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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did my first light weight backpacking trip this past summer. Got my pack down to 30lbs (with fishing gear) for a 5 day trip. What a difference. I never really was in any pain the entire time. Don't know how I used to lug around 60lbs on my poor aching back and legs.

Anyway, the one thing I don't have dialed in yet is the food. I figured I could lose at least another 5lbs with some lighter food. I don't want to sacrifice taste for weight though. I need good, tasty, light recipes that are high in calories. Any suggestions?

Thanks.
 

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military C-rations are high in calories, protein bars
 

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http://www.backpacking.net/bbs.html

Take a look here. They have a section on light weight foods. I messed around with lowering my pack weight for quite a while. I never could get myself to go to the tarp tent. I ate a lot of foil packed chicken and the likes. But came to the conclusion that I was limiting my enjoyment- an adventure for sure but sure liked a nice steak over the fire or a nip at night.
Ended up raising a couple of pack goats. Now I carry 20# of survival gear on me and the rest goes on two goats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The C-rations and protien bars I have used, and they aren't bad, but they are quite heavy.

Thanks for the website link Packfish. I haven't given up my tent and never will. :lol: I hate mosquitos. They make very light tents anyway, so there really isn't a need to give it up. The cool thing about gear nowadays are that packs, sleeping bags, mats, clothing etc is all getting really light. I didn't sacrifice much to get the weight down. I just had to spend the money on the good light gear, which generally is not cheap.

I do like the idea of rasing some goats. But I don't have any space for them.

I will have to dig around on that webiste and see what I come up with.
 

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Yea- I have gone light weight- but got married again and she likes to go and even though it says it's a 2 man tent - It's really one guy and a rabbit. I usually come in at 43# but my pack is 6# and I won't down grade it. I actually feel better with that pack on because of the great support it provides. A guy here at work is down to in to the 20's . That would be nice but I carry a couple of rods and some gear that I could live with out but I wouldn't be as comfortable. My foods used to consist of tortilla wraps and then foil packs of chicken, tuna ,rice and instant oat meal. Maybe a mountain home freeze dried meal or two. With goats now I added a gun to the pack. Not that I think I can stop a bear from eating the goat. But I could shoot the goat in the head and give myself a running head start. (0:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Packfish said:
Yea- I have gone light weight- but got married again and she likes to go and even though it says it's a 2 man tent - It's really one guy and a rabbit. I usually come in at 43# but my pack is 6# and I won't down grade it. I actually feel better with that pack on because of the great support it provides. A guy here at work is down to in to the 20's . That would be nice but I carry a couple of rods and some gear that I could live with out but I wouldn't be as comfortable. My foods used to consist of tortilla wraps and then foil packs of chicken, tuna ,rice and instant oat meal. Maybe a mountain home freeze dried meal or two. With goats now I added a gun to the pack. Not that I think I can stop a bear from eating the goat. But I could shoot the goat in the head and give myself a running head start. (0:
I use a North Face Tent that weighs around 3lbs, my wife tags along with me as well, and this one works pretty good for us. There isn't a ton of room in it, but we aren't packed in there like sardines.
http://www.hudsontrail.com/viewItem/53/470/5318/

As far as a pack is concerned, there are some really good light ones out now. Getting one of those packs will not be a downgrade, it will be a big upgrade. 6lbs to me is really heavy for a pack. I like Osprey packs, I use the Talon 33 which weighs less than 2lbs. Not only are they light, but they are extremly comfortable and distribute the weight really good. There are a number of good light packs out there. It's worth checking into. If you get your total weight down, you don't need those big heavy bulky packs.

The key to getting your weight down is to keep your Pack, Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Mat and Tent less than 15lbs. If you can get them to total 10lbs, you are going to have a very light pack weight.

I have done exactly what you have with the torillas and freeze dried foods. It isn't bad, but it does get a bit bland. Espcially the freeze dried stuff. I did get a dehydrater, I just need to test things out on it.
 

