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7/8/2020 3:01:36 PM
Posted: 4/30/2009 12:46:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 12:52:44 AM EDT by steve-oh]
I'm volunteering to help out with the Venture Boy Scout group in my area. Most of these guys are Eagle Scouts already, so I don't teach merit badges. I mostly just play basketball with them, make sure they've got some sort of PT each week, it's actually pretty cool. Good bunch of kids.
Anyways, we're going backpacking in June for a week. I figure I need a pack that can handle food, clothes and a small 2 man tent. It'll be here in AZ, so I'm just going to bring a couple poncho liners since the weather will be 60 degrees at it's coolest, and it takes up a LOT less pace than a sleeping bag. There will be a spring where we're going so water is basically provided.
The last time I backpacked, it was an 18 mile ruck with ILBEs. I didn't think they were terrible, but supposedly the previously issued ALICE packs were a lot nicer.
I'm going to have to buy pretty much all my gear, since I don't own any personally.
I'm thinking maybe this ALICE pack
oooh ACU. tactical.
And since I was never issued one, do I need this as well?
Alice frame, padded for his pleasure

Also, what's a nice, all (or as close to all) weather 2 man tent that's light enough to hump for a day? If there's one on that USCavalry website that I already linked to, that'd be cool. I'm trying to take advantage of the 20% off sale that expires today.
If you have alternate suggestions, thank you first off, secondly I'm trying to keep most of those stuff as close to military issue as possible, so I can use it again when I get back on active duty.

Let's see... anything else I'm forgetting. Oh yeah, does anybody know where I can buy MREs? We did a gear check and most of the scouts had freeze dried food that tasted good but only had like 500 calories per meal and took up a lot of room. I told them I'd see if I could grab some MREs and field strip them for them to save space in the pack and still get the energy you need.

Thanks in advance you guys, I appreciate it.


Also, did you hear about the Eagle Scout who roughed it over the weekend? Pretty cool stuff. The kids are also really excited to go shooting AR15s soon.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:00:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 1:12:46 AM EDT by BlueDevilRunner2633]
I went Packing back in the Boundry Waters a couple years ago.
Had to buy gear as well.  
I picked up the Aether 70 by Osprey for my Pack.
http://www.ospreypacks.com

I was happy with it, we packed in for a week long trip.   Good volume in the pack and an internal frame which made it comfortable.
If you have a camelbak, it as an area to store the bladder and an opening to run the tube up and attach it to your shoulder straps.

ETA:  It has an area were you can stuff a sleeping bag into, and also has straps  were you can strap on a sleeping mat and a tent.
I had a therm-a-rest travel lite sleeping mat with a four man tent strapped to the pack with no problems.

ETA 2:  couple places to check out for gear:  REI and Moosejaw.  REI has a sale coming up from 5/1 to 5/10.  It seems I'm always getting an email from moosejaw about some sale they are having.  Also, not sure if this applies to you but don't forget a water purification device i.e. shock pen, pump filter etc.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:05:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 1:09:04 AM EDT by MethylMercaptan]
Are you backpacking or through-hiking?  How much distance are you planning on covering?  Topography?  How many days will you be in a fixed location?

If you are through-hiking, odds are you won't like the mil gear.  There's a reason why specialized packs exist, and for comfort alone they are well worth the price.  

I also use Lowe Alpine packs myself, good and affordably priced.  

For my extended treks (1-2 weeks, typically in the Pacific Northwest) I use a 90 liter pack.  Combine the food, mountaineering gear, cookware, clothing and tent, and all that space is necessary.  Don't forget water tablets.  Tang works pretty well to mask the taste.  No way any .mil gear would work well for me in that situation.

Dehydrated food takes up less volume than MREs (each meal is actually a 2x meal, ranging from 800-1200 calories total).  Dehydrated food costs less too.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:07:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 1:08:03 AM EDT by Waldo]
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:08:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 1:09:33 AM EDT by steve-oh]
Originally Posted By MethylMercaptan:
Are you backpacking or through-hiking?  How much distance are you planning on covering?  Topography?  How many days will you be in a fixed location?

If you are through-hiking, odds are you won't like the mil gear.  There's a reason why specialized packs exist, and for comfort alone they are well worth the price.  

I also use Lowe Alpine packs myself, good and affordably priced.


