Apr 14, 2007 at 8:47 pm #1222809
I've been playing with SUL for a few years now and fine tuning my kit. Here's my latest SUL Sub-4 Gear List.
I'd love your feedback. The red items indicate gear ordered but not in hand yet so weights may be wrong.
A couple of things I'm proud of here: Warm sleep system (I sleep cold), got in my camera and mp3 player and am still sub-4 (I love my music in rough stretches on really long days- it's better than GU for this guy.
The shoes are heavier than my Inov-8s but I'm so happy with the comfort that I don't care!
DougApr 14, 2007 at 9:40 pm #1386007
Nice, solid list. You've got lots of experience and it shows. As a BPL staffer, it better be a tight list! :)
BTW, any specs on the MLD poncho that's not out yet? I know you don't have it yet, but I'm guessing you ordered it already? Price?
I like a stove-less setup too, and am always on the lookout for more ideas. I'm curious about your cookless Mountain House dinners. Which items are you referring to and how do you prepare them?
One tip you probably already know about, but just in case you don't – a Photon red colored led for your backup light uses the same batteries as the Petzl e-lite, and only one of course (CR2032s). That way if you carry a spare bat, the same one could work for both lights. The white Photons use the CR2016s.
I'm down to sub-4 now too, need to post my updated list.
All the best,
JhauraApr 14, 2007 at 11:03 pm #1386010
Doug, what kind of trips do you see using this list on? Trail, pretty exclusively? Some off-trail? Do you yo-yo ( go to lower elevations at night) for your campsites? Temp. range you feel good about using your sleeping system in?
The other thing I think that is useful for other's information is one's size— for example, I'm 6'2" and thus am wearing L size clothing and a long bag and bivy, which means more weight than say the shorter Ryan Jordan's clothing and gear sizes.
It's an impressive list. The Revelation is a great pack for sub 5# baseweights.
Is the e-lite really useful for night hiking? I hear they're pretty battery hungry. Speaking of hungary— you eat more food than me. Last Fall on my
3 1/2 day Sierra High (er) Route Trip, I was consuming about 20 oz. a day ( also cookless).Apr 14, 2007 at 11:21 pm #1386011
@ericnobleLocale: Colorado Rockies
I've been studying your list for the past hour. Great list! I can't wait until Ron makes the Spectralite poncho/tarp available! I can get sub 5 using some of your ideas, but not sub 4. That last pound is very difficult for me. I found it interesting how you are clothing your legs. No wicking layer, straight to insulation when cold. Your list is particularly impressive given your height, which as I recall is similar to mine, 6'4". No eating utensil?Apr 14, 2007 at 11:27 pm #1386012
Hey Jhaura- right on with the battery comment- I actually hadn't realized that. Thanks!
Kevin- I'm 6'2" and wear size L on most things. Size 11 shoes. So this is a big sub-4. :-)
I've used a similar kit for trail hiking and also above the tree off-trail routes in the Cascades. Even done some bushwacking but that is NOT recommended with a Cuben pack. I don't have a specific trip planned yet- this list started as I planned 3 50 miles days back to back on the Oregon PCT. But I've taken it on trips in a variety of settings now- really, I usually gravitate to off trail, above treeline stuff.
I've never used the Cocoon bag and I'm a cold sleeper but with the Cocoon clothing and bag and the bivy, I think I'm good to about 30. But that remains to be seen- it's just a good guess. I'm sure I'll be comfortable in the upper 30s for sure.
When going out of the protection of forest, the bivy is certainly key. But I typically camp near a small gathering of trees so I have some protection. I never drop to lower elevations to camp- I love waking in the sub alpine too much.
Regarding the e-lite, I'm not sure about long night battery consumption. I've got many hours into mine and it seems to be fine but I've done no real tests. If I try to pull some wacky long day, I'm going to need spares for sure. But keep in mind that I have a Photon Freedom around my neck at all times as a backup.