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My tent, sleeping bag and mat are pretty light- I think 8.4# between the 3 but the pack is 104 ounces or 6.5 #. ( I have an excel spead sheet on the weights of everything) Blew out my back along time ago and all the weight is in the hip belt support and I'm not giving it up .
Fat fat the water rat- roll him up the hill and he'll roll right back.
 

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This is a good resource for light weight backpack foods and gear:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... index.html

I like the lightweight Mountain House meals for calories, protein and carbs per ounce. Jerky is light too. I stay away from refined sugar.

My summer tent (if I take one) weighs less than 4 pounds, pack about 6, sleeping bag about 3. My stove is tiny, very tiny. I know how many ounces of fuel it takes to boil water so I can figure what I need for a certain number of days (plus 1 for emergency).

But I got off the light weight kick a few years ago when I finally realized I was built for endurance, not for speed.

3 of us, age 42, 51 and 56 (me) did 92 miles in the Wind Rivers this summer in 7 days, just took our time. I started the hike with 54 lbs!!! took 10 apples! Yes 10. Heck with it. As a matter of fact, I did an overnighter late this summer and took a leftover cold large pizza....and some foil.

But I still try to lighten up on backpack hunting trips to make up for the all the extra junk and clothes you need.

Good luck to all on your lightweight endeavors. I seen alot of country in short amount of time going ultra light when I was a younger fella, may not have been real comfy though.

Hey Tumblewings, chime in on this one buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wyogoob said:
But I got off the light weight kick a few years ago when I finally realized I was built for endurance, not for speed.

3 of us, age 42, 51 and 56 (me) did 92 miles in the Wind Rivers this summer in 7 days, just took our time. I started the hike with 54 lbs!!! took 10 apples! Yes 10. Heck with it. As a matter of fact, I did an overnighter late this summer and took a leftover cold large pizza....and some foil.

Good luck to all on your lightweight endeavors. I seen alot of country in short amount of time going ultra light when I was a younger fella, may not have been real comfy though.
I don't hike fast at all. I still go my slow steady pace, but now I can hike longer during the day using less energy. It is also much, much more enjoyable for me not having to deal with the pain anymore. Packs have come a long ways in just the last 5 years and going light does not mean being miserable or uncomfortable anymore.

I even am able to hike in a trail running shoe because I have gotten my pack weight down so much. I have not ever been more comfortable while backpacking.

Weight just beats me down. I won't ever carry more than 40lbs again.

Man, 10 apples, that's nuts lol.

Packfish, there are some pretty light packs that do a very good job on keeping the weight down on your waist. But you do know your body and packs are very unique for everyone on what works for them. But I do love my 2lb pack. :wink:

Thanks for the links everyone.
 

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Yea- I really should go and try some on and see how they feel. With the goats I'm not going to carry more than 20# anyway. If something happens I do want survival gear on me.
 

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Suggestion: Take a couple of 35MM film canisters ( if you can still find them with everyone going digital ) and fill one with bacon bits and one with Mrs Dash. These are very light and the spices make everything else a little more tasty. I particularly like the bacon bits and Mrs. Dash sprinkled on brook trout wraped in aluminum foil and cooked on an open fire if allowed.
 

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If you want to lower your pack weight, there are several areas to concentrate on:

1) Sleeping Bag. Look at Western Mountaineering or Marmot. I use the WM Megalite with 2oz of down overfill. It weighs 1 lb 11 oz.
2) Tent: Take a look at Tarptent. Great tents for 2lbs or less.
3) Clothing. Most people overpack. I take zipoff pants, extra pair of nylon shorts, extra underwear, extra 100% poly t-shirt, 1 100 wt fleece long sleeve shirt, marmot PreCip rain jacket. If it will get below 40 degrees I add powerstretch fleece tights, lightweight fleece gloves and beanie. 1 extra pair of marino wool socks.
4) If you commit to ultralight, then a lightweight pack will fit all the above easily. I use the Mountainlight Ghost, a 3100 Cu in. pack that weighs 2 lbs 2 oz. It's no longer made. I don't like the rucksacks w/o suspensions. The Ghost has a hoop suspension and is the most comfortable pack I've worn.

