Saturday, November 18, 2006

Lightening the load After reading Chris P's blog, and seeing what a weight watcher he is, I started to look at my gear to see where I could lose some weight. There's a backpack that he uses that I thought was a good place to start. Only 10 ounces, and cost just 25 bucks. Thanks Chris. I still have to do some testing to see how much I can carry in it. I'm striving to be the anti-Rick, and be a minimalist when packing for a long ride : ) I also have been searching the net for a lighter stove set-up. I remember Cellerat building one not too long ago out of a beer bottle. What kind of fuel did that use Dave? Anyone have experience with Esbit-style stoves? I found a couple of them on Backpackinglight.com. Very light weight and this one even makes good use out of a beer can as a pot. Might be worth trying. There is a bunch of good info on this site. It appeals to my weight weenie side. Any other good advice on stoves or fuel that you guys might have would be greatly appreciated. I also found a super light weight bivy sack that only weighs 6.5 oz! Might be a little too light weight for winter use though. I might have trouble getting up to the minimum 15lbs. of gear for Arrowhead this year : ) Speaking of Arrowhead. Rick and I have been talking about maybe pre-riding portions of the Arrowhead Trail in early December. Anyone else interested in something like that? That's all for now. Good luck to Team Brown Bear at the Wisconsin CX State Championships. As much as I hate it. I'll be wearing my TBB t-shirt in support tomorrow : )

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I teach winter camping classes and this is what I tell my students. In extreme cold the only fuel you can rely on to boil water is white gas (Coleman fuel). The beer can stove probably uses denatured acohol. It will take you three years to boil a quart of water with acohol when it gets below 20 degrees. The same goes for Esbit tablets.

Doug said...

Sorry I clicked the wrong button, the above anonymous was me.....Doug

Cellarrat said...

White gas or there is a colmen canister stove chris p was telling me thats soposed to work very well in the cold....

I love the beer can stoves I just run it off of high proof alcohol that is a watse product at work... Great 3 season stove light cheap very relible... Just google alcohol stoves lotsa sites to geek out on. Winter time I think i'll be getting a wite gas stove though... AH135 08 here i come....

I'll have a fixed snow bike very soon not quite as crazy as a pugs but pertty good for a cheap bike..

Jill said...

15 pounds is a lot of gear. That's the same weight they require for the Susitna 100. I didn't even make an attempt to go light for that, and I weighed in at 15 pounds, 1 ounce. Just barely made it. I think actually making an effort to go light would put you underweight.

Chris said...

White gas isn't the only winter stove possibility. The right canister will kick it's ass aka the Coleman extreme. They aren't your average canister though since they are remote and have a preheat tube. You need to keep the canister itself above -44F but that's not too hard to do. Back to back tests by RJ at BPL had a Coleman extreme kill a whisperlite for snowmelting. They're 11oz but easily modified down to 8oz or so. $50 from campmor with two different canister (aluminum) sizes available. Crushable and recycleable too.

For summer Esbit rules, for winter I'm going to use the Coleman. For summer I use the BPL ti wingstove with a sterno can pot (11 grams) but winter needs more boil power and at least 1L pot. A good windscreen is benefical for every stove.

Here's a take on a AH135 minimum gearlist from BPL. Obviously you need more items than this but this is a pretty light take on the mandatory gear although the bag is a pretty penny.
------
Minus 20 Bag: Feathered Friends Ptarmigan 3 lb 10 oz ($640)
Sleep Pad: 15mm EVA Foam, 20x72 1 lb 2 oz
Bivy Sack: Integral Designs eVENT Overbag 1 lb 1 oz
Firestarter: 1 lighter, 1 solid fuel tablet 1 oz
Stove: Coleman Xtreme w/empty canister + windscreen 1 lb
Fuel: 8 oz canister fuel
Pot: Snowpeak 900, foil lid, 4 oz
Bottles: 2x32 oz Nalgene Cantenes 5 oz
Headlight: Princeton Tec EOS w/Li AA's 3 oz
Strobe: 2 Red Photon Lights 1 oz
Whistle: on lanyard, 1 oz
Total weight of mandatory gear:
8.25 lbs
------
A few of those items I don't think meet the rules. The pot must be 1L I think but you can use the Trainga which is lighter anyway (2.4oz). You need some insulated water container. For clothing while moving I'd think synthetic vs down but for sleep time a down bag is the shit. Start writing out an actual gearlist of mandatory gear and the gear you use while riding plus food. I think you will find 15lbs isn't as easy as you think considering clothing worn and food you will be eating (hence not available for weighing at the finish).

The AM bivy is light but for more than a single use I'd recommend the Montbell UL bivy. The wide and long is 8oz but it's actually waterproof and breatheable and big enough for a winter bag. I have the 6oz standard length and I like it. The EVent bags mentioned above are nice too. More money but a bit more durable and winter oriented than the Montbell.

Sorry for the novel but figured I might as well pass along some information I've picked up this year.

Simmons said...

Thanks for all the info Chris! Feel free to write a novel any time. I'll have to post my gearlist from last year with weights and then see where I can improve it. Anyone else have a gearlist they want to post. We could have a weight weenie gear contest :) Thanks again.

Chris said...

I'm working on a complete gear list for the event but I haven't had a chance to finish it. If this week is slower at work maybe I'll get a chance to get one together. Working off last year's is easiest though that way it will minimize the amount of stuff you need to buy. You can look at stuff that makes the biggest weight/space difference instead of replacing every $ingle thing.