Purpose of Adventure Alan Site

Hi, I’m Adventure Alan. Since 1999, this site has been dedicated to bringing you honest and factual information on gear and technique for backpackers and adventurers of all skill levels. The site content is concise and to the point, consolidating essential data in a few easily understood posts.

The goal is to quickly enable the reader to find the information they need to fine tune their skill and gear to backpack in the most efficient and sensible manner. And yes, part of the focus of this site will be on adventure!

About Adventure Alan

Alan grew up in northern California and spent his formative mountaineering years in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. At age five, he carried his own backpack into the Yosemite backcountry. In the ensuing 50 years he’s climbed and adventured in North and South America, Europe and around the world. Somewhere in there he was part of the initial ultralight backpacking movement and co-founded Backpacking Light. He is a co-author of “Lightweight Backpacking and Camping: A Field Guide to Wilderness Equipment…,” as well as numerous reviews, and technical articles. A jack of all trades, Alan is a writer, photographer, outdoor guide, nationally competitive masters triathlete, and a national champion masters kayaker who also went to 2008 olympic trials in kayaking.

Alan’s adventuring focus in the last 15 years has been his passions of mountaineering and canyoneering, but also pack-rafting in Alaska, Nordic skiing, and expedition kayaking. In the last few years Alan and his climbing/adventuring partner Don Wilson have setup and documented/published two new mountain high routes; The Southern Sierra High Route SoSHR, (an extension of the SHR to Mt Whitney and beyond), and the The Wind River High Route, WRHR. They intend to continue to explore, document and publish new mountaineering and canyoneering routes.


Thoughts on Backpacking Lightweight

Most folks go into the wilderness to enjoy the peace and serenity that comes from natural beauty and solitude of wilderness. They want to get away from houses, roads, and city life. To best do this, it makes sense to take the least amount (and lightest) of gear that will keep one warm, safe and comfortable. Lightweight Backpacking is perfect for following this ethic.

  • Most people do not enjoy being a pack mule. It is rarely the highlight or happiest memory of a trip.
  • Alternatively, unburdened from the misery of carrying a heavy pack, they are joyful and alert—in the best state of mind to be fully present and appreciate everything around them.
  • Many in the backcountry may want to cover some ground; to see all that they can in their limited time outdoors. The freedom of a light pack allows them to go further and/or through more rugged terrain and without suffering!
  • Many value the simplicity, serenity and solitude of the backcountry. Suffering with a heavy pack, and taking a bunch of unnecessary gear gets in the way of this.
  • Many are  fine with simple food, don’t need gourmet meals, and don’t want big fancy tents that remind them of the rooms and city life they left behind.
  • Sometimes you hike with friends, family or loved ones that are not fit or fast hikers. Keeping your own gear light allows you to carry some extra weight for them, and substantially reduce their pack weight. With lighter packs you can all get to beautiful remote areas that would be unattainable with conventional packs.
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Moving fast and light along the spectacular ridge line of the GR20 in Corsica. A minimal pack (and good pre-trip training) enabled Alison and I to do a 16 day trip in under 8 days.