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First lightweight kit - some feedback wanted
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Theodor Brennan

Locale: Western N.Y.
First lightweight kit - some feedback wanted on 03/02/2013 00:42:25 MST Print View

I'm a long time reader of the site, but a first time poster. Basically I have recently started to purchase my own gear - and have tried where possible to get the lightest (often more expensive), understanding that I will save money by not having to replace these things later on. Having read the forum guidelines here's some basic info:

•I'll mostly be hiking solo

•I plan on hiking mostly in the northeast US - and in New York state in particular. Looking into thru hiking large sections of NY's Long Path, Northville-Placid trail, & finger lakes trail.

•3 seasons

•overnights and trips up to 10 days

-- So some things i'm interested in:
Pants suggestions - this decision has been harder for me than picking a sleeping bag - I mean - zip-offs, non-zip-offs, shorts + wind pant, softshell pants? maybe there is no perfect choice for all seasons

--Better glove + liner combo (fleece + event mitts?)

--Neither the GG LT4's or the Yanas are in stock- any other adjustable carbon pole suggestions or should I just wait?

--bear canister

--anything else?list

Edited by theodorb on 03/02/2013 00:48:49 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: First lightweight kit - some feedback wanted on 03/02/2013 04:23:56 MST Print View

Clothing is the hardest part I think. There are so many variables in climate and personal metabolism, to the power of the alternatives available.

Pants. I like the zip off option for the warmer months. You can add long johns to get more out of them. I turn to light soft shell pants for cooler, wetter conditions. If it is really wet, rain pants with long johns work for me.

The shorts and wind pants combo strikes me as hot weather stuff, and those who are really active-- runners and high mileage folk. IMHO, wind pants are too fragile and I find that good zip offs provide enough protection.

Looks like you are doing your homework. Keep it up!

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Great start :) on 03/02/2013 05:06:31 MST Print View

Theodor, first of all congrats on a great start. The first time I weighed all my gear and posted for all to see (you are welcome to dig this up in my profile) it was much, much heavier. I came from a traditional/bushcraft inspired style, however.

Here are a few knit-picky things:

Backpack - I have a Jam (2011) and love it. It was my first UL pack, but I have since switched it over to replace my urban backpack for university. A solid pack with lots of bells and whistles. I did some trimming and cutting to save some weight on it, but ultimately replaced it with a MLD Exodus (My trimmed Jam 790g vs. 445g no shock cord or extras). I found that the Exodus carried nearly as good as the Jam, and I actually like the shoulder straps more than the Jam.

Drysacks - Can save some weight by going Cuben, or by using a pack liner or pack cover, both you can get in silnylon or Cuben, or just use a garbage bag as a pack liner as a cheap and easy solution.

Water bottles - 136g or 68g each is a bit heavy for plastic water containers. Try Playpus or recycled Gatoraid bottles. I often take one small hard plastic bottle to drink from as I hike (350ml and 25g) and use a Playpus 1 liter (25g) as my clean water cash, because let's face it, they are not the easiest or most convenient bottles to drink from and use.

Trowel - I probably had the same one! This you can easily nix if you ask me. Just use a stick or your heel to dig a hole. If you really must have one, there are titanium ones out there, but they can be pricey.

FAK - At nearly 200g I would strip this down some. I have two, a basic for short trips (42g), and a more extensive one (113g) for longer section hikes. I keep both in small Ziplock bags.

Hope this helps and have fun out there :)

EDIT: To fix typos.

Edited by PrimeZombie on 03/02/2013 05:12:53 MST.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: First lightweight kit - some feedback wanted on 03/02/2013 05:52:19 MST Print View

Theodor, Looks like a real solid list to me.

Pants...I too am a fan of good zip offs. I love the REI Saharas, not sure about the newer ones that zip all the way up, I like the previous model myself. They are light, durable, dry quickly, and multifunctional.

Gloves...I have found simple fleece to work well for most everything I do. For cold rain I'd add MLD Event rain mitts. But your cloud kilt might be a bit of a mismatch. If you can get by without rain pants then I'd think you would not need rain mitts. I have found the time you really want rain mitts is 32-40 degree heavy rain. I think this is one of the worse conditions to be in and if the wind blows you can have it pretty tough. In this condition I would really want rain pants. I have both golite reeds and a cuben skirt, I just switch out depending on conditions.

Poles, I use the ti goat (yana) my guess is a poll would put the GG ones ahead becuase of the shaped handles. I really like the ti goat's. If I were to buy new ones I would buy the 3 section version. These are in stock. You might want to check them out.

As already pointed out the other items are tweeks. I would reevaluate first aid. I rarey need anything beyond duct tape and some ibuprofin. Bleeding=stop with bandana, wash it, dry it, and put duct tape over it. I do carry a few gauze pads, triple anitbiotic ointment, needle and thread, etc.

Overall your kit looks great, best way to figure out how to improve it is to use it and reevaluate each item line by line. I keep a spreadsheet of each list I use and each time I go back and look it over checking for ways to improve my experiece...make it lighter, make it safer, make it warmer, dryer, etc.


Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Nice kit!! on 03/02/2013 07:05:13 MST Print View

Excellent job on your gear list. And more kudos for not having to buy 3-4 shelters and bags and packs before you actually get somewhere ;)

I will +? on the zip offs. I know there are a lot of haters out there, but I have a pair of Mountain Hardware (rhamesa? Mesa? Something like that) that I bought on sale (size too large but they were uber cheap) and frankly, they've become my go to pants for just about every trip I take. I love the venting options and while I rarely use them as shorts, I have been surprised by some hotter than expected temps and have been glad to have the choice.

I am also struggling with the rain bottom I'm not much help there. I have a pair of rather heavy rei 2.5 layer rain pants that, when needed, are sublime (Patagonia comes to mind), but lately I have a very, very hard time justifying them (at 10 oz they are almost as heavy as my shelter!). For most of 3 season use at sea level (I'm a Midwesterner. Blech) I just let my legs get wet and the pants dry quickly.

The good news is that you have a nice base of the big, expensive stuff and now you can work around the edges. There is so much personal taste and comfort here that you probably just have to use it and find what you like and don't like, what you use a lot or never touch, and then go from there.

Good luck!!

Reggie Garrett
(regarrett) - M

Locale: Lost in the mountains
excellent list on 03/02/2013 07:44:01 MST Print View

Excellent list here. Makes me drool.
From my take on the list: I'd drop the WM bag and go with a quilt. My favorite is the Katabatic Palisade. It's a 30 degree quilt that is accurately rated. I know you probably own the WM... Contrail is a great tent and I've had a few from Henry. But, the MLD DuoMid or SoloMid will save weight. I use my mid above treeline with no worries at all. I'd ditch the trowel. I'll second the opinion of zip off pants. Superb. I don't like leaving home without them.

But overall, great gear list.

Enjoy life on the trail.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 03/02/2013 08:59:36 MST Print View


Edited by on 06/12/2013 00:18:06 MDT.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: First lightweight kit - some feedback wanted on 03/02/2013 09:32:15 MST Print View

Your list looks very good so everything below is just nitpicking if you want to save a few more ounces. I think you'll be happy with everything you have though and you're way ahead of where I was when I started hiking.

Yet another vote for zip off pants especially in warmer weather. I've done the shorts/wind pants thing and it works ok. I've started wearing pants year-round when I hike here in Missouri because the ticks are pretty bad. Sometimes its just too hot to be comfortable in windpants.

I've been looking for a decent, cheap shell mitt to wear over liner gloves for years. If you find something light that doesn't cost $40 let me know :)

We've just recently started having to worry about bears in Missouri so I still just hang my food in a regular old stuff sack. I'm going to start using an odor proof sack too just to be safe.

Any old waterproof watch will do. Timex Ironman watches work fine.

Can't comment on trekking poles. I've been using a pair of Leki Ultralites since I started hiking. They're 15 oz for the pair and one of the lower sections is bent but they just keep going. A pair of CF poles sure would be nice though.

Personally I take either my windshirt or my Driducks rain jacket on a trip, rarely both at the same time. The windshirt is lighter and more packable so I bring it if I don't expect anything but a freak, short shower, but the Driducks are breathable enough that I can use it in place of the windshirt even if its not raining.

I just got my first cuben fiber stuff sacks this week and they're awesome. If you want to spend a lot of money to save a little weight I highly recommend them :D Cuben fiber is really, really cool though.

Does the weight of your Caldera Keg include the fuel? That seems pretty heavy for a beer can outfit. My kitchen kits weighs less than 6 oz and I'm using a SP Trek 700 mug.

Use Aquafina or Gatorade bottles, they weight a little over 1 oz a piece in the 1L size.

Reevaluate your first aid kit, 7 ounces is a bit much especially if you're hiking solo. Make sure you actually know how to use everything that's in it too.

A Lightload towel is around 0.5 oz, even my MSR Packtowel only weighs 1 oz. About the only thing I use mine for is drying my feet and wiping condensation off my tarp so it doesn't need to be very large.


Theodor Brennan

Locale: Western N.Y.
thoughts on 03/02/2013 10:01:19 MST Print View

Thanks for all your replies - here's my takeaway so far

•Convertible pants seem to be winning the day - this is the direction I was leaning. I figure combined with the CloudKilt I should have moderate rain protection.

•Cuben stuff sacks - I bought a tiny one to use as a wallet and I like the material - perhaps I'll get more as per the suggestions.

•My water bottle weight was an error - it's actually 1.2 oz each or 2.4 oz total - I must have doubled it twice

•My FAK could definitely use some lightening - I also keep waterproof matches, duct tape, and a small section of cord within as well.

•I'm probably not gonna buy a new sleeping bag, or tent, unless I give them a good field test and am unsatisfied. I chose the WM SummerLite over a quilt because I figure it's more versatile over a wide range of temperatures - u can burrow in nicely from the cold :)

•That being said, I'm considering replacing the Intertia X Pad - I've heard of some durability issues on the forums - and often find myself bringing a thin foam pad for extra comfort anyway.

•Lightload towel - will buy.

•The cook kit does not include the fuel but it does include the fuel bottle and the hard plastic case. I considered leaving the case, but the Foster's can feels quite fragile and I can use the case halves as mugs. -any suggestions appreciated though

Edited by theodorb on 03/03/2013 23:11:33 MST.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: thoughts on 03/02/2013 10:17:03 MST Print View

Help with the Dinky Stuff in your kit
Part 1

Part 2

Theodor Brennan

Locale: Western N.Y.
video on 03/02/2013 10:26:36 MST Print View

thanks! really useful video