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Base weight?

In hiking and backpacking, the term "ultralight base weight" refers to the total weight of a person's gear excluding consumables like food, water, and fuel. This includes items such as your backpack, shelter, sleeping system, clothing, and other essential gear. The goal of achieving an ultralight base weight is to reduce the overall burden on the hiker, making it easier to cover long distances with less effort.

While there isn't a strict definition, a common guideline is that an ultralight base weight is around 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) or less. Achieving this low weight often involves carefully selecting lightweight and compact gear, as well as making conscious decisions about what items are truly necessary for a particular trip.

Here are examples of ultralight gear in different categories:

  1. Backpack:

    • Example: Fjäder gear Crow 38L

  2. Shelter:

    • Example: Zpacks Duplex Ultralight Tent or Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 Pyramid Tent.

  3. Sleeping System:

    • Sleeping Bag: Western Mountaineering UltraLite or Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt.

    • Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite or Sea to Summit Ultralight Mat.

  4. Clothing:

    • Jacket: Patagonia Nano Puff or Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody.

    • Rain Jacket: Outdoor Research Helium II or Montbell Versalite

  5. Cooking System:

    • Stove: MSR PocketRocket 2 or Soto windmaster.

    • Pot: Toaks Titanium 750ml Pot or Evernew Titanium Ultralight Pot.

  6. Water Filtration:

    • Filter: Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter or Katadyn BeFree Water Filter.

    • Chemical Treatment: Aquamira Water Treatment Drops.

  7. Footwear:

    • Trail Runners: Altra Lone Peak or Salomon Speedcross.

    • Socks: Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Socks or Injinji Trail Midweight Mini-Crew.

  8. Miscellaneous:

    • Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp or Petzl e+LITE.

    • Multi-tool: Victorinox SD or Leatherman Micra.

    • Navigation: Garmin inReach Mini or Suunto Clipper Compass.

It's important to note that while ultralight gear can be beneficial, it's equally crucial to prioritize safety and comfort. Additionally, personal preferences and the specific conditions of your trip should guide your gear choices. Ultralight gear often comes with a higher price tag, so it's essential to weigh the cost against the benefits and your specific needs.

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