2020 Ultralight Backpacking Thru Hike Gear – Sub 7lbs Pacific Crest Trail Appalachian Trail


All my gear –
All 6.85lbs of my ultralight backpacking gear! Lower the physical impact of hiking, but still be comfortable. Cheaper gear alternatives to my main gear are also covered. You do not need special skills to use this gear, just some backyard practice. Get out there! Well, once we beat coronavirus!!

Full List –

*Backpack*
KS Ultralight KS40 –

*Tent*
Tarptent Aeon Li –

*Sleep Pad*
Thermarest Uberlite –
More durable is the Thermarest Xlite –

*Quilt*
Nunatak Arc UL 30F –

Gossamer Gear 1/8th in CCF pad –
Big Sky Pillow –
Buff to go over pillow –
Easton Nano Stakes –
Ruta Locura Carbon 6in –
Rain Jacket Frogg Toggs –
Rain pants Montbell Versalite –
Long John Alternatives – Rab Forge Leggings or some say these Helly Hansens are 4.5 oz in size medium –
Skylight Gear Alpha Hoody – follow him on IG
Borah Gear Down Jacket – See others for alternatives!
Enlightened Equipment Stronghold Mittens 2oz Apex-
Injini Liner Socks –
Mosquito Headnet [don’t remember, but this one looks light] –

**DITTY BAG ITEMS**
Zpacks ditty bag – (I bought at a booth at PCT Days)
Nitecore NU25 –
Westcott Scissors –
Mini Bottle –
Bamboo Toothbrush –
Matches (I like them) –
LEUKOTAPE (THE BEST!) –
Gauze (Ultralight and sanitary) –
Misc Drugs! – Carry to help others please!
Sewing Kit Gutterman Tex 40 –
Sewing Kit Large Eye Needles –
DCF Tape –
DCF Patch –
Tenacious Tape Flex Tape (oddly, this is what I’m most excited for) –
Compass –

** Electronics**
Xcentz 5,000mAh Powerbank! –
Wall Charger – Anker Powerport III Nano –
6in USB-C to USB-C –
Adapters for USB-C to Micro USB (I bought this so I could still charge my headlamp) –

** Food and Water System **
Toaks 550 Ultralight (with handles) –
QiWiz Windscreen (for Toaks 550) –
Ruta Locura Lid – Discontinued. Sad!!
Stove Minibull Elite –
Stove I also love, maybe even more, Gram Weenie Pro
Spoon from HandmadeRecycled.com – Reach out to them on Instagram @Handmaderecycled and ask for the Matt Shafter spoon!

** Things I Sometimes Bring**
Nunatak JMT Synthetic Jacket –
Enlightened Equipment Torrid Jacket –
Down Balaclava (good!) –
Down Balaclava (Best! Ask for Matt Shafter version!) –
Garmin inReach Mini –
Foam Pad I can use when doing big section hikes –
Umbrella for hot hiking in the woods –
Rain Jacket, Columbia Outdry – Wait till new products come out
Rain Jacket, Goretex Shakedry (Damn, jump on this sale – size up one) –
Picaridin Spray 0.5oz – Why is this discontinued? Jeez.
Mini Chapstick –
SUNSCREEN STICK!! Get 0.5oz –

**AFFORDABLE BIG 4**
Six Moons Designs Lunar Solo –
3F UL Gear Lanshan 1 Pro –
Granite Gear Virga 2 –
Klymit Static V Lite Insulated –
Klymit Static V Uninsulated (35$) –

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39 comments

  • I love your last comment, " All this gear stuff is secondary to just getting out there with the gear you have" so true.

  • 4:32 i want pad person to give a comment in every video! he can be like Clippy!

  • I love ultralight gear! Doesnt mean my pack is any lighter though, as this just allows me to bring more stuff, LOL! 15kg last time (including food and water), and i hiked 23km, which is probably the longest i have hiked in a day. Obviously plenty light enough for getting out for an overnighter – although i only weigh 60-65kg, and shouldnt carry that much weight without conditioning my body for it first. I heard hikers say 15% of the body weight should be the limit to aviod strain injuries, and later read an article from some doctors saying 10%. I had close to 25%, and i did notice it was a bit much on the knees. Especially in the beginning. I do like the exercise though 😛

  • Keep an eye on Dan Durston's for very affordable light tents and backpacks. I've got his 40 liter backpack and love it- my first UL pack and my second after the classic first bag- my Osprey Atmos 65 (I've come so far!!).

    Speaking of that, I'm fascinated by the KS bag and curious about a compare/contrast with the Arc Blast.

  • I'm a big fan of going with clothing instead of spraying stuff on me where possible. Longsleeve UPF 50 pants and shirts and a hat with a wide brim or cape (?) to cover my ears. Sometimes sun gloves. With all that, I only have to apply sunscreen to my face and sometimes a little deet on my neck.

    I love my 3in inseam short shorts and tight shirt, but I spent 9 days hiking in my beloved short shorts in the Australian outback at 36C and climbing the McDonnell mountain ranges and Uluru and boy I can still remember the feeling of ending a day with 8+ layers of 24hr waterproof (!) SPF 50 on my skin. Never again in my life. Shudders

  • The uberlite is intriguing but I can never go back from Sea To Summit's 4 inch thick ether xt insulated. It's 6oz heavier than the uber at 17.3 Oz for the regular size, but as a side sleeper there is no option to 4 inches of thickness, and 17oz isn't bad at all, esp with solidly 3 season of warmth at r value of 3. It's also more durable than the uber.

