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#3588495 - 02/15/14 10:52 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12916
Loc: Tennessee

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Camp Shoes: This is a hotly debated topic amongst ultra light backpackers and hunters these days. Some guys are carrying the 5 Finger Shoes and similar and you can get some of those that weigh only 5 ounces. I've been out of the backpacking game for awhile, but I never carried camp shoes in the past even though some of my partners did. For creek crossings, I always removed my insoles and socks and crossed the creek in my boots. For camp, I'd either walk around with my boots unlaced or barefooted. I can definitely see the allure of having camp shoes, but it seems like a luxury. They are also redundant. If I can figure out how to get below 40 lbs, I'll reconsider, but right now, its all about seeing where I can cut weight and not add it. The Softshell jacket is my current target. I could replace it with a 2nd merino shirt and shave close to a pound. Theoretically, if we are on the move, I won't need a jacket, maybe my rain jacket to cut the wind. I'm wondering if I could get by with a single Merino shirt + rain jacket + down jacket (when needed). That's a tough one, I feel like I need a midlayer option. The down jacket is too warm to move in. Hmm.

I hear you on getting burned out on food items, though, I don't recall ever returning from a trip with excess food. At the same time, thinking back, I don't recall much of the details of eating on backpacking trips. I guess when you are just backpacking and don't have the weight of hunting specific gear, you have a little more latitude. Other backpacking trips for me were climbing trips, where we were also hauling climbing gear in with us. Those were usually very heavy packs going in and out, so I reckon we just ponied up on that end and hauled the loads. We would set up a camp and climb in an area for several days at a time in the backcountry. I remember snacking on a lot of jerky, dried pineapple and macadamia nuts.

So, anyway, my idea for dealing with food is to make a batch of Pemmican. A cupcake portion is socked full of protein and gets you ~500 calories. I was thinking that I could get by, at least on a certain number of dinners, merely by eating a piece of pemmican and mixing a ~3,000+ calorie, super concentrated drink with a mixture of protein powder, hydrate and recover mix, and quality sports drink mix (Cytomax or similar). Theoretically, I could have a ~4,000 calories meal, socked full of protien, simple carbs, and vitamins in just a few ounces. The theoretical problems with a meal such as this is that it will take you 20-30 minutes before you start to feel full. Psychologically, you ate a cupcake and a drink after a long day of extreme excursion. The question is, psychologically, will that do it? I was thinking that I could alternate dinners with that and Mountain House (or similar) meals, meaning that I would not be eating cooked food on half of the night out. Sounds good in theory, but I need to experiment with it first. With a selection of nuts, dried fruit, jerky, and homemade power bars to get me through the day, I think I could stay within the 1 lbs per day range, but cutting corners like that is the only way I am going to be able to do it. Under those conditions, My body is going to scream for 5,000+ calories a day and that's all there is to it. Also, my body seems to draw energy best from fat and protein sources. Lately, I've really only been eating a single, small cup of steel cut oats or a single sweet potato as my only sources of carbs each day. Energy levels are great and I've been training hard. In order to stay strong and keep my energy levels up, I'm going to have to figure out how to achieve that with minimal weight. So, the pemmican + super concentrated drink seems like the most direct and lightweight route from A (food) to Z (optimal performance).

If that doesn't work out, it will be back to the drawing board. I know that a lot of hardcore guys are ditching stoves altogether these days, but I ain't going anywhere or doing anything without a cup of coffee in the morning and that's non negotiable. I as on a 7 day+ backpacking trip in WY with my dad back about 12 years ago, or so and our stove crapped out on the 2nd morning. My dad said "oh, well, I guess we'll do without and said, "No way. You go ahead and I'll catch up." I left my pack and trail rain back out, jumped in my dad's truck, drove to Jackson Hole, bought a new stove (and drank a cup of coffee), drove back, trail ran my way back in, put on my pack and started hiking. I caught up with my dad's camp late that night. I don't remember how many miles that was exactly, but I was to say it was around 35 miles. I know we were at least 10 miles in when the stove crapped out. Hey, I'm serious about having my cup of coffee in the morning ;\)
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3588566 - 02/15/14 11:55 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12916
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
I reconfigured the weight lay out. A lot of people don't count the weight of the clothes they are wearing or even their optics. IMO, weight is weight regardless of where you are wearing/carrying it. My total weight is 10 lbs heavier than my pack weight. You'd have to convince that you wouldn't feel the difference in 10 lbs when gaining a couple of thousand feet of elevation before it would not get considered as part of the weight you are carrying. But, for the sake of clarity (and for the fact that it looks lighter on paper):

Empty Pack: 126.4
Sleeping Bag: 51.2
Tarp Shelter: 11
Trekking Poles: 18.8
Water Filter: 12.5
XLite Sleeping Pad: 12.5
Soft shell Jacket 24
Down Jacket: 20.5
Food: 160oz
Firstaid kit: 10
Water: 35.2 (2 liters)
Bladder: 6 oz
Rain gear (top & bottom): 34.4
GPS w batteries: 5.4
headlamp w/ batteries: 3.2
Spare batteries: 6
dry sacks: 3
Tent stakes: 2.1
Stove: 3
Pot/cup/spork: 12
Fuel: 8
*Kill Kit: 30 (game bags, knife, 550 cord)
socks 2
-----

Base Pack weight: 598.2/ 37.38 lbs


Bow: 68.8

Clothes/Optics:
Merino Base layer pants: 9.1
Merino Base Layer shirt: 8
Outerwear Pants: 18.5
Gloves: 2.6
Merino Neck gaiter: .75
Merino hat: .75
Hat: .75
Optics + Harness: 35.2
Boots: 30
Socks: 4

109.65 / 6.8 lbs

Grand Total: 776.65/ 48.54
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3588790 - 02/15/14 03:38 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1650
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
Pack: I would like to upgrade to a Stone Glacier pack, but I doubt it's in the cards this year. Will that REI pack carry exceptionally heavy loads (100 lbs +) for meat hauling? That's my concern with a "budget" pack. They are fine on 60 pound loads, but come up short when hauling heavy loads.

The REI XT85 is an awesome hauler. It can easily handle more weight than I am comfortable carrying. Do a search on Bowsite or Rokslide for info. Several forum members use it and have posted about it. By cutting off some unnecessary parts, it can be trimmed down to below 5 pounds.

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#3588814 - 02/15/14 03:59 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1650
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
A lot of people don't count the weight of the clothes they are wearing or even their optics. IMO, weight is weight regardless of where you are wearing/carrying it.

You won't catch me doing this. I don't weigh anything anymore. My pack weighs what it weighs and I've got to carry it no matter what. Don't get me wrong, I've done enough of this that I could probably tell you what it is within a couple pounds. But, I'm more concerned with being able to be somewhat comfortable and enjoying myself more while on a hunt.

I'm a tent person and I want 2 hot meals a day. It's what helps me hunt to the best of my ability. Although this year I may become a tipi person and pack a wood burning stove with me. I've been on hunts where I've been miserable, lost focus, and blew opportunities. No more.

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#3588847 - 02/15/14 04:28 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1650
Loc: East

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I'm also developing a new concept over the winter. I have established a solid layer of energy around my midsection. I figure if I can keep this until my hunt, I can easily handle less food. \:D
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#3589192 - 02/15/14 09:08 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
12 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7486
Loc: Powell Tn

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 Originally Posted By: Buzzard Breath
I'm also developing a new concept over the winter. I have established a solid layer of energy around my midsection. I figure if I can keep this until my hunt, I can easily handle less food. \:D


That's how I figure it...I could easily make it a few days if I became lost or ran out of chow. At some point this summer I'm gonna take the tipi and stove plunge. That way I can carry a lighter bag and more chow The Mystery Ranch 6500 I have weighs nearly 10 empty.

A person could just about drive themselves nuts trying to cut weight. I have read where guys have cut the edges off of their maps, toothbrushes in half and God forbid....1 pair of drawers. Powder and baby wipes only work for so many days.
_________________________
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Benjamin Franklin


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#3589212 - 02/15/14 09:25 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 918
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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Poser, you seem very analytical over this, you actually seem like the ultralight backpackers I met on the trail. I for one try my best within my budget to cut as much weight as possible but I also feel if you can train and prep yourself for a heavier weight you give yourself a huge advantage. I also loose the fun when I think to much about it.

