Robert Ray wrote:It takes a few trips to build one's particular kit. You will find you remove and add items as you create your perfect pack. My backpacking kit is different than my kit I carry when I go out on my dual sport motorcycle camping. Fall and spring camping can be challenging where I live because of snow. I personally am not a fan of hammocks and prefer tents, but many like them. You'll enjoy developing your perfect kit that fits your style.
Travis Johnson wrote:I do a lot of hiking this time of year myself. I typically start in December because hunting season is over, and I have the woods to myself again (except on Sundays, it is against the law to hunt or fish on Sundays in Maine giving a chance for non sportsman to enjoy the outdoors at least one day a week without worry of getting shot).
Like you Ryan, I have problems with stamina myself, but I like the cooler weather, not having to swat at bugs, and being able to see without leaves on the trees. It is interesting though. Last fall, on my first hike, I was so fatigued that I could not make it to the rock outcrop I wanted to go to, but instead ended up at one closer to the house. I was actually shocked because I found mineralization in that outcrop.
Like you, I have a good sense of direction, but keep a compass in my pack just in case. Unfortunately my pack is pretty weighted down. I am looking for mineralization, so it is pretty light going in, but coming out I am burdened with ore samples. I keep swearing to myself that I am going to buy a pack mule named "Pickaxe", but never have.
Ryan Hobbs wrote:My current camp stoves are not great. The little one takes esbit tablets, alcohol, and wood as fuels and folds up so I can fit it in my mess kit, but it lacks power and can be dangerous if you knock it over or bump into it. The big one has 2 burners and runs on white gas, but it has issues such as being heavy, bulky, and slow to start. I’m currently looking at a Sterno Butane single burner stove, which takes up about as much space as an MSR multi-fuel stove, but is much cheaper.
I have to carry a stove because building fires without a fire ring is illegal in Ohio state forests. But I can’t afford a Pocket Rocket or similar. So I’m left with the butane stove I mentioned before.
Travis Johnson wrote:How much does the stove cost Ryan?
I will say, I am gun shy on calling it the "pocket rocket"! I do not think of a stove when I hear that name! (LOL)
I failed to mention this on the first few posts, but I know you have some health issues and it is really good to hear you are getting outside. It really did wonders for me last winter, and after awhile my stamina did better. At the end of it I went for a 5 mile hike, a really big accomplishment for me (it was bushwacking and no trails to hike on).
For what it is worth, I am really proud of you for getting outside for some hiking, fishing and hunting, and wish you lived closer, I would take you out with me on my prospecting trips.
Travis Johnson wrote:That is a lofty goal.
I hope you get to do them.
My father in law has always wanted to do the AT, and has every book ever written on through-hiking it, but now that he is aged, cannot do it.
I would like to do the 100 Mile Wilderness (the last 100 miles of the AT), but I am not sure if I am up for that. I have been to the top of Mount Katadin, and it is very rugged country to say the least.
As for the stove, I hope you get to buy it.
Marty Mac wrote:Ryan
I know the initial cost is intimidating but for a very high quality backpacking stove I would recommend the MSR Dragonfly.
I know crazy expensive!! I bought one about 20 years ago and it is still going strong. I would estimate that thing has cooked my meals for over a year and a half in that time, some trips it was feeding as many as 6 people. I also use it in the back yard as a pot warmer for BBQ's. You will need to spend another $20 or so on a fuel bottle. The biggest advantage to the Dragonfly is its multi fuel capabilities. White gas, diesel or unleaded gas. The stove you mentioned needs the specific disposable fuel can that costs $10 a pop. I am a cheep skate so the idea of throwing away a partial can of fuel because it may not have enough left for my next trip is out. Do I then have to carry 2 cans just in case? With the Dragonfly I can only bring the fuel I know I will need rather than caring a full canister. Also in a cold and wet environment if things go wrong and you need a fire to survive its pretty hard to beat having some gas on hand to get an emergency fire going with wet wood. Gas stations are everywhere. Not everyone carries the butane propane mix backpacking fuel.
Maybe this belongs in the buy it for life thread?
Travis Johnson wrote:I live out of my Muck Boots as well, and thus hike in them as well. I do like them, but I have found the back of the heel wears the inside of the boot out a bit. This ultimately will give me a blister if I do not wear two pairs of socks while wearing them. Every pair I have every worn has done this. But as I said, I live out of them, so that means logging, farming, and hiking.
Does anyone else have this problem?
Travis Johnson wrote:I have never had good luck getting good tasting coffee over a camp fire. I am not sure if it is the smoke that gets in it that ruins the flavor, but it just tastes horrible (at least to me). I am not sure if an alcohol stove would help with that or not, but it would be worth a try.
I do like hiking in my muck boot though, only because I can get into some pretty deep mud with them, and in the winter, snowshoe without having to fuss with gaters on. I am fortunate that there are no snakes to worry about here, about the only thing Maine has going for it...no poisonous snakes, the only state in the nation that can lay claim to that. I think some of the problem is that I just wear my muck boots wayyyyyyyyyyy too much. When I ay I live in them, it is true. I have (2) pair of shoes...a pair of sneakers, and my muck boots. I did see a nice pair of Carolina Hiking boots that looked nice though. I might even be able to go logging in them. Logging is pretty hard on my Muck Boots because of the brush on that foam rubber.
THE STOVE YOU NEED IS A ....BRS TITANIUM it is a butane and weighs less than 25 grams. I highly recommend watching some YouTube with the Thru-hike gear list as y our search. Also... Never listen to one person on youtube but watch for patterns in multiple posts. The pocket rocket is a much more powerful stove and I carried it for a long time. The brs is less than a third the weight and a third the price and it cooks ALLMOST as fast. Do not buy a titanium frying pan! everything burns
Ryan Hobbs wrote:I camp, hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors in several other ways. I’m going to start going to Shawnee State Forest* now that the weather is cooling off. I don’t mind the cold, but the heat is bad for me. I do most outdoors stuff from October to April. I chalk it up to my mostly Scandinavian ancestry.
So anyways, I’m preparing myself for my outdoors season. I’m upgrading some of my kit so I can start day-tripping at that place I linked to. Then I’ll start going for over-nighters when I feel good about my stamina. I’m working on re-building my stamina, but that’s hard because I’m chronically ill. Some days like yesterday I feel great and get a lot of work done, and then there are days like today where I start off good and wind up in bed feeling like shit and writing a post on the outdoors. =_= But I see my doctor again in a few days and we are going to be working out my new meds so this will be less of an issue.
I have all the stuff for day tripping and regular camping already, but I have been slowly building up to have the equipment for a proper backpacking trip. My current sleep system is too bulky and also pretty uncomfortable for somebody my size (besides being a bit overweight, I’m also very tall and broad-shouldered). So I’m going to switch to hammock and tarp and sell my tent. No need to buy hammock top-quilts, we have cold weather sleeping bags and a sewing machine. But the under-quilt will probably be needed. We have a number of tarps (we do live on a farm).
My current camp stoves are not great. The little one takes esbit tablets, alcohol, and wood as fuels and folds up so I can fit it in my mess kit, but it lacks power and can be dangerous if you knock it over or bump into it. The big one has 2 burners and runs on white gas, but it has issues such as being heavy, bulky, and slow to start. I’m currently looking at a Sterno Butane single burner stove, which takes up about as much space as an MSR multi-fuel stove, but is much cheaper.
I’ve always had great sense of direction. But a map and a map-reading compass are certainly on my list before I start taking multi-day trips. I learned to use various compasses and maps in the Royal Rangers, a scouting organization. I had the orienteering badge. The Shawnee State Forest backpacking trails are spread across several USGS topography maps. I plan to fold them so that there are only the portions I need showing in the map case. I will also carry a map-pamphlet of the State Forest for quick reference.
I do need a med kit that is packable, and I found one from the REI co-op that fits my budget and covers everything from minor owies to “I think I dislocated my knee again”. Another thing to include is a travel-size daily pill organizer. With my chronic illness, I take 7 pills every night and 3 every morning. Ofc I need something to drink to take my pills, so… I have a canteen, but decided I’d rather contain my water in something that is more even in weight distro, so 2x 32oz nalgalene water bottles instead of 1x 64oz canteen. And I can put them on the chest straps of the pack.
Speaking of the pack… I’m looking at a German Army internal frame ruck pack. It’s in Flecktarn camo, but I would be making my modifications in blaze orange because I’m well aware of the fact that it is hunting season during my preferred time to be outside. I plan to add a couple of pouches for water bottles, my map and compass, and to make a sheath for my bushcraft knife that will attach to the waist strap of the pack. The sheath will be leather and have a pocket for the pocket bushman knife, a pocket for the whetstone, and a loop for a ferro rod. If you don’t know about the knife, Cold Steel makes it. I got mine years ago and have used it in the ocean, batonned a tree down with it, and it holds a nice edge.
Speaking of tools… I carry an axe when camping, and I could carry an axe with me backpacking, but a saw is lighter and easier to use. (I have used both extensively.) I plan to get a Silky Big Boy folding saw for backpacking. I am considering weight, but I’m thinking more like the Military than the average AT through-hiker. I want to get the most utility out of what I’m carrying, because at times you will need that utility. I won’t carry anything I don’t need, but conversely, I will also carry what I do need. If it is a bit heavier than the average ultralighter likes, I will just have to build bigger muscles. I can get by without an axe by batonning my knife. I have to carry a stove because building fires without a fire ring is illegal in Ohio state forests. But I can’t afford a Pocket Rocket or similar. So I’m left with the butane stove I mentioned before.
With all that said, I’m very excited to get out there and have a trip planned already. I’m going to be hiking there probably twice a week and working out at home until I build up enough stamina for a backpacking excursion. I do have more challenges than the average Joe because of my illness, but I do my best to overcome them.