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My ION list (w/ pics)
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James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
My ION list (w/ pics) on 10/19/2011 14:06:02 MDT Print View

Hey everyone, this is my first time posting a gear list on here, so be kind :D

First off, I want to thank everyone on the forum for being so informative. I've managed to go from using an Osprey Aether 60 to a Golite ION in about 1.5 years, with subsequently smaller packs and lighter gear in between. From around 25lbs to now around 7.5lbs.

Also, don't mind the casino-esque (or hotel-like) carpet

So here is my list as well as some pics of the gear and how I pack.

The List (Updated with correct weights):

and here are some shots packing it all in:ION01
(Not pictured: Pillow, Cuben drybag (still waiting for these to arrive), headlamp (forgot to put it in the pic, but its in the bag below)

Put the sleeping pad in first (very lightly inflated)

Then the groundsheet and sleeping bag

Then the tent and fozzils plate (along the back, between the pad and the tent)

Then the rest of the gear (except the water and food)

Plenty of room for food left

Then the jacket and Water bottles go on top once filled (I'm going to attempt to add some lycra side pockets to the pack for the water bottles to make them more handy and less prone to spilling all over my gear. I'm also considering adding a lycra pocket to the front of the pack as well for extra gear (fishing pole or what-have-you) or wet gear.

And that's it!

This is my setup for summer peak bagging/backcountry stuff. Although now that I'm in the bay area, I'll have to adjust some things since it won't be like hiking in the San gabriels/bernardinos haha.

Any advice, tips, ideas, etc?

thanks guys!

Edited by jdemonaco on 10/31/2011 21:52:19 MDT.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Looks good, Thanks. on 10/19/2011 19:40:58 MDT Print View

I love these type of posts. Everything looks pretty good to me. You could shave a few ounces on the groundsheet if you wanted to by using a polycro sheet at less than 2 oz. Thanks for sharing.

Edited by derekcox on 10/19/2011 19:43:58 MDT.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: My ION list (w/ pics) on 10/19/2011 20:02:37 MDT Print View


Thanks for the extensive detail with pics!

Really helps me visualize "shrinking" my kit. Lightening up has been far easier for me than reducing volume. Your thread helps.


James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Thanks on 10/19/2011 20:07:58 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, glad it helped somebody out!

Thats a great idea, to replace the groundsheet with something lighter. Its a Tyvek groundsheet, which works well and definitely isn't heavy, but if I used cuben or something it could go lighter (what couldn't be lighter by adding cuben, though, right?) haha

Thanks again!

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
pockets on 10/19/2011 20:20:10 MDT Print View

I think you'll find lycra/mesh pockets side and front will make a huge difference. For me it was the difference between getting the Ion to work for 3-4 days or not. I also added a small MLD pocket to the waist strap- took care of some small items.


James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
RE: Pockets on 10/19/2011 20:55:07 MDT Print View

Thanks Mike!

Seeing your ION is actually what inspired me to get one and work on it. I don't have a sewing machine right now, so I'm going to take it somewhere to have the work done (been trying to find a good place in the bay area, if anybody knows of one).

I ordered the stretch mesh lycra from quest, do you think that will make for some good/light pockets?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: RE: Pockets on 10/19/2011 21:05:58 MDT Print View

I think that's exactly what Tim used on mine- I don't know how to sew- sadly :(

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
replying from my BB... on 10/19/2011 22:36:32 MDT Print View

...So short and sweet. To go lighter...

Switch to cuben fiber tarp
Switch groundsheet to window insulation kit/plastic (cheaper, lighter n replaceable as compared to cuben)
Drop the stakes and use sticks
Switch to neoair short or GG thinlight torso pad (if you' re not a side sleeper)
Drop the pillow, use inflated platypus or stuff shoes under your head end inflatable mattress or sleep on your bag
Drop filter, use chlorine dioxide tablets
My MYOG cookset is ~65g w/ Heiny pot, could go lighter there.
Drop the Fozzils pot, use freezer bag cooking in Heiny/Fosters "pot."
Switch camp towel for multi use bandana
Swap multi tool for Stanley Mity Knife
Swap headlamp for photon microlight and bit of velcro on brimmed hat
Drop trowel for big stick

GL w/ the Ion mod, should be nice!

James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Wow.. on 10/21/2011 03:04:18 MDT Print View

Thanks Bryce! I've got a lot to mull over in that list, haha.

I've got to admit, some of that stuff I'm not sure I could do, just because I am trying to find a good mix between comfort/light weight, plus I am a side sleeper, haha.

A lot of those give me ideas though, thanks a lot!

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
It's all good.... on 10/21/2011 06:48:55 MDT Print View

....It's all a balance of how light you can go while still enjoying the trip. If you get too heavy or you get too light you won't have fun. We all have to have balance, but glad you got some ideas! :)

(I couldn't stand the the GG Torsopad even with 50mg of Benadyl! :o)

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
platypillow on 10/21/2011 19:32:03 MDT Print View

ive lurked around here for a while now, but i've never thought of/heard of the inflated platy as a pillow. simple, awesome bryce.

Also, i can't help but notice you could get something like a wild oasis (since you already carry a ground sheet) and save half a pound or better.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
pillow on 10/21/2011 19:48:01 MDT Print View

he's carrying a buff already too, so just slide that over the inflated platy for more sleeping comfort :)

btw 1 platys are .9 oz a pop so 1.8 oz, you have 0.5 oz down

shelter wise you could definitely shed some weight (and volume) if you wanted- my solo trailstar w/ guys is under 13 oz, poncho-tarp would be even less

also agree you could go w/ a lighter down jacket- if you didn't want to go quite as light as the MB exlite, the WM flash would certainly get you by in any 3 season mountain weather

James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Pillow on 10/22/2011 12:11:13 MDT Print View

Yeah I have been using the platy as a pillow for some time before I got the kookabay one. Idk, I just love the kookabay pillow so much, its super comfy and takes such little space/weight in the pack. I'll think about dropping it for the ION list though, thanks for the idea.

Also thanks, mike, for the weights on those. I don't have a scale atm so everything is estimated (mostly everything). I need to go pick up a scale soon.

I haven't mustered up enough machismo to go tarp camping yet, I have always been a tent person, so the lunar solo has been a sort of middle ground since its a tarp/tent hybrid design. You don't know how many times I've thought about making my own tarp though, haha. I would love to be that badass. Too many things I want to try! Tarp, bivy, hammock I want to try them all, haha.

btw, I went through all my gear last night and trimmed off anything that was unnecessary (tags, zipper pulls, etc) and I think I saved a couple ounces. There really was a huge pile of scrap by the time I was done. It seems like every time I evaluate my gear, I find SOMETHING in there that I can do without or that serves no purpose.

Thanks again guys!

Edited by jdemonaco on 10/22/2011 12:13:51 MDT.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Scale on 10/22/2011 18:20:09 MDT Print View

James - here's a link to a great scale that DandyDan discovered; it won't put a huge dent in your wallet either. It takes a couple of weeks to get here, but for $7.21 delivered, its a pretty good value. I have another scale I used to use, but I like this one best. It weighs down to .1 grams. Check it out.

BTW, I like your list and its informative to hear how you pack up your Ion. Thanks for sharing.

James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Scale on 10/22/2011 20:11:03 MDT Print View

Thanks, just ordered one!

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
"My ION list (w/ pics)" on 10/23/2011 01:59:13 MDT Print View

Hi James,

Similar journey down to the Ion and eventual list to mine.
I did three nights no cook this year with the Ion, and could have done a few more days having carried enough food for five.
My shelter is a MLD CuBen SoloMid, but that is a serious investment in weight reduction you might consider later on.
Try cookless, depending on your hikes and conditions and preferences, I don't miss the hot meals at the end of the day. I swaped a mug for a collapsable Sea to Summit mug which I use to drink water along the trail, allowing me to carry less water too.
Good luck, I know reducing the weight and volume of my pack to the size of the Ion has liberated me on the trail. My last day I was practically jogging along doing fantastic miles.
My Ion is unmodified, I carry some food and bits and peices like the compass, first aid, lantern etc in a MLD hipbelt pocket on my trouser belt, not on the hipbelt of the pack, which flies everywhere when you take it off. I carry a half liter platty in my trouser pocket too, freeing up some pack room at the trail head or when I have to camel up.

James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Update: Mod complete! on 11/05/2011 19:32:39 MDT Print View

Thanks for the insight john. Its sometimes hard to remember you have pockets in your pants when getting gear together, haha. I keep all my snacks and my phone in my pocket (unless I'm doing water crossings)

So here is a pic of my modified ION. I went with a similar setup as Mike.

I just got a sewing machine so this is my first backpack mod, not the prettiest job, but its functional and is holding up very well.



Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
mod on 11/05/2011 19:37:49 MDT Print View

^ looks good :)

getting the water outside, in addition to the room of the front pocket- really makes a big difference for multi day trips

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
New weight? on 11/05/2011 19:41:34 MDT Print View

Well done. What's the new weight of the pack?

James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
Re: New weight? on 11/05/2011 19:48:51 MDT Print View

Well I'm contemplating removing the hip-belt, what do you guys think? New weight is 9.7 ounces. When I added the pockets, I removed the bit of nylon that runs along the seams protecting the edges (just found them to be useless).