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Tyler Barcelli

Locale: Southeast
List Help on 01/06/2011 18:44:50 MST Print View

I have been working on lightening up my 3 season list. My hikes are solo and they take place around the Southern AT and the Smokies. I would spend a maximum of about a week out without resupply. The reason I am posting this is because I seem to have everything but a pack. I have been looking into maybe the ULA Circuit but I really have no idea into which pack would be good for me. My gearlist is up under my profile so that you can better recommend a pack that would fit my needs. Thanks for all your input!

Edited by youngster on 01/06/2011 22:17:57 MST.

Tyler Barcelli

Locale: Southeast
RE on 01/07/2011 18:21:16 MST Print View

So I know there are some incredibly knowledgeable people on this site that would love to help a guy like me out so let's here all your great suggestions and advice. Thanks!

Marc Mensing
(soldierspike) - F

Locale: Southwest
Gear list on 01/07/2011 18:47:28 MST Print View

Why the cloudveil + the fleece?
Also, you're packing spare socks, but only sleep underwear, no spares on that?
And if you're comfortable with it, why not change from purel & toothpaste to a do-it-all solution, like Dr. Bronners?

just my $.02

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: List Help on 01/07/2011 20:14:09 MST Print View

Nice list for the southeast. The fit is really the key to any pack, so get that right. Assuming it fits OK, a Circuit would be a great choice. And you'd certainly have no problems selling it if you changed your mind later.

When I pack a light fleece, I use mine as my sleeping shirt. Really no use in bringing both the fleece and the Smartwool sleep shirt. On 3 season trips in the SE, you really don't need both a fleece and a puffy, but if you aren't being psycho about the weight it can be nice sometimes. It's easier to justify having both if you lose the sleep shirt.

I like a windshirt. On my last hike over new year's weekend, I wore it day and night the entire trip.

That leatherman is pretty beefy and probably overkill.

I like more comfort than a z rest but cheers if that works for you. A small sit pad is nice to have outside your pack. 3 sections of a z rest works great (trimmed to the width of your rear).

I'd seriously consider a hammock in the SE. But that's a whole other can of worms...

Edited by bcamprini on 01/07/2011 20:15:34 MST.

Andy Duncan
(bluewater) - M

Locale: SoCal
List Help on 01/07/2011 20:27:29 MST Print View

Hey Tyler, great list. 10lbs for a base weight, nice. How do you like the WM Highlite? I almost got one of those last summer. I'm mainly a Sierra hiker, so for what it's worth here's a few options that stand out:

There are some lighter shelters out there, especially if you're going solo. It looks like you just got the Contrail, but the Zpacks Hexamid would save 22 ozs.

Also, the GG Squal Classic would save about 8 ozs. . . or SMD Gatewood Cape w/ Serenity net tent would save about 12 ozs.

The fleece and insulating jacket / hiking shirt and sleeping shirt seem redundant. I would just bring the insulating jacket and wear the one t-shirt. This would save 14 ozs.

I usually just wear one pair of socks and bring one extra set. While one is drying I wear the other. Saves 3 ozs.

There are rain jackets as light as 6 ozs (DriDucks, TNF Triumph) and insulating jackets as light as 6 ozs (MB EX light) and others that would save 14 ozs+.

A smaller Ti pot would save around 4 ozs.

Using a lightweight knife instead of the multitool would save over 5 ozs. I use a Gerber LST

Replacing the 32 oz gatorade bottles with two platy 1 liter bottles would save over 6 ozs.

It's just a start, but these options alone could save over 4 1/2 pounds. With food and water your total weight is currently about 26 lbs, but if you can get closer to 20 lbs it would be possible to comfortably use a frameless pack. There are a lot of very lightweight frameless packs that use your sleeping pad to create structure. I like the Zpacks Zero or Gossamer Gear Murmur, Miniposa, or Gorilla (with removable frame for up to 35 lbs).

Check out Gossamer Gear packs here

And Zpacks here

Six Moon Designs 15 oz Swift here

The gear options are endless. .

Edited by bluewater on 01/07/2011 20:37:36 MST.

Tyler Barcelli

Locale: Southeast
Thanks on 01/07/2011 21:02:22 MST Print View

Thanks for the responses guys.

Marc, I guess I forgot to mention this but I bring the insulating jacket only when I am trying to extend the rating on my sleep system so that is not a part of my kit every trip. The reason I do not bring another pair of underwear is that I usually hike in one pair and then wash that every night while I sleep in the cotton. I like to have dry feet so that is why I bring a change of socks. Dr. Bronners is something I haven't used yet so I will definitely look into that.

