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Old 04-15-2017, 08:26 PM
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Default Backpacking kit updated...



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Got my chores done this morning, did a little kayaking and finally put together my pack for our upcoming trip in June. This AT section is from Erwin, TN to Damascus, VA; just over 130 miles. We are planning about 10-11 days on the trail depending on our starting time for the first day. My wife hasn’t done the logistics planning just yet, but we are planning (I think) on two resupplies which will keep our food weight down to about 4-5 pounds.

Considering the average weather conditions (highs average 79-80 degrees and lows are low to mid 50’s), we can go pretty light on clothing and insulation.

My base weight is sitting at 12lbs, 11oz. That doesn’t include fuel, water or food. I typically just carry my standard 9oz of alcohol fuel (total weight is 9.6oz). If we keep food down to 4 days and average about 1.5 pounds per day, that’s an additional ~6 pounds. I typically maintain between 2.5-3 liters of water, so for calculations, about 6.5 pounds (if water sources are more frequent, I can pretty much run just off a couple liters, but you then balance more stops to tank-up). The only think I haven’t added is some clothing items I know I won’t be wearing while backpacking, which is my long-sleeve, synthetic shirt and my Arc’Teryx lightweight down vest which adds another 16.4oz for the two. Those are usually just worn in the morning at in the evening if the weather is a little chilly.

My Kit Bag total weight is 2lbs 15oz and my clothing/EDC (including footwear and trekking poles) is 4lbs 6oz.

So total weight (plus or minus a few ounces, more likely “plus”):
Base Weight: 12lbs 11oz
Fuel:9.6oz
Food (4 days)6lbs
Water (3L)6lbs8.0oz
Packed layers1lb0.4oz

26 pound, 13 ounces (likely it will end up about 27 pounds) and the Kit Bag adds an additional 3 pounds for a total of 30 pounds. I need to cut a few items out as I just noticed I have four lighters and I may leave behind my SAK as it’s a tertiary redundancy. My FAK needs a little thinning and I probably don’t really need my Xeroshoe sandals (8.6oz), my pillow (2.6oz) or the down vest (4.6oz)…that right there is a full pound if I drop some comfort items. At this point I’m just trimming comfort which negates the “vacation” aspect of our backpacking[:D]

Pack is a ULA Circuit. The only item I didn’t pull out was the trash-compactor bag that I use as a waterproof liner. Along with the cuben-fiber rain cover, my important contents are quite secure (I even used my pack as a float to cross the lake last year):



Contents from the back pocket, both side bottle-pockets and the two waist belt pouches:




Packet contents:




My sleep system is pretty simple: Hammock, cuben-fiber rain fly, down quilt and a 6-section Z-Rest folding pad (if temps are expected below 40 degrees, I would add my 16oz down under-quilt):



Cook kit:




My wife is a genius. She found these little silicone cupcake holders; two slits opposite each other and you can use as a pot holder. The nice thing is that it keeps the hair on your fingers from getting burned as you pull the pot off the alcohol stove. Not a necessity, but a simple "nicety".



Packed clothing:



Electronics kit, hygiene kit and small repair kit:






By constant hiking companion, the HPG Kit Bag (it’s the smaller “original stubby”):



I was going back and forth between an Enlightened down quilt and JRB’s Sierra Stealth which has an extra ounce of fill. The difference between the two is only 2 ounces (15.2oz vs. 17.2oz), but you can see the loft difference. Additionally, the JRB can be worn like a “puffy” jacket, not that I would backpack with it on. My quilts get put in the hammock under the rain fly and that’s where they stay until I pack up.




There might be a few tweaks but I’m about 95% set (minus the menu selections…that’s my wife’s forte), as we will just keep on eye on how the forecast looks as we get closer to launching. Just thought I would share my backpacking prep.

ROCK6
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:32 AM
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Please, feel free to critique...I'm not expert and always open to constructive criticism.

Some items I know I could do without:

Sandals
I have four lighters and I could cut two of those out
My FAK needs to be minimized a little more
Do I need that Sea to Summit cup since I have the small 300ml Ti cup?
Drop one of the bandanas?
Drop the extra Gossamer gear sit pad?
Do I really need the glove liners for above 45 degrees?

