Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise
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Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise on 05/27/2008 02:15:49 MDT Print View

I have printed out a bunch of the comments from the old thread. I only went back a couple of pages as the first two pages were not really relevant to a serious discussion on the topic.

I highlighted many of your suggestions on my copy and and made a consolidated list of sorts.

If you all want to do an "Intellectual Exercise" on this topic then we need a few assumption or conditions to give this some degree of merit and a good starting point.

1. I would suggest the hiking area be the southern half of the Appalachian Trail during the months from June to August. During that time the temperature range should be from 60 degrees F up to whatever. If someone thinks a low of 60 degrees is not low enough speak up.

2. How do we decide what we count toward the Sub 1 pound or 16 ounces?

3. I think we should let the weight drift up to Sub 2 pounds or 32 ounces if necessary and then pare the weight down from there.

4. I think the hike should be sustainable with a 3 to 5 day resupply over a period of several hundred miles or more.

5. Add you comments here as they related to the first 4 and or any new ones you think should be considered. I will consolidate them into one list and edit them as necessary.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise on 05/27/2008 06:19:53 MDT Print View

Whats the weather like? Do you expect rain/wind?

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Re: Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise on 05/27/2008 12:23:08 MDT Print View

Several summer thunderstorms would probably be encountered hiking that region that time of year, and there could be plenty of precipitation if conditions are right. Although, the Southeast has been experiencing a drought of late so I'm not sure. You can go to weather.com and type in some towns that are close to the southern half of the AT to see the monthly highs/lows and average precipitation.

I like this thread. The conditions are what I'd think of as "nice" summer weather that don't requre much in the way of "surviving", but when you say the pack list should be "sustainable" for thru hiking, that definitely adds a different dimension.

Edited by artsandt on 05/27/2008 12:31:10 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise on 05/27/2008 13:21:18 MDT Print View

Thanks for your input.

One advantage of the AT for a test hike is the Shelter System. If the weather got really bad I would do what other hikers would do and stop at a Shelter till it blows over.

I don't see this as a cop-out just smart.

I also didn't say anything about a Thru-Hike. When I say a "sustainable" gear list I mean that to have any real credibility the hike should be longer than say a weekend or 2 to 3 days. If the gear list worked for a couple of hundred miles it might give someone new to "light weight hiking" a reason to try it or some of the really light items on the list.

I think Springer Mountain to say Fontana Dam would be a good test hike. That would be 162 miles more or less. It could easly go on through the GSMNP, that would be 235 miles. etc - etc until one day you say to youself "am I standing on top of Mt Katahdin".

That doesn't mean that you or anyone that wanted to try the Sub 1 pound list when we get there would need to go on a long hike. I believe in "Hike Your Own Hike". Long hike or short hike - get out on the trail and enjoy yourself.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise on 05/27/2008 21:33:33 MDT Print View

Is tent/tarp/bivy neccesary for the exercise? You can go without shelter using your rain jacket/caguole and pants/chaps for protection from elements. Much better then bivy atleast. You can carry noseeum booties, mitts and head net if insects are expected.

what about cooking? You can eat GORP, granola, energy bars... cut weight in stove and utensil.

Sleeping pad? Bill, did you ever make polybag air pad? I cant find the right poly. I bought the heaviest poly I could find but heat seams open up when I sit on it.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise on 05/27/2008 22:37:08 MDT Print View

Hi Huzefe - Is that your first name? if not how would you like to be called?

You are correct - anything is possible for this exercise if the person hiking decides to go with it - or without it. The trick will be to see how much comfort one might have and still stay at or under 1 pound. Part of the 3 to 5 resupply for a hike of 100 plus miles is to make it a bit more realistic.

I can't eat regular food only liquid food. All my food starts out as a dry power and I add water to it. It gives me 1750 calories per dry weighs for only 14 ounces. I would not do any cooking but would still carry something to build a fire with if necessary.

No sleeping pad - I am working on something to wear during the day and that I would use as a hammock at night. If I can wear something it does not count toward the Sub 1 pound goal.

