My first sub 5 lb trip!

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    twig .
    BPL Member


    Locale: Australia

    Inspired by Jamie's work and years of trial, I have got my gear down to 5.2 pounds with gear that is comfortable and works for me 3 seasons in Australia. I wanted a tent, not a bivy and a comfortable mattress and pillow as a base for my gear, because I am getting older and being comfortable at night rates up there with carrying a light pack!. Other gear had to be simple, and extra components eliminated where possible. Clothing worn was BPL Pants, Patagonia wool 1 top and inov8 Terroc's I was also wearing TNF Triumph, but swap this for a Montane Aero if the weather is looking better. fsf
    Golite Ion Pack – hip belt removed.
    top layer of packing
    Top – phone TP spares & first aid, Then food, water containers and cook kit
    Next layer of packing WM flight vest (sometimes swap with Patagonia nano pullover) pole for The One ( I only use 1 trekking pole) POE ether elite 2/3 exped inflatable pillow, and high density foam mat for sit mat and under feet at night.
    Next layer – Nunatak Ghost no stuff sack

    Below this layer is the one in a stuff sack, with pegs and polycro groundcloth. I use a stuff sack for The One because it is often damp when I pack it first thing in the morning. Because space is valuable in the Ion everything else is stuffed in directly, this also helps with simplicity as there are a couple less stuff sacks to keep track of.
    Cook kit is kept in a zpacks cuben stuff sack, only to keep the esbit goo off everything else.iooiu
    Caldera Cone (cut down in length), Esbit and trapper mug are the basis of the cook kit. A cut down water bottle stops any crushing of the cone and serves as a place to store the spare peices when the stove is being used – total weight with 6 esbits is 110grams
    Stove, esbits, matches are kept in water tight container.
    Stove is based on the Gram cracker, is just a bent piece of titanium foil. I have replaced the foil in the pic with ti foil for longevity.
    A piece of silicone egg ring serves as a pot lifter (I don't carry gloves all year) No problems getting a boil with one small esbit tab

    The kit could be made lighter especially by leaving the pole at home and using a branch, but the simplicity of having everything I need in the pack, makes up for the weight – and at around 5 pounds for a shelter with a comfy bed, I can live with that!

    Larry Dyer


    Locale: Texas

    Nice kit Brett! We can always use more Ion content around here. I noticed yours is one with the Recycled Material badge on it… did anyone ever figure out what the story is with those? If not I may shoot Golite an e-mail about it.

    Are you carrying 3 liters of water in the Ion? I find the lack of water and food capacity to be the greatest challenge when packing these packs and have resorted to strapping bottles to the shoulder straps. I also bought a 1 liter platy specifically for use in the ion.

    twig .
    BPL Member


    Locale: Australia

    It is an ion from , they had a limited number built after it was discontinued – great service arrived in a week. I can fit 3 litres inside it, I went for a normal water bottle as it is a bit easier to stuff in the pack when the pack is full. I also went for low volume items like the ether elite, I think it frees up a bit more space.

    Larry Dyer


    Locale: Texas

    Strangely I just found the source myself not two minutes before coming back into this thread and seeing your link! Thanks anyway though.

    I use a Thermarest Prolite Short in mine. Works fine and takes up less space than a CFM pad from calculations. Maybe it's about time that I post my gear list up.

    Mike M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Montana

    Brett- great job :) I haven't broken into the 5's yet w/ my Ion, but am in the 6's- so I'm getting darn close

    James Morrison


    Locale: Southshore

    hello guys, i am new to the forums! i love the outdoors and i do trips more often now since i found a great work schedule, so i have the weekends off for mountain climbing, trekking and mountain biking.

    hope i can encounter you guys in the wild!


    John Doe
    BPL Member


    I just wanted to say that 5 years later I still go back and reference this thread for a gear list. I share it with other people I go backpacking with to try and inspire them to go light on their packing lists.

    It's been so useful!

    Jamie Shortt
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Carolina

    Thanks so much for those kind words.

    I'm reminded of one of the most profound conversations I have had. Two years ago I was being shuttled to Roan Mountain by Bob Peoples. I had no idea how incredible and meaningful this man's contributions are to the lives of thru-hikers struggling to make it across the AT. Bob was talking about trail work and a recent shelter construction he was obviously proud of. I shared how appreciative I was of him and those who worked the AT making a trail that truly a pleasure to hike. "You guys deserve a BIG thanks!"

    Here is the profound part. In complete sincerity Bob turned to me and said "no it is you who deserve the thanks…see if you did not use the trails that I build my life would have no meaning…I would be doing all this for nothing…so thank you".

    When times are challenging like they are now…I am so rewarded to hear someone has used something I posted.


    BPL Member


    Locale: SE USA

    Well, Jamie, to that end:

    I, too, reference this thread often. I enjoy it and try to not kick myself for not being able to sleep on a short CCF pad!!!

    Thanks man!

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