Three Season Gear List
Pack weight is the weight of the pack and the gear in it, excluding consumables which consist of food and water carried. For a more detailed discussion of my gear read the Notes on Going Light section.
Publishing a gear list has it's problems because, in reality, each trip is unique and calls for a gear list specifically tailored for that trip. So please look at this as a general guideline or as an example of what I might take on a trip. Could I cut weight even more? Yes I could, but I believe I have reached the point where I have my pack weight down to a very manageable level, yet I am also safe and comfortable in camp, and on the trail. If you look around the web, you will soon find sub 5 lb. gear lists out there. That's great, but I find that a base pack weight that is under 10 lbs. is not a burden to carry, and allows me the degree of comfort and safety that I am happy with. Any further changes will be considered with these factors in mind. Note that this is an "honest" list in that nothing was left out. This is complete list of gear that I actually take and I have weighed each item.
The list below is for comparatively warm weather. In northwest lower Michigan that usually means mid May through mid October. The list is one that is geared for the coldest expected times during this period. In the warm months of June, July, and August, I would leave behind some of the clothing and on a snowless March or November hike, I would add a little more.
I have been greatly influenced by the advice of the people at backpackinglight.com and gear identified as coming from "Bozeman Mountain Works" or "BMW" was purchased through their web site.
I dry a lot of my food with an Excalibur Food Dehydrator which allows me to keep the weight of food down to 1.5 to 2.0 lbs per day (usually about 1.8). For a five day trip my total pack weight (pack weight plus consumables) should be in the range of 21-23 lbs.
What a nice feeling to head off for five days of hiking with a pack that you can easily lift with one hand.Try it! You'll like it.! Seriously, maybe more people would take up this wonderful sport if they knew this was possible, and could do it and still be comfortable in camp.
I weigh all gear with an Ohaus Triple Beam Balance which is accurate to .01 ounces. I also keep a spreadsheet of all my gear so that I need only to check off items to take on a trip and rely on the spreadsheet to add up the pack weight for me. If you click the link to my list below, you will be looking at a converted version of this spreadsheet. This list is an ongoing process so check back to see what has changed.
In The Car: sandals, clean socks, short and long pants, shirt, deodorant, shaving supplies, snacks, and water.