Thanks for the comments guys!
DougApr 14, 2007 at 11:32 pm #1386013
Thanks Eric! Yeah, my weight for the Spectralite P/T is a good guess from Ron. Can't wait to have that thing in hand!
Re: wicking. Good point. My smartwools weight just a tad less than my Cocoon pants so I figured the trade off was worth it. The pants will mostly be sleeping or at camp with the Montbell UL Wind pants underneath acting as a partial vapor barrier. I find that I rarely hike in long johns anyway. While added a base layer would definitely be warmer, i'll save this for colder temps.
I'll tell you brother, that last pound was definitely crazy. I made it a goal and then became an anal-retentive scale-obsessed weenie. But on the trail, that pack feels like zero- it's pretty cool. It started as an exercize for a specific long-distance trip but has become my MO. It's taken me about 3 years of whittling to put all of the pieces together. And obviously I'm still waiting for a few of them!
DApr 14, 2007 at 11:53 pm #1386014
@ericnobleLocale: Colorado Rockies
The more I think about it the more I like the idea of the insulated pants. In order to put on my wool bottoms I have to take my pants off. It's a lot easier to put insulated pants on over what you are already wearing. I had never considered insulated pants for summer use in the Rockies, but now I will.Apr 15, 2007 at 12:38 am #1386016
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Interesting. A few items puzzled me though:
Mountain Laurel Desings??? 2 places
Tent Stakes titanium skewer stakes Titanium Goat 6" carbon fiber tent stakes (5)
Ti wires or CF tubes?
sleeping bag down top bag, 32º Cocoon UL 60 Quilt
But the Cocoon is Polarguard Delta, not down?
1 L Platypus with sport cap, lg disposable
The Platy is disposable? PET bottles are, I know.
How long does the garbage bag last in pracyice before a hole is stretched or torn somewhere? (I use them for river crossings, but don't trust them much.)
RogerApr 15, 2007 at 6:45 am #1386034
No true sun hat (nobodies gonna wear silnylon in 70-80 F weather) and no sunscreen other than for lips. You're gonna make a dermatologist happy some day….kidding around.
Other less snide comments ; )…
1. One typo: Pentax Option
2. I've not used insulation on my legs for three season hiking, but more and more seem to list them in their three season lists. Maybe they are the colder sleepers?
3. Consider a few rei torch matches for a second fire starting method.
Have the glad bags worked well for you as pack liners?Apr 15, 2007 at 8:32 am #1386039
You can use the Oralab Lip Balm on other parts of your body, besides your lips—-I do.Apr 15, 2007 at 10:07 pm #1386110
@jtgishLocale: Coppell, Texas
how do the oral-b finger brushes work? do you repackage them or just hold on to the empty wrappers?
JTApr 15, 2007 at 11:18 pm #1386114
Thanks Roger and John for the edits- fixed and reposted. Here is my new SUL Sub-4 Gearlist.
I also made a few other tweaks- added matches (thanks John), added some spare flashlight batteries, got rid of spare MP3 battery (who wants to listen to the thing for 34 hours anyway!), and changed some stuff sacks around (nothing big).
Roger- I actually carry 2 bottles- 1 for water and 1 for Perpetuem (an endurance sports drink/food). It's my main food when I'm really going for it. If my trip is shorter, I usually eat more normal foods.
Garbage bags last many trips- they are oversized for the pack so no stretch and they are mainly for my non-compressed insulation items. Of course, I have a poncho over the top if it's raining- redundancy with rain is key in Washington. No big river crossings that require swims but if I fall on the crossing, it's time to improvise! :-)
John- This is really my spring/fall setup when days are typically overcast here. I use that Oralabs on my forehead, cheeks, nose, and ears. Arms if exposed. I find that I don't like hats when it's hot and I'd probably switch to regular sunblock in these conditions.
