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Sub 1 lb. XUL : Possible or BS?
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David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Sub 1lb. XUL : Possible or BS on 04/09/2008 12:57:26 MDT Print View

thats a good list mark.

You could drop an ounce or two by using 2.0 oz combat or 1.8 oz ploft in the quilt, or just drop the insulation all together. I cant imagine it would be too hard to pile a bunch of leaves and duff on top of a cuben VB bag and under the poncho for insulation and sleep by a nice fire with spare wood next to you to throw on it. you could drop the torsolight as well if you slept on a nice bed of natural insulation. If someone could get used to sleeping like that, it could be pretty sustainable. Not going to be me though.

Michael Wands
(walksoftly) - F

Locale: Piney Woods
Sub 1 lb XUL - Pack on 04/09/2008 13:32:28 MDT Print View

It seems to me that you could make a pack out of a pullover windshirt. I have a dragonfly that cinches at the waist to close the bottom. Using the sleeves as shoulder straps I think it could be done.

Have everything inside enclosed in a turkey roasting bag.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Re: Sub 1lb. XUL : Possible-Yes, Maybe on 04/09/2008 14:09:30 MDT Print View

Hi All,

I am glad to see some thought on the subject of XUL.

It might be better to start a new thread for the some serious dialogue on how to get to a "hike-able" Sub 1 pound or Sub 2 pound gear list.

For hiking in mild weather Sub 2 pound is here, Sub 1 pound, well almost anything is possible.

I slept 2 nights on the ground when hiking the Georgia, Duncan Ridge Trail, in Oct 2006 with over-night temperatures about 45 degrees. I had a bed of about 3 inches of leaves and other stuff to lay on but the ground did get a bit cold. Not enough to keep me from sleeping, however.

A lot of this is about your personal tolerance. We do get spoiled very easy and very fast but we should be able to train ourselves away from the "Girly Man" mindset.

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Re: Re: Re: Sub 1lb. XUL : Possible-Yes, Maybe on 04/09/2008 14:32:03 MDT Print View

You could probably get away with this without using cuben, with the "pile pine needles on yourself" approach :)

pack: 2-4 oz (from GG or MLD, or MYOG)
two 5x8 space blankets - one with tieouts as XUL tarp, other as sleeping cover: 8 oz total, no ground sheet or sleeping pad necessary (for survival)
water containers (plastic bottles): 1 oz
plastic dishes for eating: 1 oz
photon light + odds and ends: 2-4 oz

There we're talking 14-18 oz. and obviously skipping everything he's wearing, which could include a wind jacket and wind pants. If the man needs another insulating or wind layer, or it begins raining, let him wrap himself in a space blanket or two:)

Admittedly, this might fall into the category of "survival backpacking," which, as I understand, is not what this thread is about.

Edited by Legkohod on 04/09/2008 14:38:09 MDT.

Gerald Hutchinson
(BR360) - F
Take the lead, Bill... on 04/09/2008 14:37:25 MDT Print View

Boyhowdy! on learning to do without creature comforts. When I went to Outward Bound 20 years ago we slept just on plastic ground sheets (summer only). Took some getting used to, but once adjusted to, no prob!

Bill, I've read a few dozen posts by you, and you seem to be well-respected for your innovation and real-life putting your walk where your talk is...

Would it be improper to ask that you start that thread? for a serious discussion about not just the gear, but the financial, physical, and psychological sacrifices required to go Sub-5, -3, -2 and -1?

I'm thinking you could lay out a few criteria and conditions (I am doing well to go sub-7 right now, so I'm not an expert---just a learner). Not just *can it be done*, but what are the sacrifices, and what are the key "orthodoxies" that must be challenged? For instance, WRT quality of sleep, quality of nourishment, "pack comfort," gear redundancies, advantages of MYOG vs. purchase of production gear, ROI on light-weight vs. overall comfort/quality of experience (realize subjective, but what might be some experiential mileposts common to each step-change?), etc.

(I know this is a lot, but I'm thinking many voices will chime in and flesh out the criteria and the content.)

