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First Time UL'er, Help!
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Ryan S.
(badscooter)

Locale: New England
First Time UL'er, Help! on 04/23/2012 11:17:44 MDT Print View

This winter/spring I've been converting my gear to something much lighter. I would consider cutting to a lighter tent in the future but for now the wallet won't hear of it (I'm also pretty happy with a four pound double wall tent) Advice, recommendations, and comments please!

Osprey Exos 58-42oz
Osprey Rain Cover-3.8oz
Marmot Arete-24oz
REI Stratus Insulated Pad 77in-25oz
Cocoon Hyperlite Pillow-2.8oz
REI Quarter Dome T2 Plus-64oz

Fire & Water Kit (19.5oz)

Snow Peak Litemax-1.8oz
Snow Peak Gigapower-7.8oz (Fuel)
Snow Peak Titanium Cookset-5oz
Lighter/Stormproof Matches-1oz
Scout Firesteel-1oz
Metal Pencil Sharpener-.5oz
Vaseline Tube-2.5oz

Kenyon Multi-Spice Shaker-2.8oz
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter-3oz
32oz Gatorade/Platypus-1oz (Fill one at a time)

Tools (10oz)

Black Diamond Spot & Batteries-4oz
PMI 3MM Utility Cord (100 ft.)-3.5oz
Compass/Mirror-2oz
Garbage Bag/Emory Cloth
Fishing Vial-1oz

Repair Bag-3oz
Seam Sealant
Duct Tape
Sleeping Pad Patch Kit


Essentials (14.8oz)

Toilet Paper/Toothpaste/Toothbrush-3oz
Outdoor Research Dry Bags-1.8oz
First Aid Kit-3oz
Waterproof Notebook & Pen-3oz
MSR Pack Towel-1oz
Natrapel Insect Repellant-1oz
Deodorant-1oz
Golf Ball-1oz

Clothing
Carry Weight-41oz/Worn Weight-18-20oz

Day-Use-REI OXT Tech Shirt x3-6 oz.
Day-Use- Kuhl Liberator Convertible Pant-14oz
Day-Use-Smartwool PHD x2-4oz
Day-Use-ExOfficio Boxer Brief X2-3oz
Day Use-Sunglasses-2oz
(Worn=18oz/Carried+7oz)
Benchmade Griptilian 3.5” Knife-3.25oz

Thermal Pants-7oz
Night Use-Smartwool Crew-3oz

Marmot Variant Jacket-12oz (-4oz Driclime)
Mountain Hardwear Versteeg-14oz

Base Pack Weight=15-16LBS
Carry +32oz Water=17-18LBS
Food Weight=18.5-19.5

I will be largely carrying all of this in a two person setup where an additional sleeping bag/pad/food will be factored in. I've figured the second backpack should bring weight to around 14-15LBS per person.

Edited by badscooter on 04/23/2012 18:31:24 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
What you can cut on 04/23/2012 11:37:56 MDT Print View

First I'd ditch the pad except in cold weather. 25 oz is really heavy. I'd try a cheap foam pad instead. That would save about 15 oz. Someday if you want to spend more money try a 3/4 lenght thermarest prolite.

A four pound tent isn't horrible split between two people. I suggest a polycro (i.e. plastic) tarp for shorter trips when bugs and high winds aren't a concern. That could save you about 3 pounds on some trips.

I'd ditch the pillow and put your rain gear inside a stuff sack for a pillow.

The pack cover probably isn't necessary. I prefer a heavy duty trash bag inside my pack.


You could probably do without the insulated pants except on colder trips. I've never had a pair.

All that should save you about a pound (more if you try a tarp) and it won't cost much.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: First Time UL'er, Help! on 04/23/2012 11:57:51 MDT Print View

What Luke said, above^.

Maybe you could shave half a pound or so, fiddling with the little stuff and leaving some things out (it looks like you have three means of starting a fire, for example, and do you really need 2.5 oz of vaseline?) You can strip your Exos to ~33 oz without doing anything irreversible.

