Exploring the weights of the gear I used last week in the back yard

I measured the weights after I packed it all up and am about to shove it into a backpack for storage. So the weights are of everything I used, and a little bit more in the case of the shelter 'kit'.

I am not counting the weight of the shovel & long rope I ended up using to secure it – those don't go into the backpack. 

army wool blanket 1677g 59oz 3.7lbs
grey wool blanket 1578g 56oz 3.5lbs
tent stakes 140g 5oz 0.3 $6
foam pad 251g 9oz 0.6lbs $6
shelter kit 762g 27oz 1.7lbs $25
under quilt 236g 8oz 0.5lbs $15
hammock 571g 20oz 1.3lbs $25

total 5215g 184oz 11.5lbs $77

The wool blankets obviously aren't UL gear. Both where given to me, so I won't complain. The one was my grandfather's service blanket. The other one is a Harbor Freight packing blanket that I am working on water-proofing with lanolin. I use this blanket a lot in the fall/winter/spring with the bushcraft sessions I teach & attend. The grey one is too small for me to roll up in properly, and the other one has too much sentimental value for me to be rough with it in the woods.

The shelter kit has the ropes & cordage, snap-clips, clear window-shrink-film tarp @165g, an unused space blanket tarp I made from 2 cheap mylar blankets taped together and added tie-outs @121g, a unused window-shrink-film tub floor @114g, and the bug net & bug head net. It's intended on being a complete set for sleeping on the ground that will also work with the hammock. 

The underquilt I made from a mylar space blanket and some bubble wrap. I added tape tie-outs like I do any cheap plastic tarp, and taped on the bubble wrap. The concept is that the bubble wrap has it's own convective & conductive insulation and it enforces an air-gap so the space blanket can provide the radiative insulation. It's just a prototype, and it works very well. I think I want to make one specifically shaped for use as an underquilt, and maybe one as an overquilt as well – or just use the curent one for that.

I want to switch from the mylar blankets to heat-sheets. They would be much quiter, less prone to cataclysmic failure, and I think I can dye the one side a more pleasing color than 'shiney' as they will take printer-ink.

I did have 2 of my tape tie-outs let go on my window-shrink-film tarp. I had the tarp strung up tight for a couple of weeks before the tape started letting go after some heavy storms. The plastic wasn't damaged, so it will be trivial to replace the tie-outs. Longer tape in the corners I think will be the solution. I may look at doing larger patches to make that stick better. I need to pack a few feet of the trimmed up tape to make replacement tie-outs in the field. I am also wondering if some of that new Rustoliem water-proofing spray could be used to keep the water from seaping under the tape and causing it to let go.

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  1. REALLY SOLID advice +Fredrick Rourk … and great commentary +Mike Creuzer, fwiw some of my most "important" items are not the lightest, coolest, or even the most technical … they are special in that they "mean something" to me … specifically your comment regarding where your wool blankets have been GUARANTEES if they were mine, they WOULD definitely be in my pack .. i do NOT care how much they weigh, i would do it, and with respect & honor … awesome post !!!

  2. That wool blanket has a quite a story. My mom gave it to her best friend when she (friend) went to college. When our house burned down a few years ago, the blanket found its way back to my mom. She gave it to me a few weeks ago.

    My 3 year old and I spent the night in one of the big tents last night. Got down to 43. I put my bubble wrap/mylar underquilt under her little cot and about 10 lbs of blankets on top of her. She stayed toasty all night.

    I slept in the wool on the pad. Got cool, not yet chilly so I pulled an open mummy bag over the top of me and stayed nice and warm.

    A pair of quilts is deffinatly in my near future. Thanks for the links +Fredrick Rourk now to scrounge up the materials to put them together.

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