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QiWiz’s Uberlight Backpacking Gear List

This is the list of gear I used on the 2014 Allegheny-100 Challenge. The challenge I chose was to cover 100 miles on the North Country Trail in 72 hours. Not being the fastest hiker, 17 of these hours were night hiking by headlamp. This kit is about as light as I am able to use for 3 days on trail in Pennsylvania in mid-June. Wet trail conditions and occasional thunderstorms are the norm. Night temps are often in the 50's, daytime into the 80's.
Polycryo Tarp

Gossamer Gear DIY Polycryo Tarp and Minimalist Backpack


CategoryGear SelectionWeight (oz)Details
PackingGossamer Gear Minimalist Daypack10.1"Just" a daypack, but works well with this light kit
Gossamer Gear Pack Liner Bag1.2Keeps the insulation dry
Large Stuff Sack0.6DIY out of Spinntex, holds quilt and clothing
OP Sack1.3For food
SleepingHammock Gear Burrow 5011.8Down top quilt
NeoAir Xlite Regular12.0I can't sleep well on something less cushy
ShelterPolycryo Tarp5.3DIY from a large Gossamer Gear Polycryo ground sheet
Skewer stakes (6)1.2Titanium
Zpacks Poncho Ground Sheet5.1Double-duty as rain gear
Packed ClothingSilk Skins Top4.1Sleepwear
Silk Skins Bottom4.6Sleepwear
Spare Fox River Liner Socks0.8Wash and hang one set to dry on pack while hiking in the other set
Spare Darn Tough Hiking Socks2.7Wash and hang one set to dry on pack while hiking in the other set
Spare Under Armour Boxers3.2Wash and hang one set to dry on pack while hiking in the other set
Fleece Beanie1.1DIY from generic fleece
HydrationSawyer Squeeze Mini1.4
Sawyer 2 L reservoir1.0
Gatorade 20 oz bottles (2)4.2Wt. includes attachment to pack straps with cords and cord locks
CookingStoveless / Potless0.0If I brought one, it would be a beer can pot and Esbit burner
Small EssentialsiPhone 54.9In LifepProof case; use for map and navigation, music, photos
First Aid / Repair Kit2.4Bacitracin ointment, Aleve, Leukotape, Needle/thread, Etc.
Zebra Light Headlamp2.9Bright enough for night hiking, did many hours of this over 3 days
Spare Lithium AA's (2)1.0I used both spares, so good I had two
"Original" cathole trowel; TP0.7Titanium cathole trowel from QiWiz.net
Total, oz83.6
Total, lb5.2
This ultralight backpacking gear list was contributed by former Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador Rob "QiWiz" Kelly

7 Responses to QiWiz’s Uberlight Backpacking Gear List

  1. Jarrett Morgan October 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Nice gear list. That is very low weight weight.

  2. Kent Young October 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    Good stuff…saw it in action on one of your NEOBC trips.

    • J. Tang October 10, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

      So how did you protect yourself from mosquitoes, ticks and bugs

  3. Rob Kelly aka QiWiz October 11, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    I did have some DEET but I don’t remember needing it. Had very hard rain the night before and I think it knocked down the number of biting critters. I’ve gotten some emails about how the tarp was made. I used 3M double-sided tape to hem all the edges and wide strapping tape along the ridge line and for tie-out points as reinforcement. Polychro requires more caution than other tarp material as it is essentially a large piece of shrink wrap plastic. It is more durable than it looks and feels, but a sharp edge will cut it easily. It can be repaired with any kind of tape. It’s not the best option for an exposed windy spot, but works fine in more sheltered woodlands. I have used mine for 7 or 8 nights with no damage, but I am very careful with my gear.

  4. Call Me Ishmael October 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    I have a similar tarp made out of 0.5-ounce cuben fiber: a lot more expensive but tougher (I’ve lost count of nights under it) and a little (about an ounce) lighter.

    • Rob "QiWiz" Kelly October 12, 2014 at 5:48 am #

      Yes, agree wholeheartedly that the lighter grades of cuben are as light as polychro and stronger. Also about 20 times more expensive. I made the polychro tarp just to see how well it would work and hold up. I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far. I would never risk it on an extended trip, or a winter trip with snow or freezing rain in the forecast, but it’s great for a 1-2 nighter in most months in my area.

  5. Kate December 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Hello. I came across this when looking for a very light backpack for travel to the Philippines. My travel will not include outdoor sleeping, so my needs are quite different. However, we will be carrying our gear quite a bit, so the idea of weighing everything is very helpful. I’m curious about the weights/service of various clothing fabrics. Cotton was recommended for keeping cool
    , but is quite bulky and heavy. I’ll look for alternatives.
    Thanks for the post!

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