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8/30/2016 8:24 PM
 

Hey all - 

This upcoming weekend a friend and I are doing a 3 day 22 mile trip in the Smokies. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this trip - getting away from everything, getting into the woods for a few days, and having some good times with my friend. 

I'm weird in that I love planning. I spent almost a week finding the "perfect" route for our trip - or at least as perfect as I can. Finding a good route for a 3 day trip while avoiding the AT and shelters was actually kind of frustrating. There were a couple trails I really wanted to include because of the where they were and what they saw (my favorite trail, Porter's Creek), but they really weren't conducive for a three day trip, or due to camp site location would require very short (5 mile) days. 

So, since this is a 3-day trip, I thought it would be perfect for my Umlindi. 

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I'm going to break down everything that's in this, both as a running commentary for myself so I can do an AAR, and as an example of probably the heaviest load I'd want in an Umlindi.

On the top of the Umlindi is a stuff sack holding the Mountain Serape and a Marmot Minimalist rain jacket (rain jacket can just be pulled out by loosening the draw string). At some point, replacing this stuff sack with a 812 stuff sack or Kifaru 5 string would be preferable, but this works perfectly fine. There's plenty of room for more insulation if I want to include a light bag, a fleece liner, or something else for a later season trip.

On the back of the Umlindi is a PALS pocket. (A very oddly colored PALS pocket. It is supposed to be ranger green, but ... I'd definitely call it an OD.) 

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In the PALS pocket I have 2 condor hook-and-loop pouches, my BFAK, my IFAK (Dark Angel Med Gen 3), a Mora, and a Bahco Laplander. I really love these Condor pouches, especially when combined with either a PALS pocket or a Aston/Tara insert. In pouch 1: 

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There's 50' 550 cord, 2x 6' cord, 2x figure 9 carabiners, a Leatherman Wave with bits and bit extender, a pencil, a sharpie, a Rite-in-Rain notebook, a Fieldsharp, and Thrunite headlamp.

In pouch 2 I have 4 granola bars, a pop tart (later removed), 20 chlorine dioxide tabs, 2 sporks, lighter, storm matches, a bunch of coffees and teas, and a MSR pocket rocket. 

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Initially I tried to put my sleep system in the PALS pocket, and while it fit, the pack felt too back heavy for my liking. I thought it would be a  great idea to have a detachable sleep pocket, but it just didn't carry right for my liking. So... Into the pack it went. 

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In the bottom of the pack is Klymit XL pad and a tarp, followed by a Hennesey hammock. 

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On top of the hammock is my cook set and food sack.

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The cook set is a Pinnacle Dualist if I recall. I've had it for years, so I could be wrong. Its really great - wash tub, 2 insulated cups with lids, 2 bowls, and a pot and lid. There's room to set it up to hold an 8 oz fuel container, and I have a second 8 oz container sitting on top in my pack. I don't THINK we'll need 16oz of fuel, but I'd rather have a little too much. 

In the slot pocket inside the Umlindi I have bug dope, biodegradable soap, TP, a high tech towel, and a bear bell. 

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In the slot pocket outside of the Umlindi is a contractor trash bag. As you can also see, I have a prairie belt. On the prairie belt are two medium GP pouches and two canteen pouches. In the right canteen pouch, I have a 1 gt Oasis canteen (I have 2 more Oasis canteens in the pockets on the Umlindi itself). In the left canteen pouch I have my emergency cook set. 

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I've played around with using this as my only cook set, but I'm not quite comfortable with it yet, especially in the Smokies where stoves are encouraged and fires are often banned. The cook set is a 1L Nalgene stainless steel bottle, a stainless steel cup and lid, and fish mouth spreaders (which work great for suspending the bottle or the cup above a fire). The bottle is a little loose in the canteen pouch, so I added some 550 cord with a slip knot and a stop knot so I can secure the bottle but can also get it out relatively easily. 

In the left GP pouch I have more coffee, a strop pre-loaded with compound, a compass (Suunto MC-2G I think), a small survival kit (I don't know who made it, I've had it for years, and I'm really thinking about leaving it behind), a sawyer mini with accoutrements (straw and little baggie), a flashlight (Thrunite Archer), matches and a lighter, and chapstick.

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In the right GP pouch I have my Carhartt work gloves and a lightweight waterproof boo-boo kit with some oral rehydration salts. 

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Paracorded to the PALS under the right GP pouch is...

