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My Gear List: Advice?
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Ryan Friend

Locale: Oklahoma
My Gear List: Advice? on 11/18/2013 13:04:19 MST Print View

Dana Design Bridger (c. 2006, 5lbs 2 oz.) I plan on getting a Zpacks ArcBlast in Feb. '14

Sleep Sys:
MSR MicroZoid w/footprint or Ozark Trails Jr. Dome Scout tent altered with Tyvek bottom in place of the heavier tarp bottom. (about 2lbs 8oz. with mods.) I also own the Zoid 1 and a hubba that I occasionally use. I am leaning towards ENONation hammock systems at this point. I find Tarps less than ideal and I am hoping that hammocks will ease me into it.
Marmot Trestle 15 (shorter, colder hikes) or a Vango Voyager 50 (older version, just at 2 lbs with stuffsack) for warmer trips.
Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor (Sometimes in place of bag)
Thermarest Neoair xlite regular. (Thinking about the Alpine Blanket instead of a bag.)

MSR Pocket Rocket and 8 oz. isopro can
MSR Titan Set (I have the 2L 1.5L and 1L. they all nest in a mesh bag that came with the 2L, but I usually only take one of them.)
MSR Mug (the funny shaped new one)
Vargo Titanium Spork
Standard Cigarette Lighter x2 (one in water tight bag)

Water System:
Steripen Adventurer Opti (with solar charger that I leave at home unless I am gone for a week or more)
Sawyer Filter
2 1L coke bottles
Camelbak 64 oz. reservoir.

Light (one of the following):
Nitecore T5s (x2)(11g/65 lumen ea.)
Nitecore SRT3 (2.57oz 550 lumen)
Nitecore EC1 (1.5 oz 280 lumen)

The T5s and the EC1 fit in a head band (petzl like) and so convert from flashlight to headlamp. Head strap is about 1.5oz.

First Aid:
5.25ish oz. kit

I really need help on clothes. I have up to now just used underarmour (or similar) tops and underwear and a lightweight nylon or polyester windsuit. I'll take some no-see wicking socks (# depends on length of trip, but no more than 4 pair). I also have a rain suit. I keep thinking that there is a lighter way, but I haven't gotten into it enough.

Let me know what you guys think.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
heavy on 11/18/2013 13:32:51 MST Print View

I think it's heavy, what are your goals? If your happy with the weight then that's fine but you could go way lighter if you wanted.

Ryan Friend

Locale: Oklahoma
RE: on 11/18/2013 13:49:52 MST Print View

I'd love to go lighter. Way lighter, even. A lot of this stuff (other than a few things) is from 2006 and before. I just love hiking. The less weight I have to carry, the more fun I can have. I hike anywhere from 6-12 weekends per year. I usually have a 1 week trek in there somewhere and I do day hikes maybe another 10-20 times per year.
I generally hike easy to moderate trails and go about 15-20 miles per day. There is a 20 mile loop nearby that is easy and I hit it at least 6 times a year during day hikes.
I do hike some more difficult trails. I hiked Eagle Rock Loop in AR two weeks ago. It is considered 'most difficult' even though I found it rather moderate. There were a ton of river crossings that were onerous, but other than that, it was pretty easy.

Life Goals include thru-hiking the AT, John Muir Trail, PCT, Ozark Trail, Ozark Highlands Trail, Ouachita Trail. As of right now I have only hiked 110 miles at one go.

I am used to around 2,000 ft. elevations here in the Ozarks, but nothing really greater than that so far, though those are relatively easy for me.

All in all, shoot me any ideas. I would like to not spend an arm and a leg. My current budget for gear is about $125 per month.

Ryan Friend

Locale: Oklahoma
RE: on 11/18/2013 13:53:22 MST Print View

Also, convenience is a huge thing for me. For example, I know how to make alcohol stoves from pop cans and even sold them for a bit, but I would rather stick to the convenience of the cannister stove.

Note: Convenience doesn't necessarily mean comfort, but it can. I sleep cold. So the sleeping pad will stay. I do cook, so the stove stays. I know a couple of guys that live on ready to eat bars and stuff. Not me. I gotta have my coffee in the mornings.

I don't think it is the items themselves. I think it is the weight of the stuff and possibly the "using one thing for multiple purposes" that I need help on.

