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Ultralight is what worked for me...

Very litttle has changed from the following gear list that I used on my 2001 PCT thru-hike and the only major change is that I kept my WM "Ultralite" sleeping bag for the entire trip, never switching it out for the lighter WM bag and that ended up being a very good decision because the desert sure got cold some nights. Remember that ultralighting is certainly not a method of backpacking for those who don't yet have a sound knowledge of backcountry travel or experience. Safety must never be compromised so a thorough study of ultralight gear and hiking methods must include a lot of time spent in research, thought, and experimenting before you wander too far into the wilderness. The following gear list is the result of my own personal progression from heavyweight, to lightweight, and finally ultralight.

While hiking the Appalachian Trail in '94 the base weight (less consumables such as food & water) of my pack was 25 + pounds. Over the years I began to research and study lightweight gear and methods which trimmed my base weight for my 2000 thru-hike of the Colorado Trail down to just 19 pounds. Then, thanks to the internet and great e-groups like Backpacking Light I have now entered the realm of ultralight backpacking with a total base weight of under 10 pounds. Heavyweight backpacking is usually considered anything above 20 pounds. Lightweight usually falls between 12 to 20 pounds, while ultralight is below 12 pounds. Most ultralight backpackers base weight for 3 season hiking is under 10 pounds.

If you would like to see individual photos and personal reviews for my gear list then

click here

My gear list

(revised on March 31, 2001)

  • Total weight overview :
    • Total base weight without cold weather or desert gear..........................................136.6oz./ 8.5 lbs.
    • Total base weight with extra desert gear...............................................................143.5 oz./ 8.9lbs.
    • Total base weight with cold weather gear............................................................176.9 oz./ 11.0 lbs.
      (Add/minus designated sleeping bags & Jagbags for cold gear)
    • Total base weight if I would only give up 18 oz. of luxuries (camera, film, tripod, radio receiver, batteries) "Fat chance"!.......................................................................................................................7.4 lbs.

  • Color coding :
    • Kit type arrangements noted (in bold black)
    • High Sierras and North Cascades only (in yellow)
    • Desert only (in pink)

    • Various gear links noted in blue.

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