Friday, October 10, 2014

Back to Back Episode 2: The Cost of Backpacking

Just a quick update to let everyone know that another episode of Back to Back is up on Youtube, in case you have not seen it already.

Here is Part 1, where Ross sets things up and gives his thoughts on the matter.

And here is Part 2, where I reply to some of his points and give my own perspectives on the subject.

Ross is right to point out on his blog that we talk for a total of about a half hour, yet don't get into specifics on how to put together a gear list that won't cost you an arm and a leg.  But this is something he has written about in great detail before, so you can check out Ross' two gear lists here:

One is for three season backpacking, and weighs 12lb 7.2oz and costs $531.

The other is for winter, and weighs 10lb 11.2oz and costs $741.

I decided after I made my video that I it would be nice if I made a good and not too "expensive" Ultralight backpacking gear list.  It comes out to 6.7lbs and costs $650.  

It is intended for 1+ season use, and I wanted to include certain fancy/deluxe/durable gear--not to mention being pretty damn light.  With buying used, or making a few other minor changes, one could make my list even cheaper.  For example, you could buy a big (8 x 10 ft) silnylon tarp, no bivy, and cheapo (DriDucks) rain gear rather than go with poncho/tarp and bivy (you might have to wear your head net to sleep and maybe bring ear plugs, however); or switch out the titanium pot and tent stakes for stainless steel or aluminum ones, buy a generic, lightweight nylon backpack, etc.  One could also turn my list into a 3 season list without much more cost or weight, e.g. add a few more layers of clothing and make a thicker and thus warmer DIY sleeping bag.

Well, that's about it, just a quick update.  Hope you enjoy Episode 2 and our gear suggestions for a cheap but good kit, and as always feedback and questions are welcome and encouraged.

Thanks again Ross for your continued collaboration, it's been a pleasure having these virtual conversations, and looking forward to doing more episodes.

Our next topic will probably be on stoves, fuel, and all things related to cooking out in the field--so keep your eyes peeled.

2 comments:

  1. Sometimes you just need to save up and buy quality gear. This is especially true with sleeping bags. Less than $200 and it's almost impossible to find a truly effective winter bag. I learned this the hard way. Good article!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, and yeah I totally agree about certain solid, quality gear. I too learned the hard way--as did/do a lot of backpackers. And sleeping bags are one of the most important pieces of gear for sure. Happy trails!

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