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Sub 15 lbs Gear List
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Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
Sub 15 lbs Gear List on 09/02/2008 05:40:38 MDT Print View

Hi first post here after spending much time reading through the forums. After seeing the sub 5 (SUL) and sub 10 (UL) gear list threads I thought that maybe we could have a thread for those us in the sub 15 lb category (lightweight).

I've included mine

to start things off. I should mention this is a 3 season gear list for Australian east coast (temperatures zero celsius (32 fahrenheit) to 30 celsius (86 fahrenheit) variable rain conditions).

What holds me back from reaching sub 10?

The usual big ticket items. I want a lighter shelter system but haven't worked out what yet. I tried a bivy and it wasn't for me. I'm interested in trying an easy to set up tarp that touches the ground (e.g. Golite Utopia) but the weight difference between that a freestanding double skin tent (e.g. MSR Hubba/ Hubba HP) doesn't seem much. I don't use trekking poles so I have to take into account dedicated tarp poles.

Anyway any comments and sub 15 gear lists welcome.

Edited by qldhike on 09/02/2008 05:41:39 MDT.

Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
Photos of gear on 09/02/2008 05:44:37 MDT Print View

I forgot to include a photo of the gear. Quite a lot of gear for just a weekend really.

Weekend Gear photo

Martin Rye
(rye1966) - F

Locale: UK
Re: Photos of gear on 09/02/2008 13:40:00 MDT Print View

Why is it a lot of gear?. I reckon the issue is always comfort vs weight. I go backpacking to enjoy it and camp comfort and dependable shelter matters to me in the damp UK. So I take a tent and good sleeping mat (Exped 7.5). Throw in a good warm sleeping bag as well. I reckon my base weight of late is around 17lb on my back. Shocking compared to most here but not a problem as in the UK that is quite light. I do 15 -18 mile days with often 4000 - 5000 ft ascent say in Scotland on a high level walk day, with no problem. you're hardly carrying what many did years ago. Weight reduction is great but what is your backpacking goals and aims with it. So ask your self what is my comfort limit?.

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Gear Photos on 09/02/2008 16:15:46 MDT Print View

I have to agree with Martin. Its all about making the trip as comfortable as possible. If you sacrifice warmth or comfort to have a lighter pack its still an uncomfortable trip. I pared my gear down to about 8lbs base weight but I focused on keeping comfortable. The beauty of it all is there is no wrong answer... have fun!

Edited by donmeredith on 09/02/2008 16:17:41 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Photos of gear on 09/02/2008 18:27:08 MDT Print View

Some of the commercial stuff sacks may be a little heavy?


Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
Re: Photos of gear on 09/03/2008 02:28:51 MDT Print View

Martin you're right it should always be about what's right for you not chasing a number. I guess it just seems a lot compared to some of the recent fantastic gear list/photos of gear lists posted recently (e.g. Don's Southeast Summer List with photos looks great and fits in an Ion).

Roger, yes I agree the compression sacks (Sea to Summit) probably aren't the lightest and I should probably look at a single silnylon compression sack to hold both the fly and inner, I just haven't found the right size one yet.

Thanks for the comments

Martin Rye
(rye1966) - F

Locale: UK
Re: Re: Photos of gear on 09/03/2008 13:33:05 MDT Print View

Michael glad to help. Light is good no doubt, but comfort and enjoyment make a trip a whole lot better.

Safe hiking

Dave Weston

Locale: NW
Triangle Bandage on 09/05/2008 12:24:52 MDT Print View

Have you considered using your bandana inplace of your triangular bandage?

Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
Re: Triangle Bandage on 09/07/2008 05:39:10 MDT Print View

Thanks that's a good idea.

Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
Australia 3 seasons on 09/08/2008 05:16:44 MDT Print View

I am guessing as time goes by that you'll find as you look at it more that there is quite a bit in there that you could ditch or find lighter options for if that is what you want.

We find a Hex 3 is ample shelter for the 2 of us. I don't use bag liners preferring long sleeve wool tops, beanie, light socks and long johns to keep the bag clean. I use BPL blow up pillows as a luxury item at 62g for 2. We get by with an 85g ti pot and ti spoon. 2l of water carryig ability is a little light where I sometimes go (Main Range SE Qld) I take a 3l and 2l platy and 750ml bidon as a minimum in winter. I never bother with pack liners in Oz preferring silnylon stuff sacks to keep things dry. Somewhere like Norway I would heft a packliner though. You must also be big on oral hygeine there - my Cathay Pacific toothbrush and paste comes in at 17g!

A lot of it comes down to personal preference though - it is up to you to decide what is important. I carry a 4.5kg base weight in Winter here (Qld) and will be starting with a whopping 5.5kg of luxury for the west coast of Tasmania in a month. Though I carry the shelter and cooking for two and the pack also has to handle food for two as well (small sacrifice to get my partner to come along!)

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Sub 15 lbs Gear List on 09/09/2008 03:06:54 MDT Print View

Hi Mike
The most obvious "heavy" item is your tent. I am not familiar with the Zephyr ( similar to the Cirrus ?) but at over 1700g it is rather heavy for a 3 season tent ( now....)
Since you don't use trekking poles , consider the Tarptent Rainbow at under 1 kg all up, or if you must have a double skin then the Terra Nova Laserlight , at about the same weight (much more expensive).
You could also save about 200 g by switching to a Patagonia Micro Puff jacket .

Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
Re: Sub 15 lbs Gear List on 09/09/2008 05:02:43 MDT Print View

Hi Franco,

Yes my tent is definately heavy (cheap anaconda brand one, replaced the Cirrus in their line up)and I would like to replace it with a sub 1 kilo shelter system. The tarptents are an obvious choice.

One thing that holds me back from a tarptent is importing one from america. I'm not sure how much it would actually cost with the fees and postage. The rainbow looks the best for me in terms of weight and space.

The Terra Nova Laser competition looks a bit complicated to set up. I see there is even thread dedicated to how to set it up?

Other options I'm considering are a black diamond Lightsabre (unsure how it would cope with Australian conditions), Integral Designs Sildome with bug bivy or hanging mosquito net and Golite Uptopia.

My jacket is brand new, replacing my 200 weight polarfleece with a synthetic windproof (more packable) jacket and so unlikely to replace at the moment. I didn't have a chance to weigh it before buying and took a chance on it being lighter. Unfortunately it was 100 grams heavier....sigh..

Any advice on importing tarptents to Australia or other shelter options welcome.

twig .
(bretthartwig) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Sub 15 lbs Gear List on 09/09/2008 05:42:07 MDT Print View

Hi Michael,
I have a Tarptent Squall in Adelaide, it is in excellent condition ( I won't be using it much due to a doubling of our family size in the past couple of years) and would sell it for $120 shipped to Queensland. If you decide on another Tarptent you can't go wrong with any of Henrys Tarptents, they are great for most Australian conditions.
PM me or email

Edited by bretthartwig on 09/09/2008 05:46:25 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Sub 15 lbs Gear List on 09/09/2008 19:09:14 MDT Print View

Hi Michael
Your jacket is about the same weight as my (similar) Montane , I am not prepared to spend the extra money either to save 200 g.....
Brett's offer is pretty good at well under 1/2 price of the new one (AU125= US 100). You do need a pole with the Squall , maybe Brett has the one from TT.
The Rainbow is out of stock at the moment (according to the TT site) , from memory it is around $40 AU for postage. I have had 3 tents sent from Tarptent, they all arrived in 5 to 7 days.
( note the drop of the AU$ from 98 to 80c US in just a few weeks)
At the moment I am playing with the Akto , just to get the feel of it. I must admit that I do prefer the side entry. Having said that, apart from my backyard tests , I use the Contrail .
This shot tells the story....
From left to right : standard double skin tent, the Akto,the Rainbow and the Contrail....
Size matters

Edited by Franco on 09/09/2008 19:12:17 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Sub 15 lbs Gear List on 09/09/2008 21:01:40 MDT Print View

I suggestion if you buy Brett's Squall 2 and need to purchase a pole ...

.344" diameter x .019" wall thickness Easton 7075 pole stock is typically used with UL shelters. It is the lightest option but bows easily, limiting guy line tension when trying to make a taut pitch. That was certainly the case with the original model Squall I once owned.

That has been OK for my homemade TT1 but when taking a RainShadow on a canoe trip (no trekking poles), I decided to use .380" diameter x .026" wall thickness poles at a weight penalty of 1.4oz for a pair of 48" poles. They were rock solid stiff and never showed any hint of wanting to bow.

If I were getting a single pole for a Squall 2 I'd use the heavier pole stock. Maybe the lighter stuff would work OK with two poles in a Squall 2 but having never tried it I don't know that. The weight penalty using the heavy stuff for a pair of Squall 2 poles would be 1.33oz ... there's certainly room for that in a 15lb gear list.

Edited by jcolten on 09/09/2008 21:03:02 MDT.

Michael Williams

Locale: Queensland
Single skin tents on 09/20/2008 06:33:14 MDT Print View

Thanks to Brett for his generous offer with the Squall. I didn't take him up on it as I'm still not 100% sold on tarptents. They appear a little finicky to set up.

I'm looking for a simple to set up shelter system. I'm starting to look at single skin tents like BD Oneshot or maybe Golite Uptopia with floor. Even the MSR Skinny One has appeal.(heavy I know, but the huge mesh awning/window would be great for the humid climate I usually hike in)

As far as I'm aware the current commercial single skin tents are tarptents, BD Epic tents, Big Sky and MSR Skinny (next year). Am I missing any others?

Regarding my gear list, I've been convinced to drop the sleeping bag liner and have reweighed my toothbrush and toothpaste (not sure how I managed to get 70g worth of oral hygiene).

I've replaced separate fly and inner stuff sacks with one Sn240 Sea 2 Summit compression sack. Got rid of the bandage.
I have tried inflatable pillows but they didn't work for me.
I'm also looking at getting a POE ether 6 compact full or 2/3 length sleeping pad for more comfort.

I guess my main aim is to get my base weight to about 6kg and improve my comfort levels.

Dan, do you use a floor, mosquito protection or a bivy with the Golite Hex3?

Thanks to all for their comments

Edited by qldhike on 09/20/2008 06:47:19 MDT.

Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
Hex 3 is versatile on 09/20/2008 07:26:03 MDT Print View

Michael, a lot of this stuff is what you get used to… IMHO you don’t need a fly that goes to the ground anywhere in Qld and not many places in Australia. We use the Hex with BPL tarp bivy’s with polycro groundsheets from GG a lot. However in Europe we are above the treeline in often damp colder conditions so, for comfort, we often take the Hex floor. In somewhere like Norway above the A Circle there is a lot of midges – and I mean a lot – so, again for comfort, we use the complete inner with bug net (soaked in Pymetherin). We are doing the west coast of Tassie in a couple of months and will probably take the inner with the Hex for that one. The Hex can be pitched to the ground or off the ground so it is a very versatile and roomy shelter. We are both over 6’ and often we have to be inside due to weather etc so room is a real luxury… I imported mine from the States – no real bother.

Windshirts come in around 100g’s depending… Very versatile … I often do not take a WB jacket… These sorts of ideas you can pick up in other peoples gearlists and read up on how they use them…

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Hex is versitile on 09/20/2008 12:48:13 MDT Print View

I have used the HEX on alot of my hikes and can say it is bomb proof. I have been caught in several storms and the pyramid shape took all that the Sierra storms could throw at us. Easy set up, lots of room- plus head room. I use it with the Golite bug shelter which adds a few degrees of warmth. 3 people can fit easily on the sides, possibly 4 in a pinch. The easy set-up is my favorite feature and I use my trekking poles for the center pole.

Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
Re: "Sub 15 lbs Gear List" on 10/19/2008 01:35:45 MDT Print View

You can find an Australian gearlist of mine here:

This varies, and for exactly the same trip the following year (2008) we reduced my pack by 0.7kg, and my partner's by 0.65kg.
Including food and water our packs were at around 14.5lb at the start of the hike for '08. We aren't wealthy or uber-lightweighters, my partner insists on a minimum comfort level.

I use a tarptent in all but heavy winter conditions (above a tree line and/or snow conditions).
We use the Sixmoons Europa 05 tarp tent. It isn't fiddly at all and quite comfortable. Can use a stick for pole and minimis pegs when below the tree line too.

I'd consider that tarptent of Brett's if its anything like mine.

Chasing light weight for the sake of the number is not our goal either, however maintaining our sweetspot of comfort etc whilst trying to reduce the weight carried is a fun challenge.

Ryan Dunne

Locale: Humboldt
stuff sacks. on 10/24/2008 22:57:51 MDT Print View

Just wondering what the reasoning is for using them? I've pretty much always tossed them aside and just stuffed my stuff in the pack. I find it a lot easier to pack that way, and I also don't have like 5 sacks that serve little purpose.
I use one for the small stuff in my pack, like my first aid kit, emergency items, purell, toothbrush, etc.

I'm interested in other peoples' perspectives on the stuff sack.