Thoughts On Ultralight Backpacking

I have been thinking and reading a lot about the different elements of backpacking. Since reducing the weight that you carry in your pack is paramount in backpacking, I have come upon the style of ultralight backpacking.

This form of backpacking was first pioneered by Ryan Jordan. He runs a magazine on this.

There is one thing I actually hate about his site; paid content. Membership and stuff like that. It totally sucks. It just puts me off the whole site.

What does the paid content actually contain that is so valuable?

Just some articles on backpacking.

I like information to be free.

Ultralight backpackers actually go to extreme lengths to lighten their load; they will cut off the stems of forks, reduce the weight of their toothbrush by drilling holes into them and other crazy stuff. But in the end, the most important and the most heavy things that a backpacker carries are:

His sleeping bag, his tent and his stove.

UL backpackers will only pack alcohol burners, move away from heavy synthetic sleeping bags to down sleeping bags, and use tarps instead of using tents. At some point though, it becomes a bit ridiculous.

I do like the fact that some packs are made to create a virtual frame.

(the frame is what supports the backpack, which enables people to carry heavy loads a lot easier. It is made out of tubing, carbon fiber or some lightweight metal and supports the weight.)

The virtual frame is created when a frameless backpack is correctly packed. At that point, a virtual frame is created. The Osprey Aether packs are an example of this.

Why remove the frame?

To save weight.

In fact, I do own an UL backpack right now, it’s the GoLite Jam. I haven’t tried it out yet though.

But it does sound crazy to lug around 30 to 60 pounds of stuff when you are trying to have fun.

And on top of that, if you take a lot of cotton clothes, you will be adding to this weight if the clothes get damp or wet.

Instead, get a few microfiber clothes and sweat wicking baselayers. In fact, you don’t even need to take more than one; since they all dry very quickly, you can wash them on site easily and hang them up to dry.

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Featured Photographer

Arjun

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