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Ultralite pack in the desert: Way/No way?

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Offline Lynn

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definitely getting the umbrella
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2007, 06:49:12 PM »
I have had the Jardine book for years, one of those "I wish I lived in your world" tomes, and, dryer, it seems like you do.   Good words: it is a process.  Five-pound pack to, what? 28 ounces?   Socks and sun pants for straps?  Can't wait.  The light backpacking website you gave (I've cruised it) will be of great help.  

Still, encouraged as I am now, I feel there is indeed a lack nationwide of adequate ultralite desert camping information in general.  I've checked the other guys, the John Annerino guys, the ever-great Craig Childs.  Am I wrong?  (dryer, could this be your niche, your tome?) Who else is there? (I await the caching pamphlet for Big Bend. Including the Dead Horse Mountains.  eh, Wild West Guy? )

We once met a fellow at Laguna Springs who was carrying 80 pounds.  I cannot, literally, be that guy.

By the by, anybody regularly use the coke-can/ cat-food can alcohol stove?  Scares me, but I am willing to try.

[And, hey, Roy--thanks for your response.  Long time. . . .]

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Offline RichardM

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Re: definitely getting the umbrella
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2007, 09:14:43 PM »
Quote from: "Lynn"
By the by, anybody regularly use the coke-can/ cat-food can alcohol stove?  Scares me, but I am willing to try.

Did you see this one over in this trip report?  The pyro in me would really enjoy fiddling around with these, but my wife wouldn't let me get it anywhere near the house.  :oops:

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Offline Big Bender

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Ultralite pack in the desert: Way/No way?
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2007, 12:08:57 AM »
No, I haven't build one but I have a brass one that I used to carry in my pack when I was caving.  IT worked well to brew up a hot cup of tea in a cold cave when you're a long way from home.

When I went on a couple of trips into Lechagilla Cave in Carlsbad Caverns NP, we used to carry packs in the 15 to 19 pound range for a 72 hour stay in the cave.  This would include batteries, vertical caving gear, sleeping pad, light weight blanket, food, ropes, helmet, boots, knee pads, lightweight cook stove, survey gear, food, etc.  You wanted something very small and lightweight as there was a lot of climbing, crawling, rappelling and ascending to do.  The cave is relativley warm so you sweet like a pig.  There were a few places in the cave where you can get water and you didn't have to carry a tent or rain gear as it's constant temp and you know it isn't going to rain.  Did I also say that anything that you took in, you took out with you.  That includes all body wastes.  Nothing better than a bottle of liquid with a nice foam head on it.  You were real careful about what you opened up and drank from.  Just because it looks like gatorate or beer doesn't mean it is.   Also, most people ended up carrying out a cave burrito or at least something that looked like a burrito but smelled much worse.

The cave is over 110 miles of mapped passage and is over 1,500 feet deep with only one entrance.  It is a 3D maze.

The cavers have carried the lighweight equipment to an extreme, however, there is very little written on it.

Geary
What doesn't kill you usually hurts like hell

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Offline mule ears

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Ultralite pack in the desert: Way/No way?
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2007, 06:57:13 AM »
Lynn there is more information out there than one might think.  backpacking.net is a good site as well as the yahoo lightweight backpacking forum.  My favorite is backpackinglight.co m  parts of it are a pay site, to view certain articles, but the forums are open to anyone and many of the contributors are from the desert southwest including the just departed editor.

Some folks consider Ray Jardine to be a bit off the beam but he has some solid principles.  A more pratical/science based book is Lightweight Backpacking and Camping by Ryan Jordan.  There is also some of the books by Chris Townsend including his book on hiking the Arizona trail.  Finally while not particularly about lightweight matters is The Ultimate Desert Handbook by Mark Johnson

There are places in Big Bend and others where you just can't do caches and have to carry up to three days worth of water like the Deadhorse Mountains or the Mesa de Anguila, if a dry year, but having as light a pack as possible will allow you to make it happen.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Ultralite pack in the desert: Way/No way?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2007, 11:50:12 AM »
Part of going light weight is learning to do without. In winter I skip the tent in the Bend (unless rain/snow is forecasted). No bugs or nocturnal reptiles to worry about. I carry a small tarp I can throw over myself if it were to rain. I also skip the stove and carry foods that don't need to be cooked or can be reconstituted cold. Skipping the tent and cook kit tranlates into an extra gallon of water I can carry without changing my pack weight. That being said, my pack weight for a 4 day solo trip carrying my water translates to about 55 lbs.

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Offline dryer

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Re: definitely getting the umbrella
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2007, 10:59:22 PM »
Quote from: "Lynn"

By the by, anybody regularly use the coke-can/ cat-food can alcohol stove?  Scares me, but I am willing to try.

