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To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ?
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jon fr
(brdaaw) - F
To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/15/2012 03:15:37 MDT Print View

I'll be doing a week long trip on the Long Trail, which is described here:
It's supposed to be a really tough week, and I'd like to be as comfortable as possible.

Gear List:

Without water, I'm at ~11lbs base weight. I can shed 17.8oz if I shed the optional items (7.8oz basecamp/water shoes, 3.6oz sit pad, 2.4oz head lamp (I'll still have a squeeze light and a hiking partner with a head lamp), and I shrink down my cooking pot to a 4.6oz Vargo 900, which saves 4oz.
I guess the problem is that I like having my base camp shoes (, I kind of like having a sit pad, and I can definitely live without my zebralight headlamp. Is it worth forgoing all of the optional items to shed a bit over a pound?

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/15/2012 11:48:36 MDT Print View

As is noted in many books and posts, one of the points of UL is that you become free to take optional items that you really want, as long as you don't overdo it, and to me one pound isn't overdoing it (although much more than that might be getting close).

11 lbs is pretty good, I can rarely get below 12 lbs, mainly because I'm too cheap to replace perfectly good lightweight gear (once upon a time considered UL) with lighter stuff (my 1 1/2 - 2 lb packs are good examples).

The goal is enjoyment, not strict adherence to some supposed UL code. If you really enjoy those items and will miss them on your hike, take them and feel perfectly justified.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/15/2012 14:11:24 MDT Print View

I've got a pretty light base weight, but would have a hard time noticing a one pound difference. Two pounds (eg, full water bottle vs. empty) sure, but even that is just noticing a difference, not a notable difference in comfort.

Having said that, for my hiking style I can't see how camp shoes would add any comfort versus the minimal trail runners I use. I don't use camp shoes and don't miss them. I'm also plenty happy with a 600 ml mug/cookpot (~3 oz); if what you're carrying is half a pound, and is for solo cooking, I'd definitely go lighter and smaller. I've just added a sit pad to my kit, but that's mostly because I prefer CCF to inflatable for my frameless pack's virtual frame, but found I can't sleep comfortably on CCF alone. I actually think it's a little more fun to search for the perfect natural sitting place when I want to take a break, rather than haul out a sit pad.

In my view, anything around 10# BW takes care of the comfort-while-hiking criteria. Going lighter than that is driven more by philosophy than practicality. It happens to be a philosophy I enjoy, but others have their own way.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/15/2012 14:11:31 MDT Print View

Do you already have the Vargo pot? A 1.25 qt IMUSA mug weighs 3.495 ounces and costs about $3.

If you buy the mug, maybe bring your scale and weigh some flip flops. Those might same you a couple ounces.

Normally I'd say a sit pad should be part of your sleeping system, but I see that you use a hammock, so I guess a substitution isn't possible. I'd bring a sit pad, or at least a sit sheet. I find that I'm much more likely to take breaks if I bring one of those.

Leaving the Zebralight at home doesn't seem like a bad idea, at least if you sleep with food far away from your hammock. The only reason I like bright lights on long walks is to see if there are critters wandering around my shelter. That's hardly a concern when my food is far enough away that I wouldn't be able to hear critters trying to get at it. My pinch light has worked great as a camp light for the past half year. I'm almost ready to carry just that.

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/15/2012 14:20:19 MDT Print View

I almost always wish I had a change of shoes

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/15/2012 15:14:09 MDT Print View

My base weight is down to 10.7 lbs. without camera (which I always take, but is never on anyone's gear list) and without fishing gear (which I take only part of the time). I've gone through my list a number of times, but I really haven't found anything else that I want to cut. I've decided that it's not worth the further hassle (or expense) to get below some arbitrary 10-pound boundary. Certainly after I've eaten the first day's food, I'll never notice the 0.7 pounds!

I know, of course, that this is heresy here at BPL! :-)

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/15/2012 16:32:33 MDT.

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
h2o? on 06/15/2012 17:33:48 MDT Print View

You're counting water in your base weight? Clearly a consumable. There, you're below 8 lbs.

That said, you have a great gear list except for the camp shoes. You have camp shoes already, two in fact: bare feet and your hiking shoes unlaced.

Also, no toilet paper. Mike C:

I like a sit pad, but I only bring it when it will be used in cold weather as part of my sleep system. Otherwise, dirt is fine.

It wasn't in your base weight (I think) but do you bring the binocs? Again, a luxury item, and luxury items are why it's great to go UL, but do they really make a big enough improvement to justify the weight?

I like a headlamp, since I'm often up after dark, even in summer, but that means I burn daylight sleeping in. But if you won't be up, a simple light for a run to the tree at 1am is good enough.

I'm not big on commenting on gear lists, but the water included struck me as odd. Yeah it weighs something and you will definitely feel 3L of water versus 0L, but we're talking base weight here, right?

Hope this helps the decision.


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/15/2012 17:50:25 MDT Print View

If you're happy with your gear, then take it. Its not a competition.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/15/2012 18:11:40 MDT Print View

If you're happy with your gear, then take it. Its not a competition.

