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My first UL-want-to-be list
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Weiyi Wang
(wwyjedi) - M

Locale: mid
My first UL-want-to-be list on 10/27/2010 21:45:14 MDT Print View

I did traditional backpacking for couple of years until my knees expressed unhappiness. My doc told me no more running/backpacking/basketball/snowboarding/skiing, pretty much no fun for a year. Somehow I found this site during this year, and oh boy, I learnt a lot! Now I am BACK! no more heavy weight backpack, no more sore knees! Here is the result from about a year of reading/learning/spending money. Please tear it down!
This is for a test trip with couple of friends in the great smoky mountain for three days in the beginning of November. Can somebody comment how cold will it be? I am thinking about around freezing during night. Do I need bug protection? Thanks.

==== Worn/Carry==== Total 63.95 oz
hiking shirt Smarwool microweight 1/4 zip 6.9
underwear Patagonia brief 2.1
hiking pants BPL thorofare 4.2
hiking socks Smarwool 2.2
hiking shoes Montrail Continental Divide GTX 29.95
trekking poles BD alpine carbon 17
watch mutifunction 1.6
whistle integrated with backpack

====Other Clothing in pack==== Total 27.5oz
rain jacket Marmot essence 6.9
rain pants Golite reed 4.1
insu. top Mont-bell UL inner jacket 7.25
Insu. bottom Patagonia capilene 3 6.3
warm hat Black rock beanie 0.9
warm gloves OR PL400 2
extra socks darn tough 2.05

====Sleep System==== Total 62.15
shelter SMD Gatewood Cape 11.85
inner tent SMD Serenity NetTent 7.4 Do i need bug protection in Smokies in November?
stakes ti skewer, ground hog 4.25
guylines included in the cape
bug net BPL Ultralight Mosquito Headnet 0.3 Do i need bug protection in Smokies in November?
ground sheet GG Polycryo Ground Cloth 1.7
sleeping bag Golite UL 3-Season Quilt 20F 24
sleeping pad neoair small 9.35
sleeping pad GG thinlight 1/8 2
pillow Bender's 1.3

====Packing==== Total 23.25
backpack Golite Jam2 22 have not trimmed down yet.
pack liner BPL Packliner 1.25
stuff sacks one cuben for pot

====Cooking and Water==== Total 15.07
stove MSR pocket rocket 3.05
cook pot MSR titan kettle 0.85L 4.35 maybe use Evernew 1.3L for group, 4.95 oz
wind screen use sleeping pad
utensil REI long handle titanium 0.55
fire starter FireSteel Mini 1
water bottle Platypus 1L 1
water bottle Gatorade 1L 1.5
backup water treatment Katadyn Micropur
water treatment steripen adventure opti 3.62
food storage opsak (I remember there are hooks on the tree in the backcountry camp site, so I dont need bear bag system. am i right?)

====Other Essentials==== Total 11.35
light Petzl e+LITE 1
first aid AMK ultralight .3 + meds 2.75
bakcup fire starting Bic mini 0.4
pack towel MSR base towel small 1
hygiene Hand spray 1
tooth care brush, paste
knife Balade 22 0.85
toilet paper will experiment no tp (hope Mike will be happy about this. :P)
trowel included in tent stakes
iphone 5.35

Base weight: 8.7 lb.

Sorry for my bad english. :)

Clint Wayman

Locale: East Tennessee, US
RE: "My first UL-want-to-be list" on 10/28/2010 00:59:13 MDT Print View

Hey Willy,

~32degree nights sounds about right for early November and all backcountry sites in the Smokies have bear cables, so no bear bag system needed.
As for bugs, temperatures have been kind of weird lately. My girlfriend and I were up there this past weekend and had to deal with some minor bugs (nothing major, but still), so it's kind of up to you. With your base weight being where it is, I would either...drop the extra BPL mosquito headnet and keep the serenity shelter OR drop the serenity net and sleep like this:
ultralight headnet

Just my $.02 =). Have fun!

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: My first UL-want-to-be list on 10/28/2010 07:09:29 MDT Print View

Clint- I was also in the park last weekend. I started at Big Creek and did a loop staying at CS#39 over in the Cataloochie area. I didn’t happen to run into you did I?

Willy-I think around freezing is a good average, but that can vary by quite a bit. It also depends on what elevation you plan on staying at. I have seen 33* temps and snow in June at the high elevations in the park. Whether or not you need bug protection depends a lot on the temps, and of course your tolerance level to them. There are bear cables at all backcountry sites in the Smokies so you just need a bag, no line or anything like that. I think you list looks great, just check the weather before you go and make changes accordingly.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: My first UL-want-to-be list on 10/28/2010 08:41:47 MDT Print View

Good list. I think ticks would be a possibility. For the weight, I'd probably carry the net tent. Or, maybe treat pad, sleeping bag, groundsheet with permethrin.

I like to carry these items on person:
-pealess whistle
-mini Bic or firesteel (I carry both if temps drop below freezing.)

Edited by AndyF on 10/28/2010 08:43:10 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
nice! on 10/31/2010 09:43:12 MDT Print View

Base weight: 8.7 lb.
Excellent List!