[And, hey, Roy--thanks for your response.  Long time. . . .]


Lynn, go back to that website, www.backpacking.net, then go to the "make your own gear" department, scroll down to "stoves" then to "Altoids" stove.  That's my design.  I've tried most of the homemade  alcohol stoves and  that one works best for me.
http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html
I'm a moderator on that site by the way, so if you have any questions, fire away!

As of the last few years, I don't much carry stoves in the back country anymore.  Instead, I use 'cook fires' which are simply tiny little fires (the diameter of your pot base) that if done right , leave no trace.  In BiBe, you can't legally burn deadfall, so alcohol or Esbit tabs will do the cooking, if I cook at all....many trips won't involve fire.   Esbit, by far, is more effiecient.   Other places, cook fires rule and eliminate yet more ounces from the pack.   I've been hiking Big Bend twice a year since 1974, so desert hiking, at least there, has become quite comfy.
KD5IVP, Texas

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Ultralite pack in the desert: Way/No way?
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2007, 07:15:20 AM »
I just can't live without luxury items and old favorites in the backcountry so my pack is usually over 50#.  But I carry a sturdy frame-pack with a comfortable hip belt and (unloaded) weigh "well over" 200# myself so it's different than a 130# woman carrying a 50# pack.
Some of the heavy items I refuse to leave behind are:
- Books to read before darkness falls (in alpenglow) or if caught and pinned down for a few hours by bad weather.  
- "First Need" water filter - heavy but worth it.
- Ancient Optimus 1-2-3 white gas stove (all metal very heavy but very durable).   As far as I can tell this was Optimus' first-generation backpacking stove from the 1970's.   With fuel bottle of course.
- Eureka 2-person tent, groundcloth, sleeping bag, etc..   I get the creeps being "exposed" without a tent and feel like I am going to wake up with my neck crushed in a lion's jaws or with a bite on the face by something stingy or venomous.   Besides it might rain or be really windy.

You might not be able to carry a 50# pack because of your lighter body weight, knee problems, etc.. but that's what hiking companions are for!   A favorite trail game is to try to sneak some rock or small metal object into your companions pack so they carry it around all day and never know it.   TWWG

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Offline Lynn

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the Altoids stove
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2007, 09:47:10 PM »
dryer, TWWG, Mule Ears, et. al.--

The Altoids tin stove is amazing (went to the site--); I also get the base heat idea.

Thanks for the book titles.   Always the books.

I now have my answer to the desert lite quandary.  I figure I want to carry 24 lbs. o' water and nine pounds of everything else.  Not crazy.  I see the answer is Way.

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Offline Lynn

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Oy! just one last thing--
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2007, 10:11:56 PM »
dryer, one last thing--

Did you mean that the Altoids stove was literally your own design?

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Offline dryer

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Re: Oy! just one last thing--
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2007, 11:36:40 PM »
Quote from: "Lynn"
dryer, one last thing--

Did you mean that the Altoids stove was literally your own design?


Yes.  I developed and posted the idea.  That's my stove/pot you see boiling water in the pictures.    "Dryer Altoids Stove" is the title of the article.
KD5IVP, Texas

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Offline lighter fluid

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Re: definitely getting the umbrella
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2007, 06:51:01 AM »
Quote from: "dryer"
Quote from: "Lynn"

By the by, anybody regularly use the coke-can/ cat-food can alcohol stove?  Scares me, but I am willing to try.

[And, hey, Roy--thanks for your response.  Long time. . . .]


Lynn, go back to that website, www.backpacking.net, then go to the "make your own gear" department, scroll down to "stoves" then to "Altoids" stove.  That's my design.  I've tried most of the homemade  alcohol stoves and  that one works best for me.
http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html
I'm a moderator on that site by the way, so if you have any questions, fire away!

As of the last few years, I don't much carry stoves in the back country anymore.  Instead, I use 'cook fires' which are simply tiny little fires (the diameter of your pot base) that if done right , leave no trace.  In BiBe, you can't legally burn deadfall, so alcohol or Esbit tabs will do the cooking, if I cook at all....many trips won't involve fire.   Esbit, by far, is more effiecient.   Other places, cook fires rule and eliminate yet more ounces from the pack.   I've been hiking Big Bend twice a year since 1974, so desert hiking, at least there, has become quite comfy.


Dryer,
Nice altoid tin stove design. Very different from mine that Richard provided the link to. I like that you have created the hybrid of the Esbit stand while using Alcohol fuel in the tin. I am intrigued by the use of perlite. Does the perlite expand considerably during the burn process?
Can I assume you are using the screen to not only contain the perlite but to help supply an even flame across the burner as to avoid any hotspots?
Great design! I am going to have to try it.  :D
"...There is a pessimism about land which, after it has been with you a long time, becomes merely factual. Men increase; country suffers. " John Graves 'Goodbye to a River'

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Offline lighter fluid

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Ultralite pack in the desert: Way/No way?
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2007, 07:11:14 AM »
Quote from: dryer
Visit this website for tons of ultralight backpacking clues:
www.backpacking.net
Go to "community" and surf the forums.  You'll learn techniques on how to shed pack pounds and hike more efficiently.

Lightweight packs....I use a GPV 4 by Gossamer Gear.  It has no frame or pads in the shoulders or hip belt.  Weighs 13 oz.  Your foam pad becomes your frame and your spare socks/clothing becomes your strap pads.  For 1-3 nighters I use a GoLite Day pack.  Again, well under a pound and just big enough.  I'm wearing the GPV 4 in the avatar pic to the left......

I will second the Gossamer Gear packs. I use a Mariposa Plus regularly.
Weighs in at around 20oz. That includes the carbon fiber stays that help a lot with rigidity and load transfer. It is a durable pack and is made for a bit more bushwacking than other Gosamer packs as 70 denier silnylon is used for the most part as opposed to spinnaker fabric. The shoulder straps are the widest I have seen and I find this very beneficial in distributing the weight across a wider swath of my shoulders and thus leaving me with less strain and fatigue. It is a very durable pack that will carry 30lbs comfortably when packed and used properly.

I recently ran it through some tests at Caprock Canyon, loading it with far more gear than usual and was thoroughly impressed.

http://www.thehikersforum.com/trip/view_trip.php?tripid=244&mode=view

There are also pics of the Mariposa Plus in use and Davy Crockett NF in this album:

http://www.thehikersforum.com/trip/view_trip.php?tripid=243&mode=view

As for my altoid stove that you saw in this link http://www.thehikersforum.com/gallery/image_comment.php?galid=1100%20&%20mode=view

and this one as well : http://www.thehikersforum.com/gallery/image_comment.php?galid=1085%20&%20mode=view
 
I am one of the owners and the moderators of
www.thehikersforum. com
If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email or PM me.

I hope this helps. Good luck Lynn  :cool:
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 12:30:21 AM by lighter fluid »
"...There is a pessimism about land which, after it has been with you a long time, becomes merely factual. Men increase; country suffers. " John Graves 'Goodbye to a River'

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Offline dryer

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Re: definitely getting the umbrella
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2007, 10:04:43 PM »
Quote from: "lighter fluid"
Quote from: "dryer"
Quote from: "Lynn"

By the by, anybody regularly use the coke-can/ cat-food can alcohol stove?  Scares me, but I am willing to try.

[And, hey, Roy--thanks for your response.  Long time. . . .]


Lynn, go back to that website, www.backpacking.net, then go to the "make your own gear" department, scroll down to "stoves" then to "Altoids" stove.  That's my design.  I've tried most of the homemade  alcohol stoves and  that one works best for me.
http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html
I'm a moderator on that site by the way, so if you have any questions, fire away!

As of the last few years, I don't much carry stoves in the back country anymore.  Instead, I use 'cook fires' which are simply tiny little fires (the diameter of your pot base) that if done right , leave no trace.  In BiBe, you can't legally burn deadfall, so alcohol or Esbit tabs will do the cooking, if I cook at all....many trips won't involve fire.   Esbit, by far, is more effiecient.   Other places, cook fires rule and eliminate yet more ounces from the pack.   I've been hiking Big Bend twice a year since 1974, so desert hiking, at least there, has become quite comfy.


Dryer,
Nice altoid tin stove design. Very different from mine that Richard provided the link to. I like that you have created the hybrid of the Esbit stand while using Alcohol fuel in the tin. I am intrigued by the use of perlite. Does the perlite expand considerably during the burn process?
Can I assume you are using the screen to not only contain the perlite but to help supply an even flame across the burner as to avoid any hotspots?
Great design! I am going to have to try it.  :D


The perlite is basically foamed glass.  It does nothing more than 1) wick the alcohol to the top and 2) get hot and help vaporize the fuel.   It doesn't swell at all.  I've also used 'rock wool' with pretty good results but perlite won over all.  
The screen keeps the perlite in place and yes, evens out the flame a bit.
I sometimes use it in an esbit frame and sometimes use it with three rocks or tarp stakes as pot supports.  If you're CAREFUL...you can squirt alcohol into the stove while it's lit for as long a burn time as you have fuel.   Nose spray bottles with the internal tube removed make great squirters.
KD5IVP, Texas

 


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