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UltraLight Backpacker Gear Advice

Hey folks,
I’m a full-time photographer/videographer and avid camper and outdoorsman. Recently I’ve been working hard (seriously, you wouldn’t believe the hours I’ve put into this) to combine the two having seen some new innovations in ultralight gear and photography backpacks. The bag I am looking at is the MindShift Rotation 50L+ which is essentially a bag with a 10L camera insert and 40L of volume with a cinch top that can add an additional 6L and compressible top pocket like traditional backpacking bags. It also has a ton of big shovel pockets, large stash pockets, daisy chains, and all over sorts of extremely clever space saving features…

Okay, so.
Now that you have an idea of the bag and volume I am looking to be using, here is my gear list:
- Nemo Dagger 2P with footprint
- EE 850D 0* Convert Quilt
- Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad
- Nemo Fillo Elite Luxury Pillow
- 3L Reservoir (bag has 2 places to store it)
- Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System
- Down Sweater Vest
- Rain Jacket
- Rain Paints
- Headlamp
- MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Stoce + Fuel Can
- 750ml titanium pot with lid

… and of course my camera gear in the 10L compartment and your other essentials and odds and ends… Most of the gear I listed, such as the down vest and jacket, is compressible and packs into its own pocket, and some of the items such as the tent and/or quilt/sleeping pad can be carried on the outside of the bag using the daisy chains or compression straps…

Okay, so now that you have a full picture of what my load is, how practical/realistic do you think it is? Keep in my the camera gear essentially doubles the weight, or comes close

2 Replies

Pack up your gear nd equipment and try it out.  You will get a better answer than any of us can give.  The choices are always deeply personal.

Example:  I would ditch your pillow, but to many it would be a necessary item.  different strokes for different folks.  I don't think the weight differential, titanium vs stainless is worth the extra cost, considering the greater suitability (IMHO) of stainless.

What matters is your opinion.  You will probably make changes and tweaks as you make additional forays, as most of us have.

Anxious to see the results of your photography!  Best wishes for successful outcomes...

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

One note, based on experience... Keep the... stuff... lashed to the outside to a minimum,  unless you're going to be hiking through wide-open spaces. There are few things worse than getting to camp and realizing you have a punctured sleeping pad. Maybe realizing your tent poles fell out three miles back?

I keep things that I want readily accessible on the outside... and very well secured!

(I started out using a big Kelty external frame Tioga... traditionally the sleeping bag was lashed to the bottom of the frame. It worked fine, but it was in line with the pack bag and was well lashed! I've also very nearly lost tent poles lashed alongside my bag, because the top of the pole bag snagged and pulled open.)

One exercise I try to go through at least once before each trip... plop your pack down in the living room floor, fully loaded, and pretend you're exhausted and just want to cook, eat, and crawl into your tent... the way everything is packed, can you do that efficiently? Pull out your tent, sleeping bag, stove, etc... How much other stuff is in the way? Can you get lunch without unpacking everything?

And remember... Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from poor judgment!