Monday, March 24, 2014

Current Ultralight/Lightweight Backpacking System

Warm Weather UL Backpacking System

Warm weather UL system
So after making some recent purchases (see below) I have gotten my base pack weight (i.e. everything I'll be carrying minus consumables) down to 11 lbs. Technically this is considered a lightweight system as apposed to an ultralight system (under 10 lbs), but I have included a few "luxury items" which add about a pound or so. Below is a list of the items included in the system. I will be doing individual reviews on some of the items at a later date.

I'll start with the "big 3." That being the backpack, sleep system and shelter (Total weight 5.7 lb.)

Backpack: (2 lb.)
REI Flash 45 (2 lb.)  45 liters / 2,746 cubic inches - recent purchase $65.00 +REI

Sleep System and shelter: (3.7 lb.)
Hammock: Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock (12 oz) - recent purchase $20.00 +Sportsmans Warehouse
Tarp: used the tarp from an old Hennesey Scout hammock set (9.1 oz)
Sleeping pad: Thermorest NeoAir X-lite - (12 oz) - Recent purchase $100 +REI
Sleeping Bag: Marmot Nanowave 55 (24 oz) - Recent purchase from $69.00
Pillow: Thermorest NeoAir pillow (1.2 oz) - recent purchase $23.00 +REI
Tent stakes: MSR mini groundhog stakes X4 (1.3 oz) - recent purchase $12.00 +REI

Next up are the necessities, i.e. cooking system and water system.

Cooking System: (1 lb.)
Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket
Pot/mug: +Snow Peak Mini Solo titanium Cook set; pot 28 Fluid oz (weighs 3.7 oz), mug 10 fluid oz (weighs 1.6 oz) - recent purchase $65.00 from
Spoon: +Sea to Summit Aluminum alloy long spoon (0.4 oz) - recent purchase $8.95 +REI
Ignition: Bic Lighter (0.8 oz)
Fuel: Giga power 3.5 oz canister (6.5 oz)
Total: 1lb.

Hydration System: (0.51 lb.)
Filter: Sawyer Mini Filter (2.3 oz) - recent purchase $20.00 
Bladder: +CamelBak 1.5 liter bladder (6 oz)
*i set this up as an "inline" filter system
Total: 0.51 lb. 

Clothing (packed items): (1.7 lb.)
Hat: CRT synthetic hat (1.1 oz)
Gloves: +Under Armour running gloves (1.8 oz)
Tights: +Salomon Running trail light tights (5.6 oz)
Wind jacket: +Salomon Running S-Lab light jacket (1.9 oz)
Socks: +Wigwam Socks (1.3 oz)
Pack towel: Pac Towel Medium (4.9 oz)
Long T: +Salomon Running Trail Runner Warm LS ZP T - Medium (10.4 oz)
Total: 1.7 lbs

Miscellaneous stuff: (1 lb.)
Toothbrush (wisps), desitin, lip balm, sunscreen, baby powder, toilet paper, neosporin, imodium, compass, light load towel, 2 bandaids, 2 blister bandaids, sliver-out pack, duct tape, headlamp, flashlight/lantern combo, medical cotton, medical tape. Total 1lb. 

Total Pack Weight = 9.91 lb. 

So, all of the above items included makes my base weight = 9.91 lb. Just squeaking into Ultralight territory. That being said, there are a couple items missing - camp seat (Thermorest NeoAir camp seat 2.5 oz) Some rigging for the Hammock (5 oz), food stuff bag (1 oz), wet wipes (5 oz) and a couple of other things i can't remember right now. I guess it doesn't really matter because anyway you look at it, this is a pretty lightweight, yet very comfortable warm weather system.

New v. Old
So, by spending about $400 (I got just about everything at some sort of discount) and by switching out my old system (on right) with the new one (left), I was able to go from a base weight of somewhere near 23 lb. to a base weight of about 10 lb. That equals a savings of about an oz per dollar spent. Not bad. You can see what a difference it made just in size. The old pack barely has room for water and food, while the new one has about a third of its capacity left. I have field tested the new system so look for some gear reviews in the near future!


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