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Old 11-21-2012, 08:19 AM
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Default my first over night backpacking trip



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I finally convinced the wife to go on a backpack camping trip. We've go camping often but we take whatever we want to by tossing in the truck and going. So we want to start small, we're going on thanksgiving day to a state park where we will hike 4 miles into a primitive camp site (no bathroom, water, electric). Let me tell you I am really learning about how to pack a bag. We have cut what we want to bring in half. I didn't think it would get so heavy so fast. Since this is a last minute adventure I went out and got an Alice pack with a frame and the wife is going to take a smaller camelback bag. I plan to cook canned soup and bring bottled water since I have not bought a water filtration system. The camp site is near a lake so I will buy one for our next trip out there. I'm pretty excited, curious to see how the famous Alice pack preforms. Hopefully no too many people out there with us given the holiday.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:13 AM
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This is what I always say you need to use your stuff before you need to use your stuff
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:00 AM
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Good luck on your trip, I hope you guys have fun!

So you're carrying the entire shelter, all the warming layers and rain gear, all the food, and sleeping systems for both people? Sounds like she is only carrying her own water... Holy crap man, I'm glad you're only going 4 miles... LOL she needs to carry her own gear and you guys can split the shelter, food, stove, any of the shared gear. Be sure to waterproof everything and if it is going to be cold, take some high fat foods to eat before going to bed. I usually bring those Mini Baybel Bonbel cheeses and eat one before sleep, or you can make cocoa with some butter in it. Also, during cold months, carry olive oil and use that in your food- tastes good and the fat content keeps your metabolism up a bit at night so you stay warmer.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:03 AM
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Let us know how that goes.



Remember, water weighs about 8 lbs per gallon. When you cook with it, you may consume as much as a gallon or more per person, per day. It gets heavy lugging that much water with you.

There are other options, such as water purification tablets, that may allow you to use some of the water from the lake, especially if you plan to cook with it. Bring it to a rolling boil before you cook with it.

Another concept we use is to bring an all metal (aluminum) pot/lid with you, fill it with water from the lake, and set it by the campfire. This is not for drinking, bur for washing hands, cleaning up, etc. Just ensure the pot has no polymer parts - handles, lid handle, etc.

I suspect you'll discover that you will use far more water than you want to carry while backpacking.

If you continue backpacking, I also suspect a water pump/filter may be in your future.

Be safe and enjoy the trip.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:05 AM
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If you list your pack contents we could probably help you narrow it down even more. A simple over night with two people shouldn't be heavy at all honestly. Make sure you split things up between the two of you. Even splitting up the tent and poles make a difference.

Canned soups are heavy. They don't require a mess kit which is nice but not worth it imo. You can make your own meals much easier and lighter.

Bring some bleach at least to help purify water, running out of water is very very bad.

Have a great time! Take some pics and post
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:10 AM
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I would never even consider carrying enough water for my entire trip. I only carry enough to drink during the day while hiking. I carry extra, empty bladders and collect water at my camp site or just prior to reaching my site I will collect water at a water source. I either filter it or use some sort of purification to add to the water. Top everything off before bed at night and be ready to head out the next morning and do it all over again. I just see no point in carrying all that water unless you are in a dry/arid environment.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:28 AM
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I would never even consider carrying enough water for my entire trip. I only carry enough to drink during the day while hiking. I carry extra, empty bladders and collect water at my camp site or just prior to reaching my site I will collect water at a water source. I either filter it or use some sort of purification to add to the water. Top everything off before bed at night and be ready to head out the next morning and do it all over again. I just see no point in carrying all that water unless you are in a dry/arid environment.
When I backpack, I have the ability to carry up to 8 quarts of water: two 3-Liter bladders and two 1-Liter bottles. I rarely carry at full capacity unless I know there is not a water source. This was helpful on a recent trip because I couldn't get water for a day and a half, and each of my cooked meals (breakfast and dinner) uses 2 quarts of water. I'm with you though, I typically only fill up as much as I need to get to the next water point and will fill up everything either at camp or right at camp. I hydrate a bunch at camp and during meals during the winter, and don't drink much during the day when it's cold. Summer is a different story, though... hydrate constantly.
Old 11-21-2012, 12:44 PM
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Well the wifes bag has a 100oz water bladder in it. It is an us issue camalbak bag, its pretty small, like those marketed as a 3 day assault bag, which is more like a 3 hour bag. We don't want to go buy her a lot of gear before I know she will want to go more than once.

