I hope this thread continues to revive itself for several reasons, one being that in my opinion we need more constructive conversations going that deal more with actually getting out and practicing our woodland skills, for some reason we seem to be posting more about shop crafts than about trail and camp craft.
Anyhow, Spring is finally here, things are greening up and the woods are drying up some after the late season snows and March rains, I'm a mild weather camper, at my age winters are best spent indoors and close to the heat, spring and fall are the times of the year that I get to enjoy the woods, summers aren't bad either when the humidity is fairly low.
So it's that time of the year to go through my packs, check my gear and make adjustments, and treat my woods clothes and gear against the deer ticks in my area, the word is they're going to be worse than ever this year and the thought of contacting the Lymes illness scares the hell out of me.
I don't know if I'll be successful in getting my pack weight down much over what it was last season but it's a goal that I'm looking forward to, going from a bigger day trip back pack to a smaller shoulder bag really helped me to consider what I carry and why, I still have every thing I need to enjoy my time in the woods, but making adjustments because of limited space has reduced my pack weight from a little over 20 pounds to about 12 pounds including food, my water bottle when full adds another two pounds.
Some things I am weighing in my mind to lighten my load even more is the tools that I carry that while handy to have once in a while actually don't get used all too often, for example, I carry a SAK Farmer knife and a Buck Lite multi tool, both are light weight, both have good knife blades, decent saw blades, can openers, cap lifters, and awls which I use fairly often, the buck multi tools a has plier head and a nice file which I almost never need, I may ditch the multi tool and keep the SAK Farmer which would take another 8 ounces out of my pack.
I also carry a folding Stainless steel trowel (camp shovel), again it comes in handy for digging cat holes, clearing fire pits, and moving hot coals for cooking, actually I could make a digging stick in camp that would do the same thing, just not as easily, but it's another 8 ounces I could shed, I love my Stainless steel water bottles, but never use them on the fire, a Gator Aid bottle would carry the same amount of water and weigh less.
I carry a Sawyer Mini water filter kit for emergencies, but I still boil my drinking water when I need to replenish my water bottle or for cooking, I think the filter kit weighs about 6 ounces, do I really need to carry it every time I go out for a day trip ?
Another consideration is my First Aid kit, It's an Adventure Medical Kit that's pretty extensive yet compact, and I've added more meds, a small Bic lighter and a few other survival items to it, I think it weighs about a pound and gets switched from pack to pack depending on which pack I'm using, while nice to have, again I've never had to use it, maybe I could get by with a few band aids, a little duck tape, and a little first aid cream ?
Comments welcomed, more later.