I’ll start off by saying that I yearn for a solid campsite after a long day of hiking. This is probably one of the main drivers for me to go on extended backpacking trips….getting to experience a variety of really cool set ups with my gear along with stunning atmospheres the trail can provide.
I do tend to be weight conscious when on the trail, and I can achieve a 10-12 pound base weight —depending on the weather conditions- without food and water. With this said, I tend to make some weight sacrifices for luxury items while I am at camp. One of these sacrifices is my hummingbird hammock. Although it is only 7 ounces, it does not contribute to my sleep system and only used for relaxation purposes after a long day. Another item I am looking to sacrifice some weight for is an ultralight pair of camp shoes. I do enjoy getting out of my grimy trail runners and letting my feet breath, but I haven’t found a pair of camp shoes that I am completely sold on. Below are my top 3 contenders:
Originally, I loved the idea of the Xero Genesis because of they are sum 10 ounces and their packability (they can roll up). However, I recently discovered the HeyDude shoes. Their website claims the total weight is FIVE OUNCES, but I find that hard to believe….5 ounces each is more realistic in my opinion. Although HeyDude is not an outdoors company, these are close toed shoes that I can wear socks with vs. the Xero Genesis sandal.
I am interested what other folks have to say on this topic. Do you sacrifice weight for a camp shoe? If so, what do you use and what do you wish you had? ON another topic, do you also sacrifice weight for a camp chair? I have the 7 ounce hummingbird hammock, but I have been in situations where I cannot hang it and wish I had a chair…
Just walking around the campsite and wearing them while taking a shower, I don't like going bare foot in a public shower. The shoes I ride the touring bike with I can walk in if I have to walk someplace further than just the campsite and I can't take a shower in those either obviously. The Shamma Warriors have that strap that goes between the toes and my toes hate that stuff for some odd reason.
ok, so kinda reporting back from my Gila Wilderness trip (end of may) and Bridger Wilderness trip (early july)
- my helinox chair is not really a luxury, I guess, as someone above noted, because I need to rest my back, and sitting on a bear can or log doesn't really doesn't do the trick. But I note I can use it when in my tent for extended rains. Not in the usual configuration of course,but without the legs attached and laid on its side. Really a neat trick, imo.
- still crossing streams in my trail runners, they warm back up in minutes, and will dry out in the sun.
- in camp, if necessary, I put on some water proof socks, if the runners are soaked and I want to keep my feet dry (going in and out of tent)
- I need to mention that I have found that walking around in sandals, around camp, going down to the stream for water, etc., invites....chigger bites or some sort of nasty insect bites. so I need to remember to wear some socks, even though I'd rather not after walking all day in wet runners. else use some bug spray on the feet.
- I ditched my pot and just boiled water in my cup. that worked fine.
- confirmed I can go with just one 210gr canister for ten days, just boiling water for all meals.
- also can confirm that 11 days of food is EFFING HEAVY! and if your group has members out of shape, this will ruin a planned itinerary! Also this heavy food=equally heavy pack and increases chances of hot spots/blisters...which if the poor souls ignore warnings to treat a hot spot, will also ruin an itinerary. Some folks just do not listen/pay attention/learn from experience.
- bailed on the planned JMT hike due to wildfires starting up, double glad as the august dragged on.
Virginia is baking also, with heat index exceeding 100F almost every day this month, have retreated to AC.
My hiking bud wants to do the 77mi 'foothills' trail in SC in 2 wks, but nights are still scorching and miserable, we'll see.
Some random pics
Plenty of streams/lake at Bridger, no need to carry more than 1liter…filter as needed.
idk which helinox, the lightest one?
Personally, I haven't seen a need for a camp shoe so long as I don't take my shoes into my tent! But I do understand the desire for breathable shoes. As for the hammock, I think thats a perfectly reasonable thing to pack along. I also bring a packable chair, that packs down like a tent. I find it nice to have somewhere comfortable to sit at my camp, even just while cooking breakfast. What other kind of things do you bring for luxury? Is a sleeping bag and pad considered lux? I'm fairly new to this so I'd love to get your opinions!
I love being able to slip on something quick on my feet if nature calls during in the night. And having something warm and dry to put on my feet when my runners are wet is so nice. But I, like you enjoy hiking more with a light pack. I have been intrigued by the durability of the polypropylene bubble mailing envelopes I have received from some online sellers (like Amazon), and quickly made up some light weight 'camp slippers' from one for a recent trip. These were just made with packing tape very quickly allowing me to get a snug fit custom to my feet. I'm considering these a prototype (ugly!) and will make them better if I end up liking using them.
Pro's: These weigh 1.15 oz for the pair, are warm and don't absorb moisture, provide descent padding and protect my socked feet from dewy grass.
Con's: Not breathable in the toe area. But dry wool socks seem to make up for this. I have thought I may try perforating the tops of the toe area to allow them to breath a bit more.
My 2 cent idea... worth the price charged 🙂
Very impressed with the bubble envelope slippers. Did you stick an insole from another shoe in there?
I have classic Chacos and I left them in my car on my last trip, thinking they were heavy, it was just one night, and I was fine not having camp shoes. Seven non-trivial creek crossings the last half mile before camp. I was wishing for the extra two pounds. I have some VFF KSOs, too, that I could/should have brought.
I'd really like a light, comfy closed toe camp/water shoe for occasions like that. Something I could barefoot or sock, less than a pound for the pair, won't get punctured on a stick or rock. Am I being greedy?