Once loaded with food, water and fuel I doubt you could tell the difference anyway. I couldn't

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/15/2012 23:49:06 MDT Print View

Looks good! I also agree that you shouldn't include water in your baseweight, which gives you a much more impressive number ;) I may be biased though since us desert rats would be screwed by water weight! Oh, just realized that was not a true BW since it didn't have sleep/shelter included...


Unless there is a specific reason why you prefer the 1900ml pot over the 900ml I would still swap it out (you have a filter so efficient boiling doesn't seem that important a criteria, maybe it holds your cook gear better?). Mainly though that's just a standard minimalist preference of reducing volume as well as weight.

I would also nix the camp shoes but that's because I don't use them personally. If you really enjoy them and they make your feet happier there's a lot of psychological benefit to keeping them over the weight savings.

Really you've got your kit dialed in pretty decent. The only way I can see you making significant weight savings would be to replace your pack and shelter with lighter variants (I'm not too familiar with hammocks so that may not be that much of an improvement over your current setup). But the exos has a great suspension which will make your current load feel like air and switching to a frameless may lower weight but increase discomfort!

So in summation...have a great hike!

jon fr
(brdaaw) - F
Re: h2o? on 06/16/2012 03:40:08 MDT Print View

the 11.06lbs is the base weight without water; the 15.46lbs weight represents the base weight plus 2L of water. I only included it to see the difference.

I think I will bring the shoes. I like walking around/in the water, and they're extra nice when I fill up my 3L Nalgene bladder. Btw, the sawyer inline filter and packa poncho were two excellent recent additions. The filter stays inline with my bladder all the time, which allows me to drink immediately after filling it with dirty water, and the packa is awesome to slip on and off my body while on the move.

Edited by brdaaw on 06/16/2012 04:25:37 MDT.

jon fr
(brdaaw) - F
+ on 06/16/2012 03:47:19 MDT Print View

Also, I'll be bringing my 7.8oz Panasonic ZS7. It's a little heavy, but takes great pictures and has GPS for geotagging all photos automatically.

jon fr
(brdaaw) - F
Re: Re: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/16/2012 04:28:25 MDT Print View

I like the price of the IMUSA, but is there a lid with/for it?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: h2o? on 06/16/2012 09:11:00 MDT Print View

2 liters of water weighs 4 pounds, regardless of whether you categorize it as base weight or not.

I only carry 1 pint of water which weighs 1 pound.

Of course it depends on available water you'll encounter and how hot it is.

jon fr
(brdaaw) - F
Re: Re: Re: h2o? on 06/17/2012 02:55:53 MDT Print View

1liter = 1kg ~=2.2lbs
I'll be on the Long Trail, which should have adequate water. I'm hoping a liter will be right for me while I'm on the move. Do you find it time consuming to treat water 0.5L at a time?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/17/2012 03:08:48 MDT Print View

Lids are available at

Or use foil.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: h2o? on 06/17/2012 07:23:08 MDT Print View

I usuaully just drink 1 pint during the day.

Drink a bunch before I start.

Maybe hike for 5 hours, a bit de-hydrated at the end, drink a bunch of water then and I recover after a while.

If it's hot I'll refill half way through the day. Drink a pint and refill another pint.

I use a filter - just got a Squeeze which seems to work pretty good. Or I used a PUR filter or Steripen. No problem treating a pint at a time.

jon fr
(brdaaw) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/17/2012 13:11:31 MDT Print View

I forgot all about minibull. Thanks! IMUSA w/lid and fiberglass wick ordered. I plan to grind the handle off and attach the wick.

Harris Goldstein
(hmgolds) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Re: To shave a pound off of an 11lb base weight or not ? on 06/18/2012 13:40:17 MDT Print View

Bottom of a disposable pie plate works well as top for IMUSA cup. I epoxied a "flap" to use as handle for the top. .2 oz.

Plus I like pie.

Edited by hmgolds on 06/18/2012 13:42:14 MDT.

base on 06/18/2012 17:19:36 MDT Print View

If you get rid of the camelback and just carry 2x1L water bottles (=1.6oz) you can save more wt.

If you get rid of the filter and just carry aquamira (1.25oz for a week when repackaged), you save more wt.

If you wear trail runners, you shouldnt have need for camp shoes.

A 5 oz leatherman? A bic mini lighter is only 0.4 oz full and new.

Can you do without tootbrush for one week? Yes you can. Heresy. Toothpaste stinks.

0.05 oz for benadryl/immodium seems a bit light, I think a decimal is in wrong place.

Bringing a map?


why 2 spoons?

you need some kind of light, even if not a heavy headlamp. Use a photon= 0.35oz


first aid/blister kit?

Does it make a difference? Yes it does. You can go longer, faster with the lighter weight. Regardless of what you might think walking around your living room. After 12 miles in a day of going up mountain, and down mountains, you will feel the difference of 1 lb.