Ultralight Backpacking tips by Mike Clelland - Page 2 - ClubTread Community

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 08:20 AM
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Don't dismiss Mike Clelland so easily! Granted, leaving TP at home might be an uncomfortable and needless way to save a few grams, but his idea for water bottles exemplifies to me the very zen of UL backpacking:

http://cache.backpackinglight.com/ba...kly-tip-86.jpg

Granted, it doesn't save much weight, but the idea forces you to think about the weight of everything in your pack.

You can go UL without sacrificing comfort, safety, or Leave No Trace principles. Here's a few hints that I've found most useful.

1. Decide if you're a hiker or a camper, or something else. One is not better than the other. I've found I like to cover long distances each day and UL gear and strategies help me do that. But if you just want to do 7 km a day and then camp, nap, take photos, fish, or read, it's your trip and that's your decision.

http://andrewskurka.com/2012/what-in...u-to-backpack/

2. Buy a digital 5 kg scale and weigh everything. Everything (except "nothing") weighs something, and it all adds up. Consider setting up a spreadsheet with all your gear weights. Don't even trust retailer's stated weights.

3. Adopt, or at least strive for, the Scandinavian 343 method. That is, your three heaviest items - shelter, sleep system, and pack - should weigh no more that 3 kilos combined. Once you've trimmed those weights, you can think about cutting down your toothbrush.

http://www.fjaderlatt.se/p/343-method.html

I used to carry an MEC Gothic Arch tent (+/- 3 kg), a Feathered Friends Goretex bag good to -7*C and a shorty Thermarest (1.6 kg), and a Serratus 65 litre pack (+/- 1.5 kg). Total weight about 6 kg. Great pieces of gear but overkill for summer backpacking.

I now carry a 900 g Tarptent Moment, a 500 g quilt good to 0*C, a super-comfy 456g Exped Synmat UL, and a 635 g SMD Swift pack. Total weight about 2.6 kg with no loss of comfort or practicality. My tent is definitely smaller and less resistant to alpine winter storms that the Gothic Arch, but it's proven itself perfectly adequate for anything summer solo trips may throw at it. And it pitches in under 2 minutes.

Last summer I double-hiked the Skyline Trail from Maligne L. to Signal Camp in 1 1/4 days and back the next day. This is a short 45 km hike, but I saw numerous hikers labouring under packs as large as I've carried on mountaineering expeditions to Alaska or the Yukon. I felt no smug sense of schadenfreude and I thought I was as well-prepared as they were.

4. Download this free UL backpacking ebook. Glean whatever you can from it.

http://www.hikelight.com/assets/Ebook1.0.pdf

Happy trails!
G.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:but his idea for water bottles exemplifies to me the very zen of UL backpacking
Yup, that was a good one, though I use a Platypus in summer most of the time. You could use it in winter, as long as you kept it in your jacket..

Quote:
quote:I now carry a 900 g Tarptent Moment, a 500 g quilt good to 0*C, a super-comfy 456g Exped Synmat UL, and a 635 g SMD Swift pack
Like I say, if you have the $$$ to do things right the second time, it's good..

But if you already have the stuff and are reluctant or unable to double-down, you're left with leaving things behind, modifying what's left (cutting extraneous thingies off backpacks, etc) or making 1 thing perform multiple functions (as long as it's not 'stupid light' stuff like digging a cathole with a tent peg).

Best I've done in a day so far is 25k.. 50k in 2.5 days.

Thanks for the link!

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 12:54 PM
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The only issue I have with Mike Clelland is that he has never done a 10 day trip by his own admission (at backpackinglight.com). So in essence, the book is almost a plan of what he WOULD do if he was out for 10 days.

Skurka, of course, has been out for months.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Skurka, of course, has been out for months.
Going by himself in Grizzlified Alaska takes cajones!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dougz

Quote:
quote:Skurka, of course, has been out for months.
Going by himself in Grizzlified Alaska takes cajones!
You might enjoy this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtsI1DOlVow
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post #16 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's what I'm refering to..

I'd have been with the grizzly on that one...
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 07:33 PM
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I've read most of Clelland's book (most because that was all that was left in a New Zealand hut after a Te Araroa through hiker was finished with it). I liked his idea that by packing so light he is able to travel deeper in to the wilderness in fewer days. Still, I would rather carry more for a shorter distance per day for a longer time out (and no pine cones for TP for me!)

I gleaned some good info from the book and definitely enjoyed his illustrations.

I remembered that I had written down the address for his blog:
http://ultralightbackpackintips.blogspot.ca

Last edited by CWF; 03-21-2017 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Added a ps
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 01:03 PM
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Backpacking/Hiking involves a system, your system and noone elses. Your body, your expectations, your risk-taking threshold; all factor into developing YOUR system. Just because someone else succeeds using their system doesn't mean you will. Exploring the gear selection of others and their reasons can be of great benefit, but unfortunately there are many "experts" out there who only have one experience and delight in preaching to others how they should gear up for a trip into the backcountry. Minimalist, U/L gear affects the risk threshold, undoubtedly. Consider what you are willing to endure, the seasonal conditions that you might experience, and go forth with the gear that will allow you to reach your goals and return safely.
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 09:37 AM
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Some good ideas in this thread - thx for sharing. I put together some of my thoughts at http://www.explor8ion.com/hiking-light.html a while back and still stand by most of them.

Biggest weight savings are losing weight yourself, don't carry water and get the lightest tent, sleep system and pack that you can afford. Another huge weight savings is what you wear on your feet. If you're in decent shape you shouldn't need huge mountaineering or backpacking boots if on dry terrain. Try wearing approach shoes instead. Added bonus is that they dry out quickly and work better on difficult scrambles.

As was mentioned above - whatever is worth it to you.
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