In two weeks we leave to hike part of the Ouachita Trail; as of this week, we finally have all the gear we need! Since this is our “practice” hike for our planned two-week long Ozark Trail hike later this year we might be slightly overpacked for a weekend trip.
In preparation for long distance hiking we have done a lot of research into “ultralight” and lightweight styles of hiking. Ultralight is not for us. We make no claims that we’re ultralight or that we’re trying to get to that. However, we have replaced heavier gear with lighter weight versions. Namely, the tent and backpacks! We invested in a Tarptent Saddle 2, which comes in at 2 lbs 5 oz, compared to the REI Halfdome 2+, which was well over 6 lbs…
Both of us dropped a bunch of weight from our hiking/camping gear through three items: pack, sleeping pad and sleeping bag. The packs that we were carrying before were external frame, “commercial” hiking packs. Two of the straps on Kaila’s pack went past her knees. Unnecessary! That pack also bruised her collarbone for 2-ish months afterwards. Kirk’s pack had 70 liter capacity… We opted for foam sleeping pads to reduce the risk of punctures since Missouri is particularly unkempt. They also seem like an easier option for morning camp breakdowns. We are planning on investing in a double quilt for future thru-hikes, but for now we each have our own mummy sleeping bags.
Since the majority of our gear is brand new we haven’t had a chance to form any opinions about it. Don’t worry, we will when we get back.
None of the weights in the above photo include our worn gear (clothing, shoes, gaiters, and poles) or any consumables (water, fuel, and food). We’ll have a post next week about our food plan for the weekend!