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  1. #1
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    Default Ditch which gear?

    I think I have heard to ditch the brain, is that right? Just leave my bad pulled shut with the string?
    Bag rain cover - not needed? Just use the trash compactor bag?
    Compass? follow the blaze? Use my compass on my phone?
    What else can I ditch?
    Thanks
    Vickie 2020's my year

  2. #2
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    My current pack didn't come with a brain, so it has a rolltop cover. But I never ditched the brain on my old one.

    I bring my pack cover.

    You'll pry my compass from my cold dead fingers. Then again, about a third of my hikes involve at least some off-trail travel. I also bring a paper map, a pressure altimeter (on my wristwatch, which I also consider essential navigation gear), and a notebook and pencil. My phone GPS is a useful cross check but is NOT primary navigation.

    Best advice: Take a few trips. What gear didn't you use? For what gear could you make do with something lighter, or make something else do double duty? Don't try to "get it right" based on someone else's hiking style. I have an eccentric hiking style that has me carrying heavier than some. 1azarus or Malto would say that I'm carrying crazy heavy, but I don't try to make the miles they do, and I don't think I'd ever figure out 1azarus's quirky system, which works splendidly for him.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  3. #3
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    how about this:

    if you did not have it and you lived, you did not need it

  4. #4
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    how about this:

    if you did not have it and you lived, you did not need it
    This sounds like saying if you did not have insurance and lived, you did not need it
    Blackheart

  5. #5

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    A list of what you were planning to take would help.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    how about this:

    if you did not have it and you lived, you did not need it
    Perhaps 'if you did not have it and regretted it'? Or, if 'x' happened and you'd die without it?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vickietyer View Post
    I think I have heard to ditch the brain, is that right? Just leave my bad pulled shut with the string?
    Bag rain cover - not needed? Just use the trash compactor bag?
    Compass? follow the blaze? Use my compass on my phone?
    What else can I ditch?
    Thanks
    Vickie 2020's my year
    What is your goal? As light as possible?
    just a few observations:

    phone batteries run down. analog compasses don't. Follow the blaze works mostly for the AT until you go off trail. As everyone here knows, there are places where, once you go off trail to find some privacy to do #1 or #2, every direction looks the same. Judicious use of a compass can help you get back on the trail after that kind of a break/detour.

    rain cover - Yes, you can probably do without one if you've already got your "must stay dry" stuff kept dry in a compactor bag. However, as others have noted, a wet backpack is heavier than a dry one - sometimes considerably so. So although a rain cover doesn't 100% save the bag from getting wet (due to wicking action via the exposed straps), it may reduce how wet your bag gets - perhaps considerably. So it may still have some value. However, if your rain gear happens to be a poncho - or better yet, a poncho tarp - then the rain cover is fully redundant. (technically the compactor bag would be too, except for the risk of getting your "must stay dry" stuff wet by immersion, say in a creek crossing). Also, if you plan to have bulky stuff like a CCF pad strapped to the outside of your pack, a rain cover isn't going to fit anyway.

    Anyway, we need more information to make a recommendation. How many miles do you hope to cover each day? Basically, the more ambitious you are, w/r/t daily miles, the more of a payoff you'll get by going light. What's your risk tolerance?

    Ditching the brain/lid: this falls under the general advice of "buy your backpack last". Ditching the brain of your backpack only makes sense if you don't need it for storage, or don't want it for convenience.

    Provide more details, you'll get more specific advice.

  8. #8

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    It seems that the most common source of unnecessary extra packweight is too much clothing, and too much food and water. Avoid worrying about redundancy in your gear. One set of hiking clothes, a base layer if you are starting in the March-April window, a puffy jacket, Rain gear (jacket and pants), and an extra pair of socks/liners. That's it !! Rarely do you need to carry more than 3 days worth of food at anytime. There are a few exceptions on the AT when more food is called for; but too many hikers begin their hike with WAY too much food. Usually in the spring water is plentiful so no need to carry alot. Once you begin your hike, if there is something besides a first aid kit in your pack that you haven't used in a week; send it home or find it a home in a hiker box.