For clothing (right now), I have:
REI brand zip-off pants (I may just go exclusively with shorts)
Merino wool T-shirt
Ex Officio drawers
Merino wool socks
Salomon hiking shoes
Ball cap

What will likely spend more time in the pack:
Craghopper long-sleeve shirt
Arc'Teryx lightweight down vest
OR rain jacket
Nylon web belt

The rain jacket is a staple and can add both wind resistance and a little heat containment if needed.

The long sleeve shirt is the most second most valuable behind the rain jacket. It's pretty wind resistant, dries fast and is usually what I wear cooling down with my hiking gear drying out overnight and in the cooler mornings.

The vest is simply awesome if it's chilly on the trail (keeps the core warm) and when in the hammock as added core insulation. I may drop it, but for now it's on the list.

EDC is pretty sparse (although I do consider my Kit Bag as EDC 1.5):
Burt's bees chap stick
Fenix RC05 AA LED light
Bic (with the awesome Bunkerbuster lighter caps!)
Spyderco Dragonfly folder
Marathon GSAR watch
Oakley sunglasses

ROCK6
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:55 AM
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Nothing to critique.

When I was 15 me and two mates did the Cleveland Way which is about 108 miles in ten days. We camped and stayed at youth hostels. We bought food along the way (full English breakfasts, tea rooms, fish and chips and cooked beans and boiled eggs on our gas stove) and refilled our water bottles at friendly farm houses. Me and one of my mates had sheath knives, which we didn't use but they were there for moral comfort (scared of American werewolves on the North Yorkshire Moors LOL) but I also had a Victorinox Spartan that was useful for opening the tins of beans.

Before we went I weighed my pack on the bathroom scales and is was 4 stone (56 pounds), I weighed less than 8 stone at the time!

When we weren't getting sunburnt we were in cold torrential rain (typical English summer weather) and we had blisters the size of fried eggs! I had a 4 inch scab on my back from the rubbing of my 70L rucksack (it was my brother's and too long in the body for me).

For the first few days it was misery but after a while I got into a routine. When we reached the end, we didn't want to stop and felt sad our adventure was over.

Have a good time on your walk ROCK6 and I hope you don't need to use that pistol.
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
Please, feel free to critique...I'm not expert and always open to constructive criticism.

Some items I know I could do without:

Sandals
I have four lighters and I could cut two of those out
My FAK needs to be minimized a little more
Do I need that Sea to Summit cup since I have the small 300ml Ti cup?
Drop one of the bandanas?
Drop the extra Gossamer gear sit pad?
Do I really need the glove liners for above 45 degrees?

For clothing (right now), I have:
REI brand zip-off pants (I may just go exclusively with shorts)
Merino wool T-shirt
Ex Officio drawers
Merino wool socks
Salomon hiking shoes
Ball cap

What will likely spend more time in the pack:
Craghopper long-sleeve shirt
Arc'Teryx lightweight down vest
OR rain jacket
Nylon web belt

The rain jacket is a staple and can add both wind resistance and a little heat containment if needed.

The long sleeve shirt is the most second most valuable behind the rain jacket. It's pretty wind resistant, dries fast and is usually what I wear cooling down with my hiking gear drying out overnight and in the cooler mornings.

The vest is simply awesome if it's chilly on the trail (keeps the core warm) and when in the hammock as added core insulation. I may drop it, but for now it's on the list.

EDC is pretty sparse (although I do consider my Kit Bag as EDC 1.5):
Burt's bees chap stick
Fenix RC05 AA LED light
Bic (with the awesome Bunkerbuster lighter caps!)
Spyderco Dragonfly folder
Marathon GSAR watch
Oakley sunglasses

ROCK6
Your kit is very similar to mine and similar base weight so I don't have much to critique. I agree with things you could cut out.
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:29 AM
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Have a good time on your walk ROCK6 and I hope you don't need to use that pistol.
Yeah, much like your larger belt knives, it's more a force of habit and for mental comfort, not so much for necessity. Carrying a firearm is very much a an individual thing. I've spent a career protecting our right to do so, so these hikes I get to exercise some of what I sacrificed to protect. I do carry concealed as our AT does have some who are often very anti-gun. I just decided to carry concealed (where I legally can) and enjoy the hikes with my "mental comfort"...as you often hear, "hike your own hike"

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Your kit is very similar to mine and similar base weight so I don't have much to critique. I agree with things you could cut out.
The hardest thing to do when cutting pack weight down is just being honest with yourself. You quickly learn to identify needs from wants. My sandals are quite light and I could easily get by without them, but I do enjoy them! We don't hike dawn to dusk. We do get up at the butt-crack of dawn to take advantage of the cooler weather, but typically have more than a few hours of light based on our planned distances (also, most of the thundershowers are in the mid-to-late afternoons and we try to avoid hiking in those!). It's nice to take the shoes off and put the sandals on, letting the feet breath but offering a little protection from sharp objects (and also let me get my socks hung up to dry out!). Again, not needed, but I value the opportunity to use them for foot-health purposes and I can still set up camp, hike down to get water and lounge without needing shoes.

