A ULA pack is a great idea. A Circuit might be a perfect pack for your situation. You can shave weight quickly with that and a few other choices.
For me, a two-pronged approach was definitely needed. Lighten the pack down to 12-15 lb base weight (depending on which hammock, if bear canister is needed, etc.). Then, strengthen and lighten me! It's amazing how day hikes can be so different than overnights. Luckily, I was always faster than the slowest scout so I could always hang at the back and not feel too slow. But, get out on a guys trip and I was usually the one slowing down the group.
So, I started a regiment of slight diet, but mostly leg and cardio stuff to get me better fit. Cutting weight off my body and adding muscle goes even further when you're trying to cut the weight from the pack.
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Yeah thats my beauty of a multicam pack and I dont intend to give it up for good (unless I have to). As for the hammock, I do love it, it's hard to beat the Cadillac of hammocks the clarks NX-250. But I do know I am comfortable in a blackbird and was thinking of getting one for the warmer months anyways. A single 1.9 layer black bird weighs in at 1.69 lbs and the clark NX250 sans z-liner is 3lbs 12 oz. Sounds like a decent starting point, besides brandon was trying to talk me into it at the wolf hang anyways, and I kinda feel he made a multicam hammock just for me........
Would be rude not to get one to say thanks.
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My pack is 6 pounds. Deuter AirContact. It feels pretty good when on, but I would love to go to an ACT Lite and drop 3 pounds. The **** thing still looks new, I cant justify (to my wife...) buying another one.
I did move to Down top/bottom quilts with a net loss of 1.5 pounds of sleeping bag. It can be done for a price!
I know a few ultralighters. They go ultralight by leaving most everything home, then ask to borrow your stove, matches, water filter...
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I have a Go-Lite pinnacle pack. I think it weighs around 2lbs, and about 3lbs lighter than my previous pack. My hammock, tarp and insulation weigh less (not sure how much, though) than just my previous t**t. I think the last time I checked, my base weight was around 15lbs. I am not trying to get to "ultralite" but am pretty happy with where I am right now.....RR
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Personally, going to a lighter pack (7lb 12oz to 2lb 7oz) was fantastic, although ill be the first to admit my bad habit of taking things I don't use or really need is the main reason my pack is so heavy. Its a long learning process I guess.
Plus its much easier (and cheaper) to drop weight myself before looking into dropping things from my pack. I'm probably carrying an extra fully loaded pack's worth weight in here somewhere between holiday sweets and general laziness.
With your pack and hammock weights, you definitely have some opportunity to lose some weight.
I recommend you deal with your backpack last... you could get a UL pack, but if the rest of your gear is still heavy, it won't be a good experience. UL packs (say around 2-3 lbs) don't carry heavy gear well.
So, I'd work on all the other bits, like hammock, tarp, cloths, cook kit, rain gear, etc... and reduce weight there... then you can determine what pack would be a good fit.
Or you could get the lightweight pack, carry it with a heavy load, and then be motivated to drop pack weight
My wife has a fancy 7 lb pack. I made a G4 pack this spring. It weighs 390 g.
If ya care, here is my skin-out load for a 5 day trip this summer (un-tested): http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=10823
Altitude + heavy pack will eat your lunch.
I replaced my Kelty Radial external frame at 8+ pounds with a 60L Granite Gear Crown pack. Not ultralight yet, but will be at around 25# with enough gear & food to survive at 10k feet with some time on the ground above the tree line if I have to hunker down somewhere. Trips run 3 - 10 days.
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