Ultralight Budget Gear List $800, 6.7lbs

People often think that ultralight hiking has to be expensive. You can definitely spend a lot, but there are genuine options out there that work extremely well for minimal investment.

This list is Thru Hiking worthy, and I would be happy to stand at the southern terminus of the PCT with everything on this list. There are other pieces of gear out there that are cheaper, but I have only included high quality items that I would use.

I decided to develop this article as I have seen other budget gear suggestions that are either not feasible or blatantly unsafe (e.g. including a cheap tent that will either leak, or just break in a storm).  To counteract giving misleading advice, I developed a core outlines that I used for this gear list (and price was not even in the top 3 considerations):

  1. No sacrifice to quality or usability
  2. Value for money
  3. Items that I would use
  4. Price
  5. Weight
  6. Packability

Note: This is the companion to My 6 lb Gear List. There is also a traditional gear list The Ultimate 9 lb Gear List, and its companion Thru Hiker’s Budget Gear List.

Overview:

Weight (lbs) Weight (kg) Cost (US$)
Backpack 1.3 0.6 $165.00
Shelter 0.7 0.6 $215.00
Sleep System 1.8 0.8 $230.00
Clothing in Pack 1.3 0.6 $89.00
Cooking Equipment 0.1 0.1 $6.00
Water Treatment / Storage 0.3 0.1 $17.00
Electronics 1.0 0.5 $59.00
Random / First Aid 0.3 0.2 $17.00
Total 6.8 3.3 $800

Backpack System:

Company Item Comments Wt (oz) Wt (g) Cost (USD)
Gossamer Gear Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 Frameless 18.5 518 $165
ULA ULA Circuit Full Frame $235
Trash Bag Trash Compactor Use as an internal bag liner 1.5 42 $2
20 560 $167

Shelter System:

Company Item Comments Wt (oz) Wt (g) Cost (USD)
MLD MLD Grace Tarp Cat cut, Silnylon 8.1 227 $140
TarpTent TarpTent Protrail long and skinny $225
Borah Gear Borah Gear Tarp 5.5×9 Silnylon Tarp $54
Tyvek Tyvek Groundsheet 6 168 $10
S2S S2S Nano pyramid supprisingly durable, can be left at home 3.2 90 $50
MSR MSR 4 Groundhog tent peg + 2 titanium shepard hook Bigger stakes for 4 corners and smaller stakes for the others 2.7 76 $15
10.8 560 $215

Sleeping System:

Company Item Comments Wt (oz) Wt (g) Cost (USD)
UGQ UGQ Bandit 20F / -6C, 800 Fill Quilt 18.8 526 $200
Thermarest Thermarest Zlite, 3/4 length Resonably comfortable foam pad 10 280 $30
Gossamer Gear Gossamer Gear 1/8in foam pad Extremely lightweight $18
28.8 806 $230

Clothing System:

Company Item Comments Wt (oz) Wt (g) Cost (USD)
Frogg Toggs Frogg Toggs Ultra Lite 2 Cheap, dispoable and most breathable in its weight clase 6 168 $20
Generic Microfleece Find one on discount 7.5 210 $25
Dance Nylon Warm Up Pants Dancing nylon warm up pants Really useful to keep warm when moving, great for laundry cloths 3 84 $18
Generic Generic fleece Can be found online for cheap 1.5 42 $10
Generic Generic fleece beanie Can be found online for cheap 1 28 $10
Runner Synthetic
Runner
Second Pair 1.5 42 $5
Generic Use under hat to block sun, use as a drying towel 1 28 $1
21.5 602 $89

Cooking System:

Company Item Comments Wt (oz) Wt (g) Cost (USD)
Generic Lexan Spoon As durable as titanim at a fraction of the price. From REI 0.5 14 $1
Heavy Plastic Bag Stuff Sack Heavy Plastic Shopping Bag 1 28 $0
Westcott Westcott 1.5 inch Titanium Sissors Basic, all you really need 0.5 14 $5
2 56 $6

Water Treatment and Storage:

Company Item Comments Wt (oz) Wt (g) Cost (USD)
Aqua Mira Aqua Mira Chemical Treatment 3 84 $15
Bottle Smartwater 2 total 1.3 37 $2
4.3 121 $17

Electronics:

Company Item Comments Wt (oz) Wt (g) Cost (USD)
What you already have 6 175
Aniker Aniker 10,000MA 7.1 200 $30
Generic Generic Look for 2 Amps 1.4 39 $5
Generic Generic 1/2ft or 1ft 0.3 8 $4
Pezel Pezel e-Lite Extremely light and compact, only good for emergancy night hiking 1 28 $20
15.8 451 59

Miscellaneous:

Company Item Comments Wt (oz) Wt (g) Cost (USD)
ZipLock ZipLock Freezer Waterproof, resonably durable 0.3 8 $1
ID and Cash 0.5 14
Chopped down for convinient storage 0.2 6 $1
1oz travel size 1 28 $1
1oz travel size 1 28 $1
Ben’s 100% Deet, 1oz travel size 1 28 $3
10 x Ibeprofen, tenasious tape, needle, floss in a hard plastic case 1.5 45 $10
5.5 157 $17

Leave a comment with your awesome budget gear suggestions!