Feb 17, 2012 at 3:04 am #1285782
Or what is the longest number of nights that you have spent out using a SUL system?
Just curious, and looking to learn from someone that has done longer trips–what worked, what didn't, what they might have changed, etc.Feb 17, 2012 at 8:19 am #1840702
Warner Springs Monty
Krudmeister did the PCT in 2009
Francis Tapon is close
Not exactly a thru hike but she walked across America for 30 years with no packFeb 17, 2012 at 9:50 am #1840752
Wow, what a wealth of info, thank you very much. I had never heard of Peace Pilgrim before, what an amazing story.
In the future I would like to thru hike some of the long trails here in Sweden, and if I did it in the summer, was thinking of doing it SUL.Feb 17, 2012 at 11:02 am #1840801
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Monty did a PCT with a SUL kit, mostly to see what he could do. From what I remember, he now is closer to 8 or 9 pounds on long hikes. The extra weight and items just make the hike more enjoyable for him.Feb 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm #1840840
I do a lot of my overnighters and weekend trips SUL, but after a couple of days I'm more comfortable with a couple extra pounds. Depending on the type of longer trip, my base weight ends up being from about 7-9lbs.
This is partly a function of the increased weight of consumables which might not be as comfortable in a SUL pack, and partly because I want to ensure that I'm comfortable and safe even if the weather forecast is completely off. A night or two of rain under a poncho-tarp might be fine, but give me a week of rain and I want a little more shelter. Similarly, I don't usually carry a first aid kit on an overnight trip, but if I go out for a week I like to have at least some foot care items and painkillers.
Carefully done and with enough expenditure I'm sure you could put together a nice little SUL system that would be pretty comfortable for extended trips, but I've consolidated my kit to mostly more versatile 3-4 season items and gotten rid of most of my specialized SUL gear. When I go SUL now it's more a function of leaving most things but shelter and sleeping bag behind, rather than having a "complete" packing list of SUL items.Feb 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm #1840854
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Brian Dobble did a AT Yo-Yo in something like 175 days a few years ago with a base weight of less than four pounds.Feb 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm #1841012
I am by no means in the same class as any of the awesome hikers above when it comes to total trail miles.
Later this year I will be attempting a 400 mile thru-hike with a sub 4-pound BPW setup. Longest stretch w/o resupply will be 8 days, so the first few days of that is gonna suck as the weight of food will be 3x more than my BPW, but such as it is.
I did a little over 500 miles in 2011 with a 4.4 pound setup and another 250 with a sub 2 pound setup.
Realistically though anything under around 4.8 pounds is where it starts getting really hard to do a thru-hike without suffering.
>>> What worked?
No-cook eating. Easily save a significant amount of weight just in food packaging by going over to no cook eating. Basically end up with two or three bags of food, rather than a bunch of different bags of different meals. Also save a significant amount of weight over the entire thru-hike on fuel dead weight. Anymore I make a cup of warm tea at night with half an esbit and that is usually it.
Tarps. Or an insanely light shelter. Last year I did most of my miles with a tarp but for this trip I will be taking a sub 1 pound TSW setup for full bug protection.
High quality cloths. I decided to go the route of going with high quality cloths and putting a lot of trust in a layering system. So far it has worked out.
High risk water treatment. In other words, none. Thankfully I live somewhere that I pretty much never have to treat water. For my hopeful hike later this year I will also not be treating water, so that saves you around 3oz. High risk for 3oz though.
No Stuff sacks. Really, the most stupid thing ever. I see some guys with stuff sacks for this, stuff sacks for that, and stuff sacks for their stuff sacks. I carry a single stuff sack that pretty much everything except my shelter and bag and cloths go into. DRW protects your bag from the rain, shelter does not need protection, and cloths usually go into a big zip-lock bag (which also gets used to clean cloths with a micro-dropper of bleach, and serves as a pillow at night).
The lightest pad, if one at all. I use a GG 1/8th pad. It really does nothing to help me with comfort but it does wonders to give my backpack some rigidity. Could still carry a Zlite and be under 5 pounds.
