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Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Lightweight for completing the CWT?


Postby crfishwick » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:09 pm

Hi all,

I am contemplating trying to complete the Cape Wrath Trail early in 2017. I have already done most sections already so basically know the terrain. Although from Oykel Bridge to Cape Wrath is fairly new to me.

Firstly I am trying to get my load carrying down below 30 lbs (In old money :lol: ). I will be travelling Solo and carrying at least 6 days of provisions. Camping and bothies only.

Any ideas?

1: Reduce weight carried.
2: Meal ideas ( Mountainhouse and the rest seem a bit expensive for what they are so am trying to use Supermarket goodies. Noodle, rice, Batchelors etc).
3: Easy recipes especially 'cause my cooking skills are naff :lol:

I would be very much obliged for any advise.

TIA

Regards,
Chris R F
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby Dan Scheer » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:53 pm

My preferences for lightweight meals:
(those Mountainhouse thingies are stupidly overpriced, taste sh**e and don't give you a lot of calories per weight)
Super noodles, add Heinz cup soup sachet for sauce. Quick, easy, minimal dishwashing, lightweight. Take variety of soup and noodle flavours to keep it from getting boring. If you want some extra calories, take a block of cheddar and a few chorizo sausages to chop a bit into each meal.
Noodles can also be replaced with Ainsleys couscous for more variety.

ohhh, and the king of all hiking food: jaffa cakes!!!
Never travel without them ;)

As for other ways of reducing the weight of your pack, do you have a list of what you are planning to take so we could have a look and point out things that could be left at home or replaced with lighter options?
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby crfishwick » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:10 pm

Dan Scheer wrote:My preferences for lightweight meals:
(those Mountainhouse thingies are stupidly overpriced, taste sh**e and don't give you a lot of calories per weight)
Super noodles, add Heinz cup soup sachet for sauce. Quick, easy, minimal dishwashing, lightweight. Take variety of soup and noodle flavours to keep it from getting boring. If you want some extra calories, take a block of cheddar and a few chorizo sausages to chop a bit into each meal.
Noodles can also be replaced with Ainsleys couscous for more variety.

ohhh, and the king of all hiking food: jaffa cakes!!!
Never travel without them ;)

As for other ways of reducing the weight of your pack, do you have a list of what you are planning to take so we could have a look and point out things that could be left at home or replaced with lighter options?


Your ideas are similar to mine actually :lol: The Ainsleys never tried or seen but will find and give it a go at home first. Jaffa cakes been using 'em for years :D

The pack without food stands at 9.4 k or 21lbs at the moment. I have a checklist in excel format, unfortunately I do not know how to send it as an attachment and probably cannot on this forum.

My pack weight willeventually creep up with add ons probably.

Cheers,
Chris
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby walkingpoles » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:17 pm

15kg including food is a bit challenging/expensive. To be precise: 15kg in Fort William or 15kg at Cape Wrath? Did you check whether you have to walk out from the cape (=food for 1 or 2 days more to carry along)

Best is if you post a list of the stuff you intend to bring with the weight of the items. Also make a planning of how many meals you need.

Here are some ideas to think about:
No camera (or only the one on your smartphone, battery permitting).
No water (drink from streams)
Hostels (you wrote that no hostels, but they mean less food to carry and a free food shelf for scavenging)
No tent, if you dare (and accept hostels)
No charger: Pointless outside hostels, in hostels you will find somebody with a charger
Longer legs=less food, rest day in places with food
No warm clothes for walking (the if cold - walk faster strategy), if you dare
No GPS (you know the way anyway)


edit: about posting an excel sheet: you can probably post a link to a google doc.
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby Dan Scheer » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:35 pm

ha yes, always a good idea to test the food at home, just in case it doesn't agree with you ;)
Ainsleys cous cous is usually stocked the same area as all the other super noodle type junk. Worth a shot, just as quick and easy to make as super noodles, ie pour hot water over it, wait 5 mins, stuff your face!

