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9/08/2016 1:09 pm  #1

Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

There has been a lot of talk on the forum about hiking and backpacking. Not surprising, fall is one of the best times of year for a walk in the woods. I thought I would start a thread asking what people wear and carry when they go backpacking. I hope others will add their thoughts!
We come from different backgrounds; have different needs, different skill sets and different levels of experience. Some of us are adventure racers. Others are comfort oriented campers. Some younger, some older. I expect what we carry will vary greatly. I’m middle age. I have sore feet, sore knees, a sore back. LOL! To enjoy backpacking I have to go light. At this point, I would be called a light weight backpacker. I've been working on getting my pack weight down for a couple of years. This is done by paring down to the essentials and buying lightweight gear (sometimes expensive!).
Below is my list for a 6 day fall backpacking trip in central Ontario. For each selection I call out the item, identify my selection, and sometimes add comments. I have included many brand names. This is not meant to be prescriptive it’s just so you can look up further info on an item. At the end of each section is a section weight. The forum does not lend itself to charts and table. A more complete excel spreadsheet can be found here: [url]!Ao9zkWqUEIdOmzFOS0CfOYR_x0Iw[/url]
On Person (Item, Selection, Comments)

  • Top base layer,  Columbia poly/cotton T shirt
  • Top mid layer, MEC synthetic button down
  • bottom base layer, Jockey boxer briefs
  • Bottom mid layer, Mountain Hardwear soft shell hiking pants
  • Bandana
  • Headwear, Outdoor Research waterproof ball cap
  • Glasses, prescription glasses
  • Trekking Poles, Black Diamond Trail Pro
  • Shoes, Salomon XA Pro 3D, Beefy trailrunner lots of toe protection and stability
  • Socks, Wright Socks: Doublelayer, crazy good socks. 2 layers help prevent blisters
  • Watch, Casio Pathfinder
  • Bear protection, Bear spray and Bangers, GROUP GEAR – load TBD
  • Map, Jeff’s Killarney Map, GROUP GEAR – load TBD

Total (oz/lbs) 71.5/4.47 (not included group gear)

Pack (Item, Selection, Comments)

  • Pack, Six Moon Designs Fusion 65, Mora Knife on strap, Ball compass on strap
  • Waterproofing, Trash compactor bag, don’t bother with pack cover

Total (oz/lbs) 42.0/2.63

Clothes packed (Item, Selection, Comments)

  • Rain top, Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Jacket, Could sub poncho for jacket, pants and pack cover.
  • Rain bottoms, None, Change in to sleep bottoms at camp if needed
  • 2nd pair hiking socks, Wright Socks: Doublelayer, crazy good socks. 2 layers help prevent blisters
  • 2nd pair underwear, Jockey boxer briefs
  • Camp footwear, sandals
  • sleep socks, Ice Breaker Merino mid weight
  • Sleep top, Ice Breaker 260 Merino 1/4 zip longsleeve
  • Sleep bottoms, Costco jogging pants
  • Gloves, Sugio cycling gloves
  • Insulated headwear, Outdoor Research down hat
  • Insulated jacket, Mountain Hardwear 800 fill Down Jacket
  • Clothes bag, Outdoor research Shnozzel bag, also used to blow up mattress
  • Fire Gloves, Leather work gloves, GROUP GEAR – load TBD

Weight (oz/lbs) 61/3.81 (not included group gear)

Shelter and sleep (Item, Selection, Comments)

  • Hammock, Modified Hennessy  Deep Jungle. XL diamond fly, tree huggers, snake skins
  • Sit pad, DIY Reflectix sit pad, Kept in outside sleeve of pack
  • Sleeping Bag, Golite 0c Top Quilt
  • Sleeping Pad, Nemo Tensor Insulated 20x72
  • Tarp, CCS 10x12 with lines, GROUP GEAR – load TBD

Weight (oz/lbs) 76.5 4.78 (not included group gear)

Kitchen, wash and hydration (Item, Selection, Comments)