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Gary!!! (with a ferro rod on the sheath and a striker on a loop) I love this knife. Very comfortable to use for wood working. It has a beautiful scandi edge, so maybe not ideal for skinning, but that's really not in the forecast this weekend. It has a very sharp 90 degree spine - like an ice skate - and if you don't wear gloves while using it and your thumb wanders on top of the knife... You will get tons of little shallow cuts. 

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Now, this whole kit - including a gallon of water (8.3 lbs) and my food sack (5lbs) - weighs 41.5lbs, or 28.2lbs before food and water. This is pretty heavy, and there are definitely some weighs (aha ha) I could cut that down. I could definitely carry less water, but that's not something I'm comfortable doing yet.  I'm really looking at whether I'm packing too much food, and input there would be welcome. 

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I'm carrying (not including the 4 granola bars in PALS pocket) 6,330 calories for the 3 days. I like to keep an eye on protein, so in those calories, I have 392g protein. In the 5lb food sack there is 8 tortillas, 1 mountain house breakfast skillet, 2 mountain house dinners (chicken and potatoes and mexican chicken and rice), 2 tuna packets, 3 powdered chocolate peanut butters (180 calories each), 4 powdered regular peanut butters (180 calories each), 2 ramen packets, and 4 instant oatmeal (raisin, apple, and walnut). Breakfast on the first day is at home/on the road type deal, and depending on day 3 dinner may be on the trail or on the road. My basic idea meal plan would be ...

Day 1: Breakfast at home; lunch 2 tortillas + tuna + peanut butter; mountain house dinner + chocolate peanut butter

Day 2: Breakfast skillet; lunch 2 tortillas + tuna + peanut butter; mountain house dinner + chocolate peanut butter

Day 3: 2 oatmeal packets + peanut butter; one ramen for lunch + peanut butter. 

This means I'm carrying one extra chocolate peanut butter (which I plan on sharing with my friend), 4 extra tortillas, one extra ramen, and two extra oatmeal packets. I'm not sure how much weight I could save here, but I realize that I could probably save 1-2lbs. 

One thing I kept seeing pop up as I did my PCC was I had instant coffee, matches, and lighters hidden EVERYWHERE. Mostly this is because this kit is put together from 3 separate kits (EDC, belt, Umlindi day hike). I don't think this will add up to significant weight savings, but I'm definitely going to be going through and removing excessive duplicates - I think keeping one pack of matches, one lighter, and the ferro rod is fine, and I think deciding how many coffees and teas I actually need would help shave a little more weight. 

I'm taking 3 knives (folding pocket, Gary, and Mora) and 1 saw. Considering I'm not allowed to use dead wood thicker than my wrist, I could lose the saw (4oz) and the Mora (4oz), so that would drop a half-pound. If I dropped the Mora and the saw, I'd be down to one fixed blade, which I could probably live with. I'm debating dropping the leatherman. I can't imagine when I would need one on this trip, and its heavy. The Wave is 8.5oz, the bit kit and extender and sheath are going to add a few more ounces, so I imagine its getting close to 11-12 oz. That's a good chunk of weight for very little return. Anyone care to weigh in here? 

I'm carrying almost 4lbs of medical gear. The light kit in the pocket is a half-pound, the IFAK is about a pound, and the BFAK is about 2.5lbs. Between the light kit and the IFAK I could cover just about any injury up to and including a GSW. It would save some space and a save some weight, and I really don't think it would put me or my friend in significant risk.

My sleep system (hammock, tarp, serape, and sleep pad) is 6.5lbs. The serape is 2.5lbs (based on HPG), the hammock + tarp is 3lbs, and the sleep pad is 1lb. I could leave the sleep pad considering I'm in a hammock, but honestly its more for insulation from convection below. So, I don't see any weight savings here unless I want to drop the tarp and take my Alpine bivy (2lbs), saving 1lb of weight by dropping hammock and tarp. For the summer, this isn't worth it to me. 

The only other area I could see saving weight is leaving the rain jacket (1lb) behind. There's no forecast for rain, but I don't really think that its a great idea to leave it. I could replace it with a frogg togg ultralight jacket (4oz) though. So not as stylish...

So, by my numbers, I could drop between 4-5lbs, reducing my total weight to between 36.5-37.5lbs. Staying under 40lbs would definitely be good, so I may make these modifications. Being around 35lbs with food and water is actually a really good weight for a 3-day trip. 

