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General 3-Season
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Mark Hobbs
(markhobbs) - F
General 3-Season on 09/21/2009 20:24:50 MDT Print View

I'm new to UL. I've been working on this list all summer, trying to bring my base weight down from about 25 pounds. Anybody interested in a 7 lb. Dana Designs K2 Shortbed External Frame pack?

I know there is still room for improvement on this list. So let me know what you think.

This list is designed to keep me warm down to about 30dF.

The list is in my profile and right here:

John Roan
(JRoan) - MLife

Locale: Vegas
Re: General 3-Season on 09/21/2009 20:49:24 MDT Print View


Feels good doesn't it? Nice job on your gear list. A couple of observations;

1) Go with a larger GG SpinnTwinn tarp for the same weight of your oware, and you can lose the bivy...savings of about 7oz

2)Use clothes not worn, stored in stuff sac for pillow

3)Swap out your pocket rocket and mug for Trail Designs Caldera Keg 1 oz in the basic setup, but the big win is what you don't have listed...the fuel canister. Go with esbit for 0.5oz of fuel per meal.

4)Lose the petzl zipka plus headlamp because it's photon is plenty bright for my purposes.

5)Trade your leatherman micra multitool for a Victorinox (aka Swiss Army) Pocket Knife/File/Scissors and save 1oz.

6) Go with a lighter, closed cell, torso length pad. I use a Nunatak Lunapad cut down to 40" long for 5.7oz, a savings of about 13oz.

Again, great job, just a few observations. I probably need to post my gear list and get similar advice.


Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Suggestions on 09/21/2009 21:30:52 MDT Print View

1) You may want to do something about those hiking pants. 17.5oz is really heavy, even for traditional pants. I have Patagonia hiking pants (GI 2 pants) that weigh 11.5oz and I want to replace them. BPL sells their Thorofare hiking pants that weigh just 4oz. You could shave off 13.5oz...over 3/4lbs....with these pants. That's huge! You're not going to do better than that for $70. That works out to $5.18 per ounce saved.

2)Firesteel? I have one too and they're fun to use but they're kinda heavy at 1 oz so I leave mine at home normally. Take a second Mini Bic instead of the FireSteel and you'll save 0.6oz.

3) The Patagonia R1 Fleece pullover (13.7oz) is another area where you could save a lot of weight. Consider something like MontBell's U.L. Down Inner Parka at 8.5oz.

4) A lot of people do this, but I'm not a fan of bringing both a rain jkt and a wind jkt. Even a heavier rain jkt with pit zips would be lighter than bringing both. Consider leaving the wind jkt at home and just using the Virga. You can unzip it a bit if you are getting too hot or humid. If it's cold and windy I wear my insulated Montbell U.L. parka. If it's too warm out to wear this (even un zipped) then I'm probably fine hiking in just my baselayer.

5) What's a wool toboggan? Are these gloves?

6) Consider Ti stakes. I got a set of 6 on eBay that weigh 5.65g each for just $11 (if I recall correctly). 8 of these would weigh 1.7oz which is 0.9oz lighter than your current stakes.

7) A NeoAir would save about 4.5oz and probably be more comfortable...but they are expensive. A short NeoAir would save 10oz, but I find short pads that are really thick kinda wierd to use in short versions. It's like my legs are hanging off a cliff.

8) Your MH Carson SS Shirt seems heavy at 7.5oz. I hike in a short sleeved Patagonia Capilene tee which weighs 4.5oz.

Total Suggested Weight Saved: 32.3oz or 2lbs!

Edited by dandydan on 09/21/2009 21:37:37 MDT.

Mark Hobbs
(markhobbs) - F
Thanks! on 09/21/2009 23:44:14 MDT Print View

Thanks John and Dan. Great ideas. I figured clothing would be an area I could improve. I'm a pretty big guy, so the weights listed are mostly for XL size, on my scale. I've found that this number can be very different from the advertised weight of the medium size. But I know I could improve anyway, especially on the clothes I wear.

The pants are too heavy, but I do like having convertible pants. Anyone know of a lightweight pair that won't tear easily?

If I found a shirt I could wear while hiking in warmer temps but also sleep in as a base layer, I could drop the MH Carson shirt AND the Capilene 2 top. Anyone have any ideas? Maybe a Capilene 1 short sleeve?

The toboggan is a beanie. I've been trying to decide if I really need a balaclava with the quilt or could get by with a beanie.

I'll have to check out the caldera setup. I'm not familiar with them.

