Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

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Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby Hikin_Jim » Tue May 12, 2015 6:24 pm

I just got back from a trip to the Grand Canyon. For your amusement, here's my gear list. I wound up with 19 pounds base weight, :( which is a bit heavier than I was looking for. If you scroll down in the above linked list, you'll see my list of "proposed changes" to get my gear weight down to a more manageable level, about 14 pounds for a warm weather trip. Insightful suggestions for further weight reduction welcome.

Despite my gear being heavier than I wanted, I did reasonably well on the trip. I had sprained my right knee in January and then re-injured it in February when I tried to get back out on the trail again too soon. NOT a good idea. Gotta let it rest up. I hit the Grand Canyon with only about 4 weeks of serious training after having taken about 2 months off from hiking. It took me about 6 hours of hiking to go the 9 miles to exit the canyon on the last day, a speed of about 1.5 mph. Given the amount of gain, 4500+ feet, the injury, and the fact that I was carrying overnight gear, I thought I did OK.

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Re: Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby arocknoid » Tue May 12, 2015 9:02 pm

That's a darned good pace with pack and rehabbed knee, mile and a half and 800 ft. gain per hour. Great to hear that your knee is doing well.

Thanks for the gear list; you always have thoughtful recommendations.
Individual preferences will always vary one's miles.
A few queries and comments:

4. "Eliminate three pairs. " Leaving one each of liners and midweights? With the right socks that will work fine for for a couple days. For some feetses, the difference between synthetic blends and wool/merino/alpaca dominant blends can be huge. (I can't escape carrying an extra backup pair, though, for three reasons, two of which I have experienced.)

5. "Could eliminate 1/4 lb with multifunction" Murphy is waiting to kill those three birds with one stone, on impact from slipping off the bridge... BTDT. Rather have an ounce-and-a-half half frame readers for the limited-yet-crucial need than wear bifocals on the trail; impairs wildlife spotting etc.

9. "titanium stakes" Cha-ching!

11. "A little heavy, but important for saving battery." Hmm. must refer to soul-our battery?

mil gracias, amigo

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Re: Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby Hikin_Jim » Tue May 12, 2015 11:19 pm

Thanks for the feetback, er, feedback I mean, regarding socks. :) I carried 2 pr liner socks, 3 pr crew socks, and 1 pr toe socks. The idea being to have different combos to try with my somewhat new shoes. The Smartwool PhD socks seemed to do the best, but I still got blisters. I'd probably cut it back for next trip to 2 pr crew socks and 1 pr toe socks, eliminating entirely the liner socks which I never used. The toe socks are particularly use for me for sleeping in and wearing around camp -- they fit into my flip flops. :)

I thought 1.5 mph wasn't too awfully bad for a guy who really didn't get to train properly. And I might have been somewhat distracted by the scenery.

Image

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Re: Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby Hikin_Jim » Thu May 14, 2015 1:25 pm

arocknoid wrote:That's a darned good pace with pack and rehabbed knee, mile and a half and 800 ft. gain per hour. Great to hear that your knee is doing well.
Well, thank you. I'd have been more satisfied with it had I not been the slowest in the group. :( But very satisfied to have had only about 4 weeks of training and still be able to get out of the canyon by noon.

arocknoid wrote:5. "Could eliminate 1/4 lb with multifunction" Murphy is waiting to kill those three birds with one stone, on impact from slipping off the bridge... BTDT. Rather have an ounce-and-a-half half frame readers for the limited-yet-crucial need than wear bifocals on the trail; impairs wildlife spotting etc.
Hmm. Well, there's a point. I'll have to think about that.

arocknoid wrote:9. "titanium stakes" Cha-ching!
Yeah, but not that bad. You can get a decent "shepard's hook" titanium wire stakes for $2.50 if you do any shopping at all. Perhaps you could find something cheaper still on eBay or at a used gear sale. A set of six is $15; a set of eight is $20. Fifteen to twenty dollars, while not cheap, isn't horrible when you consider high quality tents cost around $300 dollars. Spending $15 to $20 to support an item you just spent $300 doesn't seem too bad, at least to me. And they are stinkin' light while being a lot less prone to bending than aluminum. The ground was really hard at the Grand Canyon. I bent 5 out of 8 of my aluminum stakes, 2 of which were bent to the point that I discarded them. One of my travel companions broke the head off of an MSR aluminum mini Ground Hog stake. There's something to be said for equipment that works, even if it does cost a bit more.

