Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Fastpacking Gear
Display Avatars Sort By:
Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: No more definitions then :) on 05/01/2011 17:47:01 MDT Print View

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Nooobie question on 05/01/2011 17:53:05 MDT Print View

"I'm relatively new to this light weight backpacking and I'm curious about who would have the "authority" to set these definitions? Is there some sort of organization? I have been backpacking for nearly 40 years and what has always attracted me to it is that I am only competing with myself. I say HYOH."

Exactly, there are no consensus definitions on these things, nor (do I believe) should there be, short of setting yourself a goal for base weight to see if you can meet it. Using it as a bragging right, as is often done, seems silly and arbitrary to me. If 15 pounds of gear yields a rewarding experience for you, great. If 5 pounds flips your skirt, run with it. Not sure why, as human beings, we can never be satisfied with something unless we have a means of labeling it.

As you said, hike your own hike.

James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Good enough on 05/01/2011 17:59:06 MDT Print View

Thanks, Bob. I apologize for the rabbit chasing.

I have to say that I have learned a lot in a short time here and spent a lot of money. However, my trips are much more enjoyable now that I don't feel like a pack mule.

I agree. IMHO I think there are already enough rules out there as it is.

Edited by Laien on 05/01/2011 18:06:23 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Good enough on 05/01/2011 18:20:10 MDT Print View

"I apologize for the rabbit chasing."

You can chase rabbits all you want. I prefer to play dead like a limp leaf and let the rabbits come to me.


b willi jones
(mrjones) - F

Locale: NZ,,, best place in the world !?
Re: Fastpacking Gear on 05/01/2011 18:29:10 MDT Print View

i dont give a f*#@ what you call it, what the gear manufacturers would like you to call it, or what weight bracket you are trying to fit into as long as you are out there gettin amongst it

Edited by mrjones on 05/01/2011 18:30:58 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: Fastpacking Gear on 05/01/2011 20:03:08 MDT Print View

i dont give a f*#@ what you call it, what the gear manufacturers would like you to call it, or what weight bracket you are trying to fit into as long as you are out there gettin amongst it


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Fastpacking Gear on 05/01/2011 20:05:27 MDT Print View

Packed base weight (pbw) terms:
UL is < 12 lb pbw (original def), some want to call it < 10 lb pbw
SUL is < 5 lb pbw
XUL is < 4 lb pbw
HUL is Bill Fornshells hyper-ultralight pbw (not sure of true cutoff)

Total base weight (tbw) terms (packed base weight plus worn base weight):
XUL is < 5 lb tbw

Edited by jshann on 05/01/2011 20:08:05 MDT.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Re: Re: Re: Fastpacking Gear on 05/01/2011 20:11:36 MDT Print View

I kid.

This seems to be one of those perennial threads. By the way - trekking poles or no trekking poles?

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Fastpacking Gear" on 05/01/2011 20:15:05 MDT Print View

What distinguishes hiking from walking?

What distinguishes backpacking from walking? The mobile accommodations on you back?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Fastpacking Gear on 05/01/2011 20:19:04 MDT Print View

No poles... Load is soooo light don't need them anymore;p

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Re: Fastpacking Gear on 05/01/2011 20:23:13 MDT Print View

Sub 1- Pound has an International Organization that sets it rules. They even have their own Yahoo Group.

James Neal
(Laien) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Fastpacking on 05/01/2011 21:37:28 MDT Print View

At one time this was called streaking. Not legal in all states, by the way.

I couldn't resist.

Edited by Laien on 05/01/2011 21:40:45 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Fastpacking Gear on 05/01/2011 22:31:42 MDT Print View

To borrow an old phrase, "a good walk ruined."

Dan Johnson

Locale: PNW
Derailed on 05/01/2011 22:55:51 MDT Print View

Thanks Anna for your help.

I guess this thread has/was derailed long ago. Call it SUL/fastpacking/streaking/whatever, I was more or less looking for some new ideas on going further and lighter. It just seems that those people who are pushing the envelope seem to have ideas that I haven't thought about yet to try.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Fastpacking as in overnight trailrunning? on 05/01/2011 23:08:39 MDT Print View

Are you talking about fastpacking as in overnight trailrunning? Gear and philosophy is about the same. Keeps popping up every now and then. BP magazine had a feature on it in the late 1990s and Trailrunner magazine covered it last in their Oct 2009 issue. Trailrunner doesn't have that article on their website but think one can order back issues if desired - I have a frequently referenced copy at home. The article in Trailrunner suggested the "Big 3" be under 2 lbs each, wear hiking clothing to bed (though they may be more partial to tights over pants), etc ... again, very similar to what you see here equipment-wise. Same article recommended relatively flat terrain to avoid tripping. Note: I usually do not run on a backpack trip but like being able to.

Edited by hknewman on 05/01/2011 23:17:29 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Fastpacking Gear on 05/02/2011 00:16:46 MDT Print View

Hi Chris Morgan

> UL is 12-25lb baseweight
> SUL is 8-12lb baseweight
> XUL is 5-8lb baseweight
> SXUL is below 5lb baseweight

Can you quote a source of generally accepted or even legally enforceable authority for YOUR claim? I think not.

I seem to remember some here at BPL saying SUL was under 5 lb. Opinions differ, but that is all they are.

Does it matter?


Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Packfasting on 05/02/2011 00:31:39 MDT Print View

Just poking fun at our quirky terminology. Hence the reference to 1350 cal/hr.

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 05/02/2011 00:35:32 MDT.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
arbitrary definitions on 05/02/2011 01:47:26 MDT Print View

an appropriate use of sarcasm IMO. Agreed, the boundaries between SUL and fastpacking are somewhat arbitrary. I think with 'fastpacking' being a relatively new term the definition is still getting hashed out on forums like this. I do think there is definitely a distinction though, just not a clear one. IMO, fastpacking has more to do with your mode of travel than how much your pack weighs, though obviously less weight makes it easier to travel fast.

I think fastpacking is a good word to use for fast/light high mileage trips, where there is often running involved. If I want to cover a long distance like 60 miles and I only have 24 hours to do it, then I'll probably just throw a bunch of cliff bars and peanutbutter, and the bare minimum gear for an overnighter in a backpack that rides well when I'm running in it. I'll hike fast on the ups and run the downs. It doesn't really matter to me what I call that, but its definitely a different approach then packing light for a nice walk in the mountains. Both approaches have there benifits, but the first is much more about the athletic challenge than the second.

For gear, I see fastpacking used most often for backpacks. I think this is related to how the pack rides when you're running. Its also often used for super minimalist equipment, which will help you survive the night but not necessarily in a lot of comfort.

Not trying to be authoritative or put out a definition, but I don't think its the definition is completely arbitrary either. Then again, in most situations it hardly matters what word you use. If my friend asks me what I'm up to this weekend, I'll probably just say 'backpacking,' regardless of how much my pack weighs or how fast/far I plan to go.

Brendan Lammers
(mechB) - F

Locale: Washington DC
Arbitrary on 05/02/2011 01:56:59 MDT Print View

There's a lot of arbitrary use of the word 'arbitrary' flying around this thread.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: No more definitions then :) on 05/02/2011 07:22:30 MDT Print View

Can anyone tell me what the definition of " is " is ?