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Gear List / Pack Choice
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scott burgeson
(DrDystopia) - F

Locale: Upstate NY
Gear List / Pack Choice on 03/07/2009 23:42:39 MST Print View

I have been working on reducing the weight of this list after a brutal hike with to much weight last summer.

We live in the north east and this is a 3 season list. Temps can go slightly below freezing at night.

My wife and I hike together so we share the weight of a BA Seedhouse SL2 and the tent is one area where I am unable to reduce weight. We love this tent and she will not sleep under a tarp.

There are some obvious thing missing from this list and that is because we split up our tent / eating / toiletries etc.

Right now it stands as:


2 Pair of socks (1 extra trail sock and 1 sleep sock)6 oz
light gloves 2 oz
fleece hat 3 oz
long johns top and bottom 12 oz
MH Polartek Jacket 13 oz
Precip Jacket doubles as wind jacket and shell 12 oz

Total: 50 oz

Cooking gear:

GSI duelest cookset 20.7 oz
MSR Pocket Rocket stove 3 oz
Light my fire spork .4

Total: 24.10

Other Items:
First Aide, Duct tape, knife etc:

Total 17.5 oz

Sleeping / Tent:

BA Seedhouse SL2 Body 18.5 oz
BA Seedhouse SL2 Rainfly 16.5 oz
Lafuma Pro 30 Sleeping Bag 23 oz
Pac. Out. Equip. Compact ether mattress 17 oz

Total: 75 oz

Water bladder 4 oz

Total for everything in pack: 10.66 lbs

Sleeping pad:
I really need to find a store that will let me sleep on the floor for an hour or two. I am very boney and a side sleeper. I tried the old blue walmart pad and I woke up with bruised hips.

suggestions would be great here.


This is the big one. I just brought home a Osprey Kestrel 48. I was told at the store that it weighed just over 3 lbs but I got it home and found that it weighed just over 4.

I am thinking about returning it and getting the Talon 44. This pack weighs 2 lbs 10 oz.

Here is the rub the Kestrel includes a pack cover in the weight. A cover for the Talon adds another 4 oz.

So I would be saving just over a pound. The Kestrel fits me better then any pack I have ever put on. I haven't done 20 mile days with it but with 25 lbs in it and a 3 hour walk had me loving it.

Is the pound really worth the switch?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.


Rochester NY

Edited by DrDystopia on 03/07/2009 23:44:44 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Gear List / Pack Choice on 03/07/2009 23:49:50 MST Print View

A pound woulnd't be worth it to me, if it really fits that well. I'd use it while I shopped for something in the the 2# range though.

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Gear List / Pack Choice on 03/08/2009 06:48:31 MDT Print View

I tend to agree with Joe. Stick with what you know works and do your research to see if you can switch to a pack that's a more drastic weight savings without much or any comfort compromise. One of my mistakes in getting lighter was taking quick but minor steps. This gets expensive... and eventually frustrating.

The next time you're out and you have extra water pour out 0.5L and walk a few more miles to see if you notice a pound. One of my eureka moments was pouring out a liter on a lark and being shocked at how much I noticed the 2.2 lb difference. I went off the deep end after that.

Good luck and HAVE FUN!

William Puckett
(Beep) - F

Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes
Re: Pack Choice on 03/08/2009 10:06:27 MDT Print View

The Granite Gear Vapor Trail at around 2 1/4 pounds is a comfortable carry with capacity in the 55 +/- liter range, though that may be more volume than you need/want. FWIW, it compresses effectively for smaller loads.

Edited by Beep on 03/08/2009 10:07:55 MDT.

Matt Ahonen
(Matti) - F

Locale: Western MN
Pack / Pad on 03/08/2009 10:48:21 MDT Print View

I would find a lighter substitute for the GSI cookset and switch to a Big Agnes pad. This is the lightest pad I have found that lets me get a good nights sleep.

I also have a Vapor Trail and after looking at the Osprey packs I don't think I would switch.


scott burgeson
(DrDystopia) - F

Locale: Upstate NY
Reply on 03/08/2009 13:22:14 MDT Print View

Thanks for the swift responses.

The BA pad is comfortable for a side sleeper with bony hips?

Edit: I looked into the BA pads and the clearview is 6 oz lighter then my current inflatable I may just send mine back to backcountry and swap.

I like the look of the GG Vapor Trail. I might end up taking back the Osprey and picking one up. It is slightly more expensive then what I paid but not too much.

The cook set is my next item after I decide on a pack. My wife and I share the set so I am curious what my options would be for cooking and eating for two people. I would like to stick with the Pocket Rocket for now because the misses is uncomfortable using an alcohol stove.

