Jun 5, 2007 at 9:56 pm #1223547
Just thought I'd share a pic from my last trip–a paid seminar on ultralight backpacking that I run down in Texas. While I was getting the food at Wal-Mart, I saw this pack for $12 and immediately thought, "All my gear will fit in there!!" I now use it as a point of inspiration(and improbations) for those who carry 40 lb packs at the beginning of my course.Jun 5, 2007 at 11:15 pm #1391332
Pete, all your gear for an overnighter will fit in there?! I think I could learn a thing or two from your gear list if you will post it please.Jun 5, 2007 at 11:50 pm #1391335
Sure thing Brett
(all weight in oz)
13 Thermarest Prolite 3 Short
0.5 One Liter Walmart sparkling water bottle
0.0 5 MP tabs(essentially weightless)
5.2 Homemade Bivy sack
5.1 Homemade spinnaker nylon poncho tarp
1.2 6 titanium stakes
0.3 1 titanium peg
0.2 2 6 foot sections Kelty Triptease
0.0 3 1 foot sections Aircore(essentially weightless)
1.5 First Aid Kit
4.2 Titan Kettle
0.2 Mini Bic lighter
0.2 alcohol stove
0.2 Pot stand
0.1 foil windscreen
0.5 tooth brush
0.5 Dr Bronners
0.5 Titanium Spork
2.8 Petzl Zipka plus
5.0 Midwieght synthetic base layer
Don't know how much the fanny pack weighs
Total Weight in Pack= 2.656 pounds or 2 lbs 10.5 oz
EMS Guatmale shirt
EMS excursion shorts
Walmart trekking poles(my ultralight ones were broken in the parking lot :( )
Walmart tennis shoes(My hiking shoes are at a friends house)
Supercool "Brainsucker" shades
one MP tab
5 oz Beef Jerky
2 Curry Cashew Rice meals from Travel Light, Eat heavy book
2 granola bar
4 packages oatmeal
3 Crystal lite single serving drink mix
4 tortillas and moose gooJun 6, 2007 at 12:05 am #1391337
Thanks Pete, it's inspirational. I have been considering for a while how to get everything for an overnighter in to a large arcteryx fanny pack. Giving up a foam mattress might be tough, but maybe I can make room for a small inflatable.Jun 6, 2007 at 12:28 am #1391338carlos fernandez rivasBPL Member
@pitagorinLocale: Galicia -Spain
Nice kit……… but..
you sleep in shorts without sleeping bag?
it looks quite unrealistic ¿?Jun 6, 2007 at 2:43 am #1391342Donna CBPL Member
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
uhhh..where's the food?
Any matches or lighter?Jun 6, 2007 at 7:31 am #1391360Gabriel AugustMember
@gaugustLocale: Penn's Woods
looks ok for a day hike, but not much more than that. No food or bag?Jun 6, 2007 at 8:14 am #1391365Adam RothermichBPL Member
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Where I am, during the summer I could probably get by sleeping in just a bivy. Many times I end up sleeping on top of my sleeping bag anyway so leaving it behind wouldn't be a big deal here, YMMV by location. I realize this isn't possible for a good many of you in 'rougher' locale than I.
Food is a different story…
My brother has a large MS fanny pack that he uses for day hikes and had thought about using for overnighters. I don't think he's got around to that yet but I may borrow it from him and see if I can do it. I really don't think it would be that challenging to fit some stuff for an overnighter in it, especially if I did no-cook food. Now, if I could squeeze a weekend out of it… that would be a little bigger accomplishment. I'd love to see the look on people's faces as you pass them on the trail and tell them you're out for the weekend :D.
AdamJun 6, 2007 at 10:37 am #1391380Robert MohidMember
canibalism …Jun 6, 2007 at 11:39 am #1391384
Ok, posted the rest of the gear I used, as well as the weights. I used this list for a weekend trip. Left Friday afternoon, at dinner at car, hiked in, hiked saturday, hiked sunday morning, got off trail around 3 and drove home.
I ran the trip as part of my ultralight backpacking class that I teach in South Texas.
The best parts about this trip.
Tasty drink mix.
THERMAREST HECK YEAH!!!
