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Volume is as important as weight

I have too much crap. I mean I have so much gear that getting onto the trail usually involves some analysis paralysis as I try to select the right kit for the trail.

As I watch bushcrafter videos I see them carry the kitchen sink or at least tools to make a kitchen sink. And then there are the FKT/SUL hikers that cut the stencil tags off their underwear or just spend the stupidest amounts of money. And then there are the gear review junkies that buy everything known to man and tell you why it's great only to retract that position a few weeks, months or years later. Sure there is new and better gear every season but there's a limit to my patience.

In recent days I watched two videos that I really liked. One guy said his friends were not really hikers so he needed the extra gear to facilitate their joining him. And another said... this is my gear review and this is all I have. This kit cost me $600. That's it.

As I'm trying to outfit my pack for my next hike I've made some decisions:

  • my shelter and sleep systems can and should take up half my 22L pack.
  • first aid and emergency 25% and overflow into my Hip Pack
  • food and water about the remaining 25%
Of course this is for the Florida summer so my big three are not so big. When the winter temps arrive my percentages will change because I'll need a bigger blanket and less water because it's wetter.

Here is something to note:

Pillows are typically considered a luxury item. My thermarest pillow is my favorite and I sleep with it sometimes just because I like it. But the thing of it is all three take valuable volume in my pack. The Klymit pillow is clearly the most compact.

Sit pads come in many flavors and sizes. Many will perform different functions. The Gossamer Gear is nice because I can whip it out without disrupting the pack and kneel or sit. I, once, completely jacked my knees on a hard surface. The bootlick can also be used as a sleeping pad. But the Klymit sit pad is tiny by comparison and could potentially double as a pillow.

I don't know what to say about blankets/liners. My Pure Down blanket is meant for kids as it's not long enough. The versa blanket is ok but voluminous. The fleece blankets can be dialed in depending on the weather and rain/wet would only be a minor setback.

It all matters.


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