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2-3 day gear list
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mike dangler
(newyorkteg) - F

Locale: adirondack park
2-3 day gear list **UPDATED*** on 04/08/2014 16:38:20 MDT Print View

Hi guys. Just put together an updated gear list for 2014. Been trying to go lighter. My original base weight was a little over 23lbs. which isn't bad. not trying to be super ultralight as im not thru hiking. But wanted to be conscious of what i was carrying. Ex. i dont really need 3 knives and a 1 pound first aid kit. so here is the updated version. lost over 7lbs. keep in mind it wasn't cheap. I did have to buy a new pack and shelter... critiques? thoughts? share yours... enjoy

gear list

Normal trips are just 2 nighters, sometimes 3. And under 25 miles total. I realize there are some comfort items like 2 sleeping pads, pillows, plates and camp shoes. But these luxuries make the trip much more enjoyable for me. Some items that i also carry but did not include: Chapstick, Sunglasses and car keys.

Edited by newyorkteg on 05/18/2014 07:19:51 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: 2-3 day gear list on 04/08/2014 17:14:47 MDT Print View

The pack and shelter were good choices. Make sure you practice a lot of with the tarp before using it, look at some youtube videos to see all of the interesting set ups that people do.

First question: where and when are you hiking? (what kind of weather)


You have a 44 ounce sleeping bag which makes me think you are going into cold weather, but you don't have any rain gear or insulation at all. I don't understand why you have a short sleeve and long sleeve in addition to your worn shirt.


I don't think you need a 1 pound knife and a bucksaw unless you are heading into cold winter conditions and need to make a huge fire easily. My becker necker and laplander saw work well for wet weather fire starting (10 ounces total) But in dry weather all I carry is a 2 oz mora knife.
You are also carrying a canister stove so I'm a bit confused here.

Why 2 lights?

There is lighter cord out there than paracord.

22 ounce shorts? Was that a mistake?

I usually eat out of my pot, no need for a plate (unless you are group cooking out of one pot)

You should get a sawyer mini which is much lighter than the katadyn (only a few ounces) and very inexpensive.

You need a lot more than 4 stakes unless you plan on improvising them on site which is not something you want to be doing when it's storming.


The 2 big things that would help you drop wieght would be a lighter sleeping bag and a reasonably light inflatable that gives you the desired comfort so you don't need the z-lite. But both of those would be big money investments. So far you have done a good job in reducing your pack weight, with a few changes you could get it much lower without compromising your comfort.

Edited by justin_baker on 04/08/2014 17:17:08 MDT.

mike dangler
(newyorkteg) - F

Locale: adirondack park
reply on 04/08/2014 17:35:17 MDT Print View

Thanks for your feedback. Mostly hike in the Adirondacks. I live there so I'm always out and about. I know my bag is on the heavy side. Its 30degree bag. I'm a cold sleeper. That's y the long underwear and Long sleeve under armour. I really like the bag its a long and quit roomy. Its a sacrifice but until I can find anything as comfortable\roomy ill stick with it. Ill keep your suggestions in mind tho. Thanks!

Andrew U
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: 2-3 day gear list on 04/08/2014 19:02:52 MDT Print View

Drop the Katadyn Filter for a Sawyer Mini. $20 investment to save over 10 oz.

Ditch camp shoes to save 10 oz. Cheapo flip flops can work if you must have camp shoes.

The Esee is a nice knife, but 16 ounces is absurd. If you must bring a full size knife, get a Mora. My Mora weighs 5.2 oz with the sheath and is more than adequate, can baton and everything.

Sawvivor is bleh. Bahco Laplander is better and 6.5 oz. (Be honest if you really need a saw, I'll bet you don't.)

You have a BA Air pad AND a ZLite. Extremely overkill. If you want a protector pad for the Air Pad, get a Gossamer Gear Thinlight pad, only a few ounces.

Pillow is really heavy. Have you tried making a Ziploc pillow?

Kobalt work gloves are heavy for what they are. Gorilla Grip gloves are $5 at Home Depot and only 1 oz.

Just a few things I noticed. All my suggestions are pretty cheap fixes.

Unless you are going to build a log cabin, I would not bring the saw or full size knife. I am a saw and axe kind of guy, I love building fires and lounging on certain trips, bushcrafting and whatnot. But it is MUCH more satisfying if you can master the art of backcountry fire making without the use of heavy tools. These are generally a crutch and utilized (in my opinion) by lesser woodsmen. (The exceptions being deep shoulder seasons and winter.)

Not trying to judge, like I said I LOVE my woodworking tools. But I officially challenge you!, Mike Dangler, to learn a new and more artful set of skills.

mike dangler
(newyorkteg) - F

Locale: adirondack park
reply on 04/08/2014 19:44:54 MDT Print View

Thanks Andrew. Some mi 're great ideas. I think I will ditch the zlite. And also the gloves.I could live without the saw. I did before. But I'm kind of partial to the knife. Its something i've customized and used an all my trips. I dont include it in my pack weight because its sheathed on my hip. So ill keep ghost that. The camp shoes are cheap sandals. Ill try to find something light.

Any suggestions on a lighter bag? Must be roomy and very compressible

Andrew U
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: reply on 04/08/2014 20:09:55 MDT Print View

Depends on your budget. If you are willing to try a quilt there are some big weight savings to be had. My Enlightened Equipment 20 degree Down quilt weighs 23 oz and at the time only cost around $200, depending on certain options. If you want a bag, you will spend more money to get down to the weights of quilts. Western Mountaineering is probably the best Down Gear maker out there, and you can easily drop $500+ on a UL sleeping bag. Mountain Hardwear makes awesomely light bags too, but also very expensive.

I really think quilts are the best value; you won't find an enclosed sleeping bag that approaches the weight of quilts without dropping serious money.

If you want to research sleeping quilts for backpacking, look into Enlightened Equipment. They are extremely high quality and value and I can't recommend them enough. Pretty much everyone else on this site will say the same thing.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: 2-3 day gear list on 04/08/2014 20:57:01 MDT Print View

Hi Mike,
Some good advice so far. I'll be frank--your list has a lot of redundancy, and a lot of items that seem like "pack your fears." Plus, as Justin pointed out, critical items such as rain gear and insulation are missing.

More importantly, the different elements of your kit aren't yet working as a system. For example, you've paired a maximalist cook kit with a minimalist canister stove. Lightweight tarp with heavyweight sleeping bag (you can do MUCH better than 44 oz for 30 deg--I just ordered a EE 30* quilt that weighs 15.5 oz). Lightweight hiking shoes but still carrying separate "camp shoes".

Pillow for comfort is fine, but there are much, much lighter pillows--yours is over 1/2 pound. Likewise, if a 24 ounce air pad isn't cushy enough or warm enough, and requires another 13 ounce pad to make it comfortable, you need to ditch it for a better pad.

I used to carry a 20#+ BW too. Then 15#. Then 10#. Now somewhat less. For 3 season on-trail hiking, none of my old heavy gear really made me more comfortable, or safer, or worked better than what I have now.

Mostly, what I carried was unnecessary (like the 1# FAK you've already got rid of). I saved a lot of weight just leaving stuff behind. Some of the stuff I replaced was just poorly designed and poor quality--too heavy for the job it was capable of doing. A few pieces (Dana-designed K2 frame pack) were over-built for what I was trying to do.

Nothing wrong with under 25 miles in 3 days. But 15-20 miles a day carrying little more than a daypack is bliss. You've already got the tarp--give the rest of the UL thing a try.

edit for clarity.

Edited by DavidDrake on 04/08/2014 22:13:04 MDT.

Aaron Davis
(ardavis324) - F
Re: 2-3 day gear list on 04/08/2014 22:03:54 MDT Print View

"I realize there are some comfort items like 2 sleeping pads, pillows, plates and camp shoes. But these luxuries make the trip much more enjoyable for me."

I always question this when I hear it, or even think it to myself. You'd be surprised how liberating it can be to get rid of a lot of perceived luxuries, enjoy a light pack and less "stuff", and then maybe add things back in later (cameras/food/comfort items/etc.) as you see fit.

mike dangler
(newyorkteg) - F

Locale: adirondack park
reply on 04/09/2014 06:53:12 MDT Print View

thanks David. i don't think id want to go to a quilt. thanks for the feedback though. this may sound stupid but i don't really believe in rain gear. just doesn't work for me. i do have a pack cover! which i forgot to include in my spreadsheet i now realize. I don't bring insulation or jackets usually because i hike/camp in the summer/fall months. may-oct.

I'd like to lose around a pound. just to get down to 15# after adding consumables id like to be around the 18# range. I know that's do-able. On my next trip ill lose the zlite (13.2) and saw (9.2) that's 22.4oz. that will bring my base weight down to 14.6lbs. i can live with that. thanks for the suggestions guys.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: 2-3 day gear list on 04/09/2014 08:47:11 MDT Print View

Here are some great articles and videos to look at
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

Jamie Shortt talks about his progression and shows his gear list for each stage, Lightweight Testimony: My Journey into Lightweight Backpacking

Edited by annapurna on 04/10/2014 10:54:05 MDT.

