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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK ... transitioning from a good tow vech, 14 ft trailer, 15 'Avon, to a 12 ' So tar, and a Honda Fit! Don't want to give up on 3-4 night trips etc...myself and one other ( hopefully by spring anyway:) )...
Not a minimilist by nature so would love some ideas on how others have done it .... thanks!

Like the guy who self supported the GC in a mini...
 

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Nothing wrong with downsizing. Sometimes your life or your goals take you in a new direction. Think of it as a new challenge or adventure and it can be fun. The trick is to think like a backpacker. Small tent or tarp/groundcloth. Light weight pad to sleep on. If you'll be somewhere with ample trees then sleep in a hammock. Super comfy, small, light weight. Backpacking stove & cook kit. No cooler, or small cooler. Get a dehydrator and start making your own meals. Small packable camp chair like a Helinox One, or Travelchair Joey. Get a good filter and filter water as you go if possible. Sawyer Squeeze or Sawyer Mini. I'll be doing 2-3 nighters with a 10 foot Mini-Cat or 13 ft. touring SOT kayak this summer, so I've been getting my UL gear together. I have learned a ton from the UL backpacking crowd about gear selection. You'll be fine on a 12 footer with some planning. Have fun!
 

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Great advice from cataraft girl. Jet boil's are awesome to save space, have heard of metal trash can lids being used as cheap, lightweight fire pan (provided you keep them off the ground somehow). Giving up cold beer would be a hard one,would have to switch to whisky. Have allways brought to much stuff , but trying to figure out how to run multi-days with a small boat for some of the tributaries that look super cool, or bigger runs(that the damn controllers don't allow water to go down) like the dolores ,most years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Agreed Matt...warm beer is not an option! One of the
Reasons for the So tart is that I could fit a 105 yeti in it...will start looking at UL sites...
Tire Cat girl on life changing directions sometimes and agree that looking at it as a new adventure is key... will check out some of the items you mentioned... thanks... those were the types of things I was looking for!
 

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Agreed Matt...warm beer is not an option! One of the
Reasons for the So tart is that I could fit a 105 yeti in it...will start looking at UL sites...
Tire Cat girl on life changing directions sometimes and agree that looking at it as a new adventure is key... will check out some of the items you mentioned... thanks... those were the types of things I was looking for!
I am just impressed you can fit a rolled 12 footer and a 105 Yeti inside the Honda Fit. Impressive!

As much as "less is more" is an important approach for such boating so is making sure your hard skills are bomber. Specifically those in planning logistics and camp choices. Fewer clothes, UL shelters, etc all require you to be on your A-game. UL shelters often require more skill is setting up so knowing a broader range of knots and pitching techniques is key.

All very attainable and likely already have all the skills. I love my small boat, less gear trips as the provide a very different experience. Hope you have some great adventures with your new setup.

Phillip
 

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Cold beer and steaks for me baby. I didn't spend thousands of dollars on a boat and gear so I could suffer eating freeze dried food on my vacation. Downsizing everything just seems like a big pain in the ass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's going to be tight restract... May have to take out a back seat and or get a bumper hitch... frame and oars on top and I'll be off! Did a lot of 4-5 day backpacking trips growing up around Mt Rainer, and that was forty yrs ago... gear's much better now. I also agree that a smaller simpler outfit may lead to taking more spur of the moment trips vs the production of the larger outfits and more people.
 

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yeah scott! I agree... small, light, simple = more trips, in my experience... I go rafting after work. week days... all the time... I spend my time boating and having fun, not rigging and de-rigging...

( mini max, paddle rig... )
 

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10' Jackson Rogue, and LL LP10. 2 of us self support with other kayaks on Deso Grey. We carried a cooler with dry ice. Jet boil, lobster, shrimp, steak, pesto chicken, salmon, turkey, fresh veggies. The meals were mostly precooked and frozen. Breakdown firepan with grill, groover tube, tent, sheets, pillows, chairs. Yup, we had to pack tighter and more carefully than a raft but we were living large. I plan to glue in layers of mini cell behind the bulkhead and make a built in cooler for this year's trips.
 

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When I'm bckpacking, exchanging cornwhiskey for beer goes along way, obviously (I prefer my cornwhisky neat and warm). Also unrefrigerateds item to eat so you don't have to carry a cooler. Think dry sausages (like soprasseta) and hard cheeses (like parmesan), oatmeal w/ TVP dried fruit and nuts, flavored foil packed tuna, pita bread, peanut butter, honey, jerky and even olive oil to drink (just a lil bit).

Other things I try to adhere to: Only 2 sets of synthetic clothes (not including outerwear), hammock, water filter and I LOVE my helinox chair!
 

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If you have backpacking or bike touring experience, you'll have no issues in a 12'er for two. Just need to decide where to splurge with all the stuff you can carry. In reality, I can and do carry a _lot_ more on my small raft than I ever could on my back or bike.

Still looking for a good chair to replace my REI folder (slowly going bad) so I appreciate the above comments on these.
 

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We're not downsizing, but starting small instead. Just purchased a used mini-max and are thinking about documenting the entire build on MB.

The choice to go small was driven mostly by the need for everything to fit in the ambulance we live in during the summers. For us, just the ability to go boating on our own is vacation enough, no need for steaks/pounds of ice (...yet). Plus, having your kit dialed enough to fit in a 10.5 foot boat is pretty sick.

Good move on the 12ft! That size is perfect. Multi-day trip, huck with the hard boaters, or surf at a play spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sounds like you're having fun, and keeping it simple. I spent a couple years off and on in a long bed 63' Govt van that we got from a GSA auction in the late sixties ($640:))... ski bumming, beaches, kayaking, (even what would be downtown Vail now). Never owned enough to have to worry about over crowding! Looking backk , those trips were as much fun as anything I've done lately with all the comforts of home... Good Luck Did you get the Orange Mini Max that was listed here a few months ago? By the time I decided to go for it , it was gone...
 

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Here's some pictures of my 12 foot Hyside that I used to have. I sure miss that little raft, it was a hoot. Sold it and my 14 ft. cataraft to buy my 14 ft. Sotar raft. These pics are from a 7 day Deso trip. I had one dry box and a 52 Qt. cooler on the raft.

On the chairs....The Helinox and the TravelChair Joey are pretty much the same except the Joey is about 2 inches taller. I got the Joey because I have a bum knee, and getting in & out of it was easier. The new Joey models have a better foot on them now, with a wider base to prevent sinking in the sand. These are really nice, comfy camp chairs that pack up really small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the heads up... looks like the helinox chair will be on my list ...That 14 ' Sotar sure looks nice, but looking forward to a small boat for a while at least, looked at the 13, but it seemed too big to be small and too small to be big... sometimes life just needs simplifying... have gotten some great tips here... Check out Lucy lights... I ordered a couple along with a 1lb refillable propane tank that was rec'd...
 
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