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Please take a look at my lists :)
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Chris Irwin
(Chris.89) - F
Please take a look at my lists :) on 04/18/2012 11:27:02 MDT Print View

Hi All,

Please can you take a look at my lists and see what you think. I've only been making the transition to lightweight backpacking over the last year, so I am by no means ultralite.

the lists are what I would typically take for a 3 day trip in summer and winter:



Please note, these don't include food or water.

Edit: Also, I should mention that anything worn is what I will ALWAYS be wearing. I may put a rain jacket on for example, but I won't always wear it. Even if it does stay on a lot of the time in the winter... I have also included any items that always stay in my trouser pockets.

Edited by Chris.89 on 04/18/2012 11:33:36 MDT.

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Re: Please take a look at my lists :) on 04/23/2012 09:09:20 MDT Print View

I could never get the hang of viewing those in grams, any way to switch individual items to ounces on geargrams? I know I can switch the summary ones.

I'll try to hack weight where I can, feel free to work with my suggestions or ignore them. I, for example, list a 16oz sleeping pad on mine that you couldn't pry out of my hands with a crowbar. Only you know what tradeoffs you find worth it. My suggestions are merely to get you to reexamine those tradeoffs and possibly see some options you may not have seen. I'm looking at your summer list.

What I can see though:
switch out the water bottle for a gatoraide one. WAY lighter and pretty indestructable. You may use this in winter to put boiling water in and sleep with, but not in summer.

You show a Rain Cover, but also two drybags. That seems like double duty to me. I personally like just using a big trash compactor bag with the top of it rolled and stopped up with a hair tie or two, which has worked in thunderstorms and on long hikes.

Backpack. Good work with limiting yourself to a 50L, mine used to be 65L. I'd ditch it in favor of a new pack though, you could save a LOT of weight. My next pack will be a Zpacks blast (8oz?), but you could do like a six moon designs swift, or ULA circuit, or any of the other options for around 15-23oz.

Blacks Stuff sack, nix. Not only is this heavy for a stuff sack, but you can usually get away sanity intact with only 1-2 stuff sacks. I use one for my sleep gear, which encompasses like a beanie, sleep clothes, socks, tent stakes, headlamp, etc. and also one for my cooking gear.

lotsa stakes!

sleeping bag. I don't know what temps you expect. I have a 30 degree quilt, 18oz, for summer. (Katabatic Palisade).

So again it's hard for me to compare weights with grams, but the above could definitely change. Happy hiking!

Edited by Trout on 04/23/2012 09:09:54 MDT.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Please take a look at my lists :) on 04/23/2012 09:54:29 MDT Print View

Sub 15# isn't too bad for summer weight--not ultralight, as you say, and you could chip away at it with little stuff, and drop a few more ounces.

But given how you've already eliminated extraneous "comfort" items, you could make some changes to your big three (shelter, sleeping, packing) and easily get below 10#.

Tent could be much lighter for 1 person 3 season. A shaped, floorless tarp with polycryo groundsheet could be around a pound or under (think MLD Solomid, SMD Wild Oasis, MYOG solutions, or similar).

I assume your sleeping bag is -10C, not -10F. Even so, pretty heavy for three season. A quilt with apx. the same temp rating could save you 10 ounces or more, or go up in temp rating and wear clothes to bed for even more weight saved. I use a 19 oz quilt which I've had near freezing in comfort.

At sub 10#, your Atmos will be overkill, in both volume and suspension. Go frameless, or lightly framed from one of the cottage makers. If you need/want to stick with mainstream makers, the Osprey Exos series are significantly lighter than the Atmos, the Hornet series lighter still. Or MYOG (DIY). Conventional wisdom is replace the pack last, when the rest of your system is dialed in.

Chris Irwin
(Chris.89) - F
Lightening my load on 04/24/2012 09:44:15 MDT Print View

Cheers for the responses guys, much appreciated.

Michael - unfortunately I don't think there is a way to change to pounds and ounces in individual items, I have the same problem when looking at other's lists, I can only work in grams! When I need to convert an item, I type into Google 25.5oz to grams for example, it converts it for you.

