Feb 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm #1313053
Just curious, what was the first thing you bought intentionally to lighten your load?
Me? I bought a Jansport Bivouac 52 backpack in 2005, at 2 1/2#s, I thought I was really getting light. It was a nice pack that served me well and started me on the right track. I never could figure why they discontinued it so fast, it was a nice little pack.Feb 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm #2071263
I might be forgetting something, but I think it was the Tarptent original Cloudburst in (probably) 2004, at 32 oz. We still have it, though it isn't the go-to tent for most of our trips any more.Feb 8, 2014 at 4:29 pm #2071267
First three major pieces went something like this:
1) Marmot Pinnacle…not the lightest, but a wonderful, comfy WARM bag…very true to it's rating…still use it today anytime below freezing.
2) TT Notch…For me, a shelter under 2#'s was a revelation…still love it, still use it.
3) Custom Zimmerbuilt…31oz. for a FULL featured pack, built just for me…I use it for pretty much any 3 day+ hike. (I did since purchase a Z Packs Blast (customized with most options + lower back mesh) for summer and shorter trips, and that is simply ridiculous at 15oz.!)
Now I'm looking at a lighter "summer" bag (or quilt) and would love a lighter shelter…but…the bugs here (and there) bother me.
-Mark in St. LouisFeb 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm #2071268
My circa 1984ish Coleman Peak One stove erupted into a ball of flames in the Cascades.
When I started googling through the universe to find a replacement stove, I stumbled upon Zen Stoves and made my first penny alcohol stove. Found some commentary along the way mentioning UL backpacking, more googling, found BPL and here I am in all my glory.Feb 8, 2014 at 4:36 pm #2071271
@woodenwizardLocale: Greater Mt Tabor
Man, that sure is a lot of glory.
;)Feb 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm #2071272
A Sea to Summit eVent bottomed compression sack.
This is my first piece of UL gear for two reasons. Firstly, it's the first piece I bought after joining the forum and reading about the idea of going light. Second, it was the backbone of my 8lb baseweight UL bicycle tour across 1,500 miles of the Northeast.
Go figure! A stuff sack!Feb 8, 2014 at 4:47 pm #2071275
I find the process of what we do fascinating. Where it stated and where it has led.
I started using a hammock due to a severe lower back injury 7 years ago, but the process went something like this, Thermarest self inflating pad–>Big agnes IAC–> BA IAC XL–> Hennessy hammock–>WB Blackbird–>too many other hammocks to get into! Same progression of tarps leading to Cuben Fiber….of course I could show this sort of progression with all my gear as I am sure all on here could.
The Bivouac was the first time I decided I wanted to get lighter…the start of it allFeb 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm #2071276
"Just curious, what was the first thing you bought intentionally to lighten your load?"
After that, I believe it was a Tarptent Contrail.Feb 8, 2014 at 4:59 pm #2071278
LOL, this I can relate to…and it was 2003, so a little before the backpackFeb 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm #2071292
@kalebcLocale: South West
One of the first things I bought intentionally to lighten my load was a Sewing machine to make packs, quilts and tarps and to modify light gear into U.L. gear.Feb 8, 2014 at 6:15 pm #2071306
A Snow Peak Giga Power stove and a 450ml titanium mug. Dec. 1999 A16 in San Diego.Feb 8, 2014 at 6:17 pm #2071308
I found BPL quite by accident years ago. I must have been searching for lightweight backpacks because I stumbled onto a thread about how the modify a 2008 era Golite Jam down under a pound. I bought the Jam and before even using it, cut it up per the thread. It was the start of a gear light-weighting obsession that ended the day I set out on the PCT in 2011. Luckily I'm in recovery from the lightweight sickness, my pack weight has actual gone up a couple of ounces. but now it is MYOG which I find the pinnacle of gear geekdom. I still have that Jam, its a bit ragged with a couple thousand hard miles on her. But it was what I would consider the true beginning.
Feb 8, 2014 at 6:30 pm #2071312
My first was a GoLite LiteSpeed pack that I bought in 2008. At about 2.5lbs it was a big change from the 7.5lbs North Face Catalyst 75 that I was using. A buddy and I tried to go really light to complete a 50 mile loop in a mere 5 days, which seemed crazy at the time. We left the tent behind and just took the fly in case it rained. We thought we were pretty awesome until we got passed 1/2 way through by two guys who were completing the full thing in a day.Feb 8, 2014 at 6:30 pm #2071313
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
In 1971 I retired my 5.5 lb REI a-frame tent with a poncho/tarp.Feb 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm #2071346
I bought a Golite Breeze in 1998 when they came out , I also tried to buy an umbrella from them but the date for their availability kept changing because of manufacturing problems(I still have the pack).Feb 8, 2014 at 8:41 pm #2071354
@pitsyLocale: Central Texas
@Ken: Was that the A16 upstairs at Horton Plaza? I bought a tiny A16 backpack there that got me from San Diego to Houston hitchhiking in '98. Great little shop, I think they turned it into a Barbie store.
My first real UL gear would have to be my Exped air mattress. I let my ex-wife take all the car-camping gear, so I started my UL collection from scratch about the same time I joined BPL about 1.5 years ago. Before that I would just car camp and then dayhike out from basecamp with food, water and 3 or 4 of the 10 essentials.Feb 8, 2014 at 8:45 pm #2071357
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
Feathered Friends Hummingbird.
My first backpackng sleeping bag was an old Campmor Hollofill II sleeping bag. Egads..that thing was a monster. But it got me out there. :)
In 1997, I bought the Hummingbird in preparation for a thru-hike on the Long Trail. Figure may as well get the best bag I could. :)
Of course, I did hike with an EMS 5500 ci pack, an MSR whisperlite and EMS Cresta hiker leather boots. :)
The one thing I did lightweight from the start was use a foam pad. A z-rest (now z-lite). Never did like inflatable pads..still don't.Feb 8, 2014 at 8:47 pm #2071359
Western Mountaineering sleeping bag for the Boy Scouts. Saved all my lawnmowing money for two years in 1982/83 to get that thing. I was the warmest scout at Brownsea leadership camp that year with the lightest sleeping bag! Big pimpin' at the time.Feb 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm #2071366
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
When the famous 1982 Backpacker Magazine article hit the news stands, I was there. I got one of the first Alpenlite backpacks that weighed in around one pound.
–B.G.–Feb 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm #2071370
I think the first thing that I would consider truly UL would be the titanium Goat trekking poles. I love those poles.Feb 8, 2014 at 9:08 pm #2071373
I picked up a GoLite Speed pack a number of years ago to replace my HS Jansport school pack (which I took on my first true backpacking trip and totally overloaded). I still use the Speed pack and have since removed some stuff like the helmet holder because I never use/bring a helmet. I like the pack a lot actually.Feb 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm #2071380
I too hiked for many years with a 1980's Coleman Peak 1 white gas stove. At the time it seemed light and reliable…. However, even with increasing maintenance it was erupting too often with flaming liquid jets – one memorable time even coming from the regulator. After a lot of research I bought a Jetboil which was less than half the weight for a complete system. In Canada it was hard to find because it took several years for Jetboil to make it north into Canada. Even though I now use several lighter options for many trips I surprise myself by favoring the Jetboil for quite a few trips each year still.Feb 8, 2014 at 9:24 pm #2071381
@owenmLocale: SE US
Think I bought three pieces together.
A TNF Cat's Meow and TNF Slickrock tent, which were UL compared to a GI intermediate cold weather bag and Eureka tent with 3/4" poles, and a 7oz Primus canister stove that I believe was actually called the "Ultralite"(?).
Within a few more years, my pack weight for 2 nights in winter was down to 42lbs…Feb 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #2071396
@bolsterLocale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
A can of catfood for a stove, and a K-mart Grease Pot.
(I thought those were EVERYone's first UL purchase.)Feb 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm #2071405
@anthonywestonLocale: Southern CA
In 1974 we used to sleep in hammocks made from nylon cord under tarps in winter just to get off the snow. We never used underquilts just a big foam pad to keep the chill and the wind off the bottom and sides. You can still get those string hammocks for about $10 and they weigh 168 grams.
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