Author Topic: MAss reduction for supported touring events  (Read 2105 times)

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Offline bogiesan

MAss reduction for supported touring events
« on: August 14, 2012, 10:39:53 am »
I don't do self-supported touring. My days of backpacking cured me of the desire to carry my house and furnishings. I went ultralight for my last two seasons of backpacking so I know how to reduce mass and shop for light gear. Nonetheless, my load for Ride Idaho was almost 50 pounds divided into two large duffles.
When I got home, I carefuly weighed my entire kit, item by item. Rounding up to whole pounds conservatively, here are the rough numbers:
1. Tent: 7#
2. Sleeping pads: 5#
3. Chair: 6#
4. Sleeping bags: 5#
5. Bike clothing: 4#
6. Camp clothing: 5#
7. Personal effects and toiletries: 5#
8. Junk and accumulated junk: 5#

The tent will be with me till it dies, no savings there.
I carry two self-inflating pads to create enough neck height becasue I'm a side sleeper. I might be able to reduce that using newer technology but that's at least $130.
The chair is required although there may be lighter units. An unexpected bonus of this particular chair form REI is I can pull it inside the tent and read in comfort during a storm or in heavy bugs. A lighter chair is not as comfortable and might be $50-100.
I carry two down bags, a one- and a two-pounder. Together they can handle any temperature down to about 20F. This proactice is not likely to change since a 20F down or synthetic bag is about the same mass and reduces the flexibility and comfort.
A full riding kit is about 16 ounces so I could reduce that mass by leaving one set of bike clothes at home and doing more laundry.
Camp clothing includes my rain and cold riding gear as well as bug and sun protection clothing and shoes. Not much can be elliminated but some lighter versions are available. However, none of this gear needs to be replaced.
There are maybe two full pounds of personal effects, toiletries and other silly stuff that can be left at home. This costs me nothing except some entertainment.
The useless junk one packs and stuff one acquires along the trip can add up quickly. That seems to be the only major mass savings I can control.

A fearless inventory of my gear results in savings of less than 5 pounds but that's roughly 10% of the total so that's not negligible. Going deep into deprivation mode, I can leave almost 10 pounds at home. I am not replacing any equipment that is not damaged.

ONe of the major benefits of my ultralight backpacking kit was the total lack of superfluous stuff. Setting and striking camp was easy and quick because there was nothing to lose or misplace. I'm just glad someone else is carrying this stuff for me.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: MAss reduction for supported touring events
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 05:05:51 pm »
There are some things you can do. A chair is a convenience, not a requirement. You can get your head off the ground by putting spare clothing in a 1-gallon zip-lock freezer bag and use it as a pillow. That saves one sleeping pad. Whether you need 2 sleeping bags depends on how cold it will get.  You mentioned camp shoes, but camp sandals or even flip-flops would work. That's probably 10 #.

I must admit, I take more weight than I need. My problem is the "just in case" stuff. I kept two *extra* water bottles in the panniers just in case. (I actually used one of them once.) First aid gear. Spare parts. Tools. I never needed the extra chain or the chain tool. But it turns out I did need the spare spoke and the spoke wrench. How can you know ahead of time? And I "can't" travel without my laptop, phone, GPS, battery charger...  The only way I keep the weight down is to use smaller panniers.

Offline JayH

Re: MAss reduction for supported touring events
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 10:06:18 pm »
I backpack and kayak camp ,etc.. I use a singlewall tent from Black Diamond which is barely over 2lbs.. 

REI makes a small tripod chair that I got on sale for $14 that is surprisingly comfy. I've used it kayak camping before and bring it to outdoor concerts, etc.

Jay

Offline bogiesan

Re: MAss reduction for supported touring events
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 08:47:17 am »
The puprose of posting these observations was to give others a baseline. Your contributions are welcome and I hope someone benefits.

My current inventory is the result of practical reasoning, many years of experience and wee hedonism. Taking two light down bags is much more fun and flexible than merely being able to cope with the cold but it's likely to be impractical if you're hauling your own stuff, for sure. The sleeping pads offer the comfort of a good night's sleep whihc is more important than it is luxurious. Closed-toe shoes have saved me from countless minor injuries from tripping over tent stakes, tent guys and kicking stuff. Every year I see bloody toes in the touring group. The chair is a luxury I will not do without voluntarily. Being able to take that little chain into my tent to escape weather or bugs,enjoy back and arm support while reading…these are huge benefits. In fact, the little REI chair, at 6 pounds, is smaller, lighter and has better features than most of the chairs carried by others on supported tours. They tend to look for price or the number of cup holders instead of comfort and if it fits in their tent.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline bogiesan

Re: Mass increase for supported touring events
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 08:40:36 am »
I discovered an old air mattress, a single-size Coleman airbed, in our closet. And I found the pump which is powered by 4, D-size batteries. The mattress fits in my tent. I can sleep on it on my side without my shoulders cramping which means I sleep deeply and soundly between trips to the porta-san. Which means I'm replacing the self-inflating Thermarest(s) with the airbed and the pump. A net gain of about two pounds.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline John Nelson

Re: MAss reduction for supported touring events
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 09:45:27 am »
The weight of gear is largely irrelevant on a supported ride, depending a bit on how far you have to carry it between the truck and the camp. Since your gear is divided into two bags, even that isn't much of a problem. You might as well keep all your luxuries.

