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Proposed Gear List for Ultralight Newbie
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I'm Joe
Proposed Gear List for Ultralight Newbie on 07/09/2013 11:10:03 MDT Print View

I'm working on creating a basic gear list before I go out and start making too many purchases. My focus for this list is 2-3 day, 3 season East coast(PA and surrounding area), 2 person tent, lowish cost, lightweight without too much sacrafice (ie. tent, no tarp... yet.)

At this point the only thing purchased is the cook pot so I'm looking for critcism and proposed substituions. The list isn't all inclusive yet but just what I've researched so far. So basically there are some key things missing like clothes and other things. I'm open to suggestions in areas that I haven't covered on this list that meet my criteria. Thanks in advance!

Pot REI Ti Ware .9L 4.9oz $38 (eBay)
Spoon Sea to Summit Alpha lite spoon .4oz $9
Towel PackTowl Nano Towel .9oz $10
Pack GOLITE JAM 50 30oz $110
Flashlight Photon micro-light II Pro .3oz $14
Flashlight Fenix LD01R2 .9oz $35
Water Filter Sawyer PointOne Squeeze filter 3oz $35
Tent Sierra Designs Flashlight 2 60oz $185
or Tarptent Rainshadow 2 42oz $279
or Tarptent Double Rainbow 41oz $275
Sleeping bag Kelty Cosmic 20 down bag 43oz $100
Sleeping mat Therm-a-rest Z lite sol 14oz $45

** See updated list below **

Edited by imjoe on 08/02/2013 11:49:01 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Where and how many? on 07/09/2013 11:23:33 MDT Print View

Three season Sierra is a whole different critter than three season east coast. Also, you have two person tents listed, is that a requirement that the shelter hold two or more. You can go way lighter on your shelter if you can go with single person.

I'm Joe
OP updated on 07/09/2013 11:32:06 MDT Print View

I knew I would leave out some details... I have updated the OP. Thanks for the reply.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Proposed Gear List for Ultralight Newbie on 07/09/2013 11:59:08 MDT Print View

I've never seen a Flashlight 2 tent weigh that little. Have they updated it? My old Flashlight 2 weighed something like 5 1/2 pounds.

I think that the TarpTent Rainbow should be at the upper limit for weight on a tent. Seam-sealed, my StratoSpire 2 (plenty of space for two), is only 40.4 oz (without stakes). If you're willing to spend enough to go up to the Double Rainbow, I would go ahead and get the SS2. It's a much better shelter--double-walled and more spacious.

Also, if you're trying UL out, I would look at ULA packs. The CDT is frameless like the Jam, but much better in design and construction in my opinion. Honestly, though, frameless takes some time to get right, and you might prefer a true frame like with the Circuit, even with the added weight.

The Kelty bag is a great deal, but you could cut that weight in half and still get a reasonably inexpensive bag if you looked at the Enlightened Equipment Revelation X model quilts. I also find quilts far more comfortable than bags, thus the reason I don't even own one even for winter use. The quilt is much more versatile too--you can open it up when the weather is warm (like it often is in the Northeast in the summers), making a 20 or 30 degree quilt much more useful than a comparably rated sleeping bag.

I realize that these are all more money. But, if you're really serious, you'll save more in the long-run investing when you can. Just don't feel like you have to spend big cash to go UL. Often, the best thing to do is take it slow and leave a bunch of unneeded stuff behind.

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Budget on 07/09/2013 12:31:25 MDT Print View

You are going about starting light the way that I did with very similar weights. I have since sold all of my gear and upgraded and am much happier with my kit.

Osprey Kestrel 48 --> Zpacks Arc Blast
Lafuma bag --> EE RevX
REI Quarterdome T3 --> Zpacks Hexamid Twin Tent

Overall, the cost to upgrade was worth the insane amount of weight I dropped. It would have been even cheaper if I had researched this site before I started purchasing though. It ma be helpful to include a budget for your initial purchase so Ed can help you get the best bang for the buck.

I disagree a bit on the EE RevX 20. I had planned on using this for 3 season, but it is so warm that I bought a EE Prodigy 50 for late spring to early fall. Both are awesome though and the combination should let me avoid a winter bag.

I'm Joe
... on 07/10/2013 06:15:08 MDT Print View

I don't have a set budget but would like to keep things around $750. That includes things not on my list yet. I know its ambitious but it is what it is. I appreciate the suggestions so far. I am really mulling over the quilt vs bag idea. I am trying to weigh out if an extra $100+ for a nice quilt and an extra $100+ for a lighter tent is the right balance for me. Great suggestions so far. This exactly what I'm looking to hear and gives me plenty to ponder over. Keep the ideas coming. Thanks!

