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I did it! 5 lb Base Wt
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Linda Vassallo

Locale: Eastbay
I did it! 5 lb Base Wt on 12/02/2008 22:44:10 MST Print View

Again, I want to thank everyone for their comments and assistance with my pack gear list. I posted my first list on 11-30-08, see the list at:

I have thrown out many items that were previously carried for "just in case" situations. These items were never used and in some cases left at base camp because I did not want to carry them. So, out they went.

This gear will be used in temperatures ranging from the high 20s to the high 80s. I have reconfigured for 4.5 days which has been my typical hiking time in the past.

I currently have a tent but will replace it with a Poncho/tarp or Poncho/Cape in the near future. I counted it in the list at 10 oz. I do not cook so do not carry a stove et al. I have a fire starter for emergency use.

I have yet to purchase a new, lighter pack and am considering a ZPack Blast 32 or an MLD Exodus. I have run the numbers for each.

Mike C asked me about the Sawyer filter. It is my in-line water treatment filter and attaches to my hoser hose and filters the water as I drink. I bought it at REI but Sawyer also has a web site

Sawyer In-Line Filter

Enough rambling, here's my new gear list:
MLD Exodus 15.7 oz
ZPack Blast 32 6.11

Pack liner: large plastic bag 1.1 oz

Clothing: (have deleted compression sac)
socks, quarter length 1.9 oz
sports bra 2.9oz
wind shirt, Marmot 4.8 oz
(have now) disposable rain poncho 2.2 oz (will remove when I get real Poncho/tarp)
balaclava, merino wool 1.8 oz
gloves, wool 2.9 oz
Insulation: merino wool top, BPL 4.7 oz (sleep system)
Insulation: merino wool bottom, BPL 3.9 oz (sleep system)
Insulation: Thermawrap jacket, Montbell 8.3 oz

First Aid (in sm zip lock:
Moleskin, 1 sheet 0.3 oz
small scissors (for above) 0.6 oz
pins x2, needle x1 (ndl for blister care, pins for repairs) 0.4 oz
bandaids, 5 assorted 0.2 oz
Bacitracin ointment, sm pkts x2 0.2 oz
assorted medications, headache, pain, etc 0.2 oz

No cooking, no stove, no fuel

I include the Sawyer filter here 1.8 oz

mummy bag, WM Ultralite 20* 29 oz
(deleted the compression sac)
sleep pad, torso, closed cell 1.2 oz
*poncho/cape/tarp 10 oz
(have yet to get but is factored in)

Safety/Survival: in small zip lock
Mini Rescue signal mirror 0.4 oz
Petzl e-Lite 1 oz
Spark-Lite fire starter 0.3 oz
UL tinder, 8 in mini zip lock 0.2 oz

Comfort/Personal in small zip lock:
Dr Bronner's 1.2 oz (still heavy, will reduce to BPL micro drop bottle)
toothbrush, finger 0.05 oz
floss 0.0 oz
sunscreen, 15 ml 0.8 oz (will reduce)
lip sunscreen 0.3 oz
TP, 8 sheets x4 (can't get rid of it yet) 0.6 oz
alcohol hand sanitizer 0.8 oz
(will reduce to BPL micro drop bottle)
daily medications 0.3 oz
mosquito repellant, Picaridin, 15 ml 0.9 oz
(will reduce to BPL micro drop bottle)
mosquito face net, BPL 0.33 oz
pen, 1 piece paper 0.3 oz
camera batteries for Nikon P80 2 oz
car key (fob only) 0.6 oz

