The backpacking bug caught you? Or you decided to lighten up? Then you might know about the difficulties of buying a complete ultralight/ lightweight set of backpacking gear at one store. But that it is possible you’ll see in this series, where Carsten from fastpacking & I challenge outdoor shops to offer us a complete ultralight gear list from their shop!
My friend Carsten, an accomplished AT and PCT thru-hiker who has worked previously in an outdoor store, knows that buying ultralight gear is not always easy. A stove from here, a quilt from there, tarp and pegs from that place, a backpack and mat from here and the garments come from another half a dozen stores. That rakes up postage fees and increases the room for things to go wrong - lost packages, long waiting times and different paying methods are all adding up to frustration when you want to buy ultralight gear in one go.
But Carsten had an idea: Challenge a dozen outdoor stores (online, brick & mortar and online shops with a brick & mortar shop) to send him their suggestions for a functional complete gear list of lightweight & ultralight gear, which one can buy normally (no special orders) in their store.
He set out a few Guidelines for the shops to observe:
- Day temperature of 10 to 15°C
- Night temperature of 0 to 5°C
- Rain is possible every day
- Mosquitos aren’t there yet
- Tours are 10 - 14 days long
A classic 3-season backpacking trip thus, which would allow you to go hiking from spring till autumn, be it in Oregon, Scandinavia, Nepal or Scotland - the resulting list should give you the possibility to go backpacking in warmer or colder regions with just a few little adaptations. To faciliate things and make them comparable, Carsten asked for suggestions for the following items:
- Sleeping bag or quilt
- Trekking poles
- Fleece jacket
- Insulation jacket
- Rain pants
- Rain jacket
- Baselayer (Boxers and T-Shirt)
The first four items are the big three (sleep system, backpack and shelter) which weigh the most and where one can save the most weight when lightening up. I will translate the first entry from the Trekking-Lite-Store.com this week, with the others to follow, and also have contacted a few international and European shops to send me their suggestions. Stay tuned, tell your friends, and be prepared for surprises!
Disclaimer: The One Stop Shop Series was Carsten’s idea and he gave me permission to translate his posts to English and contact a few more shops around the world. If you can read German, you can head over to his blog and read already the first several posts with the gear lists from Trekking-Lite-Store.com, Globetrotter and Bergfreunde.