Owen McMurrey
(OwenM) - F - M

Locale: SE US
Re: reply on 04/09/2014 12:35:57 MDT Print View

"this may sound stupid but i don't really believe in rain gear. just doesn't work for me."
I don't think anyone loves raingear, but getting caught out in the rain without it at anything less than summer temps can be dangerous.
frogg toggs UL rainsuit for $20 at WalMart is good for occasional use, and weighs 12oz total...

mike dangler
(newyorkteg) - F

Locale: adirondack park
**UPDATE** on 05/18/2014 07:27:02 MDT Print View

here is my new updated gear list after making some adjustment. just a hair under 14lbs. got rid of sleeping bag compression sack (8.3oz) and cut down z-lite to save 9.3oz. plus some other minor adjustments. im satisfied at this point. until i can afford maybe a marmont plasma or some lighter sleepingbag. maybe ill try and save a couple more ounces with the pack? lots of straps to cut off.


gear list

lemme know what you guys think

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: **UPDATE** on 05/18/2014 08:12:31 MDT Print View

Drop the Saw and Camp Shoes to save a pound. Exchange cotton t shirt for synthetic (drys faster).

J Mag
(GoProGator) - F
Re: Re: **UPDATE** on 05/18/2014 19:53:28 MDT Print View

1st rule of backpacking: Don't wear cotton
2nd rule of backpacking: Don't wear cotton

"this may sound stupid but i don't really believe in rain gear."

Umm... I don't know what to say to this.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Re: **UPDATE** on 05/18/2014 20:58:23 MDT Print View

The way it's listed, I assume the cotton t-shirt is intended as sleep wear--prob. not a big deal.

I suppose a person could go without rain gear safely as long as they either: a) stopped and camped immediately when it started raining and temps were likely to drop much below 60*; b) avoided completely trips where rain and sub 60* temps were possible.

Either approach is entirely too limiting for my tastes. Esp. in the context of carrying a 13-14# BW pack. But to each his own.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: reply on 05/18/2014 21:48:05 MDT Print View

"this may sound stupid but i don't really believe in rain gear. just doesn't work for me."

It honestly does! You haven't listed any waterproof protection for your bag, and relying on a pack cover as your primary water protection is a newb mistake - see many, many threads here. If you are going to use a pack cover use it WITH a waterproof pack liner or a dedicated dry bag for your bag. If you are basically planning (as your current list indicates) on every item of clothing you are wearing to get soaked through any time you have to hike in the rain for an hour, you should at least have a fail-safe backup. Especially since you also don't have a primary insulation layer other than your bag. Also might want to put your long underwear and cotton t-shirt in there with the bag since you literally will have nothing else dry to wear in that high probability scenario. Might work in the mojave, but probably not in your locale. Are you even sure all the clothes you just got wet will dry out by morning? Maybe your plan is just to turn around and hike out if it rains - that would work. Otherwise...

The redundancies mentioned above are also classic - people who don't have confidence in the gear they have and their ability to use it often add "backup gear". A lot of time they are equally sketchy on how to use that gear as well. Better to practice and acquire the knowledge and skills you need to have confidence with one thing that works for a given purpose. Two thing you are unsure of are not a replacement for one thing you can reliably use.

If a big fire - apparently you don't need this to cook with - is an absolute requirement then keep the saw. If not maybe drop the saw and add SOME kind of insulation so you will be comfortable being out of your bag for long enough to do what needs to be done when you have to quickly get out of your totally soaked clothes, while tired, make some food, etc. at the end of a rainy day with the sun going down and the temperature dropping.

In either case highly recommended you have something to keep you dry, perhaps a poncho that is designed to go over you AND your pack, replacing your pack cover. Not only gives you rain protection but works better as a pack cover as well. Maybe if you explain in more detail why "rain gear doesn't work for you" some of us can make suggestions. For a guy with a couple of pounds of pad and admits to being a cold sleeper, it doesn't sound like misery is your thing. Maybe think things through more logically regarding rain gear. Sorry if I am seeming strident, but at minimum there is a lot of misery you will avoid carrying a 6 oz poncho, and at maximum it can easily be life threatening if things go a little wrong. A lot can be said about making things lighter, but maybe make sure you have all the bases covered first.

Edit: no groundsheet listed, Watching anapurna's links to Mike Clelland vids absolutely the best thing you could do at this point. Really, really simple, good and concise videos about what you need and don't need.

Edited by millonas on 05/18/2014 23:18:56 MDT.

mike dangler
(newyorkteg) - F

Locale: adirondack park
thanks guys on 05/19/2014 06:36:40 MDT Print View

ya the cotton tee is just for sleeping, don't dig too deep into it. usually don't go hiking/backpacking if the forecast is for rain. it just doesn't make sense to me to do stuff in the rain, i don't go to the beach in the rain, i don't ride my bike in the rain so im not going to hike/camp in the rain either.

