Ultralight Winter Backpacking

30 09 2010

Ayo is heading out east for ten days at the beginning of October and I’m psyched for the opportunity to do some overnight hiking. Reno has a desert climate and experiences huge temperature swings, particularly at this time of year. Yesterday’s high was 92 degrees, with a low of 43 degrees. I want to be able to camp comfortably now and to continue being able to camp through the winter. I also want to keep my pack as light as possible. Translation: New equipment.

Aside from some odds-and-ends, here are the main additions:

Camelbak Fourteener – A 2.5 pound bag with 1,650 cubic inches of interior capacity and with gear loops and pockets for exterior carrying. Its bladder holds 100 oz. of water, enough for a full day out. (I’ll either hike near / to a water source or tie on an extra gallon jug for overnighting.)

My Pack And Hydration System

My Pack And Hydration System

REI +10 Halo Mummy Bag – This 750 fill goose down bag is very warm and very comfortable. Rated to 10 degrees, the best part about it is its weight: 2.5 pounds.

Can You Tell Why It's Called A "Mummy Bag"?

Can You Tell Why It's Called A "Mummy Bag"?

Black Diamond Spotlight Bivy – Okay, get this. A shelter that provides protection from the elements while giving me some space to read and store my pack. All at a weight of… 1 pound.

The Bivy Shelter

The Bivy Shelter

Big Agnes Iron Mountain Sleeping Pad – This should keep me warm and comfortable, putting me 2.5 inches off of the ground: 1.5 pounds.

The Sleeping Pad

The Sleeping Pad

Total weight of my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and backpack: 7.5 pounds. It’s not in the range of the top ultralight backpackers, but along with my 3-4 pounds of survival equipment it handily beats the normal base pack weight of 30 – 60 pounds. In terms of protection from the elements, my gear should keep me warm and dry through just about anything I would hike in. I’m looking forward to giving my gear a test drive next week! (It’s looking like my test drive will be a somewhat strenuous 17 mile hike to Paradise Lake, which is supposed to be gorgeous.)

posted by jay

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8 responses

30 09 2010
barbara j. levy

very cool equipment. isn’t one of the rules of hiking alone to always tell someone your route and your expected time back? sorry, that was just my mothering side popping out!

Barb

3 10 2010
jayhorowitz

Definitely! Two friends, Amy, and the Truckee Ranger District all have my route and check-in times.

3 10 2010
God

That’s sick! Is the sleeping bag too warm on mild nights?

3 10 2010
jayhorowitz

Depends how mild, but it could be. In that case I would just sleep in the bivy on the sleeping pad. The bivy also has an extra mesh layer over the upper area so if I want I can open the weatherproof exterior and see out / let cooler air in. Thanks for swinging by!

3 10 2010
barbara j. levy

ok, remember i am a new yorker living in texas. sounds like you have the latest protection from the weather. what protection do you have from 4 legged creatures?

b

3 10 2010
jayhorowitz

One of these. Much better than a gun.

11 10 2010
kayakdov

Don’t forget cooking gear and water Treatment. Sleep in the bivi sack before you go out on a trip. They sometimes have unbearable condensation problems. That’s a small pack, let us know if everything, including food, fits in. Have fun!

12 10 2010
jayhorowitz

Hey Dov! I just got back this morning and have a post in the works on gear. Everything fit in the pack and I was thrilled with my pack weight going out. Overall I was very happy, but you’ll soon see where I’ll be changing things up for next time. Safe paddling!

PEOPLE: Check out kayakdov’s blog! He’s kayaking from Spain to Israel. Yes, like, he’s doing it right now.

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