I’ve always had a passion for backpacking. Something the planning for a 3-4 day trip gets me really excited.
When I first began backpacking, I shunned ultralight equipment because I didn’t want to spend the money. I laugh now when I think of items I carried in my pack that I would never consider today. For example: solar panel, short wave radio, bulky MSR water filter, pillow to name a few. I believe the last backpacking trip in Algonquin, my pack was about 35 lbs.
Two years ago I became interested in attempting a long distance hike. Reading many a thru-hiker blogs, I came to the realization that lessening my pack weight would increase my odds of finishing a hike.
First, I had to tackle the “big 3.” Generally, this is your tent, sleeping bag and backpack.
My previous backpacking tent weighed in at over 4 lbs. I did an exhaustive research into tents, and ended up with a Plexamid from Zpacks. The tent, along with titanium (super light!) weighs in at less than 1 pound. That is an immediate weight savings of over 3 lbs.
Next was my sleeping bag. I used to use a synthetic sleeping bag, but changed to a down. The former tends to be bulky and heavy. Switching to down means it it can be scrunched into a small size. You do have to shake out the bag when you setup your tent as the down gets compressed. And, down, if wet, takes longer to dry. Which is why my sleeping bag will always be at the bottom of my pack. Again, after research, I went with a 20F rated bag from Enlightened Equipment. Weight savings over previous sleeping bag was about 3 lbs.
Last of the Big 3 is my backpack. Attention was paid to not only weight, but comfort. Remember, I will be lugging all my gear for approximately six months. I love my ULA Circuit backpack which weighs less than 3 lbs. I had a clunker of a backpack before, weighing about 6 lbs. So a 3 lbs. weight savings.
My base weight – total weight less consumables like food and water as well as what I’ll be wearing – is between 15.5 to 18 lbs. Food for 3-4 days is another 6-7 lbs and 1L water is 2.2 lbs.
Total weight that I’d be carrying will be 24-26lbs.
Below is my gear list as of January 3.