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Sub 1 lb. XUL : Possible or BS? on 04/09/2008 14:37:52 MDT Print View

Hi Franco

IF I knew the track as well as the guy we are talking about, and if I had the survival skills he has obviously developed with lots of training and experience, and if I were a fit male with the kind of drive that only testosterone seems to impart, then all things are possible with 450 grams of gear on my back. The Milford is a poor comparison as it's littered with huts, and has an absoultely unpredictable and changeable climate with some of the highest recorded rainfalls in the world. However if we were to ignore all that and pretend there are no huts, we would have to compare the JMT in summer to walking the Milford back and forth 6 times for the same distance or 12 times for the same ascent/descent. Either way my biggest concern with my 400g cuben bag would be the lack of sandfy protection, plus the weight of carrying 12 days worth of food in what would no doubt be a poorly supported pack. I think I would be hungry with sore shoulders most of the trip more than anything. At least the water would be safe to drink!

For the record, I grew up in Midpines, just outside of Yosemite, and mis-spent my youth playing in the Sierras. You really truly can't compare the climate or terrain when you live in a place that has glaciers almost to sea level and terrain that would be impassable without a well-formed and highly maintained track. But it's the unpredicatbility of the weather that kills most backpackers here, whether due to exposure or crossing flooded rivers. I sure do miss those California 10 day forecasts that were almost 100% accurate.

Edited by retropump on 04/09/2008 14:50:07 MDT.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: Re: Re: Sub 1lb. XUL : Possible-Yes, Maybe on 04/09/2008 16:04:04 MDT Print View


I took the liberty of starting a new Yahoo group

If that's where the consensus would want to store this info as a repository. If so ... I'll need volunteers to be mods on the group.

Otherwise, we can certainly discuss this as a thread on this site ... .it really doesn't matter to me. My only thought is that it's hard to find info on this site using any type of search function and it would be a shame to let this info pass by the wayside as so many of our project posts have.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: Re: Sub 1lb. XUL : Possible or BS on 04/09/2008 16:08:11 MDT Print View

That's a good thought .....

A lot would depend on the design.

Looking back over Bill's posts and remembering many of the quilts that I've made, making a top bag would be a lot more efficient at keeping you warm for less weight, however, it may be a challenge to use that same bag as a tunic as in the Forshell tunic/quilt design.

The Cuben bag that Bill made, if you look back over the posts, was way too hot to sleep in, so it may make more sense to use Cuben VB clothes and a breathable bag ..... Hummmmm so many options!

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Re: Sub 1lb. XUL : Possible or BS on 04/09/2008 17:20:38 MDT Print View

"I cant imagine it would be too hard to pile a bunch of leaves and duff on top of a cuben VB bag and under the poncho for insulation and sleep by a nice fire with spare wood next to you to throw on it."

Just curious, has anyone here ever actually slept in a pile of forest duff and leaves in cold temperatures?

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Sub 1lb. XUL : Possible or BS on 04/09/2008 17:43:02 MDT Print View

"The Cuben bag that Bill made, if you look back over the posts, was way too hot to sleep in, so it may make more sense to use Cuben VB clothes and a breathable bag "

I can't see how "too hot" would be a problem here. If you're hot, just sleep on top of the quilt instead of under it. The problem with Bill's bag was that it had no zipper to allow venting of heat, unlike a quilt. I would think the biggest challenge to going sub-1lb (on the JMT in summer) would be keeping warm at night. Plus the filling of a breathable bag would still be prone to getting soaked when sleeping in the rain without any shelter.

As to the question of top bag versus tunic quilt, you can basically have both in a single piece of gear. I have done this with an ordinary down quilt where I used a drawstring and velcro strip on the bottom edges to form a footbox if desired. It works really well.
But basically, there are plenty of options to going XUL if you have the desire, fitness and the knowledge to make it happen. I have none of those attributes! However, if cuben weren't so out of my price range I would make one of these quilts just out of curiosity.

Edited by retropump on 04/09/2008 17:45:58 MDT.