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: ... on 07/10/2013 08:13:32 MDT Print View

For me, the question is more about performance rather than weight. Though, being lighter is much nicer too.

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: ... on 07/10/2013 14:01:53 MDT Print View

750 is a good budget to work with. As a lot of people will point out, the best way to go ultralight is to simply bring only what you need. For deciding what to buy, I use a spreadsheet and list the items I need to buy and the weight/Cost for each item for a value selection and the what I really want selection. I then figure the cost per ounce difference between the two and target the lowest ratio to buy first. Of course it isn't that simple, but it will show you where you can get the best bang for the buck.

What you may find is that you can get one or two great pieces and then get a spare on the cheap that can later be upgraded.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
re tent and quilt on 07/10/2013 14:54:16 MDT Print View

I am still new to the ultra light game but I have an EE 20* RevX with 1 extra oz of overstuff. Weighs 26.77oz with 2 elastic pad straps. I pair this with a DYI top quilt made out of some fleece material from the fabric store. It was simple to make and good for when it is above 50-60*. Didn't cost but 10 bucks maybe in materials and weighs about 18oz. The RevX is a very nice quilt.

I got the Double Rainbow because I wanted some more space. I could probably have gotten away with the single Rainbow but it is only a few oz more. After seam sealing mine weighs in at 40.95 oz plus stakes. I use the MSR groundhogs as I feel they hold a little better than the Easton ones that came with the tent. But the Easton weigh less. 6 would be and extra 2.25 oz so about 43 oz total.

Hope the info helps. Good luck putting your kit together.

I'm Joe
Updated list on 07/31/2013 19:31:47 MDT Print View

After listening to some of your great advice and doing some more research I have tweaked and expanded my proposed gear list. It is a good bit out of my price range but I think by patiently acquiring items over time I can find a few good deals and sales and bring the total cost down.

Gear List

The only thing I can think I left out is a repair/first aid kit, so add ~3-6oz. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Andy Jarman

Locale: Edge of the World
Prposed gear list. on 07/31/2013 20:44:47 MDT Print View

Your list looks admirably home made, good see you aren't going for broke with the latest and greatest. I wish I had done what you are planning, instead I did a lot of reading then bought a lot of stuff I don't really like!

A couple of comments, your tent and quilt are creeping up there in the cost stakes, I used the Kelty Cosmic as a quilt for a couple of years before saving up for what I really wanted, $200 is halfway between a Kelty Cosmic and the quilt you'll really want - might be better waiting to see how you use it before you buy.

I use a $2 box cutter instead of a Victorinox, need to grease the blade with vaseline though, they can go rusty.

You can learn how to make your own cheap Cuben fibre tarp on You tube, its all done with sticky tape, no sewing machine required.

I use 1443R lightweight Tyvek for a ground sheet, google "Into the Wind" kite supplies. It's half the weight of house wrap and still pretty cheap.

No wind shirt? You can get a cheap nylon top to try this out, its a very usefull thing to have, a lot of warmth for not much weight. Get a dri ducks larger than you need, you can wrap your bag/quilt over your shoulders underneath it at night.

Take a look at Mike Clelland's You Tube videos for repair/first aid tips, cute kitties too.

Drew Jay

Locale: Central Coast
Recommendations on 07/31/2013 22:24:15 MDT Print View

If I were in your position, looking for the best bang for my buck, I would be leaning towards:

Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo LE - $150 for a brand new, roomy, lightweight solo tent.

Granite Gear Vapor Trail - can be found for under $100 quite frequently if you watch gear swap and ebay. Only a few ounces more than a Jam once you trim it down and a very comfy pack. Also watch out for HMG packs on Gear Swap, they often go for $100-$125.

Gear Swap, Gear Trade and eBay for lightly used high end sleeping bags. For instance you can get a lightly used Montbell Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 on GearTrade for $169. I'm not sure I would go for a quilt unless I was also budgeting for a warm inflatable sleeping pad. You might also watch the Stoic Somnus bags on, when they get under $200 (which should be soon) they are a really great deal.

The rest of your list looks pretty good, you've come a long way with your research in a couple of weeks!

Edited by drewjh on 07/31/2013 22:28:27 MDT.

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Updated list on 08/01/2013 06:23:36 MDT Print View

This is a great list for a great price. There is a ton of gear out there, so make certain you know what you like before you jump in.

