HYPERLITE MOUNTAIN GEAR'S BACKPACKING LIST FOR THE ULTRALIGHT CURIOUS
Huge skies, dense forests, shades of blue and green you’ve never imagined. Climbing peaks and covering distances you didn’t think you could. The sense of accomplishment one feels navigating trails, sleeping under the stars, braving the elements, and leaving easy, everyday conveniences behind cannot be understated! What’s more, all you need is a thoughtfully loaded backpack to get out and have these amazing experiences!
We're here to help with the thoughtfully loaded backpack part. We believe that with the right gear and the knowledge to use it, your time outside can be better. And the best way to achieve better backpacking is to dial in a comfortable, reliable, durable, and weatherproof setup that works for you. Of course, we prefer (and highly recommend!) putting together a kit made up of well-built and well-thought-out ultralight gear, with as many items as possible that can serve more than one purpose, and always with an eye on efficiency.
The following list is comprised of gear we make and use that's proven itself on countless backcountry trips around the world.
THE BIG THREE: PACK, SHELTER, AND SLEEP SYSTEM
These three items comprise the most weight and the most significant expense when starting to build a backpacking kit. First, consider where you’ll be spending most of your time outside–will it be wet, dry, lush, or rocky? How long will your trips last? What time of year? The answers here tell you how robust your shelter needs to be and what kinds of temperature ratings to look for in a quilt or sleeping bag. Once you have an idea of the size of those items, you gain a better understanding of what kind of volume your pack needs to have.
There are many variables to this one – how light you want to go, how much room you need, or time of year and conditions. But, as a general guideline:
• You and a friend plus winter gear, or you and three friends – UltaMid 4
• 2 Voile Straps (to create the center pole for an UltaMid shelter with your trekking poles)
Our best-selling volume for packs has historically been 55L–like our Windrider 55, Southwest 55, or Junction 55. They provide the carrying capacity required for most everything on this gear list, with the flexibility to accommodate three or four days’ worth of food and other consumables. As your supplies decrease, you can roll the tops down to keep your pack small. Open them back up once you’re loaded and ready for more days and miles. Size down to a 40L for a shorter trip or if you have a small kit, size up to a 70L for routes with fewer resupplies or to carry bulkier, cold weather clothing.
EAT, DRINK, AND BE HAPPY!
There are a lot of ways to get your calories in and stay hydrated on a backpacking trip. A hot meal at the end of the day can be a big motivator, so add variety to the menu and keep your options open with a lightweight fuel canister stove and kitchen kit. A water filter will ensure that the water you gather along the way will be safe and clean to drink and cook. Meals outside are the best, so treat yourself!
Mini Bic Lighter
(Add another Platypus Platy or additional Smartwater Bottles if water sources are limited on your route)
EFFICIENCY IS THE NAME OF THE GAME!
Digging is for groundhogs! Sort out your gear so you won’t have to empty your entire pack to find your spoon! Keep all your gear tidy and organized with an assortment of Stuff Sacks and our game-changing Pods. Then, develop a system so the things you don’t need until the end of the day are stored in or near the bottom (sleeping bag, sleep pad, shelter), and items you want access to like clothing and food are closer to the top.
Jumbo Drawstring Stuff Sack (Shelter)
Nano Drawstring Stuff Sack (Electronics)
Large Pod (Clothing/Ditty)
THE EXTRA CAST MEMBERS
The show won’t go on without them! With the exception of your trekking poles, these are items that can go in a Shoulder or Hip Belt pocket for easy access throughout the day and into the evening.
Small Pack Towel
NiteCore NU25 UL Headlamp
CLOTHING-THIS ONE’S ON YOU!
What you wear every day is up to you! Don’t rely completely on what looks to be a perfect forecast. Weather can change quickly, and many of these items can help mitigate circumstances that could lead to dangers like hypothermia. These are our suggestions for the kinds of clothing that can keep you warm, dry, and comfortable in a variety of situations and environments.
Shirts, shorts or pants, and base layers made with technical, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics
TOTAL WEIGHT: *Approximately 10 to 12lb
(*Give or take a few ounces based on time of year, pack size, sleep system, and clothing)
(*Before consumables like food, water, and fuel)