First some background so you know who I am and have some idea of what I have in mind (and consequently my specs).
I'm 23, male, 5'4" 125lb. Slightly on the lanky side. A bit of a gourmet (albeit with a disturbing-to-others sense of taste); I like to be comfortable but am quite capable of making do with 'good enough'. Generally a very calm disposition. Some knowledge of martial arts (may it never prove relevant).
I'm a UC Berkeley student, graduating this May. My current plan is that come June I will be shipping off to Japan to teach kids English. I'll stay there 1-3 years, save up, and use the money to fund some extensive (1-?? year) worldwide travel. (I'll be doing some work on the side during that time on some business ideas of mine that may or may not make me rich - probably not, but hey, I'm a geek and it's part of the deal that I have to try.)
I have never backpacked before. I have lived out of my car for 6 months using a really really really old rectangular 40F bag, a Chinese-store gas stove, and some army surplus store goods. I survived.
That's obviously not how I'd like to do my travels, though. I am intending on going ultralight inasmuch as possible / comfortable - i.e. critically considering all of my gear, with an eye towards choosing stuff to be multifunctional, reusable, low on "heavy items for emergencies", and of course getting the lightest / most efficient stuff available.
All the gear must be capable of surviving continuous months (if not years) of constant abuse. I want it to be workable for all environments outside of extreme cold or specialized gear (eg scuba, mountaineering) - I'll rent locally for that. In the time before I Set Out (tm), it'll see more normal use in my day-to-day life as well as more traditional short camping trips.
My aesthetic tends towards subtle earthtones, very low-profile (or no-profile) branding, and a dash of bizarre. (Sometimes subtle, sometimes not; depends on the crowd and how willing I am to sprint if needed. :-P)
What I'd like your advice on is:
a) for stuff I have decided on, have I made a decision that's significantly worse than possible alternatives that I haven't (or have insufficiently) considered? If so, what are they? I'm willing to swap stuff out if it seems really worth it.
b) For stuff I haven't decided on, I'd like to tune:
- efficiency (i.e. cross-use of items, getting more useful stuff, etc)
- versatility (I am willing to sacrifice a few ounces to gain it)
- pragmatics (i.e. how much of it is stuff I think I need but don't really - please consider the POV before answering this, since I'm not gearing up for a known-climate, short[ish], local, backcountry trip)
So, on to the gear.
First, the stuff I already have (or have ordered) and intend to take with me:
Western Mountaineering UltraLite 5'6"
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 + footprint
Boze MountainWorks TorsoLite
Brunton Optimus Nova multifuel stove
GSI Hard Anodized Extreme cookset
2 Light My Fire sporks
UL PackTowls - 1 S, 1 XL (also have 1 M non-UL)
2 Orikaso plates
2 Orikaso bowls (for sharing)
1 pair Possum gloves
Have decided on, but not yet ordered, an AcquaStar+ for water purification.
So as far as I can tell, what I have left to get is an UL pack (covered in a separate thread on the Gear forum), clothes, and 'miscellany'.
What follows is my current list for that. Asterisks are things I'm considering; lines under them are particular models that might fill that role, sorted in order of current tentative preference (high to low). Question marks mean I'm not sure whether or not I will bring that item at all.
* Headgear - cold weather
Polar Buff (100-weight) - 2oz
* Headgear - hot weather
Regular Buff - 2oz
Cotton bandanna - 1oz
* Headgear / Umbrella - sun / rain (if anything can be found that fits [my skill circumfrence is ~24-25"])
Tilley LT3 - 3oz
Outdoor Research Seatlle Sombrero - 3.1oz (better for rain/cold)
MontBell Trekking Umbrella
generic baseball cap
* Headgear - Mosquitos
* Torso - breathable waterpoof/windproof shell
Integral Designs eVent Rain Jacket - 8.8oz
Montane 180 WP/B Shirt - 7.1oz
Outdoor Research Zealot - 7.2oz
Patagonia Specter Pullover - 6.5oz
MontBell Peak - 11.2oz
GoLite Rage - 7.4oz
Sierra Designs Isotope - 4.4oz
GoLite Squall - 10oz
Marmot Precip - 14oz
Montane Featherlite Smock - 3.2oz
GoLite Bark - 8oz
Montane Aero Smock - 2.9oz
* Torso - softshell (i.e. "this is my jacket" - must be good in wide range of temps)
- merino wool? fleece sweater?
Patagonia Ready Mix
Outdoor Research Mithril Stormshell
Arc'teryx Sigma AR
North Face Wlded Omega
Columbia Atlas Mountain Pullover
Cloudview Half Moon Jacket
Moonstone Hyperlight Windshirt
* Torso - insulating warmth (?)
Patagonia Puffball Vest - 7oz
Patagonia R2 Pullover - 14oz
Mont Bell UltraLite Down inner jacket - 7.2 oz
Western Mountaineering Flight Vest - 5.5oz
* Torso - underwear / T-shirt x2
- one light, one medium? Added = one heavy...