Good questions, sorry I was a little vague. I knew the glock hater would have some good info. Anybody that thinks for himself usually does. (wink wink)

We're covering 10 miles, and then camping out for 4 days, and hiking back out. Mostly flat trail with about an hour's worth of switchback at the very start from what I understand.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:19:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 1:24:30 AM EDT by freeride21a]
ditch the MRE's, a weeks worth of already hydrated food will weight A LOT.  

you can repackage the freeze dried meals.  if when i take them, I open the pouch, pour it into a gallon freezer ziploc, then flatten the package and drop it in with the food to use as intended, then squish ALL the air out!  but i find myself taking the Knorr sides, or flavored Idahoan potatoes, and adding pouched meat to it...that is just for dinners.  Breakfasts are 2 pouches of oatmeal.  Lunches are pouched tuna mixed with mayo, and keebler clubs crackers.  Snacks are jerkey, fuite leather, and nuts(bag of pistachios, bag of macadamias, bag of cashews)  dont forget oreo snack packs!
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:21:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 1:23:41 AM EDT by MethylMercaptan]
Originally Posted By steve-oh:
Originally Posted By MethylMercaptan:
Are you backpacking or through-hiking?  How much distance are you planning on covering?  Topography?  How many days will you be in a fixed location?

If you are through-hiking, odds are you won't like the mil gear.  There's a reason why specialized packs exist, and for comfort alone they are well worth the price.  

I also use Lowe Alpine packs myself, good and affordably priced.


Good questions, sorry I was a little vague. I knew the glock hater would have some good info. Anybody that thinks for himself usually does. (wink wink)

We're covering 10 miles, and then camping out for 4 days, and hiking back out. Mostly flat trail with about an hour's worth of switchback at the very start from what I understand.


It happens.  

My current 1-5 day pack is a Camelbak BFM.

Not so cheap.

That said it's a great backpack / daypack / light hiking pack.  The integrated 100oz reservoir is nice too.  Heck, it even has an integrated AR-15 magazine pouch with elastic retainers, how cool is that.

If you plan on using the pack for other stuff (I fly a lot, so backpacks are my suitcases) then you may want something nicer than an Alice.  I was never impressed by them personally, basically just fabric sewn together to create pockets with a few clips and voila.  

Another thing is do you really need a tent?  Tents are heavy, even lightweight ones.  And expensive.  Do it old school, just grab a tarp, some hiking poles and paracord (NEVER backpack without a few 100 yard spools of paracord) and then presto.  Of course, if you are in bug infested areas this is a poor option.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:28:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 1:30:09 AM EDT by steve-oh]
Originally Posted By MethylMercaptan:

It happens.  

My current 1-5 day pack is a Camelbak BFM.

Not so cheap.

That said it's a great backpack / daypack / light hiking pack.  The integrated 100oz reservoir is nice too.  Heck, it even has an integrated AR-15 magazine pouch with elastic retainers, how cool is that.

If you plan on using the pack for other stuff (I fly a lot, so backpacks are my suitcases) then you may want something nicer than an Alice.  I was never impressed by them personally, basically just fabric sewn together to create pockets with a few clips and voila.  

Another thing is do you really need a tent?  Tents are heavy, even lightweight ones.  And expensive.  Do it old school, just grab a tarp, some hiking poles and paracord (NEVER backpack without a few 100 yard spools of paracord) and then presto.  Of course, if you are in bug infested areas this is a poor option.



Hey that's not too bad a price. Is there enough room though?
Yeah a tent would be nice because i like to stay dry. The area is known for rain and resulting flooding, (hour long showers and minor runoff afterwards, nothing dangerous) so I'm thinking the extra 5-7 pounds of tent would be worth it. And wouldn't a tent take up less room that hiking poles and a tarp? I'm seriously not trying to be a smartass, that's an honest question.

Thank you again for the info you guys. I appreciate it.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:31:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 1:37:57 AM EDT by freeride21a]
not the type of tarp he is talking about, there are some pretty light weight 8x10 tarps out there that pack small, and you are using your trekking poles when you hike, or can have em strapped to your pack.  there are natural alternatives to using trekking poles as well.  



with trekking poles..


I prefer a tent tho.  I did not see anything I liked tentwise on uscav's site.  for $100-200 you can get a great 2 person tent that is in the 4.5lb-5.5lb range.  with one or two doors and vestibules.  bottom end I would say the kelty grand mesa2, middle would be REI half dome, or the marmot limelight 2p, high end would be the big agnes regular seed house 2.  there are also pre made tarp tents such as henry shires and the such.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:36:24 AM EDT
Good on you Steve-oh. Volunteering time to a group of kids will be a rewarding experience.

I'm sure you and the kids will have a great time.





