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SUL gear for geezers?

I am trying to "lighten my load" (as the Eagles song goes) by closely watching what I take and what I can safely leave behind.

BUT... I lust after some items that will lighten it even more:

1. Tarptent Notch Lithium, a Cuben fiber tent at $650.+- (To replace TT Moment DW)

2. Thermarest Neo-Air X-Therm mattress at $130. (To replace my TR Prolite reg.)

3. 8 oz. WPB parka at God knows what outrageous price (To replace my 16 oz. REI eVent Kimtah parka)

4. 1 1/2 lb. internal frame pack at around $250. +- (To replace my 2 1/2 lb. Osprey EXOS 58 Lg.

5. Subscription to South Beach Diet (To delete about 20 lbs. of ugly fat ;o)

(I already own an excellent Westen Mountaineering Megalite down bag I use for  early spring, summer and late fall "3 1/2 seasons".)

So as soon as I hit the lottery this will happen!

Meantime I "struggle" on with my merely UL gear. And yes, I AM dieting and exercising and losing pounds. But my "Old Fart" synthetic thyroid supplemented metabolism is very slow to cooperate. You'll see, you young whippersnappers, you'll see, age has its price(s) but it beats the alternative. 

Eric B.

I post this geezer stuff B/C the Baby Boomer backpackers are becoming greater in number and, alas, more decrepit.

I'm trying to check those same items, or something similar, in middle age. Got 2, 4, and 5 done although went with a different pad. 1 and 3 are some serious pocket change. I have a 1 lb REI down and synthetic jacket that I want to cut in half weight wise.

I think there is a lot of equipment that can be had for reasonable amounts of money that can lighten the load consderably. 

Last time I went packing with a group of geezers there were all traditional backpackers with external frame packs.  They thought I was on a day trip because of my small pack a ULA Circuit.  


Your "small" UL pack and contents should be of interest to those guys. But I have a buddy who prefers some of the old stuff like Nalgene bottles instead of a hydration bladder, a white gas stove to tiny canister-top stoves, etc. HE says it makes him feel more like he's backpacking.

Eric B.

Recommend checking out the keto diet. Kinda similar to south beach... but delicious. Haha, joking...kinda. Keto has worked great for me.

As for the gear I don't obsess about getting crazy light i just focus of what makes me the most comfortable, does what i need it to, and weighs the least. As long as your total pack weight is reasonable , as much as we want to argue the fact, a pound or two will hardly be noticed. if your budget allows by all means upgrade some gear to save weight, but if the upgrade doesn't much improve function and only saves a few oz its not really worth it IMO.

if your total is under 30-35 you wont really notice if your at 31 vs 32, or 25 vs 26. Sure there is a difference, but if you didn't put it on a scale you would probably never know. 

My best backpacking partner is still using the same external frame pack from the 1970s, a small gas Coleman stove and the original Sigg Tourister cook set.   He watches my evolution in equipment with great skepticism but little interest.  He is a big strong guy in great shape and does not really notice a heavier old school pack.  He is a great philosospher and the best hiking partner I have ever had except for my dog Ruby Begonia. 

My solution to item 5...stay out of the middle of the grocery store. I hover around the perimeter with the fresh foods that require refrigeration then make targeted strikes to get certain items down some aisles. Basically spending more money to avoid processed foods especially sugars. I eat what I feel is needed but stop eating after 7 pm (except on backpacking trips). A year and a half in, I am 18 lbs lighter and sustaining. However, I am about 25 years younger at 50 so it's probably a lot easier...but still tougher than it was 25 years before that.

My knees and ankles notice the difference between a sub 20 lb base weight and a 30 lb. Just depends on your history...mine involves lots of soccer injuries and a car wreck that messed with one knee.

Eric you seem you shop with budget in mind and lower option...I wish more backpackers would do the research on their gear like they do for their new car their buying. You listed some good options btw. I look forward to a review of the new notch if you purchase it

August 10, 2020
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