She will be carrying:
Change of clothes
Sleeping bag
Toilet paper
Pillow
Bottle of contact solution, tooth brush etc
Tablet computer ( we like to watch zombie movies while camping)
Beef jerky
First aid
Flash light

Not sure if she will carry much more or not.
In my bag:
4 cans of food
2 aluminum plates
2 alumnium bowels
2 spoons, forks 1 knife
Flash light
Fire starter pack (self made)
Change of clothes
First aid
Camp knife
Hatchet
Sleeping bag
Tent
Tarp cover and bottom
Pistol with 2 mags

Now I'm now sure how to take the water or how much to take. I'm considering taking bottled water or maybe I should used canteens, I really don't know what to use or how much to bring at this point. The list is off the top of my head feel free to suggest items I'm open go help.
Old 11-21-2012, 01:01 PM
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Unless you don't mind using bleach/water purification tablets to filter water you're going to have to bring all your water with you.

That is going to depend on your fitness level and the amount needed for cooking/sanitation. Make sure you're fully hydrated before you hit the trail.

If you're just bringing cans of food (I'm still curious what you're bringing, not sure how many calories you're gonna get out of 4 cans though honestly), you can just eat it out of the can after warmed by the fire. (Assuming you have a camp fire as you didn't list any other type of stove oh and wear gloves, the cans get hot!)

Is it going to be so cold that you're going to have to keep a fire going all night or is there enough wood just lying around that you don't need the hatchet?

You can get away with bottles of water, they're very thin and light.
Old 11-21-2012, 01:11 PM
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Well we are going to hike in around 2 pm and leave the next morning after breakfast. This is sort of a trail run. We will bring canned soup, beef jerky, and some candy. We plan on a large lunch before we head out. We may pack sandwitches to eat while on the trail or a snack before dinner. Don't have a stove yet. Not sure on loose wood as I have never been to this camp sight thus I want to bring a hatchet. The site claims to have a grill. The low temp is 43F that night. Not too cold.
Old 11-21-2012, 01:34 PM
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If you don't have a stove, you may at least want to pick up a can of Sterno or some heat tabs. Relying on a fire to cook over is likely to prove disappointing.


Have fun regardless!
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:39 PM
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If you don't have a stove, you may at least want to pick up a can of Sterno or some heat tabs. Relying on a fire to cook over is likely to prove disappointing.


Have fun regardless!
I may do that. I assume a fire would heat up contents of a can. I don't need to "cook" anything just heat. Am I assuming too much?
Old 11-21-2012, 01:48 PM
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I may do that. I assume a fire would heat up contents of a can. I don't need to "cook" anything just heat. Am I assuming too much?
Yes you are.

I know you are only going out for a short time but there are certain rules one should follow when "out" in the wilderness.

some of those rules include:
1) Always carry wet weather gear/cold weather gear in case of a rapid change of climate or unexpected delay in your return to civilization.
2) Always carry extra food for any emergency or unexpected delay. See #1.
3) Never assume that you will always have a means to cook/heat/have fuel for a fire. This means carry some sort of alternative emergency heat source for cooking. Even if it is just enough for making hot liquids.

These are just some basics from the top of my head. Of course you may not need extra warmth or fire source if you are hiking in the jungles of Panama but I am sure you get the point.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:07 PM
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I may do that. I assume a fire would heat up contents of a can. I don't need to "cook" anything just heat. Am I assuming too much?
Some of the folks here are making this way too complicated. If you're bringing canned soup, you can heat it however you like, or you can eat it cold- it's safe to eat either way and gives you the same nutrition either way. Just remember to partially open the can before sitting it beside the fire, or else it may pop and make a huge mess!!!

