Understanding ones gear is a fundamental requirement to reducing what you carry to the bare essentials and do so safely. A gear list is used to make sure you have everything you need, know how much weight you carry, and provides data needed to understand how to reduce your pack weight further. The first thing any backpacker should do to reduce your weight is take inventory of everything you bring and weigh each item.

Example Gear Lists:

Gear List Spreadsheet:

 Below is a link to my gear list spreadsheet. It has tabs for both Basic (UL) and Advanced (SUL) gear listed. I have included the weight, retail cost, and "sold at" for each item. The difference between the two lists is primarily the level of skill required and where you can find the items. The basic list includes items that are all mass produced and therefore sold in common retail outlets. The advanced list includes items that are made primarily by cottage manufacturers therefore require knowledge of this small industry and the patience to wait while your gear is custom made.

Find out more

 Visual Gear List Example:
5.4 lb baseweight suitable for 20 degree nights, most gear is self made

Visual Gear List Example:

5.4 lb baseweight suitable for 20 degree nights, most gear is self made


 The spreadsheet - total base weight is just over 5.4 lbs.

Base Weight Gear (5.42 lbs)


 #1. Packed Clothing: rain gear, insulated jacket, gloves, hat, and socks
#2. Sleeping Gear: quilt, sleeping pad
#3. Shelter: mini tent, titanium stakes
#4. Cooking: pot, cup, spoon, stove, fuel bottle, measuring cup, wind screen, bear hang kit
#5. Packing: pack, 1 liter bottle, 2.5 liter bottle
#6. Essentials: first aid, knife, dental kit, gps, map, whistle, compass, lighter, deet, soap, purification tabs)
#7. Consumables: Food for 2 days, 1 liter water (in platy), 4 oz alcohol (in fuel bottle) 

#0 Worn Clothing/Carried (3.79 lbs)


1. Ti Goat hiking poles, 2. REI sahara pants, 3. BPL merino wool shorts, 4. BPL merino wool top, 5. Columbia boonie hat, 6. bandana, 7. Timex watch, 8. Smartwool merino socks, 9. Montrail Mashochist trail runners

#1 Packed Clothes (1.58 lbs)


 10. Thru-Hiker Kinsman insulated jacket, 11. Marmot Essence rain jacket, 12. Golite Reed rain pants, 13. REI fleece gloves, 14. fleece cap, 15. extra wool socks, 16. silnylon stuff sack 

#2 Sleeping (1.50 lbs)


 17. LytW8 down quilt, 18. torso length 3/8" foam pad, pillow (stuff sack with clothes 16+10+11+12) ... who said ultra light wasn't comfy?

#3 Shelter (0.94 lbs)


 19. LytW8 Mini tent, 20. 8x titanium stakes with stuff sacks

#4 Cooking (0.30 lbs)


 21. cup, 22. spoon, 23. Heiny can pot/lid, 24. fuel bottle, 25. foil wind screen, 26. V8 can stove, 27. measuring cup, 28. bear bag kit (35 ft kelty trip tease+mini carabiner+rock sack), 29. silnylon food sack

#5 Packing (0.47 lbs)


 30. LytW8 frameless pack, 31. 1 liter platypus bottle, 32. 2.5 liter platypus bottle

#6 Essentials & Navigation (0.47 lbs)


 33. head lamp, 34. soap, 35. DEET, 36. lighter, 37. knife, 38. water purifcation tabs, 39. match book, 40. first aid, 41. meds,  42. tooth brush, 43. floss &. dehydrated tooth paste dots, 44. Dermatone, 45. pen w/duct tape, 46. photo copy map, 47. Garmin eTrex GPS, 48. whistle, 49. compass/thermometer

#7 Consumables (4.75 lbs)


 50. 2 days of food, 51. fuel - 4 oz alcohol (in fuel bottle #24), 52. water - 1 liter (in platypus # 32) 

One Day of Food Details (1.25 lbs/day)


 1. instant oatmeal, 2 Cliff Bars x2, 3. trail mix 4oz, 4. jerky & cheese stick, 5. Twizzlers 2.5oz, 6 drinks (Crystal Light x2, coffee, creamer, splenda, tea, and splenda), 7. freeze dried meal 

OK time to come clean, what else do I carry?

Typically I do carry a few addition items: a camera in my pants pocket (4.35 oz), a small cell phone (2.35 oz), contact case w/contacts (0.50 oz), and a car key (0.90 oz). Depending on length of trip I may also add eye glasses (1.10 oz) in case my contacts fail, a spare camera battery (0.55 oz), and an Esbit tablet (0.50). In the rare case that I carried all this gear it adds up to an additional 10.25 oz or 0.64 lbs. Wow it is easy to see how a few small items can creep into your pack and add up to be significant weight. With all the items my base weight is still just over 6 lbs...still not too bad.

How to pack LytW8 gear...

1. Pack stuffsacks & layout gear.


2. Roll sleeping pad into a cyclinder.


3. Insert rolled sleeping pad into pack.


4. Stuff sleeping bag into pack.


5. Pack sleeping bag into bottom and add insulated jacket on top.


6. Pack remaining gear bags (shelter, clothes, cooking, and food).


7. Roll the lid closed and buckle.


8. Pack pocket items (rain jacket, water bottle, cup, gps, and fuel bottle).


9. Cinch the side compression cords.


10. Ready to hike!



Cheap_Ultralight_Gear_List (pdf)


REI_Ultra_Light_Gear_List (pdf)


Transition_Light_Weight_Gear_List (pdf)


Basic_Ultra_Light_Gear_List (pdf)


Advanced_Super_Ultra_Light_Gear_List (pdf)


Basic_and_Advanced_UL_Gear_Lists (xls)