2016 Gear List

While officially lightweight  in 2014 at 18lb (8kg) on Day 1 and 15lb by the end, in order to reduce the strain on my feet I have reduced my base pack weight (i.e. excluding food, water and fuel) in 2016 to around 11lb (5kg). But how?

The heavier items (tent, pack, sleep system) are the obvious prime candidates for change but in fact it is best to ask questions of every single item in turn all the way down to the toothbrush and each stuffsack: does it need to be taken at all? Can its function be combined with another item? Is there a lighter option which doesn’t compromise functionality much?

So I went through my whole gear list and considered each item carefully and honestly. I realized that (relatively speaking) I had found my tent and sleeping pad to be very comfortable. Which meant I could afford to cut a few corners and settle for ‘adequate’ instead. Warmth-wise I always had options in 2014 and never considered myself REALLY cold, even in April. With an early May start this time and much lower elevations in the early miles I should only have a few weeks of potential cold, probably nothing much below 5c (40f), so wool longjohns, sleeping bag liners and even down jackets could potentially be left at home, at least before the Whites in New Hampshire. 900 grams (2lb) of savings came from simply not taking some items again, such as a camera.

Here is a table of the principal items that count towards a pack’s base weight (so excluding little items under 14g / 0.5oz) and how they have changed since 2014. You can click the column headers to sort the table in different ways.

Product Type
2016 Item
2014 Item
Weight Saving (%)
TentZpacks Altaplex (camo)711Lightheart SoLong94425Ordered Altaplex Nov 25th 2015. Both includes linelocs, stakes, stuffsack, guylines. SoLong was perfect. Altaplex is smaller but lighter
BackpackGossamer Gear Mariposa819Granite Gear Blaze135540Latest Mariposa seems to have fixed the shoulder straps that caused me nerve damage
Backpack LinerLiteTrail NyloBarrier28Exped Schnozzel6356Will blow up sleeping pad by mouth
Sleeping BagZpacks 20f wide579Zpacks 20f wide5790A 30f bag would save 80g but not worth the cost
Sleeping Bag StuffsackAs Tucas Bellios7Zpacks Medium Drysack2470Not waterproof but close enough for the conditions
Sleeping Bag LinerNone0LifeVenture Silk Sleeper EX3131100Later start means no need for warmth boost
Sleeping MatThermarest Neoair X-Lite350Exped SynMat UL746625Hoping it is close in comfort to Exped
Sleep Mat InflatorNone0Exped Schnozzel62100Inflate by mouth
Layer 2 (Fleece)Montane Allez Micro Hoodie182Arcteryx Delta LT21214Love the Delta but wanted a hood this time
Layer 3 (Down)Borah Gear Vest88Arcteryx Cerium LT23062Later start and lower elevations means less warmth needed
Layer 4 (Rain)Berghaus VapourLight Hyper Jacket95Zpacks WPBCF14836Berghaus is less robust but still fit for purpose
Wind JacketNone0Arcteryx Incendo125100Will use rain jacket instead
Rain PantsTBD103Montane Minimus12014Trialling Anti Gravity Gear sil-nylon pants but disappointed they were 103g in medium, not 85g as advertised
Rain MittsInov-8 Race Ultra Mitt28MLD eVent Rain Mitts3622MLD just launched 2 layer mitts for 18g. Owned Inov-8 are warm and light so will stick with them.
External BatteryTeckNet PowerZen 2nd Gen 6400132EasyAcc 9000 uBright19145Still to be decided
Wall ChargerPowergen 12W41Powergen 17W8653Dual port, 2.4 amp shared
Sleeping TopRab Aeon Long Sleeve Tee95Rab Aeon Long Sleeve Tee950Alternative baselayer. Aeon works perfectly
LongjohnsRohan Ultra Silver Leggings89Icebreaker Bodyfit 20018552Less warm but much lighter
StoveBRS-3000T25Soto Windmaster6562Soto is much better. But 40g is 40g...
Cook PotEvernew ECA264 + Ruta Locura CF Lid80Evernew ECA25211027640ml vs 900ml but that is adequate. Also much less pack size
Bed SocksNone0Angora Wool60100Later start + wearing night splints
Water FilterSawyer Mini filter SP12850Sawyer Mini filter SP128500Not averse to switching to Squeeze for greater flow
Music PlayerSandisk Sansa Sport Zip (8Gb)32Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip30-7Sport is heavier but has 25 hour battery vs 12.
Toilet BagTough ziplock97Tough ziplock970No changes. Qiwiz Big Dig, TP, wet wipes + zinc oxide cream
PillowSea-to-Summit Aeros60BPL.co.uk pillow case + clothes45-33TBD. How to affix to pad without liner?
Plantar Night SplintsStrassburg Sock (2)120None0-100Reduce plantar fasciitis damage
Nail ClippersFrom Xmas cracker14Seki Edge3459Luxury item so 14g version is more sensible
Massage BallDue North Foot Rubz60None0-100For foot, calf and ITB massage
Spares & Repairs BagMisc items90Misc items11018Some rationalization of items
SpoonMSR Folding Spork14MSR Folding Spork140Not ideal but stores in pot which is great
KnifeSpyderco Bug12Gerber Ultralight LST1729Nothing wrong with Gerber. Several good options in <=17g range.
HeadlampPetzl e-Lite27None0-100Safer to have one. This is the lightest.
Food bagZpacks Blast40Zpacks Blast400
First Aid KitTreadlite Cuben Zip bag125Ziplock1250Misc items, e.g. bandaids, painkillers, etc.
Knee BraceTubigrip Elastic Bandage x 250Chopat Dual Action18072Starting off optimistically with very light support. Can get a proper brace again if needed.
CameraNone0Olympus Stylus TG-630210100Includes spare battery & charger. Phone only now.
Mi-Fi HotspotNone0Verizon Jetpack94100Accept less data connectivity this time
GlovesRab MeCo 16524Seirus Hyperlite4445Less burly but adequate
Drinking MugNone0GSI Cascadian Mug74100Use drinking bottle. Have less-hot drinks or will melt.
GuidebookQuarter of AWOL63Quarter of AWOL630Including the nice ziplock he supplies
Camp ShoesNone0Mizuno Universe 5166100Just put up with hiking shoes
Hand SanitizerCuticura 8 Hour45Cuticura 8 Hour4501 bottle lasts over a month
SunscreenSmall bottle40Small bottle400Refill from time to time
Water Bladder (2L)Sawyer Pouch38Sawyer Pouch380Camp use
Bear LineLawson Ultraglide 48'45Lawson GloWire 50'5010New cord from Lawson specifically for tree-protecting bear bagging
Gas CanisterAny brand155Any brand1550100g/3.5oz. Weight of empty canister
Total4653700833.6Excludes items below 14g (0.5oz)

