The saying “Two is one and one is none” comes from the Navy Seals. This idea simply put means that only having one of something is the same as not having it at all and having two of any item is the same as what you think having one means. This applies to plans, supplies, weapons, and even clothing.

More gear, more gear, MORE GEAR. Tweaking and tuning, getting that bastard carry weight down.

My goal is a three day, two night weekend load out in the middle of nowhere, with no cell, electric, or potable water access. This is the load out I’ll throw in the back of my car and confidently drive anywhere knowing I’m covered, without killing myself by the pack being too heavy.

This is hard. 2 lb/day food + 4.4 lb of water (2 filled liter bottles) = 6.2 lbs. Accounting for an extra day of food for safety margin, that’s 8.2lb.

  • Atmos AG 50, 4.125lb
  • Hornet 2P Ultralight, 2lb
  • Nemo 30F Down Quilt (two person), 2lb
  • Klymit Insulated Static V LITE, 1.225lb
  • Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight, 0.625lb
  • Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System, 0.25lb

Before I get carried away and detail every item on my list..

The three heaviest items in your backpacking are your backpack, sleeping bag+pad, and shelter, often called the Big 3. If you can drop their combined weight under 9 pounds by replacing them with lighter weight alternatives, you can quickly reduce your backpacking gear weight.

2+2+1.125+0.625+4.125 = 9.87lb

That’s not bad. My bag is 1lb heavier than the one I wanted, but this one fits me. I’m carrying two pads due to it being winter time. The down quilt is for a couple, Amanda and I.

Let’s visit gear duplication.

Water filter, chemical treatment x2. I can drop the iodine out of my FAK, it’s a glass bottle and heavy.  Boiling water can take its place.

Lighter, fire steel, matches, and piezo ignition stove. Wow, 4 things. The matches are massive, the fire steel is heavy. Going to remove the … from the load out. I’ll need to think about this.

Headlamp, flashlight, knife, multitool, bits, extension. Hmm. Leatherman Wave is very useful and has a saw on it. Don’t need the bits or extension, Wave has two knives on it – drop the folder. Switch to a different belt mounted sheath for Wave+Flashlight.

8x AAA batteries, 2xAA batteries. ~8oz? Headlamp runtime is like ~100 hours. Will think about this.

Cookset, pot is stainless steel. Could go titanium.

Rainsuit is a Froggtoggs Ultralight.

As for bulk, I have a Therm-a-Rest pillow (gray/blue in image). It’s a luxury item. I want that luxury. Sleep = Life.

Still need to account for socks, underwear, clothing. TP and a trowel for digging catholes.

Could switch the FAK to an Ultralight.

And thus, the feeling of becoming overwhelmed sits in. What’s the best food? Do I need X? It’ll come with experience, but I’ll stick to checklists and blog posts until then.

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