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Creating a new gear list under 1500$
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Joseph Ainsworth
(jainsworth123) - F

Locale: Greater LA area
Creating a new gear list under 1500$ on 05/16/2011 23:42:22 MDT Print View

I have a friend who wants to start to get into backpacking again and is looking to put together a gear list. He has a budget of around 1000-1500 and wants to do it right the first time this time around. I know I've seen various lists floating around here that hit certain price points, but I can't seem to find any (stupid search function).
Conditions: can handle a thru hike, so a wide range of condition (20-110 degrees), be under 10lbs, under 1500 including non normal gear worn (i.e. clothing other than shoes, etc), and I think he'd like to stay away from a tarp for now, and with a framed pack.
Other than that, just like to get some suggestions

Stephan Doyle
Re: Creating a new gear list under 1500$ on 05/17/2011 00:02:13 MDT Print View

I think the Kelty 20ยบ down bag recently reviewed would be a good start.

Covering 20-110 degrees is tough, because you almost need multiple sets of insulation (and, for some, base layers).

I think you're best off being scrappy with gear swap. $1,500 goes a lot further when you save on everything.

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Creating a new gear list under 1500$ on 05/17/2011 05:27:45 MDT Print View

Take a look at Osprey and Aarn packs. I prefer the Aarn. Both will be a bit heavy for a 10lb base. For tents check out Tarptent. I have a Sublite and like the Sublite Sil, I use trekking poles. Looks like a down jacket will be required for this range. Keep a close eye on the gear swap.

Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
List under $1500 on 05/17/2011 05:44:10 MDT Print View

This isn't even hard with that much money. I'd switch the sleeping bag out from the list below, and perhaps add a real rain jacket like a Marmot Essence. You could switch to a WM bag, a rain jacket, and an inflatable and still be right around $1500

ULA Ohm - $175 - 28oz
RidgeRest SOLite Short - $20 - 9oz
Tarptent Moment - $215 - 32oz
Kelty Cosmic Down 20 - $110 - 40oz

Caldera Keg System - $60 - 7oz
Ti Spoon - $10 - 0.5oz
Bandana - $3 - 1oz

Petzl Tikka Plus - $40 - 3oz
Aquamira - $15 - 1oz
2x 1L Platypus Plus Bottles - $25 - 2.4oz
Dyneema bear rope - $20 - 1.5oz
First aid kit - $20 - 4oz

DriDucks jacket - $30 - 7oz
Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka - $185 - 16oz


Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Hmmm on 05/17/2011 05:56:12 MDT Print View

Under 10 lbs, but with a framed pack and without a tarp. Might be tough. A Tarptent is probably the way to go shelter-wise if your friend doesn't want to tarp it, but there's really no need for a framed pack at weights like that. Even on a through-hike. Just be sure to get a pack / sleeping pad combo that'll transfer a bit of weight to the hips and you'll be good to go.

I absolutely agree about gear swap. Granted, if your friend is in a hurry to get set up, that could be a bit inconvenient, but he should be able to score a couple items there.

I'd recommend something like this:


Six Moon Designs Swift - 18 oz w/ hipbelt (which he'll want) - $140
(there are lighter packs, but this one's big and durable which makes it more versatile, and worth the weight penalty in my opinion)
Trash compactor bag liner - 2 oz - free


Tarptent Squall 2 / Cloudburst 2 - $$230/$260 - 34 oz / 39 oz
(I recommend getting a 2 person shelter so he can take someone else if desired. The model depends on whether or not he uses trekking poles)


JRB Sierra Sniveller - $250 - 24 oz
Neoair (Small) - $105 - 9 oz
Warm sleeping socks (Hey... I carry 'em) - free - 4 oz


Montbell Thermawrap - 8.8 oz - $150
OR Ninjaclava (Super versatile, works great as hat or balaclava) - 2 oz - $28
OR liner gloves - 1.5 oz - ~$25
Golite Ether windshirt - 4 oz - $80
or, depending on conditions:
North Face Triumph Anorak - 6 oz - $180
Extra socks - 2-3 oz - probably free


MYOG Alcohol Stove - 1 oz - free
Snowpeak 600 Mug - 2.8 oz - $28
MYOG Windscreen - 1 oz - free
Mini Bic - .5 oz - free
Light spoon - .5 oz - < $5
4-8 oz bottle to hold alcohol - .5 oz - free


Katadyn Hiker Pro filter - 9 oz (after removing some accessories) - $80
(sue me, I like a filter when I'm not fastpacking. The taste is way better)
Platypus 2 liter hydration pack - 3.5 - $18
Platypus 1 liter bottle - 1.5 - $11


Black Diamond Gizmo headlamp - 2 oz w/ batteries - $18
Brunton Base Plate 810g compass - 1.5 oz - $18
Ziploc w/ sunscreen, bug spray, first aid, duct tape, cottonball firestarters, extra lighter or firesteel, etc - 5 oz - cheap or free
Map - < .5 oz - possibly free
Leatherman Squirt PS4 - 2 oz - $28
Dyneema Bear Rope - 1.5 oz - $20 (totally stolen from Kyle)

Total = 9 lbs, 4 oz and around $1350 for a super comfortable kit.

This is off the top of my head, but it doesn't appear to be missing anything. If he buys some of this stuff used, he'll probably spend well under $1,000. This kit also leaves him some space for a camera and a luxury item or two if he really wants one, while still staying under a 10 lbs baseweight.

Edit: Forgot a knife and bear line.

Edited by Knaight on 05/17/2011 06:24:51 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Creating a new gear list under 1500$ on 05/17/2011 07:01:44 MDT Print View

I think, at the moment, if I was to get just one tent to 'do it all,' I'd get the Scarp 1 with both solid and mesh inners.

And I'd definitely go with a Ti-Tri Caldera, TiGoat sells the 550 pot w/Ti-Tri for $100. I think it's another 40 for the inferno insert from Trail Designs.

And I like the NeoAir by itself in summer, paired with a Ridgerest in winter.

kevin timm
(ktimm) - MLife

Locale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Under 10 lbs on 05/17/2011 07:01:46 MDT Print View

I use -
- ULA Epic (I carried 30 lbs 20 miles over the weekend and it was fine ) 2.5 lbs
- tipi style tent we manufacture that sleeps 3 or 4 ( 2 person) 3 lbs
- 30 degree down bag and light Sil / DWR bivy (3 lbs)
- Ridgrest 1 lb

I sometimes drop to our breakaway tarp + vestibule and save 1.5 lbs

I figure this gets me a solid 30 degrees, perhaps lower. I use the bag like a quilt in the bivy if it's warm. The tent can sleep 3 comfy, even 4 in a pinch. I'm almost always carrying the tent for everyone anyway.

Joseph Ainsworth
(jainsworth123) - F

Locale: Greater LA area
Re: Hmmm on 05/17/2011 09:11:50 MDT Print View

These are all great guys, thanks. It looks like it's going to be a lot easier than I thought, maybe even getting some higher end fabrics and what not in there as well.
As far as the big 4, I was thinking
pack: mariposa/ohm/swift/etc (around 180)
pad: neo air (we can get these for 40-50$ at every REI used gear sale out here which is every month
sleeping bag: I think I've convinced him to spend a little more here, so maybe a used WM ultralite, or a quilt if he like it when he tries mine out (300ish)
shelter: one of the tarp tents (about 200-250$) or used on here all the time for 150-200

680$ for all of it
Cooking looks like it can be done for under 50$
water purification is going to be Aqua Mira
Maybe 300 at most for everything else
The clothing was really the main thing I was worried about which looks like it can be done for under 300 without too much trouble.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Clothing on 05/17/2011 09:23:38 MDT Print View

I personally love:

Mountain Hardwear Canyon Pants - Durable, quick-drying, lightweight

Smartwool Midweight Longsleeve - Keeps you warm when you want to be warm and cool when you want to be cool. The wool keeps it from smelling much or giving you that chilled feeling right after you stop moving. This is my baselayer and hiking shirt for most of the season.

Patagonia Capilene 2 Shortsleeve - This is my hiking shirt during hot summer days at low elevation.

Underarmour boxer briefs - they've always been good to me

Injinji Toe Socks - Great for long miles because they prevent blisters in between the toes.

Inov-8 Roclite 295 shoes - Amazing comfort and grip in pretty much any terrain mother nature can throw at you. Quick drying.

I already mentioned the Montbell Thermawrap. I don't own this, but I think it'll be my next purchase based on what people are saying about it.

That's pretty much all I bring for clothing. Never have much of a need for a pants baselayer in 3 season use. I just wear the Canyon Pants to bed when its cold.

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Re: Hmmm on 05/17/2011 09:28:24 MDT Print View

If you are still considering 20 degrees take a look at Kookabay insulated pads. Minus 33 has good prices for wool tops and bottoms. A good sleeping bag is worth the bucks.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Re: Re: Re: Hmmm on 05/17/2011 09:29:59 MDT Print View

" A good sleeping bag is worth the bucks."

I'd have saved myself quite a few uncomfortable nights if I'd had learned this early on.

But those $60 Slumberjacks were so tempting!!!

Joseph Ainsworth
(jainsworth123) - F

Locale: Greater LA area
Re: Re: Re: Hmmm on 05/17/2011 09:39:58 MDT Print View

I also forgot to mention that we can get cost (about 50% off) on icebreaker stuff. So, most of the base clothes will probably be that.
Looks like down jacket: something from montbell in the 150 range
rain jacket: ?
rain bottoms: ?
everything else is pretty simple there

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Rain clothing on 05/17/2011 09:47:40 MDT Print View

I've never used rain pants. I live in New England, and we get a decent amount of rain, but not enough to warrant them. I think I'd reconsider if I lived in the PNW I'd reconsider, and if I ever hike there, I'll probably bring some DriDucks along.

Nearly always, I just pack the Golite Ether that I bought off Gear Swap for $35. It's lightweight and pretty breathable. Hell, I go running in the thing. It'll shed light rain for a half hour or so before it wets out. If it's raining while I'm hiking, I usually just hike in my smartwool because it keeps me warm, and I'll throw the Ether on when I get to camp.

Because of that, I've yet to purchase a good, lightweight piece of rain gear. The only time I bring along anything that's more heavy duty is when heavy rain is forecasted, which doesn't end up being that often. In those cases, I still bring along a 12 oz (large) Campmor jacket that cost me $25. It works.

I'd like to buy the North Face Triumph. Super lightweight and seems like it'd due the trick when I really need a good piece of gear to keep me dry.

So basically... unless you're planning on doing a lot of wet hiking, spend money on a really good, lightweight hooded windbreaker. You'll use that more often. If you've got enough cash leftover, get a solid rain jacket too, but a poncho will be fine in a pinch.

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm on 05/17/2011 16:02:33 MDT Print View

Icebreaker makes good products, expensive though. I use there hoodie, socks and gloves. I have Marmot and Driducks tops for rain gear. Driducks take up more space but are lighter and cheaper and more fragile. For colder temps I use a Montbell inner down jacket, early morning sun rises or sunsets and add to the bag for sleeping below freezing. I have some silnylon rain pants but don't use them much. Purchase your pack last to make sure it is the proper size to fit your gear.