The big 3 complete!

Finally… after hours and hours of research I made up my mind about what I want as my big 3!

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Let me explain… The big 3:

     1.     Backpack

     2.     Shelter

     3.     Sleeping System

 

These 3 things will dictate a lot of your pack weight, since they are the biggest and usually the most heavy items you will be carrying. To stick with the Ultra Light plan; my goal was to keep the weight of these 4 under the 3kg. Anyone that knows a little about camping gear, knows that thát is a real stretch… Any one of those items will weigh in at about 2kg each in a regular camping store… Time for some more research!

After hours of comparing specifications, reading gear reviews and counting grams… I finally figured out how I want to built up my shelter!


1.   The Backpack:IMG_4717
I’ve decided on the ULA Circuit.
Pro’s: very light at 1163 grams, very roomy with 68L, very comfy, mostly water resistant, has side pockets/front mesh/hipbelt/strap loops ánd it comes in orange!

con’s: only opens at the top, only sells in the USA…

Luckily after some emails back and forth, the people from ULA were very great by suggesting General Delivery so an awesome friend of mine could pick it up and bring it to the Netherlands with him!! Heroes!! Very very thankful!!

One down… 2 to go…


2.   Shelter:

This again gave me a lot of headache…
I do really like the privacy of a tent that is (semi-) freestanding; no tarps and hammocks are out of the question due to the terrain. Most durable tents weigh around 2-2.5kg :/ which is way over my limit! A lot of the hikers are going for a 2 person tent for extra space. These are even more heavy and since this is the only time my height (or the lack of it) is in my favor, I decided; solo tent it is for me!!

Most camping stores in the Netherlands pointed me in the direction of Hilleberg, who make awesome durable tents, but 700 euros is way (waaaaaay) over budget for me, also they weigh around 1.5kg… After days of pondering this dilemma I settled on importing from USA again… But which one? Most hikers use Big Agnes or MSR; Also quite expensive, but lighter! Until I came in contact with this awesome company from Utrecht, the Netherlands, of all places… Nigor. I had been searching for months, while all the while the answer was right in my backyard!


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Nigor makes this awesome tent called the piopio solo; which is exactly what I’m looking for!!! A 2 layered semi-freestanding tent, made from parachute fabric (who knew, right!) with this awesome silicon layer which makes it water proof and nearly indestructible! It can withstand wind speed up to 167 km/h, so at least I know I will be safe! Also very very spacious with 260x160x120; more than enough room for me ánd my backpack! You can also set up the inner tent without the rain fly over it, so I can enjoy the stars in the desert section!! And you know the best part? It weighs only 794 grams… Wait… let me repeat that: IT WEIGHS ONLY 794 GRAMS!!

OMG… I’ve turned into one of those crazy gear groupies…

This company really gets extreme sports, high quality stuff and very durable. Just perfect! I almost couldn’t contain my excitement walking through their store. Just cannot wait to try it out for the first time!!!!!

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3.   Sleeping system
My sleeping system is comprised of a sleeping mat and sleeping quilt. I opted for a quilt over a sleeping bag because of weight and functionality. I’ve chosen a down quilt, and the power of down lays in it’s pocket isolation. So when you lay in your sleeping bag, flattening the pocket on your bag; it will no longer isolate you. So I’ve chosen the quilt with it’s open back and complete my system with a good isolating mat.

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King under the Sleeping Mats is of course ThermARest! But still so many choices… Since I am a cold sleeper, I decided on the X-therm. Both light and durable and with an R (isolation) value of 5.7! Since I am only 1m58 and am a side-sleeper, I decided on the Small version. It’s only 1m60 long, but with my backpack at my feet, I will not run out of room!


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As for the Quilt… Again looking to the USA, just hardly any ultralight equipment in the Netherlands :/ Germany and Sweden have some nice companies, but after hours of research I choose Enlightened Equipment. They make custom quilts to your precise specifications! I chose a Revelation Quilt filled with DownTek water repellent down, 850 fill power. Up to -17C, Xshort but wide and with water resistant stripes to limit condensation.

And…. wait for it… 505 grams…  😐 OMG…

and you know the best part??? It comes in ORANGE AND GREEN!!

Only downside is that they have 14-18 weeks of manufacturing time :/ But at least the order is in!!

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The big three are complete! Huray!! At least they will be after the backpack and quilt get in… The gathering of the rest of the gear is also going very well. Look at my Gear Page for the latest updates!

Next item of research? Solar panels!

Preparation and research is definitely a lot of pre-trail-fun!!!

Blue skies and Happy Trails!

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