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Thread: Give Me Advice On My Kit/Preparation

  1. #1
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    Default Give Me Advice On My Kit/Preparation

    Hey everyone. I thought I would place on this website something I've been compiling on paper/notes over the past few months since I moved to Colorado. I've been comfortable and used to using minimal gear to get by for a few days over the course of my outdoorsmanship and consider myself pretty efficient out in the field, but am becoming much more interested in longer expeditions and would like some advice.

    As soon as May hits I want to make the most of my opportunities and get out there and have fun. I was able to get some decent packing in over the late summer and fall, but want to kick it up a notch. (Primarily in high altitude environments, and plan to be in that sort of area most of the time over my expeditions.) However, I want to be adequately prepared and make sure that I've crossed all my t's and dotted my i's. That is why I am seeking the advice of you good people on here.

    Tentatively, I have come up with an Outdoorsman's Kit of some sorts, following a "Favorable Five" outline. That is to say, I have five essential areas I want to have my bases covered in. This is what I have come up with thus far. I'm just asking for some suggestions or recommendations from ya'll. Note: I will definitely be flexible with my needs.

    The Outdoorsman’s Kit

    The easiest way to explain this kit is to have the items necessary to do extended hikes in and around the High Rockies of Colorado area. I've used much less gear than this in the past and have been able to do weekend treks with ease, but want to be able to have gear comfortably for a week. Outside of these listed items I plan on having a fanny pack equipped with essentials and a mini CamelBak pack that I already have that is lightweight and is it's own little unit and has some items that I have not listed below (fishing kit, whistle/mirror, etc.)

    Items that are bolded, I already have and feel I have use/feel for and will keep. The rest I need to acquire. Most importantly -- the right pack. I don't have anything big enough for all these items right now -- and would gladly appreciate input on that. (Really interested in the High Sierra 50/65 L externals)

    Shelter and Care Devices
    Devices that are easily transportable that provide shelter and warmth from external conditions.

    (1) Versatile Tarp
    (1) Thermal Emergency Bivvy
    
(1) Custom First Aid and Healthcare Kit
    (1) Portable Tent/Shelter
    (1) Sleeping Bag/Sleeping Pad


    Fire Starting, Lighting and Visibility

    Devices essential to starting fires, creating visibility and producing light. Always have versatility in ways to create one of survivals most essential elements.



    (1) Headlamp (with extra batteries)
    
(1) Rechargeable Flashlight
    (1) Pack of Lighters
    (1) Tinder/Match Kit
    
(1) Magnesium Flint


    Weaponry and Utility
    Self-explanatory. Looking for some advice on small game weaponry (gun).

    (1) Folding Knife
    (1) Gerber Paraframe II Knife/Saw
    (1) Multi-Tool


    (1) Trowel
    (1) Hatchet
    (1) Midsized Machete
    (1) 50 ft. Paracord

    Technology, Guidance and Location

    (1) Compass
    (1) GPS on Cell Phone

    (1) Solar Charger
    (1) Maps
    (1) Midland Radio 22 Mile Radius


    Food and Cookery

    (1) Small Cooking Kit
    (1) CamelBak Water System
    (1) Stainless Steel Water Container
    (1) Iodine Tablets & Water Purification




    (Open to suggestions for better long-term rations.)

    Outside of that, I always bring some sort of reading and writing devices. Keeps me sane. Harmonica as well.

    Comments, Questions, Suggestions and EVERYTHING IS WELCOME.
    Last edited by Warheit; 01-16-2012 at 11:26 PM.


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    Looks good, but the GPS on your cell only works if you have cell coverage.. You might consider a real GPS device.

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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Well, the biggest thing is going out and trying it. You say you have 3-7 days of food rations. Go out for seven days straight and test it all out. See how your shelter idea holds up against different weather conditions, your tools work for the jobs needed, food and water is sufficient, etc. I have lots of different things than what you have, but what I have works for me. The big question is, does it work for you? Me kit is always changing as my mini trials prove or disprove my ideas and equipment. I used to think that a knife and a machette was suffucient for my tools. I have since added a larger knife, a multi-tool, and soon a folding saw and hatchet.

    Just my thoughts for ya.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen buds View Post
    Looks good, but the GPS on your cell only works if you have cell coverage.. You might consider a real GPS device.
    A few of the spots in Colorado I'm not too far off from civilization and have had little problems with my GPS working, but would be open to some devices that would be more reliable when that isn't an option. Could you help me out a bit with some links?

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    Quote Originally Posted by natertot View Post
    Well, the biggest thing is going out and trying it. You say you have 3-7 days of food rations. Go out for seven days straight and test it all out. See how your shelter idea holds up against different weather conditions, your tools work for the jobs needed, food and water is sufficient, etc. I have lots of different things than what you have, but what I have works for me. The big question is, does it work for you? Me kit is always changing as my mini trials prove or disprove my ideas and equipment. I used to think that a knife and a machette was suffucient for my tools. I have since added a larger knife, a multi-tool, and soon a folding saw and hatchet.