Oh - one thing I didn't take into account for weight is that I'm taking a little point-and-shoot camera. It'll be riding in the right GP pocket, and could add around 8oz. 

Anyways, I apologize for this being incredibly long and rambley. If you have any thoughts, critiques, or comments, please share. I'm all about learning and tweaking. I'll be posting some trip pics when I get back!

- J

 
New Post
8/30/2016 9:02 PM
 
GoKartz

You have a good amount of kit here. I'm not going to critique your pack, but I do have a tip for you. Take everything on your list on your trip. Start a journal with the right on rain tablet and make sure you write down everything you used, or ate, or lost and wish you had back. Also note if you have forgotten an item. Be honest about the note taken and don't include your buddies stuff, unless you eat something of his or "used" something of his.

As an example I live out west, and pack in for days to hunt in the fall. Always expecting all types of weather, pack a Ultra-Light TP with small stove. My UTE on a 4-5 days hunt weighs between 40--45 lbs. Just saying.

Have fun this week-end.
 
New Post
8/30/2016 10:04 PM
 
You put some thought and effort into this. I'm looking forward to reading your AAR when you return.

But one thing...no pistol? I couldn't do it.
 
New Post
8/31/2016 6:46 AM
 
Hey Boy Wonder - thanks for the advice. I will definitely do that. Looking forward to trimming it down a bit. The fact that your 4-5 day Ute is about the weight as my 3 day Umlindi is definitely giving me pause to seriously reevaluate gear choices. I know it can be a hassle, but maybe before your next trip you could snap some pictures and post your gear? I'm always trying to learn and find ways to improve.

Hey El Mac - I always debate with myself about carrying a pistol when I'm in the woods, and very rarely does the pistol win that side of the debate. Most of the time it comes down to comfortability - I'm not as "comfortable" with a handgun as I am a rifle. Definitely a gap in my training that needs remedying.

- J
 
New Post
8/31/2016 7:37 AM
 
GoKartz,

So then where is your rifle? ;-)

You are in the wrong mountain range, otherwise I'd be more than happy to remedy that pistol situation for you...if you come out to CO, let me know.
 
New Post
8/31/2016 8:00 AM
 
El Mac wrote:
You are in the wrong mountain range, otherwise I'd be more than happy to remedy that pistol situation for you...if you come out to CO, let me know.

 When is the class and how do I sign up? I am dead serious.

 

GoKartz

Watch the Winter Lodge Video on food and the cook kit video Evan did. You have WAY more stuff than you need, and it is all metal.  You can cut a lot of redundancy there.  Look for items that have multiple uses. Some redundancy is good (water purifying and fire starting off the top of my head), but in most cases it is just wasted weight. 


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post
8/31/2016 9:00 AM
 
Hey El Mac - I would carry my rifle, but we're in a national park and while the park rangers have finally gotten comfortable with pistols being allowed (as of 2010), they are still very hazy on whether or not it is legal to carry a rifle in the park. Even two years ago park rangers would stop you if they saw a pistol and give you grief. (Solution: kit bag, right?) If this trip was in the Cherokee WMA, I'd definitely be toting my rifle.

Hey Scot - Thanks for the recommendations. I watched the videos and took notes. The cook kit that Evan put together is pretty nifty; I'll have to look at setting up something similar, although not for this trip. I imagine going from isobutane-propane fuel to alcohol could save some weight. I wonder if I could make that work by using the Trangia stove with a (steel...) canteen cook set - I have one that is about a pound for the kit; always rides in my car bag. The minimalist is 6 oz, so I guess it is still twice the weight. Tonight I'll definitely sit down and look at removing unnecessary redundancies. Thanks for input.

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Don't mind the work clutter...

- J
 
New Post
8/31/2016 10:45 AM
 

That sounds like a nice adventure--like you, I've always found the logistics of exploring the Greenbrier area pretty frustrating, but I do know that it's possible to sweet-talk permission to camp off-trail if you know the right people.  (Unfortunately, I don't, but if a fellow had a .mil or LEO card to play, it might be worth it to get back in some spectacular country.)

At any rate, I don't know how much you get over in that country, but while I'm far from an expert I do know the Park pretty well if you'd ever like some input on trip planning.  Look forward to the trip report!

 

 
New Post
8/31/2016 1:29 PM
 
Hey CreationBear - Thanks for the offer. On the next trip I may take you up on it.


So I had a chance to remove some redundant "stuff," and took my weight down to 37lbs (saving 4.5lbs).

