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Master Class: Lighten Your Pack

Drop 5, 10, or 15 pounds (or more!) by packing smart, planning ahead, and fine-tuning essentials.
Sept12_Bydlon_100Calories_445x260Foods with more than 100 calories per ounce (Bydlon)

Drop 10lbs.
Upgrade Core Gear
You don’t need all-new equipment to shed another five pounds, but a few ultralight investments can add up to huge weight savings. Rethink your layering and sleep systems to drop double-digits.

Ο Dress Down
What do ultralighters wear? Use Mike Clelland’s three-season packing list as a guide to dropping your layering system below 4 pounds.

Wear while hiking
Short-sleeve baselayer top (4.3 oz.); sun hat (1.7 oz.); thin, synthetic running shorts as underwear (3.5 oz.); long, quick-dry pants (10.4 oz.); thin, shorty running socks (.6 oz.).

Carry in your pack
Long-sleeve baselayer shirt (7.5 oz.); windshirt (3.3 oz.); lightweight puffy (10.2 oz.); rain jacket (7.1 oz.); rain skirt (2 oz.); warm hat (1.3 oz.); liner gloves (1.1 oz.); one pair of thin, shorty hiking
socks (.6 oz.); one pair of warm, sleeping socks (1.4 oz.)

Ο Wear Light Shoes
Build ankle strength to stay injury-free as you transition from overbuilt boots to trail runners. (Click Here.)
Weight saved 1.5 lbs.

Ο Reboot Your Sleep System
A tent/bag/pad combo can weigh 10 pounds. Here’s how to whittle that down.

Potential weight savings 3+ lbs.
>> Light Ditch your tent’s inner canopy on mild, bug-free nights; pack and pitch the fly and footprint only. In bug season: bring a headnet.
>> Lighter Pack a waterproof tarp with reinforced seams like Brooks Range’s Ultralite Mini Guide Tarp ($115; 10 oz.;
>> Lightest Sleep under the stars. Set up on high ground in forests; depressions and meadows collect condensation.

Sleeping bag
Potential weight savings 3+ lbs.
>> Light Carry a bag that’s rated 10 degrees above expected lows, and wear insulating layers to bed to make up the difference.
>> Lighter Buy a premium down-filled bag with gram-saving features like a 15-denier shell, 1/2-length zipper, and efficient fit (click here).
>> Lightest Carry a single-sided blanket like GoLite’s RS 1+Season Quilt ($120; 1 lb. 7 oz.; in temps down
to 40℉.

Sleeping pad
Potential weight savings 1.5+ lbs.
>> Light Upgrade to a light pad that’s cushy and warm enough for a deep sleep. We like Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir XLite ($160; 12 oz.;
>> Lighter Cut the corners off a closed-cell foam pad and chop material extending below your knees. Cushion your legs with your pack.
>> Lightest Create a body-sized, six-inch-tall pile of boughs topped by leaves, moss, and/or grass. Cover with a Tyvek groundsheet.

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