Here's an ultralight backpacking list, an example of what I typically take on a weekend hike. We're all different in our needs and skills, though, so please don't take it as a recomendation. My list, with weights (not including what I wear to start):.*GoLite Breeze Backpack: 12 ounces.*Western Mountaineering Bag: 17 ounces.
*Nylon Tarp: 17 ounces.*Frogg Toggs Rain Jacket: 7 ounces.*Groundsheet: 2 ounces.*Sleeping Pad: 4 ounces.
*Bathroom Supplies: 3 ounces.*First Aid Kit: 3 ounces.*Knife, Lighter, Etc: 3 ounces.*Hat: 1 ounce.*Gloves: 1 ounce.*Poly Vest: 4 ounces.
*Socks, 2 pair: 2 ounces.*T-shirt, long sleeve: 6 ounces.*Camera: 5 ounces.*Light: 1 ounce.
*Water: 16 ounces.*Raw Sunflower Seeds: 16 ounces.*Fudge-dipped granola bars (8): 16 ounces.*Tortilla Chips: 16 ounces.TOTAL WEIGHT : 9 pounds, 8 ounces.This is a summer backpacking list, but it's worth noting that my 17-ounce sleeping bag has kept me warm below freezing.
The food adds up more than 6,700 calories, plus I tend to eat a lot of wild berries. I keep iodine pills for purifying water in my first aid kit, and stop often to refill the plastic water bottle.This isn't an exercise in deprivation. I have done that too, going out with just a plastic bag to sleep in and a few granola bars. This list is what I need for comfort, warmth and safety. It is actually very enjoyable to easily walk twenty miles through the mountains, with less than ten pounds on my back.
With the right skills, equipment and preparation, ultralight backpacking is never about suffering..Steve Gillman is a long-time backpacker, and advocate of lightweight backpacking. His advice and stories can be found at http://www.TheUltralightBackpackingSite.com.
By: Steven Gillman