Patagonia silkweight capilene crew, long sleeve - 5 oz
Patagonia midweight capilene crew - 8oz
Icebreaker Superfine Merino crew - 7.5
Patagonia Mesh SportTop - 2.1oz
* Torso - pretty-looking collared shirt (that'd also be useful normally...)
Royal Robbins CoolMax Expedition Shirt 2.9oz
* Legs - breathable waterproof/windproof shell - supplex? microfiber?
GoLite Reed - 5oz
Marmot Precip - 8oz
* Legs - underwear x2
Patagonia lightweight capilene - 5oz
Patagonia midweight capilene bottoms - 7oz
Ex Officio ?
* Legs - underwear, shorts-sized x1
Patagonia silkweight capilene boxers - 3oz
Moving Comfort Microbrief - 1.3
* Legs - all-around (other than water/wind) convertible pants/shorts (i.e. "these are my pants")
- pref. usable as swim trunks also
REI Convertibles - 7oz ?
* Hands - cold weather
Possum gloves (see above - sufficient?)
Mountain Hardwear Tempest SL
100w Polarfleece 1oz
* Hands - toughness / waterproof (?)
* Feet - Shoes - trail runners
- very unused to wearing sneakers...
New Balance 804 - 28oz
Salomon Tech Amphibians - 24.2oz
Inov-8 Mudroc 280 - 9.9oz
* Feet - Sandals (? - a bit redundant between the light shoes and barefoot options)
* Feet - Socks (3 pair)
SmartWool Light Hiker - 2.7oz
* Feet - Sock liners (2) (? - why not just stack up regular socks?)
Coolmax liners - 1oz per
* Walking sticks (?)
- never used 'em, unlikely to miss 'em
LifeLink Guide Ultra Light - 7.8oz
Gossamear Gear Lightrek - 2.2oz (not adjustable, 43.5"/49")
MSR Overland Carbon - 8.8oz
REI Peak UL Compact Trekking - 6.3oz
Stix X1 Trekking poles - 6oz
* bug repellent - time-release DEET
* flame - lighter
Scripto ? Bic? Zippo? El Generico?
* first aid
- bandages, tape, pads, alchohol swab, antibiotic ointment, moleskin, cortisone cream, tweezers, nitrile gloves
* second aid / meds
- painkillers, anithistamines, decongestants, snakebite kit, peptobismol
- heavy painkillers, antiviral, antibiotic, antimalarial, dental painkiller, antidiarrheal, prescriptions
* light - LED flashlight ~2-5oz; headstrap; 1w-3w?
- HUUUUUUGE selection. Probably going to get major tech upgrades w/in 1.5yr; worth waiting.
* knife / multitool - knife, pliers (?), scissors (?), Phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, file
- Leatherman Micra?
* compass w/ declination adjustment, mirror, & glow-in-the-dark needles
* sunglasses (that actually fit my face well - no/minimal gaps and peripheral-vision blocking)
* writing stuff
- journal, pen
* emergency & repairs
- sports bars, reflective 'space' blanket, needle, thread, duct tape, glue (= seam sealer), utility cord (Kelty Triptease?), spare lighter, spare batteries, repair kits for gear
* stuff sacks, rubber bands, plastic bags, etc
* sorting cubes?
* silk liner sack?
- ... gonna take a while to find something that'll satisfy me, between ultralight and high-quality nil-lag...
* cellphone - w/ GPS (?)
* music / storage?
* el cheapo watch
* batteries, solarpanel (Solio?), or wallwort w/ multiplugs
* monocular - watertight (I don't have stereo vision anyway, so why bother with binocs?)
* star chart?
* music maker - flute? harmonica?
Reading material, paperwork, pragmatics
* guides / maps, ripped
* passports, photos, cash money, traveler's checks, receipts, photocopies, credit cards, driver's license, IDP, student / hostel cards, 3 personal checks, int'l vaccination card
* locks, cable lock (pack-net lock?), TrackIT (?)
* money belt (the kind they don't see)
* money belt (the kind that holds pants up)
* paper w/ addresses, phone numbers, important numbers, etc. (encrypted?)
* language translator (?)
* business cards
* small trinkets
* photos from home
* decoy wallet
* door/window wedge (?)
* towel (covered above)
* travel-sized toiletry kit - razor + blades, shaving cream/oil, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, shampoo-conditioner, deodorant, soap, nail clippers, mirror
* washing supplies - concentrated detergent, tri-braid clothesline (no clips), flat sink stopper
* water holder
Platypus 2L Zip Hoser - 5.3oz
* stuffsack-pillow (?)
* toilet paper
* lip balm
... and that's it.
Lots of those you'll notice only have one or nil specific brands mentioned - that's probably because I don't have much idea what would fill that slot, just there's a slot *to* fill. Doesn't imply any attachment on my part to the few option(s) mentioned.
* Gear to suggest?
* Gear to drop?
* Gear to swap out or combine?
* Gear that fill those slots well?
* Something I totally failed to consider?
* Sanity check?