Maybe a goal weight of 11 or 12 lbs. I would like to have a pack weighing 20 lbs or so including 64oz. of water and food for a week.

Edited by OzarkHiker on 11/18/2013 14:05:33 MST.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Cutting weight on 11/19/2013 12:39:15 MST Print View

I need to get my latest list from excel into Geargrams for review by the crowd - my base weight on this past trip was a hair over 18 pounds and I had some excess (took two stoves as I was wanting to test one). Still... my big 3/4 are pretty light as it is - Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 tent, REI Flash 65 pack, Golite Feather 20 (or Marmot Aspen Ultralight 40 depending on the weather) and an Exped UL7. I am pretty light on clothing as well - maybe I could cut a bit - but if your goal is under 12 pounds or so it would help to have an idea of what you're willing to buy and what you're willing to tolerate. I'm not convinced I can get below 15 without significant new purchases or giving up a double walled tent for a tarp, for example...

Do you want a double walled tent? What is your budget?

I'm not much of an expert other than I have spent the last year going from car camping to backpacking including new gear and cutting way back on volume of items. My first thought was if I'm reading your list correctly you've got a lot of socks and extra clothing for example.

Still additional details will help those more knowledgeable weigh in (pun intended)...

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: My Gear List: Advice? on 11/20/2013 00:01:03 MST Print View

Here's what I would change if it were my list.

stove: cook on small fire? = 0 oz
Sawyer or SteriPen
all extra clothing except 1 pair of sleeping socks

mug: use Ziploc round container = 0.9 oz
first aid: You could get it down to 3 oz easily, many are only 1 oz or less
rain suit: use the DriDucks/Frogg Toggs ultralite = 12 oz for the whole suit

emergency tinder

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: My Gear List: Advice? on 11/20/2013 08:55:56 MST Print View

Mike Clelland(NOLs instructor and author),he has some great free videos on lightening up be sure to watch(his clothing system,the entire contents of his pack,water treatment and part 1 and 2 on the dinky stuff for ideas),this is an article he wrote The fastest way to backpack weight loss ,this is pmags Lightweight Backpacking 101 and The Frugal Backpacker – The $300 Gear Challenge .These are some other articles and videos for you to check out

Backpacking for Cheap: Gear for the Gearless

Backpacking Checklist (Gear List): 3-Season, 3-Day

Lightweight Backpacking 101: An Introductory Manual for Lightening Your Load Today (1st Edition - August 2001)

Cheap Ultralight Gear List

Ultimate Hiking Gear & Skills Clinic

Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster

Oregon Field Guide: Ultralight Hiking

Jamie Shortt talks about his progression and shows his gear list for each stage, Lightweight Testimony: My Journey into Lightweight Backpacking
I am not sure but you may need a yearly membership to view a couple of my links

Edited by annapurna on 11/20/2013 08:58:20 MST.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - F

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Gear List Advice on 11/25/2013 00:07:09 MST Print View

How much weight you can drop is up to your comfort level not having certain things and just simply knowing where/what to buy and what you won't need. My favorite piece of ultralight gear is my scale!

The Big 3 (or 4) is always where the biggest weight can be dropped.

Pack- go with the zpacks or try a ruck-style pack like Gossamer Gear G4 or ULA CDT.

Shelter- if you want to go with a hammock check out Grand Trunk Nano7. If you are looking for inexpensive and lightweight Borah Gear sells a tarp that will work as a rain fly for $50 and weights less than 8 ounces.

Sleeping Pad- 3/4 length?

Sleeping Bag- Get a new sleeping bag for sure. Go with a down bag, this will be the biggest price vs. weight decision. My perfect systems ideal is a 1 pound 30 F down bag and then a Montbell Thermal Sheet 50 F. This system together for 20 degree weather weighs less than 2 lbs, and can be separated to suit different temp ranges.

Stove: Fancy Feast Cat can stove or Esbit alcohol stove
Pot: You only need one 1L pot, if that. Google one pot meals! tons of articles.

My entire cooking systems weighs less than 8 ounces: Walmart mess kit only use the 1 cup pot and measuring cup, cat can stove, aluminum foil windscreen.

