Gear Videos. Love them, hate them. Most I come across are far too long – I have been guilty of that myself in the past, often making 30+ minute videos, it is no wonder people do not like them – but every so often a gear video comes along that really hits the sweet spot, and usually by experienced big mileage long distance hikers.
I have been sharing many of these videos with people on facebook, patreon, and via email, and thought rather than just copying-and-pasting each of them every time, I would just post these here at hikelighter.com and in the future just share the link to this page to folks. It will also allow me the ability to add additional videos in the future, as I come across ones that I really like.
Most, if not all, of the videos will be from big mileage hikers (what I tend to define as hikers with 10,000+- miles / 16000+- km of hiking) and primarily focus on the 6 pound through 12 pound (2721 g – 5443 g) pack range. There seems to be two ‘sweet spots’ these days by big mileage hikers: the first is down in the 6.2 – 6.8 pound (2812 – 3084 grams) range, and the second is up in the 12-13 pound (5443 – 5897 grams) range. There is, of course, no right or wrong way, method, or approach, to these things. In the end, it mostly comes down to comfort – what some consider comfort is not what others do. The one resounding aspect to these is that the guys that do the big miles per day (say, average 40+ mpd / 64+ kmpd) tend to be down in the lower weight range, while those hikers that are in the 20-30 mpd (32 – 48 kmpd) range tend to be up in the heavier weight range. Many of these guys are all triple crowners, or like myself, folks with 10,000+- miles (16,000+- km) of hiking, so the two different weight levels are not at all a factor of overall miles – you have big mile hikers with 12 pound (5443 g) packs and big mile hikers with 6 pound (2721 g) packs. One might also think age could be a factor, but in that regards we have guys from different age groups, granted all within the early-20 to mid-30 age range (myself excluded at 40+, and I think Lint, but not 100% sure) but it is not as if there is a big stand-out age factor here. One interesting fact is that most (all?) of the big miles per day hiker are no-cook hikers. So again, while all are overall big mileage hikers, these two different weight categories just do not seem to have any bearing on overall miles, but rather overall miles per day. It really is the only stand out differences between these two different weight groups.
So yeah, below are some excellent gear list videos that I feel really cover the spectrum of long distance ultralight hiking, I hope you enjoy them!
The first one is mine, showing a sub 2268 setup. It would be extremely difficult, but doable for an experienced hiker, to use this setup on any long distance trail, mostly due to the low pack volume. I would certainly not go with this exact setup on a long distance trail. Probably very close, but not exact. I would want to add in a NeoAir XLite, probably a thermal top, and would need to go up one step to the 32L MLD ‘Burn’ backpack, instead of the 22L MLD ‘Core’ as I used on this particular hike.
This second video shows Lint doing an unpacking on a CDT thru-hike (i think this was on his triple triple crown hike – yes, that is three triple crown hikes, i did not double-word-typo) and is very possibly my all-time favorite gear video. He typical has a pack weight around the 6.5 pound range. What makes this one of my favorite is that Lint has really figured out what a hiker actually needs. One can only imagine that he is so far beyond the ‘what i do not need to carry with me‘ scope/realm of things, that for him it falls into the ‘what i really do need to carry with me‘. I reached that point a couple years ago and it really is a nice way to approach things when it comes time to prep for a hike, but boy oh boy does it take a few years of being out there.
(added June 2019) In this 2.5 video, below, another video of Lint, we see his updated gear for 2017, whereas the video above is from back in 2015 — btw, Lint now has his own youtube channel, which you can check out and subscribe too.
This third video, from Jupiter, shows the sub 6 pound gear he used on his 4,800 mile Eastern Continental Trail hike. He did switch out his backpack along the trail. He also used the Mountain Laurel Designs ‘FKT Quilt’ on his hike, overtaking me as the hiker with the most miles with the FKT quilt, by a LOT. Jupiter is vegan and went no-cook on his ECT hike. Check out his article on food and resupply for more on that.
This fourth video, from John Zahorian, shows the gear he has used on a bunch of his mileage, including a couple of FKT’s. At just over 6 pounds, he too is right up there in that ‘sweet spot’ of so many big mileage per day hikers.
This fifth video, from Joe Brewer, shows the gear he used on his CDT hike, which was almost identical to his PCT hike, and hits the scale up in the 12 – 13 pound range. Joe keeps things at the very low end of the heavier weight group. The slightly more comfortable set up, and a high volume backpack, accounts for this I suspect. It really does show how quickly one can go from the 6’ish pound range, up to the 12’ish pound range, just by adding in a few ‘comfort items‘.
This sixth video, from Will (Red Beard) Williams, show the gear he hit the PCT with, which is up in the 12-13 pound range. The twice-as-heavy and twice-as-large backpack he uses, compared to the big miles per day guys (lint/jupiter/johnz) above, accounts for some of the differences, plus a bit more electronics.
Lastly, at least at this point in time, is the 15-16 pound setup from Darwin, over at Darwin onthetrail. This is a great setup to show what a hiker can do without getting into the world of cottage purchases.