If anything, having to justify the "wants" really makes you assess what goes in your pack and forces you to either use it or accept the extra weight without complaining!

ROCK6
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:45 AM
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A rational and thorough equipment list. I really like the ULA Circuit and even use it as a day pack. You have answered your own questions really. Nearly everything in the questionable list is not necessary. On the AT I would not carry more than 2 liters of water.
Too much redundancy for my taste. I would bring no gloves at all. With some serious soul searching you can make 25 pounds. Good luck.

On the PCT the through hikers mostly have lighter packs than people on short trips. Experience teaches you what you don't need. On the AT is is no big deal to go find a town if you need some additional or replacement equipment.

I don't think I have ever heard anyone on a backpacking trip say "Gee I wish I had brought more stuff."
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:03 PM
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Looks like you have a great setup, my list is much the same. I especially like the same little Petzl light you have. I tend to carry less electronics as I am rarely in cell coverage where I go...but I do carry a satellite beacon for emergencies. My repair kit and first aid kits are less robust, and I probably carry less water as there is frequent access to water in my part of the Rockies.

I tend to spend some extra weight on good food. I like fresh cooking and am not too big on freeze dried foods over several days. You use an alcohol stove...have a look at one called the White Box stove...awesome, but your pot needs to be at least 5" across as it flames out the side. If you cut a section of a GI sleeping pad to fit in your pack against your back, it is a good sit pad when you make camp, or are sitting in damp conditions when hunting.

Keep the gloves and pillow. My priorities when I am out are 1) stay dry, and 2) sleep well. Had a hammock once and sold it, I always sleep on the ground as there are no trees above timberline and I have to get up at night to pee more now. Sleeping on the ground makes that easier.

Have a great trip and let us now what you change after your return!
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:17 PM
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As I looked at your water system, I thought I would show you what I use. I do carry the Sawyer Mini filter when on day hikes, fishing or hunting as part of my survival gear. But, if I intend to purify water on a backpack trip, I use the larger Sawyer filter. I generally replace the bottles after each trip.



This is the setup I use. Two large Smartwater bottles (one cut off to provide a nesting dirty water scoop from small water sources). My clean water is always in the large bottle. The small bottle (with the rubber band around it to hold the scooping cup on) is for unfiltered water. The threads on the Smartwater bottles are the same as the filter so you can squeeze water through the filter directly from the small bottle. I do take one of the squeeze bags but I have had them fail (probably from squeezing too hard) but the Smartwater bottles seem to be bulletproof. So, when I find water, I filter water into the large bottle then I carry the small bottle with unfiltered water until I might need it. I do believe the larger Sawyer Filter is far superior to the Sawyer-Mini, which for me is for emergencies only. Also, in my first aid kit, I carry iodine which gives me a multi-use backup for both first aid and water purification.

Additionally, I have found that any filtration system that depends on me sucking water through the filter will result in me becoming dehydrated because that is a pain in the ***.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:40 PM
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As I looked at your water system, I thought I would show you what I use. I do carry the Sawyer Mini filter when on day hikes, fishing or hunting as part of my survival gear. But, if I intend to purify water on a backpack trip, I use the larger Sawyer filter. I generally replace the bottles after each trip.



This is the setup I use. Two large Smartwater bottles (one cut off to provide a nesting dirty water scoop from small water sources). My clean water is always in the large bottle. The small bottle (with the rubber band around it to hold the scooping cup on) is for unfiltered water. The threads on the Smartwater bottles are the same as the filter so you can squeeze water through the filter directly from the small bottle. I do take one of the squeeze bags but I have had them fail (probably from squeezing too hard) but the Smartwater bottles seem to be bulletproof. So, when I find water, I filter water into the large bottle then I carry the small bottle with unfiltered water until I might need it. I do believe the larger Sawyer Filter is far superior to the Sawyer-Mini, which for me is for emergencies only. Also, in my first aid kit, I carry iodine which gives me a multi-use backup for both first aid and water purification.

