Forum Index » SuperUltraLight (SUL) Backpacking Discussion » SUL Wt Goals


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Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
quilts on 08/05/2011 10:40:51 MDT Print View

Hammockgear.com and Te-wa Underquilts also have nice lightweight quilts good to 35 or so for around $200.

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
24Hr Gear List on 08/05/2011 13:30:50 MDT Print View

I was just thinking about this topic a minute ago and realized that the goal of it is very similar to the gear list contest BPL had not too long ago. To give people a quick look at what their weight goals should be under similar conditions to what we are currently discussing.

Looking back at the lists that were submitted, I even noticed that Jamie's gave the user a 5lb base weight, putting them right at SUL. This could be a good place to start. Seeing lists set up in a similar manner to this, only focused more on SUL than 24 hour trips, would be very interesting. In addition to weight goals, price goals could also be added to the list to, hopefully, make SUL seem more reachable.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: SUL Wt Goals on 08/05/2011 15:32:16 MDT Print View

Chris, Thanks for providing reference to the 24 hour gear list. My work on it was one of the reasons I was excited to add to this thread, specifically the "target" portion. I intentionally didn't look at the targets I originally put in the 24 hour list when I made my suggestions earlier to the thread but my guess is they are extremely close. In all candor my guess is if you look at my suggested goals they are probably also close to what Ryan has in his article which has had such an influence on me.

When I was working to complete my first sub 5 trip I used chapter 15. I would write my item down next to Ryan's using his weight as a target. In the left hand side of the book I would add or subtract my weight to see how close I was. I was shocked how often each item I had was just slightly over Ryan's. The only place I "won" was my Montbell Down Inner and my Montbell Down Thermal Sheet Bag, but my bag was only a 45 degree. I had to push hard to get the rest of my items under 5 lbs. Here is a link to that first trip.

My First 5lb Trip

Everyones comments in the thread meant a lot to me (especially Ryan's). Funny I just noticed who was the first to congratulate me...it was George, thanks my friend.

One item to note...on the the 24 list I intentionally focused on the least number of items possible for a 24 hour trip. This was one of the criteria for judging. When I created that list I also didnt focus on expensive gear, rather I tried to build a kit that did not require costly items. As I worked on that list (I spent hours every day for 2 weeks) I realized that it came insanely close to 5 lbs without much effort. I did not originally have a weight goal in mind for the list but yes it does come in at 5lbs. But I would say it is missing a few items needed for longer trips that will add a few ounces.

Jamie

Edited by jshortt on 08/05/2011 15:51:17 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: re: Dan's list and going commando on 08/05/2011 19:38:38 MDT Print View

Aaron, how much to the Ex-officio boxers weigh?

"I would nix the deodorant"

It is nixed...notice that the quantity is zero.

"I want my next quilt to be a k-step wearable quilt"

I know what a wearable quilt is, but what is a k-step? Is that a certain design?

"I have found to be a great routine..."
Thanks for the info. The concern I have about this method is that is requires both a swim and a fire. I typically do neither of these because by the time I camp I'm often not in the mood for a swim (ie. a bit chilly) and don't feel like putting in the effort to build a fire. For me, I could wash my underwear, but unless I put the wet ones back on, I would have no way to dry them without building a fire. Another option would be to swim/wash undies in the middle of the day and then put them back on. Putting them back on would be less painful that doing it near bedtime, but it would still kinda suck. Perhaps the best method for me would be to wash them in the evenings and try to hang dry them. The next morning I could decide if I want to put on potentially damp/wet underwear or just go commando.

Edited by dandydan on 08/06/2011 12:41:36 MDT.

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
Give-N-Go Sport Breifs on 08/06/2011 08:25:42 MDT Print View

Hey Dan,

My size small weigh 42.0 grams.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Grams on 08/06/2011 12:43:49 MDT Print View

Hmm....that's probably about 50g for a size medium. That's lighter, but not way lighter than my 60g helly hansen boxer briefs I'm using now. Ideally I'd like to get them down to about 30g if that's possible.

The tough thing is that I want to be able to swim in boxers, so super thin ones or simple briefs are just not quite modest enough for that IMO.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: re: SUL Wt Goals on 08/06/2011 14:30:04 MDT Print View

Jamie, Glad you posted that link back to 2008. You inspired me and many others to give SUL a shot. It was one thing to read about the superstars of hiking doing it, but your story brought SUL those of us with day jobs : ) Of course, now you are among the superstars! My SUL strategy to work my list was same as yours - comparison to Ryan's list. But your report was the catalyst. Since then I've strayed from the SUL because my objectives changed. However, over the next couple of months I'm going SUL again.

I found this in the thread you linked us back to...

SUL Story

About four years I tried half-heartedly and unsuccessfully to significantly reduce my base weight for backpacking. I did not make much progress due to distactions and lack of serious effort. About two years ago, I decided to give getting much lighter another shot.

What inspired me was reading Ryan's 'SuperUltraLight: Breaking the Five-Pound Barrier' and especially statements from the article like: "When I was researching this topic, I found less than ten people - in the U.S. and Europe - that actually practice sub-5-pound backpacking on a consistent basis". Ryan wrote the article in 2003. Since then shared knowledge and innovative products from Ryan and his peers have made it possible for any focused and diligent backpacker to achieve a sub5 base weight.

If you are above sub5 base weight and want to get there, then consider the following strategy I used.

READ or RE-READ Ryan Jordan's SUL article. If you have the bible, 'Lightweight Backpacking & Camping: A Field Guide to Wilderness Hiking Equipment, Technique, and Style', the article is Chapter 15.

I first read the article a few years ago. I was just beginning my journey along the light backpacking path. At that time, I understood the concept, but its objective seemed more dream than practice to me.

Over the past two years I've reduced my base weight to a bit over six pounds. I did this one piece of gear at a time, and again lost focus at times. For example, I tried different stoves - alcohol, solid fuel , wood - when either would have been a solution as part of a sub5 base weight. Same thing with sleeping pads. Also, I spent much energy on 'Clothing Worn and Items Carried' - trailrunners, sticks, etc. that is not included in base weight. Important yes, but I was neglecting things in my pack.

Thanks to the James Shortt My first sub 5 lb trip!
thread, I was inspired again to go for it sooner rather than later. It was more than just the pound of base weight to me. It was going for something that at one time I thought was impossible.


So here's what I did:

1. Listed Ryan's items and their weights in a column
2. In a column next to Ryan's list, lined up my items and their weights
3. Inserted rows for my items that Ryan did not have
4. Calculated the difference between Ryan's and my items

In total, I was nearly 1.5 pounds over.

The detailed comparison quickly showed me where I needed to take action.

My Actions
a) eliminated items on my list that were not on Ryan's list, where possible

b) reduced the weight of my items that weighed more than Ryan's (see My Rules)

My Rules

i) If I had items weighing less than Ryan's, then I could be heavier than his for my other items, if necessary

ii) If I did not have items that Ryan did have, and I didn't need them, I could be add something and be heavier elsewhere

I started thinking in terms of a goal of less than 80 OUNCES not 5 POUNDS. This grandularity helped me find opportunities for weight reduction.

Summary of Ryan's SUL Base Weight

Lb Oz Function
2.5 40 Packing - shelter - sleeping
1.0 16 Extra clothing packed
0.5 8 Kitchen
0.5 8 Micellany
4.5 72 Total

I rounded the weights. Note that you have almost 8 ounces of wiggle room. Also, I included a goal to keep 'Clothing Worn and Items Carried' to less than 3.5 pounds so as not to cheat myself by moving gear from my pack to my pockets or under my hat.

I'll be done with my Sub5 gear list after I tweak the Micellany items. I am at 70.3 ounces or 4.4 pounds pending the tweaks. My 'Clothing Worn and Items Carried' will be about 3.1 pounds. My TSO should be about 7.5 pounds. My sub5 base weight will provide me with adequate safety and reasonable comfort.

I will post my gear list and details upon its completion. Following the new James standard, I will take pics during my hike and share them post-trip next month.

Thanks BPL, Ryan and James!

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: re: SUL Wt Goals on 08/09/2011 05:07:55 MDT Print View

George, Your post was over whelming, I really appreciate your words. Thanks for taking the time to write them.

One thing I do find interesting when I look back at that 5lb trip was that I did not use gear from cottage shops. I was still learning about who each was and moving so fast I did not have the time to wait the 1-2 months needed to have gear made. I consider buying cottage gear a UL skill all to itself that must be learned. Everything I used was stock and arrived in a matter of days. I suspect it was one of the first times the Ion was used for a multi day trip. I have learned so much over the past few years that I would hardly do any of it the same way today, but it sure was an important experience for me.

I'm so grateful for all the help I have received. I'm glad to hear I could pass it on a bit.

Thanks, Jamie

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: re: SUL Wt Goals on 08/09/2011 20:26:20 MDT Print View

Amazing how time flies. Hard to believe that that all occurred three years ago.

Makes you think about three years from right now. It will arrive before you know it.

What will change? Don't think base weight will get that much lower. Three years ago we were talking SUL and we still are but now with minimalist shoes or MYOG.

One thing we can count on, there will be something new or re-newed.

I bet BPL will around and have some pretty cool enhancements.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
close, but no cigar on 08/13/2011 18:46:42 MDT Print View

I'm getting pretty close :)

I'm a little overweight w/ my modified Ion @ 11.9, (and pack liner 1.1) ~5 oz over

I'm also w/ Dan that a inflatable pad is a must, 9 oz for the Neo short- so over there as well (3 oz)

my quilt is a true 30 degree quilt (Pallisade) that I feel I could push into the mid 20's w/ my layers- 17.5 oz- under 6.5

my shelter is a new Golite poncho/tarp which is a relatively svelte 7 oz even, w/ guys/stakes I'm at 9 oz

have to use a bivy w/ that combo adding 6.9 oz (but also a little more overall warmth), so w/ poncho/tarp and bivy I'm over again ~ 4 oz

11 oz over, 6.5 under- leaves me ~ 5.5 over the 3.25# goal

my kitchen (stove/screen/pot/spoon/lighter/bear hang) weighs in @ 6.4 oz, so a little under there

my packed clothing (MB ex-light, cap 4 bottoms, extra socks, beanie/gloves, windshirt) weigh 22 oz

other bits carried two platys (1 and a .5 liter), micropur tabs, 1st aid kit, repair kit, compass/map, sunscreen, bug dope, headlamp, toiletries, tp- weigh in at 6 oz

all of my survival bits- knife, matchsafe, whistle are carried, as is my camera

puts me just a little over 5.5#'s, well at least my base weight starts w/ a 5 :)

if I went w/ a ccf pad I could probably shave 4-5 oz, a lighter pack could shave another 4-5 oz; at this point not really excited about a new pack, even less excited about a ccf pad :)