I need to think about what I want to do with the pad. I know it is strange to have a pad that weighs as much as my quilt. Are those closed cell torso length pads actually comfortable?

I think if the weather conditions looked okay I could get by with just the Virga or only the Houdini and an emergency poncho.

Dropping the headlamp would be an adjustment for me, but I think I could do it. I don't hike much at night anyway. And the swiss army knife would work.

Thanks again. Keep the suggestions coming!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Thanks! on 09/22/2009 01:01:58 MDT Print View

"Are those closed cell torso length pads actually comfortable?"
Comfortable? I would say no but you can probably get used to using them if you are tired enough or just get used to it...kinda depends on what kind of a sleeper you are. I find a NeoAir WAY more comfortable than my closed cell RidgeRest...and the weight isn't much different.

"If I found a shirt I could wear while hiking in warmer temps but also sleep in as a base layer, I could drop the MH Carson shirt AND the Capilene 2 top. Anyone have any ideas? Maybe a Capilene 1 short sleeve?"
Hmm....I like to have as light of a baselayer as possible to wear while hiking. With a light shirt, you can always go warmer by adding layers, but normally I don't need anything more. I have a Sierra Designs baselayer T-shirt and a Patagonia one (Capilene 2 T-Shirt I think). Both weigh about 4.5oz. I like to have a spare because otherwise I'd spend the entire trip in the same shirt and I like to wash it occasionally OR if it's wet from sweat or rain then I have another dry baselayer tee for sleeping in. I probably shouldn't take two of the exact same thing though. I could take one baselayer tee and one longsleeve baselayer that is slightly thicker and weighs about 5.5oz. That would give me more laying options and be useful on colder days.

"The pants are too heavy, but I do like having convertible pants."
Understandable....convertible pants would be ideal. Perhaps really light ones exist, but I'm not aware of any really light ones. If you can't find any, you would be better off to buy the 4oz pants I suggested and some light shorts like the GoLite Baja's (3 oz) instead of your 17.5oz convertible pants.

BTW, supposedly the BPL Thorofare pants have a pretty good DWR on them which means they can function as rain pants too in non-extreme conditions. I noticed you don't have any rain bottoms listed, so these would actually add functionality in addition to the weight they save.

"The toboggan is a beanie. I've been trying to decide if I really need a balaclava with the quilt or could get by with a beanie."
I would get an insulated jkt with hood. The Montbell U.L. Down Inner Parka is really light (my medium weighs 8.5oz). Having your head gear connected to the jkt keeps you the hood can be cinched tightly around your face so it's just as good as a balaclava. Another advantage is simplicity. You're not going to lose the hood off your jkt or have a hard time finding it at dusk. Your pullover + wool hat weighs 16.2oz. An Montbell U.L. Down Inner Parka would probably weigh 10oz in XL and it would be warmer and simpler....but it does cost $165 unless you can find one in the gear swap.

"Dropping the headlamp would be an adjustment for me, but I think I could do it."
I'm a headlamp fan....they're just so darn handy in the evening. A handheld light works, but when you are sorting through your pack looking for something it's nice to have both hands free. Same goes for cooking after dark. The Zipka is a pretty darn light headlamp.

While I'm on the topic, what's up with AAA batteries in light weight headlamps? A high end AA lithium battery (ie. Energizer Photo Lithium) weighs 14.5g and can hold 2900mAh of power. That works out to 200mAh per gram.

The top AAA batteries weigh 7.6g and but hold only 1250mAh, which is just 165mAh per gram...nearly 20% worse. So if you have a device that needs two AAA batteries, you're carrying 15.2g worth of batteries which contain a total of 2500mAh of power. You'd be better off with a single AA which is 0.7g lighter and has an extra 400mAh of power. I would love to see a version of the Zipka with fewer LEDs, the same great strap, but a smaller body that just holds a single AA.

Edited by dandydan on 09/22/2009 01:17:29 MDT.

John Roan
(JRoan) - MLife

Locale: Vegas
Re: Thanks! on 09/23/2009 08:15:43 MDT Print View


I find the egg crate closed cell foam pads very comfortable, but not the smooth or rubbed ones. (Gossamer Gear or Nunatak). In fact, we car camped last weekend, so I used a heavy Big Agnes pad and was surprised that it wasn't more comfortable than my foam pad. To each his own though, because my wife prefers an air pad.

For comparrison, I stacked your weights up against mine on all of the major categories, and we were very close in every one. The main difference is that my tarp, ground cloth, and quilt are sized for both my wife and I. (My gear list is posted in my profile).