The outright ridiculousness of having a fanny pack.
A decent light.Jun 6, 2007 at 11:58 am #1391387Ernie ElkinsMember
@earthdwellerLocale: North Carolina
I've often wondered about using a bivy and lightweight baselayer for summer sleeping. How well does this work for you?Jun 6, 2007 at 12:18 pm #1391389
If it didn't work…I would no longer be using it.Jun 6, 2007 at 12:45 pm #1391392Ernie ElkinsMember
@earthdwellerLocale: North Carolina
Sorry for the vague question. More specifically, what's the range of temperatures in which you feel reasonably comfortable zipped up in the bivy? In particular, I'm curious as to whether the bivy is tolerable on hot nights when you need protection from biting insects. I'm assuming it's topped with some type of DWR nylon — does it get muggy, or does it breathe well enough to be tolerable?Jun 6, 2007 at 1:13 pm #1391397
.Jun 6, 2007 at 1:14 pm #1391398
I think there needs to be a handicapping system for base weights based on region! (I have had this in mind for awhile.)
When everyone posts their 3- and 4- and 5-lb base weights, I am always amazed. Not having traveled much, it's so hard for me to imagine some these gear lists keeping the user alive without the need for a lean-to and a giant fire! But I know there are places all over the US (and possibly somewhere in Canada too I suppose) where the air stays essentially at room temperature all night, there are no bugs, storms are rare, and a naked man with a pocket knife and two matches could probably have a very enjoyable hike!
In my neighborhood, I never hike anywhere in the backcountry where I don't have to be prepared for the reasonable *possibility* of one of the following conditions:
1) Mountain hiking: days near freezing, nights below freezing, wet snow or freezing rain plus fog possible any time or all the time 24 hours a day. Infinite insect density if the wind is below 10 knots. Large predatory grizzlies and medium-sized black bears; more than 1000 bears are destroyed per year in BC for various reasons including aggression towards humans. Bear predation on humans happens multiple times annually here and usually only makes it past local news if it's a tourist.
2) Coastal hiking: days near freezing, 100% humidity with blowing fog and constant rain varying in intensity from the instant you step out of your car to the instant you get back in. Walking in nothing but mud, slick mossy rocks, with significant falls due to terrain a frequent possibility.
Not trying to brag or say I'm some kind of tough hiker; I'm not. It's not often you'd be trapped for an entire week in a weather system like that. But everyone I hike with has similar stories.
We have incredible weather and incredible hiking up here too but we tend to pick our weather windows for hiking trips. Our mountain highways are posted with signs that say "Expect Severe Winter Weather Conditions Year-Round" and they're not kidding. I've come down from passes in 4wd in 6" of snow in mid-July and I've had to huddle beside the engine of my motorcycle to get my fingers moving again in an August snowstorm.
Apparently Ray's base weight was 12lbs when he got up to BC; I make gear lists that dip to 9 lbs but they give me the heebie jeebies. I wouldn't go out without a pound of bear spray and a 20* sleep system; last summer was the first time I went without a redundant set of dry clothes. Poncho tarps need not apply!
Anyway what's our base-weight handicap up here? I think that 3lbs would be fair. Or, conversely, should people insist that the worst expected conditions be described when a gear list is posted? :)
I'd love to know what Erin McKittrick's base weight is!Jun 6, 2007 at 5:01 pm #1391422Jaiden .Member
"I think there needs to be a handicapping system for base weights based on region! (I have had this in mind for awhile.)"
Let's make those darn SUL fair-weather-dwellers carry bricks!
(I'm jealous)Jun 6, 2007 at 10:00 pm #1391461
But for the conditions you describe, I only need a few more items and I am still below five pounds. And I'm carrying a Therma-rest… :D
In response to the bivy and sleep system question: the bivy and baselayer take me to about 55 degrees.