To truly go UL, you'll need to make changes in your approach, esp. w/ shelter and pack. Your packed clothing could be lighter as well. Take a look at community gear list (menu on right side of screen) for examples of how others do it. Mike Clelland!s list (and book) are esp. helpful, IMO.

Welcome to BPL!

Edited by DavidDrake on 04/23/2012 12:13:02 MDT.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
What I would cut on 04/23/2012 12:03:01 MDT Print View

I took a quick look at your list and a few items caught my eye. Personally I'd leave the deodorant (1oz) and golf ball (1 oz) at home. However, you did leave me wondering what you use a golf ball for while backpacking.

I'd also leave 2 of the 3 shirts home (12 oz) and one of the briefs (3 oz). In addition, I'd leave the knife (3.25oz) substituting a single-edge razor blade. While backpacking, I haven't needed to cut anything that requires a knife in a long time. That adds up to a weight savings of ~20 oz (1 lb 4 oz). However, your comfort level might vary from mine and the length of you trips might be longer than my typical 2-3 night trips.

Edited by RichardCullip on 04/23/2012 12:12:09 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
??? on 04/23/2012 12:11:28 MDT Print View

I'm curious about the golf ball. What do you use it for?

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
My changes on 04/23/2012 12:19:28 MDT Print View

These are what I would do to go lighter:
Pack is a bit heavy; consider a frameless at maybe 8-16 oz.
Tent is a hog; consider a tarp.
Pad is a bit heavy; if you are young, consider a foam pad; otherwise, carry it.
You don't need the pillow and the extra clothes both.
Pencil sharpener? Use your knife if you write that much.
2.5 oz. vaseline? Sounds like you have some fun planned, but I have never needed any.
Pack cover, garbage bag, and dry sacks? I would take just the garbage bag.
More shirts than I would ever want.
Golf ball?

Ryan S.
(badscooter)

Locale: New England
Golf Ball on 04/23/2012 12:24:31 MDT Print View

I keep a golf ball in my pack because I've found that it is the single best and esiest way to relieve stress on your foot after a long day. Rather than keeping "camp shoes" in my pack, just set the golf ball down, roll it around your foot and, in two minutes, you're good as new.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Golf Ball on 04/23/2012 13:22:18 MDT Print View

I see, Ryan. It makes good sense now.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Not too fast its actually pretty good on 04/23/2012 14:01:07 MDT Print View

Good suggestions all around here. Let me add a thought.

The OP indicated he wasn't intrested in spending vast sums of money at the moment. With that in mind I think overall its a solid gear list. You could eliminate a few things here and there to trim weight but I don't see anything major I'd change. If you want to go significantly lighter the best bang for your buck is probably a cheap tarp and bivy, followed by a lighter pack. If your like the tent than I'd keep it focus on getting out in the woods. You have a perfectly adequate kit to go have some adventures and then you can think about what you might want to change as money is available.

Ryan S.
(badscooter)

Locale: New England
Vaseline/Pencil Sharpener & Question (s) on 04/23/2012 14:56:23 MDT Print View

The vaseline is used for exceptionally wet periods where I might enjoy a small campfire. A simple candle can be made by coating a cotton ball in vaseline, covering it in foil and forming a wick with the cotton ball, very effective.

The pencil sharpener I could probably lose but have taken to carrying it for force of habit. I use it to make super fine kindling for fire-bow fire making.

Also, how would I go about stripping the Exos to 33oz without making any irreversible changes?

My additional question is if, in using a garbage bag on the inside of the backpack, would I see much quicker material breakdown of the pack itself?

Edited by badscooter on 04/23/2012 15:11:03 MDT.