Thanks again


Edited by DrDystopia on 03/08/2009 13:25:45 MDT.

Matt Ahonen
(Matti) - F

Locale: Western MN
Big Agnes on 03/08/2009 13:38:38 MDT Print View

The big agnes works for me and I am side sleeper with bad shoulders.

I saw another thread that some owners are having problems with the clearview. I would try to find the thread. I have an air core and feel the extra weight is worth it.

Don't pay full price for the Vapor Trail. You should be able to find one on sale. REI has the 20% member discount running right now.

I only boil water so a MSR Titan Kettle is enough for me. No bowl to mess with.

I haven't tried an alchol stove yet, but I think the White Box Stove will be my next purchase.


Edited by Matti on 03/08/2009 13:44:46 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: cookset on 03/08/2009 17:50:03 MDT Print View

I'd check out MSR's 2L Titan pot for two people, depending on your appetite. The pot itself weighs 4.5 ounces; add a pot gripper (comes w/) for 1 ounce and a foil lid--altogether you're at 6 ounces or less. If you each need your own eating container, maybe check out Snowpeak's 1.6 oz (?) Ti Bowl or something like that.

Edited by 4quietwoods on 03/08/2009 17:53:27 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
gear list feedback on 03/09/2009 20:16:33 MDT Print View

MH Polartek Jacket 13 oz - - - Polorteck fleece is heavy. Get a puffy jacket instead. THe BPL COCCON jackets are lighter and warmer.

Cooking gear:
GSI duelest cookset 20.7 oz - - - - - Whew!?! 20 oz is way too much. Two people can use a 1.3 titanium pot. Two little plastic GLAD tubs are an easy solution.

Other Items:
First Aide, Duct tape, knife etc: Total 17.5 oz - - - Wow, over a pound? THat is way too much for a team of two,. Trim this WAY down.

Sleeping / Tent:
BA Seedhouse SL2 Body 18.5 oz
BA Seedhouse SL2 Rainfly 16.5 oz - - - - Over 4 pounds for a tent? Get a tarp. These are nice, and much lighter. You wife will be fine.

Water bladder 4 oz - - - - (how big?) a 2 liter platypus is a mere 2 oz.

Total for everything in pack: 10.66 lbs - - - - - this is a LOT for one person's load in a team of two, without adding the weight of the pack itself.

If the load is small, you can easily use a SMALL pack. If you are dedicated to going light, the GoLite JAM2 is an easy.

scott burgeson
(DrDystopia) - F

Locale: Upstate NY
re: feedback on 03/11/2009 16:28:48 MDT Print View

the SL2 comes in just over 3 lbs pack weight and we split it up. I don't think I am going to get any better here. The misses is in love with this tent. I am partial to it as well.

The cook set if my next purchase. I have been looking for an inexpensive titanium pot but haven't had any luck yet.

I have a MB UL down jacket lined up for purchase after the pot so this will save a ton of weight in the mid layer section.

As far as the first aid etc. portion I would love to reduce the weight on this. I have been reviewing the site and should have halved the weight here soon. Any lists or links for tips on reducing this would be awesome. This section is a bulk weight for bathroom/first aid/survival stuff.

thank you again for all the suggestions, this is the best BP forum I have visited from helpful advice and community.


Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Gear List / Pack Choice on 03/11/2009 16:51:46 MDT Print View

I'm not convinced that titanium pots are worth the extra money over aluminum.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Aluminium on 03/11/2009 17:43:21 MDT Print View

I think I agree, Joe. As long as you're not cooking in the pot and just boiling, I'm not sure what difference the material makes, and the cost/weight savings seems quite negligible.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
gear list feedback on 03/12/2009 20:16:07 MDT Print View

- - - you wrote:

the SL2 (tent) comes in just over 3 lbs pack weight and we split it up. I don't think I am going to get any better here. ...
- - - my reply:

It looks like it's noted at OVER 4-pounds. This is a place to save weight, just so you know. If you DO take it - just make sure to Take less of something else. Like sharing a sleeping bag. I had a girlfriend, and we would camp with ONE down rectangular bag. It was easy.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

- - - you wrote:

The cook set... I have been looking for an inexpensive titanium pot...

- - - my reply:

As noted, an aluminum pot is fine. 1.3 liters is plenty for a team of two. The smallest size will keep it light.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

- - - you wrote:

As far as the first aid etc. portion I would love to reduce the weight on this. ...This section is a bulk weight for bathroom/first aid/survival stuff.