Do you have a heat seal unit? Maybe it was set to hot and burned through the poly tubing. If you have a heat seal unit try it at a low setting and then increase the heat a little and keep testing the temperature till it works or doesn't. If it never works you have the wrong kind of poly tubing. I sealed my tubes twice and at an angle - X. The real weight advantage was to use the Poly Tube filled with a removable Down baffle like a Down Air Mattress in a very cold weather Hammock. Then pull the down baffles out in the morning and use them in your jacket or pants for real cold weather hiking. All of my old Down Baffles are now in a very warm Down Quilt.

My poly tubing was 2 mil but I bought some 3 mil to try. It was getting heavier than other options I was playing with so I stopped.

I think I will post a picture of my Sub 2 pound gear list to use as a start point.

jim jimson
(Magnum_Opus) - F
list on 05/28/2008 09:57:54 MDT Print View

Well can't really count skin out, shoes are too heavy. consumables it depends, you could count them, but then you get to the point where starving yourself is the easiest way to remove ounces, which is a dangerous path.

now this list assume i'm not counting food, water or what I'm wearing (otherwise theres now way to do this AND wear shoes) but the no cooking tarpless weight is low enough that you could definitely fit a change of clothes in to.


So the obvious off the self luxury version:

BPL aircore nano line .65 $16 (includes 6 tensioners for .15)
MSR e-wing 6 $80 (no stakes use only rope to pitch)
GG thinlite 2 $9 (smooths out bumps, prevent abrading of clothes slept in)
4 Esbit tablets 2 $2 (just use rocks to hold up the pot)
BPL 550 ml ti pot 2.2 $40
platy 1L bottle 1 $10
wad 1
zpack blast 18 3 $100
BD Ion light 1 $20
water treatment <1
plastic bag poncho <1


total: < 20.85 $287

obvious savings:
lighter tarp (MLD spectralight monk at 3.8) +$40
no light (-1)
no cooking (-4.2)
no tensioners (-.15) just use knot work

giving < 13.90 oz $265

or no tarp and pray for no rain, stay in shelters

giving < 10.10 $140

14.45 with cooking $182

A couple other things to lighten the load:
custom pack
lighter water bottle (smaller or less material)
take you chances with the water
no wad, just use leaves


that said theres a couple obvious limitations:
nothing approaching a first aid kit
no signal devices
no spare clothes
can't handle anything cold. Though I'm a warm sleeper I could handle down to 50 probably with just my clothes and using a tarp as a blanket instead of shelter, or swapping tarp for a light bivy.
if you want to cook your going to need more fuel

at current specs (4 esbit tabs, no spare clothes) it's only good for a weekend excursion with decent weather (no horizontal rain for instance), the pad has no padding so you need to sleep on good ground (flat semi compressable duff/loam/moss)

Edited by Magnum_Opus on 05/28/2008 10:01:08 MDT.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise on 05/28/2008 11:13:41 MDT Print View

yes. Huzefa is my first name.

1750 calories/ 14ounce is pretty good. Can you post your food list? I have been doing some digging lately for UL food. Other then chocolates I have found are Granola made with coconut milk powder and sweet dishes made with pure ghee to be have best caloric density. Ramen cup noodles with 4.6 cal/gm are good for adding some variety. And wafers have 5+ cal/gm.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: list on 05/28/2008 11:43:45 MDT Print View

>zpack blast 18 3 $100

seriously? I think for this excercise you cant go for anything heavier then a pack made of silnylon, Spinnaker or cuben.

>that said theres a couple obvious limitations:
nothing approaching a first aid kit
no signal devices
no spare clothes
can't handle anything cold.

I hope we can spare weight for some first aid. Or may be you can beg some first aid from another hiker. (thats a UL technique :)

signal device? cant you shout? We have a signal call here some thing 'A O' Dont if that universal.

I have been on a four day hike with no spare clothing. A quick drying nylon tshirt can be washed and worn back.

We are discussing a gear list here for a specific range of conditions. something 60F+ With your rain gear on you may be sweating. so no insulation is needed.