Matthew Robinson
(mcjhrobinson) - F

Locale: Waaay West
re: Sub 1 lb...lets end this thread on 04/09/2008 22:07:02 MDT Print View

anything is all depends on the conditions and the person. aloha!

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Sub 1 lb absolutely possible, what's the definition and parametrics on 04/09/2008 22:51:58 MDT Print View

As several have noted, it depends upon your definition, the climate, length of stay, and a lot of other parameters.
If it's 70 - 90 for a low at night (not uncommon in the summer SW US and other parts of the world), no bag is needed.
It doesn't rain, so no tarp or tent is required for many nights because of the lack of clouds, and many parts of the desert sands are pretty soft to sleep on. If you don't count clothes, total weight is a hot spark and nano-light, 2 oz maybe? From there you can add a cuben tarp for a little rain, or a 6 oz silk liner for a sleeping bag when it gets cool. Still under 18 oz.

Several here have done 'survival campouts, where you only took a pocket knife, and made your shelter and bed out of grasses and branches. 4 oz tops. I guess it's all in your definitions.

It's pretty obvious what 'stuff weighs, and there's no silver bullet, so I wouldn't expect much resilency in an 18 oz package.

P.S. Does it count if your spouse or buddy carries all the gear?;)

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Sub 1 lb absolutely possible, what's the definition and parametrics on 04/09/2008 23:24:24 MDT Print View

The climate for the original example is a bit different from summertime Arizona, but you do raise a really interesting point. Does it count if your spouse or buddy carries all the gear? Hmm. For some reason I thought the person under scrutiny did the John Muir Trail hike solo, but maybe he wasn't solo at all. That adds a whole new dimension to this conversation. After all, two people can share a shelter, a sleeping bag, and even bolster an under-rated sleeping bag by simply being a heat-generating nearby body. And I think if all the gear that possibly could be "duo" were duo, and they split the weight between them, they could get a lot more function out of a sub-1 lb load than if one had gone solo.

Edited by artsandt on 04/09/2008 23:25:14 MDT.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Parameters on 04/10/2008 08:13:30 MDT Print View

As an intellectual exercise, it certainly can be fun to pull together a group sub 1lb list with all the options.

I am concerned, however, that someone without the experience to use it could get in trouble using it.

So .... with the condition listed that don't try this at home kids, at least until you've worked your way down to this level, then why not pull a group list together?

Parameters: Temps between 20 and 80, rain possible, light snow possible, elevation between 7,000 and 10,000 feet for one list, and normal AT elevation max of 4400 for the other list.

Must include at least one hot meal per day. Must be able to sleep at night and hike during the day, at least 6 hours sleeping at night at one stretch.

Must carry at least 1 L of water at a time.

Must be warm, well fed, well hydrated, and be able to carry everything you need on your back, or in other words, no survival shelters along the way.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Sub 1 lb absolutely possible, what's the definition and parametrics on 04/17/2008 13:12:16 MDT Print View

I've sure missed a lot on this subject.

I regards to the difference of racing and hiking, you have to remember that doing the JMT Unsupported has even a more true sence of "backpacking than the typical hiker doing it.
You are doing one of the hardest trails from start to finish with nothing but what's on your back and the water from the streams.
Also you are walking (O.K. very fast), but are still walking 90% of the way.
You are also out there, alone, with no help, and half the time with no one else around.
Yes, it's a race, but only in you mind. You are still out there doing the exact trail that everyone else is, but just not taking any breaks and have the ability to move faster by not carrying as much.

The other difference is that you would fail at attempting any type of speed on the JMT with a pound or 2.
As soon as you get to a point were you are tiered enough not to care or have to be worried about things going worng, the 1 lb would be a disaster waiting to happen.

The only way I could possibly see this being done is if you where a VERY warm sleeper.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
So what's the minimum? on 04/18/2008 07:51:05 MDT Print View

So ... what's the lightest you think one could safely go?

