Looking for a pack list shakedown please

Discussion in 'Kit Lists' started by SafetyThird, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    Bit of background. I used to spend a fair amount of time in the hills on my own. I was young, fit and poor so my gear was heavy. Gradually I lightened up, but this was all a couple of decades ago and I was hiking as part of a couple so gear split fairly easily.

    After a decade of not getting out there, I'm finding my way back to the hills and moors but on my own this time, although there will often be a dog with me. I'm in my 50's, not as fit as I should be but working on it. I've changed out a few pieces of gear, most notably my much loved Wild Country Ultra Quasar that is showing it's age and weight, replaced by a Tarptent Scarp 1 next month. My rucsac is an old Lowe Alpamayo which I'm going to replace this christmas as my wife is buying me a new one as a present. I just have to decide on what to get and have a shortlist. That's why there is no weight on the list for the pack at this point.

    Before that though, I need to figure out what my carry weight will be and what sort of volume I need, for that I'm looking to get a bit of advice on my gear list to see if I'm forgetting something obvious or making simple errors. Gear has moved on and I'm reading up on what all the cool 'kids' are wearing/carrying these days.

    Plans for next year are weekends away on Darmoor and Exmoor, possibly some longer hikes in the Lakes and leading up, possibly, to trying to get a place in the TGO challenge for 2019.

    The obvious places to save weight from the current list are the sleeping bag, which I'm considering going for a quilt for the warmer months, and a different pad, possibly a neoair xtherm. That combination would easily save a kilo off the current weights.

    Anything else I've missed out? Current pack shortlist is as follows and allows for me to carry up to a week of food plus a kilo of dog gear if one of the hounds is with me.

    Granite Gear Crown 2
    Gossamer Gear Mariposa
    Osprey Exos 58
    ULA Circuit or catalyst
    Exped Lightning 60
    Lightwave Ultrahike 60

    I'd appreciate any feedback you might be able to offer.

    FOX160, el manana and Mole like this.
  2. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Season; did you specify? I am guessing Spring-Autumn..?

    1. As you say the bag is heavy - a quilt or (my) preference ZPacks bag will lose about a kilo for you.
    2. Atom LT is rather more than a windproof..an Arc Squamish is a windproof (and a superb one)
    3. Troos are heavy.
    4. Boots. Not for me; trail shoes.
    5. Gaiters...again, largely superfluous for me...depends where you are walking..
    6. Waterproof trousers; replace with a kilt/rain skirt
    7. Down jacket duplicates your Atom LT; drop the Atom
    8. Switch to alcohol/esbit for cooking
    9. What are you going to do with 50g of soap :D?
    10. Sanitiser...you have soap..
    11. No towel; you are waterproof
    12. Cut FAK - or as you will depending..
    13. Charger for flashlight? how long will you be out?
    14. Knife. Why?
    15. The PLB can be lighter (at a big cost)
    Totally personal choices. Do as you will....
    WilliamC and Mole like this.
  3. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    What he says

    Apart from the rain skirt:hilarious: ( my partner uses one - not for me - I'm happy with paclite trousers - warmer for camp use. )

    As you say, the big things mat n bag will make the bigger difference.

    2 ( any really) sanitisers? And soap.

    5ml of the liquid soap I use lasts me a week Inc 2 showers.

    I'd probably keep the Atom jacket - more comfy for walking in than the down.

    All those rucsacks are good - seen them all in use - except maybe the Exped the shoulder straps are pretty poor. I'd probably suggest the ULA circuit or the Lightwave as my favourite choices to try for fit.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
    edh likes this.
  4. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    It's all very personal, but myself I take less stuff. I'm presuming your sticking to the UK so limited number of days (hours?) between shops. The lightest option is the cheapest, don't pack it!
    750 sleeping bag is heavy winter bag so I'd go for a ~0 degree bag to compliment that, so depending on how warm you sleep ~3-400g of good down, total weight under 600g for a quilt.
    A neoair short at 220g should be warm enough for 3 season and I got mine for 75 quid so a cheaper option.
    As they say after every trip you should look at the stuff you didn't use and try leaving it behind. All those 50g add up :thumbsup:
    edh likes this.
  5. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    If you don't mind being more exposed to nature a tarp type shelter (Trailstar, one of the mids from the usual suspects) will be as weather proof as the Scarp and also a lot lighter.

