Mar 12, 2005 at 6:45 pm #1215965
I’ve only been backpacking for about 5 years, but I want to go ultralight because I like to travel fast. Most of the stuff that I have now is pretty heavy. My sleeping bag is one of those old rectangular ones that is filled with some sort of synthetic that is a FANTASTIC sponge and I have an old Kelty dome-style 4-man tent, even tho I usually go solo. My backpack probably weighs about 4 lbs. I don’t have alot of money to spend (say 400 max), but I want to get something that is light and durable. Any Suggestions???? Thanks – FrankMar 12, 2005 at 7:05 pm #1336110
Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Join the yahoo group Backpackgearswap and watch for items. Quoting from the main page:
“Hikers invariably end up with gear they do not need or have need for gear they cannot justify buying. This group enables hikers to swap, sell, or give away gear.
As a spin-off of BackpackGearTest.org, this gear may have been acquired while doing gear tests or as independent purchases.”
Wandering BobMar 13, 2005 at 6:52 am #1336113
Lets brake it down. I am assuming you don’t want to make your gear. Making it all would be the simple reply.
-Get last years model of the golite Breeze for $40 Make sure to line it with a garbage bag 14oz
-By a 6*8 sheet of 1.1oz sil nylon eather at super Wal-Mart for practically nothing or get it off the net for cheep too ($20). Use sticks as stakes and find some kite string. Ground cloth is a emergency blanket $5. If you need bug netting buy it at home depot for real cheap and hang it from the tarps top. 3oz 6oz
-Errrr hear you eather have to make it or spend big bucks for something lite. Whats on this site seems like the lightest one is going to get. I’d say shop around and find the cheapest 20* bag under 2Ib. The mountainsmith seems pretty light and cheap. Although my advice is splurge here and get a damn good bag for $360 from nanutuck or the one from this site thats a pound. So I’m going to assume you splurged. 16oz
-GO to Wal-Mart and get that foam rubber blue pad for $5. 4oz
-Make a alchole stove. 1oz
-Go to Wal-Mart and get a Marro grease drip pan for like $6 and make the lid and windscreen out of stove liner for $5.Altogether windscreen lid and pot less than 4oz
-Get a 1liter bottle from some recycle bin. While your at it get you fuel bottle too 1oz
-Go to radio shack get two LED lights and 2 of those flat batteries that you put in watches. When the positive hits the positive and the negative hits the negetive it lights up. Attach it to your head with string or I suggest just holding it when you walk. O keep it attached to the batteries with electrical tape. When you want to turn it off just unattach one of the sides. This has got to cost less then $5. If the above sounds to complicated when your at walmart theres a 1oz flashlight. I’d say get that. Ray Jardine uses it.
-Plastic bags you find at gracery stores. Double or triple them up they seem to brake.
A Umbrella. 10oz or less if you modify like Jardine did.
-Don’t need one
Miscallanues stuff (put all this stuff in a zip lock):
-Spoon Lexan or GST outdoors kick but
-First aid(consisting of one bottle of IBprofen)
– Rap a little duck tape around the water bottle.
-cut a toothbrush in half and get travel size touthpast.
-little bottle of mousterizer for the feet.
-little bottle of antibacterial ountment.
-nail clippers or one of those super small swiss army knifes that have scissors.
-Journal-loose leaf paper and a pen
-If I forgot something email me.
-Lets call this bag 4oz to be save.
Clothing: (find all at thrift store)
Bathing suite bottoms or running shorts
Soccer sinthetic Jersey on top.
sinthetc socks (these might cost a little but well worth it)
trail running shoes (again cost a little but well worth it I suggest the montrail hard rocks)
-Wind shirt with no lining
-extra pair of socks
-If you want a fleece pullover obviesly get a real light half zip.
-Lets call this all 2.5Ibs
Okay I think I didn’t forget anything. SO lets add up weight and cost. This is just a estimate. I’m assuming the clothing cost $20 and your getting the best sleeping bag you can find.