Platypus: Hoser 2 L, full 67.6 oz
(will probably switch to 2 1L bottles)
food: no-cook items for 4.5 days 57.3 oz

trail runner shoes, Merrill Siren 22.2 oz
socks, quarter length 1.9 oz
sports bra 2.9 oz
shirt: long sleeve Patagonia Capilene 1 4.9 oz
(will exchange for Golite Drimove - 2 oz)
Pants: REI w/zip-off legs, legs on 13.3
(looking for lighter pants)
hat, Sunday Afternoon 2.4 oz
trekking poles, Leki 16.8
(considering trading in for something lighter)
knee pad x1 (for wildflower photography) 0.1 oz
compass, Silva on lanyard 1.1 oz
whistle, Slim Rescue Howler on lanyard 0.2 oz
map, Tom Harison, average wt, in pocket 1.7 oz
camera: Nikon P80 around neck 10 oz
ID 0.2 oz
(so the rescuers know where to send the body)

Grand Totals:

Base GEAR wt: just gear, no pack, food, water etc 88.8 oz (5.53 lbs)

Base wt with ZPack 94.6 oz (5.91 lbs)
ZPack with food/water 219.5 oz (13.72 lbs)
Skin-out ZPack 297.2 oz (18.58 lbs)

Base wt with Exodus Pack 104.2 oz (6.51 lbs)
Exodus with food/water 229.1 oz (14.32 lbs)
Skin-out Exodus 36.8 oz (19.18 lbs)

Finding ways to reduce wt is addictive! And fun!


Edited by eastbayhiker on 12/03/2008 07:01:13 MST.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: I did it! 5 lb Base Wt on 12/02/2008 23:48:24 MST Print View


Great and detailed gear list in that you show all the combinations of what you carry and weight for full disclosure.

Simply an amazing and impressive kit that you have put together.

You've inspired me to review what I currently carry to see where I can cut some fluff from my own kit.

Again, I am concerned about how little food that you are carrying with you for the number of days you plan on going out.

My advice is that once you get your kit onto the trail, give yourself a little more margin of error on the food.

Even an extra pound of food is not going to slow you down with the impressively low base weight that you have achieved.

Get yourself out on the trail and use the kit and see how the reality of using the kit, your body's need for calories, etc will impact how you might change your kit.

Anyway, congrats and now I am off to obsess over my own gear list again.

Damn is all your fault!

And to think that I was "comfortable" with my base weight. :)


Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
RE: I did it! 5 lb Base Wt on 12/03/2008 01:38:38 MST Print View

I agree with Tony's concern on the food weight. If my math is correct, you're proposing 3.5 lbs for 4.5 days. Less than a pound a day? Most would agree at 2lbs/day.

I would add a Thinlight to temps below freezing. I lost a lot of heat with just a Nightlight torso. The Thinlight has been instrumental toward improving the range of my sleep system for a low 2oz.

Regarding the ZPack vs. MLD Exodus: you're doing the math but consider the materials and your use.

Overall, an impressive list.


Edited by uberkatzen on 12/03/2008 01:52:07 MST.

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Consumables on 12/03/2008 02:52:26 MST Print View

Great job on reducing your weight! It looks like you may have included the weight of some consumables though (it's 4am so I'm too tired to do the math lol). In fact, going through some of the community lists earlier, I think quite a few people are including them. For instance, I weigh my BPL mini droppers, but the contents (deet, soap, sanitizer, sunscreen) are going to be consumed. There may be some leftover, but the same could be said about fuel and people only include the fuel canister weight.

Edited by RomanLA on 12/03/2008 03:06:56 MST.

Linda Vassallo

Locale: Eastbay
Re: RE: I did it! 5 lb Base Wt on 12/03/2008 07:00:15 MST Print View

Tony, Michael, Roman:

Thanks for looking the list over. I was light on the food last list also. I tried to increase it~will increase it again. It's a valid concern. In the past I always return with left-over food (which is OK, don't want to run out) and I always have emergency food with me in the event of an unplanned overnight bivouac. More food it is.

I forgot to include the pack liner. I do carry a trash bag at 1.1 oz. Have used it and it works well. I'll go back and add it in to the list.

I was looking the Thinlight pads again last night. I'm thinking I would want one even if temps are not that cold.

I am anxious to get out and try this gear for adequacy. As it's my "good weather" list I'll have to modify it for colder weather. I feel comfortable with it, though, for summer (based on what I've used/needed in the past). I agree, there is less margin for error and that was on my mind as I eliminated items. I might have to add a few items back in....

