Mike - The Pack, Shelter, Sleep System weigh in at a whopping 8 pounds 0.2 oz! That's a LOT. A true ultra-light hiker could easily go out with their entire base weight WELL under that number.
Uh... okay. I guess I'm not true then, but thanks. Keep in mind it's for 2 people for the first half - the kitchen, shelter, first aid, and some other items are shared.
Mike - Ospre Exos 46 is pretty heavy. There are lot's of lighter backpacks.
I think that you can find packs lighter than 2 pounds goes without saying.
Mike - What's a "mylar bag liner" ?
Really? It's a polyester based oven roaster bag - somewhat strong, very light, and waterproof. If lining a silnylon stuff sack (which would be used to make your sleeping bag take up less space), the tend to work pretty well. In fact, it's mentioned in BPL's own book that mylar bags combined with silnylon are a good UL method of protecting sleeping bags.
Mike - Why the stuff sack for the sleeping bag? Just use a trash compactor bag in the pack.
See above - smaller package. I'd also rather individually protect my sleeping bag from moisture. It's one minor ounce of insurance.
Mike - Why a true tent? WIll a tarp suffice?
I'd argue it's not a true tent, but whatever. I have a 13.5oz 8x10 ID SilTarp 2 and a 7.5 oz sheet of tyvek that would be perfect size. With the titanium stakes and guyline it's about 23.5 ounces. But, no - my wife is coming. :) I could use it for the second half, but there will be rain and bugs (ever been to Northern MN?), I don't have a bivy, etc, etc, etc.
Mike - Why a butane stove? Alcohol is lighter.
Covered that already. Stove is lighter, fuel is heavier. Take your pick. For the second half, I'll probably grab my alcohol stove. Most of our trips use the alcohol stove (homemade redbull variety).
Mike - Toilet paper AND wet wipes (and more wipes in the first aid kit?) Why both. You CAN leave the toilet paper behind...
Good point on the wet wipes. Those can stay behind.
Mike - a 2.5 oz headlamp? THere are lighter options...
True. I tried the little photon things, it was okay but I prefer my lamp.
Mike - The DriDucks are a fine option, but BE careful (especially with the easily ripped pants)
I ripped out one pair of pants squatting down, so I understand the fragility of the material. They handle long sustained rain well?
Mike - A 2 oz compass?
Ya know, it's probably one of those things that I REALLY don't need for this trip, but always carry. Really, it's supposed to be the best marked trail in North America. I've never even been remotely lost. Out it goes!
Mike - Cut the bandana in half.
Nope - I shave my head. If I don't wear the brimmed hat, the bandana is on my head. It's a big enough head that 1/2 of one wouldn't cover it. Good idea though.
Mike - A 15 oz jacket? For May?
Been to Northern MN in May? I will defer this to Sam and Matt - what do you think? I doubt I'd use it while walking.