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How small a kit?
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
How small a kit? on 04/01/2008 21:59:36 MDT Print View

Anybody ever read comics with the Flash-- the superhero who was the "fastest man alive?"

The Flash had a ring that held his compressed superhero costume, which would compress again when exposed to a secret gas.

Of course, that would be the UL dream setup. I've seen a lot of threads about using the smallest packs and kits not only to get light, but to get small too. Packs like the REI Flash (odd coincidence, eh?) have been mentioned.

I think I would start with something like a hydration pack and build out from there.

There are some very small and light hydration packs. The Salomon Raid Revo 15 Set has been on my want list for a while. It is just 13 liters-- fine for a day hike. It has big mesh pockets on the front that look like they would swallow up the bulky stuff. Advertised weight is 8 ounces-- I wonder with, or without the bladder and hose?

The other kind of pack that comes to mind is a hydration pack that has a "beavertail" or "shove-it" -- a panel that allows handling a bulky piece of gear with compression straps. Dana built a bunch of larger packs with the ability to add this feature and there are several hydration packs that have one built in. I have a Platypus Typhoon that is a good example. The Typhoon is a lot larger than the Salomon-- 1750 cubic inches -- and it weighs 2 pounds with a bladder and hose.

The Typhoon would be much of a challenge to go super small with. With the beavertail, a waterproof stuff sack could nearly double the storage capacity of the existing pack and only add 4 ounces. That space could be used without the stuff sack, for items like a sleeping pad and rain gear.

So how would you get super small? I'm assuming that would also mean ultra light. Yes, assumptions are dangerous.

I forgot-- a little cheating might be in order. Much like using the waterproof stuff sack outside the pack, a couple pockets added to the waist belt and/or the shoulder straps make sense. I know there are large pockets that go across the chest, but I think they are too hot (and I don't mean sexy).

My idea is to aim for a summer overnighter, with hot meals, and covering all the essentials for safety and survival.

Sleeping bag, pad, and clothing are my primary concerns with size. For a summer overnighter, a 40F bag should be reasonable, so I would use a Mont Bell #7 down bag. The sleeping pad sets me back a little. I have a closed cell foam InsulMat that I like, but it is about 6" x20" rolled on a good day. I have an older Therm-a-Rest pad that will roll up about the size of a Nalgene-- that or something like an uninsulated air mattress. From there it seems to drop to something much more Spartan like a 1/8" foam pad like the ones that Gossamer Gear sells. Add a Mont Bell air pillow to top off the sleeping gear.

Clothing looks like this for a summer overnight trip. I could go three days if I have enough room for food.

Capilene tee
REI Sahara zip-off pants
Mont Bell stretch gaiters
bike gloves

Insulation and wind:
Power Stretch 1/2 zip long sleeve tee
Patagonia Micro Puff vest
spare socks
Fleece beanie
Montane Aero windshirt

Rain (and shelter):
SMD Gatewood Cape

Other shelter items:
BMW Ti stakes
Trekking poles (in use on the trail)
Spinnsheet ground cloth

Essential/survival items:
reading glasses
AM signal mirror
LED headlamp
bug repellent
mini-Bic lighter
AM 0.3 first aid kit
Stuff sack for sleeping bag doubles as bear bag
Small line and carabiner for bear bag

Bladder in pack
Aqua Mira for treatment

Personal hygiene:
Mont Bell Ti scoop
Tooth paste
Hair brush
Dr. Bronners
Small washcloth/pack towel

Note: all liquids are decanted to small dropper bottles.

Brasslite Ti pot and lid
Ti Esbit wing stove
Esbit tabs
Foam insulated travel cup with lid

Granola bars, trail mix, instant oatmeal, raisins, snack crackers, dehydrated dinner, candy, coffee, tea, sugar, hot cocoa mix, dried fruit.

I think that's it. I know I could pull it off with the Platypus Typhoon and I just might get away with the Salomon Raid Revo 15, with a few things hanging off the outside-- like an old peddler :)

I could cut back on some of the hygiene for an overnighter, and going cookless would cut some bulk, but that seems to be a shortcut-- gotta have a nice dinner and coffee in the morning.

Edited by dwambaugh on 04/01/2008 22:02:54 MDT.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
MAcPac Amp 25 RACE on 05/12/2008 18:51:13 MDT Print View


This is the one you want. It's around the same volume as the Typhoon (25L vs 28L), but has an extension collar (kind of) It already has hip pockets, although these are kind of small on me, as they sit right on my hip bones. (That 30" waist isn't always good)

Weight is 919g or 1023g with a 2L Bigzip and hose. This includes the back sheet tho, and taking this out gets it to 781g or 885g. All elastic cord still attatched.

The BIG deal for this pack tho is the length. It's a long skinny sucker, and I mean that pretty literally. It just seems to suck onto my back. It's long enough that the hip belt is properly on my hips.

I'm keen to get it out next season for an overnighter.


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
MacPac on 05/12/2008 18:58:35 MDT Print View

Good tip, Rod. MacPac is relatively new to me-- my local/favorite hiking store (Second Ascent in Seattle) started carrying the brand in the last year. I'll have to take a serious look at them.

Here's the link to the MacPac:,Amp-Race-25/code,AR25U08

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Not for long on 05/12/2008 19:31:24 MDT Print View

Macpac changed ownership this year and are likely to go to a concept store/direct order model in the next few months. (There was a thread about this about six weeks ago)

Shops here still have some stock, but I picked mine up (Well it was my birthday present) from the new Macpac shop. It was/is on sale at A$118 which is about US$110 now!
Lucky it wasn't like that last year Dale, or I would have filled that truck of yours with gear!

They had great reviews but no one seemed to have stock, here or online.
Let me know if your interested and I'll pick on up for you.


Huzefa Siamwala
Golite Relay? on 05/16/2008 13:11:20 MDT Print View

17 oz / 35 liter.

Lately I have been thinking of crazy ideas for a super compact system. Example going shelterless:

summer setup:
>polybag air pad
>nanoseeum bivanorak

monsoon/wind setup:
>polybag air pad
>WPB(propore/cordura) hoody/pant
>hood cinched and face mask to assist in breathing
Using backpack frame to lift the hood to keep elements of my face and provide space to breath. I am still thinking how to best go about it.
>nanoseeum bivanorak

winter setup:
>VPB hoody/pant
>Inflatable/WP Down jacket/pant
++ WP/B Down over quilt if required
>hood cinched and mask to assist in breathing