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

  • Smart and Light Gift Guide for Hikers and Backpackers

Smart and Light Gift Guide for Hikers and Backpackers

November 21st, 2017|8 Comments

This gear is smarter, lighter and more thoroughly tested than your typical buyer's guide. Enjoy our picks of the best light and practical gear in our 2018 Smart Gift Guide for Hikers and Backpackers. There's cool gear from [...]

Rain Jacket Durability 101 – How to Select the Best Durable Rain Jacket

November 16th, 2017|2 Comments

Rain jacket “durability” is a complex topic not well understood by most people. This post debunks some durability myths and clearly lays out what to look for in a durable rain jacket. Finally, we list [...]

Lightweight Hiker’s Guide to REI Gear Up Get Out Sale

November 10th, 2017|9 Comments

I've been an REI member since the mid 70's. Still, when a REI sale comes around, I get overwhelmed trying to find the best lightweight gear among the vast inventory. This year, I decided to [...]

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

November 7th, 2017|18 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 [...]

Light L16 Computational Camera – Hands on First Look

November 1st, 2017|6 Comments

The Light L16 is one of the first “computational” cameras to hit the market. If it works it’s a game changer for high resolution and lightweight photography. Especially for hikers, backpackers, outdoor adventures, travelers or [...]

No Car Needed Appalachian Trail Section Hike – Roanoke to Shenandoah National Park

October 25th, 2017|0 Comments

As of November, 2017 Amtrak offers service to Roanoke, VA. This makes another stunning section of the AT accessible via public transportation to most of the East Coast. This hike is just south of Shenandoah National [...]

Review of Hyperlite Mountain Gear THE SHELL

October 12th, 2017|13 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|15 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|55 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|12 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 [...]