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First Sub-5
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Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
First Sub-5 on 08/14/2011 21:19:02 MDT Print View

1-2 nights, Montana/Wyoming *summer*, could feasibly go lighter.

Geargrams Sub 5 list

Camera, knife, bic, and compass are on person. As well as trekking poles.

Any crazy omissions?

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: First Sub-5 on 08/14/2011 21:25:35 MDT Print View

"Camera, knife, bic, and compass are on person. As well as trekking poles."

So, this means you don't count the weight as carried weight?

Why don't you just stick everything into your pockets and go with zero weight that you count?


Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
steady as she goes on 08/14/2011 21:32:37 MDT Print View

Carried weight in pockets, on wrist, in hands, etc - is not on my back. If I were to list FSO weight, then I would have stated the difference.

This has been discussed and argued in depth for years now...

If I wanted semantics, I would have asked.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"First Sub-5" on 08/14/2011 22:00:31 MDT Print View

Pretty killer list Nicholas, looks solid for a sub-5.

LiteMax stove and canister possible omission for additional weight savings. MYOG catfood can stove and a few ounces alcohol could replace your current setup and be sufficient for a 1-2 night summer trip and save you a few ounces. If you do campfires, throwing your pot on coals or nestled in a small hobo fire is so simple.

Lose the TP, power squat it out, find a smooth piece of limestone or broad leaf and go minimal.

I would be interested to know what all you'll be carrying and wearing, would be beneficial info for feedback.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

NeoAir on 08/14/2011 23:40:27 MDT Print View

You got a nice light NeoAir small (8.87oz). Mine weighs a portly 9.36oz.

Nice list. The canister stove system does seem a little out of place.

Tyler H
(ctwnwood) - F

Locale: The Palouse
Carried Weight on 08/15/2011 00:11:34 MDT Print View

I am by no means trying to get into a semantics discussion, but I agree with all of the above posters that knowing what you're "carrying" would be very helpful in terms of critiques.

Maybe it's just me but when you're getting to sub-5 it seems like carried weight (potentially 100% of your base) and FSO are important.

For example, knowing what other clothes you're wearing would help me to be better say whether you're making 'crazy' omissions in that dept.

Edited by ctwnwood on 08/15/2011 00:12:29 MDT.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: First Sub-5 on 08/15/2011 10:34:02 MDT Print View

I think you are being very opptimistic on your sleeping bag and ex-light being warm enough. Though this really depends on the elevation that you camp at. When I was in Yellowstone this past July the coldest morning temperatures was 31 and never was warmer than 40. I'm not sure what it got down to overnight (maybe a degree or two colder) I would be cold at these temps using only a down jacket and a 50 degree bag.

Your first aid kit also seems very light at less than an ounce but that is a personal decision. One thing not accounted for in your base weight which I think should be is the unused gas in the stove Canister that you will be bringing back with you. One a 1 or 2 night trip at most you are going to use about 2 ounces of the 4 ounces of fuel so I would argue that in addition to the Canister weight you should add an unused fuel weight. For 1 night trips Esbit is a fantastic option at around 1 ounce for the stove stand and 1 ounce for the fuel 2 ounces total vs 2 ounces stove, 7 ounces fuel plus canister, 1/2 ounce wind screen for a total of 9.5 ounces. That is almost half a pound on your total pack weight.

The cheapest way to reduce your pack weight further would be to take a look at the Zpacks zero Cuben or Sil models for less than $100 you could shave 5-6 ounces of your pack weight. $20 per ounce is a pretty good deal at this point

Edited by GregF on 08/15/2011 10:37:57 MDT.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: First Sub-5 on 08/15/2011 11:11:36 MDT Print View

Nice list--I like that it's all pretty conventional gear, too. Makes it look simple enough it inspired me to come up with a sub-5 "target" list to see if I can go SUL for short trips. Just need to MYOG a SUL pack...

I'm also curious about your worn clothing and what temps you think your setup is comfortable for. Summer SUL in the southeast is one thing--in Idaho and PNW mountains (and I assume Montana, where you are) I would expect sub-40* nights as a real possibility.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: First Sub-5 on 08/15/2011 12:51:35 MDT Print View

like your choice in packs :)

I'd have to agree on the optimism on the thermal sheet + ex light, especially w/ MT & WY listed, if your going to be anywhere above 5-6000' it's not uncommon for lows into the 30's (and even below)- (was in the Beartooths last week and had ice in my water bottle in the morning)

I sleep clearly to the warm side of the scale and would not want to rely on the thermal sheet & the ex-light for those kind of temps- I would feel comfortable w/ the Katabatic Gear Chisos which weighs about the same (within a couple of tenths of an ounce) but has almost twice the fill (7.1 vs 4.5)

also would like to see what's carried/worn


Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
Re "First Sub 5" on 08/15/2011 20:16:15 MDT Print View

So here's the deal regarding non-sul items and the more conventional items - I put this list together on a whim with what I already own/like/use with the exception of the 600ml ti cup. I tend towards the 7 to 10 lb baseweight and I am not looking to spend too much money in the pursuit of lightness. Hence, the *ridiculously heavy!* canister stove. But it is stupid easy, and I like a quick brew :) I've used so many stoves that it hurts my head, and I've come back to the trusty can o'gas. But you DO have me thinking that I could temporarily trade it for my 46g Wetfire ti-stove and some tin foil to save about a quarter pound! Which could then go back into the sleep system and still be under 5 lbs.