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I removed the IFAK case, the BFAK, mini survival kit, headlamp, leatherman, one lighter, one box of matches, Mora, Bahco, and 9 teas and 12 coffees (leaving me 4 teas and 6 coffees). I replaced the stainless steel Nalgene with another Oasis. I'm still waffling on the headlamp (backup light) and the mini survival kit (everybody else has one, I want to be a lemming!). I guess we'll see how I get along. Next trip I'll see how a setting up a trangia cook set cuts down the weight.

- J
 
New Post
9/1/2016 12:25 PM
 

Here's a link to the Longhouse instructional series just so it's in the thread:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

As to overall weight, partly it is what it is. Your gear weight for a single night is identical to your gear weight for 10 days. That's called your base weight. The only thing that fluctuates is amount of food you're carrying. You asked specifically about food and I would hold where you are for now. To me, it looks about right until you learn otherwise. FWIW - pack weights for this past weekend's intro to backpacking class fell between 32 and 42 lbs, not counting Kit Bags (so add an average of 6lbs probably), but including both water and food. I think that's about typical for a properly prepared solo traveler. If traveling in a group you can save weight overall by eliminating group redundancies in first aid kits, cook kits, etc.

On the things you shaved, they look right to me. Except I'd drop the DARK and add back in a comprehensive first aid kit. I think the DARK is overkill relative to actual risk of a trauma in the backcountry. For trauma, I carry a SWAT-T and silk bandana in my first aid kit. The SWAT isn't an awesome TQ, but it is an appropriate level of coverage for the risk level you're facing. Take note of that thread on FAKs that you started. Also, the DARK is in a nice kit meant to be mounted externally that probably weighs 4oz by itself.

Which is a segue into another point - make sure all of your container pouches aren't super heavy in and of themselves. A lot of the time you can save a couple pounds just by replacing all of your cases with ziploc freezer bags in various sizes.

Strop - how much does it weigh, and does your knife really suck so bad it will need to be sharpened within 3 days? If so, maybe there is a lighter way to accomplish the stropping? Or buy a US made, 4oz with sheath D2 steel D'eskabar from knifecenter.com for $40 and solve the problem that way.

Headlamp - keep it. Appropriate redundancy and the hands free is helpful.

Mini survival kit - is there anything in it that you don't have a bigger more capable version of in your pack?

Never leave the house without a raincoat, let alone go into the backcountry without one.

Cook kit - are you sharing with your friend? If not, just strip down the dualist. You could go all the way down to just the pot, or keep a little plastic dish too.

That's all that comes to mind for me. You're right -- you're at the upper limit of what you want to do with an Umlindi, but it will work. What makes an Umlindi a multi-day pack is when your base weight can go down because you're in a temperate climate and the shelter, insulation, and clothing weights can all go down.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
9/6/2016 11:49 AM
 
AAR - with Pictures!

Short of it: awesome time. We got a lot later start than we really wanted, and between the late start and traffic we didn't reach the parking area until about 1230, and got to the trailhead and actually started the hike in at 1255.

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The NWS had said Gatlinburg (about 8 miles away) was looking at hi/lo of 87F/62F, but when we reached the trailhead it was only 69 - which was about the hottest it would get until we were back at the trailhead on the way out.

The initial part of the trail is wide and easy, with a very gentle uphill slope. The first quarter mile or so passes by some old dilapidated buildings from when they harvested lumber along the river. Here's one through the trees:

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Pretty much the whole trail ran along the river, sometimes right next to it, and sometimes up and off aways.

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That last picture is one of my favorites that I took. This was basically the first half of the trail - wide, sometimes rocky, gentle slope uphill.

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We took it pretty easy, taking breaks for pictures or to just enjoy the surroundings. This spot was just off the trail. Absolutely beautiful.

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Looking downstream from the same spot.

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This big bridge passed over a waterfall/spring that fed into the river.

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Another river shot:

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The trail starts to narrow a little more. By about mile 4 we were down to a single track, but before that the trail was pretty wide and well maintained.

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By this point, we really were getting out there, and it started to feel like we'd left Tennessee and had entered some temperate rain forest. Honestly, it reminded me more of Olympia than Tennessee. This was the last good bridge we crossed. From what I can tell and from some pictures I've seen online, there used to be a beautiful stone bridge here a couple years ago, but I guess it collapsed and was replaced by this.

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I love this area. I really need to bring a better camera next time.