  • Stove/Kitchen Kit, Pot cozy/1.1Litre pot-lid-handle/ bandana/ lighter/ solo stove/mug/campsuds, Wood stove no fuel required
  • Food bag, Sea to Summit 8 or 13L sil dry sack
  • Food, TBD, 1.5lbs per day
  • Booze, TBD, Micky of whisky is 14oz
  • Water Bottle, 1l Nalgene, soft Nalgene is half the weight of hard ones
  • Water Bottle backup, 1litre Platypus
  • Wash Kit, Purell/ toothbrush/ toothpaste/Floss/ TP/ Body Glide
  • Bear Hang, 40' mule tape/biner, GROUP GEAR – Load TBD
  • Water treatment, Sawyer 3 litre Gravity filter and back flush syringe, GROUP GEAR – Load TBD

Weight (oz/lbs) 33.3/2.08  (not included group gear)

Tools, 1st Aid, Emergency & Misc. (Item, Selection, Comments)

  • Camera, None,  Use phone
  • Knife, Mora Triflex, General camp and wood processing use (On pack strap)
  • Ditty Bag, Eagle Creek bag, attached keyring thermometer
  • -- Phone, Galaxy s7, Pre-loaded with maps, music, guides, Ear Buds.
    -- Spare Batteries, Spot (3 AAA Lithium)/ Headlamp (2 CR2032 Lithium)/Phone (Anker Astro 5200mah)
    -- Wallet, ziplock bag (DL/CC/$50/Car key)
    -- Spork, MSR folding Spork x2, in case one breaks (it happens)
    -- Multool, Gerber Dime
    -- Sunglasses, Prescription sunglasses in case with shammie
    -- Pegs, 6 MSR Groundhogs, 4 x tarp, 2 x hammock
    -- Lighter
    -- Firestarters, Straws filled with petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls
    -- Sunscreen,
    -- Chapstick
    -- Earplugs
    -- Headlamp, Petzle Elite
    -- First Aid/Repair Kit, home made in ziplock
  • Saw, Bahco Folding saw, GROUP GEAR – Load TBD
  • Emergency Response, SPOT 2, GROUP GEAR – Load TBD

Weight 36.1/2.26 (not included group gear)

On Person: 4.5 pounds
Pack Weight: 15.6 pounds

The weight is before food, water, booze, and group gear. Once they are added the starting pack weight will be somewhere around 28 pounds.

So there you have it. That’s one way to do things. Anybody else care to comment or share ideas.


9/08/2016 5:20 pm  #2

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

So first off Martin you are about 100X more organized than me. My packing amounts to walking around my gear room shelf by shelf and grabbing the stuff I think I will need and throwing it in a pile then packing it up and putting back the items that don't make the cut.

That said we get to the same place. Our lists ( if I actually had one  ) would be very similar. You are a little lighter than me. I'm probably in the 32-33 lbs area all in.

I get everything in a 55L pack (even being heavier) you must have extra room in your 65L? You would be opening yourself up to carrying all the group items    Jealous on the Six Moons pack though. Likely a pound of so lighter than my smaller pack.

Not much to really mention that is different. Like I said very similar. In terms of main gear I use a quilt too ( enlightened equipment) and will never go back to a bag. I use it both canoeing and hiking and in all easy to adapt.

I have a Hennessy as well ( not as light as yours by the looks of it) but I mentioned to you before that I switched over to a Borah gear side zip bivy that I'm happy with and will be my go to hiking shelter. Saves almost 2 lbs from my heavier hammock I think.

A couple of pieces off the top of my head to mention.

1) I bring a chair. Well stool actually. I know sacrilege in the hiking community but I think it's worth it. Never know what kind of seating you will have on a given site. I like to sit out on a point etc and enjoy the view after along day. I carry a camptime mini-lite hiking stool at 10oz. Surprisingly comfortable for a fairly tall person. I'm 6 foot 1 and friends well over 200 lbs have used it and remarked how comfortable it is for its size. Plus it's bulletproof.

2) I switched to a new firestarter this year and I love these things. I know another luxury item but they just make getting the fire going so much easier in all conditions. Not sure what they weigh but it's close to nothing.

Leave the earplugs behind. You need to hear what's out there Martin 

Last edited by ShawnD (9/08/2016 5:35 pm)

We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.
 - George Washington Sears

9/08/2016 6:06 pm  #3

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

Ear plugs AND Melatonin! Otherwise I'd never get to sleep. 

My SMD Fusion 65 is the original one. Quite a bit smaller and lighter than the one they sell today. 65 litres includes all the pouches and pockets. I think the main compartment is more like 50 litres. 

Honestly Shawn when I don't make lists things go sideways. It's fine on weekend canoe trip because you can just pack the kitchen sink and not worry about it. Not so good for me backpacking. I would forget my head if it wasn't screwed on so tight. Went out last weekend and forgot my mug and my coffee, that sucked! 

Ever since we spoke about the tarp and bivy I've been looking at all kinds of options. One nice thing about the hammock is it doubles as a chair! Not one I can bring down to sit by the lake, but at least I'm guaranteed a comfy spot to sit after a long hike. If I were to go Tarp and Bivy it's pretty hard to beat that Borah Side Zip. What a great deal! I'm still not sold on how open and at the same time claustrophobic it all looks. 

I feel like a bit of a weenie taking fire starters, but in the morning when all you want is your coffee I don't want any hassles getting a fire going. The bellows in that guys video looks neat too. Might have to add that!

     Thread Starter

9/08/2016 6:26 pm  #4

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

I couldn't agree more with the Wright socks - it's all I wear when hiking! For sleep socks I'll either wear low cut Wright socks or SmartWool socks depending on the forecast. 
Martin, I don't know my specific item weights but my pack weight is very similar to yours - a lot of my gear choices match yours as well. I'm a restless sleeper who changes positions often, so Instead of a hammock I have a Scout UL2 tent that weighs less than 2 lbs. On the topic of earplugs, I just stuff a bit of tissue in my ears when need be - I find this almost as effective as ear plugs and more comfortable to boot...


9/08/2016 7:24 pm  #5

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

Pull the trigger on the bellows and fuses Martin. I bought on a whim and really surprised with them. Used them both all season and not one issue starting or maintaining a fire. Yes you don't need them but just makes it way easier. Plus they are cheap and take up hardly any room. Can't lose.

Re: the bivy. I will say that I suffer from absolutely no claustrophobia if you do at all it is definately a try before you buy type thing I think.

We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.
 - George Washington Sears

9/08/2016 8:53 pm  #6

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

@hiker72 That's an interesting tent. I've been very close to buying a TarpTent Protrail. Which looks like a similar sort of single wall shelter to your Scout. I'm going to look into the Scout some more. 

@JC It  does make you wonder. Not only about our forefathers. What about the people who inhabited this land for thousands of years and travelled hundred miles with whatever they could harvest from the deer and the trees. But, let's not derail this thread too far. It has a purpose. Enjoy your time in the bush. I always enjoy your pictures!

     Thread Starter

9/09/2016 10:34 am  #7

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

Pretty sure we're all more comfortable than our forefathers!

Great idea, Martin. I'll do the same eventually. I try to go as light as possible on my base gear, if only so I can carry some luxuries (I swear by my Helinox chair).

I usually buy 1 or 2 things each season, mostly to save weight. Yesterday, I pulled the trigger on a Klymit Insulated Static V sleeping pad through Massdrop at only $60US. I don't normally use Massdrop due to exchange/shipping/duty but you can't beat that deal.


9/09/2016 11:08 am  #8

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

Nice deal on the pad! Have you bought and shipped to Canada through Massdrop before. I've looked into it a few times, but been scared away because of all possible extra costs. I was  going to buy a pair of Altra Lone Peaks through Massdrop but I found  pair on clearance in Canada.

