"Planet friendly Gear"

Questions about equipment and supplies to bring on a trip (including reviews).

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zims
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"Planet friendly Gear"

Post by zims » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:38 pm

As it was an add in the last issue of Backpacker about planet friendly gear, it hit me that most of the posts on here for gear sometimes lean heavy towards brand new "awesome" gear. Now theres nothing wrong with this, but let me tell you a little story. (what im telling you is true, and I still use most of it)
My first trip was to isle Royale about 11 years ago. I took along my son and step son. Both were high schoolers and absolutely the outdoors type, hunters and fishermen. I had never been Backpacking, but a nurse at work told me about her trip many years before and the stories she told intrigued me so much I set out combing the internet for what I could find and headed to Rei. I love Rei, dont get me wrong. Just costs too much.
So first thing I bought- A map. Then I bought a great book about the island (Foot Trails and Water Routes by-Jim DuFresne) .still carry it today to read over and over, Then I found a web site http://briansplace.ynt1.com/backpack/ir ... person.php read his adventures, Ive followed his jjournals for great ideas of him going to isle royale. I read and read in awe how they conquered trails and weather.
Still didn't have equipment at this time, but with all the reading I did I started to hit garage sales, found my first older pack for me for $20.00. Got online to craigslist and bought a coleman featherlite 400 white gas stove for $20.00. The boys found used rucksacks at the military surplus, perfect, about 20 a piece. We bought walmart blue sleeping pads for 5 each, gathered up regular silverware, took cheap sleeping bags rolled in garbage bags. Our rain gear was walmart heavy vinyl ponchos. The only thing that was a endearing spendature was the eureka apex 3 man tent we purchased at mc sports for $70 on end of year clearance. A woman where I work said she had a Katadyne water filter I could have they tried camping and gave up. I didnt have a clue how to use it.
So there you have it, our basics covered. We dug out old boy scout mess kits and took Gatorade bottles with string tied around them to tie on belts.
Food? well a heavy topic. Not a clue about dehydrated food, we packed heavy koolaid singles for each, hot chocolate, noodles for spaghetti and the sauce, geez, i made it from scratch in the woods. I had brought tomato paste in a ziplock, seasonings and cooked it till it was delish. we even had so much we gave half the the poor ranger at west chickenbone lake that was out there for 2 weeks eating ramen noodles. needless to say our food was very heavy. We even tried to make pancakes in the mess kit pans...disaster . forgot to mention that with teenagers, it was pure bribery to come along as long as i brought candy. So we each carried a pound bag of ones favorites to trade over cards at night.
First day off the boat, went 20 feet past the trail entrance at rock harbor and one of the boys strap broke off at the base. Zipties and duck tape people!!!! yes it worked.
My whole point is, we didn't have the new fancy gizmos, we didn't have ultra light packs, but we did have an experience of a life time!!! You cant replace a wolf walking by your tent at 2 in the morning, or a sneaky fox almost jumping on your lap by the fire pit at island mine. It doesn't replace the bushwhacking in between trails going out to scoville point just to get a glimpse of a moose for the first time. These moments are magic. I wouldn't replace them for any new equipment. Make your memories with what ever you can. use friends equipment or rent it from an outfitter till you can purchase your own. So many things can be used and they work just as great. You dont have to have the best of the best its not a competition or a dress show. Im hoping more will share here their beginner stories that go them out and hiking. When you get back please share your adventure. Ones who cant go right now for whatever reason love your adventures and pictures. Each time someone shares a picture from anywhere on the island it either brings a memory or gets added to the go to list.

in the beautiful words of Poe:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
Ans miles to go before I sleep.

Zims*


Midwest Ed
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Re: "Planet friendly Gear"

Post by Midwest Ed » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:35 pm

.
Ah yes. Memories of my first Isle Royale and also first ever back packing experience.

