Smallest size for a weekender

A place to chat about gear and the philosphy of ultralight. Ultralight bushwalking or backpacking focuses on carrying the lightest and simplest kit. There is still a good focus on safety and skill.
Forum rules
Ultralight Bushwalking/backpacking is about more than just gear lists. Ultralight walkers carefully consider gear based on the environment they are entering, the weather forecast, their own skill, other people in the group. Gear and systems are tested and tweaked.
If you are new to this area then welcome - Please remember that although the same ultralight philosophy can be used in all environments that the specific gear and skill required will vary greatly. It is very dangerous to assume that you can just copy someone else's gear list, but you are encouraged to ask questions, learn and start reducing the pack weight and enjoying the freedom that comes.

Common words
Base pack backpacking the mass of the backpack and the gear inside - not including consumables such as food, water and fuel
light backpacking base weight less than 9.1kg
ultralight backpacking base weight less than 4.5kg
super-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 2.3kg
extreme-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 1.4kg

Smallest size for a weekender

Postby gbagua » Sat 27 Oct, 2018 2:38 pm

Scenario: 2-day gorge walk

What to bring:

1. Light inflatable mat
2. Thermal bivy
3. Fleece
4. Thermal clothing for the night sleep
5. Food for 2 days

The rest is small stuff that can be kept in pockets: phone, headlamp, etc.

It would be silly taking a 40L pack when all that stuff can be squeezed in a 20L one.

What would be the tightest size you'd recommend?

Cheers! ;)
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby ChrisJHC » Sat 27 Oct, 2018 4:58 pm

For me it would depend on which is more comfortable. If the 40L sits better (and has a better hip belt) then I would take that and avoid the temptation to put more in just because you’ve got the room.
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby Neo » Sat 27 Oct, 2018 7:28 pm

This crossed my mind again yesterday... What is my minimum for a most-likely tame overnighter-or-two.

There are trimmed down bits and some comforts I usually carry, but could maybe cut it in half (!) and survive just as well :)

Don't forget your cooking gear, first aid, um...
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby Neo » Sat 27 Oct, 2018 7:34 pm

I have a 20L, 34L, 45L and 60L for winter or when more food is required.

The 45 is for summer, might me able to fit into the 34 on some trips.
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby Mark F » Sat 27 Oct, 2018 7:38 pm

It really depends on what will be the most comfortable carry. Often smaller day packs tend to become spherical when crammed full so not trying to absolutely minimise volume is important. I think Neo is on the money with a pack around 30-35 litres where the gear does not need to be tightly packed and the pack may have sufficient back length to carry well. I do remember in the ancient past where using a Paddymade Bunyip day pack for an overnighter was the pinnacle of minimalism - I think a bit under 20 litres. I have heard of people using a S2S sil-nylon day pack (20 litres and 70 grams).
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby Lamont » Sun 28 Oct, 2018 9:21 am

I agree with Mark and neo. Comfort and fit are the guides, but also is the size of your gear and basewight weight of your gear.
Also given the "sizing" of packs these days, a point which I have made before, is that a pack that is said to be a certain figure -Any of the Ospreys/Deuters especially, often is not-e.g.Osprey Exos 38L is not it is about 48L. The 48L Exos is closer to 58 etc.
So I think that if you talk internal capacity it is easier to compare.
I am just back from this type of trip. I had 30L (known) internal -didn't need to use the large mesh outer pocket.
My sort of gear list is back in the DCF Crollsurf query. Remembered my first aid kit this time!
Packed and I was right for 1-2 degrees but only dropped to 5.
Also had cycling pants (70g) and a WR wind shirt fauxdini (75g) and a Frogg Toggs (180g) rain coat-used these to fill in the holes. Showers possible and happened for a couple of hours.
Got caught last time and dropped to 1 degree.
Didn't cook but the weight was not much different (UL gods and othersZ don't strike me down !) -if I dropped the stove and my canister(for my coffee-which I may likely drop when it warms up) and coffee pot-still all fit in easily. Must have the coffee at least for now and the cool days!
Carried weight maximum with 2L water and food was just under 8kgs, no hipbelt required. My baseweight is 4.3 kgs.
I think I used about 2/3rds of the total capacity. So used about 20L-22L? One L water bottle in each holder with scroggin and phone and sunnies, and jammed the fauxdini in when not wearing it.
All my thermal stuff is small and Ultralight tho' but your bivy would be small wouldn't it, so
sounds like about 35 internal might do you if you have an ultralight baseweight.
I also mentioned this before, which I also did-stick all your stuff in a box, press it down firmly as you would in your rucksack, take the cubed measurements.
Bingo. You've got a number.
Allow 5-10% if being cautious?
Worked for me.
I think I thought I saw you try.
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby davidf » Mon 29 Oct, 2018 6:21 am

