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My 1st SUL trip
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just Justin Whitson
My 1st SUL trip on 03/14/2013 17:21:04 MDT Print View

Ok, decided to hop from light to SUL for my next trip. I recently got the Sea To Summit UltraSil 20L backpack. I'm combining that with my cuben fiber multi pack from Zpacks in "fanny" mode, in which i keep all my most important stuff in like fire starting kit, space blanket, compass, map, small light knife, some cord, etc.

I recently made my wife a sleeping bag extender since she tends to sleep cold at times. It's made out of two silk liners sewn together, with a layer of about 5.5 feet of 2.5 oz Climashield Apex inbetween on the top. I'm just bringing this on my next trip, which i leave for tomorrow morning. With the Silnylon stuff sack i made for it, it weighs about 12 and a half oz, and is surprisingly warm. To help minimize draft, wind convection heat loss, i will be draping my emergency Frogg Toggs poncho over the top. I will need this anyways since rain is forecasted for the next day.

Bringing a somewhat light weight down jacket and light weight mid layer to augment how far i can take the above down. I've thought of bringing the 4.4 oz tyvek coveralls that i cut off part of the legs/feet off of to help with that as well..not sure if i should bring it or not. I'm only expecting a low of around 35 to 38 degrees, so not that cold.

Normally i take my White Box alc stove, alcohol, and a pot, but i'm leaving those behind and bringing instant eat foods, like marinaded and dehydrated Tempeh, cashews, brown rice crackers, cashew crunch (a really tasty mix of cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds with a little sea salt, brown rice syrup, and sugar--but not too sweet).

The only thing which is significantly heavy and i wish i could leave behind is my Big Agnes insulated air core sleeping pad/mattress. I would prefer to bring my Zlite CCF pad and a 1/8 inch torso sized foam pad that i have, but i don't have any space for it, and while i probably could rig some cord to hold it somewhere on that tiny pack.. i don't want to mess with it while hiking as i suspect will happen, that and i've started to become accustomed to the comfort of the air mattress.

Bringing some Polycryo as ground protection. Sawyer squeeze filter, 1 tritan plastic bottle and one of the S.S.'s dirty water bottles.

I guess i'm cheating somewhat as i'm not bringing a shelter, but hiking to a hut on the AT.

It's just a two day, and one night trip too. But eh, it's a start, and i like how this small sized pack is forcing me to cut things out, and to think things through very well. Day pack? Ha, i think i could extend it to a 4 day pack at the very least.

Haven't weighed everything yet, but i expect the total weight (including food and water) to be under 8lbs.

b willi jones
(mrjones) - F

Locale: NZ,,, best place in the world !?
Re: My 1st SUL trip on 03/20/2013 02:39:28 MDT Print View

cool man... is there a trip report link?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: My 1st SUL trip on 03/20/2013 04:44:31 MDT Print View


What part of the AT will you be doing on your 2 day 1 night trip?

Be aware that March and April are the months when thru hikers start their trek northbound. Space in the shelters a.k.a. "huts" could be at a premium depending where you are at on the trail.

I hope you and your wife enjoy the trip.

Party On,


Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
No shelter on 03/20/2013 05:22:43 MDT Print View

I hope you don't run into a boyscout top in your shelter of choice. Not have a shelter is a bad idea.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
No shelter on 03/20/2013 14:04:46 MDT Print View

What's the SUL line at? I'm UL with under 8 lbs, without a bear can or filter, can't recall where SUL is as I thought I'd never approach that.

george carr
(hammer-one) - F - MLife

Locale: Walking With The Son
SUL on 03/20/2013 14:37:26 MDT Print View

Usually sub 5 pounds is considered SUL.

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
SUL on 03/20/2013 15:05:38 MDT Print View

Sub-5 base pack weight. The 8 lbs listed by OP includes food/water and presumably gas.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: My 1st SUL trip on 03/20/2013 19:43:40 MDT Print View

My thought is that SUL should still include a full complement of gear, so you should have enough shelter, clothing, sleeping gear and food to be somewhat comfortable and at least safe. Going out and getting cold, wet and hungry (or worse) isn't the point.

I too like the game of getting an overnight kit into the smallest pack possible, but don't hurt yourself doing it! I reserve this sort of thing for August rather than March. How about a 30-35 liter pack instead? Even a 22-24 liter with water bottle pockets will give a lot more volume. 4 liters extra is a lot when you are down to the wee bits. If you can squeeze in a tarp and a CCF pad, you will have a lot more CYA. I use a Prolite short pad when I need the space; it will roll up to pop can size.

Using the Frogg Toggs emergency poncho as an over-cover sounds okay, but using it for primary rain protection worries me a bit. It isn't big enough to cover your pack and backside--- are you planning on wearing it under or over your pack? Or how about a full size poncho and you can use that for backup shelter too? Add a light bivy and your'e really cookin'.

Also, if you are going to carry a space blanket with this sort of kit, use it!

just Justin Whitson
update on 03/20/2013 21:58:38 MDT Print View

Hi folks,

The trip went well. I've been consistently going to the Shenandoah National park most weekends (usually by myself--hard to bring Becky unless it's warm) for the last month and a half or so. So far, i haven't seen any thru hikers. I go there, because it's the only decent hiking place relatively close to where i live (outside of Richmond VA, still an hour and a half drive though). I do realize that things are probably going to get busy there in a month or so, but i'm enjoying it while it lasts.

I was surprised that on my last trip, a couple of younger guys did show up at the shelter around 8:30 p.m. They are the first folks that i've seen also staying at the shelters so far. They originally were going to drive in on skyline drive, and hike just a little bit, but the road was closed so they had to hike much further. I also had a late start and so stayed at the first shelter i came across, which was about 7.5 miles in. I also had to get home early the next day, so it worked out.

Truth be told, it was very windy that night, and i was a bit chilly at times with my sleep set up, but it wasn't too bad all in all. Dale, i have decided to make a bivy out of the "kite" tyvek material. Re: the emergency Frogg Toggs poncho--i'm a small guy, about 5' 7" and athletic build, and with such a small pack on, the poncho fit over fine. It wouldn't with any of my other packs though. Plus i had my Brooks LSD II wind shirt with me to supplement.

But otherwise, i liked the pack and the low weight, and yes the weight i was just guesstimating included food and water. No gas or alcohol, i didn't bring any of that stuff with me this time, though i brought a little beeswax candle and a small part of a wall of a aluminum can, for long term light. I can recreate it, and actually try to get a precise weight, but since i didn't get any replies for awhile after posting i didn't think anyone was that interested and i was really busy around then.

Thanks for the interest, well wishes, and/or suggestions.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 03/20/2013 22:04:02 MDT.