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.
A shakedown hike is critical to the success of your big backpacking trip for the year. Learn how to plan and execute a shakedown to avoid costly mistakes. Think of it as "Spring Training" for backpacking.
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/cannan-mist-1200.jpg8001200Alison Simonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlison Simon2020-03-26 17:01:212020-03-26 17:13:54Shakedown Hike | Ensure Success on your Big Backpacking Trips
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/tinman-JMT-DSCF0979-v04-1200-1.jpg8371600Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2019-08-27 14:01:592020-05-22 10:55:357 Reasons Why Hammock Tent Camping is Fantastic | How To Get Started
2018 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, & techniques that will maximize your protection from Lyme, Zika & other diseases...
Desert canyons are some of the most stunning places on earth. And contrary to the hype of high adventure and disaster in technical slot canyons, with flash floods & amputating arms—many beautiful canyons are low risk and perfect for backpacking…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/canyon-buckskin-fb.jpg8371600Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2018-04-05 13:59:252020-06-28 20:00:31Non-technical Canyon Backpacking in Utah – a how to guide for getting started
When you haven't backpacked in months & months, getting your systems dialed back in can be overwhelming and challenging. Between gear, food and logistics, it's easy to lose track of things. But with these 12 tips for your first backpacking…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DSC02605.jpg6281200Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2018-03-28 13:41:532018-03-28 16:07:1512 tips for your first backpacking trip of the year
Many stunning outdoor photos are shot with smartphones. BUT most are no accident. The photographer used good basic techniques & inexpensive gear to get that great photo. The good news is that you too can do this with the 10 following hacks and accessories for better smartphone hiking photography.
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 some of the very best durable rain jackets…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/DSC02496.jpg6281200Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2017-11-16 22:19:472018-04-20 10:53:46Rain Jacket Durability 101 – How to Select the Best Durable Rain Jacket
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 Aid (WFA) certification this past weekend.…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/bloody-head-fb-2000-1.jpg8381600Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2017-08-20 18:55:522017-08-20 19:12:19Why Wilderness First Aid Matters and How to Take a Course
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 need to pay special…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/bivy-slickrock-1200-text.jpg7131200Dylan McCarthy and Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngDylan McCarthy and Alan Dixon2017-08-13 19:16:342017-08-13 23:54:27The Ultralight Backpacker’s Guide to Leave No Trace
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 a modern…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/teton-blizzard-fb-931x487.jpg487931Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2017-06-07 15:25:552018-05-11 16:33:0413 Essentials for the Modern Hiker – A Realistic “10 Essentials”
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.
Alert! as a backpacker you are not well served by mainstream camera reviews like DPReview.
That is, the 5 Most Important Features for a Backpacking Camera are quite different than those for a general use camera in mainstream reviews. Here…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/em5-handheld-in-field-fb1200.jpg6281200Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2016-12-02 15:33:172017-12-20 00:16:405 Most Important Features for a Backpacking Camera
I’ve wanted to wear a skirt for a while. My wife will back me up on this, but not for the reasons you think. And to be clear, I have Scottish blood (clan Dixon) so I get to wear a kilt which is pretty much a skirt. But the main reason I wanted to wear a hiking skirt...
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/purple-rain-couple-fb1530.jpg8001530Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2016-11-14 17:19:082016-11-15 01:00:53Why Would a Man Wear a Hiking Skirt?
Take the train to the AT—low carbon, low stress. No car, no complicated shuttles. Just great hiking! This AT section hike has it all—an ideal blend of natural beauty, history, small towns, great local parks, and meeting interesting people. It's a perfect example of what makes hiking on the AT a unique and special experience.
Most people know about Aron Ralston of “127 hours,” who cut his arm off to save his life. A major take-away from this was that he should have left a Trip Plan with a friend. Something as simple as a short note saying where he was going…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/rappel-1200-630-sat.jpg6311200Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2016-08-24 16:31:312016-08-24 20:36:11Why You Should Make a Trip Plan and Leave it with Someone for Every Trip
It’s a myth that ultralight backpacking makes you cold, wet and hungry. It doesn’t. In fact, I’ll wager that with my 5 pounds of ultralight gear I’m more comfortable, sleep better, and eat better than many campers carrying 20 to 30 pounds of conventional/heavier backpacking gear. Here are 3 Reasons why You Won’t Freeze or Starve UltraLight .
These tasty and nutritious backpacking meal recipes are healthier, have more calories and cost less than commercial, freeze dried backpacking meals. Keep it simple — there are enough nutritious backpacking meal recipes here to provide sufficient daily variety to keep meals fun and interesting. But there aren't so many recipes that I spend too much time buying ingredients and assembling a large meal inventory.
These Two Great Lightweight Backpacking Gear Lists, 5 Pound or 9 Pound, will save you a lot of pack-weight but still keep a smile on your face. You will most likely be warmer, more comfortable, and sleep better than most campers carrying 2 to 3 times the weight in conventional/heavier backpacking gear.
The lightest gear that still makes sense! 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.
That's the total weight of everything in my backpack—gear, food, water, and stove fuel to hike 102 miles of the Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park in 3 days. No fair weather hiking: with rain, sleet, light snow and hard freezes at night. I think I am very close to dialing in a Light Pack that is also supremely efficient at covering long trail miles.