My base weight (w/o food and water) is about 12 lbs. I don't feel I lack any comforts, and in fact gain comfort by going light weight.

Additional weight can be saved on water treatment (MIOX or Aqua Mira), stoves ( I really like Snow Peak Gigapower), lights ( I use only a headlamp), sleeping pads (for summer time a 3/4 length works fine), cooksets (I mostly boil water so I use a single titanium pot).

Saving weight on the total packweight can also translate to happier feet. Most don't need the ankle support of boots if the packweight is lighter. I use trailrunners.

For food, I use a combination of oatmeal, GORP, Freeze-dried food, ramen, instant potatoes, instant puddings, etc. Sugar free punch mixes add some variety.

I like to make a pasta salad using ramen noodles, freeze-dried veggies, and your favorite dressing packets from Wendy's, McDonald's, etc. If you want to invest in a dehydrator, you can dehydrate your favorite home meals and take them on the trail with you. Pasta can be a light, inexpensive option. Chicken and fish now come in foil envelopes and are tasty additions to your trail food. The pre-cooked bacon is light and delicious. I like to bring a tomatoe and tortilla along for a BLT wrap. Use your imagination.

MREs are really, really heavy compared to dehydrated or freeze-dried meals.
 

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One of the best ways to lighten up is to eat all your food before you go.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BradN, is that WM the 30 degree bag? I am looking at their stuff, it's pricey, but I don't think there is much better out there.

I totally agree about the overpacking with the clothes. This past year I packed pretty much like you do and I didn't feel like I left anything behind, or was missing out on anything. In fact, I felt like I could have still left a few things home.

I will have to try some of your food suggestions out. I do have a dehydrator so I need to utilize that for sure.

I pretty much do everything else the same as you. If you ever need a new pack, you may want to check out the Osprey packs. I use the Talon 44, it is only around 2600cu in. It is the most comfy pack I have ever used. It weighs 2lbs 7oz, not quite as light as yours. One thing I like about it is the ventilation system for your back. I sweat a lot and my back stays dry while using this.

Thanks for the post, very helpful.
 

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Sorry no skipping and going with a tarp tent- great for some people- poor choice for others.
My one tent comes in at 3.5#. I 'll beef up and carry the weight for the pleasure of being enclosed. 75% of the time now though- I'm going with a 6.5 # tent----------- the goats are carrying it :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Packfish said:
Sorry no skipping and going with a tarp tent- great for some people- poor choice for others.
My one tent comes in at 3.5#. I 'll beef up and carry the weight for the pleasure of being enclosed. 75% of the time now though- I'm going with a 6.5 # tent----------- the goats are carrying it :D
hehe, gotta agree with you on this one. I have used tarp tents before, while light and easy to set up, they don't keep the bugs out and if it's raining out, they aren't very fun either.

There are some pretty light tents out there now. The one I use is 2 person tent that weighs 3lbs. If going solo, a bivy sack is always a good option. They will atleast keep the bugs off ya, there are some of those that weight a pound or so.

I would definetly bring in a more roomy tent if I had some goats to carry the load.
 

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RNF,

The Megalite is the 30 degree bag. WM makes exceptional bags and their temperature ratings are spot on or even a bit conservative. With the fleece tights and shirt, I've been down to 17 degrees with the megalite.

You guys aren't getting the Tarptent thing. Go to http://www.tarptent.com. These aren't tarps like you're thinking. You have total bug protection. They're basically single wall tents with extra ventilation. They're made from silcone impregnated nylon, a super lightweight, yet strong fabric. I think you'll be surprised at the quality of these tents... note I said tents.
 
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