How much is too much for backpack weigth varies depending on each individual so you are best off doing some tests beforehand. My personal comfort zone is 14-15kg for long distance walks, 10kg of kit, the rest for food and water depending on how often I can resupply and what opportunities there are for getting access to water. A good place to save weight is usually clothing, I used to take far too much when I started and all you really need is what you wear, a couple of sets of fresh underwear. Nobody will be around to care if you are a bit smelly or look dirty so one set of clothes is usually enough. If it is decent quality stuff, it will dry quickly enough even if it gets soaked. Only swap underwear regularly to prevent chaffing. 2 sets would be enough, 1 to wear, one to clean in a stream and dry on the outside of your pack for example. If you really pushing to get the weight down, don't bother taking too many warm clothes, walking will keep you warm, when you stop walking, get in your sleeping bag.
Using a bivvy instead of a tent will also allow you to reduce the weight a lot but not everyone is happy with sleeping in bivvies....
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby crfishwick » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:43 pm

Dan Scheer wrote:ha yes, always a good idea to test the food at home, just in case it doesn't agree with you ;)
Ainsleys cous cous is usually stocked the same area as all the other super noodle type junk. Worth a shot, just as quick and easy to make as super noodles, ie pour hot water over it, wait 5 mins, stuff your face!

How much is too much for backpack weigth varies depending on each individual so you are best off doing some tests beforehand. My personal comfort zone is 14-15kg for long distance walks, 10kg of kit, the rest for food and water depending on how often I can resupply and what opportunities there are for getting access to water. A good place to save weight is usually clothing, I used to take far too much when I started and all you really need is what you wear, a couple of sets of fresh underwear. Nobody will be around to care if you are a bit smelly or look dirty so one set of clothes is usually enough. If it is decent quality stuff, it will dry quickly enough even if it gets soaked. Only swap underwear regularly to prevent chaffing. 2 sets would be enough, 1 to wear, one to clean in a stream and dry on the outside of your pack for example. If you really pushing to get the weight down, don't bother taking too many warm clothes, walking will keep you warm, when you stop walking, get in your sleeping bag.
Using a bivvy instead of a tent will also allow you to reduce the weight a lot but not everyone is happy with sleeping in bivvies....


Bivvy! Not my scene :roll: My tent is near enough a bivvy as it is. Terra Nova laser and that is bad enough!!! As for underwear I only have one pair and turn them inside out :lol:
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby bootsandpaddles » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:55 pm

[quote=
Longer legs=less food

If only I had longer legs! :(
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby Dan Scheer » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:01 pm

hahahhaha, that works too ;)
ahh good choice, I have a terra nova laser too, I am still not convinced it actually offes more space or comfort than a bivvy haha. Well at least on that front you won't be able to shed any more weight , that tent is about as light as you can go
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby crfishwick » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:10 pm

Dan Scheer wrote:hahahhaha, that works too ;)
ahh good choice, I have a terra nova laser too, I am still not convinced it actually offes more space or comfort than a bivvy haha. Well at least on that front you won't be able to shed any more weight , that tent is about as light as you can go


Hi,
Laser near enough a bivvy bag but with more wind flap. Seen most of the mods people have used on them AND none work :lol: Most bivvies i have seen weigh just as much!

Just started to read your epic report from Aberdeen to Luxebourg so will hopefully pick up some extra tips there. You are out of my league. I am minor league :wink:

Chris
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby Dan Scheer » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:40 pm

Exactly! And the laser comp takes a bit of effort to put up, a bivvy you just need to drop on the ground and you are done! Although it is nice being able to get changed (with some gymnastics involved) inside the tent rather than standing outside in the rain or snow! ;)

ha thanks! Hope you find some useful info in between my rambling! Everyone has to start somewhere, I was absolutely clueless when I set off on that walk and somehow managed to bumble my way through it, making a ton of mistakes and learning by doing. Great fun, would highly recommend it ;)
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby whiteburn » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:16 pm

Back in 2013 I carried ~6kg base weight + 1 weeks food = ~11kg

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=34442

With my latest generation of kit I would probably reduce this by ~1kg; my level of comfort may not be to others taste though.
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby crfishwick » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:46 pm

whiteburn wrote:Back in 2013 I carried ~6kg base weight + 1 weeks food = ~11kg

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=34442

With my latest generation of kit I would probably reduce this by ~1kg; my level of comfort may not be to others taste though.


Hi,

Have read your report before plus all the others. 11kg all in, that's about where I am at the moment although my base weight takes 9.5 kg! Not much leeway for food. Need to get rid of some things. Binoculars for a start (230g), Radio (45g) powerpack (270g).