-Around $500 with the $360 sleeping bag.
-10Ib assuming that you have 2Ib of clothing.
-8Ib of food for 4days and 2 pounds of water and fuel and you have a 20Ib pack.Mar 13, 2005 at 10:23 am #1336117
Yep, the bag / Sleep system will be your most expensive part, but well worth it.
You can find a down Kelty Light Year +15 (43 oz. ) for about $150-175. I have one and works well except for really cold (below 0) nights. Just remember your clothing is part of your insullation.
You could go higher, but you wanted cheap… right. You’ll need to make sure it stays dry so a bivy (figure $100 +-) would help.
Look for deals at http://www.campmor.com
You can get some 4 mill plastic sheeting at local hardware store, cut to size (8’x10′) for tarp. Not as light as silnylon, but lots lighter than tent and cheaper. Sheet bend the corners. Use left over piece for ground cloth. Oh yeah, you’ll need some para-cord. Use sticks or trees for ridgeline support.
Ezra’a idea for last years GoLite Breeze is a good idea.
You don’t have to do it all at once either. Sounds like your most concerned with bag and tent first (good idea since those, and pack are usually heaviest).
Good luck hunting.Mar 13, 2005 at 12:52 pm #1336118
Awesome, Ezra! Thanks!! I had to print out your list and i’m researching where to get the stuff right now. – FrankMar 13, 2005 at 12:58 pm #1336119
Bob and Mike, thanks alot for the advice, too! I’m gonna look into that group on yahoo and campmor.com, to see what kind of deals they’ve got. – FrankMar 13, 2005 at 1:12 pm #1336120
I forgot to mention a couple of things. One is that I hike in big-time Black Bear country. The other is that I usually go without resupply, so if anyone knows of a good, light, backpack that can handle a bigger load (because of food, only) – it would be much appreciated. Thanks!Mar 13, 2005 at 8:11 pm #1336126
James E NaphasMember
Check out the gossamer gear G4 ($85 at gossamergear.com, or construction instructions available at backpacking.net). Alternatively, perhaps the golite gust; apparently there are still a few 2003 models available for $59.95 at northernmountain.com. They’re both around 4000 cu. in. in capacity, and can handle a bear canister if need be.Mar 14, 2005 at 12:50 am #1336128
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Without knowing what you have it would be hard to recommend the best way to spend $400. You might think about posting your existing gear list as ask people to suggest a “makeover”.
Things I would suggest would be:
0) Pick through your gear list and leave behind things you don’t need or use.
1) Switch to a home made alchohol stove for three-season solo trips if you are using a white gas stove today. This will most likely save you something like a pound.
2) Get a down quilt or sleeping bag. If you look around you should find something decent on sale for $150.
3) Think about switching to a tarp. You can get a decent sil-nylon tarp for less than $60. If you don’t feel ready for a tarp, pick up a used Shires Tarptent (I predict a number will come on the used market as people upgrade to the Squall2/Virga2). If you really want a tent, try the Serria Designs Light Year ($125 new, < $100 used). 4) Switch to a lighter backpack: granite gear vapor trail $149, Mountainsmith Ghost $120, if you use a foam pad check out last years six moon designs starlite on sale for $99. A few other thoughts http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/gear/cheap.htmlMar 14, 2005 at 2:22 pm #1336132
You’re right, Mark, it would be helpful to post what I have. I’m going to open a new thread about the same stuff called “Gear Makeover.” It’ll list all of the main stuff that I have now. Thanks – FrankMar 14, 2005 at 9:05 pm #1336143
canyon steinzigBPL Member
@canyonLocale: Nor Cal
So, a population of generally wealthy (educated westernen UL backpackers) met one from the ghetto?) should go to Wal Mart to support a corporation that is anti union and exists only by the exploitation of the rock bottom third world manufacturing costs? Hmm, I’m not sure I can get behind that. I say go to a thrift store, by recycled stuff, and good quality cottage stuff. that is my mane approach. Oh, not sanctimonious BTW, I have plenty of chinese made gear, but from a philosophical and justice perspective I try to steer away from that modality of aquisition.Mar 15, 2005 at 8:46 pm #1336163
E. H. ClemmonsBPL Member
Many other people do too. Just so you know.
