August 2020 VT Long Trail

  •   Category Weight
  • Pack
    1.63 lb
  • Shelter
    1.64 lb
  • Sleep
    3.14 lb
  • Water Filtration & Carry
    0.35 lb
  • Cooking
    0.86 lb
  • Bear Bag
    0.15 lb
  • Hiking Clothing
    3.28 lb
  • Camp/Sleep Clothing
    1.49 lb
  • First Aid & Hygiene
    1.09 lb
  • Navigation
    0.35 lb
  • Electronics
    1.11 lb
  • Misc
    1.24 lb
  • Consumables
    10.55 lb
  • Total 26.88
    • oz
    • lb
    • g
    • kg
  • Consumable 10.84 lb
  • Worn 4.12 lb
  • Base Weight 11.92 lb

[TL:DR] Finishing my last section of Vermont's Long Trail in late August. Could get cool ... With a base weight of 11.9 lbs, and with 10.8 lbs of consumables, my full pack should weigh 22.6 lbs - Packed for 5 days between resupply. That's within this pack's comfort range ...

"Worn" weight, which includes everything I wear, stuff in my pockets, and carry in my hands, adds up to just under 4.1 lbs. Add full pack weight to worn weight, and you get "Total," or "Full Skin Out" weight. That's 26.6 lbs. That number is important to some people.

I currently weigh 174 lbs. Any fat reserves I carry around my middle will be consumed as necessary. [/TL:DR]

I adopted UL concepts years ago while planning a 2012 AT thru hike. While I appreciate those concepts and mindset, I don't base my sense of self-worth on arbitrary base weight numbers - I pack the minimum I need to stay warm, dry, and healthy given expected conditions. I look at total pack weight for a particular trip, and choose the smallest, lightest pack that can best handle that load.

So ...

I'll continue northbound from where I got off to complete my End-to-end hike. That's 65 miles from VT 108, near Stowe, VT, to the northern border with Canada. That section of the Long Trail is every bit as tough as the toughest sections of the Appalachian Trail. So I'm motivated to go light.

But ...

Overnight lows around the northern terminus in early August average around 54°, with the 10 yr record low at 43°. Subtract 3.5° for each 1000' of elevation above the wx station, and the lows at 3000' are likely to be the in mid 40's, with a slight possibility of dipping down into the low 30s. So while I think about how my clothing, sleep and shelter stuff can work together to keep me warm and dry, I don't have to go nuts with heavy base layers and insulation.

If I get cold in camp, I can always wrap my quilt around me, and wear all my clothes to bed

For shelter I'll carry my Dutch Half Zip hammock, an HG DCF tarp, and 40° quilts

My new Superior Wilderness Designs, Superior 35 HB - Frameless pack worked fine with the additional weight of a hammock-based shelter system. It weighs in at 637g. That's 182g or 6.4 ozs lighter than my good, old ULA Ohm2.

I replaced my relatively light, mid-height Asolo Piuma boots with La Sportiva Akasha mountain runners. That's almost a half pound off my feet.

When I dry camp I like to have 2-3L of water to cook dinner, breakfast, and start out the next morning with a full water bottle. And if drought conditions have dried up springs, I like to carry 2 liters. For filtration, I replaced Sawyer's older Mini with their new Micro. The flip-top cap on certain SmartWater bottles work nicely to backflush Sawyer filters, allowing me to leave the old, heavier backflush syringe at home. I'll carry a 900 ml Evernew Water Bag for dirty water, and I'll drink from 2, 700ml Smartwater bottles. With that, my water carry capacity will be 2.3 liters. I improved my filtration flow rate, and cut my water system weight by a few grams.

I'm pretty happy with this. I'll keep looking for ways to make it lighter ... Without sacrificing safety, too much comfort, or too much of my life's savings...

You'll see items with a shirt logo. That identifies them as "Worn Weight" to the software. 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, that I'm not going 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.

I have no personal of financial interest in any companies on this list. No quid pro quo! Links are for informational purposes only. I swear.