Friday, August 2, 2013

Low Weight Low Volume Backpacking Overnight

This post introduces a new look and a different direction for this site.

We will continue to post our backpacking adventures in Washington State here. But this site will now become an extension of my YouTube channel videos. 

Think of these posts as detailed description of my videos - with an additional bonus - the best photos from my adventures will also appear here. 

This backpack overnight started with a hike to Lake Ann on the Esmeralda Basin and County Line trail in the Wenatchee National Forest, northeast of town of Cle Elum, off Interstate 90.  The weather was gorgeous with temperatures in the mid-80s.

This hike was to be a test of the weight I shed by carrying lighter, lower volume backpacking gear. The Esmeralda Basin / County Line trail offered enough elevation and switchbacks for the load test.

As for the gear I packed, and the weight I carried, here is a partial list - a list of the "Big 3"

  • REI Flash 22 pack (16 oz)
  • Thermarest NeoAir pad (19 oz)
  • Thermarest blanket (28 oz)
  • Equinox 8 x 10 Siltarp (14 oz)
  • Bug net (9 oz)

*Big 3 weight - 86 ounces / 5.3 pounds.  *(For shelter, sleeping gear and backpack).  Additional gear - cook kit, Cooper's gear and food, Sawyer Squeeze, LED light, food, water and Leatherman Juice S2 weighed an additional 11 lbs.  *Total weight 16 lbs.

Even at this weight - I can tell you I've never packed this light for any backpacking overnight before.

Same can be said for volume. All this gear fit into a 22 l / 1343 ci backpack.

This load-out test opened my eyes in many ways.
  1. Why have I resisted carrying a lighter gear load for so long?
  2. No pains during and after this hike - knees, hips and back.
  3. Felt completely protected and prepared by the gear carried.
  4. Cooper was warm and comfortable.
  5. I could have packed less and carried lighter gear.
Stayed tuned as I address these issues and this subject in more detail in the coming weeks here and on my YouTube channel.


  1. Interesting article. Hoping that you will continue posting an article having a useful information.

    backpacking advise

  2. Love the videos. Can you explain or maybe do a video on how you build that tarp configuration? I believe you called it a pyramid?? Thanks!

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