Shop wherever you like, but don’t be bad mouthing Wal Mart when the thread is titled “Without spending major $$$”. If you haven’t tried their greasepot, don’t knock it. Or the cat food prices.
Pretty preachy for a backpacking website, don’t you think?Mar 15, 2005 at 9:22 pm #1336164
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
thrift stores,regionally owned chains,garage sales,fleas,classified ads,supermarkets,
and I’m sure there are many other alternatives to rapacious,union busting,community destroying,
employee unfriendly entities such as Wal Mart.
We have all of the above in my mini metro area of 150,000 people in S. Oregon (where,incidentally, 2 small towns are actively fighting 2 Walmart super centers from sprouting up). I’m sure most other communities in the U.S. do, too.
Preachy? tough.Mar 16, 2005 at 2:35 am #1336167
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
GossamerGear G4 or GoLite Gust. both very good choices.
G4 has better organization capabilities (if that is impt. to you). perhaps a bit more “fragile” than the Gust if you need to “bushwack”. i own the smaller, more fragile G5 – very nice pack, but too small for your requirements perhaps. GossamerGear is a top-notch company; very trustworthy; ship immediately. you can order a “Semi-Custom” G4 in heavier, stronger, more robust Oxford cloth, but the price is a bit more. 5 days food is no problem in the G5, but the rest of your gear needs to be very light weight & highly compressible (for those items that compress). G5 is a more expensive pack, extremely light weight, & a less robust fabric – not recommended if bushwacking is a must.
Gust – i own an ’03 Gust – Spectra fabric. newer Dyneema not much different. very robust material. nice pack, but a little anemic in the external pocket category. have seen plans on the web for making/attaching easy to reach side pockets – but i forget the link. this appeared easy to do. do a web search, i’m sure that you will find the link.
G4 is around 16oz. (depending upon options and material, if semi-custom), & the Gust is a bit heavier (19-20ozs depending upon model year).
both req. the use of a “virtual frame” constructed of your sleeping pad. the main diff is that in the Gust, you roll your sleeping pad into a cylinder & put it in the pack first. the G4 has an external pad pocket. you fold the pad (30″-40″max pad length) & place it in the pad pocket which then “rides” against your back for cushioning. this leaves more space inside the pack’s main compartment for your gear/food. structurally, a cylinder is stronger than the folded pad, but i haven’t had any problems with “frame collapse” using either pack with 19-20lb total pack weight.
hope this info helps.Mar 16, 2005 at 11:56 am #1336176
Hey, thanks Paul – I think i’m going to go with the GoLite Gust mainly because of the additional support that a cylinder gives (I guess i’ll start of “lightweight” and then work my way to “ultralight” if need be). I’m going to look around for a deal, tho, and maybe i’ll get the ’03 or ’04 model since you said that the fabric really isn’t all that different. Finding a good pack was actually the area that I knew the least about, so that info really helped. Thanks – Frank. BTW (not to Paul) – I couldn’t care less about Wal Mart, Canyon, one way or the other. Please keep that sort of opinion off of this thread. I’m looking for ideas about how to go ultralight here, and that didn’t help at all. These people who suggested Wal Mart were only doing that, making a suggestion. If I want something that is Anti-corporation/ Anti-product, I’ll start a new thread on it. Oh, and about the ghetto aside – I thought that I’d just let you know that you used the wrong form of main. It’s not mane, but you could try out Maine too if you like how it looks. It certainly isn’t China. – Frank.Mar 16, 2005 at 3:41 pm #1336182
Phil BartonBPL Member
Frank, another pack option is the ULA P-1 or even the larger P-2. I recently bought the P-1. Brian Frankle’s service is outstanding. I’ve hiked with the pack a couple of times now. This last weekend with my sons’ scout troop involved 5+ pounds of extra gear — total pack weight was around 25 lbs. It was very comfortable to me. The reviews are mostly positive. I added the 2 hipbelt pockets as options above the $125 base price. So, it’s a little more expensive than the Gust. I chose the P-1 because I liked the suspension and the organization features. I’m pleased with the product and thought you might find it a quality, affordable option as well.Mar 17, 2005 at 12:55 pm #1336207
Phil BartonBPL Member
Frank, last night I heard Coup of GoLite present his story about last summer’s 3 hikes without resupply. He covered the trips, why, how, and what he got from it all. It was a great evening. I even scored some swag – a 24 Pack pack. I may have to take up adventure racing now.
