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Minimalist Gear List
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Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Minimalist Gear List on 04/13/2011 15:16:22 MDT Print View

I posted a gear list as part of my trip report/gear review for the TrailLite Designs Bandoleer pack. Full report can be seen here....

TrailLite Report

I wanted to post the gear list here by itself to see if I could generate some further discussion on just the list. My goal was not reducing weight (though this happened), but rather take the fewest number of items possible for 20+ degree overnight trip. I did see a lot of rain through the night/morning and the temps dipped just below freezing so I did get tested.

Please note my wife altered my plans for not taking the cell phone and I wanted to document the trip so the camera came too, but beyond that are there items I should have taken or items I could have further reduced?

All comments welcome...thanks, Jamie

Gear List:
Worn/Carried Items:
BPL LS Merino Wool T-shirt - 5.10
BPL Merino Wool Shorts - 3.70
REI Sahara Convertible Pants - 12.40
Smart Wool PHD Adrenaline Mini Crew - 2.35
Columbia Booney Hat - 2.75
Bandana - 1.05
Pedometer - 0.95
REI Carbon Bamboo Hiking Staff - 5.95
Montrail Masochist GTX Trail Runners (Size 11) + Superfeet - 29.00

Packed Clothing:
Golite Wisp Wind Shirt - 2.85
Mont-Bell UL Down Jacket - 6.90
REI Fleece Gloves - 1.40
Fleece Cap - 1.35
Smart Wool PHD Mini Crew -2.35

TrailLite Bandoleer Pack - 10.15
Medium Cuben Zpacks Stuff Sack (clothes) - 0.20

Shelter & Sleeping:
Nunatak Ghost (Custom) - 15.55
GG 3/8" Thin Light Sleeping pad - 38" trimmed - 3.45
MLD Superlight Bivy - 6.05
Integral Designs Silponcho Tarp - 8.65
BPL Lazr Ti Stakes (x6) and 30' feet line - 2.00

Cooking & Hydration:
Platypus 2.5 lt. Water Bottle - 1.30
Platypus 1 lt. bottle - 0.90
Micropur Water Purifications Tabs (8x) - 0.20
Bear Hang (cuben stuff sack + 40 ft line) - 0.90
BPL Trapper Mug - 1.65
BPL Ti Wing Esbit Stove - 0.45
Dr Bonner's Camp Soap (micro-dropper) - 0.20
Bic Mini Lighter - 0.40
BPL Ti Spoon - 0.30

REI Keychain Thermometer/Compass - 0.30
Photocopy of Map - 0.40
Fox 40 Safety Whistle - 0.20
Photon Micro Light w/cord - 0.30
First Aid Kit (Meds, 2x Gauze Pads, Duct Tape, Razor Blade, Floss) - 0.80
Match Book - 0.15
Dermatome Stick - 0.25
Cell Phone - 2.35
Canon Powershot Camera - 4.75
Fisher Space Pen - 0.20
Car Key - 0.90

Total Food (1.0 days) - 19.70
2x Esbit Tablets - 1.00
Water 1 liter - 32.00

1-Total Items Worn/Carried (lbs.) = 3.95
2-Total Base Weight (lbs.) = 4.89
3-Total Weight of Consumables (lbs.) = 3.29
4-Total Gear Weight Worn & Packed (1) + (2) = 8.84
5-Total Carried Pack Weight (2) + (3) = 8.18
6-Total Skin Out Weight (1) + (2) + (3) = 12.13

Things not taken this trip were: GPS, rock sack and biner for bear hang, pot top, wind screen for stove, fuel bottle, eye glasses & contacts, shelter stuff sack, spare camera battery, tooth brush, tooth paste, cooking stuff sack, rain jacket, rain pants, 2 ti stakes, and watch. My base weight came in under 5 lbs with gear to handle rain or shine and 20 degree temps.


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Minimalist Gear List on 04/13/2011 15:40:38 MDT Print View

If the goal is to reduce items (without taking into account enjoyment of trip/personal preferences, etc) to obtain a minimalist list:

1. You can just stop at Subway on the way to the trailhead and buy a footlong. Eliminate all your cooking gear (mug/pot), spoon, stove. Not my cup of tea but I have done it before. Poptarts for breakfast :)

2. You can probably eliminate the pen. I like to take notes but on an overnight you can always take notes when you get back. Your camera may also be able to record voice for notes.

