Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacking 2017-06-29T12:57:45+00:00

Since 1999 your best source for honest & factual information on gear & technique for lightweight & ultralight backpacking & hiking

Recent Posts on Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacking

Review of Hyperlite Mountain Gear THE SHELL

October 12th, 2017|9 Comments

Hyperlite Mountain Gear boldly calls their $450 rain jacket THE SHELL, and states "this jacket is unprecedentedly breathable, waterproof, and tough as f*#k for its weight." To see how well it stands up to the hype [...]

5 Pound Practical Lightweight Backpacking Gear List

August 22nd, 2017|10 Comments

The lightest gear that's supremely efficient and safe! Whatever you like to do: enjoying great views, photography, swimming in a lake, fishing, getting some extra camp time, or just putting in some trail miles this efficiency focused, 5 Pound Practical Lightweight Backpacking Gear List will give you more time to do it.

Why Wilderness First Aid Matters and How to Take a Course

August 20th, 2017|2 Comments

Knowing what to do in a medical emergency in the wilderness can make all the difference to someone in need. That someone might even be you! I was reminded of this as I refreshed my Wilderness First [...]

The Ultralight Backpacker’s Guide to Leave No Trace

August 13th, 2017|2 Comments

Want to practice good Leave No Trace (LNT) but keep your pack ultralight? No problem, this guide gives you some think-outside-the-box, ultralight (UL) options for LNT. It also covers areas of caution where UL backpackers [...]

  • Ultralight Day Hiking Checklist

3 lb Ultralight Day Hiking Checklist – stay safe, be light, have fun!

August 3rd, 2017|4 Comments

Day hiking is supposed to be fun. And part of the fun is a light pack for easy walking. Unfortunately, most day hiking checklists are way too heavy. If you add up the weight of [...]

  • Hammock Camping is Fanstatic

7 Reasons Why Hammock Camping is Fantastic – How To Get Started

July 22nd, 2017|3 Comments

For much of the US hammock camping is fantastic & arguably the best way to sleep in the backcountry. This is true anywhere with trees—nearly all of the eastern US & much of the Mountain [...]

13 Essentials for the Modern Hiker – A Realistic “10 Essentials”

June 7th, 2017|16 Comments

This article proposes a more realistic 13 Essentials that will better keep the modern hiker safe. This is because the Classic 10 Essentials (first proposed in the 1930's) need an update for the 21st Century given the realities of [...]

  • Best Backpacking Food

Best Backpacking Food – simple and nutritious

May 24th, 2017|53 Comments

Keep it simple, nutritious and save weight: I take inexpensive trail foods which are both tasty and nutritious. Specifically, foods that give you calories, protein, good fats, vitamins and other micro nutrients. This keeps you healthy and cruising along [...]

  • Next Gen Gaia GPS Hiking App

Huge Improvements to Next Gen Gaia GPS Hiking App

May 22nd, 2017|13 Comments

It's no mystery that Gaia GPS is the best hiking navigation App. But the Next Gen GAIA GPS Hiking App is vastly improved. The new maps are stunningly sharp and legible. It is much faster, and easier to use. And possibly the best feature of Next Gen GAIA GPS is the full line of National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps...

Lightweight Hiker’s Guide to the REI Sale

May 19th, 2017|4 Comments

The vast inventory at the Big REI Anniversary Sale can be overwhelming. This year I've done a bunch of research to select some of the best lightweight gear at the sale. In particular, I list some good items to use your "Members Save 20% Off One Full Priced Item. Plus Save an Extra 20% Off one Garage Item." Shop early for best selection...

The Art of Sleeping Warm – A Guide to Sleeping Bags and Quilts

May 3rd, 2017|53 Comments

Down quilts are far and away the best sleep value for most backpacking trips. They are half the cost and substantially lighter than sleeping bags. For example, a +20°F down quilt like the one above [...]

  • Drink When Thirsty

The Best Hydration – Drink When Thirsty

April 27th, 2017|31 Comments

Drink When Thirsty debunks the many myths about hydration and dehydration like "If you are thirsty, it's already too late" and "If your urine is yellow, you are dehydrated." This article suggests that Drink When Thirsty is the best and healthiest strategy for hydration during exercise.

Best Backpacking Cameras 2017

April 19th, 2017|85 Comments

The best backpacking camera is the camera you can quickly pull out and shoot. Many superb photos have been taken on iPhones. Being in a beautiful area and taking a photo in the right place at the [...]

World’s Newest Long Trail: Cuba’s Ruta de la Revolución

April 11th, 2017|9 Comments

See a Cuba tourists never see. Hike la Ruta de la Revolución trek which follows the historic route of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara that started the Cuban Revolution—from landing in Cuba in a foundering boat to [...]

  • layering system

Top Mistakes Using the Layering System – How to Stay Warmer and Drier

April 4th, 2017|15 Comments

The layering system sounds attractive in theory. But as practiced by most hikers it is seriously flawed. It can be heavy, and expensive. And not used properly it could even make you colder. This article points out the [...]

A Very Different High Route – Escalante Overland Route

March 24th, 2017|13 Comments

The Escalante Overland Route is arguably the most exciting high route in the lower-48! It is certainly the most beautiful and challenging trip we’ve done. The beauty of its desert canyons and mesas are equal to the best the planet has to offer, Grand Canyon included. Breathtaking...

Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Lyme and Zika While Hiking

March 16th, 2017|8 Comments

2017 is forecast to be the worst year for tick/Lyme disease. But don't let fear of Lyme or Zika keep you off the trail! This article has tips on the clothing, gear, repellents, and techniques that will maximize your protection from Lyme, Zika and other tick/insect diseases...

Low Carbon AT Section Hike – Shenandoah to Harpers Ferry – No Car Needed

March 14th, 2017|2 Comments

This Guide to the AT Section Hike - Shenandoah to Harpers Ferry, is an installment of our no-car-needed, low carbon AT hiking Guides.  This beautiful section has the infamous roller coaster, along with great vistas like Raven Rock and Sky [...]

  • Efficient Backpacking Tips

Efficient Backpacking Tips – Easily Increase Mileage & Fun

March 7th, 2017|12 Comments

Any hiker can use these Efficient Backpacking Tips to get more time to do what they love best outdoors. Whether it's covering more miles, extra time to enjoy the views, take photographs, fish, get some extra swimming in a lake or even (gasp!) a mid-afternoon nap.

  • Quick and Efficient Training for Backpacking

Quick and Efficient Training for Backpacking and Hiking

February 8th, 2017|26 Comments

We use this common sense, 2-day-a-week training program to prepare for hiking 30+ mile days on the AT. We also used it to do the "the toughest long distance trek in Europe," the GR20 in Corsica, in ½ the normal time. But this training also works great for shorter and less intense trips.