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Sub 3 lb List
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mark henley
(flash582) - F
Sub 3 lb List on 01/05/2007 07:36:12 MST Print View

I was wondering just how many people on this forum have experimented with a Sub 5 and a Sub 3 lb gear hike?

I've gone Sub 5, and I really love it ... and now I've developed a Sub 3 list for long weekends, with a good bail out plan.

My 3 lb list:

G6 pack 3.7
small ultralight pack liner 1
JacksrBetter stealth quilt/shrape 16
1/8 inch torso Thinlight pad with omnitape sleeping bag quilt mod. 3.5
Polycrow groundcloth 1.3
Spin Poncho tarp 4.7
6 ti lazer high vis stakes 1.4
Guylines 0.5

fleece Balaclava 0.9
Extra Socks 1.3
windshirt 2.9
High Loft insulated vest 6
Mini droppers of Aqua Mira 1
2+ L platy 1.3
Wendy's spoon 0.1

Micro first aid (butterfly bandages, blister care, benedryl, compeed, imodium 0.8
1/2 Esbit tab for emergency fire starting 0.25
Micro Dopper of Deet, Dr. Bronners, and fingertip toothbrush 0.5
Ultralight Headnet 0.33
ID, credit card, cash, map page and permit 0.5

Whistle and Photon on spectra lanyard around neck
Mini Knife, car key, and BSA flint on a micro key ring in pocket
Mini Bic lighter in pocket


Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re: SUB 3 LB LIST; ouch. on 01/05/2007 08:09:15 MST Print View

Mark, wow, my tent alone weighs more than that. I admire your ability to (presumably) suffer in silence. Can you really sleep on a 1/8 inch pad and no pillow?
All joking aside, I do want to get closer to your BPW, so I'm going to take another look at my own list.. My "problem" is psychological, accepting the risk of not having what I need for unexpected challenges. And so, I usually did not need the full capability of what I carried. I had too much clothing, too many backups.. It seems to be a spectrum with risk at one end and preparedness at another? Choosing the lightest of each item is only the beginning; LEAVING items at home is the next big step.
Very admirable list..

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: re: SUB 3 LB LIST; ouch. on 01/05/2007 11:22:39 MST Print View

I have a sub 3 lb list under my profile. You would be surpised by what you don't need in the right mindset. Im dropping the stove off that list, but switching the epic jacket for dropstoppers type XL jacket to double as a packcover. The thinlight is very soft. I sleep on my face, and it feels a lot better than Wally World blue pads.
A good way to ween yourself off stuff is to bring it with you, but refuse to use it. Then you can realize you don't need it. I've done it with pocket knives (switched to LMF spork, not reccomended for 'safety' purposes, but it cuts summer sausage and cleans easily), rain pants in 40* plus weather, gloves above 32*, bright headlamps. Plus, Im poor and in school, so I could never afford a tent, thermarest, crazy creek chair, and many other luxuries people with 'jobs' can afford.
Team MLD on mountain laurel designs' website has good insirational speakings on the subject of SUL and hardcore philosophies. Being too lazy to carry stuff helps too.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: re: SUB 3 LB LIST; ouch. on 01/05/2007 11:36:56 MST Print View

Brett, I used to have the same problem. I started packing in Scouts, where you had to bring two or more of almost everything. I got into the mindset that at some point I might need everything in me pack to survive so I better bring it all just to be 'safe'. As I've matured (kind of) that I don't need all of that. There have been numerous times that I got back after a trip and found things in my pack that I didn't know I had packed.
I decided to start keeping track of the things I did and didn't use and how often they got used. If I didn't use an item an I knew I could get by without it, I left it at home the next time. After that I looked at the stuff I did need and decided if I could get by with a less durable/lighter version of it. I started in hiking in Scouts about 5 years ago with probably a 30+ lbs pack. Now I have it down to a 11 lbs base weight. I'm still using a synthetic bag, Thermarest, and 3 lbs pack at that weight. By switching to a down quilt, GG Torso pad, and lighter pack I can easily get down to an 8 lbs base weight.
My advice to you would be keep track of what actually gets used in your pack. See if you can make items have dual uses and eliminate another item.
I never thought about using a tarp for shelter. I had always thought that you had to buy a 'backpacking' tent. Then I thought back to my early Scouting days when they made us sleep under tarps and when I was even younger sleeping under the stars. I realized how much weight I could save and it was a no brainer.
Great job on the gear lists Mark and David. I thought it would be nice if I could get down to a 5 lbs list for summer, but now I have a new goal!


Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sub 3 lb List - Go for Sub 2 lb on 01/05/2007 12:19:13 MST Print View

You have a good start but still have a little fat. You need to learn to sew and then there is no weight to low to get to, almost.

Sub 2-lb Gear List - Georgia AT - Oct 2006
Weather range for the next 4 days. Lows down to 32, highs up to 65. Windy, clear and sunny.

This is was my final hike ready Sub 2 - lb Gear List with a picture of the gear spread out. The gear is laying on my GG Ground Sheet.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
sub2 on 01/05/2007 12:22:19 MST Print View

I can shave 10+ ounces off his initial list without custom gear but it sort of depends on what weather conditions he's going to push it in.

I am pretty sure I can go sub 2lbs but I like taking my GPS and camera too much. My goal is sub5 with sat phone and camera plus a real headlamp (no microlights).

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sub 3 lb List - Go for Sub 2 lb on 01/05/2007 12:50:43 MST Print View

I agree. By going to Sub 2, I can now add a 2.84 pound wireless Sony computer and still be Sub 5.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: Sub 3 lb List - Go for Sub 2 lb on 01/05/2007 12:52:47 MST Print View


I did buy a sewing machine last week. I made a Bivy prototype out of Spin and 1.5 oz Nylon that came to 8 oz, I ordered some Momentum90 and am thinking about buying some Cuben fiber now.

If I use the lessons that you've shared on this forum, I know that I can get down to sub 2, it's just a matter of time and energy.

Using a Forshell type blanket/Phoncho, Forshell copy pack, Cuben fiber for the raingear/shelter, a Forshell type bivy, and a Bivy Liner and I'm pretty confident that I can get there.

You've been an inspiration to many of us Bill ... and I'm looking forward to continuting the SUL journey.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Sub 3 lb List - Go for Sub 2 lb on 01/05/2007 13:40:04 MST Print View

Bill, have you looked at the LG env phone. I'm not sure what you want a 3lb computer for, but that phone has bluetooth and a querty keyboard. I know techies that can make stuff like that do anything they want

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Sub 3 lb List - Go for Sub 2 lb on 01/05/2007 13:48:25 MST Print View

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your nice comments. You make my day.

You do have a good gear list.

I am really glad to hear that you are starting to make some of your own gear. Finding really good material is hard sometime but suitable light material is out there. Thru-Hiker has a good selection and Paul is great to work with if you have questions about his material. There are several other suppliers that add good material to their inventory all the time. I use Quest and OWF's also a lot. There are many others good suppliers and each seem to have a few different items.

I am sure your MYOG will take on "YOUR" ideas and personality soon enough. I look at and even take apart my older gear a lot to see how things were made. The nice thing about being able to make our own gear is we can make it fit us and not have to buy a standard size that may be larger in some places than is necessary.

It is nice to think about a Sub 2 pound gear list but I also think about the weather, hike location etc and at times we just need more gear to be safe.

Edited by bfornshell on 01/05/2007 15:12:56 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Sub 3 lb List - Go for Sub 2 lb on 01/05/2007 14:58:37 MST Print View

Bill, you are the living embodiment of "Grandma Gatewood". Hence, you are a modern day "Grandpa Gatewood". Great pics of great homemade gear used by a great XUL trekker. May the spirit of Grandma Gatewood accompany you on all your treks!

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Sub 3 lb List - Go for Sub 2 lb on 01/05/2007 15:14:33 MST Print View

Yeah you can tell by the pics that Bill just needs to throw his cuben knapsack over his shoulder and not brush his teeth for a while and he's all set.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: re: SUB 3 LB LIST; ouch. on 01/05/2007 17:54:17 MST Print View

The 1/8 inch pad is dependent on where you're going to sleep ....

There are places here in Texas that I wouldn't dream of trying anything less than my 15 oz 3/4 max thermo. That 2.5 inches still doesn't do in on some of the rocky soil the Hill Country of Texas.

If you can choose a site with some good duff, the 1/8 inch is just an insulator, dig out a bit for your hips, make sure there's no rocks or sticks, and sleep like a baby.

Also ... I actually prefer the torso nightlight with some Benedryl in reserve, and it's still under 4 oz. Your feedbag makes a great pillow too, as long as your well out of bear country.