>>> What did not work?
Shoes that do not fit you properly.
>>> Neatest trick I have learned from other SUL/XUL thru-hikers:
The power of Sealskinz Waterproof Mid-Calf socks when it gets cold. Screw using these to keep your feet dry (that is impossible) but these suckers trap heat inside of them and easily increases your foot temperature a few degrees when you need it most. Mine are 178 grams and I do not think twice about having them in my shoulder/winter gear – not even for a microsecond.
John B. Abela
HikeLighter.ComFeb 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm #1841019
Valesko on the PCT didn't add in the weight of his guidebook (map equivalent)…not SUL. Most of those won't be SUL if they are not stuffing their pockets with gear, leaving out necessary gear weights or adding to their food/water/fuel weight (more consumables). Okay, so I am a purist with SUL envy ; ).Feb 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm #1841035
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
I don't think going SUL would be as hard on the AT. I think it would be a lot harder on a western trail where resupplies are farther apert.
I could have lived with SUL gear on the Colorado Trail with the exception of my pack. My food load was just too heavy to make this comfortable.
Also on longer hikes there are weights you don't have on shorter hikes, especially if you're going far between resupplies.
-I had to carry some extra camera batteries if I wanted to take many pictures
-I carried two extra pairs of socks instead of one (very good idea too)
-I carried my cell phone for town stops
-I carried a lot of maps between resupplies.
– I carried a guidebook
-I carried more first aid supplies
-I carried a SPOT. I dont' care for this but its a "Make Mom Feel Good" device.
With the exception of the SPOT I don't see many things I could change if I went out again, at least on the CT.Feb 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm #1841036
Man I sooo want to do the CT!!
What is the longest mileage distance between two food resupplies? For me that is the kicker between a small pack and a slightly larger pack. Rest of my gear pretty much stays identical, but the darn need to stuff in more food often requires me to switch up to a pack that is another 500 ci in size which gives me around another 4 days worth of food.
Also, did you happen to encounter any snow when you did the CT?
Thanks!!Feb 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm #1841053
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
John the CT is great, let me know if you ever want to try it.
You nailed the big problem with the CT. The longest distance between resupply points is from Princeton Hot Springs to Molas Pass (unless you want to try a difficult hitchhike). I believe this is about 180 miles if I recall. What makes this section challenging is parts of it are also really dry. So there are times when you need to be carrying 3-4 liters of water.
When you hit the dry section you still have a good 5-7 days worth of food to carry plus the water so you're looking at 16 plus pounds of consumables.
I believe a CDT hiker would have the same problem if not more so. In fact, come to think of it, I dont' know if anyone has done the CDT with a SUL kit.
I didn't see significant snow but I went in Septemeber. I believe its common to see more if you go earlier.Feb 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm #1841080
@ John would you mind posting more information about your no cook foods for your thru- hikes.Feb 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm #1841084
CzechClown: @John would you mind posting more information about your no cook foods for you thru- hikes.
I will not go into the whole detail of things, but it usually involves at least these 15 items:
Dehydrated Refried Bean
Textured Vegetable Protein
Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey
Instant Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
Whole Dried Egg Powder
Sweet White Sorghum Berries
Macadamia Nut Granola
Baby Lima Beans
Hominy GritsAug 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm #2012304
@nzbazzaLocale: New Zealand
Check out Cam Honan's (Swami) gear list for the 12 long walks he did in 18 months, including the fastest ever triple crown in a single year. This guy is a hiking legend. There's no weights given in the list, but looking at the gear he uses it would be very close to SUL.
http://www.thehikinglife.com/journal/2013/01/12-long-walks-at-gear-list/Aug 4, 2013 at 3:46 pm #2012314
CT Drift –
Everyone hikes a little different, but …
You can resupply 20 miles south of Mt. Princeton if you hitch HWY 50 into Poncha Spring for a drop box, or 5 more miles into Salida for a Walmart and a Safeway (and a hostel). Most folks have an easy time getting into town, but getting out is a little harder. Nonetheless, many CT'ers make the 25 mile hitch, call it a Zero Day, and take a shower.
