Backpacking Gear List 2020

3-Day, 3-Season Backpacking Gear (Updated)

Glorious Golden Week weather yet confined indoors apart from a morning run and biweekly foray to the local supermarket courtesy of COVID-19. It’s borderline cruel and unusual punishment for us hikers and folk who love spending time outdoors. In the last 10 years I can only think of one GW where I didn’t make it out for at least a day hike. On the plus side it has allowed some time to re-examine my current hiking kit.

Last week I took stock of my first aid essentials and managed to whittle the weight down by more than half. This time I’m scrutinising gram for gram the gear I typically carry on a three-season, three-day hike. Back in 2017 I went through much the same process and will use that as a benchmark to see if I’ve made headway towards the lofty goal of becoming an ultralight backpacker.

Cut to the chase, I’m pleased to report that I have dropped my base weight by a little over 20 percent or 1.8 kg (4 lb)! This is mostly credit to a lighter tent, sleeping pad and down jacket. These new acquisitions are also less bulky meaning I’ve been able to ditch my unwieldy 70 litre Montbell backpack and revert to my moderately heavy but comfortable 35 litre Mammut Trion Pro (it’s a mountaineering pack so stripped off some unwanted bells and whistles). Once the hiking season is given the green light choosing a replacement lightweight 45-50 litre pack will be high on the agenda.

Some weight was added by the rain pants – I always saw them a novelty, until I needed to don a pair on. My timeworn Mammut GORE-TEX Pro-Shell continues to soldier on but it’s heavy and overkill for most 3-seasons environments so the matching Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket would be nice. What I particularly love is the Montbell cool parka hoodie, great for shielding you from ultraviolet rays along with being very breathable. Finally thumbs up to the Thermarest Trekker pillow case which can be stuffed with a down jacket to act as a pillow. It’s both comfy and doesn’t slip off the sleeping pad like inflatable ones of old.

   3-Day, 3-Season Backpacking Gear (Updated)

Shelter Grams Oz
Tent MSR FreeLite 1 Ultralight 1130 39.86
Footprint Universal 1 Person 140 4.94
1.27 kg 2.80 lb

Sleep System Grams Oz
Sleeping bag Nanga 380SPDX 700 24.69
Bag liner Montbell Warm Up Sheet 205 7.23
Sleeping pad Nemo Tensor Insulated Regular 425 14.99
Pillow case Thermarest Trekker 58 2.04
1.39 kg 3.06 lb

Pack Grams Oz
Backpack Mammut Trion Pro 35 + 7 1520 53.60
1.52 kg 3.35 lb

*Clothing (Worn) Grams Oz
Top Millet Kuhtai wool zip 150 5.29
Hoodie Montbell Cool Parka Men's 181 6.38
Pants Phenix Alert Pants 364 12.84
Cap Mammut Runbold 61 2.15
Underwear UA Original Series 6" Boxerjock 66 2.33
Gloves Berghaus trekking mesh glove 26 0.92
Socks Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew 63 2.22
0.91 kg 2.01 lb

Clothing (Packed) Grams Oz
Beanie Mammut Merino Helmet Beanie 19 0.67
Thermal bottoms Uniqlo Heattech Extra Warm 178 6.28
Thermal top Polypropylene crew top 144 5.08
Socks Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew 63 2.22
Underwear UA Original Series 6" Boxerjock 66 2.33
Down jacket Montbell Plasma 1000 130 4.59
Rain pants Outdoor Research Helium 190 6.70
Jacket Mammut Quantum II GORE-TEX Pro-Shell 375 13.23
1.17 kg 2.58 lb

Cook System Grams Oz
Pot Evernew Ti Mug Pot 900 99 3.49
Mug Snow Peak Titanium 450 67 2.36
Stove Primus Femto Stove P-115 56 1.97
Lighter Butane lighter 25 0.89
Spoon Humangear GoBites Duo 22 0.78
Towel Quick dry 18 0.63
Water bottle 1 Nalgene wide-mouth 1 litre 178 6.25
Water bottle 2 Platypus 2.5 litre 36 1.27
0.48 kg 1.06 lb

Electronics Grams Oz
Handheld GPS Garmin Oregon 600t with batteries 218 7.69
Smartphone Huawei P20 lite 162 5.71
Headlamp Black Diamond SpotLite 160 Lumens 54 1.90
0.54 kg 1.19 lb

