Mar 12, 2014 at 10:01 am #1314327
Hello, I'm new here to the forums and thought i'd throw up my current gear list here to get some input. Since we are "snowed in" here in Metro Detroit I have some time on my hands (probably one of the only perks of working in education).
I have backpacked for some time and recently got married and introduced my wife into the sport. Though I've had experience, my gear list was quite old, dating about ten years back to when I went to Philmont. So, we recently have acquired some new gear by selling some old gear and it has worked out quite nice. We took our honeymoon last June to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore hiking all 42 miles and it was a blast. At first, we didn't buy much new gear but since we both enjoy it so much we have invested in some key pieces this winter that will lighten our load for sure. I got rid of my older Kelty Super Tioga and and am in current search for a new bag. We both replaced our 4 pound sleeping bags with new ones, those 2 pound self inflating army surplus sleeping mats were replaced as well! And a new tent acquired here on BPL! (thank you!)
This current gear list is set up for a solo hike with what we have. Obviously, if the two of us were hiking there is shared weight like the tent and such but this would be set up for multi-day backpacking solo.
Any recommendation of losing some weight is greatly appreciated.
So here it is!
Kelty Lakota 65
56oz or 3 pounds 8oz
This is my wife's pack:
REI Flash Sleeping Bag (Men's Long) w/ stuff sack 1 pound 12.6oz
REI Flash Sleeping Pad (long) w/ stuff sack 1 pound 1.5 oz
Therm-A-Rest Stuffable Pillow 1oz
47.1oz or 2.9 pounds
Next is the cooking system:
Vargo Titanium Pot with bag and lid 5.3oz
Whisperlite Universal with windshield and repair kit 14.4oz
Flint and Steel 1oz
Plastic Spoon and Fork 1.1oz
Fuel Canister (Full) 6.7oz
29oz or 1.8 pounds
Here I haven't yet decided if I need the top and the bag for the pot. It nests nicely with my Nalgene. Lighter is redundant but than again it only weights .5 oz. I also have not decided if I need the windshield and all out on a trip, probably not…
Water Storage and Filtration:
Katedyn Hiker Pro (with all the tubes, sponge, cleaning kit, and nalgene adapter cap) 14.1oz
Nalgene cantene 3oz
Nalgene 1L 6.3oz
Aqua Tablets 2.2oz
25.9 oz or 1.6 pounds
I'm thinking I need a water bladder. I have one, but its old and am going to replace it soon so I didn't list it here.
Shangri-La 3 Fly 1 pound 8.4oz
Shangri-La 3 Nest 2 pounds
6 MSR groundhog stakes 3.5 oz
MYOG coupler 1.3oz
61.2oz or 3.8 pounds
Here I've replaced the main pole with my own way of coupling two hiking poles together. These hiking poles are real old. Anyone remember Galyan's?! yup! going on 11 years old!
Hygiene and First Aid:
I can probably slim this down but it is a very capable first aid kit (includes patches for goretex and sleeping pad)
First aid kit 11.6oz
Pack Towel 1oz
14.7oz or .9 pounds
Fenix E11 flashlight 1.9oz
Leatherman Juice 4.5oz
Firemaking kit 3.7oz
10.1oz or .6 pounds
The multitool is heavy but capable as well. I haven't figured out the fire making stuff yet. It doesn't make sense to me b/c I have no other fire preparation tools listed. I would have to bring my folding saw and survival knife. I might just leave that out. I could potentially lose a half pound tripping the fire kit and Leatherman.
Fire kit contains trioxine, some fat wood, small container of vaseline and cotton balls.
Patagonia Rain Jacket 13.4oz
Columbia Rain Pants 12oz
Gregory Rain Cover (not pictured) 4.7oz
Patagonia nano puff (not pictured) 11oz
41.1oz or 2.6 pounds
I was actually surprised on how much these weigh. I just bought the jacket so it won't be replaced for sometime. My wife has a set of Froggtogg rain gear I always make fun of until i saw the weight…
Orange Athletic Shirt: 5.2oz
White Athletic Shirt: 5.4 oz
Socks x2 (Cabela's and Smartwool) 7oz
North Face button up 9.3oz
Galyans convertible pants 12.4oz
Shemagh (not pictured) 5.5oz
OR Hat (not pictured) 1.7oz
Underwear x2 (wicking underarmor) 6.2oz
52.7oz or 3.3 pounds
337.8oz or 21 poundsMar 12, 2014 at 10:07 am #2082124
Link .BPL Member
Mike Clelland(NOLs instructor and author),he has some great free videos on lightening up be sure to watch(his clothing system,the entire contents of his pack,water treatment and part 1 and 2 on the dinky stuff for ideas),this is an article he wrote The fastest way to backpack weight loss ,this is pmags Lightweight Backpacking 101 and The Frugal Backpacker – The $300 Gear Challenge .These are some other articles and videos for you to check out
Jamie Shortt talks about his progression and shows his gear list for each stage, Lightweight Testimony: My Journey into Lightweight BackpackingMar 12, 2014 at 10:25 am #2082134
@bolsterLocale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Thanks for the links, Link. Will be reading these for sure.Mar 12, 2014 at 10:25 am #2082135
The pack is a bit heavy. You could easily cut 1.5-2 pounds with a new pack. But it will cost you a bit.
I probably wouldn't change your sleep system at this point. It would be expensive and your current system is not that heavy.
You can go a lot lighter if you ditch the white gas. A canister stove is pretty cheap and will save you a fair amount of weight. I prefer alcohol; its even lighter. Esbit is a light option too. I just carry 2 lighters if I need a backup.
For $25, you can get a Sawyer mini that weighs less than 2 ounces; that's a big and cheap weight loss. I would trade the Nalgene for a used water bottle too for another cheap weight drop.
I think 2 oz. is enough for a first aid kit. I would through away that kit and carry a few ban aids, ibuprofen, and other needed first aid in a zip lock.
Its a little heavy fire making kit. An esbit should do the trick. You can carry a knive for less than an ounce pretty easily.
Rain pants might be nice in winter but most people usually don't need them the rest of the year.
Three shirts seems like 2 too many.
Just my thoughts.Mar 12, 2014 at 10:46 am #2082140
I agree with the first aid kit. We made that for a survival type first aid kit.
Actually we set a lot of this up originally to be a bivouacking type backpacking. but!
We'll ditch the fire kit and probably the Leatherman as well. If i need a knife i'll use my spyderco dragonfly which is around 2oz.
I am looking at the platypus water bottles to replace the nalgene.Mar 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm #2082204
Hello Nathan! I joined here and put up my heavy gear list, warts and all, about 3.5 years ago. So I know how it feels wanting to lighten up and looking for good feedback, so I will try and return the favor. My list was actually heavier than yours by about a pound.
I am going on a 50km section hike this weekend, and my base pack weight will be around 8lbs, for reference on how I pack now. There is a link to my blog on my profile you can check out if you want to see some of my gear lists. I've been fully converted to UL and now backpacking for me has never been better.
Anyhow, let's begin:
Kelty Lakota 65, 56oz or 3 pounds 8oz — Very heavy. I highly recommend Zpacks backpacks. I own one with a frame (Arc Blast, 52l, 515g w/two hip belt pockets) and one without (Zero, 33l, 240g, w/foam back frame) and love them both. Golite have some good packs (or at least used to) for cheaper that are around 2lbs. Keep an eye out on the Gear Swap.
REI Flash Sleeping Bag (Men's Long) w/ stuff sack 1 pound 12.6oz — What is the temp rating? I will again recommend Zpacks here, as they also make great sleeping bags, but they are hoodless. I happen to like bags better without a hood, but you can also get a down hood that does not weigh much. My Zpacks sleeping bag is rated 40F/5C, is wide/long, and comes it at about 430g/15oz. They are pricey, but then again all down bags are.
REI Flash Sleeping Pad (long) w/ stuff sack 1 pound 1.5 oz — Easy fix, get a Neoair Xlite. Overall the best sleeping pad I have ever owned and is about 13oz and r value 3.2.
Cook system of 29oz is pretty heavy. Cut down by ditching the fork and carrying case, plus the heavy stuff sack (replace with ziplock or Cuben fiber bag). Could either replace gas stove with something lighter, but I am not a gas guy. Or look into alcohol or Esbit. The cook kit I am using this weekend is alcohol and total for pot, stove, wind screen, sponge, lighter, spoon, and bag is 180g/6.3oz. Plus 15g for a small plastic squeeze bottle of fuel.
Water stuff at nearly 26oz is very heavy. Get a Sawyer Squeeze filter, it comes with a dirty water bag, and then take a recycled water bottle. My water stuff is 155g for filter, dirty water bottle, hard plastic bottle for clean water, and a small plastic cup for scooping water (doubles as my tea cup for meals). No need to take two water purification systems in most situations. Remember you an always boil water if you need, but if you must have a back up, a mini-dropper bottle of bleach is lighter, around 25g or so or less.
Shelter at nearly 4lbs is pretty heavy. Sorry man, I know you just bought it and all. I'd look into a big silnylon tarp, which are not too much money (heard good things about Borah gear tarps). Then either get a bivy or a bug net to use under the tarp. An 8 x 10 silnylon tarp is about 12oz, and there are bug nets that are as low as 7 or 8 oz. My shelter system of tarp, bivy, stakes, guy lines, double ground cover, and stuff sacks comes out to a total of 405g/14.3oz.
I don't have much more time, but as for the rest:
Ditch the trowel. Just use a stick, tent stake, or your heel to dig.
Reduce down the FAK and the fire kit.
Your rain gear is also on the heavy side. Look into Tyvek on the cheap, or Zpacks if you have the cash to spare.
Reduce your clothing. Replace button up shirt with a good insulation layer, like a vest or windbreaker instead. And are those cotton shirts?
I hope this helps man, and keep an open mind and don't take this ripping apart of your gear list personal. I'd be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Take care and good luck :)Mar 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm #2082206
Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Hey Nathan, that's a good start.
The shirts seem redundant. I would choose one shirt as a hiking shirt and one shirt as a clean/dry layer for sleeping.
That shemagh is really heavy, if you using it the traditional way for sun protection then I understand, but as a balaclava for cold weather you are better off with a polyester buff which is much lighter and won't crap out on you when wet.
I find rain pants to be unnecessary uncles it's really cold and raining, consider leaving them at home most of the time. Just let your pants get wet, not a big deal.
You should consider leaving the pack cover at home at lining your backpack with a trash bag. Or use the trash bag and the rain cover. Either way a pack cover is not a totally reliable way of keeping your gear dry.
You can go much lighter with that stove. The pocket rocket is good.
You could probably sell the katedyn and buy the mini sawyer with money left over and save a bunch of weight.Mar 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm #2082269
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Read through the gear lists here and bone up on layering/clothing techniques. Base weights don't included consumables like food, water and fuel, nor clothing that is worn. I include my pants and briefs, base layer top, socks and boots as my worn clothing; everything else is included as my base weight. You will see list that include "skin out" totals as well as base weight totals.
As to you your list:
Kelty Lakota 65 56oz — Plan on replacing this as soon as you can get the rest of your gear as light as possible. For example a 65 liter Gossamer Gear Mariposa is 28oz, BUT you want the rest of your kit at lowest base weight before using an UL pack.
REI Flash Sleeping Bag (Men's Long) w/ stuff sack 1 pound 12.6oz — Acceptable
REI Flash Sleeping Pad (long) w/ stuff sack 1 pound 1.5 oz— there are lighter options
Therm-A-Rest Stuffable Pillow 1oz — questionable, but not a boat anchor.
Vargo Titanium Pot with bag and lid 5.3oz — acceptable, try to chuck as many bags as possible.
Whisperlite Universal with windshield and repair kit 14.4oz — replace with a light canister stove
Flint and Steel 1oz — acceptable as part of your fire kit below
Plastic Spoon and Fork 1.1oz — acceptable or use just a spork
Lighter .5oz — acceptable
Fuel Canister (Full) 6.7oz — if you are using propane fuel. It is normally classed as a consumable and not included in base weight.
Katedyn Hiker Pro 14.1oz — this has to go. Use chlorine dioxide or something lighter like a Sawyer mini.
Nalgene canteen 3oz — acceptable, but do you need this and the bottle?
Nalgene 1L 6.3oz — toss and replace with a recycled drinking water bottle, or toss both containers and use the recycled bottles.
Aqua Tablets 2.2oz — if you have a filter, you could carry a few MicroPur tablets in foil packets as a backup, or take fewer of these in a lighter container.
Shangri-La 3 Fly 1 pound 8.4oz — shelter works for me. There are lighter options, but it is a viable shelter for two. I would want lighter stuff for solo.
Shangri-La 3 Nest 2 pounds — as above
6 MSR groundhog stakes 3.5 oz–0 as above
MYOG coupler 1.3oz — as above
First aid kit 11.6oz — I am very much a proponent of carrying an adequate first aid kit, but this is too much. You should be able to get a nice kit together under 4oz. If this includes your hygiene items like soap and toothbrush, break them out separately. You want to take just the quantities needed for the trip, so rather than taking a 3oz bottle of insect repellent, put enough for the trip in a smaller bottle. If you do this with all your items, you can drop an amazing amount of weight with little cost.
Trowel 2.1oz — use a stake?
Pack Towel 1oz — acceptable. A bandana has more uses.
Fenix E11 flashlight 1.9oz — acceptable. Do you carry spare batteries? Do you have a headlamp too?
Leatherman Juice 4.5oz– I like knives, but this is too heavy. The knife part of the Juice could be replaced with a Gerber LST at 1/4 the weight and that is just the first example that comes to mind. A Little Vickie is just an ounce, or even a Mora/Swedish Fire Knife is 4oz and has the firesteel included. If you like multi-tools, consider something like a Leatherman Style. The bottom line is that all the extra screwdrivers and tools aren't worth much in the forest— unless you are using something mechanical like a bike or snowmobile.
Firemaking kit 3.7oz– you have the firesteel above and the lighter. I carry lighter, firesteel, matches and a little tinder in a waterproof container. If you are going to do the petroleum jelly and cotton balls thing, prepare them at home and just take a few in a light container. The idea of the jelly is to waterproof the cotton and have tinder ready to go if the local stuff is too wet. Imagine sitting there soaking wet trying to massage the jelly into the cotton balls. Nope.
Patagonia Rain Jacket 13.4oz — heavier than a DriDucks, but this is a typical weight for a 2.5 layer rain jacket. A poncho is more like 7oz and it will replace your pack cover too. It also takes a lot of the dependence on rain pants.
Columbia Rain Pants 12oz — not unusual for 2.5 layer pants.
Gregory Rain Cover 4.7oz — use a trash compactor bag *inside* your pack. Pack covers leak and are useless weight.
Patagonia nano puff 11oz — I like a warmer jacket, but this is acceptable if you are warm enough.
Orange Athletic Shirt: 5.2oz — wear one shirt, wicking polyester or merino wool and this wouldn't be included in your base weight.
White Athletic Shirt: 5.4 oz — leave it home
Socks x2 (Cabela's and Smartwool) 7oz — one pair to wear (not included in your base weight), and one spare
North Face button up 9.3oz— get a windshirt instead
Galyans convertible pants 12.4oz — not included in base weigh if worn.
Shemagh 5.5oz — cotton, questionable use. Just take a bandana.
OR Hat 1.7oz — acceptable
Underwear x2 6.2oz — one pair worn, not included in your base weight
I would look at your clothing layering system. It depends on the temperature range and your tolerance, but I use base layer/fleecy mid-layer, wind shirt, and puffy. I would add long johns for colder shoulder-season use. I also carry some sort of light gloves and beanie.Mar 13, 2014 at 6:01 am #2082387
Hello all and thank you so much for the advice and options.
I have just discovered the world of ultra light backpacking and am warming up to the ideal of UL materials and all.
Some responses to the different replies off the top of my head to clarify my "philosophy" of gear:
Bag: Heavy for an UL but decent weight for a traditional pack. We are looking to do some 10 day no resupply trips this summer. I'm looking at getting an even bigger pack for myself. Thinking the Kelty Coyote 80 (i know you guys are cringing)
The sleeping bag is a 3 season bag 30 degree bag, an option i'll use all year with layers and extra pads. I really wanted one bag that i could take early spring (like now minus this snow) and late fall, but also use it in the summer. Summer use i'll use it more like a quilt.
Pad: I'm not fully sold on this pad. I don't know if i'll like the mummy type pad. the weight doesn't concern me on this, more comfort.
Tent: This is not the tent I would use for solo hiking but would be the tent that my wife and I would take out. Ultimately I would carry half of the tent. So my base weight on this would be lowered by 1.5 pounds. I am not willing to use a tarp or a hammock. If i were to solo I would use a bivy sack.
Cooking system. I'll ditch the bag and nest the ti pot into my water bottle IF i keep the nalgene around.
I love the fact that I can use any type of fuel with this stove although it is heavy. I may ditch the canister and use white gas or some sort of fuel. but the canister is really convenient. Also, this backpacking stove was a wedding gift… I'm not sold on alcohol stoves. I know some of you really love them and use them though.
Water: I'm thinking of ditching the naglene and getting a platypus soft bottle.
those mini sawyers are cool, i'll have to try one out!
The hiker pro was bought for also a survival type situation but is heavy. I will look into getting a different filter.
Hygiene: I'll ditch the almost a pound first aid kit and slim the contents down, the tent stake was a good idea for the trowel replacement. That'll get tossed as well.
Tools and Lighting: I'll ditch the Leatherman at 4.5 oz but keep the fenix. I have a headlamp adapter for it total with the fenix weighs in at around 3oz. Ditch the fire kit.
Rain Gear: I think i'll ditch the pants keep the coat: look into a poncho (like you guys said it would act as a pack cover as well)
Clothing: Ditch the long sleeve. look into some base layering (clothing is my confusion here) Also look into some long johns.
Im going to update the weight with the ditched items and all. Thank you for the advice and keep it coming! I appreciate it all.Mar 13, 2014 at 7:28 am #2082406
Marko BotsarisBPL Member
@millonasLocale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Thanks for your detailed post. I really like the idea of using pictures. My first thought as I scanned through your gear list was "oh boy, this is gonna be fun!". I see Dale and co. are on the case!
I agree with annapurna %100, start by reading/watching Mike Clelland stuff, particularly the videos on his website here:
I have read tons of stuff about lightweight backpacking over the years, and have been on this site for more than a decade, yet I'd have to say that these simple videos (and his short simple book) come closer to capturing the essence (with no BS) of what it is about, and what it can be, than just about anything else. Those are now officially my "if you read/watch nothing else" recommendation to people who ask me.
If you really are intending on doing a 10-day without resupply then you probably should consider changing your philosophy – don't buy a BIGGER pack just yet. I am of the view that its the longer trips where the real payoff comes.Mar 13, 2014 at 8:32 am #2082433
I'm at work right now so i can't re weight some things but here are some adjustments to the base weight and some things i'm dropping out of my list:
underwear 3.1 (adjusted as base weight)
Pants 12.4 (adjusted as base weight)
White athletic shirt 5.4 (Adjusted base weight)
Long Button up 9.3 (adjusted as base weight)
Socks 3.5 (Adjusted as base weight)
Shemagh 5.5 (Dropped)
rain cover 4.7 (Dropped)
rain jacket 13.4oz (Dropped)
Rain pants 12oz (dropped)
Firemaking Kit 3.7 (Dropped)
Leatherman 4.5 (Dropped)
Trowel 2.1 (Dropped)
Aqua Tablets 2.2 (Dropped)
Fuel Canister 6.7 (adjusted as base weight)
88.5oz or 5.5 pounds
This lowers my base weight to 15.5 pounds as a true base weight
Stuff to reweigh and/or adjust
First aid kit 11.6
reduce what i have in there
Katedyn Hiker 14.1
lose the bag and extras
lose the bag and extras
lose the bag and top
Things to replace:
Nalgene 6.3 http://www.cascadedesigns.com/platypus/bottles-and-storage/softbottle/product
rain gear w/ poncho http://www.golite.com/Poncho-Tarp-P885.aspx
long sleeve w/ lighter long sleeve
Some people say ditched the long sleeve but I find it useful against mosquitos. our last trip to Pictured Rocks was terrible. I have a long sleeve athletic shirt i could use instead
Rain pants, I don't mind leaving these at home, but if it rains and my pants get wet then my boots get wet.. how do you avoid that?
It should also be understood that my wife and I hike together so the tent would be shared weight as well as the cookware and filter, so weights are going to be a bit heavier set up like this.
Essentially you could drop 2 pounds from this pack from the shelter and another 1.8 for the cook system b/c of shared weight.Mar 13, 2014 at 8:46 am #2082435
If you're trying to go lighter, I don't know why you'd buy a heavier pack. That Coyote is over 5 pounds! I am cringing. If you're going to be carrying less, I wouldn't rush out and buy a bigger pack. You may also learn to carry lighter food too.
I know you're not sold on alcohol, so I will sell you. Its light; the stove weighs about half an ounce. It's cheap; Zelph sells nice stove with windscreens for $15. It's easy; no pressure; just pour and light. It's easy to source fuel; yellow heat bottles sold in most gas stations works perfectly.
In the long term, I wouldn't just rule out tarp or hammock use. Tarp camping can be nice in a lot of ways. You can have more rain-protected area to spread out under. My wife strongly prefers tarp camping under a trailstar now.Mar 13, 2014 at 8:51 am #2082438
I may not go bigger but I don't want to go smaller than my wife's pack. I haven't bought a pack yet…just looking around.Mar 13, 2014 at 9:19 am #2082446
My thought would be to buy your wife a smaller pack. You'll still look manly without having to carry even more weight. ;)Mar 13, 2014 at 9:23 am #2082448
i would if i could. but it doesn't fit me
:/Mar 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm #2082520
David DrakeBPL Member
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
Gear list w/ photos=very cool. Should be the new standard.
Outside of winter use or other specialty use, I consider 65 liters pretty huge.
The key to comfortably doing 10 days no resupply with a smallish pack will be dialing in your food system, IMO.Mar 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm #2082544
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Get a sawyer squeeze and save 9oz.
Carry 4 aqua tabs as backup
Use one squeeze bladder, switch all nalgenes for cheap water bottles.
Drumroll…… Get a sub 2 pound pack now for massive weight savings. You will do it eventually if you keep staying active on this website.Mar 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm #2082552
@grundalowLocale: SE Michigan
Also being from Michigan, and understanding what you say about mosquitos. I'd recommend keeping the long sleeve. I pair it with one short sleeve. If its cold, I wear both. If the bugs aren't bad, I'll go with the T, and sleep in the other. Flexibility is key for me.
Rain pants are a weather forecast selection for me. Cold and rainy, I bring them. Hot and rainy, no way. Going from boots to trail runners is probably the best thing that ever happened to my hiking. My feet are just so much happier.Mar 13, 2014 at 6:20 pm #2082591
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Don't throw the baby out with the bath water on essentials. Do carry a knife, whistle, some redundant fire starters, first aid kit, lighting and the rest of the classic essentials, but find the light ones.Mar 13, 2014 at 6:46 pm #2082599
@glenn64Locale: Snowhere, MN
"Rain pants, I don't mind leaving these at home, but if it rains and my pants get wet then my boots get wet.. how do you avoid that?"
Not sure you'll ever avoid wet boots if it's actually wet out. Walking through dew covered grass in the morning on a dry day usually soaks my feet anyway.
But as you previously noted, you saw how light your wifes Frogg Toggs were, so you could bring just the pants, or your own full set, for lighter than your other top alone.
If you go with the poncho, then a skirt/kilt would work. Even a disposable poly rain poncho at less than 2 oz can be tied around your waist as a kilt if you're slender enough. Be creative, go light, use a polycryo groundcloth as a rain kilt in an emergency even.
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