- The Pack - Why carry 2.5Kgs on you back before you even start to load your pack! The bigger the pack to more you put in it. For most trips up to a full week 35 to 40 liters in more than enough. I never need anymore than 35 liters. Make sure you have good outside storage, rear and side mesh pockets and bungy lacing. I can recommend Gossamer Gear's Gorilla pack and Ultra Light Adventure's Conduit or Circuit. Dyneema fabric is light and bullet proof for bush bashing.
- Your Boots - It takes a lot of energy to lift 1.5kgs of weight on every step for 4 to 6 hours! Boots were the last heavy piece of equipment I gave up - should have done it first up. Good trail running shoes will have you flying along and if you are doing a lot of river crossings you won't be lugging around another kilo of water in those wonderful Gortex waterproof boots. As for "ankle support", I'm sure that's a marketing ploy by boot manufactures. Mountain runners subject their ankle to more stress than us trampers and they fair OK. Try any good brand of trail running shoe that had good toe cap and extended side protection - I use New Balance 410 (out of stock now), Inov8 330, Montrail make a couple of good shoes. Most of these shoes weigh in at 600 to 700gms. I loved the old Montrail Vitesses but they stopped making them at the height of their popularity with the light weight community. Insane!
- Sleeping Bag - I have two - one for 2 to 3 season and the other for 3 to 4 seasons. I basically tramp 3 seasons. You can get some very good bags between 450 and 700kgs - My favourite is Western Mountaineering I would recommend the WM Summerlite for a "go to" bag. For winter conditions try the WM UltraIight. I have a MacPac Adventure 300 bag for the 3rd season - It's waterproof and the added weight (700gms) is OK, as I don't need the bivy for water splash protection under my tarp. I also have the WM HighLite as my 2/3 season bag (455grams), great combined with my Oware bivy under my tarp.
- Tent - Once again dependent on where and what season you are using your shelter in, but I am a tarp or tarp tent man now. You can pitch these in many ways and combined with a light weight bivy bag you will get great protection. I have the Oware eVent bivy at 284gms - a shitty website, but great gear. Checkout Mountain Laurel Designs for good bivys. I have just invested in the new Hexamid tarp with some special additions Joe is sewing in for NZ conditions - extended beak - more on this in future blogs. My 2 person shelter is the old Henry Shires Squall Classic at 700gms. Do your homework. There are hundreds of blogs and lightweight sites you can research. Checkout Six Moons (solo enhanced) and Mountain Laurel Designs tarp. They have some great tarps and tarp tents. The Gossamer Gear SpinnTwinn is also a winner.
Hexamid cuben fiberTarp - 86.6gms
Oware bivy bag - 284gms
WM HighLight sleeping bag - 455gms
Gossamer Gear Gorilla pack - 685gms
You are an adventurer in paradise, not a pack horse!