Lightweight and Ultralightweight Backpacking

The View from Here

Panoramic view from a mountain top in Glacier National Park, Montana

My Backpack

This is a lightweight backpacking dayhike or overnight and weekend or more three-season outfit I have to be well-prepared and comfortable and safe in rain for temperatures down to 40° F.

This is because the milder temperatures like this have the most frequent occurrence of hypothermia.

I hike in the high mountains. If the temperature drops suddenly, I also have to be able to be comfortable down to 15° F.

I decide on my sleeping system and shelter, by wind, by gusty wind or extreme wind, by possible drenching rain, and by possible ice or snow.

If I do not allow myself to get overheated or chilled, this is quite comfortable for me. I am a warm sleeper. If cold at night, I eat a Snickers candybar and drink a little water so digestion will improve the amount of warmth from my natural central heating.

I have Croakies for my eyeglasses, because it is so easy for even the smallest branch to remove eyeglasses: some people carry spare eyeglasses, I have Croakies.

Note: Most clothing is not really appropriate for staying outdoors.

My solution: I purchase nice looking, yet, highly specialized outdoor clothing.


  • Timbuk2, Especial Tres 2014 Pack
  • shelter

  • Hammock Gear, Burrow 20 top quilt
  • Cascade Designs, NeoAir Xtherm small
  • Gossamer Gear, Polycryo Ground Cloth
  • Hammock Gear, Diamond Asymmtrical Tarp
  • Titanium Goat, Bug Net Bivy
  • outerwear

  • Pearl Izumi, Relaxed Fit Tight
  • Mont Bell, Dynamo Wind Shirt
  • Mont Bell, U.L. Thermawrap Vest
  • Icebreaker, Everyday Half-Zip Top
  • Peckham, Silkweight Drawer
  • Chaco, Zora Hiking Shoe and Good Feet MAX
  • Thorlo, TRMX Trail Running Socks
  • Panther Vision, Cub LED Hat
  • rainwear

  • LightHeart Gear, Hoodie Pack Cover
  • Equinox, Full Moon Ultralight Chaps
  • Helly Hansen, Svolvaer SouWester hat
  • toiletries

  • Eco Select, travelsize biodegradable wipes
  • Sea to Summit, Pocket Soap
  • MSR, Pack Towel Nano
  • Puffs To Go, tissues
  • Toothbrush, travel size
  • Desert Essence, Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste
  • Aim, floss toothpicks
  • Trim, fingernail clippers
  • kitchen

  • Zelph Stoves, Starlyte w/lid
  • Vargo, Titanium Sierra 750
  • Suluk46, titanium windscreen
  • SparkLite
  • Snow Peak, Spork and Hybrid Spatula
  • Wysi Wipe, Biodegradable Towelettes
  • 2 liter Platypus, Gravity Works "Dirty"
  • 2 liter Platypus
  • .5 liter Platypus
  • Sawyer, Squeeze In-Line Water Filter
  • Katadyn, Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets
  • aLoksak, OPSak trash bag
  • aLoksak, OPSak food bag
  • Tree Stuff, Dynaglide Throw Line
  • Ursack Minor, bearbag
  • Sufficient Food, Water, and Fuel

Additional items, not always worn or carried in pockets

  • Outdoor Research, Exos Beanie
  • Outdoor Research, Transcendent Beanie
  • PolarWrap, Half Mask
  • BugBaffler, Bug Head Net
  • Kafka, Original Kool Tie
  • Speedo, Surfwalker 2.0 Water Shoe
  • simBLISSity, LevaGaiter
  • Black Diamond, Ligtweight Gloves
  • Walgreen's, oil-free sunscreen SPF 30
  • Lip Rescue, Tea Tree Oil lip balm
  • Croakies, hides Classic Shorties
  • Cocoons PILOT OveRx, Sunglasses
  • Julbo, Sherpa mountaineering sunglasses
  • Adventure Medical Kits, Ultralight & Watertight Medical Kit.5, plus extras
  • Sea to Summit, eVAC Dry Sack
  • Timex, Expedition watch
  • Suunto, M-9 Wrist Compass
  • Photon, X-Light Micro LED Keychain Flashlight
  • Storm Whistle, Orion Orange Smoke Signal
  • Snippit razorcutter, eBay mini small folding sissors
  • iPod Touch 5G, w/Dual xGPS150A
  • Fujifilm Finepix F550EXR GPS digital camera
  • Money, prepaid credit card, ID
  • permits

I practically always choose a midweight layer that has a mock turtleneck and a deep zip front. I choose tight-fit at ankles. I choose a wind shell that is somewhat close-fitting and reasonably water-resistant. In fact, all my outdoor clothing choices are somewhat close-fitting and made for ease of movement and reach.

The total carried weight, of course, depends on the amount of food, water and fuel carried.

I know how much I can comfortably carry. After you weigh each item of clothing and gear, you can use the GearGrams: Gear List Weight Calculator to find out how much weight is remaining (if not volume) for food and water.



copyright © 2017 Connie Dodson. All Rights Reserved.