Re: packs ~ Exodus vs ZPack. I have not read anything negative about the Zs. My impression is that they do hold up. Joe (and others) have used them on PCT and AT thru hikes. I'm not hard on my gear so it may work for me. I also really like the Exodus but am concerned it will be too big (and the smaller version, too small). I do need the ability to carry a tent and the dreaded Bear Vault. Ooh, just had a thought. Maybe two packs are what is called for. Hmmm.........


Edited by eastbayhiker on 12/04/2008 19:20:09 MST.

Linda Vassallo

Locale: Eastbay
Re: Consumables on 12/03/2008 07:07:45 MST Print View

Hi Roman,

Yeah, I'm not quite sure what is considered consumable. I use the definition "edible".
I include most items in the wt list so I can track the true wt of what's on my back.

Thanks for the positive feedback.


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Consumables on 12/03/2008 07:13:32 MST Print View

Most "accepted" consumables are food, fuel, and water. Others also add toothpaste, toilet paper, sunscreen, bug juice, hand sanitizer, soap, etc. since they are used up during a hike.

Edited by jshann on 12/03/2008 07:15:44 MST.

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Toilet Paper on 12/03/2008 07:37:43 MST Print View

"Others also add toothpaste, toilet paper, sunscreen, bug juice, hand sanitizer, soap, etc. since they are used up during a hike."

You actually have to carry tp back out, so I definitely wouldn't consider it consumable. Personally, I prefer baby wipes though! :)

Edited by RomanLA on 12/03/2008 07:38:59 MST.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
toilet Paper Free Expeditions on 12/03/2008 09:08:31 MST Print View

Toile Paper?

The previous posing noted:
"You actually have to carry tp back out"

Actually - If you DON'T carry toilet paper, you DON'T need to carry it out! Easiest and lightest. The wight of TP should be noted as ZERO.


Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
TP on 12/03/2008 09:29:47 MST Print View it...would still rather carry a half dozen baby wipes than try to find the perfect river rocks when nature calls. Besides what becomes of those poor rocks when you're done with them. They're forever lost to the river! lol

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
YOU DID IT! on 12/03/2008 09:45:08 MST Print View

LINDA! Your list is awesome. That said, I went thru and really scrutinized it, and made some minor comments.

a) You have a 1.1 oz sleeping pad? WOW! Have you tried sleeping on it? Sleep is important, make sure not to gyp yourself on a good night of sleep..

b) The spark light will ALWAYS work. No need to make it redundant.

c) 29 oz sleeping bag is technically "sorta" heavy, BUT a "sorta" big sleeping bag simplifies a lot. One unit is simple, rather than a collection of things in a system.

d) Two bras? I'll remain silent...

e) Lighter pants? THe BPL thoroughfare are the lightest I've found. Easy to hike in - even on a HOT day.

f) Hide those car keys right at the car! They will serve no purpose in the backcountry. This is more of metaphysical state of mind, the act of liberating yourself from THIS world when stepping into THAT world.

g) The BPL tiny droppers are great! I've been doing this kind of trekking long enough that I've accumulated a nice collection of tiny little bottles and containers. Our society is FLOODED with little plastic things that can easily be reused. I have a box of them among my light-weight gear.

h) Toilet paper? Just so you know - if you REALLY wanna embrace the metaphysical state of mind that the wilderness can give us, leave it behind.
Linda wrote:
(can't get rid of it yet)
Yes you can! You'll be fine!


i) I noticed there are NO stuff sacks, is that correct? RIGHT ON for you!
It can be done, easily! (I take stuff sacks for kook gear and food, sooty and food smell for hanging in trees)

j) 0.2 oz ID? Okay - If you really wanna take something, just write any info on a TINY piece of paper, easily saving 0.19 oz

k) If you feel comfortable with LESS than 1 pound of food Per Day, go for it. The worst that happens is you run out . If so, no big deal. Keep accurate data of your food BEFORE going into the field, and keep track AFTER you get back. Don't take "just in case" food. Take just what you'll need.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
I did it! 5 lb Base Wt on 12/03/2008 09:51:05 MST Print View

Above, Michael Skwarczek commented about food, he said that:
"Most would agree at 2lbs/day."