Here's my sleep system plan: with an 11oz quilt, I'm exposed in colder conditions. With the Cocoon outfit (pants, jacket, balaclava) I have a second layer of insulation for sleeping that I can also wear around camp or when resting in cold conditions. It might be overkill- I'm not sure. But I often sleep cold so I'm erring on that side. And you'll notice that I have no leg base layer- the Cocoon pants and my running shorts are it!
On my first SUL trip, I used a Nunatak Ghost, no bivy, a Smartwool bottoms, a Cocoon jacket, and thin hat. Too cold for me in 40deg. So I added a bivy and a RayWay hat that I made. Worked much better. This switch to a lighter quilt and all synthetics is experimental for me…but it makes sense when rain is our norm. We'll see how it goes!
Kevin- I don't EVEN want to know what else you're cleaning with those brush ups!!! But seriously, I use them for night/morning and then add them to trash- I don't repackage. They don't do the job of a toothbrush but do give a clean feeling. Good enough for me when only considering a few days.
Thanks for the feedback fellas!
DougApr 16, 2007 at 7:36 am #1386144
Mark W HeningerMember
@heningerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Question on the Perpetuem…
I've been experimenting with a few powder-like replacements for normal food and hadn't heard of this one.
Can you give a run down of how you use it on a normal trail day? i.e. amount per ingestion and times…Apr 16, 2007 at 9:33 am #1386152
Doug, what did I ever say about Brush Ups???
I do find that the lip balm works well for SUL nude sunbathing. :-)-
I have to work on my Seasonal deathly pallor.Apr 16, 2007 at 11:18 am #1386163
Hey Kevin- I misread yours- I thought you said you could use Brush Ups on another part of your body…sorry about that! Yes- you can use the lib balm wherever you want!
Sorry about that-
dApr 16, 2007 at 11:45 am #1386167
It's designed as a total food replacement and it works very well for that. I've used it on several hikes now although I usually supplement with a bigger dinner and some other bars, etc. during the day.
You can make it into a gu-like substance or have it very watery. I make it into a milkshake consistency in a bottle seperate from my water- they call it a "multi-hour bottle"- I set mine up for 2-3 hour stretches. I use about 1.5 scoops per hour for fast hiking levels of output (2 scoops recommended for my weight for running) and I find this keeps me satiated and energized.
In my food bag, I have it arranged into ziplocks and marked with the hours. At 108 calories per ounce, it's also a reasonable caloric density without being too fat-heavy.
Good stuff- highly recommended. My only bad experience was using it on Rainier. Try mixing a powder in high winds. Stupid!
DougApr 16, 2007 at 1:23 pm #1386184
Really nice and inspiring list…
Was just wondering about the Cocoon UL 60 Quilt: obviously, you already own one – and maybe tried it already, so my questions would be:
– how small does it pack?
– how cold would you expect to use the 60 version? The 90? The 180?
As usually advertised on TV: don't try this at home…Apr 16, 2007 at 4:28 pm #1386203
Hi Doug, Nice list indeed. I see you have an X6 on your list. I recently purchased an X6 from SteepandCheap.com. I love learning how to use all the functions. I have yet to use it on a hike. How do you like it?
PaulApr 16, 2007 at 5:21 pm #1386210
One way you've shaved weight is by only carrying a very thin golite baselayer. Would you expect to encounter classic cold, wet and windy condtions (< 40F) while wearing this ensemble? If so, would you wear the cocoon top while hiking? Without the insulated top, you would lose a lot of heat over the course of a 15 hour day, though maybe your metabolism can support that? I'm not sure whether the cocoon top would be sufficiently breathable for strenuous aerobic activity, and if it got wet you'd be cold overnight.Apr 16, 2007 at 8:23 pm #1386232
HI François- No- I don't have it yet. Items in red are on-order or expected by mid-summer. That would include a couple of items from BMW and Mountain Laurel Designs. Actual weights might vary as well. So sorry, I don't have any info on the quilt…but it's ordered!