The supported rides I do limit you to one bag, so weight is still somewhat of an issue just because I have to lug that bag to camp and back.

Offline staehpj1

Re: MAss reduction for supported touring events
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 10:21:05 am »
I don't do self-supported touring. My days of backpacking cured me of the desire to carry my house and furnishings. I went ultralight for my last two seasons of backpacking so I know how to reduce mass and shop for light gear. Nonetheless, my load for Ride Idaho was almost 50 pounds divided into two large duffles.
When I got home, I carefuly weighed my entire kit, item by item. Rounding up to whole pounds conservatively, here are the rough numbers:
1. Tent: 7#
2. Sleeping pads: 5#
3. Chair: 6#
4. Sleeping bags: 5#
5. Bike clothing: 4#
6. Camp clothing: 5#
7. Personal effects and toiletries: 5#
8. Junk and accumulated junk: 5#

The tent will be with me till it dies, no savings there.
I carry two self-inflating pads to create enough neck height becasue I'm a side sleeper. I might be able to reduce that using newer technology but that's at least $130.
The chair is required although there may be lighter units. An unexpected bonus of this particular chair form REI is I can pull it inside the tent and read in comfort during a storm or in heavy bugs. A lighter chair is not as comfortable and might be $50-100.
I carry two down bags, a one- and a two-pounder. Together they can handle any temperature down to about 20F. This proactice is not likely to change since a 20F down or synthetic bag is about the same mass and reduces the flexibility and comfort.
A full riding kit is about 16 ounces so I could reduce that mass by leaving one set of bike clothes at home and doing more laundry.
Camp clothing includes my rain and cold riding gear as well as bug and sun protection clothing and shoes. Not much can be elliminated but some lighter versions are available. However, none of this gear needs to be replaced.
There are maybe two full pounds of personal effects, toiletries and other silly stuff that can be left at home. This costs me nothing except some entertainment.
The useless junk one packs and stuff one acquires along the trip can add up quickly. That seems to be the only major mass savings I can control.

A fearless inventory of my gear results in savings of less than 5 pounds but that's roughly 10% of the total so that's not negligible. Going deep into deprivation mode, I can leave almost 10 pounds at home. I am not replacing any equipment that is not damaged.

ONe of the major benefits of my ultralight backpacking kit was the total lack of superfluous stuff. Setting and striking camp was easy and quick because there was nothing to lose or misplace. I'm just glad someone else is carrying this stuff for me.

That sounds like a lot of stuff to me and heavy stuff at that, but I don't see why you care much if you are not going self supported.  The difference between going ultralight and taking 50 pounds of stuff is kind of irrelevant if the stuff is hauled in a van.

That said I have gotten used to taking 14 or so pounds of stuff to the point where I don't usually take all that much extra even when going camping by car.

BTW, I am confused by your ultralight reference.   It doesn't sound like any of the gear you list would qualify as ultralight backpacking.  Typically ultralight is defined as a base weight of 10 pounds or less.  Your tent and sleeping pads alone exceed that.

I don't think there really is a standard for ultralight bike touring, but I tend to think of anything 15 or less pounds of clothing and gear including bags as in the ultralight category.

FWIW, I wrote an article on my adventures in packing lighter.  It will not all apply for everyone, but you might be able to glean some useful info there.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Ultralight

Offline bogiesan

Re: MAss reduction for supported touring events
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2012, 10:04:20 pm »
My reference to ultralight backpacking is for comparison and for rationalization. I reduced a 45# baseweight load to 15#. It was a fabulously enabling and liberating experience! However, in Idaho, the backpacking tends to be destination-oriented instead of distance-based. So going UL was fun and fast and carefree but, in the end, boring; i just got to the lake faster than everyone else and was ready to leave many hours before everyone else. I did like the total absence of junk, tho. Nothing to keep track of or lose. All I needed was a book that did induce paranoia. And my sketch book.

Thanks for all of your contributions to the thread. Keep 'em coming. I may not benefit from your observations but someone will.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent