The 343 method

3 for 3 is a super simple method to lighten up your gear. Use his method to take the quantum leap and you might actually not have to do anything else.

The trick is to identify the heaviest objects in your gear and not strain the gnats until you are done managing those camels. The camels are almost always the "big 3":
  1. Shelter (tent, tarp - divide by number of inhabitants!)
  2. Sleeping (sleeping bag/quilt + sleeping pad)
  3. Carrying (backpack)
3 for 3 (or "343" for short) means that if the big 3 add up to 3 kilograms or less per person, you are free to go on with lowering the weight of the rest of your gear and might eventually end up actually gaining something by shortening the handle of your toothbrush.

The neat thing is that there is room for compromises and personal preferences since it's the sum and not the parts that count. The three big ones are communicating vessels. You can still use a double walled tent, a super comfy sleeping pad or a synthetic sleeping bag and manage 3 for 3 by compensating with lighter gear in the other two areas.

3 for 3 example: Martin's gear in 2000 versus 2010
Let's compare Martin Nordesjo's gear from ten years ago with what he could use today. It wasn't ultra heavy back then, and it's not ultralight today. This is what anyone could do without being called a fundamentalist:
  • Tent: Haglöfs Twin Peak 1,6 kg (3,2 divided by 2)
  • Sleeping gear: Ajungilak Kompakt + Thermarest standard: 2,6 kg
  • Pack: Berghaus Vulcan 3,2 kg
    Big 3 in 2000: 7,4 kg
  • Tent/Shelter: Hilleberg Rajd 0,49 kg (0,97 kg divided by 2)
  • Sleeping gear: Robert's Voyager Light + BPL Torsolite + large, thin Evazote pad: 1,3 kg
  • Pack: Granite Gear Vapor Trail: 1,1 kg
    Big 3 in 2010: 2,9 kg
The weight is 4,5 kg less, and the comfort in camp is the same - or better! And, the comfort while walking is infinetely better.

But remember: 3 for 3 is not a religion!
Nor it it a club (t-shirts would be cool, though). We will not look askew at you if your 3 big ones weigh 3,1 kilos. But it is easy to remember and we ensure you that you can be as safe and warm and comfortable with 343 as with 444 or 543 or 843 or some similar number. Only, you will be carrying a lot less, which will add considerably to your comfort while hiking.

Read our articles about 343