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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone

    Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    I think what needs to be seperated here is camping in a campground and going for day hikes vs. you're in the bush. In the first case you can bring anything you want. In the second, weight is everything unless you have the build of a Marine.

    I can assure you I don't.
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Ladysmith, WI

    Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    One thing I've done for summer backpacking trips in WY is to use a fairly cheap, light sleeping bag, then plan on wearing some pretty warm clothes to bed. My bag is a 45-deg Slumberjack that cost something like $40 online, weighs around a pound, and compacts down very small - maybe the size of 2 softballs. I always need warm clothes like long underwear and a fleece jacket when fishing at 9000-10,000 ft anyway, so why also lug a heavier bag?

    Fall trips to high elevation are another story... Then the expensive down bag comes along.

    The small backpacking stoves are great for boiling water or a small fry pan. The whole outfit, with gas, probably weighs less than one propane bottle for a Coleman stove. A lot of them are made in USA, also.

    I've never been able to talk myself into leaving the waders and wading boots behind on a backcountry trip... Probably a good idea, though.


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  4. #13

    Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    I'm an avid backcountry angler and as I get older and/or my backpacking trips become more ambitious, I am always thinking of ways to lighten my load, and lightweight and ultra light backpacking is an art form. The most effective way of dropping the most pounds is concentrating on the heaviest stuff: tent, sleeping bag and pad, food, and fishing gear. Obviously fishing in river sandals/shoes will automatically shed tons of weight over packing in waders. But I pack in waders quite often on shorter trips similar to the one you have planned. I never consider them on long trips, though.

    Food is extremely heavy and finding alternatives to steaks and fresh groceries is key. Having basic food also eliminates the need for heavy and bulky cooking gear. Having just a stove and a small pot is much lighter than having a stove + a pan, multiple utensils, and cooking oils. I pack in multiple lightweight paper plates and plastic forks/spoons instead of metal alternatives and just burn them in the campfire as I go along and you don't need dish soap. As others have noted, freeze dried stuff saves you tons of weight and all you need to do is add boiling water. FD meals can get boring and super expensive quickly, so I try and balance it all out. Some of my favorite backcountry fare is stuff like tuna salad on whole wheat rolls. You can just open up the tuna pouch and add a little mayo. String cheese and salami and jerky keeps well for a few days. Gourmet baked goods are a treat in camp. Obviously harvesting fish is a great way to go if local rules and condition of your fishery allows for it and all you need is a few squares of tin foil for baking in the campfire. If you gotta have cooked meat over a camp fire, I sometimes like to bring gourmet pre-cooked sausages of choice and roast them on the fire using a long stick (no need for bulky cooking gear).

    As for the stove.........IMO there is no better stove out there than the MSR Pocket Rocket. It's very light weight, reliable, small, fairly cheap, and has heat control so you can sauté and simmer. New they are only $40 I think, and I just looked up ebay and saw multiple auctions for used examples. As for a pot, just buy a cheap aluminum example.....they're easily had used for less than $10.

    When it comes to the tent, I recommend you somehow find a good, light weight used one OR right now REI is running their annual anniversary sale. It runs until Memorial Day. They have a nice little 2 man tent for $149 (normally $219) called the Half Dome 2. I don't recommend a 2 man backpacking tent for two adults, but you and a 15 year old should be okay. It'll be a little tight. And weighs less than six pounds (which doesn't break the standard "three pounds of tent per person rule"). And speaking of the REI anniversary sale......they also have quite a few sleeping bags on sale, some under a hundred bucks. And if you need a low temperature rating, nothing beats goose down bags; they're lightweight and very warm, but can be very expensive. Again..........ebay or craigslist. As for the sleeping pad, it's all about comfort vs. weight. There are many fine light weight examples, but they can get expensive quickly. Ebay or CL

    There are other ways to lighten up, you just gotta get a little creative. Reuse cheap bottle water or Gatorade bottles instead of the usual, heavy backpacking bottles like Nalgene, etc. Bottled water bottles weigh almost nothing compared to a Nalgene that approaches 5-6 grams. Use disposable salt and pepper packets instead of bringing in those horrific spice mixtures than come in a plastic container. I use sauce packets pilfered from fast food joints (mayo, hot sauce, soy sauce, etc) to spice up my food rather than trying to bring in heavy bottled cooking sauces. I use Tyvek for my tent ground cloth. It weighs close to nothing yet is very durable. Amazon sells it for about $10-15 shipped. It will instantly save you almost a pound over a typical ground cloth (or just don't bring one at all). I personally have a very expensive poncho, but I know people that use garbage bags (with holes cut properly) as rain jackets and pack covers. You can bring cheap-ass, super lightweight sisal string as a clothesline and to hang your bear bag. And then burn it the morning before you hike out. I never bring camp towels - use bandanas. They're very lightweight and cheap. I prefer expensive gravity water filters, but you can use super light and somewhat cheap purification tablets (REI has them). They're a little inconvenient, but very tolerable and safe. Don't bring a heavy pocket knife, find something lightweight or just use a cheap ass box cutter (plastic OLFA knives are great). Pack in wet wipes instead of hand soap.