    Personally i prefer a inner, but many here just use a groundsheet (usually window seal film like polycro or tyvek) and save a fair bit of weight.
  6. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Granite Gear Crown 2 - I've always liked the look of the GG packs but been put off by the weight of most of them
    Gossamer Gear Mariposa - not keen on the newer iterations but would happily use the older gridstop Mariposa Plus if I could find one
    Osprey Exos 58 - I had the 48 when they first came out, nice to carry but the curved back robbed too much usable space, loved the pole stash feature
    ULA Circuit or catalyst - can't say enough good things about ULA packs, love 'em :) Stand out choice from your list for me
    Exped Lightning 60 - only tried a Thunder which was a bit of a beast, like Mole says the shoulder straps are a bit naff with bigger loads
    Lightwave Ultrahike 60 - a mate has used one for a lot of years and swears by it, he buys lots of new shiny kit but has always stuck with the same pack.

    Looking at your list I wouldn't change too much, I think you're on the right lines with most of it. Clothing/FAK and hygiene are personal choices/needs so not much to say about that, I carry very little in the way of clothing, usually just a warm layer and bits for the extremities. You could drop the towel as that's quite a lump, I carry a small 10x10" microfibre cloth to wipe pots/wet shelters/spills etc, probably weighs about 30g.
    Is that Exped pillow weight correct, sounds awfy heavy?
    My shell clothing is pretty light usually so I've gone back to carrying a synthetic layer to boost that on colder days and to wear in camp, I seemed to be carrying gucci down layers but only wanting to wear them at camp which is dead weight most of the time.

    I think when you've figured out your new big 4 you'll be at a decent base weight
    murpharoo, edh and Mole like this.
  7. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    Thanks for the input. Always interesting to see what other's think. A few notes:

    Mostly this is for 3 season hiking but in the uk that pretty much means 4 seasons of weather doesn't it. Today, at home on the farm, it was sunny and clear and then raining so hard an hour later I couldn't see across the yard. I have ideas to hike abroad but, to me, scotland and the lakes are 4 season environments all the time.

    Sleeping bag and mat, as discussed, they're where I expect to make big savings. I tend to sleep cold and could only afford one bag for year round use. I'm looking at a quilt for 3 season use, possibly diy as I have a goose down duvet that's not being used at home. I've tried short mats and don't get on with them, likewise, don't get on with the tapered mats, always end up with feet on the ground. However, it's a large financial lump to drop

    Windproof, I'm in the middle of modifying an old running windshirt by removing all the zips and the mesh lining, should get me down to around 150g.

    The atom is a nice top, my most useful outdoor jacket to be honest. It's a bit warm when you're walking but nicely windproof. Better than putting on a waterproof but can be too warm when going uphill for example. Current plan is to have the diy windshirt and possibly change out the atom for it and see how that goes. Probably need a midweight warm layer though. The down jacket is pretty much only for when I stop for lunch or camp at night. Mind you, for winter hiking, sometimes you need the extra warmth. I woulnd't generally walk in a down jacket but regularly walk in the atom.

    Trousers, yes, they're winter weight but I find them ideal for colder hikes, windproof and water resistant. Being fleecy on the inside, they keep me warm. In warmer months I'd wear a pair of lightweight craghoppers or similar

    Gaiters, well I tend to walk rougher country and not always on paths. I find I prefer those. Boots rather than trail shoes for me as well. I've fell run in the past but walking the bogs and choppy ground of Dartmoor feels like trail shoes are too cold, too wet and insufficient support. When it's pi55ing down with rain I would rather have dry feet. If it was known to be dry for a while, I might consider my trail running shoes instead.

    Rain kilt, I'd try one, might make one but prefer trousers that keep the weather out when it's coming sideways

    I have an alcohol stove. Made a coke can stove years ago and recently bought a speedster stove to try out. Takes twice as long as the pocket rocket, is more susceptible to wind and isn't really much lighter I've found when you add all the bits to the system. Gas just works so conveniently and fast.

    Soap, well 50g is the little bottle of liquid soap I have, could decant off 10ml into a smaller dropper bottle I guess.

    Soap doesn't sanitise. Sanitiser is just sensible when you're dealing with **** or have a dog with you and are dealing with it and it's food, bowls, slobber etc.

    Towel, well, yes, my skin is waterproof but when you camp at the end of a day hiking in the rain, being able to dry your hair, feet etc and crawl into a dry bag is a luxury. I'm sure I could cut it down to a smaller size though, I'll have to look at that.

