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9 Pound Ultralight Backpacking Gear List

– Hi, Adventure Alan here. I’ve been backpacking for over 50 years, and I’ve been ultralight
backpacking for the last 20 of those, and I’d like to
share my experience with you. Today we’re gonna talk
about my nine pound, full comfort, lightweight, gear list, which I believe is the best
backpacking gear on the market. Not only for me, but also for you. It’s simple, it’s easy to use, it’s light, and it will keep you safe,
warm, and comfortable, so you don’t have to worry
about your well-being. But probably the most important
thing about this gear, is that it’s transformative. It makes backpacking fun again. It’s just like walking in your local park as opposed to trudging down the trail with this 50 or 45 pound pack
burdening down your life. So without further ado, let’s
go ahead and take a look at all this great backpacking gear. Okay, we’re here, so let’s take a look at all this great gear. I’ve sort of spread it
out on this blanket here so you can get a good overview
of what we’re looking at. But one of the first
things that you can look at is even though all this gear
only weighs nine pounds, you have everything you need. You have high-quality, warm sleeping bag, a two-person, super solid tent, a large capacity backpack
with a good frame, lots of warm clothing, rainwear, this is a super warm down jacket. You’ve got a nice cook set,
you’ve got emergency comm gear, you’ve got a USB battery,
you’ve got hydration, water purification, maps, and navigation. First aid kit, repair kit,
you got the works here, but you don’t have the weight. Okay, first up is my
Hyperlite Southwest 3400 pack. This pack’s been all
over the world with me. This exact pack, it’s been,
north of the Arctic circle, in Alaska, it’s been down to Patagonia, it’s been technical canyoneering in Utah, it’s done trails in the
Sierras and the Rockies, it’s my one pack does it all. It’s got a huge volume if I need it, it doesn’t have volume if I don’t. If I combine it with these
Dyneema waterproof stuff sacks all my gear stays dry, I
don’t need to use rain cover, I don’t need to pack my pack differently whether it’s raining or not. It’s got these nice, durable,
solid fabric pockets, which unlike mesh, they don’t tear if you go through brush or
scrape against granite. And it’s got nice hip belt pockets, I’ve got a couple shoulder
pockets on this thing. It’s got enough pockets that
I can get almost everything I need out of the day
without ever having to go into the main body of the
pack, which is super good. So moving on here, we have
my Hammock Gear Burrow ultralight down quilt, as you can see, this is just hugely puffy
and warm, it’s kind of like the Michelin Man version
of a sleeping bag. But it’s super light and best,
it’s not all that expensive. It’s about half the cost
of a down sleeping bag and it weighs a lot less. Underneath the quilt, I have this Therm-a-Rest
NeoAir Xlite Women’s pad, this is the women’s, but all
the men I know use it too. It’s warmer than the men’s pad at about the same weight,
which is, a super, it’s advantage if things get really cold. And this is my pillow
here, it’s a stuff sack that when you stuff it this
way it’s nice and nappy, which is against your head,
and my down jacket’s in here. This is a very warm down jacket. It doesn’t weigh very much. So, this is the Hyperlite
Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 Tent. It’s been on the market about six months, I’m pretty stoked about it. It is super strong, I am actually
leaning against this tent, but it only weighs 1.8
pounds, it weighs less than almost all two-person tents on the market. But if you open this tent up and look inside, it’s huge inside. It’s 34 square feet in here, which is about 25 or 30% larger
than most two-person tents. But whether you wanna
go solo or two-person, you can kinda have your
cake and eat it too ’cause at 1.8 pounds,
this tent can do both. All right, so let’s go through the gear and this corner of the
mat, we’ll just sort of work our way from the
back towards the front. We have this Sawyer Squeeze
Water Filtration System, I actually like the full size squeeze, I find that the smaller
Sawyer’s, like the mini, they don’t have enough flow
rate and they tend to clog, it’s not worth saving an ounce. I like these bladders more
than smart water bottles because I can collapse them
and get them outta the way. My normal mode for hydration
is to drink at the source, I might carry half a liter or a liter, but a lot of times I don’t. That gives me the option
