sketch and restart humanity again".



My Blog---> http://urbanprepperdiary.blogspot.com
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby Cast Iron » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:02 pm

RayMac1963 wrote:Cast, i have one pair of those. they are amazing. I keep they are in my stuff sack. I need more but the price...WOW. They are on my add to list. The REI guys recommended the Gregory. They sized me and everything. its amazing. I had a full load in it this morning and it was great.


Agreed they are pricey.

However, mine are just now beginning to go (i.e. waist band, holes) . . . that is after a year in Afghanistan, and five years since.

Cotton would of given up the ghost long ago. Then there is the chafing, smell, etc.

Then again, my load out is three pairs of socks and underware: One pair I am wearing, one pair dirty, and one pair clean. Rotate accordingly. Wash with this on a regular basis: https://www.rei.com/product/833069/sea- ... h-85-fl-oz
Air dry.
When I was in Afghanistan, the country was in a drought. We were on water restriction. It was me, four 8oz bottles of water, that soap, and one of these for bathing and shaving: https://www.rei.com/product/758048/sea- ... nk-5-liter
Beware of the guy with only one Cast Iron pan . . . he likely knows how to use it.
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Re: Working on my backpacking load

Postby Stahlrosen » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:42 pm

water proof stuff sacks or compression sacks to keep things inside your pack dry and small. Dry, dry, dry! If the weather is bad you still want to be able to have dry stuff. We did a 5 day in Pisgah and it sleeted / snowed the entire time, except the last 1/2 day. In fact the one day there was a 20% chance of rain, and it stormed with 50mph winds for hours. Fortunately we had a bomb proof tent, and we stayed dry inside. One night we were able to find a small cave to get out of the weather some, and with the self standing tent inside it, we did fine. We packed in everything, had a blast, but OMG was it cold and wet.
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