E. Smith
(boingk) - F
re - sub 3lb on 02/03/2007 20:12:14 MST Print View

Lightweight the max! My gear list comes in at 10 pounds [with 3lb pack, 2.5lb bag, 1.5lb tarp!], and I know I could get down to 5lb with a bit of custom/high-end gear. Sub 3lb for me would want to be for a weekend or 3 day trip with good weather, but I dont think a list that lightweight is on my horizon.

One thing I think of when people are discussing XUL/UL lists is their pack. Mine is a Roman 'Snowy', and has an 'air-frame' back and built-in rain cover. Its also my visual signalling device as it is bright red, and all my other gear is either camoflauged or differing shades of green to blend into the background. My point is that with my 3lb bag, I'm more comfortable carrying 10+lb than if I use a cheaper/lighter bag to carry sub 10lb. Throw into the bargain that I'm 6'2" and 180lb, and anything under 20lb on my back doesnt make a lot of difference to me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that although these gear lists are very impressive, I can't see a lot of point in skimping on weather preparedness, the ability to cook a decently sized hot meal in reasonable time, or possibly losing sleep quality all for the sake of saying "Gee whiz, I'm under xx pounds." That said, if you custom make your own gear to increase its purposefulness and reduce bulk/weight, and at the same time have a sub 5lb load for a fully prepared weekend away in the wilderness, then that is an achievement to be proud of.

Keep up the good work guys!

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
deleted on 02/04/2007 08:45:36 MST Print View


Edited by Brett1234 on 04/08/2008 02:38:46 MDT.

Valentin Zill
(Valentin.Zill) - F

Locale: Europe
Re: Sub 3 lb List on 03/04/2007 10:57:16 MST Print View


I tried out Sub 3 in early September 2006, and I wrote an article about it (and how to choose the right gear for Sub 5 trips) that can be read on It's in german language.

But this is the gear list for a weekend trip in early fall here in the Alps, w/temps down to approximately 40° F.


G6 pack w/out hip belt 3.7oz
Liner: trash bag 0.5oz
Pad GG GG Thinlight 3/8", torso size 2.0oz
GG SpinnSolo Tarp 5.8oz
6 GG Tite-Lite stakes 1.1oz
GG ECZ and HiVis 200 0.1oz
Nunatak Arc Edge custom sleeping bag 11.5oz
Groundsheet GG Polycryo, cut 1.2oz


Black Bear Slip Men 0.9oz, worn
Icebreaker Oasis Crew L/S M 7.8oz, worn
Four Seasons PowerStretchPant 7.1oz, worn
Insulating top/bottom: none - used sleeping bag
DriDucks 8.7oz
BPL Ultralite Beanie Hat 0.4oz, worn
ExOfficio BUZZ OFF Lite bandanna 0.9, worn
Falke socks 0.7, worn
Sleeping socks Ulfrotte Activ 200 1.1oz
Shoes: Salomon (model unknown) 25oz, worn


(I ate cold food only)
Aloksak OP 1.0oz
2.4l Platy 1.0oz
1l Platy 0.8oz


Photon Micro II, ACR whistle on lanyard 0.5oz, worn
GG Finger toothbrush 0.2oz
Dr. Bronner's in MiniDropper bottle 0.3oz
Small First Aid Kit (compeed, aspirin, and other items - I don't know how they are called in English, sorry!) 0.5oz
Repair Kit (duct tape, needle, thread = dental floss, sfty pins, razor blade) 0.3oz

Base Pack Weight: 2.6lbs
plus food and water for three days

That worked quite good, but at the moment I'm working on my new gear list for summer 07 with some improvements: a WM Flash Vest as insulating top, a lighter pack (MLD), lighter tarp, a bivy bag (4.2oz, MLD) and perhaps a sleeping bag that keeps me warm down to 32° F. The Arc Edge was a bit too cold. And I'm gonna carry a "kitchen" with Heineken beer can pot and Tea Light stove. I don't want to starve myself on cold food anymore! The new list will lead to a base pack weight of approx. 3.14lbs, but with a lot more comfort.

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Sub 3 lb list on 03/04/2007 11:25:13 MST Print View

Re: "Black Bear Slip Men 0.9oz, worn." I prefer the Victoria Secrets "Lush Lavender" slip, 1.3 oz.

Valentin Zill
(Valentin.Zill) - F

Locale: Europe
Re: Sub 3 lb list on 03/04/2007 11:58:54 MST Print View

1.3oz? That is heavy... ;-)

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Sub 3 lb List on 03/04/2007 18:28:41 MST Print View

It's that frilly bow in the back. I just can't bring myself to cut it off.