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Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
New list on 10/11/2010 23:20:56 MDT Print View

hey everyone
I just posted my first gear list. Its not very organized, and I know I could use alot of work to lighten my load. Id love to hear tips and ideas.

Please dont be too harsh haha


Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
New list on 10/12/2010 00:30:41 MDT Print View


One technique I've used to trim my gear list and weight is to compare it side by side with lists from others on BPL for similar conditions. Here's a sample comparing your list with a list posted recently by Sam Haroldson.
Dan's gear list and Sam's gear list

Do this a few times and trends emerge as well as acceptance of UL techniques. It really helps you see what can be left out and what can be lightened.

Hope this helps.


Edited by Lancem on 10/12/2010 09:29:48 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
new list on 10/12/2010 07:46:15 MDT Print View

UL backpacking is as much about leaving behind unnecessary items and getting items that serve multiple functions, as it is about lightweight gear. Your list clearly has room to improve in both areas.

A lot of folks talk about the "big three" (probably more accurately the big four)- shelter, sleeping bag (and pad) and pack- as these usually yield the most dramatic drops in weight.

I think that's good advice posted above, peruse the community gear lists- they run the gamut from sub 5 lbs to 20+ lbs for base weights.

Also you don't list when/where you'll be hiking, nor any brands/models for your gear- sometimes a 6 lb tent is necessary ie a windy, mountain winter environment, sometimes a 6 lb tent is unnecessary :)

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
list on 10/12/2010 09:35:57 MDT Print View

Dan, you would be cutting back on the clothes for overnight or three day ventures, no? It seems like you might lose some weight getting rid of redundant items... /shrug

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
New List on 10/12/2010 11:37:52 MDT Print View


What you have is a traditional list for backpacking. In order to drop your pack weight you need to rethink some of your packing decisions. Going lighter really is a learned skill. There are many experts and article here on BPL that can help you along the way.

I started out with a list much like yours. Each year I would try a new item or technique to get the weight down. In August I went out with 8 days of food (including a bear canister) with 25 total lbs. For a 3 day trip I can start out with no more than 15 lbs. It really makes backpacking much more enjoyable, and in the opinion of most, much safer.

I started with my shelter, then my sleeping bag, and then my pack, cooking system, etc. It is a process. If you hike in the Sierras learning these techniques will really enhance your backpacking experience.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Go hiking, make changes, repeat. on 10/12/2010 14:16:12 MDT Print View

Yours is a fine traditional backpacking list. Go for some weekend hikes, make note of what you liked and what you didn't, and what you used and what you didn't, and then make the appropriate changes. Getting from traditional to light to ultralight takes time and experience, and I don't think it's a good idea to rush the process.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
traditional vs lightweight on 10/12/2010 18:59:17 MDT Print View

I am repeating what is already stated.

You list is a TRADITIONAL backpacking list, and this is a LIGHWEIGHT backpacking fourm. So, there is not much anyone can do.

Do not be intimidated. I take total beginners out with a base weight UNDER 10 pounds, it's a lot easier than you think! I disagree with Ken above - I encourage you to RUSH the process!!!

Please - Review the links below:

Edited by mikeclelland on 10/12/2010 19:00:41 MDT.

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
a great reference on 10/12/2010 19:15:35 MDT Print View

one of the best lists I've seen. I spent the $$$ (and a great deal of help from an UL junky dad) already, but this would've been great to start with:

el cheapo list

I wish I could find the member's name to give the cred

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: a great reference on 10/12/2010 19:24:24 MDT Print View

Jamie Shortt built the list.
His website is

And you can find him here sometimes as well.