And you can resupply at Spring Creek Pass with a 20 mile hitch into Lake City.
In both cases, locals know the drill, and things Usually work out.
So, about 100 miles between these two points.
I hiked from Spring Creek to Monarch Pass (HWY 50 15 miles west of the CT) in a dry September a few years ago. Doing 25/day I never carried more than 2 liters at a time. But I did have to drop 500' in a half mile to re-fill on Day 3, and climb back out. So depending on when you hike, chances are good you can keep the water to a minimum.
End Drift.Aug 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm #2012323
Francis Tapon came pretty close on his CDT yo-yo in 2007.
[…as I now see in Link's post]Aug 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm #2012327
deletedAug 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm #2012357
I know of one person who was SUL on the AT for much of it.
He sent his tent,stove, and sleeping bag home, and just slept in his clothes in a mylar bivy. Depended on shelters. He also ran a lot.Aug 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm #2012407
Krudmeister is in my list of links above also.Aug 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm #2012412
I suspect there are very few long distance hikers that meet the sub 5lb definition of SUL, its just not worth the loss of comfort on such an extended trip. I know for a fact that several on the lists above are closer to the 6-8 lb. range which I think is the rational limit to what can be sustained for long duration without special circumstances such as counting on shelter for rain protection or hiking in areas where the predictability allows optimization. One thing to keep in mind, my thru hikers have significant additional clutter that bumps up the base weight beyond what is listed. But few if any long distance hikers care if their pack weighs 5 or 6 or 7 lbs. a good crap will equalize the weight.Aug 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm #2012414
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"I suspect there are very few long distance hikers that meet the sub 5lb definition of SUL, its just not worth the loss of comfort on such an extended trip."
Warner Springs Monty averaged under 5lbs for a PCT thru. There were places that temp gear had to be added. I also read somewhere, where he wrote that his kit is now in the 6-8 lb range, and that his SUL thru was an ego thing, and he is much happier with a little more weight.Aug 5, 2013 at 3:24 am #2012482
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> I suspect there are very few long distance hikers that meet the sub 5lb definition of
> SUL, its just not worth the loss of comfort on such an extended trip.
It gets a bit more complex too when you are not in the 'dry summer' region of America. In many places in Alpine regions you need to be carrying a bit more gear to handle the odd blizzard and so on. Being cold, wet and hungry for a week on end ceases to be amusing.
CheersAug 10, 2013 at 11:01 am #2014172
Well since its timely, I will add this.
Matt Kirk just completed his record unsupported hike of the AT, 2185 miles in 58.5 days. Here is his gear list
5.25 lbs. Technically not SUL if you are going to split hairs ,but thats with 7 oz of cell phone, charger, usb adapter, etc. He kept online journal and pics of the hike for validation purposes. And needed good light and batteries for night hiking.
His gear and approach, is SUL without a doubt. He needed certain items for a record setting hike however.Dec 24, 2013 at 9:30 am #2057319
@thecritterLocale: Pacific Northwest
Hey guys I'm new to this particular forum and I'm finally getting up the confidence to post here in the presence of some amazing people.
In response to the original post I circumnavigated 100 miles around Mt Rainier with about five pounds of gear and 20 pounds of food, without resupplying. I did it over 8 leisurely days in rain and near freezing weather.
Sometimes I backpack critter style which utilizes no sleeping bag, no pad, and no tent. I have a plan worked out to do a 30 day/300 mile hike with 5 pounds of gear and 60 pounds of food. I need to find a lightweight backpack capable of carrying that much weight.
I love backpacking and I do this all for fun. Here's a video of the basic gear I carry:Click here.Dec 26, 2013 at 6:57 am #2057633
"Sometimes I backpack critter style which utilizes no sleeping bag, no pad, and no tent."
Hi and welcome aboard. Hopefully this won't come across like I'm challenging you but could you describe what you do to protect yourself from the elements and insulate yourself from the ground?
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