OHE August 2, 1999 (KST gear)

Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 20:25:15 -1000
From: "Short, Mark E." (Mark.E.Short@bankofamerica.com>
Subject: KST gear list

Dayle will be writing up the recent HTMC KST backpack trip. For myself, and I'm sure for the others, this was an outstanding event that will stay in memory for a long time. Thank you to Dayle & Patrick & all the others for all the work that went into making this such a success.

My personal success was, I believe, mainly due to my small & light pack. This really made the trip enjoyable for me. I was able to keep up a good pace, stop for some really long & enjoyable periods in some of the most wild & beautiful country you will find anywhere. During these beaks I'd take off my shoes & socks so my feet would only be continuously wet for about two hours at a time. When walking I was able to easily pass through low & narrow areas & hop (or pole-vault) over large mud holes or gaps in the trail. I have only been backpacking for about a year and a half, however I was fortunate to have discovered the concept of lightweight long distance hiking. The majority of what I have learned came from 'The Pacific Crest Trail Hikers Handbook' by Ray Jardine (this book is now out of print, there is a new updated and expanded book 'Beyond Backpacking' which I just got today in the mail!), other good sources of info are the web site Michael's Ultralight Backpacking and John's Ultralight Backpacking and the Backpackinglight list.

A few people asked what my pack weighed and if there was food & water inside. I was able to answer the food & water question (yes), but I wasn't sure about my pack weight.

What follows is my gear list with weights & prices (lightweight can cost less, in fact Jardine promotes & provides instruction for making your own gear). The weights may not be exact, most items were weighed on a postage scale, some are estimates:

Synthetic sleeping bag 34oz. $60 rated at 45 degrees/
3/4 length Z-rest pad 15oz $19/
Nomadlight tent (roomy 1 person, can sit up inside, bugproof,  w/ vestibule,
ground sheet, stakes) 32oz $250/
Esbit stove 4oz $10 at Hawaii Outdoor World/
Esbit fuel tabs 2.5 oz (only used 1.75oz)/
Long sleeve thermal shirt 6oz $8 (to sleep in)/
Thermal long underpants 9oz $9 (didn't use)/
Thorlo coolmax light hiking socks 3.5oz $10 (didn't use)/
Patagonia Zephur jacket 11oz. $60 on sale at Powder Edge/
Mountainlight 2000cu in pack 18oz $70/
Petzel headlamp 5.5oz $20 (I also have a photon light the size of three
quarters & weighs next to nothing, however it's so small & the kids love it
so I wasn't able to find it for this trip)
Small ditty bag w/first aid kit, space blanket, whistle, compass,
toothbrush, sunscreen, lib balm, matches & lighter, iodine tabs, lexan
spoon, topo map, duct tape, ID & credit card 10oz?/
Evernew 1.3L titanium pot & lid 6oz $30/
Cell phone 12oz?/
Stearns 2.5 gallon water bag 4oz $8/
Gregory mirage hydration bladder & tube 8oz?/
Safewater inline filter 3oz $25
machete & sheath 20oz?/
I ment to bring a length of poly rope but forgot it

Total about 13 lbs. without food & water

1 gallon water 8 lbs./
Mountain House chilimac 4oz/
Lipton noodle dinner 3.5oz/
Tuna 3oz/
bagel sandwich 6oz?/
oatmeal, grapenuts, raisens, sugar 10oz?/
ramen noodles 6oz/
various cracker, cookie, granola bar snacks 10oz?/
fig bars 16oz

Total about 11.66 lbs. for food & water

Total pack weight less than 25 lbs at beginning of day & less 19 lbs at end of day (drank water & ate food) at end of trip most of food & water were gone so maybe 15.5 lbs!!! No wonder I felt great at the end of the trip. This was a tough hike, yet the day after I'm not sore at all. No scratches or blisters, nothing to complain about. I enjoyed myself completely on the trail and in camp, never feeling deprived.

What I was wearing also helped a lot:
Long sleeve nylon shirt with full length body & arm mesh vents/
Nylon shorts/
Nylon long pants/
High gators/
Thin nylon socks/
Adidas football cleats/
Booney hat with mesh vents/
Sunscreen & lip balm/
trekking poles
This gear list worked great for me on this trip. For other trips or other people, I'm sure things will be different. Where I'd like to improve next is healthier food. The main thing is to enjoy the experience. For me the concept of lightweight hiking greatly enhanced this adventure.

Reply From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
On Mon, 2 Aug 1999, Short, Mark E. wrote:

  [Mark's instructive gear list omitted to save space]

> This was a tough hike, yet the day after I'm not sore at all. No scratches
> or blisters, nothing to complain about. I enjoyed myself completely on the
> trail and in camp, never feeling deprived.

Thanks to adherence to a similar lightweight philosophy, I felt great during and after the trip. I ate well, slept well, and was attired in a way that gave me protection and enjoyment on the trail. I'm sold.

From experience, I've developed a good handle on the amount of water I need to get myself from point to point based on the length of trail, type of terrain, and weather conditions. That knowledge is helpful since I can hike without carrying too much water.

In the list of gear I mentioned in the first installment of the KST write-up, I forgot to include the pair of hiking poles I used. While I intended to use just one of the two most of the way (I feel more comfortable with one hand free in brushy terrain), I ended up using both the entire time, with great results. Among other things, the poles helped with balance while traversing the numerous KST mudholes. With better balance, I expended less energy over the long haul and ended every day feeling great.

