More great submissions have been coming in to the Complete Kupilka Starter Kit Giveaway. If you haven't put together your response yet or aren't sure how to respond, take a look at Patrick's submission below which is a great example of a complete response. Patrick also gets two extra entries (three in total) for having his submission posted to Brian's Backpacking Blog.
Patrick P. Gosnell - North Carolina
- How long have you been backpacking and what got you started?
I have only been backpacking for a little over a year. I did a lot camping (boy scouts and such) when I was younger. Honestly, the main thing that got me into backpacking was my family. This may sound mushy and my not be “post worthy”, but I feel a really strong need to develop something that would allow my family and I to have greater common ground and greater opportunity to function and fellowship as family. Something we could all in enjoy. This is an area that I felt that I lacked in. I never had a dad to do these types of things with me. So, I this is what I chose to do and we love it and it works. I know it’s mushy, but it’s the truth. A desire to spend more time with my family got me into backpacking/camping/hiking.
- Describe where you currently are in the "going lighter" process. Are you just getting started or at the point where you're down to shaving of individual grams here and there? What are some of the restrictions you've encountered to going even lighter?
Yes, I have been bitten by the UL bug. I am very new to a lot of this. I spend a lot of time reading different blogs and watching different videos and a resounding theme that kept popping up was ULBP. I didn’t really understand it until I loaded my Kelty Lakota 4000 and it weighed about 45 pounds. Fortunately, the items that I had already purchased were somewhat UL anyway (Kelty Light Year UL Sleeping bags, etc.) My first change (which I have learned should have been my last), was my backpack. I purchased the ULA Circuit. Cookware? Started out with “Army Surplus” gear that could have sunk the Titanic. I am in the process now of testing my Brunton Raptor canister stove vs. my White Box Stove. I have learned that I don’t want to have to guess at how much fuel I have left in my tanks and the WBS is way lighter. Also, I bought the GSI Pinnacle Dualist and have since swapped it out for the GSI Halulite Kettle paired with my WBS and an REI Titanium folding spoon. Another thing I ran into was that I always packed way too much clothing. So I am researching different clothes right now to see what doesn’t get wet as fast or what will dry faster if I get wet, instead of carrying 2-3 extra pair of pants. My Stansport air mattress is another one I am looking at. Researching lighter ones. Some are just too costly at this point.
- What type of shelter do you currently use? Please include the make and model and a little bit about how you settled on the choice you have made. For example, what other shelters have you tried?
Well, I have several. REI Kingdom 6: This is mainly for the family. It weighs over 23 pounds. All the positive reviews sold me on this one. Kelty Yellowstone 4: This is mainly for my wife and I. I thought it could be a good backpacking tent before I got educated. I still use it car camping. Kelty Grand Mesa 2: I have two of these. This is what I currently use for backpacking. First, I love Kelty. I liked the weight up until recently when I began running out of areas to shave weight in. It’s 3.5 lbs, which isn’t horrible, but I think I could go lighter. I was looking at the bivy system. Still have not made my mind up their yet. Still not 100% educated on all my options.
- Where are you located geographically and what type of terrain and weather do you normally encounter on your backpacking trips?
I am located at 36° 5' 44" N / 79° 26' 17" W (Burlington, NC). Almost directly in the middle of the state. I typically backpack/camping in the NC mountains, Cherokee, Pilot Mt. Hanging Rock, my homestead in Liberty, NC and am planning a 3 day, 25 mile hike in the Nantahala Forest. I generally like spring and fall. Have not brought myself to backpack in the snow yet.
- How long in duration is a typical backpacking trip for you? One night, two nights, or more?
Usually 2-3 nights. I have done some 1 nighters. Most recent was this past weekend. But that was only due to sickness. I am trying to moderate my hikes in time and length. I am trying to work my way up to long stays and further hikes. Just not there yet.
- What best describes your method of cooking? Do you mostly re-hydrate freeze-dried foods (i.e. just boil water), reheat actual food, or do "real" cooking/simmering?
I am still a newby. So, I am trying different things. I have mostly used re-hy foods (until a friend told me it wasn’t good for my high blood pressure. Thanks Brian!). Again, still an area that I am learning in. I have done noodles, sandwiches, canned food (which I learned really fast that it just weighs too much).
- What make and model of stove do you currently use and why? What stoves have you tried in the past and what made you stop using them?
I have the Brunton Raptor, a Coleman canister stove and of the hailed White Box Stove. The Coleman is just too big and weighs too much. It works, but not for UL. The Raptor is still a good one. Very compact, just can’t trust the igniter. Just don’t like carrying the MSR canister and having to guess at my fuel level and having stacks of half full or quarter full tanks at home. At this point, I am resting on the WBS. It is compact. I can control the fuel usage and it’s fun to use. A little bit slower than the Raptor or any canister stove as far as that goes.
- What type of fuel do you use and why? Alcohol, Esbit tabs, liquid fuel, gas canisters, wood?
Unfortunately, some of my answers are not original. I use HEET in the yellow bottle. Why? Because everyone said it was the best.
- Have you tried wood burning stoves? If so, what are you thoughts on the soot that they create? Do you care about the soot, or is that an acceptable trade off for a readily available fuel source?
I would love to try one. Just because it sounds pretty cool. You wouldn’t ever have to worry about fuel. I have never used one to cook with, so I can’t comment on the soot. However, I did burn wood for heat growing up and could see where that would pose an issue. I don’t want black soot all over my gear…Soot = more cleaning.
- What type of cookware (pot or cup) do you use? Do you carry more than one cooking container?
Only because I am new and a goober, I do carry two. GSI Pinnacle Dualist (My wife and I) with the Brunton Raptor/MSR Canister. GSI Kettle Halulite (Comes with cup, bowl, spoon) I swapped the GSI “Foon” for the REI Titanium folding spork. It is just barley long enough to get to the bottom of a de-hy bag if you squeeze the food at the bottom to the top with your hand..