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2012 Lightweight Gear List
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2012 Lightweight Gear List on 03/23/2012 17:36:13 MDT Print View

Hello everyone,

I'm new to these forums, and I'm backpacking for some 5-day summer trips. I've got an intial gear list but the weight is low enough (24 lbs) that I don't really care. However I'll probably go for a longer hike next year with 10-day pack so I want to buy the right gear, instead of having to sell and buy new next year. Basically I'm going for ~34 lbs load. Base pack is now 7,1 kg = 16 lbs. Add 10 days of food and we're at 34 lbs. My goal here is 1) light 2) great gear. I don't care about the price as long as its durable and worth the money on long term. I'm transitioning to lightweight gear.

On my spreadsheet, you can see all the stuff I carry. Efficiency there means the older gear weight divided by the price, which translates into a number that tells how much I get net decrease in weight for a euro. This is a good number to keep in my when you go shopping. All the prices are in euros, weights are in kilograms but I added pounds for convenience. You can see the gear types on WCT-Stats page. Most of the volumes are a guess or some raw calculation. My objective is May-Aug trail hiking. Sometimes sleeping in huts so tent is not always needed.

1) Backpack. I have unused Exos 58 but I might want something more durable and I don't know how I'll like the air-padding, especially when its more cold. Also Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 seems to weight less. I considered the Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack, and it seems very attractive by its weight but I might carry around 33-35 lbs at maximum and I'm not sure if its up to the job comfortably. I want my backpack to be as light as possible, have an internal frame, be rather waterproof, have good padding and possibly some handy pockets for camera etc. I don't think my stuff is more than 45L so volume is not a problem. I wonder if there is any difference between aluminium and HDPE frame? The dilemma is that I could return this Exos 58 to the shop and get the Crown, but I'm not sure which one is better. Is there anyone who has tested both?

3) Sleeping bag. I think I'm going for PHD Minim 400 which has 400 grams of down and weights only 720, rated at23F. Low weight, high temperature efficiency. I don't know if I'd describe myself as cold sleeper but I really want a good night sleep. I'm also considering PHD's bigger version with 450 g down. My plan here is to use PHD Minim 400 + Down vest + Down Pants and see if that is enough. JMT is the maximum I'd do so I wouldn't want to buy another sleeping bag for it.

3) Tent. I'm going for Big Agnes UL2, for two persons. It'll be used only on May-Sept hiking, maybe on some mountains. Durability, water-resistance and weight are my priorities. I'm open to suggestions but I'm not going for shelter + bivy (yet).

4) Stove. I'm going for Jetboil Sol. I considered Snow Peak Litemax + Titanium Mug + Hotlips but it would be less fuel-efficient and we might have to carry an extra bottle. It really depends how much fuel I need for 10 days. If 230g canister can run for 10 days for about 2 litres a day, then I'm willing to reconsider. I also considered Esbits but I'm not sure if I like them. They seem relatively cheap and efficient but take some time get food done. I plan on eating about 4 warm foods +

5) Sleeping pad. I'm going for Exped Synmat UL 7. I only have experience with foam pads but I do feel I need more isolation, so maybe R-value above 3 would be nice. Synmat seems to be a good bet on that. I was also considering Prolite Plus Regular.

6) Food Canister. I'll only need this when I go for trails that demand this. BV450 seems an affordable option. I hope there was something a bit more roomy yet not as big as BV500. I'll have to measure how much my food will take volume. Right now I only have estimates. It seems that it could fit in but I'm not sure, you can count if you want. Basically the BV450 would have to take in 10 days of 1p food + toothbrush + sunscreen + lip balm + cold gel. Also, how does the Bearikade cost so much?

7) Shell. I want waterproof shell with some wind protection. I might keep my current, rather 450g jacket + pants. It can take rain, wind, anything decently enough. I'm not sure what to buy but the BPL article had some interesting gear picks.

8) Insulation. I'd like down vest and pants. Montbell looks nice but sells WM stuff which is also light and affordable.

9) Base layer. I have skiing suit that is rather great on winter (I use it for skate-skiing, its great fun if you have a track nearby). Its made of some kind of synthetic fabric, probably Polypropylene. Weights about 350g as full suit. I dont see much reason to upgrade. I've considered silk and merino wool base layers but I'm not sure if they're worth the money. I never get cold in my current base layer, although I never stay still longer than 5mins for that matter.

10) T-Shirt. I already have 300g or so synthetic highly breathable T-Shirt, a bit heavy though. I heard Smartwoold Microweight is great but I don't have much alternatives either.

11) Socks. I'm buying Smartwool socks as long as they are available. I wonder if Hiking Medium is too warm for summer?

12) Footwear. I've not used trail-runners on a trail path so I'll probably go with my GoreTex trekking boots. I could switch to trail runners, but my only worry is if they're adequete on mountains with some form of ice cleats and if they can get too wet if its raining.