On the other hand, aluminum "V" stakes do hold better though, particularly in soft soils where titanium wire stakes just pull right out. Aluminum "V" stakes can be had for as little as $0.50 per stake with some careful shopping, about 1/5 th cost of titanium. I generally use aluminum "V" stakes with bigger tents because of their superior holding power unless I know that the ground is going to be hard in which case I will often take titanium.

Aluminum wire stakes are not in my opinion a good option. They bend too easily and don't hold very well.

Titanium "V" stakes would excel, but those are definitely not cheap, typically about $4 bucks or more per stake. A six pack costs about $25 and an eight pack is over $30. Best of both worlds though if you don't mind spending the money.

arocknoid wrote:11. "A little heavy, but important for saving battery." Hmm. must refer to soul-our battery?
Why, yes, and may the son shine down on me. :)

HJ
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Re: Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby Ulysses » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:07 am

Where did you hike and camp Jim? The pictures looks like South Kaibab trail maybe? Any water sources?
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Re: Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby Hikin_Jim » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:43 pm

Ulysses wrote:Where did you hike and camp Jim? The pictures looks like South Kaibab trail maybe? Any water sources?
We went down the South Kaibab Trail. Other than the Colorado River itself, there were no water sources of any kind.

We camped at Bright Angel Campground for two nights. On the middle day, we went up Bright Angel Creek and took a little side trip to Ribbon Falls, which is very worthwhile. Water was readily available in Bright Angel Creek which the trail basically follows.

We exited via the Bright Angel Trail. Tons of water on the Bright Angel Trail. I've marked up a Bright Angel Trail/North Kaibab Trail water sources map. Blue dots represent water. I've indicated water that can be consumed without treatment with the word "Potable". I didn't mark the Colorado River or Bright Angel Creek which are obvious and highly reliable water sources.

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Re: Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby Ulysses » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:51 pm

Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for sharing. I've been wanting to backpack the GC for a while now. I've hiked both South Kaibab and Bright Angel trails down to the river, but just as day hikes.

BTW. I have my backpack base weight down to about 11.5 lbs. (without the bear canister). Big 3: Six Moon Designs Swift pack (1 lb.), Tarptent Rainbow tent (2lb. after a haircut), Western Mountaineering Alpenlight bag (2lb). I enjoy hiking so much more with a light pack.
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Re: Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby Hikin_Jim » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:28 am

11.5 base weight is pretty ding dang good!

I'm at about 13.5 to 14.0 lbs including a BV350 bear canister for my Sierra JMT section hike for this summer. I still have a couple of new purchases coming in, so all I have is the weight on paper in a spreadsheet. I haven't actually stuck everything in the pack yet and weighed it. Sometimes things add up to slightly more when they're all in the backpack because you forgot a stuff sack here or some other such. I should know in a week or so when the new items arrive. Two "big" purchases for this hike: a Mountain Laurel Designs Superlite bivy and a Montbell Plasma 1000 down jacket. The bivy adds about 7 oz, the jacket saves about 3 oz. I've got a couple of other tweaks yet to make like buying a polycro ground sheet (instead of using Tyvek), saves 2.5 oz and reducing my First Aid Kit from 8 oz to a target of 4 oz. I added the bivy because it can and does rain in the Sierra, even at night, and I have a floorless shelter.

If you have time, what do you carry in your first aid kit?

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Re: Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby Ulysses » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:08 pm

My first aid kit:
2 band aids
2 Vicodin
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Re: Gear List -- Grand Canyon May 2015

Postby Ulysses » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:33 pm

Just kidding. Okay this is a good exercise. Thank you for asking. Forced me to pull out my first aid kit and take inventory. Maybe I'll get some good suggestions on improvement.

2- 3in.x3in. Cotton gauze sponge pads.
1-1.5 in x 25 yd. rolled gauze.
1- .5in x 25 yd. roll cotton adhesive tape.
3- individually packaged Benzalkonium Chloride Antiseptic Towlettes.
4 -1 in. wide band aids.
2- 3 in. butterfly shape band aids.
2-individually packaged 2x ibuprofen tablets.
4- 2 in.x 2 in. pieces of moleskin.
1- 1 in. by 2 in. blister pad of unknown composition. (I forget what these are called but they are great for busted blisters).
2 Vicodin. (These have been in my pack for at least 10 years and might not be very effective, but not easily replaced).
Total weight with nylon bag: 60 gram

That's it. I also carry a personal locator beacon. Burns and small cuts seem to be my most common injuries. I figure anything much more serious (compound fracture, heart attack, ect.) and I'm deploying the beacon.

I've also recently included a small bottle of ibuprofen in my ditty for the everyday aches and pains of a body approaching 60 at an all to alarming rate.
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