Water: Water purification tablets or Sawyer mini. Also check out Platy Bottles

First Aid:

Clothes are hard for me to pay a lot for. My clotheing system is actually my heaviest thing because i hate paying a lot for a jacket. I got a 7 ounce fleece shirt from Goodwill, polartec long underwear 8 ounce, 2 pair wool socks, 2 pair dress socks for liners, light running shoes (boots only for cold weather or weak ankles), down vest 11 oz (could be half the weight but i am broke/cheap), some dri fit poly T's, beanie and gloves and you are good to go.

Rain jacket: 6.5 oz Frogg Togg Ultralight Rain jacket. comes in suit, just use the jacket, buy a larger size so you can wear over your insulation layers.

I like the Gossamer Gear G4 because it is only 1 lb and is 65 L. Usually Ultralight finds its sweet spot around 45 to 50 L, but I like my 65 because I can stuff my sleeping bag directly in the pack without stuff sack. This will create a shock receiving system and lengthen life of your sleeping bag. The HUGE mesh pockets on outside of pack let you store insane amounts of readily needed gear or, if you want, two 2 L bottles of water.

Its all mostly price vs weight vs comfort level. Some might want to 2 trash bags taped together for a bivy sack and someone else carries a sleeping pad that is thicker than their mattress at home. Whatever gets you enjoying it more! Personally I can get over cooking over a cat can and waiting 2 more minutes to cook my food because that is why I am there, to get away. Convenience does not always mean better. That 8 ounce stove plus fuel canister, extra pound sleeping bag, extra pound on shelter, extra 6 ounces on sleeping pad, you save yourself 3 or 4 lbs of carrying comfort. It may seem like "Am I really going to get this because of a 3 or 4 ounces weight difference? If you do that 4 times you save a pound! That is why my scale is my best friend hahaha

Edited by JearBear on 11/25/2013 00:22:07 MST.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - F

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Re: My Gear List: Advice? on 11/25/2013 00:12:25 MST Print View

I may seem biased because I am carrying it for review, but I am impressed with the Borahgami you should check it out as well. I use in conjunction with Gossamer Gear polycryo ground cloth, 2 6 ft lengths of paracord, and 8 stakes. total shelter systems weighs 20 ounces and is large enough for two people. I will be carrying it for my 140 mile trip this winter if you want to see my review of it:

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: My Gear List: Advice? on 11/27/2013 09:54:21 MST Print View

And you don't need to go single wall to cut weight on a tent...the tarptent notch is only 24 oz, and I use a cuben fiber duomid with a net insert and it only weighs 20 oz total.

It actually IS the items you are taking...and as other posters have mentioned, don't poo-poo the 2-4 oz you save on items here and there. I used to do that, and now my list is just under 10 pounds and I have all the luxuries I used to bring. Including sleeping clothes (which can double as a base layer if it's cold) and a nook to read.

Pack: GG gorilla
Quilt: EE revelation 20 deg with a tad extra down
Pad: exped downmat UL 7 (I also sleep cold, and no skimping here!)

You can easily shave a pound off your sleeping bag, and a pound off your tent even if you went with something like the Notch, or a tarp with an inner net. I can't stand bivies...yet...but I may try one day. I really like to hang out in my tent and read, or cuddle with the dog, so a bivy kind of gets in the way.

My stove is Zelph's modified starlyte that I use in a caldera cone...with a 600mL pot. Not sure why you need so many pots, or why they need to be so big. I do some cooking as well and this is just fine for that. And to be honest, it's very, very convenient. I like it WAY better than my canister stove system. And if you do choose to stick with the canister, why bring the big 8oz canister? 4 can get you through a good 8-10 day trip of cooking 2x/day

Go with mini bics. Yep, it's teeny, but I found most of my weight savings comes from the teeny stuff. Wow that little stuff adds up, and you usually end up not paying attention to it.

First aid can really, really be cut back. There is a lot of discussion on these forums about it, but keep in mind one simple rule: either the injury is minor and you can deal with it using some band aids, or it's not, in which case your trip is over and you need to evacuate. You aren't going to be sewing yourself ala Rambo, and you can make splints using poles (tent or trekking) and clothing.... All your first aid kit really needs to be is a few bandaids, maybe one or two bigger pieces of gauze, some anti-histamine, pain meds...any prescription drugs...that's about it.

As far as clothes: dress in layers based in the weather. Bring one single set for hiking in day after day (I wore the same shorts and shirt and bra every day for 19 days on the're going to stink anyway, just don't need to carry so many stinky clothes). I had a dry set of sleeping clothes that I packed in with my quilt (tights and a grid fleece), 2 pair of socks is all you need: one you are wearing, the other has been washed at camp and you are drying them. If it's a short 3-4 day weekend trip I'm only taking a single pair anyway...I sleep in my down booties if my feet need to be covered. So all my clothes bag has in it is the tights, a grid fleece for sleeping (or whatever, depending on the temperatures), a single spare pair of socks, a single pair of spare undies (I'm a girl - need to at least swap out every day or two, and wash) and my down booties.

Now, I keep seeing people talk about comfort and giving things up...honestly, to get to 10-12 pounds of base weight I don't think you have to sacrifice comfort at all, nor do you have to give things up. What you do is NOT take things you aren't really going to use (seriously? 1-2L pots?), and take lighter versions of what you do need. I was so wary of going lighter that I resisted for such a long time...but honestly, if I look at my gear list I really don't see anything I'm giving up, or sacrificing for the sake of weight savings.

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 11/27/2013 16:31:34 MST Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 07/06/2015 20:51:26 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: First Aid kit on 11/27/2013 18:37:00 MST Print View

Roger, I appreciate that, but I still say you only need bandaids, some pills, and some gauze. I'll give you a small pair of tweezers...I do have those, too (but a teeny pair of tick tweezers).

A) ankle or wrist sprain: no need for a bandage on it to evacuate. Seriously. An ace wrap is pretty worthless and doesn't really do anything, because it's not stiff enough to prevent movement, especially at the ankle.

B) don't put neosporin on a cut that isn't infected. It actually slows down healing.... And the gauze in your kit and some tape covers it up just fine. Nothing extra here...

C) skinned elbow...same as above.

D) what if the glow stick breaks in the fall? How many backups of things do you need? Back up knife? Back up stove in case you step on it?

E) sunburns don't need anything but rest from exposure. Don't go opening up blisters unless you have to...the skin on top protects your body from infection, but if you open it with anything then you are exposing your body to pathogens. Leave it closed as best you can. I you must drain, you can sterilize the tip of your knife with a lighter and use that.

F) yes, I do carry tweezers, but mostly to get ticks out of my dog.

So again, still totally covered with bandaids, a few squares of gauze, some're done.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Be strategic on 11/27/2013 19:37:08 MST Print View

A Z30 quilt by Golite (on clearance now) or a cheaper quilt from Enlightened Gear will cost $150-$180. With a good 20 or 30 degree quilt you might be able to sell both of your current bags.

Weight savings of 0.5-1.5 pounds depending on which bag you are replacing.

You don't want a tarp and tarp tents are from 1.5-2.5 pounds. The lightest ones are also more expensive. I believe the MSR Micro Zoid weights about 2.8 pounds. There is weight to be saved here but rather then buy a cheap tarp tent that saves minimal weight I'd wait and save longer to get something that is significantly lighter. You should be able to keep the Micro Zoid and still be reasonably light while you save up.

By the way I do not trust the quality of Ozark Trail products so I'd stick with the MSR.

Weight saved 0-1.5 pounds depending on choice.

This is a place to save a lot of weight. The Arc Blast is a bit pricey so I might wait on it. You could almost buy a quilt AND a different pack for the price of the Arc Blast. I'd highly suggest trying out a Osprey Exos 46. Its as cheap as $125 online and just over 2 pounds.

Another cheap option is the Golite Jam 50 ($109) if you want to try a frameless pack.

Weight saved - 3 pounds

All that saves you at least 3.5 to 6 pounds depending on what you do. After that you might eliminate a few odds and ends but the rest of your list looks fairly solid.


I'd just hike in nylon shorts and a cheap nylon T-shirt. You might eventually want a pair of nylon hiking pants. Don't spend $100, just find a cheap pair on clearance on or For insulation get a cheap fleece. Keep an eye out for a cheap down vest to layer over that on colder trips. Cover that up with a windbreaker or rain coat and you should be plenty warm enough 90% of your trips.

