I am planning to making some gear changes for this summers Washington PCT backpacking trip. The current plan is to switch to a hammock and tarp combination instead of a tent and change to a Six Moon Designs pack.
As much as I like carrying super light tents, my sleep suffers from long nights on the ground. Even with a wonderfully light and comfy pad as the NanoAir I still toss and turn all night long. Being that Washington is so tree filled, I am thinking I will throw caution to the wind and try something new. I currently own a Warbonnet Black Bird single layer hammock that is quite comfy and at 22 ounces for the hammock and suspension it isn't too heavy. Add to that the required tarp with stakes and it jumps the set-up to about 31.5 ounces or almost two pounds. Still not bad but not as light as I'd like. In researching newer hammocks I came across a blog by a woman named Joan, or Rambling Hemlock, who I actually met at Hiker Heaven last spring... http://ramblinghemlock.blogspot.com/p/pct-2014.html. She used a hammock last year on the PCT and has a great deal of information on her site about gear, how to hang on the PCT as well as other wonderful things. At any rate, after reading her site I decided to look into finding a hammock setup that would be lighter but still as comfy as my WBBB. So I have ordered a Darian from Dream Hammocks that includes a bug net, whoopie slings and tree huggers and it weighs in at right about 16 ounces. With the tarp and stakes I'm up to 25 ounces, in theory. In practice, we will see. I've ordered the hammock ($125.) so we will see when it arrives.
Six Moon Design Fusion 65 Pack.
Part of the reason I wanted to go as light as possible on the hammock/tarp setup is that I also wanted to try out a new pack that just came out last summer. It is substantially heavier than my current packs but will offer a great deal more support, and hopefully take some of the weight off of my sorry old shoulders. At 39 ounces it weighs almost 5 ounces more than my ULA Circuit pack and almost a full 19 ounces more than my Z-Pack Arc Blast 52 liter pack. That is a huge difference! But I guess at this point I am willing to trade a bit more weight for more general comfort. At least I'm going to try. Plus it was on sale a few months ago for half off ($115) so I reasoned it wouldn't be too expensive a mistake if I hated it. So far it feels like it will work.