This is how I pack…

I’m getting ready for my first hike of the year, and I’ll tell ya…it just can’t get here fast enough! Next Friday morning, I will meet up with a few old friends (don’t take that the wrong way Hiking Shoes), as well as some new friends, in a quaint little mountain town. After we all meet one another, then fill our bellies with some breakfast, we will head out and begin making the necessary arrangements to begin our hike! 

As I said, the hike is not until next weekend, but due to normal everyday life between then and now, now is the time I have to go ahead and start getting all of my gear together.

As usual, I started by putting together a gear list using Google Docs, then pulled everything from the list (from all corners of my house) and put it all in a big little pile (I love “UL” gear). As I pulled everything, I ticked it off on my checklist. Once the checklist was all checked off, and the pile was created, I then sat down and started figuring out how my pack needed to be packed. (Hence the video above.)

So, without listing everything here in this post, if you are interested in checking out my highly-detailed, super-awesome, gear list, then feel free to do so by clicking:

**HERE**

So, real quick… I am expecting temps anywhere from the mid teens on up (at this point, it is hard to say because I don’t trust most of the extended weather forecast…), so I am bringing my cold weather gear and clothing. However, there are a few new items in my pack (as usual), so this will be a learning experience (shouldn’t they all be?). To highlight, a few new gear items I will be carrying on this trip are my ZPacks tarp, my LiteTrail Cook Kit, and a totally luxury item, my  Kindle (but, to justify it, it does have the companion guides and elevation profiles on it…)

As well, at this point, I believe that I will be wearing an IceBreaker GT200 Chase 1/4 Zip long sleeve shirt as my base layer, instead of my tried-and-true, Patagonia Capilene 2 long sleeve crew. On top of this, I will be sporting the new Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition Weight 1/4 Zip Hoody, as opposed to my much-loved Patagonia R1 Flash Pullover… Then, last but not least, I will be checking out for myself, just how breathable the Patagonia Houdini windshirt is, as opposed to my North Face Verto… And ok, one more… my sweet new Luke’s Ultralite Silnylon rain shell!

So, this is going to be a short hike (only ~ 16 miles), but that will be cool since there will be a few of us, so we can all kind of hang out, have a little gear talk, probably compare some gear, and of course enjoy the views! I am definitely looking forward to the hike… But, until then…

Thanks for reading!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah… I enjoy this stuff and no one is paying me to talk about it…

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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25 Responses to This is how I pack…

  1. Pingback: Pack Cover, Pack Liner, Both, Neither, Something Else…? | Stick's Blog

  2. CampingMaxx says:

    Now that’s some excellent prep right there. So thorough and practical. I’m definitely gonna borrow a couple tips from that vid. Thanks for sharing Chad!

    Like

  3. Kevin Bos says:

    Stick, how you liking the cap4? We had a dialog on youtube about it and you said you wanted to get one at the time. I like mine alot. I actually use the r1 and cap4 together. They steam out nice when huffing it. Also when i get real hot i can zip both down the same length but that is more due to other layers being on top making it too warm. I wear the cap4 next to skin and its very comfy. The hood being doubled over keeps the back of my neck and head nice. I have some montane ultralight wind pants and hooded top and have found the cap 4 top and bottom with montane jacket and ibex vest work well together. I wear my patagonia ultralight hoodie all winter long, best piece of gear i own as far as dollars per use. I will often start my winter hike with that on then take it off once i have generated some good heat.
    these are my windproof pants
    http://www.montane.co.uk/range/men/windproof/featherlite-pants
    these is my jacket at least how it looks updated. Mine is like 5yr old
    http://www.montane.co.uk/range/men/windproof/featherlite-pants

    I will say no tears but then I didn’t use them much until now. I like the hoods on things because i shave my head and i hate cold neck and head syndrome. I don’t need to carry a hat when i have hoods.

    Also, I have an older p2 pack from ula, totally love the thing and will always have it but for warmer weather i think a zpack pack looks good. The thing is the arc looks better to me because i dont like a sweaty back and when hiking the material rubs agains your back constantly on the pack you have. What are your thoughts on that part of the experience? What can you say about how the pack feels to use like the hip belts, the shoulder straps, things like that? Do you think the water bottles help with counter balance by much?