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We started to run into several unbridged crossings, and after the first one the trail got ... Well it was no longer the big wide well maintained trail for the day hikers. The first picture is going across, and the second picture is looking back at it.

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Eventually we reached the campsite, but to get there we had to cross the river. It doesn't look too bad, but it is spaced more than just stepping distance away. My friend managed to leap from rock to rock and stay dry. I'm a klutz, and although I made the first couple leaps, but on the fourth I landed in the river.

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There were three areas like this, plus three set ups for hanging our bags - big affairs of steel cables and hoists. Bear are highly active in this area, and I found out yesterday that one of the site's we stayed at was closed due to aggressive bear activity.

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I found a lovely little salamander, and a huge millipede.

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Well, if the pictures haven't grossly overloaded your computer, here are a couple things I've taken away from the trip:

1. I brought way too much food. A day of eating ended up being basically two Mountain House meals (breakfast and lunch), a protein bar, and a homemade granola bar. And I can't say I was ever all that hungry, and mostly ate when I got tired or at a meal time.

2. I brought way too little insulation. We both froze at night. Friday night when I turned in, I lay on top of my serape in the hammock because I was still warm. After about an hour, it started getting chilly, so I pulled the serape on top. And that's when I really realized the power of convection currents - and boy did I get cold. I used the serape as a half bag with the open side to my left to maximize the insulation around me, and I managed to pull part of it over my head. I woke up a bunch, but slept pretty well. My friend (who also froze - that 30F bag he had should have its rating checked out) was investigated by a coyote in the middle of the night, but I guess it saw how ugly he was and decided there were better lays out there. The serape was perfect in the morning, but much colder and I definitely think a nice puffy jacket would be handy.

3. Too much cooking stuff. I brought one 8 oz can, he brought a second just in case, but one was more than enough. The dualist set up was great for the two of us, and we used the cup, the foons, and the 1.6L pot, but we never used the bowls. As I already mentioned, I way overpacked food. Also - people always seem to get hung up on how awful Mountain House is, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

4. We covered the planned distances way too quickly. I was conservative on planning our routes, since it was more of a jaunt than a ruck, and neither of us had been backpacking in a while. I planned 7 miles a day, and we covered that distance quickly - even taking our time, taking rests and pictures, we did the 7 miles in 3 hours every time. I realize that is by no means fast, but we definitely needed more miles per day.

5. Of the stuff I brought, I did not use the following gear: rain jacket, any medical gear, the 2x6' line and figure 9 carabiners, the 550 cord, the sharpie, the notebook and pencil, the flashlight (used the head lamp instead), the fieldsharp (I left the strop at home, but this stayed in its pouch), the compass, the chapstick, the water filter (I used the chlorine dioxide), the sleeping pad (probably should have for the insulation in the hammock), or the matches. I had a map but never pulled it out. Gear I did use: knife and small axe (last minute addition), the ferro rod and lighter (in vain), the gloves, the chlorine dioxide, the headlamp, soap, TP, and bug dope. I think one way to really lighten the load would be to invest in a pump purifier like the XLE so I could cut down on the water I carried. As is, I needed to carry the 4 qts as even in the cool weather I consumed a quart every hour or hour and a half. First aid stuff and rain jacket will of course always come with me, but I'll definitely look at pairing down my stuff on our next outing. It can be hard because, ultimately, I'm a gear whore.

6. Bring a backpacking french press. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, that's unnecessary weight, considering we have instant coffee. But my friend and I - we're both ... Well, simply put, we're coffee snobs. That extra weight would be welcome. Instant coffee is fine, but a good cup of coffee in the morning, for us, just adds to the beauty of the outdoors. It is a morning ritual that, even in the backcountry, can be observed with care and excellence.

7. I am not a fan of the HPG Prairie Belt in combo with the Umlindi. I could not get the pack adjusted right, and the belt ended up rubbing some mean raw spots on my love handles. I'm not sure if this is a user error, or because I have a short 18" torso, or what. There were quite a few times when I simply unbuckled the belt, loosened the shoulder straps a little, and carried it like that just to give me a break. Honestly, even with a pack just shy of 40lbs, that was way more comfortable.

8. The Smokies are WET. They never allow anything to dry. Socks, underwear, pants, wood. We found some wood that had dry centers, but by the time we processed it for a fire, it was already wet. 100% humidity makes the heat hotter, the cold colder, and the fire impossible. I know there are plenty of people who could have still got a fire in those conditions, but neither of us were up to the challenge. Next time packing some cottonballs in vaseline might be helpful. Also, my friend brought gold bond, which he didn't need, but ended up being a chafe saver for me. That's going in next time too.

