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Need to get lighter!!! AZ / Jan / High desert / Check my pack!

Hey guys. What should I leave at home or replace? Goal was sub 50, everything included... a little unreasonable I guess. Will replace some more gear over the next year. Any big holes you guys see? What would you replace now!? What would you upgrade over time? Obviously a lot of water, is 60 oz a day enough? I will hunt hard and show up at the trail max hydrated. Probably will not find water during the hunt. Thanks.



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17 pounds of water. I would hunt somewhere you can find water. Animals have to drink, so if there is no water for you, they will likely not be there either.

60 oz a day to drink and cook with is really dependant on temps, food you are taking, so you drink coffee, etc. It certainly doesn’t sound like it is enough.

A practical weight all total is about 50-55 pounds not including the clothes you are wearing.


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Trekking poles. My carbon flip locks are 10oz lighter

3.5lbs for fuel? Typo or really long trip?

Replace jetboil with pocket rocket-10oz

Get a rechargeable headlamp. Cuts around 4oz with extra batteries. You’re already bringing a charger. I won’t say to leave the flashlight as it pairs well with a light lamp. I’m using a petzl bindi and will bring a tactical flashlight for a distance beam.

If you like the klymit pads they have some newer lighter options now.

Poncho tarp is cheap but a couple large contractor bags should cut the weight in half. Or if you have $200 to spare for a small DCF (Cuban fiber) tarp for about 1oz.

This won’t save much weight but I find it more versatile. Instead of the 20oz pants consider a 12oz pair with zip off bottoms (7oz). Nice to wear while sleeping and easily shed if it gets warm.


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Boots. Mine are 24oz lighter. Salomon quest 4d gtx size 12. You might need something insulated which adds some weight but you still might be able to make a significant cut. My experience with boots is a pound saved feels like five of my back. That adds up when covering ground. I’m not recommending my exact boots just take a look at what’s out there.
The Vanguard ESPOD CX 204AP Tripod is about 35oz and works well.

Biggest thing is probably the jet boil. Go for the pocket rocket and a titanium cup.

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17 pounds of water. I would hunt somewhere you can find water. Animals have to drink, so if there is no water for you, they will likely not be there either.

60 oz a day to drink and cook with is really dependant on temps, food you are taking, so you drink coffee, etc. It certainly doesn’t sound like it is enough.

A practical weight all total is about 50-55 pounds not including the clothes you are wearing.
Hopefully I find water... 2 possible locations. No coffee for me, I'll just pop a caffeine pill. 1 Mountain House a day, everything else is dry and cold.

Temps should be no higher than 70, and no lower than 30.


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Thanks guys. Pocket rocket, titanium cup, and rechargable head lamp can all work into my budget and I am going to upgrade this year.
That petzyl bindi looks awesome.

Boots and trekking poles are going to have to wait until next season.

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Your sleep system including shelter seems REALLY heavy to me. My entire sleep system including shelter is 45.23 oz, less than your sleep bag alone. Lots of weight to be cut there.
Certainly look into a quilt vs the bag and a dyneema tent for future upgrades.

You could save 15-20 oz on a better tripod.

I would cut the rain gear. My strategy is to check the weather forecast the day before my hunt. If the forecast calls for 90-100% chance of storms then I'll pack my rain gear. Otherwise leave that dead weight in the truck.

Probably don't need a face gaitier and the fleece if you have a puffy.

Get a Black Diamond Revolt headlamp and leave the flashlight at home.

I might be gross :p but on a four day hunt, 1 pair of merino underwear is enough.

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Some extra food for thought. I'm a huge fan of the a stoveless backcountry meal plan. No jetboil, no utinsel, no fuel canister and no water needed to cook with. Saves lots of weight. I've been doing this for a few years and it's worked exceptionally well for me. :D


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As high rise hunter noted above, I was going to suggest going the stoveless route. In looking at your list, and your comments above, you are only planning to eat one mountain house meal a day, with everything else dry and cold. I'd go all-in and ditch the stove, fuel, and long spoon. Yeah, this is 'only' going to save 1.13 lb from your list, (and it may increase the total weight of your food, since the MH meals are generally light for their calories per ounce), but every little bit counts, and it seems like this is an extra pound that will be carried around every day for the entire trip. Something to consider, anyhow.

Also, looks like you are taking a bivy and a tarp. If you are looking to go as light as possible, pick one and ditch the other.
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If you plan on taking the advice of the guys above and going stoveless take a look at greenbelly meals. I used them this year and am a big fan


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I agree with the above recommending going stoveless. I did that on my late season rifle elk hunt and it worked really well. I did have a stove and some dehydrated meals at the truck for those days I got back to the trailhead, but didn't miss the hot food at all when out and about.

You can also save significant weight in boots and your sleeping bag. I would ditch most of your packed clothes other than an extra pair of socks. I would ditch the puffy, base top, and base bottom from your cold weather gear and instead add a set of light weight puffy pants which should save some weight.

Instead of the poncho tarp I would go with a dyneema tarp or a contractor bag, both of which would shave some weight. If you are into sleeping in a bivvy you should be able to find an option closer to 1 lb...you are almost approaching the weight of a 2 person shelter with that OR bivvy.

OR, if you've got 10 pounds to lose around the midsection you could just do that and go with the gear you have!!!
Ok... Flashlight, polypro base top, merino mid layer, extra underwear, fleece, bow sling, poncho tarp all ditched.

Jetboil swapped for pocket rocket. Ordering lighter headlamp. Also found some sun screen and deet spray in my first aid kit, removed those.
Bought individual Allen keys so I don't have to carry the whole set. Cut wet wipes in half.

Going to leave rain gear in the truck if not in the forecast. That will save about a pound and a half.

That gets me to 55 lbs including everything that I am not wearing.

Next upgrades will be sleeping pad, trekking poles, boots, tripod, and bow. Gotta save money for those.

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Tnelson82 - Here's the stoveless menu I'll be using tomorrow on a quick 4-day backcountry hunt in AZ. For myself it's lighter than usual on daily calories at 2177 but since this isn't going to be the most physically challenging hunt and shorter in length I'm expecting it to work well. Daily food weight: 15.12 oz at ~144 cal/oz. Add in some zip lock bags and your right around or just under 1 lb per day total.

View attachment 83459


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As your cutting out clothes, I would just make sure your comfortable with the layers you're planning on bringing at the lowest anticipated temperature including the possibility of a good wind. Especially if there's going to be longer periods of sitting or glassing. This spring one fellow I went chasing bears with froze himself silly cutting weight.


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I’m a native, I hunt almost every season Arizona has to offer. I think most worry to much about ever little particular.

I finish a 120oz bladder every day. Even in 30-50 degree.
Just out of curiosity, since I’ve seen the stoveless method mentioned, does anyone know if you have to use hot water to rehydrate MH meals? Could you add room temperature water to your MH meal in the morning and have it be rehydrated at dinner? Obviously it wouldn’t be warm, just not sure if the heat matters in the rehydration process.

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I believe you would be swapping hot water for soaking time. But then you would maybe have a MH soaking in your pack as you are running around the mountains or at the least sitting at camp and smelling good for all the small critters and bears.

Still, might be worth the $8 to try at home. Start soaking in the morning, check it at lunch, then dinner time.