Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Unpacking the Rae Lakes Gear Plan

20-20 Hindsight With Comments

The original reason I posted my planned gear list for my Rae Lakes trip was so that I could review the gear setup (rather than just individual items) upon my return. So, here I am.

For each bit of my copied-over gear list below, I'll use one of three probably-self-explanatory comments, along with some plain old-fashioned English description:

  • Yay - worked great, would have been much less happy without that specific piece
  • OK - did its job, could probably have gone with anything of similar function
  • Boo - wouldn't have brought it, or would have brought a different item of similar function
Here's the same list in order of descending weight. Again, you'll note that a lot of it isn't really backpacking gear...it's more like climbing gear that I'm bringing backpacking. So you can keep that bias in mind with my comments.

Gear List:

___ Cilogear 60L Pack (68 oz) - Yay! Incredibly enough, despite the thin straps and climbing-oriented build, this pack kept me relatively comfortable. And I loved the clip-off lid for taking into my tent at night.

___ Black Diamond HiLight Tent (50 oz) - Yay! The weight of a bivy, for the palatial space of a two-person tent. However, the inside-setup poles and the big front door conspire together to let precipitation in (yes, inside) the tent while setting up in a storm. Not much, but some.

___ REI Kilo Plus Sleeping Bag and Outdoor Research Dry Stuff Sack (48 oz) - OK... I missed my stretchy sleeping bags (Montbell) for comfort (and less weight) on the longer trip

___ Garcia Machine Bear Canister (44 oz) - Yay! I can't believe I'm saying yay to a bear canister. I hate bringing these things. But it gave me the flexibility to camp where ever I liked, including away from the bear boxes, and some bear boxes were broken in early season. Plus, doing a food hang solo isn't much fun.

___ Emergency Kit (first aid kit, repair, survival) (22 oz) - Yay! The gauze actually got used to cover my poison oak on my elbow the whole trip. Thank goodness I packed cloth gauze - I needed to boil the old dressings to re-apply them.

___ MSR Reactor and lexan spoon (21 oz) - Yay! This thing is so fast....and so efficient. Two liters boiled every morning, and two every night, and less than one 8oz canister of fuel.

___ Added my Stubai Aluminum Crampons (21 oz) - Yay! They add stiffness to hiking boots enough to pretend to kick on snow, they're pretty light, they adjust quickly, and they fit well. And on softer snow like I had, they work great. Bulletproof ice would be a very different story.

___ Wild Things EP Jacket (18 oz) - Yay! Fits over all my layers including my thin down jacket, warm, windproof, very rain-resistant...and it's orange. What else could I want?

___ Insul-Mat (Pacific Outdoor) SL Mountain foam pad (14 oz) - OK... It would have been a YAY should I have needed to camp on the snow (I know from previous experience) but the soft foam wasn't stellar when I was pushing through early-season downed pine trees. By the end of the trip it had taken a beating.

___ Isis Whisper Down Jacket (14 oz) - OK.... Nice to have a thin down jacket for more warmth (I used it two nights) but the sleeves on this are a leeetle short...

___ Bear MACE and holster (13 oz) - ???... Didn't use, but there are some WEIRD PCT-ers that I saw who made some awfully pointed comments about me being a woman all alone out there... I was glad I had it.

___ Golite Gamut Jacket (13 oz) - Didn't use, but on previous trips it's been great.

___ Red Ledge Full Zip Rain Pants (10 oz) - Again, didn't use, but on previous trips they've been nice.

___ Moonstone Cirrus Vest (9 oz) - At the last minute, I left this in the car. Glad I did.

___ Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoodie (8 oz) - OK.... I love this hoodie for climbing, and it's super light, but the forearms...are...so...tight!! And sleeping in it at night makes the grid fabric press into my skin and my arms itch! Really Patagonia, you don't think women have burly forearms? Sheesh.

___ SPOT Messenger (8 oz) - Yay! My husband tracked me the whole time. Fun! Although it was interestingly weird being able to send my precise position to my husband, but not necessarily know it myself...

___ Camera and dry case (8 oz) - Yay! The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

___ Nalgene bottle (also for hot drinks) (7 oz) - OK, I might have brought a light mug and another Platypus bladder.

___ Princeton Tec EOS (4 oz) - Ended up bringing my 10 oz Black Diamond Soliras since it's brighter and I had just nearly epic-ed the Thursday before leaving with my EOS. For truly needing a headlamp for off-trail routefinding at night, the EOS is pretty weak.

___ Journal and Pencil (4 oz) - Yay! I wrote a lot, it saved me mentally.

___ Warm Hat (3 oz) - Yay!
___ Sunscreen (3 oz) - Yay!
___ Bug Repellent (3 oz) - Yay!

___ Platypus 1L flexible bottle (2 oz) - Yay! These things are so great and lightweight...but, they don't take boiling water, which was one of my main methods of purification.

___ Liner Gloves (2 oz) - Yay! Very necessary for going up Glen Pass

___ Custom Mytopo.com Map (2 oz) - Yay! One map, the entire trail. I carried it in my pocket the whole time, so we know the paper is sweatproof, at least.

Carried on Person: Pants, T-shirt, Sunhat, Sunglasses, Compass, Knife, Whistle, Socks, Boots, Trekking Poles with Whippet - All Yay!

Food and Fuel:

1.5 lbs per day x 6 days = 9 lbs (144 oz) - See Comments Below, 2200 calories per day was a good amount to plan around.

Two 4 oz isobutane canisters (8 oz) - Didn't need the second one because of the MSR Reactor's efficiency

Food in Detail:


___ 200 cal Breakfast:
Cream of Wheat - Yay! The best alternative to oatmeal, which I detest.
Hot Chocolate - Yay! And then there was the brilliant day that I added the hot chocolate to the Cream of Wheat....
Instant Miso Soup - Never used. With the Mountain House dinners, I definitely did not have a lack of salt intake.

___ 100 cal drink mix - Yay! I would have brought more for the more strenuous days.

___ 200 cal dried fruit - Yay! How else would I have gotten fiber without the ProBars below?

___ 400 cal Probar (mmmm....fiber) - Never used. Nearly a Boo. Good as meal replacements in my past experience, but not for meal augmentation. Too dense.

___ 300 cal 2 x Other Bars
Trader Joes Bars - OK, they do their job
Luna Bars - Chocolate Peppermint Stick is the most genius flavor out there, though I suppose that's a matter of opinion...

___ 200 cal Clif Shot Bloks - Yay! Nothing like gummies for adults.

___ 300 cal Cheese - Yay!
___ 200 cal Nuts - Yay!
___ 100 cal Jerkey - Yay!

___ 400 cal Dinner:
Mountain House - OK to Boo - For the meals that had less than 50% of my daily sodium in them, they were okay. Sometimes good actually. But, for example, Beef Stew which had more than 100% of my daily sodium in only about 400 calories, I was close to gagging. I can't take that much salt!
Instant Mashed potatoes - Yay! Add some cheese left over from earlier in the day, perfect.

And there you have it. It was a fun five days, and all the tools I brought helped me make it. Have fun planning your own!

1 comment:

ilya1725 said...

Which hot chocolate did you use? The standard neaquik?