Hey everyone, this week we try out the Taster’s Choice instant (singles). It turned out to be a good cup of coffee and the price can not be beat.
We are introducing a new segment to the video and blog this week also.. 52 ways I’m shaving weight in my pack. I need to come up with a better name for that… but I will be sharing the ways in which I am lightening the weight and volume of my pack in an effort to get to my target base weight of 16 lbs. I think that is doable and if I get shave more.. well all the better.
This weeks weight saving came from ordering new stuff sacks from zpacks.com. I found it amazing how heavy my old stuff sacks are. And now that I see how every ounce adds up, this order will make a big difference in my pack weight.
Enjoy the video, leave your comments, suggestions, and questions either here on the blog, at the YouTube Channel, or send me an email.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: Backpacking, blog, camp skills, Camping, gear, Hammock, Just fun
Tags: backpacking, camping, coffee, cooking, esbit stove, hammock
A few weeks ago I showed my First Aid Kit while drinking coffee from the hammock. I have since received multiple emails asking for a break down of what is in my First Aid kit. Well.. here you go.
Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment here on the blog.
If you click on the video and open it up in YouTube, please subscribe to the channel and show us some YouTube love!
FYI… for those of you counting the ounces… The First Aid kit weighs 8.7 oz.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Hey folks.. THIS IS AN UNSOLICITED Blog post about perhaps my favorite of the packaged “Just add water” meals.
Packitgourmet.com makes some fantastic food for backpacking or for those of you that are getting ready for a zombie attack.. I suppose you can add this to your preper stock.
But seriously, I order from Packit Gourmet frequently and enjoy their meals. They are hearty, great tasting, and pretty inexpensive compared to some of the name brands that you may find at your local outfitter.
The customer service at Packit gourmet is fantastic and they are great at answering questions, getting your order to you on time and following up with any issue you may have… I promise it won’t be with the food.
For Scout units, the pot is even sweeter… Sign your unit up and you can let your Scouts reap the benefits of great meals and financial savings.. on the food that is.
When you sign your unit up for the Scout Discount, you and your Scouts can save 15% on every purchase.. and that’s not a one time thing. Every Purchase! You don’t have to order as a unit, you don’t have to order a specific amount and no you are limited to a few of the meal selections. The store is open to you and you get the discount every time you order.
Look for a video review of my favorite meal from Packit Gourmet coming real soon here to the blog!
This is from the Packit gourmet website… I encourage you to head over there and check it out.
All About Scouts!
Recently read about Packit Gourmet in Scouting Magazine? Looking for more information?
Check out our Scouting Resources area for information on our Scout Partnerships (15% off for all scout troops!), articles, helpful links and more.
Plus, be sure to request some of our free Packit Postcards for your next meeting which include a coupon code for a free Austintacious Tortilla Soup – yum!
Again.. I get nothing for this.. I wish I did, I mean.. heck, I’d love for Packit Gourmet to throw some meals my way.. but nope.. I am just passing on this great deal for all of my Scouter friends. If you are not a Scouter get on over to Packit Gourmet anyway and see why Packit Gourmet wins Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice awards!
Enjoy the great food on the trail!
Have a Great Scouting Day
Well it’s another Sunday and we made it past yet another Apocalypse.. So that means it’s time for Coffee with Scoutmaster Jerry.
This week we take a little trip to a local State Park and brew up a cup of coffee and chat about gear.
This weeks gear review is the SPOT communicator.
I also talk a bit about the future of the SMMPodcast and where I want to take the videos in the next year.
The video this week is a tad bit long, but I hope you bare with me. Get a cup a joe and sit back and relax and enjoy the video.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
This morning took a little walk in a local park on the Sandy River and had a great cup of coffee..
Enjoy this weeks Sunday Morning Coffee as we try our Starbucks Medium Breakfast Blend brewed up using a French Press.
As always, keep your comments and suggestions coming. I’m still looking for the perfect cup of joe.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Well, it’s Sunday, so I’m sharing another reader suggested coffee. This week it’s the Folders Fresh Breaks Breakfast Blend.
I found this coffee to be tasty and easy. It comes in the little single serving packets that do not take up space in the pack and the price is pretty good. About $4 for 8 servings.
We also talk a bit about my first aid kit.
Teresa joins me out in the yard for a cup of coco.
Send me more of your suggestions, either leave a comment here or shoot me an email. email@example.com
Enjoy the video.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
We’ve been talking a lot lately about reducing pack weight. I wish I would have come across this article before we went to Philmont this past summer.
If you don’t read another article today… Read this one.
Great information and super tips on reducing pack weight.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
In our last post we talked about getting weight down by looking at the pack you are carrying. That is an important part of the process of getting your base weight down.. so now lets talk about ways that you can shave weight on the stuff you put in side.
