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Mount St. Helens   |   Backpacking Checklist   |   Ultralight Backpacking Transition   |   gear reviews
Ultralight Backpacking Transition
My transition from a Gear head to an Ultralight backpacker began in 2001.  The whole philosophy is very intriguing.  I'm not sure how Ultralight I'll eventually be able to get, but I'm enjoying the process.  My first targets are the "Big 3" and this is what I've managed so far:  

Jansport Tahoma backpack- 2600 cubic inches, claimed weight of 1 kg (2.2lbs).

The Tahoma reduces my pack weight by 2 kg (~4.4 lbs) but it also reduces my carrying capacity by half.  The challenge will be acquiring the gear that will allow me to use this pack on an extended backcountry outing.

The Shelter and Sleeping bag departments are now the primary areas of weight reduction left.

For shelter I like the idea of a net tent (bugs and mice) and a nylon tarp.  A tent is acceptable if I can manage to find one that is reasonably roomy yet compact.  My wife and dogs are my usual hiking partners so cozy is fine.  Any suggestions on this one are much appreciated.

Sleeping Bag
Finding a sleeping bag should be less difficult.  My current bag is a synthetic fill, rated to 20 degrees, weighing in at a hefty 2 kg (~4.5 lbs) and is bulky in the stuff sack (28cm x 50cm / 11"X16").  I am a warm sleeper and this bag is nearly always too warm.

Other miscellaneous weight reductions
Gerber LST pocket knife.  1.3 oz (37 g).  Read my review of this knife.

Gear Reviews
Lightweight locking blade knives