If they were calling for hit or miss showers and we went out sure i could make an adjustment to my pack. id take a poncho and keep my clothes in a dry bag. i have a pack cover too that would go.

i agree my system limits me in that sense. its not set up for "bad weather" hiking/camping. its not bombproof by anymeans lol.

99% of the time im with a buddy or 2, we like to have big fires, hence the saw.

again im not looking to go SUL. i just wanted to be more conscious of my packweight and ive lost around 10lbs. which was way over my original goal. im under 14#'s and still have the comfort things i refuse to lose ie: air pad, pillow, folding saw, camp shoes, water filter ect. i think i did pretty good.

if you guys can think of any OTHER unique ways to shed some ounces id be interested. im thinking of maybe modding the pack. saw some good threads on here not sure if its worth it yet.

thanks i do appreciate the feedback/criticism

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: thanks guys on 05/19/2014 13:53:38 MDT Print View

I think it is fine if want to avoid rain as much as possible, as long as you have a strategy for what to do when the weatherman is wrong. Hiking out is probably fine. Even if you bring a garbage bag you can in a pinch cut head and arm holes and use that to keep your torso relatively dry in a pinch. Only a few oz. So long as you are conscious of the issue, and don;t just stumble into a situation.

If you are really into the knife then build your system around it - not necessarily lightweight, but at least logical and a system. What I mean is toss out the saw and learn how to baton wood and other wise get fuel with your knife alone. Throw out your stove (and fuel too) and get a wood burning one like a bush buddy:

http://www.amazon.com/Solo-Stove-Wood-Burning-Backpacking/dp/B007DBD3IU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400528230&sr=8-1&keywords=bush+buddy

Buy an inexpensive pot that fits the bush buddy inside (should be plenty big for one person), and then use only that one pot to eat out of. More than 1 pound saved, but you get to keep the knife. Provided you are allowed to use the bush-buddy where you like to go. To see a very simple kit that works a bit like this check out this:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/sul_wanderer_episode_1_gear.html#.U3pgbCh9OSo

See, he using a hatchet, but is still SUL.

Also loose the Victorinox - become a master of using the knife to do everything:

https://screen.yahoo.com/samurai-tailor-050000039.html

See Mike Clellands solution for only needing one sharp thing.

A down bag is expensive, but the good news is it will last forever if properly cared for, and the benefit in terms of weight and space will be huge. Even people who are into super-inexpensive kits often still invest in the bag.

Anyway, hope something above help in some small way. In the end HYOH.

Edited by millonas on 05/19/2014 14:08:33 MDT.

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Water at camp on 05/19/2014 17:45:13 MDT Print View

I'd ditch the Katadyn and look into a gravity system. Especially if "base camping" with friends is more your thing. It's a great way to fill a bottle or pot, wash your hands, clean up cookware, etc., with on-demand water from a drop hose off a large hanging supply bag. A full sized inline gravity Sawyer or Platy filter would save over a half a pound.

Doug Green
(dougpgreen) - M

Locale: North Carolina Piedmont
not into ultralight on 05/19/2014 21:44:01 MDT Print View

I understand your not being that concerned with "ultralight." I am the same way. This coming from a guy who has a "get home bag" in the truck with everything I need to re-build civilization from scratch. I am not shooting for any specific weight. It was fairly easy to get down from a 30 to a 14-15 pound base weight without much compromise. I just dropped the stuff that I never used and got rid of my 75 liter pack. Going farther than that in weight reduction (currently at 11 pounds) was for several reasons. First, I actually CAN tell a difference in my ability to go farther/faster/easier with every few pounds I drop. Not as much as the first 20 pounds, but but still a difference. Second, it is a fun challenge, like a game. Third, it challenges ME to be less dependent on gadgets and tools and more dependent on my brain and my skills. Instead of carrying lots of stuff just in case, I think about planning better, being aware of my surroundings, and developing my abilities to use what I have and what is around me better. Where I draw the line is giving up things that really make me happy that I consistently USE at camp (not just "in case" stuff) in order to save an ounce or two.

That being said, I could give you a list of 20 places to loose an ounce, but to keep it simple I would seriously look at the sawyer mini water filter for less than 20 bucks on Amazon to save over half a pound. If you can't let go of the a saw, then the 1.4 ounce pocket sierra saw, also on Amazon for less than $9, can cut through anything you would likely need for a fire, although not quite as fast. All you really need to do is cut a notch and then slam it against a log to break it anyway. Lastly...I do find that my clothes stuffed in a dry bag make a really nice pillow, but your mileage may vary.