Hi Paul- thank you! I absolutely love my X6. It's gone for a couple of years now on the same battery and has been very reliable. I find the altimeter very close (just calibrate when you can- changing weather can affect it) and the compass is quite usable. A great product.
Hey Chris- These are good points. I've definitely traded a base layer for more serious insulation and that does put a gap in my clothing for use when working hard. I have a windshirt and pants and I find that knocking the wind keeps me much warmer. But when it gets really cool- especially when hiking at night, I'll have to rely on that Cocoon pullover. I have hiked in it but never for long periods…I might have a hard time finding that middle ground. I'm set for breaks but less so when it's too cold for my shirt/windshirt and too warm for the Cocoon.
Here's another problem- too hot and I go shirtless…except for pretty minimal sunblock.
I may move things around- add more sunblock and carry a lightweight vest or second base layer. I'll have to think about it. What would you recommend- any ideas?
I am so glad I posted this list- it's getting better and better! Thanks everyone!
DougApr 16, 2007 at 8:36 pm #1386234
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
The sub 4lbs gear list is great but a 5lbs gearlist that is much more versatile is far better. Seems silly to be skimping on sunscreen and base layers just to cut that one pound out. I'd much sooner drop the electronics (camera and mp3) personally if I was just trying to reach an imaginary weight goal.
I've gone SUL light before and will again but I'll also take my heavier, warmer clothes when I'm going out in colder weather. Just keep the eye on the prize, enjoying the experience, not saying you did it with X lbs of gear.Apr 16, 2007 at 8:54 pm #1386237
@milesbargerLocale: West Virginia
This list looks great. I'm putting together a sub-4 list for Yellowstone NP and the surrounding area–I'll be working there from June until late September–and have found yours very inspiring.
I just spent way too much money ordering a cocoon hoody, pants, and PRO 90 quilt. My only question/concern for your list is that the 60 quilt plus the pullover, pants, and balaclava means that you'll have approximately 1.2 inches of loft in your sleep system. Now, I know that some synthetics offer more warmth for the same loft than down, etc. etc. So I'll be very generous and say it would be equivalent to 1.5 inches of down. Even with all your clothing on, good caloric intake, etc., I'd think you'd have to be a very warm sleeper to be comfortable in that system at freezing. And you say that you sleep cold, right?
I say this not at all to criticize or call you out, just to see what your rationale about the whole system is and to plan ahead for that oh-so-glorious day when all my prepurchased Cocoon gear comes rolling into the tiny post office at Canyon and I get to integrate it into my kit.Apr 16, 2007 at 8:56 pm #1386238
you certainly have a right to your opinions but don't knock mine. I enjoy the challenge of sub 4 at home and enjoy the non-existent pack and simplified experience on the trail. It is about the experience for me- and this is part of my home experience.
And I understand that it's not always the best call- heck I just got back from backpacking with my family where I carried about 4 pounds just in diapers, baby blankets, toys and other baby stuff. I also do winter mountaineering, kayak and canoe camping, car camping and just about every other type of trip. With this pack, though, I can sneak out for a night or two (baby at home) and get deep into the backcountry very easily and have a wonderful, simple experience by my lonesome.
For me this isn't bragging rights- it's a personal challenge. Sure, it's silly and anal but it's fun for me…it's what I do as I dream about getting out.
And my 6oz of elctronics is my choice. Having music centers me and keeps me rolling and having images helps me to relive the experience.
DougApr 16, 2007 at 8:59 pm #1386239
@billybob58Locale: SE US
Is the loft of the various cocoon products listed anywhere?
BillApr 16, 2007 at 8:59 pm #1386240
Yeah, freezing is probably outside of the limit- I'm not sure! The bivy will help a lot and the truth is that it'll probably be mid-40's at night which is typical for spring Washington.
But when I've spent a few nights, I'll certainly let everyone know!
I looked hard at that Cocoon 90…so hard to decide!
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