What I’d failed to appreciate is just how HUGE a Gust really is. The diameter is comparable to many other packs but the height and overall volume is enormous. That works for Coup as he was carrying 50+ pounds of food at the start in Colorado. I can’t imagine how for my shorter trips that I carry enough gear, food, and fuel to fill that enormous volume. It’s huge.Mar 17, 2005 at 1:25 pm #1336209
Yes, I thought Coup completed an amazing feat of thru hiking the 498 miles without resupply. Here is link to his gear list:
The Gust is capable of hauling quite a bit of gear. Although I like the added mesh pockets offered in the GoLite Breeze, even though I use the GoLite Race pack with the waist belt gusseted pockets. Nice to have compass, knife, light and gps right there.Mar 18, 2005 at 8:36 pm #1336230
Phil – I might go with the P-1 or I might go with the Gust. Guess that I’ll have to try them both out before I make a decision. However, I’m still leaning towards the Gust (slightly), at the moment, because I almost never resupply. Thanks for the info…I’ll let you know when I’ve made my decision – FrankMar 18, 2005 at 8:44 pm #1336231
Mike – I checked out that link…Coup did accomplish something pretty amazing. The gear list seemed a bit biased towards GoLite (for some reason), but it is a good guideline. His food list is really nuts, so I might try something like that in the future. Thanks – FrankMar 18, 2005 at 9:07 pm #1336233
Well, I just got a $100.00 EMS gift card, so my budget has increased (slightly). Yes, I live near the East coast. Anyway, I browsed over the backpacks reviewed on this site and I wonder if any of you have heard things (either good or bad) about these packs : Gossamer Gear Mariposa, Six Moons Designs Starlite- internal stays, or the Granite Gear Vapor Trail. Also, It’d help to know if any of these packs are (in your opinion) better than the ULA P-1 or the GoLite Gust. Thanks for any informed advice – FrankMar 18, 2005 at 9:39 pm #1336234
@naturephoto1Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
The reason that Coup’s equipment was heavy on GoLite equipment is that he is the President of GoLite. Though the 498 miles of hiking without resupplying of food may be very impressive it is nothing new. It has been done for years dating back to at least the 1960’s or 1970’s. GoLite is on this campaign of what they are calling Alpine Style of hiking.
The following is an exerpt from commentary about this hiking style on the website of Dan McHale of McHale packs (designer and maker of very expensive custom made backpacks): “Just in case backpackers do not know, Alpine Style is a style of climbing big mountains that is the opposite of ‘expedition style’ of setting up a chain of stocked support camps reaching nearly clear to the summit. I’m not sure if Reinhold Messner coined the term or who did, but it was in the 70s. I used it as my label name from 1977 until 1983.”
You can read more about this and this type of hiking on Dan’s website at the following: http://www.mchalepacks.com/ultralight/Detail%20Hi%20Rez%20Pages/Muir%20Trail%20Story.htm.
Rich NelridgeMar 18, 2005 at 11:52 pm #1336237
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Gossamer Gear Mariposa – I have no direct knowledge.
Six Moons Designs Starlite – I used before the widened the shoulder straps which I wouldn’t recommend. Should be find with the improved shoulder straps. If you use a foam pad that this should be a great option. If you end up using a self-inflating pad or an air mattress then the Six Moon Design Comet would be a better pack.