The full up-to-date gear list with lots more details on the products above, plus the minor items omitted here for space reasons (e.g. earplugs) and links to all the product webpages can be found on my GearGrams page here. I’d highly recommend GG for hikers, especially now that it works on smartphones as well.


5 thoughts on “2016 Gear List

  1. Good post . You cwazy fool ya. The lightweight bug has really struck this time!

    Good to see the eLite included, wise to ditch the wind barrier? I assume rain barrier is windproof?

    No bag liner? Hmm.
    No MiFi? Fair enough.
    No camp shoes? Hmm.
    No mug?!? Hmm.

    Feels like the list might be leaving a space for a luxury item…? Or is that the extra bit of high-energy food on the trail?

    Forza! :)

    1. Lol, yes I have taken another step to the light side.
      Yes, the rain jacket will be getting more use this time; as I hike hot and sweaty the wind jacket was used more in town last year and that’s a luxury I can afford to ditch. I still have three 50g wind jackets on my long list – a new one from Montane coming soon plus the Montbell Tachyon and Zpacks Ventum. They do pack a punch for just 50g so I would advise others to consider them carefully.
      Camp shoes: I think they contributed to the plantar problems as they have no cushioning or insoles. I could switch my insoles into them I guess but in the end I thought I’d give the first month a go without them and see how it goes.
      Same for the mug – I actually ditched my mug halfway in last time and didn’t much miss it. Use the Vitamin Water drinking bottle for everything, it all ends up mixed up in the stomach anyway!
      I’m trying to create enough space for the ultimate luxury item – survival!

  2. I remember you talking about the Six Moons Fusion at one time. Curious your thoughts of the Mariposa over that one? I bought a 65 Fusion for my next hike coz it was on sale for 100 bucks and my Six Moons Starlite really bit the dust. I’ve only taken it out on one day hike–seems ok, but i really miss the absolute simplicity of the Starlite.

    1. I have never tried either version of the Fusion. I have got my base weight down to 11lb now so I don’t really need the extra carrying ability the Fusion claims to offer over a UL pack and I know I like the design of the Mariposa. I will be sure to write more feedback on the new Mariposa once I’ve used it for a decent period of time on trail.

Leave a Reply