Additionally, I have found that any filtration system that depends on me sucking water through the filter will result in me becoming dehydrated because that is a pain in the ***.
I use the Evernew collapsible bags for dirty water and the connectors to go straight from the bag through the filter and into my Smart Water bottles.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:51 PM
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Seems like a pretty good kit. Only thing i'd suggest, is that if you're saying you might keep the down jacket out, and the pillow out, that a down jacket makes a pretty good pillow in my mind . Just think a bit more multi use and i'm sure you could (if you really wanted to), get rid of some extra stuff, but i don't think i'd change much personally.
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:14 PM
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Not sure if you have a set of TICK TWISTERS in your gear or not?
If in tick country, they are almost a must have.
Compact & weigh about nothing.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2X-Pack-x-2-...4AAOSwpDdVYZHo



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Old 04-16-2017, 02:12 PM
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On the AT I would not carry more than 2 liters of water.
This is what I try to maintain, usually in the hydration bladder. This brings up another debate about bottles verse bladders. The bottles are lighter and more versatile, but over the years, I just prefer using a bladder. The lightest I could find is Osprey's new 2.5 liter bladder, but I still carry a SmartWater bottle as well. We had one really dry season where we really stretched our on-board water capacity. between water sources; not something you want to do when the heat index is over 100 and your sweating a half-liter an hour! This is really a trail-call and if water sources are frequent, we will cut weight that way. I just like the added capacity if needed, but it's still a solid point.

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I don't think I have ever heard anyone on a backpacking trip say "Gee I wish I had brought more stuff."
Now that is the truth!

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Originally Posted by Paveglass View Post
Looks like you have a great setup, my list is much the same. I especially like the same little Petzl light you have. I tend to carry less electronics as I am rarely in cell coverage where I go...but I do carry a satellite beacon for emergencies. My repair kit and first aid kits are less robust, and I probably carry less water as there is frequent access to water in my part of the Rockies.

I tend to spend some extra weight on good food. I like fresh cooking and am not too big on freeze dried foods over several days. You use an alcohol stove...have a look at one called the White Box stove...awesome, but your pot needs to be at least 5" across as it flames out the side. If you cut a section of a GI sleeping pad to fit in your pack against your back, it is a good sit pad when you make camp, or are sitting in damp conditions when hunting.

Keep the gloves and pillow. My priorities when I am out are 1) stay dry, and 2) sleep well. Had a hammock once and sold it, I always sleep on the ground as there are no trees above timberline and I have to get up at night to pee more now. Sleeping on the ground makes that easier.

Have a great trip and let us now what you change after your return!
Great points. The Petzl e+LITE is my primary headlamp…simply the best (lightest) on the market. I’m purposely adding some extra light weight to test out a new Zebra AA headlamp and a Fenix RC05 LED. I really want to test out the USB charging capability of the Fenix and I can charge both batteries off the 13KmAH charger. This is a little “electronics” heavy. I don’t use my phone much (at least not as much as my wife! She’s always taking and posting pictures), but I do use it as a camera and the Kindle app. It typically keep the mobile signal searching turned off.

We usually do one solid hot meal at night. Most our meals are homemade dehydrated meals. Believe me, I think I eat better on the trail then at home!

My Z-Rest is the same concept of a cut-down GI pad. It just folds out and can serve as a seat or insulation in my hammock. I also carry it in the same location inside my pack. I may drop the gloves (given the weather conditions), but the hat helps if the temps do dip at night. Interestingly enough, I find the hammock far easier to take that 0300 mother-nature call.

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I do believe the larger Sawyer Filter is far superior to the Sawyer-Mini, which for me is for emergencies only. Also, in my first aid kit, I carry iodine which gives me a multi-use backup for both first aid and water purification.
I've been back and forth. The larger Squeeze filter definitely has a superior flow rate and longer time before needing back-flushing, but I haven't had any issues with the Mini beyond that and have found it more than acceptable. I do agree with a backup. I don't have iodine, but the Aqua Mira purification system.

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Seems like a pretty good kit. Only thing i'd suggest, is that if you're saying you might keep the down jacket out, and the pillow out, that a down jacket makes a pretty good pillow in my mind . Just think a bit more multi use and i'm sure you could (if you really wanted to), get rid of some extra stuff, but i don't think i'd change much personally.
That's a good point...

