Feb 20, 2008 at 4:25 am #1227381
@amd717Locale: Southwest Virginia
Hey guys. I'm new to the world of light backpacking, but i love the idea of carrying less. So i'm working on lightening up, but seeing as im an incredibly poor college student… its a slow process. I'm hitting the AT for a 77 mile hike in VA, 2 weeks from now. I put together this gear list as sort of a preliminary sketch of what i think im going to need. I havent weighed any of it yet, but ill put weights up eventually.
Please comment on essentials that i may be missing or unnecessary things im including. Thanks for helping a new guy
Clothing EMS fleece pants
Clothing Fleece Gloves
Clothing Knit Hat
Clothing L/S T
Clothing Monkey Man Jacket
Clothing Rain Shell
Clothing Smartwool Lightweight Socks
Cooking Cook Pot
Cooking Fuel Canister
Cooking Guyot Bowl
Cooking Guyot Cup
Cooking Light My Fire Utensil
Cooking Pocket Rocket
Gear Duct Tape
Gear Medical Kit
Gear Swiss Army Knife
Hydration MSR Sweet Water Filter
Hydration Nalgene 2L Bladder
Hydration Plastic Water Bottle
Other AT Databook
Other Nikon D40x
Sleep/Shelter Big Agnes Air Core Pad
Sleep/Shelter EMS Down Under 25
Sleep/Shelter Lightpath 2 Tent
Worn Ex-Officio Convertible Pant
Worn High Gear Axis Watch
Worn L/S Shirt
Worn Merrell Camelion Stretch II
Worn Smartwool Midweight Socks
Worn Wicked TFeb 21, 2008 at 9:27 am #1421411
You didn't specify which aircore, but lets assume it's 20oz. I would replace this with a whole new system that utilizes torso length closed cell foam pads with your pack under your feet.
Firstly, it's the cheapest way to shave nearly a pound.
Nightlight Torso – 3.5oz – $18
ThinLight 1/8" – 2oz – $9
Secondly, it will be a big step in understanding how to take UL components and develop them into a system.
It's one thing to go light by replacing gear but, as you've noticed, it's expensive. However, when you begin to appreciate UL systems and philosophies you'll accomplish more for less.
I'll mention too, that this system also realizes an important philosophy of UL: multi-use gear. Your pack, never leave home without it, is now a portion of your sleep pad. Any of the single Nightlight panels is a sit pad (I cut a 3/4 length Nightlight into smaller sections for better packing, and ditched the remainder). I found the Thinlight crucial for added warmth as needed but it also provides a "tacky" surface so all the components maintain position. Especially on any groundsheet, and you'll want a groundsheet (plastic sheet is fine, Tyvek is fine too). You'll notice the Montbell pillow: not necessary but it truly completed the package for a good nights sleep. Take a look below:
-Michael "sawchuck"Mar 3, 2008 at 2:47 am #1422821
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
Andrew, replace the fleece pants with a nylon shell pant or a rainpant like the Golite Reed. The Reed, or similar waterprrof/breathable, gives you rain/wind protection or just warmth and it packs small. Fleece although warm to wear adds a lot of bulk. The rain pants could fit in a pocket, Instead of converta pants you could just take shorts and use your rain pant as your long pant alternative.
Michael. How do you carry the thinlite? Do you roll it up and carry it on the outside? Do you use the cut-into-panels method and fold it so it fits inside your pack. I have been using 3/4 z-rest, but it has gotten a bit thin! I have a thinlite pad, but I find it bulky to carry. I was considering a 3/4 thermarest (13 oz., until I read your post.
As a section hiker, I have hiked more than 1/2 of the AT.(ME to PA)(GA to VA) I use a tarp instead of a tent. Hiking in the spring, August or the fall, I am often alone in shelters, but I always carry a tarp, sometimes just for privacy away from a shelter, and once when a swollen river blocked me from getting to a shelter. Although it was raining heavily, the tarp gave me a good shelter. I use a bivy only in the cold weather, fall and winter, to block cold drafts. An excellent shelter that also has mosquito netting is the SMD Oasis. Try tarp camping, Michael. It will save you a lot of weight.
Take the handle off your Sweet Water filter, you will not have to fumble around setting it up and it packs smaller.I like the fold flat plastic bowl, don't forget you spork. I've gone from a gas stove to alcohol, to esbit and lately wood. Gear is everevolving. Have fun. Look for a frameless pack, another great weight saver.Mar 4, 2008 at 7:10 pm #1423027
This last weekend I was amazed by my hiking buddy Dylan's Golite Ion and it made me think about how the Nightlight/Thinlight would never fit into a 1500cu.in pack. But they're cozy down into the upper teens and my go to pack is the Jam2 with 2600cu.in. I weighed the group in at 6.3oz, which I'm hard pressed to beat. So, I can forgive the bulk. I used to roll the Thinlight and strap that onto the outside of my pack but reconsidered this when it started showing distress from bushwhacking and I worried about other elements directly contacting my sleep system.
… you're right about tarp camping, it's the light way to go. But in this neck of the woods you can get away with just a bivy, or nothing at all, and at 5.5oz my Ti-goat appeases the UL gods.
-Michael "sawchuck"Mar 4, 2008 at 9:57 pm #1423056
@cooldripLocale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
There seems to be some redundancy in your gear. Do you really need a cup, bowl, pot, bladder, and bottle? Wouldn't just a pot and the bladder do?
Do you really need a tent? You could use the shelters, or since bugs won't be a problem, tarps are great.
Do you really need the fleece pants? For me, my merino tights and hiking pants usually keep me warm; if you get cold, just hop in your bag.
Have a great time! If the forecast for Virginia is like WNC, it'll be great weather!Mar 25, 2008 at 11:43 pm #1425643
Jeff CadorinBPL Member
@jeffcadorin-2Locale: paper beats rock
I am wondering what temps you are comfertable bringing this pad setup down to? Also what bag/quilt achieves this low end temp rating from you? I also can not tell, are you using a groundsheet with that TIG bivy?
JeffMar 26, 2008 at 5:34 am #1425655
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
"Do you really need a tent? You could use the shelters, or since bugs won't be a problem, tarps are great."
Do NOT head out without a shelter of some sort. Becoming a "Shelter Rat" and expecting someone to move out of a full shelter to make room for you because you are unprepared is not recommended. A lightweight tarp would be a gram saver and would be sufficient.
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