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As I load up my pack, I'm thinking of Lewis & Clark. Hell, how do you pack for an 5,000-plus march into the unknown? Start with alot of meat, apparently: the Corps packed "one ton of dried pork." Maybe I should bring a baggy of that deer jerky in the oven.

Food, fuel, shoes, and H20 aside, here's my gear list so far. Keep in mind, I'm going "ultra-light", which basically means I'm trying really hard to keep my pack as light as possible. Duh, right? That's called "common sense", not "ultra-light". Agreed. But either way, I've slashed significant poundage, leaving my total weight at a skimpy 16 lbs! So here it goes...

I-The Big Stuff
Pack (Gossamer Gear Gorilla): 23.3 oz.
Sleeping bag (0-degree GoLite Women's): 45 oz.
Bivy sack (Tennier Army Surplus): 38 oz.
Poncho/shelter: 12.7 oz.
Thermarest (Thermarest ProLite Rig): 16.2 oz.

II-Clothes
Baclava (Seirus): 2.8 oz.
Long underwear bottoms (SmartWool, Merino): 7.8 oz.
Long underwear top (Icebreaker, Merino): 13.5 oz.
Rain shell pants (Marmot Precip): 12 oz.
Rain shell jacket (North Face Venture): 13.5 oz.
Gloves (REI): 2.1 oz.
Down jacket (MontBell Alpine): 11.3 oz.
Wool socks (REI, 3 pairs): 8.5 oz.
Down booties (North Face): 12 oz.
Beanie (normal): 2.8 oz.
Liner socks (1 pair, Merino wool): TBM
Neoprene Socks (low-fit Thorlo): TBM

III-Non-Clothes
Stove (homemade alcohol): 2.1 oz.
Bowl (silicone, 16 fl. oz.): 2.3 oz.
Spork (LightMyFire): 0.5 oz
Tent stakes (4): 2.8 oz.
Latrine digger (MSR): 0.7 oz.
Knife (Gerber): 7.8 oz.
Headlamp (Petzl): 0.7 oz.
Bible (ESV): 9.2 oz.
Journal: 5 oz.
Toothbrush & Floss: 1.5 oz.
Mini-lighter: 1 oz.
First Aid kit (8 BandAids, needle & thread, clothespin, Anti-biotic ointment, .5" medical tape, 5 ft. duct tape, 8 Advil, Moleskin, Gauze): 3.5 oz.
Water bladder (Platypus): 3.5 oz.
50 ft. parachute cord: 2.8 oz.
Harmonica: 2.1 oz.
Pipe & Tobacco: TBM
Camera: TBM (to be measured)
Rubbing alcohol (for feet): 1 oz.
ID, cash, etc.: TBM
Bags (garbage, zip-lock): TMB
Compass: TBM
1 liter water bottle (Dasani): TBM

It's a long list, indeed. Yet amazingly, it only comes out to a grand 16 lbs! I've still got a couple pounds to add...but still! Technology these days.

Any suggestions?


Ray Jardine, acclaimed founder of modern ultralight backpacking. He's got his down to 7.6 lbs! Check out his website (www.rayjardine.com). This guy's a badass.

So again, please give me feedback! Too much? Too little? Missing something?
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