Kyrgyzstan, September 2014
16 hours ago
This from a blog reader today,
"Sorry to go off topic, but from looking at your pack contents photo, there were a few pieces of kit that could be substituted to lower the weight/bulk.Swap the GSI cookset, Snowpeak stove and MSR canister for a Jetboil Sol Ti cook system plusa 100g gas canister. Swap your BD krabs for DMM i-beam versions, eg Spectre 2 or Alpha Trad? Finally you could swap the friends for the new 'Helium' version, the Reverso 3 for the 4, and maybe even the harness for an Arc'teryx M270. All
together I think you would be saving over a pound in weight. What are your
Thoughts? Good idea :) I thought it worth weighing the suggestion, Jon :)
1. Jetboil stove 258g
100g fuel can 196g (110g fuel)
Snow Peak stove 128g
GSI cook kit 162g
MSR can 374g (227g fuel)
My kit is 32g heavier (fuel cell sizes change depending on the project)
But bigger fuel cells are slightly more efficient for what you carry in fuel
My Snow Peak stove and cook kit are way smaller/less bulk over all than a Jetboil
2. DMM Spectra 2 biner 32g
DMM Alpha Trad biner 34g
BD OZ biner 28g
Trango Super Fly 30g
with 25 biners my kit is 100g lighter or more
3. Helium Friend  3.35 oz  3.84 oz  5.11 oz
Rigid stem Friend  3.1 oz;  3.80 oz;  5.00 oz (sewn Spectra slings)
Carry only five cams and I am at least 25g lighter
4. Reverso 4 56g (edit of correct weights on my scale)
Reverso 3 78g
5. Petzl Hirundos 315g in a large
Arcteryx M270 310g in a large
5g heavier here
Total difference in weight between the suggested kit and mine?
I am 63g lighter if not more from Jon's suggestions. Or 2.2 oz :)
I don't doubt the Jetboil is a better stove than the Snow Peak but I normally usea MSR Reactor if I want a "real" stove. I like the Snow Peak because of the verysmall volume it takes up in my pack. A full pound savings was being very optimistic on Jon's part. But you never know so I took the time to weigh what I have hereand make a side by side comparison. I have both Helium and older rigid stem Friends and already knew what the result would be there. Take the time to weigh and know what you have in your own pack. Jon, thanks again for the suggestion!
"A rope, a rack, and the pack on your back, is Alpinism!"
To the uneducated eye the climbing sacks I use are really simple. As I have said previous, simple sacs but complicated designs. The packs show above are all the same basic design, A single daisy chain stitched up the front to ease the strain of hauling the pack. The pack is uncluttered so it hauls well. The down side (if there actually is one) is everything needs to go in the pack and not hung from the outside. Minimalistic indeed. The lid is detachable on these particular packs. There are two pockets in the lid plus strap on patches sewn to the top. The main pocket in the lid will hold two, 1 liter water bottles. The smaller bottom pocket it a typical map or guide book size. The single lid attachment buckle on the outside is covered to protect it if you need to haul the sac. The dbl Fastex buckles above the shoulder straps that latch on the lid from behind are not covered. Velcro seals the lid between the shoulder straps in the "short" position. The lid snugs down tightly above the Velcro in the extended position on an overly full sac. I will interchange the terms *sac* and *pack* a lot from here on out. A proper climbing pack to me is a "climbing sac".
All good to this point right? And likely what is pictured above is as stripped a pack as most will ever want. But it is not the pack I climb with generally. This little internal pocket opened a lot of options and ideas for me to use a even simpler pack. Funny how this all works. A tiny bit of design effort changed how even I looked at this decades old design. And it changed the packs I climb with and has made them even more useful to me and simpler yet.
My ID, the car keys, the camera if it isn't in my jacket, some extra GU and a headlamp go in this pocket. Spare socks or gloves sometimes and a hat as well when I think about it. Basically anything I don't want "lost" and rolling around in the bottom pack. The pocket is big enough...but not that BIG.
