Saturday, October 29, 2011

Location location location?

One of the big challenges here is bringing everything out to the middle of nowhere. I remember Shunryu Suzuki talking about the idea that we focus so much on matter, but it's the space that really defines things. This is definitely a good reminder of that.

What he meant was, for example, that if the summit was in my back yard then it wouldn't have most of the challenges involved at all. Instead it's a long hike up a mountainside. All that space in between is what makes it what it is.

And me? I'm a small guy. Strong for my size is one thing, but at 135lbs that still puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to towing capacity. Optimally I'd like my pack weight to be around 25lbs. Optimally. With a bit over four days in the wilderness and all the things we intend to achieve I'm not sure I can pull that off, but that's the goal. Additionally my backpack is less than optimal; it's an excellent pack, just not necessarily for this purpose. I've started picking up some backpacking-appropriate equipment.

(Camera not pictured, cause it was busy picturing)

Clothing, 1181 grams:
  • Gortex Jacket, 251 grams
  • Arc'Teryx Fleece Jacket, 367 grams
  • long sleeve wicking shirt, 140 grams
  • long undies, 116 grams
  • socks, UW, misc other, 170 grams
  • seal skinz gloves, 77 grams
  • Arc'Teryx beanie cap, 60
Camera Gear, 4476 grams:
  • Modified Ravelli Carbon Fiber Tripod, 948 grams
  • Tracking Mount, 1033 grams
  • Ballhead, 267 grams
  • Nikon D90 Body, 770 grams
  • Tokina 11-16 Wide Angle, 575 grams
  • Nikkor 70-300 Telephoto, 775 grams
  • Aputure controller, 108 grams
Rock Climbing Gear, 500 grams:
  • Mad Rock shoes, 400 grams
  • Chalk Bag, 100 grams
  • Serious Gumption, 0 grams
Tools, 1856 grams:
  • Gerber Multitool, 170 grams
  • Modified Gerber FAST pocket knife, 87 grams
  • Fenix E21 flashlight, 139 grams
  • 100 Feet of ParaCord, 180 grams
  • Mission Workshop Rambler backpack, 1280 grams
Survival, 1515 grams:
  • Lafuma Extreme 950 Pro 30 degree sleeping bag, 891 grams
  • My version of a first aid kit (the kind that lets you sew a person up in the field), 190 grams
  • meds, 45 grams
  • Mini Trangia alcohol stove, 350 grams
  • magnesium firestarter, 39 grams
And missing from this list are food, water, tent, camera tie down, and the cable dolly system I've yet to invent. Total? 9,528 grams, or 21.01 lbs. For my disadvantages I have a couple of advantages- for example I require less food than most due to the lighter weight, an my time living the sub-monastic life means sleeping on a hard or uneven surface won't effect me at all so sleeping pad isn't required.

The other hard part is getting everything to fit safely in the bag...which I don't yet know how to do. This is an added problem with the camera gear: it must be protected from water and abuse.

This is version 1 so far. Chances are I won't take the full 100 feet of paracord with me, since I need about 3 feet of it for the camera anchor and maybe 15-25 feet for the cable dolly. Some might also not count any clothing items (I didn't count shoes, jeans, or a t-shirt; going for things I would not normally have on).

As it stands there is no way I'm going to make 25lbs. I have to do some thinking...

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