You ask: Do i need bug protection in Smokies in November? Nope, no bugs!

bug net - BPL Ultralight Mosquito Headnet 0.3 - NIX

toilet paper - will experiment no tp (hope Mike will be happy about this. :P) ----- RIGHT ON!

ADD - I would add a tiny bit of soap, preferred for hygiene over alcohol gel.

I would also add some extra layers, November can be cold, and the nights can be long. At the very least, add a balaclava for nighttime warmth, if nothing else.

John Davis
(Bukidnon) - F
Units of Mass on 11/01/2010 08:16:19 MDT Print View

As an aging European, I'm pretty mixed up on units of mass, but thanks to Excel it does not matter. I can have individual items in grams but overall pack weights in pounds and ounces. I can have distances in miles but ascent in metres and all because Excel has a CONVERT function. For example


will tell me how many grams are in one ounce mass. The convert function can also convert ounces mass to atomic mass units.


There is unlikely to be a good reason for doing this but it entertains me. Sad, I know.

Generally, I calculate in grams, convert to ounces and then use modulo division as part of the process for getting the mass of my pack in pounds and ounces.

Impressive gear list, by the way.

Edited by Bukidnon on 11/01/2010 08:17:17 MDT.

Clint Wayman

Locale: East Tennessee, US
Re: pack list on 11/01/2010 09:53:09 MDT Print View

Bradford- The lady and I took a quick hike up to 'the Bunion' for lunch and some nice fall color... I mean REALLY nice fall color =) So I don't think we crossed paths. Maybe some day.

Mike- Concerning the bugs, we have seen a BIT of an uncharacteristically (maybe not even a real word) warm fall, so I MIGHT still be concerned with the bugs at night. But it IS supposed to be cooling off, so hopefully they won't be a bother. As well, I would second the thought for soap and a balaclava-- can't beat it!


Weiyi Wang
(wwyjedi) - M

Locale: mid
Thank for the advices. on 11/01/2010 16:14:57 MDT Print View

@Clint @Bradford Thank for commenting on the temperature and the bug condition. I will probably bring the net tent along in my car and put it in the pack if it is warm at the trail head.

@Andy I will put the stuff you mentioned together with a piece of cord and carry around in my pocket or around my neck. By doing that, my base weight will decrease again. I know, it is kinda cheating, but it makes me happy when the number goes down. :P

@Mike will bring little soap in mini dropper. For the warmth I will switch the mini towel with merino buff for my neck and cheek, and add a wm flash vest for torso.

@John I should have posted the weight in both oz and gram. Apologies for my inconsideration.

Edited by wwyjedi on 11/01/2010 16:20:56 MDT.

Weiyi Wang
(wwyjedi) - M

Locale: mid
Report on 11/12/2010 20:43:26 MST Print View

Just came back from the trip. It was awesome. I had ~12 lb totally weight with food and water. Since we had some first-time backpacker, we did a easy 2-night hike.

It was COLD. The temperature was around 10F during the night and we got snows. I swap my micro-weight wool base layer with the Paty r1 hoody and add a ridge rest at the last minute. I slept with golite quilt, r1 hoody, montbell ul jacket, flash vest and cap3 tights and I was toasty. I ditch the nettent and the head net in the car. This was my first time using a poncho tarp. I was completely sold. I felt I was much closer to the mother nature by opening up my tent.

poncho tarp

snow trail

2nd night

Edited by wwyjedi on 11/12/2010 20:58:44 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
nice on 11/13/2010 00:03:20 MST Print View

did you hike in the r1?

thin fleeces rock !!!

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Report on 11/13/2010 09:30:18 MST Print View

Great trip! Thanks for posting pics.

Sounds like you've dialled in quite a system for yourself!

I use the same shelter, quilt, and pad (mine is a Medium, though). The rest of my kit is heavier, though. I'm envious!


Weiyi Wang
(wwyjedi) - M

Locale: mid
Re: nice on 11/13/2010 22:47:54 MST Print View

yes. I did hike in the r1. I love it as a cold weather base layer.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Nice!!! on 11/17/2010 02:26:07 MST Print View

Willy, welcome back! I'm glad your knees are better, and you get to get out into nature and experience everything once again!

Thank you for the trip report too. It was fun to read. Loved the pictures!

I was going to ask if you used your mat for a wind shield for cooking? One thing that I do, that has worked well for me, is to use a piece of tin foil, folded over several times, as a wind screen. It's nearly no extra weight, and can be used for multiple things, such as tearing one layer off and using it as a ground pad for under a stove, reflective item in case of search and rescue, even as a temporary lid for your pot if you lose it somehow. All kinds of things. And it just bends up how you want it and fits into your cooking system. That way you don't have to worry about burning your mat.

Thanks again for the report, I'm jealous!


Weiyi Wang
(wwyjedi) - M

Locale: mid
Re: Nice!!! on 11/22/2010 09:50:16 MST Print View

Dug, thanks for the great suggestion.
I actually planned to make my own tin foil wind shield. But I was too busy/lazy before I left for this trip. Mattress did a great job on shielding the wind but it is not as thermo efficient as a tin foil since it does not reflect the radiation back to the pot. I will definitely make a tin foil wind shield before next trip.