     Thread Starter

9/09/2016 11:37 am  #9

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

MartinG wrote:

Nice deal on the pad! Have you bought and shipped to Canada through Massdrop before. I've looked into it a few times, but been scared away because of all possible extra costs. I was  going to buy a pair of Altra Lone Peaks through Massdrop but I found  pair on clearance in Canada.

No, this is my first time buying from Massdrop - the extras you mentioned usually eat up any savings. Duty on camping equipment is 17% so if I do get hit with duty and taxes, the pad should cost me about $111CDN shipped. That's still the best deal I've ever seen on a pad ~17oz and an R-value of 4.4.


9/09/2016 3:45 pm  #10

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

No apology necessary JC! I get it. Last week of Trout coming up. Tight lines!

     Thread Starter

9/09/2016 6:46 pm  #11

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

Nice thread Martin. Just so you don't feel like you're the only one with a neurosis, list is below, PDF download at link below. In the list, things that are indented fit into the things above them. Eg. the bag for the 3L primus pot stores the windscreen in the bottom, frying pan on top, and the 3L pot fits into this (with the rest of the stuff inside) etc etc etc. Yellow and red packs are the 115L MEC dry packs. The black pack is the MEC 35L dry pack.

We're a family of 3 kids (now 4,6,9) plus a 70lb dog. 3 kids make UL canoeing impossible, but we still single-carry the portages. 

Packs: 115L drypack for each grown-up, plus the 9-year-old carries a 35L drypack.

Tents: One of us sleeps with the three kids in a 4-man MEC tent, the other with the dog in the MSR Hubba Hubba. We used to have a 6-man Marmot Halo, but the footprint is so big it can be a challenge finding a suitable spot. And it's 24lbs (vs.a total of 16lbs for the two tents together). 

Chairs: I love camping chairs. Heliox ground chairs don't sink into mud/snow unlike the taller ones.

Sleeping bags: Quilts are light and amazing and I will never go back to sleeping bags.

Baking: I love baking and love to eat baked goods. Hence the reflector AND the fry-bake. Overkill I think not. The reflector is nice as you need flames not coals. So you can cook a meal (boil water) while the dessert bakes. Also it's pretty awesome to bake cake in the evening for the breakfast the next morning. It saves time, is delicious and everyone gets diabetes. Win-win.

Fire vs. white gas vs alcohol stove: I was a huge fan of alcohol (i.e. methanol stoves) until the last trip when methanol leaked and spilled all over the food bag. The problem with methanol, of course, is that a single shot of the stuff will blind you, and maybe kill you. Not cool. We ended up cooking with firewood the entire trip (the fire ban ended the day we entered the park - in mid August you will remember). Firewood is great, but can be slow. So now we're still using primarily firewood, but MSR dragonfly as the back-up/rain/rush. I have the Purcell grill (great) will try just the sticks next weekend. We'll see. 

Bellows: I love the fire bellows. Gonna try the Purcell sticks this weekend - they are hollow so double as bellows too. I worry about the stability of the sticks. Price is right. 

Footwear: I prefer a sandal system: sandals, neoprene socks (+2 size), socks x 2, and ankle braces (I am fragile and these provide support for harder portages only - still very light weight). It works really well. The sandals dry quickly and are comfortable. If I am cold, or want warm dry feet, I put on socks and neoprene socks on top of those, then the sandals. Really nice and very light weight compared to boots+camp shoes or even boots alone.  



Last edited by Marko_Mrko (9/09/2016 6:47 pm)


9/10/2016 7:56 am  #12

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

Not a backpacking list but impressive. Maybe we can get a mod to split this off into a canoe camping gear list.

I'm amazed you can single carry that! At this point I have only taken my son interior. I have to double carry when there are the two of us. I'm slowly convincing my wife that the whole family should go. This list is a great help for that.

     Thread Starter

9/10/2016 7:27 pm  #13

Re: Backpacking Gear List - What I bring.

Hi Martin  ..

Cannot move a mid-thread posting into another sub-forum .. can only move entire threads.

Marko could repost it in the other sub-forum.


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