All in all, it was a great trip, lots of good memories - and few inside jokes - were formed, and it was a fantastic weekend away. I hope y'all enjoyed the pictures.

- J
 
New Post
9/6/2016 2:31 PM
 
Nice trail report--it looks as if Little River was flowing pretty well for this time of year.  (One of my favorite dayhikes is up to Huskey Gap, then Sugarlands to Rough Creek and back down the hill--usually just one wet crossing in Fall, but the Spring wildflowers in the cove make it worth getting your feet wet a couple of more times.)  More usually, though, I'll yo-yo up BCS #23 along Fish Camp Prong--well worth the walk, and you can make a multi-day trip out of it getting up on AT then back down Mirey Ridge Trail and come back out on Jakes Creek below the campground.
 
New Post
9/6/2016 3:14 PM
 
GoKartz

Nice report, enjoyed the photos and write up. The camera you used is good. Very nice photos, you can get a feel for your trip.

6.) I take a French Press with me when I jeep camp. I haven't found the back pack one I like yet. But when I find one I will have it in the pack. I enjoy my coffee. Justified enough.

We all adjust our packs all the time without even thinking about it.

You are right about mileage traveled.. The distance will sneak up on you one way or the other. I have to set goals of distance or I will just keep going.

The other day I said my hunting pack was 45 lbs. or so. Not so I weighed it and it turns out its 58 pounds. Plus my kit bag. I have lost 25 pounds this summer and maybe I figured that in. 58 is correct.
 
New Post
9/6/2016 7:13 PM
 
Creation Bear - the Little River really was rolling for summer. It was gorgeous, and looked like some good trout fishing (I may need to bring a rod and reel next trip). I'll have to look into that day hike. Most of my time in the Smokies has either been further south or further north, and very little in Elkmont. Thanks for the future trip planning advice too - decent multiday hikes can be challenging, and I've made a note in my book about your recs.

Boy Wonder - glad you liked the photos! I was really happy with how several of them turned out. I'm glad I'm not the only coffee aficionado. I was thinking of just bringing an old Meltia pour over thingy I have. A little bulky, but lightweight and real easy clean up.
 
New Post
9/7/2016 6:52 AM
 

Kartz, if you were cold in a hammock, it was most likely due to inadequate insulation underneath you.  Make yourself a "segmented-pad-extender" (SPE) which is merely a fabric sleeve with "wings".  The sleeve slides over a thermarest (or other pad) and has pockets to hold insulation at torso level for your arms/shoulders.   I use a Hennessy Hammock with the JRB quilt set (No Sniveler and Nest).  I have a huge OES spinnaker tarp for it.  Quilts, hammock, and tarp weigh five pounds.

 Also, an Aeropress is probably your best bet for real coffee in the bush, if Via won't feed the need.

 
New Post
9/7/2016 11:23 AM
 
Hey TAK - Thanks for the hammock tips. I have looked at getting an under quilt, but always stopped just shy of pulling the trigger, figuring a bivy and a bag would be a smaller and lighter combination. But you seem to have set up a pretty lightweight combo, so I'll have to look back into that - and look into JRB. And I looked into the Aeropress after you recommended it - I'll have to pick one up. It sounds like it makes a mean cup of coffee. (Apparently it was designed by the same guy that made the Aerobie frisbee. Quite disparate inventions.) Again, thanks for the tips.

- J
 
New Post
9/7/2016 4:14 PM
 

Here is a link to a DIY version of that SPE thing I referred to:

 http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeGearSPE.html

 One of those things with a thermarest in it, inside an original Hennesy Expedition (heavier fabric with less sag) is about as comfortable as it gets in the woods. You can slide a piece of double-bubble Reflectix (water heater wrap) inside the SPE sleeve (above the pad, next to your body), and that will add a lot of warmth.

 
New Post
9/8/2016 9:49 AM
 

Most likely user error on the pack issues, but everybody's body is different. Email info@hillpeoplegear.com with a side profile and front picture of the pack loaded and on your body so I can work on diagnosing. You were wearing a shirt, right?

ETA: To be clear, I much prefer the comfort of a Ute or qui-Ya with the weight you're talking about, but a belted Umlindi should get the job done without excessive discomfort.


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