Richard Bucker

SuperUltraLight Hiking - under 5 pounds

Posted at — Oct 14, 2016

I’m reading the book Ultralight Backpacking Tips and I’m at a section that is discussing SUL or SuperUltraLight hiking. As I’m reviewing the contents of the demonstration pack I’m exhausted thinking about it. My lightest pack is about 400g and his about 130g. What is further amazing to me is that I have a waterproof stuff sack that could do the trick. I suppose if I had two of these sacks and some rope I could make a yukon pack and call it a day. Also there is the Seatosummit nano tarp ponch and it weighs only 8oz. The author describes a 7oz tarp including stakes and cord, however, this is possible with the lightest Cuben fiber tarp from ZPacks the weight will be closer to 5oz. (I hate to think he was exaggerating but the weight difference between my coolmax liner and a proper camping quilt is only 7oz.)

I think that the items make perfect sense, however, there are challenges in the individual weights and I might be able to go lower in some cases.

Pack - My pack is heavy by SUL standards. I think I should make a Tyvek bag.

Pack liner - while many use trash compactor bags if I’m going SUL either forego the bag or use a lighter weight garbage bag

Sleeping quilt - my liner comes in at 9oz

Sleeping pad - a torso length reflectix mat is about 7oz when combined it can cover the space blanket

Space blanket - see sleeping pad

Tarp - this is a tough sell. The lightest but most fragile material is Mylar. Next I might be looking at a Sil nano tarp/poncho at 8oz or a zpack cuben hexamid tarp at 4oz. The zpack is small enough to fold in a cargo pocket abd the seatosummit poncho/tarp serves double duty at 8oz.

rain jacket - no need if using a poncho/tarp (8oz)

insullating jacket - a second shirt and the poncho might make this be less of an issue. (7oz)

cook pot - don’t need it if I’m hiking from disk to dawn an eating food that does not require cooking.

spoon - don’t need this either

firekit - as much as a fire is nature’s TV since I will not be eating warm food then I don’t need this either. It would be nice to have a fire to dry my socks except this time of year everything is wet and regardless of this time of year this section of trail is always wet. However a second pair of socks could offset the weight.

LED light - hiking from dusk to dawn in the swamp a light could be helpful because if the sun sets and you’re still trudging in swamp you are either setting up camp in the swamp or continuing to the next dry patch.

Water bottle - might need a second if you’re using a sawyer.

water kit - aquamira is common but I’d prefer a sawyer too.

first aid - same for both

toiletries - pretty much the same for both

I did not address some of the other weights and although a scale is necessary, according to the author, I think I can get under or at 3lbs.