East Coast 3 Season Backpacking w/ Hammock & Tarp

  •   Category Weight
  • Pack
    1.46 lb
  • Shelter
    1.84 lb
  • Sleep
    3.18 lb
  • Water Filtration & Carry
    0.41 lb
  • Cooking/Eating
    0.8 lb
  • Bear Bag
    0.24 lb
  • Hiking Clothing
    2.88 lb
  • FoulWx/Sleep Clothing
    2.24 lb
  • First Aid & Hygiene
    1.93 lb
  • Navigation
    0.43 lb
  • Electronics
    1.35 lb
  • Misc
    2.06 lb
  • Consumables
    14.38 lb
  • Total 33.2
    lb
    • oz
    • lb
    • g
    • kg
  • Consumable 15.4 lb
  • Worn 3.58 lb
  • Base Weight 14.22 lb

[TL:DR]

Finished my last section of Vermont's Long Trail. The northern 65 miles. Got into 40s at night... With a base weight of 14.2 lbs, and with ~15 lbs of consumables for 7 days between resupply, my full pack weighed in at 29.6 lbs. That's a bit above the comfort range of this pack. And was a bit hard on shoulders till I ate thru that food bag.

I used a hammock-based shelter/sleep system that has worked well for me.

[/TL:DR]

I adopted UL concepts years ago while planning a 2012 AT thru hike. I learned to appreciate the concepts and mindset. I try not to base my sense of self-worth on what I consider to be arbitrary base-weight numbers. I pack the minimum I need to stay warm, dry, and healthy given expected risks and conditions. I look at my total pack weight (base + consumables) for a particular trip, and choose the smallest, lightest pack in my quiver that can best handle that load.

This spreadsheet helps me do that, while looking for areas of improvement.

Worn Weight - You'll see items with a shirt logo. That identifies them as "Worn Weight" to the software. That includes everything I wear, stuff in my pockets, and carry in my hands. Right now that adds up to a little over 4 lbs. The software underlaying this web site is smart enough to know that if I list an item as worn, with a qty greater than 1, I'm not likely to be wearing more than 1 at a time. So it adds the weight of the remainder to the pack's base weight. (I.e. I take 2 pairs of socks and flag them them as "worn." The software adds the weight of one pair to worn weight, and the other to base weight.

Base Weight - The total weight of the pack and everything in it, except consumables. Does not include stuff worn, in my pockets, or carried in my hands.

Consumables - Stuff one uses up. Generally food, water and fuel.

The weight of "Base" and "Consumables" combined gives me my Total Pack Weight. That tells me whether the pack I wanted for this trip can support the load I plan to carry. If not, I need to either switch to a pack with a more robust suspension, figure out how to make the load lighter, or suffer a bit for a few days till I consume a few pounds of food ...

Add full pack weight to worn weight, and you get "total" weight, aka, "Full Skin Out" weight. That number tells one how much their musculoskeletal system is supporting.

Some folks look at the weight of their "Big Three" for potential weight savings. Big Three for this list is 6lb.

In 2019, that Superior Wilderness Designs frameless pack was new to me, and worked fine with a lighter load on the first 200 miles of this trail. That pack weighs in at 637g (22.5oz), has 45L total volume, and a rated 20 lb total capacity. Plus it's highly water resistant, and it fits me like a glove. But with this heavier load it was a bit uncomfortable on the shoulders till I consumed a good part of that food bag.

I started at the Canadian Border and hiked south to Smuggler's Notch, where I got off in '19. That completed my section hike of the LT. That's ~65 miles. That section of the Long Trail is every bit as tough as the toughest sections of the Appalachian Trail. So I was motivated to go light. I made one resupply at Johnson Hardware, reducing the amount of food I needed to carry.

For "shelter" I carried my HammockGear DCF Hex Tarp, and my Dutchware Half-Zip Hammock. My "sleep system"was my HammockGear 40° Top and under quilts, a DutchWare underquilt protector and my Exped Air Pillow. I carried my short mummy Nemo Tensor r1.6 sleeping pad, in case I want to sleep in a shelter, or needed to go to ground. I did use it in the End of Journey Shelter. It could have gone in the hammock to add a bit more insulation if needed ...

Overnight lows around the northern terminus in early August got down into the high 40s°. I did wear my light puffy to bed a couple of nights, along with my light merino beanie and Acorn socks. I was comfortable.

For water filtration, I carried a Sawyer Mini with a Sawyer 32oz squeeze bag, and two 700ml Smartwater bottles. That gave me 2.35L water capacity. When I dry camp away from a water source, I like to have 2-3L of water to cook dinner, make breakfast, and to start out the next morning with a full water bottle .

I'm pretty happy with this. It's the culmination of 10 years backpacking in the Appalachian and Green Mountain ranges. I'll keep looking for ways to make it lighter ... Without sacrificing safety, too much comfort, or too much of my life's savings...

[Oblg Disc] I have no personal or financial interest in any companies on this list! No quid pro quo! Links are for informational purposes only! I swear!