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Not sure if you have a set of TICK TWISTERS in your gear or not?
If in tick country, they are almost a must have.
Compact & weigh about nothing.
I really need to go through and update my FAK. I think I have those exact same tick-tweezers in them. I do have the Sliver Grippers, but you need more care using those with ticks. We haven't had any major issues with ticks, but the last time we did a class in Shenandoah area, we were assaulted by ticks more than I've seen in a very long time. Everything gets treated with Permethrin; I go on a regimen of garlic supplements and we do our nightly checks. I really don't like ticks...

Great feedback all, thanks.

ROCK6
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:09 PM
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I really don't like ticks... ROCK6
Never met anyone that did.............

Lyme disease would not be fun.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-c...s/con-20019701

I keep a tiny very powerful suction device in my FAK for use removing anything they might leave, also.

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Old 04-16-2017, 05:08 PM
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I'm surprised how few on the trails carry an eye wash cup in their FAK.
Compact, weighs about nothing & invaluable - if you ever need one.

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Old 04-17-2017, 05:55 AM
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I'm surprised how few on the trails carry an eye wash cup in their FAK.
Compact, weighs about nothing & invaluable - if you ever need one.
A lot of things are invaluable, if you need them This is the hardest part distinguishing survival from backpacking. Survival deals more with "what if" scenarios and backpacking gear is assessed off probability of need. Blisters are often the most common injuries, so FAKs are really limited in size. Rescue is far easier to rely on while backpacking but not in a true survival situation where rescue may be weeks or not at all.

Between CLS and an backcountry first aid course, you can improvise for most major injuries with your regular backpacking equipment. Mechanical injuries and concussions are the most common outside of your typical threats caused by exposure to the elements. Sound judgement and smart decisions keep your FAK light!

My wife does have contacts, so her eye-dropper and solution could be used for an eye-wash if needed. This is also the reason why I advocate for protective eyewear. I change out my ballistic lenses for more ambient ones as we are often under canopy; your eyes are pretty important for everyday activities and just as important when backpacking.

I'm trying to cut weight Bunkerbuster, not add anything else!

ROCK6
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:58 AM
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I also wear contacts so have solution with me to wash out my eyes if necessary. We all also carry filtered water...nothing wrong with using that to wash out eyes either. I don't see the need for a cup.

My FAK is small with the basics. With a wilderness FA course under my belt (a long time ago) and some common sense you can make do with things you find around you to do almost anything capable of being fixed in the field. If I can't fix it with what I have plus some knowledge then it is out of my scope to fix and need a hospital and rescue anyway.
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:47 PM
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Great Post Rock 6. I saw in a previous post you have an MSR MIOX. Battery consumption is tough but I love mine. Use it with a regular filter when water is suspect. Have you tried to PURE electrolytic Water Purifier? Uses reg salt or any type of salt rather than rock salt for the MIOX. Also has built in solar panel for quick charges. Got mine on sale and may get another. Back to the topic...great post. Good info to see what gear others carry to give insight on what options are there.

Oaty.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:04 PM
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Great Post Rock 6. I saw in a previous post you have an MSR MIOX. Battery consumption is tough but I love mine. Use it with a regular filter when water is suspect. Have you tried to PURE electrolytic Water Purifier? Uses reg salt or any type of salt rather than rock salt for the MIOX. Also has built in solar panel for quick charges. Got mine on sale and may get another. Back to the topic...great post. Good info to see what gear others carry to give insight on what options are there.

Oaty.
Thanks. Yeah, my MIOX is in my water purification reserves I've found it's pretty efficient when I have a 5 gallon jugs of water.

ROCK6
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:29 AM
Oaty Oaty is offline
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I love my MIOX but it can go through batteries very quickly. But it works. The PURE H20 electrolytic purifier is just as good and it last little longer. Has built in solar charger and uses reg salt. Think it does up to 20L in one go. Great Post ......Your contribution to this site is spot on...

Oaty
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:49 AM
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varuna varuna is offline
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Just curious why you bring USB Wall Socket Charger? Are you planning to stay at hotel along the way?



I'm not familiar with temperate climate, but what kind of natural SHTF might happen along that particular trail?

BTW IMO you might wanna use different color bag for repair kit and hygiene kit
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