The biggest contributor to any backpacker's baseweight is, of course, the BIG THREE. I've worked hard and invested time and money into finding the gear that works best for me while still being light. I've made some changes to my gear since the original post on the BIG THREE, but we'll get into that later. Let's take a look at the three subclasses of UL packing and what's required to meet those criteria.
After you upgrade your gear, don't let it sit around and collect dust. People are always looking for gear on ebay, craigslist, or backpacking forums.
So where do you fit in? Let's take a look at the subclasses of UL and see where your big three falls.
1) Lightweight - 8 lbs.
Lightweight classification is very achievable. This can be done with minimal investment and smart prioritization of what goes in the pack. Read online forums or blogs, watch youtube videos, ask hiking buddies, and you will find enough advice to get here. Beware, though, this is where you get bit by the UL bug and it becomes a game. Once you hit this point, you will start to always want to get lighter.
2) Ultralight - 5 lbs.
Ultralight is where it starts to get tricky. Now is when you have to prioritize more than ever. To get here it is important to understand what equipment can be multi use. For example, why carry a tent with poles when you can use your trekking poles? The investment starts to come into play here as well. In my opinion it's always better to buy smart, rather than buying twice; be sure to get good quality gear and read reviews on everything you purchase.
My setup falls in this category. Since my last post, I've gotten a new pack and shelter.
Backpack: Gossamer Gear Gorilla (25 oz)
Shelter: Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis (13 oz), Tyvek Ground Cloth (3.2 oz), stakes (0.6 oz)
Sleeping Bag: Thermarest Haven top-bag (24 oz)
Total: 65.8 oz or 4.11 lbs
3) Hyperlight <3 lbs.
This is where it gets tough. Not only do all of the above criterion have to be met, but now comes the sacrifice. Honestly, all the money in the world couldn't get you to this point. Money can only get you to UL. Becoming hyperlight involves sacrificing luxury. In this classification, you won't have a super comfortable blow up pad to sleep on or an enclosed shelter that covers 50+ square feet. These are the people that really do drill holes in their tooth brush and trim their maps. The transition into lightweight and UL are mostly about ounces, here, it's all about grams.
Leave a comment. Let us know where your big three falls and what your setup is.