Seriously considering hiring a Sherpa :lol:

Regards

Chris
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby willsdad » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:34 pm

Chorizo is always a must for me! Keeps for ages and makes just about anything tasty.

Don't make the mistake of carrying loads of water. I had a titanium mug handy for grabbing a drink at the many MANY mountain streams you pass. Then have an empty water bladder for filling when you know you're going to be calling it a day. I had a 4l bladder but that's probably an overkill.

Enjoy 8)
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby crfishwick » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:04 pm

willsdad wrote:Chorizo is always a must for me! Keeps for ages and makes just about anything tasty.

Don't make the mistake of carrying loads of water. I had a titanium mug handy for grabbing a drink at the many MANY mountain streams you pass. Then have an empty water bladder for filling when you know you're going to be calling it a day. I had a 4l bladder but that's probably an overkill.

Enjoy 8)


Hi,
Water! Never carry it in Scotland there is plenty there :lol: Some people cringe when I tell them, I drinks from burns. Never had a problem in over 40 years (I don't think). Going Solo I use a 2l bladder for camps plus just use a cup in the burns or springs when walking. Although I do have a Purifying gadget (200g) never used so get rid :roll:
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Re: Lightweight for completing the CWT?

Postby Marty_JG » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:28 pm

For sharing weight loads consider taking the effort to upload to https://lighterpack.com/

This will let you modify it online, and if you click the share button you can hand that URL out at the rest of us can see your load without being able to modify it. It also shows weight categories by pie chart which are far easier to contemplate than lists of numbers, e.g. bag, tent & sleeping; kitchen equipment and hardware; clothes caried; clothes worn; consumables; etc. It's a joy of a website and one of automatic go-to sites for those Annoying American Gram Weenies. It really helps work through visualisation and community effort. You can also export as CSV to upload to Excel at a later date.

Foodwise, yes ignore those expensive Mountain House abominations. You can get instant dry pasta meals, cup a soups (the Heinz range is really good), dry couscous meals, and best of all noodles. Not Pot Noodles but ASIAN Noodles, just find you local Chinese supermarket or your normal supermarket if it has an Asian section. The A1 Noodle brand I get round here are just unbelievably delicious, other types are good too. Common options of rice or egg noodles.

Flavour wise an easy way of bolstering savoury food is to take along some Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder. You can baggie it up but I take a medium neoprene container of it. A couple of teaspoons in hot water is itself a delicious soup-like drink (if you pick up some bread rolls at a shop on the way those torn-up and throw in is a meal in itself). But otherwise a small sprinkle will turn really mediocre food into a tasty meal or snack, e.g. Smash dehydrated mash. Plain it's pretty revolting, but add a bit of Bouillon and it's tasty as anything. Use sparingly, it's strong stuff.

I also take a very small neoprene container with a mix of custom seasonings, mine is salt, ground white pepper, coarse black pepper, garlic salt, and a dash of steak seasoning mix.

Nido is Nestlés dehydrated milk with added vitamins, it also rehydrates directly with hot water rather than needing to be mixed into a paste with cold water first. It has a bit of a strong taste for tea & coffee, I usually end up going black coffee on the trail and take green tea (very refreshing and rehydrating), but it's great to add a spoon to oats, makes them richer and gives them a nutrition boost.

Instant custard a great sweet, especially with a bit of added plain cocoa powder - delicious chocolate custard. For that matter I make some of my morning oats with some cocoa added too.... breakfast of champions.

You want to avoid rigid (heavy) containers for you own concoctions, and you want to avoid having a big bag that you dip in and out of - you risk getting moisture in, you risk mismeasuring. I take the lightest sandwich bags and measure out portions of oats, or custard, or Smash, etc., then tie them off and trim the waist of the bag. I often get two portions per bag. My measuring I know exactly how many ML of water I need to rehydrate.

EG I might make a bag with 40g of oats, a teaspoon or two of brown sugar or cocoa, about 10g of Nido, put some freeze dried berries into it, and baggie that up. Oh, freeze dried berries and fruits are definitely much more pleasant than dehydrated. I know 250ml of water is required to reconstitute it.

Save fuel by only getting water to a boil, putting it in a rehydration container, I use a Sistema 656 ML microwave mug with the handle cut off, and a cosy made from Thermawrap. "Cooking" stuff on a stove burns fuel you'll have to carry. The only thing I need to simmer for a couple of minutes is oats.

There's more but that's a start.
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