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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I am planning a three-day trip up to Mt. Ranier for 10 – 12 Oct. I am using this time to test out not just my new camping gear, but also some of my “bug-out” gear. This is going to be a relaxed trip with my wife, a friend from work, and his wife, and hopefully, one more couple. We’ll be going about 13 miles in on the first day and setting up camp, spending the second day doing day hikes, then 13 miles out on the last day. All three of us guys and one wife are in the US Army. Most of my gear is going to be issue stuff from work. Among other things on my packing list, that aren’t military:

Katadyn Combi water filter - http://products.katadyn.com/brands-and-products/produkte/Endurance_Series_23/Katadyn_Combi_23.html

Catoma Military Commando II Tent - http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/MIL2165-1.html

Blast match - http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/CAMP223-1.html

MSR WhisperLite International camp stove with 22 oz. Fuel bottle (using Coleman Camp Fuel) - http://www.rei.com/product/709000

I’ll post a complete packing list latter. After the trip, I will post comments on the equipment I used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My wife has been backpacking since she was about eight, my buddies wife is Peruvian, and was taking weekly backpacking trips in the Andes since before she can remember, and the last wife is in the Army like us three guys, so, we’re starting out ahead of the power curve.

So here is my packing list, and the beginning of my wife’s. Mine list is mostly complete; hers is still a work in progress. Also, as we get closer to finalizing this list, we will cross load some of the stuff between the two of us.

Me – worn:
Hat, Fishing vest, fleece vest, t-shirt, hiking pants (the kind that zip into shorts), sunglasses, ninja suit (black silk weight polypropylene thermals)

Me – In the fishing vest:
Lighter, folding knife, multi-tool, light gloves, compass, mini shake light (the one I mentioned in my “absolutely do not buy this product thread.” I’m going to at least test it in the field), Garmin Fortrex 101 GPS, poly pro neck gaiter, fleece cap, blast match

Me – in my ruck:
Army ACU Molle ruck sack, water proof bag, e-tool, Gerber camp hatchet, hygiene kit, Army ECWSS sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, mess kit w/ utensils, nalgyne bottle (actually clipped on the outside of the ruck), MSR stove w/fuel, MRE x 3, Map, protractor, Mt. Ranier trail book, canteen cup, AA & AAA & CR123 batteries (at least 4 of each), large Shake light, head lamp, flashlight, spam x 2 cans, bungee cords x 4, 550 cord x 30 ft, poncho, gortex top & bottom, poncho liner (wooby), knife, Carhart cold weather socks x 2, t-shirts x 2, poly pro top & bottom, extra pants w/ belt, jacket, ninja suit, underwear x 2, heavy cold weather gloves, chem-lights x 4, tp (waterproofed), locking carabineers x 2, towel, washcloth, katadyn water filter w/ coffee filters.

Wife – worn:
Multi-tool, knife, sunglasses

Wife – pack:
Back pack, sleeping bag, thermorest, pillow, mess kit w/ utensils, first aid kit, nalgyne, Mountain House Meals x 4, Magellan GPS, flash light, turkey stick (turkey summer sausage), poncho, pack cover, baby wipes, tp (waterproofed), canteen cup.

Like I said, a work in progress.
 

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Good luck, and be prepared to share some pictures! (If any are worth viewing of course :)

Oh, and are you going to be wearing a watch of any sorts? (It is a question I have been asking a lot lately)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good luck, and be prepared to share some pictures! (If any are worth viewing of course :)

Oh, and are you going to be wearing a watch of any sorts? (It is a question I have been asking a lot lately)
You know, after all the thought I put into the packing list, I never thought of a camera. Wow. Thx lots.

I have a Casio G-Shock. Not sure the model number, but it is the type that is solar powered, and resets automatically to the signal sent out by the atomic clock. It runs about $80, and is very good quality. It has been through one deployment to Iraq, multiple field problems, and other hard use, and shows no wear other than faded paint in the logo. I highly recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will be wearing the old style basic issue black leather boot with original soles, but have been modified to add two drain plugs on the side of each boot. My wife will be wearing a pair of hiking boots made by Wolverine. I don’t know what everybody else is wearing.
 

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good luck LT.
 

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bad grammar deal with it
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I will be wearing the old style basic issue black leather boot with original soles, but have been modified to add two drain plugs on the side of each boot. My wife will be wearing a pair of hiking boots made by Wolverine. I don’t know what everybody else is wearing.
old school cadillac boots lol i remember getting issued them they were hot stuff back in the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Camping AAR:

Any of yall who have been in the Army are familiar with the standard After Action Review/Report – 1) What was the objective, 2) what actually happened 3) what went well, 4) what didn’t go well, 5) sustains, improves, lessons learned. Since that is the format I am comfortable with, that is the format I will use, then I will elaborate on some of the other equipment I used.