Edited by huzefa on 05/28/2008 12:36:54 MDT.

jim jimson
(Magnum_Opus) - F
re: re: list on 05/28/2008 13:57:48 MDT Print View

thats "zpack blast 18" 3 oz

18 is referring to it being 1800 cubes, that said, it is essentially a cuben sack with shoulder straps. It could be lightened though, remove all but the main pocket, shorten the draw cords etc.

but part of my choice of gear here was that none of it needed to be made. which while not necessary for any gear list makes the numbers easier, because until I/you actually made the gear any numbers are an estimate.

as for signalling device, i was referring to a whistle or a mirror, personally I don't carry either, but thats a lynch-able offense to some people.

ditto with first aid. my general philosophy on first aid is: if it can actually be fixed with a first aid kit, it'll heal fine on it's own. again this is the sort of thing that some people (and fair enough) are absolutely against.

extra clothing. i'm cool with a pair of shorts and a t-shirt but I personally like fresh socks, a lot. and I'm a big sweaty guy, so fresh underwear really makes my morning too.

note this list isn't the absolute minimum needed, honestly if with good weather I don't REQUIRE anything more than food, but I tried to keep it as luxurious as possible in the constraints, which means ideally, I'd like an extra pair of socks or two and some underwear. though without cooking anything there is a spare 2 ounces...

as for temps, I'm aware that the pre conditions of the exercise are that it never gets below 60, I'm just saying that the list given requires those conditions, extra clothes and a bivy of some sort (MLD has a 4.4 ounce one for instance) would really bump up the real world practicality at the cost of going over 1 lb.

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: re: re: list on 05/28/2008 14:23:34 MDT Print View

>ditto with first aid. my general philosophy on first aid is:
>if it can actually be fixed with a first aid kit, it'll heal
>fine on it's own. again this is the sort of thing that some
>people (and fair enough) are absolutely against.

Since the list is for "sustainable"/long distance hiking, my vote would be that there should be a first aid kit included in the list, but then again we're talking about the AT here...like someone said, you can borrow things from other hikers and even go into towns.

My argument for first aid kits would be that, if there's no one around to save you and "lend" some first aid supplies, even a small cut can become very unpleasant, even a trip-ender, if it is not given basic treatment. Unless you're some action hero who likes cauterizing all his wounds with open flame, it's pretty hard to find anything sterile enough in the backcountry to substitute a bandaid and five or six of them weigh almost nothing. A couple of those single serving packets of antibiotic cream like they sell at REI are pretty light too and can greatly accelerate the healing of a cut.

Edited by artsandt on 05/28/2008 14:36:33 MDT.

jim jimson
(Magnum_Opus) - F
first aid. on 05/28/2008 14:38:47 MDT Print View

fair enough about a few band aids and some antibiotic.

I personally tend to wash things off with clean water and call it a day, have done my whole life backpacking regardless. Haven't ever had a cut go bad on me so it's not one of those things that I ever worry about (even though i probably should) so i tend not to think about it.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: re: re: list on 05/28/2008 14:42:38 MDT Print View

All right,
This list is already going the wrong way.

Bill has homemade gear and thee weights are much much lower than the ones listed.

I believe the lightest Cuben tarp I have seen is 2.8 ounces
A 1/8" gossamer pad can be cut to torso.

Bill's pack can weigh less than 1 ounce if holding sub-1

Bill's may have been born during the day, but it wasn't yesterday...

jim jimson
(Magnum_Opus) - F
weights on 05/28/2008 14:53:28 MDT Print View

tarp wise sure you can get lighter than 3.8 but i didn't see it when i was throwing it together, if you can link it i'll go edit my list if it will mack you feel better.

as for pack weights, sure the gear WEIGHS next to nothing but the volume is still existant and it has to carry several days of food, how big is the less than one ounce pack

as for trimming the pad, home made gear in general, etc: like i said to huzefa i'm sure lighter can be done but I stuck to existing numbers on "commercial" equipement just because it makes the numbers easier and more reliable. I'm sure if i combed through the home made gear forum i could halve the weight but that starts taking a lot of effort. I see the list I posted more as "likely items in a 1 lb pack" to be refined and trimmed as fits the person not as an absolute lower limit.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: weights on 05/28/2008 15:40:16 MDT Print View

((as for trimming the pad, home made gear in general, etc: like i said to huzefa i'm sure lighter can be done but I stuck to existing numbers on "commercial" equipment just because it makes the numbers easier and more reliable.))

Alex,
I'm not sure if you are aware of Bill's legendary status on this site, but what you have written above about what he has the potential of packing is the complete opposite of Bill.
Nothing makes since when talking about his gear.
I have been trying to secretly convince everyone the whole time that I have been a member that Bill is an Alien, but not one person gets it.

