I’m starting a Light Backpacking Gear List Series today, sharing my choices and the choices of others to help you become a lightweight backpacker. Of course, I’ll offer just a few of the seemingly unlimited possibilities. However, they seem to fall into just two categories: equipment available commercially and gear you can build or sew at home. I’ll share some sites where you can find “make your own” gear, but this series will focus on what you can find in local stores or on line.
So how do you start the get lightweight process?
You can drill holes in your toothbrush, cut straps off your pack and tent, trim your shoelaces and remove labels until the cows come home, but unless you start with a minimal base weight, you’ll fight a losing battle to achieve your lightweight goals.
Your base is your pack, tent / shelter, and sleeping gear (pad and bag).
I know some hardcore lightweight backpackers will scream at this, but my suggestion is for you to shoot for a base weight target of 10 pounds or less. The really dedicated lightweight backpackers will aim for 5 pounds or less. I assume that your goal is to be as lightweight as possible so you can enjoy and wilderness experience without feeling burdened by gear.
I have two sets of base gear which I’ll share. Obviously, you can mix and match depending on weather conditions, season, bugs, etc. I have also provided links to allow you to check out the highlighted gear. Here is my first set.
Base Set # 1:
Backpack: Osprey Aether – 25 ounces (1#, 9oz) – no longer made
Tent: Sierra Design Light Year – 1-Person 3-Season Backpacking Tent – 43 ounces (3#, 11oz)
Sleeping Bag: WESTERN MOUNTAINEERING HIGHLITE SLEEPING BAG (35 degrees) – 16 ounces (1#)
Sleeping Pad:Therm-a-Rest Trail Sleeping Pad – Short 3/4 length – 15 ounces
Base Total: 7 pounds, 4 ounces
Be safe. Be light. Be one with the pack