  • Thank you so much. Your channel is amazing and you go super in depth we appreciate you. "The Internet"

  • How did you get an 11pz regular wide Uberlightt sleeping pad to weigh 6.9oz?? Did you cut it? My regular length one is 8oz and my short 4.4oz

  • dude great video saw tons of stuff id use on my next trip

  • Sunscreen sticks. Brilliant! I'm sold.
    Do you have any experience with the one man military ICS tent?

  • Love your content and this video is one I just found myself watching again. Would love to see a 2021 version. Even if your kit hasn't changed some of the commentary might and maybe even the 'alternative recommendations'.

  • Been experienenting with the width problem of pads you mentioned.
    A pool noodle cut down to 12 inch or so on each side of the pad increases elbow room (where i always seem to be hanging off) considerably. Only weighs .5-1 oz too. Ever tried this?

  • Enjoyed again after your Tik Tok!

  • Hello Matt! My names Seth. I own Mountain Goat Ultralight Design. At the moment we sell ultralight bear hang food bags. Would love to send you a bag for you to review and test on your YouTube channel! We are brand new. My vision for my company mirrors your mindset you have with your gear! Durability, comfort and safety are a necessity. And ultralight does not mean compromise. Please check out my YouTube channel and message me! …Mountain Goat Ultralight Design

  • came from tiktok, and this is so cool!

  • Awesome video! I love the idea of just getting out there, but I’ve made some baaaad decisions on gear choices before I knew better and suffered. I know the people watching your videos will already be better off than I was haha

  • You should do a video that is of all your favorite and best gear not worrying or thinking about cost or weight

  • Unless I am at high winds or mountains, I'll almost always bring an umbrella.

  • Dude, you are the best UL channel on YouTube. You have clearly done your research. You take the time to explain your decision making, but also keep yourself videos incredibly concise. Happy trails, and keep it up

  • This was great, Matt, because you actually talked about the WHY behind your choices and how they function together, as a kit, not just stand alone items. Hey, get a Hydrapak bladder bag in 2L size for the befree before they're gone (discontinued). Cheers!

  • I have a question for you. I’m new to backpacking. My friend and I are taking a cross country trip (in a vehicle), but will be backpacking as well. Can you please suggest a light, two person tent. I would prefer one that isn’t the top of the line because we’re so new…..thoughts? Thank you so much. Also, single or double walled?

  • Great video, what is the Down Balaclava "Matt Shafter" version? what is the difference?

  • Ok. Explain to us the water and food situation. In the desert water is very important and you can't rely on cache's. I was under the belief you should carry 7 liters of water to make it from point to point in the desert. When people explain the ultralight base weight i believe its a disservice is they do not explain how much food and water they are carrying and how it works on and what are they relying on to restock supplies and where they will restock. Also, how does one make a pack lighter in total weight without being losing the things that would make the hike thru worth while as far as pleasure. Let's be honest i can't see how people run around in the same clothes while smelling awful, eating foods they will only eat on trail, not having items that make the hike pleasurable whilst keeping things lightweight and what is lightweight on paper?

  • We getting a new list this year?

  • I just grabbed an Uberlite large on ebay. Whats the coldest temp you've been and how comfy was it? Thx

  • I need the 40lbs pack for the ten to 13 day unsupported stretches and the waterless days.

  • Did a great job on what you bring ,why and great alternatives 👍

  • What are your thoughts on the Dan Durston/Drop X-Mid tent and 40L pack as “budget” alternatives?

  • hi, does the silva compass thermometer works well ?

  • Hey you mentioned your Nunatak was from 2017. If you bought one today would you still go that route. UGQ and Enlightened Eq are 20% off for black friday and I'm tempted to pull the trigger. Also what are your thought for a temp rating if I'm mostly a summer guy, sierras and rockies? Thanks

  • Instead of holding my "head"lamp, I clip it to my hip belt (or pants if I'm not using a hip belt).

  • I think there might be a better option for your tent. The Bid Agnes Scout 2 Carbon. It's only a 11oz trail weight. https://www.bigagnes.com/Scout-2-Carbon
    Also the Zpacks quilt is lighter.
    https://zpacks.com/products/20f-solo-quilt

  • A light that you wear around your waist, like the Ultraspire ones, keeps your hands free. I use a Petzl Bindi that the head cord stretched so much on that i can wear it around my waist.

  • The Injinji liner toe socks are the real deal. I backpacked around 100 miles in them in the Sierras this summer and had zero blisters. Last summer I used regular liner socks under the same wool socks and had painful blisters between multiple toes on both feet. With Injinji liner socks under Darn Tough socks –> No blisters. Injinji for life.

  • Can you specify what you use for the "big foam mat" you have on the KS40 back pad?

  • Your last video 7 lbs gear as great imagine what can i do to crush the trails at that lbs. i was crushing a Timberline trails 30 miles on a 21 lbs let lone 7 lbs lol. My this summer i crushed 700 miles in 3 months. I will be hitting the trails with my base weight 6lbs without the foods and water. great videos bud.

  • Do you ever find yourself wishing you got a KS50 instead of the KS40? Or any other changes to the pack options? I've built a very similar kit due to your incredibly put together and thoughtful lists and was curious if I should go for the 50 instead.

  • Too bad that Onda 2 collecting dust 🙁

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