Jun 1, 2012 at 8:00 am #1290576
So, this is my first attempt at ultralight, I've been working on this gear for a couple months. I last bought gear in 1995, bought the lightest I could afford back then and ended up with a base weight somewhere between 25 and 30lbs. I've never really backpacked in the way that most on this forum do – for me it is about fishing so I've always just packed in a few miles with a buddy or three, fished for a day or two and packed back out.
Fishing will still be the focus, but I will be adding some proper backpacking trips this year. There is a 40 mile loop planned next month which will be my first real attempt.
I'm not small, well over 6 feet and 250 lbs. Sleeping gear is especially important to me, as I've never slept well in the backcountry, hopefully this new gear will solve that. What I am going for is maximum comfort and enjoyment both on the trail and in camp.
The list I linked should be what I'm using for a trip this week. Mostly fishing, not much hiking, but it should be a good opportunity to get acquainted with everything. Please feel free to offer comments/suggestions! I have literally no interest in solo hikes so the weight on a few things is split. Also I'll likely ditch the alcohol stove and use the canister setup for this first trip.Jun 4, 2012 at 2:33 am #1883788
Any feedback/suggestions?Jun 4, 2012 at 4:36 am #1883794
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
A lot of stuff I can recommend would cost dollars. You would need to revamp a sizable portion of your kit.
Pack: 33oz? This is real heavy for the size. I would look at a smaller lighter pack at about 16-20oz or less. I have a Murmur'12 and love it. The GG company also makes the veneralble G4 for larger packs. Look at ZPacks. A stripped Blast or enhanced Zero would do you well at way less than a pound. Just a couple that use a thicker CCF pad for supporting your pack…a good idea.
Shelter: 18oz is pretty good for UL use.
The DAM64 can be replaced. Use a lighter Neoair or even lighter NightLite. In a Zero(with pad holder,) it will save weight (about 11oz vs 23oz) and double to help support the pack. Also, drop the inflator.
Drop the pillow and cover. Just use the compression bag, turned inside, out. Then put day cloths in there. I have "special" long johns and socks I pack with my bag to keep them dry. In very cold weather, I have been forced to use them, but generally, I change for bed.
Water and bottles, etc, I cannot say much about. You know your area. Same for first aid. Generally, I do not bring a first aid kit, as such. I do bring two bandaids and duct tape. Anything beyond minor stuff requires leaving the woods. It is 99% between your ears.Jun 5, 2012 at 3:09 am #1884113
Thanks for your comments James, I appreciate it.
I am definitely considering a lighter pack, but it would have to be nearly as comfortable as the Vapor Trail. I'm leaning towards the Zpacks Exo, but also considering the 2012 GG Gorilla. I bought the VT cheap so it makes a good placeholder till then.
I have a secondhand Kookabay torso length down mat coming and will try combining that with my torso length Nightlight to see if together they can be as comfy as the Warmlite. If not I'll take the weight penalty because I just don't sleep on thinner mats and can barely move in the morning. I'm far too heavy for thin pads plus I'm a very active side sleeper. I have an Exped Synmat UL which is comfy but doesn't work well with my quilt, so it's become loaner gear. And I'm not sold on the Neoair's horizontal tubes.
I will probably trim the first aid and repair kits in the end, but just don't have enough trips under my belt to feel comfortable with that at this point.Jun 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm #1884413
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Well, don't push it. Push what is comfortable, not what can be dangerous. I am retired and been at it for well over 40 years. I know what works for me. You will need to find out what works for you.
Once you are on that slipery slope of light weight, It seems you always are swapping out one piece of gear or another. Smaller volume, even if it means no weight savings directly, will let you get a lighter and smaller pack. Not sure if you need the Gorilla. More of an expedition pack for what I need.
I have three neoairs (long story) and do not have any problems with the narrrow tubes. I thought they would be bad when I first got mine, but it worked out well. I picked up a second for the wife. Down to about 20F, they work pretty good. The Nunatuk is full length (about 12-13oz), The Nightlite is a 3/4 length (about 60-65") and about 10oz. Coupled with the Neoair (13oz), either makes good cold weather gear and is flexible for the trip I am taking. I could never get used to a quilt, or, a hammock. I also roll around a lot from an old injury.Jun 6, 2012 at 9:23 am #1884558
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
I think your list looks pretty good and before buying or cutting anything else I would take it out for a bunch of nights. You are at the point where you have attacked most of the low hanging fruit outside of your Pad.
Be careful in reducing your pack to much as you do need some support to carry a bear canister.
How do you fit in the Solo Plus Hexamid. I keep looking at those for a shelter but I am worried with my height 6-3ish that I would be too tall.Jun 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm #1884791
Thanks James and Greg. Greg, I do fit in the Hexamid. There isn't a lot of head/foot room, but there is enough that it doesn't bother me on first tryout.Jun 14, 2012 at 4:06 am #1886799
List revised, I decided to try an Exo. I also swapped out my Synmat LW for a medium.
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