2 liters of water is most easily replaced with a stove. Or just as easily carried in a hydration bladder internally. So the importance of having a top pocket can be easily forgotten...then left behind all together.
So here is my current climbing sac. Not to every one's taste for sure. But something to think about when you decide a new "climbing sac" is required. Built right you'll own it a long, long time..so make sure it is a design you can live with.
Full of ropes the pack weights in at 25#. A full compliment of actual alpine climbing kit? Right at 30#. Just under my 20% self imposed 38# limit.
It should be no secret here at Cold Thistle that the majority of what I write is simply me slogging through the piles of gear I have an interest in and by doing so hopefully it enables me to make the best decisions and selections for my own use.
This three part series started because I was appalled at the pack fit and quality of some of my partner's packs. Enough so that I have bought and given away packs. It pays to remember that if you aren't soloing, your partner and his gear are actually a part of "your kit".
What I learned from this exercise it I want a really basic pack Since it is what I use the majority of time anyway. So last week I placed another order for a pack sans lid or any way to add a lid. It is very similar to the pack pictured above just no Velcro or the extra set of straps to latch the lid down. The daisy chain and lid tie down is simply bar tacked at the packs opening. But other than that it is really the same basic alpine sac I have been using for 30+ years. Just a more complicated design. Old habits die hard I guess.
Here is my new build sheet from Randy @ CCW:
Pack 1 OZONE 210d Spectra (Dane)
1. Custom sizing 21" back (+2.5")
2. Fish bottom pattern
3. No lid or attachments of any kind
(-front daisy but without top strap)
4. pull down shoulder straps instead of "pull up"
5. main bag has a zippered "guide book" pocket...with a little clip for
6. thicker shoulder straps foam- 2" longer
7. Perlon haul loop
8. dbl rope straps across the top of the pack
9. half length extension with draw string
10. no double bottom
And the specs for my original CCW alpine sacs:
Custom sizing, 21"
FISH bottom pattern
2 liter+ water bottle size top pocket
2nd zippered pocket in bottom of the lid with key holder
Zippers reversed on the pockets for use on hanging belays
pull down shoulder straps instead of "pull up"
main bag has a zippered "guide book" pocket
covered lid buckle which protects it while being hauled
removable foam pad
oversize/thickness on the shoulder straps
Perlon haul loop which is easier to clip on and off the anchor in difficult stances
dbl strap patches on lid
dbl rope straps across the top of the pack
10" extension with draw string
lid is extendable and removable
bar tacked daisy chain on the bottom of the lid strap
Finally for those interested. I took my pack and loaded it with the typical gear I would take waterfall cragging or alpine climbing in Canada. Loaded it a bit heavy @ what ended up being 35# even to make a point. Typically I don't carry all the hardware and the rope. Or this much hardware very often. Everything pictured is gear that was sitting waiting to be put away from out last trip to Canada so not unrealistic either. Helmet or rope and may be both could just as easily go inside the pack.
ready to close it up and strap on my 1/2 twin ropes and helmet
above and below:
Not my best pack job but easy enough to carry
Here is what went into the loaded pack pictured above:
2 dozen Advil
Metolius gear sling
12 Grivel Helix short and med screws and one 22cm in a cover and with caps intact
8 sewn QDs and 16 biners
Locker and Reverso
6 cams various sizes form 1" to 3"
4 Large stoppers
5 pins, knife blade to 3/4" baby angle
2 head lamps
2 spare battery packs
Snow Peak stove
med MSR fuel canister
GSI cook kit
spare scarf and Buff
2 spare gloves
one 60m Beal Ice Twin
Patagonia Knifeblade pullover
Patagonia Nano Puff pullover
RAB Generator Alpine Jacket
1 liter Nalgene bottle
a pair of Petzl Dartwins
a pair of Petzl Nomics