There's been some big changes in my gear lately and I'm so pumped to get out there and truly test it. It was finally time to swap out some bulky, heavy gear! I have been backpacking for close to 10 years, so it's definitely worth it to me to make some further investments into quality, lightweight gear.
If you're interested in my current setup for personal items and clothing, check out this post.
Backpack, Sleeping Bag/Pad, and Shelter (Big Three)
The "big three" can make a huge impact on the weight and bulkiness you're carrying so I've now set myself up with a smaller, lighter system.
I'm so pumped to actually put these items to the test! I got them over the winter, so I've only been able to "test" them at home so far.
Osprey Exos 48. I was afraid to order this pack online, and even more afraid going down to such a small pack since my old pack was huge. But, I knew I was going smaller and lighter overall with gear and loved the idea of carrying a light, comfortable pack instead of a pack half the size of me (since I'm not a large person). After putting it on and loading it at home, I'm fairly confident I could even solo using this pack combined with my new gear. It seems like a great fit!
- DIY synthetic quilt, Ripstop by the Roll. My husband is so talented and handy (seriously, I'm lucky!), and was inclined to buy a sewing machine and explore some MYOG (make your own gear). We have both carried ~4 lb extremely bulky sleeping bags, taking up about 1/3 of our huge packs for years. Our new quilts are 1.9 oz ripstop nylon (inner and outer shell fabric), and stuffed with Climashield Apex (5.0 in my husband's quilt and 7.5 in mine). Mine is supposed to be good up to around -12 (Celsius) but we will see since I'm always cold. His is about -4 (he's always warm). The great thing about quilts is the versatility - we designed these to be able to use them like a sleeping bag, or a blanket, enabling different configurations depending on the temperatures. The quilts have turned out to be about 1/3 the size and 1/2 the weight of our old bags!
- Therm-a-rest Neoair. This sleeping pad is still going strong after years use.
- Therm-a-rest compressible pillow. I love this pillow and will still use it despite its bulkiness, unless I somehow find an inflatable pillow that's comfortable. A good pillow is super important to me.
- LanShan 2 (3F UL) two person tent. This double wall tent uses trekking poles, which will take some practice setting up but I'm very excited to put it to the test. You can keep the rain fly attached on this tent, making setting up in the rain easier (drier!).
My cook system has also been upgraded over the past couple years and I'm very happy with this more compact, lighter setup.
- 60 ml spillproof alcohol burner
- Windscreen/pot rest
- Fuel bottle
- Titanium folding spoon (Toaks). I like that this is so compact. You just have to be careful when stirring something thick, as the locking mechanism sometimes fails.
- 450 ml Toaks titanium cup (I enjoy having coffee while eating my breakfast)
- 1300 ml Toaks pot with pan. This system is great for two people - one can eat out of the pan and the other eats from the pot.
- Bic lighter
- PackTowl Nano towel. This is a great multipurpose, fast drying towel that can even be used under a hat for further sun protection.
- Food bag
- Platypus water bladder
- MSR gravity filter system (4 L bag). This system has been very effective and convenient.
I think that should be it! Let me know below what your current set up look like.