When the temperature doesn't dip belwow 80 degrees it can become quite uncomfortable—which is why for those conditions I bring a slightly heavier net tent(weight 6 oz), instead of the usual bivy. On this trip the temp did not drop below 60 at night.Jun 7, 2007 at 4:01 am #1391472Donna CBPL Member
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
would you happen to know the size of the fanny pack in cu.or liters? Because it could be do-able if it's equivalent to any of the other SUL/UL packs. Just have to pack a bit differently. My only concern for myself is that carrying just a liter bottle for water wouldn't get me thru a hot day, especially if the water sources are far and few between. But for others, I think it's great. I guess I could carry a camelback on my back along with the fanny pack….hmmmm…but would that defeat the entire thing?Jun 7, 2007 at 6:44 am #1391482Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I've always enjoyed playing with making these ultra-Spartan kits just to see what can be accomplished. I think they have more value for survival kits than actual hiking trips. I agree with others that this makes a great day hiking kit, providing good emergency backup.
The fact that the author is running UL seminars and doesn't know the weight of the fanny pack raises an eyebrow. I know from my own experience that those cheap fanny packs are loaded with heavy PU coated fabric, zippers, and Delrin fittings and are usually as heavy as a larger UL backpack. Fanny packs have their limitations to load and body type too: I'm fine with a lightly loaded one but with anything more than a few ounces, they won't stay put. In my own experience, the "stuff sack with shoulder straps" designs like the REI Flash are much more practical.
I look at gear lists with an eye to "three season North America" as a rule of thumb for evaluation. For me that means full rain coverage and temperatures down to freezing. Flat/open tarp systems require a bivy bag (or a bivy suitable for stnad-alone use), ground cover and insulation are necessary, and hygiene, first aid and all the accepted survival essentials must be covered. Anything less than that makes for an interesting exercise, but wouldn't be a realistic kit for the back country.
On the other hand, I think cookless menus are perfectly acceptable for overnight trips. Clothing can be dialed in for the season with an eye to some extra insulation. Coming back a little smelly and dirty is part of an overnighter with a minimal kit — a big grin in a dirty, tanned face.Jun 7, 2007 at 8:38 am #1391494EndoftheTrailBPL Member
Not for me. I think there is a balance somewhere between "packing 80 lbs for Denali" when one is just going on a summer weekender — versus packing only for the best case scenario! OP's system will work well if he can guarantee no rains and no temperature drops…
We all have our own "sweet spot" where pack weight is light enough for us to truly enjoy our hikes. Whacking down much below that returns only ever-diminishing benefits. To continue whacking down to the point where one is dependent on a perfect scenario where nothing can go wrong — is neither smart nor rational risk/benefit exchange…
To me, the psychic benefit of bragging rights is highly overrated. Just my two cents.Jun 7, 2007 at 2:32 pm #1391552
Dale…I picked up the fanny pack at Wal-mart while I was buying food for the trip. I saw an immediate application to the psychology of using such a small pack–the participants could all immediately see how much weight they could reduce by bringng only the gear that they need. I do have a sub 2oz backpack that I usually use, but the visual impact of using a fanny pack is much greater, thus the reason for its purchase.
As for the person who said that I had better hope it didn't rain—it did rain on the trip. My raingear of poncho and rain hat worked just fine in keeping my core dry. There is absolutely no chance in Texas that the temperature will suddenly drop to 50 degrees in the summer–thus there is no reason to prepare for such a temperature. I have enough painkillers to crawl to one of the trails in the park(which are all well traveled–one person every five minutes or so) in the case of an emergency, so the safety factor is not as big of an issue. Especially when traveling with a group of 6-8 people.
Just because one's own pack contains more gear than anothers does not necessarily mean that the heavier packer is more prepared, so please do not jump to that assumption.
The fanny pack is of volume ~600 cubic inches.Jun 7, 2007 at 3:57 pm #1391561EndoftheTrailBPL Member
Pete wrote: "Just because one's own pack contains more gear than anothers does not necessarily mean that the heavier packer is more prepared, so please do not jump to that assumption".
Isn't that looking for argument where none exists? No one said anything of the sort. My contention is simply that there is a "balance" — we all have our own sweet spot where the gear weight is light enough to cease bothering us anymore. Continual weight slashing from that point on just yields ever diminishing benefits…
Perhaps typing out my 'general and philosophical' thoughts onto your thread is unfair to you, Pete. But it's your thread that got me thinking… for example, if I can carry 20 lbs very comfortably, then is there really any meaningful benefit to slashing weight from 20 to 10 lbs? Maybe. But then how about from 10 lbs to 5 lbs? Or from 5 lbs to 4 lbs? At what point does it becomes more of a mind game than anything else?