of just folding these up and putting them out of the way. For cooking, I have this
Trail Designs Caldera System. It’s basically an alcohol version that worked kind of like a Jetboil stove. There is this cone which
works as a heat exchanger to protect this alcohol stove,
keeps all the heat focused around the pot, super
efficient, super light, weighs about half of what a Jetboil does. I have two fuel containers, this four-ounce Boston
round bottle will get me about five day, five,
six days worth of fuel. This about eight or 10 days
in this larger, eight-ounce duel chamber bottle that
actually helps to measure fuel. Ignition, just a standard BIC lighter. I’ve got this light sub
two-ounce titanium mug so I can eat my breakfast and have
my coffee at the same time. Nice, big shovel titanium spoon. Moving over to here, in
keeping with Leave No Trace, I’ve got this Deuce of
Spades potty trowel. I’ve got some bumwad and some
alcohol, hand sterilizer. Moving back over to here,
keeping with sort of the hygiene, I’ve got toothpaste, full size toothbrush, cutting it in half makes no sense. I’ve got this Picaridin insect repellent. It works way better than Deet,
small, half ounce bottle. Some sunscreen, again,
I tend to use clothing for sun protection, so I
don’t use a lot of sunscreen, this probably lasts me half a year. Lip balm, earplugs, couple
extra water bottle caps. Moving forward here, I’ve got a minimal first aid kit, but it works. I’ve got a small repair kit here. Moving on to some more
important stuff for navigation. I’ve got this Suunto M-3, this is a first rate compass
with declination adjustment. I have these custom maps I printed that is in a waterproof
gallon Ziploc baggie. But more often than not what I use to navigate, is my iPhone. I use it with guided GPS
and I do all my routes and waypoints, and I have four
or five different map layers, and that’s my primary navigation tool. The map is more for note
taking or getting big pictures or in case the phone
fails, which it never has. I like these just light,
inexpensive, like 12, $15 cases off of Amazon, and then I just use this polyethylene zip baggie. I’ve taken my iPhone down the Grand Canyon and that case it works fine. For emergency comm, I have
this Garmin inReach Mini. I think it’s the neatest
thing since sliced bread. When I’m guiding, I use this all the time, it’s super important for safety. So I have two flavors of headlamp here. This Black Diamond Spot Lite
which hits the sweet spot between weight and being
able to hike on trails, and having a fairly long battery life. But if I’m in the middle of
the summer and a lot of times I’ll just take this Fenix L0D2 little single triple A LED flashlight, amazing, it’s got a little clip I
can clip onto my hat brim and it turns into a headlamp. Given that we have so much
electronics backpacking, it is what it is, you do
need a backup USB battery. This Jackery Bolt is one of the nicest. 6400 milliamp hours,
delivers a super fast charge, and what I like about this,
is it’s got both a USB and a lightning cable built
into it, so you can’t lose the cables and you don’t
need to buy an extra cable pretty much to charge
anything in your kit. Moving over even a little farther here, I’ve got a nice pair of Zenni sunglasses. You order ’em online, they
come in about three weeks. But this is a super nice pair of prescription sunglasses, less than $50. For cutting things, I’ve
got two options here. These four or five dollar school scissors work great for most
anything you wanna cut, and they are airplane carryon friendly, which means I can do a trip
carryon and not have to buy a knife or check a knife
at the end of the trip. If I do need a knife,
and I do when I’m guiding with clients, and I need to cut up cheese and do meal prep and stuff like this. This Gerber LST is about
an ounce, super durable, and it’ll pretty much
cut anything you want. I don’t really see a need to carry a knife much larger than that. So, and most of that fits
into this ditty bag here, I just sort of have it spread out here for your convenience. But pretty much everything
you see spread out here that I was talking about
fits in this small bag. This rain jacket here and these rain pants together weigh less than 10 ounces. They’re almost a half a pound together. This is an Outdoor Research
Helium II rain jacket, it’s about six ounces,
it’s got one pocket on it, it’s got a zipper, it does the job, again, this is a jacket that I’ve
taken, not this particular one, but a jacket I’ve taken