Brian, thanks for the tip about using the fleece as my sleep shirt. I'm gonna try that so I can leave the extra shirt at home. I have never used a windshirt before but maybe I will look into one. I definitely agree that my Leatherman is overkill it just happens to be what I have. I will add that to the list of what needs replacing. The area where I need pack help is in what volume pack I will need. The local gear shops seem to only stock this huge packs so I can never seem to try out my gear in a smaller pack so.

Andrew, I did just get the contrail as I figured it would be a good place for me to start being a newbie to UL shelters. One of the reasons I chose the contrail is because it can be set up with just an aluminum pole since I do not use trekking poles. I see that zpacks sells optional poles so I will give the hexamid a good look. I have tried lighter rain jacket options, but I seem to always tear them up since I love to go off trail. My pot is definitely too heavy I have just been making my larger more important purchases since a Ti pot is pretty expensive for the minimal weight savings.

Thanks for the ideas and keep them coming!


The Highlite is a recent acquisition but I have tested it many nights already and I have to say that I have been warm in just shorts and a t-shirt down to 38 degrees. below that and I add additional layers as needed

Edited by youngster on 01/07/2011 21:19:28 MST.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
BASE-WEIGHT SAVED: 57.5 oz on 01/08/2011 11:50:27 MST Print View

Some feedback and insights.

Also - there a re plenty of VERY light packs that would fit this load. You should be fine with less than 16 oz of backpack. The ULA Circut is a fine pack, and yu could trim off a few extra ounces easily!


- Just Purchased a Contrail - 30 oz ----------- A 10 oz tarp is MUCH lighter, easily saving 20 oz.

- What is a SLEEPING SHIRT? And SLEEPING PANTS? THese are extra weight, and you can save 11.5 oz.

- EXTRA underwear ??? ---- Easily NIX'd --- save 2.5

- (2x) Gaitoraid bottles weigh less than 7oz. But, the true "thin plastic" water bottles weigh less, 2-liter capacity with revised thin bottles will save 5 oz.

- A petzl e+Lite headlamp will save 2.3 oz

- NIX the camp towel -------- saving 2 oz

- NIX the TP ------------- saving 0.5

- Leatherman multi tool? This is a joke right? ----------- NIX and replace with a single edge razor blade, saving 6.2 oz.

- Purel is NOT soap. True soap is recommended over alcohol hand-sanitizer, I consider soap essential for post-pooping and as part of the First aid kit. You can't wash a wound with Purrel. Same weight.

- Pot - a small cup should weigh in under 3 oz, titanium or aluminum. 750ml plenty. ---------- saving 4.5

- Keys, ID, Money - NIX and just hide it in your vehicle ------------------ Saving 3 oz

- I don't see any water treatment? AquaMira repackaged should weigh in at about 2 oz.

- Your food weighs in at 25.5 oz Per day (total divided by 7) you could easily go down to 22 oz per day, saving 3.5 oz per day saving over 24 oz over a week.

BASE-WEIGHT SAVED: 57.5 oz (approx. 3.5 pounds)

PACK-WEIGHT SAVED (with consumables) : 71oz (approx. 4.3 pounds)

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: List Help on 01/08/2011 13:34:50 MST Print View

I'd add a pealess whistle. Keep it, compass, map, firesteel, and knife on person in case you're separated from your pack.

A fixed-blade Mora knife/sheath weighs around 3 oz.

Be sure to practice using the firesteel. You might find that you need to carry some tinder with you too.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Thanks on 01/08/2011 13:36:38 MST Print View

As far as the volume pack you need, I think the Circuit will work great based on what your list looks like. You could go smaller, but it's nice to have a little extra room. They'll let you return it or swap it out if it isn't right for you (unused of course). I'm assuming you'll put the pad outside, probably strapped across the top or on the front of the pack vertically. You'll have room left for plenty of food and water and you'll be able to bring some extras, change out gear in the future or even do winter trips. But it won't be overly big. If you carry less gear on some trips, just put your sleeping bag in a compactor bag liner and not in a stuff sack so it puffs up and fills out the pack. In fact, I'd always use a compactor bag liner.

That pot is pretty big and you're right ti mugs are expensive. Hold out for a used one on gear swap or go with this cheap and light aluminum one:

Tyler Barcelli

Locale: Southeast
re on 01/08/2011 14:25:50 MST Print View

Thanks again guys all this info is really helpful.