As far as your clothes and stuff, you should be fine. Be sure you have the basics like a fleece jacket and hat or something similar. Wearing a warm hat to sleep makes a big difference in how warm your whole body feels. Take some sort of rain gear, whether it is a cheap poncho, some DriDucks or Frogg Toggs, or some nice GoreTex Pro Shell, but take something to keep your torso and head dry. Rain gear doubles as a good windbreaker and is a very important layer to have in cold weather.

You're only going a few miles out, and you know this is a trial run and not some huge expedition. Don't spaz about buying heat tabs or a stove, just take a lighter and see if you can get a good fire going. If you can, awesome, if not, remember what your problems were and try to correct it the next time out.

I Do recommend taking those sandwiches with you. I usually feel more hungry when outside, so I like to eat when hiking or camping. Also, you don't want your girl to get too hungry or she may get a bad taste for this camping thing. Try to make it as enjoyable as possible for her so her interest will grow and she'll want to do it again.

WATER - I do recommend some AquaMira drops or water purification tabs- they are very lightweight and will allow you to procure water at your camp site, as much as you need, without having to carry it in with you. Only put clean, purified water in bladders you drink from. It's ok to have a "dirty" bladder for collecting water out of stream or lake, but you must purify it before putting into a bladder that you drink from. Hard containers like canteens are OK to gather water in, purify it in the same container, and drink out of it. If you drink out of the bladders, purify water in the canteen and transfer it into the bladder once it is clean.

You're not planning to use water for cooking, I don't think, so you only need water for drinking and hygiene. I say that a 3L bladder for each of you should be fine for a short trip like this. You can rinse the soup cans and refill with water to heat by a fire and make some hot drinks like cocoa or tea or something. However, take some sort of canteen or Nalgene bottle if you plan on collecting water once you're out there.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:51 PM
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And make sure someone knows where you are going, the route you plan to follow, and when you plan to get back. And that if you are more than a day or so late, they will call the rescue squad for you and give them that information so they can find you.

I'm not trying to be an alarmist or anything, and I think the chances of something bad happening on your trip are very slim. But if something /does/ happen, you want to be sure someone knows where to look for you.
Old 11-21-2012, 06:30 PM
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? For you. Can't I just boil water in order to drink it. Or do I need to treat it some other way too?
Old 11-21-2012, 07:02 PM
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And make sure someone knows where you are going, the route you plan to follow, and when you plan to get back. And that if you are more than a day or so late, they will call the rescue squad for you and give them that information so they can find you.

I'm not trying to be an alarmist or anything, and I think the chances of something bad happening on your trip are very slim. But if something /does/ happen, you want to be sure someone knows where to look for you.

For this trail you are required to sign in with the state park rangers, which we plan to do.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:05 PM
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Well I bought water proof matches and some stove cube things. I also go 2 tent tarps to help water proof the tent from rain. 100 ft of para cord. Ill use a lot of it rigging our packs... also some egg carriers. This is getting expensive.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:01 PM
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There are some really good suggestions there - Don't stress out too much about the trip - it's really not a big one - but a lot of those tips are safety-related - safety is vital.

Since this is really a test run, and you don't know how it will go, how your lady will like it, etc, I would suggest you put some nice food, a bunch of water, and a warm dry change of clothes in your car. That way, when you get back to your car the next day, even if you are hungry, thirsty, wet and cold, you can fix it right away. It's a really nice thing to look forward to!
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:12 PM
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OP,
I was not trying to complicate things with my earlier posts. The facts I brought up were just some simple rules I live by when I go out. I have always been a solo hik/camper and used to go out for 1-2 weeks at a time all along the Appalachians. There are certain places in the world where the weather can change unexpectedly and not always for the better. It is always best to be in the habbit of being prepared for anything unexpected, even on a short overnighter. That was the only point I was trying to make.
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