13) Beanie, boxers and balaclava. I'll use what I have and get something cheap, I don't see much reason to waste money here.

14) Camera. I'm not sure if I bother upgrading but Canon Powershot ELPH 300HS seems reasonable. Great quality, great battery, great size, great weight, great price. Its not durable if you dip it in water I guess but I'll try to avoid that. I have Powershot something previously.

15) Headlamp. I have a 100g powerful bicycle lamp, but If I can get 30g lamp with lithium batters I'll get one. Headlamp would be nice.

16) Water purification. I heard Aquamira is good. There was another german producer but I can't remember if it was worth the money. My drops should last ~100 litres.

17) Trekking poles. I have never used. I don't know if they're worth the money. I've carried a lot more than this in army but if they make hiking a lot more easier I'm ready to consider. I'm young enough to carry the load but my objective with lightweight hiking is to make it more fun.

18) Also I'm curious if I could drop some of this stuff.

I'm from Finland so all orders above 42 euros cost 23% VAT plus usually around 22 euros of shipping (and like 2% toll over 150 euro). Finding some great gear cheaply isn't always so easy so I'll try to pick something that I can get from UK that is comparable (clothes).

The spreadsheet is highly useful and readable, and I can send the proper view access to an email if someone needs it.

Thanks for all the answers & suggestions in advance!

Andy F
(AndyF) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: 2012 Lightweight Gear List on 03/23/2012 19:41:38 MDT Print View

Looks like you've got a good list started. And, you seem to be considering good gear selections. Here are my thoughts.

Backpack: I have the Gorilla. I like it, but I think it's one of those packs you either love or hate. I don't think I'd want to carry more than 25 lbs in it regularly. I have the optional hip belt pockets which just slide onto the belt. I stitched them on because they kept falling off when I unbuckled the belt.

Insulation: I don't think you'll need insulated pants for those months, but I've never been to Finland.

Tent: Is that the BA Fly Creek UL2 or the Copper Spur UL2? I have the CS UL1 myself, and I like it. The Fly Creek would annoy me with the door at the end. Either UL2 tent would make a nice and roomy single-person tent, but would be a bit crowded for two.

Stove: A Jetboil would be nice and fast, but Esbit is lighter and cheaper to experiment with without buying an expensive stove.

Mat: Exped Synmat UL 7: I have one. Great choice.

Shell: You might try Driducks (comes with pants and jacket). Inexpensive, very breathable, but not very durable (bring duct tape for repairs).

Socks: I hear Darn Tough brand is more durable than Smartwool. I've been using some Smartwool and Wigwam, and have been happy so far.

Boots: Give non-waterproof trail runners a try on day hikes. I used to wear GoreTex boots long ago, but I haven't worn them hiking in years. I do wear Rocky GoreTex socks when its cold enough that wet feet could be dangerous.

Water purification: Just a personal preference, but I don't like to add chemicals to my water when backpacking (the city does that for me at home). I have both the Sawyer Squeeze filter and the Steripen Opti. Both are great options. The Steripen is a better choice when it's cold enough for the filter to freeze and be ruined. The effectiveness of chemicals in very cold water (near freezing) requires wait times of 4 hrs to work against protozoa like Crypto and Giardia.

Trekking poles: I only use them when the footing is very slippery, such as very wet mud, snow, or ice. On a winter trip this year, both of my snow baskets were eaten by the deep snow (around 4ft/1m) making the poles useless except for getting up after falling. I didn't really miss them.

Edited by AndyF on 03/23/2012 19:44:34 MDT.

Re: 2012 Lightweight Gear List on 03/23/2012 20:42:06 MDT Print View

Tent: I'm going for a tent for two, but I want to slice ounces so I don't mind a cramped tent. This is what I'm considering:

Socks: Those darn though socks seem interesting!

Shell: I've heard about Driducks, and been considering them too. My current rather-waterproof shell jacket is really nice on all areas except weight so I'm not sure if I want to downgrade yet.

Boots: I have normal sneakers with better than usual water protection for jogging. I could use them on dayhike, but yeah something like GoreTex socks would be nice (I didn't know they even existed). I'm not really interested in getting an extra flu.

Water Purification: Good info. I didn't know freezing made chemicals that much slower, although I don't plan on hiking too much below freezing but it does get colder on mountains. I don't drink that much stream water that its a big problem for me. That water filter looks very interesting though.

Finland: Its quite warm (70 degrees F) during summer, depending on the day, so during summer I wouldn't really need insulation layer, but I like to have extra for sleeping.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Exos 58 vs Granite Gear Crown VC60 on 03/23/2012 20:44:17 MDT Print View

My current dilemma really is if its worth sending this Exos 58 back to the store and getting that Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60. I'd have to pay some money in between but if this Granite Gear lasts a bit longer, it could be better choice.