    Thanks for the excel sheet, i have one but its nice to see how you do it.
    Thanks Chad

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Kevin,

      As far as the Cap 4, I enjoyed it on the one trip I used it on. However, that trip never got cold (about 50 F was the coldest…), but, I can definitely tell that the Cap 4 will not be near as warm as the R1. Due to this, at this point, I think that I will carry the Cap 4 when I only expect temps around freezing, and for lower temps I will carry my R1 instead. I will use both of these as midlayers, and layer my cap 2 long sleeve crew under one or the other. However, it is a very nice piece, it has really affirmed my love for Patagonia… everything I have by them is just awesome! Oh yeah, and I am layering my Houdini over them.

      If you are wanting a pack that will be cool on your back, then I suggest the Arc Blast. The others will definitely result in a wet back, however, I gotta say that my Zero pack has a small “footprint” so it is not so bad, but my Blast 30 is a little bigger… It is not a turn off for me, but it is noteworthy. I am thinking about contacting them and asking if they can retrofit my Blast with the Arc frame for next winter… I dunno…

      I do think that the water bottles help to counter balance some of the weight, however, this is not really needed since I have been carrying less than 20 lbs on each trip, but I am sure it helps. I will find out on my next trip in which I will be trying a little different water system…

      Also, if you are planning to carry your water on the straps like I do, I would ask for a heavily reinforced daisy chain. I have noticed that the stitching on the top tack-down has started to loosen a little due to my bottle hanging on it. I am not worried about it much, but I will reinforce the top tack-downs myself a little more since I put stress on them with the water bottles.

      Hope this helps, and thanks for stopping by!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  4. Andy Amick says:

    Thanks for going through how your are packing for the trip. It’s always good to see how other people approach their gear. Good idea on the face mask. I had never thought of that for sleeping, but it makes a lot of sense because it doesn’t completely cover your nose and mouth.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      I agree Andy, I enjoy watching other peoples videos of gear that they use on trips… Sometimes I will pick up something I would like to try…but they are all generally fun to watch. As far as the face mask for sleeping, due to our warm weather, I have only been able to use it a couple of times, but each time I was happy with the results and I have all intentions to continue to do so…when the weather is cold enough.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  5. John Dowd says:

    Stick,
    You are really cranking out the videos. I like your blog. I have a kindle that I always take kayak camping. I like it because it holds like 3000 books I am told. The battery did not even need to be recharged on a 14 day trip off the west coast of Vancouver Island in bad weather. We had lots of time for reading since it rained hard for ten days. I live in WA near Rainier. I like the idea of a cf tarp for cooking under or just hanging out. We get rain and cooking in a 1 man tent is a drag as well as everyone getting stuck in a tent sucks. I don’ t mind the weight but the price is high.

    John

    Like

    • Stick says:

      John,

      I really enjoyed having the kindle with me since I typically get to bed late at night when at home, however, when hiking, it seems I always retire earlier, so this gave me something to do while laying under there and waiting to fall asleep! As far as the tarp, it worked well on this trip, and I am quite happy with it, but I still look forward to using it more to see how I like it in the long run…

      ~Stick~

      Like

  6. Don Milligan says:

    Chad,

    Very good video, thanks for sharing the spreadsheet, have a great hike and I’m looking forward to trip report. ~Don

    Like

  7. John C says:

    Hi Stick, good report as always. I am considering taking a Kindle, or something similar, on backpacking trips myself. Did you comparison shop between the Kindle by Amazon, and the Nook by Barnes and Noble? I am trying to figure out which one to buy.