2 pounds-per-day is really high. That's a number for six foot ten inch tall, weightlifting, 20 year olds, doing a speed attempt on the PCT.

1.4 Pounds Per Person Per Day seems to work really well for "normal" adults.

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: YOU DID IT! on 12/03/2008 09:51:18 MST Print View

Mike, as a chick, I'm gonna speak up and say I think the bra weighs 2.9 oz, not that she is taking two :)

edit - waaaaaait a minute. Maybe you're right? My vote is ditch one then :)

Edited by AngelaZ on 12/03/2008 09:52:54 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
I did it! 5 lb Base Wt on 12/03/2008 10:26:42 MST Print View


Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/19/2015 13:52:56 MST.

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Road ID on 12/03/2008 11:43:17 MST Print View

I use a Road ID for all of my outdoor adventures. I wear the wrist bracelet for land stuff and the neoprene ankle bracelet for water stuff. I have a web page on their site that emergency medical personnel can pull up via phone or the web and get all of my information. I like that I can put trip specific information on the page like where I'm parking, my vehicle make/model/plate, etc. Anyway, here's the web site address...

Linda Vassallo

Locale: Eastbay
Re: TP on 12/04/2008 19:24:30 MST Print View

I have to say, I'll continue to take the TP. My understanding is that "effluence" is supposed to be buried so the soil bacteria can take care of it :)

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
toilet paper? on 12/04/2008 19:29:02 MST Print View


You wrote: "My understanding is that 'effluence" is supposed to be buried"

Okay - By "effluence' you mean SH*T, right? Yes, that gets buried, but what does that have to do with toilet paper (which has to get triple bagged and carried out)

I'm confused.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: toilet paper? on 12/04/2008 19:52:45 MST Print View

Actually, the "real" question: If water and sanitizer are available, why do you even need tp? And if you don't need it, there's no need to triple bag and cart out anything. :)

Edited by ben2world on 12/04/2008 19:53:42 MST.

Linda Vassallo

Locale: Eastbay
Re: YOU DID IT! on 12/04/2008 20:11:58 MST Print View

Thanks Mike, you were my inspiration. I'll try to address some of your questions.

My sleep pad is a blue, closed cell pad from REI, torso size. I have only tried it at home. Will have to see how it sleeps but I think it will be ok. I'm sure I'll get a thinlight pad also. It will add wt but for a good cause.

The Spark-Lite is my only source of fire. The lite listed above it is a very light, bright headlamp.

My bag is heavy but it will cover a wide range of temps for me. I sleep cold. Nighttime/early AM temps on past trips in Yosemite have ranged from 29 degrees to 40 degrees.

Re: Two bras. I miss-labeled them. They are actually sports exercise tops. My reasoning for two is: I wear one, it gets sweaty. I put the fresh one on to sleep in. The first one dries out. I trade them off each day. Indulgence I know. Once I make the move to hard-core, I'll ditch the 2nd one. Promise:)

I do like the description of the Thorofare hiking pants but a few reports from users have stated they hold in heat and get wet inside. So jury is out on these for now.

Working on the metaphysical.

No, no stuff sacs. You are right-don't need them. If I add a stove, would use one there. Just realized, I do have to add a bag for food-something to hang it with. Good thing I have plans to reduce wt of some other items. Will make room for the additions

I can remove the ID. Piece of paper will work

Each year I return with food after trips and each year I reduce the amount I take.

Thank you again, Mike, for your comments. Greatly appreciated.


Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
TP? on 12/04/2008 20:12:27 MST Print View

Ben - You are RIGHT ON!

I have been a pest on these forums trying to liberate campers from their un-needed TP.

Read this: