Gear Checklist: Secrets of an Ultralight Fanatic

Long-distance hiker and lightweight zealot Justin "Trauma" Lichter offers a peek inside his pack--and explains how he adjusts his load for five different types of trips.



Pack: Granite Gear Meridian Vapor backpack w/o lid (2 lbs. 4 oz.) lined with trash compactor bag (2.2 oz.)

Bag: MontBell U.L. S.S. #3 sleeping bag (1 lb. 6 oz.) or MontBell U.L. Down Inner Sheet (11 oz.) for summer

Pad: Therma-a-Rest Ridge Rest pad, cut down to shape (7 oz.)

Shelter: Granite Gear White Lightnin’ tarp with 6 titanium stakes (1 lb. 7 oz.) and

Tyvek groundsheet (4 oz.)

TOTAL: 5 lbs. 14.2 oz. (5 lbs. 3.2 oz. in summer)


Highgear watch (3 oz.)

Icebreaker wool boxers (3.4 oz.)

2 pairs Icebreaker socks (1.5 oz. each)

MontBell Sunnyside shorts (5 oz.)

Visor (3 oz.)

Garmont 9.81 trail runners with Superfeet insoles (1 lb. 14 oz.)

Icebreaker merino wool T-shirt (5 oz.) or long-sleeve, half-zip merino wool shirt (9 oz.)

MontBell Versalite rainshell (10 oz.)

MontBell U.L. windshell (2.6 oz.)

MontBell U.L. wind pants (2.4 oz.)

TOTAL: 4 lbs. 3.4 oz—4 lbs. 7.4 oz.


.9-liter titanium pot, Etowah Outfitters alcohol stove, fuel bottle (small Powerade bottle with duct tape wrapped on it), titanium spork, HEET (10 oz. + 1 oz. fuel/day)

SteriPen Journey and battery (4.5 oz.)

3-liter Platypus reservoir (1.5 oz.)

20-ounce Gatorade bottle or 1-liter Pepsi bottle (both 2 oz.)

Princeton Tec Scout headlamp (1.6 oz.)

Camera in Aloksak (6 oz.)

Leki Makalu Carbon Ultralite Poles (13.4 oz.)

Iridium satellite phone (9.4 oz.), SPOT w/batteries (7 oz.), or Garmin Geko 301 (3.31 oz.)


Season: Summer or fall

Upgrade to Down Hugger #7 bag (1 lb. 10 oz.) in the fall.

Swap wind pants for MontBell Rain pants (6 oz.)


Season: Spring or fall

Upgrade to Big Agnes Fly Creek tent and titanium stakes (2 lbs. 2 oz.)

Add another 3-liter Platypus reservoir (1.5 oz.)

Upgrade to Garmont Nagevi hiking shoes with insoles (1 lb. 15 oz.)

Add MontBell Chameece Earwarmer hat (1 oz.) and Icebreaker wool gloves (5.5 oz.)


Season: Summer or Fall

Add MontBell Chameece Earwarmer hat (1 oz.) and Icebreaker wool gloves (5.5 oz.)

Add Montbell Ex Light Down Jacket (5.7 oz.)


Season: Summer

Switch to Therm-a-Rest ProLite XS pad (8 oz.)

No cooking: Replace cookset with spork and bowl made from the bottom of a half-gallon milk jug (3 oz.)


Season: Winter

Switch to Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian pack (3 lbs. 8 oz.)

Upgrade to Big Agnes Fly Creek tent and titanium stakes (2 lbs. 8 oz.) or

Granite Gear Northern Lights Tarp w/ Dodgers and stakes (1 lb. 15 oz.)

Switch to MontBell U.L. S.S. #0 (2 lbs. 13 oz.) or #2 (1 lb. 12 oz.)

Upgrade to Therm--Rest NeoAir pad (9 oz.)

Switch boots to Garmont Syncro GTX Leather boots w/ orthotics- (2 lbs. 15.6 oz.) or Garmont 9.81 trail running shoes with Superfeet insoles (1 lb. 14 oz.)

Add gloves (8 oz.), thicker Icebreaker socks (4.5 oz.), Icebreaker leggings (5.5 oz.), Montbell Rain Pants (6 oz.), Montbell Thermawrap Parka (12.8 oz.),

Montbell Chameece Earwarmer hat (1 oz.)

Note: Justin Lichter’s sponsors include Granite Gear, MontBell, Princeton Tec, Icebreaker, Iridium, Leki, Garmont, and SteriPen.