Primitive and modern outdoor skills

no-plastic backpacking, the continuing quest


About a week ago we decided to go backpacking in the green mountains for 4 days around the Stratton pond area. Angie's ankle was sore, so we kept the milage fairly low, doing between 4 and miles each day. We basically did loop-de-loops from lake to lake, covering virtually every trail in the area. We expected it to rain a lot, but we only really got rained on once. To make it interesting I carried the 800 thread-count sheet as a tarp and my newly treated 5.11 shirt as a raincoat (though I had the poncho as backup), and no sleepingpad. I got pretty wet in the shirt, about the same as a cheap/bad raincoat. Not bad actually, I was quite happy with it for this purpose, and never did not pull out the poncho. I had two marino wool sweaters and that overshirt, which I slept on at night for a pad. I *did* cheat though and we used a plastic groundcloth Angie had brought in her pack to sleep on.
This was a pretty cool step in the "backpacking without plastic" plan.

Going through my gear it looks something like this:

That's a lot of the big stuff, and only leaves a few items like my whistle, and the container I store my salt-lick in. Right now I'm thinking of keeping shoe-souls and my sleepingbag (and maybe it's drysack?) plastic... for now anyway. Still lots to do, but it's looking pretty feasible! Unfortunately I didn't have a scale available, but I think my base-weight was sane. The sheet is heavy, I'd guess 5 lbs, but I'm pretty sure my base weight was well under 20. I think I might be able to get a fully working kit for under 20 lbs base... which would be pretty sweet.

Later, as a rest day in-between rock-climbing we decided to take a quick run out to the forest again, just on an overnight. This time since it wasn't going to rain I slept *on* the sheet, which was very very comfy. The next day we hung out reading until after noon (reading kindles, which are plastic... but it's not backpacking gear really).

I'm targetting something I could sanely hike the AT or PCT with, and trying to get everything set up by next year if possible, just to get myself to really make progress.