Welcome to LytW8.com, a website dedicated to the pursuit of lightweight backpacking. My name is Jamie Shortt and my intent is to build a site with information to aid backpackers in reducing the weight they carry greatly adding to one's outdoor experience. Hike further, hike easier, hike softer, and hike safer....this is LytW8 hiking.

LytW8 is honored as winner of BPL 24 Hour Gear List Competition. See all the entries here.... 

 BPL 24 Hour Gear List Competition Results

You can read my lightweight testimony at Backpackinglight.com

Jamie's Lightweight Testimony at BPL

and trip report describing my gear used in the Smoky Mountains.

BPL Article MYOG Goes to the Mountains

LytW8 Definitions:

  1. Base Weight - The weight of all items carried in your pack excluding consumables. Consumables are typically Food, Water, and Fuel.
  2. Consumables Weight - The total weight of food, water and fuel carried on the beginning of a trip.
  3. Worn Weight - The weight of all items not in your pack. This includes all clothing, items in your pockets, and items held in your hands (i.e. trekking poles)
  4. Pack Weight - Base weight plus Consumables weight. This would be the weight of your pack at the beginning of a trip.
  5. Total Skin Out Weight - The weight of all items at the beginning of a trip (base+consumables+worn)

LytW8 Categories:


  1. Traditional - base weight over 20 lbs. Traditional backpackers often carry 30 lbs or more.
  2. Light Weight (LW) - base weight under 20 lbs, but greater than 10 lbs 
  3. Ultralight Weight  (UL) - base weight under 10 lbs, but greater than 5 lbs 
  4. Super Ultralight Weight (SUL) - base weight under 5 lbs

LytW8 Process:


  1. Inventory - Make a list of all gear you carry. Weigh each item with a digital scale to the nearest 0.1 ounce. A spreadsheet will help with this.
  2. Reduce - Identify items you can get rid off. Ask yourself "have I ever used this item?", "What would I do If I did not bring this item?", "Do I need this item to maintain my safety". Be hard and press yourself. This step is the cheapest way to reduce your pack weight. Do you really need a multi-tool when a razor blade will work just as well? Do you really need a fork, spoon, and knife set when a plastic spoon from Wendy's will work just as well?
  3. Replace - Change out heavy items with lighter versions. Replace a 4 lb double wall tent with a 2 lbs single wall tent (save 2 lbs).
  4. Skill-up - Learn new skills to allow new types of gear to replace existing gear. With the right skills a tarp and bivy will protect you from the elements just as well as a tent. A tarp and bivy will weight ~1 lbs compared to a typical one person tent at 4 lbs (save 3 lbs).
  5. Evaluate - After each trip review your gear list. Idenitfy any item not used and consider them for elimination. For each item ask your self "how can I reduce the weight of this item?". Try different methods. For example, on your next trip try using Aqua-Mira instead of your filter system for purifying water. If you don't like it its only one trip.

When you hike remember to LytW8.


11/27/13 - Added instructions for LytW8 Down Pullover to "my gear"
11/17/13 Updated journey for Roan trip
11/17/13 - Changed "links" page to "skills". I will be updating with info on "skilling-up" to reduce weight.
11/17/13 - Added new LytW8 Down Max Pullover to "my gear" 
08/17/2013 - Updated journeys to include recent trips and added 7 gear lists! to first trips
11/05/2011 - Added Roan Mountain to Journeys - Includes my new 4.0 lb 3 season gear list
10/06/2011 - Added instructions for making a cuben tarp under my gear
07/30/2011 - Updated Journey's section adding links to several trip reports
06/06/2011 - Added new pics of new 5.1 oz down pullover jacket from M50 nylon and 900 fp down
05/21/2011 - Added new simple bivy design - Go to "my gear"
04/15/2011 - Added new trip to Journeys sectionand link to TrailLite Designs bandoleer pack report 

 02/01/2011 - Added instructions for making your own Summer Quilt - LytW8 Summer Quilt Instruction.pdf 
01/16/2011 - Added pics of new 10.8 oz summer quilt!
12/08/2010 - Added LytW8 Bivy pics and details to gear page
10/09/2010 - Added "Cheap - $350" Gear List
8/15/2010 - Numerous add over past months including new tarp & REI Ultra Light Gear List
4/10/2010 - Added "how to pack LytW8 gear" to gear list section
4/09/2010 - Added details and numbers to visual gear list
4/02/2010 - Finally finished my new pack, added shot of it under "my gear"
4/02/2010 - Added pics to gear list page
2/27/2010 - updated journeys section to include distance, baseweight, and weather
2/24/2010 - SUL gear list added
2/21/2010 - New sections added: gear lists, my gear, and links
2/20/2010 - LytW8.com website is launched. 

 Contact Information:
Jamie Shortt
email: jamie_shortt@yahoo.com 


LytW8 Summer Quilt Instruction (pdf)