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Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 3: M-SUL Base Weight Gear Lists
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Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Wide Mouth 1L Bottles on 06/09/2013 21:00:36 MDT Print View

If you don't want to do that yourself now you don't have to.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
30 lb on 06/11/2013 17:52:50 MDT Print View

@Bruce W.

Regarding 30 lbs,
Interesting observation as I have always had this concept of a maximum ceiling of 30 lbs for a worst caae scenario. Extra water for arrid hikes and/or extra food for wilderness.

I remember once during a droubt, hearing from a hiker that the next water source was dried up and people were camped up ahead that were out of water.
So I packed 7 liters and proceded to hike over the next couple of mountains to meet up with them.

I was surprised at how I felt fairly comfortable carrying the extra weight, but also felt that I was at the maximum before it became uncomfortable with my framelss pack.

I figured I was just below 30 lbs total pack weight.

John Giesemann
(johngiesemann) - MLife
A Slightly Different Look on 06/14/2013 16:33:32 MDT Print View

Great job on the series.

I would make a comment on the difference between the first and second gear lists in that (it seems to me) the only real difference is in the fleece bottoms and the gloves for a real difference of only 3.6 ounces.

Why? The difference in the shelters really seems to be extra room. You could add the mesh and the extra beak to the single Hexamid shelter and have practically the same comfort level without the extra room (and weight) of the twin. You also wouldn't need a larger groundcloth. You could save at least 3 ounces with the equipped Solo as opposed to the Twin and achieve the same features of mesh and extra beak. However, adding the mesh and extended beak to the solo would put you a couple of ounces over the 5 pound limit.

Also, why a different water treatment system that weights 2.7 ounces more(including the heavier bottle required) that does the same job as the original system. You may prefer the Steripen system, but it does the same job as the Aqua-Mira.

Third, the different rainwear options may be a little more breathable, but, how often do we wear rain gear and really how much more comfortable would you be? The first system achieves what is needed without the extra weight.

So, now we can go to the third system. The third system of course incorporates the extra weight of the second class and adds weight for the pack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, hat, and cooking system. This adds up to a total of 16.6 ounces if my math is correct. All of these seem to be legitimate weight additions given harsher conditions in the mountains.

Thus, given the comments above, the real difference between the first system and the third system is only 20.2 ounces instead of approximately 33 ounces. All of this weight is in improved clothing and sleeping systems from a temperature standpoint. This puts the heavier system at 6.2 pounds, just slightly above the second list. Also, this list is just as functional as the third list. Saving .8 pounds and being just as functional seems to make sense to me.

Just another way to look at the difference between the systems described.

Again, a great job looking at the system as a whole and thanks for the series.

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Re: Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 3: M-SUL Base Weight Gear Lists on 06/15/2013 07:29:15 MDT Print View

Finally got the corrections made to gear list weights; thanks Eric!

As expected, the BPL faithful came through, correcting all of my oversights and adding their wisdom. It was fun doing this series and I think it accomplished its goal to get people thinking. The primary messages are: 1) going SUL in the mountains requires an extra pound of base weight to provide adequate protection and comfort, and 2) it's amazing the amount of protection and comfort you can have within a 6 pound base weight.

But all this lovely gear requires $$, and most of use are not going to go out and replace all our gear with the latest and greatest UL items. For most, its a dream gear list and a gradual upgrade process, but its nice to be aware of what's available and set your sights on a gear wish list.

One big consideration is that its easy to purchase an item and find out later that something lighter and better is available. That's a bummer because you have already spent your money, it's call buyer regret. Articles like this can help reduce buyer regret, or perhaps (as per Ryan's message) help you realize you can get by without some things.

At any rate we all love backpacking, and when we're not out in the backcountry we dream about it. And streamlining our gear get is part of the gratification.

Thanks for your comments and compliments, and Happpy hiking! Will

Gary Pikovsky
(gosha007) - F - M

Locale: New Hampshire White Mountains
Ultimate M-SUL in New England? on 07/01/2013 15:41:39 MDT Print View

Will and BPL readers,

Based off your original I created an even lighter (yet arguably more comfy) M-SUL list for New Hampshire's White Mountains. Wanted to share with all of you. Seems to work pretty well for rough and windy conditions here and could apply to general lists overall. What do you all think? Maybe this will help folks on this thread. Could REALLY use some tips and suggestions.

NH / White Mountains 3 season gear list

Temps expected: 60-25F, often very windy
Terrain: above tree line hiking and overnight camping (6000 ft altitude)
Time range: 2-3 day hikes
Season: May to October
Water availability: clean water available at treeline

BASE WEIGHT: 6.8 lbs
WORN: 2.8 lbs
FOOD: 1.8 lbs/day

Down shell – Montbell Ex-Lite 6.1oz
Base bottoms – Rab Meco 120 4.4oz
Sleeping socks – PossumDown socks 2.2oz
Hat – Ambler Patroller 100% merino hat 1.5oz
Gloves – Rab MeCo 165 wool gloves 1oz

Shell – Westcomb Shift LT Hoody Neoshell 11.3oz
Shell pants – Montane Minimus 5.1oz
Mitt shells – ZPacks Cuben Fiber Mitts 1oz

Tarp – MLD Trailstar 21oz
Tarp stakes – Easton Full Metal Jacket 0.19 each (10 total)
Ground sheet – Gossamer Gear Polycro cut sheet 0.88oz

Backpack – Laufbursche huckePacke customized cuben pack 8.5oz
Packliner – Lite Trail NyloBarrier Packliner 1oz

Sleeping Bag – Mountain Hardwear Mtn Speed 32 Long 17.4oz
Pad – Peak Elite AC S 8.9oz

Esbit stove system – combo of LiteTrail / Gardner Outdoor / Suluk 46 T.E.A. – 2.2oz
Spoon – STS Long Handled Spoon - 0.3oz

Water bottle – Poland spring 0.35
Misc sack – TP, first aid, contacts w/ solution, ear plugs, lip balm, SPF in REI case, repellent, map, vitamin pill 1.5oz

OTHER (possibly optional, not sure yet
Backpad for frame – Gossamer Gear thinlight 2 sections 2.4oz
Camera kit – 5D mark II (too heavy too list, I'm a photographer)
Camera pocket – Gossamer Gear waist pocket 0.66oz
Stuff sacks – 4 cuben sacks for sleeping bag, food, clothing and misc 1.8oz
Pillow – still figuring out (looking for light, but actually comfy)
Headlamp – Fenix H31W 100lumens 2.2oz
Thermometer – 0.4oz
? Balaclava liner (optional) – 1.5oz
? GTX socks – if rainy 1.6oz

Shoes – Innov8 Roclite 315 20.74oz
Base top – Rab MeCo 165 long sleeve Zip-T M 8.2oz
Shorts – Nike Running shorts 5.0oz
Underwear – part of shorts
Socks – Wigwam Cool-Lite Hiker Pro 1/4 height 1.8oz
Trekking poles – Ruta Locura Yana adjustable poles with baskets for both 8oz
? Liner socks – do you think I need these w/ such light socks?
? Gaiters – maybvDirty Girl / MLD 2oz

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Need enlightenment! on 07/10/2013 11:00:06 MDT Print View

"With all the ultralight gear options available today, that perform just as well as heavier alternatives, why would anyone choose to carry the heavy stuff? There are still a lot of people to enlighten out there!"

Why you ask? The answer is: money!

I would be very happy to be enlightened by someone to the tune of many hundreds of dollars to retire our older, formerly but no longer UL equipment and replace it with new stuff. Since we unfortunately don't get out much my equipment doesn't wear out quickly, so replacement opportunities are few and far between.