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Ultralight Transition
My exploration of the Ultralight philosophy is an intriguing and enjoyable.  I haven't managed the micro-weights of some devotees but my I've lowered my total pack weight 50% without the loss of comfort or connivence.  It is light enough that I even carry my camping gear on day hikes.

My first targets are the "Big 3," Backpack, Tent & Sleeping Bag.


My first acquisition was a Jansport Tahoma backpack 1 kg (2.2 lb.).  The Tahoma reduces my pack weight by more than a kilogram but it also reduces my capacity by half.  My next challenge will be finding gear for an extended backpacking trip that will fit inside this pack.

I am reevaluating my shelter requirements.  Minimally I require protection from rain.  I've used tarps with great success but I've become accustomed to the comforts of a tent.  I continue to explore my options.

Sleeping Bag
The features I am looking for are ~40F rating, synthetic fill, compact and light as possible.

In recent years I've been using a Therm-a-Rest self inflating mattress.  Its more compact and comfortable than closed cell insulating pads but weighs more (1 lb. 12 oz.).

The other essentials

A water filter is a new addition to my gear list.  By filtering instead of boiling I can carry less fuel a lighter stove.  The SWA inline water filter looks like a good option.

I plan to experiment with solid fuel (esbit) and alcohol ( "cat stove" or "photon") stoves.  

Cooking Gear
1 liter pot, lid, insulated cup and a spoon should cover most or my needs.

Mini-Mag-Lite AA-114 g (4 oz) with batteries  and extra bulb.

(worn or carried)
Wool blend socks
Poly Pro long johns or cycling thermal tights
Polar Tech "powder dry" long sleeve top
Short Sleeve button style shirt
Cycling Arm Warmers
Fleece Vest
Wind and water resistant jacket
Rain Chaps
Adidas Augur ll boots.
Fleece or Supplex Pants (optional)
Fleece Jacket (optional)

First Aid Kit
Minimum:  moleskin, Band-Aids, tweezers, gauze, neosporin, Tylenol, clippers, needle, dental floss, toothbrush and an ace bandage (40g).

Map & Compass
Silva (31 g)

I've been using a Gerber LST lock blade pocket knife for years.  I hardly know I'm carrying it (36 g) yet I feel naked without it.  It's big enough to handle most tasks yet small enough to carry all the time.  It's a GREAT little knife.


Fire Starter
heat tabs
butane lighter