CDT Gear List

My CDT pack, without food and water, weighs 6.6 pounds or exactly 3.0 kilograms (post-trip update: my pack-weight would end up being under 6 pounds). On average day, with food and water, my pack weighs under 15 pounds.

Some backpackers say they couldn't get by with so little weight because "I'm into my comforts." So am I. I don't find carrying more than 30 pounds comfortable.

Moreover, I sleep soundly, stay dry, stay warm, stay hydrated and well fed. What more do I need? In short, I'm pretty damn comfortable and have an embarrassing amount of gadgets to entertain me if I ever get bored. Being ultra-light and comfortable are not incompatible; they're complementary!

I have strong opinions on how to calculate pack weight. Here's the itemized list for the gear heads. You can also download it as an Excel file:

Item Manufacturer Model Ounces
Pack Gossamer Gear G5 - Silnylon 7.9
Stow sack Jacks R Better 1.2
Sleeping Bag Jacks R Better No Sniveller 21.3
Sleeping Pad Gossamer Gear 1/8th" ThinLight 2.9
Umbrella GoLite Chrome Dome 7.8
Tarp Mountain Laurel Designs Grace Solo Spectralite 6.0
Stakes stowbag Gossamer Gear 0.2
Stakes (6) Gossamer Gear Tite-Lite 0.8
Ground Sheet Gossamer Gear Polycro 1.0
Clothes Stow Sack GoLite 0.9
Warm Hat Jacks R Better Down Hood 2.1
Shirt GoLite Drimove 4.4
Gloves: Liners REI 1.1
Socks REI Liners 0.9
Shell pants GoLite Whim 3.7
Towel MSR PackTowl 0.3
Water Purifier Pristine 2.0
Fire starter Esbit 1.0
Shell Jacket GoLite Ether 3.4
Water Bag Platypus 3L Hoser 3.5
Flashlight Photon Freedom 0.2
Swiss Army Knife Victorinox Classic 0.7
Ditty bag #1 Mountain Laurel Designs Cuben Fiber 0.2
Soap (full) Dr. Bronners 0.6
Spoon Lexan 0.3
First aid 2.0
Toothbrush 0.2
Dental floss 0.1
Vitamins 0.5
Lip balm 0.3
Deodorant 0.5
Toilet paper 0.6
Matches 0.3
Valuables 0.5
Maps & pencil 1.0
Sunscreen 2.0
Ditty bag #2 Waterproof Bag 0.4
Camera+Charger+Cords Sony W50 10.4
GPS/MP3/Email/Phone/Cam E-TEN M700 6.0
Solar Panel Brunton Solar Roll 4.5 7.0
BASE WEIGHT (oz) 106.2
BASE WEIGHT (lbs) 6.64
Clothing Worn
Item Manufacturer Brand Ounces
Shirt Sugoi Long sleeve 7.9
Eyeglasses 0.6
Watch Suunto Advisor 1.6
Shorts GoLite Stride 4.8
Socks REI Liners 1.1
Shoes Inov-8 Mudclaw 270 24.0
WORN WEIGHT (oz) 40.0
WORN WEIGHT (lbs) 2.5
Dry Weight (Stuff Worn + Stuff Carried) in pounds 9.1
Full Food 2 pounds x 4 days 8.0
Full Water 2 liters 4.0
Max Skin Out Weight (Gear + food + water) in pounds 21.1
Avg Skin Out Weight (Gear + food + water) in pounds 15.1

Thoughts and conclusions:

  • My base weight, without food and water, will be 6.6 pounds (3kg), including the above mentioned stuff, a camera, PDA, and solar panel.
  • If I left my electronic gadgets at home, my pack weight would be under 5 pounds. Post-trip note: This is what I ended up doing. I left the gadgets behind. However, I added a tad more warmth, so my base weight was just under 6 pounds.
  • My dry weight, which includes whatever I'm wearing, is 9 pounds.
  • My skin out weight (which includes food and water) will vary between 9 and 21 pounds.
  • In desert sections, I might carry up to 30 pounds because of all the water weight.
  • On an average day, if you were to pick up my pack, it would weigh about 15 pounds (with food and water).
  • In an effort to make their backpacks seem lighter than they are, some backpackers categorize the following under consumables: first aid stuff; soap; fuel; toothpaste; sunscreen; repellent. I don't, even though I understand the logic. I put those items under pack weight. I figure I'll usually have some of that stuff on me, even as I approach a re-supply point. Excluding them underestimates my realistic pack weight. I'd rather overestimate it. I can rant on this kind of stuff for hours.

Below is gear that I will carry during limited periods to deal with extreme snow, bugs, or dryness.

Occasional Gear
Item Manufacturer Model Ounces Notes
Bug Netting for Tarp Gossamer Gear Bug Canopy 3.0 Late June-July
Repellent 2.0 Late June-July
Head Net Cabella 0.6 Late June-July
Ice Axe Cassin Ghost 8.8 June
Trekking Pole Gossamer Gear Lightrek 2.6 Colorado - maybe
Water Bag: 6L Platypus 6 L Water Tank 4.0 Desert Sections
Stow Bag GoLite 0.8
Down Parka GoLite Cummulus 16.2 After September
Crampons Stubai Ultra-light 20.8 Colorado
Rain Mitts Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitts 0.9 May-Late July
Long underwear GoLite DriMove Bottom 5.5 May-Late July
Fleece Hat REI 0.7 Colorado

Why give up the umbrella in Colorado? Umbrellas become less effective in snow (due to the sun's reflectivity off the snow) or when the temperature gets near freezing (because you'll want another clothing layer anyway). Both conditions will exist in Colorado, especially in May. Umbrellas excel in most 3-season backpacking when it's not near (or below) freezing. If it's above 5 degrees Celsius, I'll carry an umbrella. Post Trip Report: this worked out perfectly. I did use an umbrella in Colorado in September and was happy I had it.

My pack, without food and water, weighs 6.6 pounds or exactly 3.0 kilograms.  On average day, with food and water, my pack weighs under 15 pounds.

Some backpackers say they couldn't get by with so little weight because "I'm into my comforts." So am I. I don't find carrying more than 30 pounds comfortable.

Moreover, I sleep soundly, stay dry, stay warm, stay hydrated and well fed. What more do I need? In short, I'm pretty damn comfortable and have an embarrassing amount of gadgets to entertain me if I ever get bored. Being ultra-light and comfortable are not incompatible; they're complementary!

 

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