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Lightest Ever
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Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Lightest Ever on 06/20/2010 21:50:39 MDT Print View

Sub 4 lbs? All this has got me sounds very possible for a 3 season setup

-Cuben Shelter
-Cuben Down Pad
-Cuben sleeping bag
-BPL 2-cup pot w/ Ti Winged esbit stove

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Lightest Ever on 06/20/2010 21:53:58 MDT Print View

Load all of that into a tiny backpack with helium inserts on the sides. You would float away. :-)


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Lightest Ever on 06/20/2010 22:02:17 MDT Print View

Why not?

My cuben hexamid twin (with netting and floor) is under 13 ounces, my cuben quilts are 7.5, 12 and 13.5 ounces respectively. Don't have a cuben mattress, but the neoair short is only about 9 oz I think. And my cuben pack is only around 7 oz.

Seems doable.

Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Lightest Ever on 06/20/2010 23:45:29 MDT Print View

Would you do it Doug?

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 04:52:38 MDT Print View

Definitely possible. I did it once last year for fun. This was before my cuben quilt and N2 Tarp, so it could be even lower now. Here's some links.

April 2009
Frontenac Trip Report

Sub 4 Gear List
Sub 4 Gear List

Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 06:21:21 MDT Print View

Steve, how heavy is your pack now? How do you like having your setup that light?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 07:31:51 MDT Print View

"Would you do it Doug?"

Nah. There is stuff I like to take that make backpacking more enjoyable. It's never been about the weight for me, but the increased enjoyment I've gotten out of reducing my pack weight over the last couple of years.

I do enjoy reading about those who do it, though, and am amazed at how low they can go!

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
arbitrary choices on 06/21/2010 08:51:04 MDT Print View

Seems to me that the "how low can you go" game is kind of arbitrary. You can leave out whatever you like, and if that's appropriate for your conditions, you're cool. Jeffrey's got a stove on his list, but personally I almost never take a stove. If I was trying to go this light, I wouldn't take the pad, either. On the other hand, I'd feel very vulnerable in the Sierra without a wool sweater, and if it was spring or fall I'd also want real rain protection (not just a garbage bag for use as an emergency poncho). If the game is really going to be interesting, you probably need to pick a specific hike and a specific month of the year. Otherwise there are just way too many variables. For certain types of hikes, it's perfectly possible that you could go with no equipment at all and be perfectly safe. Sleep in your clothes, eat wild plants that you know for sure are abundant in that area at that time of year.

Edited by bcrowell on 06/21/2010 08:53:07 MDT.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 09:15:20 MDT Print View

I think the lightest setup would be the one that has the most multi use items. Cuben Poncho tarp, wearable quilt (i.e. Jacks R Better), Cuben torso down pad. This eliminates the need for rain gear and insulation garments. If you are trying to be light as possible, you would do a no cook trip, so no need for stove or pot. You can probably get it down to sub 3 if you really wanted to.

Personally, I don't like multi use items. As the saying goes, they are usually "jack of all trades, master of none." I can get my 3 season setup down to 5 or 6 lbs without using any mutli use items. That's light enough for me.


Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 09:31:20 MDT Print View

Getting under 3 pounds isn't that hard if you make your own gear or have the money to buy the really light gear.

Sub 2 -lb, Oct AT

Top row Left to Right:
Pertex Quantum / Cuben Bivy with the Climashield Combat Liner attached.

Cuben Poncho/Tarp with 6 Ti tent stakes and guylines made from 1/16" Yale Cordage "Pulse" line.

Next row: Left to Right:
Black Kilt/Shell for Balloon Bed and bag of Balloons.

Shop Towels cut for TP with my Ti Trowel and BMW small bottle of Dr Bronner's soap (brown cap).

Under Shop Towels are my Micropur MP 1 Purifier Tablets.

Platy 1 Liter water bottles (2).

Cuben Pack modified with sternum straps.

Cuben Booties with spare pair of socks laying on top. Socks were used for padding in my shoulder straps.

Next row Left to Right:

12 oz Diet Coke can used to eat Dry Food from and my home made Ti long handle spoon. The spoon handle is pointing to my Food Bag.

Zip lock with my Blister/Wound care stuff, Blistex and Tooth brush.

Zip lock next to my gloves has my Matches, Esbit tablet, Firestarting kit, Chemical heat packs.

BMW Possumdown gloves.

Wool Watch cap.

