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M Notes from the Field - SuperUltraLight in November on the Flagstaff Peaks, Arizona

by Carol Crooker

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Article Summary:

From the beginning of the SuperUltraLight Challenge, I had cold weather in mind. I wanted to experiment and find the best ways to cut non-insulating gear weight to a minimum so that as large a portion of the 5-pound base weight as possible would be left for warm gear and clothing once the weather cooled off. Nighttime temperatures on this trip at 11,400 feet in the Flagstaff Peaks got down to 25 degrees. Daytime temperatures reached the low 50s the first day, but cooled off to the 30s and 40s the second and third days. It was windy sometimes, especially on a day hike to Humphreys Peak when I was nearly knocked over a couple of times. I hiked back to my car the third day as 2 inches of snow fell - gorgeous. In this article I discuss whether 5 pounds of gear kept me warm and cozy and how individual items of gear performed. In the Behavior Modifications section, I detail what I've learned during the SUL Challenge and compare and contrast the 5-pound base weight gear list for this trip with an 8-pound gear list suitable for the same conditions.


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