Ultralight Gear For Trainhopping? (1 Viewer)

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After my recent incident that precipitated my user name change in Dunsmuir, I am thinking about going from heavy-duty military grade gear to ultralight stuff to lighten up a bit. I am top heavy enough with my gut, and 32 extra lbs. up high just about shoved me to the ballast when I slipped walking a train looking for a ride.

Anyone used an ultralight pack? I am hoping to drop about 10 l bs. in base weight before riding again next month. I have other ultralight gear on order, but not worried about the other stuff, only wether or not it’ll be protected enough by the pack and not go flying different directions down the ballast if the pack splits open. I used the search function, couldn’t find any info on this topic.
 
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BirdDaddy

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In my experiance ultralight packs are tough as nails against stone and stick... but against steel and sharp jagged or abrasive surfaces it will never hold up against an accidental slash. The ripstop tech textile they are made out of is handy because it helps save the rest of the pack from splitting open and loosing all your gear. Unles it's getting caught and tugged on by your waight... Makes for ez sewing too. Allot of them tend to have alot of straps and extra shit on them too. I would customize your pack to the fullest, carry a good sew kit with seam sealant and some patch material. Be careful about getting on and off with your pack. Oh and the frames dont hold up to being thrown either... I'm pretty sure alot of ppl use them, they just whare out at the seams 10× faster than mill spec tech and need more maintenance too. Maybe take it to a seamstress and have her double enforce all your seams get it resealed and make sure to carry everything you need dry In a dry bag because in my experience not even the milatary makes a waterproof bag that's actually waterproof. Outside of the obvious dry bags... obviously I would get a used one in good condition and customize it.
 
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Thanks for that info, I am looking to buy a used Granite Gear Crown VC60, the first generation one. It is in good shape, inexpensive, has no frame at all to speak of, just thickish channeled foam on the back to allow for airflow, backed by a rigid removable plastic plate. Total weight for that pack is 2lbs, 2 oz., vs my Swedish Army LK 35’s 4 plus lbs. that really carried far more than it’s stated 35 liter size,and was rugged as hell.

The 2nd iteration of that GG pack saves but 3 oz, and is not readily available used at a decent price yet, so it is about 180 new, too rich for my blood to buy for an experiment. I do not intend to carry anything except a cup, trekking poles and a thin accordion foam mattress on the outside, cinched very tight to my body. The ultralight trekking poles are for the Hyperlite Dyneema tarp which won’t be used unless it rains.

Regarding their long term durability, if I have to replace them more frequently, I guess I don’t mind , in order gain weight savings.

Waiting on the tarp, down quilt, and poles, looking to catch out late next month.
 
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Jackthereaper

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Ive eliminated a lot more weight inside my pack than contained within the pack itself. I personally run a patagonia nine trails 36l and sleep in a hammock. Without food or water i typically only have 18-20 lbs in my pack.

What others steps have you taken or pondered to minimize / lighten your pack?
 

SaltyCrew

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I know you already stated you don't want to break the bank, but here is an option at the top of the scale, if in fact lightest weight is something important to you, or anyone else reading this.

Zpacks makes some of the best gear in the ultralight game, at a cost, obviously. Packs, tents/shelters, sleeping bags. The cheapest pack is this 38L for $199.99, but it only weighs 10.8oz and is waterproof, durable, stretch free. They make almost all their gear from Dyneema Composite Fabric, DCF (whatever the fuk that is?) I've read lots of reviews, watched lots of reviews, and everyone seems to be happy as hell with their gear from Zpacks.
 
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Ive eliminated a lot more weight inside my pack than contained within the pack itself. I personally run a patagonia nine trails 36l and sleep in a hammock. Without food or water i typically only have 18-20 lbs in my pack.

What others steps have you taken or pondered to minimize / lighten your pack?
Thus far, beside cutting back on clothes, lightening my cook kit, taking a bare minimum of tools, (headlamp, fixed blade knife, multitool) I got rid of a heavy Dutch army hooped bivy, highly regarded among bushcrafters for weather resistance and ruggedness (3.25 lbs) to a Outdoor Research Helium bivy @ just under16 oz. .

Just received minutes ago, my Hyperlite Dyneema Flat tarp. 8.85 oz vs the nearly 2.5 lb. DD 3 x3 m tarp I carried previously. Carrying a set of Black Diamond Carbon Cork trekking poles( 15 oz.) to set the tarp up as an A-frame tent only if it rains. I am gonna use just the bivy in dry weather, or if need d in rainy weather on the train with the quilt.


My 2.5 lb Carinthia Tropen 37 F bag is being replaced by a UGQ Bandit XL 30 degree 950 fp quilt, it weighs 22 oz.

If I buy that pack, I think I will, I should be at just about 20 lbs. That’s exclusive of water ( 1 gallon plus one liter) and food, carried separately in a bag.

So, that pack is just about the last step I can take for a further reduction. I just want to assure it won’d disintegrate if I toss it ever so gently from a train.
 

T Paradise

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Allot of them tend to have alot of straps and extra shit on them too.
Nah, compared to regular backpacks they tend to have fewer straps and less extra shit on them. That's the ultralight philosophy and how they can keep the weight of the packs down.
They make almost all their gear from Dyneema Composite Fabric, DCF
DCF is very robust if it comes to stretching but not to friction - to my knowledge -. So good for tents, not for backpacks (if you want to toss them from a train).
My suggestion is to reduce your weight as much as possible and then use an alice pack or something that has been proven to be tough enough. Without a frame those military backpacks aren't that heavy.
People are trekking for months with a base weight of 10lbs, if you are at twice that weight there might be some more ways to lose some.
It is hard to give advice without knowing your current setup, but to start with the gear you named: There is no point in carrying a waterproof bivy if you only use it in dry weather. Either ditch the tarp or get a water resistant instead of a waterproof bivy. Maybe even just a bug bivy. That way you won't have trouble with condensation in your bivy either.
Forget the above if you actually need the waterproofness while riding trains. Using a down bag in a waterproof bivy might lead to condensation problems though, so that you might get just as wet using the waterproof bivy on a train as with a water resistant plus tarp.
My pack weights about 5kg with a pack that weights around 700g, so with an alice pack it would still be pretty light weight. Comfortable for temperatures above or around freezing. No trainhopping related gear though. If you want to reduce your weight further check some ultralight trekking gear lists to get some inspiration.
 
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Nah, compared to regular backpacks they tend to have fewer straps and less extra shit on them. That's the ultralight philosophy and how they can keep the weight of the packs down.

DCF is very robust if it comes to stretching but not to friction - to my knowledge -. So good for tents, not for backpacks (if you want to toss them from a train).
My suggestion is to reduce your weight as much as possible and then use an alice pack or something that has been proven to be tough enough. Without a frame those military backpacks aren't that heavy.
People are trekking for months with a base weight of 10lbs, if you are at twice that weight there might be some more ways to lose some.
It is hard to give advice without knowing your current setup, but to start with the gear you named: There is no point in carrying a waterproof bivy if you only use it in dry weather. Either ditch the tarp or get a water resistant instead of a waterproof bivy. Maybe even just a bug bivy. That way you won't have trouble with condensation in your bivy either.
Forget the above if you actually need the waterproofness while riding trains. Using a down bag in a waterproof bivy might lead to condensation problems though, so that you might get just as wet using the waterproof bivy on a train as with a water resistant plus tarp.
My pack weights about 5kg with a pack that weights around 700g, so with an alice pack it would still be pretty light weight. Comfortable for temperatures above or around freezing. No trainhopping related gear though. If you want to reduce your weight further check some ultralight trekking gear lists to get some inspiration.
When on a train in wet weather, I will need a bivy. On a train in dry weather, when cold, I need a bivy - first, for additional warmth, but mainly to protect a very expensive down quilt. Off the train, in dry weather, I won’t need to use a bivy, except in very cold weather, not likely on the Highline in late August. Rain is a slight possibility, though. The Dyneema ( cuben fiber) tarp weighs next to nothing, less than 9 oz.