Toiletries Grams Oz
Toothbrush In plastic holder 27 0.95
Hand sanitiser Saraya brand 40 ml 1.41
Toilet paper Kirkland Signature 60 2.10
Emollient cream Sudocrem 30 1.06
0.16 kg 0.35 lb

Misc. Grams Oz
Stuff sacks (2) Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil 70 2.47
Food bag Plastic film 7 0.25
Wallet Granite Gear trail wallet 9 0.30
ID/bank Credit card/cash 40 1.41
Key House key 18 0.63
First aid Granite Gear First Aid Air Pocket 117 4.10
Sunglasses Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 sport 27 0.95
Map Yama to Kogen Chizu 33 1.16
Compass Suunto A-30 L CM Explorer 32 1.10
0.35 kg 0.77 lb

*Photography Grams Oz
Camera CANON PowerShot G7 X Mark III 318 11.2
0.32 kg 0.71 lb

*Consumables Grams Oz
Gas canister Primus Power Gas IP-110 181 6.38
Toothpaste Travel size tube 17 0.60
Food Based on a 3-day hike 2100 74
Water Most carried at any one time 2 litres 88
4.30 kg 9.48 lb

*Not included in base weight
Purchased after September 2017

Total base weight: 6.89 kg (15.19 lb)
Consumables incl water: 4.30 kg (9.48 lb)
Camera: 0.32 kg (0.71 lb)
Fully packed: Including food, 2 litres of water and camera gear 11.59 kg (25.55 lb)

  Toiletries 1.3% 
 *Photography 2.6% 
  Misc. 2.8%                 
  Cook System 3.8%    
  Electronics 4.2%          
 *Clothing (Worn) 7.3%      
  Clothing (Packed) 9.4%          
  Shelter 10%                               
  Sleep System 11.7%                    
  Pack 12.2%                                     
 *Consumables 34.5%                      //                             


  Mammut Trion Pro 35+7.

  Draw top collar for extra storage.

  Draw-top closure strap.

  • Love your list! That’s a great idea to downgrade to a 35L bag instead of a 70L, I’m still using a 70L and have a 30L day bag, but I think it could be used for an overnight or two.
    I’ve been using an ultralight tent from Big Agnes (from my home state of Colorado) a Fly Creek UL, it’s something like 1.5/2lbs, it’s a solid tent. The only thing I don’t compromise is my coming system, I use a classic MSR Whisperlite, I don’t understand why people use those pressurized fuel cannisters, they aren’t refillable or recyclable, seems like such a waste.
    I can second a pair of rain pants, my wife and I got downright soaked from the torso down (I had my trusty BD Stormline) while hiking between huts in the mountains outside of Omachi. It doesn’t really downpour in the CO Rockies like here in Japan.
    I’m surprised you lug an DSLR into the mountains, I stopped a while ago, I’ve been incredibly impressed with my Pixel 3 and I guess iPhones are good….

    • Thanks for reading, Patrick. Researching for a new tent I did consider Big Agnes but, in the end, I settled on the MSR Freelight 1 which is also reasonably lightweight. I agree, while easy-to-use and low-maintenance canister stoves are pretty wasteful although where I live, they can be “recycled” through the trash collection. It would be far better though if they could be refilled. I used to haul my DSLR camera around on overnight hikes but in the end, I didn’t think it was worth carrying the extra 1.5 kg. These days I shoot with a compact Canon PowerShot which does the trick most of the time.

      • Oh wow, your area recycles the metal canisters? I’ll have to see if my town does, we are a bit rural so they may not. PowerShot’s a nice small camera, I had one years ago, loved the pictures it took until I dropped it and broke it. I wonder if they still make the Elf, that was even smaller.
        It’s looking like it will be quite a while until we can get in the mountains, but it seems like in my area (Machida) that people are not exactly subscribing to the prefectures “don’t go out policy”. Happy trip planning!

      • He’s put together a nice bit of kit. The ‘non wet out’ North Face Gore-Tex Shakedry jacket looks good. I just read the Aegismax Windhard quilt is a knock off copy of the Enlightened Equipment Revelation, rated to 40F (5C) but for about a third of the money!