Take one of these (AND an extra battery just in case):

Image

Add in one of these:
Image

And a few of these:
Image

And put it all in here:
Image
.
Add in some more equal "quality" and equal weight items of whatever else you can think of, then make a virtual forced march to Moskey Basin.
After the kindly Ranger gives you a boat ride back to the Ferry pick up because your feet are covered in blisters, what memories are created?
Memories of a strangely beautiful place that just kicked my ass. A place that I was determined was not going to get the best of me, so I planned and saved and read (Calvin Rutstrum) yes, purchased better choices. All so I could return a few months later simply to prove something, to myself I think. And the final result? Memories of a place so special that I kept returning over and over again. Each return resulted in an ever increasing admiration of the place. Yet, it is still difficult to explain to someone that has never shared the experience.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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hooky
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Re: "Planet friendly Gear"

Post by hooky » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:15 am

Good old ALICE packs still get used every once in a in awhile, when we feel nostalgic. I'm personally a big fan of going lighter these days, but would never recommend that someone not go get their feet wet due to old or heavy equipment.

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Kelly
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Re: "Planet friendly Gear"

Post by Kelly » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:39 pm

My first backpacking trip ever was ten days on Isle Royale four years ago. At the start of the trip my pack weighed 45 pounds, and after a day or two my backpacking partner took pity on me and offered to carry our shared tent. Much of what I took was purchased used or borrowed.

Ever since I've slowly whittled down the weight in the usual ways, either by not taking something or by buying a lighter version. Still don't have a backpacking tent, and still carry the same pack, which won't be replaced for a couple more years.


wiximages
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Re: RE: Re: "Planet friendly Gear"

Post by wiximages » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:33 am

Kelly wrote:My first backpacking trip ever was ten days on Isle Royale four years ago. At the start of the trip my pack weighed 45 pounds, and after a day or two my backpacking partner took pity on me and offered to carry our shared tent. Much of what I took was purchased used or borrowed.

Ever since I've slowly whittled down the weight in the usual ways, either by not taking something or by buying a lighter version. Still don't have a backpacking tent, and still carry the same pack, which won't be replaced for a couple more years.
Buy a hammock! Image

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Kelly
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Re: "Planet friendly Gear"

Post by Kelly » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:10 pm

Eh. I haven't been sold on hammocks yet.


wiximages
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Re: RE: Re: "Planet friendly Gear"

Post by wiximages » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:01 am

Kelly wrote:Eh. I haven't been sold on hammocks yet.
Much easier on the back.

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jrwiesz
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Re: "Planet friendly Gear"

Post by jrwiesz » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:13 pm

At just over 1.5 lbs., this is a decent single wall 2 person tent.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MSR-Flylite-2-P ... SwvgdW6Uz9

I have upgraded from my previous https://www.rei.com/product/706620/msr- ... on-shelter MSR shelter; I realized a nearly 1 lbs. weight savings. My Flylite was priced at $120 & free ship. This auction may go for less?

I have always had good luck/results with MSR gear/shelters. This Flylite tent is light weight and a second use for your hiking poles. May also be erected by gathering downed sticks/poles, or by tying off to trees if you don't use hiking poles
"And standing on the the crest of the Greenstone Ridge, I suddenly had this desire to retreat north to where I just come, to stay in the backcountry, to spend another day in a place where the only deadline I had was to pitch the tent before dark."
Jim DuFresne

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DonNewcomb
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Re: "Planet friendly Gear"

Post by DonNewcomb » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:58 pm

Midwest Ed wrote:.....Add in some more equal "quality" and equal weight items of whatever else you can think of, then make a virtual forced march to Moskey Basin.
After the kindly Ranger gives you a boat ride back to the Ferry pick up because your feet are covered in blisters, what memories are created?
Memories of a strangely beautiful place that just kicked my ass. .....
I recall one hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I was on my way back up when I met a group of Scouts on their way down. I heard a "thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack" as they approached. I then noticed one of the Scouts had a green, 2-burner Coleman stove tied, swinging from the bottom of the frame of his pack. Every step he took, the stove swung and hit him in the back of his leg. I'll bet he still remembers that hike.

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jrwiesz
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Re: "Planet friendly Gear"

Post by jrwiesz » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:36 am

In 2009 I observed a young couple coming from Lane Cove with a 2 burner Coleman(the fellow had it); we chatted for a moment at the 3 mi./Greenstone/Lane Cove trail junction.

He had it secured a bit better than the scout. He told me they were boiling their water.

I thought my Jetboil was heavy, compared to the alcohol stoves!
"And standing on the the crest of the Greenstone Ridge, I suddenly had this desire to retreat north to where I just come, to stay in the backcountry, to spend another day in a place where the only deadline I had was to pitch the tent before dark."
Jim DuFresne

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