1. Make lists. Make a spreadsheet or list of everything that you have. Weigh every piece of gear. Now, I am no gram weenie and the thought of looking that close at gear at first was just plain wrong, but then I noticed how quickly ounces add up.
2. Prioritize your list of needs and wants. What do you need and what do you just want to have out there. Some folks think that they need something, but then learn that it really was just a want. Look closely at your gear. One thing that I do is after each outing I dump my pack, clean and dry everything and then lay it all out. If I did not use a piece of gear I assess whether I want it in my pack or I need it my pack. A first aid kit is a need even though it may never get used (hopefully). I have found that in most cases if I did not use a piece of gear on one outing, I probably won’t use it on the next.
3. Look at your seasonal gear. I store my winter gear in a separate tub. I pull it out when needed and put it back when the weather turns. Don’t get in the habit of just keeping seasonal items in your pack. Winter tent stakes or anchors are heavier than your regular stakes. Gloves and other cold weather gear just adds un needed weight in the summer.
4. Food. Plan, Plan, Plan.. You can shave lots of weight in food. The best part of food packing is that meal after meal your pack gets lighter. Repackage your meals. Do not take any boxes, cans, or heavy wrapping. Zip lock bags work great and can reduce the size and weight of your meals. Even if you use Mountain House of other Freeze dried meals. Take them out of the original packaging. Cook it in your pot instead of the bag. Mountain House (and other brands) bags are heavy and bulky.
Plan your meals. Just because you are in Scouts does not mean that you need to cook a 3 course meal every meal of the day. Trail foods, Gorp, energy bars, breakfast bars, jerky, and peanut butter packets make a great trail lunch and will fit in 1 ziplock sandwich bag. Eat hot meals in the morning and night, but repackage them and take out the stuff you are not going to eat anyway.
5. Water. Purification tablets like the Aquamira tablets or the Katadyn tablets work great and take up little or no space in your pack. You don’t get the instant drink of water, but you do shave some significant weight. Also, ditch the Nalgene bottle. Go with a bladder or even an old Gatoraid bottle. They both are lighter and now a days.. just as durable.
Just like everything when it comes to backpacking.. planning and preparation are the key to success. You can shave weight instantly by being a better planner. Have a critical eye and accept that you can live without that one piece of gear that was bright and shiny and just would not let you run out of REI without it.
Yep.. These are lessons that I learned the hard way. I used to carry the kitchen sink because that is how I was taught. But as gear gets lighter and my body gets older, its time for the old dogs to learn new tricks and lighten up the load.
Last thought on this. After the last post, I received emails about shaving weight and some folks left comments. I really appreciate the comments and tips and tricks you all use to shave weight and have a great time out in the woods. What I do want to say, and I have said it before, that you need to hike your own hike.. you need to find what works for you and tinker with your set up.
When teaching the Scouts we give them the tips and tricks and then see what they come up with. Some of them really take that critical eye and get their weight and volume down. And those that do find they have a better time on the trail. Their pack is not constantly kicking their butts and they are fresher when they get to camp. Those that choose not to take a look at their gear..well, they do one of two things. Struggle or suck it up.
Upgrade. I know gear gets spendy. Try to upgrade one item a year. Your sleep system, your shelter, your pack, whatever. If it’s not every year, set a goal and look at the one piece of gear that will give you the highest pay off in weight savings and volume reduction and get it when you can. Then set a new goal for the next piece. Spend a few hours at your favorite outfitter and test it all out. Get in the sleeping bag, set up the tent, feel the weight and look it the item packed and set up. See what will work for you and get what you like and what will best fit your kit.
Hike your own Hike and Have a Great Scouting Day!
I have said it over and over, the older I get the lighter my pack has to get. The pack I carried out of base camp at Philmont was 55 lbs. That is the heaviest pack I have carried in a very long time. Why was it so heavy? Well, Philmont has not embraced a lighter style of camping yet and I am sure that one day it will start getting lighter gear, but for now, Philmont is under the impression that “it’s always been that way, and it works”. Well… I am here to tell you that you can go lighter and still have a great Philmont experience. Now before anyone gets the idea that I am bashing on Philmont here.. that is not the case. Knowing what I know now about how Philmont “camps”. There are many things that I could have done to shave unwanted pounds. Take for example the food. We just grabbed the food and unlike our at home routine, did not repackage and reduce the containers. That would have taken lots of volume as well as weight out of our packs. We put lots of uneaten and unwanted food in the swap bins at every staff camp. Getting that stuff out earlier would have helped.
But lets talk about shaving weight in our packs. We are on a constant journey to reduce weight in the pack. Getting my base weight down is an effort that I am constantly thinking about and testing and trying new or other ways of packing my gear.
