$500 uL Backpacking gear list.  

Let me start by reiterating that backpacking is not longer an expensive hobbie or sport. 

Globalization has created a lot of competition among manufacturers, bringing the niche market to an affordable balance. 

While you can shave a lot of weight going super ultralight, in some cases, the expense to save a few ounces becomes a major investment. (The ongoing joke is pack one less snicker bar) 

So lets start with the big 3 (backpack, shelter and sleeping bag). These 3 elements, take the manority of the weight and is the biggest expense in any set up.

If you are going to be carrying a maximum load of 25lbs including food and water, a 30-35L  capacity backpack should carry all your comfort. 

The big 3

Backpack: klymit motion 35L 24oz 

As John Abela stated is a super comfortable pack that can be trim by eliminatinating unnecessary straps. 

You can find it for $70 at mossejaw.com 

Tarp/tent: six moons designs scout 34oz 

The trekking pole set up is quick and reliable, make sure to seam sealed twice for full rain protection. At $125 is hard to beat. 


Sleeping bag quilt: aegismax quilt 32F 16oz 

The Japanese manufacturer has created a big buzz among ultralighters, with 850 fill of goose down. 

Their quilt is almost an exact replica to Enlighment Equipment Revelation quilt.

You can find it in Alibaba.com for $86 

Sleeping pad: klymit static v lite 2  $35 (refurbished) 

Their pads are extraordinary for the money and their ebay front store carries refurbished or return items for super cheap. Weight 16oz. 

Pillow: klymit cush 2.5oz $15 

In our opinnion is hard to beat an item that can be used as 2 different items. 

The cush can be folded and used as a seating pad. 

Stakes: vargo titanium sheppard hooks (rugged, durable, ultralight and can be used in any terrain) 

Set of 6 $25 weight: 1.75oz

Total sleep system cost: $370

Total sleep system weight: 70.25oz 

Cooking system

Toaks titanium 550mm $25 weight: 3oz 

Brs 3000 stove: 0.5oz $13 via amazon.com 

Sea to summit alloy long spoon 1oz $10 

Gsi ultralight java drip 2oz $10 (grind your coffee super fine so you dont need a filter) 

Sea to summit collapsible cup 2oz $10

Lightload packable towels: for all cleaning purposes $2 ea. 1oz

Cooking sytem cost: $70

Cooking system weight: 9.5oz 


Adventure medical kit solo $14 

weight: 10.4oz (can be trim or added depending location and distance) 

Anker battery bank 10000mAH $25 weight 9oz (charges your phone from 20% to 100% 6 times) 

Compass/temperature thermometer: silva 2oz $10 

Miscellaneous cost: $49 

Miscellaneous weight: 21.5oz 

Water and filtration

sawyer squeeze filter 3oz $30 

2 smart water bottles 1L 2.5oz $5 

Weight: 5.5oz 

Cost: $35 

Total cost: $524 

Total weight: 107oz/ 6lb 11oz. 

While we couldnt accomplish an entire list for $500…we got damn close. 

Final note: as baseweight we did not include trekking poles, food, water, fuel or clothing. 

Clothinwise: hit your local thrift shop, you can score high quality gear depending your location for dirt cheap.  

Regarding trekking poles:  cascade technologies are a great inexpensive option.  Their cork handle flick locks built a good reputation among hikers. Available for $49. 

Enjoy the pack list and if you go out, stay safe and if you are new to the sport always check with somebody more experienced about your needs. 



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