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  1. #1
    Member Big E's Avatar
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    Ultralight packing

    I figured that someone here has probably been through what I am going through now in my shift to ultralight backpacking, so I thought I'd ask here before heading out to learn by trial and error!!

    I am a new hammock hanging convert and a new convert to ultralight hiking. Saw the light after a 50 miler with my sons scout troop down in the GSMNP where I ended up having some pretty bad knee problems (later diagnosed as illiotibial band syndrome - a fancy name for overused knee!!). Anyway, I decided to get the pack weight down from 40 lbs to something around 20 lbs. I've switched to a HH Explorer Deluxe from a 5 lb tent, switched to a Western Mountaineering Mytilite and recently found a Golite Breeze on Ebay that I picked up for $20!! That saves me about 5 pounds from my Gregory Wingate, but it does present some packing issues.

    Specifically for this forum, I'm thinking of simply not using stuff sacks for either the hammock or the bag and just shoving them into the bottom of the Breeze and then packing food sack and misc ditty bags into the Breeze.

    Any thoughts?

    Anyone else using a Breeze or similar pack and have ideas??
    Last edited by Big E; 08-15-2007 at 20:25.

  2. #2
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    I do something similar but I use a trash bag (multiuse item) to put my bag and hammock in. I find that it is easier to pack this way because the bag conforms to everything else you pack.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's a valid point or not, but I'd be concerned with a small rip or tear developing if the hammock is spread out on the bottom of the pack. It might be totally irrational, but I feel like it is a little more resistant to wear and tear when it's balled-up. Plus, you get that extra layer of protection from the stuff sack. I don't want to have any reason to have to sleep on the ground.

    However you work it out, way to go on the 50% weight reduction. My goal used to be 30lbs, but now that I made it I'm shootin for 25lbs. I'm already thinking my ULA Catalyst is going to be overkill with a summer load. I want my winter gear to have as much loft space as possible so I can't see giving it up yet.

    Maybe if you covered the hammock with your ground sheet or sitting pad it would remove fear of rips or tears. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    I'm already thinking my ULA Catalyst is going to be overkill with a summer load.
    Exactly why packing this way works. It will fill the volume when you are light and make packing easier. Also you probably have less chance of poking a hole in the hammock or bag when it is packed loose. Stuff sacks sometimes will make soft items hard as a rock with no give. I only pack my bag, hammock, and camp clothes in the trash bag which I guess serves as a stuff sack, sort of.

    P.S. I use a ULA Conduit. Great packs!

  5. #5
    Member Big E's Avatar
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    I like the trash bag idea. I read somewhere that using trash compactor bags is smart because they are thicker without adding much weight?

    Here's the whole gear list for inquiring minds, I may try going out without the pillow to see how it goes, but I always sleep better when I have one with me! As it is, I'm down to about 12.5 lbs base weight. I generally average around 1.5 pounds of food per day. I also generally carry 2 liters of water at a time (I'm trying to break that habit and start "cameling up" but a bad experience in RRG with dehydration has me pretty set on always carrying more water than necessary!)

    Gear List
    Total
    Item oz lbs ozs
    Pack
    Golite Breeze 11.00 0.69 11.00

    Sleeping & Shelter
    Hennessy Hammock 52.00
    Western Mountaineering Mytlite 40' 26.00
    Thermarest Trail Lite Large N/A
    Thermarest Pillow 12.00 5.63 90.00
    Cook Kit
    Esbit Stove 4.00
    Fuel 4.00
    2 1 Liter H2O Bottles 1.00
    Katadyn Water Purifier 11.00
    Spork 0.72
    Cook Pot 5.00
    lighter 0.50 1.64 26.22
    Hygeine
    Pack Towel 3.20
    Toilet Paper 1.50
    Zip Lock Bag 0.40
    Soap 2.00 0.44
    Miscellaneous
    First Aid Kit 5.00
    Map 3.00
    Hat 2.50
    Knife 4.00
    ID, Credit Card, Cash, Keys 3.00
    spare clothing 16.00
    spare batteries 2.00
    headlamp 4.00
    socks (3) 9.60
    stuff sacks (5) 6.50
    notebook 4.00
    books 8.00 4.23 67.60


    12.62 194.82

  6. #6
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    I like the trash bag idea. I read somewhere that using trash compactor bags is smart because they are thicker without adding much weight?
    Probably heavier than you think, but can be used for lots of things on the trail.

    The best advice for heading toward ultralight is to go slow and test on short trips. The pack is the last item IMO to change. A 4 lb pack that can carry 50 lbs packed with 25 lbs will feel good all day but an UL pack may get miserable real fast when approaching that weight.

  7. #7
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Big E;25459]
    I may try going out without the pillow to see how it goes, but I always sleep better when I have one with me!


    I would'nt skimp on the pillow. Might look at finding a smaller/lighter pillow option if yours is on the big/heavy side.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HANGnOUT View Post
    Exactly why packing this way works. It will fill the volume when you are light and make packing easier. Also you probably have less chance of poking a hole in the hammock or bag when it is packed loose. Stuff sacks sometimes will make soft items hard as a rock with no give. I only pack my bag, hammock, and camp clothes in the trash bag which I guess serves as a stuff sack, sort of.

    P.S. I use a ULA Conduit. Great packs!
    I see what you're saying; makes sense. Still, I really like my blackbishop sack/bag.

    I guess I'm still stuck on old packs/old gear where space was a real commodity. I haven't gotten out with the Catalyst yet, but I'm shooting for next weekend and definitely Labor Day weekend! I have, however, packed and repacked, packed and repacked dozens of times and it just looks so empty with my summer gear.

    I'm already looking at the Conduits for the summer, but I'm not quite ready to make that jump to a frameless pack. Heck, I'm still adjusting to internal frames!

    As far as the quality of the packs, totally agree with you!

  9. #9
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    "I have, however, packed and repacked, packed and repacked dozens of times and it just looks so empty with my summer gear. "

    To borrow a recent theme from Whiteblaze.net:

    You could fill all that empty space with a helium filled balloon. Couldn't hurt!

  10. #10
    Senior Member turk's Avatar
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    I like to treat my hammock like a coil of rope. Once in its skins, I bundle it much like a coil of rope and secure it to the outside top of the pack. Tonnes of packs, even UL ones, still have the top-centre strap, perfect for a rope coil.

    Readily accessible, and with my tarp also on the outside. I can have a roof over my head, and a place to sit down in heavy rain, before I even open my pack. Makes getting out of soggy clothes, and other camp chores more efficient, and doesnt expose anything inside my pack to the weather.

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