Can I send you a 16 year old? I'll pay shipping.  
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:38:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 1:41:07 AM EDT by MethylMercaptan]
Originally Posted By steve-oh:
Hey that's not too bad a price. Is there enough room though?
Yeah a tent would be nice because i like to stay dry. The area is known for rain and resulting flooding, (hour long showers and minor runoff afterwards, nothing dangerous) so I'm thinking the extra 5-7 pounds of tent would be worth it. And wouldn't a tent take up less room that hiking poles and a tarp? I'm seriously not trying to be a smartass, that's an honest question.

Thank you again for the info you guys. I appreciate it.


If you shop around you can get the BFMs for around 160 dollars from site sponsors even.

I was able to fit in my pack (an example from last week actually):
First aid kit
6x pants
2x shorts
4x sweaters
5x long sleeve shirts
5x tshirts
10x boxers
8x pairs socks
Rain jacket
Fleece jacket

And still have lots of room to spare.  Sometimes, volume isn't the key in packing.  It's how gear is organized, and that's why the BFM / Motherlode (fewer pocket model) are nice.  Storage pockets, organizers, etc. as opposed to having to dig through the bottom of your pack.  It's about using space efficiently, not having space for the sake of it.
 
Regarding the poles;  you use them to walk!  I developed bad tendonitis from hiking, because I didn't use poles and had way too much gear.  It is supposed that you can reduce the wear on your knees by the arbitrary figure of 15-25% by using poles, YMMV.

Just remember, what doesn't fit into the pack can be attached to the outside, and the feasibility of that will be dependent upon the pack itself.  The BFM/motherlode are nice with the MOLLE attachments.  

Tarps don't take up much space at all, you don't need a huge one.  

For tents however, the prices go up exponentially as weights drop down linearly.  That's a whole different can of worms, and I haven't checked on tent development lately.  I use campmor.com because they frequently have last year's models for drastically reduced prices.  Do you really need that '09 tent?  Is it going to keep you drier than the differently colored '08 version?

Yeah.  It seriously does get that petty.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:40:04 AM EDT
So you reccommend just heading over to REI for the tent then?
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:42:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
Good on you Steve-oh. Volunteering time to a group of kids will be a rewarding experience.

I'm sure you and the kids will have a great time.





Can I send you a 16 year old? I'll pay shipping.  


Hahaha, if I remember, doesn't he just drive himself across the state? No shipping required!
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:42:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By steve-oh:
So you reccommend just heading over to REI for the tent then?


Or Sport Chalet Tempe Market Place
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:46:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By steve-oh:
Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
Good on you Steve-oh. Volunteering time to a group of kids will be a rewarding experience.

I'm sure you and the kids will have a great time.





Can I send you a 16 year old? I'll pay shipping.  


Hahaha, if I remember, doesn't he just drive himself across the state? No shipping required!


That was his older brother.

The older one is awesome now that he isn't a headstrong teen...but I have more. Many more.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 1:52:09 AM EDT
Oh okay... I see. Keep fighting the good fight. I'll be calling you for advice in a few years when my kid starts getting out of hand.

Link Posted: 4/30/2009 4:55:03 AM EDT
Oh yeah, does anybody know where I can buy MREs?



Have you considered asking (aka. shamelessly begging) for a donation of a couple of cases from the local national guard or other military unit? Worst they can do is say no!

Best of luck, and have fun!
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 5:07:07 AM EDT
Does the AO have alot of trees? Why not a hammock plus a tarp for the rain or sun... no need for tent or sleeping bag
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 5:10:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 5:15:50 AM EDT by TheOtherDave]
Originally Posted By Waldo:
As long as you have access to water (which you say you do), then Mountain House Pro Paks are a better choice them MREs. Unless you only plan on one MRE per day. . I backpack all the time and would never carry an MRE unless dry camping. As for gear, I'm not saying anything because this looks like a one shot deal.


Agreed about the Mountain House vs. MRE's but I will say something about the rest: Buy once, Cry once-Buy Cheap, Buy Twice. It sounds like the OP doesn't have a Bug Out Bag, and this would be a great start to it if he were to embrace the idea of having a bag ready to go at a moment's notice.

You can start by looking for a bag in the 4,000cu. in. range if you are going to be gone for a week. Most 3 day bags are in the 2500cu. in. range and will carry everything you need *but* extra clothes and food. Assuming you only eat twice a day, that's ten meals which eats up a lot of volume in a pack.

It would help a lot to have a budget to work with..

ETA: For shelter, look up the Hennessy Hammock and buy it on Ebay. The survival forum would be a gold mine for you right now, we'll hook you up.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 9:20:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 9:21:48 AM EDT by steve-oh]
Thanks again for the replies. Budget wise I'm trying to keep this under $400.

