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  1. #1
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    Apr 2016
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    Weight Weenie Touring Tips

    I just read this post by Teague Holmes on Wildsnow: https://www.wildsnow.com/27619/teagu...-in-your-pack/

    It got me thinking about pack weight, so I penciled out the gear I usually tour with, vs. some lighter options from the closet. After looking things over, the two biggest things that stood out were (1) how heavy my airbag pack is (and, looking around online a bit, how heavy they are generally), and (2) the impact of hauling around, say, 1L of water vs. 2. Aluminum axes and crampons also have a big impact for spring skiing.

    I'm curious how much people pay attention to pack weight on day tours, and if you've seen any big impacts from individual changes.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2012
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    This seems like talk about tech, no?

    A day tour in the winter for me is usually "let's go to this zone, check things out and see how many laps we get in". I just pack what I always do, and I have no idea what it weighs. That includes an airbag pack, and probably no objects pointier than ski crampons. For objective-based ski tours ("let's ski couloirs X and Y or traverse Z"), I actually do pay a little attention to pack weight, but also invariably carry more pointy steel items and too-long ropes.

  3. #3
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    Here is the best thing I've ever read on this (and yes it is in tech talk jong) https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...94#post4935994 that post and the following 2

    (e: I do not generally notice a big difference in pack weight and tend to bring a fair amount of water / repair kit / first aid / etc and everyone on this forum would consider me a huge weight weenie)

  4. #4
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    This year I replaced my heavy Ortovox Freerider airbag with a Mammut Ultralight 20L airbag with the euro carbon canister. The weight savings are considerable (4ish pounds!!), and I find I am much more hesitant to fill up my pack with random unnecessary shit because of space considerations. I do also have the 30L bag for bigger days (backup airbag for my wife when we get the rare chance to tour together).

    I also agree on water being a major source of weight. I try to be very well hydrated so I need less while touring. And then I just get used to drinking less water when out and it feels normal now.

    Now if I really wanted to get faster I should just pull back on my beer intake...but some things in life are worth it.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using TGR Forums mobile app

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    89
    day tours can be anything from a lift served trip into resort backcountry to a trip made up of several single days touring from the road , for the shorter days / vertical distance covered my pack would be lighter by the fact id carry less food and water , but apart from that I take the same equipment for either the short and longer days , so to that end seriously worked on lightening the load , sub 1kg pack , light crampons light axe no unnecessary packaging and also have a very minimalist glacier travel kit when needed
    also worth paying attention to what your group is carrying as there is always some shared equipment that doesn't need duplication . biggest saving ive made was in the Glacier kit with a rad rope and light quality climbing gear ,

  6. #6
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    The kind of objective Teague gets after definitely justifies paying attention to what goes in his pack. For most of us I'd say it's less relevant...
    I don't go further when I'm trimming my pack down, I just get done faster and I don't give a shit about that since I usually have no time constraints. That being said, when spring rolls around and I start skiing without the airbag I always want to sell the fucker and never touch it again!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    360
    water weight:

    I've evolved my system to a bladder (not a problem-prone drinking hose system, just a screw cap) that sits close against my back.
    Every lap I add a bunch of snow. The heat from my back on a climb melts a ton of snow by the top
    A whole bunch of "free" water without the weight penalty of carrying it all from the get go.

    The extra cooling from snow against my back also does wonders for heat regulation during the climb.
    And the proximity to my warm back also pre-empts any water freezing on the cold days
    win-win.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TG View Post
    water weight:

    I've evolved my system to a bladder (not a problem-prone drinking hose system, just a screw cap) that sits close against my back.
    Every lap I add a bunch of snow. The heat from my back on a climb melts a ton of snow by the top
    A whole bunch of "free" water without the weight penalty of carrying it all from the get go.

    The extra cooling from snow against my back also does wonders for heat regulation during the climb.
    And the proximity to my warm back also pre-empts any water freezing on the cold days
    win-win.
    Been doing that on occasion, it works really well. I still use the hose and when it's cold treat the mouth piece as a cork. It freezes immediately but the water in the hose is fine. Beats having to fish for a water bottle in your pack or using a fucking sippy cup on the shoulder strap.

  9. #9
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    Weight Weenie Touring Tips

    insulated shoulder sleeves are awesome. you also can blow the water back out of the hose so it doesn’t freeze. but the insulated sleeve is so much nicer than any other option. if you're gonna go take-a-nalgene-out-of-your-pack just get the nerdy rando style shoulder thing (or the nerdy rando style crampon pocket thing) and keep your back warm at least.

  10. #10
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    I've stopped dragging this thing around unless I know I'm REALLY going to need it...
    Weighs almost 3 pounds
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    Aim for the chopping block. If you aim for the wood, you will have nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood.
    http://tim-kirchoff.pixels.com/

  11. #11
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    Oct 2011
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    441
    1. Tech talk.
    2. What exactly are you asking? You're wandering around with an airbag worrying about lightweight axes? Water? If you don't need it don't bring it.
    3. Dude's article covers some good stuff but his point on pack weight, particularly in the context of minimalist features, is stupid. If you're lacking on a place to Stow X because you wanted to save a few hundred grams, and the extra hassle costs you Y time in transitioning and contaminates your dry stuff looking for it, then it's a shitty trade off. I could take a burlap sack, sew on some runners, and it'd be very light weight. It would also suck a lot. Save weight on your feet. Save weight on your tools. A well-featured, versatile pack is worth the weight. Airbag or not.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    999
    A pound on your feet is like 5 on your back, isn't that the rule of thumb? I know I notice ski weight far more than pack weight.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2006
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    This year, I stopped carrying one extra energy gel, and went from a 24 oz water bottle to 20 oz water bottle. Made a huge difference.
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TG View Post
    water weight:

    I've evolved my system to a bladder (not a problem-prone drinking hose system, just a screw cap) that sits close against my back.
    Every lap I add a bunch of snow. The heat from my back on a climb melts a ton of snow by the top
    A whole bunch of "free" water without the weight penalty of carrying it all from the get go.

    The extra cooling from snow against my back also does wonders for heat regulation during the climb.
    And the proximity to my warm back also pre-empts any water freezing on the cold days
    win-win.
    I like this idea. What bladder are you using? Something like this?

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    How is that the drink from? Seem like it would be prone to spilling all over your face unless itís held ďjust soĒ.

  15. #15
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    Aug 2017
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    64
    Not sure what TG uses but I like the msr droms because the wide mouth screw cap has a little screw cap on it that makes it easy to both fill and drink from

  16. #16
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskydoc View Post
    1. Tech talk.
    2. What exactly are you asking? You're wandering around with an airbag worrying about lightweight axes? Water? If you don't need it don't bring it.
    3. Dude's article covers some good stuff but his point on pack weight, particularly in the context of minimalist features, is stupid. If you're lacking on a place to Stow X because you wanted to save a few hundred grams, and the extra hassle costs you Y time in transitioning and contaminates your dry stuff looking for it, then it's a shitty trade off. I could take a burlap sack, sew on some runners, and it'd be very light weight. It would also suck a lot. Save weight on your feet. Save weight on your tools. A well-featured, versatile pack is worth the weight. Airbag or not.
    ^^^ this ^^^
    I'm surprised there wasn't much blowback in the comments section on that blog post (at least last night). I suspect he's the sort of guy who asks his buddies for stuff that was too heavy for him to carry.

    We can learn from elite athletes, but it's also important to recognize your own priorities and capabilities.

    Yup - there's a fine line between too many widgets on a pack and a sack with no organizational features. Pick your sweet spot. Of course, he doesn't cover air bag packs, so maybe we should all ditch them too ... eh? It's not as if the Winter Colorado snowpack is scary after all

    Water ... Hydrapak (500ml size) for the win ... no messing with bladder sanitation and cleaning, freezing tubes & nozzles.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  17. #17
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    May 2004
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    give'er eh!
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    So many people rely on airbags/avi lungs? What ever happened to putting the time in to educate yourself To make good choices and becoming competent to make safe, self reliant responsible decisions in the backcountry.

    Iíve never used an airbag-never plan to- if u canít be responsible for making safe choices u shouldnít be out there....

    Just another band aid for incompetent backcountry users....
    Last edited by teamdirt; 02-19-2020 at 02:44 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdirt View Post
    So many people rely on airbags/avi lungs? What ever happened to putting the time in to educate yourself To make good choices and becoming competent to make safe, self reliant responsible decisions in the backcountry.

    I’ve never used an airbag-never plan to- if u can’t be responsible for making safe choices u shouldn’t be out there....

    Just another band aid for incompetent backcountry users....
    Because none of us has ever made a mistake and gotten away with it ... a time and a place for everything, and in no way an argument for bumping your risk tolerance because of extra gear.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  19. #19
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    Apr 2016
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    672
    Quote Originally Posted by teamdirt View Post
    So many people rely on airbags/avi lungs? What ever happened to putting the time in to educate yourself To make good choices and becoming competent to make safe, self reliant responsible decisions in the backcountry.

    I’ve never used an airbag-never plan to- if u can’t be responsible for making safe choices u shouldn’t be out there....

    Just another band aid for incompetent backcountry users....
    I often carry an airbag midwinter as an additional layer of safety. It certainly comes at a weight penalty (and, to huskydoc's question, I usually trade the airbag for pointy things in the spring). The idea that it's a band aid for the incompetent doesn't hold water for me. If we all made perfect decisions we wouldn't need beacons, shovels, or probes either.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by galibier_numero_un View Post
    ^^^ this ^^^
    I'm surprised there wasn't much blowback in the comments section on that blog post (at least last night). I suspect he's the sort of guy who asks his buddies for stuff that was too heavy for him to carry.