You do not go sub 1 with store bought gear or using store bought weights.

Besides, 1 pound for Bill is half of his wardrobe...

Edited by awsorensen on 05/28/2008 15:41:50 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Sub 1lb on 05/28/2008 16:24:11 MDT Print View

If you're going this light, do you need a pack? Pockets in a jacket can be filled, and the jacket sleeves tied round your waist. Or the bivvy sack could be used as a pack and slung over a shoulder.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Sub 1lb on 05/28/2008 17:19:25 MDT Print View

"If you're going this light, do you need a pack? Pockets in a jacket can be filled, and the jacket sleeves tied round your waist. Or the bivvy sack could be used as a pack and slung over a shoulder."

Yes, you need a backpack. Otherwise we'd have to move this thread over to either pantspocketpackinglight.com or shoulderbagslight.com.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise on 05/28/2008 17:22:02 MDT Print View

Hi everyone,

This has been my consolidated shopping day so I have been away from my computer for several hours. I have gotten where I try and save up all the places I need to drive to for 2 or so times a week when possible.

What a surprise I had when I got back home and did a search for this topic.

Lots of new input.

I just printed them all out and will try to comment on some of them later.

I do want to make a couple of comments and agree with Aaron that a Sub 1 pound gear list will have very little store bought stuff on it.

Also the key to this low weight will be a factor of how clever we are at combining the use of all items so they will do more than one thing.

If we can wear an item during the day and then use that item in our sleep system or shelter system night we get two functions for the weight of one. If we legitimately wear an item while hiking it does not count as pack weight. That doesn't mean you can carry a bunch of stuff it in a pocket and not count the weight.

Consumables (most anyway) do not count as pack weight. So food, water, medicine and a short list of other things don't count as pack weight. We can decide what is or is not a consumable as the item comes up and decide if we count its weight as pack weight or not.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Sub 1 lb. Intellectual Exercise on 05/28/2008 19:05:33 MDT Print View

I'll take a stab at this.

Polarguard-Delta - Silk Tunic - 7.65
Pocho Tarp - Worn - 0
Hat - worn - 0
No-see-um head band, Worn under hat - 0
Hiking Pants - Worn – 0
6B (6 Banana) Hoodie – worn - 0

Cuben Hammock - 3.8
Cuben Pack - 1.5

6B Rian Pants - 1.2
6B rain mitts - .37
6B rain footies - .22

6B Spoon .23
6B pot - .38
6B Soda Can Mug - .42
6B Platy (2) - 3.12
6B kitchen bag (2) - .2
Deet in mico bottle - .05
Klear water in micro bottle - .05
Fire starting kit - .2
Esbits Make a fire – 0
Soap - .1
Sun screen .5
Maps small print .25

Repair (needle and thread) - .05
Loeko tape - .2 (also for repairs)
LED (micro) - .2
TP - .5

Total – 19.65


continually updating...

Edited by awsorensen on 05/29/2008 12:19:27 MDT.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Sub 1 exercise on 05/28/2008 19:46:17 MDT Print View

OK Bill .... I'm in.

I spent the past couple of days working up a new prototype pack design. It's coming in right at 2100 cu in and uses 1.05 sq yard of silnylon, , four 2 inch pieces of 1 inch nylon webbing, two 12 inch pieces of paracord, three mini cordlocks, and two lengths of elastic cord (14 inches and 30 inches). (scale batteries are dead, along with the camera batteries) The pack uses NO other hardware. My calculated weight for the pack is right around 2 oz.

Cuben and some grossgrain, spectra, and micro cordlocks should get the pack weight down under an ounce and it rides very well. I'll share the design when I get it drawn up, but it's a hybrid between Bill's mini G6 clone and a Mini Prophet clone, but uses a Magnus hitch and cord instead of webbing and hardware.

I'm working on a new Bivy and poncho Tarp/tent design now, but a nano bivy at 4 oz and a Monk Spectra tarp would come in at under 8 oz and I'd like to shave that to 5 or 6 oz.

A silk and xp tunic quilt/bivy liner like Bill's design?

I've made a torso sized Thinlight pad already, and I'll weigh it when I get my scale working again.

First aid .... duct tape on your hiking pole and some TP, along with a little antibotic ointment goes a long, long way.

Anyone know what a soda can weighs in at?