I’m making the transition to UL and need some advice on gear selection. I know gear is a personal preference, but would appreciate any help you may give based on your collective experiences.
The majority of my gear use will be for overnight and weekend trips in the North East (Adirondack Park NY, VT, NH etc.). This will be 3 season hiking with temperatures ranging from the 20’s in early spring/late fall, to 80’s in the peak of summer. I will plan on at least 1-2 seven day trips as well durning the summer.
The time will be split between solo hiking, hiking with my wife, and hiking in a group. I may also take my 65 lb Yellow lab along on weekend trips.
I’m 5’10” 170 lbs and a warm stomach sleeper (no hammocks, but I can sleep in a mummy bag)
My wife is 5’6” 130lbs with no sleep issues
I do not mind spending money on the right gear for the job.
Only 10% of time will be spent in the 20 degree range so I can purchase extra “add on” gear for this limited exposure.
I have a temporary gear list posted. I’m aiming at sub 8 lb base pack weight. I plan on reducing or even adding to this as I become more familiar with my gear and ability it use it most efficiently.
With this is mind here are my thoughts:
Six Moons Lunar Duo
This is where I’m having the most problems. I like the versatility the GG Spintwin offers and the minimal weight. It will work solo, w/ the wife, and I hope, w/ the wife and the dog (any experience with this?). I have always used a double wall tent and have no experience with tarps. I’m concerned about weather, ticks (Lyme Disease), and the dog not being confined at night. It seams that the Duo will solve these issues, but add close to 2 lbs to my pack if I’m traveling solo. Should I just buy both and forget about it?
The Spintwin also raises the question to bivy or not to bivy. Like the tarp, I have never used a bivy. I think it will offer protection from weather and bugs while reducing heat loss from my sleep system from wind. How does a bivy work while sleeping on you stomach?
Sleep System ideas:
WM Summerlite or Ultralite
Quilt (Most likely Nunatak Alpinist or Ghost/Specialist)
I have always used a 20 degree synthetic mummy bag. In my attempt to cut weight I’m exploring the option of the 32 degree bag. When temps hit the 20’s I plan on sleeping in my Mont bell UL down inner jacket, polartech pants, hat etc. I may even use a bag liner. These claim to add up to 10 degrees to the bag. Is this true? The WM Ultralite seems like the safe choice, but is an additional 10 oz. I like the idea of the quilt, but I’m worried about my lack of experience with one. The Nunatak Arc Alpinist is only 1 oz heavier then the Summerlite and is rated to 20 degrees. It can also accommodate a stomach sleeper somewhat more comfortably then the mummy bags. Are drafts going to be an issue with temps in the 20’s? Will the UL jacket be enough? Once again, temps in the 20’s will only constitute about 10% of my trips. I would rather carry less weight for the majority of the season and take extra precautions in colder times. Do I have to use a bivy to achieve the best results in colder temps?
GG Gorilla or suggestions
At times my hiking is done in an area that requires the Backpacker’s Cache Bear Canister (at close to 3 lbs Arghhh!). I contacted GG and asking if the Mummer will accommodate this and they said most likely not. It this the case? I like the versitility of the Gorilla. It can be striped to about 15 oz if needed and can carry the bear canister. I’m open to suggestions.
Thanks for all your help.