Edited by Cameron on 11/27/2013 19:49:28 MST.

Ryan Friend

Locale: Oklahoma
Thanks for all the comments. on 12/10/2013 20:14:29 MST Print View

I have been silently taking all the comments into consideration and making slow changes. I looked at the zpacks stuff for a long time and slobbered before deciding to go with a Mountain Hardwear SummitRocket 40 Backpack (Large) at 1 lbs. 12 oz. with an included (i.e. removable) sleeping pad that can drop it down to 20oz. total, if desired. Plus I got it for just $97 brand new from sierra trading post (with a coupon). With a few tweaks I am pretty sure that I can have it down to 24 oz. including a modified sleeping pad and a few extra mesh outer pockets. I couldn't beat the price.

I have to admit that I started out when 20lbs felt "ultralight." It takes a while to adjust the mindset.

I sleep really cold. I mean, like, I was cold in my Marmot 15* bag when it was 39* overnight. I had to use a liner that night. Are down bags ACTUALLY warmer? I had thought to get the zpack 10* and the goose hood. I do much of my hiking in the spring and fall where that kind of weather is not uncommon. I will probably need a lighter 30* bag for warmer nights.

Also, I have been looking into the ENO Pronest onelink system sans bugnet. Thoughts?

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Zpacks bag on 12/10/2013 20:22:15 MST Print View


I love my Zpacks 10* bag and I use it in a lot of the same places you travel so I find it is spot on in fall and winter.
I picked up a Marmot Nanowave 55 for summer use. Both pretty much cover anything here in OK!

I actually slept outside on last friday, temp was 5 above, and slept warm as toast in my Zpacks bag.
Had on my puffy and a base layer on legs and possum down socks.
I really think I could shed the jacket and been fine.

Ryan Friend

Locale: Oklahoma
Another thought... on 12/10/2013 20:25:57 MST Print View

I just thought to mention that I also went for this pack not only because of price, but also because the arc blast would weigh 22-23 oz. with the lid and a few outer pockets and NOT include the pad (which I hope will work swell for a hammock, even if it is puny for the ground). There is hardly any difference between the two when that is considered and the cheaper one might actually be better. At least I thought that $100 vs. $400ish (with pockets) was worth it.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Sleeping Cold on 12/10/2013 21:27:54 MST Print View

Different people are different but being cold in a 15 degree bag at 39 seems pretty extreme. I think there is another problem.

Its possible your bag is worn out. Do you store it in the stuff sack? It might be the insulation is just crushed down so its not as fluffy as it used to be.

What kind of pad did you have? It might be your sleeping bag was warm enough but the ground was cold (although at 39 most pads should be adequate).

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Sleeping Cold on 12/10/2013 21:56:50 MST Print View

@Luke, +1.

That last observation is the classic one - under those circumstance you might be just as cold in a -10 bag.

Ryan Friend

Locale: Oklahoma
The bag had been bought two days before. on 12/11/2013 13:23:53 MST Print View

The marmot was brand new. This was in AR in (Oct. 31st- Nov. 3) this year. I picked up the bag at backwoods in Tulsa on the 31st, after spotting a big rip in my old bag. The bag was brand new. Like, two days new at this point. Also, I always hang my bags up in my closet on a special oak hanger in the dark (no UV) and I also make sure to wash them on gentle with a tiny bit of regular soap. Dry laying flat. And I fluff my bags, when needed.
I was also using my Thermarest Neoair Xlite. I also only sleep clothed. With socks even. I even boiled water that night and put it in a nalgene at my feet. I was mummied in that thing. I just sleep cold, I guess. I never used to be that way. I would sleep with a light fleece blanket and no clothes a few years ago. The only other thing I can imagine is that the weather service got it wrong at the airport 20 miles away.

Ryan Friend

Locale: Oklahoma
RE: on 12/11/2013 13:51:50 MST Print View

Thanks Kevin. I think we Okies are a little misunderstood. Give us 120* weather and we can go hiking with 1L of water without breaking a sweat. Give us weather 5 degrees above freezing and we are shivering unless we are in a ten degree bag with a puffy and booties on. ;)
We just aren't used to this snow thing either: 5 inches of snow and our schools are closed down for a week until it warms back up. Hell, the roads were cleared days ago but school was still out yesterday.