1) Objective: The objective of the trip was multifold. First, I wanted to get out and see part of Mt. Rainier, and get my wife out to see it. Second I wanted to test some of my new gear that can be used for survival or bugging out if necessary. In particular I wanted to test my new Catoma tent, MSR camp stove, Katadyn Combi water filter, and Blast match. My plan was to start at the Carbon Creek Ranger Station and hike in 12.9 miles to Mystic Camp, spend a one night, then do a day hike and recover on the second day, spend a second night at Mystic Camp, and hike the 12.9 miles out.

2) Actual Events: First, my friend twisted his ankle during PT last week, so he couldn’t make it, and neither did his wife. Well, this starts a lot with sticking to your plan. We got a late start, because we over slept. We got to the Ranger Station about 1000 and on the trail about 1030. I had wanted to start at 0900. As a result, we had not reached our destination by 1830, when it started getting dark, and had to settle for a lower camp. Instead of 13, we ended up only making 10 miles the first day. That night, my wife started getting sick (probably altitude sickness ironically). The next morning, she was having a really bad time, so we decided the safest thing to do was to go ahead and trek out. We started out about 0900, and got to the bottom about 1630.

3) Went Well: We made a pretty good time, considering the elevation change and late start. The equipment I used worked well – more about the specifics later.

4) Not well: the late start kind of screwed us, and we were too ambitious in our planning.

5) Lessons learned: I knew this before I started, but failed to accomplish it – make sure you are familiar with your equipment before you are put into a situation where you are going to have to use it. Three cases in point. First, my water filter was brand new. I had glanced over the directions, but not really read them. If I had, I would not have made the mistake of pumping the first round of water through it directly into my Nalgene. But I did, and as a result, got a bottle of ceramic dust flavored water. I didn’t realize this until I was already on the trail, and had to go about 2 miles before I got to another suitable place to clear out the filter and pump another bottle full. More embarrassingly, I was not totally familiar with the nalgene adapter, and half way through my first fill up, the bottle came unscrewed from the adapter, and fell in the river. Fortunately, it only went about five feet and got stuck in some branches in the water, so I was able to go and retrieve it. Aside from that, the Katadyn Combi water filter worked great. It was easy to use, but a little big and bulky for as short of a trip as this was. In a bug out or survival situation, it would be great since it can filter something like 13,000 gallons on one ceramic filter. Case two: I had not had an opportunity to really set up my tent before we went out. I had wanted to put it up the weekend before, but it was raining, and I didn’t want to get it wet and messed up before I took it out, so instead, I went through the motions and set it up in the living room of my apartment. It was good that I had at least seen where all the parts went, but it was still quite different setting it up in the field. Also, by the time we got to camp, the sun had set, and I was working with only twilight ilum, and a headlamp. Had I not seen it set up once, I might have been screwed. All that said, the tent went together very easily, and it took a little over 15 min with minimal help from my wife. I could probably put it together by myself in sub 20. It was big enough for the both of us, and the rain fly was jut big enough to cover our packs. It also did an excellent job of keeping wind and water out. It too, was a bit heavier that I would have liked, but well worth it. One key detriment, it did not come with a “footprint,” and I ended up putting my poncho underneath it to add some extra waterproofing on the bottom. The third and last example of “know your gear,” is the MSR Stove. I had done virtually nothing with this before I went out. I had put it together once, but never lit it or used it. I didn’t even fill the fuel bottle until just before we set out. To make it worse, it was completely dark by the time we were able to cook dinner, so I had to set up the stove, and read the directions for it with my headlamp. Fortunately, this thing was so easy to use it was almost idiot proof. It lit the first time, and within a minute, I had a hot blue jet going, and was heating water. It took about 4 or 5 min to boil a canteen cup of water (which by the way was ice cold, seeing as how the water had just been pumped from the river). Over all, it was a great product. It was light and easy to use. I didn’t get a chance to really use my Blastmatch. I kind of played with it the week I got it, and set a piece of paper on fire. I really can’t comment on it too much.

Over all, I would call this trip a success since I got to test three of the major components of my kit. To sum it up: Tent – worth buying, Katadyn Combi – definitely worth buying, MSR Stove – also definitely worth the money.

If you have any questions, post them and I will answer as best as I can.

By the way, the wife is doing fine now.
 
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