As for the sleeping system, I sleep in the clothes that I wear hiking (see list below) and have not had an issue down to the 30's - except that it was very COLD ;) I've brought the MB thermal sheet and my trusty EX light on various occasions over the last 2 years in everything from single wall shelters ala HS rainbow, to the ole bivy and tarp combo. I've occasionally froze and I have also been occasionally warm. It IS marginal, as I have found out in more than one circumstance.

Eugene - I've done the no TP thing on plenty of trail runs and I sure do appreciate the few plys of just-in-case that I view as reassurance. It is mainly alcohol wipes in the toiletry kit.

Dan - Sorry to hear about your portly air mat, I suppose I lucked out! BTW, how is that short 25" neo?

Greg F - Thank you, I appreciate the feedback regarding fuel consumption and weights. I often take the about half-full canisters on solo overnights and do see where you are coming from!

Mike M - thanks for the heads up regarding the Katabatic Gear Chisos, I'll look into that ASAP. Somehow flew under/over my radar.

I understand the need for what is carried, so hear it goes head to toes:

1. ExOfficio bugsaway cape cap, or MH ul running cap.
2. Cheap sunglasses
3. ExOfficio or MH LW synthetic L/S button-up
4. Analog Wenger watch
5. Fizan UL trekking poles sans wrist straps
6. ExOfficio synth boxer briefs
7. Arcteryx or ExO LW synth pants
8. IN POCKETS: Sony tx5 (if documenting), chapstick, benchmade 930, silva starter compass (sometimes this and/or the map is left behind, depending on area), mini bic.
9. UL shorty smartwool socks
10. La Sportiva Fireblades - they fit me well and also conveniently slay!

This is normally what I wear/carry for summer here in MT and WY.

A big THANKS for the feedback thus far! (even you BG, you salty old dog)

EDIT: a bit more of a Sub-5 background can be viewed here

Edited by nicktruax on 08/15/2011 20:32:05 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
stove on 08/15/2011 20:38:34 MDT Print View

clearly a canister stove is the most convenient (and probably most efficient)- I learned NOT to bring my wood or esbit stove when hiking w/ my wife :), but when I go solo it's a smaller pot and a little extra time to get a boil is not a problem- definitely can shave some weight w/ a alchy/esbit/wood stove

how do you like the Fizan's? where did you source them- finding them on overseas sites, but not much luck stateside

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"First Sub-5" on 08/15/2011 20:54:42 MDT Print View


I like your sub-5, I haven't gone out and done a trip with a SUL kit in a while, I'm long overdue. I'm guilty of giving into the creep a bit lately.

I hear you on the no TP thing, I always end up scrounging a spare square from someone at some point on a trip....I'm that guy.

Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
re: stove and fizan on 08/15/2011 20:58:32 MDT Print View

Stove - It'll be good for me to wait for a boil now and again - I believe I'll shave some weight there :) Still deciding over alcohol or wetfire though.

Fizan - My lady is from the UK, so I had her pick them up when she was over on holiday. About 2 years on em and going strong. HORRIBLE customer service though FWIW. Won't be doing business any with them any longer.

I'm currently backing the ul BD poles, as well as all of BD's trekking poles.

Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
the creep on 08/15/2011 21:08:13 MDT Print View

Eugene - Ahhh, the creep. I've been ok with the creeping lately, but I find that it is still nice to do the occasional trimming for nothing more than the sake of simplicity.

Nowadays though, I find myself often leaning towards comfort-based UL.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

List on 08/15/2011 21:28:32 MDT Print View

"how is that short 25" neo?"

It'll be a while before I know. I'm on the road this summer (ie. no address), so it's been mailed to my parents and I won't be able to pick it up there for a few weeks....and then I gotta figure out how to glue that valve in. 40" might be a little short (vs. 48" like I have now) but 25" wide is going to be sweet. The weight should be virtually the same, so hopefully the 25" wide pad is more comfortable and I can sell the NeoAir small and end up making a few bucks.

Mike M et al - Yeah the Katabatic Chisos looks amazing. I would be strongly tempted to wander to their website and order one except by the time I get it, it wouldn't be warm enough anymore. Maybe next season.

"I find myself often leaning towards comfort-based UL."

I consider my ultimate goal to be comfort-based gives me something to keep working towards and it's a good challenge. SUL isn't that hard, but comfortable SUL in a wide range of conditions sure is.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: List on 08/16/2011 07:47:17 MDT Print View

Dan said "I consider my ultimate goal to be comfort-based gives me something to keep working towards and it's a good challenge. SUL isn't that hard, but comfortable SUL in a wide range of conditions sure is."

amen to this :)

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Blog on 08/16/2011 22:33:35 MDT Print View

Unrelated to the topic, but I checked out your blog Nick, and its pretty cool. I enjoyed reading all the posts you've made so far