    Another way to lighten the pack is to toss the extraneous items from you pack. You're only going for 2-3 nights, you don't need everything you think you do. I'm always amazed to see all of the extra gear I see people humping high up into the mountains: extra clothes is always a biggie - just bring the basics. Use your best judgement here, but just bring the absolute minimum. DO NOT bring a camp chair. Etc.....the rule is if you don't use the item regularly, don't bring it. The exception is a small first aid kit.

    And whatever you do, DO NOT pack a gun unless you're headed for grizzly country (which I assume you're not). The dangers of bears (or cougars or whatever) in the backcountry is one of the most over hyped thing in the world. Literally. I could go on and on about this subject, it's something I really get pissed off over. The statistics speak for themselves and heavily in my favor. The BOTTOM LINE - if you run a clean camp and hang your food well away from camp, YOU WILL NOT have problems in the backcountry. Again, the statistics speak for themselves.........and please no one come back with your stupid, made up stories about bear attacks in the backcountry (YES it does happen very, very rarely and is always over sensationalized when it does..........but you're much more likely to die in a plane crash or have a house fall on your head or whatever......than getting mauled in the backcountry). If for some reason, you just can't deal with the idea of not having something as far as an anti-bear/cougar device, get a cheap bear bell and hang it on your pack. I tolerate the idea of a bear bell a lot more than guns (I'm pro gun BTW but not when it comes to humping them in the mountains on backpacking trips). The true dangers in the backcountry are lightning, injuries, and hypothermia..........PERIOD...END OF STORY. And the absolute biggest danger of your trip (by a longshot) is the drive to the trailhead.......

    If you're looking for a great book on backpacking and fly fishing the mountains of the West, there is no substitute for Rich Othoff's, Fly Fishing the Rocky Mountain Backcountry

    REI Anniversary Sale with free shipping!!!! (ends Memorial Day): Sale and Clearance at REI - FREE SHIPPING With $50 minimum purchase.

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  6. Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    Quote Originally Posted by loveforthedryfly View Post
    Could any of you help me with finding a better tent,sleeping bag, and stove. I like to cook up there, so please no cheap stoves i cant cook with.. Also I am up to any suggestions on getting my pack lighter. Any suggestions on how much stuff to bring? And what to bring???
    Do you have an REI near you? You can sometimes find good deals at their Saturday morning garage sales. It is returned and used items, usually for at least a 50% discount. I have found a nice 2-3 day hiking pack for $15, trail running shoes for $30, hiking pants for $10 and a few other nice items.

    Another place to try is an army surplus store. They will have mess kits and other oddities that could come in handy, and usually for a fairly decent price. Ask if they have anything used or on clearance, most places like that are fairly eager to help you out. Sounds like a fun trip! Have fun.

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  8. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Red Lodge, MT

    Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    I miss having an rei.. they really do have nice deals.

    Bear bells are kinda a joke... make sure you have bear spray. I always see people around here with these nice bells they buy from the out door shop in town. Worthless..... it's a gimmick, if you want just use a something metal on metal tied to your pack it would serve the same purpose. So would just walking though...

    Sorry just had to toss that out there.

  9. Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    Yeah, the bear bells thing is kind of dumb, I think. If you want a noise to warn away bears, try talking.

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  11. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Western Montana

    Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    How can I add to the advice of countr21? I think he knows better than most of us and the advice is great.

    All I would add is that you should spend your money on a backpacking stove, carrying a 2 burner Coleman stove is a bit much. Also on the wild animal stuff, you are nowhere near grizzly bears, so just forget about it. Wolves and cougars do not attack people, nor do black bears. You be incredibly lucky to see a cougar or wolf in the wild!

