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Ultralight Backpacking Equipment

Ultralight backpacking equipment is different than regular camping backpacking equipment. It is designed for performance. Weight is attacked not only by the use of lighter materials but also by only including enough for the task. Where possible the equipment will multitask.


Basic Kit

The basic kit for regular backpacking camping equipment will include a tent, backpack and sleeping bag with an air mattress. This kit will weigh in around twentyfive or more pounds.

Ultralight backpacking equipment for the same kit would include a tarp and backpack made of a modern, extremely light weight material. A foam pad would replace the air mattress and the sleeping bag would be lighter. Total weight of the base kit should be well short of fifteen pounds.

A basic kit composed of Etowah Outfitters ultralight backpacking equipment would weigh in at 19 ounces plus sleeping gear. This would include a 9 ounce tarp and "The Whisper" ultralight backpack, 10 ounces.

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The ultralight backpacking tent is a tarp. Those made from silicon impregnated nylon weigh in at well under a pound. Most are closer to a half pound.Etowah backpacking tarps are designed so that they can be set up in many configurations. Our 6' x 10' weighs 9 ounces. The florescence orange Survivor Tarp (6.7 ounces, 5 1/2' x 8') was found to be visible at 7000 feet in an aerial test.

The ultralight pack is made of the lightest material possible. Unlike regular packs it may be frameless and lack many of the extra belts, cinches, straps and pockets that contribute to the overall weight of traditional packing systems. Etowah Outfitters has just gone public with its new performance backpack, "The Whisper." It weighs 10 ounces and has a load capacity of 15 pounds and 2500 cubic inches. Currently available for either medium or large torso at a MSRP of $90

Sleeping gear weight is minimized by using some of your clothing as part of your sleeping gear. An ultralight backpacker may settle in for the night wearing a sweater and other clothing to bed this allows him to pack a lighter sleeping bag.

For more info about ultralight backpacking equipment check out our gear page.

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