3.Whistle can maybe be eliminated if you are not going off trail and people know where you are going.

4.Eliminate clothing stuff sack?

5.Eliminate pedometer?

6.Eliminate one of the water bladders. Maybe replace with a single 1.5 to 2 liter bladder.

7. Get an iphone. You get camera, voice recorder, written notes, phone, books etc etc in one item :)

These are not items I would personally eliminate myself, but if the goal is to make a minimalist list you could probably eliminate these on a "not needed" basis.

Edited by DanG on 04/13/2011 15:46:18 MDT.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: Minimalist Gear List on 04/13/2011 20:15:34 MDT Print View

Daniel, Thanks for the detailed review. I think you nailed it. It's funny my inclination was to defend why I needed those things, but you are right. I would have been fine without them. I would have missed having a hot meal, but if it was a quick simple outdoor experience I was after dropping the cooking items would be easy to do. I was going to go with only the 2.5l platy, but at the last minute the 1L jumped into the side pocket. The clothing stuff sack was the same. I argued I wanted it to make my pillow. Again I would have been fine without it. The whistle too was considered. I have never used my whistle, but feel obligated to take it since I solo hike mostly. I covered ~24 miles and only passed one person. Do I really need a whistle?

I should explain the company participates in a health program called Its voluntary and free. Based on the number of steps we take each day we get points towards cash or gift cards. If you reach the highest amount you can earn $500 by the end of the year, but it is a lot of walking. Its a cool program. I also found it does a pretty good job of measuring distance and it was my time keeping device. I could certainly do without it, but I wanted to get credit for the walking.

Someone had suggested getting rid of my car key. Use a hide-a-key...I think I will do that next trip.

Thanks for taking a look at the list.

EDIT...items I did not end up using on the trip (everything else was used)
- Fox 40 Safety Whistle - 0.20
- First Aid Kit (Meds, 2x Gauze Pads, Duct Tape, Razor Blade, Floss) - 0.80
- Match Book - 0.15

So I carried 1.15 oz of items not used so 98.5% of my base weight was used. This seems pretty good.


Edited by jshortt on 04/13/2011 20:25:45 MDT.

Jason Delso
(zencarver) - MLife

Locale: DFW
Re: Minimalist Gear List on 04/14/2011 08:36:36 MDT Print View

To add to what Daniel said, and because it was an overnighter, you could push it some more.

Drop the underwear
Drop the spare socks
Drop one of the hats (I'd recommend the booney)
Drop the esbit stove (use available rocks)
Drop the stakes (use available rocks/sticks)
Drop the wind shirt (though you'd lose the protection going from poncho mode to tarp mode)

And one question: did you use all 8 Micropur tabs?

You'd lose a little comfort and convenience, but maybe you wouldn't miss them after all.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: Minimalist Gear List on 04/15/2011 05:25:49 MDT Print View

Jason, Thanks for the response. On the tabs I only used 4 since I started with 1 liter of water. Probably should have had one more liter of water to make sure I was well hydrated but I pushed since I was close to my truck. I would feel safe dropping to 6 with one as backup.

Drop the underwear - valid, need to get over this

Drop the spare socks - could have done, but would not have had dry socks to sleep in and would have had to put on wet socks in 35 degree morning, dry one were nice

Drop one of the hats (I'd recommend the booney) - I've found a fleece cap is critical for sleeping with hoodless quilt, the booney has protects my eyes and face from sun since I don't take sunglasses. I wore one of the hats almost all the time.

Drop the esbit stove (use available rocks) - I think this could be done.

Drop the stakes (use available rocks/sticks) - I did leave 2 stakes at home (normally take 8), I used large rocks for front and back ridgeline. This worked fine, but was a lot of work that I questioned.

Drop the wind shirt - Without a rain jacket I used the wind jacket alot in these temps (30-55). I hiked most of the day in the windshirt. Without it I would have been extremely uncomfortable. Down jacket too warm, in a pinch I would have had to hike in the poncho during the 35-45 degree sunny weather.

Great ideas to push the limit.

Thanks, Jamie

Edited by jshortt on 04/15/2011 05:26:23 MDT.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Minimalist Gear List on 04/15/2011 08:44:20 MDT Print View

I think dropping the whistle or socks is too risky. I also would have kept the toothbrush.

I would've dropped the stove and esbit tablets if fire is allowed.