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  13. #18

    Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    Haha I know i cant bring everything i want! Lol but honestly i dont mind the weight. I'm not going on a 30+ mile hike or anything. Im going to enjoy myself with everything i have. Im a cook how can u not expect me to bring steaks! Plus a lot of my stuff is going to be camera gear. I'd like to show my guys on this forum a great trip

    ---------- Post added at 05:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:13 AM ----------

    actually the cats bug me the most! Ive been stalked by a cougar before and it's a lil upsettling. especially when i had no clue it was there

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  15. Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    I've made a few backcountry backpacking/camping trips and face the same dilemma of reducing weight on a budget. Shop in terms of ounces or pounds per dollar and you'll probably find that you can shave 5-10 pounds from your load for $150. A $50 stove may save you 5 or more pounds. Dick's has some pretty light sleeping bags for about $100 that may save you 2 pounds. Again, look at each thing you have and judge where your money can save the most weight.

    Most importantly is this. Don't bring anything you don't need. Each trip I make gets lighter because I continue to learn what not to bring. I like waders and wading boots, but now I leave them behind and reduce my load by six pounds. Leaving the fishing vest behind saves another couple of pounds.

    I think that the list of gear on this site is about right:

    What to Pack for a Backcountry Trip

    ---------- Post added at 02:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:25 PM ----------

    I posted the above reply failing to mention food. That is another place where I tend to bring way to much, but I am getting better. I try to make sure that everything I bring has at least 100 calories per ounce and 120 calories per ounce is even better. Then I figure 2500 calories per person per day. As an example, you can get packs of instant Pancakes for breakfast that only need to have water added. Then add in a couple of Mountain House freeze dried meals for lunch and supper. On top of this, throw in a couple of Clif's bars and you'll have a whole day of nutrition for under 1.5 pounds. Again, the trick, that I am still learning is not to bring more than I need. Also, Ramon noodles are light, cheap, and meet the 100 calorie per ounce threshold as well, as do dozens of other items of the corner grocery store shelf. Maybe the best item in calories per pound is plain old peanut butter!

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  17. #20

    Default Re: 3 Day highcountry backpacking flying fishing extrodinair!!

    Quote Originally Posted by loveforthedryfly View Post
    Plus a lot of my stuff is going to be camera gear. I'd like to show my guys on this forum a great trip
    Can't wait to see em.......I'm a sucker for pics of grand adventures!

    ---------- Post added at 01:52 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:08 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Poke 'Em View Post
    Yeah, the bear bells thing is kind of dumb, I think. If you want a noise to warn away bears, try talking.
    Ummmm, no they're not dumb and they're not a gimmick. WHEN you ever do hear of a mauling by black bears in the backcountry it's almost always a small group of hikers rounding a corner and surprising a Sow and her cubs. And have you ever tried talking constantly or clapping your hands every 30 seconds for 15 miles a day while hiking. I gets real old real fast!!!

    The thing with bear bells is that the ones they sell at REI or outdoor stores are a gimmick and dumb.......they're too small and don't make enough noise. The only time I carry a bear bell is in Rocky Mtn Nat'l Park (RMNP bears are used to people even in the more remote areas, thus a much higher chance of a confrontation). My bear bell came from an old Christmas wreath that my Pops used to hang on our front door. It's huge by "bear bell"'s the size of a baseball. With every step, you hear a "CLANK, CLANK," which can be heard for two hundred yards.

    And as I should have said before, bear spray is a great alternative to firearms. But again, I'm not a fan of it on long backpacking trips into remote country. Even the lightest units weigh a pound and are utterly worthless in the wind (a most common occurrence in the Rockies). If I'm going to hump something that weighs as much as a pound, I'd rather use it regularly (my favorite luxury is an awesome outdoor speaker you hook up to your iPod and fill your entire campsite with rockin' music) Bottom line is that most bear attacks in the Rockies occur within close proximity to areas accessible by roads anyway where bears have become comfortable around humans (car campgrounds, homes in the National Forest or close to small towns, etc). Thus when I'm in car campgrounds and/or adjacent areas, I do sling a semi-auto AK with a folding stock. It's easily toted, and can deliver thirty rounds of .30 caliber in a hurry. Bear spray would be a great thing to have around your waist in car campgrounds or popular fishing holes that are in close proximity to roads.

    In the backcountry, bears are simply too terrified of humans. They want NOTHING to do with us. As far as they are concerned, humans are nothing but the Sasquatch. They don't know the difference.....they don't know that we are soft as pillows, and live in houses hundreds of miles away from the backcountry. They are 100% convinced that we are the top of the food chain......PERIOD!

    Now, Grizzlies are another matter.......

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