all over the world. This is a pair of Zpacks
Vertice rain pants. They’re under four ounces,
I think they’re about three, 3.8 ounces, these still have
mud on them from going out on the Southern Patagonia
Ice Shelf this January. I pretty much go everywhere
with them, they’ve held up well. They’ve even been to Alaska,
so I’m super happy with them. For midlayer, I like this White Sierra Baz 100 weight fleece shirt, you
can get it for around 20 bucks on Amazon, and you can
find the link on my site. This is pretty much the
activewear that I wear during the day when I’m moving and it’s cold. The nice thing about
this 100 weight fleece is that it’s actually a
little bit wind resistant, and I find that I don’t
really need to even layer a wind shell over it to keep moving. At that point that it’s cold enough that I need to have a wind
block, I can actually just layer this Outdoor
Research jacket over it. Now I don’t know about you
but I have cold hands and feet so I’m always trying to
keep my hands and feet warm. Especially my hands. So you’ll see a fair
amount of hand wear here. These are the DeFeet
Duragloves, I like this nice, bright yellow night neon color ’cause it makes it super easy to find. Gloves are one of those
things that you always end up leaving on a rock
somewhere forgetting about and this makes it easy
to keep track of them. During the day, more and more often I’m wearing these sun gloves. I wore them all the time in
Alaska just a few weeks ago. The other advantage is that
they take a lot of wear and tear off of your hands,
I got a lot fewer scrapes on my hands in Alaska
wearing these gloves. So these are pretty much sun protection, scrape protection, I wear
them kind of all the time. When it gets cold, I have these Mountain Laurel
Designs eVent rain mitts. They go over these DeFeet gloves. Sometimes not even if it’s raining, it’s just it’s a wind
shell that the two of these are astonishingly warm
when paired together. To keep my noggin warm I actually prefer a balaclava like this. This is just a fleece balaclava, this is a Mountain Hardwear one but
the brand isn’t particular. But it gives you protection
all around your neck, and it also is really nice
if it’s buggy and it’s cold this is pretty much, it’s
great head protection, I carry one extra pair of socks, these are dedicated sleep socks. When I come into camp, I put
these on to go to bed in, and leave my wet, stinky
socks outside the tent to dry. This is my food bag. Nothing special, it depends on the requirements of where I am. But I can do a hang with this if that’s what the reg’s require. If you have special bear reg’s
and the Ursack is allowed, this is my next choice. Way lighter than a bear canister, way more easy to fit into your pack. And there’s really not a
lot of downside to this, except that some of the
parks like Yosemite, Kings and Sequoia Canyon
do not approve the Ursack, and you’re suck with
the rigid bear canister. So the last thing I’m gonna talk about is the trail clothes that I would wear, and this is super important. So, one of the things I said
is that I like body protection, I don’t like to wear a lot of sunscreen, I do a lot of bush whacking
and off trail travel, I like the skin protection
that long sleeve and long sleeve shirts and long pants. So the first thing is this
RailRiders Mojave Sun Shirt. This is a resurrection
of an echo mesh shirt that was used during the
Eco-races in the early aughts. It was one of my favorite shirts and they’ve started making
a slightly revised version of this shirt, I’m super excited. 50 SPF, nice ventilated side panels, super simple, no buttons, one pocket, doesn’t weigh a lot, doesn’t heat you up, to my mind a near perfect shirt. And these are the RailRiders
X-Treme Adventure Pants. Again, these are pants that
I would go to Patagonia, out onto the Southern Ice Shelf with me, they’ve been up in Alaska bush whacking. They hold up, they’re not
heavy, they’re perfectly great for trail hiking on the
JMT and the Sierras. What I like about them, while being light, they have the reinforced knees, they have a reinforced butt, they’ve got these ankle gathers so I don’t need to use gaiters. They’ve got tons of pockets,
these pockets are super deep, nothing’s falling out of that. Two zippered pockets on either side. And sort of like I was
telling you about my backpack where I have all these
pockets so I don’t need to go into the backpack, these
pants fill that role as well. Again, one of my goals is
to try not to grab stuff out of packs or anywhere
else, I wanna have it easily at hand and these pants