GG Pack liner.

Climashield Combat Toe Cozy's.

1- Everything is laying on my GG Polycryo Ground Cloth.

2- Counted as in my pack but attached to a belt loop on my pants is my Photon LED and small Swiss Army Knife. The knife got left off my gear list and weighs 0.72 oz. I have added it to the gear list as in the pack.

3- The whistle is hiding on the pack and didn't show up in the picture.

My Cuben Pack modified with a Sternum Strap:

My Insulated Toe Cozy's. These were made in GA after a cold toe night on the first hike. I had taken a scrap "cut-off" piece of my Bivy Liner to use as a neck wrap. I cut it in half - hand sewed the sides and added a cord to each so I could tie it around my ankle to keep my toes warm at night. They were really easy to make and worked great.

My toes had gotten cold on the 42 degree night when I slid off my sleeping pad just enough for my feet to be on the cold ground. My cold feet woke me up and I put my Cuben booties on with my second pair of socks over them. I fixed my pad and went back to sleep. The toe cozy's weigh 0.67 oz.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 09:46:14 MDT Print View

It can be done, and with enough gear to be comfortable. I do it a lot, but not truly 3 season. Here is a sample with no cuben. The shelter would not have been appropriate in heavy rain or snow, as a bivy would have been necessary.

See Page 10

I now have a BPL Nano Tarp, and just ordered an Epiphany quilt. Also have a 1/2" X 19" X 44" PF Sheet, and a 1/8" X 25" X 74" PG Sheet on order from Steve Evan, so a ground sheet is not needed. This should be decent insulation in cold weather.

A Caldera Esbit Cone set up without the caddy comes in a under 3 oz, so hot food is also possible.

So why do it? Depends on the trip. This summer I am going to do a ~ 60 mile loop in the San Gorgonia Wilderness and climb the 9 peaks on the divide (10,500 - 11,500), and with the elevation gain of 6,000+ feet, I want to do it in 3 days. So it will be a good time to test a 3 season kit that is under 4 lbs.

How about a sub 2.5 lb kit?
Alan Dixon 2.4 lb

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 12:01:35 MDT Print View

Nick wrote: "This summer I am going to do a ~ 60 mile loop in the San Gorgonia Wilderness and climb the 9 peaks on the divide (10,500 - 11,500), and with the elevation gain of 6,000+ feet, I want to do it in 3 days."
Sounds cool! Could you post your itinerary? I might want to do a copycat hike. San Gorgonio is the big local peak that I still haven't bagged.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: arbitrary choices on 06/21/2010 12:15:19 MDT Print View

I haven't put together a "lightest ever" gear list since I did that hike last year. I typically bring about 5 lbs of gear with me for 3 season, but obviously the weight goes up as the temps/weather drop from favorable.

I don't think it's a competition, simply an exercise that I personally enjoy. I love cutting every gram of unneeded weight and pushing the limits a bit. Why I do this? I don't know. Same reason I bite my fingernails :)

But yes, it is very important to realize that every gear list I (or anyone else) make is for a specific area and a specific time of year. What works for me is not going to work for everyone. The lightest I can go up here in winter is 14.5 lbs, but in the dead of summer I can get away with a very minimal kit.

Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
The Truth on 06/21/2010 12:34:59 MDT Print View


Every once in a while you run across a truism that is so succinct and pure that it bears repeating. Your reason for why you bother with SUL (sub 5lbs) gram trimming was one:

"Same reason I bite my fingernails."

Not to say there aren't some with "real" reasons (health-issues, ultra-long trips) but your answer just struck me as THE TRUTH. I got a good laugh out of that.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 13:12:57 MDT Print View


I haven't worked at the details for trail head parking, the last part of the loop, or water sources. But it is something like this...

San Bernadino Peak Trail near Angeles Oaks and hit the peaks along the San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail:
San Bernardino
San Bernardino East
Alto Diablo
Little Charlton
San Gorgonio
and maybe Lake Peak

Not sure of the return loop. Want to minimize back tracking, but might have to do some roads. I haven't really given it much further thought. Just something that looked interesting on a USFS Map.

Jeff Antig

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 13:55:53 MDT Print View

Wow Bill, you are from the future aren't ya?

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Lightest Ever on 06/21/2010 15:23:06 MDT Print View

Thanks, Nick! Maybe I'll see if I can fit a trip like this in at the end of the summer, before I have to start teaching again.