- - - my reply:

17 ounces is too much. THis is a LIGHTWEIGHT camping forum, and over a pound is "traditional" . Just carefully examine EVERY item you need. This forum has a lot of info on first aid kits. Also, see this post:

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
pots and such ... on 03/12/2009 21:11:34 MDT Print View

Hi Scott, for a cookpot, check out AntiGravityGear. The AGG 2L aluminum pot is great and only $13. I find it works better than the really cheap "greasepots" because the lip is rolled, making it easier to use a potgripper. Pot w/ lid weighs around 6 oz.

For bowls, I'm with Mike on the cheap food containers like Glad or Ziploc. Really light, and they come with lids. You can make a cozy for it and cut a slot in the lid to make a mug. Their also handy for things like crackers that you don't want crushed in your foodbag.

For your first aid/survival kit (I call it a Murphy kit) think about the details of your trip. Are you hiking lots of miles? If not, you don't need lots of blister management. Same if you're only out for a couple days. Is it a warm weather trip, on trails, in areas with reasonable backcountry "traffic"? If so, then lots of firestarting materials, a spaceblanket, signalling gear, etc. are not needed. For first aid, do you really need anything more than a couple bandages, maybe one telfa pad, some tape, some Ibuprofen & Immodium, and any prescrips? That's my first aid kit, and I add in a couple Micropur tabs, a needle, floss, a couple safety pins and a whistle for my complete warm weather Murphy Kit.

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
re: Gear List / Pack Choice on 03/13/2009 00:25:30 MDT Print View


How do you feel about same capacity as Osprey, but in a pack that only weighs 1 - 1.5 lbs.? (saves over 2 lbs from your Kestrel and an additional 3/4 lb from the Vapor Trail you're considering).

IMO you should give very serious consideration to Gossamer Gear. They have 3 packs in your wallet range (G4, Miniposa, Mariposa Plus) that, from your list, seem to fit your needs, and are extremely lightweight without being overly fragile. Compress-able with shock cord to your need.


And, no, I don't work for them, :-) but fairly recently bought a pack and received exceptional service!

Agree with Scott on first aid/Murphy kit...adjust to requirements. As you know, lightweight is a lot about what you likely require, not about everything you Might need.

Good Luck in your lightening adventure!

Edited by kent on 03/13/2009 00:58:32 MDT.

scott burgeson
(DrDystopia) - F

Locale: Upstate NY
Reply on 03/13/2009 02:51:20 MDT Print View

I have been browsing these forums for just over a week now and I have already brought my base weight from over 24 lbs to 13 lbs. This is up slightly from the 10ish lbs above because I continue to take more of my wife's load.

With food and 2 liters of water my weekend starting pack weight is now just under 23 lbs.

As soon as I get back out of the red from the recent spending spree I can work on some more items.

I am keeping the GSI pot for now and taking the suggestion to use Glad containers with lids for cups and bowls.

My old water system was a MSR dromedary bag with the hydration kit attachment. This was incredibly heavy and I have switched to a platypus big zip.

Last summer we did about 60 miles on the finger lakes trail over 5 days and my pack never dropped below 45 pounds. This upcoming weekend we are doing 35 miles with full packs under 25 pounds that will weigh less then 15 when we get back to the car.

This to me is significant progress in a very short time. I am not too keen on going super ultra light but I will continue to replace pieces as I can afford them. The base weight of 13 lbs that I have now was lighter then I ever expected and I can get it under 11 by replacing only a couple of items.

I did end up trading the Opsrey Kestrel for the Talon 44. It was 2 full lbs lighter for the exact same fit that I loved so much in the Kestral.

I am still going to pick up a 1 pound pack at some point because my wife wants the Talon for herself.

I am very nervous about losing the full heavy suspension that comes with the heavier packs. Since all of my experience is with heavy packs I have had problems with hip belts and shoulder straps becoming very uncomfortable after many many miles. I know that this is due to the weight and with a lighter load I will not need all the extra padding but it is a very tough hurdle to get over. I am worried that I am going to buy something that once I get it on the trail it is going to be uncomfortable.

thanks again,


Edited by DrDystopia on 03/13/2009 03:06:08 MDT.

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
Gear List / Pack Choice on 03/13/2009 03:15:07 MDT Print View


Congratulations on your speedy and dramatic weight drop! My numbers (last summer to present) are almost identical to yours.

A couple thoughts on light pack:

1. trust your logic and what you've seen others write about the comfort of likely won't miss the heavy, padded suspension now that you're this light.

2. buy the light pack (when possible) and use it. If you find you don't like it, I'd bet you could pretty easily sell it to someone here (and not be out too much money for the learning experience?)!

Enjoy your upcoming trip!

Edited by kent on 03/13/2009 08:24:09 MDT.