I would not buy a pack made of Dyneema, as it is not good asa far as puncture resistance goes, lots of pokey shit on RR cars, so gotta stick with nylon. Plus, I cannot afford a new DCF pack, and they are not readily available on the used market.

The pack truly is the last way for me to shave meaningful weight, methinks. I’m not gonna leave my pound and a half of weed at home, am I?
 
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Older Than Dirt

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I’m not gonna leave my half pound of weed at home, am I?
Probably the ultralight dudes go with concentrates, and solar-powered vaporizers and whatnot. But i am with you.

Thanks for the quilt recommendation. Looking at the weight difference between one of those, and even my Snugpak Elite 1 summer bag (45 degrees, 1 kilo) has even my cheap ass thinking about buying one.
 

SaltyCrew

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When on a train in wet weather, I will need a bivy. On a train in dry weather, when cold, I need a bivy - first, for additional warmth, but mainly to protect a very expensive down quilt. Off the train, in dry weather, I won’t need to use a bivy, except in very cold weather., not likely on the Highline in late August. Rain, is a slight possibility, though. The Dyneema ( cuben weighs next to nothing, very little weight, less than 9 oz.

I would not buy a pack made of Dyneema, as it is not good asa far as puncture resistance goes, lots of pokey shit on RR cars, so gotta stick with nylon. Plus, I cannot afford a new DCF pack, and they are not readily available on the used market.

The pack truly is the last way for me to shave meaningful weight, methinks. I’m not gonna leave my half pound of weed at home, am I?
In all honesty, I wouldn't want to throw a $200-$300 lightweight pack off a train, even if it could handle the abuse, but that's just me. It sounds like you've already cut your weight down considerably from where you were, so are you that worried about the extra 1-2lbs you'll gain from a more durable pack over a "lightweight" variant? I think you're already doing good, weight wise, by getting into some lighter weight gear inside the pack vs. the heavier gear you previously were toting. Waterproof would be my concern. Sea to Summit and Sealine make some waterproof backpacks that are under 3#, made out of that heavy duty rubber material they use for sea going dry bags. Have a Few options Under $200.

Update: I didn't catch that you were coming into a pack used potentially, I thought you were shopping new prices, my bad. If it's cheap enough I'd go for it. The only piece of Granite Gear brand gear I have/ have had, is a compression sack. It seems to be holding up ok.
 
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train in vain

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I havent read all these posts yet but... i have a normal hiking pack nothin fancy..cant weigh much more then 2 lbs unloaded. Carry less stuff is my suggestion.
 
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In all honesty, I wouldn't want to throw a $200-$300 lightweight pack off a train, even if it could handle the abuse, but that's just me. It sounds like you've already cut your weight down considerably from where you were, so are you that worried about the extra 1-2lbs you'll gain from a more durable pack over a "lightweight" variant? I think you're already doing good, weight wise, by getting into some lighter weight gear inside the pack vs. the heavier gear you previously were toting. Waterproof would be my concern. Sea to Summit and Sealine make some waterproof backpacks that are under 3#, made out of that heavy duty rubber material they use for sea going dry bags. Have a Few options Under $200.

Update: I didn't catch that you were coming into a pack used potentially, I thought you were shopping new prices, my bad. If it's cheap enough I'd go for it. The only piece of Granite Gear brand gear I have/ have had, is a compression sack. It seems to be holding up ok.
I will check them out, thanks.
Good company's have no questions asked lifetime guarantees.


Now that the REI gurantee is no longer a thing. Osprey makes great lightweight gear.
Hey, got that bookmarked, thanks.
 

Juan Derlust

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I was only half joking; I was directed to wear a helmet parachuting (not full face) - why not for rolling dismounts?

As rough as your injury appears, I'm glad it wasn't worse
 
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I was only half joking; I was directed to wear a helmet parachuting (not full face) - why not for rolling dismounts?

As rough as your injury appears, I'm glad it wasn't worse
There’s no sign of it now, a month aftter the fact. I would give anything to have it on video for my family’s viewing pleasure. Perhaps I’ll remedy that on next month’s ride.
 

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