    Also don’t worry about the color of your Houdini. I have an older green one, and I think that that particular shade of green is repulsive–and I am Irish! The newer red color is much more attractive. Besides the color, I love the jacket though.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      John,

      I did compare the cheapest, most basic units from each place briefly, but not in too much detail. First off, I liked that the Kindle was lighter weight, and I liked that it was not touch screen (in winter this would mean taking my gloves off to swipe the page). Of course, the Kindle is $10 less too (if you get the one that displays the ads across the bottom, which is fine by me). Then of course, I just love Amazon… I buy a number of things from there. However, I will admit, after having it for a couple of weeks now, I kind of wish I would have went with the Kindle that has the back light. This way I wouldn’t have to use my headlamp with it, but oh well… when this one quits, I will probably go to that one…

      As far as the Houdini, I actually like the red. It probably helps some though that I also have a red rain shell that is the same shade of red, so I am already used to it! I am definitely looking forward to taking it out with me on this trip! (Despite the additional weight…)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  8. James says:

    When did you get your LiteTrail Solid Fuel cook kit? How do you like? I’d love to see a write up/video on that.
    Thanks,
    James

    Like

    • Stick says:

      James,

      I actually got it from my wife for Christmas. I have used it twice around the house just tinkering with it, and so far it seems to live up to what Jhaura says about it! It is a lightweight set-up that will boil about 2 pots of water on a single 0.5 oz Esbit. As you noticed, I will be taking this with me on this trip so I will have a little more use with it soon! And then of course, you know I will do a video on it. 🙂

      ~Stick~

      Like

  9. Steve says:

    Took my first hike with the new Houdini last Saturday. It was in the low thirties but the sun was out. I had it layered with Cap2 longsleeve and R1 hoody. The R1 was way too warm so I just wore the Houdini with the Cap2. It performed perfectly. Definitely breathes better than my old NF jacket, the sleeves stay put on my long arms, and the back doesn’t ride up under my pack. My only possible complaint is the shape of the chest pocket, would have preferred it deep as opposed to wide. As a side benefit I appreciated the obnoxious red color since it was muzzleloader season. Not sure how it compares to the Verto but I think you’ll like it.

    Thanks for sharing the gear list. Always good to compare what we carry. Happy hiking!

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Steve,

      Sounds like a winner! I have been up in the air about my base & mid layer recently for this trip… I have my tried and true Cap 2, a new Icebreaker GT200 1/4 zip, and even a Patagonia Tropics Comfort shirt I am trying to decide on… Due to the higher temps it looks like we will have, I am leaning towards trying the Pat Tropics Comfort shirt out as a base layer. For my midlayer, I am between the R1 (which I absolutely love) and the newer Cap 4 1/4 zip hoody. I am leaning towards the new Cap 4 hoody, which I don’t think is as warm as my R1, but again, it looks like temps will not be too cold at all, so it should be ok.

      However, I am wearing the Houdini over whatever I choose! I am looking forward to taking it along, and I actually kind of like the red color. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and letting me know how it did for you, I appreciate it!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  10. Allen Bishop says:

    Stick,
    Nice job on the video, I look forward to a trip report, hopefully featuring how well the tarp set up worked out. Enjoy your trip, nothing like camping with some close friends.
    Al

    Like

  11. dipink1 says:

    Hi, Stick, I’d be curious to know how you are protecting your Kindle from freezing while on the trail. I locked mine up last summer on the last night of a multi-day backpack in Mt. Rainier Park last summer, and had to replace it.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      At this point, I just plan to wrap it in my down clothing while it is in my pack. At camp I can throw it in my sleeping bag when not in use, and then of course I could sleep with it… maybe… the moisture from my body may not be good for it… Anyway, this is brand new to me, and I did want the cheapest, most basic one, that way if something does happen to it, it won’t be too detrimental! I did keep it outside with me a couple of nights ago. Temps got down to 26 F and it still performed fine.

      Like

  12. Steve says:

    Great video Stick. Very organized method by using an Excel spreadsheet. It would be hard to forget something, just double check the contents on the spreadsheet. In the end you had a very lightweight pack with all the necessities. I hope you didn’t forget the “redneck beer cup”. Enjoy the hike and thanks for sharing the video.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Thanks Steve! I love using Google Docs for my list because I can access them and edit them from anywhere. I know that alot of people use other sites such as GearGrams (or something another) but for me, the Google Docs is the best choice. I like that I have pretty much full control over it.

      As far as the redneck beer cup, it will not be going with me on this trip… it will go on others though! 🙂

      ~Stick~

      Like

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