My feet are my life source, therefore good boots, merino socks, and crocs are a must. No way you can let your feet breath and boots dry some by wearing them in camp.

For food, I have tried everything for the most part but nothing like ramen noodles to make you feel full and give you that quick endorphin like feeling. Then I take supplements, energy dense bars for the nutrition side. Food is a highly debatable topic as well, but knowing your body (like you do) is key. I can survive 5 days in the backcountry with 2,000 cal or less per day, water is my key element. Ramen and a snickers bar can carry me 20 miles in the mountains, when I get back to town a micro brewery and brick oven pizza joint is my first stop.

Bottom line is this; you will cut all that weight then hopefully at the end of the hunt you will be packing out more weight than you ever imagined. A nice mature bull elk aint skinny by no means.

What is your favorite backpacking coffee? I like the starbucks via, its my splurge when I go hiking.
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In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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#3589218 - 02/15/14 09:33 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12916
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: UPSman
 Originally Posted By: Buzzard Breath
I'm also developing a new concept over the winter. I have established a solid layer of energy around my midsection. I figure if I can keep this until my hunt, I can easily handle less food. \:D


That's how I figure it...I could easily make it a few days if I became lost or ran out of chow. At some point this summer I'm gonna take the tipi and stove plunge. That way I can carry a lighter bag and more chow The Mystery Ranch 6500 I have weighs nearly 10 empty.

A person could just about drive themselves nuts trying to cut weight. I have read where guys have cut the edges off of their maps, toothbrushes in half and God forbid....1 pair of drawers. Powder and baby wipes only work for so many days.


Kuiu is releasing a new series of packs next month. The Ultra 6000 which weighs in at 3.9 lbs. price, surprisingly, cost is $350. That being said, there has been criticism of their Icon series packs. Though, for the weight, price point and the ability to seperate the pack from the frame for meat hauling, it's definitely one to consider. The Stone glacier and Kifaru packs are all in the $600+ range.

As far as weight goes, I'm definitely off the "light is right" philosophy, if you can afford it. Shaving ounces anywhere you can by cutting tags off clothes, sawing toothbrushes in half etc all add up.

Have you guys seen the "Wooby" trend to save weigh on full sleeping bags?
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3589223 - 02/15/14 09:36 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4830
Loc: medon,Tn.

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what are your plans if you take an elk? At the time of yr you are going, you wont have a large time frame to get an 800lb animal out. Believe me, I know. Packing in sounds great, but without horses or mules, getting meat out is a monster of a job if packing out on pack frames. We hike in from our main base camp daily, 3-5 miles, but many times when we have taken Elk we had to get them out that day, and head down the mountain to get them to a processor. If warm at all, the black flies and yellowjackets will cover the meat. Meat bags are a must, as well as skinning as quick as possible. Just keep this in mind, because if you pack in deep in bow season, you will lose meat unless you have 5-6 people in great shape that have pack frames, and are able to get it out asap. Had a buddy that went a couple yrs ago by himself, packed in several miles, killed a nice 5x5, and lost over half the elk due to warm weather, and no help. Going light is great with horses, but you have got to be in daily range of a vehicle during bow season, in the event you have to get a elk out. Now, during gun season, mid Oct. onward, yes, much cooler, usually some snow, meat can be hung, more time to get it out. One tip, if you must hang meat, hang it in dark timber, much cooler, keep the sun off it. Just trying to help you out. Ive been 16 yrs, we've took 30 plus elk. Wish you the best. My last advice, take plenty of water, or you wont make it. You cant drink enough.

Edited by tickweed (02/15/14 09:42 PM)
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The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#3589232 - 02/15/14 09:51 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
12 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7486
Loc: Powell Tn

Offline
I have a friend who has an Icon pack. I haven't had the chance to fiddle with it much. With my MR bag, it will carry far more than I can physically tote up and down a mountain. I have seen the Wooby bags but I'm a cold sleeper. I have a Big Agnes Storm King and I sleep just fine in it. If it wasn't so big, I'd carry my Cabelas Alaskan -40 bag, but it doesn't compress down to about the size of a mini fridge.
_________________________
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Benjamin Franklin


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