    Just my thoughts for ya.
    Thanks for your insight -- the comments are appreciated. A lot of those items I put on there I didn't even have initially, but have expanded as I found out what didn't work and what did.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Note: I have no experience in trekking the Rockies so not much advice. I do have a couple of questions.

    When you say high altitude do you mean above the tree line? If so, a saw and certainly a machete would be of little value. I'd dump the machete anyway.

    I don't see a whistle or signal mirror. Pretty standard fare regardless of where you are.

    A detailed plan that you can leave with someone responsible:
    http://www.adventuresmart.ca/downloads/TripPlan.pdf

    My experience with a GMRS radio is they aren't very helpful unless someone with you has one, too. They are line of sight and that 22 miles is hilltop to hilltop. In a valley you are sunk. Much better off with something like a SPOT or equivalent I would think.

    I don't see anything for gear repair like tape or freesole.

    I don't see hiking/walking sticks. Genuinely very helpful.

    It may be in your other pack but rain gear and extra cflothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    When you say high altitude do you mean above the tree line? If so, a saw and certainly a machete would be of little value. I'd dump the machete anyway.
    Well, not really Alpine Climate, but definitely around it. The tree line can go as high as ~ 12,000 in the Rockies, so no, most all my venturing will be below the tree line.

    I don't see a whistle or signal mirror. Pretty standard fare regardless of where you are.
    All ready in the pre-made kids I mentioned in the opening of it all.

    A detailed plan that you can leave with someone responsible:
    http://www.adventuresmart.ca/downloads/TripPlan.pdf
    Thanks!

    My experience with a GMRS radio is they aren't very helpful unless someone with you has one, too. They are line of sight and that 22 miles is hilltop to hilltop. In a valley you are sunk. Much better off with something like a SPOT or equivalent I would think.
    For some of my treks, I'll have company. That is why they are in there. But good info re: SPOT.
    I don't see anything for gear repair like tape or freesole.
    Have a little bit of tape in a pouch, but this is great advice! Complete oversight on my part. Nice catch.

    I don't see hiking/walking sticks. Genuinely very helpful.
    Usually tend to take what nature gives me, but that's an idea as well.

    It may be in your other pack but rain gear and extra cflothing.
    Got quite a bit of this!

    Thanks, Rick!

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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    I would dump the lighters. They don't work when they are cold or wet.

    Dump the flashlight and stick with head lamps, leaving your hands free and freeing up space/weight. A good Petzl will last several days on 3 AAA being used full time.
    Why do I live in Alaska? Because I can.

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    Oh yea, I also wind several layers of duct tape around one of my water bottles that I use for storage, not the main one I drink from. That way you are not taking a whole roll of tape but have several yards to use.
    Why do I live in Alaska? Because I can.

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    One step at a time intothenew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen buds View Post
    ...........GPS on your cell only works if you have cell coverage........

    I can tell you first hand that is not true on an iPhone 3GS, 4, or 4S. They all have a dedicated gps chip. I can tell you second hand that it is not true on many with droid technology.

    The issue with cell/wifi on those models has to do with the mapsets, you need an app that will cache maps for the times when you don't have service. MotionX GPS is a nice one that will do just that on an iPhone. It creates what is essentially a stand alone gps on your phone for a reasonable price, between 5 & 10 bucks. Not a spot, but it will send an email with your location to whoever you choose and at the interval you choose. You must have data service or wifi for that to work. Spotty, get it? There are plenty more apps out there.

    They eat away pretty good on the battery when run that way, but I see you have a solar charger on the want list.
    "They call us civilized because we are easy to sneak up on."- Lone Waite

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    Senior Member NightShade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen buds View Post
    Looks good, but the GPS on your cell only works if you have cell coverage.. You might consider a real GPS device.
    This is incorrect.
    Phones with gps have satellite receivers in them. Hence, GPS. Many times I've had no cell signal and still used gps. Waypoints are simply saved onto phone memory, and update onto the web when automatically when you have cell service again.

    High altitudes- I recommend some climbing rope.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I not real sure where you are heading out to.....but my experience on several hunting trips..(different that just an outing, gear is trucked in or horse back)....advice from land owners in western Colorado, Grand Mesa area, advice was....never leave camp without a canteen, and a large caliber side arm.

    As far as your gear, looking like a load, so I guess if it were me, I would start packing for size, but also use a scale....all that stuff is nice to have, but gets "much" particularly when ....."THERE IS NO AIR up there" and level ground is non-existent.
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

  13. #13

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    I've lived in the Rockies in Utah and Wyoming pretty much all my life. My home now is at over 7000 ft altitude and every year I hike in areas where I venture to around 12000 ft.

    None of these things make me an "expert" but, I do have a little bit of experience in the area of high altitude hiking. After looking over your list I have the following thoughts....

    1. Generally speaking, the higher up you go, the less access to water you will have. Above 8000 ft you often are stuck looking for high-alpine springs. As a result, you may need to carry a lot more water than is your custom. A mini-CamelBak will likely not suffice. Get a big one (at least 64 oz and even 96+ oz if you can manage it).

    1a. I like water bladder systems like the CamelBak, Platypus, and others. Using them helps a guy stay way better hydrated than with just a canteen but, I don't think it's a good idea to rely on them as an only source for carrying water. They can be punctured more easily than most people realize and the bite valves always seem to go out at the worst possible times. They also are nigh useless in sub-freezing temperatures. Throw in a 32 oz Nalgene or a military canteen as a back up. I prefer the Nalgenes because they have a wider mouth, are clear so I can see how much water I have, and they have quantity measurements on the side which help when cooking. Stick with the 32 oz size because your water purification tablets are designed for use with a standard military canteen and this will make using them much easier.

    2. In regards to your pack. Whatever you buy, get one that is a little smaller than you think you might want. Extra room in a pack just results in extra, unnecessary crap being added. A pack that is a little on the small size forces you to really justify each item's true value and will help you leave some stuff at home.

    3. Unlike 1stimestar, I do like to have a small, bright, waterproof, LED flashlight as well as a headlamp in my pack; mostly for redundancy, though there are other uses. Note however, I said a SMALL flashlight.

    4. I always have a Bic lighter in my pack. Most of the fires I light are lit with one. I do keep alternatives available should it be too cold or too wet for the lighter but, at least in the Rockies, this is rare - especially during standard 3-season hiking.

    5. I agree wholeheartedly with Rick - leave the machete at home. It's just extra weight.

    6. Your choice of gun will depend on the game you are hunting. For small game purposes, a small .22LR revolver (S&W 34-1) is always my companion when hiking the Rockies. It has added fresh meat to my pot many times.

    7. I have a Gerber Paraframe (I don't know if it's the II model). I have found it to be a very dangerous knife - and not in a good way. This may be a problem that only I have but, my pinky finger very easily will slip into the holes in the scales down by the tip of the blade and I have more than once sliced my finger when trying to fish it out of my pocket. I refuse to carry this knife as a result.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    never leave camp without... a large caliber side arm.
    I assume this advise is because of the bears. I waffle back and forth about this. I live and recreate in prime bear country (black bear and grizzly) and only twice in my life have I ever even seen bears in the wild. Both times I was bowhunting and didn't have any gun at all. Neither time did the bears prove to be dangerous.

    I did carry my .357 Magnum on my family's hiking trip to the Cirque of the Towers last year. This was mostly to appease my wife's fears. The gun never left its holster. Besides, if it's bears you're afraid of, research has shown that bear spray is far more effective than any handgun.

    I don't know... like I said, I waffle back and forth about this. Generally, I think a guy is probably better served by a .22 LR that will add something to the pot than a hand cannon that just weighs down his belt.

    If I were in Alaska, I would probably feel entirely different.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I was following the land owners advice, on the side arm, and in all truthfulness, it never left the holster in several trips, but was a comfort.

    I do agree with the water problem, that had to be the driest area I had ever experienced...save a desert.
    Seemed like you get some of your air from drinking a lot of water, and everything was a lot more of an effort.

    We camped at 10,500 ft and hunted up/down to near 11,500.

    Altitude sickness was a problem for some guys, in particular a young guy, 15 or 16 years old that was running all over trying to impress his father.
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    Enough Toilet Paper in water tight container(s),, zip lock bags?

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    Get some basic medical and first aid supplies, they are not on your list. And if you take any prescription medications, be sure and take those along, of stock them in your BOB all the time! If you get hurt in the field, you will be glad you have them!
    And dont forget the snake bite kit! There are rattlers in them there woods!
    Last edited by Wildthang; 02-11-2012 at 06:24 PM.

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    I always have duct tape, paracord, and sewing kit. None take up too much space and all can be used for more than one use.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1stimestar View Post
    I would dump the lighters. They don't work when they are cold or wet.
    Keep them inside your coat or close to your body and they work fine.
    I've never understood this, I smoked for 15 years even droped my lighter in water, always got it to work.

    You just shake or blow the excess water out and if it still doesn't light, just press the strike wheel against a piece of dry clothing(T-Shirt works well) I really need to make a youtube video.
    Last edited by socom2173; 02-11-2012 at 09:52 PM.

  20. #20

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    Unless your phone can download maps before you get there it will be worthless, most phones rely on maps downloaded as you go.
    I have BackCountry Navigator on my phone, I have to download maps for an area BEFORE I get out of range or I don't have them.

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