Karple T
(ctracyverizon)

Locale: Mid-Alantic
"First Time UL'er, Help!" on 04/23/2012 15:11:14 MDT Print View

REI Quarter Dome T2 Plus-64oz - Dump this & go with Michael Ray’s Polycro Tarp
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=59450&startat=60

Osprey Exos 58-42oz - Sell it on eBay and get anything you can off gear swap that has the volume you need.

Snow Peak Gigapower-7.8oz - Nix this (Why two stoves)

Snow Peak Titanium Cookset-5oz – Just bring the pot

Metal Pencil Sharpener-.5oz - Huh?

Vaseline Tube-2.5oz - nix

Kenyon Multi-Spice Shaker-2.8oz – (Please – these are like 5 oz. Put the spices in or on food)

Black Diamond Spot & Batteries-4oz – (get a cheap 1 oz LED light no need for extra batteries)

PMI 3MM Utility Cord (100 ft.) - 3.5oz (way to heavy)

First Aid Kit-3oz - (Cut this in half)

Repair Bag-3oz - (Cut this in half)

Benchmade Griptilian 3.5” Knife-3.25oz - (Yikes – use a single edge razor blade)

Rethink your clothes as stated by others and learn to sew or find someone who can help you make a quilt of 5oz or 2.5 oz Apex and silk fabric … very inexpensive.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Stripping Exos. on 04/23/2012 20:32:11 MDT Print View

Mine is size M. "Irreversible" might seem like a bit of a cheat.

Remove lid, ice axe toggles, replace thick drawcord and cordlock with smaller. Remove male side release buckle ends from compression straps that used to attach to top lid. All easy to do, and can be undone without affecting the pack in the slightest. Saves 5.7 oz. I did a little (reversible) mod to mine to convert it to a roll-top:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=47238&skip_to_post=402478#402478

Remove sleeping pad straps, leaving enough stub to reattach if you think you want to. (I didn't). I consider all this reversible.

Re-weighed my pack just now--it doesn't easily fit on my scale but I get 33-35 oz. So maybe there's a little blue sky in the old gear list I pulled that stripped weight from (insert smiley).

Some non-reversible hacks that have no effect on pack performance:

If you're going to keep the pack (and I really like mine for heavier/bulkier loads), no reason not to trim excess straps. Side compression straps can be shortened some inches with zero effect on pack function for any user. Trimming excess webbing from shoulder straps and hip belt obviously customizes things a bit--I've done very little so far, but posting this now I'm tempted to start chopping.

There's enough wear on my pack now, it feels less precious. So next I'll prob. remove the hydration sleeve (don't use a hydration bladder anymore). One of ice axe loops. Ditto the elastic on the shoulder straps mean to hold hydration hose and that little stretchy glucose gel pouch.

That should easily get the pack below 2#. Maybe remove the fabric separating the zipped vertical pockets from the main pack, for more savings (that hack originally posted by Brad Groves in the thread below).

Edit: There was a decent thread with Exos mods discussed here:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=48489

Dale Wambaugh makes a good point that, "I don't understand buying a pack like an Exos if you don't want all the gee-gaws." In my case, I didn't realize I didn't want all the gee-gaws when I bought the pack (insert another smiley).

Edited by DavidDrake on 04/23/2012 21:35:29 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Thats 7.8 oz fuel on 04/23/2012 21:28:49 MDT Print View

Craig, that's not a second stove, that's the fuel canister. Now if it was me, the second stove would be there to get some usage out of it as I collect stoves.
Duane

Chris Irwin
(Chris.89) - F
Vaseline on 04/24/2012 11:47:59 MDT Print View

Rather than carrying the vaseline, I would carry a very small strip of bicycle inner tube. Burns well when wet and performs the same function, but it's probably a lot lighter.

Won't save you a ton of weight, but it's something

Also, I would personally use water purification tablets or drops rather than a filter. But that's your choice really.

What do you use the utility cord for? Is it necessary, or a just in case item? Same with notebook and pencil. I'd also ditch the sharpener and just use your knife to make thin shavings, bark scrapings and feather sticks. The knife could be lighter though, I use a 19g (0.67oz) opinel 4. I prefer using a real knife to a razor blade, but it't still very light.