Pot - You could save weight and cost going to a smaller pot. Typically a 475ml pot is all you need for most dehydrated food. If you want to cook, then 900ml may make sense. I have seen some posts of people getting $5-$10 aluminum pots from kmart and walmart that are very light. You may be able to save $40-$50 and only cost you an ounce.

Rain Jacket - I think DryDucks are only ~$20 and come with pants as well (rip easy though)

Gloves / Mitts - I use PossumDown Gloves and Nitrile Surgical Gloves for rain protection. The PossumDown insulates while wet and teh surgical gloves create a little microclimate. Haven't used a ton, but seem to work well so far.

Sleeping Socks - You could probably get away with cotton or nylon socks, really anything that is dry.

Pack - Your list is pretty compact. You may be able to go with a Zpacks custom small. You will save a ton of weight at maybe a $50 increase in costs if you want a lot of options

Ryan Slack
(RWSlack) - F

Locale: Minnesota
towel/compass on 08/01/2013 09:37:12 MDT Print View

Just a suggestion on the borderline insignificant: save money by avoiding the brand-name "PackTowl" in favor of microfiber home cleaning or shop towels, or the longstanding multi-use cheap bandana.

I don't hike where you do but I would put the few dollars saved from that into an actual baseplate compass.

Good luck!

I'm Joe
Re:towel/compass on 08/01/2013 11:40:54 MDT Print View

I may very well just go with some cheaper generic alternative for a towel. Thanks for the push in that direction.

As for the compass I don't really have a major need for one. My navigation and map reading abilities should suffice. 6 years in the Marines makes for a lot of land nav practice.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Grease Pot on 08/01/2013 23:30:49 MDT Print View

The aluminum Grease Pot available on Amazon & K-mart weighs 3.2 oz once you remove the hideous plastic knob and replace it with a wire bail. It even includes a strainer, which you can use to strain the water out of your pasta, or you can use with a round paper filter to make delicious fresh brewed coffee from regular grounds. Or you can use the strainer as a plate. I recollect mine cost $7 at K-mart. Holds 4.5 cups liquid. You can fit a SuperCat stove inside, surrounded by a Ziplock 1-cup bowl/cup.

So... that's pot, lid, plate/strainer, cup/bowl, and stove, all nested, costing you about $10, and weighing about 3.8 oz total.

Don't forget to add a pot lifter (another ounce). Add a reflectix cozy for another 1.2 oz, and extend your cook times.

My towel is a PVA AquaDry, found in the car care section of Target. Cut in thirds. That's 0.6 oz and amortizes to $2.

Fear not the DriDucks. Just don't sit on rocks or bushwhack through briars, and take some Tenacious Tape for repairs.

Edited by Bolster on 08/01/2013 23:40:47 MDT.

I'm Joe
Re: Grease pot on 08/02/2013 09:54:50 MDT Print View

The only thing that is keeping me away from the Kmart grease pot is the need for a pot lifter. I like the built in handles on the ti ware pot and how easy it makes it to store. With a pot lifter I would have to find another place to store it and it wouldnt be self contained at that point. My ideal cookset will nest entirely in the pot with the lid closed with the only exception being the coozie. So stove, windscreen/potstand, 6oz+ fuel, towel, and lighter all inside the pot. Impossible to do with a pot lifter added to the mix.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Proposed Gear List for Ultralight Newbie on 08/02/2013 11:06:30 MDT Print View

You can make a complete 16 oz fosters cook kit with a lid, bail handle, alcohol stove, spoon, microfiber mini towel, windscreen, but no fuel bottle that weighs 2.5 oz. Look over on the Whiteblaze ultralight forum. That kit a pictured weighs 2 oz, but if you add a decent spoon and Titanium windscreen to help protect the can you would be up to around 2.5 oz.

If you lose ounces here and there throughout your list you can knock off another pound or two.

I'm Joe
Re: Fosters cook kit on 08/02/2013 11:47:43 MDT Print View

The Fosters cook kit has too many trade offs for me. It is much less durable. It can't be self contained with a fuel bottle. It isn't as efficient a system which requires extra fuel which means extra weight.

If you think I could shave a pound or two more and you think it could be done without adding much more cost please let me know more. That's what I'm looking for, I just need the details...

I also wanted to add that some of the weights for my cookset are over estimated until I finish making them.

Keep the ideas coming. I'm definitely still researching and tweaking my list.

Edited by imjoe on 08/02/2013 11:52:31 MDT.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Re: Re: Fosters cook kit on 08/02/2013 15:48:44 MDT Print View

Long sorry....