are a key element to that. Okay, pants down. This is a nice, versatile hat. This is the Outdoor
Research Sun Runner hat. And again, in keeping with
the sun protection thing, I have a sun cape when I need it, I can take it off when I don’t need it, it can just be a regular,
non-dorky ball cap, but if you spend a lot of
time at high altitudes, I think that having sun protection for your neck and ears
makes a lot of sense. Moving down to my feet. Maybe the most important thing
we talk about backpacking are these Altra Lone
Peak trail running shoes. Pretty much the favorite of the ultralight and lightweight backpacking community. These shoes go everywhere. I go through talus, I go
through snow with these shoes, mud, wading rivers in Alaska, these do it all, they hold up well. One of the things that I
really like about these shoes is this very wide toe box,
which gives my feet plenty of room when they tend to swell after the end of a 25 or 30 mile day. It’s always in my forefoot and my toes that are the stuff that starts to hurt. And this gives lots of room for expansion. For socks, I got a couple socks I wear. Most of the time I wear
these Darn Tough socks, I like the very thin,
short, unpadded versions. I find the thin works
better, I get fewer blisters, they’re more comfortable,
they wash easier, and they dry faster and absorb less water. An alternate to the Darn Tough are these Smartwool PHD socks, very similar to the Darn
Tough, they’re a little easier to get ahold of at REI
and some other places. So finally we’re gonna go and
look at the trekking poles which you haven’t see because
they’re holding up my tent. But I’m gonna pop one of
them out of the tent here. And bring it over here. And I think these are close to the best trekking poles on the market. These are the Cascade Mountain Tech carbon fiber trekking poles. But unlike most fancy trekking poles, which cost well over $100, these are $45, and I have seen so many clients break so many expensive,
lightweight trekking poles, these do not break, they do the job. So, if there was one piece
a year here I might buy, this would be very high on the list. So this is last but not least. And finally I forgot to mention
something about tent stakes. And these are some tent
stakes that I really like. These are these TNH tent stakes,
you can buy ’em on Amazon, but you can see here
they only have one notch, and this fin and this fin are both solid making this head area much stronger. And where I find that
most tent stakes fail is right in this notch area
where you put the cord around and you put a shoe on it, or
you pound on it with a rock, and it bends or snaps right
here because every single side is notched with two sides
completely unnotched, this tent stake is far stronger,
and will last a lot longer. As you can see, this just
isn’t rocket science. It’s not complicated being light. You have everything you need here. Nothing’s confusing, it’s
easy to use, you’d be warm, you’ll be safe, you’ll be comfortable, you got a warm sleeping bag,
you got a nice comfy pad, you got a big, nice tent to sleep in, you’ve got warm clothing,
you’ve got stuff to cook with, you’ve got safety communications gear, you have everything you need here. I know I rattled stuff off really quickly, it’s a lot of stuff to assimilate, there were a lot of
specs, there were a lot of names of stuff that
you probably didn’t get. But not to worry, all of
that stuff is on my website, there’s a link below to my
nine pound, full comfort, gear list, it has all the
information you need to pack super light, and make
backpacking a crap load more fun. So wishing you a great year trekking. This is Adventure Alan signing out.

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7 thoughts on “9 Pound Ultralight Backpacking Gear List

  1. Alan, great video, and thanks for the links! Your website (and blogs) are exceptional – clean, well written, great info, and great layout. I still refer back to your writings on how to make your smartphone last longer. Thanks again…

  2. An informative video and nicely produced. Thank you. What I really need, though, is a video on consumables. Even when my Big Three weighed 4lbs, I still ended up with a heavy pack and things got worse when I resupplied in a Highland village shop. Any advice on consumables would be welcome.

  3. Definitely going to look to purchase some of these items for my next travels! We have partnered with Flixbus to giveaway 30 free worldwide trips, it takes 2 minutes to enter –

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