Super, super ultralight backpacking gear list

This past summer I went on a grueling backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail in New England with only 3.5 pounds of gear. Despite sub freezing temperatures, 60+mph winds, horrible bugs, and incessant rain, my gear kept me decently comfortable. But packed up for an extended trip and dealing with horrible conditions, I couldn’t help but wonder how light of a pack I could carry in better conditions for a shorter trip. So I refined my gear list and present now a proposed gear list that I intend to use next summer on a 3-4 day trip. At some point I guess I’ll probably just go into the woods naked with a bottle of water but for now this is my 1.4 pound super ultralight backpacking gear list:

Super, super ultralight backpacking gear list:


Poncho tarp, guylines, 6X 1 gram stakes 2.7
Polycro groundsheet-cut 1.04

Sleeping pad:

Gossamer Gear 1/8″ Thinlight pad 2.39

Sleeping bag:

Enlightened Equipment Enigma 8.65


Sea to summit ultra sil dry day pack 3.2


Mountain Hardwear Ghost wind jacket 1.6


Black Diamond Ion 1.24


2X .5L plastic bottles 0.74
6mL bleach 0.35


TOTAL (pounds): 1.37
TOTAL (ounces): 21.9


8 thoughts on “Super, super ultralight backpacking gear list”

    1. Hey Igor, thanks for checking out my blog! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I wrote up a post outlining one way I analyze my food choices here: if you want to check it out. As for water, it depends on where I am hiking but in the lush forests of the Appalachian Mountains where I do most of my hiking, I only carry one liter in two .5 bottles and use bleach for treatment (usually only 1 drop per half liter, but sometimes 2 if the water is questionable).

  1. Grayson,

    Thanks for your tips. I don’t think I will ever get down to your extremely low weights, but I have purchased some gear you have recommended. Which brings me to my question of the day:

    Do you wear any of your hiking gear as “daily clothing”? I recently purchased the Ghost Wind Jacket (my son almost threw it away, he thought it was a Walmart bag in my truck) and made it my go to jacket this fall. Last week, we had never ending rain down here in GA and when I took the jacket off, I was wet!

    This made me wonder whether I should be using some of my gear for daily use. When I need it for hiking, it may fail me! Going light means you have to depend upon every piece of gear to perform as expected. It may not be worth the risk to wear out my gear with daily use.

    I’d appreciate your thoughts on this.

    1. Hey Tom, thanks for checking out my site! A lot of my clothes are dedicated to adventures but my goodness I can’t seem to tear myself apart from my Arc’teryx rain jacket. That Ghost wind jacket definitely serves a very narrow purpose and I have had a few incidents of hypothermia in it myself! Most of my gear I do designate to adventures simply because I’d rather have them in tip top shape for when my comfort and possibly life depends on it. I will admit I have worn out a fair number of jackets wearing them around town though! Keep in touch!

  2. I’m curious as to what you would wear for this type of trip?? And for how long??

    1. Hey Cameron, my normal attire is running shorts and a t shirt. I figure I could use this setup indefinitely but tbh I probably would only use it if I were pushing huge miles and in need of backup shelter if I weren’t able to reach a target. At this point it’s more just to see if I could than interest in actually doing it. Comfort on the back burner for sure.

  3. What are your thoughts on the Ion headlamp? Have you done an extended review in it you could point me to? Any experience with it versus the new petzl elite?

    1. I love the ion. This question has been raised many times and I think it boils down to your goals. If you’re just ultralight hiking without long hours of night hiking, you could maybe get away with the e-lite. However, if you’re planning on doing hours of night hiking each day, the ion is definitely the way to go. It’s brighter (100 lumens vs 50), not too much heavier (35g with excess material removed and lithium batteries vs 26g), more water resistant (IPX8 vs 7), uses standard batteries (AAA vs CR2032), longer burn time on one set of batteries (180h vs 12h at minimum power). But neither one is better than the other, just better for different things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *