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Last summer and fall I explored the fringes of lightweight backpacking by taking a series of SuperUltraLight trips - base pack weight of 5 pounds or under. (Base pack weight, or “base weight,” is the weight of your pack and everything in it except consumables - that vary with trip length - such as food, water, and fuel.) I reported on my adventures in the Notes from the Field series (links to the right). During the same time, Backpacking Light Editors Doug Johnson and Will Rietveld were also testing SUL worthy gear from various manufacturers. Below I discuss our favorite SUL gear and end with a complete gear check list suitable for summer conditions - overnight lows to freezing with rain possible. As you’ll see, we each have our own favorites, but we all include these items in our personal SUL gear kits: Gossamer Gear NightLight torso pad, Bozeman Mountain Works Cocoon pullover, Platypus water bladders, and a wind shirt when conditions warrant.


  • Introduction
  • Context
  • Rationale for Selected Gear
    • Backpack
    • Shelter/Rain Gear
    • Sleeping Gear
      • Sleeping Bag
      • Hammock
      • Sleep Pad
    • Trekking Poles
    • Insulation
    • Stove
    • Pot
    • Water bottles
    • Water Treatment
    • Light
  • Gear List and Weight Summary
    • Gear List
    • Weight Summary

# WORDS: 2600

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