    FAK stays. I've patched grazes on other people's kids, strapped up sprained ankles, taken ticks off me and the dogs and, pulled thorns out from under a nail with the tweezers and, on a rare occasion, helped carry a stretcher off crib goch at 3am on a january morning after using up the dressings I had in my kit before the MRT arrived. I'm fairly well trained and have lived/worked in remote wilderness environments. I'd probably leave my compass behind before a first aid kit.

    Charger is a tiny number of grams and if you're out for a week in the spring or autumn, it's lighter than taking a spare battery. The list doesn't really change whether I'm going for a weekend or a two week trip.

    Knife, probably because I've hardly been without one in my pocket for 4 decades and lost count of the number of things I've used it for. on summer evenings I'll probably be found whittling something sat outside my tent.

    PLB is a new one for me. Never taken one before and, thankfully, never needed had a need for one. However, I'm older now and a little bit more aware of my mortality. Talked to a few Mountain Rescue folks and, when they've been used, a plb has made for a much faster and more efficient rescue. I'm on my own these days and off in the wilds. 200g is good insurance.

    Tent, well I did a lot of reading on this. I like my comfort, a bit of extra space and I'll be sharing it with a dog occasionally. Also, if the weather is bad, I want the option to just stay in it for a day and read. I've tried tarps a couple of times but, to be honest, never found them sufficiently weatherproof in foul weather or on the top of the fells. Perhaps I need to try again and get some help/advice from someone who knows better how to pitch them. For now though, the scarp is a solid mountain tent at a decent weight.

    Pillow, yes that's the correct weight. May well change that out at some point but it's very comfy and, as I get older, a good night's sleep is worth a lot to me. As it's what I currently have, I'll try things out and it may get changed a little further down the line. Saving for mat/sleeping bag first as they're bigger changes.

    Packs. Although I'm in Devon, I have to bring a car back from Northern Ireland (via cairnryan) in a few weeks and plan to stop off at utralightoutdoorgear.co.uk in Middlesborough on the way, as they seem to be the only place that stocks most of those packs to be able to try them on and get a feel for what will fit me.

    Thanks for the help, it's good to have some interaction on this instead of just sitting here on my own trying to figure stuff out.
  8. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Have a look at Cumulus quilts, good prices for down goodies compared to shipping similar from the US, or maybe a synthetic, As Tucas or GramXpert are both in Europe.

    I've recently bought an Exped Synmat HL MW which I'm very pleased with, only the first trip last weekend but I stayed warm and comfy when there was ice inside the shelter overnight. I'm getting a bit fed up of my skinny XLites so thought I'd try the Exped.

    The Naturehike pillow is a good buy, cheap too from Aliexpress
    Chiseller likes this.
  9. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I got a Crown 2 a couple of weeks ago. I haven't used it yet so won't comment too much (supposed to be away with it today but stuck at home with a heavy cold:arghh:). But weight-wise it's not bad; after removing the frame sheet and replacing it with cf stays (spares from an Arc Blast) it comes in about 100g heavier than my Arc Haul (which is a bit heavier than standard as it has a solid front pocket.). There is an Air Frame mat which can replace he frame sheet and drop 90g, but it seems to be discontinued and is getting hard to find other than in long length.And there's still quite a bit of weight to be saved by removing excess in the straps. A warning - it is very big and will be hard to fill unless you've got bulky clothes, ccf mats etc.

    I really like the look of the Lightwave packs (somebody on here recommended them) but I insist on hip pockets and it was hard to see how they would work with the Lightwave hip belt.
  10. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Hi there, it seems to me that your list is against all eventualities and really feels more like a list that you might chose from, depending if it's a warm spell or a cold spell, rather than take all of it at once. I think if you re-wrote this list as a summer list and a spring/autumn list, each list would be a lot lighter and less bulky and this will affect your choice of Christmas present backpack.

    e.g you have a full on 140g tilly's sun hat and also warm hat. I wouldn't want to carry the weight of an Exped downmat 9 if the weather is good enough to be wearing a sun hat. You suggest the TAR XTherm instead, which I use as I also sleep cold. If the mat has good insulation you can get away with less insulation in the bag/quilt as you are not loosing body heat into the ground. But I still think for three season use a NeoAir Xlite is probably fine and you could extend its season by adding a car screen or foam mat under it in colder months but that way you have a lighter mat for the longer mid-season. You're already considering making or getting a quilt, which will be a massive weight saving and probably volume saving as well, so then its down to the small stuff and trying to get things to serve several purposes.

