OK, don't really know where to put this, but socks are so key:
- Wrightsock Coolmesh II. These are great for short hikes and super comfortable. $8 from Amazon.
- Smartwool Outdoor PhD Medium. Top rated by Outdoorgearlab, but nearly impossible to find at the end of the season. Large fits 9-11 size men. $22 street, $24 list and you can find it for $15 if you search
If you want a sleeping bag and other stuff, look no further than the dream list from Outdoor Gear Lab:
- Ruta Locura 9" Carbon Stake. Ok so for $12 you get 4 stakes that weigh 3 ounces???
- The Katabatic Palisade. You have to wait til September 10, but it is top rated. It is actually a quilt which strange as it sounds is really useful when you wear with clothes and it is half (?!) the weight at 17 ounces of my sub kilo Northface bag. Wow.
- ZPacks Medium Dry Bag. You get a dry sack for 24 grams?!!
- Black Diamond Alpine Cork Trekking Poles. Note that ski poles are still banned as carry on so you have to check them. But if you want light (one pound!) adjustable, these are the bomb. Or if you are a total nerd the Gossamer Gear LT4 is graphite and just 129grams per pole (9 ounce total!). Stocked out though!
- Petzl E+Lite. We have really big heavy ones for home that are ultra bright. You don't need these on the trail. How about a 27 gram one in the new 2013 version at $34. . That's about right! $30 from REI. The big issue is that sand and dust can jam the switch, so you need to leave it in a ziplock! There is a slightly heavier unit with a whistle rather than a retractable called the Petzl E02 P2 e+Lite for $29 which is the older version that many prefer as more comfortable.
- Snow Peak Trek 700 Titanium. This is a combo one person pot and cup. And it is sized to take a 110 gram GigaPower fuel and stove in it. And a one liter nalgene rests in it if you want. 4.8 ounces and 24 fluid ounces. $45 from REI. We laso have a $12 at REI, $10 at Amazon for a GSI Glacier Cup which you can also use to boil water and also weighs 4.9 ounces, and holds 18 fluid ounces so is a bit smaller. We also have 2 ounce titanium regular cups as well so good for those times when you are not going solo.
- Evernew ECA253 Ti Ultralight Pot 3. We have an old aluminum pot and if you are multiple people that's an easy place to find some weight loss. $65 from Amazon which also weighs an incredible 4.6 ounces or 130 grams with a 1.3L capacity
- MSR DromLite. Wow these things are amazing. We got two and need a third! The biggest issues are the hydration kit is high vertically so doesn't fit in things like the Airback of a Osprey. Also, the hydration kit because it is screwed on tends to come loose unless you whale on it when closing and putting it into your pack. They have a huge range of accessories including a hydration kit, replacement cap if you lose it (the little cap isn't attached!), a spigot so you can hang the bag and use it at a base camp. The 2L is 130 grams (4.6 ounces) and the 4L is 0.7 ounces more so worth it to double the capacity if you need it. $35 including from Amazon or $30 from REI.
- CamelBak Omega Water Beast plus HydroLink Conversion Kit. If you need a more slender system, I've been using the Camelbak for years and basically they all eventually leak at the either the hose connection (you have to cut off the hose and stick it on again with pliers and push hard!!!) or more importantly they break at the filling side. Most Amazon users didn't like the new cap which is only a quarter turn on the Antidote, so the CamelBak Omega HydroTanium (or the military Omega Water Beast at 7.6 oz)is still very popular with better reviews. This is the one that falls apart from me at the black part where there are little plastic tabs.The Hydrolink conversion kit let's you click in and out hoses from the bag. Pretty cool if you have multiple hydration packs.
- NOLS Wind Pants or the amazing 3 ounce Patagonia Houdini Pants which got a great rain proof review from Backpackinglight.com
- Patagonia M10. This is a hard shell that is just 8 ounces and great for backpacking. although of course the Arctery Alpha FL or th Alpha SV wes the best overall and a little heavier at 10.7 and they didn't like the Mountain Hardware Quasar unfortunately. Expensive but worth it at $379 list. As a quick review a good layered system has: a) zip-neck base layer which is increasingly wool, b) wind layer jacket, c) light down or synthetic if in the Northwest insulation jacket and d) hard shell.
- Arcteryx Squaish Hoody or the Mountain Hardware Ghostwhisper (just 2 ounces!). These are more wind jackets than heavy shell jackets. They also like the Patagonia Houdini but the Squaish was a little lighter.
- Patagonia R1 Hoody. This is the fleece warmth layer for lighter days. They also like the R3 and the R2, so Patagonia is the place to go for fleeces with the Arcteryx Fortex
Hoddy right behind
- Ibex Hooded Indie. This is the inner layer made of merino wool. Really hard to find but $90 at Amazon
Now for the big stuff:
- Hilleberg Anjan 2. This is a 3 pound 2 ounce tent that is absolutely bombproof mainly because I like having walls better me and nature.
And the little stuff:
- Multitool. You really have to carry something on trips. We used a small Leatherman Freestyle but multitool.org is dedicated to the cause and the backpackinglight.com forums were good and they like the even smaller Leatherman Style CS which is $20 at REI at 1.4 ounces! Or the more functional Leathernman Squirt PS4 at 1.9 oz/56 grams which has pliers and scissors, Leatherman Squirt CS at 1.4 ounce or 41 grams and 1.6 inch blade from their keychain line of tools. The ES4 has wirestrippers so great for electronics geeks but lacks conventional pliers and uses a wire stripper instead. $22 from Amazon, The PS4 (red) is $24 from Amazon and $30 from REI
Spring-action Needlenose Pliers Spring-action Wire Strippers (20GA, 18GA, 16GA, 14GA, & 12GA) Spring-action Electrical-wire Cutters 420HC Knife Spring-action Scissors Medium Screwdriver Flat/Phillips Screwdriver Wood/Metal File Bottle Opener
Spring-action Needlenose Pliers Spring-action Regular Pliers Spring-action Wire Cutters 420HC Knife Spring-action Scissors Medium Screwdriver Flat/Phillips Screwdriver Wood/Metal File Bottle Opener