Packing Light…sub10 with comfort.

I decided to write an article about my personal set up in the hopes that it will guide somebody; by no means do I consider myself a super Ultralighter and I’m not currently pursuing a base weight of 5 LB or less, neither have I the money to do so. Obtaining the right gear is about trial and error, as well as RESEARCH and patience. “NEVER PAY RETAIL” is one of my policies and BUYING SMART is highly important.

Gear is addictive and we want to stay at the top of the race and, with proper planning, you can pay half the price or less for a full set up if you are willing to wait and stay a season behind. Remember, gear manufacturers eliminate their entire stock once a year, using multiple venues, in order to launch their new products . You have to take advantage of this. BUY YOUR SUMMER GEAR DURING THE WINTER and vice-versa.

Online stores like Steepandcheap, theclymb, whiskeymilitia , massdropsierratradingpost and FB resale/swap gear groups are the best places to save money.

If you are a shopper, like myself, stores like TJMax, Marshall’s, Burlington Coat Factory and your local thrift store offers plenty of options, as well. (I purchased my NF Denali for $50 new at TJmax and got a Patagonia poler fleece at my local thrift store for $5)

You have to be flexible, otherwise you will pay full retail.

The following gear list and weight is intended for a  3 day outing with temps 50F and above during spring and summer. It can be easily modify for longer trips. I’ll be including pricing for each item so you have a better idea of my personal investment. (Again…I NEVER PAY RETAIL.)

So, let me start with what I normally wear.

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Day wear:

  • Pacific Trail convertible pants $29, R$65
  • Mountain Hardwear 1/4 zip wick long sleeve t-shirt $37, R$75
  • Climate Adidas boxers (pack of 3 $15) R$35
  • Stoic wool socks $7, R$15
  • Mission cool towel $9, R$15
  • Mountain Hardwear  Hiker Hut $13, R$30
  • Under Armor SpeedFit boots $65, R$120
  • Morakniv Knife $12, R$30
  • Garmin Fenix Refurbished $140, R$350 new
  • Zippo Lighter $12 (not shown in picture) R$20

Investment: $323  vs Retail Cost: $740

Note: ($) indicates price paid vs (R$) retail value

Carry Weight: 9LB 

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  • Petzel Tikka + 140 lumens $29, R$40
  • Toob toothbrush $5, R$5
  • Ben’s repellent $5, r$5
  • Mini sawyer water filter $15, R$20
  • Coleman towel mini wipes $3, R$3
  • Coleman TP (pack of 2 $4) R$4
  • Ifrogz 10000 mah battery bank $22, R$40
  • Rei whistle $5, R$5 (attached to backpack)
  • Silva Compass $5, R$5 (attached to backpack)
  • (2) 1.0L bottle holders by Justin Andersen $20, R$20
  • MSR 2.0L water bladder $20, R$20
  • First Aid kit (gather as much as you can around your house and add needed items like moleskin) $7, R$15
  • 1 gallon Ziplock bag $1 (use for trash)
  • Jetboil Flash Lite with fuel $70, R$105
  • Klymit static v $45, R$60
  • Rab siltarp 2 $89, R$125
  • High Peak Sirus 50F sleeping bag (compressed in Marmot wave 55f sack) $30, R$30
  • Rei minimalist bivy sack $60, R$100
  • Klymit cush inflatable pillow/seat $10, R$15
  • 4 msr carbon core + 4 msr groundhogs $25, R$37
  • Sea To summit 9L drysack $10 R$25 (used for all clothing)
  • Mountain Hardwear Airshield Beanie $14, $30
  • Stoic wool socks $7, R$15
  • Columbia Omni Freeze Zero 1/4 zip long sleeve $17, R$75
  • North Face Ultralight 1/4 fleece $29, $89
  • Outdoor Research Horizon Rain Jacket $45, R$125
  • Climate Adidas Boxers (pack of 3 $15) R$35
  • Mountain Hardwear SummitRocket 30L $69, R$140

Total Investment: $651 vs Retail Cost: $1144

Note: ($) indicates price paid vs (R$) retail value

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In short, with proper research you can accomplish a base weight of under 10lb with almost $1000 or way less (all depending on the quality of products) Remember, it is all about your own comfort and pocket.  I hope my list illustrates and helps you trim some weight off, if needed…otherwise, Carry On and Happy Trails.

Christian Millet

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