    Your sunhat alone is 140g, but for example a Sunday Afternoon wide brim full protection hat is 56g. If it's cold enough for the down jacket then perhaps a 43g merino beanie is not warm enough (unless the down jacket has a hood?) and you won't need the Tilly in that kind of weather. Then again if it's Tilly weather and warm enough to leave the down behind and just take the atom then the merino buff will work as a hat without also carrying the additional beanie (43g). I use my buff as a hat and a pillow case (to stop that slippy stuff sack feeling with my soft stuff inside it) and sometimes as a pot holder.

    In Spring or Summer you probably won't need to take both the down jacket and the Atom. In cooler months you probably won't take the short sleeved base merino t in addition to the long sleeved merino mid layer, as just one of those will do, especially with the Atom or down jacket to extend its warmth. Also, if you need a summer t-shirt, your merino one is 170g which doesn't matter if you are wearing it all the time but if not, it's a lot of weight to carry for a short sleeved top in my opinion. Uniqlo airism t-shirts are 50g. Uniqlo heat tech long johns are also very light and good enough for Spring/Summer nights. Also, getting right down to obsessive level..... zip lock bags seem innocent enough but they soon add up if lots of things have their own bag. You have your toilet roll inside a bag inside a stuff sack. That's at least 12g wasted! :rage: One of those two bags will protect it from damp and is enough. I try to minimise bags, especially stuff sacs as the combined weight soon adds up, sneaking up on you. Unless things have to be waterproof (clothes, quilt) I don't use stuff sacks at all as they are too heavy, don't even mention mesh bags which are weirdly heavy for no known advantage. Thin grocery shop plastic bags are much lighter, usually about 4g.

    But be careful not to become obsessive :joyful:
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    Enzo, SafetyThird, Ken T. and 4 others like this.
  11. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    Clare, thank you very much for such a detailed reply. I'll go through that a few times and see what I can change. Mainly, I can't really afford to have multiple sets of gear. I'm looking at selling the downmat and buying a neoair xtherm which is half the weight but probably almost as good for colder climes and would do for the warm weather too. Clothing needs to be changed around I think and, yes, perhaps two lists would be better for warmer and cooler conditions.
  12. FOX160

    FOX160 Thru Hiker

    I have been using the Exped Lighting 45L for Two years now and Echo to @Mole says regarding the front straps
    unless you have a lite load they cut into you at the bottom where you sinch the pull cords.
    Regarding sleeping pad/mat we have just started using the Klymit insulated V Lite and really rate them as a side and stomach sleeper https://www.klymit.com/insulated-static-v-lite.html I purchased them off of https://www.massdrop.com/ and saved money. Pillow I use https://www.decathlon.co.uk/air-basic-pillow-id_8055369.html cost £3.99
  13. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    Thanks for the info on the exped sack, that probably moves it down the list but at least I'll be able to try it out next week. The Klymit looks good, I'm also a side sleeper mostly so will see if I can try it out with the TAR xtherm at a store.
  14. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    Just as an update, I narrowed down to the ULA circuit and Ultrahike 60 at the shop, but ended up buying the Ultrahike, it just fitted that bit better. The downside is lack of hip belt pockets and it remains to be seen how much I miss having those, but the pack was £100 less than the circuit and that has a big impact on other gear bought. I think it'll do me well for at least a couple of years until I figure out the ultralite game better, at which point, there may be another gear review.

    I've also picked up the large size Xtherm, at 570g, halving my mat weight and have an As Tucas quilt on order, dropping another kilo from the bag weight. My wallet is now empty but my new rucsac is full, now to go and use it all and find out how I like it :)
    gixer, el manana, Mole and 2 others like this.
  15. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    :thumbsup:I've met 3 ultrahike users. All really satisfied.

    I have hipbelt pockets on most of my packs. I use them because they are there, they are useful. But such things never gonna be a deal breaker for me.
  16. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    The one thing I like about hip belt pockets is that it stops me stopping and taking my pack off just to grab a snack, or check my phone. I don't like having things in my trouser pockets so having somewhere to put my glasses for reading the map, a bag of snacks, phone, compass etc is really useful, otherwise I stop, put down the pack, get bits out, do stuff, put it back, get moving again. Surprising how much those little stops add up.

    There's bound to be some options I can figure out, it'll just take a bit of thinking.

    That said, damn it's a comfy pack :)
    el manana and edh like this.
  17. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    I'd just use the side pockets.

    But it seems I'm more flexible than some.
    SafetyThird likes this.

Share This Page