  9. #9
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vickietyer View Post
    I think I have heard to ditch the brain, is that right? Just leave my bad pulled shut with the string?
    Bag rain cover - not needed? Just use the trash compactor bag?
    Compass? follow the blaze? Use my compass on my phone?
    What else can I ditch?
    Thanks
    Vickie 2020's my year
    That thinking is useless without knowing what you would still be carrying. The items that you mention might not total 1 pound. Insignificant if you’re still carrying a heavy tent and sleeping bag and multiple changes of clothes in a heavy pack.
    More information needed.
    Wayne

  10. #10
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    I have been carrying a compass for 35+ years. They do sell little tiny ones that just weigh a few grams for those times that you just have to know which direction north is.
    Lonehiker

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    rain cover - Yes, you can probably do without one if you've already got your "must stay dry" stuff kept dry in a compactor bag. However, as others have noted, a wet backpack is heavier than a dry one - sometimes considerably so.
    Does applying something like Scotchguard shed enough water to avoid a heavier wet backpack?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyslayer View Post
    Does applying something like Scotchguard shed enough water to avoid a heavier wet backpack?
    Coming from a boating background, we tried several different waterproofing product on our bimini and none of them worked 100% in a drenching rain. However, this one did do the best job of those we (and other cruisers) tried.

    https://www.wholesalemarine.com/star...ing-with-ptef/

    I will be interested to see what others say.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchee View Post
    Coming from a boating background, we tried several different waterproofing product on our bimini and none of them worked 100% in a drenching rain. However, this one did do the best job of those we (and other cruisers) tried.

    https://www.wholesalemarine.com/star...ing-with-ptef/

    I will be interested to see what others say.
    I used the brush on version of that to redo the rainfly on my Eureka alpinelite 2xt. Working great so far. I have an old Gregory that I may try that on and see what happens.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vickietyer View Post
    I think I have heard to ditch the brain, is that right? Just leave my bad pulled shut with the string?
    Bag rain cover - not needed? Just use the trash compactor bag?
    Compass? follow the blaze? Use my compass on my phone?
    What else can I ditch?
    Thanks
    Vickie 2020's my year
    Re pack cover, I use a compactor bag inside my pack always and bring the rain cover if rain is expected and for long trips.

    My pack had a removable brain. I don't use it for 2 to 3 day trips, and for use it for longer ones.

    Happy trails.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Just love being outside, not sure why. 640 AT miles done (2014-2018), many more to go.

  15. #15
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    You'll hear lots of things.

    Granger XT Proofer or Nikwax TX Direct Spray on my Dyneema X or ULA 210 Robic packs makes them much more water resistant(WR)...shedding much more water. https://www.rei.com/product/794729/g...terproof-spray


    When anticipating persistent rain or mixed weather on a longer hike, and because I like storing stuff outside my pack in the pack pockets without everything needing to be in Ziplocs or plastic bags, I may use a bag liner, a few WP or WR stuff sacks, AND a pack cover while also spraying my pack to make it WR.

  16. #16
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    You can combine your pack cover and your rain jacket by using a Packa Rain Jacket. This will be on your pack and you don't have to take your pack off to get into your rain jacket. It also covers your pack straps and has large pocket for things you need to keep dry.
    Blackheart

  17. #17
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    I'd second the use of a Packa rain jacket. I like the pit zips and by not having my rain jacket under my pack straps, I tend to stay cooler during the hot weather as well. The only drawback is that without your pack, you have a large area of jacket billowing out away from your back when you wear it. If you're careful it shouldn't catch on anything but you do need to pay attention to your surroundings.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

    snapper

  18. #18
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    a trash bag will work as a pack cover, but it won't last long before getting snags. for a thru hike, I'd suck it up and bring a real pack cover.... with a bag liner, though --always, always a liner for your sleep system and clothes. that's way more important than the cover.

    and don't be the guy/girl without a compass --not cool. the weight's pretty negligible.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyslayer View Post
    Does applying something like Scotchguard shed enough water to avoid a heavier wet backpack?
    Buying a backpack made from cuben fiber/dyneema instead of Nylon is the only reliable the way to do that IMPE. It costs more but it saves a lot of weight and is much more weather resistant.

  20. #20

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    I don't think you gave enough info to get proper answers. Some packs don't need a rain cover... a liner or trash compactor bag will work just fine. And other packs will need a cover to keep them from absorbing a ton of water
    If your bag eats rain and gets heavier and dries slowly... then you should cover it

    When you get close to finalizing your gear, post a full list and people will give you good feedback.

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