Reading the various SUL articles, postings, and gear lists has me pondering the same questions as well…Jun 7, 2007 at 7:55 pm #1391595
Brian James gave a great description of environmental conditions which preclude a responsible individual from bringing a 5 lb overnight kit; and I agree. 'UL for the worst possible conditions' is the real goal.
Forgive me for belaboring the obvious, but take an example of a sleeping bag. I want to carry one sufficient for the forcasted temperatures with a margin for a freak cold front, but no more.
Pete's lumbar pack is more than enough for an overnighter in good conditions. In fact in the Army we used a canvas butt pack like the one shown, and two cantteens, on a web-belt. It carried what we needed for an overnight patrol, starting with a poncho and liner for the sleep/shelter system.
A modern version of that for Pete might start with a Golite tarp and a a 3.5 oz Adventure Medical Emergency Bivy; it is certainly doable if you are wearing the appropriate insulation.
Ben has a good point however; why do it? If you can already move as fast as you want with 10 lbs, why go down to 5 lbs? I agree with regards to weight, and I'm pretty much as light as I can go while maintaining my safety margin.
In the military we left our packs behind to move fast and light, and to slip through vegetated areas where issued packs would have prevented movement. Pete runs UL seminars, and so there is increased street cred (trail cred?) to be seen carrying overnight gear in a 600cu inch lumbar pack. And some people just prefer the comfort of a lumbar pack, especially in hot humid conditions.
I think for me now the interest in seeing Pete's overnight fannypack is to get ideas on reducing my day-hike/climbing kit volume. I always carry enough to get me through an unplanned bivouac; fitting all that into 600 cu inches or so leaves room for more trip-specific gear.
Jun 7, 2007 at 9:32 pm #1391607Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Pete, I just don't think you have a realistic kit and presenting that as an example of ultralight hiking to potentially inexperienced clients is rather irresponsible. You've left out even the most basic signalling and navigation gear and I have to assume that a 1.5oz first aid kit is minimal. A half liter water supply is pretty optimistic too. I don't see sunscreen, insect repellent, map, compass, whistle, signal mirror, backup fire starting gear, reserve food, or sleeping bag on your list. You have a 13oz pad, but not enough clothing to make it through a 40F night.
I would lighten up on the pad, go with a cookless menu (thereby tossing the stove,fuel, and pot), and get at least a light quilt in there and some more essentials. You need a better water reserve too. Fess up on that fanny pack– I bet it is 16-20oz. For a commercial example, a Golite Jam2 is 21oz and will haul all you need for a weekend and there are certianly lighter 3000ci packs out there.
If you want to hike this way, more power to you, but if you are recommending that others go abroad without the essentials, I hope they get better information and your liability insurance is paid up.
As far as promoting UL hiking, kits like yours are interesting, but I'm afraid it would just serve to convince many that it is too risky and uncomfortable to go UL.
Best of luck in your efforts.Jun 7, 2007 at 11:02 pm #1391618
I keep one of these in my fannypack:
…alongside a knife, MP1, and a space bivy. This is my kit for I-can-see-the-city training hiking in the Vancouver area frontcountry. I firmly believe I could spend the night with this kit in the summer, but I don't think of it as an XUL/YUL/ZUL backpacking kit. :)
Just picture this
…with a can of bearspray in one of the holsters.
If you own sweat glands, try a fanny pack. These things change your hike — core temperature regulation is totally controllable all day and ventilation becomes "a breeze". You will be so happy you've lost that big mushy insulator pressed against the length of your torso! And with lower core temps comes greater endurance, less need for hydration, and the ever-delicious "my base layer isn't soaked on my back!" moment.
The first time I went hiking with a fannypack, I was hooked. I researched the biggest ones on the market (they make 'em with shoulder straps!) and the most compressible gear items to see if I could in any way make a super-minimalist overnight kit fit. But it really can't be done except by those in the most temperate of climes who are within a couple of hours of the trailhead — and have gotten right with Jesus before they go!
In my opinion.
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