Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Went for a hike with 30 lbs on my back

I packed up my backpack with all my gear, including my bear can stuffed with raisins, lentils and nuts, and went for a hike today up Rattlesnake trail to the waterfall on Tunnel Trail.

With all my gear and 2.5 liters of water my pack was oppressively heavy at 30 pounds. It felt heavier than our Hurricane Deck hike when I had 2 liters of water hidden in the bottom of my pack in addition to my 4.5 liter bag. That bear can is a bear. And those raisins! Maybe I should dehydrate my raisins.

I set out on the hike and I could feel the heaviness. I hurt my knee when the bushes forced me to my knees on the Hurricane Deck trail and it started to hurt again going down the trail today with all that heavy weight. Now I worry about my knee. I guess I'll have to rest and take ibuprofen so it will heal.

I don't know what to do to make my pack lighter. I looked at a super light sleeping bag, a Marmot Helium or Hydrogen or some kind of light element, which was on sale. My sleeping bag is close to 3 pounds and is bulky. This super light one was less than 2 pounds. But the zipper doesn't go all the way down the side. That's probably how they saved weight. I get so claustrophobic if I can't unzip all the way and let my feet out. I like to use my bag like a blanket.

There's a company that makes bags like blankets but at this point I'm not sure I should be ordering more gear. I'm kind of out of time for that sort of thing now.

When I got home I took a look at my pack and figured I could remove the compression straps on the sides. And since I use trekking poles I don't need the little handles I used to hang my hands from anymore. That eliminated a few ounces.

I took all my stuff over to the scale and weighed it without the food, bear can and water and it's about 15 pounds. Lots of people start out with that and brag about how light they are. I guess I'll be ok and suffer the most in the desert where I have to carry extra water, and in the Sierras where I have to carry the bear can. 

On the plus side my new huge men's shoes work well.

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