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Planning equipment for next ultralight hiking adventure

February 02, 2021 — BarryK

One of the most pleasant experiences I had was an overnight hike on the Bibbulmun Track with just a "bum bag" -- better known as the Mountainsmith Daylight waist pack. Wow, how time flies, that was in 2016:

Here is a photo showing the items in the waist bag:


...except the food, 594g, was in a small pouch, 81g, mounted on the pants belt.

What is missing from that list is any kind of tent. The Bibbulmun Track has shelters, so a tent is not required, except if you have to stop overnight between shelters, or the shelter sites do have a tent area that can be used, especially if the shelter is crowded -- or you are just plain anti-social.

Here I am, just about to start out on that trek:


The question that I have been turning over in my mind for the past few years, is how to add a tent to the Daylight waist bag. Need to keep the weight within 3.5kg, and don't want tent-poles sticking out.

Poles are just too awkward. Whichever way you figure out to attach them to your person, they stick out. Plus that is extra weight.

The most minimal tent I own is just a "bug net" with floor, and I love this, have used it many times. On some car trips, have just stopped at night and put this beside the car, with mattress and sleeping bag inside, and slept soundly, protected from bugs. No problem on a warm summer night.

I have posted about my bug net tent:

...the link to Aliexpress is broken, but I searched and found the same product elsewhere on Aliexpress -- haven't got that link right now though. Only 263gm:


But, what about inclement weather? The above link shows my Sea to Summit poncho being used as a tarpaulin over the bug-net-tent. Not very practical, as the zipper entry to the bug-net-tent is from the top.

Fast forward to now, and I am proposing a solution. I have ordered this tent, just US$73.50: img3 has a very short pole at one end, and the main support is a trekking pole.

However, I don't use a trekking pole, never liked them. What I am proposing, and this is the experiment, is to modify the tent with cord on both ends, that can be tied to tree branches. So, I will dispense with both the short pole and the trekking pole.

In most places I have camped, there have been convenient branches that would serve the purpose.

Or, I find a dead branch to use in place of the trekking pole. Which means that I would have to carry a serrated knife to cut wood.

Each item in the Daylight bag has to serve more than one purpose, if possible. Reckon, will dispense with the poncho, and investigate modifying the outer skin of the tent to serve as a poncho.

This time, plan to pack my Sawyer Mini water filter, for emergency water supply. Adding more weight and volume, so have to figure out reductions elsewhere.

So, a fascinating little project coming up, to pack the Daylight bag with the new tent, and keep the weight under 3.5kg. And, in the field, to experiment with alternatives to the poles. Another trip coming up soon!

EDIT 2021-02-02:
The fun continues! I found these carbon-fibre folding poles:

One of them is 125cm, that can be a substitute for the trekking pole, each segment is only 28cm, so it will fit in the Daylight bag. Only weighs 83gm.

Definitely worthwhile to experiment with.

EDIT 2021-02-02:
While I am on a spending spree, have also ordered this Aricxi tent, at only US$49:


This is very simple, and I could even use my existing bug-net-tent. That outer tarp can be lower, set by the trekking pole, to give more weather protection, but it is a compromise, as the front is open.

This is very simple, with minimal pegs. The outer skin is 400gm, inner is 250gm, that is very light. Add the carbon-fibre pole, total still only 733gm, that is so light. Cord and pegs will add to that.

I am impressed with the fabric used in these cheap Aricxi tents. It is silicone-coated-nylon, known as silnylon, to achieve very light weight. Many other cheap tents are made with polyester fabric.

That weight of 400gm includes pegs and cord, as I found from here:

The tarp only weighs 308g, stakes and line 91g, total 408g. I have ultralight stakes that will bring down that total.

EDIT 2021-02-04:
If you live in the USA, here is a 125cm (49") carbon fibre pole that folds to 28cm (11") and weighs only 63g (2.3oz):

...and apparently it is manufactured in the USA, not a Chinese import!

EDIT 2021-02-11:
Incredible, the two tents and the carbon fibre pole have arrived from China, in 9 days! It was the free Aliexpress Standard Shipping, and they flew out of China remarkably quickly. About half of the shipping time was in transit within Australia, and they used Australia Post.

It is possible that they were shipped quickly out of China, as the Chinese are now in their summer holidays, a couple of weeks I think, and I recall it ending on February 17. I have also ordered a bluetooth keyboard, just after the summer holiday started, and it has not shipped, and likely won't until after the 17th.

Anyway, I have weighed the new arrivals:

Pyramid tent
Tarp tent
Inner tent
Outer tent
Cord & stakes
Little pole: 42g

Carbon fibre pole
Total weight

I think that replacing the stakes with my ultralight ones could knock about 40g off those totals, so we would be looking at around 850g and 750g. That is really good, considering that these are cheap tents.    

Tags: light