Twenty five odd years ago my weekly training walk was finish work friday night at carringbah, catch train to toomb town. Narrow neck, carlon breakfast ck, coxs r, yellow pup, toomb town. Sat nigh train to the gong. I carried everything in a over the shoulder home made bag. Msr whisperlite, small saucepan, lighter, dunny roll, polypropalene sleeping bag liner, sloppy joe, rain coat, beanie, hat, oats, water bottle. All fitted nice. Sometimes i added a hip pad of ccf. The satchel type bag was light aand meant i never got a wet sweaty back. The bag was about the same size as a reuse supermarket shopping bag, maybe a bit smaller. And there were memorable bits of suffer.
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby davidf » Mon 29 Oct, 2018 6:23 am

Twenty five odd years ago my weekly training walk was finish work friday night at carringbah, catch train to toomb town. Narrow neck, carlon breakfast ck, coxs r, yellow pup, toomb town. Sat nigh train to the gong. I carried everything in a over the shoulder home made bag. Msr whisperlite, small saucepan, lighter, dunny roll, polypropalene sleeping bag liner, sloppy joe, rain coat, beanie, hat, oats, water bottle. All fitted nice. Sometimes i added a hip pad of ccf. The satchel type bag was light aand meant i never got a wet sweaty back. The bag was about the same size as a reuse supermarket shopping bag, maybe a bit smaller. And there were memorable bits of suffer.
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby wallwombat » Sat 10 Nov, 2018 9:44 am

I used to use my climbing pack, which is an Osprey Exposure 36, for quick weekend trips but now I just use my Osprey Exos 48 (last generation), which is lighter than the smaller pack and more versatile. I leave the lid behind, which lessens the weight and capacity and I cinch down the compression straps to keep everything nice and compact. It works well. I'm totally sold on the stretchy side and rear pockets and really notice their absence when I carry other packs.

I have been eyeing off the Gossamer Gear Kumo as it looks to be a perfect size for weekenders and has side and rear stretchy pockets and hip belt pockets.

Might be my next splurge.
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby Neo » Sat 10 Nov, 2018 4:15 pm

Yep hip and side pockets are great. Don't have to use them but lost without them :)
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby Stew63 » Mon 12 Nov, 2018 5:55 pm

I've got a custom made KS27Z made to my specs. by Laurent in Japan that is 100% perfect for me for 2~3days in 3 seasons. I think it's about 380gm with all the added bells and whistles - but I'll have to check.

Durability: In July I ran from the the beach at Suruga Bay, Japan (Pacific Ocean) 50km up Mt. Fuji (~14,000ft) and another 20km down the other side to the bottom, plus 3 ascents in 18months bushbashing (smashing) THICK scrub/bush for many, many hours up/down Hannel's Spur and it's still in 100% pristine condition. The same can't be said about my clothes, boots or body :lol:
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby melinda » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 9:45 pm

Wall Wombat,
Kumo is an awesome pack!
Have managed to get 6 days worth of food and gear in it on a summer trip.
That top zip pocket works so well.
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Re: Smallest size for a weekender

Postby wallwombat » Thu 22 Nov, 2018 4:38 pm

melinda wrote:Wall Wombat,
Kumo is an awesome pack!
Have managed to get 6 days worth of food and gear in it on a summer trip.
That top zip pocket works so well.


They seem to sell out very quickly, every time they make a new batch.

Next time they are in stock, I'm getting one.
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