Preparedness is a curiosity to some and religion to others. The “prepper’s” level of dedication and near-fanaticism can rival that of professional athletes, hunting or fishing addicts, and at least one other outdoors demographic I can think of – the ultralight backpacker.
The ultralight enthusiast spends fantastic amounts of money and/or employs high levels of ingenuity to reduce the weight of their gear as much as possible. True converts may hike a 3-day trail with 10 lbs or less on their back.
The importance of lightweight and ultralight gear has made a push into the collective hunting consciousness recently with brands like Sitka, KUIU, Kifaru’s ultralight packs, Bull-Pacs frames as well as countless titanium and carbon fiber offerings. The list is long and growing.
But what happens when you marry ultralight devotion with the preparedness mentality? They give birth to a $1250, beautiful bastard, that’s what. Below, we’ve taken the idea to the extreme but the point is that there are many benefits to keeping an emergency bag as lightweight as possible:
- Lighter loads means expending fewer calories, means carrying fewer calories.
- Slightly reduced water consumption.
- Smaller persons and females can handle lighter loads easier.
- Less chance of injury.
- Less chance of exhaustion or heat related illness.
- Ability to move further, faster.
The rules: It must be useable in temperatures 10 degrees to 110 degrees. It must contain all the calories you intend to consume and 3 liters of water. You start out wearing weather appropriate clothes. Clothes you wear do not count towards total weight, unless they start out packed (except hiking boots which will be immediately put on regardless of weather conditions). Wallet and smartphone are in your pocket and do not count towards weight. Also note the purpose of the bag is to get you someplace safe within 72 hours, not build a log cabin in the woods, start a militia or fight bears.
- 14 oz Zpack Arc Blast 52 liter
- 14 oz Marmot Alpinist Bivy
- 7 oz 1/2 Z-lite thermal rest pad
- 13.5oz Blizzard Survival Bag
- 6 oz Heatmax Survival 12 Hour Heat (1)
- 5 oz Instant Hand Warmers, 8 hr, pair (3)
- 4 oz Instant Ice pack (1)
- 8 oz GoLite Poncho-Tarp
- 120 oz 3 L Aqualiterz water rations
- 1.75 oz 2L Platypus Bottle
- 1 oz Empty beer can to boil water in
- 0.5 oz Micropur water purification tablets (15)
- 0.5 oz ProForce matches
- 0.5 oz Bic minilighter
- 0.5 oz Wetfire tender (3)
- 1.75oz Esbit pellets (3)
- 48 oz 3600 calorie Mainstay Rations (2)
- 9 oz AMK ultralight 0.3, 6″ pressure bandage, 50g QuikClot, antibiotic salve, finger splints, superglue
- 1.75 oz N99 virus mask (2)
- 5.5 oz Toiletries
- 32 oz Bugspray and sunscreen
- 4.25 oz Paracord, 50′
- 1 oz Duct tape, 30′
- 0.5 0z Hemp twine, 20′
- 6 oz Wool socks (2 pair)
- 18 oz Medium thermal underwear
- 4 oz Leather work gloves
- 6 oz Cold weather glove liners
- 3 oz Balaclava
- 2 oz Underwear
- 4 oz GoreTex gators
- 1 oz Mosquito headnet
- 0 oz Merrel 20 degree waterproof hiking boots
- 4 oz Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp and extra batteries
- 6.75oz Leatherman kick
- 5 oz Gerber sliding Saw
- 0.25oz Rescue Whistle
- 1 oz Sewing kit
- 2.75oz LokSac bag, tinfoil
- 1.75oz Orange plastic trowel
- 1.75oz Brunton compass and map
- 3 oz Anker smart phone recharger
- 3 oz Mace spray
TOTAL WEIGHT = 351.9 oz or 21.99 lbs.