Lightweight Ski Traverse Gear

Post by blogger | April 20, 2006      

Our 5-day trip on the Trooper Traverse is happening in just a few weeks. We’re heavy into making our packs lighter (that’s a pun). Louie is down to around 15 pounds without food or water (fasting works wonders). His list:

Tent BD Megalight (with adapter to use ski poles for center pole) 24.6 oz
Bivy sack BD Winter Bivy (zipper removed) 10.3 oz
Sleeping Bag Marmot down 48.1 oz
Sleeping Pad Ridgerest (cut down) 9.2 oz
Avalanche Safety
Shovel BCA Tour 16.7 oz
Probe BCA Companion probe (fits in shovel handle) 5.3 oz
Bowl Flatware folding bowl 1.2 oz
Cup Generic plastic mug, not insulated 2.0 oz
Spoon Lexan (handle cut narrower) 0.3 oz
Clothing (note: items usually worn are
not included)
Fleece cap BCA logo gear 0.8 oz
Bill Cap Generic (flaps cover ears and neck, sweat band removed) 2.1 oz
Gloves Black Diamond Glissade (mid-weight, waterproof for digging those wet snow kitchen pits) 7.3 oz
Puff jacket North Face synthetic (Dad won’t let me carry down items other than sleeping bag) 22.5
Shell jacket Marmot Precip 14.9 oz
Shell pants Cloudveil Zorro 9.1 oz
Bandanna Generic (cut down) 0.3 oz
Socks Extra (thin) 2.5 oz
Neck Gaiter Buff multi-purpose 2.0 oz
Toothbrush Cut down cheapie 0.1 oz
Headlamp Black Diamond Ion 1.0 oz
Notebook Generic (extra pages removed) 1.5 oz
Pencil Lead pencil (shortened) 0.1 oz
Bible Gideon mini New Testament 2.4 oz
Water Bottle Nalgene Canteen 32 2.0 oz
Sunglasses Non-prescription (with minimal case) 3.1 oz
Goggles Zeal Link PPX (without case) 4.9 oz
Backpack Granite Gear Ozone 49.0 oz

Previous blog about lightweight traverse gear.


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10 Responses to “Lightweight Ski Traverse Gear”

  1. Joe S April 20th, 2006 10:32 am

    So do you use anything to keep bears/birds out of your food, or just not worry about bears at high altitude and keep food anywhere in your pack a little distance from camp?

  2. Lou April 20th, 2006 3:00 pm

    Doesn’t seem to be a problem with bears up where we’re going. I think they head down to more available food as soon as they wake up. I suppose it could happen. Now that you mention it, I think I’ll throw in a small canister of bear spray or perhaps my .357 if I’m feeling like I need more weight.

  3. Anthony Rabinowitz April 20th, 2006 3:51 pm

    If the Nalgene Canteen is the same one Louie reviewed a couple of weeks ago, be careful how you handle it. Mine sprung a leak after a few months of moderate use.

  4. David April 20th, 2006 11:33 pm

    Have you tried the flatware folding bowl before? One of my friends used one on our Shasta trip last year, and found that it was terrible- it kept springing open and spilling all of his food around the tent. Conditions were pretty cold (teens in the morning and 20’s at dinner time), but he returned his as soon as we got back. I don’t know if his was defective, but he replaced it with a conventional bowl.

  5. Lou April 21st, 2006 2:41 am

    We’ve both used the Flatware folding bowl quite a bit and it has worked flawlessly. Your friend might have been folding it together incorrectly. That’s easy to do — I did it when I first used it. Also, it has to be broken in by folding a few times, and perhaps that needs to be done when it’s warmer. That said, perhaps it doesn’t do as well in severe cold, but we’ve used it when it’s pretty chilly and it worked fine.

    Speaking of gear that doesn’t work: I’d never carry anything on an overnight that I had not tested prior to the trip. To do so invites disaster.

  6. Joe S April 21st, 2006 10:12 am

    so with a down sleeping bag in a tent with no floor, is a sleeping pad enough to keep your bag dry? If not, how do you keep it dry?

  7. Mark Donohoe April 21st, 2006 11:31 am

    Great post. What I always find amusing about these is that the weight is alwyas shown WITHOUT food. I don’t know about other folks, but if I’m going out for more than 2 days, the food weight often equals my pack weight. I use ‘boil water’ and mix foods (soups, freeze dried, etc…), which is about as light as I can get and still get some calories. Gu is also very heavy, but I bring a bunch anyway. It would be great to see a COMPLETE pack wight that includes food and the bladdre filled with water. 2 liters of water weigh a lot for example. Keep up the great work.

  8. Lou April 21st, 2006 1:11 pm

    Food is a variable, it depends on how many days worth, so is difficult to include in a list like this.

    It’s super easy to figure the food in. We just figure 1.5 pounds per day for food. 2 lbs used to be the standard and is still a good rule for longer trips, but 1.5 works for shorter trips.

    So, there is your COMPLETE pack weight. Just add 1.5 lbs per day to the above, and as much water weight as you like. Group gear is the tent, other guy carries the stove and cook gear.

  9. Lou April 21st, 2006 1:34 pm

    Joe, we also carry a bivvy sack and a fairly commodious sleeping pad, and we place our packs under or legs and other stuff under our shoulders. Also, we may have dry ground the first night. Our system is not as nice as a tent, but is lightweight and versatile. It’s great having a bivvy sack for things like medical emergencies.

  10. Todd April 22nd, 2006 9:08 pm

    The BD megalight is an amazing shelter. My friends had it on a six day trip up in the Wallowas and we got caught in a storm with 60 mph gusts and a foot of snow overnight. I was sure that they would be crawling in our vestibule for a long night, but It held strong throughout. I am totally sold on it now and plan on getting one as well.

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