Since my PCT preperations and before people asked me this question a hundret times. “less than 5 Kilo? how is it possible?”
My answer is easy. Think about the trip you want to do and the gear you will need and I mean it. NEED. Reducing backweight can be done without missing comfort. Actually you have the benefit of a lighter pack and thats what I call comfort.
Why do you need a double wall shelter when you dont have to deal with bugs? Do you really need a shelter they use for arctic travels in the Austrian alps or in German woods?
Carrying a heavy load does not mean you are more secure. Save of what actually?
Most ultralight shelters protect you from rain, wind and snow.
The shelter is not your home during a trip. Its just a place where you spend the night.
When it comes to sleepinggear things become a litte more complicated because everyone has a different sense for the cold. It depends on your weight, your nutrition, exhaustion;
Many hikers advocate that sleeping gear also include your full clothing concept including raingear. Of course if you like to sleep with your clothes on it is possible to rate a 500g sleeping bag down to 0°C or less.
Next question is to choose a conventional sleeping bag, with hood and zipper or a quilt system. I prefer the quilt for many reasons, its often lighter, more like a blanket, easier heat regulation;
You probably have noticed that there are a lot of different styled backpacks. The main differentiation is framed or padded or frameless. Frameless is for sure the lightest, you can use parts of your groundpadding to built up an frame inside or even outside the pack. Your whole gear becomes the frame, an accurate style in packing your gear is required for comfortable carrying. Have a look at Hendrik´s blog to see how it can be done.
Even if you choose the heaviest items of this list you are at 2638g for the “big three”.
Thats a really good start!
I made a selection of some fine ultralight gear below, but its up to you to choose what works best for your personal needs.
GG Spin Twin Tarp 238g link
MLD Solo Trail Star Tarp 306 g link
(works also with a bugnet)
MLD Solo Mid (fully enclosed, bugnet optionally) 368g link
Katabatic Gear Palisade Quilt 496g
Arklight Designs Walden Quilt 500g
Cumulus Liteline 400 760g
TAR Z-lite non inflatable 390g
TAR Pro-lite Regular inflatable 460g
MLD Superlight bivy 196g
GG Murmur Hyperlite 231g (for the SUL enthusiasts,recommendet baseweight less than 5kg )
Laufbursche HuckePACK (available soon)
MLD Prophet 411g
Golite Jam 900g
Osprey Exos 46 1050g
Especially on pyramid type shelters you always need something to extend the lenght of normal sized trekking poles to get a pitch high enough for an comfortable use.
This “Tarp Pole Extender” makes it very easy to connect two trekking poles to one still into lenght adjustable pole at a weight of just 8 gramm.
To me it seems very durable and it will replace the MLD PoleJack on my upcomming PCT hike.
Thanks to Carsten at litemountaingear.com (shop online soon)