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Help on what light weight gear to buy
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Jason Luttmer
(crimsonshadow7) - F

Locale: North East
Help on what light weight gear to buy on 03/13/2008 12:01:36 MDT Print View

I am a brand new backpacker, having about 500 miles on my boots, and I am wanting to transfer over to Ultralight backpacking. I would like any suggestions that you aall could give me, for shelter, sleepingbag, footwear, and everything else that would be in the pack.

Andrew Richard
(fairweather8588) - F

Locale: The Desert
Intro to Lightweight gear on 03/13/2008 12:17:00 MDT Print View

Shelter: Try something like a Tarptent Contrail if you are in love with the idea of sleeping under a tarp, or you could just "rip the bandaid off all at once" and get yourself a one person tarp, and a bivy sack for a decent price from companies like TiGoat and Oware that have pretty reasonably priced gear.

Sleeping bags: They are very expensive, but Western Mountaineering sleeping bags are some of the lightest and the best sleeping bags on the market. Ebay can help relieve some of the effect on your wallet. Marmot has some pretty good lightweight bags too (Atom, Hydrogen, Helium).

Footwear: Montrail has been a dependable source of trail runners over the years, and recently brands like GoLite and Inov-8 have his the market with shoes as well. Try going to a local running store and getting fitted up with a decent pair of trail runners, you can always go online and find them for much cheaper online.

Packs: GoLite makes very good lightweight backpacks, the Jam would be a very good intro. Also check out smaller brands like ULA.

Misc.: For a stove, try a very small canister stove and a small aluminum/titanium pot. Another very important aspect of having a lighter backpack is to do a good overhaul of your clothing closest. Companies like GoLite, Montbell, and even Marmot have some very good lightweight clothes.

Look at all of the Reader Reviews that this site has to offer to get an idea of the brands and concepts of packing lighter weight gear

Edited by fairweather8588 on 03/13/2008 12:17:33 MDT.

Jeff Cadorin
(JeffCadorin) - F

Locale: paper beats rock
Re: Help on what light weight gear to buy on 03/13/2008 12:21:13 MDT Print View

thats a good start, after you get done looking that stuff over start searching this site. Even when you want to compare cloudburst with a lunar duo or whatever, if its similar its probably been compared somewhere. Since your new ponying up for the membership will get you access to all the good articles by the knowledgable staff here. Read and read some more.....welcome to the light side

Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
Re: Help on what light weight gear to buy on 03/13/2008 12:21:21 MDT Print View

Jason, you should post more information about the hiking that you do (or want to do).

-Where will you backpack? High altitudes? High humidity? What are the temperature ranges you foresee yourself in?

-How long of trips do you want to be able to take?

-Do you own gear that is usable? If so, tell us a bit about what you have. Make/models and weights.

-Do you have a budget? Will you upgrade all at once or gradually par down your heaviest items?

-Do you want to buy versatile gear that may suit a wide range of conditions or do you want to buy a bunch of condition specific gear (ie: day hikes vs week long hikes, winter vs. fall, etc)

PS: You should read this if you haven't already.

Edited by HechoEnDetroit on 03/13/2008 12:38:27 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Help on what light weight gear to buy on 03/13/2008 21:57:43 MDT Print View

Large, open ended question. Telling us more about where you want to go and do would help tailor answers.

I have collected a bunch of info on light weight gear at which includes a lot of linked back to this site :-) You might find it useful.


Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Nice! on 03/23/2008 12:47:03 MDT Print View


How do you see it as ethicaly correct to:
'Try going to a local running store and getting fitted up with a decent pair of trail runners, you can always go online and find them for much cheaper online.' ?

That is, assuming you are not paying a fitting fee. As an example: if it takes the fitter 30 minutes to complete the fit, you just took 0.5 hrs of skilled labor and acces to inventory and equipment without paying the business owner.

Would you go to a local garage and expect they would be willing to spend half and hour installing or fixing some part on your car for free?

Would you go to a barber and get a haircut and leave without paying?

The running store provides the service without charging you, on the assumption they will make money selling you
a shoe.

Interested what you and other people think about this.

Matthew Robinson
(mcjhrobinson) - F

Locale: Waaay West
shoe ethics on 03/23/2008 20:33:11 MDT Print View

tjaard ive been in retail for MANY years and i feel that if the store provides good customer service and a good price then go with the store. On the other hand we have stores like WALMART which kill mom and pop stores. ive been to running shoe stores since high school and have had good service and very bad service and i dont pay for bad service, it really depends on the store. i understand where you are coming from about supporting local business but what if someone cant afford to pay a 30% mark up (shoes are expensive enough as it is, as is most UL gear)? Also on the other hand if people buy shoes online and get the wrong size and have to re ship them and the company cant sell that shoe as new so they loose out a pair of new shoes. all in all there are too many variables to determine the ethics of business. good looking out for the small business though! :)


Edited by mcjhrobinson on 03/23/2008 20:34:03 MDT.