Better balance did not mean I never took a flop. I did--more than once. The most dramatic one along a windward segment of the KST I'll describe in the Day 3 installment.

Hiking light, hiking happy.


Reply From: "STONE, J. BRANDON" (802005%cchpd@co.honolulu.hi.us>


Here are a few of my gear notes about the KST trip:

For those interested in tarps, as of yesterday there's a web page, which shows drawings of nine interesting designs, most of which come from a Boy Scout manual from the '20s. There will probably be more images coming as new designs are submitted by lightweight backpacking enthusiasts. I pitched my tarp something like the first design on the page, but with only one pole.

I used an 8'x10' Integral Designs siltarp, 13 oz., though to be fair you must add a number of stakes and a groundcloth to that weight. The KST trip was my first time using that tarp and setting it up in a steady 25-35 mph wind was interesting. I fiddled with various designs and eventually settled on a kind of leaning pyramid, supported by my hiking pole. The edge of the tarp was pegged tight to the ground all around the edge of the pyramid except for an inverted V at the entrance. The wind tended to force the sloping walls of the pyramid close to the ground, limiting interior space, but I eventually figured out that stringing support cords from the hiking pole to the stakes along the main ridgelines of the structure would keep the whole thing as taut as possible under the circumstances. The setup sequence goes like this: stake down one back edge, make taut the pole and the cords along the main ridgelines, finally place all other stakes around the edge of the pyramid. Obvious once you do it. And don't forget to learn how to tie a tautline hitch. That's the sliding knot that allows all lines to be tightened easily.

The pyramid design, with an 8'x10' tarp, provided good headroom to sit inside the entrance and cook dinner outside, in the lee of the tarp. There was ample room to stretch out and sleep, with all gear inside, too. The night was not very rainy, but we had some heavy patches, which the tarp survived just fine. If necessary, a rain jacket across the entrance would have blocked any spray.

I look forward to trying other designs in different conditions. At lower elevations, bugs are an issue. I'm going to try using some netting to exclude mosquitoes by making a kind of tarp-tent. It's always possible, too, just to completely seal yourself into a sleeping bag, sleeping bag cover, or bivy, and use netting over your face or upper torso. I did that not long ago in Waimano Valley and it worked fine.

It was great to carry a light load on the KST trip, however, I brought too much food, plus a pair of light nylon warmup pants and a Capilene top I didn't use at all. I had bought a replacement cartridge for my PUR Scout water purifier the night before the trip. I tested it, sort of, and it seemed a little anemic, but I assumed it would work OK. Wrong. I now know that the cartridge was defective, missing a sliding valve about the size of a #2 pencil eraser. Consequently, water was not being routed through the output line, but back out the input line. Many thanks to Dusty Klein and Ken Suzuki for lending me their purifiers. I wish I had taken the trouble earlier to understand how the mechanism worked because I would have been able to diagnose the problem in the field and improvise a solution. In this case I could have pinched the intake line closed on every downstroke of the pump, thus forcing water through the output line.

I've used a hiking pole (Leki) for a couple of years and a guava staff before that, but I'd never tried using two poles, assuming that it would be too awkward on narrow congested trails. Now that the pole virus has hit HTMC, though, I took a cue from Dayle, Thomas, June, and others, and used my Leki plus a wooden stick on the final day of the trip. I'm sold. The stability and added push for uphills were great, and, far from being awkward, the poles felt like extensions of my arms as I crabbed my way through tight spots and down slippery slopes.

It was a great trip, and Dayle and Pat deserve enormous credit. Two images: Dayle, in his orange jacket, a very welcome beacon at the Poamoho/KST junction to welcome the rest of us coming in from Laie. He waited there for at least 90 minutes till everyone showed up before heading for the cabin himself! And Patrick, our distant shepherd on a narrow ledge high above Kahana Valley, his arms raised as he beheld his Mistress Ohulehule.


Reply From: Kay Ellen Lynch (klynch@hawaii.edu>

my happiest discovery was a pair of single-layer, black nylon nike "warm-up" pants. these were cool, fast-drying and slid me easily past clidemia and uluhe. in combination with tall gaiters, they did a good job of keeping out the mud from muddy water that sometimes splashed hip-high. price: $2.49 at the goodwill store across from the police station on beretania.

note: the spiffy, new salvation army store in kailua had about 8 or 10 pairs of similar-type pants (tho not in my size) for $5.

also, my home-cut kukui hiking pole worked just fine.

the pants and pole show that ingenuity can sometimes quite satisfactorily reduce the price of being well prepared (brandon's alcohol stoves being other excellent examples).

also a pleasure was a kelty glacier internal-frame pack (3 lb., 2 oz.; 3,000 cu. in.; $89 on sale at REI in May) which easily held a summer-weight mummy bag, thermarest pad, food (including too much trail mix), sleeping clothes, sundries and water filter. two liters of water brought the total weight to about 28 lbs. i avoided having to carry a tent by arranging to share a tarp (more ingenuity!), but my cobra peak 1 tent (packs to a very small size) would also have fit in this pack (adding 3 lbs., 14 oz. to the weight).

gloves: i have abandoned leather and leather-palm gloves for a pair of knit gloves with gripper dots on the palms. they are much cooler. and i can do almost everything (take photos, do and undo zippers and waist belts, etc.) without taking them off. thorns (thimbleberry) were present.

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