Gives and takes with everything but here are some more suggestions...
It looks like you are missing some odds and ends stuff but cant put my finger on it.
One for instance, You might want to consider a food bag of some sort like a Ursak minor etc.

You can save over 2# right off the bat with a different tent and pack but it will cost you about an extra $200. If you MYOG some stuff you can recover some of that but I would invest in a SUL top cuben tent and Pack from Zpacks if you really want to lose and extra 2 pounds plus.

A fosters pot is less durable until you put it inside a plastic Koolaid container and that container can handle boiling hot fluids, is absolutely crush proof and holds in enough heat you really dont need a cozy unless its really cold.

Also Holds your plasic bag when you eat, IE the bag of food goes inside the container and add water cap it. Adding that container works out to 3.8 total which is still lighter.

If you want to keep it lighter still then forget the plastic container and Without the container the top ring adds top rim strength or buy one of the machined rings and wrapping the works with a titanium wind screen would help keep it from getting crushed. These are so easy to make and cheap I look at them as disposable. A machined ring can be reused, so just buy a beer, drink it cut off the top and presto - new pot.

The stove I linked fires off in about 5 seconds and boils 1 cup of 60dF H20 in 4 minutes with 3/8 oz of alcohol. Now it depends on how much you cook and the temps, but for moving fast and say 6 cups of water a day, so about 6 oz weight of alcohol for 3 days. If you want to go lighter fuel then Esbit and add a small SS wire pot stand. If using DN alcohol, I do not want that container inside my cookware. Personal preference. Everclear is okay, but no DN alcohol in my pot for me.

There is a youtube of a guy with a sub 2 oz fosters cook kit you may want to look at for ideas. 2-3 days is not a big deal, and one of these is almost free to make and worth trying out just for the experience.

Why a double rainbow tent ?? A Zpacks Hexamid tent will cost about $20 more than the double rainbow and will save almost 2 pounds just by itself. If you are going double then you will split the weight of the rainbow. If you have some extra $ then get the larger hexamid. Tents are one of the really heavy bulky items. If I were starting over and a grounder, I would save and buy the lightest cuben tent I could afford. Zpacks hexamids are so light they are lighter than a sil tarp and bivy setup.

In the summer you dont need or want a 20dF quilt. Personally I have a MYOG modular setup and my 45dF quilt weighs 15 oz and thats for a tall. That would save weight in warmer weather.

A M50 Climasheild quilt like that cost about $90 to make depending although Tims equip is top shelf. I also have a 1.8 oz primaloft liner that weighs about 9 oz and a 5oz liner. The 5 oz liner alone is good to 30dF or so and weighs about 20 oz. Synthetics are bulkier than down.

The older Neoair smalls are on sale for about $90 and weigh 9 oz.

Use polycro (sliding glass door shrink film) for a ground cloth - $15 and 2oz.

Driducks are good. They now make a very thin poncho that weighs like 2.4 oz but not long enough for a pack. Just got a couple to try out and thinking about extended the back of one and adding some velcro but they are very very thin.
My normal driducks top weighs a little over 6 oz.

Jam 50 is too heavy. I have an older Jam II that the bladder sleeve is stripped out it weighs right at 18oz. Bought it used for $50 here. Personally doing it now I would save a little more $ and just do a one time lay out for a Zpacks Arc-Blast.

You can go only tablets for water if you want to go lighter although I like the sawyer filters but you will most likely want to replace the squeeze bag. From what I have read the bag will blow out and some have gone PDQ. Personally I made a little system.
2 plastic bottles cut in half, some tubing, prefilter and adapters. Use the bottom to scoop, top of the bottle as a funnel fastened to the filter with a tornado cap or arrowhead eq cap to tubing etc. something of that sort, and just gravity filter.

FYI look up IceAxe here, at least I think that is his name here if I recall correctly.
He did an AT thru with a 9# pack and you might get some ideas from his post here.

Also check out this guys setup. He is a hammocker but he only has a 20L pack, 9# pack total weight and did an AT thru with that gear. That might also give you some ideas. He has a series of around 125 or so videos of his walk and they are interesting

His gear is pretty close to my setup now, but I did a MYOG double layer 1.1 oz hammock, Climashield topquilt, 1.1 oz sil tarp and I carry a MYOG 10 oz bug net. Also my setup is a lot longer than his, IE my hammock is 12' long where he carried a 7 oz nano hammock.

I probably have about $1000 into everything and have no cuben.
Next on the list is definately an Arc-Blast pack and that wont save me any weigh but will give me more space in my pack.

Edited by tammons on 08/02/2013 15:55:42 MDT.