Ultralight Hiking?

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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Hi All,
Have recently started looking at trying to reduce the weight of my pack. Used to do a lot of multi day hikes when I was younger before kids and I am wanting to start doing more hiking.

However I find a heavy pack can make hiking less enjoyable, has anyone on here gone down the ultralight rabbit hole? Where did it lead?

Whilst I do want to cut weight, I don’t want to sacrifice comfort and also don’t want to spend tons of money.

Any and all thoughts and opinions on the subject welcome, only caveat is that I will not trade my bushcraft knife to save a small amount of weight.
 

Timbo

Les Stroud
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The Grey bearded Green beret had a good YouTube piece on a ultralight Bob gear recommendations. Aim for 10% of your body weight. Something to sleep in/on and under, water, food, fak, fire. I've got mine down from 11 to 8kg and it makes a huge difference. 90% of my kit is the sleeping system (hoochie, sleep bag, bivvy and mattress)
 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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The Grey bearded Green beret had a good YouTube piece on a ultralight Bob gear recommendations. Aim for 10% of your body weight. Something to sleep in/on and under, water, food, fak, fire. I've got mine down from 11 to 8kg and it makes a huge difference. 90% of my kit is the sleeping system (hoochie, sleep bag, bivvy and mattress)
Is that weight including food and water?
 

Le Loup

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Hi All,
Have recently started looking at trying to reduce the weight of my pack. Used to do a lot of multi day hikes when I was younger before kids and I am wanting to start doing more hiking.

However I find a heavy pack can make hiking less enjoyable, has anyone on here gone down the ultralight rabbit hole? Where did it lead?

Whilst I do want to cut weight, I don’t want to sacrifice comfort and also don’t want to spend tons of money.

Any and all thoughts and opinions on the subject welcome, only caveat is that I will not trade my bushcraft knife to save a small amount of weight.
When packing for the trail, there must be a compromise between two principles; minimum weight, & maximum self reliance.
Regards, Keith.
 

Mozzie

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hey MDU, going ultra light is not easy but doable, it ALL depends on the main carry and that is 'water' of course 1 ltr is 1 kg.

the next 2 main is your shelter and sleep system and this swings on weather conditions.

next food, lots of great meals available now and a your cook systems can be small.

if you have a good down top quilt and good R rated mat, your at a good start.
shelter ... a 1 person bug net, ground mat and tarp is all you need if weather is favourably.

I have not gone UL for a long time now, not so young and going by the 10% load rule, id be under the 6kg :rolleyes:
and i probably carry 1kg just in chocolate and rum LOL

another great UL hiker is "Darwin on the trail" ... usa based

also, Scottys Gone Walkabout is in the Sydney great region.

check their vids

Cheers Mozz
 

Thrud

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I read this blokes blog, he practises what he preaches.
 

MongooseDownUnder

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hey MDU, going ultra light is not easy but doable, it ALL depends on the main carry and that is 'water' of course 1 ltr is 1 kg.

the next 2 main is your shelter and sleep system and this swings on weather conditions.

next food, lots of great meals available now and a your cook systems can be small.

if you have a good down top quilt and good R rated mat, your at a good start.
shelter ... a 1 person bug net, ground mat and tarp is all you need if weather is favourably.

I have not gone UL for a long time now, not so young and going by the 10% load rule, id be under the 6kg :rolleyes:
and i probably carry 1kg just in chocolate and rum LOL

another great UL hiker is "Darwin on the trail" ... usa based

also, Scottys Gone Walkabout is in the Sydney great region.

check their vids

Cheers Mozz
I have had a look at both of these characters, have been following Scotty for a while, his videos are great.
Darwin drives me nuts as do all the Americans on this subject, they do everything in ounces and my head starts to hurt.
 
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Mozzie

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I have had a look at both of these characters, have been following Scotty for a while, his videos are great.
Darwin drives me nuts as do all the Americans on this subject, they do everything in ounces and my head starts to hurt.
Scotty is the best, Darwins eyes scare me o_O
 

Timbo

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Is that weight including food and water?
Yep, only 2 ltrs rather than my usual 3 and it's dehydrated mince and pasta for dinner and scroggan for lunch. Tbo I've never got to the 10% and it's more of a guideline than a rule, but 10kg compared to 15kg means at the end of the day I'm not fatigued with sore shoulders.
 
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MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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Yep, only 2 ltrs rather than my usual 3 and it's dehydrated mince and pasta for dinner and scroggan for lunch. Tbo I've never got to the 10% and it's more of a guideline than a rule, but 10kg compared to 15kg means at the end of the day I'm not fatigued with sore shoulders.
Have you tried the dehydrated water Thrud is on about, seems like a great idea. I wonder how much it costs?
 
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Wentworth

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I have been down the rabbithole a fair bit over the years.

I made a few Ray Jardine style frameless packs but found that I prefer a lightish framed pack as I sometimes have to haul water for dry camps.

The most weight is tied up in the "big three" pack, sleep gear and shelter, although I found that my packed clothes weighed a fair bit too.

I did work pretty hard to get my pack weight down for the Norway trip- with 12 days of food and 1 litre of water it weighed 20kg.

I found Mike Clelland's book "Ultralight Backpackin' Tips" had a lot of good pointers. Mongoose, you are welcome to have my copy if you would like.
 

Thrud

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This is another of Wentworth's very useful posts showing a week of food in one side pouch

 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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I have been down the rabbithole a fair bit over the years.

I made a few Ray Jardine style frameless packs but found that I prefer a lightish framed pack as I sometimes have to haul water for dry camps.

The most weight is tied up in the "big three" pack, sleep gear and shelter, although I found that my packed clothes weighed a fair bit too.

I am currently trying to work out a better clothing/layering system as one part of the process.

I did work pretty hard to get my pack weight down for the Norway trip- with 12 days of food and 1 litre of water it weighed 20kg.

I found Mike Clelland's book "Ultralight Backpackin' Tips" had a lot of good pointers. Mongoose, you are welcome to have my copy if you would like.
Thanks for the tips, I would really appreciate borrowing your book if you found it useful.

Currently looking at my big 3 and it appears there may be significant cost involved in lightening them any significant amount.

Currently trying to make it work with a hammock but not sure how to make the system any lighter than it already is.

I am almost finished compiling a list which I will publish to this thread for additional thoughts and ideas.
 
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Timbo

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Absolute minimum (sans 2kg water and food), and I'd gladly add an extra half kilo by using my framed pack rather than the unframed pack in the pic. The heavy duty emergency blanket had become an 'everytime' use item now. This is not my winter kit btw but it is what I just used in an overnighter last fortnight and is good for 3 seasons.
IMG_20201014_174118.jpgIMG_20201014_173703.jpg
 

Randall

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I packed late for a fairly serious 4 day peak bagging hike in the sw of tassie. Because it was a shitty time of year - during the walk there was a weather alert for hikers and farmers - I needed room for layers that I mightn't be wearing while walking / climbing. While waiting for my lift, just outside my girlfriend's house, I thought "this is stupid"; the pack was chokkers. Right there I pulled out everything to do with cooking. Best thing I've ever done :D. We setup tents in the rain, packed up in the rain, ate scroggin in the lee of big boulders out of the wind and rain fully geared up, we did 14 and 16hr days. It was welcomed simplicity, ease of packing, and a big time saver.
 
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