Would an ACU RAID pack be a good investment? I was pointed towards a smoking deal on one of those, one I almost can't pass up. I'm thinking I could use it as a "bug out bag" later. It looks a little too small, though, and I'm worried that it may not be rigid enough for hiking with a tent and sleeping roll.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 9:50:17 AM EDT
External frames pack though out of fashion are really nice in the desert, make sure it has a mesh backing to allow air flow on your back.
You are not some much backpacking as hiking to a camping spot, think about camp comfort some. I.e. bring a tarp even if you get a tent, having some place to stand up, that is out of the sun/rain is nice, camp shoes. Adults on these sort of things should have some visible manner of enjoying the experience, while the kids are  busy being earnest.
Things work better in groups, check what the other adults are doing if there is any coordination on bring group stuff.
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 10:05:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 10:14:43 AM EDT by Boomie]
Is this something you want for this one trip or do you want gear to use over and over again?  REI rents tents, packs, etc.  If this is a one-shot deal I'd do that.   If you are looking for something to last a long time, I love my Eberlestock pack - best pack I've ever had (and I've had many).  They are pricey but you can't destroy them, they fit great, are easy to maneuver in, etc.  Also, many come with rifle compartments (or can have them added later) so they make good bug-out bags.  If you mean to do a lot of hiking (now or in the future) I'd get a frame pack, or at least something with a hefty waist belt.  

As far as gear selection, last month's issue of Backpacker magazine was their gear review issue.  They do pretty good reviews for gear at all price points.

If you expect rain at your camp site you'll want a tent with a rain fly and a tarp to set it on.  Don't get too large of a tarp as it will act as a rain collector - something the same size as the bottom of your tent or slightly smaller is ideal.

Do you already have proper hiking boots?  Hyrdration packs?
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:19:38 PM EDT
get a pack sized to your torso. with an adjustable suspension.

get good shoes, good water filter and good socks and you'll do alright. I rambled a bit in the other thread.,




personally i do the sil tarp route , 3lbs of tent vs 8 oz of tarp.... no brainer for me
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:44:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2009 2:48:23 PM EDT by lamarbrog]
Forget the MREs.... If it is longer than 3 days, I don't do MREs. If I am taking them for longer than one day, I strip them down. I can fit two MREs easily into a single bag. Forget extra boxes, you only need one and just re-use it for heating. You only need one spoon, just rinse it well when you're done.



Ramen Noodles are great, and so is oatmeal. For the oatmeal, pour water into the pouch and eat it like tube food... sqeeze it into your mouth. Not messy at all.



Freeze dried is good for an evening meal... but it is worthless for breakfast or lunch. Get energy bars... compact, and nutritious. Get beef jerky... protein.
Forget a military pack, they're all trash. They are designed for shooting with them... and general acrobatic activity. You will get much more comfort from a civilian-style backpack. I've got a Kelty... external frame. The miles just glide past with it. Plenty of room internally and externally. It is ideal... for me anyway.
I took your approach once... buying a lot of military stuff. Over the years, the vast majority of it has fallen to the side, and been replaced by vastly superior civilian equipment. If it is military-style or military.... that means low-budget, and the tax payer will replace it when it breaks. The civilian stuff is well made, they have to make a profit to stay in business. What is a soldier going to do? Return his canteen and request a different model because he was not satisfied?
Get the "Nalgene" style bottles... military canteens suck terribly. They're worthless with a water filter pump if someone brings it. They leak. They're a stupid shape.
Also, forget a water filter pump. Iodine pills are less weight, less bulk, and take less work. They are all I use. If someone brings a pump, I might use it because it tastes nice. If you can't handle the taste of iodine, you need to grow a pair. I leave the white pills that neutralize the taste of the iodine at home... Don't need them. You will suffer the first day or two... but after that you won't even notice.
Your poncho liner idea might work... as long as you have a pad to sleep on... the earth is cold. You can get a pretty cheap inflatable from a local sporting goods store... I got one at Academy for under $30. It is great... does everything I need. If you can, get a casualty blanket (the only military equipment I have retained) or at least a space blanket... if your sleeping arrangement doesn't work as well as you planned, it might be the only thing that saves you from hypothermia. Get wet with sweat, on the cold ground, and that 60 degrees feels like 30 degrees. The pad is critical!
Just get a cheap Walmart tent... save money there... you'll have a little more weight, but when it gets trashed you won't feel so bad.



I've got a $13 tent I use... I keep extras. If it gets really nasty, mildewy, etc. ... I can throw it away rather than try to salvage it. Sometimes, it just isn't worth the effort if a replacement is cheap. My tent is actually a "two child" tent that I scrunch up into.






 
Link Posted: 4/30/2009 2:54:49 PM EDT
Here is what you want for the LEAST COSTLY items you need!!

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