Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Backpacking Project - Gear

The goal? Transform the formerly sedentary man rediscovering the outdoors into a backpacker.

When? This year.

Where? An overnight short distance trip in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, or New York.

The subject? Male, age 48, 6 feet 2 inches tall, approximately 300 pounds and dropping. Medical concerns are bilateral knee replacements, occasional back trouble, and poor coordination/balance. Limited hiking experience.

Now that the conditions of the project are out there, its time to discuss equipment - what I have and what I need.

Clothing: I should be set here, but here's what I plan on wearing on the trail:
- Cabela's "Guidewear" pants
- synthetic underwear
- Columbia fisherman's shirt
- baseball cap
- Merino wool socks
- Asolo hiking boots
- Crocs as camp shoes

Hiking poles - I have a set of aluminum poles.

Backpack - I have an Outdoor Products internal framed backpack, but its clearly too small for me and too small for what I plan to do. I don't want to have to load my gear onto the backs of people I hike with - that defeats the purpose of this project.

Sleeping bag - its a six pound Columbia bag, far too heavy. Its fine for bike touring and car camping but I need something lighter.

Sleeping pad - I have a piece of foam.

Tent - I have a Columbia "Lost Lake" two man freestanding tent. It weighs seven pounds, again too heavy. If I am unable to secure a lighter weight tent I may need to restrict my backpacking to locations with shelters. A hammock is a poor idea in light of my weight.

Stove - MSR Pocket Rocket, which uses fuel in canisters.

Cookwear and utensils - Coleman, but lightweight.

Suggestions on improvements to any or all of the above are welcome.



At May 16, 2014 at 6:29 PM , Blogger Beccah said...

I saw your post in the hiking gear Facebook page, directing to this blog. First off, let me say this is awesome! I lost 55lbs last year and decided to thru-hike the AT. I'm leaving in March 2015 for that (can't wait)! It's exciting that you're rediscovering the outdoors. I'm going to add your blog to my blog roll so I can follow your adventures.

Have you made any headway on your gear acquisitions yet? My big 3 are an Osprey Aura 65, a Mountain Hardwear Supermega UL2 tent, and a Kelty Ignite DriDown sleeping bag. I love my Osprey bag and haven't used the others enough yet to declare my love, but I'm definitely happy with them.


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The Backpacking Project - Gear