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#136412 - 06/17/08 01:47 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Buffalohump Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Durban, South Africa
Thanks OBG!

Yes, that thought has occurred to me. I have a couple of ditty bags that could work well, allowing me to take the whole bangshoot with me. Failing that a Ziplock would do it.

I am going to make a concerted effort to find a small 'vanity' mirror to take with. A signal mirror and compass are both lacking in my PSK!

The water is pure mountain spring water of far better quality than what comes out of our taps. To be doubly safe though, we will only tap fast moving streams.

I do have purifying tabs though that I can add if necessary but the water is considered to be good to go straight from the source.

Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
Welcome Newguy!

If weight is a problem with your PSK, I think that I might lose that Ottorbox. They are great containers, but (in my opionion at least), very heavy for their size.

An old CD/DVD can be better than nothing as a signaling mirror. Nowhere as good as the real thing, but much better than nothing. I would not rely on fire/smoke for signalling, too many reasons why you couldn't get one going when needed.

If you really think that you need some "rescue" rope, there are many ropes in the 7mm size that can function as climbing/emergency ropes. Here is just one. You are probably metric, so the size (7.7mm) and weight (38 grams per meter) isn't tooooo heavy.

You mentioned plenty of water, but do you drink it straight from the source, or treat it somehow? I don't really know what "quality is good" means, when it comes to actually drinking it. I don't see you boiling much on an esbit stove, and if fires are a no-no, boiling that way is out also. So, does anyone in your group have a filter of some type?

Have a good trip! Pics are always welcome...
Wherever you go, there you are.

#136416 - 06/17/08 01:58 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: Buffalohump]
cajun_kw Offline

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 62
Loc: Southern California
Redundancy has its place ...but I feel for you when you're already looking at a heavy load.
BUT ..with that said ...its hard for me to give up the backup capacity.
And tossing your PSK into the pack with everything else ...brings up one facet of the personal PSK concept that I try to consider ...and that is not having all my eggs in one basket.
I would try to minimize my PSK and package it in such a way that it could be on my person at all times ... in a cargo pocket or on my belt, etc. The idea being you always have when you take off your pack. MOre than one survival story has started with a trek away from camp to get water slip and fall slide down a hill blah, blah blah.
Your BEST survival tools are the one you have on you. Obviously you can't have everything on you all the time ... BUT a minimalistic few key items can make a dire emergent situation much more tolerable and thus potentially survivable.

#136417 - 06/17/08 01:58 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: Buffalohump]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4411
If you can find a good sighting compass many have very good mirrors in them. Of the two compasses I mentioned my favorite is the Suunto MC-2G. You should be able to find something similar in SA.

#136424 - 06/17/08 02:13 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: Russ]
Mike_H Offline

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 609
Loc: SE PA
I echo Hacksaw's recommendation of a small FAK. Do you have that planned to be in a pack or on your person?
"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

#136433 - 06/17/08 02:45 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: Angel]

A good sighting compass makes a fine signal mirror. I've put away both my signal mirrors in favor of my Suunto.

#136436 - 06/17/08 02:50 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: OldBaldGuy]
climberslacker Offline
Youth of the Nation

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 603
Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
Welcome Newguy!

If you really think that you need some "rescue" rope, there are many ropes in the 7mm size that can function as climbing/emergency ropes. Here is just one. You are probably metric, so the size (7.7mm) and weight (38 grams per meter) isn't tooooo heavy.

actually, that rope is so small because it is used for a special tecnique in climbing were you use two ropes instead of just one, so it still wouldn't be safe to use alone, you would need to carry two, and the gear for two ropes...but I guess if you had to, you could use it to rescue someone, but I wouldn't like to be the one using it....just isn't safe enough.

Welcome to the fire newguy!!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
impossible is just the beginning

though i seek perfection, i wear my scars with pride

Have you seen the arrow?

#136437 - 06/17/08 02:54 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: Buffalohump]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3555
Loc: Spring, Texas
Welcome Buffalohump! It seems like everyone has supplied you with good advise, so I don't have much to add. Of course, that won't stop me from giving advise anyway. grin

What sort of elevation change will you be dealing with? Will it be very steep or more gradual? I don't know what sort of shape you are in, but excess gear weight is brutal in the mountains. Definately replace the Otter box with ditty bag(s). Will you be using a sleeping pad? Closed cell foam or self-inflating? The self inflating are comfy, but the weight is a killer. Thermarest makes a great 14oz z-fold pad that is much better for hauling up a mountain.

Don't cut vital gear just because it's heavy, but definately take weight into consideration. Better yet, load up all your gear then start climbing stairs.

Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#136441 - 06/17/08 03:04 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: Buffalohump]
Loganenator Offline
Bike guy

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 151
Loc: Sacramento, CA, USA
Hey welcome to the forum Buffalohump,

I agree with cajun that you should have the basic essentials in your pockets redundant with your backpack. Some situations may leave you without your pack. Most of the essentials have been outlined already. Making a minimal rain resistant shelter (plastic 50 gallon drum/barrel liners), Purifying water (tabs or iodine + container), making fire (magnesium block + striker), orienteering (compass), signaling (mirror) and basic first aid.

Cheers and good luck,
You must be the change you wish to see in the world - MK Gandhi

#136451 - 06/17/08 03:46 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: BillLiptak]
BruceZed Offline

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 288
Loc: Canada
Take a look at our equipment list for our 100 Kilometre Survival Challenge, you might get some ideas. It is for a 5 day trip so we will have a bit more than you, but no more food. Hundred-K Survival Challenge Equipment List
Bruce Zawalsky
Chief Instructor
Boreal Wilderness Institute

#136470 - 06/17/08 04:44 PM Re: Keeping it minimal [Re: Buffalohump]
camerono Offline

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 146
I organize a group of about 1300 backpackers. I get asked this question all of the time. Thus I have created this thread on my message board. Pictures and explinations included.

Here is what I use at a minimum you of course would need more food:


Publishing seattlebackpackersmagazine.com

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