Obviously there are a number of posters here who could answer your question, notably Mouse and rockchucker, but since you asked me I'll try to give you a bit of an answer.

The first thing is philosophy: I camp in order to hike. I have friends for whom it's the other way around and they enjoy the outdoors just as much as I do, but in a different way. Their packs tend to be about 16-18 kilos and large (60 to 80 litres).

Along the same line, I'm a lot older, as you know, and continuing to hike is dependent on my getting my pack weight down...way down. And because I love to hike, I do it, even if I have a few moments of discomfort here and there (like wet gloves in an icy rain, or not quite enough clothes on a cold night. I do have pockets and a sleeping bag and my gloves dry quickly).

I use a very light poncho and bivy (but not Cuban) and a NeoAir (which forms the support in my very light pack) as my shelter. My sleeping bag weighs a pound and seems to take very little room stuffed into the bottom of my pack (protected by a trash bag that is usually my ground cover). I also have several wire stakes and enough cord to pitch the poncho in several different ways, using my hiking poles, plus about a dozen or so meters for hanging food.

I do also carry a rain suit, mostly for wind and also to have something to wear at the laundramat. I have extra socks (light wool), a spare pair of drawers, a set of silk long johns, two hats (one for light rain/sun, a fleece one for sleeping). I also have a small piece of artificial toweling that I use more often than I thought I would, and a down vest.

My cooking gear is an old Boy Scout cook kit pot in a very light nylon bag (homemade). In it are my ty spork, a plastic cup that has useful volume marks, a tiny folding ty Esbit stove, an aluminum foil ground cover and an aluminum flashing wind screen. Oh, and a bit of green plastic scrubber and the little nylon bag I use (with stones) to throw my food bag line.

I also have the usual ditty bag. A tiny Swiss Army knife with scissors, tiny, one aaa cell, Maglight, a headlamp, extra batteries, whistle, wrist compass, an extra small Bic,a few first aid items and the like (usually this stuff is in my pockets, the compass on my watchband). In bug season I carry Off and my clothes are treated with both water repellant and Pymethrin.

I carry four or five 500 or 750 ml ex soda bottles for water and I use the drops for purifying.

Another factor: Like Oregon Mouse and others, I can't really eat a whole lot more than half a kg of food in a day. A full day's rations plus tissues and Esbit come to just about that and fit comfortably in a one litre Ziplock. I pack/repack most of my food in plastic bags.

That's about all there is. This is long, hope it helped. Oh, I also have a head net and a sleeping net that I carry when the Canadian air force is out in force.

Best, jcp

OH, PS for Bill. I loaded my pack up to about 7 or 8 kilos and went for a real (lotsa water, rough trail) hike the other day with my trainer. Stayed on my feet all the way. It was only 2.1 km, and it took us most of an hour. Can't tell you how much I enjoyed it.

Edited by JPete (05/28/14 12:10 PM)