I would leave the seam sealant and sleeping pad repair patch and just take duct tape.

Do you really need a towel and deoderant? Or could you go without for a couple of days.

With regards to the golf ball, if you find you really need it that much, you might be able to find a lighter version. One of those plastic practice balls might work.

Edited by Chris.89 on 04/24/2012 11:54:16 MDT.

Ryan S.
(badscooter)

Locale: New England
Some Cuts Made on 04/24/2012 13:43:38 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. The only other thing I can see myself doing is cutting 7-10oz off the Exos weight. Once that is done I'll be around 14.4LBS for Base Pack Weight and should be able to do a three day, two person outfit with around 13 pounds on my back which I don't think is too shabby. Thanks for the input, if you have other suggestions let me know.

If it seems like I didn't cut that much it's because several items on my list had been under-weighed, once that was fixed I had to cut more to get back to the starting point and then go even further.


Site-Tent/Backpack/Bag/Pad (161oz)
Osprey Exos 58-42oz
Osprey Rain Cover-3.8oz
Marmot Arete-24oz
REI Stratus Insulated Pad 77in-25oz
Cocoon Hyperlite Pillow-2.8oz
REI Quarter Dome T2 Plus-64oz

Fire & Water Kit (11.2oz)

Snow Peak Litemax-1.8oz
Snow Peak Gigapower-7.8oz
Snow Peak Titanium Cookset-3oz
Lighter/Stormproof Matches-1
Scout Firesteel-1oz

(Fill Cookset with several pre-coated Vaseline cotton balls)

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter-3oz
32oz Gatorade/Platypus-1.5oz (Fill one at a time)

Tools (10oz)

Black Diamond Spot & Batteries-4oz
PMI 3MM Utility Cord (100 ft.)-3.5oz
Compass/Mirror-2oz
Fishing Vial-1oz

Repair Bag-1oz
Seam Sealant
Duct Tape


Essentials (11.3oz)

Toilet Paper/Toothpaste/Toothbrush-3oz
Outdoor Research Dry Bags-1.8oz
First Aid Kit-1.5oz
Waterproof Notebook & Pen-3oz
MSR Pack Towel-1oz
Natrapel-1oz


Clothing
Worn-26oz

Day Use-REI OXT-5oz
Day-Use- Kuhl Liberator Convertible Pant-14oz
Day-Use-Smartwool PHD-2oz
Day-Use-ExOfficio-3oz
Day Use-Sunglasses-2oz
Benchmade Griptilian 3.5” Knife-3.25oz

Carry Weight-48oz

Smartwool Midweight Long-Sleeve Zip Top-9oz
Smartwool Base Layer-6oz
Smartwool PHD Mini-2oz
ExOfficio Boxer-3oz
REI OXT-5oz

Marmot Dri-Clime Jacket-9oz
Mountain Hardwear Versteeg-14oz

Total Base Pack Weight-15.33 LBS
Water Weight-17.33LBS
Food-19LBS

2 Person Backpacking
+70oz Clothing
+44oz Sleep Gear
+30oz Food

Two Person Weight=14LBS

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Some Cuts Made on 04/24/2012 14:37:21 MDT Print View

Low/no cost additional weight savings:

>Line pack with trash compactor bag instead of carrying pack cover. Cheaper, works better, saves 1.6oz
>What size fuel canister is that, 110 gr /3.88oz net weight or large? If the 110 gr, my scale gives 7 oz full weight and 3.1 oz empty. I only count the empty weight in base weight. Helps separate BW from consumables, IMO. Used properly, the 110 gr canister should be just fine for 2 people/3 days IME. Research windscreens for canister stoves.
>You could play with a MYOG alcohol stove. Lots of instructions online. Free. Saves maybe 4-5 oz.
>Okay, where'd you get the light Gatorade bottle? Mine weighs 1.9 oz :)
>I'd use a bandana instead of a pack towel--same weight and multi-use.
>Nix spare boxers. It's only 3 days. Save 3 oz.
>Nix spare t-shirt (you already have base layer and midlayer) Good rule of thumb is only take as much clothing as you can wear at once, with (maybe) a spare pair of socks. Save 5 oz.
>Leave rain pants when chance of rain is low.
>I assume water and food weights are split between two. Water weight is easy to adjust on trail and you'll figure out a good balance for conditions. Food weight is heavy though--more than 2# per person per day (PPPD), and remember, both your start day and end day are unlikely to be full food days (all three meals). I shoot for 1.4# PPPD (Mike Clelland!s formula) at apx 125 Cal/oz. Since you're a member, you have access to his article:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/pounds_per_person_per_day_ppppd.html
You could cut 19 # food for two down to 7-8# for two--that's serious weight savings.

That should get you another 10-12 oz off BW, plus big savings on consumables.

But as Luke says above, what you have is actually a pretty solid list to get out and start hiking, trying out the new lightweight (if not ultralight) kit. Have fun, and be sure to post trip reports!

Edited by DavidDrake on 04/24/2012 14:38:52 MDT.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Some Cuts Made on 04/24/2012 14:44:49 MDT Print View

http://ultralightbackpackintips.blogspot.com/2011/07/video-tutorials.html

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Everything David said on 04/24/2012 14:47:32 MDT Print View

I agree with him on all of it. You can cut a lot more later on, but you'll need to change a few pieces of gear.

Karple T
(ctracyverizon)

Locale: Mid-Alantic
"First Time UL'er, Help!" on 04/24/2012 15:31:51 MDT Print View

Ryan,

It looks much better. The best thing you've done is account for everything in your pack and it's weight!!!

The list below adds up to over 1 pound.

Osprey Rain Cover-3.8oz - Use a trash bag in your pack. (1 0z)
Scout Firesteel-1oz - redundant gear you don't need.
PMI 3MM Utility Cord (100 ft.)-3.5oz - at least cut it down to 50-60 ft
Compass/Mirror-2oz - maybe just take on longer trips.
Fishing Vial-1oz - If I was going fishing I would bring a real fishing rig
Outdoor Research Dry Bags-1.8oz - use a zip lock bag (0.23 oz)
Waterproof Notebook & Pen-3oz - cut the note pad weight in half
Benchmade Griptilian 3.5” Knife-3.25oz - Too heavy-Target has cheap light folders(1oz)

I had a Osprey Aether 60 when I started doing this UL thing and thought about butchering it but I was able to sell it on Craigslist and pay for a frameless pack that fit all my gear.

Just keep it as is until you can sell it - You have reached a good weight range and once you loose the volume of your current tent, sleeping bag & pad you will need a smaller pack.

Learning to make stuff is a good way take it to the next level : )

Edited by ctracyverizon on 04/24/2012 15:40:28 MDT.

Ryan S.
(badscooter)

Locale: New England
Further Cuts on 04/24/2012 17:28:27 MDT Print View

I cut 10 ounces further from the pack by getting a lighter notebook, removing two dry sacks, and getting rid of the extra ExOfficio boxers and the extra REI OXT shirt. I will also cut the towel for a bandana which should give me a full weight savings of 11oz over my previous list.

Considering the fuel canister as "empty" at 3.1oz puts my total savings at around 15oz which gives me a base pack weight of about 14.33LBS and a full solo pack weight of around 18LBS.

Cutting the pack cover seems like a Catch 22 to me as I feel that the Exos would absorb more than enough water in a rainstorm to offset the small weight savings.

I also have an opportunity to pick up a Hornet 46 Pack for about 100 bucks brand new. I figure that would shave a full pound off my current set-up, not too bad.

Edited by badscooter on 04/25/2012 09:33:38 MDT.