The Best Cheap $0.25 Backpacking Gear in my kit are Pint Ziploc Freezer Bags. They are a perfect size and have a ton of uses. I’ve used them to protect my iPhone and other expensive equipment packrafting in Alaska, rafting down the Grand Canyon in winter, trekking in Patagonia and the rain forests of New Zealand. Surprisingly, they are virtually unknown and you won’t find them on grocery store shelves.
This is an excellent Method to Manage Hammock Tarp Doors. It's fast and simple to use. It keeps the tarp doors neatly and securely out of the way dry weather or when you are getting in and out of the hammock. But it also quickly secures the tarp doors if needed—like when a rain storm quickly moves in. And it's a great do-it-yourself project.
This article addresses the selection of a lightweight backpacking camera and photo gear. In particular, you will understand the tradeoffs of camera size and weight vs. image quality. (Photo: A sudden opening in the clouds illuminates a lone tree and a small outcrop overlooking Loch Marie in Wester Ross.)
Do-it-all Packs: These are your first choice if you want one light pack to work for all your trips. These packs will carry gear and food for trips up to 7 days or more—yet at around 2 pounds they are not too heavy to use for a long weekend on the Appalachian Trail.
Possibly the best all-around, lightweight shelter is a pyramid shelter. I have used Pyramid Shelters on trips to Alaska, Patagonia, the Sierras, major European treks and around the world. (Picture of Alison in a Mountain Laurel Designs…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/al-tent-quilt-slide.jpg4501100Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2015-11-11 19:49:402018-04-20 11:57:11Recommended Tents, Tarps and other Shelters
If you aren't up to Pyramids and tarps: Consider lightweight tents like the REI Quarter Dome 1 Tent, or the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Tent. (If you want to save some weight, look at the Tarptents, altho these will not be from REI.)
2016 Update: I have redone this with a a new post "5 Pound Practical Ultralight Backpacking Gear List" which I believe is a far better approach to light on the AT. This new gear list is both light and practical. It can be used by many AT…
Food and food storage: 6.5 lbs (5.2 lbs food, 1.3 lbs bear cans)
The biggest weight savings of the trip and nobody went hungry.
Again the greatest weight savings was in food. See below.
Clothing: 5.5 pounds
Less clothes, no Polarfleece,…
"A heavy pack is never a highlight or happiest memory of a trip..."
Disadvantages of a heavy pack
It sucks the joy out of the trip...
It will not keep you warmer, safer or more comfortable
Slow, tedious hiking
A 15 lb pack (with food & fuel) for 7 days in the High Sierra
It’s been six years since Colin dropped 30 pounds from his pack. Time to drop some more pack-weight! Once again the brothers and their sons ventured into the Sierras…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/spinn_twinn.jpg422600Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2015-09-09 17:46:032015-11-21 12:36:154.7 lb Super Ultralight Pack in the Sierras
Killer Packs - Never again! Good planning (e.g. having a light pack) can make or break a backpacking trip, especially with kids. I found this out the hard way when I took my kids on their first extended trip to the high Sierra. Our experiences sparked my interest in ultralight backpacking
This was a fantastic trip! Even a heavy pack can't spoil the incredible Sierras. Fabulous scenery, rugged routes, solitude, remote campsites, and great fishing. Please look at the photos of this trip as they say a lot more than anything I can write.
All weights savings are per person
Food and food storage: 6.5 lbs (5.2 lbs food, 1.3 lbs bear cans)
The biggest weight savings of the trip and nobody went hungry.
See a special note on food and food storage.
Clothing: 5.5 pounds
A savings of 30 pounds
in 1999 - His pack was 55 pounds
in 2001 - His pack was 25 pounds
Sierra trip comparison 1999 and 2001
(Note: this is not a complete list)
Note: 1999 trip had 3 people. 2001 trip had 4…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.png00Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2015-09-08 20:15:482015-11-21 13:01:39Table of Weight Savings from 1999 and 2001
"In locations where trees are readily available—nearly all of the eastern United States plus a fair amount of the Mountain West—a hammock is likely the best sleep system."
This is part of a three part series
Part I: Advantages…
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"In locations where trees are readily available—nearly all of the eastern United States plus a fair amount of the Mountain West—hammock camping is likely the best sleep system."
Types of Backpacking Hammocks: is the second part of this…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.png00Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2015-09-04 19:27:262017-03-01 21:54:04Hammock Camping – Part II: Types of backpacking hammocks, and spec comparison to ground systems
NEW June 2016 - Meal Recipes are Posted. See Nutritious Backpacking Meal Recipes here
This list is packed with nutritious backpacking food for a "week long" trip of 7 days
6 nights of dinners and breakfasts
7 days of lunches and daytime…
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/simple-food-list.jpg453909Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2015-09-03 19:02:242016-06-13 03:49:14Backpacking Food List – Simple and Nutritious for 7 days
There is no exact answer to this question. In my "The Best Backpacking Food - simple and nutritious", I threw out the best guess of 1.4 to 1.7 lb of food per day. But how but much food you need depends on who you are and what you do.
https://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/dinner_golden_lake-sm.jpg6081000Alan Dixonhttps://www.adventurealan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/adventure-alan-lightweight-backpacking-hiking.pngAlan Dixon2015-08-20 18:08:202015-10-19 13:46:30How much food should I take? The detailed answer
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