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George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter on 07/30/2011 07:01:34 MDT Print View

Suggestions please. Only thing I did not like was my pad was cut too small. I do not want to buy anything for this trip coming up. I plan to do 20 mile days. I will be in hot, humid climate with chance of thunderstorms.

START:
Over three years ago...

06/06/2008

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=14062&skip_to_post=109794#109794

In 'SuperUltraLight: Breaking the Five-Pound Barrier' by Ryan Jordan (2003-08-06), I read "...the reason the fringe isn't being explored is simple: it's the fringe. And there is not a lot of gear or education to help people explore it." Does this remain true today? Can someone like me without extensive backpacking experience go SUL with an adequate level of safety and reasonable comfort? Would it be fun?

Fortunately for "fringe" explorers, gear and education have both changed for the better over the past four years since Ryan's paradigm shifting article. For those of us seeking a superultralight backpacking (SUL) experience, neither not-yet-light-enough gear nor traditional fears are valid excuses for giving up on SUL. Several well-run gear companies make and sell very light gear for backpacking. While many of their products are far from cheap, affordability is within the reach for true enthusiasts. Now we have books and magazines dedicated to the subject of light backpacking as well as web sites with light backpacking forums, research articles, product reviews, and unselfish, articulate gurus. Life aint bad if you want to try SUL in 2008. I, for one, am going to try SUL on my next backpacking trip.

How did I get there? Carefully, I assembled my SUL gear list by making adjustments to the gear configuration I'd used recently that gave me an adequate level of safety and reasonable comfort. The SUL article's gear list enabled me to compare item by item to my gear list to see where I had opportunities to lighten up. This process took me several iterations, a tremendous amount of thought, and, in the end, a gut check. Eventually I arrived at a SUL configuration that I believe maintains an adequate level of safety and reasonable comfort for me. We'll see.

Heeding the caveat of the article, I am strongly confident that I "have the ability to forecast challenging scenarios, develop contingency plans, and implement those plans when things go awry" from previous backpacking experiences albeit with more gear. Because I'll have "little room for error", a bit of advice from the article that I will follow is to not venture too many miles from my car. I will hike where there are plenty of connecting, loop trails so I cover plenty of miles, but not venture extremely far from my car. I'm hoping I will have fun.

My SUL Gear List

updated in later post

======

07/10/2008

My gear config worked well during June. One problem: I "over customized" my pad. During deep sleep shifting I'd push it about 1/2 way off. Fortunately the ground was not too hard or cold. I'm going to buy more 3/8 from GG and try again. The pad was great until I kept cutting more and more off.

Had plenty of insulation with the Cocoon hoody/pant. When I first went to sleep, I just used the 2/3 XP quilt because it was comfortable with that alone in the bivy. Woke in a couple of hours and put on the hoody. Later I put on the cocoon pant and was fine until morning.

I will try the Cocoons again this Fall, but they'll be unnecessary in the heat and humidity mid-July thru August in my neck of the woods.



COMMENTS:
I will hike with VFF or TGs. I have three more years backpacking experience so am confident to drop more weight than I did previously.

Edited by gmatthews on 08/03/2011 09:50:17 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter on 07/30/2011 08:22:00 MDT Print View

It would informative to me if SUL Gear Lists included a line regarding Location, typical/anticipated Precipitation, as well as high and low Temperatures:

"Georgia. Expect afternoon showers. Temps 95 to 75."
"Arizona desert. Never rains. Temps 105 to 85."
"Colorado CDT. Thunderstorm every day. Temps 65 to 35."

And their might be other "Qualifiers" which would help others understand the environment.

Just a thought.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter on 07/30/2011 15:18:51 MDT Print View

SUL Gear List For East USA In Summer
NC/TN/VA Mountains - Chance Of Thunderstorms

updated in later post

Edited by gmatthews on 08/03/2011 09:50:48 MDT.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter on 07/30/2011 18:48:37 MDT Print View

George, The list looks real solid. I hike the same region, but typically try to avoid hiking between Memorial Day and Labor Day because of the heat. But I do try to hike both of those weekends. This is when I carry my "summer" gear. Generally I do not carry any insulation garmets and I am fine. Not sure if you are interested in spending money or not, but one of my favorite items is a JRB stealth. You could loose the cocoon hoody and the 2/3 xp bag replacing with the stealth. If you happen to catch a chilly morning then you could first dawn the windshirt and second put on the stealth in poncho mode. The other thing I do is swap out my regular bivy (MYOG or MLD superlight) with a MLD bug bivy. I really prefer sleeping in it during the warmer months. I'm always trying new things but a typically summer set for me is....

MLD cuben grace
MLD bug bivy
Dry Ducks Jacket (no pants) or Marmot Mica
JRB Stealth

Sometimes I swap out the Grace Solo for an ID poncho tarp and Golite Wisp Winshirt. Either of these setups has me below 5 lbs base.

Overall your list looks great. Just trying to give you some ideas.

Jamie

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Re: SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter on 07/31/2011 07:49:07 MDT Print View

+1 for the wearable quilt and nixing the cocoon hoody. I hike mostly in GA, NC area, and so far haven't found much of a reason to need two layers of insulation.

I actually made myself a quilt similar to the Stealth, except made out of Apex 2.5 to be a bit better with moisture. It was pretty simple to make and pretty inexpensive. It works great and fits under my size L montane windshirt fits over it nicely to keep the size in control and add warmth. It is my favorite piece of gear right now and comes in at 13oz using 1.1oz ripstop nylon instead of more expensive m50 or m55.

I have so far only had maybe 2 mornings this summer where I wore my quilt as a poncho, but it worked great for those mornings and kept me from carrying gear I didn't need.

If you don't want to make a purchase at all, you could try Glen Van Peski's trick to wrap your quilt around you and put your windshirt on over it.

Your list looks really fixed in. Thanks for sharing it with us. I love seeing lists from our area.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: re: SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter on 07/31/2011 11:04:12 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions. One of my goals is to not buy anything based purely on weight.

I do not have a Stealth 18oz quilt, but do have a No Sniveller 20oz.
The 2Thirds + Cocoon is 20.1 oz. So looks pretty close.

I will give serious thought to using the 2Thirds as insulation instead of Cocoon or taking my Merino UL hoody 8.5 oz.

If I decide to go higher elevation then I will probably take the merino hoody, otherwise I will use the 2Thirds.

For now I will adjust my list by taking off the Cocoon and adding the merino hoody. Then leave that if I go lower elevation.

Just finished a trip in CA where the Cocoon was a real nice needed item so my mind is still acclimating. : )

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
revised SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter on 07/31/2011 11:21:16 MDT Print View

Revised

SUL Gear List For East USA In Summer
NC/TN/VA Mountains - Chance Of Thunderstorms

Pack - Shelter - Sleeping
6.5 Zpacks Z1
5.7 GG Torso and 1/8
8.9 MLD Pro poncho tarp + sack
1.3 Stakes
0.5 Guylines
9.6 MLD 2/3 XP quilt + sack
6.5 BPL Vapr Bivy + sack
39.0 2.4375

Extra Clothing Packed
4.0 Houdini windshirt
8.5 BPL Merino Wool UL Hoody [MIGHT DROP THIS ITEM]
0.9 Injinji liner socks extra pair
13.4 0.8375

Kitchen
0.4 BPL Ti Wing
0.2 Ziplock (wing, mug, screen, lid, matches, spoon)
0.1 Foil Screen
0.2 Matches
1.3 BPL Trappers mug
0.1 Foil lid
0.2 Plastic spork - shortened handle
1.0 Platypus 1L
1.0 Platypus 1L
1.1 AM repacked + mixing cap
0.1 Micropur MP1 Tablets
2.0 Food bag and 35' cord
7.7 0.48125

Miscellany
1.1 BD Ion light
0.2 Scissor
0.0 Tweezer
0.3 Sm drop bottle Deet
0.3 Sm balm jar sunscreen
0.3 Sm drop bottle Bronners soap
0.2 Toothbrush - shortened handle
0.1 Floss
0.5 Toilet paper
0.4 Antibacterial wipes
0.3 Sm balm jar of antibiotic
1.0 Moleskin, bandaids, tape
0.6 Gerber knife
0.4 Round box w quad divider
0.8 Whistle/Compass
0.5 Stuff Sack
6.8 0.426875

Clothing Worn and Items Carried
5.8 Synthetic T-shirt
3.0 Patag Cap boxer
4.9 Royal Robbins shorts
0.9 Injinji liner socks extra pair
13.0 VFF Treks 15.1 Merrell TG
0.5 Cotton bandana (half)
6.7 Ti Adj Goat Poles
0.2 Map
0.4 Eye glasses
0.6 Sun glasses
5.6 Coolpix L11 2GB 2AA
41.6 2.6

66.9 Total Wt in Pack: 4.18
41.6 Total Wt Worn/Carried: 2.60
108.5 TSO Wt: 6.78
(excl. food, water, fuel)

Without the merino wool hoody
58.4 Tot Wt in Pack: A real possibility 3.65

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: revised SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter on 07/31/2011 17:36:36 MDT Print View

George, You are getting close to the edge! I like it. I love my BPL hoody, but at the weights you are approaching I would consider dropping it as long as the temps are no lower than 50 degrees at night. If the temps dip below 60 then you will probaly be fine to put on the houdini as it gets colder zip up the hood. Now if temps will dip below 50 I vote for bringing the wool hoody. Add it first then add the windshirt if it gets into low 40's. If the temps are going to get lower than consider adding a fleece cap.

Jamie

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: revised SUL - HOT EAST 3.65 lb on 07/31/2011 19:05:36 MDT Print View

Using 50 as a cutoff makes sense. Thanks.

I might be able to work in a one nighter soon. Temperatures permitting, I will go without the hoody.

Edited by gmatthews on 07/31/2011 19:06:38 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter" on 07/31/2011 19:23:38 MDT Print View

Other possibilities for shaving grams and ounces....since you're at it:

Toilet paper- nix

Antibacterial wipes- nix, you already have Bonners soap

Capilene boxers and Royal Robbins Shorts- replace both with a lightweight running short w/ liner

Gerber knife- could you pack a single razor blade?

Scissors- you have a knife, probably don't need scissors

3 stuff sacks- reduce these down to one stuff sack, your poncho tarp can be loosely stuffed in the pack alongside your bivy, keeps things simple.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: "SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter" on 08/01/2011 11:00:27 MDT Print View

Eugene, So no mercy on my poor pitiful soul : )

Definitely will drop down to one stuff sack and razor will replace both scissor na knife. I've tried the running shorts with liners. Ended up cutting out the liners. The TP and/or wipes nixes will be considered. You are ruthless!

I'm going to make a few adjustments and create my COOL EAST gear list, too.

Thanks

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: "SUL - COOL EAST 1-3 Days" on 08/01/2011 11:15:16 MDT Print View

As the seasons change...

East Cool List 4.59 lb
Switch pad to Z Lite
Switch quilt to No Sniveller
Wear merino sweater

Pack - Shelter - Sleeping
6.5 Zpacks Z1
10.0 Z Lite Small
8.9 MLD Pro poncho tarp + sack
1.3 Stakes
0.5 Guylines
21.0 No Sniveller + sack
6.5 BPL Vapr Bivy + sack
54.7 3.41875

Extra Clothing Packed
4.0 Houdini windshirt
0.9 Injinji liner socks extra pair
4.9 0.30625

Kitchen
0.4 BPL Ti Wing
0.2 Ziplock (wing, mug, screen, lid, matches, spoon)
0.1 Foil Screen
0.2 Matches
1.3 BPL Trappers mug
0.1 Foil lid
0.2 Plastic spork - shortened handle
1.0 Platypus 1L
1.0 Platypus 1L
1.1 AM repacked + mixing cap
0.1 Micropur MP1 Tablets
2.0 Food bag and 35' cord
7.7 0.48125

Miscellany
1.1 BD Ion light
0.1 Razor
0.1 Tweezer
0.3 Sm drop bottle Deet
0.3 Sm balm jar sunscreen
0.3 Sm drop bottle Bronners soap
0.2 Toothbrush - shortened handle
0.1 Floss
0.5 Toilet paper
0.4 Antibacterial wipes
0.3 Sm balm jar of antibiotic
1.0 Moleskin, bandaids, tape
0.4 Round box w quad divider
0.8 Whistle/Compass
0.5 Stuff Sack
6.2 0.3875

Clothing Worn and Items Carried
8.5 BPL Merino Wool UL Hoody
3.0 Patag Cap boxer
4.9 Royal Robbins shorts
0.9 Injinji liner socks extra pair
13.0 VFF Treks
0.5 Cotton bandana (half)
6.7 Ti Adj Goat Poles
0.2 Map
0.4 Eye glasses
0.6 Sun glasses
5.6 Coolpix L11 2GB 2AA
44.3 2.76875

73.5 Total Wt in Pack: 4.59
44.3 Total Wt Worn/Carried: 2.77
117.8 TSO Wt: 7.36
(excl. food, water, fuel)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: "SUL - COOL EAST 1-3 Days" on 08/02/2011 02:26:03 MDT Print View

George,

Nice lists.

Guys with gray beards have earned the right to carry TP.

I would get rid of some of the sacks as mentioned by Eugene... also use cuben sacks.

I bought a pair of Maui Jim bifocal sun glasses. The bottom are "readers" so I can leave my glasses at home. I normally wear glasses all day. Not optimal for night reading or tasks though. These weigh 0.6 oz.

With my cuben quilt, I have gotten rid of the bivy, even with a poncho tarp. I know you are not looking to buy any new gear, and you have more rain than me.

I hate liners in shorts and cut them out too.

Do you ever use the moleskin with your new footwear?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: "SUL - COOL EAST 1-3 Days" on 08/02/2011 06:52:15 MDT Print View

Nick,

Appreciate your suggestions. I will reassess my sacks and think about the bifocal sun glasses. This past year my eyes' distance requirement exceeded my arm's length. So it is either take my bifocals or get longer arms. : )

I read about your cuben quilt in another one of your recent posts. I'm looking at the possibility. The not buying anything and trying to get by with what I have is just something I wanted to do for a while. We'll see how long that lasts!

The moleskin? Like the patches for blisters? I've been wearing liner socks with both the VFFs and TGs. Have not gotten blisters yet, but get some rubbed spots. I'm not a REAL runner like you and the other ex-track guys. I usually run a little over six miles on Sat and Sun mornings. Some weeks I don't get a chance to run during the weekdays. Others I get in a couple of late day 4 milers. However, for the first time in my life I'm really enjoying running. If I found a bottle with a genie and got three wishes, then one of them would be to become a 100 mile ultrarunner. Meanwhile I will work on getting up to 10 : )

Edited by gmatthews on 08/02/2011 06:53:47 MDT.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Stakes on 08/07/2011 23:57:37 MDT Print View

Being in the woods of the East, could you find wood for stakes? I've been doing that in the NE for a few years now with no troubles, dropped the Ti stakes. GL.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter" on 08/08/2011 00:22:37 MDT Print View

"Being in the woods of the East, could you find wood for stakes?"

I was waiting for someone to go there. ;-)

What a ruthless bunch.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Stakes on 08/08/2011 00:28:22 MDT Print View

@Bryce
Utilizing natural resources? That's ultralight blasphemy! Lol.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Stakes on 08/08/2011 10:28:58 MDT Print View

I humbly stand corrected for not seeing the Eastern forest. Thanks. Minus 1.3 oz. : )

However, I recently did have a brilliant moment in the Western high country.

But they would not allow me to bring those back on the plane : )


rock stakes


Rock stakes

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: "SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter" on 08/08/2011 10:37:51 MDT Print View

>> ...ruthless bunch

No problem. My old mind needs all the help it can get - whatever manner and style is acceptable. I just want to walk more miles with a lighter pack. So I really appreciate your expertise. Thanks!

Edited by gmatthews on 08/08/2011 10:38:28 MDT.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Re: "SUL - HOT EAST 2 Nighter" on 08/08/2011 11:34:25 MDT Print View

Rocks definitely come in handy on the East Coast as well....just not quite as UL. :p

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=33496942&l=d4952f0ef3&id=17506531

GL!