I’m really excited to be able to introduce a new video series at Backpacking Light - “The SUL Wanderer”.
The purpose of this series is to explore (at least on the surface) - the art of “SuperUltralight” (SUL) backpacking - considered by most to be the practice of backpacking with a base weight of less than five pounds.
However, I won’t necessarily hold to that performance standard (weight) or extreme (five pounds) in this series. Instead, I’m hoping to promote a more reasonable definition of “SUL” that simply embodies what we do at the very extremes of ultralight backpacking in terms of weight, simplicity, and compactness of our gear.
Episode 1: Gear
In this episode, I simply wish to introduce you to some gear that I commonly use in Montana for three-season SUL backpacking. The idea is to focus on a kit that I use for three-day (long weekend) backpacking between about St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween, on routes that are snow-free.
This introductory episode simply gives you an idea of what I might take on such a trip. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive thesis on SUL gear. Gear will be featured in future episodes as well, and my gear kit will certainly change as we go, and in response to unique conditions I expect on any particular trip.
Watch Episode 1 below. If you don't see the Vimeo video player window, please click here to refresh this page.
Episode #2 will focus on some basic techniques I use in my style of SUL:
- Bivy sack camping in inclement weather without a tarp;
- Cooking over fire;
- SUL bear bagging;
- SUL water treatment strategies;
- SUL essentials...and nonessentials;
- and more...
Look for future episodes on SUL tarp camping, SUL gourmet cooking, SUL packrafting, SUL mountaineering, SUL fishing, SUL photography, and more (heck, maybe we'll even do a bit on SUL RV camping). Many of these ideas are being generated on Twitter: send your feedback to me @bigskyry if there’s something you’d like to see, and note it with the hashtag #SUL.
In the meantime, enjoy the Episode #1 video, and have a peek at my one of my “base” SUL gear lists, which outlines the items that end up as part of my SUL pack for nearly every trip in the mountains of Montana (note that it's a little bit different that the SUL gear kit featured in the video).
SUL Gear List
The following gear list is a little different from the one shown in the video. The video features a gear kit that includes some minor "nonessentials" that I don't necessarily bring on every trip. The gear list below illustrates primarily those items that go with me all the time, and at minimum. Often, I'll add somewhere between four and twelve ounces of additional gear (see the video) as needed.
|Item No.||Item||Description||Weight (oz)||Weight (g)|
|1||backpack||Hyperlite Mountain Gear Summit Pack||10.4||295|
|2||stow sack||Hyperlite Mountain Gear CF8 Size XL||0.5||14|
|3||sleeping bag||Katabatic Gear Chisos Quilt||14.6||414|
|4||sleeping pad||Klymit Inertia X-Lite||6.1||173|
|5||parka||Goosefeet Down Parka||8.1||230|
|6||shelter||Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Soul Bivy||14.5||411|
|7||food bag liner||12.5” x 20.0” O.P. Sak||1.4||40|
|8||bear bag cord||2.2mm x 40 ft braided Spectra||1.1||32|
|9||cook pot||FireLite 900 ml x 2.5mm titanium pot with lid||3.2||91|
|10||utensil||Light My Fire titanium spork||0.6||17|
|11||cook pot stow bag||disposable grocery store bag||0.1||3|
|12||ditty bag||Hyperlite Mountain Gear CF8 Size S||0.2||6|
|13||firestarter||Light My Fire Firesteel||1.6||45|
|14||firestarting tinder||Tinder Quik tabs in small plastic bag||0.1||3|
|15||water treatment||SteriPen Adventurer||3.3||94|
|16||rain jacket||Patagonia M10||8.1||230|
|17||base layer*||Beartooth Merino Hoody||7.5||213|
|18||underwear*||Patagonia Silkweight Capilene boxers||2.2||62|
|20||socks*||Smartwool Trekking Crew||2.8||79|
|21||shoes*||Altra Lone Peaks||22.0||624|
|22||hat*||Lights of the Sky nylon crushable hat with brim (ca. 1995)||2.0||57|
|Total Weight (FSO)||7.1 lb||3.2 kg|
|Base Weight (FSO minus “*” Items)||4.6 lb||2.1 kg|