Granite Gear Vapor Trail – Far and away my favorite pack. I expect most of the reviews you will read about this pack will say this is the most comfortable pack the authors have used. I know for me, it was the best back I have used (out of 15) for <25lbs. Love it's carry comfort. Which the extension collar wasn't so huge.
ULA P-1 – no personal experience. People say nice things about it.
GoLite Gust – I haven’t used one much. Swapped my Vapor Trail with a friend who was carrying a Gust for a few miles on the trail. Seems like a big bag with straps. His pack was lighter, we both thought mine was more comfortable even though I was carrying around 4lb more than he was. He had been teasing me that I was being a wimp for not going fully ultralight. The next week my friend bought a Vapor Trail.
–markMar 19, 2005 at 5:28 am #1336243
Frank, I am as new to this sport as anyone. I recently got a Mariposa, so I’ll give you some insight on that only. Nice pack, weight is just under 18 ounces with stays, not as wide at bottom as the ‘G’s so I can’t lay my Big Agnes Mica on it’s side at the bottom. Glen recommends stuffing the bag loose in the pack and I will try that. I liked the water bottle holder, but found I could not reach it, but I had shoulder surgery years ago so that may be the cause. Instead I am using the hydration sleeve with a Platypus big zip 3. I’m going to try my best to get below 15 lbs. before food and water and I like the way this pack carries on my shoulders and back. I am using a folded Therma rest ridge rest at 40 inches as the support and may go to 30 inches. Took it on a winter camp and put 29lbs. in it with no problem. It did not seem to bust at the seams or feel bothered by the bulk. The compression straps and the extension collar all seem to be well thought out. the mesh pockets seem quite adequate as well. I haven’t tested it using my socks, etc. as padding in the straps or belt, but it is a way to further reduce weight. Hope this helps.Mar 19, 2005 at 7:18 am #1336244
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
glad i could help some.
like some other respondents said, the Gust is huge. it’s voluminous, but if you want to carry a lot of gear, then it’s a good choice.
BackcountryGear no longer has the ’03 Gust that i bought for ~$60 – if memory serves. they have either the ’04 or ’05 (not sure which), that is made of Dyneema. i talked to them by telcon last year when i bought the ’03 Gust about the diff b/t Spectra & Dyneema. they said that the diff. are NOT noticeable. i have an ’04 Breeze (onto which i added a 2oz hipbelt w/padded wings) made of Dyneema. i can’t see any diff b/t the Dyneema of the ’04 GoLite Breeze and the Spectra of the ’03 GoLite Gust.
oh…BTW…in order for the cylindrically shaped virtual frame to have some real structural strength in the Gust, and prob. any other pack using a frame of this configuration, it must either overlap somewhat (i.e, more than 360 deg of wrap), or be 360 deg & be held to this by the pack bag. that is, the cylinder must not be able to unravel/separate any, thus creating a space/gap b/t the ends of the pad, or the virtual frame weakens and may “collapse”/fold. therefore, you must use a longer pad which will add some extra weight. check out the GossamerGear 3/4 length NightLight Sleeping Pad. i use their shorter Torso Length pad which has the same thickness & material as the 3/4 length pad. it is lighter than the RideRest pads of similar length. also, BPL has their Bozeman Mountain Works TorsoLite (TM) Inflatable Sleeping Pad. it’s too short to use for a virtual frame in the Gust, but can be added to the GG NightLight pad if it is very cold and you need more insulation under the torso. however, you will be carrying a bit more weight if you do this. the Bozeman…TorsoLite seems to me to be an excellent quality pad and compresses into a 4″x8” cylinder – very small indeed! i don’t see a need for any of the larger/heavier self-inflating pads like the Cascade Designs ProLite pads. couple the TorsoLite with the NightLight in very cold weather and you’re still lighter than the ProLite pad. check the numbers yourself, i checked this last year and my “old-timers” may be acting up. don’t want to steer you wrong if i’m not remembering correctly.
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