Mike, I bought the contrail off here for a good price so I may just have to give it a try before I decide to keep it or not. Where I backpack most of the time the bugs can be unbearable so I need some protection. When I was looking into tarps and bugnets, the weight saving advantages seemed to decrease since many of the bugnets weigh 10oz or more. I will not close the book. The sleep pants and shirt are there for me to change into to keep my bag clean and so that I at least smell somewhat tolerable around camp. I haven't made up my mind yet about the extra underwear but it can be nice. The weight of the gatorade bottles was just a guess since I didn't have any around. I hear the Smartwater bottles are really light so I will look at those. I have seen that many use the petzl e+lite but I haven't found it bright enough when I decide to nighthike. The camp towel is something I could leave out and just use a shirt I already have. I don't think i am ready to leave the tp out of my kit just yet. Yeah the multitool is way overkill it just happens to be what I have. I will definitely be replacing that along with my huge pot. I'm gonna try some Dr. Bronners so that will replace the purel and toothpaste. I guess I left it out but I do use aquamira for my water. My menu has been the hardest area for me to fine-tune so I am still working on that.

Andy, Good idea about adding a whistle and keeping that along with a compass, map, firesteel, and knife on my body. I am definitely going to find a lighter replacement for my multitool.

Brian, thanks for the info about pack volume. I was looking at the SMD Swift but it appears that I have too small a torso for it. Maybe I will try it anyway since the Circuit is pretty heavy for its size. Thanks for the link to those mugs they look like they would be great for my needs.

Thanks for all the help. I guess I just need to order a couple packs and see which ones work best

Tyler Barcelli

Locale: Southeast
Decision on 01/09/2011 17:47:02 MST Print View

Just wanted to let those of you that helped me know that after some serious research, I went ahead and ordered a Gossamer Gear Gorilla. Hopefully I got the sizing right

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
PAJAMAS ? on 01/10/2011 10:10:48 MST Print View


It's totally fine to smell bad while camping, and nothing bad is going to happen to your bag by sleeping in it. The sleeping shirt and pants are - more correctly called PAJAMAS, and can easily be nixed. Fear not! You and your sleeping bag will be just fine.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
3 Season List on 01/10/2011 14:06:24 MST Print View

You don't need and shouldn't take anything specifically for sleeping. I take a lightweight wicking base layer top and bottoms and sleep in those. When I have to wear them during the day (cold mornings or bad weather) they are underneath my other clothing so they don't get dirty. If it warms up, I take off the base layer before it gets sweaty!

The general principle is to take no more clothing than you would wear all at one time in the worst conditions you may encounter. The only exception to that is a spare pair of socks. Leave a change of clothes and a package of moist towlettes in your car at the trailhead so you can clean up and change for the trip home. We all stink while out on the trail, and nobody cares!

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Smelly stuff and a few other things on 01/11/2011 15:09:03 MST Print View

Search youtube for poo or p o o p clinic. The video of Mike that Andrew Skurka posted is rather amusing but also quite insightful (I'd post the link but Youtube is blocked here). Once you ditch the TP you'll never want to go back.

Also it's a bit pricey but if you make the switch to wool base layers you won't smell so funky. Wool doesn't hold odors like synthetics do so I just give myself a good dose of deodorant before hitting the trail and all is well for at least 3 or 4 days.

Instead of a camp towel consider a Buff or bandanna. I prefer the Buff because it's easy to put on without stopping, can still be used as a towel, and makes a respectable pillow case in a pinch. Basically some sort of bandanna type thing will give you more options including an extra layer for your head.

Dr. Bonner's is the way to go for soap and tooth paste/breath mint. It's a bit on the bleh side at home but on the trail I find the peppermint taste quite pleasing. For a toothbrush I prefer a Colgate Whisp for the integrated tooth pick and light weight.

You have 3 pairs of wool socks listed? I only carry 2. A pair to hike in and a thicker pair to sleep in. With highly breathable shoes this is all I need but I'm not sure if they'd dry fast enough if they were enclosed in boots or goretex etc.

Also consider Driducks for your rain jacket when you can get away with the lack of durability (I'm not sure how tough the Aegis is). It's hard to beat for the price and weight. You should be able to save 4 or 5 ounces here I'd think (I've only used their poncho but the material works!).

Have you tried a torso pad? You could cut you foam pad down if it's all the comfort you need or still save weight by going to an inflatable torso pad.

EDIT: And my idea of a backcountry multitool is an Esee Izula with a paracord wrapped handle. The firesteel that comes with the kit is pretty nice too for an emergency piece. Mine weighed significantly less than the advertised weight without the sheath and right around advertised with the sheath (I forgot it up at my dad's place so I can't double check for you but it's a nice knife. A razor blade is still lighter though.

Edited by veriest1 on 01/11/2011 15:14:55 MST.