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 Post subject: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:16 pm 
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Location: Kodiak, AK
I have plenty of summer wilderness backpacking experience and have traveled thousands of miles by sea kayak on long trips, but I have never had any desire to go 'winter' camping as would be required on a BC splitting outing. I am mulling a 2-3 day traverse of Kodiak Island, my home, and thought I'd pick the brains of folks who have more winter camping experience. Obviously I need the usual BC ski safety kit (shovel, probe, transceiver, etc) and the run of the mill camping gear (tent, stove, bag, pad, etc), but how much do you estimate your fuel consumption goes up if you need to melt snow for water? I usually take very little extra clothing in summer, but how much extra do you take in the winter? Like a complete extra base layer set or do you not change and just 'wear it dry'? How many liters larger is your winter camping pack than your summer pack? I carry a 55 liter pack for trips up to 5 days in the summer here in coastal Alaska. Any words of wisdom? I have friends here who have climbed Denali unguided and are quite experienced at this sort of thing, but I am afraid of the amount of crap they might tell me I would need to bring.

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:57 pm 
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Opinions will vary, and will likely depend highly on: A) the level of comfort you desire, B) the temperatures/weather you expect to see, and C) are you solo or with partners?

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:35 am 
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Location: Kodiak, AK
Either solo or with folks. I would be carrying my own complete kit in most scenarios even if I went with some other people though we might share a radio or gps, etc. I tend to go pretty minimalist, but not true ultralight. My summer base weight is about 18 pounds (1 pound bag, 1 pound pad, 2 pound solo tent, 3 pound pack, etc). It would be spring tours and not terribly cold. Night temps maybe into the mid 20's, but wind is always a real possibility. I figure you just wear your boots all the time and skip any sort of camp shoes.

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:47 am 
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Kyle has this down pat, I learn a lot after 1 trip with him. I take way to much stuff, i think a 40L packed right is heaps.


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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:17 am 
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Location: Kodiak, AK
40L? So no tent or food? My BC daypack is 32L and that thing sometimes gets full on a long day with variable conditions.

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:17 pm 
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I would love to see what Kyle brings for a three day trip with a having a partner to share the load with

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:53 pm 
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philip.ak wrote:
40L? So no tent or food? My BC daypack is 32L and that thing sometimes gets full on a long day with variable conditions.


Try and attend a splitfest with Mr Miller and he will show how to this happen as ChrisNZ said.

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:33 pm 
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Location: Helena, MT
I really dig this topic.
I've rocked my 45L for 2 night stays pretty easily - i don't think it would be difficult to go 3-4 nights w/ the same size.

Just like summer backpacking, I try to aim towards using every single piece i carry (i.e., not carrying anything extra). I like to bring a comfy bag (down, w/ waterproof cover), neo-air, half-length foam pad, for sleeping. A simple tarp (or pyramid tent) or snow cave is easy for shelter, especially if it's nice and cold.

As far as layers go, I bring...
-1 set of base layers - which stay on my body the whole time (i smell goood)
-my regular outer layers (For overnights, i default to hard-shell, over soft-shell)
-1 down puffy (i like to bring my warmest down jacket- wear in camp @ night, stays in pack during day for touring breaks)
-regular midlayer - stays on the whole time (patagucch R1 top)
-the only "extra" layer i bring is a pair of R1 bottoms (for sleeping, and in case it gets cold during the day!)
-1 extra pair of socks

-if early/late season temps, i'll swap down for synthetic layers

For food... Oatmeal for morning, pro-bars and goo for the day, backpacker's pantry for dinner (w/ laxitives, of course :x ). And candy/chocolate/tea!
I like to package my own food, to help shed some weight/space.

I'm still working on dialing in fuel estimates, but I definitely lean towards bringing more. When it's cold, it sure is nice to sleep with a Nalgene full of hot water between the legs.

Other than that, I try to minimize what BS i'm carrying: iphone, SPOT (depending on trip), leatherman, jetboil, avy gear, ski straps, para cord, camera, party favors, beanie, helmet, minimal first-aid (bandaids, tape, AAA), cool-rays, goggles, nalgene. And axe/'pons, if necessary.

I'm curious to see how others minimize even further! I'm sure I could take a lighter/less-warm sleeping bag, but I like to be warm when I'm snoozin.

Great thread- sry for the long winded post.

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Location: Kodiak, AK
acopafeel wrote:
I really dig this topic...

sry for the long winded post.

Not a bit. I love the detail.

Your winter kit sounds a LOT like my summer setup. I do live in AK, after all. :wink:

I guess I would not have to add any real clothing after all other than some real thermal bottoms. I already haul an ice ax and crampons on some of my summer trips. This is a route I have hiked in July that could make an amazing late spring 4-day cruise:

http://vimeo.com/70740983



Poking around I found some good threads on Teton Gravity discussing pack size:

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/archive/index.php?t-241979.html

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/archive/index.php?t-205757.html

Seems like the consensus is 45-60 liters. I can see 60L but I wonder how I could pare down to 45L, honestly, just given the room avy tools take not to mention skins on the descents. I've already worked on whittling down my crap pile pretty hard. In that first TG thread, about halfway down, there is a good gear list.

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Location: The Magic City
I have done 4 days full-on camping and 5 or 6 day backcountry cabin trips w/ a Mystery Ranch Big Sky (49 L). Works well for me. I use the BD Megamid as a shelter, which helps me get away w/ a smaller pack. The 'mid is super packable and light, quite nice for winter and spring when wind isn't much of an issue. It can be easily augmented w/ various snow walls too, which is nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:52 pm 
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My experience is similar. Solo in winter is ~60ish L, and with partner(s) I take a Deuter Guide 45+ L. When I finally update my 15 year old 15 degree bag I will probably be able to get by with the 45+ pack for both.

How are your snow cave digging skills? Great way to cut weight and volume...though if solo you get to do all the work.

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:33 am
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Location: Timberline, UT
Still rock'n my Tom Routh Cirque Works pack! Nothing like it that I know of.

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 Post subject: Re: Pack size for 2-3 day BC splitting and camping?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:48 pm
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Location: Kodiak, AK
How about VBL (vapor barrier layer) socks or sleeping bag liners? I could see not needing a VBL for your sleeping bag for shorter trips, but your boots would get plenty damp inside every day from perspiration. Or do you just put on frozen boots in the morning, or sleep with your boot liners/bladders on?

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Never Summer SL 163X
Burton Spliff 148
Voile Mojo RX 166
BD, G3, and Gecko skins
Sparks!


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