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
sub 1 lb. plans on 05/25/2008 23:24:10 MDT Print View

I've been giving more thought to the "sub 1 lb." challenge and actually intend to try it out later this summer in Crimea, which has a warm temperate mountainous climate. I believe the list below is functionally practical for multi-day trips in dry summer climates with nighttime temps down to 60 F. I also have a second, sub-2 lb. list with more nighttime insulation that is good down to 50 F and uses a conventional bivy.

Big 3:
Minimalist MYOG backpack (silnylon/tyvek/plastic) 2 oz
Emergency blanket bivy 3.8 oz
Silk sleeping bag liner 4.2 oz
MYOG sleeping pad 2 oz
BPL headnet .3 oz

subtotal: 12.3 oz
Note that the bivy is waterproof.

Extra clothing: none. Assumed are shorts and a T-shirt during the day. Also assumed is that I will be carrying a Chrome Dome in my hand all the time for sun protection, so this is not part of pack weight.

plastic spoon/fork from airplane: negligible
2.5 l. Platypus (less is impractical) 1.3 oz

subtotal: 1.3 oz
Assumed is eating uncooked food (it's the heat of summer).

Map (cut or xeroxed down to size) .4 oz
Razor blade and tweezers (for tick removal) .1 oz
Photon Freedom without clips .4
Toiletries (including contact lens case and solution) 1 oz
A few matches and emergency first-aid items, and also a few aquamira tablets .5 oz

subtotal: 2.4 oz

Grand total: 16.0 oz

Edited by Legkohod on 05/25/2008 23:28:54 MDT.

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Sub 1 lb. plans on 05/25/2008 23:24:51 MDT Print View

(sorry, double post)

Edited by Legkohod on 05/25/2008 23:26:03 MDT.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: sub 1 lb. plans on 05/26/2008 08:04:08 MDT Print View

This list looks good! Have you given thought to different insulation?

I've been giving this a lot of thought lately .....

cuben fiber 6 x 4 poncho is 2.7 oz,
cuben fiber 2.5 oz basis weight xp quilt (4 x 6) (2.5 yards of XP and 5 yards of cuben) should come in at about 8 oz (Arron would give us a better idea) designed with a head hole.

Platy 1.3
spoon negligible

12 oz subtottal

Cuben fiber stuff sack with 2 in gross grain straps 1 oz
Cut down polycrow groundsheet .7
Torso sized Thinlight pad .7
Photon light on a cord around neck - not part of pack weight
Basic first aid and micropure tablets - .5

4 Lazer Nano tent stakes and a little spectra line for guying out the half poncho to make a bivy of the cuben quilt .2

nanoseeum headnet .3

cuben food bag,mini biner, and spectra cord for bear baging .6

Right at 16 oz.


Edited by flash582 on 05/26/2008 08:39:33 MDT.

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Re: Re: sub 1 lb. plans on 05/26/2008 08:39:02 MDT Print View

Yes. I have my thoughts about the absolute minimum weight of insulating material needed for different temperatures (these numbers are just ballpark):

85 F: 0 oz
80 F: 1 oz
70 F: 4 oz
60 F: 7 oz
50 F: 10 oz
40 F: 13 oz
30 F: 16 oz

So, to go for sub 1 lb. kit, you'd really have to aim for temperatures above 60 or at least 50, otherwise you'd be spending all your free ounces on insulation. If you use something with a synthetic or down layer inside, obviously, that becomes more and more effective the lower you go. At the temperatures I'm thinking of (60-70 F), one of the biggest tasks is simply to hold in warm air and divert wind, and that's why I think a reflective bivy would be more effective than a quilt of equal weight. The silk layer is just to add several degrees. I'm not sure you could get the same warmth from a quilt of the same weight. An 8 oz quilt (say, down) would have 6 oz of Pertex Quantum and 2 oz of down, or maybe 5.5 and 2.5 oz, respectively. It might end up being more vulnerable to wind, too. It would basically have to be like the Montbell line of UL down liner pants and shirts, but nobody makes them.

Edited by Legkohod on 05/26/2008 21:10:21 MDT.