As for the advice - I don't think we have gatorade in the UK, but I'll take a look around for a lighter bottle. Were you referring to the Source 2l bladder bottle, or the regular buxton water bottle? Also, the buxton is 1L, is that the same for the gatorade?

I was using a raincover because my Atmos has lots of external pockets and I have gear stashed away in those for easy access, but they're not in drybags. However, I have just sold the atmos and I'm looking at getting a new pack with 1 single main compartment (thinking of getting a Granite Gear Vapor Trail before they all disappear). I need a lightly framed pack rather than frameless as I have some existing neck and back issues. Once I have that, I might just use a rubble sack to protect the inside, and keep 1 of the drybags for my down sleeping bag. In the UK it's very wet and rainy a lot of the time so I like to know that my down bag is dry, that's a weight penalty I'm willing to pay.

As mentioned earlier, I'm getting a new rucksack - many of the US brands aren't easily available in the UK, but the vapor trail seems a good bet.

Blacks stuff sack - that's just used for food, never really considered ditching it, but I could just use a plastic (grocery) bag, would be a lot lighter.

Stakes - my tent requires a minimum of 8 stakes, but 10 if you peg out the middle 2. I was carrying 2 spare V stakes because I didn't trust the toothpicks in very soft ground. But I could just ditch 3 of the toothpick pegs and save 6g. Though I have been thinking of just using sticks recently, might experiment with that.

Sleeping bag - I could get something much lighter for Summer use, however, I use this one bag as I don't really have a lot of money to play with at the moment. I would still keep this for October - May time as it's fairly necessary in the UK. But I might think about changing it out for something lighter in the future once I have a bit more cash - I'm a student at the moment.

David - I think I've replied to most of your response above. However, with regards to shelter, I really like the comfort of a fully enclosed tent, especially as conditions in the UK can be pretty unpredictable and very wet at times. However, I have been considering a tarp, but it's not a possibility due to a lack of money at the moment.

But for the future, could I set up a fully enclosed shelter with a large enough tarp? If so, what size would I need? Also, I worry about needing a bivvy bag if I'm using a tarp in very wet conditions as I have a down bag. Would this not remove any weight savings anyway?

Thanks for your help so far, it's given me some food for thought.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Summer list on 04/24/2012 10:09:14 MDT Print View

With a tarp, it seems I usually stay drier than my packing friends in a tent.
I would nix the rain pants in summer.
I would try to find a lighter bag. That thing will be a sweat bag in summer.
That is one heavy pack for a 3 day summer trip.
I would consider making an alcohol or esbit set up-just my preference and pretty light.
Too many dry bags and pack cover. One garbage bag can keep anything dry that you need dry. I do think its good to have a food bag to keep food together and for hanging away from the critters.
My optomotrist has made my life easier by telling me its fine to keep contacts in for a couple of nights. I would check. If not, 30 g of fluid should be enough for 2 nights.
Just my take.

Chris Irwin
(Chris.89) - F
Updated list on 04/24/2012 10:13:48 MDT Print View

OK, I've created a new list to reflect some of the simple changes listed above:

New list here:

I ditched 1 dry bag and 4 pegs (I miscounted them before and they saved me more than I thought). Stuff sack was replaced with plastic bag, rain cover replaced with rubble sack , Atmos replaced with Vapor Trail (don't yet own).

I'm also thinking of selling my prolite and just going back to using the closed cell foam matt I had before. I bought the prolite recently after waking up with a numb arm on a few occasions due to side sleeping. However, I felt a lot colder than I did when I used the closed cell foam matt last time I went out on a cold night.

Also might try making a simple beer can pot, which will be lighter than the titanium mug. And maybe try using esbit/solid fuel with a stand and windshield instead of gas. That depends on the substitute of convenience though. I used to use meths, but found it to be a pain in the ar*e, so I switched to gas, which is very easy and quick.

Any suggestions of quick fixes without spending too much money would be great.

Chris Irwin
(Chris.89) - F
reply to ben on 04/24/2012 10:19:19 MDT Print View

Hi Ben, thanks for your input.

