> I recommend to everyone who is tranistioning to UL gear
> that they buy absolutely NOTHING until after they have
> spent at least several months, say 6 or more, researching
> gear and looking at what other people are doing. the
> reason is that if you jump in and buy something too
> quick, like a new tent that weighs over 2 pounds,
> initially, you'll be happy that it is half the weight
> of your traditional tent, but soon after you will likely
> find out as you research more that you would like a tarp
> set up that weighs less than 1 lb. Similarly, if you buy
> a sleeping bag too soon, you find with slightly more
> reaearch that you would be happier with a quilt that
> weighs much less. You get the picture.
> Usually, people end up buying a few different packs,
> tents, sleeping bags/quilts as they learn more and
> discover how much easier it is to go lighter and lighter
> once they learn more. Duplicate or triplicate purchases
> end up costing more in the long run than just buying one
> cuben fiber tarp to begin with rather than getting a new
> tent first and then going for a tarp. Same thing with>
> packs, or sleeing bags/quilts. This holds true for all
> gear, not just The Big Three.
1) I agree with the above. Don't buy anything until you've researched a TON. Chances are, you won't really know what the lightest products on the market are, for at least a few months of heavy duty researching. This forum is a great resource, but there's no neon sign pointing you to the lightest products and how to best use them.
2) Learn the principles of UL by stripping down EVERYTHING in your pack, as Nick suggested early on. Be a lightweight nazi.
3) When you're ready to buy stuff, go light as possible and take a few easy trips with good bail options. If it doesn't work for you, sell it. Chances are, you'll overestimate how much comfort you actually want. It's a LOT easier to sell the very lightest gear (like a cuben fiber tarp) than it is to sell midweight gear (like an UL tent). On some of the very lightest gear, like a tarp, you'll probably only lose $10-$20, if it doesn't work for you. If it DOES work for you, you've saved a TON of weight. If you start with a lightweight tent (like a Skyscrape), you'll never know if a tarp will work for you. If you want to try a tarp, you'll still have to go through the same process of buying a tarp and trying one (requiring more cash during the process). So... with that said... go absolutely as light as possible and use a couple of sample trips to weed out gear that won't work for you. Rather than slowly buy and sell stuff, getting lighter and lighter in the process. Hope this makes sense!