Ultralight Hiking?

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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Just weighed all the gear I need, looking at the big 3 it occurred to me I will never be ultralight.

My empty pack weighs 3.3kg empty, unfortunately this is not something I am prepared to swap out due to it being the most comfortable pack I have ever owned.

In saying that with everything now weighed my base weight is 9kg, then just need to add fuel, water and food.
 

Aussie123

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I have noticed that some of the UL folk can get away with very light loads because they pack exactly what they (think they) need for the weather;
and they vary the kit depending on that eg a warm weather sleeping system VS a cold weather system etc

Cooking: with a stove vs on a fire vs no cooking at all can make a few KG difference too; naturally that will vary with season and location and what you're prepared to put up with.

I know I always take stuff for "just in case" eg extra food, extra clothing (even if its only socks or a light top), "possibles kit" etc.
I accept that that's part of me feeling confortable, and I too will never be UL.

If you KNEW you were packing for fine, warm weather (guaranteed), and no cooking, no "contingency" extras, what weight do you think you could come down to ?
 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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If you KNEW you were packing for fine, warm weather (guaranteed), and no cooking, no "contingency" extras, what weight do you think you could come down to ?
For me base weight would probably be down to about 7kg, if I then add food and water I would be looking at about 12kg total weight for 3 days.
 
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MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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One of the big things I have noticed with regard to US ultralight backpacking, they usually only carry 1 or 2 litres of water.

This is something that is almost impossible if not downright dangerous in Western Australia and probably most of the rest of Australia.

Probably the minimum I would want to carry in winter in WA would be 3 litres and I have capacity to carry up to 6 litres with the equipment I carry.
 

Timbo

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I have noticed that some of the UL folk can get away with very light loads because they pack exactly what they (think they) need for the weather;
and they vary the kit depending on that eg a warm weather sleeping system VS a cold weather system etc

Cooking: with a stove vs on a fire vs no cooking at all can make a few KG difference too; naturally that will vary with season and location and what you're prepared to put up with.

I know I always take stuff for "just in case" eg extra food, extra clothing (even if its only socks or a light top), "possibles kit" etc.
I accept that that's part of me feeling confortable, and I too will never be UL.

If you KNEW you were packing for fine, warm weather (guaranteed), and no cooking, no "contingency" extras, what weight do you think you could come down to ?
The gear in my pic is only a 1 nighter in fine weather, removed the cooking set and no contingency. I could have done without the thermals and only take 1 litre of water because I knew there was water where is was going and along the way
. My go-to kit is about 12kg but I'd happily use a framed comfy 3.5kg backpack and carry 20 kg than the 2kg backpack and carry 15kg.
 

MongooseDownUnder

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Found this list online, looks like what I am going for.

Will maybe try to progressively reduce the weight of my big 3
 

Timbo

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MongooseDownUnder

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Yep price is crazy like any hobby related stuff, I would not be starting from scratch though.

The biggest concern I have apart from cost is the durability of some of this gear.

I was looking at another forum with lots of ultralight stuff, it was established that you keep spending until your are no longer getting a return of investment of $1 per gram saved.

Seems kind of crazy though, and expensive.
 

Timbo

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Happy to have things I know will last over lightweight gear anyday. I think in essence it's whatever you can carry that doesn't feel like a burden.
 

Randall

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I was looking at another forum with lots of ultralight stuff, it was established that you keep spending until your are no longer getting a return of investment of $1 per gram saved.

Seems kind of crazy though, and expensive.
I think you're right to consider toughness and longevity. If you do this sort of activity, things can happen, despite planning. Go for the worst case scenario - what might this gear have to do if things went wrong.

I saw a documentary on Steven Callahan who spent 76 days in a life raft. The raft itself was only guaranteed for 50 days use. The solar stills for water purification did not last the distance. That's pretty extreme, and unlikely to happen now, but we can still get caught out. Another example for toughness - my daypack is also an impromptu back protector. I've landed hard on my back (running along fallen trees, or climbing rock, or coming off my mtb) and my daypack and contents have taken the brunt of the fall. I can't remember braking anything in the pack, or the pack itself. My questions for stuff are relevant for where I live mostly; is it tough? Can I operate it with gloves on and cold hands? Will this work if it's blowing a gale and driving rain (common in alpine country)? How much time does it take? Can it handle being wet for long periods? Is it high maintenance? Is it robust?

Your questions would be different, of course.
 
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