I wanted to see how light and cheap I could get with some SUL MYOG stuff. The plan for these pieces is fast and light summer alpine romps in the Catskills and Adirondacks - Devil's Path and Great Traverse in particular, each in two days. I considered doing each in a day, but I think two days provides a similar challenge (because I have to haul bivy gear and more food), but should be more fun than a hurried 14-16 hour day on the trail.
Given the warm summer evenings in the NE, you don't need much kit. But, evening showers are always a possibility and I need some sort of sleeping cover. This is the lightest kit I could come up with on the cheap:
1) Wal-Mart blue pad cut in half. This is my Virga frame as well as torso-length pad. 6oz. $5.88.
2) Cape-tarp. This is 110"x65" sheet of 1.3oz Sil-nylon with grosgrain tie-outs at corners and edge centers, and snaps to turn it into a hoodless cape/pack cover. I would bring a 'mid and rain jacket if I expect real rain, but this is great insurance against unexpected cloudbursts and nightly showers. It will fit two hikers who are very comfortable with each other in a pinch, but is best as a solo shelter or "just-in-case" item that ends up being a pillow in a lean-to or under the stars. I've also thought about using it as a VBL under my quilt if it gets colder than expected. No photos, I think you can imagine a sheet of nylon with tie-outs and velcro... 8oz. $40.
3) Mini-quilt. 42" at the shoulder, tapering to 36" over 6'. I'm 5'11" and 155lb with slim build, so this covers me completely, but barely. My 56" half-taper quilt is obviously much more comfy, but 15oz. This was kind of an experiment in minimalism and I will use it for three nights this weekend and see how it goes. 10oz, $20*.
More on the quilt: I have drawcords at both ends. The foot is nylon cord so I can pull the footbox closure tight, the top is elastic for comfort. Cordlocks are the micro variety. At there are 3 grosgrain loops on each side at 1' intervals from the bottom, and then two more at 2' spacing further up. I pull the loops from each side through each other a couple times, which is much faster and easier to unite than a knot, but holds just fine. The ones near the top can have elastic or cord looped through to pull it tight behind me, I'll experiment to see what works best.
Sorry for the terrible camera-phone image quality.
Quilt. The closely-spaced loops at the bottom close the footbox when looped together.
Loops pulled through each other to hold footbox together.
The insulation is 2.5oz climashield I had left over from another quilt. It's a little over a linear yard off the roll, and I spliced two pieces to get the shape I needed. The fabric is from Wal-Mart at $1.50/yard - one color seems to be 0.9 or 1.0oz, the other is about 1.1 or 1.2oz/yd. Grosgrain is from Jo-Ann, at a couple bucks for a roll. Cord locks and elastic were from Thru-Hiker at another couple bucks.
*I figure $35 to duplicate if you can find Wal-Mart nylon but need to buy two yards of insulation and the hardwear from Thru-Hiker and pay for shipping.
That's 1.5lb for shelter, pad, and quilt. Big three are under 3lb and $200 total!
Base weight is 6.3 lb with 1lb 6oz Virga - I could shed weight on the pack big, time, but I need to carry a lot of water and my trekking poles often end up on my pack, so I carry nearly 15lb at points and appreciate the big shoulder straps. That also includes luxuries like extra socks for sleeping in, Steri-Pen instead of tablets, my Houdini, and a Nanopuff Hoody instead of down sweater. I am stoveless, however.