Sonntag, 30. Januar 2011

My path to lightweight backpacking

I started my backpacking days when I was 17. I was part of a volunteer program doing work in national parks, and the last week of the program was a 5 day backpacking trip in the White Mountains. Our group leader helped us with organizing our gear, and making sure we were carrying the right amount of weight based on our abilities. I was young and strong, and didn't mind carrying the 65 pounds sorted into my pack. I can't imagine shouldering that pack these days.

I started thinking about the items in my pack after that trip, and realized I could probably do without a few things. I was able to reduce it somewhat on my next trip, down to about 60 pounds. I still wasn't actually weighing any items, just trying to bring only necessary things. Some items were a necessary evil. It's amazing how heavy and useless a few sweat-soaked cotton t-shirts are.

My first venture into the lightweight world happened when I bought an MSR pocket rocket and titanium cooking pot. It was a good deal at EMS. Buy the stove, get the pot half off. Both items were the letest in technology at the time, and were ridiculously light, weighing a total wieght of 210 grams. This opened my eyes to the idea of weighing items in my pack, and finding, buying or making items that were lighter. I was able to slowly upgrade my setup, and a few years later I was only carrying around 40 pounds. My methods and system had become more streamlined, and I had discovered wonderful new advances in gear such as lightweight synthetic clothing and goretex rain gear.

making my own gear and rethinking the necessity of all items in my kit has pushed my baseweight down even further over time, largely due to endless amounts of information i've gained on the forum I'm down to 18 pounds baseweight for multiday trips.

This blog is dedicated to showing my homemade gear and the trips I take with it. Enjoy.