2018 gear updates: I hope they help you with any upcoming gear choices you might be making!
Last year: 16.6lbs
This year: 12.4lbs
Total weight saved: 4.2lbs
Full gear list: https://lighterpack.com/r/fvay9r
Not quite ultralight, but dropping 4.2lbs off the pack weight makes me happy!
“Big Three” Changes:
Sleep Setup: My sleeping gear was still a little heavy despite the fact that I upgraded my sleeping pad last year. I originally went with cost-savings and had an Alps Mountaineering 20 degree sleeping bag. This year, I’m dropping some weight and switching to the AegixMax Windhard quilt. This is still a cost-efficient choice seeing as how it isn’t an Enlightened Equipment Revelation quilt, but it’s function is the same and it’s certainly lighter.
The company rates the quilt at 0° – 5° Celsius (32° – 41° F) and my personal experience matches this assessment fairly close. I was comfortable at 50°F but have taken it down to 34°F with the following experience:
1. Pulling the quilt over my head to stay comfortable (in about the 40°F-45°F range)
2. Stayed under the quilt but became uncomfortable; still mostly sleeping (approx 45°F )
3. Waking up frequently and “helping” cold spots by moving, changing positions etc. and being VERY uncomfortable; not sleeping much (40°F – 35°F)
OLD: Alps Mountaineering 20°F Sleeping Bag (53oz)
NEW: AegisMax Wind Hard Quilt (16oz)
WEIGHT SAVINGS: 37oz or 2.3LBS!!!
Shelter: My shelter is another area where I knew I could save weight. The discontinued Mountain Hardwear Sprite 1 was something that works and I got on a KILLER deal online. Weighing in at 54oz meant there was room for improvement, though. Luckily, my dad is putting together a backpacking kit to start hiking with me and went overboard on trying out some lightweight tents (he ordered two) and decided to let me use his ZeroGram ZERO 1 Pathfinder 1-person tent. I’ve been enjoying it. It still has a place for my pack in the small vestibule at the head of the tent but it has a side-entry door like I prefer.
I haven’t had a problem setting up the tent with my trekking poles and my other main concern has turned out ok, so far. Since this is a single-wall tent (sil-coated Nylon PU), I knew condensation would be something I needed to manage. Not to fear, I already carry a small towel which is actually a small square of super-absorbent material (kinda like a Shamwow). I run it over the inside of my tent and wring out the water until it’s dry enough to pack up without fear of moisture issues destroying the tent.
OLD: Mountain Hardwear Sprite 1 (54oz)
NEW: ZeroGram ZERO 1 Pathfinder, 1-person tent (22.9oz)
WEIGHT SAVINGS: 31.1oz or 1.9LBS!!!
Socks: I switched from REI Silk One sock liners to Injinji sock liners. I don’t really count the weight for these since they are “worn” items and don’t count towards base weight, but they’re new for this load out. I also switched from a no-name brand of wool socks to some Darn Tough micro-crew socks.
Misc: A couple other clothing changes made the small weight change for me. I got rid of my camp shoes (some DIY Huarache sandals) and added a BUFF.
WEIGHT SAVINGS: About 3oz
Water filtration: I upgraded to a Sawyer Squeeze instead of the Sawyer mini, dumped the syringe to back-flush the filter (I now use my Smart Water bottle to backflush), got rid of the two Sawyer squeeze bags and added an Evernew 2L water bag. I also added some tubing and a hose clamp so my setup can gravity filter. Somehow I managed to save 0.7 ounces
Glasses: I stopped carrying an extra pair of glasses. The spare pair I had would fog up too easily anyways (Read about it here) so why carry the weight?
Removed: Spare pair of glasses
WEIGHT SAVINGS: 2.2 ounces
Sit Pad: I added this luxury item because I basically don’t have much “natural padding” and I got tired of sitting in the dirt. I LOVE this sit pad. It’s super light and the comfort it adds has been helpful as i’ve noticed less soreness.
Added: Dutchware Gear Sit Pad
WEIGHT: ADDED 0.7 ounces (including the rubber band)
Clearly, most of my weight savings were in the shelter and sleep system change. Hopefully you can clean a little info from these changes and updates. Hiking lighter is supposed to mean hiking easier and longer so you can focus on fun. Have fun out on the trail!
Take a look at my entire gear list here: https://lighterpack.com/r/fvay9r