As said before, I'll definitely consider a tarp for the future, once I have a bit more cash to spare.

I only take the rain pants in summer if rain is expected. But the weather in the UK is very unpredictable and often heavy rain even in the summer. I left it in the list as this is the maximum that I would have to take if conditions were not in my favour, but most of the time I wouldn't need them.

As mentioned, the sleeping bag is there mainly because I can't afford a different one for summer right now. I tend to use it as a quilt in summer.

It's not really necessary to hang food away from animals in the UK, so I'm getting rid of that in favour for a 7g plastic bag.

With regards to the contact lenses, I have an eye condition which means that I have to wear hard contact lenses, as well as a pair of blank soft ones underneath for comfort. So it is totally necessary to take these out at night, very uncomfortable otherwise! As I have hard contact lenses, it makes the solutions slightly more complicated. I use 1 bottle of cleaning solution, which works well on both hard and soft lenses. However, I also use another bottle of conditioning solution, which helps to put the hard contact lenses in my eye, and keep my eyes moist. However, I probably don't need as much of that as I usually take, so I'll look around for a smaller bottle.

Edited by Chris.89 on 04/24/2012 10:23:08 MDT.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Shaped tarps in the UK on 04/24/2012 12:18:45 MDT Print View

Hi Chris,
It's been 25 years or so since I lived in the UK, and never did any backpacking while there (just a little fell walking on North York moors). I seem to remember times when it was raining hard on one side of the house and not at all on the other--pretty unpredictable is right.

Apologies if you're already familiar with the term, but what I mean by shaped tarp is somewhat different from the flat rectangular tarp you may be thinking of. Really, it's more like a floorless, single wall tent, sometimes with a zippered opening, sometimes not. With good site selection, and an adequate groundcloth, you shouldn't need a separate bivy. Bugs are another story, but there are a variety of low weight solutions for that.

Here's a DIY version I use (pitched near Mt. Rainier, Pacific Northwest, a place that also can have wet and unpredicable weather:

Dick Creek camp

This is pitched pretty high for ventilation, but could be buttoned down low to ground for more coverage. Note polycryo groundsheet. Had pretty thick mosquitos on that trip, but wore a headnet to bed and was fine. With guylines, groundsheet, and 10 stakes it comes in right at 16 oz (~450 grams).

Caveat: I haven't personally had this setup in a bad storm. But I believe there are PNW and UK backpackers on these forums who routinely use shaped tarps like the MLD SoloMid or Trailstar in severe conditions (see at Maybe they could offer more insight.

Edited by DavidDrake on 04/24/2012 12:19:27 MDT.

Chris Irwin
(Chris.89) - F
Shaped Tarp on 04/24/2012 12:34:59 MDT Print View

Thanks David, that looks like a great set up. I'll have to do some research to see what's available in the UK and what sort of prices they go for.

I do carry hiking poles sometimes but I think they are fairly heavy, I guess I could do with getting some lighter ones if I was planning to go for a similar set up. Any suggestions on those?

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Poles on 04/24/2012 12:48:25 MDT Print View

Gossamer Gear and TiGoat I think have the lightest poles, but pricey. For a bit cheaper, look for sales. I would avoid the heavy shock absorption.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Poles on 04/24/2012 15:11:49 MDT Print View

My poles are old Black Diamonds and not very light--21 oz/pair. (Although, even some of the CF options you'd find a REI aren't much lighter) But I like the flick-locks and prefer adjustable for pitching my tarp. One day I'll replace with something lighter. However, they do make really stiff and bomber poles, and I don't worry about breaking them.

Some people make their own poles out of graphite golf shafts--might try that.

Using dedicated pole(s) for tarping usually only adds a few ounces.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Big Agnes poles on 04/25/2012 14:28:31 MDT Print View

Big Agnes has trekking poles you can special order through REI.

120cm, 10oz, 3-section poles for $120
Helinox Passport Twistlock

Their aluminum as well, in case the carbon ones sketch you out.

Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
big agnes/helinox are also available on dept of goods for much less on 04/25/2012 18:06:03 MDT Print View