    We can learn from elite athletes, but it's also important to recognize your own priorities and capabilities.

    Yup - there's a fine line between too many widgets on a pack and a sack with no organizational features. Pick your sweet spot. Of course, he doesn't cover air bag packs, so maybe we should all ditch them too ... eh? It's not as if the Winter Colorado snowpack is scary after all

    Water ... Hydrapak (500ml size) for the win ... no messing with bladder sanitation and cleaning, freezing tubes & nozzles.

    ... Thom
    Thou shalt not disagree with the Dawson Dogma is one of the rules on Wildsnow. That extends to his guest bloggers. The comments will be of the ball-gargling variety along with a few suggestions for even lighter and less practical pack optioins.

    What's bladder sanitation or cleaning? One squirt of lemon juice halfway through the winter is all it needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamdirt View Post
    So many people rely on airbags/avi lungs? What ever happened to putting the time in to educate yourself To make good choices and becoming competent to make safe, self reliant responsible decisions in the backcountry.

    I’ve never used an airbag-never plan to- if u can’t be responsible for making safe choices u shouldn’t be out there....

    Just another band aid for incompetent backcountry users....
    You're a fucking idiot. And you can't spell.
    Take a lap.

  21. #21
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    Mar 2017
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    SLC, Utah
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    I still haven't found a water solution I'm happy with (tried Hydroflasks & soft flasks, backblowing a bladder, etc), but I think that mall walker is on to something with his insulated shoulder strap hydration sleeve. Of any system I've seen, that seems the most effective for drinking on the go.

    I think, for pack weights anyway, there's a bigger difference in having a pack carry better but weigh slightly more than a pack that carries poorly and saves weight. I find that my BD Jetforce, while heavy as sin, is not as annoying to ski with as many other lighter packs simply because it has a number of features that help the pack load my skeletal frame directly (all features that add weight) - load lifters, a real frame, compression straps, internal organization, etc. On long days, my core is less tired when skiing with a pack that is loaded properly and is weighting my frame correctly.

    I'm not saying that solution is the end-all (it's only one pack in my quiver, for days when an airbag makes sense or for when my wife asks me to take one), but my complaint with UL packs which lack framesheets and organization is that they just slump on your back, everything gets wet inside (no organization), and it's not like saving a pound or two on my back is going to let me ski another lap. For a non airbag pack of similar feature quality, I'd look at something like the Patagonia Descentionist or the new touring packs by Blue Ice. Those guys are sweet.

    I do think that taking inventory of what you take touring to assess it's necessity is a helpful, Marie Kondo-esque exercise; if you're consistently taking 3 liters on all day tours but only every drink one of them, maybe you should cut back by a liter. Instead of taking a whole block of skin wax, just take a sliver of it. Ditch the gross bars that have sat in your pack forever. Streamline your layering system, and don't take the kitchen sink in your first aid kit (I carry an alu splint, an UL bivy, blood clotter, duct tape, hand warmers, and pain pills now - that's it).

    As for cutting weight in other areas, I highly recommend it and I think it's a much more practical exercise than trying to slim down pack weight.. You probably don't need those Cochise 130 burly big boy boots every day, even if there are days when you want them. Get a slightly narrower set of sticks with lighter weight bindings, and see how your legs feel after a 5k day. Ditch the brakes. Ski with a lighter set of poles.

  22. #22
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    fwiw Iím pretty sure at least one mag skis with TH and I highly doubt anyone is carrying his shit for him...

  23. #23
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    Jan 2009
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    53
    TTJ, +1 for not interested in airbags. Often tour without bacon, especially solo. Always take the shovel.

  24. #24
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    Mar 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdirt View Post
    So many people rely on airbags/avi lungs? What ever happened to putting the time in to educate yourself To make good choices and becoming competent to make safe, self reliant responsible decisions in the backcountry.

    Iíve never used an airbag-never plan to- if u canít be responsible for making safe choices u shouldnít be out there....

    Just another band aid for incompetent backcountry users....
    Heaven forbid I ever have to use my airbag, but I've been driving now for nearly 20 years and I haven't yet used my seat belt. Does that make me a dodo for clipping it in every time I get in a car? I make safe and responsible choices when driving, but shit happens - shit outside of your control or outside of your ability to predict and assess potential outcomes. Black swan events; unknown unknowns - are dangerous to all of us. Even the most experienced backcountry users are no exception to that.

    And again; it's not a panacea nor is it a perfect solution for all avalanche paths and problems, but it does provide some additional safety. In my mind, flat out refusing to even entertain the idea of the benefit of an airbag is an even more dangerous mentality. I get why many people don't ski with them (lots of good reasons not to), but that ego-driven condescension is a dangerous attitude IMO.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky_Shoe View Post
    TTJ, +1 for not interested in airbags. Often tour without bacon, especially solo. Always take the shovel.
    I never tour without bacon.

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