I will never be an “Ultralight” guy. I just don’t agree with the basic philosophy of going totally ultralight.
Some argue that Ultralight is defined by base weights that are 20 lbs or less. Some say that you need to get lower than that to be considered “Ultralight”. There are those backpackers that are considered “Minimalist” toting pack weights of less than 12 lbs. As much as I would love to carry a pack that was that light, reality kicks in and I am not willing to sacrifice comfort or safety. And there I think is the difference.
Comfort and safety. I read a story once about a guy that ventured off into the wilderness with only a knife. While he did survive and accomplish what he was trying to prove. I find it hard to believe that he was comfortable and in one way or another at some point could have jeopardized his safety.
We make choices in materials like down or synthetic when it comes to sleeping bags. Weight can be shaved by pushing the limits of the rating. Taking a 50 degree bag out when it is in the 30′s and just wearing extra clothing is a technique, but lets remember why we camp in the first place. It’s not to survive.. it’s to have fun. I don’t know about you, but freezing my butt off is not fun. So I will carry a little heavier bag and look elsewhere to shave weight.
I make up weight saving in using an alcohol stove. The stove and fuel weigh significantly less than canister stoves and liquid fuel stoves. I don’t really sacrifice performance and certainly not my safety.
I do not take a lot of extra clothing. But I don’t get wet and dirty either. I wear my rain gear when it is wet and also when I have to do some scrambling. A pair of gaiters keep my pants dry and clean as well as my socks. I use poly materials that wick sweat and keep me warm. Switchback style pants are a great way to reduce the amount of clothing taken.
Toiletries are another way to get weight down. You won’t need a whole roll of TP.. so don’t take it. Moist wipes are a great way to clean up the undercarriage and reduce the need for bulky and heavy soaps and wash cloths. Camp suds work on dishes, clothing, and your hair and body. Just a drop or two goes a long way. Again, reduce and save on weight without sacrifice.
My goal is to get to 18 lbs base weight. I am hovering in the 25 lb range now. I don’t want to be “Ultralight”, but I do want to be able to backpack longer and farther and master the gear and packing of it. I will not sacrifice comfort or safety. I won’t use my socks as shoulder straps and wander into the woods with only a knife.
According to most experts in the field of backpacking, up to the 30 lbs weight range is emerging as the new sweet spot for mainstream recreational backpackers—light enough to feel reasonably comfortable on the shoulders, yet stocked with a luxury item or 2 (camp sandals, for instance, or maybe some freeze-dried ice cream). I am all for a comfort item or two and won’t skimp on food.
I am going to document my quest here on the blog to get the weight down and share some tips that I find work well for me. Remember that you should always hike your own hike and what works for me, may not work for you.
So to start with..
TIP #1. Your pack. The bigger the pack, the more you will put in it. Get a smaller pack, something you think you will be comfortable with, one that will allow you to get what you think you need in it, and a little extra and then start whittling down the load.|
I went from a 5500 cubic inch pack to a 3800 cubic inch pack. Going down to about 60 liters forced me to start looking at the gear I was taking and what I really needed. What I have found is that given the gear that I currently have 3800 cubic inches is about as small a pack as I can go to. I use this pack for all 4 seasons and even used it to carry the 55 lb load at Philmont. The pack is recommended to go up to a 40 lb load. I suppose I was just careful enough to max it out. I will tell you that I have no desire to carry 55 lbs again so I am happy with the pack that I am using. For what it’s worth the pack I am using is the Granite Gear Nimbus Trace. It’s not the lightest pack out there, but is rugged enough for the type of hiking I do.
So get a pack that is comfortable and meets your needs and start your load from there.
What do you carry? Let is know.
Look for more tips here on the blog.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
Well, I think this is going to be a pretty regular segment on the blog. I am trying to do gear reviews also, and since I really like my coffee and am always in search of a good cup o’ joe for the trail, this is a good way to talk about gear and have some coffee while chatting to ya.
You may have noticed that I am putting out a few more videos than I have in the past, and the blog seems to be morphing into a Vlog… but I can assure you, while video is going to have it’s place in the blog, I am not converting it to a Vlog. I have a lot of fun with the video’s and really enjoy sharing my gear addiction and camping hobby with you all.
So here is this weeks Sunday Coffee. In November I asked the readers to send me suggestions for a good cup o’joe for the trail. I got two emails suggesting some instant coffee’s. The first one was Medaglia D’oro instant espresso coffee. So this week we are brewing up a cup and letting you know how it is.
If you have a brand that you think I should try, let me know. So thanks Tom for the suggestion on the Medalia D’oro coffee.. yeah.. it’s a good cup o’ joe.
Email me your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your suggestion in the comments section of this post.
And Have a Great Scouting Day!